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150 years: 1st Minn. Vols at Gettysburg

Marc1152

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First Minnesota Volunteers at Gettysburg 150 years.

A Gap had formed in the Union line, which was simultaneously notice by both sides. The rebels saw their chance to split the Federal Army in half and win the battle. They quickly sent nearly 1200 troops forward.
General Hancock came galloping up to the lone Regiment in the gap ( approx 290 Men).

“What’s your name Colonel?”

“ Covill Sir”

"What Regiment is this?" he asked.

“We are the First Minnesota sir."

“Colonel, do you see those flags coming this way?".....

“Yes Sir"....."

“Take them ! "
 
The regiment fixed bayonets and moved forward at double time. Then they were  ordered to “Charge Bayonets”..  Leveled their rifles and hurled themselves into the enemy line.

The Confederates later reported that they were hit so hard they thought they were being repulsed by a much larger force and began to fall back. But they rallied and began to pour a withering fire into the Minnesotans who were caught flat in a gully and nearly wiped them out.
The time saved by their charge bought enough time for General Hancock to move up troops and fill the gap, saving the battle. The casualty rate was 83% which to this day remains the highest of any surviving American unit .

The next day the 47 men still fit were put into line to repel Pickett.

There is a story told by veterans that even after the devastating losses of the day before and in the face of an impending frontal assault by the whole of the Rebel Army, the First Sargent scolded the men at morning inspection for not having their brass (belt buckles and small breast plate) properly polished and had them quickly shine them up..” like proper soldiers”. 

It was necessary to again charge into the advancing Confederates. One man, Private Marshal Sherman captured the battle flag of the 28th Virginia Infantry and was later awarded the Medal of Honor.
 

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I remember my history teacher having us high schoolers reinact this battle slightly outside back in the day

(I am from minnesota)

 

Marc1152

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Gunnarr said:
I remember my history teacher having us high schoolers reinact this battle slightly outside back in the day

(I am from minnesota)
Yes, my understanding is that school children in Minnesota are still taught about the charge of the 1st.Minn. Vols



 

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'John Brown's Body'
Pete Seeger
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jso1YRQnpCI

The Battle Hymn of the Republic is perhaps appropriate for both the Civil War and July 4th (although I make no claim as to its theology).
 

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I'm also from MN.  We were certainly taught about the 1st.
 

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I have always been fascinated by the american civil war.

Thanks for this.  :)
 

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It is a fascinating and at the same time dreadful topic, made more immediate in that we have photographs of the troops of both sides.
 

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Cyrillic said:
Ansgar said:
I have always been fascinated by the american civil war.
Why? It was a silly war with a few petty skirmishes.
It was anything but silly. As in all civil wars brother turned on brother, neighbour against neighbour, and a federal state threatened to unravel. It was in many ways a precursor to modern warfare, with its methods and casualty rates. No, not silly but tragic.
 

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Cyrillic said:
Ansgar said:
I have always been fascinated by the american civil war.
Why? It was a silly war with a few petty skirmishes.
While the war was indeed terrible, both in it's nature and concerning the loss of human lives, I find the social, economic and cultural aspects of the war interesting. The conflict between the industrialised North and the agricultural South played a big part in the conflict.

Plus, the issue of slavery is also interesting to read about. I once borrowed a book, that contained biographies from black slaves. It was very exciting to read.
 

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Cyrillic said:
Ansgar said:
I have always been fascinated by the american civil war.
Why? It was a silly war with a few petty skirmishes.
I'm not sure a battle with 50,000 casualties can be considered a petty skirmish.
 

Marc1152

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Agabus said:
Cyrillic said:
Ansgar said:
I have always been fascinated by the american civil war.
Why? It was a silly war with a few petty skirmishes.
I'm not sure a battle with 50,000 casualties can be considered a petty skirmish.
The causality rate for all of the Vietnam War was around 53,000. Towards the end, we were losing 10,000 men per month during the Civil War. In a single day of fighting at Sharpsburg there were around 23,000 casualties. At Gettysburg over several days the total was around 50,000. For comparison sake, the Battle of Waterloo also added up to around 50,000 for both sides combined.

