Discussion "Fortune Favors the Bold" - No Grant\Lee!

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jackt62

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if we are going to call the "raid against Stuart" bold, we have to list it as one of those occasions when boldness overcame good judgement.
There is a thin line between boldness and recklessness (Hood?) and certainly Sheridan can be faulted for errors of judgement on more than one occasion. But the Richmond raid and its conception seems to tilt more in the "bold" category because of Sheridan's assertion that the cavalry should be used as an independent strike force rather than simply a service adjunct of the AOTP.
 
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Saint Jude

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In half defense of Hood, I think he was... desperate.
Although Hood had been rash before, perhaps when he took over command of the Army of Tennessee, his "desperation" was the result of having repeatedly complained to Davis that Johnston wasn't aggressive enough. Ironically, at a conference at Cassville, where Johnston did intend to attack Sherman, Hood convinced him to retreat.
 

Pat Answer

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I was referring to the Tennessee campaign, but you are right. Davis wanted a fight for Atlanta; Hood (behind Johnston's back IIRC) lobbied to assure him he would get one and delivered when given the command. Found out prepared positions worked for both sides...

Was Cassville the time when Hood saw a column of Federal cavalry on his flank and called off an attack?
 

Scott1967

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Sometimes we assume to much we blame Hood when blame should be directed at those that expected to much from him , Even Lee had doubts over Hoods appointment during the campaign for Atlanta.

We also forget that Hood must have been in great pain two major wounds the loss of the use of his arm and the loss of his leg must have meant many sleepless nights and I would imagine he would have been prescribed numerous drugs to alleviate the pain , This of course may have been a big factor in some of the decision's that Hood made.

I cant help but feel that Hood was not fit for duty and certainly by some of his decision's not fit for command either and this blame can directly traced back to Davis.

I mentioned Lee sorry hard not to.
 
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Dead Parrott

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Sometimes we assume to much we blame Hood when blame should be directed at those that expected to much from him , Even Lee had doubts over Hoods appointment during the campaign for Atlanta.

We also forget that Hood must have been in great pain two major wounds the loss of the use of his arm and the loss of his leg must have meant many sleepless nights and I would imagine he would have been prescribed numerous drugs to alleviate the pain , This of course may have been a big factor in some of the decision's that Hood made.

I cant help but feel that Hood was not fit for duty and certainly by some of his decision's not fit for command either and this blame can directly traced back to Davis.

I mentioned Lee sorry hard not to.
Yes you used the "L" word, but as an indirect reference, so no card on the play...…….
 

Carronade

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There is a thin line between boldness and recklessness (Hood?) and certainly Sheridan can be faulted for errors of judgement on more than one occasion. But the Richmond raid and its conception seems to tilt more in the "bold" category because of Sheridan's assertion that the cavalry should be used as an independent strike force rather than simply a service adjunct of the AOTP.
Sheridan's main goal in this case seems to have been to be independent of Meade. Most commentators agree that he performed a grave disservice in depriving the AofP of almost all its cavalry, and that Grant erred in allowing him to do so.

There are certainly occasions when independent cavalry operations can be valuable, for example when the armies were tied down in the siege of Petersburg and the cavalry were sent to tear up Confederate railroads and supply lines. This just wasn't one of those times.
 
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OpnCoronet

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Not a general, but an admiral. Farragut. And there can be no doubt about boldness in his case (especially when yoked with a team that also included experience, careful planning, and a bit of luck). Key at New Orleans, even more key at Mobile Bay.


Very true, when one thins about it in the context of his own time, it is amazing, I think to contemplate such boldness and attention to detail both, from a man of his advanced years(by thestadards of that tieme)..
 

James N.

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I'll observe that the quote in the title of this thread was "borrowed" and adapted as the title Favor the Bold, a biography of one of the boldest of them, George Armstrong Custer, whose boldness finally got him into a fix he couldn't get out of!
 

OpnCoronet

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To me, one of the classic exampl of the difference between boldness defensiveness in the same man, would be Braxton Bragg.

