Announcement

Collapse
No announcement yet.

Turning Point of the Civil War

Collapse
X
 
  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • Turning Point of the Civil War

    What battle or event was the turning point of the American Civil War?

    If you were to ask historian, Richard McMurry, he'd tell you that there was no turning point. One member of our Round Table believes that it was Ft. Sumter! (He's not kidding, to him it was when the South was foolish enough to test Federal resolve by firing on the fort, thus starting the war in earnest - one the South could not win.) Many believe that it was the Vicksburg/Gettysburg July 4th weekend. Recently, some historians, (James McPherson as I recall) have come to think that it was Antietam, for it was the event that begat the Emancipation Proclamation. Some will tell you that Stones River was the turning point because it was the sole Union victory in an otherwise miserable month of December 1862 for the Union cause. Some might say the death of Stonewall Jackson - I believe that RK Krick wrote a book "The Smoothbore Volley That Doomed The Confederacy". Was it Champion Hill, the battle that really broke Pemberton's back before Vicksburg fell under siege? Here's your chance to vote. Of course, the fall of Chattanooga, the fall of Atlanta, and the battle of Cedar Creek have been given consideration - the latter two because of the timing of the events to Lincoln's reelection. Finally, what about Hood's little foray into Tennessee in the late autumn of 1864? Or is the day Grant took over in the East? You decide with your votes!
    5
    Ft. Sumter
    0.00%
    0
    Antietam
    0.00%
    0
    Stones River
    0.00%
    0
    Death of Stonewall Jackson
    20.00%
    1
    Champion Hill
    0.00%
    0
    Gettysburg/Vicksburg July 4th weekend
    20.00%
    1
    Chattanooga falls
    20.00%
    1
    Atlanta falls
    20.00%
    1
    Cedar Creek
    0.00%
    0
    Hood's Tennessee campaign
    0.00%
    0
    All of the above
    0.00%
    0
    There were no turning points
    0.00%
    0
    Grant takes command in the East
    20.00%
    1
    I come here to discuss a piece of business with you and what are you gonna do? You're gonna tell me fairy tales? James Caan in the movie "Thief" ca 1981

  • #2
    Vicksburg/Gettysburg

    Without a doubt, two critical campaigns, if not the critical campaigns. Gettysburg fairly killed Lee's idea of invading the North, possibly even demoralizing the great general to some degree. Vicksburg was both an actual and metaphorical victory - it gave the Union uncontestable control of the Mississippi, and gave the Union control of the "almighty" fortress city of Vicksburg. Quite honestly, the Rebs were out-thought, out-planned, and out-fought by the Union at Vicksburg.
    Mens Est Clavis Victoriae
    (The Mind Is The Key To Victory)

    Comment


    • #3
      I voted for Gettysburg simply because although I think Antietam was a large turning point in that it got the Emancipation Proclimation (i.e. England and France wouldn't get involved in a fight over slavery) issued. However, after Antietam, the Union suffered massive failures at Fredericksburg and Chancellorsville. At any point really up until the success at Gettysburg and Vicksburg, the Union could have lost without European intervention. At Gettysburg, the South lost a large number of men and morale. There would never be another invasion of the North. I think after that July weekend in 1863, the Confederacy was just waiting out the inevitable.
      Pvt. Bob Mana,
      Co. B, 3rd Maryland Vol. Infantry, 1st Brigade, 1st Division, 12th Corps, Union Army of the Potomac

      For the Union

      Comment


      • #4
        I voted Fort Sumter. As I have said here; the south could NEVER have won the war short of a complete Union collapse of morale. Shiloh in the west with the death of A.S. Johnston and Chancellorsville with the death of Thomas "Stonewall" Jackson merely drove the coffin nails in.


        Cheers!



        Eagles may fly; but weasels aren't sucked into jet engines!

        "I'm not expendable; I'm not stupid and I'm not going." - Kerr Avon, Blake's 7

        What didn't kill us; didn't make us smarter.

