One hundred and fifty years

Greetings, loyal minions. Your Maximum Leader notes that today, April 12, is the 150th anniversary of the start of the American Civil War (or the War of the Insurrection as the official US Army history of the conflict calls it).

Your Maximum Leader doesn’t stop to think of the Civil War often. He finds himself contemplating many other historical conflicts. He doesn’t think too much of the Civil War because the outcome never seemed to be in doubt. Perhaps your Maximum Leader is very blase about the conflict; but the only interesting point (militarially speaking - to your Maximum Leader) is how the Confederacy lasted as long as it did. For many years your Maximum Leader was willing to chalk up the Confederacy’s durability to the outstanding leadership of southern generals. Then he abruptly changed his mind and was willing to go with the ineptitude of Union generals. Now he feels that it was a combination of the two, combined with stubborness. As is often the case with democracies throughout history a total victory must be won before the fighting can end.

No matter why it lasted as long as it did, the outcome was never really in doubt. And so, your Maximum Leader doesn’t muse over the war.

Your Maximum Leader does mull over the issue of slavery and how slavery (and the Civil War broadly speaking) formed (and deformed) our republic - even to the present day. Your Maximum Leader is sure that the Civil War will come up again and again over the next four years; and he’ll comment as the moment is upon him.

Carry on.

Bill said:

To me, as a student of the War between the States, I find a number of very disturbing parallels in the US today compared to the decade before the war. Then the underlying issue was states rights with slavery as the trigger and motivator to action. Today it is government intrusion with immigration as the major trigger, though that is currently being obscured by the budget battles. In both cases the real issue was are we a federation or a centralized government? Lincoln started today’s overgrowth of the central government by chosing to use force to maintain the Union. Over the next ten years we could arrive at the same place again, where the red states choose to succeed and the blue states think they can force the reds to remain in the Union. This time it wouldn’t work, as most of the military ability (or any other ability for that matter) in this country resides in the red states. I can’t imagine the parasites of the blue states becoming an effective anything, much less an army.

While I would tend to agree with you on the relative current military efficacy of red and blue - remember that people once thought the same of south and north.

miriam said:

You are mistaken about the inevitability of the North winning the Civil War. All the south had to do was hold out until the people in the northern states got sick and tired of the war and allowed the South to win by default. If the northerners were no longer willling to shed blood for the Union the south could have won by default. It would have been catastrophic for both sides, though.

On the other hand, the Union had to win decisively in order to achieve their war aims.

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