Best Civil War General

Discussion in 'General Military Arms & History Forum' started by Pistolenschutze, Sep 27, 2006.

Best Civil War General

  1. Robert Edward Lee

    31 vote(s)
  2. Thomas Jonathan "Stonewall" Jackson

    18 vote(s)
  3. Ulysses Simpson Grant

    11 vote(s)
  4. William Tecumseh Sherman

    11 vote(s)
  1. polishshooter

    polishshooter Well-Known Member

    Mar 25, 2001
    And "Oh By the Way..."

    WHY isn't Winfield Scott on the list?

    As C in C of ALL Union forces for most of the war, HE and HE ALONE foresaw the strategy needed to WIN, and submitted it EARLY, and EVERYONE in the Union army "pooh-poohed" it as the ramblings of an 80 year old senile mind...

    But the "Old Man's" "Anaconda Plan" is almost PRESCIENT in it's predictions, and ultimately is WHAT the North DID to the South....

    I guess when you are in your 80s, drooling a little spittle out of your mouth, and having STAINS on your 20 year old outdated uniform, and walk with a cane, all the "youngsters" in both officer corps AND the newspapermen on BOTH sides, much less the HISTORIANS:mad: HAVE to ignore you and put the "dashing" Lees and McClellans in their IMMACULATE uniforms and prancing steeds on their front pages....:cool:

    HELL, Scott COMMANDED just about every "great" General on BOTH sides in his masterfully conducted "last" of the "18th Century" campaigns in Mexico in the 1840s, and even HE grasped that what he did in Mexico was outdated...he KNEW them, WARTS and ALL....

    About the ONLY General on either side that also grasped it TOO was Grant....

    Old Age and Trickery beats youth and skill any day of the week....;)
    Last edited: Sep 28, 2006
  2. Marlin

    Marlin *TFF Admin Staff Chief Counselor*

    Mar 27, 2003
    At SouthernMoss' side forever!
    Alright, Pistol You should know by now that in order to be a "Damn Yankee", you must be certified as having been born in the Nutmeg State, with a hadn full of REAL nutmegs as you make your appearance. :) :) I'm not sure either of you choices meet that all important criterion......

    I would also add to my choice of General Lee, acknowledged as one of the GREATEST EVER PRODUCED by the US Military Academy, Stonewall Jackson. Each fought themselves and their deep Christian beliefs not only in the initial decisions to go to war and where or for whom, but were continually concerned for all the Christian brothers throughout the conflict.

    That to me is the mark of a great man !!!!!!

  3. Red Neck64

    Red Neck64 Former Guest

    Jun 18, 2006
    North N.Y.STATE
    William Tecumseh Sherman,For a man that hated war so much he was ruthless in fighting one.But let me add this after some thinking,all four of them men were true fearless fighting man leaders,and I only wish we had them fighting for us today.They were definitely not politically correct leaders.
    Last edited: Sep 28, 2006
  4. Polish, y'all need a T-shirt which says, "I'm just jealous 'cause the Rebs had a man like Lee, and all we Yanks got was a sloppy ol' drunk." :D

    Your reasoning is in error, Polish. Let me begin by stating for the record that locating the Confederate capitol at Richmond was strategically foolish for the Confederates. Yet it must be remembered that the decision to do so was POLITICALLY based, not militarily founded. Secession of Virginia was an absolute necessity to the formation of the CSA as a viable state. The little industry the South possessed was located in Virginia, mostly in and about Richmond. Once Richmond was chosen, the necessity of defending it as the symbolic home and center of the Confederacy naturally followed. Lee, as commander of the primary Confederate field army in the eastern theatre, had no choice but to govern his strategy--in large degree--around that key city. If Richmond had fallen to the Union, it is likely the Confederacy would have fallen to with it. It is hardly reasonable to chastise Lee for strategic decisions over which he had no control.

