View single post by ole
 Posted: Thu Mar 27th, 2008 07:01 pm
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Joined: Sun Oct 22nd, 2006
Posts: 2031

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We might be talking about personal definitions of "political." I take political to mean gaining and giving cooperation. A commanding general often had to resort to political maneuvers to maintain peace among his subordinates who, most likely, were as interested in position as they were in conducting the next campaign.

He also often had to persuade civilian authorities to gain approval and cooperation.

In the beginning, very nearly all were "political" generals. Shurz for bringing in the Germans; Butler for bringing along Massachusetts; et alii. Even Grant may not have been promoted had it not been for the Governor and Senators from Illinois. When Sherman wasn't called up, he secured an appointment through his brother and foster father. JE Johnston and Beauregard secured the personal enmity of Jeff Davis with their political jostling for position. Bragg failed miserably in his lack of this political ability to maintain peace among his subordinates; Lee excelled in it.

But I see where you're coming from. "Political" is most often associated with some extreme incompetence.


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