Population, Industry, and Generals – How the Confederacy Survived to 1865

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The Civil War was an unusual war- and the odds were very bleak for the Confederacy at the start, yet they won most of the conflicts early on. The reason the confederates were not immediately beaten is largely due to the impressive tactical genius that they brought to the battlefield which allowed them to outmaneuver and slow Union forces until they finally ran out of money, soldiers, and supplies. The Civil War had almost the same number of casualties as all other wars in US history combined (McPherson and Bruce vi-vii). The Confederacy faced impossible odds, with almost all of the Union’s industry having been in the North even prior to the secession. The Confederate forces were about equal in size to those of the Union at the start,…show more content…
The Confederacy had hardly any naval strength, which was critical. If the Confederates had had a large navy, they might have been able to break the Union blockade. Their clients for cotton did not come to their aid either; despite some talk of intervention in the war, no action was taken by Britain or France (McPherson 384). The “allies” of the Confederacy simply did not want the trials, costs, and casualties of a war on their hands because of another country’s civil war. Such an action could potentially spark another war, something that Britain and France simply figured that the Confederacy was not worth. At the time, medicine in both countries (truthfully worldwide) was still very primitive. There were surgeons who were part of the military, and medics were very sought after. There was little they could do to help, however. According to the Memoirs of General William T. Sherman, “the great majority of wounds and of sickness should be treated by the regimental surgeon,” (Sherman 393). The treatment given back then to a wound from a gunshot wound was amputation without anesthesia- as it would not be invented yet for about a century- and after surgery, doctors did not wash their hands or instruments, exponentially increasing the likelihood of infection of a wound and lowering the likelihood of survival. The Union had an advantage in this, though not due to superior doctors or medicine. The Union had roughly four and a half times as many citizens as the

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