Death of Jackson vs. Death of Stuart. Which loss was more detrimental to the Confederacy?

Pete Longstreet

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Like the title states, which loss was a bigger blow to the Confederacy. Obviously one was an infantry commander and the other calvary, but based on what they accomplished in their respected positions, which general was more vital to the South....

What do you CWT members think? And what did any soldiers of that time period think?

Longstreet thought that the loss of Jackson was a "great misfortune" and that they "faced a future bereft of much of it's hopefulness." But said of the death of Stuart "his loss was possibly a greater loss to the Confederate army than that of the swift moving Jackson"
 

John S. Carter

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In my view, Stuart's contributions have not been well understood. HE was crucial in the Chancellorsville victory, taking over after Jackson's wounding, and occupying the crucial artillery position at Laurel Hill (I hope I have the name right) from which Hooker himself was shelled. And many of Jackson's successes arose from his wisdom in using Hotchkiss' maps. He certainly deserves great credit for that, but without the maps, he was much less effective.

While we are speculating, is it possible that Stuart's dysfunctional behavior at Gettysburg arose from his not getting the promotion and corps command he deserved after Chancellorsville? He surely would have done better than the continually ill AP Hill and the less than aggressive Ewell. I will not comment on Longstreet at Gettysburg.
Agree with the latter statement
 

Pete Longstreet

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@Carronade Since I seem to be the only one favoring Stuart over Jackson let me say I agree it Is not slighting Stuart to say Jackson's loss was more significant. However I believe Lee came to depend on Stuart's ability to furnish him with accurate information on the enemy, as a good cavalry commander should be able to do. I believe, as I said above I think, that Gettysburg is an example of Lee's dependence on Stuart. If I remember correctly one author, and of course I can't remember which one now, expressed the opinion it was Stuart at the head of his cavalry that Lee missed at Gettysburg as much as it was his cavalry.

And Jackson comes down as something of a mixed bag to me. I am especially thinking of the Peninsula. Stuart never commanded an independent army as Jackson did in the valley so in that regard I don't think they can be compared, can they?

However, you, Mr. @rpkennedy and others above have given me a great deal to ponder, for which I thank you all, and ponder I shall do.

John
Sometimes I wonder... was Jackson’s contribution to the army more significant than Stuart... or did Ewell's short comings cement Jackson’s legacy, creating the "what if Jackson was at Gettysburg...." questions, thus overshadowing Stuart's death and importance to the ANV...

Maybe Stuart was the key to a Gettysburg victory and not Jackson taking Culp's Hill
 

Scott1967

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Sometimes I wonder... was Jackson’s contribution to the army more significant than Stuart... or did Ewell's short comings cement Jackson’s legacy, creating the "what if Jackson was at Gettysburg...." questions, thus overshadowing Stuart's death and importance to the ANV...

Maybe Stuart was the key to a Gettysburg victory and not Jackson taking Culp's Hill

If Jackson had taken Culps Hill the Union army would have had to fall back no question about that , Or they might have been forced in a reverse situation of attacking Jacksons troops well entrenched on that said hill either way it was a no win situation for the Union and like many on the thread i suspect Jackson would have no hesitation on taking the high ground.

I also think the importance of Stuarts cavalry at Gettysburg cant be underestimated , Would Lee have fought their with proper intel on the heights? , Would Stuart have engaged Buford quicker and with a larger force thus stopping his delaying action or would the AoP simply not contest Oak ridge and the surrounding area and just deployed on the higher ground from the start?.

Its a tough one to call but ill still stick with Jackson.

I think where Jackson is really missed at Gettysburg is in his counsel to Lee maybe both Jackson and Longstreet might have swayed Lee not to fight but as it was Longstreet was on his own with both Ewell and Hill bending to Lee's will.

In my view.
 
