Welcome to City-Data.com Forum!
U.S. CitiesCity-Data Forum Index
Go Back   City-Data Forum > General Forums > History
 [Register]
Please register to participate in our discussions with 2 million other members - it's free and quick! Some forums can only be seen by registered members. After you create your account, you'll be able to customize options and access all our 15,000 new posts/day with fewer ads.
View detailed profile (Advanced) or search
site with Google Custom Search

Search Forums  (Advanced)
 
Old 10-02-2017, 10:47 AM
 
Location: On the Great South Bay
9,095 posts, read 13,104,976 times
Reputation: 10045

Advertisements

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ziggy100 View Post
Davis ordered the attack of Fort Sumter because it was in the process of being resupplied. Lincoln told the South Carolina governor he was sending food only and not troops. Lincoln didn’t tell Davis because that would mean legitimizing Davis’s position and recognizing the Confederacy as a sovereign entity. The problem was Davis was calling the shots, not South Carolina’s Governor. What Davis saw was a rearming mission to the fort he wanted evacuated.
That was the supposed excuse but I ask - So what?

There was no Union blockade of the South until after the attack on Fort Sumter. Ships were free to come and go to Southern ports and at the very least the Confederacy was free to build ups its forces with supplies and equipment from Europe and even the North. Which maybe is what they should have kept up doing as long as possible.

And Fort Sumter itself is on a tiny island barely above sea level and with limited capacity for troops. Sumter is a sea fort designed to defend Charleston from naval attack (like from the Royal Navy or the French Navy), not defend itself from landward bombardments from South Carolina itself. The fort was surrounded by cannon and artillery from South Carolina and the Confederacy. It diplomacy failed, it could have been attacked a year later, 10 years later, a hundred years later.

So again - why the rush to attack in April 1861?

Like I said, it looks awful suspicious to me that Davis choose to attack when there were still ongoing efforts to try to resolve some of the Southern states concerns and possibly restore the Union peacefully. It looks like the attack might have been designed to create a permanent breech between South and North to stop further negotiating. Not saying this is 100% certain, just a possibility.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message

 
Old 10-02-2017, 12:30 PM
 
9,613 posts, read 6,843,050 times
Reputation: 6842
Quote:
Originally Posted by LINative View Post
That was the supposed excuse but I ask - So what?

There was no Union blockade of the South until after the attack on Fort Sumter. Ships were free to come and go to Southern ports and at the very least the Confederacy was free to build ups its forces with supplies and equipment from Europe and even the North. Which maybe is what they should have kept up doing as long as possible.

And Fort Sumter itself is on a tiny island barely above sea level and with limited capacity for troops. Sumter is a sea fort designed to defend Charleston from naval attack (like from the Royal Navy or the French Navy), not defend itself from landward bombardments from South Carolina itself. The fort was surrounded by cannon and artillery from South Carolina and the Confederacy. It diplomacy failed, it could have been attacked a year later, 10 years later, a hundred years later.

So again - why the rush to attack in April 1861?

Like I said, it looks awful suspicious to me that Davis choose to attack when there were still ongoing efforts to try to resolve some of the Southern states concerns and possibly restore the Union peacefully. It looks like the attack might have been designed to create a permanent breech between South and North to stop further negotiating. Not saying this is 100% certain, just a possibility.
Not saying your suspicions are wrong, but Fort Sumter can blast anything coming in and out of Charleston Harbor. You wouldn’t need a blockade with Fort Sumter in union hands. Charleston was one of largest ports in the South and would be rendered functionally useless with a foreign occupied Fort at the harbor’s entrance. Having it occupied would deny the entire rationale of secession as the South’s powerful export economy wouldn’t be able to sustain itself without it’s ports. With rifled cannons, the Fort could easily reach the city itself.

Fort Sumter proved to be tough nut to crack once properly armed and supplied. It was one of the most besieged places in American history and it remained in Confederate hands until the evacuation of Charleston at the end of the war.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 10-02-2017, 01:12 PM
 
11,610 posts, read 10,282,114 times
Reputation: 7213
Quote:
Originally Posted by LINative View Post
That was the supposed excuse but I ask - So what?

