Who was the better CS Quartermaster General?

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#1
The Confederate Army had two Quartermaster Generals during its existence: Abraham C. Myers from 1861 to 1863, and Alexander R. Lawton from August 1863 to 1865. Of the two, who did the best at supplying Confederate forces, and how?

@DaveBrt, this sounds like something you might be interested in.
 
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#2
I could almost compound the question, @OldReliable1862, by saying General Lee made much complaint regarding the frequency of supply delivery. Was this an interim problem, or was it endemic? Does it account for munitions or just subsistence? You can see the timeline for advantages early on compared to later in the war, and thought it could be clearer if more specific. I cannot answer further without study.
Lubliner.
 
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#3
I could almost compound the question, @OldReliable1862, by saying General Lee made much complaint regarding the frequency of supply delivery. Was this an interim problem, or was it endemic? Does it account for munitions or just subsistence? You can see the timeline for advantages early on compared to later in the war, and thought it could be clearer if more specific. I cannot answer further without study.
Lubliner.
I think I remember reading that Breckinridge helped improve the supply situation in Virginia as Secretary of War in the early months of 1865.
 
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#4
I think I remember reading that Breckinridge helped improve the supply situation in Virginia as Secretary of War in the early months of 1865.
The original question had nagged at my memory, with General Lee writing to Davis, I think, with complaints on the Quartermaster-General. So I knew General Lee would have answered that question with Myers being proficient, but for some reason I want to pull the owner of Tredegar Iron into the fray. Was he the relief Breckinridge used to fix Lawton's screw ups?
Lubliner.
 

DaveBrt

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#5
The Confederate Army had two Quartermaster Generals during its existence: Abraham C. Myers from 1861 to 1863, and Alexander R. Lawton from August 1863 to 1865. Of the two, who did the best at supplying Confederate forces, and how?

@DaveBrt, this sounds like something you might be interested in.
Myers did an incredible job creating and supplying an army from a bunch of militia units and a host of volunteers. He created lines of supply, created sources of supply, manned the QM Department down to regiment level, etc.

Lawton took over just after Gettysburg and Vicksburg. He had the job of recovering from these two disasters, regularizing the supply from Europe, trying to provide the needed transportation, and dealing with the shrinking Confederate industrial/supply base.

Neither man was responsible for Commissary or Ordnance items -- both were provided by Bureaus under the Secretary of War.

Neither man was above criticism, but each did a very creditable job dealing with their own problems. I can not choose one over the other.
 
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#6
Myers did an incredible job creating and supplying an army from a bunch of militia units and a host of volunteers. He created lines of supply, created sources of supply, manned the QM Department down to regiment level, etc.

Lawton took over just after Gettysburg and Vicksburg. He had the job of recovering from these two disasters, regularizing the supply from Europe, trying to provide the needed transportation, and dealing with the shrinking Confederate industrial/supply base.

Neither man was responsible for Commissary or Ordnance items -- both were provided by Bureaus under the Secretary of War.

Neither man was above criticism, but each did a very creditable job dealing with their own problems. I can not choose one over the other.
I felt similarly, but it's good to have that opinion supported by authority. I'm not sure why Myers left the QMG post, it seems he was doing as well as could be expected.

Who should have been appointed Commissary General instead of Northrop? (Other than Nathaniel P. Banks...)
 

DaveBrt

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#7
I felt similarly, but it's good to have that opinion supported by authority. I'm not sure why Myers left the QMG post, it seems he was doing as well as could be expected.

Who should have been appointed Commissary General instead of Northrop? (Other than Nathaniel P. Banks...)
I have nothing against Northrop. He had too little food to provide to the army and the railroad transportation problem made it very difficult to put what he had into the places that needed it. Lee's refusal to assist himself made the problem even worse.
 
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#8
I have nothing against Northrop. He had too little food to provide to the army and the railroad transportation problem made it very difficult to put what he had into the places that needed it. Lee's refusal to assist himself made the problem even worse.
This is very interesting, as the prevailing opinion has been that Northrop was a hopeless incompetent. Breckinridge only accepted the post of Secretary of War on the condition that Davis replace Northrop. I'm quite willing to hear a different perspective on this however.
 

DaveBrt

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#9
This is very interesting, as the prevailing opinion has been that Northrop was a hopeless incompetent. Breckinridge only accepted the post of Secretary of War on the condition that Davis replace Northrop. I'm quite willing to hear a different perspective on this however.
Something had to be done when the army was continually short of food -- improve the food supply (ie the railroads) which Davis was unwilling to do, or find a scapegoat. Northrop has been the scapegoat for those who ignore the railroads/do not understand the railroad problem/do not want to get into the logistics details. The details of supply that have survived do not allow us to have a clear view of the daily movement of food (and I have been looking for such for over ten years). The less detailed statements by Sims, the CS inspectors, the QMGs and Norton make it very clear that the old Confederate problem -- shortage of manpower -- prevented the South from supporting the railroads as they needed to be supported. The result was the inability to move the food from Alabama and southern Georgia to Lee -- not Norton's fault.
 
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#10
Something had to be done when the army was continually short of food -- improve the food supply (ie the railroads) which Davis was unwilling to do, or find a scapegoat. Northrop has been the scapegoat for those who ignore the railroads/do not understand the railroad problem/do not want to get into the logistics details. The details of supply that have survived do not allow us to have a clear view of the daily movement of food (and I have been looking for such for over ten years). The less detailed statements by Sims, the CS inspectors, the QMGs and Norton make it very clear that the old Confederate problem -- shortage of manpower -- prevented the South from supporting the railroads as they needed to be supported. The result was the inability to move the food from Alabama and southern Georgia to Lee -- not Norton's fault.
I see where my mistake was made. It was Northrop Lee had complained about, making Lawton a question mark for me. I suppose Nathan Shanks was meant in #7, though I am guessing again. My second error was assuming the bottleneck holding back supplies was at Hanover Junction north of Richmond, and not further south. It is a matter of timeliness to locate some facts to the matter and not complacency, so please bear with my lumbering. Thanks to all.
Lubliner.
 
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#11
I see where my mistake was made. It was Northrop Lee had complained about, making Lawton a question mark for me. I suppose Nathan Shanks was meant in #7, though I am guessing again. My second error was assuming the bottleneck holding back supplies was at Hanover Junction north of Richmond, and not further south. It is a matter of timeliness to locate some facts to the matter and not complacency, so please bear with my lumbering. Thanks to all.
Lubliner.
Very miniscule nitpick - Nathan G. Evans was frequently referred to as "Shanks" Evans, but it was just a nickname - similar to how few people seem to know "Stonewall" Jackson had an actual first and middle name.
 
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#12
Very miniscule nitpick - Nathan G. Evans was frequently referred to as "Shanks" Evans, but it was just a nickname - similar to how few people seem to know "Stonewall" Jackson had an actual first and middle name.
Yep, I am just full of these little nitpicking mites at the moment.
Edit: I left my brain on the other battlefield out west.
 



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