Murfreesboro Murfreesboro — Which Side won?

uaskme

2nd Lieutenant
Joined
Nov 9, 2016
Location
SE Tennessee
Is there any other good book on Rosecrans other than Lamers’ bio?
David G Moore, William S Rosecrans and the Union Victory. David is posting on this thread. Just about finished with David’s book. Shorter volume than Lamers. David did a great job. I met David here. Appreciate him participating.

There s a lot to the Grant and Rosecrans story. fascinating story.

Don‘t take anyone’s word here. Research and make your own conclusions. I don’t care how much someone puffs themselves up. Ego and opinion is no replacement for research.
 

David Moore

Sergeant Major
Joined
Mar 26, 2014
Location
Washington, DC
Cool, always happy to run into someone interested in Rosecrans. He is, without a doubt, one of the most interesting characters of that period, which is saying something.
But it is ultimately impossible to like Rosecrans and Grant. Their conflict began in Mississippi in 1862 and almost all serious historians of the subject - including Albert Castel, Evan Jones, Michael Ballard, Frank Varney, Joseph Rose , Steven Z.Starr- have decided in favor of a Rosecrans. To make a long story short politics was the factor that determined which generals rose and which fell. Few doubted that in the 19th century. Sad fact is that Grant is well known today and Rosecrans is all but unknown.
 

David Moore

Sergeant Major
Joined
Mar 26, 2014
Location
Washington, DC
“I can never forget, if I remember anything, that at the end of last year and the beginning of this, you gave us a hard earned victory, which had there been a defeat instead, the country scarcely could have lived over.”
Lincoln to Rosecrans six months after the battle.
 

David Moore

Sergeant Major
Joined
Mar 26, 2014
Location
Washington, DC
Garfield was Rosecrans’ chief of staff. Between the two of them they came up with a graphic way to depict the battlefield. I always envision it looking like an Avalon Hill game board. I have read numerous references to it, but haven’t a source on how it actually worked. The concept was to interpret reports & use a gridded map to display the position of units. Via this tool, Rosecrans & his staff could have situational awareness at the HQ.

Rosecrans had approached officers & confounded them by shouting confusing orders on a jackhammer stutter during past battles. Apparently it was a stress reaction. He had the blood & brains of an aide splattered on him as he rode along the firing line at Stones River. Leading from the front had obvious limitations. The graphic device appears to have been a way to avoid the stress reaction.
I’ve never read that Garfield was involved in Rosecrans’ innovative map making process.
Here is what Rosecrans wrote the “ability of Capt. W.E. Merrill, engineer, whose successful collection and embodiment of topographical information, rapidly printed by Capt. William C. Margedant’s quick process, and distributed to corps and division commanders, has already contributed very greatly to the ease and success of our movements over a country of difficult and hitherto unknown topography.”
 

Rhea Cole

1st Lieutenant
Joined
Nov 2, 2019
Location
Murfreesboro, Tennessee
I’ve never read that Garfield was involved in Rosecrans’ innovative map making process.
Here is what Rosecrans wrote the “ability of Capt. W.E. Merrill, engineer, whose successful collection and embodiment of topographical information, rapidly printed by Capt. William C. Margedant’s quick process, and distributed to corps and division commanders, has already contributed very greatly to the ease and success of our movements over a country of difficult and hitherto unknown topography.”
The battle management tool Garfield is associated with was not a what Merrill & the Dun Maps were about. No doubt the topographic unit provided the map that was used to make the grid board. It was, as best I can explain it, like a war game board with markers for the regiments.
 

Belfoured

Sergeant Major
Joined
Aug 3, 2019
But it is ultimately impossible to like Rosecrans and Grant. Their conflict began in Mississippi in 1862 and almost all serious historians of the subject - including Albert Castel, Evan Jones, Michael Ballard, Frank Varney, Joseph Rose , Steven Z.Starr- have decided in favor of a Rosecrans. To make a long story short politics was the factor that determined which generals rose and which fell. Few doubted that in the 19th century. Sad fact is that Grant is well known today and Rosecrans is all but unknown.
Regarding those historians/authors you list, it's wise to keep in mind that when an author sets out to revise accepted history, he/she can - perhaps subconsciously - become more an advocate than an objective historian and "oversteer" in the other direction. There are, for example, errors in some of the books you cite. That doesn't mean that all "new looks" should be rejected. It does mean, however, that they are not immune from errors or subjective interpretations and that they - just like the conventional wisdom they attack - should be viewed with a critical eye.
 