    I must also disagree with your reasoning on another implied issue, Polish. In your argument it seems you are committing one of the gravest errors any historian can commit; i.e., you are thinking anachronistically. You argue that Lee should have fought the kind of campaign we might fight today, but that was simply not done in the 19th century, at least not in the United States. Guerrilla tactics and terrorism were anathema then, and no respected commander--North or South--would have employed them. Armies fought armies, and let the chips fall where they may when the smoke cleared. Honor was still more than just a word to such people. Yes, there were such incidents during the Civil War, but those occurred later and were committed by irregulars like William Quantrell, not honorable men like Lee and Grant. Even Sherman in his "march to the sea" concentrated on destruction of militarily useful property, not the killing of innocent civilians.

    Because he was so old and fat that he couldn't even mount a horse, Polish, much less command an army, and indeed he didn't for any significant length of time! :D Granted, Scott did see much earlier than most that the Civil War would ultimately be won through attrition, but that does not qualify him as a tactical thinker, nor allow for the possibility that the Union might loose by a brilliant military thrust from the other side.
  5. 22WRF

    22WRF Well-Known Member

    May 10, 2004
    Since I am married to former Ms Lee a Daughter of the Confederacy
    and Ron's distant Cousin I could only vote one way:D :D :D :D
  6. bfld

    bfld New Member

    Sep 13, 2006
    I don't mean to be offensive, but I have trouble fitting "Stonewall" into this august group: courageous and charismatic, certainly; but a zealot who whose common sense was a bit lacking.

    Gen. Scott was wise enough to come up with Anaconda, but first he gave poor advice to Buchanan (not that Buchanan would have accepted good advice anyway).
  7. I must disagree, bfld. Jackson more than demonstrated his tactical ability on various occasions. Read about his Valley campaign, and his performance at Chancellorsville. And what about his brilliant success with the capture of the arsenal at Harper's Ferry just before the Battle of Sharpsburg (Antietam Creek)? He was Lee's "right arm" until his death.
  8. Wrong again, Polish. Had such a strategy been followed, Little Mac, or some other equally incompetent Yankee commander, would simply have taken Richmond and the war would have been over. The Army of Northern Virginia HAD to fight . . . real battles against real armies. The ONLY hope the Confederacy had for victory lay with one of three possibilities . . .

    1. A decisive thrust of such magnitude and effect that the Union could not protect Washington, the Army of the Potomac in ruins. This was what Lee hoped to accomplish both in 1862 ending at Sharpsburg, and again in 1863 at Gettysburg. He nearly pulled it off.

    2. Defeat of every thrust the Yankees made against the South in the hope that the Union would grow weary of the war and sue for a negotiated peace which would have given the Confederacy its independence. This nearly happened. Look at the Copperhead movement in the North and the draft riots in New York. Had it not been for Lincoln's steadfast resolve, I believe that is precisely what would have happened.

    3. Full recognition of the Confederacy by Great Britain, France, and Russia and active participation in the Confederate effort by at least Great Britain. This almost happened with the Mason / Slidel incident. Absent some causus belli like that incident, one which would have precipitated war between the Union and Britain, recognition was simply not going to happen. While many in Britain favored the Confederate cause, Britain was not willing to appear as a supporter of slavery. Open recognition was simply not in the cards.
  9. polishshooter

    polishshooter Well-Known Member

    Mar 25, 2001
    PS, you put WAY too much emphasis on the industry around Richmond, Josiah Gorgas had MANY gun makers and foundries in the DEEP south.

    Richmond vs. Mobile WAS a "political" decision, to INSURE that R.E.Lee fought for the SOUTH. There is NO way Virginai does NOT seceed, and Lee told Davis he would NOT fight for the Confederacy, but for Virginia! Davis SHOULD have "grown a pair" and said 'Thanks but NO thanks, enjoy your retirement, thank you for your service, here's my telegraph number IN MOBILE if you change your mind..."

    MOBILE should have stayed the capital, and EVERYTHING should have been put into the defense of it, and the PORT, along Atlanta and Chattanooga.

