Discussion If you were a CW general...

trice

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Hands down Bragg. (Upon first skimming the post, I thought it asked, "who would you like to work for?" I thought, why in the world is Bragg even on there?). I'm a D.H. Hill fan, so I don't think he would like me very much! : )
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D. H. Hill had served under Captain Bragg in the Mexican War as a Lieutenant in his battery. In August of 1863 Hill wants badly to take a position under his old boss and is eager to serve with him. A few weeks later Hill is counted as opposed to Bragg. Things go downhill from there.:smile:
 

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dhh712

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D. H. Hill had served under Captain Bragg in the Mexican War as a Lieutenant in his battery. In August of 1863 Hill wants badly to take a position under his old boss and is eager to serve with him. A few weeks later Hill is counted as opposed to Bragg. Things go downhill from there.:smile:

Oh yes--I do remember that now! He was looking forward to serving under Bragg because they got along well in the Mexican War. I think they were mess mates. And if my faulty memory serves me correctly, I thought Bragg took care of him when he (Hill) was sick. I remember now that he was aghast when he saw how much Bragg had changed!
 

BillO

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If you were willing to be a sycophant, like Joseph Wheeler, it was actually rather pleasant.
I was about to say the same about Longstreet!
I'd have loved to have Jackson as my subordinate but would have hated to be one of his Colonels or Brigadiers.
 

sailorruss

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From admittedly what little I know of Bragg, working under him sounds like it must have been infuriating.
But he was h*** on retreat...
Hands down H. J. Kilpatrick, just ask Farnsworth or Dahlgren........
3. Hood. If I wanted to back track and then get shot to pieces a few times I like this guy for it. But this guy, he wasn't my kind of guy. (Buddy Rich paraphrase.)

2. Sickles. Shot and killed his wife's other man, got the first insanity plea, and it worked. As a general he was full of vim and vigor. You can only run with that so long. But I do like the mounted leg. "Aw, guys. Bring my leg along, will ya? I used to be very attached to it."

Last and never to be for gotten, sadly, the one the only...

1. James Hewett Ledlie. Drunk, hiding, no plan past blowing a huge hole in the ground & didn't provide any supervision or even the flickering of brain power at the Crater. I guess you can shoot horses but you can't shoot a general. Sadly.

The grumpy, harsh (exception of Bragg) and the strict doesn't matter much if you win to me. I'd rather have cranky commander then one that leads with very little going on upstairs. So Jackson, Forrest, Early are fine by me. I'd rather win then have warm fuzzy feelings.

But what is this about Longstreet?!?!?
 

Cavalier

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sailorruss. My own remarks above concerning Longstreet are in reference to him relieving McLaws, (and two others, one of which was Law, I believe), in the campaign of Knoxville. His accusations against McLaws were essentially for a lack of confidence in, and failure to properly prepare for, the attack on Fort Sanders. This seems to me the height of hypocrisy, especially when compared to his own recalcitrance at Gettysburg.
 

Otis J White

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No doubt on the Southern side it would be Bragg ... He lost my town and Ft Fisher in the February second coordinated attack by the Union Army and Navy. I would have loved to have known Lamb and Whiting however.

On the Northern side (to add a comment about their Generals) it would be Butler ... he kept Ft Fisher from being taken at Christmas ... the first coordinated Army/Navy attack ... so I guess I would say thanks to him. :cool:

For a great study in the effects of leadership incompetence on both sides read Confederate Goliath ... but you folks already probably know that.
 

Desert Kid

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This might seem weird, but my nomination would be Robert E Lee. Many times he gave unclear orders and many times he was very, very strict. As his young aide Walter Taylor said, "he was a queer old genius"! I'd rather be a regular soldier under him than an officer.
At least Lee ran a well-oiled, competent machine of an army.

I'd have hated to work for Bragg, if you can get a guy like Forrest to openly threaten to murder you in front of the entire officer corps of the Army of Tennessee, you've got a problem.
 

diane

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At least Lee ran a well-oiled, competent machine of an army.

I'd have hated to work for Bragg, if you can get a guy like Forrest to openly threaten to murder you in front of the entire officer corps of the Army of Tennessee, you've got a problem.
He'd have to take a number - there was a line for a crack at Bragg! D H Hill also threatened Bragg for not taking advantage of the win at Chickamauga - he even had a pistol at the ready. There's almost nothing to back up either of these stories but given Bragg's temperament and what we do know solidly...yes, if your generals are threatening your life to your face you might want to do a little reflecting on that matter!
 

sailorruss

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sailorruss. My own remarks above concerning Longstreet are in reference to him relieving McLaws, (and two others, one of which was Law, I believe), in the campaign of Knoxville. His accusations against McLaws were essentially for a lack of confidence in, and failure to properly prepare for, the attack on Fort Sanders. This seems to me the height of hypocrisy, especially when compared to his own recalcitrance at Gettysburg.
In time of war a lack of confidence and failure to prepare buy those under your command is, at least in my eyes, something at would need to be addressed. In my book it's as bad a falling asleep while being on picket duty. I would dare that changing theaters would put you on a different footing. You have to have your command working as a command.

