Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Confederate Prisoners

This picture was taken in 1863 on the Gettysburg Battlefield. It shows a picture of three confederate soldiers captured at the Battle of Gettysburg. I love this picture because of the pride still shown by the men. They had been defeated in battle, but their pride was not, and shows through in the picture.

As you probably know, I am a Southern Sympathizer, as far as the war goes. I think that the South had many legitimate grievances, some of which the country still struggles with today. The unfortunate strategic mistake by the South was to include as part of those grievances the slavery issue. This allowed the North to attain the moral high ground in the war, and perhaps inhibited other countries from providing more aid to the South.


  1. And it was really only after Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation that slavery became a big part of the issues the Civil War was over. Before that other countries (like England) were considering helping the south and the states rights issue was far more important. With the Emancipation Proclamation, Lincoln made slavery part of the issue (strategic on his part) and the war focus changed.

  2. England began phasing out slavery before the American Revolution, and had oulawed it completely by 1833. They could get cotton more easily - closer, cheaper, and better - from Egypt.

    Judah Benjamin may have *wished* England would get involved, but they had no reason to do so.

  3. The Trent Affair came close to bringing England into the war. That perhaps could have been the thing that would have tipped the scales in the favor of the confederates.

  4. I think this is my favorite photo from the war.

  5. wow old soldiers. very interesting and amusing...


    my site http://brilliantfoto.blogspot.com/

  6. PJM

    Most of the industry and the money were in the north. The north had the ability to gear up and produce war equipment faster than the south. The south put up great effort, the south also had the better leaders. Robert E. Lee was responsible for the great victories of the south.

    A sad time for the country, the treatment by the north in the aftermath was outrageous. This is when Lincoln was truly missed.

  7. I believe the Civil War was fought for two reasons. The second one actually encompases all other issues of the day.
    First: Unfortunate or not, as a country we needed to get the issue of slavery on the front burner. As it is, we have taken far to long to extend freedom to all our brothers. In fact, that freedom is not "ours" to extend; it is the God given right of every person born in the United States. Our nation was based on that precept, and in spite of that we took years to finally make it so. To this day the vestiges of slavery live on in the minds and hearts of many who harbour ill will to those who don't look like them. Imagine how long it would have taken to get to where we are today had the Civil War not been fought to eliminate the depraved practice of slavery.

    2nd Issue: The war was fought over whether or not the South (or any state) had the right to succeed from the Union. From the beginning the individual states feared the power of the central government. States wanted to maintain a degree of autonomy that would supersede that of the federal government. The line in the sand was drawn when the South claimed the right to succeed because of its differences of opinion. The North (more accurately, the feds and republicans) believed that succession was not a legitimate action due to the instability it would foment in the nation as a whole.
    Therefore, when I hear someone say they side with the South on the issues of the Civil War, I must state that I most emphatically disagree, and come down on the side of Manifest Destiny. As unpopular as the concept is today, I do believe we were devinely destined to stretch from sea to sea and ice to gulf (so we should have also acquired Canada and Mexico; didn't quite make it).Had the South succeeded, we would have fractured as a nation, and I believe would today be in a sad and unstable (or more unstable) state of affairs. I thank God, Lincoln and Grant that the North won.

  8. I think England had reason enough to get involved. I don't think England thought a strong US, stretching "from Sea to Shining Sea", was in their best interest. They had a history of frequently playing off one faction against another to their advantage, in Europe.

    Tariffs were the primary source of revenue to the young Republic and they were also used to shut out English industries. England at the time could make rails and ship them here cheaper then we could produce them locally. Tariffs kept them out, until we were more than competitive.

    One of the South's major trading partners (possibly even greater then the North) was England. Every bit of commerce that flowed between them was taxed each way by the Federal Government, taxes that were spent building the industry of the nation, primarily in the North. This point wasn't lost on the South, by any means.

    A free trading South (no tariffs) would have made the North's levies unenforceable. Smuggling along the border states and waterways would have eliminated that revenue source and crippled US (Northern) industry.

    I think Lincoln basically said in his inaugural address "We can discuss the slavery issue, but I will collect the taxes" (tariffs)

    Tariffs on English goods helped build their former colony into a rival...

  9. POPE GEORGE RINGOJuly 1, 2009 at 6:44 AM

    Check out the film "Gods and Generals". It tells the story of the Civil War mainly from the Southern view.

  10. Such picture always impress me that the combatants were not always young men, and leave me wanting to know more about the effects of their absence in their home life.

    The comments are a reminder that almost 150 years after it ended, the Civil War remains a provocative topic. Consider how the Confederate flag remains a controversial emblem of those differences of opinion. I'm not a war historian, and I wonder often it occurs that public discussion about the meaning of a war remains open-ended for so long. No one today was personally affected by the War, but so many have (strong) opinions about it. Absent slavery and resultant post-war racial issues, would this be the case?

    And if slavery was not present, would there even have been a Civil War?

  11. Ross-from-Maine, England had only to compare the US war between the North and South with their own difficulties with Scotland and Ireland to figure out where their best intersts lay. Both are *still** agitating for independence,BTW.

  12. England always acted in their best interests. But sometimes events have a way of causing things to slip out of hand.

    Note England and the US almost went to war over Venezula during the Cleveland administration years later and that was against a more powerful United States.

    How much easier it would have been for them to assist against just the North by itself years earlier?

    A Naval blockade similar to the one used against the South would have made things very difficult for the North.

    We were very fortunate that events turned out they way they did...

  13. PJM:

    Re the Civil War, you said it!!! .

    Slavery was NOT the main issue - states' rights, taxes, and limiting the power of the federal government were the crux of the matter. And those issues still separate us today.


    Right now, in Rhode Island, there is a bill before our General Assembly to eliminate the phrase "and Providence Plantations" for our state name, because it could be interpreted as "racist." I can't stand it, it's so ridiculous.

    For those of you who don't know, the full name of Rhode Island is "The State of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations." "Rhode Island" refers to what's known today as Aquidneck Island, where the city of Newport and the Naval Base and Naval War College are located. That's where the America's Cup races were held.

    "Providence Plantations" refers to the farms on the mainland. The term "providence plantations" actually means "god's land."

    And . . plantation is just another word for "farm" or "estate."

    Yet, some of our so-called legislators around here apparently have nothing better to do than worry about whether the name of the state might "offend" someone.

    Honestly, the whole thing makes me want to vomit. Roger Williams (the founder of RI) must be rolling over in his grave.

    Of course, why aren't these same people worried about Brown University?? John Nicholas Brown, the patricarch of the millionaire family that founded the university made all of his money in the slave trade. But no-one seems to care about THAT!!

  14. I have always loved this picture. They still have so much dignity. So beautiful.


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