Golden Thread 5 Generals Were Promoted to Lt Gen of the CSA On Oct 10th, 1862 Longstreet was #1 and Jackson #4

Jimklag

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A list of Generals to be promoted to the newly created rank of Lieutenant General was created. James Longstreet appointment was number one in the eastern theater. Kirby Smith's appointment was also number one in the Western theater. Both men being appointed on Oct 10th 1862 confirmed on Oct 11th 1862 but their seniority date was made Oct 9th 1862. This means they were to be considered the senior officer whenever they graced a battlefield with their presence, or anywhere else for that matter. This was done very deliberately and very well thought out. Curiously Thomas Stonewall Jackson was 4th on this list (according to Shelby Foote) When promotions were given in those days as I'm sure today, the order they are given in is a major consideration. Order must be maintained, therefore one must always know who is really in charge at any given time. Why would Jackson be 4th? It's obvious what Lee and Davis thought of Longstreet clearly making him #1. I'm curious what you think?
I believe Longstreet and Smith were appointed October 9th. Leonidas Polk, Theophilus Holmes, Jackson, William Hardee and John Pemberton were promoted to Lt. General on October 10.
 

ErnieMac

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Theoretical how would a Longstreet in command of Jackson had operated.?Were they a separate command,for it does seem at times that both reported to Lee separately?What was there military relationship like .competitive or corroborative?
You are correct in assuming both reported to Lee. The only time Longstreet being senior in rank would have come into play would have been had Lee been disabled. Under normal circumstances Longstreet and Jackson were coequal, Longstreet commanded the First Corps and Jackson the Second Corps. Longstreet did not give orders to Jackson's subordinates nor vice versa. Both took their orders from Lee and were responsible to him.
 

Joshism

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Stonewall was actually sixth in seniority with Longstreet, Edmund Kirby Smith, Leonidas Polk, Theophilus Holmes and William Hardee ahead of him.
I believe Holmes was promoted in order to smooth his exile from the Eastern Theater

That seems a strange decision. Holmes was being sent west because he gave such a weak showing in the Seven Days. Why reward failure?

*looks him up*

Holmes was an old buddy of Jefferson Davis. There's the real reason I bet.
 

novushomus

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That seems a strange decision. Holmes was being sent west because he gave such a weak showing in the Seven Days. Why reward failure?

*looks him up*

Holmes was an old buddy of Jefferson Davis. There's the real reason I bet.

Holmes was assigned to the Trans-Mississippi Department because the Arkansas congressional delegation demanded that something be done about Thomas C. Hindman's abuse of martial law in usurping the state government. They wanted Hindman replaced.

Davis, who had not appointed Hindman (Beauregard had done so), decided that he must be replaced and picked Holmes. Not aware of Holmes's anxiety, his decrepit physical state, or his rather poor performance during the Seven Days, Davis plucked him from North Carolina and sent him west. Holmes arrived in Arkansas and practically agreed with most of what Hindman had done, leaving him in command of the field while Holmes administered the department from Little Rock.


When Holmes found out about his promotion to lieutenant general, he actually tried to turn it down. This was a rare move from a professional officer that humored Davis and Samuel Cooper.
 

NedBaldwin

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That was certainly Lee's assessment but Jefferson Davis thought that there was a lot of blame to go around. Lee made it clear that Holmes wasn't going to be serving in his army so Davis sent Holmes west.

Ryan

I find this explanation unsatisfactory. Holmes was commander of the Department of North Carolina who had been called to come to Lee's aid; thus it doesn't seem necessary to send him away to keep him from serving with Lee in Virginia -- just keep him in North Carolina. Initially Magruder was intended for the Trans-Mississippi command but he could not leave Virginia due to the need to resolve charges against him. So Holmes was picked as the alternate. I have not seen any evidence that Davis did this because he viewed his performance had been weak.
 

NedBaldwin

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Lee made it clear he wanted Holmes, Huger and Magruder gone after the 7 days
Yeah I hear that said over and over. So how and when did he make it clear? Did he write something or was it a conversation with Davis or was it told to someone else? Basically I want to know how we know this.

