Conditions vs Generalship--Lee's Defeat

Which one was greater cause of Lee's defeat--?

  • Conditions: It is what Lee points to for his defeat.

    Votes: 76 46.3%
  • Generalship: Grant's military campaign against Lee.

    Votes: 49 29.9%
  • Other: There always another reason why?

    Votes: 39 23.8%

  • Total voters
    164

Elennsar

Colonel
Joined
May 14, 2008
Location
California
Has anyone read Albert Sidney Johnston, soldier of three republics By Charles P. Roland? I was reading parts of it on Google Books. It has alot of details regarding his death and the effect on the Confederate attacks afterwards.

I haven't. Have you read any books specifically on Shiloh (such the book I quoted above)?

Albert Sidney Johnston, one of the ablest soldiers on the Confederate roster, too bad he was killed. I hate that fact.

After reading Daniel's book on Shiloh and Army of the Heartland, if Albert Sidney Johnston was one of the ablest soldiers on the Confederate roster, the Confederacy was doomed.

His Civil War record simply does not support that he was able to command an army. A corps? Maybe. Division? Probably. Army? No.
 

The Iron Duke

First Sergeant
Joined
May 22, 2009
Location
Georgia
Roland's biography of Johnston is a good read. He is as positive about Johnston as Connelly is negative about him. Although that may not be saying much since Connelly rarely has a good word to say about anyone.
 

Severon

Cadet
Joined
Sep 17, 2009
Location
Good ol' Texas
His Civil War record simply does not support that he was able to command an army. A corps? Maybe. Division? Probably. Army? No.
Elennsar, you cannot just look at his civil war record. Look at his VMI record. He was given top marks and graduated high in his class.:lee:
 

K Hale

Colonel
Annual Winner
Joined
Aug 10, 2009
Location
Texas
Elennsar, you cannot just look at his civil war record. Look at his VMI record. He was given top marks and graduated high in his class.:lee:
Are you talking about Johnston? He went to West Point, not VMI.
 

Elennsar

Colonel
Joined
May 14, 2008
Location
California
Elennsar, you cannot just look at his civil war record. Look at his VMI record. He was given top marks and graduated high in his class.:lee:

I can and will. His pre-war record was at a lower level. Being able to do well there does not mean he was qualified for higher command.

In my opinion, had (Albert Sidney) Johnston been a division commander with no big picture responsibility, he would have done well. His focus on Bowling Green was a weakness as a general, but his handling of that outside the fact he needed to handle more than just that was pretty good.

His performance at Shiloh is also that of a heavily (personally) involved division or brigade commander, rather than army or corps management.

So I feel pretty comfortable in this conclusion. If you've some evidence to budge me from it, I'm all ears.



:laugh1: at McClellan math. Most generals just get 2+2=5, which is a reasonable margin of error given that military intelligence has been joked about since Alexander.
 

5fish

Captain
Joined
Aug 26, 2007
Location
Central Florida
Lets be honest Lee never gave Grant any adulates either. He never acknowledge that Grant beat him on the field of battle only that he want to end the useless loss of life in his surrender.

He did not publicly acknowledge how magnanimous Grant was..

Lee surrender only acknowledges Lee could not win but it did not acknowledge him being directly defeated either by Grant...

Conditions: would be Lee's private choice...
 

ole

Brev. Brig. Gen'l
Retired Moderator
Joined
Feb 20, 2005
Location
Near Kankakee
at McClellan math. Most generals just get 2+2=5, which is a reasonable margin of error given that military intelligence has been joked about since Alexander.
I'll not forward this to little bro who spent some 30 years in military intelligence and does not consider it as an oxymoron. Tried that on him a couple of times and got vague threats. As not a brother, I spect that he would merely kick the snot out of you. I'm quite fortunate that he hasn't yet kicked the snot out of me. Give me some time. We'll get there.

Ole
 

Elennsar

Colonel
Joined
May 14, 2008
Location
California
My appologies to said brother - but if anyone ever got a perfect count short of capturing enemy reports, I can't recall it.

"About 10,000 troops, give or take." can be eight or twelve or fifteen.
 

5fish

Captain
Joined
Aug 26, 2007
Location
Central Florida
Military Intelligences is not the most accurate thing or even a science at best it is an art... It may play an important role and have many successes but its has had big blunders as well, think Iraq.

I do think the intelligence agencies were telling our political leaders what they wanted to hear about Iraq in the years following up to the war. There is evidence some in the intelligence community tried to address that issue but it was to late by then to fix their blunder.....To fix their years of sucking up to our political leaders.

I think back to the Cold War years and remember the Russians are coming,,,,, After their collapse we learn their navy was a parade navy at best most of their ships were not sea worthy. Their navy was just a big dog with all bark no bite. I remember being in the navy and being told the Russian navy was a Blue Water navy and in truth it was a parade navy just for show... Did our intelligence lie to tell our political leaders what they wanted to hear or just git it wrong?

The Russian army was not any better then their navy. Again, Why was our intelligences so off about their military?

Remember Daddy Bush report stating the Russians were ahead of us in all theses different technologies and we should be scared. The truth was the Russians were falling further behind us in every technology....

I see that our intelligence community tells our political leaders what they want to hear and it usually not the truth our political leaders want to hear.

