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The Confederate Submarine
New York Times ^ | February 17, 2014 | BY RON SOODALTER

Posted on 02/18/2014 3:58:30 PM PST by Brad from Tennessee

The moonlit sea was unusually calm on the bitterly cold night of Feb. 17, 1864, when a watchman spotted a strange, partially submerged shape gliding steadily toward the side of the Union sloop-of-war Housatonic. The steam-powered warship was serving blockade duty outside Charleston Harbor, and was one of the Union’s biggest, best-armed vessels. Its men had heard reports of a new Confederate weapon, a “sub-torpedo”; still, it took a few minutes for the officer of the deck, John Crosby, to comprehend what he was seeing. By the time he did, it was too late.

The swiftly moving craft had passed under the Housatonic’s guns, and the small-arms fire now directed at it by the men on deck bounced harmlessly off its iron hull. The men onboard heard a muffled thud as the vessel planted an explosive charge in the Housatonic’s wooden side, below the waterline. Moments later, the charge detonated, lighting up the sky and sending the Yankee warship to the bottom, along with five of its sailors. The Housatonic had achieved the dubious distinction of becoming the first ship to be sunk by a submarine in combat – and the only vessel destined to be destroyed by the H.L. Hunley.

In the wake of the explosion, the Hunley’s commander signaled to the rebel lookouts on shore with a blue magnesium light, indicating that the mission had succeeded. The shore party obligingly built huge signal fires, to guide the Hunley home. But as the submarine’s crew back-powered furiously, something went terribly wrong. Perhaps the concussion from the blast compromised one or more of the seals that kept the ocean out. But shortly after the Housatonic went down, the Hunley and its eight-man crew joined her on the ocean floor. . .

(Excerpt) Read more at opinionator.blogs.nytimes.com ...


TOPICS: Extended News; US: South Carolina
KEYWORDS: csshunley; hunley
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1 posted on 02/18/2014 3:58:30 PM PST by Brad from Tennessee
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To: Brad from Tennessee
They do not teach this in high school American history class.

It wasn't until I was in my 30s that I learned about this story. Pretty amazing they had submarine warfare during the Civil War. But they did.

2 posted on 02/18/2014 4:01:58 PM PST by SamAdams76
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To: Brad from Tennessee

the wrong side won in 1865


3 posted on 02/18/2014 4:02:16 PM PST by LeoWindhorse
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To: Brad from Tennessee


4 posted on 02/18/2014 4:03:13 PM PST by JoeProBono (SOME IMAGES MAY BE DISTURBING VIEWER DISCRETION IS ADVISED;-{)
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To: LeoWindhorse

Both sides were wrong in several ways....


5 posted on 02/18/2014 4:14:05 PM PST by nevergore
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To: Brad from Tennessee

I’ve seen the Hunley in person at the Warran Lasch Conservation Center in Charleston, before the interior was even fully excavated.


6 posted on 02/18/2014 4:15:45 PM PST by Riley (The Fourth Estate is the Fifth Column.)
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To: FReepers
Insure FR's Future!
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7 posted on 02/18/2014 4:20:16 PM PST by DJ MacWoW (The Fed Gov is not one ring to rule them all)
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To: Riley

I saw it years ago in the preservation tank. I had no idea it was that tiny.


8 posted on 02/18/2014 4:28:59 PM PST by wally_bert (There are no winners in a game of losers. I'm Tommy Joyce, welcome to the Oriental Lounge.)
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To: LeoWindhorse
the wrong side won in 1865

I do not have a single male relative who served in Union Blue. Many, many served in the Grey. Two of them entered politics after the war, one of them a Member of Congress and Chairman of the Indian Affairs Committee. The other State Governor and United States Senator. Both lost their fortunes during the war, but both have written that the war was tragic and that the preservation of the Union was a good thing.

Another, a 3d generation descendant of President Thomas Jefferson's family was killed in action in 1863. His family were all loyal to the Lost Cause, but firmly supported the decision ratified by the blood of so many Americans.

I know that these people would not support your view. They learned many bitter lessons and they worked to heal the nation, not divide it in the years following. Let Obama be the America hater, he plays that role so well.

9 posted on 02/18/2014 4:29:49 PM PST by centurion316
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To: SamAdams76
The rebels. us, even built a submarine in the Revolutionary War... not that it did much. lol.


10 posted on 02/18/2014 4:30:07 PM PST by GeronL (Vote for Conservatives not for Republicans!)
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To: wally_bert
No way, no how, uh-uh would I ever get in that!...


