Alternatives to Braxton Bragg?

Carronade

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#41
Johnston would attack when he identified an advantage with a good chance of victory. Johnston was always outnumbered and would always retreat to save his army than fight a losing battle. He retreated from Yorktown, declined to march to Pemberton's assistance and I just learned ordered Gardner to evacuate Port Hudson. Gardner said, "Too late."
Both times Johnston lost his command (wounded, relieved) he was turning to the offensive after wringing as much benefit as possible from a defensive strategy. The delay he imposed on McClellan on the Peninsula gave the Confederates time to assemble enough forces to engage the AofP with a chance of achieving a decisive success. He may have hoped to receive reinforcements in 1864 too, but they were no longer to be had. Still, he delayed Sherman's advance on Atlanta; and when the armies retreated/advanced into open ground suitable for offensive maneuver, Johnston devised the Napoleonic double battle plan that Hood executed. Although it didn't work out, IMO it was the best possible strategy.
 

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OpnCoronet

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#42
IMO, it is, of course, almost impossible to answer that question definitively. But, from my own studies, I tend to agree with Davis, on this particular matter.

Besides, perhaps, Lee, who was more qualified by training, talent and rank, to lead the biggest confederate Army in the West, than Johnston or Hood, i.e., If Johnston and Hood were no better, and, to me, the record shows that they were not, then there was no body better, in rank, training and talent, in the West at least.





P.S. there may, in fact, have been better choices, but, to me, the historical record, shows little evidence of them, outside Lee.
 

James N.

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#43
Given there were officers in the region like Breckenridge, if Polk acted out of line with Jackson, he could have him replaced with someone more in line with his thinking. This is why he had officers like D. H. Hill and Taliaferro removed and replaced. While in lesser circumstances this could lead to Yes men being put in place, i doubt Jackson would be shallow enough to give an important position to someone like that.
But your reminding me of one thing: will his secretive command style work with the AoT, infamous for pettily disobeying orders just because they hated their superiors
A little OT, but for the record I don't think Jackson was behind moving his brother-in-law D. H. Hill to North Carolina and replacing him with the relatively inexperienced Rodes. Also, although Jackson was definitely displeased with Taliaferro in winter and spring of 1862 he seems to have gotten over it: by Second Manassas Taliaferro was commanding Jackson's old division and was wounded seriously enough at Brawner's Farm to miss Antietam altogether, but was back by Fredericksburg in time to be wounded and invalided out again. (It was actually Taliaferro's immediate superior W. W. Loring who Jackson rid himself of, and of course more famously Richard Garnett.)
 

James N.

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#45
Considering Rodes' combat record as a brigade commander from the Penninsula to Antietam, and given he was at Bull Run while Hill was at the skirmish of Big Bethel, I wouldn't call Rodes to be inexperienced in comparison.
He was inexperienced at divisional level at Chancellorsville although he did about as well as could be expected under the circumstances. Two months later his sloppy handling of his division proved disastrous the first day at Gettysburg. It's hard to imagine Harvey Hill committing the same blunders there.
 
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#46
He was inexperienced at divisional level at Chancellorsville although he did about as well as could be expected under the circumstances. Two months later his sloppy handling of his division proved disastrous the first day at Gettysburg. It's hard to imagine Harvey Hill committing the same blunders there.
Point. He did poorly at Gettysburg without doubt. More often than not it was the brigadiers who shone brightly, like Gordon, Ramseur, Grimes, etc.
As im writing this, im reading Wert's From Winchester to Cedar Creek. That might have influenced my response heavily.
 

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Point. He did poorly at Gettysburg without doubt. More often than not it was the brigadiers who shone brightly, like Gordon, Ramseur, Grimes, etc.
As im writing this, im reading Wert's From Winchester to Cedar Creek. That might have influenced my response heavily.
Yes, Sheridan's Shenandoah Valley Campaign is a full year later and by then Rodes had plenty of experience and his loss at Winchester was a blow to Early's army. At that particular time it was Ramseur who was the inexperienced one - at Stephenson's Depot his confusing commands caused a panic among his troops who dubbed their rout the Battle of Ramseur's A ss. He, on the other hand, was callous enough to blame them for the stampede in a letter to his wife.
 
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#51
Breckinridge or Early would be better than Bragg.
Breckinridge had defended the Shenandoah Mountains at the battle of New Market, and was moved eventually to the post of Secretary of War, toward the end. Early was an offensive fighter and toward the end after Monanacy could have done better if moved out west. Bragg was eventually given Richmond to command its defenses, so a full shake down during that fall of 1863 could have brought new vitality to a worn out legion of men.
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#52
One possibility that is overlooked because of politics is William Wing Loring. He had the most horrendous luck the first year of the war.
He was the youngest colonel in the U S Army and was serving in New Mexico when he resigned. By the time he reached the East he would find himself ranked by officers whom he had ranked only a few months before as the command slots were filled.
He was sent to Western Virginia and did a credible job putting an army together. Jeff Davis sent R E Lee to the area without specific orders, and the result was awkward for both Loring and Lee. Nothing good came of the enterprise.
Loring then hit extraordinary bad luck: Stonewall Jackson. Loring was placed under Jackson during the so called Romney Campaign. One can read what happened, but in short, Loring and his senior officers jumped the chain of command to keep their troops from certain death in one of the coldest winters on record. That business did not end Loring's career, though.
Loring had a successful campaign operating in Central western VA until he ran afoul of John B Floyd, and Davis thought it best to remove Loring from VA and send him west. Loring went to Pemberton , but did not get caught at Vicksburg, another story.
Loring commanded a division under Polk, and commanded Polk's Corps for a while. After Loring's disastrous year in VA it was very unlikely anybody would mention his name in regards to high command. Looking at what is known, it is quite possible Loring would have been General-in-Chief of the US Army in the 1870's had there been no Civil War. As it was, Loring had a career in the Egyptian Army then.
Loring did very good service for the Confederacy, but of the sort unappreciated, as a lot of it was keeping bad from becoming worse.
It is very possible Loring could have made a good army commander, even in 1864, even with the baggage he carried.
 