Additionally I'd like to know why we think Davis decisions to assign Holmes west was motivated by Lee's opinion.
 

Jamieva

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I would have to do some digging but Lee, because he had prior been Davis' war advisor, had a close relationship with him and basically told Davis I cannot work with these guys. I am unsure on whether its in a letter or official communication.
 

rpkennedy

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Yeah I hear that said over and over. So how and when did he make it clear? Did he write something or was it a conversation with Davis or was it told to someone else? Basically I want to know how we know this.

Additionally I'd like to know why we think Davis decisions to assign Holmes west was motivated by Lee's opinion.

IIRC, at least in the case of Holmes, Lee wrote to Davis complaining of Holmes' (lack of) ability in the field and that he would be of better use as an administrator. I don't have the wording but he apparently blamed a lot of the failures of the Seven Days on Holmes. Davis believed that there were a lot of failures of command during the campaign and to blame Holmes was erroneous. In essence, Lee planned to reorganize the army in preparation for the Second Manassas Campaign and made it clear that Holmes would not make the cut. So, Davis transferred him, giving him a second chance. I'll have to see if I can find the letter in the ORs.

Ryan
 
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IIRC, at least in the case of Holmes, Lee wrote to Davis complaining of Holmes' (lack of) ability in the field and that he would be of better use as an administrator. I don't have the wording but he apparently blamed a lot of the failures of the Seven Days on Holmes. Davis believed that there were a lot of failures of command during the campaign and to blame Holmes was erroneous. In essence, Lee planned to reorganize the army in preparation for the Second Manassas Campaign and made it clear that Holmes would not make the cut. So, Davis transferred him, giving him a second chance. I'll have to see if I can find the letter in the ORs.

Ryan
@rpkennedy, is it this what you are looking for (footnotes at the end of this post):

upload_2017-6-8_19-27-28.png



And wasn't Holmes himself also aware of his lack of abilities?

upload_2017-6-8_19-16-22.png


http://npshistory.com/series/symposia/gettysburg_seminars/8/essay2.pdf page 9 of that chapter /38 orig.

Corresponding footnotes:
upload_2017-6-8_19-23-23.png
 

pfcjking

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You are correct in assuming both reported to Lee. The only time Longstreet being senior in rank would have come into play would have been had Lee been disabled. Under normal circumstances Longstreet and Jackson were coequal, Longstreet commanded the First Corps and Jackson the Second Corps. Longstreet did not give orders to Jackson's subordinates nor vice versa. Both took their orders from Lee and were responsible to him.
I know of one time that Longstreet was in command of the ANV, and that was just after Fredericksburg in the Winter of 1863. Lee was at a conference in Richmond, and Longstreet was in command of the army on the Rappahanock.
Longstreet invited Jackson to come inspect the trenches and defences of the 1st Corps, which Jackson did. Longstreet was showing off his utilization of the traversed trench, which was a marvel new idea. Jackson immediately had the engineers of the 2nd Corps come take notes, then implement them in their own defenses.
Longstreet and Jackson got along well enough. There seemed to be ample mutual respect, but not much admiration. I wish I knew more on the matter.
Longstreet was in charge, however. He was Lee's steady rock, and Jackson was his wild card.
 

novushomus

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I know of one time that Longstreet was in command of the ANV, and that was just after Fredericksburg in the Winter of 1863. Lee was at a conference in Richmond, and Longstreet was in command of the army on the Rappahanock.
Longstreet invited Jackson to come inspect the trenches and defences of the 1st Corps, which Jackson did. Longstreet was showing off his utilization of the traversed trench, which was a marvel new idea. Jackson immediately had the engineers of the 2nd Corps come take notes, then implement them in their own defenses.
Longstreet and Jackson got along well enough. There seemed to be ample mutual respect, but not much admiration. I wish I knew more on the matter.
Longstreet was in charge, however. He was Lee's steady rock, and Jackson was his wild card.