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I think one thing you have to remember is when Jackson was killed, Lee then split the army into three corps. If Jackson had survived Chancellorsville he would have commanded a much larger Corp and it would have been much better organized in the first day of fighting and especially in the Culp Hill region.
Two things that intrigues me here is, would have Lee pull the bit back on Jackson on the first day as he did Hill? Second thing is do you think Gettysburg would have even happened. I say this because what would have the final results been at Chancellorsville if Jackson had not been shot and stayed in command. Does the AOP fully fall back into the fortifications of Washington to lick their wounds and build up again? Okay there may have been more than two mentioned here but they kind of follow suit there.
Stuart was a great cavalry commander, his daring mentality and adventurous ways served him well as the eyes for Lee. But I still feel that in May of 64 at his death, the Union Cavalry was so strong and better equipped that Stuart was not a force to be looked upon as in the years of 62-63. Stuart was limited then to only being the eyes of the army not an offensive option in 64.
 

rpkennedy

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I think one thing you have to remember is when Jackson was killed, Lee then split the army into three corps. If Jackson had survived Chancellorsville he would have commanded a much larger Corp and it would have been much better organized in the first day of fighting and especially in the Culp Hill region.
Two things that intrigues me here is, would have Lee pull the bit back on Jackson on the first day as he did Hill? Second thing is do you think Gettysburg would have even happened. I say this because what would have the final results been at Chancellorsville if Jackson had not been shot and stayed in command. Does the AOP fully fall back into the fortifications of Washington to lick their wounds and build up again? Okay there may have been more than two mentioned here but they kind of follow suit there.
Stuart was a great cavalry commander, his daring mentality and adventurous ways served him well as the eyes for Lee. But I still feel that in May of 64 at his death, the Union Cavalry was so strong and better equipped that Stuart was not a force to be looked upon as in the years of 62-63. Stuart was limited then to only being the eyes of the army not an offensive option in 64.

Lee had been pretty clear in the lead-up to Chancellorsville that he wanted to create a third corps because he thought that Longstreet's and Jackson's Corps had become too large for any single man to command. Jackson's death just gave him the impetus to make the change but I believe that even if Jackson had survived, a Third Corps was going to be created regardless, likely under Richard Ewell.

Ryan
 

rpkennedy

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Sometimes I wonder... was Jackson’s contribution to the army more significant than Stuart... or did Ewell's short comings cement Jackson’s legacy, creating the "what if Jackson was at Gettysburg...." questions, thus overshadowing Stuart's death and importance to the ANV...

Maybe Stuart was the key to a Gettysburg victory and not Jackson taking Culp's Hill

IMO, Jackson's reputation and legacy were cemented primarily by the timing of his death. He died when the AoNV was at its apex and never experienced its slow descent as the war wound on so his reputation was not tainted by its defeat.

Again, IMO, Ewell made the right call in the late afternoon and evening of July 1 based on what he knew at the time. It was reasonable for him to wait on Johnson's Division to arrive (Rodes and Early's Divisions were either not in a position to attack Cemetery or Culp's Hill or were too battered to do so) and it was just rotten luck that the scouting parties ran into one of the few Union patrols on Culp's Hill.

Ryan
 
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Lee had been pretty clear in the lead-up to Chancellorsville that he wanted to create a third corps because he thought that Longstreet's and Jackson's Corps had become too large for any single man to command. Jackson's death just gave him the impetus to make the change but I believe that even if Jackson had survived, a Third Corps was going to be created regardless, likely under Richard Ewell.

Ryan
Lee was contemplating making his army a 3 corps army, but Lee also knew that he needed to keep Jackson Corp some what larger to be able to go out on its own and win battles without the help of others.
Which now leads me to the “what if” of a major victory at Chancellorsville and the Federal Army under Hooker streaming back toward Washington. Hooker or Lincoln really would make sure the army fell back to Washington for many reasons. Does Lee then create a third corps or devise a plan for the full strength of Jackson to move northward and take the fight to northern soil while Longstreets Corps protects Jackson’s right flank by moving in on Washington, not to deliver battle but to shield Jackson independent army now to move somewhat freely into Pennsylvania then around toward Maryland.
Of course this is all speculative and assuming things. But I go back to creating a third corps and that would not have been the best thing to do after a major victory at Chancellorsville.
Lee really had no choice once Jackson was taken out of the picture. Lee did not have or trust anyone else to command such a large force that Jackson had before his untimely death. Too be honest Longstreet really never shined as an independent commander, he really messed up often when he went south to in essence be an independent commander with the AOT.
 
