The American Civil War



  • I've been meaning to find out more about the American Civil War for several years now but have never gotten round to it. But, I eventually sat down to watch the outstanding Civil War doco on Netflix and have been smashing these episodes late into the night.

    It was an absolutely fascinating (and incredibly bloody) conflict. While ostensibly about slavery, it seems the North were loath to admit this until they needed the support of the European powers and black manpower. Also, while the South seceded from the Union because of slavery (some will argue states rights but every state cited retaining slavery as the reason they were leaving), it seems many (like Robert E Lee) fought out of loyalty to their home states rather than through any heartfelt devotion to white supremacy or slavery. I felt perhaps there were some parallels with Nazi Germany in this regard (a war in which my grandfather and several of my relatives fought on the German side). Indeed, like many conflicts, the rich in both the North (pay to avoid the draft) and South (owned 20 slaves) bravely avoided the fighting.

    Anyway, like I said, a fascinating conflict, with some incredible battles, leaders, characters and consequences. Would love to visit the CW battlefields one day.

    It's also very relevant in the current debate about Confederate monuments and the Confederate flag.



  • @Rancid-Schnitzel was that the Ken Burns one?

    Just googled and it looks like that's on Netflix.

    It was on History Channel over the Summer and I recorded and watched as I could.

    Programme is damn nearly thirty years old.

    Was well done if a bit flowery. But the way the stories were told in the words of those who were there and wrote about it was very effective and evocative.

    Gave me a lot more context as to what it was all about - although my sieve like memory hss forgotten most of it. The hatred engendered was fascinating. They were the same country immediately prior, and then again afterwards. I suppose that speaks to the divisions still experienced.

    Would have liked a bit more in the way of graphics to show what armies moved where when.

    A point that stood out for me was just how "modern" the warfare looked. Some of the photos - just the fact they had photos tells how recently this happened - looked eerily reminiscent of WWI. You'd have thought it would have prepared the military for trench warfare.

    The North were always going to win based on sheer weight of resources, money and population.

    Wellworth tlotwatch and like you I'd like to learn more.



  • @booboo said in The American Civil War:

    @Rancid-Schnitzel was that the Ken Burns one?

    Just googled and it looks like that's on Netflix.

    It was on History Channel over the Summer and I recorded and watched as I could.

    Programme is damn nearly thirty years old.

    Was well done if a bit flowery. But the way the stories were told in the words of those who were there and wrote about it was very effective and evocative.

    Gave me a lot more context as to what it was all about - although my sieve like memory hss forgotten most of it. The hatred engendered was fascinating. They were the same country immediately prior, and then again afterwards. I suppose that speaks to the divisions still experienced.

    Would have liked a bit more in the way of graphics to show what armies moved where when.

    A point that stood out for me was just how "modern" the warfare looked. Some of the photos - just the fact they had photos tells how recently this happened - looked eerily reminiscent of WWI. You'd have thought it would have prepared the military for trench warfare.

    The North were always going to win based on sheer weight of resources, money and population.

    Wellworth tlotwatch and like you I'd like to learn more.

    Yep, that's the one! Definitely old and very light on graphics/footage but still very well made. The old photographs were pretty amazing.

    It certainly changed the face of warfare and was a precursor to WWI. The Confederate armed warship and it's Union follow-up made the European navies obselete overnight.

    North was always going to win unless South received recognition and support from the European powers. There was also a very strong antiwar movement in the North.

    At least based on that doco, Lincoln was indeed the legend they claim. I also found Ulysees S. Grant (what an awesome name) to be a fascinating character. Would like to learn more about him.



  • What’s the doco called?



  • @Virgil said in The American Civil War:

    What’s the doco called?

    The Civil War



  • Theres a couple of dedicated civil war podcasts online I've been meaning to check out that might interest you .

    Also I was listening to a podcast the other day about this odd bit of history, that followed the civil war https://www.history.com/news/irish-american-civil-war-veterans-attack-canada



  • @jegga said in The American Civil War:

    Theres a couple of dedicated civil war podcasts online I've been meaning to check out that might interest you .

    Also I was listening to a podcast the other day about this odd bit of history, that followed the civil war https://www.history.com/news/irish-american-civil-war-veterans-attack-canada

    There was an incident mentioned in the doco where an Irish regiment from the South mowed down an Irish regiment from the North. That must have been bizzarre to witness.

    The Irish also raised holy hell for black people in New York during the war. I think this is mentioned in the film Gangs of New York?



  • @Rancid-Schnitzel said in The American Civil War:

    @jegga said in The American Civil War:

    Theres a couple of dedicated civil war podcasts online I've been meaning to check out that might interest you .

    Also I was listening to a podcast the other day about this odd bit of history, that followed the civil war https://www.history.com/news/irish-american-civil-war-veterans-attack-canada

    There was an incident mentioned in the doco where an Irish regiment from the South mowed down an Irish regiment from the North. That must have been bizzarre to witness.

