Temgesic
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Ahistorical Scenario, Lee Takes Command

Fri Jan 22, 2016 5:07 pm

Wouldn´t it be of great interest if the makers or someone would make an ahistorical scenario where Lee actual accepts President Lincolns proposal of leading the Army to quell the Southern Rebellion?

Would certainly be an scenario which would be much interestingly :)

What to the people think about this?

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TXcavalier
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Fri Jan 22, 2016 5:15 pm

Sacrilege!

Temgesic
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Fri Jan 22, 2016 5:50 pm

Haha that may be. But im interested in what would think and like of a scenario built like that :)

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Gray Fox
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Fri Jan 22, 2016 6:00 pm

You would get Lee ordered to attack Manassas in 1861 with a POS Union army. He loses and gets fired by Lincoln. Then you get the same rodeo...if Jackson doesn't get shot by friendly fire.
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Temgesic
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Fri Jan 22, 2016 6:29 pm

Lets say he wins att manassas or loses but not get fired. Lets elaborate a little :)

khbynum
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Fri Jan 22, 2016 6:42 pm

He ends up in Halleck's position, chained to a desk shuffling papers for the rest of the war. The field commanders are still crap, but they are now better coordinated so the war ends a year earlier.

If he takes command of the Army of the Potomac, the war ends 2 years earlier. AGEod never publishes this game.

Iced in, in NC, trying to amuse myself.

Edit: Hey, I just got promoted to major!
Serious cabin fever here.

Temgesic
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Fri Jan 22, 2016 6:56 pm

khbynum wrote:He ends up in Halleck's position, chained to a desk shuffling papers for the rest of the war. The field commanders are still crap, but they are now better coordinated so the war ends a year earlier.

If he takes command of the Army of the Potomac, the war ends 2 years earlier. AGEod never publishes this game.

Iced in, in NC, trying to amuse myself.

Edit: Hey, I just got promoted to major!
Serious cabin fever here.


So an alternative scenario like this would be meaningless is that what everyone is saying? Why wouldn´t it work, im sure the scenario can be worked out so he stays in command of the Union Army during the course of the war.

khbynum
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Fri Jan 22, 2016 7:07 pm

Sorry, Temgesic, I didn't mean to blow off your suggestion. I think that if given Lee's military genius early on, in addition to all the other advantages the Union had, the war would have been much shorter and the outcome never remotely in doubt. I'm sure the talented folks at AGEod could produce such a scenario, but I think the victory conditions would have to be really artificial to make it a playable game.

enf91
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Fri Jan 22, 2016 8:16 pm

It could have happened. Remember, VA seceded because of Lincoln's call for volunteers to suppress the rebellion. Then, Lee refused a Union command because VA had seceded. If Lincoln had figured out a way to secure Virginia's neutrality, Lee probably would have stayed in the Army.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/President_Lincoln's_75,000_volunteers
" wrote:States such as Indiana offer[ed] twice as many volunteers as requested.

So if Lincoln had developed his scheme differently, he might have kept Virginia out of the war. TN and AR would probably still have seceded, though. Then the war would have been largely as it was in the West, but the CSA would have been deprived VA's manpower and economic base. Also, the East, such as it would have been, would have been larger versions of the historical amphibious landings between Jacksonville and Wilmington.

Temgesic
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Fri Jan 22, 2016 10:16 pm

khbynum wrote:Sorry, Temgesic, I didn't mean to blow off your suggestion. I think that if given Lee's military genius early on, in addition to all the other advantages the Union had, the war would have been much shorter and the outcome never remotely in doubt. I'm sure the talented folks at AGEod could produce such a scenario, but I think the victory conditions would have to be really artificial to make it a playable game.


No no it didn´t take it like that. Every comment is a good comment :)
But he wouldnt be given the traits of military genius, only some minor traits. But be in top of the chain of command if you understand me right?
And Victory Conditions could be altered to something. If VA hadn´t seceded Lee most probably would have stayed in the Union and most probably would have taken command of the army as enf91 writes.

minipol
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Sat Jan 23, 2016 1:16 am

The north eventually roles over the CSA. Adding Lee to the mix only makes it worse.
What if Lee started the immediately and doesn't stay inactive in Richmond? Might not be fun either, as the Union would be in trouble in the first years.

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Sat Jan 23, 2016 1:25 am

You see there is much to elaborate back and forth on this one

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Captain_Orso
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Sat Jan 23, 2016 8:32 pm

Alternate histories are okay, if they remain based on the facts. Lee left the Union, because his state left the Union. The only way for Lee to remain in the Union Army is if Virginia doesn't secede, and that was a real possibility.

Virginia, North Carolina, Arkansas and Tennessee seceded in the wake of Lincoln calling for volunteers, and Lincoln called for volunteers as a response to Fort Sumter being bombarded. But if cooler heads had prevailed in Charleston, Fort Sumter would not have been bombarded, and that is a possibility.

