Discussion Stones River VS Gettysburg...Errily The Same.

Piedone

Corporal
Joined
Oct 8, 2020
I specifically stated wounded/KIA’s. In fact, as we now know, the A of NB’s losses were significantly under reported. That is, of course, the subject of other threads on this forum & outside this thread.

I am a bit at a loss here. I reread a lot of threads now and could unfortunately not find the thread(s) you are referring to. Would you please be so kind and lead me to one of them?
 

Rhea Cole

1st Lieutenant
Joined
Nov 2, 2019
Location
Murfreesboro, Tennessee
I am a bit at a loss here. I reread a lot of threads now and could unfortunately not find the thread(s) you are referring to. Would you please be so kind and lead me to one of them?

Modern historians & analysts have added more or less 100,000 casualties to the total of CSA losses. Some of that number comes from mathematical models based on the 1860 vs 1870 Census. Needless to say, some individuals on this forum really had a cow about that. I am humble enough to say that the methodology is way over my head. As i recall, many of the comments were posted by individuals as ignorant as I am who had very strong preconceived ideas. Historians that I respect find the result credible, so that works for me. You can Google ‘Civil War casualties increased to 750,000.’ There are a host of articles beginning in 2012 & you can read them to form your own opinion.
 
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Lost Cause

2nd Lieutenant
Joined
Sep 19, 2014
Modern historians & analysts have added more or less 100,000 casualties to the total of CSA losses. Some of that number comes from mathematical models based on the 1860 vs 1870 Census. Needless to say, some individuals on this forum really had a cow about that. I am humble enough to say that the methodology is way over my head. As i recall, many of the comments were posted by individuals as ignorant as I am who had very strong preconceived ideas. Historians that I respect find the result credible, so that works for me. You can Google ‘Civil War casualties increased to 750,000.’ There are a host of articles beginning in 2012 & form your own opinion.
David Hacker, who combed through the census records estimated the rough overall civil war death range from 650,000 to 850,000, thereby 750,000 listed as the medium. Adding, there was no way to determine which side sustained these listed deaths, because people relocated after the war. You list an increase of 100,000 CSA “casualties”. Census records would not indicate such. If you are meaning deaths,
you are declaring 100,000 of the 130,000 new listed deaths (620,000 before to 750,000 now) are Confederate, then that seems off as well, since even Hacker did not state this.
 

Lost Cause

2nd Lieutenant
Joined
Sep 19, 2014
Interestingly it was George Thomas who was involved in the best planned & executed battles of the war. With all the bandwidth taken up by Bragg’s failed attacks, it was Rosecrans’ plan that prevailed at Stones River. Thomas was central to that victory as well as the Tullahoma Campaign that led to the capture of Chattanooga. His defense of Nashville & the destruction of Hood’s army was a result of Thomas’ meticulous planning. Thomas not only planned his battles, he successfully executed the plan. Lee never did anything on the scale of Thomas’ victories.
Are you going to give any credit to Hood for the destruction of his own army during the Nashville campaign? Why ignore Thomas’ defense at Chickamauga. You are also ignoring Lee’s victories and are mixing strategic with tactical victories.
 
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Rhea Cole

1st Lieutenant
Joined
Nov 2, 2019
Location
Murfreesboro, Tennessee
Are you going to give any credit to Hood for the destruction of his own army during the Nashville campaign? Why ignore Thomas’ defense at Chickamauga. You are also ignoring Lee’s victories and are mixing strategic with tactical victories.
I am not ignoring anything, there is only so much room in a post in this format. If you have something to contribute, why don't you post something that supports your assertions? This is a conversation, it is not a place for personal put downs. For what it is worth, anyone conversant with my posts on CWT is aware of the numbers & comprehensive threads I have started on Middle Tennessee topics for years.
 

Rhea Cole

1st Lieutenant
Joined
Nov 2, 2019
Location
Murfreesboro, Tennessee
David Hacker, who combed through the census records estimated the rough overall civil war death range from 650,000 to 850,000, thereby 750,000 listed as the medium. Adding, there was no way to determine which side sustained these listed deaths, because people relocated after the war. You list an increase of 100,000 CSA “casualties”. Census records would not indicate such. If you are meaning deaths,
you are declaring 100,000 of the 130,000 new listed deaths (620,000 before to 750,000 now) are Confederate, then that seems off as well, since even Hacker did not state this.
What could possibly make anyone think that I am "declaring" anything? I am not the kind of fool who declares anything about something he does not understand. The methodology is way over my head. All I know is that CW historians that I respect accept the 100,000 number as a median. The more historians look, the larger the Confederate losses become. That is something that I leave to the experts.
 

