What If More People Pondered “What If”?


For a community of people who pride themselves on loving to learn new things, I’m often surprised by the number of folks who have inherent prejudices against “What if” questions.

I understand that a lot of people who ask “What If” do so because they really want to engage in historical wish fulfillment. Even that can be okay as a form of entertainment (especially over beer and cigars). But “What If” can also be a useful tool for focusing discussion, examining assumptions, and promoting critical thinking. The number of people who dismiss the question, and thus close themselves off to potential insights it offers, can be disappointing.

I’ve been mulling this point for a couple weeks now, ever since I simultaneously heard something quite positive and something negative—based on a knee-jerk assumption—about our recent Great What Ifs of the American Civil War book, both on the same day.

The first came from Robin Friedman in The Midwest Book Review. “Far from presenting alternative or counterfactual history, the volume examines some of the key pivotal moments of the Civil War and analyzes their importance,” Friedman. “Although cast in terms of ‘what if’s’ most of the book is squarely within the responsible practice of history. . . . Each of these essays encourages the reader to look closely at the complexity of determining what happened before speculating on what might have happened.” You can read the full review here.

Later in the day, someone online mentioned that he was reading the book to review it for a journal, and someone replied by saying he would throw the book away as soon as he saw the title. The commenter, who once worked at a battlefield, got annoyed with people who asked “What if?” The question he wanted to counter with, he suggested, was “What if I gave a shit?”

That reminded me of a similar comment someone made not too long ago. Complaining about people who liked to ask, “What if Stonewall Jackson was at Gettysburg,” this person would respond with a counter-question, “What if Bernard Bee said, ‘There stands Jackson like a brick shithouse’?” The idea of “Brick Shithouse Jackson” does seem kinda of funny, and if the person is just asking the Gettysburg question in order to engage in a little Civil War wish fulfillment—“Lost Cause porn,” I call it—then I tend to have the same short patience as my acquaintance.

But depending on the context, a flippant response might also be construed as belittling. Sure, the Jackson-at-Gettysburg question can be annoying if you’ve heard it a million times, but for a visitor asking it, it might be the first time he/she has had an opportunity to ask an informed person. If it’s a sincere question, it offers an opportunity for a teaching moment: “Well, here are all the reasons why Jackson couldn’t be there….” And that becomes an opportunity for talking about real history. (For my own answer, check out these two posts, here and here.)

That’s what we’ve tried to do in the What If book: explore the assumptions people make when they ask “What If.” The question lets us put ourselves in the moment and examine the facts and options as they existed in that moment. By looking at what didn’t happen, we can better understand what did.

The question “What If” also invites us to look at other examples from elsewhere/elsewhen in the war that might help illuminate the question. If we ask, “What If Stonewall Jackson survived his wounding,” we might look at other general officers wounded in the war and what became of them as a way to help us better understand assumptions we might make about Jackson. How did Longstreet react? Ewell? Hood? Sickles? (we could pick others) Looking at their recoveries might help us better evaluate our assumptions about a prospective Jackson recovery.

Asking “What if” can be one more useful tool for understanding an event in the same way maps, primary sources, photographs, landscapes, and books all help us. (Fiction does, too, but that’s another discussion!) Each has its strengths and weaknesses, but when taken in the fuller context of research and learning, each has its own unique light to shed. Asking “What if” can bring to light lesser-known context or show facts in a different light.

What-ifs might not be for everyone, but I would argue that they can be. They require a little imagination and open-mindedness, and they have to stay grounded in reality to be of any real use beyond entertainment, but they can shed light for those who are willing to be illuminated.

————

Come explore What Ifs with us at the Eighth Annual Emerging Civil War Symposium at Stevenson Ridge. Keynote speaker Garry Adelman will talk about the What Ifs of Gettysburg. We’ll also hear from Gordon Rhea, Brian Matthew Jordan, Kris White, Sarah Kay Bierle, Neil Chatelain, Sean Chick, Phill Greenwalt, and Jon Tracey. We’ll also have panel discussions on the What Ifs of the Antietam Campaign (Lost Order, anyone?) and the Great What Ifs of the Civil War. Plus we’ll have a Sunday morning tour of the Slaughter Pen Farm at Fredericksburg.

All this and more for only $225. Please join us: August 5-7, 2022, in Spotsylvania Court House. (Register here)

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101 Responses to What If More People Pondered “What If”?

  1. Matt McKeon says:

    It seems like 99% of the “what if” crowd is about gosh, I wish the Confederacy had won. Plus a lot of it is BS. If your cause depended on one guy’s life to survive, it probably wasn’t going to make it anyway.

    What if the CSA had invaded Mexico, had its ass handed to it, and Texas reverted to Mexican rule.

    What if after the 13th, 14th and 15th amendments, the white south had a come to Jesus moment, and had become a racially just society, leading the USA into a better world.

    What if the CSA had won, had a come to Jesus moment, and in 1964 elected Martin Luther KIng, Jr as president. President KIng, in a gesture of reconciliation and unity, hired the great grandson of Jefferson Davis as a janitor.

    What if the CSA had won, found a way to redeploy the enslaved into factories, and became an industrial powerhouse in the 20th century on slave labor, and thus American slavery continued into the 21st century. The school children would sing
    “My country tis of thee,
    land of white supremacy,
    forevermore
    .The whip, the auction block
    The chains that don’t unlock
    It comes as quite a shock
    Brick shithouse Jackson won.”

    • Chris Mackowski says:

      I agree, Matt, that a lot of people are just engaging in wishful thinking about a Confederate victory. I refer to that kind of stuff as “Lost Cause porn,” and it’s bosh.

  2. Savas Beatie says:

    Chris, interesting post. Like Army Staff Rides, “What Ifs,” if properly handled, are a useful learning tool and a way to think about problems and solutions from different perspectives. Wish I could make the conference this year. Nice to see many SB authors there.

    • Chris Mackowski says:

      Wish you could be there!

    • John Foskett says:

      Well said. The “properly handled” criterion is the critical element. In my opinion, one of the better efforts at this sort of exercise was the Dixie Victorious collection of essays by Peter Tsouras and others, which made an attempt to avoid excessive speculation and stay within some factual “guard rails”. That’s always been my objection to the “Stonewall – Cemetery Hill” hypothetical. In addition to having been beaten to death, its origin was based on a Jackson acolyte’s worshipful – and unfair – comparison of Stonewall to Ewell. In addition, far too much is required in terms of changing the circumstances and ultimately it rests on unvarnished speculation regarding what one man would have done differently. The approach taken here is different and a credit to the effort by the ECW staff and SB to thoughtfully choose events and “what ifs” that reduce the amount of required “fantasizing”.

      • Chris Mackowski says:

        Thanks, John! We wanted to try. and offer something thought provoking…perhaps an “emerging” perspective on an otherwise old question.

  3. Douglas Pauly says:

    I thave taken part in my share of “What ifs” on this site. It’s very likely I will do so again at some time. It always depends on the actual subject matter with me. I do agree with Chris M. that they are best saved for when adult beverages are available. But the only real reason to do so as I see it is because they can be fun. Period. I personally see nothing of real substantive value from it, for the simple reason that I have always found what did happen and what we know about that to be far more compelling than make believe, which is what ‘What ifs’ truly are.

    Another aspect of this, from my perspective anyway, is that ‘What if’ can become a basis for “Should have, Could have, Would have”. When the historical facts as they are presently known and accepted are subjected to such musings, facts and truth and the pursuit of those can be subjected to corruption. Sometimes things can take on a life of their own.

    Soooo, with all that said, I want to offer this ‘What if’ for future consideration. Stonewall Jackson always seems to be a favorite subject for these exercises. Has anyone ever started a discussion on “What if Thomas J. Jackson had signed on with the UNION Army?” Pour those drinks folks, and light your stogies! LOL.

  4. Meg Groeling says:

    Love this–roflmao!

  5. Joshua Underwood says:

    Jackson and Gettysburg all seem to be the big what-ifs, but on the other side of that coin, another what-if to consider would probably be Grant and Vicksburg. MacKinlay Kantor’s “If the South Had Won the Civil War” has this as a premise, Grant being killed during the campaign, and it going rather badly under McClernand (along with a Southern victory at Gettysburg, of course).

    • Chris Mackowski says:

      Those sorts of “magic bullet” what-ifs are fun to spitball, but I don’t find them especially useful. After all, anyone might’ve had a freak accident at almost any time. Those sorts of “acts of god” are pretty random.

      I’ve wondered about Kantor’s premise in that book (which I did find entertaining). McClernand was a better battlefield general than history has tended to give him credit for being, and I think Kantor bought into that a little too readily. It was McClernand’s ego and mouth, not his skill, that got him into trouble!

  6. bfswartz says:

    The problem I encounter here in the far Northeast is that people don’t seem to care about Civil War facts, much less about asking a cognitive “what if” question.

  7. nygiant1952 says:

    I think it’s better to deal with the actual history , rather than imaginary history.

    We already have “alternative facts” promoted by the GOP, which have divided our country.

    • Mike Maxwell says:

      Nygiant1952
      Let me start by admitting I have enjoyed our discussion of the “What if” of the New Orleans Campaign, how it failed to achieve expected goals, and why. One aspect we have not yet covered: WHO was responsible for that failure? Because it is my belief that the four men most responsible for “failing to stress the importance of Occupation of Vicksburg to Flag-Officer Farragut” were: MGen George McClellan, Secretary of the Navy Welles, his Assistant Secretary Fox, and President Lincoln. Of those four, McClellan was known to be a Democrat, Welles was a squishy Republican, and Lincoln was a Republican. I do not know the political leaning of Gustavus Fox, and it really does not matter: affiliates of both parties failed to stress the importance of Vicksburg to the New Orleans Campaign.
      Yours in Seeking The Truth
      Mike Maxwell

      • nygiant1952 says:

        Hiya Mike,

        This has been one of the more interesting and thought provoking discussions on Emerging Civil War. Thank you!!

        I look at it from the view-point that the Confederates put up a strong defense of Vicksburg , rather than any mistakes by Farragut, Butler, McClellan, Welles, or Lincoln.

        I don’t put too much thought in ‘What If” questions. I tend to study the actual facts of history, so the I can discuss with others the consequences of those facts and those decisions.

        As I have mentioned here before, I didn’t get my America History by going to the movies. I got it by going to the library and reading books on actual American History. The exams I took asked factual questions…what battle was the running point of the American Revolution? …Who were the 1st Union soldiers on Little Round Top? Did the Emancipation Proclamation call for the enlistment of Black soldiers?

        Right now, in the US we have quite a bit of “alternative facts” that seem to have taken hold. For instance, I debate Holocaust deniers and try to tell them that they are wrong …that the Holocaust did occur. The GOP is awash with alternative facts concerning Trump and what he said and did. Those same Republicans are lamenting the fact that they refused to participate in the Jan. 6th committee.

        To paraphrase Joe Friday….Just the facts, man. Just the facts.

        NYGiant1952

      • Mike Maxwell says:

        And I believe it was for this reason (recognition that “someone at the top” had dropped the ball, and failed to properly emphasize VICKSBURG) that David Farragut, who HAD the capability, and who HAD performed admirably against Forts Jackson and St. Philip and the Rebel gunboats, was awarded promotion to Rear-Admiral.
        Cheers
        Mike Maxwell

      • nygiant1952 says:

        Further evidence that the loss of New Orleans was not a turning point in the Civil War.

