Is Franz Sigel an Underrated Commander?

Yankeedave

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#21
I'm no fan of Sears and prefer Furgurson's book. I have read Sears doesn't visit the battlefields he is writing about?! His use of favourites blinds him and honestly i don't agree with his interpretation of data.
Howard at Chacelloresville is like Sickles at Gettysburg. Both leaders are questionable. Both Corps' repeatedly report an enemy moving across their front. Both want to change their corps alignment. Both army commander's, Meade and Hooker, know of this, have hours to change and do little. Misaligned both corps are mangled. Howard suffers little repercussions continues to lead in the future and lets the whole thing go. Sickles has time on his hands and a political reputation.
 

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#22
I'm no fan of Sears and prefer Furgurson's book. I have read Sears doesn't visit the battlefields he is writing about?! His use of favourites blinds him and honestly i don't agree with his interpretation of data.
Howard at Chacelloresville is like Sickles at Gettysburg. Both leaders are questionable. Both Corps' repeatedly report an enemy moving across their front. Both want to change their corps alignment. Both army commander's, Meade and Hooker, know of this, have hours to change and do little. Misaligned both corps are mangled. Howard suffers little repercussions continues to lead in the future and lets the whole thing go. Sickles has time on his hands and a political reputation.
Yeah I agree with you on Sears', this came up a bit in the McClellan thread. I'll have to get Furgurson's book on the subject it looks good. Howard does become leader of the AoT over Hooker so maybe some irony in there.
 

Yankeedave

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#23
I have a bizzare theory of Hooker at Chancellorsville. He invited Jackson's flank attack intending to strike back with the 1st and 5th Corps. When Hooker was wounded the ordering of this fell to Couch who called it off.
 
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#24
I have a bizzare theory of Hooker at Chancellorsville. He invited Jackson's flank attack intending to strike back with the 1st and 5th Corps. When Hooker was wounded the ordering of this fell to Couch who called it off.
Its certainly possible and would be a classic hammer-anvil strategy. 11th and 3rd Corps absorbed the Confederate's main attack dealing heavy casualties, the Confederates became disorganized and both Jackson and A.P. Hill were wounded. 1st and 5th Corps were well positioned on the Confederate flank to deal a fatal blow to the Confederates now being led by Jeb Stuart! of all people. Meade was known to have been very much in favor of this move.
 
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#26
I have a bizzare theory of Hooker at Chancellorsville. He invited Jackson's flank attack intending to strike back with the 1st and 5th Corps. When Hooker was wounded the ordering of this fell to Couch who called it off.
I don't think so. He instructed Howard pretty specifically to watch his right flank and make ready for a possible flank attack.
 
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#28
I hear Harvey Johnson is thinking of writing a biography of him that will argue that Grant's decision to remove him in 1864 is yet another example of Grant's pettiness and need to put down rivals.
Interesting. I myself would shy away from criticizing Grant however New Market was a hard fought battle and perhaps Sigel didn't really deserve to be disgraced.
 
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#32
I think Grant being furious that one of his offensives failed to accomplish its objectives had far more to do with his dismissal of Sigel.
What were its objectives?

From Grant's report:
"General Sigel was instructed, at his own suggestion, to give up the expedition by Beverly and to form two columns, one under General Crook, on the Kanawha, numbering about 10,000 men, and one on the Shenandoah, numbering about 7,000 men. The one on the Shenandoah to assemble between Cumberland and the Shenandoah. and the infantry and artillery advanced to Cedar Creek, with such cavalry as could be made available at the moment, to threaten the enemy in the Shenandoah Valley, and advance as far as possible; while General Crook would take possesion of Lewisburg with part of his force and move down the Tennessee railroad, doing as much damage as he could, destroying the New River bridge and the salt-works at Saltville, Va."​

Losing a battle is never a good thing but he did "threaten the enemy in the Shenandoah Valley, and advance as far as possible".
 
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#36
Howard wanted to refuse his corps changing the alignment of his right at least. Hooker said no, but that he could make adjustments as long as the corps runs parallel to the road. Howard made the best of it by fronting a brigade south or parallel to the road, then turning the next brigade so it crossed the road and fronted west. Then he had them all dig in and await the inevitable.
So much for the myth that Howard refused to face his troops west!
 

James N.

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#37
So much for the myth that Howard refused to face his troops west!
He did such a poor job of it he might as well have not bothered at all - only a couple of regiments were actually refused or turned; Rodes' Division was all on line and immediately overlapped Devins' flank which quickly collapsed and fled.
 

OpnCoronet

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#38
To me, I think he was promoted above his true abilities. I believe he did well in helping to preserve Mo. for the Union early in the war.
Perhaps he was just not cut out for very high command.

He seems to have been undistinguished as a Corps Commander and a failed as an Army Commanders.
 

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#39
To me, I think he was promoted above his true abilities. I believe he did well in helping to preserve Mo. for the Union early in the war.
Perhaps he was just not cut out for very high command.

He seems to have been undistinguished as a Corps Commander and a failed as an Army Commanders.
Like several other early war figures such as Carl Schurz, Thomas F. Meagher, and Michael Corcoran, Sigel was most important in encouraging recent immigrants to enlist in the war effort. As I've said here before his best battlefield performance seems to have been at Pea Ridge/Elkhorn Tavern, Arkansas where he was able to put his specialized training as an artillery officer to good use, overwhelming his Confederate opponents with the fire of massed batteries. But his fellow German soldiers loved him, and I fights mit Sigel was their battle cry.
 

OpnCoronet

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#40
Like several other early war figures such as Carl Schurz, Thomas F. Meagher, and Michael Corcoran, Sigel was most important in encouraging recent immigrants to enlist in the war effort. As I've said here before his best battlefield performance seems to have been at Pea Ridge/Elkhorn Tavern, Arkansas where he was able to put his specialized training as an artillery officer to good use, overwhelming his Confederate opponents with the fire of massed batteries. But his fellow German soldiers loved him, and I fights mit Sigel was their battle cry.


He did good service in the West and contributed to the Union War effort, in helping to keep the country united.




P.S. as an aside, after the disaster in the Valley, the soldiers of other armies, wryly changed the phrase 'I fights mit Segal!' to 'I runs mit Segal' !
 



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