Talk:American Civil War/Archive 5

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You need to change this

I am apalled and disgusted that you have two paragraphs of how slavery caused the Civil War, and one line of other factors. It is because of absurd comments like these that people think all people from the South are bigots and racists.

Did you know that the South freed slaves who would fight in the War? What, were they going to free them, win the war, and recapture them?

Slaves were not treated as bad as people claim. You want to know how a slave was really treated, you ask an Irishman from the South. Slaves were given shelter, food, medical attention, use of tools, etc. Any Irishman of the time was an indentured servant. They had to pay out of their own pocket for the food they had, the tools they used, where they lived, to be allowed to work the land, and any medical attention they could afford. Slaves were not beaten within an inch of their life, because the slave owner didn't want to risk the money.

"In Africa, slaves were often taken by other Africans by means of capture in warfare, and frequently employed in manual labor. Some slaves were traded for goods or services to other African kingdoms."- wikipedia

So, before the White Man ever took a slave to America, the Africans were already using each other as slaves. White men did not go to Africa looking for slaves, they were looking for valuable materials like gold and jewels. Africans sold Africans as slaves to get the White Man's money.

The real cause of the Civil War was that the North was experiencing industrialization and modernization, and wanted the South to remain farmalnd. The North was gaining a bigger voice in the federal government, and was trying to tell the South how it should be ran.

70.160.52.111 20:44, 12 September 2006 (UTC)Chris Cobb 09/12/0670.160.52.111 20:44, 12 September 2006 (UTC)

No one's blaming modern day Southerners. This is history.Jimmuldrow 22:14, 12 September 2006 (UTC)


You people have NO IDEA how idiotic you sound, just reading half the crap you write is pure brain fodder. It's an American myth that the Civil War was started because the North wanted to end slavery, and the South opposed them. It is no more a myth than believing that "Good 'ol" Christopher Columbus was THE FIRST to ever discover America, which he DID NOT. For the Civil War it is a fact, that most of North America had a PRO-Slavery sentiment. Many people DID NOT care if slaves were able to be freed, what people really cared about was remaining ONE NATION instead to being split in two- The Confederacy and A Union. The South wanted to sever its ties to the North on it's own significant reason. Also, the uneducated moron up there who says, "Slaves were not treated as bad as people claim. You want to know how a slave was really treated, you ask an Irishman from the South." I don't even want to know where you went to school, because you have no right to call yourself educated on the circumstances of the Civil War.


Wow! I used to think that the Civil War began due to huge differences in opinion between the North and the South. Then the Southern states seced and then attacked Federal land at Fort Sumter with war ensuing between the Confederacy and the Union. I didn't know that there were tariffs involved and many other peculiar things. Thanks to all of you for taking the time and passion to argue this.```ericferguson

I am really surprised that Wikipedia suggests that slavery had anything to do with the start of the Civil War. Slavery was an idea proposed to Lincoln near the end of the war by northern lobbyists. Lincoln never had intentions of ending slavery but felt political pressures to incorporate these ideas into his actions not long before the Amancipation Proclomation.

People do not realize that Delaware (a northern state) was a major player in the slave trade and for its land area was one of the heaviest populated states with slaves. I have seen estimates that 10-20% of the slaves in the US were owned by African people. Since slavery at that time, and still today, is common in Africa many African slave owners came to America with their slaves and kept them as slaves after arriving in America. Please correct this article by doing research and not just allowing a person from the north that does not have the facts and probably dislikes the South anyway write your articles about the Civil War. Matt Atlanta GA 9/26/2006

I'm afraid you're kidding yourself a wee bit, mate. If you want to generalize teh reasons for the way, you could say 'state's rights.' But one big issue of state's rights was... slavery! Of course there were issued that simmered for a while, such as tariffs favoring the north, the question of representation (the Mo. Compromise back in 1820 shows how far back this went), et al, but slavery was probably the deciding factor. Lincoln actually approved a 13th Amendment to the constitution, which would have stopped Washington from meddling with the issue of slavery in Southern states, but SC left the Union before it could be ratified into law. David Fuchs 23:43, 26 October 2006 (UTC)

This is an argument that has been bandied about since "The Lost Cause" arguments and is a favorite of good ol' boys here in the South to justify or rationalize our discomfort with: a. having had the institution in the first place b. having lost.

Actually, however, there is substantial truth in this. Like many political issues, there are many reasons and different views, and each can have some degree of truth. Slavery was clearly a politicized issue but it also was a real social issue for many northerners. Sort of like historians arguing in the future as to whether the war in Iraq was over terrorism, religion, oil, geo-political shuffling, an incompetent son trying to out do his daddy, etc. But it can't be argued that few southerners actually owned slaves nor did they have a financial or moral investment in slavery. Recall the answer given by the southern prisoner when his Union captor asked him, "You don't own any slaves. Why are you here?"

The Rebel replied matter-of-factly, "Because you are."

Again, considering the current state of affairs in Iraq, history does indeed repeat itself. Esdawg 06:46, 2 November 2006 (UTC)esdawg

In the Wikipedia article, Just because southerners showed fear that slavery may be abolished when the union would takeover does not mean slavery was a cause of the war. -This unsigned comment was written by Birdoftruth

When boiled down to the core issues what you had were competing economic systems. To be successful with cotton or tabbacco you had to have labor and lots of it. The labor had to be cheap and assured. Any threat to that labor was an assualt on the southern economic machine. The needs of the northern industrial ecomonic machine were in wild variance. Yes slavery was at the core of the issue when you look at it because that enabled the southern economic system. Many wars have resulted from competing economic systems. This was just one more. Tirronan 23:11, 14 February 2007 (UTC)

It was about slavery, the south's economy was based upon slavery. It boils down to the fact that they were greedy.66.174.93.99 21:34, 4 March 2007 (UTC)

The article does seem a bit limited in its explanation for the causes of the war. The proximate cause of the war was economics. Surely, the economic differences between North and South were caused in large part by the existence of slavery in the South, but this is not explained in the article. Politicians are known for making public arguments in support/opposition of a war that are quite different from the actual reasons for their support/opposition. Anyone who has read the newspaper more than a handful of times in the past few years should know this very well. (JoeCarson 23:44, 4 March 2007 (UTC))

Well, you have to consider that Southern public opinion believed that the election of Lincoln was equated to the abolishing of slavery despite his repeated statements that he was not going to act against slavery because he thought that the constitution forbade it. For example, the Charleston Mercury resolved that "since the election of Lincoln to the Presidency, we consider our allegiance to the North as ended, and will therefore use our influence in favor of an immediate secession." [1] This argument is fairly lacking, so I think that the article should remain as is. b0lt 00:07, 15 March 2007 (UTC)


Result part. Lincoln fought the war as a Unionist to preserve the union and as such one of the results was the preservation of the union. 18:32, 26 March 2007 (UTC)

There is no question that as written as of 4/20/07, the article is extremely biased. To say that "historians agree" that the American Civil War was nearly exclusively about slavery and economics, other than the economic involvement of slavery, had nothing to do with it is gross cherry picking. Lincoln himself said that his main objective was preserving the Union, whether by freeing slaves or not. How much more explicite does it need to be? And the only reason to preserve the Union so that complete control could be maintained, and what is more basic economically than that? If it were "all about slavery" then why did it take so long to free even just portions of slaves? It was not until well into the second year, when support ebbed, that Proclamations were made. Is that to say that slavery was not compelling as to the ACW? No, but there are several factors, statements, and the actual unfolding of FACTUAL history which states that slavery was not the ordinating reason for the war.--12.28.101.34 16:00, 20 April 2007 (UTC)

John Brown Edit Request

I recently read an essay describing modern history's narrow view of John Brown and his achievements/acts. By the word 'achievements', you can see that I am biased. I'm Kansan, and I rather admire the old man. After all, who wouldn't dream of having that beard? But anyway, I would like to ask if anybody else would like to contribute and help me write either a more extensive write up of his actions here in this article (so long as they have major reprecussions in Bleeding Kansas) or that we create another article for him. T.z0n3 01:58, 28 September 2006 (UTC)

Forgive me, I was retarded and didn't read. John Brown has a good article, but Bleeding Kansas is hardly even mentioned in this article. And John Brown isn't given much real place. Oughtn't they get a bit more of the article? T.z0n3 01:58, 28 September 2006 (UTC)
The "causes" section is definitely a bit muddled and repeats itself in places. Probably more of the Bleeding Kansas article should be summarized there, though it would help if it were better organized in general. -- Beland 22:35, 12 October 2006 (UTC)

You said the Causes section needs to be organized better? I noticed that there are a lot of references to John Brown that might be redundant. Anything else you think is muddled or repeats itself? Let us know.Jimmuldrow 04:18, 15 October 2006 (UTC)

Anaconda minus J.Lo

I added this:

"Yet, in April 1862, Wilmington, NC; Charleston, SC; and New Orleans were still open, enabling the Confederates to import four hundred thousand muskets in 1862-63, when the Confederate Army was losing one hundred thousand each year, unquestionably lengthening the war."

I rely on Fuller's Military History of the Western World. Trekphiler 08:03, 4 October 2006 (UTC)

The Fuller book is not considered reliable for specific details--it's a general history of wars over 2000 years. Rjensen 08:08, 4 October 2006 (UTC)
Is he wrong on the principle? Trekphiler 08:26, 4 October 2006 (UTC)
Fuller is a good read and good at describing the strengths of people like Lee and Grant. a big picture man. There has been a lot of research on blockade and Fuller never read that kind of detail. So he copied his info from somewhere. In any case there is a lot of solid research on the blockade that should be used first.--esp Stephen Robert Wise, “Lifeline of the Confederacy: Blockade Running during the Civil War” COntrary to Fuller, we know New Orleans was blockaded by June 1861 see [1]. Rjensen 08:59, 4 October 2006 (UTC)
I'm happy to take it out again. I don't have the knowledge to support it independently. Trekphiler 09:42, 4 October 2006 (UTC)

Great War?