So, let's assume that Major Anderson was given a bit more time and then requested to be allowed to abandon Fort Sumter. Lincoln would then have no grounds to call for volunteers and Virginia and possibly North Carolina would not have been spurred on to secede. Tennessee I feel probably still would have, although maybe not so quickly. Kentucky probably not at all, considering the political changes in the Kentucky State Houses. But Arkansas, maybe as a results of some incident like the Saint Louis Massacre, might have still seceded, also considering her being a slave state.

So, what do we hypothetically have?

Early April '61: Fort Sumter is evacuated, and Major Anderson and his men destroy the fort's batteries before embarking on a waiting navy transport to sail out of harms way, and receive their first good meals in days.

The Confederate States revel in having cowed the Federals into leaving Southern soil. Encouraged by this example, in late April a small local Florida Militia force convinces the starkly undermanned Fort Pickens garrison on Pensacola Bay to also abandoned the fort and embark on federal ships laying in the bay, but not before destroying the stores which had been transported from the Pensacola arsenal to the fort.

Angered upon discovering they have gained none of the guns and supplies which were removed from the federal arsenal, militiamen fire on the federal ships in the harbor with muskets while the men of the garrison are boarding the USS Saint Louis, which returns fire with a single carronade to suppress the small arms fire coming from the shore. The untrained militiamen disperse and the incident ends with the Saint Louis and her escorts sailing from the bay.

The Pensacola Journal writes that the Saint Louis fired without provocation, but out of anger and for revenge. Once the Saint Louis reached harbor in Annapolis, reports besiege the refugee garrison with interviews and Harper's Bazaar reports the harrowing story of the men of the garrison being ejected form the fort at bayonet point and fired on while defenseless and boarding the heroic USS Saint Louis. Papers call for Lincoln to take action against these unlawful acts of rebellion, but the federal government has no troops inside the Confederate mainland, only still maintaining two forts in the Florida Keys. Lincoln tells the press, "there are no further bones of contention, and the ones they got had very little grizzle for them to chew".

Late April: Virginia's secession convention conducts a statewide referendum, but it fails just barely, and Virginia remains in the Union, although not exactly friendly to the federal government. After Virginia's failed referendum, calls for secession in North Carolina also lose force.

Early May: the St. Louis Massacre occurs. Missouri is in an uproar as tensions rise in the state.

Late May: Governor Claiborne Jackson goes to Springfield and calls for True Southern Missourians to take arms to combat the insurrection of Federalists usurping Missouri's rights to rule itself.

Lincoln calls on Lee to take charge in Missouri and the Trans-Mississippi and keep hot-headed Lyon under control and prevent further bloodshed in Missouri. Lee agrees and leaves for Saint Louis within the week.

Early June: Governor Jackson claims the federals intend to put Missouri under martial law and calls for help from neighboring Arkansas and Tennessee. Lyon continues to organize loyal militias while Lee rides to Springfield to speak with Governor Jackson. Jackson's pleas to Lee to revoke his commission in the Federal Army fail to move Lee, who in turn tries to convince Jackson to take a more diplomatic approach. Jackson accuses Lee of being "no southern gentleman, and of having sold his honor for Yankee dollars".

Lee, incensed at the attack on his honor, returns to Saint Louis to take charge of federal forces, including the volunteers raised by Lyon. He declares Governor Jackson to be acting unlawfully against the federal government and calls for Jackson to return to the state capitol in Jefferson to show his legitimate claim to lawful governance, and to desist in raising militia with the intent of attacking the federal government.

Lee telegraphs to Lincoln that he intends to disband illegal militias in Springfield before they gather strength. Lincoln agrees, if Lee can be certain the militias purpose can be proven to be illegal.

Jackson refuses to desist in raising troops and renews calls on the neighboring Tennessee and Arkansas for help against Lee who is called a "traitor to the southern cause", and cries that federal troops are marching on Springfield. Tennessee and Arkansas reply by seceding and sending troops up the Arkansas River to Fort Smith, to then march on Springfield.

Now choose your side.
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grimjaw
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Sat Jan 23, 2016 10:47 pm

I agree with the argument that where Virginia went Lee was going to follow. However, if Virginia hadn't seceded, I don't think that Lee necessarily would have taken part in the overall effort to bring the other states back into the Union. He might have resigned, or been content with a position within the Virginia militia. But I think the more important factor here is not Lee's contribution or lack thereof, but the manpower, resources and territory of Virginia. Without those, I don't see how the Confederacy could have lasted half as long.

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Mon Jan 25, 2016 4:01 am

Lee was already an officer in the Federal Army in April '61, so the question of whether he would fight outside Virginia was already answered.

