Quote(s) of the Week: February 15-22, 2014

Well, I’ve been busy with other matters, but it’s time to return to that recurring favorite, Quote of the Week. We have several.

slavery was the excuse used to frame the yankee agression with moral intent meant to keep great britian and france out of the war…..the south was right! the war aint over an will never be over until the confederacy is liberated and yankee land is nothing more than a smoking pile of ashes…the yankees invaded for one reason and one only…MONEY! without dixie the federal government couldnt collect import taxses from southern ports they invaded and killed anyone that resisted including wounded men, children and women! the yankees were liars beggars murderers rapists and theives…..and me and every other southerner will not rest until dixie is free and liberated and yankee land is burning and its people starving!

Guess he won’t be voting for William T. Sherman as Man of the Year for 1864.

the war aint over….as god is my judge i swear dixie will be free an the blood stained banner of the confederacy will be raised in richmond an every city, state an territory in the confederacy…and the sun will never set on the confederacy ever again! communism an yankee imperialism will never win against the confederacy

That’s good news for the Virginia Flaggers.

I’ve wondered why Lee didn’t station the rebel army along the north south border and just defend it…Eventually the tax money the north was taking from the south would have dried up….

Boy, wasn’t Robert E. Lee stupid?


20 thoughts on “Quote(s) of the Week: February 15-22, 2014

  1. Roger E Watson February 23, 2014 / 1:23 pm

    On how many levels is this person just toooooooooo stupid !!!!! You will let us know where this quote came from – right ??

  2. John Foskett February 23, 2014 / 1:25 pm

    Admit it. Neither you nor any other reputable Civil War historian has considered that brilliant strategic move. All of this analysis about ‘why the Confederacy lost” and here it’s been all along, staring everybody in the face. Maybe it’s the fact that none of you are “up” on the economics of the war. The strategy followed by Davis, Lee, et al. left those federal revenuers alone, collecting all of those taxes from all of those seceded states for four years.

  3. John Foskett February 23, 2014 / 1:32 pm

    By the way, I’m not sure why Kevin assumes Mobley nominated Cleburne for 1864 MOY. Somebody nominated Vance and IIRC Mobley has edited Vance’s papers.

  4. Bob Nelson February 23, 2014 / 1:32 pm

    Brooks, where DO you find this stuff? With the health issues I’m going through right now, I can use a good laugh now and then. As for the tariffs, we all know more money was collected in Savannah and Charleston than in Boston and New York. YEAH, RIGHT! As for Lee, I too have always wondered why he didn’t confront the Federal armies along the border in Virginia. Guess it just never occurred to him. ROFLMAO.

  5. Andy Hall February 23, 2014 / 1:36 pm

    More new knowledge from that same source:

    had lee’s army held out for 1 more month in 65 britian’s first troops would have arrived in texas with 70,000 troops and supplies for the battered confederate troops and british ships were only 2 weeks from the yankee blockade of confederate ports…but they were turned around in the bahamas because lee surrendered and most took it as the government surrendered too…

    News to me.

    • neukomment February 23, 2014 / 2:21 pm

      Huh? Is this some kind of wishful alternative history sci-if? Funny how they forget who it was that fired the first shot…

      • Al Mackey February 23, 2014 / 7:32 pm

        When the actual history isn’t to their liking, they just make up their own version. It’s very liberating if you think about it. You don’t have to do the work of reading books, researching, or looking at primary sources. All you have to do is make up a few things and you’re done before your grits are finished cooking.

        • M. E. Martin February 28, 2014 / 1:02 pm

          Hey, not fair. Was laughing over these idiotic comments while enjoying my grits. We’re not all troglodytes down here below the M-D line!

          • Al Mackey February 28, 2014 / 2:13 pm

            My apologies. I didn’t mean to give that impression. While not all grits-eaters are neoconfederates, many neoconfederates are grits-eaters. And that goes for neoconfederates/grits-eaters both above and below the Mason-Dixon Line. 🙂

    • John Foskett February 23, 2014 / 2:43 pm

      Not to mention “news to the Queen, the Consort, and Lord Lyons”. Keep us posted on whatever other alternate history emerges from that particular opium den.