11 posted on 02/18/2014 4:35:38 PM PST by GeronL (Vote for Conservatives not for Republicans!)
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To: LeoWindhorse

Deo Vindice


12 posted on 02/18/2014 4:53:43 PM PST by StoneWall Brigade
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To: GeronL

6’4, 250ish me would have no prayer of even getting in the hatch so no worries for me. I wouldn’t have been in the Confederate Submarine Service.


13 posted on 02/18/2014 4:54:26 PM PST by wally_bert (There are no winners in a game of losers. I'm Tommy Joyce, welcome to the Oriental Lounge.)
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To: SamAdams76

“They do not teach this in high school American history class.”

If I’m teaching it, I do. :)


14 posted on 02/18/2014 4:54:42 PM PST by GenXteacher (You have chosen dishonor to avoid war; you shall have war also.)
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To: wally_bert

true. I wouldn’t fit in there either.


15 posted on 02/18/2014 4:55:09 PM PST by GeronL (Vote for Conservatives not for Republicans!)
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To: GeronL

Years ago when I played ARNG (misguided idea) and went to Ft. Stewart, I saw some of the soviet era stuff that came back from the middle east fun and games.

I was surprised at how small soviet armor, pc’s, and the like were compared to our stuff. I’d be way too big for armor crew in Ivan’s armor corps. They look like deathtraps and from what I have gathered were.


16 posted on 02/18/2014 4:58:16 PM PST by wally_bert (There are no winners in a game of losers. I'm Tommy Joyce, welcome to the Oriental Lounge.)
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To: centurion316

I find it odd you feel compelled to speak for all your relatives, who were evidently Confederates.

“The Lost Cause,” “In Grey,” “Ratified by the blood...”

All of this is very saccharine Victor’s language but I strongly suspect you misunderstand the reasons for secession and the secession itself, as well as the level of understanding men who might well be brighter than you had of their situation, of the state of the Union, and of their cause.

Finally to refer to Confederate sympathizers as ‘un-American’ marks you as, perhaps someone who would do well to read any number of excellent pieces on the subject of the Constitution, State’s rights, powers of the Federal government, etc., all of which changed drastically and permanently after Appomatox.


17 posted on 02/18/2014 5:01:36 PM PST by golux
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To: wally_bert

A weapon of desperation only. It show Confederate Courage and daring if nothing else. They would have been smarter to invest in fast “david” torpedo boats.


18 posted on 02/18/2014 5:07:23 PM PST by Forward the Light Brigade (Into the Jaws of H*ll)
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To: centurion316

SPOT ON! There were many, MANY, southern military that said the very same thing.

My grt gramps gave acreage to southern soldiers that came up north to find work after they were pardoned at Vicksburg. They stayed and prospered.

Joe Johnston went to Shermans funeral and died a few days later. Lee said that in all history, he could not find a general like that of Grant. And that from Lee. These four men, held the union together after it was over since there were those in the administration, after Lincoln was killed, who wanted blood. I believe Grant would have instigated a coup if they persisted. He said it was over, end of story.


19 posted on 02/18/2014 5:10:47 PM PST by crz
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To: golux

Baloney.


20 posted on 02/18/2014 5:17:15 PM PST by centurion316
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To: wally_bert

A couple of years after the Hunley, Spain built what could be called a much more modern sub

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Peral_Submarine


21 posted on 02/18/2014 5:24:31 PM PST by GeronL (Vote for Conservatives not for Republicans!)
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To: Forward the Light Brigade

I have to give credit where its due in the courage and daring department.


22 posted on 02/18/2014 5:25:53 PM PST by wally_bert (There are no winners in a game of losers. I'm Tommy Joyce, welcome to the Oriental Lounge.)
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To: GeronL

First I’d heard of this one. Thanks for sharing.


23 posted on 02/18/2014 5:27:45 PM PST by wally_bert (There are no winners in a game of losers. I'm Tommy Joyce, welcome to the Oriental Lounge.)
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To: wally_bert

The M1A1 vs the T-72

The Soviet designed tank looks like a little toy. lol

http://armour.ws/wp-content/uploads/2008/09/sizes.jpg


24 posted on 02/18/2014 5:32:00 PM PST by GeronL (Vote for Conservatives not for Republicans!)
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To: GeronL

Thanks for the chart. Saved that one.


25 posted on 02/18/2014 5:44:33 PM PST by wally_bert (There are no winners in a game of losers. I'm Tommy Joyce, welcome to the Oriental Lounge.)
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To: wally_bert

“They look like deathtraps and from what I have gathered were.”