Whether he would fight for the Union were the Union to directly attack the Confederacy before the Confederacy was attacking the Union is another question. That's why my hypothetical situation has the first open fighting occurring in Missouri. Missouri did not secede and was therefor very much a part of the Union. Militia raised by Jackson are therefore an insurrection force within the state, and therefore an enemy of the Union on Union territory. If other Confederate states then send troops into Missouri to stand with Jackson's army, that is tantamount to foreign troops on Union soil.

You can argue about the legal issue of whether Troops from the confederacy are 'foreign' or belong to a foreign entity, but that was the situation throughout the war. If Lee could accept the Confederacy as an independent nation while he was actually fighting for that 'nation', it is very plausible for him to accept it while fighting for the Union.

Of course, without Virginia and North Carolina in the Confederacy, the South will have an even tougher fight, but the question was not whether this hypothetical civil war would be a more even match; only what if Lee fought for the Union.
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Mon Jan 25, 2016 3:31 pm

Gray Fox wrote:You would get Lee ordered to attack Manassas in 1861 with a POS Union army. He loses and gets fired by Lincoln. Then you get the same rodeo...if Jackson doesn't get shot by friendly fire.


Lee lost a lot the first year of the war.

- He lost West Virginia to McClellan because of his overly complicated cockamamie battle plans.
- Then the "King of Spades" dug in off the coast, with his plans being to allow the North to capture offshore posts, then defeat them once they moved inland. The North's only objective was to capture those islands and forts, not move inland, which means Lee gave up a lot of coastal land for free.
- Most of the seven days battles were tactical losses. Malvern Hill was a disaster.

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Mon Jan 25, 2016 4:06 pm

The only way for Lee to stay in the US Army was for Virginia to stay in the USA, and that was impossible with Lincoln's call for volunteers. So a scenario with Lee on the Federal side requires Lincoln to not call for volunteers, but to put down the rebellion with whatever Regulars he can gather, plus perhaps a handful of new "regular" regiments raised in response to the crisis, minimizing the use of Northern state volunteer regiments.

After ther Federal government's inevitable victory, slavery continues and the wholr mess is repeated in 10-20 years with more sanguinary results
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Mon Jan 25, 2016 5:30 pm

Temgesic wrote:Wouldn´t it be of great interest if the makers or someone would make an ahistorical scenario where Lee actual accepts President Lincolns proposal of leading the Army to quell the Southern Rebellion?

Would certainly be an scenario which would be much interestingly :)

What to the people think about this?



Play with extreme randomization of generals. You might end up with Pope as a 7-5-6 or something.

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Tue Jan 26, 2016 2:15 am

That's what I always do. It makes the game IMO more realistic. They didn't know in advance which general was good or not. They had an idea but it had to be battle tested :)

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Tue Jan 26, 2016 6:35 am

Cromagnonman wrote:The only way for Lee to stay in the US Army was for Virginia to stay in the USA, and that was impossible with Lincoln's call for volunteers. So a scenario with Lee on the Federal side requires Lincoln to not call for volunteers, but to put down the rebellion with whatever Regulars he can gather, plus perhaps a handful of new "regular" regiments raised in response to the crisis, minimizing the use of Northern state volunteer regiments.

After ther Federal government's inevitable victory, slavery continues and the wholr mess is repeated in 10-20 years with more sanguinary results


Agreed. Lee never abandons Virginia. Different idea of loyalty than today.

hanny1
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Tue Jan 26, 2016 10:39 am

Its not based in reality.

Republican party manifesto explained secession is treason and will be treated as such. Before taking office Lincoln instructed Scott of his intentions, to retake by force all federal property in the States who had left, and to prepare to retake them all by force,its this impreachable action that put the orders in place that allowed the federal Garrison to move from its post in Moultrie to take Sumpter. It also refused to acept the USSC rulling that slavery was constitutionly protected over the entire Union.

Its a scenario of the same kind of if AH was kind to jews, then Germany will do better. Republicans cannot be divorced from retaking the States who have left back by use of force, any more than Nazis have to persecute Jews, and VA has to secede because its membershi[p of the Union is based on its States constitution that expressly gives to it and every other State the right of secession, ( also there was only a citizen of a state, passports existed on a state level and any state could deny citizenship and so prevent aplication for citizenship to any other state, the naturlization an imigration act, gave to states who could be citizens, and the Union was made up of member states, you could only hold federal office if you were a citizen of a stte and had sworn a loyalty oath top that State, teh federal oath was to uphold the Constitution, agaisnt forgien enimies, teh word domestic was not in it in 61,)membership of the Union for VA was conditional, coerecion was the condition that VA seccedes over, and Lincoln has no option ( economicly and politicaly anhd militarily all require force) but to coerce.