        Comment


        • #5
          It is close Atlanta and July 4th victories in my humble opinon. The south could not win unless the north suffer a complete demoralization from continued failure to show them the war was winable. There appears majority of northerns were given Lincoln until the next election in 1864 to convince them the great sacrifice in blood and money were worth the war cost. The political signs were clearly a Lincoln defeat which would mean a McCellan victory. McCellan was a defeatist who would have ended the war and allowed the southern their independent nation. Another reason I voted him the worst general in our history. Anyway, Lincoln showing his unquestionable wisdom and greatness despite the re election serious reprecussions went ahead with his free the negro slave program/ Emanicpation Proclaimation with he felt strongly about. He was headed for defeat due to the negro issue which was not popular enough and no clear end in sight to the war. Then the miracle happen when the war genius Sherman decisively captured Altanta, a major rebel city. Now Lincoln re election assurred and the rebellion only chance to win was gone as McCellan would never be elected presidence. The July 4th victories were not decisive as Gettyburg failed to finish off Lee's army and Vicksburg capturing small garrison but nothing decisive about cutting off the west confederacy which have little significance in the big picture. But taken all together it was now clear the rebellion was now near a end. I voted for Atlanta.

          Comment


          • #6
            Perhaps it is just because I lived in Gettysburg, and visited the battleground enough times when I was a kid that watching the movie was a 3-plus-hour case of deja vu, but I voted for the Gettysburg/Vicksburg July 4th selection.

            Comment


            • #7
              My vote is Gettysburg/Vicksburg. Also the action of African Americans soldiers addition to Union forces turned the tide of the war. Remember both sides, especially the Union were down in manpower. Conscription began to fail during this time in the war.:thumb:
              VonMoltke

              Comment


              • #8
                Jackson's Death.

                Comment


                • #9
                  While I think Jackson's death was the last nail in the coffin, I think the major turning point in the war was Antietam. With it came the Emancipation Proclamation, which did not actually do much, but it did assure that foreign intervention was never going to happen. It couldn't have happened at a better time, either, as Britain and France were on the verge of reconizing the south. If the south had not decided to fight at Antietam (they had nothing to gain anyway) then Lincoln never would have had the chance to issue the document. He could not issue it after a defeat, because it would make him look a fool, and even when he did issue it he looked like something of a fool to many world leaders. The south may have won the war, due in large part to that foreign intervention, after which the north would have almost no hope of winning.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Well so far, very interesting.

                    It seems that, after 13 votes, the events that were being espoused as turning points by historians 40 years ago are still in the lead today. It makes me wonder, after perusing Albert Castel's article in N & S a couple of months ago which purported to put Vicksburg in its rightful spot as important, but not war winning. Many recent historians have also tried to lessen Gettysburg's import because Lee still had a force to be reckoned with (defensively at least) and because Meade failed to pursue Lee in an aggressive enough fashion for Lincoln's appreciation, thus rendering the Battle nothing more than a tactical victory for the Federals. Please keep voting guys, this is getting interesting.
                    I come here to discuss a piece of business with you and what are you gonna do? You're gonna tell me fairy tales? James Caan in the movie "Thief" ca 1981

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Although I don't think the South ever had much of a chance of victory my vote is for the death of Stonewall Jackson. His death occured at the peak of Confederate momentum. Everything after Chancellorsville was downhill for the CSA.
                      Lance W.

                      Peace through superior firepower.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        In this war, general's not battle made the difference

                        From a date point of view Gettysburg/Vicksburg is an interesting choice but when one looks deeper they were just a battlefield occurance with no real change in actions. There were other Union Victories, most noticable Antietam, but they didnt change the course of the war. They didn't change the way the war was fought and therefore changed the outcome. Grant taking command was the pivotal moment. Before he takes command the Union Army had all the advatages but never the will to take the battle to the confederacy until the war was concluded. This all changed with Grant's promotion. From the moment he takes command the south is in retreat in every theater. His understanding of the "math of war" made all the difference and was the turning point. Many more years of bloodshed with no effect could of lead to an alliance with England or a loss of will by the Union.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          I voted for the fall of Atlanta because it guaranteed Lincoln's reelection. Before Atlanta fell the South still held out hope that there could be a negogiated peace. McClellan changed his peace platform after Atlanta. There was no longer any hope for the Confederacy, even if McClelland had been elected. The last eight months of the war were more about pride and desperation than victory.
                          "Anything worth fighting for is worth fighting dirty for"
                          "The journey of a thousand miles begins with one step, and a lot of bitching"

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Based on my limited knowledge, I voted for Gettysburg.
                            http://canadiangenealogyandresearch.ca

                            Soviet and Canadian medal collector!

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              I think that when Grant took command is when the war truly turned in favor of the Union. All the generals before him had fought, lost or won battles, and then stopped. Grant kept the pressure on Lee, giving him no room to breath or recover. With out this, the war could have gone nearly indefinitely. Grant's troops knew that when they didn't return to washington after his firt victory that they truly had the advantage.
                              Run fast, shoot straight.

                              Comment

                              Latest Topics

                              Collapse

                              Working...
                              X