Tankski go boom!:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8VdRnY-TUb4


26 posted on 02/18/2014 5:51:00 PM PST by PLMerite
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To: PLMerite

I was talking to one TC during my summer vacation to Ft. Stewart that had been there and opposition armor was being engaged way beyond what their (Iraqi) guns could do and watching shells hit the sand. Then Abrams tanks would sit there, acquire and fire with hatches open and there would go turret and all up in the air when the 120mm connected.


27 posted on 02/18/2014 5:56:42 PM PST by wally_bert (There are no winners in a game of losers. I'm Tommy Joyce, welcome to the Oriental Lounge.)
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To: wally_bert

There’s so much effective anti-tank stuff flying around these days, armor is the last place I’d want to be.


28 posted on 02/18/2014 6:08:36 PM PST by PLMerite
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To: PLMerite

My dad was an armor jockey way back in the 60s before I was born and as a kid watching war movies, especially the great Kelly’s Heroes, he called tanks “armored coffins”.

If I had to be in any of them, Abrams is where I want to be but you are right about the wide world of anti-tank weapons. I’d rather be on the anti-tank side of the equation.


29 posted on 02/18/2014 6:17:41 PM PST by wally_bert (There are no winners in a game of losers. I'm Tommy Joyce, welcome to the Oriental Lounge.)
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To: StoneWall Brigade

Deo Vindice


30 posted on 02/18/2014 7:58:21 PM PST by LeoWindhorse
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To: Brad from Tennessee
The post of much interest to me and I have spent some of a pleasant evening in poring over the record and the diagrams. It is with regret my travelling days long distance are likely over and I will never be able to visit the Hunley.

I thought I would mention the two submarines that I have visited in the United States. They were happy times as myself and wife from England, took full advantage of being at the border in Canada.

At Muskegon, Michigan lying at dock is the USS Silversides. The submarine was said to be 75% operative. People can go aboard. If anyone saw the film with the late Alan Hale, it told of a crew member with appendicitis. This in WW2. From a text book, the cook prepared his knives for an impromptu operation. The man survived.

Next to the Museum of Science and Industry in Chicago. It was the U505, a German submarine that surrendered to US naval personnel, at the surrender of Germany. They were taken off and went aboard a US naval vessel. The last crewman tried to scuttle the sub, by taking out the filter device. The American sailors jumped aboard and fixed it. The whole thing is in Chicago.

So long ago, I hope my information is still pertinent.

31 posted on 02/18/2014 8:02:04 PM PST by Peter Libra
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To: SamAdams76
But they did teach about the Monitor and the Merrimack - which led me to explore on my own. It was part of those explorations that brought me to the story of the Hunley.

I have a movie in my collection - The Hunley. - about the creation and deployment of The Hunley. It took some big brass ones to go down in that thing!

32 posted on 02/18/2014 8:32:11 PM PST by rockrr (Everything is different now...)
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To: PLMerite

Armor M.O.S. had the highest death rate by far during the
Vietnam affair. 27% of all armor mos were killed.


33 posted on 02/18/2014 8:37:17 PM PST by TweetEBird007
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To: wally_bert
I have to give credit where its due in the courage and daring department.

No doubt. At the Hunley exhibit in Charleston, the docent alluded to the fact that all hands on the Hunley were volunteers, which was surprising in and of itself because the mission for which the Hunley became famous was manned by its third crew.

The Hunley had actually sunk twice before, with the loss of five out of eight crew on its first voyage, and the loss of all eight crewmen on the second, including the vessel's namesake, Capt. Horace Hunley.

The men who volunteered for duty on the historic third Hunley mission were well aware of the fate of the first two missions. Why would they volunteer for a task meaning almost certain death? Because all of them understood the potential of the submarine to change the nature of naval warfare. Serving aboard the Hunley was the 19th century equivalent of being an astronaut a hundred years later. All of these guys understood the technological leap a successful submarine mission would be, and they wanted to be a part of it.

The exhibit also contained a replica of the Hunley, cut open from the rear so that visitors could enter. The first thing you notice is that the average 21st century American isn't going to fit through the hatch up top. The second thing you notice is how crowded that tin can would be with eight hands inside. You can only imagine the terror that would grip those on board as sea water came rushing in to drown them. Then you see that the only crewman who has even the most remote chance of exiting the tube in an emergency is the one standing directly under it. And that's only if he's the size of a current-day 11-year old...otherwise he has no chance at all, due to the tiny diameter of the hatch.
34 posted on 02/18/2014 10:13:45 PM PST by Milton Miteybad (I am Jim Thompson. {Really.})
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To: Milton Miteybad

People are just bigger now apparently


35 posted on 02/18/2014 10:15:53 PM PST by GeronL (Vote for Conservatives not for Republicans!)
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To: JoeProBono

From the viewpoint of 1864 this vessel must have looked like an interplanetary vehicle.