I don't see any mention of the technical or technological aspects. It was the first war with major use of railroads, telegraph, & rifles; the first where weapons production & the draft were important; the first to use entrenchment & dispersal against hostile fire, hand grenades, & a variety of flamethrower. (Fuller mentions the last 2.) It's widely acknowledged European armies paid no attention, or WW1 wouldn't have been such a bloody slaughter. It can be called the first modern war; Sherman & Lincoln were fighting the Confederate government. (Doris Kearns Goodwin gets it wrong; battlefield victories were irrelevant.) Once Lincoln promulgated the Emancipation Proclamation (a clear grand strategic move), there was no chance of British or French intervention; Britain had opposed slavery for 50yr by then, & France would never risk war with Britain to aid the Confederacy. Trekphiler 08:26, 4 October 2006 (UTC)

A technologically phenomenal war. Code ciphers, spy balloons to detect troop movements, and photography, and ironclads were all technological innovations that made the American Civil War unique. As the war ended, early versions of machine guns were being produced which later saw action as Gatling guns in Indian wars and Maxim guns in Zulu wars.
If you go back into the archives a number of months -- perhaps a year -- you'll see there used to be a section in this article on that topic. However, for each of the technology innovations, someone was able to object that it was used in other wars, particularly the Crimean War, before the American Civil War, and the section was eventually deleted. If you would like to advocate restoring such a section, it would be best to base it on secondary sources and provide adequate in-line citations. Hal Jespersen 15:36, 21 October 2006 (UTC)

Long-term economic factors (graph)

In the "Long-term economic factors" section I found the graph to be confusing. Having "CSA" as an item on the graph doesn't make sense. It essentially says "CSA is 100% of CSA". I finally twigged it was a comparative graph to compare the 100% CSA to the other economic advantages the Union held. Wouldn't it be better to remove the CSA bar and change the title to something like "Propotional economic advantage of Union over Confederacy" ? --Nickj69 08:18, 15 October 2006 (UTC)

Also the label "RR Miles" is not helpful since the measure is not in miles (its in %) and RR is confusing - I know there's a limit to screen real estate but how about "Railroad (by length)" --Nickj69 08:18, 15 October 2006 (UTC)

Anti-Southern Bias

Victors do get to write history, but it is sad to see how true it is. Topics omitted from this article that could provide readers with a better understanding of the Civil War than their political educations include -- the great effort that Lincoln made to appease slave owners -- the role cotton played in industrializing economies (England, America, India, other developing countries) -- the tremendous demand for labor in and the exorbidant cost of transportation to the new world -- how the Confederacy expected to win and nearly did (outlast Lincoln vs. fall of Atlanta) -- how photography captured the horror of battle forever and forgot the misery of defeat -- Grant's experience in supplies and logistics prior to the army -- Lee's requirement that his men cease fighting vs. Forrest's plan to continue a guerilla war -- and of course, the various flavors of justsice, dispensed by the victors, the vanquished, and the victims. It's wonderful that someone is working to incorporate all the various topics of different popular encyclopedias, but it is important to remember that Wikipedia is not sold by door-to-door salesmen in small towns throughout the American Midwest. So it isn't necessary to exihibit so much anit-Southern bias in the presentation of the topic.69.255.0.91 14:35, 21 October 2006 (UTC)

Permanent Link for Wikipedia Research

Hello, editors of American Civil War/Archive 5! I am currently working on an essay on Wikipedia, part of which will feature a comparison of articles of Wikipedia and Encyclopaedia Brittanica. To ensure that I send reviewers articles that have not been recently vandalized or have not been involved in an edit war, I would like, by December 31st, a revision of this article to be listed at User:Chrisisme/Research-permalinks that is not vandalized and/or is generally at peak quality. Thank you! Chrisisme 20:02, 20 October 2006 (UTC)

Incorrect Photo Caption

In the "Eastern Theater, 1861-63" there is a photo with the caption: "Confederate dead behind the stone wall of Marye's Heights, Fredericksburg, Virginia, killed during the Battle of Chancellorsville, May 1863."

This makes no sense. The action at Mayre's Heights occurred at the Battle of Fredricksburg in December of 1862. The Battle of Chancellorsville occurred in the Spring of 1863, and was, I would estimate, 15-30 mile away from the site of Mayres Heights.

I did not correct it because I have no way of authenticating whether the photo is actually the wall at Mayre's Heights (which it appears to be) or at Chancellorsville (which I doubt).

Ed Smith Chattanooga, TN

In the Battle of Chancellorsville, May 1863, troops from John Sedgwick's corps assaulted Marye's Heights, lightly held by troops under Jubal Early, achieving much better results than Ambrose Burnside's army did in December 1862. This action is known by some as the Second Battle of Fredericksburg, although most historians include it as a part of Chancellorsville, as they also do for the actions at Salem Church. Hal Jespersen 16:01, 2 November 2006 (UTC)

The Term "Civil War"

Previous to the age of Political Correctness, the complaints of those offended by the term Civil War have gone unheeded. As the Centennial for the North-South conflict approached in the 1960's the Southern States all established committees to organize the commemoration under differing names, but they never called it the Civil War. Only in the North did they designate it as the Civil War. Even today in the age of Political Correctness the term Civil War offends many Southerners, especially since it is term they perceive as a distortion of the facts and reasons behind the South's Secession. They tend to take great offense to outsiders writing and telling them their own history. Political Correctness is supposed to promote tolerance, but it would seem that PC has completely ignored Southerners' feelings where their own history is concerned. --Clay

Please see Naming the American Civil War, linked at the very top of the article. Andrew Levine 19:38, 4 November 2006 (UTC)
I already have, but I stil felt my comments were more appropriate if placed here. I don't mean to step on people's toes by not following accepted form, but wasn't aware that discussion pages had such a strict form until the comment below. --Clay
The simple definition of Civil War from Wikipedia is "a war in which parties within the same culture, society or nationality fight against each other for the control of political power. Political scientists use two criteria: the warring groups must be from the same country and fighting for control of the political center, control over a separatist state or to force a major change in policy." This is a factual, non-biased or prejudicial name for the conflict and is the most commonly recognized name for the war. —The preceding unsigned comment was added by 24.62.55.11 (talk) 22:09, 28 December 2006 (UTC).

Could we post some demi-permanent guidelines at the top of this talk page?

Because many of the same issues seem to arise again and again (like Naming above), and since often many of these issues have been discussed ad nauseum in talk archives, and since those archives while prominently displayed are often not investigated before some new user gets offended about the choices made, I suggest we establish a few modest guidelines to help the page grow in progressive ways, instead of herky-jerky motion (though I admit a certain amount of hither and thither is inevitable). Further, I think we should post them at the top of this page and keep them there when archiving talk. I can commend the utility of the practice as established at Template talk:American Civil War Menu. Since the editors (including myself) have established some basic "notability" (I use that term loosely and unofficially) and style guides, these guides have helped keep our effort to that project coherent, while allowing changes. The guidelines on this article would by necessity be much less restrictive, but could assist this important and improving pagespace by clearly stating intention to new editors. BusterD 21:09, 4 November 2006 (UTC)

Maps!

Pictures speak a thousand words, yet in the muddle and boring text, there are very few maps that show the forntline in varoius years. As an amateur military historian, this article is very poor.

Another Naming comment

The 'American Civil War' is more appropriately called the 'War of Southern Independence'. The Southern States had legal and reasonable complaints for secession. The Northern States has threatened secession several times prior to this point. This war had little to nothing to do with slavery and had more to do with rights of States. Many do not realize that slavery was not fully abolished in the Northern States until after the conclusion of the 'Civil War'. Many also donot realize that many Northern States that abolished slavery had also made it illegal for African Americans to live in those same states, thus the reason the 'Railroad' for slaves went to Canada. African Americans caught in these Northern States were severely punished by beatings and expulsion from these states. Many Northern States had no love for African Americans. Another little known fact is that the North had accepted the secession of the South and even acknowledged their newly formed government prior to attacking them. This more appropriately redefines this war as an Invasion vs. a Civil War.

Realizing that to the victors goes the spoils; I still wish that history would be recorded with at least some facts, rather than all fiction.

Raymond (unsigned comment left by 66.82.9.83, 15:06, 11 November 2006, BusterD 15:13, 11 November 2006 (UTC))

edit: Out of curiosity, what were those "legal and reasonable complaintis"?

     -Andy

"The Southern States had legal and reasonable complaints for secession." Honestly you're an idiot. Take AMerican History 101, read what the founders thought about secession, learn about the 1832 Nulification Crisis. Try to remember the massive slave-power controll over the Federal government for the decades leading up to Lincoln. Recall how every atempt at compromise was rebuffed by the South for thirty years before the Civil War. Also recall which side fired the first shot in the Civil War. (That's right the Rebels)75.86.149.112 18:10, 4 March 2007 (UTC)Martin

The term American Civil War is the most common name for the conflict. If the article was called the War of Southern Independence, that would not reflect the majority, and would be an inconvenience. MoronicLegion 15:22, 7 March 2007 (UTC)

Would adding the following be a good way to make the article more balanced?

Modern day Southerners think this article has an anti-Southern bias. Would adding the following be an improvement?

In fairness to Southerners, Northerners were far from perfect. The North had a mix of black codes and personal liberty laws. Only a few states in New England allowed blacks to vote the same as whites, and even there, blacks weren't allowed in every restaurant or hotel. Some Northern states had laws excluding blacks. If a few Northerners were Abolitionists, and perhaps a majority wanted a gradual, peaceful end to slavery, some Northerners were in favor of slavery. And Angelina Grimke believed in complete racial equality, but said that the North shared responsibility for slavery by buying Southern cotton.[2] As Lincoln put it in a speech to free blacks at the White House:

Perhaps you have long been free, or all your lives. Your race are suffering, in my judgment, the greatest wrong inflicted on any people. But even when you cease to be slaves, you are yet far removed from being placed on an equality with the white race. You are cut off from many of the advantages which the other race enjoy. The aspiration of men is to enjoy equality with the best when free, but on this broad continent, not a single man of your race is made the equal of a single man of ours. Go where you are treated the best, and the ban is still upon you.[3]

Still, the differences between North and South on racial issues were large and growing.Jimmuldrow 20:04, 11 November 2006 (UTC)

The issue was not the condition of the blacks--it was secession. The South refused to stay in the Union and the Union refused to let them go. Hence war.Rjensen 20:15, 11 November 2006 (UTC)

True. I personally agree. And mentioning exceptions to the rule would add too much bulk. Which is why I mentioned the thought here before adding it to the article. The only reason I mentioned it is that angry Southerners think we're unfair, for some reason.Jimmuldrow 22:39, 11 November 2006 (UTC)

When it comes to telling Southerners about their OWN history you are. :) No one wants to tell history on this period from the Southerners' point-of-view even though it was their States that were invaded and ravaged by Northern Aggressors. The PC version with its censorship makes light of what was done to the South as though it were nothing. --Clay

See what I mean? Jimmuldrow 15:26, 13 November 2006 (UTC)

The proposed addition misinterprets the causes of the Civil War (the black vote was rarely or never mentioned, for example), and distorts the politics of the war. It seems to be the personal POV of one editor, and certainly dfoes not represent the consensus of scholars. The goal of Wiki is not to keep people happy (or equally unhappy) but to get the fact right. 05:00, 21 November 2006 (UTC)

The addition doesn't say the black vote in the North (or lack of it) was the cause of the war. As the sub-title exists, it's only a caveat, i. e., the rest is true with the clarifications mentioned. As for the politics of the war, what is the "consensus of scholors"? Remember that Allan Nevins debunked the myth of abolitionists as a sole or major cause of the war way back in 1947. Nevins said that the positive good theory of slavery was completely developed in the 1820s, before Garrison was publishing his Liberator. Are there any other corrections you think need to be made that reflect the best current "consensus of scholors"?Jimmuldrow 16:00, 21 November 2006 (UTC)