    • Bob Nelson February 23, 2014 / 4:03 pm

      Sheesh, I never knew that, Andy. Sounds like the basis for an alternative history book or two. Somebody should contact Newt Gingrich and William Forstchen.

  6. Jimmy Dick February 23, 2014 / 2:39 pm

    I had a guy tell me that historians are at fault for not letting the truth be told about Britain’s role in the Civil War. He said the Queen Victoria supported the South and offered an alliance with the Confederacy in a private letter to Jefferson Davis. He said the letter stated that the Confederacy just needed to win one major battle. I asked him, “Where is this letter?” He responded, “That’s the problem with you historians. You always want proof of everything.”

    • M.D. Blough February 24, 2014 / 8:19 am

      The Prince Consort died on December 14, 1861. One of his final acts, undertaken when he was already ill, was to rewrite and markedly tone down a proposed cabinet response to the Trent Affair that was highly belligerent and would have demanded that the US apologize. http://future.state.gov/when/timeline/1861_timeline/trent_affair.html Given that his grieving widow attached sacred significance to his slightest acts, the fact that Albert’s final official act was to keep the UK out of hostilities with the US would have made it impossible for her to support the rebellion. There are a host of other reasons why this “letter” is an impossibility, but that’s a personal biggie for her Majesty.

  7. chancery February 23, 2014 / 11:56 pm

    Aha! This is an opening (of sorts) to ask for help from the regulars here (perhaps especially Andy Hall) on a question I’ve been pondering for a few months, about the relative strengths of the US and British navies in the closing months of the Civil War.

    Amanda Foreman’s wonderful “A World on Fire” treats at some length (and was my introduction to) two episodes when the US and Great Britain seemed perilously close to war, with troopships dispatched and coded telegrams sent outlining evacuation plans for Lord Lyons’ staff. (The Punch illustrations accompanying these passages in Foreman’s book are particularly good.)

    In each instance the disparity in forces made the prospect of war seem grotesque. What’s fascinating to me to what an extent the direction of the disparity had been reversed between the first incident and the second. During the Trent crisis in 1861, the US army and navy would have had their hands more than full with their British counterparts. By early 1865, when Britain feared that the US would invade Canada in response to rebel operations based on Canadian soil, there was no hope that the few thousand troops garrisoning Canada could withstand an army numbering 2.8 million men under arms, supported by a transportation, logistics and manufacturing juggernaut that was at the peak of its considerable powers after four years of modern war. Foreman writes that Queen Victoria “acknowledg[ed] in her diary ‘the impossibility of our being able to hold Canada, but we must struggle for it.’”

    What I didn’t see discussed in her book was an appraisal of the two countries’ naval forces available in January 1865 for such a war. It’s occurred to me that similar disparity existed between the US and British naval forces that would have clashed on the American Atlantic coast and in the St. Lawrence river as did between the British and the US armies. The London Times earlier had memorably observed, after the Monitor-Virginia engagement, that it would be madness to trust any of Britain’s 147 first-class wooden warships to an engagement with the “little Monitor,” noting that Britain’s own ironclad fleet numbered only two vessels. See McPherson, BCoF at 377. By the end of the rebellion the US (per Wikipedia) had an ironclad fleet of 50 monitors. Great Britain had built (or was building) 16 or so ironclads, albeit ships that were larger and possibly more capable than American Monitors (but I wonder if they had the range for trans-Atlantic operations.) Moreover, if Britain were to attempt to land an army sufficient to challenge the US army in 1865, her wooden troopships, supply ships, and other support vessels would presumably have been easy prey to the US ironclads.

    But this is all my poorly informed surmise. This point isn’t discussed in Foreman, and I wonder if anyone here would comment, or could point to other sources of information.

    Brooks, if this goes through moderation, thanks for indulging me in this lengthy post.

