Question of the Week: 8/8-814/22

What’s your favorite “What If” connected to the American Civil War?

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28 Responses to Question of the Week: 8/8-814/22

  1. Rachel R says:

    What if the pontoons had gotten to Fredericksburg on time?

  2. Mike Maxwell says:

    What if President-elect Lincoln had been involved in “a fatal accident” during his train journey from Springfield, Illinois to Washington, D.C. in February 1861? No one person or organization is charged with causing Abraham Lincoln’s death; but no one is absolutely certain that Lincoln died by “accident,” either.
    How might the United States (and how do the Confederate States) respond?

  3. nygiant1952 says:

    What if they gave a Civil War and nobody came?”

  4. What if the Trent Affair had brought Great Britain into the Civil War on the side of the Confederacy?

  5. wbozic says:

    What if Pickett’s Charge was successful?

  6. Michael Block says:

    What if Nathaniel Banks did not attack Stonewall Jackson at Cedar Mountain?

  7. BillF says:

    On June 30, 1863, Meade ordered Reynolds to take the 1st Corps to Gettysburg but for some reason Reynolds didn’t receive the order until that evening. What would have happened if the entire 1st Corps was in Gettysburg when Heth came marching down the Pike?

  8. Daniel Nettesheim says:

    What if Jackson had not been shot during his recon?

  9. Glen Robertson says:

    I actually like Sarah Kay Bierle’s from the closing panel: What if the Confederate capital had remained at Montgomery and not moved to Richmond? Here in Virginia, that would change so much.

  10. Brian Swartz says:

    If “Stonewall” Jackson had not been wounded at Chancellorsville, what role would he have played at Gettysburg?

  11. What if Lee had stayed loyal to the Union and accepted Winfield Scott’s offer to command the army?

  12. Mark Seeger says:

    What if the Confederates held off firing on Sumpter for a couple of days and Doubleday surrendered the fort?

  13. billhenck says:

    what if Grant got to Spotsylvania CH first?

  14. mchardy2014 says:

    What if Grant would have invested more into closing the port of Wilmington in 1864, instead of attacking the Shenandoah Valley?

  15. Charles S. Martin says:

    What if the Union high command had accepted the Henry and/or the Spencer rifle instead of the muzzleloader as the standard infantry weapon at the beginning of the war?

    • Michael Bradley says:

      The Henry was produced in rather small numbers and had a large number of moving parts, making it difficult to maintain in the field. IMO the Spencer was the better weapon but it was 1863 before it was available in numbers.

  16. mark harnitchek says:

    the best “what if?” question is always followed with another question — “would it have mattered and why?” Chris did this last week with his question on the “halt order” at Dunkirk.

    the second question requires the respondent to challenge prior assumptions, longly held beliefs and do a little critical thinking … this reveals that historical outcomes rarely hinge on singular events or “turning points” as we are fond talking about.

  17. Tim Talbott says:

    What if the final Emancipation Proclamation did not include the section that African Americans “will be received into the armed service of the United States. . . .”

  18. nygiant1952 says:

    What if Abner Doubleday had invented Baseball? Would the baseball team he formed have defeated the baseball team formed by Lee?

  19. Bruce K says:

    What if Lee had permitted Longstreet to maneuver aroound the AoP’s left flank?

  20. grandadpookers says:

    “What if” the 11 th Corps took Oak Hill (as Howard wanted) before Rodes occupied it.

  21. Patrick Kelly-Fischer says:

    What if Grant doesn’t bag upwards of 10,000 troops at Fort Donelson?

  22. John Pryor says:

    What if the Confederacy had not fired on Fort Sumter, but had merely prevented the rather weak relief vessels from resupplying the fort?

  23. Douglas Pauly says:

    What if someone wanted to ask Civil War-based “What if” questions, and the bar was closed?

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