Top Three Corp Commanders?

Bowen

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and I again I ask why? What is it about his performance at these times that makes you conclude he was quite good?

Take Antietam for example. I'm no expert on that battle, so what I know might be superficial, but my understanding is that he led a bloody attack that wrecked his Corps and he got wounded, taking him out of the battle for the rest of the day. What was quite good about it? And what was quite good about what he did at Ringgold Gap? New Hope Church? Peachtree Creek?
"New Hope Church" the attack was ordered by Sherman. By the same logic Thomas was a failure at Kenesaw Mountain even though he thought it was a foolish attack to make, he followed Sherman's orders (Sherman thought the Army of the Cumberland was too cautious). Stonewall's performance at Kernstown, Mechanicsville, Cedar Mountain and Groveton was not exactly sterling. Hooker had a good reputation as a solid corps commander however he was also a fellow who opened his big mouth too much ("speaks badly" as Lincoln said), that is a fact. I am not going to analyze each and every one of his battles.
 

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FZ11

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My Compliments, Corporal Evans. I believe Gen. Sickles' beloved III Corps would have marched through hell for him. His Corps has a fine combat record. His Division and Brigade Commanders performed well under him. Some folks just don't like him as a person, (Barton-Key Affair). The West Point coterie would not admit him to their exclusive club because he was a "politically appointed" commander from Tammany Hall. His often criticized maneuver on Day 2 of Gettysburg, sacrificed the AoP's III Corps, but decisively blunted Longstreet's force and inflicted horrible casualties - fatally weakening the ANV. Sickles was fearless under fire and inspired the confidence of all who served under him.
Inflicted horrible casualties on Day 2? 9,000 federal casualties to 6,000 confederate casualties. Sickles inflicted horrible casualties...... on the Federals!
 
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NedBaldwin

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"New Hope Church" the attack was ordered by Sherman.
In all of the battles in which Hooker commanded a Corps (or Division or Brigade), he was acting under orders of an army commander or higher.

By the same logic Thomas was a failure at Kenesaw Mountain even though he thought it was a foolish attack to make, he followed Sherman's orders (Sherman thought the Army of the Cumberland was too cautious).
You're the one who claims Hooker was quite good during the Atlanta campaign. Whats the logic?


Stonewall's performance at Kernstown, Mechanicsville, Cedar Mountain and Groveton was not exactly sterling.
We arent talking about Jackson, but now that you mention it, yes his battle record was not so great.

Hooker had a good reputation as a solid corps commander
Did he? Among who?

Sherman also had a good reputation, but that hasnt stopped you from bad mouthing him.
 

Bowen

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In all of the battles in which Hooker commanded a Corps (or Division or Brigade), he was acting under orders of an army commander or higher.



You're the one who claims Hooker was quite good during the Atlanta campaign. Whats the logic?




We arent talking about Jackson, but now that you mention it, yes his battle record was not so great.



Did he? Among who?

Sherman also had a good reputation, but that hasnt stopped you from bad mouthing him.
What are you his agent? (Just kidding). Even his biographer Lloyd Lewis ("Sherman: Fighting Prophet") said that on the battlefield Sherman was not that impressive because he tended to get excitable and lacked Grant's (and Thomas's) sang froid. Historian Albert Castel in his history of the Atlanta Campaign (Decision in the West; The Atlanta Campaign of 1864") came to the same conclusion. Castel felt that had Sherman been called to the East in 1864 to take Meade's place he might have cracked due to the daily slaughters of Wilderness, Spotslyvania, Cold Harbor, etc. and that the Atlanta Campaign with its maneuvering was more suited to his temperament. It is just his opinion and an interesting speculation and debate but we will never know. Although not exactly a brilliant tactician on the battlefield, Sherman was a superb theater commander for the North.
 

NedBaldwin

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What are you his agent? (Just kidding).
Are you Hooker's agent? Because Im more interested in how it has been determined that Hooker was so good than in debating Sherman.



Even his biographer Lloyd Lewis ("Sherman: Fighting Prophet") said that on the battlefield Sherman was not that impressive because he tended to get excitable and lacked Grant's (and Thomas's) sang froid.
In the past 150 years Sherman has had many biographers who have said a range of things.
 

Bowen

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I don't care for Hooker or Phil Sheridan but I don't deny their combat records. Did Sherman show great skill at Chickasaw Bayou, Tunnel Hill or Vicksburg? The end result was ultimately that the Union won the war.
 

