HY 480 Weeks 6&7 Notes
HY 480 Weeks 6&7 Notes HY 480
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This 10 page Class Notes was uploaded by Rhiannon Hein on Sunday February 21, 2016. The Class Notes belongs to HY 480 at University of Alabama - Tuscaloosa taught by Dr. Harold Selesky in Spring 2016. Since its upload, it has received 20 views. For similar materials see Survey of Military History in History at University of Alabama - Tuscaloosa.
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Date Created: 02/21/16
Beringer Chapter 4 Notes Fundamental difference between German Wars of Unification and the American Civil War: o In Germany, independent political bodies moved toward agreement; there was voluntary unification. The wars of unification were fought against the foreigner. o In the US, consensus broke down and the war was waged against one’s own to secure an involuntary unification. Beringer’s hypothesis is: during the American Civil War large numbers of southerners, did not identify themselves primarily as Confederates except in a Geographic sense. o Southerners lacked the nationalistic identification o the few true Confederate nationalists did not comprise a positive reference group for many southerners. They served as a negative reference group for those who looked to their personal safety, their localities, their families, and the old Union for guides to appropriate behaviors and loyalties. Many Confederates: o Identified themselves instead as besieged and embattled inhabitants of threatened land and therefore sought individual and collective safety o Identified themselves as citizens of their own back years and went to great lengths to maintain local stability o Identified themselves as husbands, fathers, and brothers, and thus attempted to provide for the welfare of their families o Often continued to identify as Unionists, dreamed of restoring the past, and were unable to give full commitment to the new Confederacy. The American Civil War was not a total war, although ti was total enough fi you were the civilian who was shot or whose home was destroyed. o It approached total war in its effect on the civilian population. Total war also involves what you are willing to let the enemy do to your own civilian population. o Victory becomes so important that one is not only willing to inflict devastation, but, as the Confederate States illustrate, the leadership also becomes willing to accept tremendous sacrifice including death of its own civilians. In some respects it is not the wars that should be compared but the experiences of the defeated: the Confederacy with France and the Union with Germany. o Both defeated powers suffered force upon the civilian community that played an important role in determining the outcome of the war. o Both victorious powers experienced much less disruption of their civilian population. This essay may appear to overemphasize the weakness of Confederate identity. Ultimately the war would be won or lost in the hearts and minds of the citizens, and thus the question of identity becomes so important. o “Modernization released a volatile combination of private and public loyalties and ideals that made war an acceptable solution to the crisis of national political authority and identity” Americans of both sections were willing to trade bullets for ballots. What is Confederate nationalism? o One historian argued that Southerners maintained localism but didn’t really have nationalism. o Southern nationalism was not so much different from U.S. nationalism. o The “objective factors” characterizing Southerners were similar to those characterizing Northerners. Some Southerners attempted to create an ideology that would lead to a distinctive nationalism which would have claims to moral superiority. o However, their ideals embraced only some people, not necessarily a majority of the region. o nevertheless, some sense of community was created, a “we” versus “they” situation. Confederates knew they were southerners, but that label proved a mere geographic identity; it gave most of them little sense of national identity, especially Confederate identity. Most Confederate soldiers identified with themselves or their unites, few identified with the Confederacy. Southern nationalism, say nothing of Confederate nationalism, does not appear to have existed in 1861. o Some say that Southern nationalism developed primarily in antagonism to the North. o Southern nationalism evolved from the shared sacrifices, the shared efforts, and the shared defeat of the Civil War. o Confederate nationalism was an effort to build a consensus at home, to secure a foundation of popular support for a new nation and what became a costly war. o Whatever Southern nationalism existed before the war was converted into Confederate nationalism. Confederates opted for war, but most of them hardly realized it when the promoted secession, or went along with their states because it seemed safest at the time. There were widespread misgivings in the South about the course Southerners had decided to pursue that makes the notion of wartime Confederate nationalism somewhat fanciful. o In many areas, secession was anything but a popular movement. The hesitancy of so many Confederates underlines a key weakness in the Confederate war effort—a lack of widely shared feelings of distinct nationality. Planters and extremists convinced multitudes of other Southerners that slavery was worth the war or at least the risk of one, and that was no little accomplishment. What was so distinctive about the Confederacy that it caused a war? o Slavery, not state rights. o Very few Southerners were nationalistic enough to desire independence for its own sake; it