36 posted on 02/18/2014 10:31:01 PM PST by Brad from Tennessee (A politician can't give you anything he hasn't first stolen from you.)
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To: Peter Libra

Silver sides is still in Michigan, now one can do sleep over for a fee.
U505 is still in Chicago at science and industry museum


37 posted on 02/18/2014 10:54:41 PM PST by Nailbiter
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To: crz
[Joe Johnston went to Shermans funeral and died a few days later.]

After the war Joe Johnston worked as both an insurance and railroad executive and served a term in Congress. He became close friends with both Grant and Sherman—his main antagonists in the war. Johnston was a pallbearer at Sherman's funeral which took place in the rain. As the story goes, Johnston removed his hat at the graveside despite the rain saying Sherman would have shown him the same respect had their roles been reversed. Within a few days he contracted pneumonia and died.

38 posted on 02/18/2014 10:54:48 PM PST by Brad from Tennessee (A politician can't give you anything he hasn't first stolen from you.)
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To: centurion316
Baloney.

How enchantingly Coney Island of you, little "Yankee Reb."
39 posted on 02/19/2014 12:04:32 AM PST by golux
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To: crz
Lee said that in all history, he could not find a general like that of Grant.

Ahh yes! And he adored Lincoln, and the Union cause. Why, it was simply a matter of momentary confusion that the venerable old codger fought on the "wrong" side at all, right? Heck, I gots me twenny BONER-FEE-DAYS Confederate genny-rails on m'Mama's side, an' dey's all been wit' da twinny-sec,n Maine!
40 posted on 02/19/2014 12:09:26 AM PST by golux
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To: golux; centurion316; LeoWindhorse; Brad from Tennessee; rockrr
LeoWindhorse: "the wrong side won in 1865"

centurion316: "I know that these people would not support your view.
They learned many bitter lessons and they worked to heal the nation, not divide it in the years following."

golux: "Finally to refer to Confederate sympathizers as ‘un-American’ marks you as, perhaps someone..."

In fact, golux, centurion316 did not use the term "un-American".
That is strictly a figment of your own fertile imagination.

golux: "I strongly suspect you misunderstand the reasons for secession and the secession itself, as well as the level of understanding men who might well be brighter than you had of their situation, of the state of the Union, and of their cause."

In fact, there was only one reason for secession: to protect the South's "peculiar institution" against the perceived threat from "Ape" Lincoln's "Black Republicans".
It doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure that out, but Lost Causers have long attempted to conceal the truth.

golux: "...the Constitution, State’s rights, powers of the Federal government, etc., all of which changed drastically and permanently after Appomatox."

No, only a "state's right" to unilaterally declare secession, then provoke, start and declare war on the United States, then send military forces into Union states -- those "states rights" were defeated, unconditionally.
Oh, and slavery was abolished.

Otherwise, the Union remained as it had been, for another 50 years, until the Progressivism of Southern Democrats like President Woodrow Wilson.

41 posted on 02/19/2014 2:44:07 AM PST by BroJoeK (a little historical perspective....)
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To: BroJoeK

Yes. It is the accepted view, promulgated by your Federal government, that the War was all about slavery and racism. You are encouraged to believe it, and you believe it. You should especially thank Lincoln for freeing the slaves of the Northern states - the last, very reluctantly, in New Jersey. But really there is no use. Watch another Hollywood movie on the subject, perhaps with Oprah starring. It will bolster your views.


42 posted on 02/19/2014 3:35:02 AM PST by golux
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To: golux
golux: "Yes. It is the accepted view, promulgated by your Federal government, that the War was all about slavery and racism."

Sorry, but there are facts of history, and despite your intense desire to deny them, they remain facts.
Those facts include:

  1. The Deep South (South Carolina through Texas) declared secession, beginning immediately after Lincoln's election in November 1860, in order to protect their institution of slavery against the perceived threat from abolitionists "Black Republicans".

  2. Concurrently, secessionists began provoking war by seizing dozens of major federal properties -- forts, ships, arsenals, mints, etc. -- threatening, shooting at Federal officials and demanding surrender of occupied facilities.

