Question of the Week: 10/17-10/23/22

Here’s another question that can be interesting to revisit…

If you could witness one event from the American Civil War era, what would it be? Why? (You can’t change the outcomes; just get to observe.)

26 Responses to Question of the Week: 10/17-10/23/22

  1. To accompany Capt. Johnston on his fateful reconnaissance mission on the morning of July 2nd,1863 when he was tasked by Lee to determine the end of the Federal line at Gettysburg. Where did he go? What did he see or not see? Did he make it up to Little Round Top? What actually happened?

    1. I would want to see and hear Longstreet and Lee discussing and arguing over their respective beliefs and proposals for Gettysburg as events unfolded there on July 1, 2, and 3.

  2. If I could go back in time to witness one event without the ability to change anything it would be the meeting of Robert E. Lee and Stonewall Jackson before the flank march by Jackson at Chancellorsville. What did was said?

  3. Red River campaign — trapped Federal gunboats blow up a temporary dam and use the wave to “surf” past the shoals at Alexandria, LA.

  4. I would opt to be with Hancock on his 3 days at Gettysburg to observe exactly how his key decisions & inspirational leadership unfolded each day.

  5. I would like to have been a fly on the wall when Jeb Stuart first reported to Lee at Gettysburg.

  6. I’d like to have been present at the McLean House along with my friend Chris Kolakowski during the meeting with Lee and Grant on April 9, 1865.

  7. Not a battle, but I would love to be standing with John Hay watching the 11th New York and their colonel playing Base Ball at Camp Lincoln in the middle of May.

  8. Would love to have been a fly on the wall at Lincoln’s meeting on July 12,1862 with the Border State Congressmen, when he tried to convince them to accept his proposal of compensated emancipation for their slaves. It was during that meeting that the twenty who voted against him stated that slavery was NOT the reason that the seceded States had left the Union. And it was also at that meeting that seven of the Union loyal border State Congressmen told him that the seceded States had offered an end to slavery to Britain and France if those two foreign powers would ally with them to defeat the Union and gain Southern independence.

    The seven Union loyal Congressmen agreed to Lincoln’s offer of compensated emancipation because, stating in no uncertain terms, that the seceded State’s offer to end slavery was a “fact, become history:”

    “We are the more emboldened to assume this position from the fact, now become history, that 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.”

    Would they have dared used such certain terms to their President regarding a matter of such strategic importance during a time of war had they not verified that the offer was indeed a fact? They were certainly in a position to find out for sure given that the leaders in the seceded States were constantly lobbying them to join the CSA?

    Whatever they told Lincoln in that July 12 meeting certainly convinced him because he sat down the very next day and did something he had long resisted doing. On July 13 he drafted his Preliminary Emancipation Proclamation. Is there any doubt that he was attempting to counter or preempt the Confederate offer to end slavery with his own end to slavery. No wonder he placed so much emphasis on his EP being a “war measure” intended to keep Britain and France out of the war!

    I would love to know what those seven Congressmen knew and how they knew it. Details of the offer had already been leaked to British newspapers. The very same week the diplomats involved in The Trent Affair arrived in England, the details of the Confederate offer to end slavery were leaked to a British newspaper that was no friend of the South. That paper was the abolitionist newspaper called “The Spectator.” And even though a strong opponent of the South, it stated that word of the CS offer to end slavery was “accurate:”

    “It is understood, in that indirect but accurate way in which great facts first get abroad, 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.”

    It evidence is strong that the CS offer of a gradual end slavery was the mission of The Trent diplomats. A diary entry of Lincoln’s diplomat in England, Charles Francis Adams, records word from a member of Parliment:

    “Monday 17th
    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.”

    To this Adams would add, “that it needed to be energetically treated both here and at home.”

    This “rumor” was confirmed to Lincoln in that July 12, 1862 meeting. And therefore he issued his own Emancipation Proclamation. While this reveals Lincoln’s true motive for emancipating slaves, it also confirms that when Confederates said they “did not secede and fight to preserve and extend slavery,” it was NOT Lost Cause Myth making! They were willing to end slavery to gain independence!

    Isn’t it amazing how all this, plus a whole lot more evidence I did not have time to mention here, is suppressed by modern academic historians who have sold out to the PC narrative that Southern secession was “about slavery,” and that anything exposing that myth is to be labeled myth itself.

  9. I would have liked to be around to hear General James Johnston Pettigrew explain to Generals Heth and Hill that he had seen Buford’s cavalry on June 30th. If they had only listened.

  10. I would have loved to be with the Army of the Tennessee during and after the running of the Vicksburg batteries by the Mississippi River Squadron. To see those cheers as the gunboats finally came into view of the Army!

Please leave a comment and join the discussion!

%d bloggers like this: