Top Three Corp Commanders?

thomas aagaard

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These men were a handful of the few men who understood how the war should have been fought given the technological advances, and that Napoleonic tactics were heading for the history books.
Napoleonic tactics was not used. Tactically the war was much closer to the 7 year war as fought in Europe.
Use of 25-30% skirmisher? No
Use of battlefield cavalry? - No
Proper combined arms tactics? - No
All 3 was core part of Napoleonic battlefield tactics... and very rarely used by civil war armies.
 

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thomas aagaard

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His point is that the civil war was not modern. That the rifled musket did not revolutionize warfare and the war was bloody because of lack of skills... not because for new weapons.

Also the book is more than 25 years old. He was one of the first to finally start fight the myths... Saying that the war was not modern was a big step back then.
A number of other historians have done similar since. Earl Hess is one of them...


Also from the page you linked to:
"He contends that this did not force the leadership to design new and more creative tactics, but instead only to poorly execute Napoleonic concepts. Though occasional new ideas arose, such as the so-called “Indian Raid” style of assaulting fortified positions, these tactics suffered from under-prepared troops and the aforementioned poor communication."

Most civil war armies was not able to use skirmishers to the extent that was the norm 50 years earlier. Where not able to use combined arms tactics... and didn't have battlefield cavalry. (that is, cavalry trained and ready to be used mounted)

By 1862 both he danish and Prussian was changing to heavy skirmish lines as the standard way of fighting...
The Austrians had 1/3 of the line infantry to be used as skirmishers.

At the same time the Union was removing the two skirmish companies pr. regiment from the drill books.
And the south realized that the ordinary infantry regiments didn't have the skills, so tried to make up for it with specialized units. None of them came anywhere near using 1 in 3 of every infantry man out in front of the lines as skirmishers.
 
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Army Commander: U.S. Grant
I Corps: James Longstreet
II Corps: John Reynolds
III Corps: Winfield Scott Hancock
Cavalry: John Buford
Artillery: Henry Hunt

Chief of Staff Dan Butterfield
Intelligence: George Sharpe
Logistics: Montgomery Meigs
Engineer: Edward Wellman Serrell
Medical: Jonathan Letterman

Grant is the best Commander of the era because he understands both strength and limitations, making the best use of the Subordinate Officers and units under his command.

He issued Clear & Consise Orders, informed by his understanding of capabilities.

He had the Grit to fight, and keep on fighting. Of course he made mistakes, but he had the wisdom to learn from them.

Longstreet is one of the best Generals of the ACW, he understands the advantages of the Defense, and the merits of entrenching. He is capable of conducting prompt counter attacks, as well as deliberate assaults.

He and Grant had a great relationship before and after the war. Grant married one of Longstreet's Cousins, and Longstreet stood up for Grant.

Reynolds has a proven record as a Corps (and "Wing") Commander, he refused command of the Army of the Patomic, because he would have been micro-managed by Henry Halleck. Reynolds had been Instructor of Tactics at West Point just before the war; and proved he could apply good tactics in Combat. He also had a good sense of Terrain.

Hancock was vital to the victory at Gettysburg, late on the 1st, and preparing Cemetery Hill for the defence resulting in victory. Competent at Offense, Defense, Maneuver, Training and Logistics.

I strongly considered Thomas "Stonewall" Jackson, he is the Hammer to Longstreet's "Anvil" however, he did not always work well with others. Still, if I had a IV Corps, I would choose T. Jackson to command it.

John Buford knew it was best for ACW Cavalry to fight Dismounted. More importantly he understands Key Terrain, and how it could be used by Infantry and Artillery, as well as Cavalry.

He Communicated Clearly to subordinates and Superiors. Reconissance is of little value if it is not Quickly and Accurately Communicated to Those Who Need It!

Hunt wrote the Manual on the use of Artillery. He was a good Trainer, and a good Combat Leader. Union Artillery was considered the most competent Branch.

Dan Butterfield has some moral faults, and was a partisan of Hooker, undermining Meade, and others, but I think he could have worked well with Grant. He contributed to the impovements to the AoP with Hooker.

The other supporting branch leadership are not contrivercial, I think.
 

Ole Miss

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1) John Reynolds
2) John Sedgwick
Both died too early to prove their full abilities but had great potential
Regarding WW II experiences and theater of operations, my father believed serving on a picket radar destroyer off of Okinawa was right at the top of suicide duty. Serving as the first line of defense against waves of kamikazes was as deadly a duty to be had. One destroyer was sunk within 3 minutes of the attack beginning.
Regards
David
 
Joined
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1) John Reynolds
2) John Sedgwick
Both died too early to prove their full abilities but had great potential
Regarding WW II experiences and theater of operations, my father believed serving on a picket radar destroyer off of Okinawa was right at the top of suicide duty. Serving as the first line of defense against waves of kamikazes was as deadly a duty to be had. One destroyer was sunk within 3 minutes of the attack beginning.
Regards
David
Thomas "Stonewall" Jackson died before Gettysburg, yet he is viable for comparison to other ACW Generals. J.E.B. Stuart dies not long after.

Hooker, Burnside, Pope, etc. Basically had their military careers end before Gettysburg.

Neither Reynolds, nor Sedgewick were "One Hit Wonders" and have a substantial Record which may be compared to their Peers.

It was Tragic that so many good men had their lives cut short. Remembering them, and their contributions perpetuates their legacy.
 
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Overall Army command: Grant, with Lee being the tactical commander
1st Corps: Jackson
2nd Corps: Gordon (by Appomattox he had become the brightest star in the AoNV; good aggressive commander)
3rd Corps: Hancock or Thomas
Artillery: Hunt
Cavalry: Forrest or Wilson
Colored Troops: Birney or Cleburne (as much as I have respect for Cleburne and his abilities, doubt he'd be an exceptional Corps commander like Gordon turned out to be)
Logistics/Engineers/Rear troops: E. Kirby Smith
Supernumeraries/Divisional Commanders (Honorable mentions): Emory Upton; Richard Taylor; A. P. Stewart; Mosby (definitely a good small unit commander); Francis Barlow; Henry Slocum; Schofield; Hood (pre-wounding);
 

Jimklag

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Overall: Grant
1st Corps: Thomas
2nd Corps: Jackson
3rd Corps: Hancock
Artillery: Hunt
Cavalry: Forrest
Colored Troops: Gibbon
Logistics/Engineering/Rear echelon: McPherson
Honorable mention: Gordon, Longstreet, McClellan, Joe Johnston, David Dixon Porter for the Navy
 

Jamieva

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Midlothian, VA
1) John Reynolds
2) John Sedgwick
Both died too early to prove their full abilities but had great potential
Regarding WW II experiences and theater of operations, my father believed serving on a picket radar destroyer off of Okinawa was right at the top of suicide duty. Serving as the first line of defense against waves of kamikazes was as deadly a duty to be had. One destroyer was sunk within 3 minutes of the attack beginning.
Regards
David
Sedgwick was a corps commander for a year, through 3 or 4 major campaigns. We have enough of a track record with him to draw conclusions. He was slow. Always.
 



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