.. can place his scorn and the contempt of the folks up north on the folks down south) — Sigel brought in to command the 11th Corps when recruitment’s were down– (dismissed temporarily when campaigning began, brought back in 1864 only to be humiliated at New Market by the cadets..he could now remove him permanently). There were most definitely others, but Lincoln remained unscathed. Known to history as the Great Emancipator, Lincoln believed-and often said-that it was impossible for white and black men to live together in freedom. His only solution for America’s greatest problem was for all the blacks to return to Africa. In his Emancipation Proclamation he carefully drew the boundaries within which it would operate, and deliberately excluded all areas in which his armies had control. However, it should be recalled that Congressional actions and the activities of certain generals had already freed thousands of blacks, and would continue to be more important as a source of emancipation.
What Lincoln did for the war effort..was pure and simple manipulation of appeal. He is known as the Great emancipator..and yet who was freed? His Army of the Potomac..out manned the Army of Northern Virginia at Antietam and basically fought them to a draw..it was the right timing for the announcement of the Emancipation Proclamation. A great proclamation hinged on a great Northern victory. Antietam – Emancipation Proclamation was the death nail of the Confederacy. Foreign support would never be realized by the South.
Interesting to study–Antietam was also one of the many perfect times for the Confederacy to exercise some great diplomatic coup of their own. Their army was out numbered nearly three to one. They fought McClellan to a standstill with their backs up against the Potomac River. They remained on the field for another day, when they could have retreated. Lee gave Davis all of the ammunition required for a diplomatic stratagem.
Nothing Lee or the other war heroes of the Confederacy did on the battlefield measured up to what Lincoln did with manipulating public opinion both home and abroad. In making comparisons with the Revolutionary War, which many historians prefer to do, it will be remembered that the future of the Revolution looked bleak until the Continental army’s victory over the British and Hessians at Saratoga. However, this victory alone accomplished nothing. It was very important to have strong statesmen in foreign capitals extolling the accomplishments of the armies in the field. This the Continental Congress was very proficient..where was the Confederate Congress? Where were these accomplished statesmen from the South? Who went to Paris or London and made those governments understand the economic windfall their countries would achieve in supporting the Confederate States? Who was the ambassador from the South who demonstrated to the foreign leaders that the fighting on the Peninsula and at Manassas would keep Union aggression at a standstill? What ambassador confirmed how much these victories would mean to an ally who could trade freely with the South making the proper marriage of cotton with foreign textile mills? Where were the statesmen who were going to bring about a national effort to save sectional interests? What if roles had been reversed? Would Lincoln have freed the slaves in the South if that meant foreign intervention? Could Lincoln have manipulated the Southern population as he had done with the Northern populace? Could he sell share cropping to the Plantation Owners..or some other form of agriculture process that may have or may not have subjugated the laborers in order to preserve the new government? Perception is reality.
He was perceived by the world as being the great emancipator.In reality..who did he emancipate? Lee, Jackson, Longstreet, Forrest, Taylor..and the list goes on and on did all they could do to win the war in the field. Their bold victories were enough to gain an international coalition. They did more than their forefathers in the Revolution ever did to achieve independence. They lost the war due to rigid, self righteous and excessive individualism of their own aristocracy. Could the Confederacy have achieved independence under other leadership? William H. Trescot, a distinguished South Carolina, wrote to a friend on March 1, 1862: Lee..is the only man in the revolution whom I have met that at all rises to historical size. This discerning estimate, made while Lee was relatively obscure, was to be abundantly confirmed by subsequent events.
Lee was not a politician, but he was remarkably intelligent and he grew rapidly as his responsibilities increased. His magnanimity, personal magnetism, and tact might have been a powerful force in combating the South’s excessive individualism and molding its dissident elements into something approaching a team. Certainly he displayed more of first-rate statesmanship than any other person who rose to high position in the CSA (Wiley). What if the South would have realized that getting rid of slavery would have achieved independence? Would such a move have wrecked their economy? What if the South would never had carried the war into the North? At least four fatal flaws occurred in the strategy of the South early in the war: 1. Placing much of their military assets into defending the Mississippi River with large fortifications (ala Professor Mahan the master engineer at West Point).
2. Trying to do too much with too little..the two invasions into the North brought about Antietam and Gettysburg both were not only perceived as military victories for the North..but also were perceived as great political victories for Lincoln. 3. They needed a fine tuned defensive strategy in maintaining control of Kentucky. The strategy here could have been offensive.
What if? 4. Probably the most important flaw..they failed to achieve a successful diplomatic relationship with potential foreign allies. War takes on a barbaric nature very quickly. When looking at the problems facing the leaders of the North and South we quickly see that their perception of why the war was fought was different. An old axiom of war is know your enemy. An axiom for successful businesses is know the problem.
The South believed whole heartily that Lincoln wanted to free the slaves and that their state rights were being subjugated to national interests. Lincoln set out to preserve the Union..that was all. He knew what the problem was and he knew his enemy..they didn’t know him. And really who does know Mr. Lincoln? Some have said, that Lincoln was a man in a class by himself and was unequaled in his ability to maneuver and manipulate.
At the time, no man in America could compare with him in political maneuvering. He took on the best both the Democrats and the Republicans had to offer as well as the problems of the Rebels from the South..and foreign diplomats. He handled each carefully and with great distinction. To the Democrats and Republicans his nature produced a policy which essentially stated that if you couldn’t be a part of the team..you went to jail..thus you were no longer a problem. He used slavery to win public appeal in England and France..and to win a war.
It has been said by many well-known historians and military experts that by the second week of July of 1863 the South had only one real chance of winning the war. That chance was the assassination of President Lincoln. This may be true and it may not, but what if? History Essays.