Recalcitrance at Gettysburg. Try to talk Lee out of a plan when his notorious temp is on. I think the stubborn, hard head position should have been listened to. None of the artillery struck home and he was the man who had to make the call for an obviously doomed frontal assault. I maintain my position that Lee should have been removed for his recalcitrance.

But I still like your reply. So don't take it personally, OK?

And really, really haven't used recalcitrance in a long time.
 

Michael W.

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William "Bull" Nelson. Ask the Union troops at Richmond, KY. But would not have to serve under him long, Union Brig. General Jefferson C. Davis removed him from command. With a bullet...
 

Cavalier

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sailor russ. Not taking it personal. I am glad you commented.

Lee is the Army commander. He is the authority. Only the civilian authorities in Richmond could remove Lee. It is my understanding that it is one thing for Longstreet to make suggestions as Lee's second in command but once the commanding general's decisions have been made and his orders issued it is Longstreet's duty to execute those orders to the best of his ability, regardless of Lee's temper or hardheadedness. Loss of the battle was Lee's responsibility and he took the blame, as he should, offering his resignation.

My point about Lonstreet and McLaws is that Longstreet was considered by many to demonstrate a lack of confidence and failure to prepare at Gettysburg and Lee didn't relieve him.

Couldn't find another excuse to use the word recalcitrance.
 

sailorruss

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sailor russ. Not taking it personal. I am glad you commented.

Lee is the Army commander. He is the authority. Only the civilian authorities in Richmond could remove Lee. It is my understanding that it is one thing for Longstreet to make suggestions as Lee's second in command but once the commanding general's decisions have been made and his orders issued it is Longstreet's duty to execute those orders to the best of his ability, regardless of Lee's temper or hardheadedness. Loss of the battle was Lee's responsibility and he took the blame, as he should, offering his resignation.

My point about Lonstreet and McLaws is that Longstreet was considered by many to demonstrate a lack of confidence and failure to prepare at Gettysburg and Lee didn't relieve him.

Couldn't find another excuse to use the word recalcitrance.
Hey, I'm a musician. I love words. Recalcitrance is a great way to put it!

You are correct. The CS government could have taken him from command. But his letter was proforma. In essence saying sorry. Which is great. It goes a long way. Except for a lot of wives without husbands and children with out fathers.

Longstreet saw a bigger picture. They could have disengaged on the first day of battle and hit Harrisburg or Washington. A good general listens to his officers. If the plan is better, than pragmatism must rule the day. Lee was not feeling flexible that day I figure. He also was very ill by this point.
But for three days he sent his men all over a field already soaked with blood and one would think that by the second day pulling back, regrouping and, since Stewart was done riding his horse around the US army he could have been used as a rear guard. Personally I think Longstreet was depressed. He knew that it was a losing fight and sending a division to disapear in a pink mist is pretty bad.

Rushing the guns? Poor, poor tactics.

As to McLaws I will have to check that out and get back to you.

Also, doesn't everyone get a bee in their bonnet because he turned Republican and was close to Grant?
 

Cavalier

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sailor r
uss

When Longstreet goes west and orders his formations to attack he sends men to their death, creating wives without husbands and children without fathers. Every General on a battlefield orders men to their death.

I think Longstreet's take on the bigger picture was in error. For a great explanation of this see the book Last Chance for Victory by Bowden and Ward. I believe there are many other sources that elucidate the problems with Longstreet's ideas in this regard but this volume covers them well, in my opinion.

Rushing the guns was done frequently in the Civil War. I think the old saying about breaking eggs to make omelettes might apply here. If I remember correctly one of Napoleon's generals said that but I don't remember which one.

Lastly, we have the benefit of 150+ years of hindsight that none of the belligerents had at Gettysburg. As an example, it is my understanding that the D day invasion was not a foregone conclusion. If that attack was repulsed what would history say of Eisenhower.

Thanks again for your comments. I enjoyed hearing from you.

PS. Sadly I could find no reason to use recalcitrant. The best I could come up with was elucidate.
 


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