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Bardosy! Awesome! Where did you find that!? And what else are you hiding?

I'm a fan of ACW. When I was kid (behind the iron curtain) we had a book about Grierson raid (believed or not, the commies thought he was a commie too - this is why they published this book) and it was one of my favorite (right after Bridge too far... ;) ) and when the iron curtain fall and amazon invented, I ordered lot of book about ACW. But when I found this site (historyanimated) I understand much deeper the battles of ACW.

Anyway, we are gamers: Did you know AGEOD's Civil War games? The second version is just published a few month before. But the older one is great too!

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Thank you guys for your suggestion.

About Civil War PC games, what's the best for you?

I played (and enjoyed) Take Command seires and also Sid Meier's Gettysburg and Battlefront battles (Shiloh, Chickamauga, Antietam, Gettysburg).

Scourge of War series with RebBugler's mods. Tiller continued to make games and they are still available, too.

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I have always been something of a US civil war buff and have bought more than a few books, Footes ones included and grants Memoirs as mentioned above. Steven Sears also has written books than are interesting and pretty much in depth, Gettysburg for one but more interesting to me was his book on Chancellorsville which directly preceded the aforementioned doomed campaign.

Someone once wrote (perhaps Foote), that every southern boy can imagine that it's a minute before Pickets charge and the War is not yet lost. Yet I think the war was lost for the South by Anteitam/Sharpsburg. For me both this one and Shiloh showed the future of attritional warfare and a portent of the future 60 or so years where the defence trumped the offence.

The South just couldn't afford to fight a war against the massive forces that the North could bring to bear. If the South had headed straight for Washington after 1st Bull run then perhaps it may have been possible to secede in a form of negotiated peace.

However, that may have precluded a United States intervening in both world wars and where would that have left the world?

It does seem strange from a British persons point of view though that while it was the right of the original 13 states to secede from Britain! it wasn't the right of the southern states to leave that union only a few decades later.

Still, it's a fascinating period in world history and I'm currently re-reading Pickets charge by George Ripey Stewart, which probably explains the whole war in one action, initial Southern success and zeal followed by inevitable failure and disappointment.

Cheers

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I have always been something of a US civil war buff and have bought more than a few books, Footes ones included and grants Memoirs as mentioned above. Steven Sears also has written books than are interesting and pretty much in depth, Gettysburg for one but more interesting to me was his book on Chancellorsville which directly preceded the aforementioned doomed campaign.

Someone once wrote (perhaps Foote), that every southern boy can imagine that it's a minute before Pickets charge and the War is not yet lost. Yet I think the war was lost for the South by Anteitam/Sharpsburg. For me both this one and Shiloh showed the future of attritional warfare and a portent of the future 60 or so years where the defence trumped the offence.

The South just couldn't afford to fight a war against the massive forces that the North could bring to bear. If the South had headed straight for Washington after 1st Bull run then perhaps it may have been possible to secede in a form of negotiated peace.

However, that may have precluded a United States intervening in both world wars and where would that have left the world?

It does seem strange from a British persons point of view though that while it was the right of the original 13 states to secede from Britain! it wasn't the right of the southern states to leave that union only a few decades later.

Amen. It was all "about the Benjamins."

Still, it's a fascinating period in world history and I'm currently re-reading Pickets charge by George Ripey Stewart, which probably explains the whole war in one action, initial Southern success and zeal followed by inevitable failure and disappointment.Cheers

My 2nd Great Grandfather made that charge in the 37th North Carolina Infantry. He was taken POW at Gettysburg and sent to "Pint" Lookout (Point Lookout).

Also had a 2nd Great Grandfather serve in the 31st Mississippi Infantry and then 8th Mississippi Cavalry under General Forrest.

Finally I had 2nd Great Uncle who served in the 4th Mississippi Infantry and made the fateful charge at Franklin, Tennessee 30 November 1864. (while not as well known, it was far worse than "Picketts" charge and darn near criminal).

I'm currently writing regimental histories of the 4th, 31st and 8th Mississippi regiments and its members.

Cheers to you all!

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"while it was the right of the original 13 states to secede from Britain! it wasn't the right of the southern states to leave that union"

Did the colonists have representation in parliament? Did they control half of it, and then leave when they lost an election? Did they insist that the laws they made for the colonies must be applied in downtown London, and insist that the Londoners had no say in the matter because it was a matter of the colonists' property rights?

Everyone tries desperately to pretend there was some moral equivalence in the matter or that the south's position was somehow more reasonable than it actually was. But those who know the actual history leading up to the war are not fooled.

If you don't know the history, the south's position was that if South Carolina declared a man a slave and property, no one in Illinois could say or act otherwise, even in Illinois. Lincoln said their court made that decision, now let them enforce it. The southerner's party then split, and 40% of the country elected Lincoln. The south said they would not stand for not ruling the north, effectively, and left the union, firing on federal posts within their territory, in the name of their imagined sovereignty.

