Stonewall at Appomattox

Historians of the American Civil War often have to contend with what-if questions (and some ask a few of their own). Indeed, inherent in much of an assessment of the wisdom of this or that move or decision is some contemplation of what was likely to happen if someone made a different move or decision.  Otherwise, we would be stuck assessing decisions by outcomes, which is little more than hindsight, and tells us very little about the options open to the decision maker.

A different sort of what-if question reverses the course of history in some seemingly critical way. The favorite what-if that embodies this approach is asking what if Stonewall Jackson had been at Gettysburg. Usually, the person asking the question has Jackson replace Richard S. Ewell as a corps commander on the afternoon of July 1 and believes that Jackson would have attacked the Union position on Cemetery Hill, usually with the assumption that such an assault would have been successful, etc.

This exercise is so inherently problematic as to suggest that it is useless unless someone would rather deal with history as they fantasize about it as opposed to understanding what really happened and why (which would take actual work as a reader and researcher). Is Jackson wounded at Chancellorsville, at least severely enough to keep him out of action for the remainder of that battle? If not, perhaps Chancellorsville is different, so perhaps there’s no Gettysburg. Was Jackson wounded severely at Chancellorsville? When would he return to duty, and in what condition? Does Lee reorganize the Army of Northern Virginia? And on and on and on … and yet you have to answer these questions before you get anywhere near July 1 or Gettysburg.

Nor do we ask other questions with quite the same passion or imagination. What if Phil Kearny escaped alive from Chantilly? What if fate spared Nathaniel Lyon at Wilson’s Creek? What if Lee was killed on May 6 or May 12 instead of going to the rear? What if Longstreet was not wounded on May 6? What if Grant was killed at Belmont? What if Dan Sickles was not wounded at Gettysburg? What if Sherman was killed at Shiloh? What if Lincoln was killed at Fort Stevens? Each of these questions is based on events which could have happened, but one quickly sees that it would be hard to answer any of them with any degree of confidence. Yet it is Jackson that gets most of the attention (the only other Civil War what-if that compares is “what if Lincoln had not been assassinated?”).

So let’s go with the premise that Jackson survived Chancellorsville. We could very easily set up a chain of events that suggest that it might not have made much of a difference to the outcome of the war. He could have been checked on July 1 at Gettysburg, for example, with the rest of the battle unfolding much as it did, because … well, because, we don’t know. But why not ask a more important question: what would have happened if Stonewall Jackson made it all the way to April 9, 1865, when Robert E. Lee is forced to face the fact that the Army of Northern Virginia is trapped?

Now, I know some of you will want to go back to some moment during the hours leading up to that Palm Sunday moment, and speculate about Lee’s decision not to fight a guerilla war. As we know, that isn’t quite what the issue under discussion was, anyway. Would Jackson have advocated fighting on, either as a unified force or by first dissolving the army in the hopes of reconstituting it down the road?

Jackson was  a fierce warrior. When asked in December 1862 what the Confederates needed to do to stop the Yankee invader, he supposedly said: “Kill them, sir! Kill every man!”  Note this rather imaginative recasting of the quote  … and another version offered by Hunter McGuire, Jackson’s medical officer who is credited in various accounts as the source of the quote …

From Hunter McGuire, "Stonewall Jackson."  United Confederate Veterans. R.E. Lee Camp, No. 1 (1897), p. 17.
From Hunter McGuire, “Stonewall Jackson.”
United Confederate Veterans. R.E. Lee Camp, No. 1 (1897), p. 17.

McGuire offered the blunter version later on …

GFR Henderson, Stonewall Jackson and the American Civil War (1898), 2: 401.
GFR Henderson, Stonewall Jackson and the American Civil War (1898), 2: 401.

In any case, Jackson is here portrayed as a man who was a natural-born killer filled with the wrath of the Old Testament. How would he have reacted to the need to surrender to a foe he so despised … and respected?

(That Jackson sounds a lot like William T. Sherman is worth contemplating. Then again, Charles Royster suggested that decades ago in The Destructive War (1992). I’ve also suggested that Jackson had much in common with John Brown.)