Except it wasn't a marvel new idea. Traverses had been a part of trench warfare at least since Vauban first introduced them in the siege of Philippsburg in 1688. All of the French fortresses in Canada, at Quebec, Montreal, and in the Ohio used traverses. Today, traverses can even be seen at Fort Meigs and Ticonderoga.

https://books.google.com/books?id=-rZX8-tgjrUC&pg=PA62&lpg=PA62&dq=Trench+traverses+Vauban&source=bl&ots=qSD57Jh2uP&sig=8kFkGx3cOBC5ceRncHa71eFimqM&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwiAi960567UAhUCyWMKHRezB-UQ6AEIOzAG#v=onepage&q=Trench traverses Vauban&f=false

1358328138-fortification-a-la-vauban-38470.jpg
 
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pfcjking

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Except it wasn't a marvel new idea. Traverses had been a part of trench warfare at least since Vauban first introduced them in the siege of Philippsburg in 1688. All of the French fortresses in Canada, at Quebec, Montreal, and in the Ohio used traverses. Today, traverse can even be seen at Fort Meigs and Ticonderoga.

https://books.google.com/books?id=-rZX8-tgjrUC&pg=PA62&lpg=PA62&dq=Trench+traverses+Vauban&source=bl&ots=qSD57Jh2uP&sig=8kFkGx3cOBC5ceRncHa71eFimqM&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwiAi960567UAhUCyWMKHRezB-UQ6AEIOzAG#v=onepage&q=Trench traverses Vauban&f=false

View attachment 141850
I made a oops. Thanks for correcting me.

I think I should have used "zig-zag" trench. Longstreet's use of them at the Rappahanock line were supposed to have been their first appearance in the ACW. That's what I read, anyway.
 

pfcjking

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@rpkennedy, is it this what you are looking for (footnotes at the end of this post):

View attachment 141842


And wasn't Holmes himself also aware of his lack of abilities?

View attachment 141839

http://npshistory.com/series/symposia/gettysburg_seminars/8/essay2.pdf page 9 of that chapter /38 orig.

Corresponding footnotes:
View attachment 141840
It's sad to see that some guys readily admit to their lack of ability, only to be thrust into the position anyway. Burnside did the same thing. Lincoln and Davis both committed the same blunder.
 

Rebforever

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I think Lee and Davis were being very careful to ensure that, in the event anything happened to Lee, Longstreet rather than Jackson would take command of the Army of Northern Virginia. Jackson had tremendous strengths as a military commander, probably more than Longstreet, but his personality was such that he would have been a complete disaster as the commander of a large army.
Then he would have a reason for those naps! :rolleyes:
 

American87

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John Eicher's Civil War High Commands (page 808) contains the rankings. Stonewall was actually sixth in seniority with Longstreet, Edmund Kirby Smith, Leonidas Polk, Theophilus Holmes and William Hardee ahead of him. For the most part the rankings conformed to their seniority as Major Generals, the exceptions being Longstreet, who was jumped ahead of Polk, Holmes and Hardee, and Kirby Smith who was jumped ahead of all of them except Longstreet. In view of Davis' experience with Joseph Johnston when the rank of General was created I suspect Longstreet and Kirby Smith were given a date of rank one day earlier than the others to avoid similar disputes.

Jefferson Davis had written Lee on September 28 informing him of the creation of the rank of Lieutenant General and asking his recommendations for that position in the ANV. Lee unreservedly mentioned Longstreet and Jackson (A. P. Hill was noted as the best of the remaining officers). Lee did qualify his recommendation of Jackson by saying "My opinion of the merits of General Jackson has been greatly enhanced during this expedition." referring to the Maryland Campaign. IMO there was a question in Lee's mind prior to that time because of Jackson's performance in the Seven Days. In addition the Maryland Campaign was the first time the two had worked closely. In the Seven Days and Northern Virginia Campaigns Jackson had operated under Lee's command, but removed from close proximity. Longstreet, in addition to his seniority to Jackson, had been directly under Lee's observation and had performed very well in the Seven Days, Northern Virginia and Maryland. I think the rankings of the two made sense at the time. Regarding the ranking of Polk, Holmes and Hardee, maybe not so much.

I agree. And Lee didn't know about Longstreet throwing Huger under the bus after Seven Pines. Lee was a stickler when it came to honesty, so his judgement may have differed if he knew all the facts.
 
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