  3. Around March 4, 1861, while newly inaugurated President Lincoln pleaded for peace, and the entire US Army was just 16,000 strong (most scattered out West), the Confederacy ordered raising it's first 100,000 troops and preparations to assault Fort Sumter.

  4. In April 1861 the Confederacy started Civil War with a military assault on Federal troops in Federal Fort Sumter.

  5. On May 6, 1861 the Confederacy formally declared war on the United States, and at the same time began sending military aid to secessionist forces in Union states (i.e., Missouri).

So Civil War came because the Confederacy started it.
In the beginning then, freeing slaves (aka "contraband") was just a military tactic to weaken secessionists' manpower.

Bottom lines:

Like them or not, those are facts.

43 posted on 02/19/2014 4:13:36 AM PST by BroJoeK (a little historical perspective....)
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To: Peter Libra

U-505 was captured by an anti-submarine hunter/killer group led by USS Guadalcanal. She was captured in June of 1944. U-505 was the first enemy warship captured,on the high seas,by the U.S. Navy since the war of 1812.


44 posted on 02/19/2014 4:39:48 AM PST by X Fretensis
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To: wally_bert

Like Willy said to Joe, “that moving fox hole attracts the eye”


45 posted on 02/19/2014 4:43:38 AM PST by X Fretensis
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To: Brad from Tennessee

Amazing that a sub existed in 1865. I was even more amazed that the first trans-Atlantic cable was laid at about the same time.


46 posted on 02/19/2014 5:03:14 AM PST by St_Thomas_Aquinas ( Isaiah 22:22, Matthew 16:19, Revelation 3:7)
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To: Brad from Tennessee
Great story on the first submarine, just like the stories I have read about other first in the history of wars – like the first jet fighter to see combat. Thank God the right side won in those wars.

The Democrat Slaver Party South of old is dead - long live the new Christian Conservative South of the free!

The Democrat Slaver Party of the 1800's has migrated North, South, East and West has had and still has this evil Slavery mentality in which it has not turned away from even before the Civil War. It has changed for the worse - it is worse now than before. We would do better to remind people of the Democrat Slaver Party’s history of not only Slavery, but of their racism, their KKK, their Progressivism to Socialism, their Communism, their hatred for god and Bible, their holocaust of babies, etc. They may now claim that they abhor the likes of the Slavery of old, but in reality they just use different methods for the same means; some more ruthless then that of the 1800’s. The Democrat Slaver Party as a whole is evil and indefensible, the whole being how they were and how they are (worse) today.

And before those of you who try to justify the slaver Democrats of the Confederacy by saying that the Republicans have also done evil, let me remind you that The Democrat Slaver Party has historically been the Party of Progressivism and the Republicans the Party of (in the modern US definition) Conservatism.

http://www.breitbart.com/Big-Government/2013/08/06/The-Pro-Slavery-Roots-of-the-Modern-Left

Sure, the Republican Party has had its ebbs and flows; but has never held long a position that is so abominable that the Party should be abandoned. Plus, we have the Tea Party making progress within the Republican Party. On the other hand, the Democrat Party has had many, and held on to many, evil ideals as their foundation. Furthermore; having a right to do evil does not justify an evil – as the Democrat Slaver Party has and is still doing.

For these reasons; the Democrat Party should be abandoned and never be defend and/or justified – past or present. No one should want to defend the Democrat Slavers of then and now!

47 posted on 02/19/2014 6:43:27 AM PST by celmak
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To: SamAdams76
Pretty amazing they had submarine warfare during the Civil War. But they did.

It was tried during the Revolutionary War as well! See The American Turtle.

48 posted on 02/19/2014 8:08:53 AM PST by Ditto
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To: Brad from Tennessee

How they kept getting a crew for the darned thing certainly surpasses my understanding. If I were a Confederate soldier and someone came up to me and said “We’ve got this new thing called a submarine that we need a crew for. It’s killed its last two crews but we think we may have worked the bugs out. The way it works is you go out and ram a ship with a bomb and then try to get away. Who’s in?” I think I would have said “No thanks. I think I’d rather find a hill to charge up somewhere.”


49 posted on 02/19/2014 8:13:20 AM PST by DoodleDawg
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To: golux
Yes. It is the accepted view, promulgated by your Federal government, that the War was all about slavery and racism.

Not 'racism' but most defiantly it was all about slavery, or more specifically the expansion of slavery. That is not a history promulgated by the Federal government, but by the documented history of that era.

50 posted on 02/19/2014 8:32:10 AM PST by Ditto
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