In fairness to Southerners -- I assume that means southern white secessionists; Wiki should also be fair to southern blacks and southern white unionists. To be fair to some group Wiki should explain their position accurately.
  1. Northerners were far from perfect. The North had a mix of black codes and personal liberty laws. Only a few states in New England allowed blacks to vote the same as whites, and even there, blacks weren't allowed in every restaurant or hotel. Some Northern states had laws excluding blacks. This has little or nothing to do with the causes or conduct of the Civil War.
  2. If a few Northerners were Abolitionists, and perhaps a majority wanted a gradual, peaceful end to slavery, some Northerners were in favor of slavery. This has nothing to do with it either. The issue was expansion of slavery (esp in territories like Kansas), long-term control of federal gov't, the right of secession, and the threat of Northern invasion (in April 1861). None of these points get mentioned. Rjensen 23:49, 21 November 2006 (UTC)

Avazina/Clay Carter wanted to say that slavery had nothing to do with causes of the war, and accepted the caveat addition as a "compromise." If you'd rather to butt heads with Avazina for awhile, be my guest.Jimmuldrow 03:13, 22 November 2006 (UTC)

what those folks mean by unfairness is that the South lost. Rjensen 03:40, 22 November 2006 (UTC)

Can't help them much there.Jimmuldrow 03:48, 22 November 2006 (UTC)

Speaking as someone raised in the South, and seeing still some of the ruins from that terrible war, I am better qualified than any outsiders to discuss this subject from the POV of the South. While I have accepted the Caveat as a compromise I don't concede that Slavery was a DIRECT cause of the war as is blatantly implied in the article. Letters from Confederate Soldiers at the start of the war re-affirm the fact that the South was in a fight for liberty from a central gov't it felt was becoming oppressive. Throughout the South they identified their struggle with that of the American Revolution (1775-1783), this is evident with the symbols and historic figures present on much of the South's Currency. The State of Louisiana (my home state) even had black soldiers (called the Louisiana Tigers) and these were freed men, since Louisiana had the largest population of freed blacks of any state in the Union. The impression of the South conveyed, either directly or indirectly implied, by many of the so-called accepted Historians is that of a region consumed by Slavery where everyone owned at least 1 or 2 slaves, but nothing could be further from the truth. According to the 1860 census only 6% of the population in the Slave States owned slaves and of that number only half could actually be called Aristocrat (the Plantation Owners). --Clay
By unfairness we mean the flagrant gross mis-interpretation of our history by outsiders and the persistent portrayal of our ancestors as evil. When Confederate Troops invaded the North they never mistreated the local population, but Union Troops looted, raped, destroyed homes, and murdered civilians and it was all sanctioned by the so-called Great Abraham Lincoln. Now you want to talk about unfair, it isn't the fact that we lost, but the portrayal of Union soldiers as Saviors that really chaps our a**.--Clay

You talk about unfairness and yet terms like "Northern Aggression" and this attitude of the Southerner being nothing but the poor innocent victim in the war gives me very little sympathy. As to the low number of people owning slave, I would venture to guess that's attributable to the average person not being able to afford to own slaves, and should in no way be taken as evidence of some moral opposition to slavery, which I think we can all agree was wrong? Southerners never mistreated Northerners? What about Andersonville (spelled right?)? And I think there is still some sort of deep resentment over losing there, hence the sensitivity to even using the term "Civil War". I think the reason that term is offensive to some is they want to feel they were truly independent for a period of time, thus it would not have been a Civil War but truly a "War Between the States." All this self-righteous digust disgusts me.-Andy

It always amazes me how Northerners and Southern Re-visionists will always bring up Andersonville to justify the North's treatment of the South during and after the war, when an analysis of the facts that resulted in what became Andersonville at war's end can explain why conditions were as deploreable as has been documented. By the time conditions at Andersonville deteriorated the Confederacy was overrun by a foreign army that had successfully cut most, if not all, supply lines, including those to the Andersonville POW camp. Most of the civilian population of the South had to do without, although they still had the means to hunt (had armaments to hunt with, which POW's aren't allowed) and land to grow their own crops (something POW's generally aren't allowed to do in any war even if possible), so even as supplies dwindled, they could, to some degree, fend for themselves. The Confederate Army even had to do with less and less as supply lines were destroyed and the persistent blockade by the North had begun to take effect by wars end. Most Confederate soldiers by wars end didn't even have shoes or if they did they could hardly be called shoes; their uniforms weren't nearly as pristine as that of the Union troops, in fact most Confederate soldiers were wearing rags. Furthermore, the conditions at Andersonville were made worse by the overcrowding due to the North's unwillingness to engage in prisoner exchanges. The overcrowding necessitated the flowering of disease and the deaths it caused; (it should also be noted that many of the Confederate guards at the prison also died as a result of the disease that overcrowding brought on). It is naive to think that Northern POW's in Southern POW camps should never feel the effects of war as exacted on the Confederacy; in short, the conditions at Andersonville were NOT intentional.--Clay

The Federals were willing to continue the exchange cartel, but the Confederates would not exchange black POWs on the same basis as whites. Certainly it's impossible to expect that the Confederate authorities would be able to provide adequately for enemy soldiers when they couldn't provide for their own. But to blame Grant (since it was his decision to discontinue the cartel) for the conditions at Andersonville is insufficient.--Khan Singh

All anyone needs to do whenever Andersonville is brought up is to do a search on Elmira Prison. It was just as bad, if not worse than Andersonville. The camp even had a doctor that claimed he had killed more rebs than any soldier on the frnt lines. And I have to acgree with Avazine in the above articles. The South has been grossly mis-represented by history for over 140 years. That's why we're upset. And the whole, "you lost, get over it", look at it this way. We're the only Americans EVER to lose a war on our own soil. Wouldn't you be a little upset. We take pride in out Way of life regardless.

Elmira was the worst of the Northern POW camps and doesn't even come close to the conditions at Andersonville.

Stars and Bars vs. Battle Flag/Navy Jack/Stainless Banner

It seems to me that having the Stars and Bars at the top of the page to represent the CSA is a bit like an article on the New England Patriots using "Pat Patriot" to represent the club. Wouldn't it make more sense to use the Stainless Banner or perhaps the Navy Jack, since it's the most easily recognized Confederate symbol? Khan singh 21:55 18 November, 2006


I HATE VANDALISM!!!

I haven't been active in the wikipedia for very long, especially on this page, and I'm absolutely appalled by all the vandalism. Is it always this bad? --Clay

It's on and off, it usually depends on the article's subject. Popular subject = lots of vandalism. That's my opinion at least. The admins of Wikipedia do a great job of blocking vandals, and it usually works to a point. I say to a point, because people find ways around a block: other computers, other user names, etc. Overall, Wikipedia is a fun place, try not to let the vandals get to you too much. RobJ1981 06:19, 22 November 2006 (UTC)
Indeed it is becoming more rampant, especially on the more popular pages. I monitor some 2,100 Civil War-related pages, and see vandalism on some really obscure articles, but the vast majority is concentrated on 5-6 major topics. Scott Mingus 11:30, 23 November 2006 (UTC)

GA Review over

In a 4 to 1 vote, this article has been delisted from the Good Articles list, for a multitude of reasons. It might be faster to just check the review, archived here: Wikipedia:Good articles/Disputes/Archive 8 than for me to summarize it, each person voting against it seems to of had a different reason for it to fail each time :/. Homestarmy 20:19, 26 November 2006 (UTC)

Not really surprised that this has happened, since the causes for this war have been hotly debated and contested for years; even the so-called experts disagree. Not to mention that the causes listed are, by their nature, subjective. Due to the inflammatory nature of the causes, as a result of disagreements over what did or did not cause the war, they can never be neutral in content. --Clay 12:11, 27 November 2006 (UTC)

After reviewing the reasons this article was delisted, it seems likely we should:

  • reduce the Regional economic differences section.
  • look up what the best historians have to say about states' rights.
  • add some more references.
  • "prosify"? lists in Analysis of the outcome.
  • try to explain that major historians mention slavery as a cause of the war, and that to do otherwise would not be encyclopedic.

So far, the lock has greatly reduced the number of "cranks" mentioned by one reviewer, and the "root cause" phrase was reworded. The Regional economic differences section was pruned a little and the State Rights section was expanded. More references were added throughout, the Analysis of the outcome lists were changed to prose paragraphs, and a sub-section was added to better explain why slavery was one of the causes of the war, since that wasn't done adequately before.

I don't remember McPherson, Catton, Nevins or even Shelby Foote saying that states' rights was the sole or main cause of the war, and the historical record (declaration of reasons for secession, Southern political speeches and editorials and so forth) when the deep South led the South in secession don't indicate that states' rights was seperate from the slavery issue, but that needs to be documented more.Jimmuldrow 16:00, 27 November 2006 (UTC)

Nearly all present-day historians interpret history from the biased accounts of the historians from the late 19th century when the only historical perspective that was important was that of the North. For decades Confederate Veterans consistently upheld the reasons for the war in their publication "The Gray Book." This book, since it was from the POV of the South, was immediately dismissed, especially because it didn't concede that Slavery was the main cause or even a cause of the war. Even still today the Southern POV is discounted especially when it veers away from the Northern POV, which is consistently accepted as the only true history. Any historical account that holds slavery as being the primary reason or a direct cause of the war will always be inaccurate and subjective.--Clay 22:51, 27 November 2006 (UTC)

I've read (from Stampp, if I remember correctly) that some of the leaders of secession (Davis and others) emphasized slavery when secession began and states' rights when the war was over. We're all trying to avoid bias.Jimmuldrow 15:28, 28 November 2006 (UTC)

President Davis never mentioned slavery in either of his inaugural addresses[2][3] as the reason for secession; although his more Senior, but less wise, Vice-President, Alexander Stephens, never took the hint that it wasn't in the best interest of the CSA to link its purpose for existing to slavery by mentioning it in his addresses. --Clay 17:24, 9 December 2006 (UTC)

That's mostly true, except for the brief comment about "warfare on the domestic institutions of the Southern States." The South wanted the support of England and France.Jimmuldrow 00:03, 10 December 2006 (UTC)

In response to the note that was given with the new GA nomination of this article, i'd just like to point out that you've done nothing wrong by re-nominating it. Homestarmy 18:52, 9 December 2006 (UTC)

Thanks, Homestarmy. I greatly shortened the note.Jimmuldrow 19:26, 9 December 2006 (UTC)

Origins

I don't want to be too contrarian here, particularly given my fuss about recent major edits/deletions in the Abraham Lincoln article, but don't you think this article is going overboard on the causes of the war? After all, there is an entire subarticle on that subject, Origins of the American Civil War, which itself is 83K, and which is listed as the "main article" for this topic. Shouldn't this section primarily be a summary of that article, rather than trying to plow new ground? The subsection of this article on Causes is almost 5000 words long (30K of text without markup), which seems excessive for a topic that already has a lengthy subarticle. Hal Jespersen 01:53, 28 November 2006 (UTC)

  • Yes I completely agree. The Origins page already covers it in sufficient depth, and the causes section could do with some judicious heavy pruning per WP:SS. I'd much rather spend most of my time reading about the war than wading through a lengthy discussion of the causes. Thanks. — RJH (talk) 19:32, 10 December 2006 (UTC)

Most of the bloat is in response to what one person or another wants, including GA reviewers of this article mentioned above.Jimmuldrow 23:38, 28 November 2006 (UTC)

William C. Davis trilogy

Does anyone know if William C. Davis ever finished his trilogy on the Civil War, The Imperiled Union? In the intro to Deep Waters of the Proud, he said the third volume would be called Rebuke the Raging Winds, but I can't find it anywhere online... Brutannica 03:59, 29 November 2006 (UTC)

TOCright?

