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Battle Cry of Freedom
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AMERICAN CIVIL WAR > 17. Military Series: BATTLE CRY... June 4th ~ June 10th ~~ Chapters TWENTY (591 - 625); No Spoilers Please

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Bryan Craig Hello Everyone,

Welcome all to the seventeenth week of the History Book Club's brand spanking new Military Series. We at the History Book Club are pretty excited about this offering and the many more which will follow. The first offering in the new MILITARY SERIES is a wonderful group selected book: Battle Cry of Freedom: The Civil War Era by James M. McPherson.

The week's reading assignment is:

Week Seventeen - June 4th - June 10th -> Chapter TWENTY p. 591 - 625

We will open up a thread for each week's reading. Please make sure to post in the particular thread dedicated to those specific chapters and page numbers to avoid spoilers. We will also open up supplemental threads as we did for other books.

This book was officially kicked off on February 13th. We look forward to your participation. Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Powell's and other noted on line booksellers do have copies of the book and shipment can be expedited. The book can also be obtained easily at your local library, or on your Kindle/Nook. This weekly thread will be opened up either during the weekend before or on the first day of discussion.

There is no rush and we are thrilled to have you join us. It is never too late to get started and/or to post.

Welcome,

~Bryan


TO ALWAYS SEE ALL WEEKS' THREADS SELECT VIEW ALL

Battle Cry of Freedom The Civil War Era by James M. McPherson

REMEMBER NO SPOILERS ON THE WEEKLY NON SPOILER THREADS

Notes

It is always a tremendous help when you quote specifically from the book itself and reference the chapter and page numbers when responding. The text itself helps folks know what you are referencing and makes things clear.

Citations

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If you need help - here is a thread called the Mechanics of the Board which will show you how:

http://www.goodreads.com/topic/show/2...

Glossary

Remember there is a glossary thread where ancillary information is placed by the moderator. This is also a thread where additional information can be placed by the group members regarding the subject matter being discussed.

http://www.goodreads.com/topic/show/8...

Bibliography

There is a Bibliography where books cited in the text are posted with proper citations and reviews. We also post the books that the author may have used in his research or in his notes. Please also feel free to add to the Bibliography thread any related books, etc with proper citations or other books either non fiction or historical fiction that relate to the subject matter of the book itself. No self promotion, please.

http://www.goodreads.com/topic/show/8...

Battle Cry of Freedom The Civil War Era by James M. McPherson James M. McPherson James M. McPherson


Bryan Craig Chapter Overview and Summary

Chapter Twenty: Fire in the Rear


Lincoln was concerned about the Democrats. The Peace Democrats (Copperheads) like Clement Vallandigham proposed an armistice. Western Democrats did not trust or like New England Republicans, and old Jacksonian Democrats, who fought against a national bank, opposed the National Banking Act. Republicans, however, did win in New Hampshire and Connecticut.

The Union army was losing men, so Congress passed a conscription law. Each district had 30 days to fulfill a quota. In the end, 47,000 men out of the 207,000 call-ups actually went into the army; it really was a way to get volunteers into the army. Many draftees didn't report, paid out for one round, were unfit, or hired a substitute. Substitution had a long tradition, and poorer families paid for a substitute just as much as the wealthy. However, conscription caused a back-lash. The Democrats opposed it and there were draft riots. The biggest was in New York City. The idea that this was a "poor man's war" was gaining ground.

In the South, there was an unpopular exemption for one white man who owned 20 or more slaves, thus also creating a "poor man's war" mentality. To raise money, the Confederate Congress passed an income tax, a tax on goods, plus 10% of any farm surplus had to be turned into the government. Food prices sky-rocketed. Many civilians were starving, and by the spring of 1863, food riots broke out. The biggest was in Richmond. The cotton trade (largely illicit) was a great way to make a fortune. Many southern civilians traded with Yankees, and some of the goods and money went back to Confederate forces. Grant and Sherman tried to crack down on the trade. Grant issued an order kicking out Jewish traders, but Lincoln rescinded the order. In New Orleans, Benjamin Butler cleaned up the city, developed a public works program, and taxed the rich to support that program. However, his martial law became too severe and he was replaced by Nathaniel Banks. Both men could not stop the cotton and goods trading.