Would Stonewall Jackson have accepted defeat? Would he have kept on fighting somewhere, somehow? Would he have returned to Lexington resolved to so the best he could to bind up the nation’s wounds and help his native Virginia recover from the war? Would he have used the same energy that he employed in educating enslaved black children to seeing that they as adults could enjoy their freedom?

We don’t know, of course. But I always find it interesting to see which counterfactuals we are willing to entertain and which ones never occur to us. I also find it interesting to see what people say when they offer their counterfactual musings. I believe all of that says so much more about us than about anything else. When we talk about what generations of Americans remembered (and forgot) about the Civil War, we might also want to engage their speculations about what might have happened … as well as to recall what they declined to speculate about.


60 thoughts on “Stonewall at Appomattox

  1. Christopher Shelley January 20, 2015 / 1:41 am

    For me, the biggest counterfactual of the war (besides poor Lincoln) has always been: What happens if McClellan chooses to attack Richmond in the spring of 1862 instead of allowing himself to be bullied off the Peninsula by Lee? What if he destroys the AoNV and wins Richmond? What if the war ends before emancipation is necessary?

    What happens if the republic is restored with slavery intact?

    • Mark January 20, 2015 / 1:50 pm

      That is a big and interesting counterfactual. But it’s unpleasant to think about for most people and provides no pleasure for the reasons most people engage in counterfactuals. Probably why I’ll never hear of it again. 🙂

      • Christopher Shelley January 20, 2015 / 2:23 pm

        Counterfactuals are interesting to muse upon. Sometimes they can provide a new and interesting way of looking at historical events. But it doesn’t make much sense to focus or dwell on them overmuch.

        • Andrew Raker January 21, 2015 / 8:29 am

          But this particular counterfactual can shed light onto slavery’s strength in the US, as well as the limited support for abolition. It’s one I’ll ponder on for a bit. Thanks!

  2. Talmadge Walker January 20, 2015 / 6:27 am

    My favorite is still “What if the French had won at La Puebla?” Coming 4 months before Antietam and the preliminary Emancipation Proclamation, would the installation of a Mexican government sympathetic to the Confederates have made European recognition more likely? Would it have nullified the effects of the blockade, at least in the western theater? Would a Union victory at Vicksburg been more difficult with better armed Confederate troops (possibly with French reinforcements) controlling the western banks of the Mississippi? Would California, with its gold reserves, been endangered?

    • John Foskett January 20, 2015 / 11:46 am

      Now that’s an interesting slant. Given that the French ultimately prevailed in the “short term”, taking Mexico City in summer, 1863 (IIRC), I’m not sure Puebla would have made a big difference going the other way. In fact (again IIRC), the British had some limited involvement in the escapade only because the French lost at Puebla. There were also a lot of countervailing issues on the British home front which might have made French recognition unilateral. I’m skeptical that the French would have been looking to unilaterally extend the military venture in a significant geographic sense, at least without corresponding British commitment. Recall, also, that nothing exists in a complete vacuum. The French and British were tied up with Russia in a dispute regarding Poland. The Russian fleet visited the US in 1863 and there is some reason to believe that the visit was in part a strategic maneuver putting the fleet in a position to go after British shipping. Yet another reason Napoleon III”s friends in London weren’t necessarily wedded to blowing things up on this side of the Pond.

      • Jeffry Burden January 21, 2015 / 8:07 am

        The timing of Zaragoza’s victory at Puebla on Cinco de Mayo is pretty critical, though. The French win there, and they control that border, embolden their Confederate friends, and as Talmadge suggests, makes things much harder for Lincoln as matters were still iffy for Union forces. The French taking Mexico City in 1863 means strategically less for the U,S.

  3. OhioGuy January 20, 2015 / 7:31 am

    My favorites:

    1. What if Hamlin hadn’t been replaced by Johnson and Lincoln had still won re-election?

    2. What if Grant had run for a third term and won?

    These have more to do with Reconstruction than the war itself, but get at the crux of the meaning of the war and its legacy.