Yhere are a number of totaly unhistoric/implausable events already in game already,( the one about swearing loyalty to teh CSA is actually concerned with forgien aliens in the States who are not citizens of any State in N America, who have to take the loyalty oath to the state they reside in or quit the CSA in 40 days, tehy confiscation Act is another quiant one, insurection in law required conviction in a civil court, any property used in the pursuit of the insurection could be siezed during the insurection but had to be returned or full compensation paid if not post insurection, those individuals now had any propperty permentaly taken, and POTUS can tell you are in insurection and thats all th law requires, he would do ity again when states failled to ratify the 14th, thats insurection and allowed mil coercion to make them so ratify. Individuals in insurection also pay income tax at a+50% duty, voting in MY secession in 61 the first 10,000 voters using the blue paper to votre to secede were all arested by Butlers cpommand and held in camps, the electorate got the message and stopped voting to be arrested. lest not add to them.

* Sam Houstin is not a plausable what if either, he had fought one secesssion war and won it, his objection to fighting another was that it was unwinnable.

"To secede from the Union and set up another government would cause war. If you go to war with the United States, you will never conquer her, as she has the money and the men. If she does not whip you by guns, powder, and steel, she will starve you to death. It will take the flower of the country-the young men."

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Tue Jan 26, 2016 8:43 pm

Cromagnonman wrote:The only way for Lee to stay in the US Army was for Virginia to stay in the USA, and that was impossible with Lincoln's call for volunteers. So a scenario with Lee on the Federal side requires Lincoln to not call for volunteers, but to put down the rebellion with whatever Regulars he can gather, plus perhaps a handful of new "regular" regiments raised in response to the crisis, minimizing the use of Northern state volunteer regiments.

After ther Federal government's inevitable victory, slavery continues and the wholr mess is repeated in 10-20 years with more sanguinary results


I partly agree. Lincoln's call for volunteers was the bone-of-contention Virginia needed to secede, but the vote was very close and not really conducted fairly.

If Lincoln could have waited to call for volunteers until some incident occurred, which would have then justified him calling for volunteers, but not have given Virginia grounds to secede, then things might have changed.

Rod Smart wrote:Play with extreme randomization of generals. You might end up with Pope as a 7-5-6 or something.


minipol wrote:That's what I always do. It makes the game IMO more realistic. They didn't know in advance which general was good or not. They had an idea but it had to be battle tested :)


Image I've played a couple of games with random leaders. Getting 0-6-0 leaders and some such folly is just ridiculous and bears no resemblance to reality.

Durk wrote:Agreed. Lee never abandons Virginia. Different idea of loyalty than today.


Lee only took charge of the Virginia army by chance, because when Johnston was wounded, he was the only general available who Jefferson could entrust with the duty. If Johnston had not been wounded, Lee might well have been asked to go west to replace Beauregard and/or Bragg, especially after Perryville.

hanny1 wrote:Its not based in reality.

Republican party manifesto explained secession is treason and will be treated as such. Before taking office Lincoln instructed Scott of his intentions, to retake by force all federal property in the States who had left, and to prepare to retake them all by force,its this impreachable action that put the orders in place that allowed the federal Garrison to move from its post in Moultrie to take Sumpter. It also refused to acept the USSC rulling that slavery was constitutionly protected over the entire Union.


??? Anderson moved his men from Moultrie to Sumter, because Sumter was more defensible with his small garrison. This had nothing to do with the republican party's manifesto.

There is no definitive answer to whether the Southern states had a legal right to secede. The mass secession of southern states was also not the first time there was a threat of secession. Already in 1786 the question was raised. See Shays’ Rebellion. At that time the idea of its legality was not contested, but that does also not mean that it was legal.

Lincoln definitely stated in his inaugural address that he had no intentions to challenge the legality of slavery.

hanny1 wrote:Its a scenario of the same kind of if AH was kind to jews, then Germany will do better. Republicans cannot be divorced from retaking the States who have left back by use of force, any more than Nazis have to persecute Jews, and VA has to secede because its membershi[p of the Union is based on its States constitution that expressly gives to it and every other State the right of secession, ( also there was only a citizen of a state, passports existed on a state level and any state could deny citizenship and so prevent aplication for citizenship to any other state, the naturlization an imigration act, gave to states who could be citizens, and the Union was made up of member states, you could only hold federal office if you were a citizen of a stte and had sworn a loyalty oath top that State, teh federal oath was to uphold the Constitution, agaisnt forgien enimies, teh word domestic was not in it in 61,)membership of the Union for VA was conditional, coerecion was the condition that VA seccedes over, and Lincoln has no option ( economicly and politicaly anhd militarily all require force) but to coerce.


??? regardless of what the republican party wished, Lincoln was president. What a republican congress might do, is another question, but that does not mean that Lincoln could not veto laws he did would not accept. Trying to say that Lincoln was forced by ... what indeed?.. to prosecute the war is simply not true.