was, rather, a means to an endthe perpetuation of slavery within their communities. o Few Confederates in 1861 claimed that independence was a goal in itself. What kept the Confederacy together? o Their regional hostility to the old Union. True Confederate nationalism would have had some degree of permanence about it. Many inhabitants of the Confederacy, enough to make a difference, did not identify themselves as Confederates. o They thought of themselves as threatened and embattles inhabitants of an invaded land and feared for their safety. Two things have separated the North and the South in 1861. o Presence in the South of a large black population, mostly enslaved, and concern about how that population might behave if it was free. o “Defensive group consciousness” in which Southerners felt that national and world environments threatened Southern culture and ideals. Southern consciousness was strongest in the face of attack from outside forces such as abolition and the Union army. Had there been no hostile outsiders, there would have been no Confederacy. The Confederacy claimed that they were not revolutionists, but were resisting revolution. The real revolution in the war emerged with the Emancipation Proclamation in 1863, not with the secession ordinances in 1861. Some Southerners sought safety in the Union because they feared what would happen to slavery and to themselves without it. o Some feared what would happen to slavery and to themselves without it. o Some Mississippians believed that the Union was the great protector of slavery and without it bondage would disappear. The implication that without the Union the protector of slavery would be gone was proven by events. Some paused at the brink of secession because they feared it would render their slave property insecure and disturb the social order. While many Southerners foresaw that the war to save slavery would destroy it the Unionist planters feared inevitable anarchy and revolution. Others disagreed, for those people, safety lay outside the Union. The pressures of the differential pace of modernization resulted in dissonant views of slavery. It is clear that one of the key motivating factors behind the secession movement was simply fear. o The fear that a black population was to be set free was motivation for many a planter and yeoman too to look for secession for safety. Secession came not as an expression of a separate Southern nationality but as a defensive reaction to a fear of apocalypse. Some Southerners found themselves at odds with the Confederate movement simply because they had narrow horizons. o Locals were mostly concerned with their own back years. “Exposure to nonSoutherners can heighten Southerners’ regional consciousness through a reactive process” o This happened as Union soldiers penetrated the South ever more deeply. Localism thrived, for his own back yard was as much of the Confederacy as many a provincial could identify with. o For the most part, the upcountry people only wanted to be left alone, by both governments. The starting point for nationalism for many Southerners was localism. o This helps to explain men who deserted or evaded conscription but were perfectly willing to enlist in local companies and made themselves available in case of invasion of their own localities. o Men identified with their states, not the Confederacy, it is not surprising that they lacked the will to fight as Xonfederates. Some Southerners sought safety first, and others concerned themselves only with their own back yards. o People deserted the Confederacy to go back home and take care of their families since that was their primary concern. “It’s been a Rich man’s war and a poor man’s fight throughout the war….our poor tenderhearted men will not stand it” Letters from home describing the horrors would’ve elicited a strong reaction in the soldiers, motivating them to leave the cause and take care of their own families. Many Southerners did not voluntarily identify themselves as Confederates until after the war, and within a generation, it was sort of a dual nationality. The Confederacy stood for regional identity and nostalgia, even to the point of becoming a civil religion. The United States represented national pride as the unified country moved to the international stage. Why did the Confederacy last four years? o The vast geography gave the defense an immense advantage. o Southern generalship was adequate to the task placed upon it. o Southern wartime industrialization was effective because the war was waged in an age of cheap, mass produced weaponry. The war was responsible for narrowing the gap in the South’s modernization as pressures or military need forced the Confederacy into a breathtaking pace of modernization. To many Confederates, the government they were supposed to support simply did not command their loyalty. The Confederate will to fight was perhaps fatally crippled by the weakness of Confederate identity. McPherson Notes Nearly 4 percent of the Southern people died as a consequence of the Civil War. The amount of property and resources destroyed in the Confederate States is almost incalculable. o This is the negative side of that radical transformation that kept the union together, liberated four million slaves, and the abolition of slavery. The Civil War mobilized human resources on a scale unmatched by any other event in American history except World War II. The Civil war mustered a considerably large proportion of American manpower in terms of actual combat duty than did WWII. The Civil War did all it could to devastate the enemy’s economic resources as well as the morale of its homefront population. o This was done by cavalry and infantry