This seems important...

Postby IICV on Fri Apr 19, 2002 10:46 pm

"It wasn't much of a fight," reports Major Thomas Woodrow, the commander of our troops -- "they're more like our quartermasters than enemy cavalry. Some of them can hardly sit on a horse. As they were running, one of them was actually whipping his horse and screaming 'more steam!' Foolishness. You can't win a war if you think like a mechanic instead of a soldier."


I'm fairly certain there weren't any ground steam powered vehicles during the Civil War. I think the Iron Clads (Sorta submarine type things) were developed near the end, but beyond that I don't remember any sort of steam powered attack things.

Edit: It's too late to be doing BBCode...

<font size=-1>[ This Message was edited by: IICV on 2002-04-19 23:46 ]</font>
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Postby Lordjulius on Fri Apr 19, 2002 10:56 pm

On 2002-04-19 23:46, IICV wrote:
"It wasn't much of a fight," reports Major Thomas Woodrow, the commander of our troops -- "they're more like our quartermasters than enemy cavalry. Some of them can hardly sit on a horse. As they were running, one of them was actually whipping his horse and screaming 'more steam!' Foolishness. You can't win a war if you think like a mechanic instead of a soldier."


I'm fairly certain there weren't any ground steam powered vehicles during the Civil War.


How about the railroad? Which was often called the iron horse! Not sure whether this is the General's joke, T's or the nameless 19th Century newspaper writer's, but in any case I don't think it's significant.

Railroads were, in fact, one of the first applications of the steam engine, which was invented in the mid-to-late 1700s in England. By 1828, the first railroad lines were laid in the U.S., from Baltimore to Ohio (not sure where in Ohio, but it was the Baltimore & Ohio railroad line, which survives today in the game of Monopoly as the B&O). Railroads played a big part in the war, as I pointed out in my post to the "Harry Turtledove was right!" thread on how the Civil War was a high-tech science fiction war that could be said to be the first "modern" war (a title usually given to WW I -- with some justification).
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Postby Ray Radlein on Fri Apr 19, 2002 10:59 pm

On 2002-04-19 23:46, IICV wrote:
"It wasn't much of a fight," reports Major Thomas Woodrow, the commander of our troops -- "they're more like our quartermasters than enemy cavalry. Some of them can hardly sit on a horse. As they were running, one of them was actually whipping his horse and screaming 'more steam!' Foolishness. You can't win a war if you think like a mechanic instead of a soldier."


I'm fairly certain there weren't any ground steam powered vehicles during the Civil War. I think the Iron Clads (Sorta submarine type things) were developed near the end, but beyond that I don't remember any sort of steam powered attack things.


You mean, aside from the railroads and trains used by both sides to move men and supplies all over the country?

But yeah, that quote struck me as odd, too. As though the Union soldiers involved were time travellers of some kind, unused to the 19th century.

But if the General is intervening on the side of the CSA, then what is up with the Union soldiers?

Maybe there aren't any actual 19th century humans involved in the Civil War; it is entirely being fought by different groups of time travellers, each trying to sway the future while avoiding anachronisms. In the meantime, the actual damnyanks and johnny rebs are all down at the pub somewhere, wondering what the heck is going on.
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Postby Lordjulius on Fri Apr 19, 2002 11:15 pm

Maybe there aren't any actual 19th century humans involved in the Civil War; it is entirely being fought by different groups of time travellers, each trying to sway the future while avoiding anachronisms. In the meantime, the actual damnyanks and johnny rebs are all down at the pub somewhere, wondering what the heck is going on.


I love this! What a great idea for a story! Only it's not people trying to change the future, it's Civil War Reenactors, lining up to use the time machines to fulfill their heart's desire!!!!!

Meanwhile Johnny Reb buys a pitcher, sits down at the table with Damnyank, spits on the floor and says, disgustedly, "Tourists!"
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Postby Ray Radlein on Fri Apr 19, 2002 11:34 pm

On 2002-04-20 00:15, lordjulius wrote:
Maybe there aren't any actual 19th century humans involved in the Civil War; it is entirely being fought by different groups of time travellers, each trying to sway the future while avoiding anachronisms. In the meantime, the actual damnyanks and johnny rebs are all down at the pub somewhere, wondering what the heck is going on.


I love this! What a great idea for a story! Only it's not people trying to change the future, it's Civil War Reenactors, lining up to use the time machines to fulfill their heart's desire!!!!!


Well, now that I think about it, it occurs to me that this is uncomfortably close to Garry Kilworth's 1975 story, "Let's All go to Golgotha," wherein all of the spectators at the crucifixion turn out to be time travelling tourists.

A quick bit o' research has revealed that Silverberg used a similar conceit in Up the Line. And in Poul Anderson's There Will Be Time, the time traveller visits the crucifixion because he wants to meet other time travellers, and figures that it's a likely place for them to turn up. :grin:

Meanwhile Johnny Reb buys a pitcher, sits down at the table with Damnyank, spits on the floor and says, disgustedly, "Tourists!"


"If it's 'Tourist Season,' then why can't we hunt them?"
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Postby Shatteredtower on Fri Apr 19, 2002 11:50 pm

On 2002-04-19 23:56, lordjulius wrote:

Railroads were, in fact, one of the first applications of the steam engine, which was invented in the mid-to-late 1700s in England.


While the applications for it would have been more limited by virtue of limited knowledge of metal working, the steam engine was in fact invented by Hero quite a few centuries before this. It never saw use as much more than a toy or the equivalent of an automatic door opener, but that wasn't because there were no uses for it.

It's because the Greeks didn't know what they'd do with all of the slaves it could be used to replace.

Economic pressures, slavery, and applications of the steam engine - all coming together at a different time with different results. (Not a fair comparison, I know - but I do find it interesting.)
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Postby Backslider on Sat Apr 20, 2002 9:24 am

In the meantime, the actual damnyanks and johnny rebs are all down at the pub somewhere, wondering what the heck is going on.

Just as a matter of clarification, the "Joe Sixpack" nickname for Union soliders was "Billy Yank". Just thought I'd throw that in there. Granted, it never became as popular as "Johnny Reb"...maybe if Johnny Horton had recorded a song about Billy Yank, things would be different, but we'll never know.
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Postby Ray Radlein on Sun Apr 21, 2002 10:33 pm

Backslider wrote:
In the meantime, the actual damnyanks and johnny rebs are all down at the pub somewhere, wondering what the heck is going on.

Just as a matter of clarification, the "Joe Sixpack" nickname for Union soliders was "Billy Yank".


Yeah, you're right; thanks. I actually knew that -- it's just that the part of my brain which knew it wasn't answering the phone when I was calling it for the information. Oh, sure, I left a message; but does it ever get back to me in time? Hah! I think not.
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