View single post by Don
 Posted: Sat Nov 8th, 2008 01:23 pm
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Joined: Thu Nov 15th, 2007
Location: Colorado Springs, Colorado USA
Posts: 111

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I do admire Grierson, but I'm not sure that he makes into the first string. Not that he didn't do a great job with Grierson's raid (which was brilliance on Grant's part that rarely receives any notice), but he didn't do a great deal other than that during the war. And got himself into a bit of hot water towards the end, if memory serves.

Ole, other than Grierson, who were these fine cavalry commanders in the west? Minty I will definitely concede. For the most part, those who started the war there weren't all that impressive, and later in the war it was where people fired in the eastern theater were sent.

I don't think there's enough proof for Wilson, since his raid happened when the war was over and the enemy's ability to resist mostly nonexistent. And his previous raid with Kautz around Petersburg was an unmitigated disaster that nearly led to the annihilation of his force.

There was some good work accomplished around Atlanta, but some blunders as well. David Evans' Sherman's Horsemen is a really good read, whether you're a cavalry afficionado or not.

Perhaps a description of the first string is in order. Good leaders who were aggressive in maintaining contact with the enemy and keeping their commanders informed over time. The Union cavalry division commanders during the Gettysburg campaign are a good example, the corps commander (Pleasonton) not so much. Minty and Wilder at Chickamauga are another, though Wilder commanded mounted infantry not cavalry. I personally don't think Sheridan is, primarily due to the Wilderness when he left his boss all but blind about the enemy to his immediate front.

On the Confederate side, definitely Stuart and Hampton, probably not Fitz Lee. Forrest no, primarily on the second half of the definition. Wheeler quite possibly. Shelby I don't know enough about to make a call.

Several of you know a lot more about the west than I do. Nominate some and let's take a look. I'm willing to be convinced, and it's a good way for me to get smarter on these guys.

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