Federal law already covered that states cannot refuse citizenship to any citizen of the United States.

hanny1 wrote:Yhere are a number of totaly unhistoric/implausable events already in game already,( the one about swearing loyalty to teh CSA is actually concerned with forgien aliens in the States who are not citizens of any State in N America, who have to take the loyalty oath to the state they reside in or quit the CSA in 40 days, tehy confiscation Act is another quiant one, insurection in law required conviction in a civil court, any property used in the pursuit of the insurection could be siezed during the insurection but had to be returned or full compensation paid if not post insurection, those individuals now had any propperty permentaly taken, and POTUS can tell you are in insurection and thats all th law requires, he would do ity again when states failled to ratify the 14th, thats insurection and allowed mil coercion to make them so ratify. Individuals in insurection also pay income tax at a+50% duty, voting in MY secession in 61 the first 10,000 voters using the blue paper to votre to secede were all arested by Butlers cpommand and held in camps, the electorate got the message and stopped voting to be arrested. lest not add to them.


I'm not sure what you are trying to say. The entire premise of this thought experiment was simple to invent a situation in which Lee might have remained in the Federal army. Even if Lincoln had not called for volunteers, there might have been dozens of other occurrences which might have equally pushed the Virginia citizenry to vote to seceded, whether the vote were done fairly or not.

hanny1 wrote:* Sam Houstin is not a plausable what if either, he had fought one secesssion war and won it, his objection to fighting another was that it was unwinnable.

"To secede from the Union and set up another government would cause war. If you go to war with the United States, you will never conquer her, as she has the money and the men. If she does not whip you by guns, powder, and steel, she will starve you to death. It will take the flower of the country-the young men."


??? again, I have no idea of what you are trying to say. The Sam Houston event reflects his stance on remaining within the Union. You seem to be jousting windmills.
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Cardinal Ape
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Wed Jan 27, 2016 6:01 am

I suspect that my interest in playing this scenario is the opposite of the original poster. I would only be interested in playing as the CSA against Athena. Would be a good challenge to see what she could do with Lee and Virginia. Sounds like a date. :coeurs:

It may be a fun 'what if' to talk about, but playing it would be grossly unbalanced. You would have to find another 'what if' to boost the Confederacy. Something big. And I do mean really big. Something like Great Britain big.

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Durk
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Wed Jan 27, 2016 6:37 am

I may have posted this in an old thread on AACW, so forgive if you have read this. My American Civil War mentor was the primary researcher for Bruce Catton before he began writing books under his own name, E. B. "Pete" Long. In his research he found a letter from Lee which definitively proved Lee would never have joined in a fight against his beloved Virginia. Long was irked that his research was not embraced and that even at his death amateur and professional historians imagined Lee could have ever fought against his state, Virginia, and whatever nation to which it had an association. Lee as a general for the Union would never have happened. Unless, and only if, Virginia stood with the Union. If Virginia does stand with the Union, the war is short and quickly resolved. Never in this game would this event happen.

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Wed Jan 27, 2016 6:48 am

Lincoln did not seem to have major qualms about divisiveness. Especially in border states, efforts were made to sharply differentiate loyal from disloyal persons. My guess is that the call for 75,000 volunteers was in part intended to make the undecided slave states take sides, because the war for the soul of the country would be a hollow victory if it appeased large portions of those willing to secede. The aim was not only to "save the Union" then, but to save it in perpetuity. Thus, the secession of Virginia and Lee himself were perhaps necessary for a decisive conflict.
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Wed Jan 27, 2016 10:13 am

khbynum wrote:Sorry, Temgesic, I didn't mean to blow off your suggestion. I think that if given Lee's military genius early on, in addition to all the other advantages the Union had, the war would have been much shorter and the outcome never remotely in doubt. I'm sure the talented folks at AGEod could produce such a scenario, but I think the victory conditions would have to be really artificial to make it a playable game.



His Genius certainly didn't show in West Virginia. In fact the union pulled one of Lee's favorite tricks on him at Cheat Mountain. History almost forgets that Lee was in charge of the Virginia Department in 1861. Davis blamed him for losing W Virginia after he took over the forces there and did not attack Cheat Mountain believing the Union had much more strength than it really it did there. Lee was regulated to defenses in S. Carolina for a while. I would argue Lee was not of the greatest genius nor did he have initiative. Lee's advantage up until Gettysburg was that he fought most defensively. He took advantage of defense even being called the King of spades during the peninsula campaign. When Lee went on the offensive he suffered a similar fate to Union generals who tried to go on the offensive.

I think Lee excelled in Napoleonic tactics but this way was not the war of Napoleon. Wellington learned Napoleon could be defeated by doing things like taking advantage of reverse slopes. Instead of a reverse slope Lee took advantage of walls and later trenches. Lee seems like a mastermind because he fought so much on the defensive. Not saying he was a bad general but still this war proved time honored Napoleonic offensive tactics like close ranks and cavalry were a recipe for disaster when troops had rifles instead of muskets. Like most civil war generals Lee looked brilliant in defense and abhorrent in attack. There was nothing special about Lee in 1861 and perhaps not in 1865. Jackson was much more of an effective offensive commander than Lee as was Hood when not in command of an army.