NedBaldwin

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Did Sherman show great skill at Chickasaw Bayou, Tunnel Hill or Vicksburg?
Did Hooker show great skill anywhere? Ive asked, but instead of telling me why Hooker was so good, you have deflected to Sherman. Seems to me that in the three battles you mention Sherman showed at least as much skill as Hooker did at any of his battles.
 

Bowen

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Did Hooker show great skill anywhere? Ive asked, but instead of telling me why Hooker was so good, you have deflected to Sherman. Seems to me that in the three battles you mention Sherman showed at least as much skill as Hooker did at any of his battles.
I did not say he was a military genius so stop making me - against my will I might ad - the unelected President of the Joe Hooker fan club. I don't like the man personally because of his back stabbing nature and twice he asked to be relieved of command while the enemy was in his front (June 1863 and July 1864) which does not speak well of his professional character. He had a good reputation as a soldier (not as a man) up until he lost his nerve at Chancellorsville. Yes the great Pat Cleburne gave him a bloody nose at Ringgold Gap but he (Cleburne) also gave Sherman a bloody nose at Tunnel Hill too. I would like to end this debate as it can go back and forth ad infinitum, so you can have the last word if you would like.
 

R. Evans

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Inflicted horrible casualties on Day 2? 9,000 federal casualties to 6,000 confederate casualties. Sickles inflicted horrible casualties...... on the Federals!
Good point but I do admire his defense of Sickles, even though I don't agree with it. He put his case out there for all to see.
 

Billy Yank

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Good point but I do admire his defense of Sickles, even though I don't agree with it. He put his case out there for all to see.
My compliments Sgt. FZ11 & Corp. Evans, When Gens. Hood, McLaws, & Anderson brought their divisions against the Union left, regardless of Gen. Sickles positioning of his III Corps, there is indisputable agreement that heavy casualties would result on both sides. My point is how well Sickles Corps fought and the fact that Gen. Longstreet's attack was eventually repulsed - contributing to an eventual AoP victory. Particular credit is given Gen. W.S. Hancock for his able and timely assistance, but isn't reinforcement a common element of battle? Not "picking" on the XI Corps, but would they have fought and held as valiantly as Sickles' III Corps?
 

diane

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Other than the fact he surrendered at the Battle of Munfordville and was made a prisoner of war.

Well, true! However, Buckner told Wilder he was way outnumbered - Buckner didn't really want to blow apart his old hometown - and Wilder asked him if he thought he should surrender! Well...yes! So, Wilder wanted proof he was outnumbered and Buckner gave him a little tour. He was definitely facing superior forces. "Well," said Wilder thoughtfully, "I suppose I should surrender!"
 

FZ11

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My compliments Sgt. FZ11 & Corp. Evans, When Gens. Hood, McLaws, & Anderson brought their divisions against the Union left, regardless of Gen. Sickles positioning of his III Corps, there is indisputable agreement that heavy casualties would result on both sides. My point is how well Sickles Corps fought and the fact that Gen. Longstreet's attack was eventually repulsed - contributing to an eventual AoP victory. Particular credit is given Gen. W.S. Hancock for his able and timely assistance, but isn't reinforcement a common element of battle? Not "picking" on the XI Corps, but would they have fought and held as valiantly as Sickles' III Corps?
Good point but I do admire his defense of Sickles, even though I don't agree with it. He put his case out there for all to see.
No. Lee does not know that the Federal left extends all the way to Little Round Top. Lee plans to attack,Northeast,up the Emmitsburg road,toward Cemetary Hill. Had Sickles obeyed orders,Lee would have exposed his right flank to an attack from Sickles,etal. from Cemetary Ridge. Further,Lee would have come under fire from all the Federal batteries on Cemetary Ridge. The Federal position was discovered because Sickles advanced his troops. The other generals did not believe Sickles qualified to be a Major General because Sickles had no mililary education,not because it was a "club thing". Sickles proved them right by disobeying orders and not understanding the consequences of his advanced position.
 

Bowen

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No. Lee does not know that the Federal left extends all the way to Little Round Top. Lee plans to attack,Northeast,up the Emmitsburg road,toward Cemetary Hill. Had Sickles obeyed orders,Lee would have exposed his right flank to an attack from Sickles,etal. from Cemetary Ridge. Further,Lee would have come under fire from all the Federal batteries on Cemetary Ridge. The Federal position was discovered because Sickles advanced his troops. The other generals did not believe Sickles qualified to be a Major General because Sickles had no millitary education,not because it was a "club thing". Sickles proved them right by disobeying orders and not understanding the consequences of his advanced position.
I think that at most Dan "Tammany Hall" Sickles was qualified for a brigade, maybe a division command but he was not an ideal Corps commander. He was an amateur at the start of the war but so was John A. Logan, Nelson A. Miles, Nathan Bedford Forrest, John B. Gordon, Francis C. Barlow and Wade Hampton but they turned out to be gifted commanders. Sickles became a post war friend of James Longstreet.
 
