Patrick Cleburne

jackt62

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It seems plausible to think that this description of Cleburne was a term created and somehow popularized by post-war writers.
It does seem interesting that writers and others needed to validate the western theater of war by referencing eastern theater tags such as "Stonewall of the West" to Cleburne, and the "Gettysburg of the West" to the battles of Glorieta Pass and Westport, even though neither of those monikers were really appropriate.
 

Luke Freet

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Agree that it is difficult to see how Cleburne could have been considered equal in status with Jackson and given the same nickname. They were significantly different.

No evidence was found that Cleburne was ever described as the 'Stonewall of the West' by anyone during the war.

In 'Stonewall of the West', Craig L. Symonds states at page 158 (following the retreat from Chattanooga), …"Cleburne's steadfast performance in the field…..provoked Jefferson Davis to christen him the "Stonewall of the West"..",… However, Symonds later corrects this assertion in endnote 2 at page 288, saying that historians invented this label and what Davis actually said was that Cleburne's men …"followed him with the implicit confidence that in another army was given to Stonewall Jackson"…

It seems plausible to think that this description of Cleburne was a term created and somehow popularized by post-war writers.
I guess I need to check Symonds endnotes when I get home.
 

Luke Freet

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It does seem interesting that writers and others needed to validate the western theater of war by referencing eastern theater tags such as "Stonewall of the West" to Cleburne, and the "Gettysburg of the West" to the battles of Glorieta Pass and Westport, even though neither of those monikers were really appropriate.
I'd argue that Stonewall as a moniker fits better for Cleburne than Jackson. While Jackson does a good job defending in both Bull Runs, his other defensive actions at Antietam and Fredericksburg are quite messy. His reputation as the Confederacy's wunderkind is due to his offensive actions in the Shenandoah and Chancellorsville. Meanwhile, Cleburne's track record on defense is much more impressive, even though it is usually on a much smaller scale. Though I prefer his other moniker from Lee, "The Meteor", I'd say Stonewall fits well in my mind.
That said, I always find these monikers of "___ of the West" to be more of an attempt by Western theater historians to bring more attention from the Eastern Theater that dominates the layman's perspective of the war, with obsession over Lee, Jackson, and Stuart and the titanic battles they fought.
 

jackt62

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Cleburne's track record on defense is much more impressive
Looking at it from that perspective, it might very well be more appropriate to call Cleburne the "Stonewall" than Jackson. Supposedly, Jackson's nickname based on his determined stand at 1st Manassas, was meant to be a nod to his defensive action in that battle. But Cleburne did indeed compile a more impressive defensive record than Jackson did. But whatever, the nickname was already taken before Cleburne gained fame.
 

Nathan Stuart

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I'd argue that Stonewall as a moniker fits better for Cleburne than Jackson. While Jackson does a good job defending in both Bull Runs, his other defensive actions at Antietam and Fredericksburg are quite messy. His reputation as the Confederacy's wunderkind is due to his offensive actions in the Shenandoah and Chancellorsville. Meanwhile, Cleburne's track record on defense is much more impressive, even though it is usually on a much smaller scale. Though I prefer his other moniker from Lee, "The Meteor", I'd say Stonewall fits well in my mind.
That said, I always find these monikers of "___ of the West" to be more of an attempt by Western theater historians to bring more attention from the Eastern Theater that dominates the layman's perspective of the war, with obsession over Lee, Jackson, and Stuart and the titanic battles they fought.

Agree with these assertions.

Apparently, Confederate B-G Barnard Bee Jr. was attributed with originally giving Jackson the moniker 'Stonewall' from his vocal description during fighting of Jackson's actions at First Bull Run (First Manassas), on July 21, 1861. It is not known for certain what he exactly said, because he was mortally wounded and died the next day. However, the tag stuck when it was published in Southern newspapers shortly afterwards.

Interestingly, an evaluation of Jackson's subsequent battlefield performances do not bear out the defensive connotations of his given nickname. Take a look at his actions during the Valley Campaign, the Peninsular Campaign, the Maryland Campaign and at Fredericksburg and Chancellorsville.

Both Jackson and Cleburne were offensively oriented, although Cleburne's best efforts were perhaps seen in his defensive actions at places like Missionary Ridge, Ringgold Gap and Pickett's Mill. Cleburne's effectiveness, though, as a combat Division leader is not in dispute.

A notable difference between the two in achieving their battlefield successes was that Jackson commanded larger organizations than Cleburne. Jackson repeatedly displayed a proven ability to command large scale formations of Corps or small Army size. In contrast, Cleburne was a trusted reliable subordinate who was flexible and adept at managing smaller scale units at Division level, in combat. Hardee thought he lacked the independent initiative to be a good Corps (or Army) commander. I tend to agree with this assessment. I seriously doubt that Corps or Army command would have suited Cleburne's nature from what is known about him.

I personally think the popularized 'Stonewall' moniker is an inappropriate description for Jackson, whereas a label like 'Meteor' would have been more apt for him. Based on actual battlefield conduct, the nickname 'Stonewall' would better suit Cleburne.

The invented label, ….'Stonewall of the West'…..is interesting. It supports the notion that the western theater was considered separately, and not necessarily of equal importance, by history writers. The added words, …'of the West'… perhaps illustrates the thinking that the western theater was the perceived minor theater of the war. It is difficult to imagine, for example, if Cleburne had been the first to be called 'Stonewall', that Jackson would later be described as the 'Stonewall of the East' – implying the eastern theater was secondary and minor. It perhaps also demonstrates the Confederacy's failure to develop a grand and coordinated plan during the war. (The strategic importance of the western theater to the Confederacy was not realized until it was too late).