There was no Union blockade of the South until after the attack on Fort Sumter. Ships were free to come and go to Southern ports and at the very least the Confederacy was free to build ups its forces with supplies and equipment from Europe and even the North. Which maybe is what they should have kept up doing as long as possible.

And Fort Sumter itself is on a tiny island barely above sea level and with limited capacity for troops. Sumter is a sea fort designed to defend Charleston from naval attack (like from the Royal Navy or the French Navy), not defend itself from landward bombardments from South Carolina itself. The fort was surrounded by cannon and artillery from South Carolina and the Confederacy. It diplomacy failed, it could have been attacked a year later, 10 years later, a hundred years later.

So again - why the rush to attack in April 1861?

Like I said, it looks awful suspicious to me that Davis choose to attack when there were still ongoing efforts to try to resolve some of the Southern states concerns and possibly restore the Union peacefully. It looks like the attack might have been designed to create a permanent breech between South and North to stop further negotiating. Not saying this is 100% certain, just a possibility.
You present an interesting theory. Given Jefferson Davis' background as U.S. Secretary of War, he likely determined that it was best to get the game on before the Union could mobilize its superior resources.

Here's what a panel of historians say about the first shot at Fort Sumter:

https://www.washingtonpost.com/lifes...=.024335c0571c

<<After debate, the infant Confederate government ordered Beauregard to stop any such supply mission, even if it meant firing on the fort. Beauregard received the news on April 10. By this time the tension among Charlestonians, among Anderson and his men in the fort, and among patriotic Southerners and Northerners had reached a fever pitch. During the first week of April a large crowd gathered at Charleston's waterfront battery. Anderson and his little garrison sat inside the fort and waited. Surrounding them, scattered about the city and the various forts and batteries in the harbor, were more than 6,000 secessionists itching for a fight. Not all Charlestonians agreed with the action. James Louis Petigru, the prominent attorney and statesman, said that South Carolina was too small to be a nation and too large to be an insane asylum.>>

What's most interesting is that Confederates fired on Fort Sumter even though its lack of supplies would shortly force its abandonment. This likely was a major strategic error.

<< Informally, Anderson told his potential enemies that he was running low on supplies and that he would probably be starved out in a few days if the Southern guns didn't "batter us to pieces." >>

'The Longest Night' - The New York Times
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 10-02-2017, 02:11 PM
 
9,613 posts, read 6,843,050 times
Reputation: 6842
Quote:
Originally Posted by WRnative View Post
You present an interesting theory. Given Jefferson Davis' background as U.S. Secretary of War, he likely determined that it was best to get the game on before the Union could mobilize its superior resources.

Here's what a panel of historians say about the first shot at Fort Sumter:

https://www.washingtonpost.com/lifes...=.024335c0571c

<<After debate, the infant Confederate government ordered Beauregard to stop any such supply mission, even if it meant firing on the fort. Beauregard received the news on April 10. By this time the tension among Charlestonians, among Anderson and his men in the fort, and among patriotic Southerners and Northerners had reached a fever pitch. During the first week of April a large crowd gathered at Charleston's waterfront battery. Anderson and his little garrison sat inside the fort and waited. Surrounding them, scattered about the city and the various forts and batteries in the harbor, were more than 6,000 secessionists itching for a fight. Not all Charlestonians agreed with the action. James Louis Petigru, the prominent attorney and statesman, said that South Carolina was too small to be a nation and too large to be an insane asylum.>>

What's most interesting is that Confederates fired on Fort Sumter even though its lack of supplies would shortly force its abandonment. This likely was a major strategic error.

<< Informally, Anderson told his potential enemies that he was running low on supplies and that he would probably be starved out in a few days if the Southern guns didn't "batter us to pieces." >>

'The Longest Night' - The New York Times
One detail left out was the first of the armed naval reinforcement (USRC Harriet Lane) showed up off Charleston Harbor on April 11th. The Union military had no intention of letting their garrison starve themselves out. They showed up with troops and artilley and transport barges with the intent of resupplying and rearming the fort.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 10-02-2017, 05:36 PM
 
Location: On the Great South Bay
9,095 posts, read 13,104,976 times
Reputation: 10045
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ziggy100 View Post
Not saying your suspicions are wrong, but Fort Sumter can blast anything coming in and out of Charleston Harbor. You wouldn’t need a blockade with Fort Sumter in union hands. Charleston was one of largest ports in the South and would be rendered functionally useless with a foreign occupied Fort at the harbor’s entrance. Having it occupied would deny the entire rationale of secession as the South’s powerful export economy wouldn’t be able to sustain itself without it’s ports. With rifled cannons, the Fort could easily reach the city itself.

