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Nathan Lafollette

Nathan LaFollette During the first battle of Bull Run the Union troops ran in full retreat back to Washington DC. During this time General Lee told president Davis that give him ten thousand troops and he would capture Washington DC, Davis thought he was kidding and just laughed him off. Had Davis not been mistaken our country might very well be split in half. That is just one of the massive blunders the South committed during the war. Some of the other problems the South had during the war was lack of unity, unorganized, smaller and towards the end of the war low moral.

Regardless of all else unity was the biggest challenge faced by the South. When you fight a war you need a strong united front. When the confederate was formed the central government. It was created to weak, it couldnt pass taxes or conscript troops into one main army. When your government cant pass laws for the good of the many then you have a conflict with unity.

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Another conflict of unity was the confederate troops were loyal first to their states and second to the confederacy. This an example of is during Shermans march through Georgia. When the men from Georgia heard the tales of looting, raping, and pillaging the number of deserters were in the thousands. Another problem with the South was its nature. There size was the South was agricultural in nature while the North was mostly manufacturing.

The Norths big crops were wheat and corn. The Souths biggest crop was cotton. The North had the huge food supply while the South was growing cash crops. To make matters worse was South had less then half of the population of the North. Further more 1/5 of the Souths population were slaves and couldnt be allowed to fight in the war.

During the first couple years of the war the South was lucky they were granted victory after victory. Though with the massive loss of life the South had begun to realize the North wouldnt give up easily. The South began to get a feel for what war was becoming with such events like the battles of Gettysburg, and Vicksburg, and the burning of Atlanta. In my mind this added to the feeling of hopelessness in the Southern moral. To coin the phrase There is no I in the word team comes to mind.

Had the South created a strong front, received foreign support, and achieved strategic victory early in the war they might have won. But without unity no long term victory can be guaranteed.


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