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 Posted: Sun Jul 20th, 2008 07:24 am
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cklarson
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Dear All,

I reiterate and expand on my points given the subsequent remarks:

Forrest: he was a bad subordinate because he chafed at being supervised.

Lee: his and Davis's job was to win independence, not necessarily just military victories which meant putting up the best defense, not offense: keep the Federals from going deep into the South to disrupt their comms and supply lines and internal means of production; await war weariness from the North; and get European recognition. Lee was Virginia-centric--failed to send reinforcements, say to, Hood before Atlanta; and just always wanted to win by the mostest, with huge casualties that he could not afford.

Grant: Grant, on average, had 10-15 percent casualties; compated to Lee's 15-20 percent. His "butchering" is a myth.

My point about being a situational commander is that you have the flexiblity to change, given changing circumstances.

You also have to judge the context in which a general was operating. Forrest could be unpredictable, because he was mounted. As a WP officer pointed out, the AofP was a slow, lumbering army because as WPer led, they were engineers who relied on lumbering artillery. Once you have slowness built in, and are operating in a confined space with a transparent target (Richmond), of course, you're going to be more predictable. In another example: Buell and Rosecrans in TN: it took them weeks to get across TN, partly because Morgan and Forrest were ripping up their supply lines and RRs. But at this point in the war, a "soft" policy toward the South was still in effect--not a lot of destruction, and no one was thinking of cutting off from their supply lines. Grant was the first before V-burg, and then Sherman into GA. So at this time in the war, they did what everyone else would have done--probably Grant and Sherman included, although Buell was otherwise abominable, but Rosecrans very good.

CKL


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