View single post by Kernow-Ox
 Posted: Tue Mar 18th, 2008 09:50 pm
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Joined: Tue Feb 26th, 2008
Location: Oxford, United Kingdom
Posts: 142

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Booklover - interesting points. Remind me to find a sympathetic biographer now (I'm reminded of Churchill's line about history being good to him as he intends to write it).

Jackson's a good example. We only cite his Shenandoah campaign because it worked. However, as he was cut off in his prime we cannot know what other achievements or failures he might have achieved.

We can criticise McClellan's hesitancy all we like. Yet unless we too are presented with the information he had access to, along with a list of all his guiding assumptions, prejudices and such like, I doubt this critique is actually based on much. Why he did what he did is a more interesting question than why he didn't do what he could have.

As for the notion of a 'great' general, would a boring, unimaginative commander who still managed to get the job done be eligible? Or are we only interested in mavericks? I think there's a fine line between genius and fool.

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