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 Posted: Sat Jan 27th, 2007 01:17 pm
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sjh
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Is anyone else astonished that "Little Mac" is receiving new interest that entertains the notion that perhaps he was not as bad of a general as most people have typically believed?

I unfortunately cannot claim to be an expert and time simply does not permit me to read and delve into such subjects as I would like. However, it seems to me that the stalemate at Antietam alone is sufficient reason to doubt his generalship.

What will revisionists come up with next? Maybe that Fredericksburg was a Union victory or that Franklin was a Confederate triumph?



 Posted: Sat Jan 27th, 2007 02:42 pm
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Johan Steele
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revisionism is alive and well; I watched an individual try to claim the Battle for Atlanta as a brilliant CS victory...

Lil Mac was a brilliant QM... past that he couldn't fight his way out of a paper bag.



 Posted: Sat Jan 27th, 2007 03:35 pm
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susansweet
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Not all revisionist around .  We have a gentleman Edward Bonekemper coming to speak to our round table here in Orange County California  about Little Mac.  His presentation is Was Mac the worst General in the Civil War?   It is in February so it will be a while til I hear him speak.  Will let you know what he says afterwards.  Mr Bonekemper is an author and historian from Pennsylvania area.



 Posted: Sat Jan 27th, 2007 03:40 pm
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Johnny Huma
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I think the AOP has to give credit to Little Mac for whipping the troops into a real Army..He was good at that..The men loved him and trusted him...But pinkerton reports and other bad scouting reports always led him to believe he was outmanned and outgunned. So in that case he cried to Washington for more and more troops. I really think Little Mac was a legend in his own mind. He was a bit full of himself and a do nothing General. Had he had the backbone to fight his army he may have well been one of the greats..But he didn't and was often time out Generald on the field. His name is better suited for history as a smaller version of the Big Mac...

Huma

 



 Posted: Sun Jan 28th, 2007 01:49 am
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Widow
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Huma
His name is better suited for history as a smaller version of the Big Mac...
That's the best I've ever seen.

You win the prize.  Patty



 Posted: Sun Jan 28th, 2007 05:11 am
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Basecat
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sjh wrote: Is anyone else astonished that "Little Mac" is receiving new interest that entertains the notion that perhaps he was not as bad of a general as most people have typically believed?

I unfortunately cannot claim to be an expert and time simply does not permit me to read and delve into such subjects as I would like. However, it seems to me that the stalemate at Antietam alone is sufficient reason to doubt his generalship.

What will revisionists come up with next? Maybe that Fredericksburg was a Union victory or that Franklin was a Confederate triumph?

SJH,

I am not surprised at all, as there has always been many who feel Little Mac gets the short stick.  Much the same can be said for those many supporters of Dan Sickles, who feel he was right in what he did at the Battle of Gettysburg on July 2, 1863.

Where I always have supported Little Mac is he made what became known as the AoP.  I wonder what would have happened had that job not been placed under him at the time it was.  To me that is his major contribution to the Union war effort.

Hope all is well.

Regards from the Garden State,

Steve Basic

Last edited on Sun Jan 28th, 2007 05:12 am by Basecat



 Posted: Sun Jan 28th, 2007 07:39 am
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Kent Nielsen
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Johnny Huma wrote: I think the AOP has to give credit to Little Mac for whipping the troops into a real Army..He was good at that..The men loved him and trusted him...But pinkerton reports and other bad scouting reports always led him to believe he was outmanned and outgunned. So in that case he cried to Washington for more and more troops. I really think Little Mac was a legend in his own mind. He was a bit full of himself and a do nothing General. Had he had the backbone to fight his army he may have well been one of the greats..But he didn't and was often time out Generald on the field. His name is better suited for history as a smaller version of the Big Mac...

Huma

 
Hi :)  There is a biography By Ethan Rafuse; "McClellan's War" that ,among other things, argues that Little Mac's political views helped shape his personality and generalship. It's pretty good actually. Overall I would agree with Huma's comments. Incidentally I read Mr. Bonnenkamper's book on Grant; "A Victor Not A Butcher". I liked it generally.  His lecture should be interesting.

Last edited on Sun Jan 28th, 2007 07:40 am by Kent Nielsen



 Posted: Sun Jan 28th, 2007 10:23 am
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susansweet
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Kent, the last time Mr. Bonekemper spoke to our Round Table that talk on Grant was what he did.  BUT in talking up Grant he attacked Lee horribly.  Our Confederae group in the Round Table which was  a large number that night almost lynched him.  Will be interesting what happens this time.  At least I know it won't be a dull evening . 



