American Generals in the War

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Norm53

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I think his goal is to entertain himself by causing outrage. That’s cool; he’s not nearly the most outrageous person around here—we have so many screwballs around here he’s barely making a ripple, which must be disappointing.
Doesn't he/she meet the definition of a troll? If so, can the monitor reject his/her post?
 

David Moore

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I overlooked those two battles big deal. I am defending your main man Rosecrans. I never put Grant on a pedestal but Grant has the equivalent of three Superbowl rings and love Grant or hate him no one other general can claim three field armies surrendering to him.
Leftyhunter
Iuka (my current area of research) is important because it is the beginning of the Grant-Rosecrans rift. Evan Jones addresses this in his essay in Gateway to the Confederacy. As far as sports analogies, how many Super Bowls did Belichik win the Browns? How many World Series did Stengel win with the Mets or (Boston) Braves? Grant in 1864 had more players than anyone ever did. The 1862 Grant wasn’t so great.
 

David Moore

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Sherman at Kennesaw Mountain was a mistake of impatience that he never repeated. No one will ever accuse Rosecrans of impatience. As far as Chickamauga goes, Rosecrans should have won and the other three I mentioned would have won.
Define “winning “ Chickamauga. Rosecrans has been accused of impatience. Unfairly I’d say.
 
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leftyhunter

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Iuka (my current area of research) is important because it is the beginning of the Grant-Rosecrans rift. Evan Jones addresses this in his essay in Gateway to the Confederacy. As far as sports analogies, how many Super Bowls did Belichik win the Browns? How many World Series did Stengel win with the Mets or (Boston) Braves? Grant in 1864 had more players than anyone ever did. The 1862 Grant wasn’t so great.
Iuka is important for those not familiar with it because for some reason Grant's first report on the battle was favorable to Rosecrans and the then not the next two reports.
The 1862 Grant won Island #10 and Ft. Henry and Donaldson. Yes he lost Belmont but still not a bad year for Grant. Again no other general on either side had three field armies surrendering to them.
Leftyhunter
 
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David Moore

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Mills Springs where Thomas was outnumbered. The battle of Nashville. Thomas led with support from General Granger the battle of Snod Grass Hill where Thomas gathered remnants of various AoC regiments that bravely withstood determined Confederate attacks allowing the bulk of the AoC to seek safety in Chattanooga. Keep in mind for most of the ACW Thomas served has a subordinate general to Rosecrans but most definitely led from the front. It is sheer dumb luck that he did get blown away.
Leftyhunter
Assuming Thomas had been blown away then what would Bragg have done? Go into Chattanooga immediately? But what was happening in Chattanooga? Was it not being fortified by Rosecrans?
 
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David Moore

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Iuka is important for those not familiar with it because for some reason Grant's first report on the battle was favorable to Rosecrans and the then not the next two reports.
The 1862 Grant won Island #10 and Ft. Henry and Donaldson. Yes he list Belmont but still not a bad year for Grant. Again no other general on either side had three field armies surrendering to them.
Leftyhunter
Who captured more territory? Rosecrans captured western VA and Middle Tennessee to Chattanooga. Did not Iuka and Corinth make Vicksburg possible?
 
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diane

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I watched the massively entertaining Burns documentary on the ACW (for the third time) and without doubt my favourite contributor was Shelby Foote. For years I have hung on his description of Abraham Lincoln and Nathan B Forrest as both deserving the accolade of "genius". With the rider that "we are a young country...". But on reflection Forrest as a racist braggart (thirty kills? who counts dead men...apparent from psychopaths or fantasists?). In Europe, even the most decorated soldier (I exclude the fantasists of Special Forces or snipers) will not claim a "kill" except on a one-to-one fight, a life-or-death experience. Lincoln saved lives, Forrest...
Just a note on Forrest: It was one-on-one personal fights. 31, to be exact. He was often attacked by six or more men at once and usually dispatched half of them. Never bragged of it - in fact, the opposite was true. After the war, a group of veterans had gathered on Forrest's porch and a young man began to brag (quite clearly brag) that he had killed 19 Yankees and had a dozen horses shot out from under him. One man looked over at Forrest, who was saying nothing, and said, "General, how many horses did you have shot out from under you?" Forrest was quiet a moment, then said, "29. 30 men - I was a horse ahead at the end of the war." Then he glared at the young man. "But I never wanted to kill anybody save in defense of my life and my country." He then left the porch and went to teach a boy how to ride a horse.