 

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Agabus said:
Cyrillic said:
Ansgar said:
I have always been fascinated by the american civil war.
Why? It was a silly war with a few petty skirmishes.
I'm not sure a battle with 50,000 casualties can be considered a petty skirmish.
Nor should a war with over 620,000 casualties be called "silly."
 

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I think Cyrillic is just pulling our chains. Or perhaps he's thinking of our war of independence, which really wasn't that big a deal.

The civil war was pretty important though. I think Karl Marx said it was the most important thing of the time, alongside the abolition of serfdom in Russia. As that master orator Joe Biden would say, "This is a big ... deal."
 

Jibrail Almuhajir

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Santagranddad said:
It is a fascinating and at the same time dreadful topic, made more immediate in that we have photographs of the troops of both sides.
It was a tragic war because it was an attack on liberty.  I have blood kin who fought valiantly for the South, none of whom owned slaves.
 

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GabrieltheCelt said:
Santagranddad said:
It is a fascinating and at the same time dreadful topic, made more immediate in that we have photographs of the troops of both sides.
It was a tragic war because it was an attack on liberty.  I have blood kin who fought valiantly for the South, none of whom owned slaves.
They were fighting for the "liberty" of others to own slaves.
 

Marc1152

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GabrieltheCelt said:
Santagranddad said:
It is a fascinating and at the same time dreadful topic, made more immediate in that we have photographs of the troops of both sides.
It was a tragic war because it was an attack on liberty.  I have blood kin who fought valiantly for the South, none of whom owned slaves.
There is nothing noble or worthy of respect about slavery. Absolutely nothing.

There is also nothing worthy of respect about succession from the United States not even to mention trying to make common cause with the British after the struggle to get rid of them.. Not a thing.

Nothing about the Confederate cause had anything to do with Liberty.

I remember being in a Reenactment * years ago in Southern Virginia. After a couple of days the finale was to be in an open field where spectators could come and watch.

First the Rebels showed up and the crowd cheered and cheered.

Then we came up on to the field. At the head of the column was the National Colors, You know, the flag of the United States of America.

You could see the confusion on the faces of the spectators. Do you boo the American Flag? Do your root against it? Do you fire on it?

I have seen this reaction a few times. It is one of the great educational aspects of Re-enacting. Would be Confederate sympathizers who are often very Conservative politically, can finally realize the treason inherent in the Southern Cause. Treason. Nothing less, there is nothing about it that should be excused.

* Some events are called "Tactical s" and are not re enactments of actual battles but rather troops running around for a few days to get practice maneuvering..





 

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Forgive my ignorance as an Irishman, whose forbears may have fought on both sides, but were not the individual states Sovereign States and as such entitled to secede from the Union should they so wish?
 

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Santagranddad said:
Forgive my ignorance as an Irishman, whose forbears may have fought on both sides, but were not the individual states Sovereign States and as such entitled to secede from the Union should they so wish?
That is the question that the war answered.  Many believed that this was their right.  The Declaration of Independence states:

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.—That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed,—That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness.
It boils down to The Right of Succession vs The Natural Right of Revolution.  Obviously, since a war was fought there was not a universal acceptance of a State's right to secede from the Union.  Thus, the Confederate States turned to The Natural Right of Revolution.  The thing with the right of revolution is that it requires a fait accompli for it to actually take effect.  If the South had won, then obviously they had the right to do so!  Since they did not, it was the natural right of the victors to impose any condition they chose to upon the vanquished.  In the 1869 court case of Texas vs White the Supreme Court threw their sword on to the scales, enshrining this in law.
 

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Santagranddad said:
Forgive my ignorance as an Irishman, whose forbears may have fought on both sides, but were not the individual states Sovereign States and as such entitled to secede from the Union should they so wish?
The vast majority of Southerners neither belonged to the plantation society nor owned slaves nor even benefitted from the horrible institution of slavery.  In fact, before the attack on sovereign Southern state, the South was home to an increasingly abolitionist outlook with just as many abolitionists, if not more, than their Northern counterparts.  

