War Was The Only Option

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Like two spoiled children throwing a fit, the Union and Confederacy found themselves in a situation they were unprepared for. Neither side had an army large enough to conduct a full-scale war. Each side had trepidations about engaging in armed conflict, but like the years leading up to secession the most extreme political voices triumphed over moderation. Dr. McClintock argues that hard-liners in the north refused to negotiate for peace feeling they had nothing wrong. Southern leaders had become so arrogant they could not imagine northerners would be willing to die to keep the south from leaving. Arrogance on both sides would prove catastrophic. Once shots fired at Fort Sumter, war was the only option. This rush to action was the greatest failure in the war. As Catton describes in his book, a war began neither side prepared for. The mobilization of men was so large that in terms of percentage no other war in American history required such a large percentage of American men. Old world military tactics combined with new world technology resulted in human carnage never seen. Combined with utter hatred for the other side, this war went beyond conventional military logic into the realm of politics. These realities came crashing down on both sides resulting in failures so tragic they are beyond comprehension. Both sides shared in failures. The Union quickly mobilized an Army the size of which the nation had never seen. They had to do this without some of the greatest military

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