Bryan Craig I found it interesting that McPherson argues that immigrants were not in the majority in the army.

Do you think this breaks some popular misconception we have?


Bryan Craig New York City Draft Riot:

description

"The nation is at this time in a state of Revolution, North, South, East, and West," wrote the Washington Times during the often violent protests that occurred after Abraham Lincoln issued the March 3, 1863, Enrollment Act of Conscription. Although demonstrations took place in many Northern cities, the riots that broke out in New York City were both the most violent and the most publicized.

With a large and powerful Democratic party operating in the city, a dramatic show of dissent had been long in the making. The state's popular governor, Democrat Horatio Seymour, openly despised Lincoln and his policies. In addition, the Enrollment Act shocked a population already tired of the two-year-old war.

By the time the names of the first draftees were drawn in New York City on July 11, reports about the carnage of Gettysburg had been published in city papers. Lincoln's call for 300,000 more young men to fight a seemingly endless war frightened even those who supported the Union cause. Moreover, the Enrollment Act contained several exemptions, including the payment of a "commutation fee" that allowed wealthier and more influential citizens to buy their way out of service.

Perhaps no group was more resentful of these inequities than the Irish immigrants populating the slums of northeastern cities. Poor and more than a little prejudiced against blacks-with whom they were both unfamiliar and forced to compete for the lowest-paying jobs-the Irish in New York objected to fighting on their behalf.

On Sunday, July 12, the names of the draftees drawn the day before by the Provost Marshall were published in newspapers. Within hours, groups of irate citizens, many of them Irish immigrants, banded together across the city. Eventually numbering some 50,000 people, the mob terrorized neighborhoods on the East Side of New York for three days looting scores of stores. Blacks were the targets of most attacks on citizens; several lynchings and beatings occurred. In addition, a black church and orphanage were burned to the ground.

All in all, the mob caused more than $1.5 million of damage. The number killed or wounded during the riot is unknown, but estimates range from two dozen to nearly 100. Eventually, Lincoln deployed combat troops from the Federal Army of the Potomac to restore order; they remained encamped around the city for several weeks. In the end, the draft raised only about 150,000 troops throughout the North, about three-quarters of them substitutes, amounting to just one-fifth of the total Union force.
(Source: http://www.civilwarhome.com/draftriot...)

More:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/New_York...
http://press.uchicago.edu/Misc/Chicag...
http://www.virtualny.cuny.edu/draftri...


Bryan Craig Bread Riot (Richmond):



By 1863, the combination of the Northern blockade of Southern ports, the diversion of Southern food supplies from the home front to the war front and the escalating inflation of its currency began to negatively affect the Confederacy's civilian population. Tensions boiled to the surface on April 2, 1863 when a group of hungry and desperate women descended upon the Confederate capitol in Richmond demanding relief. Rebuffed by the Governor, the mob took their complaints to the streets and sparked a spontaneous protest by a crowd estimated in the thousands. Shouting "Bread, Bread, Bread!" the mob vented its frustrations by smashing store windows and looted their contents.

The chaos was curbed only when Confederate President Jefferson Davis called upon the crowd to disperse, backing up his entreaty with troops armed with fixed bayonets.
(Source: http://www.eyewitnesstohistory.com/br...)

More:
http://www.encyclopediavirginia.org/B...
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Southern...


Bryan Craig Interesting story about Davis talking to the mob and about ready to open fire...they left at the very last moment. Whoa.


Bryan Craig Another theme here is that soldiers on both sides felt they were fighting a "poor man's war." It echoes Vietnam.

I was surprised by the law that 10% of farm surplus was taken in the South. Another statement of power at the federal level the South did not expect.


Bryan Craig What are your thoughts on Grant's order to expel the Jews?

Grant issues a controversial order to expel all Jews out of his Army of the Tennessee. Evidently, he wants to weed out the cotton traders following his army. Some traders are Jewish, but not all of them, but Grant equates all traders with Jews. In the end, Lincoln tells Grant to rescind the order.