  8. Tony Robertson says:

    I enjoy “what if’s”, but tempered with healthy doses of realism & skepticism. I agree with much commentary above, that many what if exercises are “Lost Cause porn.” But certainly not all. Two Union what ifs that fascinate me are, what if Richmond fell in June 1862, and what if Chattanooga had been taken near that same time. Two vital Confederate cities that were nearly in the Union grasp.

  9. Savas states the thing, well. On a “staff ride,” where we walk the battle field and various persons brief in detail the intricate details that informed each key decision, the “what if’s” are the core of the discussion. That is where officers – and NCO’s – for decades, perhaps centuries have explored how decisions are made in the heat of combat. The “what if’s” are how we practice our craft of making battle field decisions.

    My Texas National Guard unit once did a staff ride of the Battle of Goliad in which James Fannin surrendered to the Mexican army and was then executed. This was part of the Texas Revolution in 1836. Before the staff ride, I thought I knew everything there was to know about that whole debacle. The staff ride convinced me otherwise – and all of us. But, the “what if’s” on a staff ride are much more discrete and more focused than grand possibilities, such as what if Stonewall had lived.
    Tom

    • nygiant1952 says:

      From my understanding of staff rides, the participants have already read about the battle , and “may” have already been assigned parts of the battlefield to discuss before the entire group. And the questions are more along the line of the “Socratic method” to draw out a discussion.

      Plus the most important part of the staff ride is to view the terrain and see how the terrain affected the battle. As Rick Atkinson has stated in one of his books on the American experience in Europe in WW II…Topography is fate.

      • mark harnitchek says:

        have done a few staff rides — mostly Civil War and facilitated by one of the service war or staff colleges… lots of pre-ride homework and maybe even a book or two to read … sometimes “riders” are assigned parts, but not always … great fun, especially if you’re a Civil War maven and terrific lessons in leadership for both civilians and military folks.

  10. mark harnitchek says:

    so here’s an interesting “what if,” … similar to one above … Joe Johnston isn’t wounded at Seven Pines so Lee never takes command … instead, Johnston retreats those last five miles to Richmond where McClellan lays siege to the city … the Confederate Army surrenders when Joe has nowhere left to retreat … combined with big Confederate reverses in the west and the loss of their eastern army and the capital, the Confederacy surrenders and the Union is restored … but restored with slavery still intact. Hmmm, now what?

  11. Hugh De Mann says:

    I feel that ‘What If’ scenarios do have use, provided they are engaged with a complete understanding that they are hypothetical, opinion-based, after the fact, and often reside on a negative proving a positive. That’s this-

    They make us appreciate the fact that history was not necessarily inevitable as how it turned out.

    SWJ is a commonly used theme in this thread. ‘What if’, as is said above, he had ascribed to the ‘Union paramountcy’, view of the American constitution and federalism which his fellow Southerners, like Thomas and his own sister, did?

    What if he’d been at Gettysburg but wounded in the very start and incapacitated?

    What if Britain and France had accepted the terms of the near-clinched 1862 Emancipation Treaty with the South?

    What if McClellan had matched uncharacteristic speed to get to Antietam with like aggression on the actual battlefield and gone after Lee there with a ‘no holds barred/last man standing wins’ approach?

    What if Britain had decided upon war rather than peace in the Trent Affair?

    What if France had accepted Abraham Lincoln’s offer of Quebec in exchange for French support in the Trent Affair?

    What if Grant had let the newspapers and influential voices over his tactics affect him?

    What if Lincoln had not had the inner resilience to Acer criticism over the EP and 13th Amendment?

    What if France had successfully conquered Mexico, and the Union lost at Vicksburg…?

    All these and more make us reflect at the minimum that very little is assured. It’s important to be mindful that events are not/we’re not necessarily inevitable.

    • nygiant1952 says:

      “What if ” questions are exercises in make-believe and whimsy. One is taking an actual historical event, and then twisting a fact to come up with false, a-historical ending.

      Reading the above list illustrates my point.
      1. Stonewall was killed at Chancellorsville. Anything which imagines otherwise, is just part of the Lost Cause myth.
      2. McClellan did march with speed during the Maryland campaign. Read Joe Harsh’s book…Taken at the Flood.
      3. Great Britain had to get the approval of Queen Victoria before going to war over the Trent Affair. Plus, as I have stated in numerous posts, Great Britain going to war was a figment of imagination.
      4.France conquer Mexico??? Give me a break.
      5. The Union didn’t lose at Vicksburg. The troops there were out-maneuvered into defeat.

      A better exercise would be to continue to study the effects of our CivilWar and how they are still part of us

      • Hugh De Mann says:

        I beg to differ.

        If you find little use for ‘What If’ scenarios, then I can’t, and no one can put to you that they serve a functional purpose of making one realise that history was not inevitable.

        Ie., ‘What If’ Ned Kelly had not sent his supporters away at Glenrowan? What if he’d accepted Supt. Nicholson’s offer of employment on a stock station in New South Wales as a teenager?

        1) Who is stating SWJ was not killed at Chancellorsville? Who has not stated this as a matter of fact?

        This is the whole point of the exercise: To put a plausible, hypothetical scenario up for critical reflection, to consider how circumstances did not necessarily, inevitably converge to the outcome they took.

        Otherwise is committing the logical err of inevitable conclusion: That there is no other way things could have turned out than the way they did.

        2) You obviously did not read at all what I wrote of McClellan one iota: I plainly did state he did march there with speed. Cite accurately as a historian.

        3) You obviously do not understand how the British form of democracy, ‘responsible government, the Westminster System’, actually works.

        Since the restoration of the Monarchy after the English Civil War, the Monarch acts on the ‘advice’ of the Prime Minister whom has been commissioned to form a government that can command a majority on the floor of the Lower House in 99% of situations, including by tradition, going to war. Had Lord Palmerston ‘advised’ Her Majesty that the United Kingdom and British Empire was at war as a result of the Trent Affair, Queen Victoria would have given her Royal Assent to it.

        That’s why 14,000 British regulars were shipped to the colony of Canada, and General Scott was desperate to out race them back.

        That’s why Abraham Lincoln sent Winfield Scott to Paris, France, to request Napoleon III, to request that France attack Britain across the English Channel should the North and British clash in war, in return, Lincoln would restore Quebec as a French colony.

        That’s why plans were drafted for the Royal Navy to attack Union shoreline.

        That’s why instructions were sent as far as the Australian colonies and New Zealand for war preparations.

        That’s why Lord Palmerston made statements to the effect that war may occur.

        Primary documents supplied on request.

        4)…you do realise France invaded Mexico, deposed Benito Juarez, and Napoleon III placed Maximilian of Austria as Emperor of Mexico, don’t you? That Cinco de Mayo was one victory and the French overran all but the northern portion of Mexico.

        You do know that, right?

        5) Who said Vicksburg wasn’t a Union victory? I never said it wasn’t. I put the hypothetical situation, ‘What if…?’, in keeping with this post.

        A far better exercise for yourself would be to obtain a bona fide accurate understanding of what arguments the historical evidence can actually support and to realise that the America of the CW/WBTS past is the past; to act like the past IS the present, or to attempt to foster an argument of such, is the application of Orwellian emotional nationalism.

        You’re trying to see the past as how you ‘feel’ about the present.

        That’d be like trying to argue the original Irish whom combatted the English knights of Henry II are ‘all you need to understand Northern Ireland and the IRA fragments of today.’

      • nygiant1952 says:

        “What if” questions belong to the world of the banshee, or the leprechaun…in other words, make-believe. I used to play make believe as a child, but then I grew up.

        1. Jackson died after Chancellorsville. Wishful thinking is not plausible.

        2. Your comment and I quote…”What if McClellan had matched uncharacteristic speed to get to Antietam with like aggression on the actual battlefield and gone after Lee there with a ‘no holds barred/last man standing wins’ approach?”…..He did march with speed my friend and he DID attack with a no holds barred last man standing wins approach. You may not know it, but Antietam was the bloodiest day in the American Civil War. 23,000 casualties. Everyone know that who really studies the American Civil War.

        3. Let me clear up some misunderstandings you have regarding English Government. Queen Victoria had influence upon the direction of that Government. Her husband , Prince Albert , had influenced on her regarding the Trent affair. Recall that Great Britain had problems in Europe at the time of the American Civil War. Palmerston warned Prussia not to invade Denmark or annex the provinces of Schleswig-Holstein. He threatened that Great Britain would come to the aid of Denmark. When Prussia went to war, with Denmark, Great Britain did nothing. Why? Because Queen Victoria was pro-Prussia and did not approve any intervention, must to the disappointment of her Danish daughter in law.

        14,000 British soldier sent to Canada….the same size of the 12th Corps at Gettysburg ( 12,000 battle tested troops) What you forget are the THOUSANDS of Irish in the US who would have enlisted to fight Great Britain…and when the US had won, they would have demanded a free and united Ireland. Psst…some of those troops landed in NYC and Seward offered them safe transport to the Canadian border I have been told.

        To think that Great Britain was going to go to war with the United States is the stuff that dreams are made of….like the Maltese falcon.

        a. Palmerston was told that the forts in Canada were in disuse
        b. Palmerston had to get the approval of Queen Victoria. And wheat I wrote above still holds.
        c.To bring a hard science into the discussion, the distance the Brits found excessive in 1776, was greater in 1861.
        d. The working class in England would not have fought since they realized that the American Civil War was a war between slave-labor and wage labor.
        e. While both countries had ironclads, the British ironclads could not go up rivers.
        f. Great Britain in 1861 could not feed its population. They had to import food. Over 50% of the food imported to Great Britain came from the United States. So, ask yourself, would Great Britain feed the hand that fed it? Recall that an army marches on its stomach.
        g. If you knew your geography, you would realize that the St Lawrence River freezes in the winter. How could Great Britain feed its troops when they couldn’t even feed their country. How were they to supply their troops in winter.
        h.The threat to Great Britain was the loss of Canada. That is wy in 1867, Great Britain gave Canada Dominion status, making Canada now responsible for its own Government and its own defense.
        i. Pure speculation that France would have allied itself with the US to attack Great Britain. France’s interests were with obtaining Souther cotton, not with the Union.
        j. The Irish in American wojld have enlisted en masse to fight Great Britain, and when the US won, the Irish would have demanded a free and united Ireland.
        k. Napoleon III was not going to act against the US unless he was united with Great Britain.
        l The US did want to go to war with Great Britain in 1864 because the Brits were building ships for the Rebels to use as raiders and then arming them on the high seas. Just when the US sent a message to Ambassador Adams to demand the Brits stop that, they Brits realized the risked war with the US…Know what they did? They STOPPED building the ships and stopped arming them

        4. You do recall that the French experiment in Mexico lasted 5 years, don’t you?? The Confederacy lasted less that 5 years. You do know that, right??

        5. Try using one variable at a time.

        A far better exercise for you, my friend, would be to study the American Civil War in depth as I have, and try to avoid the superficial version. Then go and read about the US Constitution and how it was a racist document, WW1, WW II and the Civil Rights era.

