Re: Best Civil War General
One of the contributing factors that the South LOST was Robert E. Lee. A stubborn anachronism, fighting a 19th Century "modern" war with 18th Century tactics, always looking for the "mythical" Napoleonic "Decisive Battle" while losing the WAR the entire time and not KNOWING it.
Couple that with his INSISTANCE on moving the Capitol from Mobile, that COULD have been defended and cost the North a LOT more to take, he instead as a price for his service makes them move it to RICHMOND, 50 miles from Washington! (What price Victory? It NEVER seemed to enter his MIND!) Plus he NEVER grasped that the war would be won or lost in the WEST not the EAST. Grant DID. Which makes what Grant did in the WEST before he was called East to the "headlines," maybe more important overall to the entire war than ANYTHING Lee did! About the ONLY thing he did to help Bragg in the West was send Longstreet AFTER Gettysaburg to Chickamauga....he would have been BETTER to have his WHOLE ARMY there, and not barefoot and extended in Pennsylvania!
No Lee was a GREAT man, and a GREAT battlefield commander, and the men LOVED him, (Overrated as that was, hell, the Union Troops loved McCLELLAN too....)but as the "George Washington," or even "Dwight Eisenhower," much LESS a Montgomery or MacArthur, of his age, he was a FAILURE as a "Supreme Commander," almost devoid of long term strategic thought!
There is no contest between Lee and Grant, Grant knew at ALL times his strategic strengths, and USED them, and fought EVERY battle with an eye for TOMORROW, not for the "glory" of TODAY.
But the TRUE genius was Sherman, he was truly the FIRST great "Mobile Force" Commanader, like Patton or Rommel, who UNDERSTOOD what it meant to break into the enemy's REAR and destroy his ability and MEANS to fight, if not his WILL....by causing MAXIMUM havoc with the means at hand...and keep MOVING....
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