U.S. CitiesCity-Data Forum Index
Go Back   City-Data Forum > U.S. Forums > General U.S.
 [Register]
Please register to participate in our discussions with 2 million other members - it's free and quick! Some forums can only be seen by registered members. After you create your account, you'll be able to customize options and access all our 15,000 new posts/day with fewer ads.
View detailed profile (Advanced) or search
site with Google Custom Search

Search Forums  (Advanced)
Reply Start New Thread
 
Old 02-21-2009, 01:29 PM
 
2,758 posts, read 4,928,565 times
Reputation: 1114

Advertisements

When's you next reenactment Irishtom. (just kidding, don't track me down and kill me).
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message

 
Old 02-21-2009, 02:11 PM
 
10,167 posts, read 17,140,519 times
Reputation: 5743
Quote:
Originally Posted by Irishtom29 View Post
Not really, that's the "common knowledge" about the war but it doesn't stand scrutiny.

The Confederacy produced only a single first-rate large army commander, Robert E Lee. The Union produced a several of them---Grant, Sherman, Thomas and Sheridan.
You gotta be kiddin', IrishTom! You're a good man and friend and very worthy opponent, but the Southerners were the "cream of the crop" in terms of what the United States military academies produced. This is very much evidenced by the Mexican War.

Now, did the northern generals you mention use a numerical and resource advantage to defeat the South? Yes, they did. So in that way, they were ahead of their times. But were they better strategists or commanders all things being equal?

I don't think it is unfair to say that the main reason the South lost is comes down to the said numbers and resources. Not because we were out-generl'd or outfought in terms of the capabilities of officers and the men under arms.

Quote:
In the Western theater the Confederacy saw a parade of incompetent and mediocre generals in high command---A.S. Johnston, Bragg, Pemberton, Joe Johnston and Hood. And ole Bory was in there long enough to devise an idiotic plan for the battle of Shiloh, evacuate the strategic railroad city of Cornith and then go AWOL and be relieved.
I see where you are going here, and there is really no way to argue against it. As it argues from result. I don't disagree at all that Hood was a disaster for the South. In ANY alternative scenario! And Bragg was too, in his own way. LOL

But back to the point, Thomas "Stonewall" Jackson was brilliant in his diversionary moves to prevent the yankees from taking Richmond. He was instrumental in whipping the feds at Chancellorsville. Forrest has no formal military education, but was never beaten force to force.


Quote:
By the end of the war the Army of the Potomac was hitting on all cylinders with such superb combat group and corps commanders as Sheridan, Griffin, Wright, Parke and Humphreys. Cavalry commanders were excellent---Custer, Crook, Devin, MacKenzie.....and the young and aggressive James Wilson from Shawneetown Illinois raising Hell in Alabama and Georgia with the 1865 version of a Panzer division-----a strike force of thousands of young Midwesterners all mounted and all armed with repeating rifles. Why even ole Nathan Bedford Forrest couldn't withstand Wilson and was finally whipped.
*grins* FINALLY is the operative term. Even Grant once said that the old adage of one Southerner can whip a dozen yankees according to the standards of the day, was correct. It was one reason he didn't want to exchange prisoners.

Do you really think (and I really want to know, not being faceitious at all) that if, again, all other things equal, the North could have beaten the South?
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 02-21-2009, 02:15 PM
 
10,167 posts, read 17,140,519 times
Reputation: 5743
Quote:
Originally Posted by Scott Summers View Post
When's you next reenactment Irishtom. (just kidding, don't track me down and kill me).
LOL Oh, IrishTom is good people. He is just a yankee.

But a damn good one!
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 02-21-2009, 04:03 PM
 
2,758 posts, read 4,928,565 times
Reputation: 1114
Quote:
Originally Posted by TexasReb View Post
LOL Oh, IrishTom is good people. He is just a yankee.

But a damn good one!
Yeah, I know he's one of the smarter ones on here. I just caught this but his reply to could easily be "When you learn how to spell YOUR" and know I hadn't been called on it yet. I know it's no.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 02-21-2009, 05:49 PM
 
Location: San Antonio
10,238 posts, read 18,778,846 times
Reputation: 10164
Tex--Well let's run it down buddy.

Robert E. Lee was a large army commander of great skill. But after him I can think of no other capable Confederate large army commander.

Stonewall Jackson was a small army commander of great skill and also a most capable corps commander.

