Wig-Wags

Journal of a graduate student in military history and the American Civil War

Say wha..?

leave a comment »

I have to chuckle now and then at where some of my posts end up out there in the blogosphere. My book review on Russel Nye’s biography of historian George Bancroft (here), was posted today on……

Drum roll….. 

Sci Fi Book Review

I haven’t quite figured out whether this is a legitimate site but I suspect not. It seems to be one of those post “aggregators” that pull in other people’s blog posts under a provocative title. At least it’s not in the adult category. My rail post (this one) went that direction.

I’d be interested to know from some of you long-time bloggers if this sort of thing just comes with the territory.

Back to Breisach…  Ancient, Medieval, and Modern, Third Edition

R

Advertisements

Written by Rene Tyree

February 6, 2008 at 9:53 pm

Posted in Blogging

Exploring Causes of the Civil War – Part III – The Antebellum South

with 2 comments

Watercolor View of the West Front of Monticello and Garden (1825) by Jane Braddick. Peticolas. The children are Thomas Jefferson's grandchildren.

The Southern man aspired to a lifestyle that had, as utopian model of success, the English country farmer. Jeffersonian agrarianism was valued over Hamiltonian industrialization.

To achieve success, cheap labor in the form of slavery was embraced. The capital of the south was invested in slaves even after modernized farming equipment became available. More land was needed to produce more crops which required, in turn, more slaves. This cycle repeated until some 4 million slaves populated the South by mid-century. The system became self-perpetuating because – as posited by historian James McPherson – slavery undermined the work-ethic of both slave and Southern whites. The slave obviously had limited opportunity for advancement. Manual laborInspection and Sale of a Slave became associated with bondage and so lacked honor. The result was a limited flow of white immigrants to the south who could provide an alternative labor force and an increase in the migration of southern whites to free states.[i]

Simply stated, the South chose not to modernize. It hosted little manufacturing. It also lacked a well developed transportation system (a fact that would prove key to the conduct of the war).

White supremacy was simply a fact. Part of the responsibility of owning slaves was to care for their material needs as you would children. White southern children grew up with a facility for “command” and became a part of what was viewed by many as a southern aristocracy.[ii]

According to historian Avery Craven, “three great forces always worked toward a common Southern pattern. They were:

  • a rural way of life capped by an English gentleman ideal,
  • a climate in part more mellow than other sections enjoyed, and
  • the presence of the Negro race in quantity. More than any other forces these things made the South Southern.”[iii]

Next post – The Antebellum North

For additional reading…

On Jeffersononian Agrarianism see the University of Virginia site here.

© 2007 L. Rene Tyree

Share it! add to del.icio.us Digg it Stumble It! Add to Blinkslist add to furl add to ma.gnolia add to simpy seed the vine TailRank

[i] James. M. McPherson, Ordeal by Fire: The Civil War and Reconstruction. 3rd ed. (New York: McGraw Hill, 2001), 10., 41.

[ii] Ibid.

[iii] Avery Craven. The Coming of the Civil War. 2nd Ed. (Chicago: The University of Chicago Press, 1957), 33.

Photo Credits:
Watercolor View of the West Front of Monticello and Garden (1825) by Jane Braddick. Peticolas. The children are Thomas Jefferson’s grandchildren. Public Domain [Source: Wikipedia Commons]

Inspection and Sale of a Slave. Courtesy of the Library of Congress, Digital ID: cph 3a17639   Source: b&w film copy neg.
Reproduction Number: LC-USZ62-15392 (b&w film copy neg.)
Repository: Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division Washington, D.C. 20540 USA

The Civil War as Revolution – Part III

leave a comment »

[Note: This post is part of a series on The Civil War as Revolution which is available at the following links: Part I, Part II, Part III, Part IV, Part V, The Revolutionaries of the American Civil War, and Cogitating on Abraham Lincoln as Revolutionary.]

Gettysburg, Pa. Dead Confederate soldiers in "the devil's den." LOC Digital Ref#: (LC-B811-0277A) Gardner, Alexander, 1821-1882, photographer.

Barrington Moore “sees the revolutionary dimension of the American Civil War not simply as a triumph of freedom over slavery, or industrialism over agriculture, or the bourgeoisie over the plantation gentry – but as a combination of all these things.” He saw it as“a violent breakthrough against an older social structure.”[i] In this Moore is in agreement with James McPherson that the American Civil War qualifies as an upheaval of the period’s status quo by intense domestic violence. As historians have pointed out on numerous occasions, the Civil War is unsurpassed in its degree of violence in the American experience. As to the overthrow of the “existing social and political order,” a survey of the changes driven by the war makes the point for the Civil War as revolutionary. External Changes Driven by the Civil War McPherson categorizes the transformations resulting from the Civil War as revolution in an external and internal sense.[ii] He considers external revolution to be “the sweeping transformation in the balance of economic and political power between North and South.”[iii] Sweeping political change occurred at the point of “withdrawal of southern representatives and senators from Congress when their states seceded.”[iv] It made possible the passage of Republican-sponsored legislation that promoted economic development in line with the Republican agenda, legislation that had been continually blocked by the southern-dominated Democratic Party. During the war, Congress “enacted:

