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The 150th Aniversary of FORT SUMPTER (bumped for article in post #9---MET)


JMS

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April 12, 1861 150 years ago today confederate soldiers under the command of General Beauregard openned fire on the Uniion fort in the harbor of Charlston SC and continued firing for 34 straight hours until the fort under the command of U.S. Army Major robert Anderson surrendered. To many this was the beginning of the American Civil War.

In this battle the union and confederates exchanged more than 3000 cannon rounds resulting in no casualties. After the fort had surrendered and as part of the official document Major Anderson wrote into the terms a provision for his troops to give themselves a 100 salvo solute prior to retreating from the field. During this solute one of the cannons exploded killing 2 union soldiers in the only casualties of this "battle".

South Carolina is making a big todo about fort sumpter battle. Anybody think we should celebrate the real start of the war. The first battle of the civil war which actually saw casualties due to enemy action? The battle of Fairfax Court House in Fairfax City Northern Virginia?

The Battle of Fairfax Courthouse

June 1, 1861 in Fairfax, Virginia

Early in the morning of June 1st, the Union troops started to enter the town of Faifax. They captured the advance picket/guard of the town. As they entered the town, they came under fire from the windows and roofs of the buildings. There were 3 Confederate companies in the town. There was 2 calvary companies and 1 light infantry company.

After the initial contact, the Union troops fell back not knowing the true strength of the Confederates. Regrouped, the Union proceeded back through the town and headed to Germantown, which was about 1.5 miles away. The 2 Confederate calvary units were so poorly armed and equipped that they couldn't put up a sustained fight.

While the Union troops were in Germantown, the Confederate troops from the surrounding areas heard the skirmish and came to the aid of the Faifax troops. This increased the Confederate troop strength to about 1,000 men.

When the Union troops headed back to Fairfax, they were met with a strong resistance. They couldn't go back through the town like the way they came. The Confederates pushed the Union troops back, and forced them to retreat through the nearby fields by Flint Hill

This was a small skirmish with a Confederate victory which boosted the morale of the troops. This description of the skirmish was taken directly from the actual battlefield reports and post-battle transcripts of both opposing commanders.

http://www.mycivilwar.com/battles/610601.htm

Former Virginia GovernorWilliam "[b*]Extra Billy[/b]" Smith of Virginia lead the winchester rifflemen in defense of Fairfax City giving the South it's first victory in the first battle of the civil war which saw casualties due to enemy action.

John Q Marr, US Confederate captain, dies in battle at Fairfax Courthouse, the first Confederate death of the war ... also the first death due to enemy action.

(*) Billy Smith's nick name extra came from his profession. Evidently he owed a wagon shipping company which had extreamly cheap rates... Only every individual service for freight handling was charged "extra", hense the name.

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A Anybody think we should celebrate the real start of the war. The first battle of the civil war which actually saw casualties due to enemy action? The battle of Fairfax Court House in Fairfax City Northern Virginia?

The old Courthouse itself looks much today as it did back then.

fairfax.jpgFairfax+Court+House

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  • 4 months later...

I certainly didn't an to start a new thread for this, but considering the number of times ES has replicated ongoing and related populist arguments on the origins of the civil war and revisionism, I was motivated by this recent issue of The Smithsonian magazine (read yesterday in a doctor's office) to pass it on. Along with the attack on the fort, it also discusses revisionism.

http://www.smithsonianmag.com/history-archaeology/Fort-Sumter-The-Civil-War-Begins.html

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Knowing history and celebrating it are very different to me. I prefer not to celebrate bad events. Celebrate the great ones.

My bump had nothing to with celebrating anything. I always prefer when there's some evidence that people actually read more than the title of the thread before they respond. :D

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I always prefer when there's some evidence that people actually read more than the title of the thread before they respond. :D

I'll admit you confused the hell of out me. I saw the title and thought "No, this isn't even close to the correct date." So I had to find a post with today's date. Sneaky, Big J, sneaky.

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I'll admit you confused the hell of out me. I saw the title and thought "No, this isn't even close to the correct date." So I had to find a post with today's date. Sneaky, Big J, sneaky.

Man, I'll tell ya---I went through twelve returned pages from a "civil war" search, knowing revisionism has been a feisty argument many times and could hardly find a single thread where it really should go---showing how we go off on tangents so frequently around here and also reminding me of how at times ES feels like it has one of the worst "in-house" search engines in all the intertubz.

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Man, I'll tell ya---I went through twelve returned pages from a "civil war" search, knowing revisionism has been a feisty argument many times and could hardly find a single thread where it really should go---showing how we go off on tangents so frequently around here and also reminding me of how at times ES feels like it has one of the worst "in-house" search engines in all the intertubz.

Well I'm on a couple of other boards like this and one of the big problems is that once you get past the first handful of pages, whatever point you're making gets lost. If you bump an old thread that's 15 pages long, even if the original post was made 2 years ago, people aren't likely to read all the way through. I'm just as guilty of it, where if I see a thread that I didn't start from the beginning and it's already 10+ pages long, I skip to the last page and try to read the last 5-10 posts.

And as someone who grew up in a house full of Civil War buffs, I like to study it myself. It's really difficult to come at it without a bias, because most source material has a little bit one way or the other. And because of a jaded or biased view, it's often hard to admit what the war was truly about. And as much as some people try to deny it, the war was about slavery. "No! It was about states' rights!" Ok, the states' rights to do what? Own other human beings and exploit their labor for your benefit.

But now that I've put out that siren's song, I'm sure this thread will explode just like the rest. I did enjoy that article, Jumbo. But like I said, I'm a huge Civil War :geek:

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Well I'm on a couple of other boards like this and one of the big problems is that once you get past the first handful of pages, whatever point you're making gets lost. If you bump an old thread that's 15 pages long, even if the original post was made 2 years ago, people aren't likely to read all the way through. I'm just as guilty of it, where if I see a thread that I didn't start from the beginning and it's already 10+ pages long, I skip to the last page and try to read the last 5-10 posts.

Yeah, I hear that, like I said i wasn't happy with the choice, but given how many times I've seen the topic batted back and forth already in numerous threads I was just loathe to give it another platform. It was likey a ****ed idea either way.:ols:

As to your CW geekdom, I hope Henry sees that and connects with ya. :)

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And as much as some people try to deny it, the war was about slavery. "No! It was about states' rights!" Ok, the states' rights to do what? Own other human beings and exploit their labor for your benefit.

And if you read the Confederate Constitution -- the document the Confederate states adopted of their own volition to govern the new nation they wanted to create -- you notice a few things:

1. On a word-count basis it's about 98% identical to the US Constitution;

2. The majority of changes vs. the original are simply to explicitly allow slavery everywhere in the CSA; and

3. Some of the changes represent overt restrictions upon states' rights vs. the US Constitution.

This is the document which, for all their outward posture, the Confederacy's leaders agreed to be governed by. It's where their true desires and motivations were manifested. And to any reasonable observer, it deals a fatal blow to the "It was about states' rights" argument.

But I have no doubt that a great many Confederate soldiers were told, and believed, that the war was a struggle for something other than the adoption of a pro-slavery Constitution. I've no doubt that they were told it was about states' rights, or fighting economic oppression, or some delightfully vague glossy like "the Southern way of life."

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