Richard Taylor commanded a small Confederate army very well during the Red River campaign but remember that his antagonist was Banks, one of the dumbest Yankees ever.

Forrest was a small unit commander, cavalry commander and raider of great skill but he never commanded a major force.

Early did well as a commander of a small army; he was whipped but he did about as well as anyone can reasonably expect.

Longstreet was a most capable corps commander under Lee but when he went west except for his performence at Chickamauga he was a total failure and insubordinate and damned near mutinous to boot. He was whipped by Burnside of all people.

A.P.Hill was a brilliant division commander, then a very poor corps commander and then matured into a pretty good corps commander; then he was killed.

At the brigade level the Confederates were generally very skillful but had increasing trouble at the division and corps level. It's hard to think of a single brilliant corps commander in the western Confederate armies where the Federals had a wealth of talented corps commanders---Thomas, McPherson, Sherman, Ord, MacClernand, Dodge, Wood, Stanley, AJ Smith, MacArthur, Blair, Jefferson C. Davis.....man, no wonder the Federals went from victory to victory in the West. Why even ole Oliver Howard and his stumblebum Eleventh Corps did well when they went West. Must'a been gettin' rid of those silly caps and getting some proper Western Yankee slouch hats.

Color Guard of the 8th Wisconsin Infantry and their mascot "Old Abe"

Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 02-21-2009, 05:54 PM
 
Location: West Michigan
12,083 posts, read 34,207,063 times
Reputation: 16839
Quote:
Originally Posted by Irishtom29 View Post
Not really, that's the "common knowledge" about the war but it doesn't stand scrutiny.

The Confederacy produced only a single first-rate large army commander, Robert E Lee. The Union produced a several of them---Grant, Sherman, Thomas and Sheridan.
Really how many Commanders do you want or need? First rate Generals, and leaders though they had plenty. and that is NOT fiction, and does stand up to scrutiny. Ever hear of any of these guys?

Robert E Lee (of course)
Stonewall Jackson
Beauregard
JEB Stuart
James Longstreet
Bedford Forrest
John Mosby
George Pickett
Jubal Anderson Early

There are plenty more as well. Both sides had men who led great, but these men led with WAY more hindrances than their Northern counterparts and damn-near pulled it off.

Don't get me wrong, while I have generations of ancestors that were born, lived and died in the South, I have an equal, or greater number who did the same for the North. I am a Yankee, through and through; but I am one who can look back 140+ years and see how men led and fought on BOTH sides of the line. Just because they were Confederates, it doesn't take away their ability to lead their men in rather bold and brilliant ways. They made due with less, sometimes a lot less; and for the better part of the war they held their own and even got the better of some of the Norths best leaders and commanders. It wasn't a war of great sized battles generally, yes those are the ones that stand out the most, but it was small running skirmishes. And for those, you don't need a great number of commander caliber leaders.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 02-21-2009, 05:59 PM
 
Location: San Antonio
10,238 posts, read 18,778,846 times
Reputation: 10164
Quote:
Originally Posted by TexasReb View Post

But back to the point, Thomas " Even Grant once said that the old adage of one Southerner can whip a dozen yankees according to the standards of the day, was correct. It was one reason he didn't want to exchange prisoners.


Well Tex I've read a great deal of what Grant said and wrote (I even have the first edition of his memoirs) and I never ran across him saying that and it would've been unlike him to think that.

The first big fight Grant and his Illinoisans and Iowans had was at Belmont Missouri. Grant attacked and drove the Rebels to his front and captured their camp. When Rebel reinforcements got in his rear he turned, attacked in the other direction and drove them again.

An Illinoisan asked a captured Rebel if he still thought one Rebel could whip ten Yankees. "Oh" the Rebel replied "We weren't talkin' about you Westerners".

Men of the 7th Illinois Infantry at Lookout Mountain, Chattanooga


Last edited by Irishtom29; 02-21-2009 at 06:10 PM..
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 02-21-2009, 06:09 PM
 
Location: San Antonio
10,238 posts, read 18,778,846 times
Reputation: 10164
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bydand View Post
Really how many Commanders do you want or need? First rate Generals, and leaders though they had plenty. and that is NOT fiction, and does stand up to scrutiny. Ever hear of any of these guys?