Had the South been left alone. Like Great Britain, the 'peculiar institute' would have soon fallen out of favor as many realized it's unsustainability.  Not to mention over 600,000 Americans would not have had to die.  The war was not initially about slavery.  When Lincoln realized he could get more Northern support (remember, not all Northerners were convinced of the validity of his war- look up Copperheads') he eventually made it exclusively about slavery to further cripple Southern society.  At first he said that if he could keep the Union together without freeing a single slave, he would be happy to do so.  

Here's are some African-Americans and some Northern re-enactors explaining that the war was not about slavery.  http://m.youtube.com/watch?v=YF-QIJyLhKQ
 

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Thank you both for interesting replies. Somewhere along the line - stimulated hereabouts by the film Lincoln - I read that a resident of Birmingham, UK, influenced Lincoln to include slavery in his speeches. Cannot pin it down but have definitely got an impression that views on slavery were not simply divided upon whether you lived in the North or the South.

As for the morality of one side versus the other, it appears that despite a Northern victory the position of folks of colour appeared a very rocky path. So was it really about slavery or something else?
 

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Santagranddad said:
Thank you both for interesting replies. Somewhere along the line - stimulated hereabouts by the film Lincoln - I read that a resident of Birmingham, UK, influenced Lincoln to include slavery in his speeches. Cannot pin it down but have definitely got an impression that views on slavery were not simply divided upon whether you lived in the North or the South.

As for the morality of one side versus the other, it appears that despite a Northern victory the position of folks of colour appeared a very rocky path. So was it really about slavery or something else?
It was about a lot of things. Slavery was one of the issues, but far from the biggest.
 

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GabrieltheCelt said:
Santagranddad said:
Forgive my ignorance as an Irishman, whose forbears may have fought on both sides, but were not the individual states Sovereign States and as such entitled to secede from the Union should they so wish?
The vast majority of Southerners neither belonged to the plantation society nor owned slaves nor even benefitted from the horrible institution of slavery.  In fact, before the attack on sovereign Southern state, the South was home to an increasingly abolitionist outlook with just as many abolitionists, if not more, than their Northern counterparts.  

Had the South been left alone. Like Great Britain, the 'peculiar institute' would have soon fallen out of favor as many realized it's unsustainability.  Not to mention over 600,000 Americans would not have had to die.  The war was not initially about slavery.  When Lincoln realized he could get more Northern support (remember, not all Northerners were convinced of the validity of his war- look up Copperheads') he eventually made it exclusively about slavery to further cripple Southern society.  At first he said that if he could keep the Union together without freeing a single slave, he would be happy to do so.  

Here's are some African-Americans and some Northern re-enactors explaining that the war was not about slavery.  http://m.youtube.com/watch?v=YF-QIJyLhKQ
The vast majority of Southerners neither belonged to the plantation society nor owned slaves nor even benefitted from the horrible institution of slavery. 

Irrelevant.. They fought for a cause that wanted to maintain slavery and expand it.

The cause of the War was slavery. Modern Americans who try to apologize for the South try to dodge around this.

They tried to succeed because Lincoln was opposed to expansion of slavery to the West. Even that relatively mild objection was enough to cause them to start a War. Not only did they want to expand slavery Westward, but had they won they had plans to invade Central America, enslave the Indians there and set up gigantic plantations.... 

No slavery, no Civil War.. Period.

How Lincoln moved along to the point of freeing the slaves is just the path ending slavery took, nothing more.
No slavery, no Civil War.

If someone fought for the Rebel cause, they are culpable, It matters not one whit if they were slave owners themselves.

People sometimes get confused between how bravely the Confederates fought and the worthiness of what they were fighting for.





 

vamrat

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Some people get confused with the Northern victory and mistake it for the righteousness of their intentions. 
 

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Pretty pictures, Marc.  I hope your next post will include facts as well.  You might begin addressing the video I linked to: African-Americans as well as Northern re-enactors of the war, present an opposing, factual POV.  Plus the fact that there were many Black confederates as well as Black slave owners should alert folks that the story is not as cut-and-dry as some would have us believe.  
 