    Guerrilla warfare WAS practiced SUCCESSFULLY in the AMERICAN REVOLUTION. THAT is to what I refer. IT WORKED, against an invading army with a supply train MUCH less necessary than to an army of 1863! In the SAME terrain and area!

    And TELL me that the Confederates were "too" proud to conduct it...Oh yea, Morgan WAS just a common criminal and scoundrel, wasn't he....

    I'll go one step further, with Old Robert. I PERSONALLY don't think he was REALLY much of a "Battlefied" commander EITHER...

    His ONLY successes were REALLY on the DEFENSIVE, and depended as much on the INEPTITUDE of the Union Commanders ATTACKING him, as well as the SUPERIOR subordinate commanders UNDER him who carried his water....

    But at the ONE time HE is attacking, and in COMPLETE contriol, in the words of some of his CLOSEST friends that were THERE, he was described variously as as "befuddled," "confused," "lacking in ideas" and "morose...."

    His STRATEGY at Gettysburg was uninspired at BEST, almost JUVENILE at worst...LITERALLY it was, "we tried the LEFT Flank on Day one, and failed, we tried the RIGHT flank on day two and failed, so what is there left but the middle?"

    My GOODNESS he made the VERY mediocre at BEST 'Fightin' Joe Hooker look like a tactical and strategic GENIUS....which only shows MORE that what Lee did at Chancellorsville, Fredericksburg, et al, just MAY have been easier than you Southern apologists will ever care to admit...

    If even if only HALF of the resources and men "wasted" in the Campaign in the North would have been sent to BRAGG in the west, and Lee it would have done MUCH more to defend the confederacy, he should have been STRIPPED to the bone and told to dig in, while the REST went to Bragg, who REALLY got a "bum rap" in the war....Now Longstreet WAS sent, and turned the tide at Chickamauga, but THAT battle was fought too LAT, it SHOULD have been fought and won BEFORE Chattanooga fell....because, the war was OVER when the 18th Indiana fired the first surprise Parrot shot from the hills into the center of Chattanooga! Chattanooga was the GATEWAY to EVERYWHERE in the South, the communications and Railroad CENTER, and when it fell, ALL of the South could only wither on the vine, Sherman just HASTENED it a couple of moinths later....

    ADMIT IT, PS, you ROMANTICIZE Losers....and give them "honor" and/or "capabilities" they do not deserve...whether it was the SOUTH, or the, I only wish we would have had more WINNERS on the side of the Union earlier, and maybe the "wayward" traitors would have been dealt with FASTER due to their flawed strategy and poor decisions, the whole business WOULD have been settled in a year or so, and saved ALL of us a LOT of heartburn that we STILL face, all because the South THOUGHT they could destroy the greatest Country on earth! If they WOULD have succeeded, you MUST admit we ALL would be a LOT worse off than now....with just two more "Mediocre" 2nd world countries on this continent, EACH about as powerful as CANADA, beholden to either the Brits, Nazis, OR Soviets....

    And deep down you KNOW it...the outcome of the Civil War was NEVER TRULY in doubt, only how much blood would be shed on BOTH sides, and thus, how much ACRIMONY would be carried forward for generations.

    The QUICKER it ended, the better off we all would have been....

    YOUR serve...:cool:
    Last edited: Sep 28, 2006
  10. Kimber Man

    Kimber Man New Member

    May 12, 2004
    I'm a Yankee.........But what I've learned in histroy and etc. Robert E. Lee was
    and the South would have won the war....if the had more money,better supplies, and more men. They had the top generals in the war.

    a Yankee said that

    The Old Goat
  11. Polish, that is only marginally true. Certainly, there were a few other areas in the old South where some industrial capability existed, but there were not many, nor were they extensive. At the beginning of the Civil War there was only ONE factory in all the Confederacy capable of rolling cannon, and that was at the Tredeger Ironworks in Richmond. Industrial facilities--particularly gunpowder plants--were constructed during the war, but never enough for full support of field armies. Most industrially produced war supplies had to be purchased and imported from Britain and France through the Yankee blockade.

