- Jan 3, 2019
If not, it sure seems like he did with throwing his men into meatgrinders. Or did he fight a war of attrition?
It sure seemed like he did. I just believe he could have minimized his casualties a bit. I'll check out that thread you posted. Thank you.First we should probably talk terms.
Pyrrhic meaning a war that inflicts such a devastating toll on the victor that it is tantamount to defeat.
Attrition meaning a struggle in which either side (or both sides) are unable to achieve decisive victory through a battle or campaigns but rather has to grind down their opponent(s) until they lose the will or ability to continue the fight.
I'd say Grant won a number of decisive victories, so I disagree Grant fought a war of attrition.
I don't think anyone on the Union side saw the victory as tantamount to defeat, but the war certainly inflicted a devastating toll in terms of numbers of lives lost. No doubt all those responsible for making poltical and military decisions had a part to play in that.
I also disagree that Grant 'threw his men into meat grinders'
If the reference is to Grant being a 'butcher' then we've had recent thread you may find interesting
I said Pyrrhic, not Carthaginian. Albeit, I think we would be better off today if the south did receive a Carthaginian defeat. You know Pyrrhic, win at all costs, no matter the cost.Not Pyrrhic because the Southern states remain in the Union today. There was certainly a “gain” in that.
Now this fits the bill:
the action or process of gradually reducing the strength or effectiveness of someone or something through sustained attack or pressure.
"the council is trying to wear down the opposition by attrition"synonyms:wearing down, wearing away, weakening, debilitation, enfeebling, sapping, Attrition has no connection to victories or defeats (beyond maintaining the willingness of your force, to continue “attriting” ones opponent). Victories supply that willingness, but aren’t essential to sustaining the effort.
pyr·rhic1I said Pyrrhic, not Carthaginian. Albeit, I think we would be better off today if the south did receive a Carthaginian defeat. You know Pyrrhic, win at all costs, no matter the cost.
All I'm saying is that some of those battles with those unnecessary frontal assaults could have been avoided. Trying to overrun your enemy is a sheer sign that minimizing casualties was not on the agenda and victory was first and foremost.No. The census information demonstrated mathematically the imbalance in fighting manpower between the US and the Confederacy, in May of 1864. Volunteers from the formerly enslaved population were increasing the US army. Immigrant men were maintaining the US work force. Each age cohort reaching age 18 in the paid labor states was larger than the previous group.
The Confederacy was recruiting from a rapidly shrinking territory. Fighting age men in the frontier states of Texas, Arkansas and Missouri could not have joined the eastern Confederate armies if they had wanted to, and most did not want to.
Confederates may not like but the arithmetic of shrinking the Confederate army by fighting it and capturing its home land could only end one way. It was a mathematical certainty by January 1864.
But my point is that a guy like Grant should have automatically been better than all of those rebs, not any worse. I'm not saying he was a total butcher, but I think he and his counterparts were playing chess and the soldiers were pawns.No. In war, victory seldom comes without a high cost. Grant suffers from a badly mistaken claim that he was a heartless "butcher". He was no worse than his opponents (in fact, a soldier in R. E. Lee's Army of Northern Virginia was more likely to be killed!)
There is a fair bit of mythology regarding Grant being a "butcher." Over his career Grant lost a lower percentage of his men than Robert E. Lee. Lee in fact was the bloodiest army commander of the Civil War. You had more chance of being killed or wounded in the Army of Northern Virginia than any other army - north or south - in the Civil War.It sure seemed like he did. I just believe he could have minimized his casualties a bit. I'll check out that thread you posted. Thank you.
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