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  • US Civil War
  • History of the United States
  • War and Military History

What were the North's disadvantages in the Civil War?


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Answered 2012-04-23 18:42:03
  • They lacked the military traditions of the South which limited the number of high quality military leaders. The young men of the South were generally skilled on horseback and quickly became skilled as horseback killing and fighting.

The north had a few disadvantages.

First, they were fighting offensively

Second, they were in enemy territory and was not familiar with it.

Third, the north or the Union did not want to fight at all, the north had no will and no motivation to fight or win. The South had the courage and will to fight.

these are just the few disadvantages. Hope it helped!
They had no experence in the south
Southerners were rural dwellers used to doing with less and living a more primitive life. Most southerners could handle a weapon and were more adaptable to the life of a soldier. At the beginning of the war the South had superior calvary however after a couple of years in an Army saddle the North caught up in that area. The South was on the defensive and that means that they were most likely to be fighting on familiar ground and defense can make due with fewer troops than an attacker. In those days it was thought the attacker needed a two or three to one advantage over the defender. When you are on defense the movement of troops is much quicker. Imagine a semicircle. The ends of the semicircle are closer if you cut across the diameter of the circle than if you must go around the outside of the circle. This meant even more when you move on the battlefield by foot.
Many of the best officers of the US Army had resigned to join the Confederates.

Lack of cavalry at the beginning.

Strong chance of Britain and France helping the South.

A less inspiring war-mission than the enemy had.

A bad draft law, whereby a young man of military age could pay a substitute to do his service for him - bad for morale, and the substitutes were no use.
The burden of having to do the invading.

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