General Order No. 11:

The Jews, as a class violating every regulation of trade established by the Treasury Department and also department orders, are hereby expelled from the Department [of the Tennessee] within twenty-four hours from the receipt of this order.

Post commanders will see to it that all of this class of people be furnished passes and required to leave, and any one returning after such notification will be arrested and held in confinement until an opportunity occurs of sending them out as prisoners, unless furnished with permit from headquarters.

No passes will be given these people to visit headquarters for the purpose of making personal application of trade permits.
(Source: http://www.jewishvirtuallibrary.org/j...)

More:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/General_...
When General Grant Expelled the Jews by Jonathan D. Sarna Jonathan D. Sarna


message 9: by Athens (last edited Jun 20, 2012 02:46PM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Athens Would imagine his concern was the behavior itself, not the religion or culture aspects.

We are a bit conditioned to jump to charges of bigotry in the US as the first thought.

No doubt though, Grant acted towards the whole group and was subsequently overridden.


Bryan Craig You are right, Grant was concerned by their behavior, and I don't know why he thought they were all Jews, because there were a number of gentiles making a profit. I guess this is the part that made me think bigotry. Maybe Grant made a generalization based on false and anti-Semitic views. I'm not sure.


message 11: by Jim (new) - rated it 4 stars

Jim | 117 comments Bryan wrote: "Interesting story about Davis talking to the mob and about ready to open fire...they left at the very last moment. Whoa."

I was astounded it was Davis who addressed the crowd -- speaks to just how severe the situation was. Imagine if he hadn't talked the crowd down!


message 12: by Bryan (last edited Jun 28, 2012 06:23AM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Bryan Craig Exactly, Jim. It is like Lincoln going to New York City during the draft riots and addressing the mob!

I get the impression Davis was more mobile than Lincoln. Why do you think that is?


Kristjan | 45 comments Bryan wrote: "Exactly, Jim. It is like Lincoln going to New York City during the draft riots and addressing the mob!

I get the impression Davis was more mobile than Lincoln. Why do you think that is?"


I got the same impression. Perhaps because it wouldn´t be safe for Lincoln to go traipsing around Maryland or Virginia, whereas Davis could travel safely all over the South?


Bryan Craig So, true, Lincoln was kind of cut off in D.C.


Vincent (vpbrancato) | 1245 comments Bryan wrote: "I found it interesting that McPherson argues that immigrants were not in the majority in the army.

Do you think this breaks some popular misconception we have?"


Hi Bryan
Rather late but I never thought that immigrants were anywhere near a mojority of the soldiers in the army -
The early volunteers I think were mostly Americans and I think only when the draft riots and draft resistance happened did one really notice (and maybe influenced much by the Irish in New York) that immigrants were there.

The initial enthusiam at the beginning I think would not have appealed to many immigrants. I have no support for this just an idea from thinking about it.


Bryan Craig Thanks, Vince, I think you get a Hollywood version of the U.S. army and it seems Irish, lol.


Vincent (vpbrancato) | 1245 comments Bryan wrote: "You are right, Grant was concerned by their behavior, and I don't know why he thought they were all Jews, because there were a number of gentiles making a profit. I guess this is the part that mad..."


It was interesting to me that McPherson indicated that Grant's father brought some Jewish merchants to him. Although I have read two biographies of Grant I do not recall the Jewish merchants mentioned in either.

Ulysses S. Grant (The American Presidents, #18) by Josiah Bunting Josiah Bunting

And Grant by Jean Smith a link for which I cannot find.



I think there is a long time view of Jews as mercahnts and money lenders in our western history from Shylock in Shakespear and before.

Also I think Jews became more merchants in western Europe where for centuries their ability to own land was limited due to pogroms and other acts reflecting on the long term animosity of Christianity to the Jews.


Vincent (vpbrancato) | 1245 comments Kristjan wrote: "Bryan wrote: "Exactly, Jim. It is like Lincoln going to New York City during the draft riots and addressing the mob!

I get the impression Davis was more mobile than Lincoln. Why do you think tha..."


But I do beleive that Davis was already in Richmond as that was the capitol and I guess if there were food riots in Washington DC Lincoln might have been tempted to interfere.

Was this the last war that American non-combatants were hungry in?


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