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Marc1152 said:
GabrieltheCelt said:
Santagranddad said:
Forgive my ignorance as an Irishman, whose forbears may have fought on both sides, but were not the individual states Sovereign States and as such entitled to secede from the Union should they so wish?
The vast majority of Southerners neither belonged to the plantation society nor owned slaves nor even benefitted from the horrible institution of slavery.  In fact, before the attack on sovereign Southern state, the South was home to an increasingly abolitionist outlook with just as many abolitionists, if not more, than their Northern counterparts.  

Had the South been left alone. Like Great Britain, the 'peculiar institute' would have soon fallen out of favor as many realized it's unsustainability.  Not to mention over 600,000 Americans would not have had to die.  The war was not initially about slavery.  When Lincoln realized he could get more Northern support (remember, not all Northerners were convinced of the validity of his war- look up Copperheads') he eventually made it exclusively about slavery to further cripple Southern society.  At first he said that if he could keep the Union together without freeing a single slave, he would be happy to do so.  

Here's are some African-Americans and some Northern re-enactors explaining that the war was not about slavery.  http://m.youtube.com/watch?v=YF-QIJyLhKQ
The vast majority of Southerners neither belonged to the plantation society nor owned slaves nor even benefitted from the horrible institution of slavery.  

Irrelevant.. They fought for a cause that wanted to maintain slavery and expand it.

The cause of the War was slavery. Modern Americans who try to apologize for the South try to dodge around this.

They tried to succeed because Lincoln was opposed to expansion of slavery to the West. Even that relatively mild objection was enough to cause them to start a War. Not only did they want to expand slavery Westward, but had they won they had plans to invade Central America, enslave the Indians there and set up gigantic plantations....  

No slavery, no Civil War.. Period.

How Lincoln moved along to the point of freeing the slaves is just the path ending slavery took, nothing more.
No slavery, no Civil War.

If someone fought for the Rebel cause, they are culpable, It matters not one whit if they were slave owners themselves.

People sometimes get confused between how bravely the Confederates fought and the worthiness of what they were fighting for.





Hmmm, where to begin...

Explaining that the civil war had anything to do with slavery before "honest" abe made it about slavery, believing that the majority of Southerners believed in slavery, believing that there would have been no civil war had there been no slavery, believing that starting a war which killed 620,000+ Americans was the only way to stop slavery, believing that the majority of confederates (as in, more than 5%) wanted to expand the slave trade to the west, forgetting that enslaving native Americans was already tried (and ended very badly), and, last but not least, misspelling "secede."

For a minute, I thought you were being serious.
 

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GabrieltheCelt said:
Santagranddad said:
Forgive my ignorance as an Irishman, whose forbears may have fought on both sides, but were not the individual states Sovereign States and as such entitled to secede from the Union should they so wish?
The vast majority of Southerners neither belonged to the plantation society nor owned slaves nor even benefitted from the horrible institution of slavery.  In fact, before the attack on sovereign Southern state, the South was home to an increasingly abolitionist outlook with just as many abolitionists, if not more, than their Northern counterparts.  

Had the South been left alone. Like Great Britain, the 'peculiar institute' would have soon fallen out of favor as many realized it's unsustainability.  Not to mention over 600,000 Americans would not have had to die.  The war was not initially about slavery.  When Lincoln realized he could get more Northern support (remember, not all Northerners were convinced of the validity of his war- look up Copperheads') he eventually made it exclusively about slavery to further cripple Southern society.  At first he said that if he could keep the Union together without freeing a single slave, he would be happy to do so.  

Here's are some African-Americans and some Northern re-enactors explaining that the war was not about slavery.  http://m.youtube.com/watch?v=YF-QIJyLhKQ
+1
 

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Please, the word is "secede", not "succeed".  Although I wish the CSA's secession had been a success.  But they shouldn't have fired on Ft. Sumter.  That gave Lincoln the excuse to launch his ultimately successful invasion of the Southern states.  Both sides were eager to start a war but ill-prepared to conduct it.
 

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vamrat said:
Some people get confused with the Northern victory and mistake it for the righteousness of their intentions. 
Yes, if you base your historical perspective on what individual soldiers have in their heads that motivate them

But on a lager scale, the South started the War when a President got elected who was against expanding slavery West.. That's what did it.