        Once you know and understand the pesky facts, then you might be able to extrapolate to modern times.

      • mark harnitchek says:

        mr. giant, perhaps we can do both — actuality and a little “what if” fantasizing … not a zero sum game 🙂

    • mark harnitchek says:

      i agree completely … beyond the silly stuff like “what if Confederates had machine guns” exercises in the counter-factual can illustrate what many historians call the idea of deep contingency.

      this is the concept that historical outcomes are seldom the result of one or two “turning points” like the well-worn examples of Gettysburg and New Orleans … outcomes are, instead, the result of hundreds, if not thousands, of smaller events … so, what if Sherman doesn’t take Atlanta and Sheridan doesn’t give Jubal Early a beating in Valley … maybe the Republicans lose the presidential election in 1864 and the war takes a different outcome — which is exactly what Lincoln feared that summer.

      The “what ifs” put the big turning points in a much different light.

      • nygiant1952 says:

        Hi Mark,

        Thanks for your comments.

        Only thing is, you mention only Lost Cause laments…Sherman doesn’t take Atlanta, Jubal isn’t beaten in the 1864 Valley Campaign, Republicans lose the 1864 election…and the war takes a different outcome.

        “What if” scenarios are just Lost Cause discussions in my humble opinion.

  12. Hugh De Mann says:

    adfasdf

  13. Hugh De Mann says:

    odd; my reply didn’t post above.

    I’ll reprint here asap. above is a ‘test’

  14. Hugh De Mann says:

    No; ‘What if’ scenarios are a test that determine these historical questions:

    1) They go a long way to determining if you are falling prey to the historical bias that was critiqued of Donald Creighton and the ‘Laurentian thesis’ school of Canadian history: If the writers of this history can envision themselves as anything other than the ‘claimed descendants of the victors’ of the historical events they write of.
    2) They bring to real evidence that might otherwise have slipped from notice and are very pertinent to the topic.
    3) If you truly are confident that your arguments can withstand any challenge or counter-arguments, you ought to have no hesitation to engage in an exercise that is 100% speculative, hypothetical, opinion-based arguments. The evidence that 2) pertains to is NOT. Averring from ‘what if’ history indicates or implies a hesitancy about evidence coming to light. That’s the tell-sign of a weak historical argument. If your argument is so dependent on ‘only’ very certain questions or evidences being raised to challenge it, then that’s just plain historical laziness on the part of the researcher, a lack of courage and indicates a very sharp limit of historical knowledge.
    4) Per George Orwell, it is an indication of the presence of emotional nationalism. It reflects a lack of confidence by showing that that the writers ‘need’ to convey a very rigid narrative and actively seek to exclude other evidence from ever arising and being openly considered. It shows the person in question ‘needs’ the scenario to understood as inevitable.
    I repeat; what if Ned Kelly had told his armed supporters that arrived at Glenrowan en masse to join in the fight? His last stand may not have ever occurred and the outcome. What if he had accepted Inspector Nicholson’s offer, of the Victoria Police Force, re. a letter of introduction for work on a stock station in New South Wales? A significant segment of Victorian and Australian history may have been changed.
    What if Napoleon had not been ill at Waterloo and had had the personal whereabouts to realise the need to listen to Marshall Ney and charge Wellington’s lines before they could reform from their cavalry circles to the ‘thin, red line’? The French square attacked too late.
    What if John F. Parker had not left his post in Ford’s Theatre? What if when John Wilkes Booth entered the box and spoke to the four occupants, then exited, the Lincolns’ and/or their guests had blocked the door from being opened again called out for someone to come up and attend the box?
    I’ve put my replies to your statements after asterisks****. Where you have been cocky and arrogant, I’ve been plain speaking and assertive.

    “What if” questions belong to the world of the banshee, or the leprechaun…in other words, make-believe. I used to play make believe as a child, but then I grew up.

    ****Incorrect. See above. I put it to you that you are desperate/needy for the version of history that you ‘feel’ provides prestige to the contemporary American social/political/cultural unit you have immersed yourself in to appear to be ‘inevitable’.

    1. Jackson died after Chancellorsville. Wishful thinking is not plausible.

    ****I never said he didn’t. Don’t try to be ‘smart’. It’s completely valid to ‘bat the ball’ around, ‘what if he had lived and been there?’, especially as this was a point considered by those whom actually were at Gettysburg, provided it is openly acknowledged by all as a hypothetical that can never be seen as more than a ‘educated guesstimate’. And, as long as scenarios are entertained that allow for critical thinking to be entertained across a broad continuum.
    What if he’d been there, but been ineffective as at the Seven Days? What if he’d been injured and unable to do anything decisive? What if he’d been ordered away from the battle for any given reasons.
    What if Lincoln had survived and the 14th and 15th Amendments had never come to be? That is exactly the case put by Adam Smith in his work here, which I’ve corresponded with him about.

    Alternate History: What If Abraham Lincoln Had Lived? | HistoryExtra
    PressReader.com – Digital Newspaper & Magazine Subscriptions
    Professor Adam Smith | History – UCL – University College London

    I put it to you that you do not have the knowledge or confidence to engage in such a discussion.

    2. Your comment and I quote…”What if McClellan had matched uncharacteristic speed to get to Antietam with like aggression on the actual battlefield and gone after Lee there with a ‘no holds barred/last man standing wins’ approach?”…..He did march with speed my friend and he DID attack with a no holds barred last man standing wins approach. You may not know it, but Antietam was the bloodiest day in the American Civil War. 23,000 casualties. Everyone know that who really studies the American Civil War.

    *****I plainly said above that McClellan DID move with speed to Antietam but did not fight with adequate aggression/fury to achieve complete victory.
    Anyone with well-grounded knowledge of the Battle of Antietam in the American Civil War/War Between the States knows, that with about 50% more troops than Lee as a ballpark, he fought Lee in piece-meal spars. This enabled Lee to fend off the attacks effectively.
    The day after the battle, Lee remained exactly on the field where he was, in plain view and on Union soil, daring McClellan to come at him again. And McClellan refused. He wouldn’t do it. Lee left the field after 24 hours in the wide, clear open on his own volition.
    Had McClellan gone after Lee on that day with Grant-like bulldoggedness, he could have largely ended the war and destroyed the Army of Northern Virginia on the spot. He had the numbers to do it and cowed from it.
    So your point about McClellan pursing that battle with all out fury is 100% incorrect.

    3. Let me clear up some misunderstandings you have regarding English Government. Queen Victoria had influence upon the direction of that Government. Her husband , Prince Albert , had influenced on her regarding the Trent affair. Recall that Great Britain had problems in Europe at the time of the American Civil War. Palmerston warned Prussia not to invade Denmark or annex the provinces of Schleswig-Holstein. He threatened that Great Britain would come to the aid of Denmark. When Prussia went to war, with Denmark, Great Britain did nothing. Why? Because Queen Victoria was pro-Prussia and did not approve any intervention, must to the disappointment of her Danish daughter in law.
    ****Uh, no mate. You’re the one with the misunderstandings about the British system of Responsible Government, the Westminster System, that has its roots going all the way back to when Edward the Longshanks convened the first English Parliament.

    Since the restoration of the Monarchy in 1660, the system is built on the convention that, except in extremely certain circumstances, and of which the declaration of war is not among them, (as evidenced by the 1854-56 Crimean War), Parliament is superior to the Monarch. That was the entire issue fought for in the English Civil War in the 1640s.

    If you actually think that the personal views of Queen Victoria could assert themselves in that manner, you do not understand the tenet of Supremacy of Parliament, you do not understand what occurred in the English Civil War and Glorious Revolution and you do not understand that the very tenet of how the Prime Minister or Premier of a legislature, whom commands a majority on the floor of the Lower House, ‘advises’ the Monarch/Their Representative, the Monarch/Rep. thereof then accepts on that ‘advice’ and grants Royal Assent to pass laws into effect.

    The fact you cite absolutely no evidence of the Schleswig-Holstein War of Queen Victoria actually interfering with Parliament’s issues of the day tells all.

    So…what DOES happen in the British system if the Monarch/Rep. thereof is called to pass laws/grant to motions, etc, that they personally disagree with?

    In the classic explanation of Lord Metcalfe, Governor General of the colony of Canada in 1848 when responsible government was granted there and the question was asked of him-
    ‘They hold their nose and pass it.’

    14,000 British soldier sent to Canada….the same size of the 12th Corps at Gettysburg ( 12,000 battle tested troops) What you forget are the THOUSANDS of Irish in the US who would have enlisted to fight Great Britain…and when the US had won, they would have demanded a free and united Ireland. Psst…some of those troops landed in NYC and Seward offered them safe transport to the Canadian border I have been told.
    ***14,000 was the first contingent that actually reached the colony of Canada alone in 1861. The number you refer to is from 1863. Not to mention, that these very British troops had likewise been battle hardened in the Crimea, India Rising and Second Opium War. These troops, General Scott sailed like all hell to beat back to the Continent.
    Now, lets see. The population of Ireland in 1860 was 5.8 million; at the same time, the population of England and Scotland combined was over 23 million, Population of the British Isles (tacitus.nu).

    That numeracy alone decides it; there were not enough Irish to force the English to do anything, at any point in history.

    Now, when the Fenians did attack the British North American colonies after the war, aside from a lone victory at Ridgeway, Canada West in 1866, what became of this? Why did the Irish whom landed in Canada not ‘rise up’ with the Irish in the US during the Fenian threats? I did a paper on this in university, along with it being my direct heritage. The Irish whom landed in Canada were tired of conflict and declined to have any further part in it. Their support had been key to the Fenians’ plans.

    Evidently, the creation of the Dominion Police Force in Canada in 1868 was adequate to provide protection from them in the federal government buildings and grounds.

    By the Anglo-Irish War, Michael Collins, my ancestor, remarked his disappointment that not more Irish Americans had enlisted to actually fight for Ireland. To the end of his life he felt that American Irish had let Ireland down.

    To think that Great Britain was going to go to war with the United States is the stuff that dreams are made of….like the Maltese falcon.
    ***Headshake…lets see here…
    a. Palmerston was told that the forts in Canada were in disuse
    ***Palmerston worked with British North American governments and military bodies to immediately improve the efficiency of Forts Henry and Kingston, just for starters.

    I would advise you to refer to the books of Robin Winks, Amanda Foreman and Claire Hoy and obtain/read the vast number of primary sources these cite from and which are all almost available on archive.org or haithitrust.