For many months, we've been formatting this article with the TOCright template. Then a user comes along and changes it, and when I revert to existing style, says this choice is "arbitrary." I have no stake in this and see the page as far more attractive with the TOC right as not. I've certainly not going to get into an edit war over it. What's consensus? BusterD 12:59, 5 December 2006 (UTC)

  • I prefer the TOCright option, although I don't know if there is any rule about it or not.Jimmuldrow 15:26, 5 December 2006 (UTC)
  • I also prefer the TOCright option, although the table of contents in this case is long enough to deserve its own sub article. :-) The Wikipedia policy on floating TOCs is at Wikipedia:Section#Floating the TOC. Hal Jespersen 15:46, 5 December 2006 (UTC)
This isn't really worth talking about here. Said user has been removing TOCrights from all articles without reasoning (Rather than going to Templates for Deletion...), so it's not like there's a reason specific to the layout of this article being proposed for removal. SnowFire 04:00, 6 December 2006 (UTC)

GA passing

As I can tell, this is a comprehensive and well referenced article worthy of GA. Wiki-newbie 21:46, 10 December 2006 (UTC)

Number of battles won by the south and won by the north

Can anyone tell me the number of American Civil War battles that took place; the number won by the north and the number won by the south; and the number that were inconclusive?

Thanks,

Larry —The preceding unsigned comment was added by 71.136.180.237 (talk) 02:44, 14 December 2006 (UTC).

The battles that we track (versus the 9000+ small actions and skirmishes) are listed in Battles of the American Civil War. Victories are (incompletely) listed in Category:Union victories of the American Civil War and there are pointers in that category file to the Confederate victories and the inconclusive battles as well. Hal Jespersen 02:54, 14 December 2006 (UTC)

Possible Mistake in captions?

I'm very new at this and don't know much about the civil war, but I noticed on the 3-picture collage near the top of the page that the captions say to match the title of the picture "clockwise." I'm looking at the pictures, and shouldn't it be counterclockwise? I could be wrong.

Unless you have a very unusual clock, you are wrong. Notice that you have to start at the upper right. Hal Jespersen 16:50, 1 January 2007 (UTC)

Article Size

I've noticed that many of the articles on major wars are far too long; So, I've decided to section them all off into smaller articles. This is a really big project, so it will take awhile, but sometime in the next month or two I will probably redo this article as well. Please tell me if you have any concerns about this, or have any material you want me to leave intact on this page. Thanks! Ahudson 18:42, 2 January 2007 (UTC)

I suggest that you post an outline of your proposed organization in this Talk page prior to making any major changes. As you can see, there are a number of subarticles for this article already. Hal Jespersen 20:02, 2 January 2007 (UTC)
the Civl War article is not too long. Please don't mess with it. Rjensen 20:59, 2 January 2007 (UTC)
Rjensen, please read WP:SIZE. This article is, indeed, too long. Ahudson 17:36, 4 January 2007 (UTC)

Take out the "indeed". The article you linked to says the 32k limit is "treated as a guideline, and considered case by case depending on the nature of the article itself." Do you know much about the American Civil War?Jimmuldrow 20:20, 4 January 2007 (UTC)

Yes, it is too long. Did you see the bit about the attention span of the average adult? Here it is:
"Articles longer than 12 to 15 printed pages (more than 30 to 35 KB of readable text) take longer to read than the upper limit of the average adult's attention span — 20 minutes. An important consideration is that attention span is lower for children, adults of below-average intelligence, and all those with attention deficit disorders (groups we would like to serve as well)"
And also these parts are relevant to this conversation:
"Articles larger than 30 KB (those that trigger page size warning) may be getting too long to efficiently cover their topic. This likelihood increases with larger size and it is very rare for an article 50% larger than this to still efficiently cover its topic."
"There are also technical issues with editing articles over 30KB that often lead to duplicated information and poor structure. Few editors will read an entire 50 or 70KB article just to make sure a piece of info they want to put in is not already there. The result is that the information is misplaced, duplicated, or not put in at all."
Those last two, by the way, are from WP:SS. FYI, this article is 110 kB. Ahudson 20:48, 4 January 2007 (UTC)
For clarity of our discussion, the targets we are shooting for in articles are not measured by the sizes displayed when you edit, because that includes wiki markup, footnotes, external links, and the extremely long references/bibliography. Stripping that out leaves us with roughly 75KB, or 11,900 words. That is admittedly pretty long. I am certain that a more concise article that relies on subarticles is achievable (the section and subarticle on Origins is a glaring example), but we have found by experience that a controversial subject such as this generates huge pressure to list all POVs and details in the main article. By the way, one additional interesting data point could be found, but I do not have it in my library and would have to ask for a volunteer to help: What is the length of the article on the American Civil War in the Encyclopedia Britannica? Hal Jespersen 01:58, 6 January 2007 (UTC)

You seem to focus on the part you agree with. Since the article you mention says that the article should be up to 15 printed pages "treated as a guideline, and considered case by case depending on the nature of the article itself", and given the nature of the Civil War, and given the fact that the 15 page guideline doesn't include pictures and notes and lists, and given the fact that the rest fits on 20 MS Word pages with easy to read Arial size 10 font, you're too dogmatic about this.Jimmuldrow 21:00, 4 January 2007 (UTC)


Any change to the size that would seem like an improvement to some would make the article seem worse to others. It's impossible to make everybody happy. The article recently got Good Article status and major changes at this point might do as much harm as good, if not more. Despite attempts to be concise, the subject matter makes it a problem to set an arbitrary maximum size. Please don't make major changes at this point in time. Jimmuldrow 01:56, 3 January 2007 (UTC)

This article is full of irrelevant information that is downright BORING for someone just looking for general facts on the war. I agree with Ahudson.Celsiana 01:09, 17 January 2007 (UTC)

Don't worry, if I make any changes I will propose them here first, and/or email it around if people want. Ahudson 00:54, 4 January 2007 (UTC)

I think it is too long - really not a thing that invites you to read Janzomaster 22:29, 5 January 2007 (UTC)

I do believe that as there is an entire other article about the causes, this should be cut down. 'A House Divided Against Itself' is a horrible header, no one who hasn't read that speech would have no idea what you're talking about. I went aheda and removed one section that was pointless ('Nature of the War') and 'Aftermath, as they were mentioned in other sections and couldn't stand at their own. I suggest we aggregate the causes into less headers. Dåvid ƒuchs (talk • contribs) 02:07, 17 January 2007 (UTC)

P.S., if its any help, the FA-foreign language pages of this article are 89 and 93 KB, footers and all, so I think that a larger page size is still acceptable. Dåvid ƒuchs (talk • contribs) 02:14, 17 January 2007 (UTC)

The changes Fuchs made at the end are for the better, but I think major changes would be dangerous.Jimmuldrow 05:02, 17 January 2007 (UTC)


After reading everyone's comments again and thoroughly examining the article, I have several more directed proposals to make. Please read them and leave brief, specific comments as to what you think about them.

  • Many of the pictures and other non-text objects could be redistributed to break up text better.
  • As to the extensive lists at the bottom of the page, I would suggest that they be moved out into a seperate article, as in Vietnam War.
  • Also, the introduction is far longer than it needs to be; see World War II, Korean War, World War I.
  • Another thing that would work well with this article is to add more section titles and pictures, to keep the sheer amount of text from overwhelming the reader.
  • Finally, the prose in most of the article is at times very wordy, fragmented, and otherwise badly structured, as can be expected with so many contributors; large sections could be merely rewritten, instead of sectioned off, to cut several pages off of the total length and improve the article's flow and cohesiveness.


Thanks, Ahudson 02:13, 19 January 2007 (UTC)

There's a lot of talk about how long the article should be in kb. That's ridiculous. An article shouldn't be measured in bits and bytes; it should be measured in words, flow, usability, etc.
Applying those measures, I think this article is too long. Many parts of the article, especially the Causes section, are almost unusable to someone who is coming in wanting to know more information about the Civil War. We're not writing a Wikibook. We don't need this level of information. The causes section, for example, could efficiently convey it's full meaning in a third of the length it is now.
I agree with Ahudson, in that some of his suggested changes do need to happen, but I think that they will make minimal progress towards making this a readable, first-rate source for basic research. A vast majority, maybe 90% or so, of users will not be using this article for a thesis, or even a large report. The majority of readers will be needing an article of half this complexity and depth of information. For my purposes, the Simple English wikipedia articles are, while extremely superficial, often more useful than articles like this one. I don't have time to read 20 some pages. I would prefer articles directed towards a higher common denominator than the Simple English articles, but articles like this one are absurd. Heavy Metal Cellisttalkcontribs

Yes, the article is definitely too long. Please realize the fact that the article size is the result of both the subject matter and to answer many complaints about the article when it was shorter. If you obsess about length, the result could easily be thrashing between mutually exclusive sets of complaints. That's what I've really been trying to say up to now. If you make it shorter by shortening less important items (states' rights, the tariff and so on) you'll get many complaints from people that want more detail on those issues. If you make others happy by removing slavery in the territories, for example, the article would no longer be factual or encyclopedic. You're not going to make everyone happy, and it's useless to try. Let me reiterate that thrashing between mutually exclusive sets of complaints is a real possibility here.Jimmuldrow 05:06, 19 January 2007 (UTC)

  • If others agree, perhaps the sub-section "Civil War leaders and soldiers" could be replaced with just the link to the main article on that subject.
Or it could be deleted. There is already a more complete list of significant leaders in the big CW navigation menu at the bottom of the article. Hal Jespersen 17:50, 28 January 2007 (UTC)

As per Hlj, I'll go ahead and delete it.Jimmuldrow 20:11, 28 January 2007 (UTC)

  • If you really want to shorten, maybe the section on economics could be shortened, since that is long and the tariff was more of an issue in 1832 than in 1860-1861
  • Also, I see nothing controversial about moving lists to a sub-article, or adjusting pictures and adding section headings.
  • As for the lead section, I'm not as sure on that one. To those more interested in military aspects of the war and who want the short version, the lead section might be what those people would like the most about the article
  • As for shortening wordy prose, let us know what sections you have in mind and we'll see what we can do to make things concise where there's a good way to do so.Jimmuldrow 15:27, 21 January 2007 (UTC)

For purposes of comparison, the World War II article is 134 kb, the World War I article is 95 kb, and the American Civil War article is 106 kb. Of this 106 kb, 38 kb is on causes and 68 kb is everything else. The causes section for the American Civil War deals with more than its share of red herrings and other issues that cause confusion, hence the size.Jimmuldrow 18:42, 21 January 2007 (UTC)

Well it's long but if you go to a bookstore like Borders you will immediately notice that people who buy Civil War books like LONG books -- they revel in all the detail and complexity and inter-relationships. Compared to other encyclopedias we're not excessively long. Rjensen 05:10, 19 January 2007 (UTC)
following Jimmuldrow'ssuggestion I shortened the Economics section. Rjensen 00:44, 20 January 2007 (UTC)

As the American Civil War is such a broad and heavily doucmented and debated subject, would it not be best to have a short article on what the war was and divide the article into separate sections, e.g. causes, characters, campaigns, weaponry etc. The article itself could just contain a smaller, objective synopsis; who, what, why, when, where etc. State the dates, the factions, area of operations, main campaigns and thier dates, casualty figures and a conlusion. Then the individual areas can be accessed as desired, and thus debated over by topic, providing a series of smaller more manageable articles that can both comprehensively cover the period and ensure relevant and accessible accompanying discussions. I am currently dissuaded from reading this article or the accompanying discussions as they are too extensive for my 30 sec attention span. Apologies. 87.65.39.240 16:35, 9 March 2007 (UTC) Fred

For those with 30 seconds to spare, here is an alternative version: http://simple.wikipedia.org/wiki/American_Civil_War Hal Jespersen 16:59, 9 March 2007 (UTC)
That link is accessible in the list of languages in the left margin of the article; WP considers "simple English" to be its own language somehow. Is it appropriate to put a notice at the top of the article about it? Hal Jespersen 01:20, 10 March 2007 (UTC)

I didn't know there was already a link for this.Jimmuldrow 05:19, 10 March 2007 (UTC)

What do other people think? Is there that much demand for the short and simple version? If not, I'll remove the link at the top.Jimmuldrow 05:23, 10 March 2007 (UTC)

I think that in light of the quality and subjective nature of this article the link should remain, though I would also suggest adoption of the other article as a suitable replacement for the time being. Spite & Malice 16:18, 20 March 2007 (UTC)

I edited the Table of Contents thing.

Table of Contents, it was so annoying that it was under the infobox on the right, this looks much better

Nyet.

Mustafarox 22:40, 4 January 2007 (UTC)

Please add io:Usana Civila Milito

It's just a stub, but it already exists, see io:Usana Civila Milito. Thank you. io:User:Joao Xavier 00:12, 9 January 2007 (UTC)

On the recent additions regarding slavery

As the previous editor noted, this addition:

Southern fears for the future included not only economic loss but also fears of racial equality. As E. S. Dargan said,

...and if the relation of master and slave be dissolved, and our slaves turned loose amongst us without restraint, they would either be destroyed by our own hands-- the hands to which they look, and look with confidence, for protection-- or we ourselves would become demoralized and degraded. The former result would take place, and we ourselves would become the executioners of our own slaves. To this extent would the policy of our Northern enemies drive us.[4]

has several problems. Number one, one source (which cannot be verified) does not equal consensus. Not only that, racial equality was never an issue for Northern or southern whites. The northerners were abolitionists, but they sure as hell did not regard blacks as 'equal' to themselves. Dåvid ƒuchs (talk • contribs) 22:59, 16 January 2007 (UTC)

Just because the majority of northerners did not believe in racial equality, does not mean that racial equality was never an issue for southern whites. In addition to the quote mentioned above, which can be verified, the Mississippi Declaration of Causes for Secession[4][5], lists among it's complaints

It advocates negro equality, socially and politically, and promotes insurrection and incendiarism in our midst.

The Georgia Declaration of Causes for Secession[6][7] says the Republican Party intended

The prohibition of slavery in the Territories, hostility to it everywhere, the equality of the black and white races, disregard of all constitutional guarantees in its favor, were boldly proclaimed by its leaders and applauded by its followers.

(emphasis mine).
The Texas Declaration of Causes for Secession[8][9]says

In all the non-slave-holding States, in violation of that good faith and comity which should exist between entirely distinct nations, the people have formed themselves into a great sectional party, now strong enough in numbers to control the affairs of each of those States, based upon an unnatural feeling of hostility to these Southern States and their beneficent and patriarchal system of African slavery, proclaiming the debasing doctrine of equality of all men, irrespective of race or color-- a doctrine at war with nature, in opposition to the experience of mankind, and in violation of the plainest revelations of Divine Law. They demand the abolition of negro slavery throughout the confederacy, the recognition of political equality between the white and negro races, and avow their determination to press on their crusade against us, so long as a negro slave remains in these States.

(emphasis again mine) and

We hold as undeniable truths that the governments of the various States, and of the confederacy itself, were established exclusively by the white race, for themselves and their posterity; that the African race had no agency in their establishment; that they were rightfully held and regarded as an inferior and dependent race, and in that condition only could their existence in this country be rendered beneficial or tolerable.

That in this free government all white men are and of right ought to be entitled to equal civil and political rights; that the servitude of the African race, as existing in these States, is mutually beneficial to both bond and free, and is abundantly authorized and justified by the experience of mankind, and the revealed will of the Almighty Creator, as recognized by all Christian nations; while the destruction of the existing relations between the two races, as advocated by our sectional enemies, would bring inevitable calamities upon both and desolation upon the fifteen slave-holding states.
Confederate Vice-President Alexander Stephens in the 'Cornerstone Speech' [10] said

The constitution, it is true, secured every essential guarantee to the institution while it should last, and hence no argument can be justly urged against the constitutional guarantees thus secured, because of the common sentiment of the day. Those ideas, however, were fundamentally wrong. They rested upon the assumption of the equality of races. This was an error. It was a sandy foundation, and the government built upon it fell when the "storm came and the wind blew."Our new government is founded upon exactly the opposite idea; its foundations are laid, its corner- stone rests, upon the great truth that the negro is not equal to the white man; that slavery�subordination to the superior race�is his natural and normal condition. This, our new government, is the first, in the history of the world, based upon this great physical, philosophical, and moral truth.

and

They assume that the negro is equal, and hence conclude that he is entitled to equal privileges and rights with the white man. If their premises were correct, their conclusions would be logical and just�but their premise being wrong, their whole argument fails.

While it is certainly repulsive to many modern sensibilities, the fact is many Confederate political leaders felt the Union was attempting to force racial equality on them, and they weren't afraid to list it among their reasons for secession. Edward321 01:54, 27 January 2007 (UTC)


If you simply Google on "Dargan 1861 secession", there it is. Are you sure you tried to verify this? And all the fuss about references when a reference did exist? And more incorrect assumptions about what historians have to say about it? I try to assume good intentions, but still... Jimmuldrow 14:50, 17 January 2007 (UTC)

Also, now everything needs multiple references, because one isn't enough? Or is this true only when someone has a non-neutral POV and wants to shorten the article by taking out facts they don't like?Jimmuldrow 14:55, 17 January 2007 (UTC)

Also, even if you haven't read a lot about the Civil War, how do you go about judging whether something is plausible? Did more than one person assume that Southerners had supremist attitudes in 1961 but not in 1861, when slavery existed? Or that Stephen Douglass Democrats in the North had supremist attitudes (although not enough for Douglass to support a slave code for the territories) but that the much more extreme Southern Democrats believed in equality in the region that would be affected the most by emancipation? Why were you so certain of such unlikely assumptions?Jimmuldrow 15:03, 17 January 2007 (UTC)

Our opinions of what northerners or southerners believed isn't important -- that would fall under WP:NOR. Also, a viewpoint doesn't need to be universal to be included. Based on that, this addition is okay. However, if the source can't be verified, that's certainly a valid reason to exclude it. --A D Monroe III 23:47, 16 January 2007 (UTC)

Now there is a statement by professor Freehling (his book was one of Library Journal's Best Books of 1990) on supremacy as one of the motives for supporting slavery, and a link for the statement by secessionist Dargan on the subject. And to the comments up above regarding Article Size, NOW do you see why the article is so long? People never just say they don't know when they don't know.Jimmuldrow 00:23, 17 January 2007 (UTC)

Um, I'm talking about removing stuff from the article; how does that relate to article size being a problem? Dåvid ƒuchs (talk • contribs) 02:10, 17 January 2007 (UTC)

Does that mean I can make the article shorter by restoring this part of it to the way it was before? Jimmuldrow 06:38, 17 January 2007 (UTC)

I don't agree that the block quote should be there either, but wouldn't it be better to say this:
"Some (or many) southerners feared not only economic loss, but also racial equality."
and then refrence the quote from its original source? This seems to me to be the most NPOV option. Ahudson 16:28, 17 January 2007 (UTC)

As mentioned above, there are multiple reasons for saying you people aren't coming up with good sounding reasons. It started with Birdoftruth saying that one reference was no reference??? and that for some unique reason more than one reference was needed, and now no number of references that differ from your point of view are enough. You're going beyond reason .Jimmuldrow 17:50, 17 January 2007 (UTC)

Besides, it was clearly stated to begin with that supremist attitudes were an additional motive, not the only one, so here's another reason for your opinion that I don't understand.Jimmuldrow 17:56, 17 January 2007 (UTC)

Also, there is a link to the original source, so what do you mean by "refrence the quote from its original source?" Is this also an improvement that doesn't really apply here? And why the persistent combination of people who are very certain they're right and inconsistent or worse reasons why?Jimmuldrow 18:00, 17 January 2007 (UTC)

It does sound as if Ahudson, Fuchs and Birdoftruth all made up the fib that the reference couldn't be verified, even though a very simple Google search would have done so, and added multiple (seemingly deliberate) mistakes, contradictions and inconsitencies as stated reasons for more than one revert.Jimmuldrow 03:32, 18 January 2007 (UTC)

Hey, don't flame at me, I'm just trying to play mediator. It looked to me like you were arguing over wording, so I introduced what looked to me to be a compromise. I'm not taking a position at all on the validity of sources, or anything,I'm just trying to keep people from getting so mad at each other. See WP:AGF, you sound like you haven't read it in awhile. Ahudson 17:03, 18 January 2007 (UTC)

Sorry Ahudson. I might have overreacted.Jimmuldrow 17:41, 18 January 2007 (UTC)

Strong Anti-South Bias

This Article is in no way neutral, the author makes the claim that their is no way that the South could have won the war, yet many modern historians believe that this would have happened if the south would have had the industrial capacity that the Northern States had. As a matter of fact it is widely thought that the south had more to fight for,as well as the fact that the south inflicted more casualties on the north then vice-versa, and with outdated weapons. Also, the article claims that the main cause of the civil war was slavery, when any historian will tell you that while slavery was an underlying cause, the main cause of the civil war was in fact states rights,as many of the top southern generals were in fact anti-slavery. I ask that all of this be included in interest of the neutrality wikipedia requires in its articles. —The preceding unsigned comment was added by 12.45.130.162 (talk) 17:59, 18 January 2007 (UTC).