    I strongly disagree. It is certainly true that the Confederacy was happy to obtain the services of Lee--hell, the Union offered him command of its own armies; they knew his worth--but to suggest bribery was the primary reason for locating the capitol in that state is absurd. Richmond was chosen as the capitol because VIRGINIA, as the keystone of the old South, was vital to the Confederacy, not merely to convince Lee to join the cause. While I will concede that much of Lee's motivation to join the Confederacy lay with his desire to defend Virginia, locating the capitol there--or not--does not affect that desire one way or the other.

    I won't disagree with you on that point, Polish, as I conceded in an earlier post. Militarily and strategically, locating the capitol in Alabama would have made far more sense, but political expediency overcame strategic wisdom.

    Once again you stoop to semantics, Polish. Guerrilla warfare in the sense of terrorism was conducted, but not sanctioned, by both sides to some extent during the Civil War. Look at Stan Watie and William Quantrell, or look at the Red Legs in Kansas. However, if you mean guerrilla warfare in the sense of raids conducted by formally sanctioned behind-the-lines raids by military units, the Southerners were masters of the technique. Look, for example, at Stuart's "ride around McClellan," or the so-called "raid for cattle" as well as other operations conducted by John Singleton Mosby. For that matter, consider Jackson's raid on Harper's Ferry in 1862.

    Gotta stop for now. I have a class in ethics to teach in a half hour. Second post on the rest of your argument this afternoon. :D
  12. polishshooter

    polishshooter Well-Known Member

    Mar 25, 2001
    "Guerrilla Warfare" is NOT "terrorism," but "Irregular" attacks in enemy controlled areas, mainly to disrupt his line of communications. (i.e., SUPPLY)

    It was practiced since the very BEGINNING of organized warfare, usually by the weaker side.

    It got it's NAME from the "Guerrillas" who so successfully hounded Napoleon in the Iberian Peninsula, at time when "communications" were MUCH less necessary and indespensible than the mass industrialized armies of 1863...

    And BOTH sides did it in the Civil War, in fact, the smoldering coals of the tie fires, with burnt telegraph wire in the coals and the rails wrapped in knots around nearby trees became the SIGNAL evidence of a "Cavalry raid...."

    It is NOT "Semantics...." but a VIABLE tactic, that had been used MANY times in History back to the GAULS, and SHOULD have been recognized by Lee as the ONLY way to win, but again, he was an ANACHRONISM, a "aristocratic Nobleman" fighting a failed war more appropriate to the 1600s or 1700s, NOT the 1860s!

    If the Union Army was forced to advance over the 500 miles or so of HOSTILE territory to campaign in South Carolina, Georgia or Tennesee BEFORE it saw any significant action, it would have been SO depleted from JUST the forces needed to GUARD it's supply lines, that the "ultimate" battle itself could not have been won, Lee WOULD have had his "Decisive Battle," in which probably the ENTIRE "Army of the Potomac" (Which PROBABLY would have been renamed into someting like the "National Army," or something more grandiose since it WASN'T conveniently campaigning now anywhere NEAR the Potomac....) would have been "bagged," making an even more impact on the USA's psyche...but BESIDES not recognizing this strategy. Lee VIOLATES it by advancing HIS weaker army with even WEAKER supply train through UNION "Hostile" territory to campaign in the NORTH????? One of the BIGGEST blunders of Military History....

    As MUCH as you so wistfully string together the "if only's" or "if they could have's" or "they probably would's" to say how Lee COULD have won the war with a victory at Gettysburg (which I respectfully DISAGREE could have happened,) I ALSO string together a few (not as many, I think) to say THIS was the ONLY scenario in which the SOuth could have gained independence....

    And it is NOT much difference than the SAME strategy followed by WASHINGTON....FORGET territories, FORGET "Capitols," heck, the BRITISH thought the was was OVER when they took New York, then Philadelphia, (and they even TOOK Washington in 1814, so I do NOT think the South "wins" even if they TAKE Washington in July or August '63!) the ARMY was the only thing giving the CSA validity...

