Question of the Week: 11/14-11/20/22

Adding a twist to last month’s popular question…

If you could witness one event from the American Civil War era, but this time you could change ONE thing connected to that event with your 2022 hindsight, what would it be? Why?

22 Responses to Question of the Week: 11/14-11/20/22

    1. Yes, for many reasons. We can only speculate on what a full second term would be like for the man widely regarded as our greatest president ever. Momentous, for sure.

  1. Stonewall Jackson would recover from his wounds. Then see if his presence with the Army of Northern Virginia would change the outcome of the war.

  2. John Wilkes Booth’s single-shot derringer misfires as Maj. Henry Rathbone’s Colt Model 1860 pistol shot finds it’s way home to Booth.

  3. The Army of the Potomac arrived first at Spotsylvania Court House in May 1864, which would probably have shortened the war and saved hundreds of thousands of casualties.

  4. I would move the 1860 Democratic Convention from Charleston to Chicago. Then let’s see how well Yancey does when he can’t pack the galleries.

  5. After contemplating our Question of the Week for a while, I realized that this “opportunity to change History” shares the same dilemma with Time Travel: change ONE thing in the Past, and unintended consequences emerge months or years later with nasty flow-on effects impacting everything that followed.
    Best to STUDY History, instead of searching for ways to CHANGE History.

  6. I would see to it that the Dred Scott decision was decided in his favor. Then the question of slavery might have been confined entirely to the courts, and played out in that ‘theater’.

  7. If I could have tweaked history to see Mosby capturing Grant, it would be an interesting tangent. No Grant, no overland campaign, no Sheridan killing Stuart, unlikely re-election of Lincoln (I would say no re-election, but that would underestimate the author of the Gettysburg Address,) no Lee health issue at North Anna, no generous surrender terms. The United States of America has been blessed by many twists of fate. A tornado strikes the British who are burning Washington DC. God Bless the United States of America.

  8. I would have the Union break through Lee’s army during the Seven Day’s battles, storm Richmond, then hang Jeff Davis from a sour apple tree.

  9. Interesting. I have two different variations of July 2 at Gettysburg. 1. Sickles doesn’t move his line forward. I’d like to see how Longstreet’s attack developed. OR 2. Strong Vincent waits for General Barnes to give him orders to go to LRT, and in the meantime, Oates gets there first. It would be interesting to see how that played out.

  10. Of course, I would prevent the murder of President Lincoln. Had he lived, the course of our country’s history may have been altered, perhaps in significant, beneficial ways still felt today.

  11. I would try to convince my Great-Great Grandfather at the age of 43 who served in the 93rd Pennsylvania, that it would be better to not enlist but stay home with his family,that his enlistment would not make a difference at the last year of the war, why?because he died in a hospital in Maryland in May of 1865 from disease.

  12. I don’t know about actually wanting to change it, but I’d love to know how things play out if Sibley’s supply trains aren’t burned in Apache Canyon during the Battle of Glorieta.

  13. I was going to make a comment about Booth and Lincoln, but I’m ultimately too late!
    But think how that would have changed the entire history of the country. More years of Lincoln would have resulted in such a better Reconstruction and war aftermath. Booth’s act was one that would truly change history and harm his cause, the South, beyond what anyone imagined possible.

  14. Within an hour of his March ‘61 “Cornerstone” speech in Savannah, I would have federal authorities capture Vice President Alexander Stephens (CSA), haul him out to a waiting US Navy warship, lashing him to the muzzle of a ten-inch Columbiad to be “blown by gun”.

    The death of the little b_stard could have served as an example for other treasonous southerners striving to perpetuate their rule of bullwhip and Bowie knife, perhaps forestalling the war and sparing the lives of 400,000 Union soldiers.

  15. Joe Hooker at Chancellorsville finally understands what’s happening and orders his troops to attack both halves of Lee’s divided army. Interesting to see how that would have played out.

  16. I would like to be a witness to the action at Swift Creek, just south of Raleigh, NC, on April 12, 1865 and somehow save the life of my great-great grandfather, 2nd Lt. Thomas Jordan Dunnahoo of Cobb’s Legion Cavalry Battalion. He was shot and killed from his horse during an ordered retreat from the overwhelming force made up of soldiers from the 92nd Illinois Mounted Infantry during this action. Details of his death can be read about on page 18 of Wiley Chandler Howard’s Sketch of Cobb Legion Cavalry and Some Scenes and Incidents Remembered (

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