I ask you Cold Warriors remember the Russian scare and remember when the wall fell. Remember, the basket case the old USSR was....They were this feeble nation we fear for decades....

Remembering the good old days...
 

KeyserSoze

Captain
Joined
Apr 14, 2011
Location
Kansas City
The following quote is form Rev. William Mack Lee. He was Robert E. Lee's personal servant(slave) before, during and after the war.


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Mack Lee is a fraud. If you're going to try and quote Robert Lee then you're going to have to do better than that.
 

KeyserSoze

Captain
Joined
Apr 14, 2011
Location
Kansas City
I am posting the link the site where I got the quote from...



http://www.sonofthesouth.net/leefoundation/lees slave.htm

Yeah, let's look at that book for a moment. Especially this quote from it:

"On dat day--July the third--we was all so hongry and I didn't have nuffin in ter cook, dat I was jes' plumb bumfuzzled. I didn't know what to do. Marse Robert, he had gone and invited a crowd of ginerals to eat wid him, an' I had ter git de vittles. Dar was Marse Stonewall Jacksonhttp://www.sonofthesouth.net/leefoundation/Stonewall_Jackson.htm, and Marse A. P. Hill, and Marse D. H. Hill, and Marse Wade Hampton, Gineral Longstreet, and Gineral Pickett and sum others."

On July 3rd 1863 Lee was massacring Pickett's division at Gettysburg. And Stonewall Jackson had been dead for almost 2 months.
 

Dave Hull

Sergeant Major
Joined
Jul 28, 2011
Location
Northern Virginia
The guy sounds like he was a typical con artist, what today we might call a Stolen Valor puke. I also agree with many, who have concluded it was probably a combination of the two things; Grant's leadership and the general conditions of the South. In my opinion, the South came out swinging, took the first few rounds, while the North was getting the feel of his opponent, then clobbered him in the later rounds. I think the south was saved from a complete knock out (by that I mean total destruction of the south and the annihilation of every man in uniform,) by the final bell, even though the North won by unanimous decision. As a Virginian, it pains me to draw that conclusion, but they was whooped.

At our event in Falmouth this past weekend, I heard something I had never heard before, nor really ever considered; Upwards of 50% of the regular Army Officer Corps resigned their commissions and joined the Confederate cause. Hard to replace seasoned Officers overnight, but not unlike when we started sending Reserves and National Guard troops overseas, they learned on the job and got pretty good at it.

I admire both Lee and Grant immensely. Both were great leaders in an era where the fog of war was really foggy. Two totally different styles, both with a great deal of success.

A great what if scenario would be, what if the CW never happened and all those leaders, both great and not so great, had been on the same side, battling one of the other superpowers of the day? Could anyone have beaten them?
 

1SGDan

Captain
Joined
Dec 13, 2009
Location
New Hampshire
Conditions just do not materialize out of thin air. Lee's condition was the end result of a organized and well executed strategy to place him in just such circumstances as he found himself at the end of 1864.
 

K Hale

Colonel
Annual Winner
Joined
Aug 10, 2009
Location
Texas
Yeah, let's look at that book for a moment. Especially this quote from it:

"On dat day--July the third--we was all so hongry and I didn't have nuffin in ter cook, dat I was jes' plumb bumfuzzled. I didn't know what to do. Marse Robert, he had gone and invited a crowd of ginerals to eat wid him, an' I had ter git de vittles. Dar was Marse Stonewall Jacksonhttp://www.sonofthesouth.net/leefoundation/Stonewall_Jackson.htm, and Marse A. P. Hill, and Marse D. H. Hill, and Marse Wade Hampton, Gineral Longstreet, and Gineral Pickett and sum others."

On July 3rd 1863 Lee was massacring Pickett's division at Gettysburg. And Stonewall Jackson had been dead for almost 2 months.
Bwahahaha!

(How is "gineral" pronounced differently from "general"?)
 

Dave Hull

Sergeant Major
Joined
Jul 28, 2011
Location
Northern Virginia
Conditions just do not materialize out of thin air. Lee's condition was the end result of a organized and well executed strategy to place him in just such circumstances as he found himself at the end of 1864.

You are correct, my point was the South started off with bad conditions, which got progressively worse as the war dragged. Lack of manufacturing, lack of a real Navy, lack of a central, standard rail system, lack of a unified government etc, these were the conditions at the start of the war which I was referring to. What amazes me is no one saw these as any sort of real threat and they went ahead with their plans to start the war, in spite of this. That to me is the most baffling and puzzling aspect of the ACW.

Were I in charge, I would have waited until I had complete superiority in terms of trained men, equipment, logistics, Navy and ports sufficiently protected, with a line of gunboats across the Mississippi and along the coastal shores. They certainly did not pay any heed to the 6 P's; Prior planning prevents **** poor performance.
 

brass napoleon

Colonel
Retired Moderator
Member of the Year
Honored Fallen Comrade
Joined
Feb 6, 2010
Location
Ohio
Were I in charge, I would have waited until I had complete superiority in terms of trained men, equipment, logistics, Navy and ports sufficiently protected, with a line of gunboats across the Mississippi and along the coastal shores. They certainly did not pay any heed to the 6 P's; Prior planning prevents **** poor performance.

But by the time you did all that, secession fever would have burned out. If you still wanted to secede, you'd have to go it alone...
 
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