David Moore

Sergeant Major
Joined
Mar 26, 2014
Location
Washington, DC
I defer to historians who have pursued the subject of Grant’s drinking. Personally, I can’t imagine, given the pace of operations, he would have had the leisure time for a bender.
There is in the Grant Papers a letter from
Regarding those historians/authors you list, it's wise to keep in mind that when an author sets out to revise accepted history, he/she can - perhaps subconsciously - become more an advocate than an objective historian and "oversteer" in the other direction. There are, for example, errors in some of the books you cite. That doesn't mean that all "new looks" should be rejected. It does mean, however, that they are not immune from errors or subjective interpretations and that they - just like the conventional wisdom they attack - should be viewed with a critical eye.
and perhaps they just write what their research leads them to.
 

David Moore

Sergeant Major
Joined
Mar 26, 2014
Location
Washington, DC
This is what John Rawlins wrote about Grant drinking at Chattanooga. Note it also implies Grant was drunk in New Orleans after Vicksburg. Grant Papers Vol 9 pgs 475-476

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David Moore

Sergeant Major
Joined
Mar 26, 2014
Location
Washington, DC
Are you stating that what I pointed to never occurs?
What your saying is that all of the people mentioned - and I can include myself in that list- working independently at a scholarly level somehow self deluded themselves to similar conclusions. Not likely I’d say. Evidence and diligent work matters.
 

Belfoured

Sergeant Major
Joined
Aug 3, 2019
What your saying is that all of the people mentioned - and I can include myself in that list- working independently at a scholarly level somehow self deluded themselves to similar conclusions. Not likely I’d say. Evidence and diligent work matters.
You should read what I posted more carefully. Kindly point out where I said "all of the people mentioned - and I can include myself in that list- working independently at a scholarly level somehow self deluded themselves to similar conclusions". I said, instead "There are, for example, errors in some of the books you cite. That doesn't mean that all "new looks" should be rejected." You're making a really large leap which comes across as overly defensive IMHO. And if you're working at a scholarly level you know that there are times when a historian has to choose between conflicting versions in the historical record and where the choice isn't clearcut but becomes subjective.
 

Rhea Cole

1st Lieutenant
Joined
Nov 2, 2019
Location
Murfreesboro, Tennessee
What your saying is that all of the people mentioned - and I can include myself in that list- working independently at a scholarly level somehow self deluded themselves to similar conclusions. Not likely I’d say. Evidence and diligent work matters.
Why pose a straw man question? It should be obvious that all of us on this thread take the subject seriously. Straw man & ad homonym fallacies aren’t appropriate here. If you have a point to make, make it.
 

Will Carry

First Sergeant
Joined
Jun 1, 2015
Location
The Tar Heel State.
Rhea! I was reading "Braxton Bragg: The Most Hated Man in the Confederacy" and Hess mentions that Bragg attacked instead of finding good defensive ground to await Rosecrans. You know the terrain in Middle Tennessee. Would Bragg have been better off to find that defensive position? Them Hollers back up in thar may be good places to hide but a bad place to be trapped.

By the way. The book did not change my opinion of old "cute and cutely" Bragg.
 

Rhea Cole

1st Lieutenant
Joined
Nov 2, 2019
Location
Murfreesboro, Tennessee
Rhea! I was reading "Braxton Bragg: The Most Hated Man in the Confederacy" and Hess mentions that Bragg attacked instead of finding good defensive ground to await Rosecrans. You know the terrain in Middle Tennessee. Would Bragg have been better off to find that defensive position? Them Hollers back up in thar may be good places to hide but a bad place to be trapped.

By the way. The book did not change my opinion of old "cute and cutely" Bragg.
As Bragg’s engineers had advised, there really wasn’t a viable defensive position between Murfreesboro & Nashville that could not be easily flanked. That did not bother Bragg because he did not believe the Nashville garrison would attack. Bragg’s HQ was occupied with planning the triumphant parade when Rosecrans was starved out & retreated to Louisville. Rationally, Shelbyville or Tullahoma would have been better locations for Bragg’s HQ. A map study will lead you to the same conclusion.
 

David Moore

Sergeant Major
Joined
Mar 26, 2014
Location
Washington, DC
Why pose a straw man question? It should be obvious that all of us on this thread take the subject seriously. Straw man & ad homonym fallacies aren’t appropriate here. If you have a point to make, mak
The battle management tool Garfield is associated with was not a what Merrill & the Dun Maps were about. No doubt the topographic unit provided the map that was used to make the grid board. It was, as best I can explain it, like a war game board with markers for the regiments.
Do you have any links, citations or pictures of Garfield’s map management? Surely you must otherwise how would you know about it.
 

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