    Canadians in the Civil War: Hoy, Claire: 9781552784501: Amazon.com: Books
    The Civil War Years: Canada and the United States – Robin W. Winks, Robin William Winks – Google Books (especially the chapter, ‘Poisoning the Well’)
    A World on Fire by Amanda Foreman: 9780375756962 | PenguinRandomHouse.com: Books
    The defence of Canada [microform] : in the light of Canadian history : West, Christopher : Free Download, Borrow, and Streaming : Internet Archive
    University question [microform] : being a report of the public meeting held at the Kingston conference, in reference to the university question and Victoria College, to which is added Dr. Ryerson’s defence of the Wesleyan petitions to the legislature, and of denominational colleges as part of our system of public instruction, in reply to Dr. Wilson and Mr. Langton : Wesleyan Methodist Church in Canada. Conference : Free Download, Borrow, and Streaming : Internet Archive
    Memoirs and services of the Eighty-Third Regiment, (County of Dublin), from 1793 to 1863 [microform] : including the campaigns of the regiment in the West Indies, Africa, the Peninsula, Ceylon, Canada and India : Bray, Edward William, 1823-1891 : Free Download, Borrow, and Streaming : Internet Archive
    Sixty years in Upper Canada : with autobiographical recollections. — : Clarke, Charles, 1826-1909 : Free Download, Borrow, and Streaming : Internet Archive

    b. Palmerston had to get the approval of Queen Victoria. And wheat I wrote above still holds.
    *****As explained above, no. It doesn’t. Palmerston would have tendered ‘advice’ to the Queen and she would have ‘accepted’ the advice to engage in war, given the various Acts, litigation, traditions, conventions and precedents of the British system.
    Responsible government and the Reserve Powers of the Monarch/Rep. thereof is what my thesis was in University and the specialty of my original professor. I highly recommend this work for you to read.
    Canada’s Governors General, 1847-1878: Biography and Constitutional Evolution : Messamore, Barbara: Amazon.com.au: Books

    c.To bring a hard science into the discussion, the distance the Brits found excessive in 1776, was greater in 1861.
    ***To bring hard reality and science to bear, I put it to you that you are unware of the steampower that the Empire had obtained.
    If they now had a much larger and vast Empire to draw upon from, this enabled them resources not available in the Revolution.
    To give you an idea of just how close to war the Union and Britain were, and the vast resources the Empire would bring to such a conflict, I strongly recommend you refer to these documents of the New Zealand authorities, whom were advised to prepare-

    8 August 1862, New Zealand Governor Sir George Grey – Duke of Newcastle
    Papers Past | Parliamentary Papers | Appendix to the Journals of the House of Representatives | 1862 Session I | FURTHER PAPERS RELATIVE TO THE MILITARY DEFENCE OF… (natlib.govt.nz)

    Now, with what you cite about the ‘Irish numerical superiority’, I strongly advise you to reflect that since the British East India Company’s Army had been absorbed into the foreign British Forces, this, alone, meant that at any time, the British could summon from India this force of an estimated 220,000. (French, David (2005). Military identities: the regimental system, the British Army, and the British people, c.1870-2000. Oxford University Press, page 12)
    How potent was this force? In 1867, Sir John A. MacDonald, Canada’s first Prime Minister, opined about sending India forces to protect Canada.( An Army of Sikhs for Canada in 1867? – World Sikh Organization of Canada)

    d. The working class in England would not have fought since they realized that the American Civil War was a war between slave-labor and wage labor.
    ***In supporting the Union, the British working class accepted the slavery that existed in the states of Missouri, Kentucky, Maryland, Delaware and West Virginia up to the veritable end of the war and December of 1865. This meant they were willing to tolerate the barns, fields, whips, chains, bills of sale and bedrooms that the institution of slavery enabled. Don’t deny or minimise this in any way.
    Missouri would abolish slavery by amending its state constitution in January of 1865; West Virginia same in February of that same year, but the exact legal certainty and public awareness of this was in dispute, as Fugitive Slave ads appear in this state’s newspapers in March of ’65.
    As well, while it is generally accurate in shaky form to describe the British working class as pro-North, this was fickle and ever-uncertain. Would the British working classes have supported war against the Union after the Trent Affair? All the evidence indicates so. The working class there did not get to vote until 1867 and the Second Reform Act. And while Manchester did send a very public measure of support to Abraham Lincoln, the newspapers of Leicester, England, carry a large amount of support for the South, and this, too, was in the heartland of Britain’s working class textile mills’.
    Evidence of latter supplied upon request.

    e. While both countries had ironclads, the British ironclads could not go up rivers.
    ***True.

    f. Great Britain in 1861 could not feed its population. They had to import food. Over 50% of the food imported to Great Britain came from the United States. So, ask yourself, would Great Britain feed the hand that fed it? Recall that an army marches on its stomach.
    ****Well, in that condition, Britain would have foregone trade with the USA and gone back to importing corn and grain from the British North American colonies as they primarily did in the 1840s, before the repeal of the Corn Laws. As a matter of fact, the Canadian economic interests were so infuriated with the loss of their advantage when the Corn Laws were repealed that they pelted Gov. General Metcalfe with stones. Also, Britain could/would have imported foodstuffs from the rest of the Empire and Europe, exactly as they did with cotton from India and Egypt.
    I think you ought to refer to this book, just as a sampler:
    b11758119.pdf (anu.edu.au)

    g. If you knew your geography, you would realize that the St Lawrence River freezes in the winter. How could Great Britain feed its troops when they couldn’t even feed their country. How were they to supply their troops in winter.
    ****Headshake…exactly as the British North American colonies had supplied Britain with foodstuffs prior to the repeal of the Corn Laws as cited above…? See the rest of the answers there.

    h.The threat to Great Britain was the loss of Canada. That is wy in 1867, Great Britain gave Canada Dominion status, making Canada now responsible for its own Government and its own defense.
    ***Now, what is your point you are attempting to make in citing this? What is your intent in making this argument and what do you allege it proves or brings light upon?

    i. Pure speculation that France would have allied itself with the US to attack Great Britain. France’s interests were with obtaining Souther cotton, not with the Union.
    ***Refer to the letter of 29 November 1861, Prime Minister Palmerston – Queen Victoria, ‘Letters of Queen Victoria’, Vol. III.
    The Letters Of Queen Victoria : Arthur Christopher Benson : Free Download, Borrow, and Streaming : Internet Archive
    Abraham Lincoln sent Winfield Scott to Paris to attempt to convince Napoleon III that if war broke out between the Union and Britain, Lincoln would restore Quebec as a colonial possession to France if the French would attack Britain across the English Channel. Napoleon III declined, purely as he judged the situation to be more advantageous to his European designs that Britain should become inveigled with the North in military conflict.
    So here we have something ‘what if’ of significance to consider; what if Napoleon III had decided to reacquire Quebec and gain the North as a potential ally against Britain and the rise of Prussian power was more important than European continental designs and the colonisation of Mexico, (thereby flouting the Monroe Doctrine)?

    j. The Irish in American wojld have enlisted en masse to fight Great Britain, and when the US won, the Irish would have demanded a free and united Ireland.
    ****The Irish were not numerically significant enough to off-set the numerical troops that the rest of the British Empire, such as India, could bring to bear on the conflict. No one denies they fought like mad dogs in the North, but they did not convene the advantage that you claim, and especially not if France’s resources were also thrown in the mix.
    As stated, the Irish in America did not even rally adequately to Ireland even 60 years later, to Michael Collins’ lament.

    k. Napoleon III was not going to act against the US unless he was united with Great Britain.
    ****See above. It is a consideration of historians that Napoleon III thought his interests better served by playing up to Britain and not pursuing the North as one, but at the same time, he played off the British. Refusing to consider why this was so and what might have occurred differently is a fear of what the evidence might well prove or indicate.
    What if General Scott’s discussions had convinced the Emperor of ‘la restoration’…?

    The US did want to go to war with Great Britain in 1864 because the Brits were building ships for the Rebels to use as raiders and then arming them on the high seas. Just when the US sent a message to Ambassador Adams to demand the Brits stop that, they Brits realized the risked war with the US…Know what they did? They STOPPED building the ships and stopped arming them
    ****Tell me what you know then of what happened even after these ships were ceased to be built.
    Tell me what you know of the CSS Shenandoah?
    Tell me what you know of who fired the last shot of the CW/WBTS?
    Australian Confederates by Terry Smyth: our rebels in the American Civil War (smh.com.au)

    4. You do recall that the French experiment in Mexico lasted 5 years, don’t you?? The Confederacy lasted less that 5 years. You do know that, right??
    ****You do know that the French successfully flouted the Monroe Doctrine to do this, deposed the Mexican government of Benito Juarez, conquered about 70% of the country and placed an Austrian prince in the position as ‘Emperor of Mexico’, don’t you, all in five years?
    What are you trying to argue based on what you write, above?

    5. Try using one variable at a time.
    ****A good historian is able to consider/evaluate a wide disparity of variables. This is dependent on being at least reasonably familiar with a wide range of evidence, having read it critically, and having the confidence to have it tested, even in a hypothetical sense.

    A far better exercise for you, my friend, would be to study the American Civil War in depth as I have, and try to avoid the superficial version. Then go and read about the US Constitution and how it was a racist document, WW1, WW II and the Civil Rights era.
    Once you know and understand the pesky facts, then you might be able to extrapolate to modern times.
    ***Matey, a far better exercise of you to engage on would be to genuinely read and critically engage with a wide scope of CW/WBTS sources from America and abroad and especially the evidence that lends weight to arguments you do not agree with. This is a good guard against ideologuism.
    Your arguments and stance flat out show you are fearful of any evidence other than the limited amount you have specifically and only exposed yourself to in order to validate the views you desire to immerse yourself in. This is because you are needy for the practicional discursive enmeshment of the American social/political/cultural units you have chosen to sink your individuality in with to not be challenged in any way.

    Someone who lacks confidence in their views being challenged, in even a hypothetical sense that is explicitly based on opinion/conjecture/etc, is someone whom knows deep down that their argument is vulnerable. I would advise you to eschew this American nationalism, what the London Times described as ‘American exceptionalism’ in 1861, to feel that the present of your country is exact as in the past.

    That makes no sense in any sense in any way in any country on earth.

    • nygiant1952 says:

      Newbie,
      1. Jackson died…any comments about what he would have done at Gettysburg is moot, as my lawyer friends say.

      2. 23000 casualties shows that McClellan fought with fury. To say otherwise, dis-hoinors those Americans who gave the their life protecting they country.

      3. Thank you for admitting now that Queen Victoria had influence on British policy. Queen Victoria pressured the British government not to intervene because she was committed to the goal of friendship between England and Germany. This was an unusual direct intervention by a British monarch in foreign policy that late in the 19th century.

      I suspect that the Queen’s intervention was beneficial, because otherwise Britain could have ended up in a war against the entire German Federation, including Prussia, Austria Hungary, Hanover, etc., with no way to do anything more than maintain the Danish status quo, and no allies, while making (more) permanent enemies on the continent.

      A couple of things…..I said Irish in the United States would enlist…now don’t change my words around.
      Britain never did send more troops to Canada soon Palmerston’s orders.
      Evidently, you don’t believe in the Tectonic Plate theory.

      You are wrong about the British working class. Evidently you don’t realize that the was was one of slave labor vs wage labor.
      Thank you for agreeing with me about the ironclads.

      If the Empire has so much food, why was GB importing over 50% from the US? Let’s suspect better prices?

      Absloultely wrong about Lincoln…he told Seward, one war at a time.

      Wrong about Napoleon

      Fact is , GB stopped building raiders for the Confederacy because GB knew it threatened war with the US.

      .Matey….my advice to you is

      1. Study the terrain as I do.. Military geography

      2. Amateurs study tactics, Professionals like me study logistics. Spend more time looking at the logistics and less studying whimsey and make believe.

      Oh….the Big Fellow and I share a common ancestor

    • nygiant1952 says:

      Sorry, but there is absolutely NO EVIDENCE that Lincoln told Scott to tell Napoleon III Lincoln would give France the province of Quebec in exchange for going to war with the US against Great Britain. It wasn’t Lincoln’s to give away.