Fort Sumter proved to be tough nut to crack once properly armed and supplied. It was one of the most besieged places in American history and it remained in Confederate hands until the evacuation of Charleston at the end of the war.
That is the whole point Zigg. There was NO Union blockade until after Fort Sumter (to my knowledge). Yes, Federal control of Fort Sumter was annoying to the South just like British control of Fort Niagara was annoying to the USA in the 1790s, until Washington peacefully negotiated them out. And British control of Hong Kong was annoying to the Chinese but eventually China peacefully got Hong Kong.

The Confederacy should have used diplomacy as long as they could. There is no blockade when there is no war.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 10-02-2017, 05:50 PM
 
Location: On the Great South Bay
9,095 posts, read 13,104,976 times
Reputation: 10045
Quote:
Originally Posted by WRnative View Post
You present an interesting theory. Given Jefferson Davis' background as U.S. Secretary of War, he likely determined that it was best to get the game on before the Union could mobilize its superior resources.

Here's what a panel of historians say about the first shot at Fort Sumter:

https://www.washingtonpost.com/lifes...=.024335c0571c

<<After debate, the infant Confederate government ordered Beauregard to stop any such supply mission, even if it meant firing on the fort. Beauregard received the news on April 10. By this time the tension among Charlestonians, among Anderson and his men in the fort, and among patriotic Southerners and Northerners had reached a fever pitch. During the first week of April a large crowd gathered at Charleston's waterfront battery. Anderson and his little garrison sat inside the fort and waited. Surrounding them, scattered about the city and the various forts and batteries in the harbor, were more than 6,000 secessionists itching for a fight. Not all Charlestonians agreed with the action. James Louis Petigru, the prominent attorney and statesman, said that South Carolina was too small to be a nation and too large to be an insane asylum.>>

What's most interesting is that Confederates fired on Fort Sumter even though its lack of supplies would shortly force its abandonment. This likely was a major strategic error.

<< Informally, Anderson told his potential enemies that he was running low on supplies and that he would probably be starved out in a few days if the Southern guns didn't "batter us to pieces." >>

'The Longest Night' - The New York Times
I am not sure what Lincoln was doing to mobilize the North until after Fort Sumter. Before that it was mostly negotiating as far as I know.

It was after Fort Sumter was attacked that Lincoln began calling the states for 75,000 volunteers and began building up the army.

A lot of this is Monday morning quarterbacking, but I am thinking that the South would have been better served NOT attacking Fort Sumter, instead dragging out negotiations and using the peaceful period to build up its forces. The longer the Confederacy lasted, the more it might seem legitimate to other nations. Peace was in the South's interest.

But Davis chose to attack Fort Sumter which leads me to the possibility that he either was not thinking strategically long term or like I said, he was afraid that the negotiations with the North might become too successful and some Southerners might want to rejoin the Union!
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 10-02-2017, 05:57 PM
 
Location: Mishawaka, Indiana
7,010 posts, read 11,893,437 times
Reputation: 5813
Quote:
Originally Posted by drinkthekoolaid View Post
So full disclaimer to get my background where I'm posting from.... I have a "northern perspective and education"

So I've really become interested in the civil war lately and the more I've been learning the more interested I've become.

I remember in school basically being told more or less the war was about slavery and related issues and that's the way it was. Never gave a 2nd thought about it and just thought that's that.

The more I read and learn I'm really challenging what I thought I knew. And I'm curious to get some more opinions on this topic or get some more books or documentaries recommended to me.

I also just visited Gettysburg this year and that's what really got me down the rabbit hole of the civil war.

Looking at everything I've learned so far it seems the cause of the civil war is so much more complex than I realized. Even reading Lincoln's inaugural address in 1861 he specifically mentions not trying to stop slavery in the South and its not his intention (I'm paraphrasing)

And that most people in the South readily admitted that they feel slavery would have naturally ended on its own.

