Why did the war take somemuch longer than planned?

Discussion in 'Civil War' started by cameronpalte, Jan 28, 2013.

  1. cameronpalte

    cameronpalte Member

    What factors do you guys think affected the various aspects of the war and make it take so much longer than what was originally planned? Both sides thought they would win first and the war would be much shorter than planned but it didn't work out. What factors do you guys think influenced this?
  2. unthinkable

    unthinkable New Member

    One of the most important aspects of war is Morale.I think that between the blue and the gray,every man believed in the righteousness of his cause without any reservations.For the South they were the last of the American gentleman class,men of breeding and honor,who were fighting to ward off the industrial barbarians of the North.For the North they were the liberators, coming to free the enslaved populations,both black and white,from the tyranny of the planter class.Also,men on both sides would naturally assume that God would ensure their ultimate victory over the heathen foe.A strong sense of solidarity also kept the men fighting.It didn't matter which Southern state your regiment was from:you had a common enemy.And the same for the North.I think too that with the various theatres of the war,the vast distances to be covered on foot(cavalry was not the decisive factor it had been in say the Napoleonic Wars)the lack of good roads,and logistical issues,advances in weaponry which made Civil War battles truly a bloody affair and trumped by the fact that both sides had to feel their way to raising,training,equipping,supplying and coordinating large bodies of troops in what turned out to be long and protracted campaigns against a determined enemy,who was fighting for what he considered his home.For the South,time was against them.The confederacy was grossly outmatched in manpower and an industrial base on which to run a war economy.Lee sought quick,decisive and war winning victories.Yet time and again although Lee beat back the bluecoats he suffered casualties that the South could not as easily replace as his northern foes.Ultimately,the confederate manpower pool was to scrape bottom.Adding to the confederates woes were the need to defend several theatres at the same time with limited resources and the lack of swift transportation to bring their corps in overwhelming advantage in any one theatre.The North on the other hand needed to trade lives for time.It was not until Grant and Sherman that the North found a way to break the South:attrition.Both commanders were willing to grind down their opposite numbers knowing that in sheer volume of men and materiel the South could not,even with near fanatic courage prevail.It is puzzling to many people how in World War 1 huge numbers of men could willingly go over the top and walk into storms of enemy gunfire,and the survivors and reinforcements would repeat the whole ghastly process over and over.It takes an utter conviction in your cause and considerable propaganda effects to convince men to embark upon near suicidal attacks.It is also said that the battles between family members can be more vicious and long lasting than with strangers.Perhaps both of these factors played a role in the agony of the American Civil War.
  3. Interrogator#6

    Interrogator#6 Active Member

    Open letter to Unthinkable:

    Your ideas are sounds, and certainly you have knowledge, but I fear you may be masking your intelligence by your delivery. Sentences need to end. They should be CLEARLY delineated by a period (you do) AND two-or-three spaces.

    And ideas need to end. That is done by paragraphing. This allows the reader some mental breathing space. Respect he readers ability to absorb.

    And please keep contributing. I look forward with anticipation to your next posting.

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