In my view, the bottom line is that Cleburne probably is more deserving of, and lays better claim to, the stand-alone moniker of 'Stonewall', than does Jackson.
 

James N.

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To be clear the cannonball pyramid had nothing to do with Cleburne. I was part of the group that chose to place that memorial and it is a simple Civil War battlefield memorial, but somehow over time it has become attributed to Cleburne.
If so, then certainly you must be aware that similar pyramidic "monuments" are used at Chickamauga to denote where various brigade and divisional commanders fell. (Slightly different ones mark headquarters positions at Shiloh, Stones River, and possibly others.) Since Cleburne fell so near to the location of this monument it's only natural that many visitors to other battlefields would associate it with him.

https://civilwartalk.com/threads/monument-monday-12-31-2018.153022/
 
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Luke Freet

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If so, then certainly you must be aware that similar pyramidic "monuments" are used at Chickamauga to denote where various brigade and divisional commanders fell. (Slightly different ones mark headquarters positions at Shiloh, Stones River, and possibly others.) Since Cleburne fell so near to the location of this monument it's only natural that many visitors to other battlefields would associate it with him.

civilwartalk.com/threads/monument-monday-12-31-2018.153022/
Yeah, it was weird looking at it trying to find the plaque for Cleburne. Since it was right next to a park marker talking about the decimation of his division, I assumed it by association. But from my readings on the battle, I knew Cleburne fell to the west end from the Carter property, not on the slight east side as the cannon was located.
 

EricAJacobson

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If so, then certainly you must be aware that similar pyramidic "monuments" are used at Chickamauga to denote where various brigade and divisional commanders fell. (Slightly different ones mark headquarters positions at Shiloh, Stones River, and possibly others.) Since Cleburne fell so near to the location of this monument it's only natural that many visitors to other battlefields would associate it with him.

https://civilwartalk.com/threads/monument-monday-12-31-2018.153022/

Except the problem is the pyramid says nothing about Cleburne (and never has) and there is an interpretive marker to the east that clearly lays out Cleburne's charge and demise. As someone who works in Franklin I get rather annoyed at folks who talk about the "Cleburne memorial," but somehow never walked to the interp marker in plain site or, if they did, they never paid attention to what it says. But oh well.
 

EricAJacobson

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Yeah, it was weird looking at it trying to find the plaque for Cleburne. Since it was right next to a park marker talking about the decimation of his division, I assumed it by association. But from my readings on the battle, I knew Cleburne fell to the west end from the Carter property, not on the slight east side as the cannon was located.
Cleburne did not fall on the "west end" of the Carter property. He was hit on the east side of Columbia Pike, which was the east side of the Carter property.
 

Nathan Stuart

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The frontal attack by Cleburne's Division on the main Union line of earthworks advanced northwards on the eastern side of the Columbia Pike. (Brown's Division, deployed adjacent, proceeded on the western side of the Pike).

While leading his Division on foot, in this suicidal frontal assault on Federal earthworks, Cleburne was killed (reportedly by a single shot) just short of the works.

In 'Five Tragic Hours', James Lee McDonough and Thomas L. Connelly provide a specific description at page 160 of where Cleburne was killed. …"Cleburne's body was discovered near dawn on the morning of December 1. It lay about sixty yards south of the earthworks and about a hundred yards east of the Columbia Pike – almost directly south of the Carter family's cotton gin."… Accounts and commentaries vary slightly in their estimates of this distance. It seems Cleburne died somewhere between about 40 and 60 yards in front of Reilly's Union line and not far from directly in front of the salient at the cotton gin.
Clearly, his death occurred on the east side of Columbia Pike.
 

James N.

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Except the problem is the pyramid says nothing about Cleburne (and never has) and there is an interpretive marker to the east that clearly lays out Cleburne's charge and demise. As someone who works in Franklin I get rather annoyed at folks who talk about the "Cleburne memorial," but somehow never walked to the interp marker in plain site or, if they did, they never paid attention to what it says. But oh well.
Then what - or whom - exactly is the pyramid of cannonballs intended to honor? When there was only the tiny plot of land (the site of the Pizza Hut) which had for years said to have been the site of Cleburne's death, it seemed only logical to assume it was intended to honor him as the highest-ranking and best-known of the fatalities at Franklin. Now that the park has grown in size it becomes even more confusing to first-time and possibly casual visitors.
 

Luke Freet

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Then what - or whom - exactly is the pyramid of cannonballs intended to honor? When there was only the tiny plot of land (the site of the Pizza Hut) which had for years said to have been the site of Cleburne's death, it seemed only logical to assume it was intended to honor him as the highest-ranking and best-known of the fatalities at Franklin. Now that the park has grown in size it becomes even more confusing to first-time and possibly casual visitors.
Given how confused it left me, someone who knows a good amount on the battle (ain't an expert, not claiming that), your point is excellent.
 

JKT

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One of the few bright lights of the Army of Tennessee. Migrated from Ireland to Arkansas; very successful as a politician and went with the South. Advocated for blacks serving in the Confederate ranks and freedom in return (but that idea was shot down by Davis & the Confederate congress). Was killed along with at least 5 other generals at Hood’a Spring Hill disaster. My dad’s side of the family are all from his namesake, Cleburne county Alabama, right on the Georgia line.
 
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