Lost Cause

2nd Lieutenant
Joined
Sep 19, 2014
I am not ignoring anything, there is only so much room in a post in this format. If you have something to contribute, why don't you post something that supports your assertions? This is a conversation, it is not a place for personal put downs. For what it is worth, anyone conversant with my posts on CWT is aware of the numbers & comprehensive threads I have started on Middle Tennessee topics for years.
There were no insults in my posts, but providing a balance would be effective than continued disdain for all things Confederate. Both Lee and Thomas were effective in their own right, but different theaters and different roles.
What could possibly make anyone think that I am "declaring" anything? I am not the kind of fool who declares anything about something he does not understand. The methodology is way over my head. All I know is that CW historians that I respect accept the 100,000 number as a median. The more historians look, the larger the Confederate losses become. That is something that I leave to the experts.

You still haven’t named a historian, much less one who stated 100,000 of the 130,000 new listed number were all Confederate. I listed Hacker, the original author of the new hypothesis, who said no such thing.
 

Rhea Cole

1st Lieutenant
Joined
Nov 2, 2019
Location
Murfreesboro, Tennessee
There were no insults in my posts, but providing a balance would be effective than continued disdain for all things Confederate. Both Lee and Thomas were effective in their own right, but different theaters and different roles.


You still haven’t named a historian, much less one who stated 100,000 of the 130,000 new listed number were all Confederate. I listed Hacker, the original author of the new hypothesis, who said no such thing.
Just Google it. There are 65,500 results to choose from.
 

Rhea Cole

1st Lieutenant
Joined
Nov 2, 2019
Location
Murfreesboro, Tennessee
Historical research in the past 10 years has acknowledged that the "traditional" figure of 620,000 war dead was underestimated, and that a more accurate figure is in the area of 750,000 as you note.
I think anybody who has tangled with CSA record keeping is not surprised that gross errors have come down in the historic record. How anybody had a clue what the actual strength of the Army of Tennessee was is beyond me. Entire companies disappeared from the picket line night after night, for goodness sake. After the abandonment of Little Rock, regimental commanders found themselves all but alone when morning roll call was taken. The imponderables just accumulate more & more as you look into unit strengths. I have an ancestor who had an unusual name that could be spelled several ways & still sound the same. A cousin found him listed as three different people on muster rolls. I guess you could say my family really contributed to the Southern Cause.
 

Piedone

Corporal
Joined
Oct 8, 2020
I think anybody who has tangled with CSA record keeping is not surprised that gross errors have come down in the historic record. How anybody had a clue what the actual strength of the Army of Tennessee was is beyond me. Entire companies disappeared from the picket line night after night, for goodness sake. After the abandonment of Little Rock, regimental commanders found themselves all but alone when morning roll call was taken. The imponderables just accumulate more & more as you look into unit strengths. I have an ancestor who had an unusual name that could be spelled several ways & still sound the same. A cousin found him listed as three different people on muster rolls. I guess you could say my family really contributed to the Southern Cause.
I do thank you for your input as I never heard anything of Hacker´s study before (shame on me) and I indeed found it highly intriguing.
After googling and reading what I could find about it (it was indeed a pleasant afternoon) I was a bit astonished
that my lecture (at least in my opinion) didn´t support your interpretation outrightly.
I am somehow relieved now to see that also others as @Lost Cause are sharing the same idea.

Of course you are right that confederate records weren´t that reliable and many of them were indeed lost.
But as far as I know this bears more on the records of 1864/65 than that of 1862/63.

But even if your interpretation of those numbers should hold - then we still have the fact that several union invasions of Virginia were frustrated by the ANV.

Imagine how we would look on the Civil War if those setbacks hadn´t happened.
Let´s pretend Richmond would have fallen in 1862 (most inevitably leading to an early collapse of the Confederacy)
well I am pretty sure most people would regard the whole matter as just nothing but a kind of inflated Whisky rebellion
- and this forum here wouldn´t maybe even exist.