  4. Bob D'Amato January 20, 2015 / 8:46 am

    what if the rebellion had never occurred? Would slavery have continued?and if so for how long?

    • OhioGuy January 20, 2015 / 9:10 am

      Until at least the 20th Century and then segregation, a more odious version than what actually transpired, would have been in place in the slave states. An international boycot would eventually have ended our segregation and South Africans apartheid at about the same time.

      • OhioGuy January 20, 2015 / 9:40 am

        That would be “South Africa’s apartheid. When I post from my iPhone I’m not responsible for my typos, because: “The phone made me do it.” 😉

      • Bert January 20, 2015 / 9:53 am

        I and asked/considered the same thing a while ago, OH Guy (what if we had President Hamlin as the 17th President), only to find that Turtledove did explore that in one of his short stories (Must and Shall).

  5. John Foskett January 20, 2015 / 9:17 am

    Counterfactuals call to mind Parcells’ observation about folks who look at a 6-10 season and point out how with a break here and there a team could easily have gone 9-7. “If you’re 6-10, you’re a 6-10 team.” I much prefer shooting down Stonewall counterfactuals because they almost always take off from ignorance of his repeatedly-displayed shortcomings at First Kernstown, McDowell, Port Republic, the Seven Days, Cedar Mountain, Brawner’s Farm, Day 2 of Second Bull Run, and Hamilton’s Crossing/Fredericksburg. Hence (and assuming we cross hurdles regarding Lee’s reorg of the ANV after Jackson’s demise) my firm belief that Stonewall would not have grabbed Cemetery Hill on the evening of July 1 – he would have dribbled forward troops from his superior numbers while allowing the Federals to accumulate sufficient forces to hold the hill. And on we go. Were Stonewall in command in April, 1864 I’ll speculate that the war would have ended in Virginia c. June/July, 1864. I think he would have waged the type of warfare Grant would have willingly invited. I don;t envision Stonewall embracing a Fabian strategy of any kind, and so I can’t get to Appomattox. I’ll freely concede that I just have no clue how he would have handled that – except i do not see him embracing guerrilla warfare. One more thing – half the high-ranking officers of the ANV would have been under arrest by May, 1864 because of their cumulative failures to divine the commanding general’s orders. 🙂

    • Michael Lynch January 20, 2015 / 7:33 pm

      That’s a good point. When people run with the “Stonewall at Gettysburg” scenario, there’s a tendency to assume it would’ve been Stonewall at the top of his game, not Stonewall on an off day.

      • John Foskett January 21, 2015 / 8:15 am

        When it comes to tactics, the safe wager is that Stonewall would have come up short. The fantasy matchup I’d love to see is Stonewall vs. Grant. I’m thinking something along the lines of the recent Oregon-tOSU game.

  6. Bert January 20, 2015 / 9:52 am

    What-ifs to further explore historical figures/events are more interesting (and more respectable) than those more related to fantasy hero worship. I suspect maybe a lot of the “Stonewall at Gettysburg” ones are the latter. I’ve always like the “Kearny survives Chantilly” as a less often considered one. Maybe Antietam goes very differently with him there. He was Joe Hooker without the nonsense, and the AotP looks a bit different with Kearny at Corps command (or higher?) later in the war too.

    But to address your topic here, I think we can also use Forrest as a barometer. I can’t think of a “killer-type” more dedicated to the Confederacy than NBF. Yet we all know how he handled it when it was clear it was over. Jackson would have done the same.

    • Brooks D. Simpson January 20, 2015 / 9:59 am

      Would that have made Stonewall Jackson more or less admirable, and to whom?

      • Bert January 21, 2015 / 2:52 pm

        Good follow up question. NBF didn’t hurt his reputation in the south by knowing when to call it quits and I doubt it would have hurt Jackson’s. And I don’t see Stonewall joining the Republican Party like Lee’s best Corps commander.

        For his reputation in the north, depends on how he handles post-war life. Let’s hope any similarities with NBF end with the surrender. It’s more likely that he goes back to academia like Lee.