      You can’t believe anything Palmerston says about this. There is NO EVIDENCE that Lincoln said this.

      There is no collaborating evidence in the Lincoln papers.

      This is very interesting. Can you cite some citations from the history of Lincoln that support that claim?

      • Hugh De Mann says:

        As stated, ‘Letters of Queen Victoria’,

        Lord Palmerston – Her Majesty, 29 November 1861.

        https://archive.org/details/in.ernet.dli.2015.201738/page/n477/mode/2up?q=trent

        You’ve been disproven again. I now would not take your word if you were to state the sky is blue.

      • nygiant1952 says:

        Palmerston did not reveal where his amazing accusation about Scott and France had come from, but wherever it originated, the rumor spread with noteworthy speed. Just 48 hours after Scott arrived in Paris he was mentioned in Palmerston’s report.

        Sorry…but you need to present evidence that Scott received instructions from Seward or Lincoln. Just because Palmerston made it up, and never did say where he obtained that information 48 hours after Scott’s arrival, disapproves is validity.

        You have been disproven again. Please refrain from presenting alternative facts.

        I have to call this as make believe history…and entirely FALSE.

        Please present a message from Lincoln or Seward as evidence. Your evidence is tainted.

  15. Hugh De Mann says:

    Buds-

    1) Your comments on SWJ prove you have a fear of engaging in a discography his historical legacy, as you can’t even engage in hypotheticals.
    2) 23,000 casualties is what McClellan could not achieve with. His piece meal movements prolonged the war and cost far more lives than had to be given to achieve Union victory.

    His timidity in battle was a detriment to the Stars and Stripes. He was the one who prolonged the suffering and by not having the courage to engage with this scenario you join him in the dishonour and dishonesty thus created.
    3) You take that Queen Victoria had the influence you try to claim is catching you out in pure dishonesty and aggressive ignorance. And still not a scrap of evidence that Queen Victoria personally averted such war over the advice of her elected Ministers, as I have done with my views in heaps.

    Evidence of further lack of knowledge and courage.

    Now, your words about Irish there show you have NOT conducted a holistic, deep study of the Irish you are trying now to avoid reckoning with! The India comparison has got you square!

    Do you really mean to say there were so many Irish in the USA to enlist in the North that they outnumbered the India troops that Britain could field?

    And I guess them14,000 troops to Canada sent the message home just fine. In the end, Lincoln tells Seward, ‘One war at a time.’

    Yeah, you did have a point about British Ironclad limitations.

    Ooooohhhhh…are you denying that slavery existed in the Border states…?! Are you denying what I put as the reality of slavery? Have I caught a slavery denier here?!

    Now you WOULDNT do that, would you?!

    Yes, better prices from the North than British North America and if war erupted, the food stuffswould be imported from the latter just as they had before the Corn Laws repeal in the mid-1840s! Easy mate!

    Matey, you avoid altogether what I said of the CSS SHENANDOAH? Now why would that be…?

    Buds, give you some good advice that’s up to you to action-

    Study every facet of an event you can lay your hands on, exhaustively.

    You’ve shown yourself highly discredited.

    • Nygiant1952 says:

      We in psychiatry call your comments…..projecting.

    • nygiant1952 says:

      Your words, and I quote….”You take that Queen Victoria had the influence you try to claim is catching you out in pure dishonesty and aggressive ignorance. And still not a scrap of evidence that Queen Victoria personally averted such war over the advice of her elected Ministers, as I have done with my views in heaps.”

      School is now is session!!

      https://ojs.library.okstate.edu/osu/index.php/OAS/article/download/4794/4465

      “When Victoria heard that Palmerston had informed the Prussian Minister to London, Count Bern- storEf, that Britain would aid the Danes, she sent Palmerston a letter informing him that England could not be committed to support Denmark, and that she would op- pose war over the matter (24). After the Prussian invasion of Jutland, Russell and Palmerston urged that the British EJeet be sent into the Baltic as a show of force in favor of Denmark. Once again the Queen stepped in and stopped the Government from taking aCtion (23, p. 274>. When it
      seemed possible that the Austrian fleet would sail through the English Channel to the Baltic, Palmerston demanded that the Government take action to prevent it. Upon hearing of this, the Queen directed Sir Charles Phipps to write a letter to Palmers- ton informing him in clear terms that the sole policy of the Government must be to avoid the involvement of England in a war over Schleswig-Holstein.”

      Consider yourself ‘schooled”.

      Sorry to expose your complete ignorance.

      Come back when you have done your homework, and I can out-debate you again.

      • Hugh De Mann says:

        LOL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

        Do you really think that one episode overturns the entirety of Responsible Government?!!!!!

        LOL!!!!!!!!!!!!

        And I notice you stick to this singular incident and refuse to deal with the other incidents I brought up! Yow!!!!!!!!!!

        If Palmerston had insisted that Britain go to war and not acquiesced to Her Majesty’s counsel, it was war!

        God this is pathetic.

      • nygiant1952 says:

        Actually, Prince Albert’s last act was to influence the Queen and help to de-fuse the Tent Affair.

        And the pesky fact that Palmerston. bowed to the Queen is evidence of his need to get her approval..
        Nice try , but you have failed again.

      • nygiant1952 says:

        Palmerston didn’t insist though….did he>

        Let’s not make up alternative facts now, little boy.

    • nygiant1952 says:

      Your words, again…Do you really mean to say there were so many Irish in the USA to enlist in the North that they outnumbered the India troops that Britain could field?

      YES…immigration to the US from Ireland totaled about 1.4 million in the decades 1840-1860.

      More than enough Irishmen and all they had to do was cross the St Lawrence River, while GB had to accumulate its soldiers from its Empire…..again logistics raises its head.

      RECESS

      • Hugh De Mann says:

        OH LOL!!!!!!!!!!!

        You assume that all 1.4 million Irish would have been soldiers in the Union Army?!

        This is beyond a farce on your part!!! If you assume that, then matey 20-250,000,000 million Indians were ready to eat them alive!

        And you do realise you look like a fool when you actually suggest that Britain could not transport Indian troops exactly as they did in the Crimea and WWI?

        BOOMS!!!!!

        Now, what date did Queen Victoria go on this tour abroad with the Cabinet of Palmerston to Prussia…?

        (Come on, say it!!!!!!)

      • nygiant1952 says:

        Little boy, No I never said that…all I said that there were 1.1-1.6 million Irish in the United States, probably a third would have enlisted to invade Canada in the hopes of securing Irish freedom.

        Nice try though.

        Oh..please study geography….India is quite a bit farther from Canada. On June 27, 1855 Times, perhaps reflecting general opinion in India, expressed real alarm: “A greater act of insanity than to take them beyond the limits of our Eastern dominions could not be conceived.”

        The reasons for this fear were both practical and prejudiced. Times doubted that Indians could operate in colder climates, without access to the food and the life they were used to. Many sepoys in the Bengal Army refused to travel abroad by sea for fear of losing caste status. Please read about the Sepoy Rebellion..

        And you forget Palmerston never even got a bill to go to war through Parliament.

        A lot of wishful thinking there little boy.

      • nygiant1952 says:

        You ask for the travel plans of Queen Victoria and I DELIVER!

        1862 September 2 — September 4 Royal Palace of Laeken, Laeken Visiting Leopold I of Belgium
        September 5 — October 3 Reinhardsbrunn, Friedrichroda

    • nygiant1952 says:

      In Canada, General Williams had toured the available forts and fortifications in November and December. Historian Gordon Warren wrote that Williams found that, “forts were either decaying or nonexistent, and the amount of necessary remedial work was stupefying.”

      So much for any defense

  16. Hugh De Mann says:

    OMG…!

    What, may I ask you…was the population of India at same time…?

    I’ll never forget that my History of India:Akbar to Independence professor, David Milobar, stated that by about 1930, (conceded, 65-70 years later), ‘there were never more than 150,000 White people in all of British India compared to 250,000,000 Indians!!!!!

    Mate…it’s over!

    Now…do I draw all the British, Canadian and Imperial primary sources out to show how defence works began immediately to upgrade the Canadian defences?

    And I put it to you again; you are deliberately refusing to examine the issue of slavery in the CW/WBTS as I said above…!

    What do you have to say about the fields, barns, whips, chains, bills of sale and bedrooms that Black Americans in chattel slavery in Missouri, Kentucky, Maryland, Delaware and West Virginia had to endure in the Union under the Stars and Stripes?

    What can you tell me about them?

    Or are you prepared to by silence or by word concede that ‘what if’ historical scenarios may have some kind of merit, but they’re just not your personal kind of thing?

    • nygiant1952 says:

      I see that you have surrendered any discussion about the influence of Queen Victoria, or how many Irish were in the US, or about the poor conditions of the forts.

      Chew in this….Palmerston had to get a declaration of war through Parliament….he couldn’t.

      India……now that is what we call in the US…grasping at straws. let me know when Indian troops arrive….see, that’s the pesky logistics raising its head again.

      Come back when you have done some reading. I’m going to the beach for the day.

      • Hugh De Mann says:

        Incorrect; I concede nothing whatsoever the question you put about Queen Victoria.

        I repeat; you’ve no understanding of responsible government.

        We have engaged in a ‘What If’ scenario even here-

        If you’re going to try to put the case that every single 1.4 million Irish whom emigrated to America by 1861 would have been been a soldier in the Union Army against Great Britain, then I counter pose that all 250,000,000 Indians in India would have filled same role for the British AGAINST the Union and Irish.

        Game over…

        And why don’t you refer to Sir John A. MacDonald’s 1867 letter as proof at the highest level that arrival of such India troops to combat American ones was indeed viable?

        Seems them straws are bent over and crunched by Seapoy boots marching up the gangplanks…!

        Exactly as it would be of their shipment via steam and rail to the Western Front, Gallipoli, the Middle East, etc, in WWI. Or in the Crimea…!

        Go to the beach if you choose. But if you ever want to have a cocky demeanour and snipe at a differing opinion ever again, you come on back here, anytime. I’ll be here.

      • Nygiant1952 says:

        Well , I gave a reference re Queen Victoria. You can’t.

        You seem to have difficulty understanding logistics. No Indians would fight.

        Game over.. I have embarrassed you enough

        BTW.. all that mentioning the CSS Dhenandoah… that’s called a diversion

  17. Hugh De Mann says:

    Now I know you’re dishonest and discredited.

    You provide no primary source to establish your Queen Victoria claim; you do not provide any same to prove that Palmerston acted/withheld action because of that and no other factors, (such as Sir Philip Game’s secret reports to King George V, and the latter’s response back, over NSW Premier Jack Lang’s request for more Legislative Council appointees, as cited in the UK National Archives in Kew or copies of same in Sydney’s Mitchell Library – exact reference numbers provided upon request), as I have provided per Queen Victoria’s letters re. Napoleon III/Abraham Lincoln/Trent Affair/Quebec.

    You are pursuing aggressive ignorance as if that was reply enough; India could, would, DID verifiably fight on Britain’s behalf as I set out in previous.

    If you truly felt that the CSS SHENANDOAH was a diversion, etc, you would have no difficulty assessing it to prove that neither Britain or its Empire would have any truck with the Confederacy.

