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> The American Civil War, The War between the States...
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Camac
Posted: 16-Aug-2008, 12:31 PM
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Sekhmet;

Most interesting Gentleman this Daniel Sickels. Bit of a cad and a rouge I' say.


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Sekhmet 
Posted: 16-Aug-2008, 12:43 PM
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QUOTE (Patch @ 16-Aug-2008, 01:58 AM)

I need to read more.  The History channel indicated it was union cannon that were lowered to fire into the charging Confederates.  (The Union was trying to preserve the two fences.)  The program stated that there was evidence that bolts, nuts, scraps of metal and probably even small stones were used in the Union cannon to cut down the Confederates at close range.  Also, Pickett was not the only General involved in the charge nor was he "in charge" of it.  History made it "his" charge.

I realize that TV tends to take liberties at times but this show was for "educational credit".

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Patch     



Yes, that portion is correct, but that was late in the charge. Lemme back up a little. And try not to go on for a week. smile.gif

Ultimately Longstreet was in command of "the charge", which is why some also refer to it as "Longstreet's assault". Longstreet was dead against it, and argued with Lee against making it, but was overruled. Longstreet got the blame for a lot of things, particularly later on after the war - but not Lee. And he's the one who made the initial order. He did not go out with the assault, but Pickett and many others did. Pickett didn't go very far down the field, but we digress.

The charge was made after the cannonade under Alexander, which was done in order to soften up the Union center to make the assault easier. They wanted to silence the Union artillery on Cemetery Ridge and take out as much infantry as possible.

Once Alexander opened fire on the Union positions, Union artillery returned fire in order to silence *their* guns. For that they elevated their barrels for long range and used solid and case shot (a hollow "case" that is filled with powder and lead balls lit by a fuse, made to explode into shrapnel overhead) in order to damage the guns, kill the horses, and take out the crews as well.

Once the Charge began, Union artillery would then drop their barrels in order to shoot straight across into the approaching infantry. Once they got to about 200 yards or so, they switched to cannister shot in order to take out as many as possible before they closed with their lines. Remember - artillery is only effective at range. If the enemy closes, they're done. At that point the Confederates are also at musket/rifle range, so they began taking that kind of fire as well.

I'm not sure I agree with preserving the fences, but rather those fences gave a golden opportunity to keep the Confederates hung up while they were at perfect range to be blown away. Many fell there, and many ducked into the sunken road bed because of its relatively protected position. Many of those who did so were captured later on, but...they lived.


LoA, I swear I'm not trying to hijack the thread, they just hit on Gettysburg, and I'm a Gettysburg dork. Been studying to be a Licensed Battlefield Guide for a few years now. biggrin.gif

Melissa

EDIT - for another typo and the wrong load listed...not having a good typing day. tongue.gif


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Sekhmet 
Posted: 16-Aug-2008, 12:49 PM
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QUOTE (Camac @ 16-Aug-2008, 12:31 PM)
Sekhmet;

Most interesting Gentleman this Daniel Sickels. Bit of a cad and a rouge I' say.


Camac.

Sickles was a trip. He was the quintessential example of a politically-placed commander (hooray for Tammany Hall) who probably wasn't wrapped real tight to begin with.

Not nutty enough for his temporary insanity plea to actually fly, but a little out there.

They still argue as to whether or not he was a genius or an idiot for moving his men out of line on July 02. I know what kind of names Meade and Hancock were calling him... wink.gif

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Camac
Posted: 16-Aug-2008, 01:04 PM
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Sekhmet;

Also as an aside to Picket at Gettysburg. He was paroled in April 1865 but chose to flee north to Canada. He returned to virginia in Aprill 1866.




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Sekhmet 
Posted: 16-Aug-2008, 01:58 PM
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Yep, and didn't live all that long after the war. I think he was about 50 when he died. He had built so much of his personality and identity around the Southern cavalier ideal that some wonder whether or not he just died of a broken heart, as it were. His world was gone when the war ended.
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Camac
Posted: 16-Aug-2008, 03:04 PM
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Sekhmet;

It would also seem that after his death his wife, Sallie, would do much to enhance his reputation by, shall we say exaggeration.


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Sekhmet 
Posted: 16-Aug-2008, 04:01 PM
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Very true. But then again she was really young when she married George, and was just as invested in the "lost cause" as well. I can see where some of the er...exaggeration came from.

It's really no different than what Georgia Wade McClellan did for her sister Ginny...yes she was a young girl, yes she was the only civilian casualty at Gettysburg, yes she was baking bread for the troops, but she wasn't a martyred saint. Know what I mean?

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Camac
Posted: 16-Aug-2008, 04:17 PM
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Sekhmet;

I vaguely remember watch a mini-series the Blue and the Grey and in one episode
a young woman married to federal officer is in her kitchen when a bullet comes through the wall and kills her. Is this who you are referring to.