    The Irish also raised holy hell for black people in New York during the war. I think this is mentioned in the film Gangs of New York?

    I think so, there was also an issue in that film where you could pay someone to take your place if you were drafted?



  • @jegga said in The American Civil War:

    @Rancid-Schnitzel said in The American Civil War:

    @jegga said in The American Civil War:

    Theres a couple of dedicated civil war podcasts online I've been meaning to check out that might interest you .

    Also I was listening to a podcast the other day about this odd bit of history, that followed the civil war https://www.history.com/news/irish-american-civil-war-veterans-attack-canada

    There was an incident mentioned in the doco where an Irish regiment from the South mowed down an Irish regiment from the North. That must have been bizzarre to witness.

    The Irish also raised holy hell for black people in New York during the war. I think this is mentioned in the film Gangs of New York?

    I think so, there was also an issue in that film where you could pay someone to take your place if you were drafted?

    Yep, that was big business. Guys would take payment and then disappear and then do the same thing in another town. Think one dude did it 30 times.

    Another interesting fact is that the respective capitals were only about 150km apart.



  • I love these, Sharps rifles with a built in coffee grinder in the stock

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  • @jegga Just missing a decent bayonet that could double shift as a knife that would come in useful at the end of day bartbeque



  • @Rancid-Schnitzel it’s fascinating stuff. About 10 years ago I read quite a bit and watched a few different docos. If you’re after a good read, Battle Cry for Freedom by James McPherson is probably the best book I’ve read on it. It answered a lot of questions I had. A more recent book that was a decent read is The Fiery Trial by Eric Foner.



  • When you travel to the States try to get in some visits to battlefields, like Gettysburg, Manassas, etc. Awesome.



  • @Rancid-Schnitzel said in The American Civil War:

    @Virgil said in The American Civil War:

    What’s the doco called?

    The Civil War

    Nice and easy!



  • Stephen Ambrose’s biography of Custer and Crazy horse covers a lot of the civil war . It’s interesting reading about how the students at West Point picked a side and ended up fighting their schoolmates. Custer went to the wedding of one of his confederate classmates dressed in his Union officers uniform.



  • @jegga Stephen Ambrose is the daddy.



  • @JC said in The American Civil War:

    @jegga Stephen Ambrose is the daddy.

    Except his book about Lewis and Clark , it’s so bad you’d think someone else wrote it . Mind you he set a bloody high bar for himself so maybe I’m being harsh .



  • @jegga His two books on Eisenhower were outstanding. I’ll have to give your recommendation a try.



  • @JC said in The American Civil War:

    @jegga His two books on Eisenhower were outstanding. I’ll have to give your recommendation a try.

    I’ve been meaning to read those , he was an interesting choice for overlord considering how well his plans to defend the Phillipines worked out.



  • @JC said in The American Civil War:

    @jegga Stephen Ambrose is the daddy.

    Of course he wrote Band of Brothers as well.

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  • @jegga said in The American Civil War:

    @JC said in The American Civil War:

    @jegga His two books on Eisenhower were outstanding. I’ll have to give your recommendation a try.

    I’ve been meaning to read those , he was an interesting choice for overlord considering how well his plans to defend the Phillipines worked out.

    I seem to remember his main attribute was the ability to get both sides to work together



  • @jegga said in The American Civil War:

    @JC said in The American Civil War:

    @jegga His two books on Eisenhower were outstanding. I’ll have to give your recommendation a try.

    I’ve been meaning to read those , he was an interesting choice for overlord considering how well his plans to defend the Phillipines worked out.

    Were either he or Marshall ever in combat? Don't think he was in WW1.



  • @Rancid-Schnitzel said in The American Civil War:

    @jegga said in The American Civil War:

    @JC said in The American Civil War:

    @jegga His two books on Eisenhower were outstanding. I’ll have to give your recommendation a try.

    I’ve been meaning to read those , he was an interesting choice for overlord considering how well his plans to defend the Phillipines worked out.

    Were either he or Marshall ever in combat? Don't think he was in WW1.

    I don’t think so . His actions over the Suez look pretty awesome now 60 years on .



  • @jegga said in The American Civil War:

    @Rancid-Schnitzel said in The American Civil War:

    @jegga said in The American Civil War:

    @JC said in The American Civil War:

    @jegga His two books on Eisenhower were outstanding. I’ll have to give your recommendation a try.

    I’ve been meaning to read those , he was an interesting choice for overlord considering how well his plans to defend the Phillipines worked out.

    Were either he or Marshall ever in combat? Don't think he was in WW1.

    I don’t think so . His actions over the Suez look pretty awesome now 60 years on .

    You have to love that "special relationship" or in the case of Suez "Britain the ginger stepchild relationship".