    Mind you, with that specific example, you see the extremes of diplomacy…

    I put it to you again; by engaging in this very discussion, (adducing Irish American troops for the North against India troops for Britain), you are disproving your own stated aversion to ‘What If’ historical questions that Chris Mackowski opened this thread with.

    All you can do is state that you can see at least a little merit in them, on reconsideration, but you dislike how these often treat Lost Cause themes as ‘absolutely proven’.

  18. nygiant1952 says:

    You must like being spoon fed…..here is the reference…
    24 Connell, Regina vs. Palmerston, The Correspondence between Queen Victoria and her Foreign and Prime Ministers, 1837-1865, Doubleday, Garend City N.Y. 1961, pp379-380.

    Here is the reference to the article…https://ojs.library.okstate.edu/osu/index.php/OAS/article/download/4794/4465

    I found this article after 2 minutes, using Google.

    There is no documentation that India would have sent troops to fight the US….logistically, it doesn’t make any sense.

    Let me know if there is anything I can educate you regarding The American Civil War.

  19. Hugh De Mann says:

    Now I know you have omitted your historical credibility!!!

    It is true that Queen Victoria affected an influence on Palmerston’s Ministry in this incident, (exactly as Lord Dufferin affected an influence upon Alexander Mackenzie’s Canadian Ministry upon construction of the CPR to British Columbia,and likewise incurred ire and criticism that he was overstepping his constitutional authority and Reserve Powers).

    But given the outcome of the English Civil War and Glorious Revolution, (specifically, the loss of the throne by the Stuart dynasty and their tenet of Divine Rule), what makes this incident of Victoria and Palmerston come to the conclusion it did?!

    By the tenet of supremacy of Parliament over the Crown, PALMERSTON CHOSE TO ACCEPT THE ‘COUNSEL’ OF THE QUEEN!

    One of the roles of the Monarch/Rep. is to ‘counsel’, (per Adrian Clarkson), that is, to hear and consider the ‘advice’ tendered them.

    That’s not to say the Monarch/Rep. has no powers; but IF Parliament insists on a course of action, then that’s what goes.

    Palmerston CHOSE to not insist and CHOSE to let her actions to stand. Seemingly, due to the extremity of political complexity, foreign issues afoot, that many members of Parliament were willing to one way or another, enable Victoria’s influence.

    This is the very decade in which a high amount of the British public and Parliament was calling for the re-abolition of the Monarchy and for reasons as this, and more!!!

    That members of Parliament, etc, would publicly criticise her and her conduct is a good indication to the answer to this question-

    Do you seriously think that after 220 years of Supremacy of Parliament and about 550 years (ballpark) of the first Parliament, do you think that the British Parliament would tolerate her, or any other Monarch, actively interfering daily with the issues of the day?

    What did Abraham Lincoln call the Confederates to heed about King Charles at Hampton Roads?

    That he had lost his head at the order of Parliament!

    What happened when the Rep. of the Queen, Thomas McInnes, Lt. Gov. of British Columbia, dismissed from office two Premiers? He was himself dismissed by the Canadian federal government!

    Did she work an influence in this episode? Yes, she did.

    This received extreme criticism in private and public by the Government, etc.

    To try to put the argument that this meant she could personally effect the government as she chose at will is to ignore the whole of responsible government.

    Tell me; did Queen Victoria’s total disagreement with the Gladstone’s voting reforms prevent the 1872 Secret Ballot Act? It was passed despite her total objection. The 1884 Reform Act?

    Did she agree with Gladstone’s refusal to rescue General Gordon? She effected actions, but Gladstone held his course.

    Shrug…did Lord Aberdeen inform Queen Victoria that the British fleet had sailed for the Crimea before departing, and thereby, Her Empire was at war with Russia? Nope, she and Albert were furious, but consented to it. Who masterminded that move? Palmerston!

    The one thing that Queen Victoria would not approve of was anything that in her view jeapordised the interests of the UK and Empire. But, consent to it, she did.

    To think that she would have opposed war on the grounds that foreign vessels could stop on the high seas ships flying the British flag, w/o express permission of Britain, and this ‘advice’ tendered to her by an adamant Parliament is delusional.

    It’s fair to point out that she worked an influence; this does not prove the point you are trying very hard to make; that she had the personal/constitutional/legal power to stop a war that Parliament would have insisted upon. The fact she consented to the Crimean War in the way that unfolded is precedent enough in the British tradition to render her unable to refuse, had Palmerston insisted.

    Even Prince Albert’s involvement in this and acceptance of the outcome he helped achieve rested on Parliament acceptance.

    And your continued chat about India again disproves your statement you won’t engage in ‘What if?’ History.

    …unable to move them hither or thither…?

    Sigh…Crimea and all of WWI.

    Sir John A’s letter.

    Buddy, give it up and watch this YouTube clip I’ll post. You’ll learn about Responsible Government

    • Hugh De Mann says:

      An accurate depiction of the historical figures and their words, based on primary evidence.

      https://youtu.be/SDS4gD5LgKo

    • nygiant1952 says:

      Little boy,

      Thank you for acknowledging that Queen Victoria DID influence British Foeign Policy, not only the American Civil War, but also in the Prussia Denmark War. Please read the reference I gave to you.

      This means that you acknowledged all of my tenets on why Great Britain would have never dared go to was with the United States over the Trent Affair, and over slavery.

      You do realize that Palmerston canceled a Cabinet meeting that was to discuss Great Britain recognizing the Confederacy , but he canceled the meeting. Know why? Because Queen Victoria was in traveling in Prussia. Accompanying her were the same Cabinet Ministers would wold have attended that meeting.

      Palmerston had an agenda. Though he was anti-slavery, he and only he ( and not the rest of Great Britain) did consider recognizing the Confederacy, not to protect slavery, but to try and weaken the United States. He recognized that the growing economic power of the United States did threaten Great Britain. He recognized that the American merchant fleet and Navy could someday surpass that of Great Britain….AND IT DID!

      Realize that Canada was given Dominion status in 1867, after the Civil War. Canada was now responsible for its own Government and its own defense. No longer could the US threaten Great Britain by implying the uS would invade Canada.

      In the spirit of trying to help educate those who are just learning about the Civil War, I suggest you read the book…”Southern Strategies” edited by Christian Keller. It discusses practically all the things I have presented to you, and that you have acknowledged.

      I hope that my spoon-feeding you Civil War history has helped your understanding. Another good book read is…”Battle Cry of Freedom”. This will definitely help you out in your understanding.

      Good luck with your reading!

      • Hugh De Mann says:

        I ain’t no boy.

        That’s the first thing.

        Next thing, Queen Victoria did have an influence she asserted in Denmark-Prussia. This does not carry to the American Civil War/War Between The States as you attempt to wrongly argue. Had Mason and Slidell not been released, it was war, as the letter from Palmerston to her shows. She would have yielded to the ‘advice’ of her Ministers, as all the preparations for such a war show, (see for example cited letter of the Governor of New Zealand).

        You can refuse truth.

        Speaking of Battle Cry and Palmerston, read that pages 553-558.

        Know why the meeting you cite was ‘canceled’? Because it is convention for the Prime Minister to inform the Crown of a state of war/other important issues of the day. If he’d insisted on war and chose to insist on the ‘advice’ he tendered, the Monarch has no choice but to assent, as with Crimea. If he chose to accept her ‘counsel’, then that’s fundamentally a different issue than saying the Monarch has the right to rule as if Parliament does not exist.

        Did you just say ‘Palmerston’was going to recognise the South and none else in Britain…?!!!!!!

        OMG…ok I’ll pull up Gladstone’s statement for you very gladly and the other pieces of evidence.

        That’s the last time you’ll fail to consult British newspapers as a historian ever again.

        Your point about Union economic development and Canadian Dominion status are red herrings that were never whatever issues of this debate, BUT! Again you prove you know nothing of history, practically-

        You’ve obviously never read what Horace Porter quoted Abraham Lincoln as saying about seeking revenge on England for the Trent Affair in ‘Campaigning With Grant’, and where was Lincoln thinking of striking? Canada!

        Benjamin Butler stated the USA ought to simply fish in Canadian waters after the war of it pleased!

        What was one of the main duties of the RCMP (then NWMP), when it was originated in 1873? To protect Canadian Aboriginal nation tribes from American whiskey traders and keep the prairies under Canadian law and keep OUT American schemes on the area!

        If you don’t know that, I don’t know what to tell you further…

        I would suggest in the strongest possible terms you digest all the works I’ve put and to read ‘Thomas Morris Chester’, by Blackett.

        You long ago in this debate tacitly acknowledged the point that you WILL entertain ‘What If? Scenarios. That but was lost for you long ago, mate.

      • nygiant1952 says:

        Little boy,

        All diversion. Nice try though.

        Please read the books I mentioned as they will open your eyes to the American Civil War.

  20. Hugh De Mann says:

    And the main reason Palmerston changed his mind, but Gladstone did not, about Confederate recognition, the near-clinched Confederate-French-British Emancipation Treaty of 1862 aside, is that the South did not achieve the military victory at Antietam that Palmerston had made up his mind must be achieved to gain recognition. See that in Battle Cry, 553-58.

    What if…?

    • nygiant1952 says:

      Palmerston had to get Queen Victoria’s approval before any military involvement against the US. She was in Prussia along with some of these Cabinet Ministers.

      Mentioning Gladstone makes no sense…he became PM in 1867, AFTER the Civil War and after the Rebels were defeated.

      More diversions…..sigh.

  21. Hugh De Mann says:

    I’m waiting to see if you challenge a key point in there…!

    • nygiant1952 says:

      Little boy

      Why don’t you tell me how the 3/5ths clause in the US Constitution affected a 33 Branches of Government?

      I’m off to the beach for a beach day.
      When I return I expect to review your response,

  22. Hugh De Mann says:

    Per convention, Palmerston was obliged to meet with the Monarch and inform her, as Slidell and Mason had been taken in the Trent Affair as they were and NOT released, a state of war existed between her United Kingdom and Empire.

    Per convention and his insistence on such course, she had no option but to assent, no matter how much she may have disliked the notion and put this to him.

    What DID Gladstone say about recognising the Confederacy in public…?

  23. Hugh De Mann says:

    Come on, say it…!

    Challenge-

    The Confederate Emancipation Treaty of 1862…!

    • nygiant1952 says:

      Really…That’s ALL you can come up with?

      Although Confederate diplomats, in their search for support in England and France, somewhat disingenuously implied that the South planned to eventually abandon slavery during the early years of the Civil War,

      The important word being….disingenuously…

      That word means…lack of candor….those diplomates were not telling the truth. I had to learn the meaning of that word in 1968 to pass the SATs.

      Wow…that was 54 years ago!!

      woids have meaning.

      • Hugh De Mann says:

        Your credibility ends in absolute terms as of this point.

        When I have posted this, you have been 100% put in loss of this debate.

        You did make a point about the Prussia/Denmark Conflict and Queen Victoria stretching the bounds of her powers in a constitutional monarchy; these became such as Palmerston chose to acquiesce. By no means does this undo the entirety of responsible government in the 64 years of her reign and you can not argue same about her in even the other examples I have put.