    • John Foskett January 20, 2015 / 11:31 am

      I think that Phil’s death at Chantilly illustrates why, had he survived, things likely would not have changed much. If ever a guy was ill-suited for corps/army command, it may have been Kearney. He was a guy who knew dash, elan, and leading at the front – a solid brigade/division commander who had the requisite dose of aggression and lack of concern for the enemy’s plans which could result in “analysis paralysis” Those were not characteristics suitable for somebody whose duties involved seeing the “big[ger] picture” and coordinating large bodies of troops. To yet again quote Inspector Callahan, “a man’s got to know his limitations”. Based on the glimpses that we have of Kearney in the historical record, I suspect that he knew his. A possibly more realistic hypothetical which may have had some basis in fact is Israel B. Richardson had he survived his Antietam wound. Richardson was an equally competent division commander who seemed to be somewhat more restrained and calculating from a tactical standpoint than Kearney. He was extremely well-connected through his Michigan Republican relationships with Chandler, et al., and there is apparently some evidence that he was in Lincoln’s mind as a possible successor to McClellan when he died.

      • Joshism January 20, 2015 / 7:54 pm

        So Phil Kearney might have been the Union equivalent of John Bell Hood?

        • John Foskett January 21, 2015 / 8:09 am

          That wouldn’t be a bad analogy from the general standpoint of suitability for top level command, although there are differences. It’s obvious that I’m being completely objective about Kearney. Given his undisguised loathing for McClellan, you’d think that I’d be pushing him for President. 🙂

          • Bert January 21, 2015 / 3:01 pm

            I can see how a hard fighting division commander untested in other characteristics important for higher command would invite comparisons to Hood. Especially with all the division commanders on both sides with weaker records when promoted to higher command. But I do believe Kearny was a good deal more cerebral than Hood, and higher command often made aggressive division commanders a little more cautious. I think he would at the very least have been a good Corps commander.

            I’m not sure about President Kearny, but I’d be a little more proud to have had him as Governor of New Jersey than that other guy. 😉

          • John Foskett January 22, 2015 / 3:43 pm

            Bert: I agree on Kearney being “more cerebral” – hence my reference to “differences”. I also think, however, that his background, training, and predilections were more along the lines of “military adventurer” than “military professional” – Solferino, etc. To give him his due, I’ve got a (highly speculative) sense that he had some self-awareness in this regard. You don’t see anything which suggests pushing for higher command. I still think that Richardson may have been a more likely candidate, given his training, experience, and those Republican connections.

          • Bert January 23, 2015 / 9:13 am

            I did a little research about Fighting Dick because of your response and do see your point, John. I understand there is some speculation that Lincoln may have indeed had his eye on Richardson, and had visited him in the field hospital after Antietam with such thoughts in the back of his mind.

            I also see your point about Kearny’s self-awareness and not pushing for higher command. So it is a little hard to predict where Kearny would have ended up a year later had he survived Chantilly. Maybe he just gets shot at Antietam instead; maybe like Meade, he gets higher command without doing Joe Hooker-style politicking.

  7. leo January 20, 2015 / 11:52 am

    What if the Confederate Commission in Canada had taked serious root during the Civil War?

  8. Jimmy Dick January 20, 2015 / 12:55 pm

    What if modern day apartheid proponents went back in time to 1864 and gave the CSA two million AK-47s and all the ammo they needed?

    Oh wait, that’s been done.

    • Joshism January 20, 2015 / 7:59 pm

      I think “Guns of the South” is everything wrong with alternate history in a nutshell. Honorable mention to Eric Flint’s “1632” series for having a similar problem with probably even greater success.

      The most popular alternate history is usually not a simple and plausible point of divergence (“what if Lincoln hadn’t been assassinated?”) that could have had serious consequences and which merits exploration; instead it is some outlandish sci-fi premise like time travel.

  9. leo January 20, 2015 / 1:51 pm

    I recall reading that on a blog somewhere. 🙂

  10. OhioGuy January 20, 2015 / 2:14 pm

    Oh yes, how about this one: What if John Wilkes Booth had been captured alive and tried with the other conspirators? How much more information about the conspiracy would we now know — especially if he had been water boarded? 😉

  11. Patrick Young January 20, 2015 / 11:21 pm

    My favorite counterfactual is this:

    One quarter of Union soldiers were immigrants. Many did not speak English.

