Civil War 101

Aug 8 2010 - 3:00pm

Presented by Jim McKee, Vice President and BCWRT Director

Jim McKee is a senior staff member at the Brunswick Town/Fort Anderson State Historical Site. He designed the course to help interested parties to better understand the nuances of each month’s Civil War topic. Extremely informative handouts were given out to those present. Jim is very knowledgeable about his subject and is most willing to answer any questions. Listed here are some of the highlights of that meeting.
 Many books written appear to be somewhat biased about the War except for James McPherson’s “Battle Cry of Freedom.”
 1793: Eli Whitney perfects the cotton gin in Georgia and it becomes the root of all the problems.
 By 1858 cotton is king.
 In 1857 there was an economic crisis but the South was relatively unaffected.
 Did the South have the right to secede? Who wrote the Constitution? Since the States wrote the Constitution, yes, they did have the right to secede proclaiming state’s rights.
 NC gave the most troops and lost the most.
 Sherman stopped any burning in NC.
 Most Northern soldiers’ diaries stated they were fighting to preserve the Union.
 Disease-wise, the largest killer was dysentery, otherwise known as the “quick step”.
 The best Union generals were in the West; those in the East were too political.
 The best Confederate generals were usually in the East to protect Virginia.
 The War produced numerous Civil War firsts and breakthroughs in technology.
 In NC, the largest battle was the Battle of Bentonville.
 Other topics included ordnance, Lincoln’s 1864 election, generals, and the Cape Fear area.