When in a bold mood, his accomplishments were often spectacular, when not bold, his accomplishments were often mediocre.
 
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Lubliner

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I have read a couple of stories of how Custer lost control of his horse and ended up in the melee among confederates. Luckily he fought his way safely back to his own lines. But this 'boldness' some could claim for him perhaps was blunder. How many moves could be pointed to given the time to search where blunders were accounted as innovative advances?
Lubliner.
 

Scott1967

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I have read a couple of stories of how Custer lost control of his horse and ended up in the melee among confederates. Luckily he fought his way safely back to his own lines. But this 'boldness' some could claim for him perhaps was blunder. How many moves could be pointed to given the time to search where blunders were accounted as innovative advances?
Lubliner.
Dan Sickles ? Without Dan Sickles Blunder at Gettysburg the Union would never have occupied Little Round Top the Ultimate Blunder that more than likely cost the CSA the War.

Of course Dan claimed credit for this telling everyone it was his bold move that stopped Longstreet from rolling up the Federal left flank.
 

Joshism

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I argue that boldness was the key to Earl Van Dorn’s downfall. Boldness in his personal life got him killed!
One of Van Dorn's defeats occurred both because of too much boldness and not enough.

Van Dorn pursued Curtis hard and boldly maneuvered into his rear at the Battle of Pea Ridge. However, Van Dorn drove his army to exhaustion and they suffered for it during the march and the battle.

Approaching Elkhorn Tavern during the battle, Van Dorn unexpectedly met Union resistance. In perhaps the only example of cautious behavior in Van Dorn's career he ordered his entire column into a line of battle before attacking. He was facing only a few Union regiments and his caution provided time for much needed Union reinforcements to arrive. (Per Shea & Hess in their excellent book on the battle.)
 
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OpnCoronet

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I have read a couple of stories of how Custer lost control of his horse and ended up in the melee among confederates. Luckily he fought his way safely back to his own lines. But this 'boldness' some could claim for him perhaps was blunder. How many moves could be pointed to given the time to search where blunders were accounted as innovative advances?
Lubliner.
Dan Sickles ? Without Dan Sickles Blunder at Gettysburg the Union would never have occupied Little Round Top the Ultimate Blunder that more than likely cost the CSA the War.
Of course Dan claimed credit for this telling everyone it was his bold move that stopped Longstreet from rolling up the Federal left flank.




Two examples, that, to me, exemplifies the general truth, that boldness, even in adversity, or even mistakes, is the better remedy for them, than caution.
 

jackt62

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John Bell Hood leaps to my mind. His boldness served him well while in Lee's army, but when he took over the Army of Tennessee, his boldness led to his eventual demise at Franklin and Nashville.
This is also an example of a commander being promoted above his level of competency. The attributes necessary to be a successful division commander including the ability to show resolve, courage and personal leadership to ones troops under fire were handled effectively by Hood, which often translates into being "bold." But as an army commander, Hood's understanding of boldness was simply recklessness at the higher level of command.
 
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Scott1967

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This is also an example of a commander being promoted above his level of competency. The attributes necessary to be a successful division commander including the ability to show resolve, courage and personal leadership to ones troops under fire were handled effectively by Hood, which often translates into being "bold." But as an army commander, Hood's understanding of boldness was simply recklessness at the higher level of command.
Please refer to my post 26 about Hood , Their is a definite change in Hood from being a bold division commander who remember protested to Longstreet about the plan of attack on the second day of Gettysburg to the reckless Hood in charge of an Army.

We don't know how Hoods wounds effected him personally or what effect mentally it had on him , I would also like to say Hood must have been on some hard medication to get through those campaigns it was tough for a commander to shoulder that responsibility Lee aged a lot so for a one legged one armed Army commander who must have been in great pain from wounds he had suffered one after another in 1863 it must have been horrendous.

I'm not defending Hoods actions but I firmly believe Hood was not mentally fit for command never mind physically and this may have been the reason why Hood went from a bold reliable commander to a reckless one , Maybe Hood thought he had nothing else to lose so might as well write my name in history.
 
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