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Watching It So You Don't Have To - Civil War Episode 2


GenerationCedarchip

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Tonight is lecture #2 on Vision Forum's fantastic broadcast from Mr. Potter's office. I'll try to keep up as good a running commentary as I possibly can - might have to fill in blanks afterwards.

Per my email, here are topics we will be covering tonight:

- compare/contrast North and South in 1860

- 3 major rivers of the South

- percentage of railroad mileage in both North and South

- how regiments formed

- timeline should take us up through Battle of First Manassas (that would be how the confederates named what we now know as the Battle of Bull Run, btw)

Here's a North v. South battle naming chart I found so that we can all keep it straight/translate from the Confederate/etc...:

civilwarhome.com/battlenames.htm

Do you have anything you want me to put in as questions?

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One thing that I've heard is that the North took advantage of poor people in sweat shops so slavery in the south wasn't as bad. It will be interesting to know if they bring that up.

Just for interesting information, the city that I grew up in was one of the ones burned by Sherman.

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Oh, we get to start off a trailer advertising the great (Reconstructionist) History Conference this summer!

Costumes - lots of lots of people playing dress-up.. at "the great event of the Summer of 2013"

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Ugh - that ridiculous trailer had some kind of technical difficulty and now the class is running but I can't get any sound. I'll persist for a little bit (persevero!) but if I can't get sound back, then I'll just have to use my pass to access the replay when they post it and give you guys commentary a little late.

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Okay - I'm back in.

He's talking about southern perceptions of the North - they saw them as unchristian, socialist, rude and an enemy of moral society.

Southerners felt as if grandfathers created the union and that they needed to form a new voluntary association because the north had betrayed the principles of that union. South just wanted to withdraw and start new nation and let Yankees keep their nation.

Confederate govt more like Articles of Confederation govt - no federal Supreme Court, more weight to states' rights, Pres. weaker compared to US Pres.

What did North think of South? Described as "enemy of Northern industry and commerce", foe to democratic culture and schools established by govt, supporters of evil slavery - saw South as a completely difft culture.

Says the idea of two totally difft cultures not entirely accurate. North was still mainly agrarian, so they had that in common with South. There were cultural differences, but still had a lot of similarities.

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When war started, many officers resigned commissions and went with their states. Potter says professional soldiers saw their home states as their "country" and that is why folks like Lee and others went with the sides they did. However, South began with no warships so the Navy officers stayed with Union.

Okay - I know this is a real historical fact, but they are now talking about Winfield Scott and the early war plan to cut off the South. However, given the source, I have to laugh every time I hear about the Anaconda Plan! :lol:

To be fair, even though Potter mentions his providential view of history from time to time, he is actually acknowledging other interpretations of the history. At the moment, he is talking about the terrain of the south and how the north could use some of the rivers to facilitate invasion, strategy to control the Mississippi and thus dominate the Western Theatre("cutting the Mississippi will cut the Confederacy in two", etc...) It's pretty interesting, but nothing I haven't read elsewhere.

Note: Edited to fix some of the riffles caused by my typing while listening to webinar.

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He compares North and South population and says North has 3X as many people - but he only counts whites in Southern population.

He says Confed. as matter of policy did not permit black slaves or freemen in army(though he says a small number did join the ranks at various points in war.) North didn't do this, so had more to draw upon.

91% of manufacturing was in North per Potter but Confederates established new industries to support their war effort (ironworks especially) Richmond (iron) and Augusta(gunpowder) were 2 key cities to war effort down South. Waiting to see if he mentions that sweat shop comparison Debrand remarked upon.

He said confederates were outnumbered and since spread forces too thinly over a large distance, they were at disadvantage in battle.

Now we're on to national symbols - he says flags are special interest of his.

US Flag very powerful symbol to North, but the various flags used in South were huge symbol for each regiment. He compares it to the 12 tribes of Israel being commanded to have banners. He's going over the various flags but I note he's not mentioning any of the battle flag controversy at all. Just a lot of info about how men revered their flags almost as a holy relic, and it's subtly implied that this might continue on after the war.

Someone asked who his favorite general is. Hope he answers....

..darn, he puts it off. Says he'll talk about that in 3 weeks.

next question - religious basis for secession? Southerners believed North not following God and with federal govt favoring a godless North, South had no choice but leave and hoped to leave peaceably.

Re: North's actions - he said North trying to persuade South not to leave was appropriate and wouldn't call trying to keep Union together unbiblical, but that North invading South with armies not right response. Says he didn't think they had legal basis for what they did. He didn't go into much detail (darn!) - I'd love to know more about why he thinks this.

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I love this exchange:

Someone asks if Native Americans fought and he says that they did fight on both sides. The person then asks if they got paid and Potter says, "Well, I got a question about what was the standard weapon?" And diverts topic from there....

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Does he mention that the South fired the first shots in the Civil War?

Unless he mentioned it during those few minutes where I had no sound, nope.

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