I don't say this lightly as a Texan and a decedent of man who fought under Hood in the Tennessee campaign and another man who was captured during the battle of Atlanta and sent to Camp Donaldson also know as 60 acres of hell. I think if one steps back and looks objectively though, Lee's genius was far from genius he won decisively in defensive battles and lost devilishly when he was on the offensive. That can be said for 98% of union and confederate generals. I think the genius of Lee is a Northern myth created to explain why a numerically superior and better supplied army didn't crush the South sooner. The truth is no one other than maybe Grant and Sherman understood the warfare of the time. This was WWI 57-53 years early. Neither the North or the South grasped the implications of small but game changing pieces of modern technology like the rifle. Like WWI this war would be a struggle of how to mount offensives given the huge increase in deadliness that first was brought about with the rifle and later with repeating rifles. This was no less important than the machine gun in WWI. The end of this war would be somber foretelling of what was to come in France in 1914 when it devolved to static trench warfare. The players in the Crimean war didn't learn the lesson either. The US didn't study that war closely enough to see how modern technology and the minet ball would affect modern warfare. No one realized rails could sustain supplies for longer periods of time leading to a longer war nor the killing effect rifles would have. The US suffered more casualties than in any war while field only about half or less the troops they fielded in WWII for the same time length.

I don't think Lee was a military genius he excelled at strategy and tactics that were dying. Like Union generals his tactics were highly suited in defense with new weapons and the ability to supply by rail was a huge boost but he failed to grasp the impact of the rifle and even artillery placement when on the attack. Some of this was becuase he didn't want a cautious reputation. It is said Longstreet wanted to take a defensive position and leave the field at Gettysburg but Lee's repuation as the King of Spades made he think the army might lose morale. He completely missed the fact that attacking the center at Gettysburg after the Union reinforced the edges opened his army up to hell from artillery despite showing great skill as an artillery officer in the battle of Chapultepec in the Mexican war.

IMHO, Lee's greatness was a myth. He was no better or worse than most Union generals and failed to grasp the implications of modern technology even late in the war when generals like Grant and Sherman were well ahead of the 8 ball. The greatness of Lee is a Northern myth like the myth of the Aztec thinking the Spainards as gods created in the very same way to explain why the Union lost so much when they had superiority in numbers and equipment. Just as the Aztecs created the myth that their ancestors thought the Spainards were gods and let them take over rather than admitting that enemies of the Aztecs sided with the small Spanish forces (something Spain wanted to ignore too) and the gun was a big factor, the Union created the myth of Lee's greatness to excuse the complete ineptitude of Union commanders to understand the implications of modern artillery and rifles for an army on the attack. McDowell wasn't that far from Lee both failed to understand the implications of new technology. Both would have done better if the enemy had only muskets and Napoleonic artillery.

I think the Union makes Lee a paper pusher is closer to what happens and the timeline is completely unaffected. After the completely ineffectual defense of West Virginia Lee was a paper pusher with the CSA. Only the downfall of Beauregard in Davis' eyes brought Lee out of the dog house. If that didn't happen Lee would be a footnote as some general in charge of coastal defenses. My ancestor would have never sung the altered words of the Yellow Rose of Texas as he marched "Now my heart is full of woe, I am going back to Georgia to see my uncle Joe. You can talk about your Beauregard or sing of Bobby Lee, but the gallant Hood of Texas played hell in Tennessee."

jjw509
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Wed Jan 27, 2016 10:30 am

Rod Smart wrote:Lee lost a lot the first year of the war.

- He lost West Virginia to McClellan because of his overly complicated cockamamie battle plans.
- Then the "King of Spades" dug in off the coast, with his plans being to allow the North to capture offshore posts, then defeat them once they moved inland. The North's only objective was to capture those islands and forts, not move inland, which means Lee gave up a lot of coastal land for free.
- Most of the seven days battles were tactical losses. Malvern Hill was a disaster.


I agree with most of this but Lee was in the company of Rommel on point 2. Lee realized like Rommel you couldn't defend the coast line. The best you could do was counter attack or contain after a landing. Neither Germany nor the South had the manpower to defend the coast and keep its main armies fighting. Granted, Lee never brought on the counter attack part. Rommel had planned to drive an Allied landing into the sea but Allied air kept his panzers from being able to do this. Furthermore such a strategy was not really Lee's strategy. He may have had input Lee did not lead the CSA in strategy. It was one of the downfalls in the CSA that there was no unified command and no unified strategy. States and department commanders acted independently. This was a major downfall in the west. For instance the Army of the West, the army of Tennessee, and the Army of Mississippi while it existed never coordinate movements. There simply was no coordination of forces in the CSA.