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Bowen

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Well, true! However, Buckner told Wilder he was way outnumbered - Buckner didn't really want to blow apart his old hometown - and Wilder asked him if he thought he should surrender! Well...yes! So, Wilder wanted proof he was outnumbered and Buckner gave him a little tour. He was definitely facing superior forces. "Well," said Wilder thoughtfully, "I suppose I should surrender!"
A few months earlier in 1862 Buckner had asked for terms at Ft. Donelson from his pre-war friend Ulysses S. Grant and was given the brutal "unconditional surrender" reply, yet he treated Wilder differently.
 

Bowen

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My compliments Sgt. FZ11 & Corp. Evans, When Gens. Hood, McLaws, & Anderson brought their divisions against the Union left, regardless of Gen. Sickles positioning of his III Corps, there is indisputable agreement that heavy casualties would result on both sides. My point is how well Sickles Corps fought and the fact that Gen. Longstreet's attack was eventually repulsed - contributing to an eventual AoP victory. Particular credit is given Gen. W.S. Hancock for his able and timely assistance, but isn't reinforcement a common element of battle? Not "picking" on the XI Corps, but would they have fought and held as valiantly as Sickles' III Corps?
Yes they were repulsed but as the Duke of Wellington said "It was a **** close thing" and the III Corps was wrecked and eventually folded into the II Corps in March 1864.
 

SouthernRebel772

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I must respectfully suggest you go back and study WWII and the Pacific war...beginning with Japan's invasion of Manchuria.
I would argue that Japan equals Nazi Germany in many of the physical atrocities and the brutality in which they carried out their actions, I've read they (Japan) may have had a little bit of a inferiority complex towards the old European powers. However for sheer terror I think the Nazis have it far above Japan, their scientific studies, eugenics programs, and occult practices are terrifying.

On the point on the first post,

Army Commander-Lee
1st Corps-Longstreet
2nd-Corps-Jackson
3rd-Corps-Cleburne/D.H. Hill
Cavalry Corps-Stuart
Independent Cavalry Division-Forrest
Artillery-A. Porter

I like the Jackson Longstreet combination, Jackson can carry out independent operations in necessary, while Longstreet is solid on the defense. I don't know how Cleburne would have performed as a Corps commander, so I left it open between him and Hill. I prefer Stuart to command the cavalry attached to the army, or perhaps Hampton or Fitz Lee. However I think if I could choose I would have Forrest command a cavalry division independent from the cavalry corps that could be used for independent operations.
 

Eric Wittenberg

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Yes they were repulsed but as the Duke of Wellington said "It was a **** close thing" and the III Corps was wrecked and eventually folded into the II Corps in March 1864.
That's only part of the reason why the III Corps was merged into II Corps. Just as important a reason was to be rid of that drunk, Old Blinky French, who outranked nearly everyone in the army. Merge his command out of existence, and suddenly he's no longer the senior subordinate in the army.

I often say that the only aggressive move Blinky French ever made in his life was on a whiskey bottle, and I believe that to be a true statement.
 

Billy Yank

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No. Lee does not know that the Federal left extends all the way to Little Round Top. Lee plans to attack,Northeast,up the Emmitsburg road,toward Cemetary Hill. Had Sickles obeyed orders,Lee would have exposed his right flank to an attack from Sickles,etal. from Cemetary Ridge. Further,Lee would have come under fire from all the Federal batteries on Cemetary Ridge. The Federal position was discovered because Sickles advanced his troops. The other generals did not believe Sickles qualified to be a Major General because Sickles had no mililary education,not because it was a "club thing". Sickles proved them right by disobeying orders and not understanding the consequences of his advanced position.
I'm afraid there are still "Ring Knockers" to this day.
 

NedBaldwin

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That's only part of the reason why the III Corps was merged into II Corps. Just as important a reason was to be rid of that drunk, Old Blinky French, who outranked nearly everyone in the army. Merge his command out of existence, and suddenly he's no longer the senior subordinate in the army.
Both Sedgwick and Hancock outranked French; the problem would be Warren who was junior to a lot of people.
 


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