View single post by cklarson
 Posted: Sat Jul 19th, 2008 07:07 am
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Joined: Sun Sep 23rd, 2007
Posts: 111

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Dear All,

I am a member of the NY Military Affairs Symposium that has about 50 speakers a year, a number of them West Point officers so we get some real operational takes on events past and present.

A few years ago, I attended a lecture by a WP instructor on Forrest and he deflated his balloon. As I remember his main point was that not until very late did Forrest face a Union force of more than 2500 men with a competent general, so he had previously been facing weaker foes by definition. He also said he made a very bad subordinate. His conclusion: he's overrated.

RE: Jackson. Per Bonekemper's work, he was one of the few AofNV generals who could respond well to Lee's general orders. However, keep in mind that he was part of the equation of factors, including his noted over agressiveness, that made Lee lose as many men (KWM) in 14 months as he started out with with the AofNV: 80,000 when the North had an overall 4:1 manpower advantage, as well as one in massing and concentrating forces (read: RRs).

In modern war, which the CW really was in many ways, it seems to me that the best generals are not the ones intent upon achieving mano-a-mano type victories, but ones who work well with combined forces, plan and use their forces effectively and efficiently, and are "situational" decisoin-makers, adapting to circumstances. Also there is a saying in the military: amateurs discuss strategy and tactics; professionals discuss logistics. Grant, Sherman and Sheridan were also superb logisticians. Prior to the battle of Shiloh, it was Grant who ordered the most medical supplies from Chicago, not Halleck.


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