While Lee had input the landings in N. Carolina were to be dealt with the department of N. Carolina while the landings in New Orleans were to be dealt with the Gulf forces. There was no coordination. Hard to blame Lee for not counter attacking in NC. FLA, GA, or LA when he had no control over that. Only Norfolk was invaded in Virginia and that was not in the department of the ANV! Point 2 is really a criticism of the decentralization the South believed in since Calhoun. Whether or not it is better for government is debatable but for the military it is not. You need central planning and control. 11 states acting independently and multiple armies that only acted in concert once mostly by coincidence doesn't work in modern or near modern warfare.

jjw509
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Wed Jan 27, 2016 10:52 am

hanny1 wrote:
* Sam Houstin is not a plausable what if either, he had fought one secesssion war and won it, his objection to fighting another was that it was unwinnable.

"To secede from the Union and set up another government would cause war. If you go to war with the United States, you will never conquer her, as she has the money and the men. If she does not whip you by guns, powder, and steel, she will starve you to death. It will take the flower of the country-the young men."


No it is very plausible. The event is that cavalry loyal to Sam Houston join the union not that Sam Houston resists and Texas goes Union. It is not that Sam Houston after denouncing the confederate legislature and saying it had no authority to speak for Texas answers the call for 50,000 volunteers. It is a cavalry regiment that agrees with Houston and decides to fight for the Union. Nothing ahistoric about this event. There were Texans who fought for the Union. Not many but they existed. From Wikipedia so I am would take numbers with a grain of salt but still "Over 2,000 Texas men joined the Union Army. Notable among them was future Texas governor Edmund J. Davis who initially commanded the Union Army's 1st Texas Cavalry and rose to the rank of Brigadier General." There was enough Texans who joined the Union to create a cavalry regiment. They could have easily mustered in Dallas. So I see nothing wrong with an event that brings up a cavalry regiment mustered in Dallas in some games rather than a Texas cavalry regiment for the Union that mustered somehwere else.

Wiki because it is late and I am lazy. "In early 1861, Edmund Davis supported Governor Sam Houston in their mutual stand against secession. Davis also urged Robert E. Lee not to violate his oath of allegiance to the United States. Davis ran to become a delegate to the Secession Convention but was defeated. He thereafter refused to take an oath of allegiance to the Confederate States of America[2] and was removed from his judgeship. He fled from Texas and took refuge in Union-occupied New Orleans, Louisiana. He next sailed to Washington, D.C., where President Abraham Lincoln issued him a colonel's commission with the authority to recruit the 1st Texas Cavalry Regiment (Union).[1]

Davis recruited his regiment from Union men who had fled from Texas to Louisiana. The regiment would see considerable action during the remainder of the war. On November 10, 1864, President Lincoln appointed Davis as a brigadier general of volunteers.[4] Lincoln did not submit Davis's nomination to this grade to the U.S. Senate until December 12, 1864.[4] The U.S. Senate confirmed the appointment on February 14, 1865.[4] Davis was among those present when General Edmund Kirby Smith surrendered the Confederate forces in Texas on June 2, 1865.[1] Davis was mustered out of the volunteers on August 24, 1865.[4]"

While it didn't happen I don't see why Edmund Davis couldn't have mustered a regiment in Texas rather occupied New Orleans right after secession. Granted NOLA was a safer place to do this being Union occupied at the time and suspected Unionist were tried and hung in Texas in 1861. It would have been dangerous but not impossible.

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Wed Jan 27, 2016 11:12 am

Captain_Orso wrote:
There is no definitive answer to whether the Southern states had a legal right to secede. The mass secession of southern states was also not the first time there was a threat of secession. Already in 1786 the question was raised. See Shays’ Rebellion. At that time the idea of its legality was not contested, but that does also not mean that it was legal.


I suppose it is debatable but White vs. Texas is about as definitive as it gets in the US. https://www.law.cornell.edu/supremecourt/text/74/700
"The Union of the States never was a purely artificial and [p725] arbitrary relation. It began among the Colonies, and grew out of common origin, mutual sympathies, kindred principles, similar interests, and geographical relations. It was confirmed and strengthened by the necessities of war, and received definite form and character and sanction from the Articles of Confederation. By these, the Union was solemnly declared to "be perpetual." And when these Articles were found to be inadequate to the exigencies of the country, the Constitution was ordained "to form a more perfect Union." It is difficult to convey the idea of indissoluble unity more clearly than by these words. What can be indissoluble if a perpetual Union, made more perfect, is not?