  • land grants and government loans to build the first transcontinental railroad
  • higher tariffs to foster industrial development
  • national banking acts to restore part of the centralized banking system destroyed in the 1830s by Jacksonian Democrats
  • a homestead act to grant 160 acres of government land to settlers, and
  • the land-grant college act of 1862, which turned over federal land to the states to provide income for the establishment of state agricultural and vocational colleges, which became the basis of the modern land-grant universities.”[v]

East and West Shaking Hands at Laying Last Rail. Source: Public Domain: Wikipedia Commons

These changes were made possible because the war had changed the long-term sectional balance of power.[vi] It broke the domination of the country’s leadership by members of the slave-holding elite of the South.

In 1861 the United States had lived under the Constitution for seventy-two years. During forty-nine of those years the president had been a southerner-and a slave-holder. After the Civil War a century passed before another resident of the South was elected president. In congress, twenty-three of the thirty-six speakers of the House down to 1861, and twenty-four of the thirty-six presidents pro tem of the Senate, were from the South. For half a century after the war, none of the speakers or presidents pro tem was from the South. From 1789 to 1861, twenty of the thirty-five Supreme Court justices had been southerners. At all times during those years the South had a majority on the Court. But only five of the twenty-six justices appointed during the next half-century were southerners.[vii]

In the next post, I’ll take a look at internal changes driven by the American Civil War.

Copyright © 2007 Rene Tyree

[i] James McPherson, Abraham Lincoln and the Second American Revolution, (New York: Oxford University Press, 1991), 9

[ii] Ibid., 13, [iii] Ibid., [iv] Ibid., 12., [v] Ibid., [vi] Ibid., [vii] Ibid., 12-13.

_____________________________

the teachers

My purpose on this page is to identify present day instructors in military history regardless of school. I do this out of my own interest in the profession. 

_________________
 

 Hagerty

Dr. Edward J. Hagerty
M.A., History 1989
Ph.D. History 1993
Temple UniversityCollis' Zouaves: The 114th Pennsylvania Volunteers In The Civil War
Associate Professor Edward J. Hagerty holds the Ph.D. from Temple University, where he worked closely with the eminent military historian Russell F. Weigley. Professor Hagerty’s primary interest in the field of military history is the American Civil War, with a secondary interest in Irish History. His book, Collis’ Zouaves: The 114th Pennsylvania Volunteers was published by Louisiana State University Press in 1997. Professor Hagerty is working on a biographical study of Lt. Gen. Richard H. Anderson, forthcoming from LSU Press.

Professor Hagerty is also an Air Force Reserve officer and special agent with the Air Force Office of Special Investigations (AFOSI). He is presently assigned as the commander, AFOSI Field Investigations Region 2, Langley AFB, VA. He has written a history of AFOSI that is forthcoming from GPO.

A more complete biographical sketch can be read here.

[From Rene Tyree – Dr. Hagerty is my current professor for Historiography at AMU.]
____________________

Charles White 
Dr. Charles E. White
Ph.D.
Duke University
Charles E. White received his Ph.D. in German and Military Studies from Duke University. He is a graduate of the United States Military Academy at West Point and served with the 11th Armored Cavalry Regiment in Germany and the 4th Cavalry in the United States. While at Duke University, Dr. White was a Fulbright Fellow at the Free University oScharnhorst and the Militarische Gesellschaft in Berlin, 1801-1805f Berlin from 1982-84, where he conducted research for his dissertation and first book, The Enlightened Soldier: Scharnhorst and the Militaerische Gesellschaft in Berlin, 1801-1805. He has presented papers on Prussian military history and Scharnhorst for the Society for Military History (formerly the American Military Institute), The Consortium on Revolutionary Europe, and at the Fuehrungsakademie der Bundeswehr in Hamburg, Germany. From 1986-1998, Dr. White was the Chief of Military History at the United States Army Infantry School, where he taught military history and led staff rides to battlefields in the United States and abroad. In December 1998, he assumed the duties as Dean of Academics at American Military University, but left in August 1999 to pursue other historical activities. Dr. White was then the Lewis and Clark historian for the United States Army, and is currently the Command Historian for the United States Army Forces Command, the largest major command in the United States Army. Dr. White is working on a study of the Jena/Auerstaedt Campaign of 1806 from the Prussian perspective, as well as a biography of Scharnhorst, and other projects relating to military education.

[From Rene Tyree – I’m very pleased to have had Dr. White for the first two courses at AMU.  He is a popular and respected teacher.]

Written by Rene Tyree

November 12, 2007 at 3:32 am

Posted in

the military philosophers / strategists

leave a comment »

This page serves as a location for me to identify key philosophers and strategists within the sphere of military history and to profile them. I also hope to identify their “body of work.” The intent is not to limit those I choose to profile to any specific war or period of time. Detail will be added as time permits.