Not exactly the same issues as 1776, were they?

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Jason, I don't believe GSX was speaking of the moral right, but simply the right of ANY state to secede. You add the morality of it, not to mention the dripping sanctification of the northern position to discourage argument. There is nothing written above that takes away the legal right of the state to secede in 1846, 1860, 1861 or now. I'm sure that every member of this board can agree that slavery was and is evil.

With that said, as a new member with no reputation, I will dismiss myself from this thread (except to recommend books or games) as it is clear where this could lead to an uncivil discourse that could be better furthered through PM's or not at all rather than cause a headache with Battlefront.

With all due respect as always.

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... There is nothing written above that takes away the legal right of the state to secede in 1846, 1860, 1861 or now. ...

Interestingly, though, where I live in North Carolina it actually IS prohibited to secede now. The prohibition was added to the state constitution after the Civil War.

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Interestingly, though, where I live in North Carolina it actually IS prohibited to secede now. The prohibition was added to the state constitution after the Civil War.

Ultradave, I stand corrected and appreciate that. To clarify the now period I was speaking of in my above post was concerning the banter on Western Maryland, Colorado and the constant bickering of California and not including the 11 states of Rebellion. I would imagine that the prohibition was added, probably around the time they re-entered the Union (4 July 1868 for NC). Also, North Carolina does have a petition to secede from the Union dated 2012.

Again, thanks.

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JC77 - I don't need "to discourage argument". We already killed half a million men making the point, and we believe the offending parties got the message. But hey, if you want to start it up again, I'll be happy to help do it over, with a song in my heart. And no, your reflexive anti American snide isn't cute.

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Ultradave, I stand corrected and appreciate that. To clarify the now period I was speaking of in my above post was concerning the banter on Western Maryland, Colorado and the constant bickering of California and not including the 11 states of Rebellion. I would imagine that the prohibition was added, probably around the time they re-entered the Union (4 July 1868 for NC). Also, North Carolina does have a petition to secede from the Union dated 2012.

Again, thanks.

I didn't mean it to come across as a correction as I realized you were talking about earlier times. Sorry if it seemed that way. Just thought it was an interesting tidbit. I didn't know it until that petition came about as it was pointed out to those petitioners, something like, nice effort but it's unconstitutional :-)

Not related to anything Civil War-ish, and at the risk of being too political, NC politics today has gone off the deep end, so I wouldn't put much store in anything that comes out of here lately :-).

There was also a move from some town in the western part of the state that tried to establish an official religion for town/city/county meetings. Their argument was something like the state is not required to recognize federal rulings on the 1st Amendment and that federal courts are not authorized to decide what is Constitutional. Civics class, anyone? It didn't get very far, other than in the press where it was widely ridiculed.

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I don't think apologists for chattel slavery should bring up plantations, or the idea of being "gentle", really. It is poor salesmenship. I would drop the references to tyranny and despotism too. Phrases like "appeal to heaven" probably wouldn't work too well either (appeal so naturally slides to verdict, etc). In fact justice and rights are kind of awkward, as well.

I hear that "popular sovereignty" did well in the focus groups, at least until its carnival barkers decided that it meant the people of Illinois couldn't decide that a man in Illinois was a man and not a crescent wrench, but supposedly had to let that be settled by seven unelected political appointees who went with "wrench".

Actually, I'd recommend just giving up and dropping the whole thing...

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"while it was the right of the original 13 states to secede from Britain! it wasn't the right of the southern states to leave that union"

Did the colonists have representation in parliament? Did they control half of it, and then leave when they lost an election? Did they insist that the laws they made for the colonies must be applied in downtown London, and insist that the Londoners had no say in the matter because it was a matter of the colonists' property rights?

Everyone tries desperately to pretend there was some moral equivalence in the matter or that the south's position was somehow more reasonable than it actually was. But those who know the actual history leading up to the war are not fooled.

If you don't know the history, the south's position was that if South Carolina declared a man a slave and property, no one in Illinois could say or act otherwise, even in Illinois. Lincoln said their court made that decision, now let them enforce it. The southerner's party then split, and 40% of the country elected Lincoln. The south said they would not stand for not ruling the north, effectively, and left the union, firing on federal posts within their territory, in the name of their imagined sovereignty.

Not exactly the same issues as 1776, were they?

I didnt mean it that way at all and wasnt moralising about representation. I just find it an interesting point that while it was fine to break from one country, regardless of the representational rights etc, it wasnt fine just a few years later.

There was still a huge proportion of the US population that had no representation. I can think of two huge groups right away.

I dont have an opinion on the rights or wrongs of the whole thing, but the period has always fascinated and will continue to fascinate me. Just like the Victorian Empire has always done. They were entirely different times with entirely different outlooks on life from the ones we have today.

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"I dont have an opinion on the rights or wrongs of the whole thing"

You say that like it is a good thing. Do you have any opinion on whether it would be just for a pack of strangers to show up, kidnap your family and beat them with a bullwhip? Or are you agnostic about that too?

That would of course elicit an opinion from me. The US War however cant elicit an opinion from me. I cant really put myself into the times. I personally think women should be allowed to vote and that Slavery is wrong and that no good person today would really think otherwise. In 1860 those opinions were pretty mainstream and accepted by the majority, but I cant in all conscience impose my morals onto them.

Nothing riles me more than seeing a politician stand up and apologise for something that happened a 150 years ago.

SO should the Southern states have been allowed to leave or stay? Doesn't really matter now as its in the distant past.

However, if say Texas wanted to go it alone now, then I say, yes why not, as long as the majority of the State voted for it, just like here now. Next year Scotland will vote on whether or not it will leave the Union and Im sure the rest of the UK wont start a war if its decided that it will happen.

Anyway, I feel im ranting now.......

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What continually amazes me about the Civil War is how many times we possibly came within a hair's width of becoming two nations. If Stonewall Jackson had been in command on the Confederate left at Gettysburg instead of (I think) Ewell, that battle likely would have had a very different outcome.

Well, paraphrasing Father Hubert, God had to take Stonewall home in order for the blue-bellies to win ;).

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I seriously take full responsibility for moving the OP's worthy subject into a couple of us "re-fighting the, um, War of 1861-1865." My initial post (page 1 I think) was jesting and seemed to be thought that way by some members. I also do not want to start a flame war here, especially in some other person's thread.

Ultradave, thanks for the kind conversation and the kind words.

I apologize to GSX, too, as I feel I probably have dragged you into this. I took your initial post that I responded to not as a moralist question but simply a legalistic question.

I realized that both Jason and I were heading to a heated discussion that I believe breaks the rules on this forum. I have asked to take it private but JasonC will not. He appears to me to imagine that anyone who does not agree with him clearly agrees with slavery, and then paints them into that corner rather than simply argue was there the right for the states to secede. I have not heard anyone here say they shore would like to have them some slaves to work on thar yard. Furthermore, Jason, you sanctified everything concerning the Union cause in that post with apparently no true willingness to admit how disunited the Union was on this issue. Read the diary of the soldiers that fought for the Union.

I will say, again, legally there is enough pre-war evidence that the South had the right to secede. However, I will not be drawn into a situation where I am painted with a stereotype which I must first defend the (lack of) morality of slavery to talk about the reality of the legal right. I will in PM's, but not in this thread.

By the way you may be interested to know that my brother-in-law is African American as are my nieces and nephews. We can discuss this issue and still be a loving and close family in the end.

Finally, Jason, I doubt it will come to anything, but if there is in some way I truly offended you then I apologize. I did not join this forum to potentially be a "keyboard badass" or to offend anyone from anywhere. Do not mistake that as an agreement to your argument, I am still readily willing to discuss this via PM.

Again, sorry to all. Most of all to the OP.

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Getting back to the original question though about Civil War books. If you have read many histories and after that want something for more "flavor" and light reading, I recommend "The Killer Angels", by Michael Shaara, and the prequel and sequel by his son Jeff Shaara, "Gods and Generals" and "The Last Full Measure".

They may not be everyone's cup of tea, but I thoroughly enjoyed them. "The Killer Angels" was the basis for the movie "Gettysburg". Seems odd to say that but the books concentrate on several of the key characters of the campaign and the movie stayed true to that and followed that storyline.

They are definitely not histories as the events are real but the dialogue for the most part (except that which was accurately recorded at the time) is imagined. Imagined but quite plausible. So they are classed as historical fiction.

They probably do more than most books on the Civil War to try to get across a feeling for the thoughts and motivations of many of the main military characters of the war.

I would read these though, after having read a few of the real historical books.

Hope that's helpful.

Dave

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"I cant in all conscience impose my morals onto them."

Yes, you can. And plenty of them had actual moral sense at the time and were acting upon it. You get to live in a world where their morality is accepted by all as a matter of course, because they built that world for you with their blood. Not because of any virtue you possess just by being born later. And certainly not by any imaginary virtue you hand yourself for lacking their moral courage.

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JC77- a true non apology apology that it is five times as offensive as direct argument. If you actually want to drop it, then just drop it, don't get up on a soapbox and proclaim that no one else should say anything on the subject you brought up, and oh by the way here is my last bucket of snide. On the substance, trying to separate the US civil war from the morality of slavery is like trying separate white and rice. It doesn't work, it doesn't matter how often the attempt is made. The war happened because men wanted to imprison and beat their workers instead of paying them a market wage - it was more profitable than justice, for them personally - and for no other reason. When they tried to force that moral monstrosity onto other men in their own backyards, those other men said no, and when the offenders pressed the point, we handed them their heads.

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