    And you cite the "draft riots" in the cities, think what they would have been like if the mothers were NOT sending their children to "defend Washington," but to die or get captured (worse than death???) in say, Disgusta, GEORGIA....???? Heck, the FARM boys from Michigan, Indiana, or Wisconsin might not have volunteered EITHER.....

    And YES it would have taken the diplomacy of a Southern Ben Franklin to get the British, or even Russian (THEY wanted California...) direct support, AND it would have taken an ALL OUT naval concentration JUST to keep Mobile open for foreign aid, BUT the USN at the time could NOT have stood up to the RN AND blockaded the southern ports TOO... and even if they just BUY the stuff they need, it would have been better (which leads to ANOTHER discussion of "The Stupidist things the Rebs DID:p to Lose the War"- like spend so MUCH time and money BEFORE the war getting all that cotton to England "just in case," and then BURNING it to cause a "cotton shortage????")

    But back to Lee...

    It ALWAYS has amazed me, how Lee is so revered, even today...

    Explain for me the DIFFERENCE between what HE did, and Benedict Arnold....

    Benedict Arnold MAY have been the MOST effective American "Battlefield" commander of the Revolution, and WITHOUT the Battle of Saratoga, we don't have France on our side....and the agonizing (AFTER all the political backstabbing) that went into his decision was no DIFFERENT than Lees, that the ONLY way to save America FROM ITSELF was peace now so they could try it AGAIN in 20 years or so...and that YES he took up arms AGAINST his "country" (REALLY not a "Country" yet, just a "cause...")(and NEVER commanded the MAIN force of the British....) and fianlly, Arnold NEVER took (or VIOLATED) an OATH "To protect the US Constitution from all enemies, foreign or DOMESTIC...." Yeah, he accepted MONEY from the enemy, but he was a PROFESSIONAL soldier with little wealth, not an independently wealthy "Aristocrat" like Lee, so he NEEDED it...and HELL he took a DEMOTION to do it too....

    No matter WHAT you say, BOTH are mere TRAITORS, and but for the "Honor and Magnanimity" of GRANT (who even YOU casually refer to as a "Drunk" and a "Butcher") and LINCOLN, SHOULD have been exiled penniless and in shame to some ISLAND somewhere, along with Jeff Davis, and ALL the other CSA "Generals...."

    I would have RESPECTED Lee (and several OTHER Southern Generals) more if he simply REFUSES to fight and sits the war OUT....The "Confederates" that deserve MORE of our respect as Americans were those (and there were MANY) who sympathized with the South, and AGONIZED over the questions, BUT whose "Honor" compelled them to HONOR their Word, to fight FOR THEIR COUNTRY. The USA....
    Last edited: Sep 29, 2006
  13. That depends entirely on the purpose and the target of the attacks, Polish. I would argue it most certainly IS terrorism when it is specifically directed at killing noncombatant civilians for purposes of arousing fear and the creation of demoralization, instead of the desruction of militarily useful supplies and hardware. Fortunately, there was very little of that on either side during the Civil War.

    You know, Polish, I find it amazing that you would denegrate and deprecate a war leader like Lee simply because he still understood the meaning of the word "honor" and adhered strictly to basic moral and religious principles in his actions. Indeed, with the exception of a few loose cannon, so did the other military leaders in the Civil War, North and South. Or is it that you are suggesting Lee and the Confederacy lost because they refused to stoop to such reprehensible tactics as wanton and indiscriminate killing of civilians? The fact is, Lee DID use "guerrilla tactics," if you choose to use that term, in the sense of raids against legitimate military targets--Stuart, Mosby, Forrest, and Jackson are obvious examples. So did the Union as witnessed by Stoneman's raid and indeed Sherman's infamous "March to the Sea." It might be argued that a greater use of such raids might have benefited the South, but it must be remembered as well that Confederate forces were stretched to the limit throughout the war. From whence would you suggest the Rebels acquire the necessary cavalry forces needed for more frequent and extensive raids without crippling their field armies? History clearly shows that the Confederacy did use such tactics effectively. Indeed, who authorized Stuarts famous "ride," Abe Lincoln? What about the Union? The Yankees had more than ample resources and manpower for such tactics, but used them relatively little, Phil Sheridan's ride up the Shennandoah Valley being the most notable exception, along with a couple of rather ineffectual other attempts.

