It's all in the wording or where one wants to be when the discussion ends isn't it George. Even the 'experts' get to different ends using the same means. I'm not trying to nit pick every point but it just seems to me that early on, the point that the slaves should be freed and allowed to fight may have been smarter but then again, if they didn't want to fight, even with a gun in their hand, they'd find a way to miss the shot. It was an impossible situation from the beginning, that's my take on it. Had the Confederacy been able to secure aid from England or France, it could have helped. The biggest problem were logistics and supplies. There was no bottomless food pantry and arms factory. Even when they had some foundries or factories in the beginning, they couldn't maintain the supply demanded because the raw materials were not there. I think it started a little too soon but then, when is it a good time to start a war?