Regarding the importance of victories in the West
I´d like to note that in the summer / autumn of 1864 many of the western territories were already occupied by Union forces
- and still the fight in Virginia was everything but decided.
I am of the opinion that Virginia, North Carolina and not much more obviously sufficed to support an army of Lee´s of about 70.000 - if though just barely.
And obviously that 70.000 men sufficed
- with a bit of luck
- and supported by Virginia´s topography heavily bolstering her defense against incursions from the North
to pretty neigh frustrate another invasion (pretty much regardless of what happened in the West).

But imagine Lee would have beaten Meade on that July afternoon...
If that really would have happened..well...you may draw you own conclusions.

I think in the end you will have to acknowledge that even southern Confederates (and even southern slave-holding Confederates) were Americans above all - to defeat them took just a hell of a fight - and Lee made this task everything but easier.

But that are of course just my five cents...
 

RobertP

Lt. Colonel
Joined
Nov 11, 2009
Location
Dallas
David Hacker, who combed through the census records estimated the rough overall civil war death range from 650,000 to 850,000, thereby 750,000 listed as the medium. Adding, there was no way to determine which side sustained these listed deaths, because people relocated after the war. You list an increase of 100,000 CSA “casualties”. Census records would not indicate such. If you are meaning deaths,
you are declaring 100,000 of the 130,000 new listed deaths (620,000 before to 750,000 now) are Confederate, then that seems off as well, since even Hacker did not state this.
People see and believe what they want to see and believe.
 

RobertP

Lt. Colonel
Joined
Nov 11, 2009
Location
Dallas
After this was written in post #28, “Thomas not only planned his battles, he successfully executed the plan. Lee never did anything on the scale of Thomas’ victories”, you need to weigh carefully the poster’s other opinions.
 

Rhea Cole

1st Lieutenant
Joined
Nov 2, 2019
Location
Murfreesboro, Tennessee
After this was written in post #28, “Thomas not only planned his battles, he successfully executed the plan. Lee never did anything on the scale of Thomas’ victories”, you need to weigh carefully the poster’s other opinions.
All right, while Lee was loosing 1/2 of Virginia, Thomas was winning the Mill Springs battle & unhinging Johnston’s Tennessee defense. While Lee was back in his Virginia base, Thomas took Murfreesboro, the key to Middle Tennessee. At the same time as Lee’s fiasco in PA, Thomas drove Bragg out of TN & captured Chattanooga. As we know, Thomas’ army overran the Army of Tennessee. While Lee was pinned down awaiting inevitable defeat, Thomas destroyed the Army of Tennessee & effectively ended the war in Tennessee.

The entire operating area of the A of the P & the A of NV is the size of a postage stamp on a map of Thomas’ operations. There really isn’t any comparison between Thomas’ strategic victories & Lee’s fruitless tactical successes.
 

Rhea Cole

1st Lieutenant
Joined
Nov 2, 2019
Location
Murfreesboro, Tennessee
I do thank you for your input as I never heard anything of Hacker´s study before (shame on me) and I indeed found it highly intriguing.
After googling and reading what I could find about it (it was indeed a pleasant afternoon) I was a bit astonished
that my lecture (at least in my opinion) didn´t support your interpretation outrightly.
I am somehow relieved now to see that also others as @Lost Cause are sharing the same idea.

Of course you are right that confederate records weren´t that reliable and many of them were indeed lost.
But as far as I know this bears more on the records of 1864/65 than that of 1862/63.

But even if your interpretation of those numbers should hold - then we still have the fact that several union invasions of Virginia were frustrated by the ANV.

Imagine how we would look on the Civil War if those setbacks hadn´t happened.
Let´s pretend Richmond would have fallen in 1862 (most inevitably leading to an early collapse of the Confederacy)
well I am pretty sure most people would regard the whole matter as just nothing but a kind of inflated Whisky rebellion
- and this forum here wouldn´t maybe even exist.

