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What is your opinion on Jackson's Generalship???

Discussion in 'Thomas "Stonewall" Jackson' started by Kiryan, Apr 20, 2016.

  1. NedBaldwin

    NedBaldwin Captain

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    When all is said and done... a year after Jackson's death, the ANV was in the same situation as it had been the year before -- defending the line of the Rapidan.

    With Jackson, the ANV crossed the Potomac, made it to western Maryland, fought a battle and retreated back to Virginia; without Jackson the ANV crossed the Potomac, made it into Pennsylvania, fought a battle and retreated back to Virginia.
     
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  3. jackt62

    jackt62 First Sergeant

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    All very true and Lee tended to overlook those failures, but you must give credit to Jackson for his actions in aggressively carrying out Lee's strategic vision particularly at Second Manassas and Chancellorsville.
     
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  4. jackt62

    jackt62 First Sergeant

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    According to a reference in the book "Crucible of Command" by William C. Davis, Lee stated in 1870 that "If Jackson had been there" (meaning Gettysburg) they "would have succeeded."
     
  5. John S. Carter

    John S. Carter Corporal

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    Jackson was the only officer that Lee had trust in .Lee did not have to direct Jackson ,just told him what he wanted and Jackson ,with his foot cavarly , would in his own way carry out the orders. Some writters say the the HIGH WATER mark was the death of Jackson.Lee lost the only general who seem to understand what was expected of him .Jackson and Lee were the two most feared and respected generals by the Uniion.With his loss Lee from that time on would be fighing for the survival kof his army.QUESTION ; At Gettsburg, would Jackson recommend that Lee not fight from the position he was in , or would he has he had always done ,taken his corp and attempt to take the flake,as Longstreet?Would he try to convince him not to attack the center ? As for as Chancellorsville ,this would have been his and Lee's greatest victory ,up to then.But now we can play the what if.I think that Jackson could not have delt with the Southern loss If he had not died ,would the war proceeded for longer?
     
  6. Jimklag

    Jimklag 2nd Lieutenant Silver Patron

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    I believe Jackson was a first-class to superior corps commander when subordinate to Lee. Except for the action in 1862 in the Valley, he was less so as an independent commander - and those fights in the Valley were made with fairly small, easy to handle units. People say Gettysburg would have ended differently if Jackson commanded 2nd Corps. I submit that everythimg about Gettysburg would have been different. You can't say that Jackson would have taken one or both of the two hills just south of town unless you just want to beam Ewell out and beam Jackson in on the late afternoon of July 1. It is certain that everything up to that poimt would have happened differently.
     
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  7. WJC

    WJC First Sergeant

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    Except for his poor performance in the Seven Days, Jackson was the prototype ANV officer. He fit very nicely into the aggressive culture.
    I don't know- none of us will ever know- if his presence would have changed anything at Gettysburg or elsewhere afterward, but whatever he was ordered to do he would have been aggressive in doing it.
     
  8. thomas aagaard

    thomas aagaard Sergeant Major

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    Then why did he promote Longstreet over Jackson?

    Clearly Lee wanted Longstreet as the ranking officer of the two. That tell us he had more trust that Longstreet could handle the army, had Lee himself gotten hurt.
     
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  9. Jamieva

    Jamieva 2nd Lieutenant Forum Host

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    He trusted him so much that he was 2nd in command to Lee....

    oh wait
     
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  10. WJC

    WJC First Sergeant

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    Lee certainly placed great trust in Jackson. However, he promoted Longstreet ahead of Jackson. Why? Perhaps because Lee was just a little leery of Jackson as a potential replacement as ANV commander. Or maybe he just flipped a coin....
     
  11. Jamieva

    Jamieva 2nd Lieutenant Forum Host

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    It was tied directly to Jackson's 7 days performance as to why he was placed behind Longstreet in the pecking order. It's not a coincidence that the promotion were done right after that, and Longstreet was promoted first.
     
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  12. WJC

    WJC First Sergeant

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    Can you elaborate? I've seen that quote before, but never with any source. Did Davis say whether it was a recollection of someone's private conversation with Lee or something Lee wrote in a letter?
    Thanks!
     
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  13. rpkennedy

    rpkennedy Major

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    I'm only going on memory but, IIRC, it was someone who said that that was what Lee said but published it after Lee's death. And considering how circumspect Lee was in his dealings with others after the war, the statement's credibility is rather stretched.