The guy who is runner-up is Wade Hampton, who killed 18 in personal combat. These personal tallies are known because they were noted in the official battle reports these generals submitted to their superiors. Hampton didn't mention it much if at all, either. These two generals were formidable warriors who were completely lethal, but neither would have killed so many if so many weren't trying to kill them. That is why these KIAs were counted - killing six or more men in hand to hand combat frequently means a person is being targeted frequently. Not just because of their rank but because of their reputations. A battle could be stalled or even stopped - as in the case of Wilson's pursuit of Hood after Nashville - if the Union commander thought these particular generals were present on the field. No bounties or anything like that was put on anybody's head, but it was clear effective and charismatic leaders such as Hampton and Forrest were to be killed if at all possible. There was a great fear, not unfounded at all, that leaders like these - particularly cavalrymen - would never surrender and would fight from the hills and mountains for years after the war was ended.
 

Cavalry Charger

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What an enlightening and excellent respone @diane . Being a target would certainly force one to have to defend themselves. I don't think you could even calculate the number who wanted to kill Forrest. Interesting to note a fight could stop to chase a particular foe. Forrest was a huge foe to Union forces which he proved time and time again. There was no reason for Forrest to kill anyone unless there was a proven threat or he was acting as a soldier in battle, therefore the label of 'psychopath' should not be applied to him.
 

diane

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What an enlightening and excellent respone @diane . Being a target would certainly force one to have to defend themselves. I don't think you could even calculate the number who wanted to kill Forrest. Interesting to note a fight could stop to chase a particular foe. Forrest was a huge foe to Union forces which he proved time and time again. There was no reason for Forrest to kill anyone unless there was a proven threat or he was acting as a soldier in battle, therefore the label of 'psychopath' should not be applied to him.
During the running battle around Selma, Forrest was cut off from his escort, who were prevented from aiding him much, and surrounded by no less than twelve Union cavalrymen all trying to kill him - no doubt about it. I suppose if one is going to go psycho, that would be the appropriate time to do it! No, Forrest was no psychopath - just very expert at staying alive.
 
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Norm53

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Iuka is important for those not familiar with it because for some reason Grant's first report on the battle was favorable to Rosecrans and the then not the next two reports.
The 1862 Grant won Island #10 and Ft. Henry and Donaldson. Yes he list Belmont but still not a bad year for Grant. Again no other general on either side had three field armies surrendering to them.
Leftyhunter
How was Grant involved with #10? I thought that Pope was in command of that operation.

Norm
 
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leftyhunter

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Who captured more territory? Rosecrans captured western VA and Middle Tennessee to Chattanooga. Did not Iuka and Corinth make Vicksburg possible?
Sure but my point is only one general had three field armies surrendering to him. That doesn't make Rosecrans a bad general but we should give Grant is due. Not sure why there has to be hate for one and live for the other. Both Rosecrans and Grant contributed to the eventual Union victory.
Not sure why Grant turned against Rosecrans where before Grant admired Rosecrans.
We can without equivocation state that Rosecrans was a vindictive son of a female dog who has a congressman voted against giving a dying and broke Grant an increase in his pension.
Leftyhunter
 

leftyhunter

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Assuming Thomas had been blown away then what would Bragg have done? Go into Chattanooga immediately? But what was happening in Chattanooga? Was it not being fortified by Rosecrans?
My point was simply that Thomas was very brave and very lucky not to be blown away.
Leftyhunter
 
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David Moore

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Sure but my point is only one general had three field armies surrendering to him. That doesn't make Rosecrans a bad general but we should give Grant is due. Not sure why there has to be hate for one and live for the other. Both Rosecrans and Grant contributed to the eventual Union victory.
Not sure why Grant turned against Rosecrans where before Grant admired Rosecrans.
We can without equivocation state that Rosecrans was a vindictive son of a female dog who has a congressman voted against giving a dying and broke Grant an increase in his pension.
Leftyhunter
Perhaps because Rosecrans saved Grant and his career in 1862 and it was Grant who was vindictive and relieved him twice. Rosecrans is of course all but unknown today in part because of the work of 20th -and 21st - century Grant biographers.
This divisiveness and rancor in discussing Rosecrans and Grant is not new nor something imagined by the few (courageous?) writers who’ve written about it. Consider the following from the 1905 reunion of the Society of the AOTC pages 70 ff especially page 74. https://books.google.com/books/about/Reunion_of_the_Society_of_the_Army_of_th.html?id=row-AAAAYAAJ

As far as Rosecrans’ vote on denying Grant a pension his position was that Grant had won and lost a fortune and shouldn’t be bailed out by the federal government. Interestingly Charles Dana took the same position. It should be remembered this was in an age when federal pensions and assistance were almost non existent. No doubt Rosecrans was motivated by his dislike of Grant.
My use of the word courageous in parenthesis above reflects what historian Albert Castel said a writer about Rosecrans would have to be.
 
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