Regarding the importance of victories in the West
I´d like to note that in the summer / autumn of 1864 many of the western territories were already occupied by Union forces
- and still the fight in Virginia was everything but decided.
I am of the opinion that Virginia, North Carolina and not much more obviously sufficed to support an army of Lee´s of about 70.000 - if though just barely.
And obviously that 70.000 men sufficed
- with a bit of luck
- and supported by Virginia´s topography heavily bolstering her defense against incursions from the North
to pretty neigh frustrate another invasion (pretty much regardless of what happened in the West).

But imagine Lee would have beaten Meade on that July afternoon...
If that really would have happened..well...you may draw you own conclusions.

I think in the end you will have to acknowledge that even southern Confederates (and even southern slave-holding Confederates) were Americans above all - to defeat them took just a hell of a fight - and Lee made this task everything but easier.

But that are of course just my five cents...
Just out of curiosity, how do you account for the "... many of the western territories were already occupied..." I don't suppose that Grant's victories had anything to do with that? After Grant took command, how many invasions of the North did Lee attempt? Once Grant took command, Lee was forced ever backward until he was pinned down at Petersburg where Lee himself stated that he knew it was only a matter of time.

I can imagine if Lee had scored some kind of tactical victory at Gettysburg. In fact, I have posted a detailed analysis of just what Lee's position was, win or loose on CWT. 40 miles from nowhere PA without a supply line of any kind, with around 40% casualties & no ammunition, Lee would have had to fall back on his base. He could not replace his horses, there were no remounts among the plodding draft animals of PA to be had. July is not harvest time, corn was knee high, hay had yet to be cut, raked & stacked. There was nothing for his army to do a Napoleonic live off the land maneuver. Numerous professional military officers, including Eisenhower & Montgomery have been puzzled to understand just what Lee hoped to accomplish. I don't claim to, either. What is certain is that Lee simply did not have the means to stay in PA. As it was, it took almost every wagon he could lay his hands on just to evacuate part of his wounded. That left no transport for distributing supplies, even if he had any to hand out.
 
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RobertP

Lt. Colonel
Joined
Nov 11, 2009
Location
Dallas
All right, while Lee was loosing 1/2 of Virginia, Thomas was winning the Mill Springs battle & unhinging Johnston’s Tennessee defense. While Lee was back in his Virginia base, Thomas took Murfreesboro, the key to Middle Tennessee. At the same time as Lee’s fiasco in PA, Thomas drove Bragg out of TN & captured Chattanooga. As we know, Thomas’ army overran the Army of Tennessee. While Lee was pinned down awaiting inevitable defeat, Thomas destroyed the Army of Tennessee & effectively ended the war in Tennessee.

The entire operating area of the A of the P & the A of NV is the size of a postage stamp on a map of Thomas’ operations. There really isn’t any comparison between Thomas’ strategic victories & Lee’s fruitless tactical successes.
Have you forgotten about Rosencrans at Stones River? Or Grant at Chattanooga? Yes, give credit to Thomas for holding for a while at Chickamauga in a losing effort. Give him credit for routing a Confederate Army at Nashville that Hood had already destroyed. Maybe if Thomas had been more effective he would have impressed Grant, Sherman and Lincoln but he wasn’t able to. Ranking him higher than Lee among Civil War generals is just laughable.
 

Rhea Cole

1st Lieutenant
Joined
Nov 2, 2019
Location
Murfreesboro, Tennessee
Have you forgotten about Rosencrans at Stones River? Or Grant at Chattanooga? Yes, give credit to Thomas for holding for a while at Chickamauga in a losing effort. Give him credit for routing a Confederate Army at Nashville that Hood had already destroyed. Maybe if Thomas had been more effective he would have impressed Grant, Sherman and Lincoln but he wasn’t able to. Ranking him higher than Lee among Civil War generals is just laughable.
That is an interesting question... when was it, exactly, that I was struck with amnesia? How extraordinary, I don't seem to recall.
 

Rhea Cole

1st Lieutenant
Joined
Nov 2, 2019
Location
Murfreesboro, Tennessee
Unfortunately, you have yet to name an “adult historian” to back up your claim(s).
How about we keep this on an adult level? This is a conversation, not a high school term paper. Anybody who has spent more than an afternoon reading up on this subject knows the answer to your question. If they haven't, the list of thirty or forty historians that come to mind simply wouldn't mean anything.
 
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