 Posted: Sun Jan 28th, 2007 01:39 pm
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ole
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I don't see where revisionist history enters into a discussion of McC. Even his most vehement detractors will admit his extraordinary organization skills. Even those leaders most villified can be found to have had some useful qualities. Take Ben Butler. Always listed among the "worst" generals, Ben had his value. Only when his particular "skill" was no longer necessary did Lincoln permit him to be removed. I'm a bit hard put to find value in Nathaniel Banks, but there must have been something.

Burnside is usually on the "worst" list. He was a solid division and corps commander placed (temporarily) above the level of his competency. You'll note that he wasn't assigned to a frontier post, nor was he sent home subject to a reassignment after his disastrous stint as army commander.

To make a short story longer, there simply weren't enough Grants, Shermans, Thomases, Sheridans, or Lees to fill the positions of responsibility. Everyone had to make do with the tools they had or could develop.

Ole

 



 Posted: Sun Jan 28th, 2007 02:42 pm
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SamGrant
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Hey Ole,

Just popped over to change my Super Bowl ppredition from last August.

Sam

 



 Posted: Tue Jan 30th, 2007 10:11 am
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Kent Nielsen
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susansweet wrote: Kent, the last time Mr. Bonekemper spoke to our Round Table that talk on Grant was what he did.  BUT in talking up Grant he attacked Lee horribly.  Our Confederae group in the Round Table which was  a large number that night almost lynched him.  Will be interesting what happens this time.  At least I know it won't be a dull evening . 
Hi Susan I can BET that went over well with the "Confederate group." Please let me/us know how it went if you can.



 Posted: Fri Feb 2nd, 2007 08:40 pm
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Brian Downey
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Cool observation.  I have noticed more attention too.  For one, I'm glad to see reapraisal of all kinds of Civil War stereotypes, McClellan's included.  

sjh wrote:
What will revisionists come up with next? Maybe that Fredericksburg was a Union victory or that Franklin was a Confederate triumph?
I hear "revisionists" as written here pronounced with a sneer in it. I don't know if that was your intent.

I don't think people arguing McClellan was more than just a coward or an idiot correlates with denying an obvious defeat like Fredericksburg. 

Constantly looking at the source material and questioning (or affirming) previous conclusions is a good thing.  Without revisionism it's just Mythology, not History.



 Posted: Sat Feb 3rd, 2007 02:22 am
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sjh
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Brian Downey wrote: Cool observation.  I have noticed more attention too.  For one, I'm glad to see reapraisal of all kinds of Civil War stereotypes, McClellan's included.  

sjh wrote:
What will revisionists come up with next? Maybe that Fredericksburg was a Union victory or that Franklin was a Confederate triumph?
I hear "revisionists" as written here pronounced with a sneer in it. I don't know if that was your intent.

I don't think people arguing McClellan was more than just a coward or an idiot correlates with denying an obvious defeat like Fredericksburg. 

Constantly looking at the source material and questioning (or affirming) previous conclusions is a good thing.  Without revisionism it's just Mythology, not History.

Very interesting post. I have nothing whatsoever against "reappraisal", as you have called it, of information so long as it leads to the discovery of truth. Neither do I have anything against revision since it sometimes can result in a more accurate understanding of events, people, etc. The Fredericksburg example was nothing more than the utilization of hyperbole and no correlation was intended as you may have assumed. No one with good sense will object to giving McClellan his due.  He truly was "more than just a coward or idiot." He was an outstanding organizer and he undoubtedly drilled the Army of the Potomac into shape. He was able to generate the love and loyalty of his Army of the Potomac. In a real sense, it was his army.

While I don't have a problem with "revision", I do have difficulty with "re-writing" of history which may be done under the auspices of revisionism. I think there is a major difference. Revision in my thinking is adjusting, tweaking. Re-writing to me amounts to altering history. It will take major alteration and effort, in my view, to ever make McClellan into much more than an organizational genius. That truly would be myth, not history.

 


 



 Posted: Sat Feb 3rd, 2007 09:29 pm
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Brian Downey
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nicely said, sjh.  I think it's reapprasial I appreciate also.  Thanks for the thread.



 Posted: Sat Feb 3rd, 2007 11:41 pm
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sjh
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Brian Downey wrote: nicely said, sjh.  I think it's reapprasial I appreciate also.  Thanks for the thread.

Thanks to you, Brian. Your post really helped me clarify things, even for myself a little better.



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