The union still allowed border states like West virginia, Delaware, Kentucky to stay in the union and support the union cause AND remain slave states. That right there says the war did not originally start as a means to end slavery when the union allows its own states to continue on with slavery.

Like 97% of southern soldiers were far to poor to ever have slaves. Even some of the more aristocratic ones, for example Thomas Jackson actually went out of his way to teach slaves to read and write and helped build a Sunday school for them. I couldn't believe when I learned one of the confederates most famous generals was teaching slaves to read and write and with respect. It was quite a surprise for me to learn.

Lincoln only gave the emancipation proclamation addrssing slaves in confederate territory deliberately to undermine the south's economy, and to sow discontent and unrest.

Definitely didn't learn these things in school.

It's really changed how I look at the war.

I am really thinking that American civil war Was the South being angry and feeling mistreated over states rights issues. It's far more complex than I realized. And I am now viewing the confederacy differently than I did before. The North invaded to beat the South back into submission to preserve the union not to stop slavery, that became a method to inflict pain on the southern economy.

I've read/watched all the usuals...the killer angels, God's and generals, gettysburg, glory, (still have to read the last full measure) and I think It's called blue and grey? And others Etc..

If you guys have any interesting points or feedback let me know. I'm always willing to reevaluate and learn.

If you have any book or movie / mini series recommendations let me know
So one aristocrat was actually a "kind" slave owner to the people who were indentured servants to him, who could not collect wages, who could not vote, who could not hold property, who could not strive to be anything else other than a servant.

It's these little defenses and compliments to SLAVE holders that gets this whole piece of history mixed up. The Civil War had a good consequence in the end, slavery ended.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 10-02-2017, 07:08 PM
 
2,586 posts, read 1,326,018 times
Reputation: 2682
Quote:
Originally Posted by TaxPhd View Post
Why not let the South secede? Why keep people part of something, against their will, that they have no desire to be a part of?

Like I said before, going to war to keep the South from seceding is like killing your spouse to keep them from leaving you.
They same argument, that people should not be kept against their will, also applied to the South's desire to maintain four million people in slavery, which was their stated reason for secession and the root cause of the war.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 10-02-2017, 07:17 PM
 
9,613 posts, read 6,843,050 times
Reputation: 6842
Quote:
Originally Posted by LINative View Post
That is the whole point Zigg. There was NO Union blockade until after Fort Sumter (to my knowledge). Yes, Federal control of Fort Sumter was annoying to the South just like British control of Fort Niagara was annoying to the USA in the 1790s, until Washington peacefully negotiated them out. And British control of Hong Kong was annoying to the Chinese but eventually China peacefully got Hong Kong.

The Confederacy should have used diplomacy as long as they could. There is no blockade when there is no war.
It would have been more than annoying. It would have rendered the entire port useless. The South’s survival as a new country would require cotton exports in exchange for money and finished goods. The decision to secede had already been made 4 months earlier.
Fort Sumter at full strength would have been impossible to take by force. It would have been huge leverage against the south during any negatiation.
You’re correct in the there was no blockade yet (the union didn’t yet have enough ships to blockade the entire south. But you don’t need a blockade if you have the fort.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 10-02-2017, 08:22 PM
 
Location: Pennsylvania
5,725 posts, read 11,659,526 times
Reputation: 9828
Is there an echo in here?
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Please register to post and access all features of our very popular forum. It is free and quick. Over $68,000 in prizes has already been given out to active posters on our forum. Additional giveaways are planned.

Detailed information about all U.S. cities, counties, and zip codes on our site: City-data.com.


Reply
Please update this thread with any new information or opinions. This open thread is still read by thousands of people, so we encourage all additional points of view.

Quick Reply
Message:

Over $104,000 in prizes was already given out to active posters on our forum and additional giveaways are planned!

Go Back   City-Data Forum > General Forums > History

All times are GMT -6. The time now is 09:01 AM.

© 2005-2024, Advameg, Inc. · Please obey Forum Rules · Terms of Use and Privacy Policy · Bug Bounty

City-Data.com - Contact Us - Archive 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31, 32, 33, 34, 35, 36, 37 - Top