View single post by CleburneFan
 Posted: Thu Mar 20th, 2008 01:12 am
 PM  Quote  Reply  Full Topic 

Joined: Mon Oct 30th, 2006
Location: Florida USA
Posts: 1021

  back to top

Thanks, Joannie Reb.

This discussion spurred me to think of another aspect of leadership that influenced the Civil War that does not play out so much today in the professional, all volunteer army with strict guidelines for how rank is assigned or earned.

What I refer to is the leadership of professionally trained military officers (USMA, VMI) as opposed to "politcal" officers and men such as  Nathan Bedford Forrest who had virtually no military training or Patrick Cleburne who had military training but only as a "lowly" enlisted man in the British army, yet he became so respected that he earned the title "Stonewall of the West." 

 It also plays out in the officer rebellion against Braxton Bragg who might stand out as an example of a poor leader even though he trained at the USMA. His leadership was so inept that Forrest even refused to serve with him though Bragg had a vastly superior education.

Folks who know much more than I do can add additional information to this facet of leadership...what I guess is an innate ability to lead in combat regardless of education or previous experience.  It would be instructive to list the ablest CW generals who had little or no military experience. Of course we have to start off with Nathan Bedford Forrest. Also there is another interesting, but untrained leader, John Singleton Mosby, whose effective partisan raids earned him the title "Gray Ghost."

There are many others in both  North and South, born leaders, as it were. They didn't need the USMA to draw out their leadership qualities.

 Close Window