The recent what if questions have caused me to wonder something that actually pertains to how the war played out. Drinking. I'm wondering how much people think drinking affected the war. Mostly I'm thinking about the generals in particular. I was recently looking at something that said that Hooker stopped drinking just before Chancellorsville which may have caused him to loose his nerve during the battle. Then again there's Grant's noted drinking, in particular the story that when Lincoln was told he had a drinking problem he asked to find out what Grant's favorite brand was so he could send a case to all his generals.
On the subject of Grant's drinking I know I've seen articles about whether or not he really drank as much as history says and whether or not he was sober during the war. But it seems hard to not think of him as a hard drinking man. I want to say I read somewhere where it was claimed that Grant's actions on Day 1 of Shiloh (Pittsburg Landing) were due in part to his being drunk.
There has to be more than just these two who were noted for drinking. But did alcohol play a major role in how the generals waged the war. Did it really make some generals more aggressive when they were drinking and more likely to loose their nerve when not? Or did it just impare judgement and lead to costly mistakes when the generals drank too much?
Last edited on Mon Nov 7th, 2011 09:01 am by Hellcat