The man who could "snatch defeat from the jaws of victory".

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LSBusch

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I nominate General Banks, who ordered his troops to retreat from a battlefield after they ran off the Confederates, leaving his dead and wounded on the ground for the surprised Confederates to take care of when they returned. From an anonymous letter dated May 19, 1864, and published in the Burlington (Iowa) Weekly Hawk-Eye

Gen. Banks, as a military genius, is not very highly appreciated by the officers and men of this department, and especially the men of this [Red River] expedition, who say they believe that if he had had twice as large an army as he had, lie would have gotten them all “gobbled” [captured]. And their eyes fairly flash with indignation when they tell of being compelled by orders to retreat from a retreating foe, which they say was the case at Pleasant Hill.
 

major bill

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I nominate General Banks, who ordered his troops to retreat from a battlefield after they ran off the Confederates, leaving his dead and wounded on the ground for the surprised Confederates to take care of when they returned. From an anonymous letter dated May 19, 1864, and published in the Burlington (Iowa) Weekly Hawk-Eye

Gen. Banks, as a military genius, is not very highly appreciated by the officers and men of this department, and especially the men of this [Red River] expedition, who say they believe that if he had had twice as large an army as he had, lie would have gotten them all “gobbled” [captured]. And their eyes fairly flash with indignation when they tell of being compelled by orders to retreat from a retreating foe, which they say was the case at Pleasant Hill.
Not a bad choice.
 
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James N.

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Fighting Joe Hooker
Oddly enough, Mr. F. J. Hooker (as Lee called him) seems to have done well when he wasn't in command! As a subordinate - especially one angling for higher command - he performed as well as anyone else in similar circumstances such as on the Peninsula and at Antietam. It's true he received a bloody nose from Pat Cleburne at Ringgold Gap, but Pat retreated anyway (he was only fighting a holding action) leaving Hooker in possession of the field. Neither Grant nor Sherman liked or trusted Hooker - fair enough! - but he performed well under both at Chattanooga and in the Atlanta Campaign.
 
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Drew

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I nominate General Banks, who ordered his troops to retreat from a battlefield after they ran off the Confederates, leaving his dead and wounded on the ground for the surprised Confederates to take care of when they returned. From an anonymous letter dated May 19, 1864, and published in the Burlington (Iowa) Weekly Hawk-Eye

Gen. Banks, as a military genius, is not very highly appreciated by the officers and men of this department, and especially the men of this [Red River] expedition, who say they believe that if he had had twice as large an army as he had, lie would have gotten them all “gobbled” [captured]. And their eyes fairly flash with indignation when they tell of being compelled by orders to retreat from a retreating foe, which they say was the case at Pleasant Hill.
Banks was soundly defeated at Mansfield, Louisiana on April the 8th and retreated. He did not, "run off the Confederates" at Pleasant Hill. He defended his position, yes and continued his retreat from the Red River Valley.

This was really not a, "snatch defeat from the jaws of victory" situation, at all.
 
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GwilymT

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No one has nominated Lee? Had he not gone North in the summer of 63, perhaps he beats Hooker again in VA. Perhaps Hooker’s replacement has Washington on his back and has to attack Lee, leading to another Union defeat. Shortly put, Lee doesn’t go on the offensive and lose while maybe winning one or two more battles in VA instead, does Lincoln get re-elected? If the summer of 63 doesn’t come with a decisive Union victory, but rather a string of Union defeats, does the war end?
 

Northern Light

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No one has nominated Lee? Had he not gone North in the summer of 63, perhaps he beats Hooker again in VA. Perhaps Hooker’s replacement has Washington on his back and has to attack Lee, leading to another Union defeat. Shortly put, Lee doesn’t go on the offensive and lose while maybe winning one or two more battles in VA instead, does Lincoln get re-elected? If the summer of 63 doesn’t come with a decisive Union victory, but rather a string of Union defeats, does the war end?
Umm... he did ask for UNION generals.
 

GwilymT

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Umm... he did ask for UNION generals.
Very true. Apologies. Sometimes I tend to think that Lee lost rather than someone else winning. A bad habit.

I would go with Burnside for his performance at Antietam. Had he attacked when told and forced the issue, we may be thanking McClellan for destroying Lee’s army and saving the Union.
 
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JeffCSA

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Burnside was lousy but couldn't say he 'snatched defeat from the jaws of victory'.
 

DanSBHawk

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I'd second the McClellan nomination. He could have succeeded on the Peninsula if he'd shown the least amount of boldness. As it was, he was defeated mentally by Lee during the Seven Days, and believed himself soundly defeated even as he enjoyed near parity in numbers with the confederates.
 
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Saint Jude

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Burnside was lousy but couldn't say he 'snatched defeat from the jaws of victory'.
I can't help but feel sorry for Burnside. He didn't want the job and had already turned it down twice because he knew he wasn't equipped to lead an army. Then when the job was forced on him, Halleck ensured his defeat by not sending him pontoons in a timely manner. I blame Halleck much more than I do Burnside for the debacle at Fredericksburg.
 

Rebforever

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I'd second the McClellan nomination. He could have succeeded on the Peninsula if he'd shown the least amount of boldness. As it was, he was defeated mentally by Lee during the Seven Days, and believed himself soundly defeated even as he enjoyed near parity in numbers with the confederates.
Which passed down to his Army.
 
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