    Ryan
     
    Last edited: Apr 12, 2017
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  14. WJC

    WJC First Sergeant

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    Thanks for your response.
    It has been my understanding that after the war, Lee refused to discuss or write about his battles, even to correct obvious errors.
    He made two exceptions: first, a letter to Jackson's widow meant to comfort her by showing that newspaper criticism of her husband was unjustified.
    The second was in response to an article by R. L. Dabney, The Life and Campaigns of Lieut. Gen. Thomas J. Jackson, in Southern Review, claiming that the flank attack was solely Jackson's idea.
     
  15. jackt62

    jackt62 First Sergeant

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    I don't have the book at this time, so I can't recall any further information about his source. I don't believe, however that it was in any letter written by Lee.
     
  16. John S. Carter

    John S. Carter Corporal

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    If Longstreet was able to handle the army , WHY was he sent out west? Why was Jackson the one adviced before the battle?I .have not read where Lee consulted with Longstreet excepte at Gettesburg . If Jackson had been there who would Lee consulted with ?Junior officer not Lee had the experience with Jackson to know that he would have carried out the orders ,but in the Jackson way.He would have not hessitated as Longstreet. I think that most war historians if they were to go to battle would prefer someone of Jackson's knowledge and understanding of war.to lead.Both were in their own rights were good in what they accomplished.,Its like matching to teams from different experiences.You may say what might or could have happened but you never know because one could not be there.If I had been Lee I do think that I would have taken Longstree advice and not fought in that area at Gettesburg.Remember FREDISBURG/BURNSIDE.
     
  17. John S. Carter

    John S. Carter Corporal

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    If as you say that Jackson was idolized , then why is that the Union placed so much effort into trying to destroy his army? Why has his stratagies been studied by military historians and taught at military schools? That we do idolize people with a certain ability which set them apart is part of hero worship.just as the North as with Grant ,but he also had his faults an at Shilo and then with Cold Harbor ,What has kept Jackson alive ,myths and fanaties, is the what if.The reality is that Jackson was the man that the South needed at that time.He gave us someone who carried our hopes,he accomplished things with the least amount of forces.But he never took credit for his victories and he warned the country about placing so much praise on the army.If he is to be idolized for anything than this is what he should be so for.Jackson was to Lee what Sherman and Thomas was to Grant
     
  18. John S. Carter

    John S. Carter Corporal

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    In most great generals you can find some quark which does seperate them from the lot.Jackson would not inform his staff because he at certain times did not seem to know what he was going to do till he arrived at the scene and then made his plans,even Lee seems at times to not know what he was going to do ,Gettesburg.They say that Lincoln was subject of depression,but who would not if you carried what he did.Then when he trusted his staff with his plans they still failed to carry them out (suggest reading REBEL YELL,can not remember author) I have not read amy books on Longstreet having the relation that Jackson did with Lee,till after Jackson' death.Rank sometimes has no relation when you can trust someone to accomplish what you want ,even if that person does it in their own style.
     
  19. NedBaldwin

    NedBaldwin Captain

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    He wanted to go and Lee wanted to send someone he could count on.

    Which battle?

    I have read that he consulted with Longstreet on the Peninsula, at 2nd Manassas, at Antietam and at Fredericksburg
     
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  20. 1SGDan

    1SGDan Captain

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  21. E_just_E

    E_just_E 1st Lieutenant Forum Host

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    I read Rebel Yell (by S.C.Gwynne, btw) and it is a great book, because among other things the author does not have any skin in the Civil War.

    There is one thing to not tell your generals what you want them to do, and accept responsibility (Lee told them what to do and he himself accepted responsibility for Gettysburg), and another to punish them for not reading you mind, like Jackson did. It is not a coincidence that only a handful of subordinates were not punished by Jackson...

    As far as seniority goes between Longstreet and Jackson: Undisputedly, Longstreet was the senior commander. The senior Corps commander commanded the 1st Corps. Jackson commanded the second. And, of course, in the reorganization of the ANV, Lee arranged Longstreet's promotion to Lieut. Gen. to be effective a day before Jackson's, making him the second in seniority to Lee. Those 2 are facts.

    There is a lot of Jackson as a martyr Lost Cause mythology junk out there (which also attacks Longstreet because of this post-bellum positions) and one has to be careful to separate them from the facts.
     

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