  • @jegga said in The American Civil War:

    @JC said in The American Civil War:

    @jegga Stephen Ambrose is the daddy.

    Except his book about Lewis and Clark , it’s so bad you’d think someone else wrote it.

    Funnily enough, he was accused of plagiarism a few times: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stephen_E._Ambrose#Plagiarism

    In 2002, Ambrose was accused of plagiarizing several passages in his book The Wild Blue.[54][55] Fred Barnes reported in The Weekly Standard that Ambrose had taken passages from Wings of Morning: The Story of the Last American Bomber Shot Down over Germany in World War II, by Thomas Childers, a history professor at the University of Pennsylvania.[56] Ambrose had footnoted sources, but had not enclosed in quotation marks numerous passages from Childers's book.[55][57]

    Ambrose asserted that only a few sentences in all his numerous books were the work of other authors. He offered this defense: I tell stories. I don't discuss my documents. I discuss the story. It almost gets to the point where, how much is the reader going to take? I am not writing a Ph.D. dissertation. I wish I had put the quotation marks in, but I didn't. I am not out there stealing other people's writings. If I am writing up a passage and it is a story I want to tell and this story fits and a part of it is from other people's writing, I just type it up that way and put it in a footnote. I just want to know where the hell it came from.[55]

    A Forbes investigation of his work found cases of plagiarism involving passages in at least six books, with a similar pattern going all the way back to his doctoral dissertation.[58] The History News Network lists seven of Ambrose's more than 40 works—The Wild Blue, Undaunted Courage, Nothing Like It In the World, Nixon: Ruin and Recovery, Citizen Soldiers, The Supreme Commander, and Crazy Horse and Custer—contained content from twelve authors without appropriate attribution from Ambrose.[57]

    Great story teller, but perhaps a bit careless with his referencing at times...



  • @Donsteppa said in The American Civil War:

    @jegga said in The American Civil War:

    @JC said in The American Civil War:

    @jegga Stephen Ambrose is the daddy.

    Except his book about Lewis and Clark , it’s so bad you’d think someone else wrote it.

    Funnily enough, he was accused plagiarism a few times: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stephen_E._Ambrose#Plagiarism

    Great story teller, but perhaps a bit careless with his referencing at times.

    I read Wild Blue which had stolen passages in it . I think he was lazy rather than malicious.

    He’s been accused of being anti British in his writing too



  • Ken Burns documentary is thorough and beautifully made, but slow. Shelby Foote's three-volume Civil War narrative history is incredibly informative, but at 1.2 million words is quite an investment in time.

    Books I would most recommend on US Civil War:

    Battle Cry of Freedom by James McPherson. Excellent on the major combatants and engagements. Written in a lucid and accessible style. Standard recommended work on topic for 25+ years.

    This Republic of Suffering by Drew Gilpin Faust. An account of how men suffered how they died and how they were buried in the US Civil War. Extremely moving.

    The Fiery Trial by Eric Foner. Superb analysis on Lincoln's changing views on slavery by a master historian.

    Team of Rivals by Doris Kearns Goodwin. Looks at Lincoln's political relationships with Seward and the others who competed with him for the Presidency. It captures well what a superb player of the political game Abraham Lincoln was

    Gettysburg is well-worth a visit if you are ever in NYC, Philadelphia or Washington DC. Only a few hours drive from each and an extremely well-presented battlefield. The official guides at Gettysburg are generally excellent. I was fortunate one time to be shown around by a guide who they use for visiting Presidents and Heads of States.



  • @sparky said in The American Civil War:

    Ken Burns documentary is thorough and beautifully made, but slow. Shelby Foote's three-volume Civil War narrative history is incredibly informative, but at 1.2 million words is quite an investment in time.

    Books I would most recommend on US Civil War:

    Battle Cry of Freedom by James McPherson. Excellent on the major combatants and engagements. Written in a lucid and accessible style. Standard recommended work on topic for 25+ years.

    This Republic of Suffering by Drew Gilpin Faust. An account of how men suffered how they died and how they were buried in the US Civil War. Extremely moving.

    The Fiery Trial by Eric Foner. Superb analysis on Lincoln's changing views on slavery by a master historian.

    Team of Rivals by Doris Kearns Goodwin. Looks at Lincoln's political relationships with Seward and the others who competed with him for the Presidency. It captures well what a superb player of the political game Abraham Lincoln was

    Gettysburg is well-worth a visit if you are ever in NYC, Philadelphia or Washington DC. Only a few hours drive from each and an extremely well-presented battlefield. The official guides at Gettysburg are generally excellent. I was fortunate one time to be shown around by a guide who they use for visiting Presidents and Heads of States.

    Was there any serious policy of repatriating the ex-slaves back to Africa? Obviously this was done to some extent in Liberia, but I remember it being mentioned at school (probably falsely) that Lincoln's primary goal was repatriation.


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