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Anderson leaves Ft. Sumter

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  • Anderson leaves Ft. Sumter

    What would have been the course of the Civil War had Major Anderson, and his less than 130 men, peacefully left Ft. Sumter. Militarily it made no sense to defend such a position with so few men & supplies. What course would the Civil War had taken had those first shots not been fired?

  • #2
    Peacefully or not, the war was going to happen sooner or later. Maybe leaving peacefully would have delayed the start, but another fort another day - it was bound to start soon after that. Shots were fired in Pensacola by Fort Pickens shortly before (or after - I can never keep it straight) Fort Sumter.
    "War is sorrowful, but there is one thing infinitely more horrible than the worst horrors of war, and that is the feeling that nothing is worth fighting for..."
    -- Harper's Weekly, December 31, 1864

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    • #3
      Agreed. The firing would have started, if not before, then when the US Forces occupied Alexandria Va.
      Barcsi János ispán vezérőrnagy
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      "Never pet a burning dog."

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      • #4
        ~You're right Twitter, I hadn't forgotten about Fort Pickens, but that one was pretty much in Union hands throughout.

        ~Janos, you make a good point, & I agree.
        But would History be any kinder to the South for NOT having fired the first shot.
        I believe Lincoln always wanted the CSA to fire first to take that 500lb gorilla off his historical back. Having the Union invade the South would have looked a lot worse for Lincoln and a harder sell to the people of the North. True?

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        • #5
          I think history may have looked at Lincoln just a little harsher for invading the South. Lincoln of course would have come back with the protecting the Union argument followed by slavery. Either reason would have been all Lincoln needed to invade. As with most important historical events the farther out you go in time the more we learn about all the facts. Now as far as your second point about the people of the North and the need to sell them on an invasion, I think there were enough fire breathers in the beginning who would have happily volunteered to invade. Once they were beat back (as it really happened) NOW things get interesting for your what if. Does the invasion of the South (and loss of the first battle by the Norht) bring more volunteers OR does it stop their fire breathing right there and they say let the South do their own thing who needs them?
          "War is sorrowful, but there is one thing infinitely more horrible than the worst horrors of war, and that is the feeling that nothing is worth fighting for..."
          -- Harper's Weekly, December 31, 1864

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          • #6
            Good thought consuming postings everyone, thanks.

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            • #7
              I agree about Pickens.....it would have become the hot spot if not Sumter. A fight was coming one way or another.
              The muffled drums sad roll has beat the soldier's last tatoo. No more on life's parade shall meet that brave and fallen few.

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              • #8
                Say the South leaves Fts Sumter and Pickens alone, knowing that while they can be bombarded out of position, they really aren't that useful to the enemy anyway. At most you're looking at a 6 month respite before open warfare begins anyway.

                Anticipated results......The Confederate forces arrayed at 1st Manassas are still in the same quantity, still green, but more heavily drilled, as the States would have had time to build their forces greater and drill them more heavily.

                The Federals arrayed at 1st Bull Run (the battles are the same ) will be in very slightly less quantity (no raging war cry about US soil being invaded), slightly less motivated, but better drilled.

                Battle result: Same

                Strategic result.....South Carolina reserves arrive at the battlefield 1 day after the fight, and immediately push North with a vengance (after all the US invaded them first). The AoTP loses more troops and does not regain any cohesion till after they reach Washington. Recovering Confederate forces under General Johnston push forward to their brethren and swing around the DC area, panicking the residents, and making some members of Congress flee. Massive numbers of troops are called up by the US.....End Result.....War ends in 1866.....Confederate Loss.
                Tacitos, Satrap of Kyrene

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                • #9
                  Very good scenario Tac! That all seemed plausible; fun to read.

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