    Perhaps, Polish, but you forget that we are dealing with human beings here, not computers merely calculating the odds. If the Iranians invaded New York, would you be tempted to withdraw your forces all the way to Indiana before fighting them simply because it was more militarily expedient to do so? Hmmmm, come to think of it, I might, assuming we put Hillary in charge of the rear guard armed only with a sharp stick and her noted "wit." She would make a dandy Uriah the Hittite. :D You ignore totally here a very basic but highly relevant factor: In the minds of the Southerners, the damnyankees were INVADING them. Retreat and the tactics of hit and run were not truly a viable option within that context. Call it courage or call it "anachronistic" thinking, but it was still a fact of life in the minds of 19th century Confederates, and it is they and their mindset whom we must consider in any criticism.

    You have it reversed, Polish, by your own admission. In order to answer your question, we must first consider our own Revolution. Are we to consider Washington, Jefferson, Franklin, and Henry as "traitors?" They were, you know, by your definition. They rebelled against the motherland, against their own government because they believed their government had betrayed them, as it arguably had indeed. The Confederates were no different. The only reason perception of the Confederacy is negative today among those outside the South is because the Rebels didn't win.

    Hmmm, I can see this conversation is gonna be FUN! :D
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 30, 2006
  14. Sackett

    Sackett Member

    Nov 29, 2003
    SW Mississippi
    I hope this question isn't too far from the theme and I'd like to disregard the slavery or secession issue with it.
    If one had to go to battle, which general would you prefer to serve under and why? Or is this a fair question?
  15. polishshooter

    polishshooter Well-Known Member

    Mar 25, 2001
    PS, we are arguing on a couple of different planes here, not really connecting....;)

    So let's try this a different way, in the way you seem to like...:p

    "(I can't figure out this "Quote" thing so bear with my Copy/Paste!)You ignore totally here a very basic but highly relevant factor: In the minds of the Southerners, the damnyankees were INVADING them. Retreat and the tactics of hit and run were not truly a viable option within that context. Call it courage or call it "anachronistic" thinking, but it was still a fact of life in the minds of 19th century Confederates, and it is they and their mindset whom we must consider in any criticism."

    THAT'S why the South LOST!!!! NOBODY, ESPECIALLY Lee figured this OUT! But IF they did, they MIGHT have won! MY GOODNESS, When WAS it that Sun Tsu said "He who attempts to defend EVERYTHING defends NOTHING? LET the "DamnYankees" invade all the way to GEORGIA, THEN we'll kick their @SS! is EXACTLY how they could have won, incidentally, how the RUSSIANS won in 1812 and again in World War Two!

    But the way THEY chose to fight, with the resources they HAD, the Demographics, the territory, was a losing proposition from the START.

    AGAIN, they had notable successes EARLY, but MAINLY due to the untrained Union Volunteers, and a whole PARADE of incompetent Union field commanders....BUT with experience, and ESPECIALLY the almost 10 to 1 deficit in military aged males, coupled with the MASSIVE industrial strength of the North compared to the South, meant the cause was LOST with the tactics they chose to USE. Ergo, LEE as a Strategist, was a FAILURE because he could not THINK past the anachronistic 18th Century style of WARFARE.

    As per the "HONOR" argument, give me a BREAK! HE BROKE AN OATH. Wherefore "Honor?????" He was NO better, and NO worse, than ANY of his contemporaries in the "honor" department. But you do NOT give GRANT the same benefit of the see Grant as a "drunk butcher," BUT he exhibited MORE honor at the END of the war, than Lee exhibited DURING...and Lee WAS as much a "Butcher" as Grant when he sent Pickett's FINE men (that incidentally he could NOT afford to LOSE:mad: ) across that field on July 3rd....

