|View single post by Michael C. Hardy|
|Posted: Fri Feb 8th, 2008 12:13 am||
Michael C. Hardy
|No - I don’t get mad. I love a good debate. And thinking and talking and writing about the war (and at times local history) is all that I do. I do confess that I am a little rusty on eastern theater. My current project is western theater.
I do think that truces were more common than we think, but only when the lines are opposing each other. When one side controls the field at the end of the day, then that side is responsible for the care of the wounded and burial of the dead. I seem to recall truces at Spotsylvania and the Petersburg campaign. But alas, I do not have the time to read Matter, Rhea, and Green. I disagree with portions of Rhea’s book on Spotsylvania anyway. I think he is wrong in regards to Lane and Weisiger’s assault on May 12. I wrote an article about this and it has been accepted at Civil War Times, but has yet to appear in print.
I don't know of any evidence that Grant aspired to a political career before or during the war. True - I’m not even sure he wanted one after the war. Maybe others pressured him into it. I will confess that I am woefully ignorant on the life of Grant before and after the war. I own one biography on Grant, which I have never set down and read cover to cover. On the other hand, I own 48 on Lee, almost all of which I have read. However, a good general is part soldier, part politician. Washington fit this mold, as did Lee to a large extent. For Grant’s success, he most also have been mindful of the politicians.
Would that be the same kind of negligence as when Lee pulled his artillery from Spotsylvania? I thought Lee pulled his artillery because he though Grant was again moving to the southeast? That maybe a faulty memory on my part. Does not Spotsylvania, North Anna, and Cold Harbor show that Lee did have some understanding of Grant? I believe any General can have moments of lapses of judgement. How about Jackson at Fredericksburg? Or Bragg on Missionary Ridge? Or Sherman at Tunnel Hill?
Nobody goes running around screaming 'That butcher Meade.' Very true. But, Meade disappears from the pages of history after Grant comes east, figuratively speaking.
As [John C.] Ropes said, Grant had arrived from the West “ignorant, grossly ignorant” of his own army’s history, “thinking that it only needs to be fought thoroughly to destroy its formidable antagonist.”
Well, isn't that what ultimately happened?
But the army that Grant commands is not the AofP that McClellan created. The three year men that Grant inherited are going home, or have already left. Add to this the losses by McClellan, Pope, Hooker, and Meade, and you have little left. Hence, Grant calls on the reinforcements defending Washington, D.C.