This sounds awfully like crystal-ballism, which I think inappropriate for this article. Sure the South might have won if they had the industrial capacity of the North. But then you could speculate as to whether the South would also have abolished slavery, given that they were a highly industrialized society with no economic need for slave labor. As to whether slavery was the main cause, I always like to ask whether the U.S. Civil War would have happened if slavery had already been aboloshed. It seems unlikely. Contrary arguments (to me at least) smack of "retroactive pretexts". But this could be debated forever. No matter... — RJH (talk) 19:00, 23 January 2007 (UTC)

Yes, but the author claims that the North fought "with one hand behind their back" maybe Im wrong, but recruiting kids to fight, as well as females to be nurses seems like they were full out fighting. Plus in the emancipation proclamtion, slavery was only outlawed in the rebelling states and among blacks who fought for the north, so if slavery was such a large cause of the war, then why didnt lincoln set free northern slaves as well? (They were there) Slavery was just a part of the states rights battle, the states believed they had to right to decide whether or not they would have slavery. They also believed they had the right to nullify federal laws they didnt like, as well as any tarrifs they disagreed with.

  • The claim is a cited quote by Shelby Foote. Do you have some suitable counter-quotes or material by eminent historians to dispute this fact?
  • The Emancipation Proclamation was a stated goal of Lincoln, rather than a law passed by Congress. It is adequately discussed on the Emancipation Proclamation page. The Thirteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution was proposed during the course of the civil war and passed aferward. It applies to all states in the Union.
  • I'm not questioning that additional pretexts were raised by the South to justify the war. That's part of human nature. But I am highly skeptical that the South would have gone to war in the absence of the slavery issue. Yet the questions of states rights is already discussed in the article. So how is that a neutrality issue?
RJH (talk) 18:01, 24 January 2007 (UTC)

Preserve their culture?

These CSA nostalgists are grasping at straws and it is a national embarrassment that they cling to their offensive federation and army. What a lame ruse, this preserve out culture excuse for the Confederacy. Dogru144 00:11, 10 March 2007 (UTC)

One culture is just as valid as another and should not be obliterated from history just because someone feels like it. Your comments are unnecessary and rather small minded. As for a national embarrassment, I am sure you can think of many more and many worse ones. The American Civil War was an unfortunate event and certainly saw the end of a certain frame of mind, if not a culture in itself, in the Southern states and for that the world is of course a poorer place. Also, did you mean to write "preserve out culture" or "preserve our culture"? Spite & Malice 16:07, 20 March 2007 (UTC)

Civil War was over Tariffs, not Slavery

The main cause of the Civil War was the fact that the North (Union) was becoming industrialized, but could not meet the prices produced by England. Southern farmers could get equipment shipped from England cheaper than products built here in the US (kinda like today's auto market). So the North placed tariffs on products built overseas, making them more expensive than products built here, forcing the South to purchase Northern built equipment at a higher price.

It wasn't until the Union was beginning to lose the war that they promised all black men that fought in the war their freedom, so as to increase their numbers of soldiers. Notice, they were not promising all blacks freedom.....only the ones who fought for the Union.

Slavery was not an issue until the war was almost over. —The preceding unsigned comment was added by 71.98.170.230 (talk) 14:02, 24 January 2007 (UTC).

The poor could avoid the tariff by buying American made products. It was the wealthy who wanted to buy the best made imported products that paid the tariff. Large plantation owners copied the life style of European aristocrats, but wealthy Northerners also paid a tariff. Also, there were owners of Southern sugar plantations and Southern former Whigs that supported the tariff.Jimmuldrow 16:20, 24 January 2007 (UTC)

Let's just say that by all accounts, both North and South thought slavery was the big issue, and leaders of both sections said words to that effect many times. There were other background issues in the years leading up to the war, mostly related to long term control of the Senate and White House, such as disputes over bills for a Morrill tariff, a Homestead Act, land grant colleges, a transcontinental railroad and repeated Southern attempts to annex Cuba as a slave state. All of the background issues would affect which section would grow and gain long term control over the federal government, which in turn would affect the security of slave property. But it was slavery itself, especially in the territories, that got the most attention.Jimmuldrow 16:14, 24 January 2007 (UTC)

I am always astonished by the argument embodied in this section head. Anyone with even a passing knowledge of US history can see what it plainly obvious--that slavery was by far the most signifcant issue of the time, and for several decades preceding. The evidence is voluminous and overwhelming.Verklempt 21:25, 24 January 2007 (UTC)

The reason slavery is considered the largest issue leading up to the war is because no matter what you do, slavery can be connected with most of the issues at hand. Slavery was an issue, but to say display the South as some sort of evil monster that left thier government behind because they wanted to keep slavery is nuts. Yes, the Southern economy was dependent on slavery, but slaves in the South were treated far better than most places. And before anyone trys to bring up that one photograph of a slave with the horrific slashes on his back that every one in this country has seen, where are the other pictures? I have yet to really find evidence of horrible mistreatment of slaves on a large scale in the South. Also, if the South fought mostly for slavery, then there wouldn't have been much of an army of the Confederacy. Only 25% of whites in the South owned slaves. Barely .7% owned more then 40, and less than .1% owned more then 200. So not everyone had slaves. Poor farmers aren't going to die for aristocrats. The average soldiers of the South fought and died to preserve thier home, thier families, and thier way of life. Yes, slavery was involved, but just because most history books make it out to be the only subject, doesn't mean it is. MykeAlaan

American Civil War - Full of Historical Errors...

Howdy!

I would like to point out if it already has not been done so that this article needs to be corrected to reflect the facts.

(1). Civil War is an incorrect term applied to this war to deliberately skew the facts of the conflict. For example, for this to be an actual Civil War the South would of had to plan on making Washington its new capital. The Confederacy had no such plans of moving its capital to Washington, nor did it have any plans to conquer the Northern States.


The Confederacy sought independence from the Northern States for various reasons; in no way did they seek to rule the North and abolish the Union government.

Thus the correct term should be "The War Between the States" which was what this conflict was called until around the 1920's when the text was changed to reflect the new and very false term of "Civil War". I have US War Department books and registers at home that are from the 1870's - 1890's that reflect what the United States as well as the Confederate States both considered the conflicts description to be, which was "War Between the States"!

I can present evidence to back this up.

And Confederate President Jefferson Davis, among other Confederate leaders refered to it as the Civil War. [11] The term far predates the 1920's. Edward321 15:47, 29 January 2007 (UTC)
As far as I'm concerned, thecorrect term is The War of the Rebellion; but Wikipedia should stay with the one in common use; as is policy. Septentrionalis PMAnderson 21:46, 6 February 2007 (UTC)

(2). Reason for war and succession between the Northern and Southern States was not slavery. This was a hot topic during the war, but did not lead to the war, the main reason for the war was Nullification.

Here is my logic, out of the 15 Southern States and Territories, only 4 listed slavery as a reason for secession in their grievances against the United States (Mississippi, Georgia, South Carolina, and Texas). The other 11 States made no such comment in their articles of Secession,

The 4 states listed are the only 4 to list their reasons in State Declarations of Causes for Secession. All listed slavery as one of those reasons. (see my previous linkage). In their Ordinances of Secession [12] Alabama, Texas, and Virgiana said they were joining or wished to form an organization of 'slave-holding States'. The Confederate flag included stars for all slave states, even those that did not secede, and the Confedracy tried to invade and annex those slave states that did not secede. Edward321 15:47, 29 January 2007 (UTC)

also the CSA banned slavery shortly after the Emancipation Proclamation anyway. Thus if slavery was the main purpose for the war, then the war should had ceased at this point.

The Confederacy not only never banned slavery, banning it was grossly illegal by their own Constitution. [13].Edward321 15:47, 29 January 2007 (UTC)

In addition to these facts the State of Delaware did not ratify the 13th Amendment to the US Constitution until 1910 and had slaved way after 1865. Thus if this war was only over slavery then the Union should had sent troops into Delaware to abolish slavery in that state as well.

To back up this point the States of Kentucky and Mississippi also rejected the 13th Amendment in 1865, the State of Kentucky ratified the amendment in the 1970's and Mississippi finally ratified the amendment in the 1990's; thus yet again if the bloodiest war to be ever fought on US soil was fought solely over slavery then how come not one Union solider was sent to free the slaves?

Just because Delaware, Kentucky and Mississippi did not ratify it, until later did not prevent the 13th amendment from becoming law for all of the United States. Their slaves were freed at that time.Edward321 15:47, 29 January 2007 (UTC)

The final piece of evidence in the remarks of ole Abe himself over slavery, in which he commented that "If he could of freed no slaves and won then the war then he would of done it, etc." These remarks came from the horses mouth and can not be over looked. Abe clearly says that he did not fight over slavery, his fight was to squash the rebellion and bring the Union back together at any cost.

This says that Lincoln considered preserving the Union a higher priority than ending slavery. It says nothing about why Confederate political leaders attmpted to secede. Edward321 01:57, 30 January 2007 (UTC)

(3). Wikipedia needs to add that the Confederate States of America still lasts to this day, as a nation under occupation in the similar way Ukraine did under Soviet occupation, and Poland did under German occupation (not trying to make the US sound bad, nor compare it too the Nazis or Soviets, just could not think of any other occupied nations off the top of my head).

If I'm wrong please correct me, but last time I did research the Confederate Government issued no surrender to the Union, thus much like many other nations, the nation of Dixie still exists, just under Union occupation.

By that logic, the Roman Empire never surrendered to the barbarians, thus it still exists. Besides, accepting a formal surrender from the Confederate government would be granting it legitimacy, which the Lincoln administration never did. Edward321 01:57, 30 January 2007 (UTC)

No many may argue that the CSA was never officially recognized by another nation, which is incorrect. The Holy State of the Vatican recognized the CSA, its people, and its leadership, in a letter from the Pope to then President Jefferson Davis.

The Pope only wrote a letter saying he would pray for peace. That's far from recognizing the CSA. Edward321 01:57, 30 January 2007 (UTC)

(4). No where in this article does it mention the plight of the Black Confederate soldiers which have been discriminated against by the US Government for the past 130+ years.

I'd rather like to meet these 145+ year old black Confederate veterans. Edward321 01:57, 30 January 2007 (UTC)

There is evidence which shows where Union officials doctored records following the war to cover up the existence of these brave Southern warriors.