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#53
Breckinridge had defended the Shenandoah Mountains at the battle of New Market, and was moved eventually to the post of Secretary of War, toward the end. Early was an offensive fighter and toward the end after Monanacy could have done better if moved out west. Bragg was eventually given Richmond to command its defenses, so a full shake down during that fall of 1863 could have brought new vitality to a worn out legion of men.
Lubliner.
Interestingly, it was his dislike of Bragg that likely brought him east in the first place - Breckinridge commanded the Reserve Corps (division-sized, really) at Shiloh and a division at Murfreesboro which was slaughtered for no good reason at Bragg's behest on the final day of the battle. I don't think he ever got over that experience and must have hated Bragg as a result. It surely would've been sweet for him to be chosen to replace his former commander!
 
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#54
Interestingly, it was his dislike of Bragg that likely brought him east in the first place - Breckinridge commanded the Reserve Corps (division-sized, really) at Shiloh and a division at Murfreesboro which was slaughtered for no good reason at Bragg's behest on the final day of the battle. I don't think he ever got over that experience and must have hated Bragg as a result. It surely would've been sweet for him to be chosen to replace his former commander!
That reminded me of General George Pickett, for a number of reasons.
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#55
One possibility that is overlooked because of politics is William Wing Loring. He had the most horrendous luck the first year of the war.
He was the youngest colonel in the U S Army and was serving in New Mexico when he resigned. By the time he reached the East he would find himself ranked by officers whom he had ranked only a few months before as the command slots were filled.
He was sent to Western Virginia and did a credible job putting an army together. Jeff Davis sent R E Lee to the area without specific orders, and the result was awkward for both Loring and Lee. Nothing good came of the enterprise.
Loring then hit extraordinary bad luck: Stonewall Jackson. Loring was placed under Jackson during the so called Romney Campaign. One can read what happened, but in short, Loring and his senior officers jumped the chain of command to keep their troops from certain death in one of the coldest winters on record. That business did not end Loring's career, though.
Loring had a successful campaign operating in Central western VA until he ran afoul of John B Floyd, and Davis thought it best to remove Loring from VA and send him west. Loring went to Pemberton , but did not get caught at Vicksburg, another story.
Loring commanded a division under Polk, and commanded Polk's Corps for a while. After Loring's disastrous year in VA it was very unlikely anybody would mention his name in regards to high command. Looking at what is known, it is quite possible Loring would have been General-in-Chief of the US Army in the 1870's had there been no Civil War. As it was, Loring had a career in the Egyptian Army then.
Loring did very good service for the Confederacy, but of the sort unappreciated, as a lot of it was keeping bad from becoming worse.
It is very possible Loring could have made a good army commander, even in 1864, even with the baggage he carried.
@Robin Lesjovitch, I must assume Loring to be a favorite of yours. I therefore wanted to state his service after the war, as a one-armed veteran, was to lead a cattle train overland from St. Augustine Fla. to San Diego, California, I believe in the 1870's. I saw the monument at it's beginning point in St. Augustine before I knew who the General was, back in the 1990's.
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#56
@Robin Lesjovitch, I must assume Loring to be a favorite of yours. I therefore wanted to state his service after the war, as a one-armed veteran, was to lead a cattle train overland from St. Augustine Fla. to San Diego, California, I believe in the 1870's. I saw the monument at it's beginning point in St. Augustine before I knew who the General was, back in the 1990's.
Lubliner.
I'm not so much a fan of Loring as much as I'm thinking he had bad fortune during the war.
I'm not sure I think Loring led any transcontinental cattle drives......I'd like some citation for that if possible.
 
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#58
I'm not so much a fan of Loring as much as I'm thinking he had bad fortune during the war.
I'm not sure I think Loring led any transcontinental cattle drives......I'd like some citation for that if possible.
I found it on Saint Augustine Monument to Loring. It is www.flpublicarchaeology.org/civilwar/monuments/st.-augustine/william-wing-loring-monument/bronze-plaque.jpg.php here. It was a 600 strong mule train across the great plains in 1849...does that count?
Lublliner.
 
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#59
I found it on Saint Augustine Monument to Loring. It is www.flpublicarchaeology.org/civilwar/monuments/st.-augustine/william-wing-loring-monument/bronze-plaque.jpg.php here. It was a 600 strong mule train across the great plains in 1849...does that count?
Lublliner.
OK. That establishes what the feat actually was, a trek from Kansas to Oregon. Loring commanded the US Mounted Rifles, whose job was to escort settlers.

https://books.google.com/books?id=L...AQ#v=onepage&q=loring mule train 1849&f=false
 
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#60
Sorry about my C+ memory but we didn't end up in Matamoros and forgive my humor....half-point credit?
Lubliner.
 

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