Robert E Lee (of course)
Stonewall Jackson
Beauregard
JEB Stuart
James Longstreet
Bedford Forrest
John Mosby
George Pickett
Jubal Anderson Early

There are plenty more as well. Both sides had men who led great, but these men led with WAY more hindrances than their Northern counterparts and damn-near pulled it off.
.

I've heard of them and already analyzed several.

Jeb Stuart was capable enough but as the Federal cavalry improved he was increasingly unable to counter it. Then he was killed fighting Custer. Wade Hampton who replaced him for awhile was a better commander than Stuart IMO. In any event I think the greatest cavalry leaders of the war were Sheridan and Wilson; both realized and used the shock value of masses of mounted cavalry---they thought like European cavalrymen. Too often American cavalry wanted to dismount and shoot rather than ride, slash and stab. That's why Reno came acropper at the Little Big Horn but that's another story.

Mosby was a guerilla leader of great skill, very capable but a minor player.

Pickett was a division commander of minor talent and when given greater responsibility was caught with his pants down having a shad bake far from the lines when Little Phil crushed his force at Five Forks.

The closest they came to pulling it off was in the fall of 62 when Bragg and Kirby Smith invaded Kentucky and moved the line of events north from the Cornith-Chattanooga line with it eventually settling by the end of the campaign just south of Nashville. After that it was all downhill.

Kind Regards

Last edited by Irishtom29; 02-21-2009 at 06:18 PM..
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 02-21-2009, 06:13 PM
 
Location: Silver Spring, MD/Washington DC
3,451 posts, read 8,162,930 times
Reputation: 2346
Quote:
Originally Posted by ScranBarre View Post
I'm just asking for an explanation from the same few "culprits" who have been running amok. If I were to start six threads on the City vs. City forum of "Scranton vs. ____" I'd probably be reamed out royally. As a Northerner considering a move to the South, I do worry about the potential for some of these Civil War-era feelings to have NOT yet been resolved.
The Washington, DC area is not the South, at least not anymore.

I do agree the proliferation of "South" threads recently (by one poster in particular), which IMO have been the main cause behind the proliferation of "anti-South" threads (by one poster in particular), has been ridiculous. The best thing to do is ignore those threads, especially if they are started by the two posters who are creating most of these threads.

Incidentally, I think most Civil War experts (which I do not claim to be) believe the war lasted as long as it did because the South had superior military commanders, especially in the Virginia/Maryland theater. The South lost essentially because of military and especially economic attrition, but that's not a black mark on the South's military leaders - actually it speaks more negatively of the North's military leaders, especially during the first half of the war. To be fair, it should be noted the South had the advantage of fighting on its home territory in almost all of the Civil War battles.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 02-21-2009, 06:25 PM
 
Location: West Michigan
12,083 posts, read 34,207,063 times
Reputation: 16839
Quote:
Originally Posted by Irishtom29 View Post
Mosby was a guerilla leader of great skill, very capable but a minor player.
Look at Mosby again. That is the same thing I thought until I really looked at his service. Always a small number of men under his command, and usually a large number of Union troops looking for him. That ties up troops that could have been fighting instead of hunting. His little band kept the Manassas Gap railway from being repaired and kept Grant and Sheridan from joining and supplying Sheridans men with supplies and transportation, that was of importance. He regularly defeated and captured forces many times his own size. If he was such a minor player, there wouldn't have been such an effort put forth by our generals and leaders to put a stop to him.

Like I said, I am glad for which side won, I am much more Yankee than Southern and quite happy for that. I tried to live down among the Southerners but frankly it was just too damn hot for me, and I got tired of being called "Damn Yankee" all the time.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Please register to post and access all features of our very popular forum. It is free and quick. Over $68,000 in prizes has already been given out to active posters on our forum. Additional giveaways are planned.

Detailed information about all U.S. cities, counties, and zip codes on our site: City-data.com.


Reply
Please update this thread with any new information or opinions. This open thread is still read by thousands of people, so we encourage all additional points of view.

Quick Reply
Message:

Over $104,000 in prizes was already given out to active posters on our forum and additional giveaways are planned!

Go Back   City-Data Forum > U.S. Forums > General U.S.
Follow City-Data.com founder on our Forum or

All times are GMT -6.

2005-2019, Advameg, Inc. · Please obey Forum Rules · Terms of Use and Privacy Policy · Bug Bounty

City-Data.com - Archive 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31, 32, 33, 34, 35 - Top