Then please provide such 'evidence'. Edward321 01:57, 30 January 2007 (UTC)

In closing, while this article is good and covers a lot of history which was left out, I feel that Wikipedia needs to add a bold and bright column explaining that this war was not a "Civil War", and this war was not fought over slavery.

I would also like to personally add that the Confederacy and the battle flag were not intended to be symbols of slavery and oppression, and thanks to US government propaganda machine and the ignorance of Nathan Bedford Forest and his Klan these symbols have become symbols of slavery and oppression.

Thus with this in mind the Confederacy and its symbols are no different then the religion of Islam which has also been hijacked by fascist whom have bastardized its intended purpose to promote racism, hate, violence and ignorance.

We will never truly banish racism until we reinforce the truth and eliminate the Klan's power in the South which is all built on a hill of lies. —The preceding unsigned comment was added by PBFloyd (talkcontribs) 14:51, 29 January 2007 (UTC).

Your knowledge of US history appears to derive from neo-Confederate propaganda. Suggest you read a bit more widely, focusing on recent works by professional historians instead.Verklempt 00:31, 30 January 2007 (UTC)

This article's description of a historical event seems deeply partisan and references limited sources. Sugggest contributors expand their reading list, focusing on older works by eyewitness and professional historians instead. The overreliance on McPherson alone should destroy any historical merit this article may have. Underreferencing is also a serious problem. The number of primary sources in existence are more than enough to rely on, supported by authors of Catton's era (also notably undersourced) and earlier. There should be no need to rely so heavily on some of the more recent, and more partisan works, that this article relies on; the majority of sources originating from the post 1960s era. The section on slavery is too large while the other causes for the war are only briefly glossed over. In fact, the talk of slavery throughout the article dwarfs even the section on the actual combat. The predominance of slavery and slavery related issues reveals a deep-seated bias that, as a result, impinges so heavily on the article so as to remove any historical merit, reading more like propaganda than a historical work. This article should have its "GA" status revoked, if it is not completely removed from Wikipedia. The historical quality of this article is unnacceptable. Spite & Malice 13:36, 20 March 2007 (UTC)

"toolong" tag

Rjensen, this tag should be here; even if the regular editors know that the article is too long, if the tag is there, more experienced editors may come in and help as well. If the tag is not there, however, it won't be categorized as such, and the article will remain in its extended status for longer that otherwise. Ahudson 23:19, 5 February 2007 (UTC)

There might be more inexperienced editors here as well as a result of the tag, as happened once before even without the tag.Jimmuldrow 03:26, 6 February 2007 (UTC)

Also, there should be a more standard policy for articles that are long because of the subject matter, as opposed to some other reason. Did I mention that the World War II article is 133kb? Even a smaller war like the Korean War is 94kb, which is almost as long as the Civil War article. Shouldn't the subject matter be a factor? I think it should.Jimmuldrow 23:40, 6 February 2007 (UTC)


Threat of international intervention

The British never entered the war as a nation, but many individuals served in both armies, most of them in the Confederate Army. There were never many of them but they were noted for their previous military service and often became leaders. One member of a Union unit wrote home: The Corporal of our detachment is an Englishman and celebrates today as the anniversary of 'Inkerman'2 and wears his medals on his jacket, including the Victoria Cross with silver bars3, possibly the greatest honour an Englishman can earn. He was Sergeant Major in the Rifle Brigade and I can assure you he is by far the best soldier in our company. I find it worthy of mention that there are about 20 Englishmen in our Company (about a fifth) and although we are small in proportion, every Sergeant is English excepting the Quartermaster Sergeant who is Scots. British nationals in the Union Army won 67 Congressional Medals of Honor4 during the Civil War. Many who fought for the Confederacy were undocumented, but a number of senior officers were British. As ever in fields of battle, there was a generous representation from Ireland, including General Patrick Cleburne of the Confederate Army, born in Cork, commanding a division in the Army of Tennessee. He too had served in the British Army, the 41st Regiment of Foot, in which he reached the rank of Corporal.

Dab182 14:09, 7 February 2007 (UTC)

Is this article really too long?

I looked very briefly through a few random Wikipedia history articles that are currently Featured Articles. Many of them were more than 32kb, and the Byzantine Empire article is longer the the American Civil War article at 113kb. The Alcibiades article is almost as long at 89kb, and the same is true of the Demosthenes article at 86kb. The Columbine High School Massacre article was about a much smaller incident than the civil war and is a Featured Article at 67kb. This is from checking a few random samples that represent a small fraction of those listed.Jimmuldrow 18:47, 7 February 2007 (UTC)

I would say @ 113k this needs to be summerized and taken to sub pages. There is a reason for this and we need to respect that recommendation. The other articles should be as well and I am beinging to work on something for the Waterloo article for the same reason. One of the parts that just screams for the treatment is the reasons subsection Tirronan 00:27, 16 February 2007 (UTC)

It would be better if they came up with some sort of consistent policy for this sort of thing. I thought the policies for Featured Articles were tightened up quit a bit from before, and enough of them are long. Why such inconsistencies?Jimmuldrow 01:26, 17 February 2007 (UTC)

Good Article Review

I am asking that this article be reviewed for the following reasons:
1. Historical inaccuracies are rife.
2. The article relies on one source (McPherson) for 39% of all references.
3. The article makes little to no use of some of the more established Civil War historians from the post war era using predominantly post 1960 authors.
4. The article makes little use of eyewitness accounts and official documentation of which there is an extensive amount.
5. Many of the comments are without reference.
6. The author/s have taken a heavily partisan point-of-view and not retained an objective stance on a highly debated and potentially sensitive subject; using their knowldege of the period solely to support their social opinions as opposed to providing a factual and comprehensive article on a period of history.
7. There are still grammatical errors.
8. The article has ommitted or glossed over key aspects of the conflict.
Spite & Malice 14:58, 20 March 2007 (UTC)

I made the following response on the Good Article Review page.
  • Oppose delisting After having reviewed the request for reconsideration, the Talk Page and the article itself, I have been unable to find support for the various charges against the article. Responding point by point:
1. Historical inaccuracies are rife.
No specifics are offered. This seems to be in reference to claims of an anti-Southern bias based largely on references to slavery as the primary factor leading to secession and the war. The scholarship is clear on this issue and there has been no attempt to introduce other sources that dispute this. The article references a separate article Timeline of events that notes the major events leading up to the Civil War – I believe folks would be hard-pressed to come up with non-slavery related issues that should be included on that list.
2. The article relies on one source (McPherson) for 39% of all references.
McPherson’s “Battle Cry of Freedom” is still considered, as far as I know, the best single volume work on the Civil War and its origins. If you go through the footnotes one by one you will see that almost all relate to uncontroversial factual issues (i.e. Confederate capital moved to Richmond, Scott’s strategy referred to as the Anaconda Plan, Federal troops advance was halted at Bull Run, etc.). A review of the section of the article involving origins of the Civil War has only a few references attributed to McPherson – in fact it appears an excellent mix of primary and secondary sources has been used in this section.
3. The article makes little to no use of some of the more established Civil War historians from the post war era using predominantly post 1960 authors.
The implication of this is that substantial factual material has been intentionally or otherwise omitted from the works of Civil War historians for the last two score and seven years. Absent some particular reason to suspect some sort of conspiracy, I would think that an encyclopedia would emphasize recent scholarship. The originator of this reconsideration request mentioned on the Talk Page the exclusion of “authors of [Bruce] Catton's era”. In fact, on most issues (including the importance of slavery as a cause of the war), Catton varies very little from McPherson et al. David Potter, Allan Nevins, and Don Fehrenbacher, for example, are roughly in Catton’s generation or slightly earlier and they differ very little from McPherson et al on the causes of the war.
4. The article makes little use of eyewitness accounts and official documentation of which there is an extensive amount.
The documentation is appropriate for the scope of the article. When quotes are used they appropriately blend in and add color consistent with the overall narrative. By the very nature of the article in particular and encyclopedia articles in general, it is to be expected that the article will be based heavily on secondary sources.
5. Many of the comments are without reference.
It appears from my review that every significant paragraph is properly (possibly excessively) footnoted.
6. The author/s have taken a heavily partisan point-of-view and not retained an objective stance on a highly debated and potentially sensitive subject; using their knowldege of the period solely to support their social opinions as opposed to providing a factual and comprehensive article on a period of history.
I can only assume that the reference is again to the origins of the war and slavery. The article presents a fair representation on the current consensus that has existed among history professionals for decades. The alternative Lost Cause version of history has been given its separate article on Wikipedia.
7. There are still grammatical errors.
Significant ones? It seems the proper action would be to correct them.
8. The article has ommitted or glossed over key aspects of the conflict.
Within the scope of a general article on such a broad subject in which so much has been written, it seems that the coverage is appropriate.
Tom (North Shoreman) 17:48, 20 March 2007 (UTC)

As a historian I am not impressed by this article, and slightly offended by the way in which it fails to retain an objective stance on an issue which has, in time, become one of the most subjectively debated. There are of course the CSA nostalgists, but there are also the USA enthusiasts. The problem with this period of history is that too often it is viewed from one of these camps. My books and notes on the American Civil War are, unfortuneately, a very long way away and I cannot propose changes until I am back with my library. If the Wikipedia community, of which I only became a part of to preserve the historical integrity of this very article, sees fit to leave the article as it is, then I will not question the well read people who created this article, merely propose changes. Thank you very much for listening to what I had to say, and thank you to everybody who has had an input into this article. Spite & Malice 08:32, 21 March 2007 (UTC)

I think the number of references you mention for McPherson are due to the fact that, for major battles, it's arbitrary as to whether the reference is from McPherson or Catton or Foote. It really doesn't matter much which is used. As for older historians, I read Nevins 8 volumes on the war, and Foote's 3000 page account (most of it twice), many books by Catton and so on. There's nothing wrong with the older histories, and we're aware of them. I don't think anyone is trying to be biased.Jimmuldrow 14:00, 21 March 2007 (UTC)

Also, I'm not sure that the best historians of the Catton era (like Catton, for example) are CSA nostalgists.Jimmuldrow 14:19, 21 March 2007 (UTC)

In the GA review you said that America has "two heavily partisan camps of 'historians' constantly pushing thier own agendas and threatening to tear history to shreds." Is this true of the major historians? Are you saying that we should count "The South was Right!" as being on the same level as Nevins, Potter, McPherson and so forth?Jimmuldrow 14:25, 21 March 2007 (UTC)

Of course it is. There are very few historians in the world who find themselves capable of writing an entirely objective history, and must fall into one of the two camps.
Catton is obviously not a CSA nostalgist. His work is written predominantly from the Union point of view. He is, I suppose, a USA nostalgist. There do, however, exist books that come close to the quality and skill written from the more CSA nostalgist party, and these must not be ignored. It is essential to study both sides of an argument in a historical context, otherwise your article, as it is in this case, will be redundant.
My main gripe is how heavily slavery is mentioned. The war is covered in one chapter and six measly subheadings. Slavery is directly mentioned in the titles of six subheadings and also has its own chapter heading. It is also mentioned, at times most excessively, in most if not all of the article. Damn it, the overview of the war splits it into ridiculous time periods, not even a campaign, let alone a battle, is granted the same privilege as even an issue as insignificant as Uncle Tom's Cabin (with its own subheading). I really couldn't care if this article is changed or not. Please just answer me, is this article about the American Civil "War" or slavery? Thank you anyway for taking the time to reply. Spite & Malice 15:00, 21 March 2007 (UTC)