Napoleon Bonaparte

Carl (Karl) von Clausewitz

Frederick the Great

Antoine-Henri Jomini

Liddell-Hart

Niccolo Machiavelli – profiled in the Standford Encyclopedia of Philosophy

Helmuth von Moltke the Elder

Sun Tzu

Written by Rene Tyree

November 12, 2007 at 3:20 am

Posted in

Cogitating on Abraham Lincoln as “Revolutionary”

with 6 comments

[Note: This post is part of a series on The Civil War as Revolution which is available at the following links: Part I, Part II, Part III, Part IV, Part V, The Revolutionaries of the American Civil War, and Cogitating on Abraham Lincoln as Revolutionary.]

————-

Indulge me while I – mull over and expound upon – one of Dr. McPherson’s essays in Abraham Lincoln and the Second American Revolution.

If the mantel of “revolutionary” is worn by individuals who – because of their unique presence – drive transformational change, Abraham Lincoln must certainly be considered among them. Such a label might at first seem unfitting in that Lincoln was known for his conservatism. Indeed his early actions reflected caution and a desire for a limited, minimally disruptive war. His journey toward “revolutionary” took a big leap forward when the Border States ignored his repeated offers of graduated and compensated emancipation. His failure to sway them left him angry enough to, as McPherson phrased it, “embrace the revolution.” Lincoln’s “revolutionary” response? He issued the Emancipation Proclamation, the final version of which was delivered on New Year’s Day 1863. With it came a new “revolutionary” charter for the war: forceful overthrow of slavery and the South with it.

Emancipation Proclamation
McPherson considers the enabling of black soldiers to fight and kill their former masters “by far the most revolutionary dimension” of Lincoln’s “emancipation policy.” And embrace it Mr. Lincoln did. Over 180,000 black soldiers would serve in Northern armies before the conflict ended. I must agree with Mr. McPherson’s conclusion that Lincoln evolved to fit the pattern of a revolutionary leader and became – once over his initial reluctance – arguably more radical than some of the founding fathers

Troops
District of Columbia. Company E, 4th U.S. Colored Infantry, at Fort Lincoln
Civil War photographs, 1861-1865 (Library of Congress)
Copyright © 2007 Rene Tyree

On Edward C. and CDVs

with 3 comments

Harry Smeltzer over at Bull Runnings, in his kind mention of Wig-Wags yesterday, provides insight into the photo that tops my blog.  He identifies it as being of “the Union signal station on Elk Ridge during the 1862 Maryland Campaign.” He points out that the officer in the photo (middle and seated) has been identified as one Edward C. Pierce. His CDV and story can be read “on the Save Historic Antietam Foundation (SHAF) website along with the full picture which I’ve also uploaded here for your viewing. Officer Pierce’s vitae is an interesting one and includes participation on Little Round Top at which time he held the rank of Captain. He remained, even though offered promotion in other areas, in the Signal Corps throughout the war.

Library of Congress, Prints & Photographs Division, [reproduction number, LC-B815- 633]
Elk Mountain, Md. Signal tower overlooking Antietam battlefield
O’Sullivan, Timothy H., 1840-1882 photographer.

I will set my ego aside for a moment and admit that I had to look up the term CDV. This may be familiar to most of you but since I’m a humble graduate student, I had to do a little research. It turns out that a CDV, or “carte-de-visite” (French for visiting card), is a small albumen print that – if of standard size – would be mounted on a backing card of 2.5 inches by 4 inches. This made them a handy size to use as a “photographic calling card” and they were exchanged and collected in albums. Debra Clifford, the “Town Historian of Ancestorville,” has provided an excellent history of the CDV on the Ancestorville.com site and indicates that “a young Civil War soldier would proudly send his “likeness” home to a waiting beau, mother and family.”  

Albumen (al-bu-men) means, by the way, “the white of eggs.” I assume that egg whites were used to provide a glossy finish to the photo. The technique was developed and patented by Andre Disderi in 1854 and, according to Clifford, introduced in the United States in 1859 which positioned it perfectly for adoption by young men going off to war. “…CDV’s were produced in the millions. The ease of size and paper format of this newfangled photograph allowed the CDV to be sent through the mail, a great benefit from the heavily glassed and protected and cased ambrotype and daguerreotype photos that were previously available.”CDV of Sickles

This CDV is of Daniel Edgar Sickles is a part of a collection wonderfully preserved and presented for our virtual viewing on the American Memory section of the Library of Congress site along with some two hundred others. These make up the collection of John Hay who was a personal secretary to President Abraham Lincoln and so had occassion to receive CDVs from an assortment of people of the era including “army and navy officers, politicians, and cultural figures.”

Library of Congress, Prints & Photographs Division, [reproduction number, LC-MSS-44297-33-116 (b&w negative)]
Photographer: Sarony, Napoleon (1821-1896)
Collection:
 James Wadsworth Family Papers