But the perpetuity and indissolubility of the Union by no means implies the loss of distinct and individual existence, or of the right of self-government, by the States. Under the Articles of Confederation, each State retained its sovereignty, freedom, and independence, and every power, jurisdiction, and right not expressly delegated to the United States. Under the Constitution, though the powers of the States were much restricted, still all powers not delegated to the United States nor prohibited to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people. And we have already had occasion to remark at this term that

the people of each State compose a State, having its own government, and endowed with all the functions essential to separate and independent existence,

and that, "without the States in union, there could be no such political body as the United States." [n12] Not only, therefore, can there be no loss of separate and independent autonomy to the States through their union under the Constitution, but it may be not unreasonably said that the preservation of the States, and the maintenance of their governments, are as much within the design and care of the Constitution as the preservation of the Union and the maintenance of the National government. The Constitution, in all its provisions, looks to an indestructible Union composed of indestructible States. [p726]

When, therefore, Texas became one of the United States, she entered into an indissoluble relation. All the obligations of perpetual union, and all the guaranties of republican government in the Union, attached at once to the State. The act which consummated her admission into the Union was something more than a compact; it was the incorporation of a new member into the political body. And it was final. The union between Texas and the other States was as complete, as perpetual, and as indissoluble as the union between the original States. There was no place for reconsideration or revocation, except through revolution or through consent of the States.

Considered therefore as transactions under the Constitution, the ordinance of secession, adopted by the convention and ratified by a majority of the citizens of Texas, and all the acts of her legislature intended to give effect to that ordinance, were absolutely null. They were utterly without operation in law. The obligations of the State, as a member of the Union, and of every citizen of the State, as a citizen of the United States, remained perfect and unimpaired. It certainly follows that the State did not cease to be a State, nor her citizens to be citizens of the Union. If this were otherwise, the State must have become foreign, and her citizens foreigners. The war must have ceased to be a war for the suppression of rebellion, and must have become a war for conquest and subjugation.

Our conclusion therefore is that Texas continued to be a State, and a State of the Union, notwithstanding the transactions to which we have referred. And this conclusion, in our judgment, is not in conflict with any act or declaration of any department of the National government, but entirely in accordance with the whole series of such acts and declarations since the first outbreak of the rebellion."

Justice Grier did consent and said "This is to be decided as a political fact, not as a legal fiction. This court is bound to know and notice the public history of the nation.

If I regard the truth of history for the last eight years, I cannot discover the State of Texas as one of these United States. I do not think it necessary to notice any of the very astute arguments which have been advanced by the learned counsel in this case to find the definition of a State, when we have the subject treated in a clear and common sense manner by Chief Justice Marshall, in the case of Hepburn & Dundass v. Ellxey. "

So while not definitive the majority of the SC did declare succession impossible. Just as "definitive" as gay marriage. :) Controversial but still precedence in Jurisprudence.

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Wed Jan 27, 2016 2:47 pm

The genius of Lee was enhanced by several factors that largely boiled down to superior intelligence. Lee first had the advantage of fighting a strategic defensive on home ground. His men, officers, and himself were much more likely to "know the ground" than their enemy, including the sometimes critical advantage of knowing a road existed through a forest. Lee also benefited from a better cavalry arm. Stuart's cavalry (usually) kept Lee well-informed about his enemy's dispositions while depriving the Federals of the same knowledge about the rebel army. Lee's greatest victories at Second Manassas and Chancellorsville were victories of maneuver & surprise predicated on better intel; even the Seven Days and Fredericksburg were made possible by better knowledge of the forces involved and the available avenues of approach. In these situations, Lee was able to see beyond many of the frictions of war and to divine his opposing commander's intent and mindset; thus he could whip McClellan without beating him. Lee was confounded when he went North and lost the advantage of local support, finding himself uncomfortably blinded not unlike his opponents had been in Virginia. Once Grant was able to bully Lee into the Richmond defenses, Lee lost his edge on the battlefield.
The morale differences between North and South were probably not great at the beginning of the war. And while the rebels probably had a small moral edge in defending their own state, Union volunteers had a similar feeling of fighting to protect their country. However, by using the strategic defense to their advantage, rebel armies (in Virginia especially) were able to build up a momentum of success that would tide them over in rough spots on the battlefield, where their Union counterparts had only memory of previous defeats to fall back upon. Thus did Lee benefit from an army that was used to winning, albeit not always on an even playing field.

I'm not clear on the origin of the derision of Lee's understanding of offensive artillery use. Lee had fought in Mexico, where flying forward batteries were a distinctive feature of US forces. Indeed, Ricketts's battery went forward to blast Jackson's line at 1st Manassas, and was overrun. Lee likely did not use artillery in this way for two reasons. First, rebel artillery was generally inferior in both numbers and quality, making it risky to bring it forward while exposed to Federal counterbattery fire. Second, Lee did not micromanage his subordinates to the extent of telling them to run their guns up into the firing line. In addition, because they were rarely on the offensive, rebel batteries did not have to move much to close with the enemy's infantry. I view the relative rarity of hits on artillery units to be a weakness of the AGEOD civil war games.
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