Was George Meade the best man to command the Army of the Potomac?

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While we're throwing around alternate commanders, how about Charles Ferguson Smith? It's difficult to make any judgments on his skill as died so early, but what we do have seems quite positive. I suspect C. F. Smith would have been aggressive, but not to the point of recklessness as with Pope or Kearny.
 

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James N.

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While we're throwing around alternate commanders, how about Charles Ferguson Smith? It's difficult to make any judgments on his skill as died so early, but what we do have seems quite positive. I suspect C. F. Smith would have been aggressive, but not to the point of recklessness as with Pope or Kearny.
He died so early in the war it's rather difficult to evaluate him. It would have been interesting if he had been alive and healthy at Shiloh.
Grant seems to have thought highly of him and not resented - as he probably did with George Thomas in a similar situation - that for a time before Shiloh he was supplanted by Smith at the head of the Department/Army of the Tennessee. Had Smith been alive and healthy at Shiloh it would've been HIM in command there and not Grant - interesting, indeed!
 

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