    The War Department issued a controversial order in July 1861, around the time Union forces were marching towards Bull Run. The order, known as General Order 45, said that in the future “no volunteer will be mustered into the service who is unable to speak the English language.” The immigrant press kicked up a storm and it was rescinded.

    What if it had been allowed to stand?

      • John Foskett January 21, 2015 / 8:12 am

        You seem to think that a guy raised at Brook Farm wasn’t open-minded. I’d add Charlie Devens and Preacher Howard to the group. 🙂

    • Jeffry Burden January 21, 2015 / 8:21 am

      Not necessarily disputing it, but what is the source for a quarter of Union soldiers being immigrants? I presume that would indicate a huge percentage (30% or more) of NY/PA soldiers were foreign-born, based on my study of Midwest troops.

      • Patrick Young January 26, 2015 / 4:53 am

        In response to Jeffrey Burden:

        For NY State being 30% foreign born see:
        New York State in the Civil War, Robert J. Rayback, New York State Historical Association, 1961

        The first attempt to identify nativity of U.S. Volunteers is Gould, Benjamin Apthorp 1869. Investigations in the Military and Anthropological Statistics of American Soldiers. P. 27 estimates that foreign-born made up 24.5% of the United States Volunteers. Germans made up 176,000 and Irish 144,000 according to Gould.

        I have heard estimates of immigrant totals in USV at between 20% and “a third.” I am not aware of any airtight number of foreign born.

        Here is a new estimate on Irish participation: that places the number of Irish much higher.

        Although the largest numbers of immigrant USVs came from New York and Pa., the highest percentages of foreign born were from Minnesota and Wisconsin.

        If we look at the Census of 1860, there should be no surprise that immigrants formed a large part of Union forces since they made up a large part of the Northern population:

        States and Territories with highest percentage of foreign-born in 1860
        California- 38%
        South Dakota- 37%
        Wisconsin- 35%
        Minnesota- 34%
        Utah- 31%
        Nevada- 30%
        Washington- 27%
        New York- 26%
        Nebraska- 22%
        Massachusetts- 21%
        Rhode Island- 21%
        Michigan- 20%
        Illinois- 19%
        New Jersey-18%
        Connecticut- 17%
        Iowa- 16%
        Pennsylvania- 14%
        Missouri- 14%

        Cities with largest immigrant populations in 1860

        New York City- 47%
        Philadelphia- 30%
        Boston- 36%
        New Orleans- 38%
        Cincinnati- 46%
        St. Louis- 50%
        Chicago- 50%
        San Francisco- 50%
        Milwaukee- 53%

        In 1860, the only southern state with a large immigrant population was Louisiana with 11 percent. South Carolina had 2 percent foreign-born and Georgia had 1 percent.

        Overall, 3.6 million foreign-born lived in the North and 400,000 lived in the South.

        There were roughly as many immigrants living in the North in 1861 as there were slaves in the South.

        Beyond memes like “The Irish Brigade”, “The Draft Riots” and “The Germans Ran Away” there is little awareness of immigrant participation in the war. A few heroes, a few villains, and a lot of stereotypes.

        • Jeffry Burden January 28, 2015 / 7:52 pm

          Fascinating. 20% to 25% foreign-born seems, then, quite reasonable. Note that foreign-born does not necessarily mean “straight-off-the-boat” — many kids emigrated with their parents in the 1840s and 1850s, and those kids who grew up and became soldiers were in many cases well assimilated, I’d wager.

  12. george January 21, 2015 / 9:59 am

    History is filled with millions of “what ifs” and that is a very interesting one. I personally believe that Stonewall would have pursued a course similiar to the one that Lee pursued. Please correct me if I’m wrong but as I recall most professional soldiers of that era did not have very high regards of the Guerilla Warfare concept and generally looked at it with a strong measure of disdain. As I recall this was one of the reasons that Lee chose not to go with this option himself right before finally deciding to surrender and he and Stonewall did tend to be of a like mind much of the time. This was one of the reasons that these two tended to be such as potent and lethal combination. Lee and Jackson both were very smart men. Lee realized by the spring of 1865 that the war was lost and it was only a matter of time before the inevitable occured. His army was running out of men and material and no brilliant Chancellorsville like manuevers were gonna save it. Again this is all speculation, but Stonewall was no fool and probably would have realized this too. The proverbial well had run dry and you can’t dig any deeper in it if you haven’t got anything to dig with and both of these men had sense enough to realize it. Of course as I said this is just speculation, who knows, he may have been so fanatical that he may ended up being the Grand Wizard of the Virginia KKK. Definitely an interesting What If, though!

  13. george January 21, 2015 / 12:35 pm

    Here’s you another counterfactual to ponder on. What if Stonewall had survived Chancellorsville and then was sent west to take command of the Army of the Tennessee?

  14. Bob Huddleston January 21, 2015 / 6:08 pm

    George, Sherman would have been upset being replaced by Jackson.

  15. Charles Lovejoy January 21, 2015 / 6:18 pm

    A couple what if questions I have what if a Union commander like Mac or Hooker been in command of the Atlanta campaign and not Sherman? How far south of Chattanooga would the Atlanta campaign made it? What if the Confederacy had been better organised to capitalized on it’s unexpected victory at First Bull Run?

  16. Bob Huddleston January 21, 2015 / 6:32 pm

    Everyone forgets Lee’s thoughts on Jackson: in October 1862, when the Confederate Congress created lieutenant generals, Longstreet (4) was first, followed (in order of seniority) Kirby Smith (6), Hardee (3), Holmes (2), and, finally, Stonewall (5). The numbers in parenthesis is their relative rank as major generals. Lee had no problem with the rankings and Lee picked already picked Longstreet to command the First Corps and Jackson the Second.

    As a junior LT GEN, Jackson would not – could not – have been appointed as commanding general of the Army of Tennessee.

    Besides, Jackson had not demonstrated ability to be an army commander: he failed to get along with subordinates, although that was hardly a unique problem in the PACS! But, more importantly, he was incapable of delegating authority, let alone keeping subordinates informed of his plans, characteristics that one needs the higher up the chain of command one goes, whether one is military or civilian. Additionally, Jackson’s tactical ability has to be questioned: Chancellorsville against the 7 Days and the Valley against Cedar Mountain. As an army commander, Jackson would have been worse than John Bell Hood!

    • george January 22, 2015 / 9:00 am

      Bob, with all due respect, Why is it such a far-fetched notion that Stonewall could not have commanded The AOT? You mentioned earlier that Longstreet, Smith,Hardee, Homes and finally Stonewall were Lt. Generals. Not disputing that, but none of the five that you mentioned were ever placed in command of the western confederate army and yet John Bell Hood was, who was lower in rank than those five. Not trying to be argumentative but I would not say that it was a complete impossibility given the fact that all five of these generals outranked Hood at that time. You are probably right about him not being a very good commander of an entire army given the fact that he was such a stern disciplinarian and tended to be very hard on his subordinates, however, I don’t know about him being worse than Hood. Jackson may not have had any more success than Hood but I doubt very seriously he would have been any worse. John Bell Hood and Ambrose Burnside were the two worst commanders of an entire army during the American Civil War on either side. Oh and my bad on adding “the” to the Army of Tennessee title.

      • John Foskett January 22, 2015 / 3:50 pm

        Here’s a reason. The Army of Tennessee was a toxic political mess at the top levels as it was. Hood, whatever his other flaws, did not have a personality which would immediately toss nitroglycerine into the room. Bob has pointed out certain “eccentricities” of Stonewall which likely would have resulted in a mushroom cloud at HQ. Picture, just for example, Stonewall and the Bishop, perhaps in the latter’s leisurely breakfast mode at Chickamauga. (No, they likely wouldn’t have found common religious ground, either). Stonewall’s fondness for ordering arrests would have been exhausted in that army.