        Now, as far as the Confederate offer to emancipate…well, learning isn’t your gig so just take up a new hobby.

        Now, McPherson makes absolutely no mention of this in ‘Battle Cry’. Whatever else may be the merits of his work, this is a flaw. See page 503: No entry.

        -‘Once A Week’, [United Kingdom] 30 November 1861:

        “Slavery is doomed, on any supposition; and the Confederate authorities are already saying publicly that the power of emancipation is one which rests in their hands; and that they will use it in the last resort. This is a disclosure full of interest, and hope.”

        -‘Spectator’, [United Kingdom] 25 January 1862:

        “It is understood…that the Confederacy have offered England and France a price for active support. It jg nothing less than a treaty securing free trade in its broadest sense for fifty years, the complete suppression of the import of slaves, and the emancipation of every negro born after the date of the signature of the treaty. In return they ask, first, the recognition of their independence; and, secondly, such an investigation into the facts of the blockade as must, jn their judgment, lead to its disavowal.”

        -Diary of Charles Francis Adams, US Consul to Britain, 17 February 1862:

        “A visit from Bishop McIlvaine, who came to tell me the result of a conversation he had held at breakfast with Sir Culling Eardley this morning, that gentlemen had apprised him of the existence of rumors that Mr Mason had brought with him authority to make large offers towards emancipation if Great Britain would come to the aid of the confederates. He even specified their nature, as for example, the establishment of the marriage relation, the restoration of the right of manumission, and the emancipation of all born after a certain time to be designated. He had further intimated that31 these views were received favorably here and were the topic of discussion between the religious classes here and on the continent. I remarked upon the impudent character of this fraud, but yet that it needed to be energetically treated both here and at home. On this side it should be viewed by us with favour as making a basis for a possible pacification, whilst on the other the fact of such an intrigue should be made known far and wide among the deluded population who consider themselves as the champions of the highest type of civilization. I was even willing to go so far as to throw out the probability of a consent to their recognition provided that the emancipation should be made forthwith.”

        *He calls this a fraud, but then backtracks by stating he was willing to consent to Confederate sovereignty and to arrange a settlement!

        -‘South Australian Register’, [Colony of South Australia] 8 April 1862:

        “A Southern Bait.— It is understood…that the Confederacy have offered to England and France a price for active support. It is nothing less than a treaty securing free trade in its broadest sense for fifty years, the complete suppression of the import of slaves, and the emancipation of every negro born after the date of the signature of the treaty. In return they ask, first, the recognition of their independence; and secondly, such an investigation into the facts of the blockade, as must, in their judgement, lead to its disavowal.” – cites ibid Spectator copy.

        -‘Daily Colonist’, [Colony of Vancouver Island] 29 May 1862:

        “The rumors of interference by France and England in American affairs are received, and it is even asserted that the South, in return for the intervention, will guarantee the emancipation of her slaves…The proposition for intervention comes from France….The ‘Independence Belge’ asserts that the object of Lavulette’s recent visit to England was to induce England to consent to a common intervention in American affairs. England agreed on condition that the Roman question be first settled.”

        – Abraham Lincoln Papers at the Library of Congress: Series 1. General Correspondence. 1833 – 1916: Border State Congressmen to Abraham Lincoln, Tuesday, July 15, 1862.

        Letter to Lincoln signed by seven representatives of the Border States, following his rejected proposal for compensated abolishment of slavery in these:

        “…the leaders of the Southern rebellion have offered to abolish slavery amongst them as a condition to foreign intervention in favor of their independence as a nation. If they can give up slavery to destroy the Union; We can surely ask our people to consider the question of Emancipation to save the Union.”

        Almost immediately after this, Lincoln sets in motion the process of conceiving and setting out the Emancipation Proclamation to ‘head off at the pass’ the Confederate lead on abolishing slavery.

        -Other newspapers carrying news of European intervention and/or the stated Confederate Emancipation Treaty of 1862:

        -‘Inverness Advertiser’ [Scotland], 2 August 1862
        -‘Manchester Guardian’ [England], 11 September 1863
        -‘Aberdeen Press & Journal’ [Scotland], 18 September 1861, (cites Harriet Beecher Stowe in American Press saying that Confederate emancipation is a distinct possibility!]
        -‘Kendal Mercury’ [United Kingdom], 16 November 1861, (you might want to read what US Consul Adams had to say in this speech about slavery and the Union government…!)
        -‘Western Daily Mercury’ [United Kingdom], 12 February 1863, (you may want to refer to this chat between Slidell and Napoleon III…!)
        -‘Renfewshire Indpendent’ [Scotland], 7 December 1861
        -‘Dundee Advertiser’ [Scotland], 25 & 27 September 1861, (same points about Confederate emancipation and Harriet Beecher Stowe making the point! Also cites the American newspapers saying same!)
        -‘Glasgow Daily Herald’, [Scotland], 1 May 1862, Confederate emancipation
        -‘Hereford Times’ [UK], 18 October 1862, ibid
        -‘Hobart Mercury [colony of Tasmania], ibid date, Potential French recognition of Confederacy.
        -‘Leeds Mercury’ [UK], 19 June 1863, Mason on Confederate emancipation
        -…and there! Having go just to the ‘L’ section, the matter is resolved.

        If you will seriously put that the the Confederacy offering some form of ending slavery is a fraud after all this evidence has come forth, particularly from how it spurred Adams to desperately offer a plan of negotiation and recognition of Confederate sovereignty and how the timing so correlates with Lincoln’s dealings with the Emancipation Proclamation, if you do not concede that the weight of evidence is looming against you, then I raise my hands in vic’try.

        There is too much evidence to contest the matter: The Confederates were willing to emancipate.

        This is not even considering the December 1864 Duncan F. Kenner Mission.

        The matter is settled; you’ve been taken.

        Remember the All American school of the Civil War/War Between the States.

      • nygiant1952 says:

        If you knew your Civil War history like you “think” you do, you would know about Patrick Clebourne circulated a written document to his fellow officers that proposed that the Confederacy replenish its ranks with armed black soldiers who would be brought into the Rebel Army with a promise of freedom for themselves and their families. As Cleburne must have realized, the widespread emancipation of black soldiers and their families would make it impossible to keep other African-Americans as slaves once the war was over.

        Basic stuff that you just have now awareness of.

        Oh, and Thanks for verifying the fact that Palmerston had to go to Queen Victoria to discuss foreign policy and get her approval. I don’t have to show EVERY attempt..only that she did it.

  24. Hugh De Mann says:

    Gladstone’s comments in Manchester, England, 1862-

    ‘…
    whether they be for the South or against the South, one thing at least is very certain, and that is, that Jefferson Davis and the other Southern leaders have made an army are making a navy, and ‘”have made what is more than either of these –they have made a nation,”’ The success of the South in separating from the North, may be regarded as certain–Mr. Gladstone thinks it as certain ‘”as any event yet future and contingent can be.”’ From that very certainty, and from the mortification which the Yankee; must suffer on account of it, he hopes England will do nothing to inflict additional shame and mortification upon them. ‘”It may be that a time may arrive that it will be a duty to Europe to offer a word of expostulation, or of friendly aid towards ending the quarrel.”’

  25. Hugh De Mann says:

    Now…what if…?

  26. Hugh De Mann says:

    Now, what was the date that Queen Victoria allegedly took abroad with the Cabinet of Palmerston to Prussia, as you said earlier, in which she had ‘ordered’ them there would be no war with the Union…?

    I would re-consider that statement if I were you. And I would re-consider just how resolved Palmerston was about war with the Union if Mason and Slidell were not released…

  27. Hugh De Mann says:

    And, I can easily finish going from ‘L’ to the end of the alphabet of newspapers about Confederate emancipation.

    Nor have I even bothered to show what I can from the United Kingdom National Archives, the French National Archives and all the primary holdings from the rest of the British Empire of the time, (ie. the dispatches sent to the Governor General of Canada, that of Newfoundland, that of Victoria, that of New Zealand, that of Barbadoes, that of the Lord Lieutenant of Ireland…)

    If you will call that amount of primary evidence alone, bearing of the incident and issue ‘disingenuous’, then that is another bit of proof of your desperation to hold to that, and more proof of your Orwellian nationalistic ’emotionally desperate need’ to ‘feel’ prestige in the unit you’ve aligned yourself with.

    • nygiant1952 says:

      Warren further wrote, “At Toronto and Kingston, he proposed earthworks with heavy ordnance, and allocated two hundred men for extending and strengthening them. A new ten-gun battery was to replace the rusty cannon overlooking the Grand Trunk Railway tracks, wharf, and channel, and a Royal Artillery officer arrived to instruct men in its use. Williams wanted to blow bridges over the St. Lawrence and, in the event of attack, close Toronto by sinking ships. Desperate moves were necessary.”

      pesky thing those pesky rusted cannon!

      • Hugh De Mann says:

        so basically, you’re admitting that improvements were put in place on just those works, alone…

        Headshake…Chapter 7: Interlude-Petites Choses, Winks, ‘Canada & The US’, pp104-30.

        Mmmmmm, boy! Check out all them primary sources in fn 1-66!

        Hey! Fn 40, Sir John A. MacDonald papers, ‘Canada & Invasion’, 1863…!

      • nygiant1952 says:

        Evidently, reading with comprehension is a weak point with you. How useful are “rusty cannon”?

        And…”A new ten-gun battery was to replace the rusty cannon” …it is unknown if they were actually replaced.

        Let’s not assume things not in evidence…as my lawyer friends say.

        BYW, I am STILL waiting for any correspondence from Seward and Lincoln instruction Winfield Scott to offer Quebec to Napoleon III for going to war with Greta Britain. I am willing to wait til Hell freezes over for your citation.

        If you can’t produce one, I suggest you STFU…LOL. LMAO.

  28. Hugh De Mann says:

    Nope that is more dishonesty on your part to describe that incident with Queen Victoria as such.

    The head of government in responsible government doesn’t ‘need to get the permission’ of the Monarch/Rep. of to conduct foreign affairs; they de-brief HM/Rep. of of the policy and developments being actioned by the elected Ministry.

    That attempt to frame a singular incident as representing the entire system is more flagrant dishonesty on your part and further cuts away your credibility.

    The proof of that is you fail to convincingly presenting an argument of how the other incidents I’ve even named, such as the dispatch of the British forces to the Crimea which enraged her, still happened at the direction of the government, not her or Albert.

    The action stood.

    Now, can you convincingly accomodate the Cleburne plan, of which I’m very aware of, into the 1862 Confederate Emancipation Treaty, the 1864 Duncan F. Kenner Mission and what Robert E. Lee said when briefed of the Cleburne Plan and his own views of Confederate Emancipation in tandem with enlisting would-be Black Confederate national troops that he was personally willing to not only advocate for, but lead into battle.

    This will test YOUR real knowledge of the war.

    And…! If you cite his January of 1865 letter to the Confederate Secretary of War as ‘his final, true, etc’, views on this topic, then I gotcha…!

    Go ahead, I dare you in this debate to put that!

    • nygiant1952 says:

      Evidently, reading comprehensions not your strong point. I’ve given you references where Queen Victoria made her will know and Palmerston relented. And the bottom line is, Great Britain did not go to war wit the US. They even stopped building ships for the rebels for fear of going to war with the US.