penetrating deep into the Confederate head. It was these factors that led historians to term the Civil War a “total war”: o The devastation wrought by the war o The radical changes it accomplished o The mobilization of the whole society to sustain the war effort True or total war makes no distinction between combatants and noncombatants. The chief critic of the notion of the Civil War as a total war, maintains that “the essential aspect of any definition of total war asserts that it breaks down the distinction between soldiers and civilians, and this no one did in the Civil War did systematically” To note the difference between rhetoric of generals who claimed they needed to destroy civilians and substance is to make a valid point. o Rhetoric of generals often was far more ferocious than anything that actually happened. While the statements certainly sound like total war, none of the scenarios written about (or that general’s language) ever came true. Therefore, those who insist that the Civil War was not, in fact, total war seem to have won the case. o Historians that have recognized this have tried to come up with other terms for the civil war: “destructive war” or “hard war” What made the Civil War distinctive in the American experience? o It was the overwhelming involvement of the whole population, the loss of life, the devastation and transformation of political systems. o In the experience of Americans, especially Southerners, this approached totality, it seemed total. o Thus, the concept of total war remains a useful one. This essay analyzes the evolution f the Civil War from limited to total war. o The official war aims of both sides in 1861 were quite limited. o The South wanted to be left alone, the union took a strategy of limited war to stop domestic insurrection. The union wanted to quell a large riot. It was a strategy founded on an assumption of residual loyalty among the silent majority of Southerners. The Lincoln administration went out of its way to reassure Southerners in 1861 that it had no designs on slavery. There were murmurings in the North against this softwar approach. o Abolitionists and radical Republicans insisted that a rebellion sustained by slavery in defense of slavery could only be crushed by striking against slavery. o Several Union soldiers and officers grumble about protecting the property of traitors. The first practical manifestation of this sentiment came in Missouri. o This began a patter whereby events in that state set the pace for the transformation from a limited to a total war. McPherson’s argument is thus central to this transformation, which began in Missouri. Fremont on August 30 of 1861 took a bold step towards total war. o He placed the whole state of Missouri under martial law, announced death penalty for guerrillas, and confiscated the property and emancipated slaves of Confederate activists. This gets into civilian lifestyle. Lincoln actually revoked the confiscation and emancipation provisions of Fremont’s decree and he ordered the general to execute no guerrillas without presidential approval. o A guerrilla leader in southeast Missouri had already issued a counter proclamation declaring vengeance for those guerrillas killed. The momentum of a war had already mobilized nearly a million men on both sides was becoming remorseless even as Lincoln spoke and it would soon become revolutionary. In Missouri there occurred the tragedy of the civil war within the Civil War, of neighbor against neighbor, of an armed conflict along the Kansas border. o Bands of Confederate guerrillas ambushed, murdered, and burned out Missouri. Unionists and tied down thousands of Union troops in hit and run raids. Union militia retaliated in kind and confederate guerrillas held no monopoly on atrocities committed and scorchedearth practices in Missouri. Most of the Union commanders who subsequently became famous as practitioners of total war spent their early Civil War careers in Missouri. o What these men saw and experienced in that state helped to predispose them toward a conviction that they were fighting a “hostile people” and to make them feel “the hard hand of war” What these people experienced with guerrilla warfare made them want to move towards total warfare. This conviction took room and grew among Northern people and their leaders in the summer of 1862. o Union forces had seemed on the verge of winning the war without resorting to such measures. Those deceptively easy Union advances and victories in early 1862 apparently confirmed the validity of a limited war strategy. o But then, when the rebels counterpunched so hard at Shiloh, Grant changed his mind. He saw the strength of confederate resistance and decided that he would need complete conquest in order to beat these people. He wanted to cripple civilian morale. Grant’s policy became to “consume everything that could be used to support or supply armies” o “Everything” included slaves, whose labor was one of the principal resources used to support and supply Confederate armies. Congress and politicians began to agree as tens of thousands of escaped slaves joined Union lines. Legislation passed in July 1862 to free all those belonging to masters who supported the Confederacy. o Fremont was not wrong, just a year ahead of his time. Lincoln decided to issue a proclamation freeing all slaves in those states engaged in rebellion. o Emancipation, Lincoln told his cabinet in July 1862, had become a “military necessity” essential to the preservation of the Union. With Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation, he embraced the idea of the civil war as a revolutionary conflict. o So, what’s the turning point in the American Civil War? Antietam