        • Tyrus07 February 21, 2017 / 6:14 pm

          You oughta read Earl Hess’s new bio of Braxton Bragg. You will do a 180. Professor Hess as usual knocks it out of the ball park.

    • John Foskett January 22, 2015 / 11:12 am


      Those are good points. Lee had his faults, and he wasn’t always prescient in his “hires” for higher-level command (Ewell and A.P. Hill, for example). But I think he had both Stonewall and Hood “wired” in that area.

  17. OhioGuy January 21, 2015 / 7:24 pm

    Ok, getting back to Thomas Jackson: What if his Unionist sister had convinced him to remain loyal to the Federal government?

    • OhioGuy January 21, 2015 / 10:03 pm

      Laura Jackson was a very interesting person. Upon hearing that Stonewall had died she said that she was sad that her brother was killed but that she’d rather have him dead than a leader of the rebel army. She also became estranged from her husband, who as a Confederate sympathizer. You can read more about her here:

      • Bob Huddleston January 23, 2015 / 6:42 pm

        Among the flaws of Robertson’s bio of Stonewall is the complete disappearance of Laura after the War started.

  18. Rosemary January 21, 2015 / 8:41 pm

    Ah, Dr. Simpson. Scientists promote the theory of the multiverse. In theory, Stonewall made it to Appamattox in a parallel universe. What is the parallel Dr. Simpson writing of out there?

  19. Rosemary January 21, 2015 / 8:56 pm

    app o mattox!
    I hate to spell wrong.

  20. Al Mackey January 22, 2015 / 2:48 pm

    What if Andrew Jackson had hanged John C. Calhoun at the conclusion of the Nullification Crisis? Would there still have been secession in response to Lincoln’s election?

    • Matt McKeon January 23, 2015 / 9:30 am

      A frequent question is Why didn’t Lincoln meet with the Confederate commissioners and negotiate,(translation: surrender), avoiding the war. The only way that works is if Lincoln called a meeting with Jefferson Davis, Charles Yancey, Louis T. Wigfall and shot each one in the face. In 1844.

      • Charles Lovejoy January 24, 2015 / 11:01 am

        Question? Would not a negotiated end to the war or a negotiated avoiding of war by the north been a victory for the Confederacy? ,

      • Tyrus07 February 21, 2017 / 6:17 pm

        No way was President Davis going to meet with President Lincoln. Just no way. That’s why Alexander Stephens dealt with it, and by the way, did you notice that Jackie E. Hailey virtually became Alexander Stephens in “LINCOLN”? Amazing performance. So did Adam LeFevre virtually become President Chester Arthur in “Murder of a President”.

      • Andy Hall February 22, 2017 / 6:46 pm

        “The only way that works is if Lincoln called a meeting with Jefferson Davis, Charles Yancey, Louis T. Wigfall and shot each one in the face.”

        As a young man, Wigfall fought duel with Preston Brooks back in South Carolina (“Too small for a republic. . . .”), and wounded him in the hip. As a result, Brooks used a cane. So what if they’d never dueled?

  21. Tyrus07 February 21, 2017 / 6:01 pm

    What if someone HAD given King Richard III a horse? That guy would be the king. No Tudors. No Stuarts. No Hanovers. No Windsors. Instead,,, The Simpsons? Homer? Brooks?

  22. Tyrus07 February 21, 2017 / 6:04 pm

    What if the ordnance team in the Irish Army at the Battle of Aughrim had been sober and brought the correct size ammunition to resupply?

  23. Tyrus07 February 21, 2017 / 6:11 pm

    What if Dr. Josef Goebbels, not then even thinking of joining the NSDAP, had not been denied tenure and given the NSDAP a first-rate public relations man? An untenured assistant professor seeking employment, think Raskolnikov, is a dangerous thing. I got that from Alberto Moravia via Joseph Frank’s intro to Constance Garnett’s edition of C&P

  24. OhioGuy February 25, 2017 / 2:08 pm

    Speaking of Stonewall, does anyone recall what his sister Laura said about him when she learned of his death? Neo-Confederate Fake History likes to ignore these kinds of real facts. It is interesting how siblings raised together in the same house, with the same general environment, could view the war so differently.

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