      No slaves fought in organized units for the Rebels. No Black troops fought for the Confederacy. Let’s not use alternative facts…ok?

      So far, your knowledge of the Civil war is….naive. But then again, this site is intended to educate the newbie.

      • Hugh De Mann says:

        You continue to present aggressive ignorance of responsible government as if you can will it to come true.

        Victoria exerted an undue amount of influence on ONE episode in the 64 years of her reign, which hinged entirely on Palmerston deciding not to press Supremacy of Parliament. You refuse to consider any evidence but this singular evidence. That’s the sign of historical fear.

        Now…was that the stoppage of the Empire’s support for the Confederacy…?

        I would look at the entirety of the CSS SHENANDOAH. You look like a fool making that argument and not understanding even with this single example of who/what/etc, feted the Confederates like royalty…!

        Nope!!! Nice try!!!!

        You tried to say the Cleburne plan episode was ‘be all, sum all, etc’ of Confederate emancipation and the reaction to IT ended debate.

        Again, you deliberately go out of your way to evade evidence that challenges you!

        The stated Robert E. Lee evidence, regardless of any/all further dispute about Black Confederates in any context, is proof to point you are incorrect about Confederate emancipation, and that the presentation of Cleburne’s plan was its own extinction!

        Mind you, if you want to discuss that aspect of Robert E. Lee and how Gary Gallagher’s argument that the willingness of the North even to field Black American troops indicated a willingness to challenge racism, well, that door then, given the logic and evidence, swings both ways my friend…!

        So if you’d like, by all means, elaborate this debate to include that aspect of Robert E. Lee!!!!!!

        ‘Step into my parlour’, said the bullfrog to the fly…!

      • nygiant1952 says:

        “You continue to present aggressive ignorance of responsible government as if you can will it to come true.”

        Name calling is the last resort of the one who has lost the debate.

        I feel sorry for you, not because of your interest in the Civil war, but of your ignorance.

  29. nygiant1952 says:

    Wow…This IS an interesting letter published in The NY Times by General Winfield Scott. NO WHERE does he mention any threat to great Britain, NO WHERE does he mention talking to Napoleon III or offering Quebec to NapoleonIII in exchange for France going to war with Great Britain!

    In fact, further down the column, Napoleon III offered his services to Great Britain!!!

    https://timesmachine.nytimes.com/timesmachine/1861/12/19/78674017.html?auth=login-email&pageNumber=1

    Hugh NOT deMann is officially declared FOS.

    • Hugh De Mann says:

      Heeeeeeeyyyyyyy….!

      What is recorded right here in Queen Victoria’s own letters, 29 November 1861…?

      https://archive.org/details/in.ernet.dli.2015.201738/page/n1/mode/2up?q=Trent

      That’s right; aggressively try to ignore it…lol!

      Btw, did you see what Napoleon III chatted with Slidell about in 1863? It’s in the ‘A-L’ list of newspapers I put up there…?!

      And want to see what Napoleon III told Rose O’Neal Greenhow, (possibly misspelled her name there)? She was a Confederate spy and emissary to France.

      Want to see what the Emperor disagreed with over his own diplomats to the US…?

      Hugh De Mann, not just De Man-

      De Champion!!! Got the HWT belt!

  30. Hugh De Mann says:

    If I’m floundering, how come YOU have not addressed the evidence I’ve put?
    A true historian exhaustively engages with ALL evidence they come across; especially that which challenges them and their arguments.

    It’s not enough to cite, for example, Grant’s statement about the Confederate war cause in his view in his memoirs as being, ‘one of the worst for which a people ever fought’, etc. It’s not enough to cite Gary Gallagher’s praise of Grant’s Memoirs.

    You have to cite how Grant conceded in same Memoirs that the 1846-48 Mexican American War he chose to participate in, (when he had the option to resign and go home), was EXACTLY the same cause in essence as the Confederates fought for, in his view. And you have to engage and explain how in December of 1861 he was recorded as saying if the Union government changed war policy to include emancipation instead of only restoring the Union, he would quit and go home. And, you have to include engaging with how Gallagher didn’t adequately engage with these aspects of Grant.

    You are continuously exhibiting nationalistic propaganda indoctrination, because you refuse and fear to engage with historical evidence that challenges you.

    Hmmmmmmmmm…so the only ‘states rights’ that mattered in the war were those that pertained to slavery, and the Lost Cause ‘fabricated’ them as a war cause? That the idea of states rights separate from slavery was a ‘myth’?

    Tell me what you can then…about the Aroostook War and Maine…?

    Or!!! Let’s have that chat about Robert E. Lee!!! Tell me you argue his 1866 Congressional testimony ‘proves’ he was against Black Americans voting in the post-war…?!

    I would not ever say that, if I were you! As the primary records of Lee, Lincoln, Oliver O. Howard and Joshua Lawrence Chamberlain will line up with…!

    Heeeeeeeeeeyyyyyy!!!!! Speaking of Canada in the post-war, tell me what you can about Chamberlain’s views in this…?

    Now if you come back with anything approaching a personal insult, or refuse to actually engage in the evidence and issues, the match is set!

    • nygiant1952 says:

      Your evidence is meaningless, when taken in view of the big picture. Slidell and Mason were basically inept at their job, and no one cares what conversations they had with Napoleon III.

      No one cares about Chamerlain’s view on post-war Canada. That was up to the Great Britain and the Canadians.

      Now, I am STILL waiting for a citation where Seward Lincoln advise Scott on offering Quebec to France.

      And I am STILL waiting for how the US Constitution was a racist document because of the 3/5ths clause and how that clause affected a 3 branches of Government.

      Until you can back up Palmerston’s erroneous statement regarding Scott with facts, I conclude you really are a wind-bag.

      • Hugh De Mann says:

        Now look at this…!

        You stating that on Mason and Slidell in those terms is you desperately trying to avoid what the evidence DOES say about them, especially as gleaned in Slidell’s meetings with Napoleon III, as cited in the British Press and ‘Rose’ files, and per what Scott was instructed by Lincoln and Seward to tell the Emperor, as shown in the 29 November 1861 letter that Palmerston tendered of his meeting with Queen Victoria.

        If I were you, having been disproven, I’d try to pretend I’d not been provided with that evidence, either. But I’m not in that position.

        End of debate!

        Now…in citing what you have about Chamberlain, and what he spoke of Canadian Confederation when he became Maine Governor around the same time, I find just as interesting that you DONT cite the the Aroostook War…!

        Come to think of it, that comes right back to the entire question, ‘Did states rights have any meaning besides the right of a state about slavery?’

        Buddy, if I were you I would NOT go further on this. Because then you have to answer why AFTER the war, with the history of Maine above all, why Chamberlain didn’t just say about Canadian Confederation, ‘Any threat of security we as the people of Maine may feel as a result of that to our North will be well-handled by the federal government of our Union.’

        He DIDNT say that at all! 1839 is coming to mind very strongly…! And hey! We’re right back to a What If theme again!

        Know what the main biography of Palmerston cites about him, potential war with the Union and Canada. Ask and I’ll tell.

        Oh man! Well, with the placement of the 3/5 recognising the institution of slavery in the American constitution, it gave extra means to the Fugitive Slave tenet in the constitution as well!

        That meant what? That all whom swore an oath to the American constitution, such as Presidents, West Point and Annapolis graduates, Members of Congress, were swearing to do what?

        To uphold the institution of slavery that was recognised by the Constitution by such duties as returning to bondage all presumed fugitive slaves, the onus on the Black Americans in question to prove themselves Free Persons of Colour.

        This is what Sherman wrote with relish and delight to his brother from Florida in 1842, and Abraham Lincoln openly stated was the duty of himself and all members of Congress in his First Inaugural Address!

        You REALLY shouldn’t have tried to distract with this new angle, sir! Now you have to realise why the constitution of the USA from 1789 (at least) to 1865 enabled racism. It made the entire federal government a body of slavery upholders and catchers and Frederick Douglass observed it compelled the entire civilian population to assist in such in the 8 June 1849 ‘Liberator’.

        Again, I’ve noticed when you are getting debate-wise ‘out-boxed’ you either try a new distraction or simply try to pretend the eco has not been made known. That’s called ‘Santa Claus refusing to believe in the world’

        Go on then! By all means, go back and search for something in our log here to ‘try to tear a new angle’ with. I’ve no problem going over top to bottom or side to side!

        Now, do you really think all those who have been reading these between us see me as the ‘windbag’? And even if they do, looking back over all the evidence and arguments summed up between us, calling me a windbag makes me laugh!

        Go on! Post the next thing. I’m hoping you cause me to cite the Palmerston

        Or here; let me suggest something new-

        I got it!!!!!!!!

        …did any sovereign nations ever recognise the Confederacy as a sovereign nation?

        Think very carefully and I’ll give you a hint; I’m NOT referring or implying in any way to Ernst Raven in Texas and Coburg-Saxe-Goethe!

      • nygiant1952 says:

        Mason and Slidell were useless.

        The rest of your comment is nothing but a diversion since you can’t answer my questions.

        Please cite where Palmerston got the information regarding Scott and Quebec. I’ve asked, but you can’t come up with it.

        So long, Flounder

  31. Hugh De Mann says:

    There WAS one country that recognised the Confederacy as a sovereign nation…!

    ‘Step into my parlour…!’

    • Hugh De Mann says:

      I HAVE answered that well and true! The link to Vol. III of Queen Victoria’s letters is there in the thread for you to use at will!

      So…what WAS the one sovereign country that indisputably recognised the South as a country?

      • nygiant1952 says:

        The Holy See….the jurisdiction of the Pope in his role as the Bishop of Rome.

        Why is it important for you to feel as if you are the smartest guy in the room?

    • nygiant1952 says:

      Only through the mis-translation of an address. Judah Benjamin called it “a mere inferential recognition, unconnected with political action or the regular establishment of diplomatic relations” and thus did not assign it the weight of formal recognition.”

      Why do you have such a need to try and show us how much you know? Do you have an inferiority complex or an inferiority simplex?

  32. Hugh De Mann says:

    I am not the smartest guy in the room in any context whatsoever the question.

    If I were the only one in a room full of brain-dead baby chimpanzees, I would not be the most intelligent primate in the room.

    From the get-go, you taunted and displayed an arrogance that was something else to behold. Now, if that’s who you really are, I’m willing to credit that.

    Now, we are at a cross roads here at this point; the above re. not at all the example of Confederate recognition I was going to cite.

    We can either keep going like this, or simply shake hands and desist in this.

    What do you reckon?

    • nygiant1952 says:

      I agree you are not the smartest guy in the room. The jury is still out as to whether I am. I fear a hung jury.

      I accept your surrender. If we ever meet at a conference, I’ll buy you a beer.

  33. Hugh De Mann says:

    Correction: Read above as, ‘…if that’s NOT who you really are…’, etc.

    Wish this page had a correction device.

  34. Hugh De Mann says:

    I do not ‘surrender’. That term, or any synonym, has no relevance between us.

    You are free to think of mine or your intelligence in any capacity you want to. That’s your choice.

    We can have a cold one at any time.

  35. Hugh De Mann says:

    “…I hope you’ll fare well.”

    -Bearclaws, ‘Jeremiah Johnson’

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