    • Andy Hall February 24, 2014 / 8:07 am

      That’s a great question. A broadly general answer is that by 1865, the U.S. Navy was very capable at the types of operations it was called upon to do during the Civil War — riverine, littoral and combined operations with the army. But its ability to project U.S. power overseas was only incrementally better than it had been in 1861, and (as Alabama and other Confederate raiders showed) the U.S. Navy was not very good at protecting the rapidly-expanding American merchant fleet on the high seas. U.S. operations were additionally hamstrung by a complete lack of overseas bases for coaling and resupply — the United States used neutral ports for that purpose, but many of those would be closed to them if things came to blows with the British.

      The British Royal Navy, by comparison, was a true global navy, but not necessarily well-suited to operating in coastal waters, which in the case of the United States tend to be fairly shallow. They could (with some ramping-up time) establish blockades of the major east coast ports (as they did with considerable success in 1812-15), and play hell with American merchant shipping, and do serious economic damage to the United States over the course of an extended conflict. But I believe their ability to project their naval might into coastal waters and in joint operations with a land invasion would be somewhat limited.

      In short, both the United States and Great Britain were strong where the other was weak, which I think would lead to a long, protracted conflict. There would not be a Trafalgar in that conflict.

      There was a long discussion a while back at Civil War Talk about such a conflict, although in connection with the Trent Affair earlier in the war. You can follow it here:


      My colleague Mark Jenkins offered several other titles that may also be useful in trying to answer this question:

      Courtemanche, Regis A. No Need of Glory: The British Navy in American Waters, 1861-1864. Naval Institute Press, 1977.

      Fuller, Howard J. Clad in Iron: The American Civil War and the Challenge of British Naval Power. Greenwood Publishing, 2008.

      Mahin, Dean B. One War at a Time: The International Dimensions of the Civil War. Brasseys, 1999.

      May, Robert E. (ed.) The Union, the Confederacy, and the Atlantic Rim. Purdue University, 1995.

      And a bit peripheral to the Trent situation, but still a must-read:

      Spencer, Warren F. The Confederate Navy in Europe. University of Alabama, 1997.

      • chancery February 25, 2014 / 2:51 pm


        Thanks for your insightful reply. I had figured out that the US Navy’s local strength did not in any respect make it a global power, but had completely overlooked the vulnerability of US merchant shipping once a war had started. I’m not surprised that the situation was a lot more complicated than I had thought.

        Foreman’s book gave me the impression that the British greatly overestimated the likelihood of a U.S. invasion in early 1865.

        Thanks also for the references. I read through the civilwartalk thread, but while I picked up some tidbits from postings by people who are a lot more knowledgable than I am, I thought the thread gave more heat than light. I’m not sure that it’s possible to

        • Andy Hall February 25, 2014 / 2:58 pm

          “more heat than light”

          Nature of the beast, I’m afraid.

        • chancery February 25, 2014 / 2:59 pm

          Sorry, left the last post incomplete.

          I’m not sure that it’s possible to improve on Lincoln’s assessment: “one war at a time.”

    • Bob Huddleston February 24, 2014 / 11:31 am

      The largest combat loaded troop crossing of the Atlantic was the Western Task Force from Norfolk to Casablanca in November 1942 — 35,000 troops and that took the larger transports of mid-20th Century and the greatly improved staff work of modern armiesA. I doubt that Great Britain had the logistic support to match that in the 1860s. I also doubt that 35,000 British Army troops would have been able to stand up to the combat experienced US Army troops Grant would have been able to move against them. I also suspect that the RN ironclads, even if they had the range to cross the Atlantic, would have been able to overpower the more numerous Yankees, especially since the US Navy crews had seen the Elephant, which the Royal Navy men had not. And remember, England had just come off of a badly bungled Crimean War. Add in the British antipathy to fighting to support a slave holding government and I doubt there was much to worry about. That said, I haven’t read Foreman, so do not know what her arguments are.

      • chancery February 25, 2014 / 2:58 pm

        Thanks Bob.

        >>do not know what her arguments are.

        She doesn’t really address the issue at all. Her discussion of the episode is focused on the thoughts and actions of Lord Lyons, Russell, and other British diplomats and statesmen, as well as those of the Americans they dealt with. She mentions the British concern for not being able to resist a U.S. invasion, but doesn’t assess how such an invasion would play out. It’s not a military history, let alone an exploration of “alternate histories.”

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