There were also Southern Political idea's about States Rights but that did not start the War nor was it the actual cause. Slavery was.

The funny thing is that their idea's about States Rights greatly contributed to their defeat. It turned out to be a Cluster ... The States, being "Sovereign" wouldn't cooperate with each other...So you ended up with bare foot soldiers in rags while NC had warehouses full of shoes that they were saving for their "own" soldiers...
 

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James2 said:
Please, the word is "secede", not "succeed".  Although I wish the CSA's secession had been a success.  But they shouldn't have fired on Ft. Sumter.  That gave Lincoln the excuse to launch his ultimately successful invasion of the Southern states.  Both sides were eager to start a war but ill-prepared to conduct it.
How was the North eger to start a war?.. Never heard that one before.
 

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So it had nothing to do with tariffs that meant Southern cotton growers had no option but to sell to Northern mills at an artificially low price? Because that would have really hurt a section of society heavily dependent on their cotton crop sales.

I ask because civil wars tend to have complex causes and clashes of vested interests surely? The notion of goodies on one side and baddies on the other might serve Hollywood misrepresentations of history, but are not serious history.

The institution of chattel slavery was and is truly repellent, and its heritage has blighted relations between communities right up to the present.

 

Marc1152

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Santagranddad said:
So it had nothing to do with tariffs that meant Southern cotton growers had no option but to sell to Northern mills at an artificially low price? Because that would have really hurt a section of society heavily dependent on their cotton crop sales.

I ask because civil wars tend to have complex causes and clashes of vested interests surely? The notion of goodies on one side and baddies on the other might serve Hollywood misrepresentations of history, but are not serious history.

The institution of chattel slavery was and is truly repellent, and its heritage has blighted relations between communities right up to the present.
ah ..Yeah..The Civil War and it's 620,000 casualties was not fought over Terrifs.

Several issues were settled by the outcome including idea's about States Rights and some other issues, none of them rise to the level of starting a War except Slavery... The only reason the South took up arms is because a President got elected who was against the expansion of slavery...
 

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Cyrillic said:
Ansgar said:
I have always been fascinated by the american civil war.
Why? It was a silly war with a few petty skirmishes.
I think a war that had roughly 600,000 casualties in all is more than a "few petty skirmishes."
 

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Marc1152 said:
vamrat said:
Some people get confused with the Northern victory and mistake it for the righteousness of their intentions. 
Yes, if you base your historical perspective on what individual soldiers have in their heads that motivate them

But on a lager scale, the South started the War when a President got elected who was against expanding slavery West.. That's what did it.

There were also Southern Political idea's about States Rights but that did not start the War nor was it the actual cause. Slavery was.

The funny thing is that their idea's about States Rights greatly contributed to their defeat. It turned out to be a Cluster ... The States, being "Sovereign" wouldn't cooperate with each other...So you ended up with bare foot soldiers in rags while NC had warehouses full of shoes that they were saving for their "own" soldiers...
In other words, you are saying that the South, believing that the government was instituted by the consent of those governed to secure their rights, decided to abolish it and institute a new government as the Union became destructive towards the ends of securing their rights?

I think you are right in that this was the primary causus belli.
 

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Marc1152 said:
Santagranddad said:
So it had nothing to do with tariffs that meant Southern cotton growers had no option but to sell to Northern mills at an artificially low price? Because that would have really hurt a section of society heavily dependent on their cotton crop sales.

I ask because civil wars tend to have complex causes and clashes of vested interests surely? The notion of goodies on one side and baddies on the other might serve Hollywood misrepresentations of history, but are not serious history.

The institution of chattel slavery was and is truly repellent, and its heritage has blighted relations between communities right up to the present.
ah ..Yeah..The Civil War and it's 620,000 casualties was not fought over Terrifs.

Several issues were settled by the outcome including idea's about States Rights and some other issues, none of them rise to the level of starting a War except Slavery... The only reason the South took up arms is because a President got elected who was against the expansion of slavery...
Marc1152 said:
ah ..Yeah..The Civil War and it's 620,000 casualties was not fought over Terrifs.