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The key difference between Jackson and Stuart was that Jackson's death occurred at a more critical stage of the war for the Confederacy. There is endless speculation about what Jackson could have accomplished had he been commanding at Gettysburg. Whereas Stuart's loss happened at a time when the fate of the Confederacy was beginning to totter. Moreover, Hampton and Fitzhugh Lee, who took over after Stuart were highly competent replacements unlike Ewell and AP Hill, who took over the revised corps structure after Jackson.
What he said!!!! But let me qualify.

The question of how Jackson would have handled the critical events at the end of day one at G'burg is something we have discussed ad nauseum. And I really think the discussion goes off the rails. The mantra usually goes with Lee occupying Culp's Hill, Meade wisely withdraws to the Pipe Creek Line and invites Lee to attack him. Lee accepts the invitation and is easily and bloodily repulsed.

I would ask why would he even consider taking this course of action. There would have been no strategic reason to engage with Meade at the Pipe Creek line. Even supposing that he could have completely ruptured the line. How would he have benefited? Given his total and complete lack of seige artillery could he have attacked DC, could he have done anything other than bounce off its impregnable defenses?

We all know the real strategic importance of G'burg was it multiple road intersections. Would not Lee have used these highways to ramble at will through most of Pennsylvania--threatening Harrisburg, Pittsburg, even Philladelphia? Isn't that why he was in Pa in the first place?

Personally I have wavered in whether Stuart should have replace Jackson following Chancellorsville. He did a competent job in the battle itself. I think Lee probably should have considered giving him the opportunity. But really was there anything that he did in the battle itself that almost any captain or even lieutenant could not have done just as well?

On the other hand did the cavalry arm of the CSA waver in the slightest when Hampton took over for Stuart. Granted there were no great strategic moves circumventing the entire Union army, BUT there was no need to do so.
 

Carronade

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Lee had been pretty clear in the lead-up to Chancellorsville that he wanted to create a third corps because he thought that Longstreet's and Jackson's Corps had become too large for any single man to command. Jackson's death just gave him the impetus to make the change but I believe that even if Jackson had survived, a Third Corps was going to be created regardless, likely under Richard Ewell.

Ryan

Chancellorsville highlights the shortcomings of the two-corps organization. Sending two divisions to conduct a campaign in Suffolk required a command echelon, Longstreet and his corps headquarters. This forced Lee to directly command Anderson's and McLaws' divisions, essentially acting as a third corps commander himself.

Jackson's four-division corps operated with three since Early's division was assigned to hold the front around Fredericksburg.

When Sedgewick's 6th Corps advanced from Fredericksburg, Confederate forces eventually totaling three divisions (Anderson, McLaws, Early) were deployed against him, but without any common command other than general directives from Lee.
 

jackt62

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Meade wisely withdraws to the Pipe Creek Line and invites Lee to attack him. Lee accepts the invitation and is easily and bloodily repulsed.

Interestingly, if the Pipe Creek line scenario you describe did occur, it would have been a replay of the actual repulse of the ANV at Gettysburg on Days 2 and 3. So in that respect, any speculation about what Jackson might have done had he been at Gettysburg is almost irrelevant because no matter how one considers the options, Lee's Pennsylvania incursion had little chance of success.
 

OpnCoronet

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Not only Gettysburg but the entire war in Northern Va., after Jacksons death shows clearly enough to those who have noted it, that it(his death) marked the end of Lees genius on the offensive, i.e., victories.

After Lee withdrew from Pa., Lincoln and Stanton were confident enough that, if Meade could not defeat Lee, then Lee could not defeat Meade either, that they had few qualms of sending almost two corps from the AoP to help Grant at Chattanooga.

The bright flame of Lees offensive genius, was snuffed out with the death of Jackson, even as the offensive spirit of a Stuart lived on in the ANV.
 

Carronade

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And I really think the discussion goes off the rails. The mantra usually goes with Lee occupying Culp's Hill, Meade wisely withdraws to the Pipe Creek Line and invites Lee to attack him. Lee accepts the invitation and is easily and bloodily repulsed.

That is, take up a position the enemy cannot possibly successfully attack...…...and wait for him to attack it.....

We should be wary of strategies that depend on the enemy doing what you want him to.
 
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