When I said "of course it is" i wasnt referring to "The South was Right!". Your example was just taking the mickey. There are far less partisan works. It is easier to be partisan from the victor's perspective and get away with it than it is to be honest from the objective or the losing side. Spite & Malice 15:06, 21 March 2007 (UTC)

Then what are some first class examples?Jimmuldrow 15:31, 21 March 2007 (UTC)

I have a list of sources back home. One which should be included in any American Civil War history and is not here is Battles and Leaders. I can't think of many historians who haven't referenced it in a historical work. Except, of course, here. Sheridan in the Shenandoah wasn't a bad one for the valley campaigns. Clifford Dowdey did a fine one. The name escapes me. I'll give you a full list when I get home. I'm dodging work for you matey! Spite & Malice 15:46, 21 March 2007 (UTC)

GA review

Uncle Tom's cabin

There is no need for this part, so I have erased . Lokinjo 14:40, 27 March 2007 (UTC)

You also erased John Brown's raid, Military factors, Analysis of the outcome and so on.Jimmuldrow 17:05, 27 March 2007 (UTC)

Interesting side note: Harriet Stowe had never in her life set foot in the South or on a plantation. MykeAlaan

John Brown's Initial Fame -- There was a broadway musical

John Brown's first fame, before the Pottawatomie killings, was his defense of Ossawatomie, Kansas, from Missouri Border Ruffians. Forgive my spelling, if I've gotten it wrong. I know there was a musical, "Ossawatomie Brown," or of some similar title, made just weeks later, celebrating his valiant defense against the raid. It seems relevant to the section on Brown and Kansas. —The preceding unsigned comment was added by 161.253.23.172 (talk) 21:40, 28 March 2007 (UTC).

new bibliography

I've been working on a new bibliography as a companion for this article, American Civil War Bibliography, culling titles from the relevant Wiki articles and also recent books. Comments and advice appreciated. Rjensen 12:12, 31 March 2007 (UTC)

Excellent. I have long thought that this is an appropriate way to reduce the size of the main article. I was concerned that others (like you know who) would object. Now the main article can list only its References and point to this bibliography. I think it would also be appropriate to do this for Ulysses S. Grant. Hal Jespersen 16:26, 31 March 2007 (UTC)
I'm also setting up Reconstruction: Bibliography. However the bibliography on the Am Civil War is about right for people studying this huge event. What I suggest is move all the lists of movies and novels. Rjensen 16:50, 31 March 2007 (UTC)
For those people who are interested in study, rather than simply reading the article, a simple mouse click will take them to your big list and it does not need to be duplicated here, particularly since everyone complains about the length of the article. Wikipedia articles are structured so that the References section lists the works that were actually used in creating the article. There is a standard header, Further reading, which can be used to suggest additional books. (Admittedly, this is not the way most academic or popular books are written, but this is not a book, this is an online encyclopedia in which particular attention is paid to verifiability. Mixing the actual references with a blizzard of other books is a disservice to the reader who wishes to know the provenance of the information of the article.)
I just started a little exercise of figuring out which of the References in the current article were actually used, based on footnote citations. I was shocked to find that virtually none of the footnotes actually refer to books that are listed in the References section. McPherson is the most prominent counterexample, but that is only one book of many. There are numerous books listed in footnotes that merely give the name of the author, sometimes a title, and a page number. There are many others that refer to historical documents and speeches, but give no citation as to the secondary source where they were found. This project, which I thought would be easy, will represent a lot of work. Hal Jespersen 17:04, 31 March 2007 (UTC)
I believe that nearly ALL the books listed here were used in writing the article. Users need both a short bibliography (here) and a long one (in the Am Civ War: Bibliog article). Rjensen 20:49, 31 March 2007 (UTC)
I will accept your claim at face value and keep my hands off. This article is so verbose, sloppily referenced, and unnecessarily controversial that I have really spent very little time editing it recently. Too many cooks are spoiling the soup. Hal Jespersen 23:03, 31 March 2007 (UTC)

John Brown

I added a citation request for the claim that most scholarship regarded him as a bloodthirsty madman. Two sources, both available online, were provided. One is an anonymous book review [14] in Publisher Weekly, which is where the claim is taken from word by word, and which cites books by S.B.Boyer and R.O.Oates as an example showing that. The other is an article by Ken Chowder [15], which, while calling Brown "the father of American terrorism", also cites those same works by Boyer and Oates as ones where "John Brown the hero re-emerged". "Boyer, in particular, clearly admired him: at bottom Brown "was an American who gave his life that millions of other Americans might be free". Chowder also cites and quotes a number of other historians who have a more favourable opinion of Brown, e.g. Paul Finkelman. He takes time to refute the arguments that Brown was a madman. So that article actually appears to disprove the statement from the book review that has been included in the article. Thus, I think that the text should be changed to a more balanced version.

And BTW, in case I am making that impression - I, personally, do not approve of killing unarmed civilians, not even for the cause of the abolition of slavery. :) --Anonymous44 03:43, 3 April 2007 (UTC)

Anonymous44 is mixing two somewhat different issues--1) was Brown a zealous, bloodthirsty terrorist , and 2) is that good or bad. Historians nearly all agree "yes" on point #1, and disagree on point #2. Note that Chowder did not merely mention terrorism in passing; that is his title and main theme. (#3 is whether he was mad/insane--that seems to be open to debate but is not the main issue.) Chowder set the paradox: "Americans still revere him as a martyr and loath him as a fanatical murdered. What was he?" Wiki is supposed to let the readers decide for themselves. Rjensen 12:27, 3 April 2007 (UTC)
Clever :), but let's be frank. First of all, you know very well that these terms are so emotionally loaded that they eventually do mean "it is bad", and indeed the current wording presents glorifiers as the opposite of those who use these terms. "Zealot" is OK, but the rest can be expressed in words that do not include personal judgement. "Madman" is part of the statement you're including, so it is part of the main issue. "Bloodthirsty" is also a very emotional term and it is hard to define rationally, but appears to suggest a groundless desire to kill and cruelty for cruelty's sake - and of course, ascribing these qualities is also very subjective and open to debate. Finkelman's statement "Brown is simply part of a very violent world" does not mean the same thing as "he was a bloodthirsty madman". Chowder does speak of terrorism, but the overall spirit of his article is certainly very different from the current statement. As is this interview with that same Stephen B. Oates, who argues that Brown "was a success, a tremendous success because he was a catalyst of the Civil War" and that "this man who often, so often maligned as a demented dreamer was in fact one of the most perceptive human beings of his generation", also stating that Brown did believe slavery was wrong (rather than being a crazy sadist using abolitionism as a pretext to kill, as the current wording implies). So I will try to modify the text, precisely to let Wiki readers get an idea of the different viewpoints and emphases - and decide for themselves. --Anonymous44 12:46, 4 April 2007 (UTC)
I cleaned up the too-complex footnote system and kep all the text (except an ambiguous qualifier by Reynolds.) Reynolds and Oakes ASSUME that the North would win the war and the slaves would not be butchered by the millions. The problem is that nobody knew how the war would come out in 1859. Most antislavery people (like Lincoln) supported a peaceful end that they thought containment (no expandsion) would bring, as happened in nearly every other slave society (except Haiti). If the South had won its independence Oates and Reynolds would be denouncing Brown for keeping slavery alive. Rjensen 14:55, 4 April 2007 (UTC)
Was Brown "bloodthirsty" -- that what his supporters say. Oates titles his book "To Purge This Land With Blood" and says Brown believed God was calling him to a special mission...to destroy slavery by the sword. And he lived out of the Old Testament, the old testament was full of stories were God chooses somebody to save the chosen people, and did so by the sword. The Old Testament was full of blood and plunder and swords and warfare and killing. And Brown believed, "An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth,"...." That's bloodthirsty rhetoric, I suggest. When Brown decided to execute his 5 captives at Pottawatomie, he did not merely shoot each one in the head. He and his boys flayed at them with swords, cutting hacking and mutilating--they cut off the fingers and arms, for example, and cut open the face. (Villard p 160 at [16]) If anyone dislikes blood, they should steer clear of Brown. Rjensen 15:37, 4 April 2007 (UTC)
Maybe. None of our business to discuss that anyway. --Anonymous44 19:36, 4 April 2007 (UTC)


You know, I think that the whole section on Brown should be erased, since he already has its own article, and the Civil War article is getting WAY too long.Lokinjo 21:03, 9 April 2007 (UTC)

Shorten the Lead?

The lead for this article seems unwieldy. The first paragraph is perfect, but then it digresses into a chronological overview. Could the last part be made very, very concise? Alternatively it could be dropped all together and made a one paragraph lead, such as at World War II. Goodnightmush 00:18, 9 April 2007 (UTC)

Although the lead is a tad verbose, the MOS guidelines for an article of this length is three to four paragraphs, so shortening it to one would not be appropriate. Hal Jespersen 00:33, 9 April 2007 (UTC)
Very well, but the guidelines are just that, guidelines. If it is necessary to adhere to that minimum length, a rewrite of the lead to something more along the lines of the one at World War I would be more appropriate, no? Goodnightmush 01:06, 9 April 2007 (UTC)
The opening should be longer. It should be concise, complete coverage of the entire war that a person can understand. Many readers only read the opening and we have to help them. Rjensen 02:31, 9 April 2007 (UTC)
That's true. But, per WP:LEAD it should be an overview of the article that could stand on its own. This lead reads as though it were the lead to a "Timeline of the American Civil War", not an article about the war itself. It is too much chronology and too little general information, implications, etc. Goodnightmush 03:07, 9 April 2007 (UTC)

Erasing "Uncle Tom's" Cabin

That part should be its own article. Uncle Tom's cabin shouldn't be there..., and the Civil War article is getting WAY too long. Lokinjo 20:44, 9 April 2007 (UTC)

WAIT, IT IS ITS OWN ARTICLE! ME MAD!  :( Lokinjo 20:50, 9 April 2007 (UTC)

  1. ^ Resolutions Aux Temps. Charleston Mercury. 30 Nov 1860. <http://www.uttyl.edu/vbetts/charleston_mercury_pt1.htm>
  2. ^ Allan Nevins, Ordeal of the Union: Fruits of Manifest Destiny 1847-1852, page 143
  3. ^ From an Address on Colonization to a Committee of black leaders, the White House, August 14, 1862
  4. ^ Speech of E.S. Dargan, in the Convention of Alabama, Jan. 11, 1861