Why the South Failed.

January 3, 1870


The South had a chance to end the Civil War, but they did not take it and now there are regrets.


That those who agree with them are wise men, is the opinion of some people we have either seen or read of. We have at least that reason for holding that Edwin M. Stanton was a wise man. According to Don Platt, he said nearly a year before General Lee's surrender: "The rebels have saved us. Instead of a quick, fierce, aggressive war, they have acted on the defensive, and put to issue the material resources of the two sections. They are failing, through exhaustion, and I will now crowd on men until I smother them out." How true. After the battle of Manassas the Federal Government had not an army that would have stood a moment before ours. The whole North was open to us. Pennsylvania, New York, even Massachusetts, Nothing stopped us but ignorance of the art of war. There were no armies to do it. The only army Mr. Lincoln had was about Washington city. There was not half as much to prevent Beauregard from marching from Manassas to New York as four years later stood in Sherman's way when he marched from Atlanta to Savannah. And to think that that grand soldier Stonewall Jackson wanted to march upon Baltimore and take possession of Maryland (as he could easily have done), at the time of the riot of the 19th of April, and was to do it. Jackson was a born ... The move would have changed the ... as dreams are made best our rulers knew not their business.
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Charles Simmonds


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“Why the South Failed.,” Reconstructing Virginia, accessed July 4, 2022, https://reconstructingvirginia.richmond.edu/items/show/1557.