because 72 hours after this, Lincoln issues the Emancipation Proclamation. Bloodiest single day in American military history. Lee makes a huge mistake and survives because a Union general decides not to engage him because he wants to save the last reserve of the union. o McClellan was notorious for not pressing the advantage at multiple times. The program soon went beyond emancipating slaves and using them as teamsters. o In early 1863 the Lincoln administration committed itself to a policy that first emerged, like other totalwar practices, in the transMississippi disaster. The First Kansas Colored Volunteers were the earliest black soldiers to see combat. o Arms in the hands of slaves constituted the South’s ultimate revolutionary nightmare. Union soldiers in the South were erasing the distinction between military and civilian property belonging to the enemy. Lincoln warned Southern whites that “broken eggs cannot be mended.” The rebels had already cracked the egg of slavery with their own rash behavior. o The sooner thy gave up and ceased insurrection, the less amount of eggs that will be past mending. Sherman became the foremost military spokesman for remorseless war and the most effective general in carrying it out. o He stored up impressions of guerrilla ferocity in Missouri. o He learned that nearly every person in his Tennessee district seemed to hate the Yankees and abet bushwhackers who attacked destroyed Union personnel, supplies, and plans. o The distinction between enemy civilians and soldiers thus became blurred, as everyone in the south seemed to be participating in the demise of union troops. Sherman’s campaigns of devastation were intended to break the will as much as to destroy the resources. o Sherman was a pioneer in the concept of psychological warfare as part of the total war against the whole enemy population. o This was certainly a feature of modern total war. His strategy seemed to work; Sherman’s destruction not only deprived Confederate armies of needed supplies, but it crippled morale both on the home front and in the army. Philip Sheridan carried out a similar policy of scorched earth in the Shenanodoah Valley. o He claimed that the best strategy is to inflict telling blows on the enemy’s army and cause the inhabitants so much suffering they long for peace. Lincoln regretted the devastation and suffering caused by the army’s scorchedearth policy in the South. The kind of conflict the Civil War had become merits the label total war. o The strategic purpose of both the allies and the Union soldiers were the same: to eliminate the resources and break the will of the people to sustain war. As Sherman said, when “you come down to the practical realities, boys, war is all hell.” “HERREN VOLK DEMOCRACY” o The equality of all people of one race. o This becomes a factor in why the civil war is about race; even though most white people don’t have slaves, they all believe themselves superior to black people. McPherson Chapter 6 Notes In July 1863, General Robert Lee wrote his five main objectives in his invasion of Pennsylvania. o To Draw the Union Army of the Potomac away from the Rappahannock River line. o To take the initiative away from the enemy and disrupt any offensive plans General Joseph Hooker might have had for the rest of the summer. o To drive Union occupation forces out of Winchester and the lower Shenandoah Valley. o To draw Union forces away from other theaters to reinforce Hooker. o To take the armies out of warravaged Virginia and to provide the army of North Virginia with food, forage, horses, ad other supplies from the rich agricultural side of Pennsylvania. If Lee’s goals were limited to these objectives, the Gettysburg campaign was a Confederate success. The implication in Lee’s reports was that his goals in the Gettysburg campaign were limited and largely achieved. o They challenge the view that Gettysburg was a disastrous Confederate defeat and reject the notion that Gettysburg was a crucial turning point toward ultimate Union victory. o Lee’s incursion was a raid, not an invasion. We must ask whether all of these spoils were worth the 28,000 casualties suffered by Confederates in the campaign as a whole. There is also considerable amount of evidence that he had more sweeping goals for his invasion of Pennsylvania than he described. Lee believed the only way the Confederacy could achieve its independence was to win battlefield victories while the South had the strength to do so. Lee was an avid reader of Northern newspapers smuggled across the lines. o He wanted to intensify this Northern demoralization in advance of the congressional elections in the fall of 1862. The desire to influence the Northern elections was one reason Lee gave serious thought to resuming the campaign in Maryland even after Antietam. Southerners nevertheless celebrated Chancellorsville as a great victory. o For Lee it was another empty triumph that left the enemy to fight another day. Lee believed 1863 was the year and the South would only get weaker and the North stronger if the conflict went on much longer. Lee believed his own army to be “invincible” and that they would go anywhere if properly led. At Gettysburg Lee ordered an attack—again an attack—and again attacks, almost as if to make his predictions to Trimble come true. o He believed that a crushing military victory would enable Davis to extract a peace agreement from the US government that would recognize Confederate independence. The battle of Gettysburg began without Lee’s presence and in a sense against his wishes and orders to subordinates not to bring on a battle until the army was concentrated.
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