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Sekhmet 
Posted: 16-Aug-2008, 05:29 PM
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Close...

Ginny Wade wasn't married yet, but had been with Jack Skelly for a while, who was a private in the Union army. A few days before the battle broke out Ginny 's sister had given birth to a little boy, and her mother was there taking care of them.

The battle broke out, and they figured it would be safer to go to Georgia's house to get away from the battle. They wound up being caught in a no man's land after the Confederates took over the town. On the morning of the third day's battle Ginny was in the kitchen mixing dough for bread when a sharpshooter's bullet came through two doors and nailed her in the back.

Ginny was the only civilian killed *outright* from the battle, though there were a few other casualties that died indirectly from the battle.

The Wade family wasn't exactly of high social standing in town, and when public attention began resting on Ginny and her family, many people were put out over it. Perhaps because of that, Georgia made it her personal campaign to make Ginny into a martyr to the country. It worked, too.

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Camac
Posted: 16-Aug-2008, 05:33 PM
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Sekhmet;

The incident in the series was more than likely the Hollywoodization of the actual event.

Camac.

PS. Did you take the test to be a Guide and if so did you pass?
               
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Sekhmet 
Posted: 16-Aug-2008, 06:32 PM
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QUOTE (Camac @ 16-Aug-2008, 05:33 PM)

PS. Did you take the test to be a Guide and if so did you pass?

Not yet. smile.gif

The tests only open every few years, and the last time it was open I didn't feel confident enough to take the test...yeah, I chickened out. tongue.gif But it's a very comprehensive and difficult test (there's two parts actually, written then oral), and I just didn't think I was quite ready for it yet. I'm working on it though. smile.gif


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Camac
Posted: 16-Aug-2008, 08:42 PM
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QUOTE (Sekhmet @ 16-Aug-2008, 06:32 PM)
QUOTE (Camac @ 16-Aug-2008, 05:33 PM)

PS. Did you take the test to be a Guide and if so did you pass?

Not yet. smile.gif

The tests only open every few years, and the last time it was open I didn't feel confident enough to take the test...yeah, I chickened out. tongue.gif But it's a very comprehensive and difficult test (there's two parts actually, written then oral), and I just didn't think I was quite ready for it yet. I'm working on it though. smile.gif


Melissa

Well when you try again I wish you all the success in the world. It's about time to get back on Subject.

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Camac
Posted: 23-Aug-2008, 12:35 PM
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I just watched Ken Burns' Civil war again and was surpried to hear that the South won the first battle of the war,which i knew, but also won the last battle in Texas in 1865. I think Burns did an excellent job on that documentary.


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TheCarolinaScotsman 
Posted: 23-Aug-2008, 02:28 PM
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I'm coming late to this topic and so apologize for mentioning a couple of subjects that are already passed. I would say that the real turning point of the war was Chancellorsville where the South lost Jackson. He was returning from scouting the land ahead (typical of him) when he was wounded by Confederate pickets who mistook him for the enemy. His left arm was amputated and eight days later he died from complications. Ole "Stonewall" was probably the most brilliant tactician of the entire war. His loss to the South was immeasurable.

If you want to read the southern side of the War Between the States may I recomend Rise and Fall of Confederate Government volumes I and II by Jefferson Davis. They are available for free download from Google's book service.

In my opinion the seeds of the War Between the States were sown at the time the Constitution was adopted. It was purposely written in such a way as to appease both the forces who wanted a strong central government (such as Madison) and those who favored a looser association with each state maintain the deciding balance of power with the central government (such as Jefferson). This ambiguity led to off and on conflict for three quarters of a century. As some have said, it was the classic battle of the industrial north and the agrarian south.

Things almost came to a head when Massachusettes threatened to seceed early in the nineteenth century. And again when Clay masterfully stepped in with his Compromise and calmed the waters. While Lincoln did not want war, there were advisors and members of his cabinet who wanted nothing else. Statnton, Chase, and Seward were some of the more bellicose. Many of the Republicans moved behind the scenes to provoke a war while to all appearances remaining the "innocent victims".


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MacEoghainn 
Posted: 23-Aug-2008, 03:20 PM
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Great American History

To try and imply that the institution of Slavery was not a major reason for the American Civil War is like trying to ignore the proverbial Elephant in the living room. Just because you pretend it isn't there doesn't make it go away.

"State's Rights", " Agrarian vs Industrial", ect....... while playing a part in what led up to war, were not the prime cause. South Carolina's final excuse for secession was Lincoln's election as President because they considered him to be in the Abolitionists camp because he was a Republican (South Carolina had threatened to secede during Andrew Jackson's presidency. His response: "Go ahead and make my day" or words to that effect).



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