Discussion Lincoln's political generals

leftyhunter

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So how so we show this to be the case? Did Lincoln state what he based commissions on?
We would have to look at each so called political general and see what their qualifications were to be a general.
If said political general had no formal military education and no experience commanding troops then said general would be considered a political general.
On the other hand if said political general such has Butler is a capable civil administrator or good at logistics then said political general is useful I.e. Butler.
Leftyhunter
 

James N.

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He was awful after the war to some of his fellow soldiers.
Probably because of the way he thought he'd been unfairly passed over by Sherman in favor of West Point grad and Regular Army Maj. Gen. O. O. Howard for the vacancy at the head of the Army of Tennessee following the death of James B. MacPherson at the Battle of Atlanta. As senior corps commander, Logan took charge and successfully repelled the Confederate assaults; plus by then he had a long and honorable career with that army and wasn't an outsider like Howard, who it should be remembered had had a far-less-than-stellar career. Unfortunately for the service, postwar Logan was able to exact a revenge of sorts as head of (I believe) the Ways and Means Committee withholding funds for the Army - then headed by his old nemesis Sherman - during the Sioux War of 1876.
 

rbasin

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Probably because of the way he thought he'd been unfairly passed over by Sherman in favor of West Point grad and Regular Army Maj. Gen. O. O. Howard for the vacancy at the head of the Army of Tennessee following the death of James B. MacPherson at the Battle of Atlanta. As senior corps commander, Logan took charge and successfully repelled the Confederate assaults; plus by then he had a long and honorable career with that army and wasn't an outsider like Howard, who it should be remembered had had a far-less-than-stellar career. Unfortunately for the service, postwar Logan was able to exact a revenge of sorts as head of (I believe) the Ways and Means Committee withholding funds for the Army - then headed by his old nemesis Sherman - during the Sioux War of 1876.

I did read somewhere a while back that sherman never considered Logan. He wanted Blair, but he was too subordinate to other generals.
 

leftyhunter

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Lincoln's political generals were one of his most powerful weapons. Once Lincoln won the political election of 1864 the Confederacy was Doomed for Death.
I always have argued that the importance of the 1864 Presidential Election is overrated because the inauguration of the winner would be in March 1865 far to late to make a difference for the Confederacy. Also McClellan promised not to recognize an independent Confederate nation.
Essentially no difference between what would happen in early Reconstruction in a McClellan vs Johnson Administration regarding the status of African Americans.
Leftyhunter
 
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That's a good point Lefty but the only reason that March 1865 was too late is that Lincoln got reelected. With a McCellan in Office, the war effort could easily begin to lag and slow to a crawl. The Confederacy could have been offered a type of negro slavery revised in return for peace and returning to the Union in some type of partial unification. An entire new Compromise making all past compromises look small could have kept the Democratic Slaveholder Party (reunited with the Confederates) in their chokehold over the Federal Government once again.
 

leftyhunter

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That's a good point Lefty but the only reason that March 1865 was too late is that Lincoln got reelected. With a McCellan in Office, the war effort could easily begin to lag and slow to a crawl. The Confederacy could have been offered a type of negro slavery revised in return for peace and returning to the Union in some type of partial unification. An entire new Compromise making all past compromises look small could have kept the Democratic Slaveholder Party (reunited with the Confederates) in their chokehold over the Federal Government once again.
Of course hypothetical questions are impossible to answer but in simple terms the issue of slavery had already been decided. Many slaves had fled and a good part of the Confederacy had reverted to anarchy. Plantation owners simply couldn't export their produce as there were no ports left.
Confederate soldiers were deserving in mass.
Basically Johnson told white Southerners stop fighting give up on this madness about having your own country and you can more or less treat African Americans as at best second class citizens. More likely then not McClellan would give them the same deal.
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neyankee61

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In 1863 near Vicksburg Adj. Gen Thomas was recruiting blacks for service in the Union. He gave a talk in front of the 31st ILL an unit from "Little Egypt". The reaction of the men was not good. Logan who was their original colonel now a Brig. General addressed them. He told them that at the beginning of the war he was fighting for the Union, not to free the slaves. Now he changed his mind and supported the idea. At the talks end, he was given three cheers and quelled any talk of trouble in the regiment
 

General Butler

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Butler probably heads the pack. His skills a Ft Monroe vis a vis Contraband's was brilliant...his joint Army navy efforts in NC set the stage for future efforts during the war...his skills in NO was strong and the city had its very best year ever from summer diseases when he cleaned up the Canals (he knew about canals coming from Lowell a key canal city)...yes he did trade with the rebel armies, yes he did send blockade runner items seized at sea to ports in the North so his son in law could buy them and sell them at a profit, yes his brother Andrew was a real scamp that got himself murdered but I think he handled NO well and it stayed in Union hands. Now to Ft Fisher...while not the bravest of men and surely wanting his men to not get killed en-mass he did back off too soon...but it is interesting to note that Grant would nearly double the amount of Union troops when they went back a second time so you have to ask the musical question, would Butler have taken the fort with twice as many men? The man does have his pros and cons but dint they all, dont we all...so look at the body of work and not the selective slanted works that favors one side or the other.
 

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