Several issues were settled by the outcome including idea's about States Rights and some other issues, none of them rise to the level of starting a War except Slavery... The only reason the South took up arms is because a President got elected who was against the expansion of slavery...
Marc1152 said:
ah ..Yeah..The Civil War and it's 620,000 casualties was not fought over Terrifs.
Marc1152 said:
You're better than this.
 

vamrat

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Marc1152 said:
Santagranddad said:
So it had nothing to do with tariffs that meant Southern cotton growers had no option but to sell to Northern mills at an artificially low price? Because that would have really hurt a section of society heavily dependent on their cotton crop sales.

I ask because civil wars tend to have complex causes and clashes of vested interests surely? The notion of goodies on one side and baddies on the other might serve Hollywood misrepresentations of history, but are not serious history.

The institution of chattel slavery was and is truly repellent, and its heritage has blighted relations between communities right up to the present.
ah ..Yeah..The Civil War and it's 620,000 casualties was not fought over Terrifs.

Several issues were settled by the outcome including idea's about States Rights and some other issues, none of them rise to the level of starting a War except Slavery... The only reason the South took up arms is because a President got elected who was against the expansion of slavery...
It seems like he is following the money.  Not a bad practice.  Much better than relying on emotional biases that sugarcoat the victor's purposes.
 

pmpn8rGPT

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Marc1152 said:
An idea cannot own something.

I mean, sorry for ripping apart all of your posts, but some of these are even below what I would expect of JamesR.
 

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pmpn8rGPT said:
Marc1152 said:
GabrieltheCelt said:
Santagranddad said:
Forgive my ignorance as an Irishman, whose forbears may have fought on both sides, but were not the individual states Sovereign States and as such entitled to secede from the Union should they so wish?
The vast majority of Southerners neither belonged to the plantation society nor owned slaves nor even benefitted from the horrible institution of slavery.  In fact, before the attack on sovereign Southern state, the South was home to an increasingly abolitionist outlook with just as many abolitionists, if not more, than their Northern counterparts.  

Had the South been left alone. Like Great Britain, the 'peculiar institute' would have soon fallen out of favor as many realized it's unsustainability.  Not to mention over 600,000 Americans would not have had to die.  The war was not initially about slavery.  When Lincoln realized he could get more Northern support (remember, not all Northerners were convinced of the validity of his war- look up Copperheads') he eventually made it exclusively about slavery to further cripple Southern society.  At first he said that if he could keep the Union together without freeing a single slave, he would be happy to do so.  

Here's are some African-Americans and some Northern re-enactors explaining that the war was not about slavery.  http://m.youtube.com/watch?v=YF-QIJyLhKQ
The vast majority of Southerners neither belonged to the plantation society nor owned slaves nor even benefitted from the horrible institution of slavery.  

Irrelevant.. They fought for a cause that wanted to maintain slavery and expand it.

The cause of the War was slavery. Modern Americans who try to apologize for the South try to dodge around this.

They tried to succeed because Lincoln was opposed to expansion of slavery to the West. Even that relatively mild objection was enough to cause them to start a War. Not only did they want to expand slavery Westward, but had they won they had plans to invade Central America, enslave the Indians there and set up gigantic plantations....  

No slavery, no Civil War.. Period.

How Lincoln moved along to the point of freeing the slaves is just the path ending slavery took, nothing more.
No slavery, no Civil War.

If someone fought for the Rebel cause, they are culpable, It matters not one whit if they were slave owners themselves.

People sometimes get confused between how bravely the Confederates fought and the worthiness of what they were fighting for.





Hmmm, where to begin...

Explaining that the civil war had anything to do with slavery before "honest" abe made it about slavery, believing that the majority of Southerners believed in slavery, believing that there would have been no civil war had there been no slavery, believing that starting a war which killed 620,000+ Americans was the only way to stop slavery, believing that the majority of confederates (as in, more than 5%) wanted to expand the slave trade to the west, forgetting that enslaving native Americans was already tried (and ended very badly), and, last but not least, misspelling "secede."

For a minute, I thought you were being serious.
I forgot to mention that the result of the collapse of slavery is sharecropping, which is a much more horrible institution.
 
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