    War IS Hell...MANY Union Officers grasped that concept, Lee never DID...and paid the price....

    No I am NOT denigrating Lee, as a "good" General, or as an honorable man (The OATH thing notwithstanding...).but mainly, as I see it, his BEST attribute was as an OUTSTANDING Leader of men...his men would follow him ANYWHERE, win or lose, even to their death by his flawed strategy....of that there is NO question, (but the same can be said of McCLELLAN...:cool:) I just think he has been placed on WAY too high a "pedestal" than what he deserves, by Historians, by Southern "sympathizers," and by the Romantics, which is disproved by TRULY studying objective FACT...

    Just LIKE the "Nazi Apologists" that "cry" not enough resources, too many tanks, too many planes, they would have won if have to ADMIT that EVERY "romantic" account of the Civil War, (HELL, we have seen it in this THREAD!!!!)..tells how GREAT Lee was, how GREAT the Rebel Cavalry was, how GREAT the average infantryman was, if ONLY they had more men, resources, whatever, BOO HOO.:mad:

    "If we had some bacon we could have some bacon and eggs if we had some eggs!!!!"

    The TRULY "Great" General (1) Understands his STRENGTHS and WEAKNESSES (2) PICKS HIS BATTLES to best UTILIZE his Strengths and MINIMIZING his weaknesses and (3) devises a STRATEGY that will allow him to WIN the WAR. "Material Resources" and "Manpower" deficiencies CAN and HAVE been compensated for by TRULY Great Generals (and Admirals) throughout History. Some of the GREATEST battles and Wars have been won by the WEAKER side, so I give NO slack to the Whiners who say "If Only...."

    Lee did NONE of these. GRANT (And Thomas and Sherman) did them ALL. So the OUTCOME was NEVER in doubt, as soon as GRANT went East, and left the REALLY important struggle on the WEST to his well trained, like minded SUBORDINATES.

    BRAGG on the other hand has been given the short end of the stick by both Historians and "Southern Sympathizers." But with the MEAGER resources he had, because he was constantly STRIPPED to send stuff to LEE, the Campaign of "Strategic Retreat" until he could make a DECISIVE stand was really BRILLIANT in the West....he was only outflanked ONCE, and that was when the Union made the surprise trek through the "impassable" mountains to take Chattanooga, and he made his stand TOO LATE to save it...Lee sends Longstreet to him at Tullahoma Gap, in time to stop THOMAS there, and the war would have been helped a HELLUVA lot more than by Lee fighting at Gettysburg, which would NOT have happened if he HAD sent Longstreet then....

    SO, Lee "blew" it, BIG TIME....going after the "Pie in the sky" "decisive battle," that almost NEVER has happened in History, outside of the 18th Century...BECAUSE he was anachronistic, and hobbled by a mind that could NOT grasp "modern Warfare...."

    BRAGG therefore was the BETTER Strategist than LEE, but get's almost NO credit for fact he was then and has bee since DENIGRATED as a "Loser" by the very people he fought his DAMNEDEST for....while Lee NEVER was called a Loser, which he WAS as much as ANYBODY....

    So, when GRANT is on a slightly HIGHER pedestal than Lee, with Sherman and Thomas standing NEXT to him, and some OTHER Confederate Generals SHARE Lee's pedestal...then History will be correct.

    PS, I KNOW you have "Southern Blood" in you, which MAY account for the "blind" loyalty. In this I have an advantage, since MY anscestors came here in 1880, so "I Have no Dog in the Fight," and CAN be objective.;)

    But I ALSO know that IF they came 20 years earlier, what they would have fought for. As recently "freed" peasants, no way in HELL would they fight for ANYTHING but Freedom, for ALL....AMERICANS.
    Last edited: Sep 30, 2006
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