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PostPosted: Sat Oct 11, 2008 1:48 pm 
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1. forrest
2. thomas
3. wheeler
4. sheridan
5. lee/grant/sherman/cleburne

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PostPosted: Sun Oct 12, 2008 3:52 pm 
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Gosh Bill, I can't believe you still hold to the "Grant won by massed assault" story line for Grant. Grant did two things to Lee, took the initiative and didn't relinquish it as his predecessors did, and maneuvered Lee into an untenable position at Petersburg that doomed the ANV. The only thing that kept the ANV in the war as long as it did in 1864 was the superior marching ability of the Southerners and their ability to build earthworks overnight. If Union troops marched as well as their counterparts the war might have been over at Spotsylvania. You only have to look at Cold Harbor, which Grant himself called his greatest regret of the war, to see that massed assaults wasn't what ended the war. In the end it was the inability of Lee to dictate the action and when it became a siege then Union superior logistic ability made the difference.

General Mark Nelms
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PostPosted: Mon Oct 13, 2008 2:25 am 
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<blockquote id="quote"><font size="3" face="book antiqua" id="quote">quote:<hr height="1" noshade id="quote"><i>Originally posted by nelmsm</i>
<br />Gosh Bill, I can't believe you still hold to the "Grant won by massed assault" story line for Grant. Grant did two things to Lee, took the initiative and didn't relinquish it as his predecessors did, and maneuvered Lee into an untenable position at Petersburg that doomed the ANV. The only thing that kept the ANV in the war as long as it did in 1864 was the superior marching ability of the Southerners and their ability to build earthworks overnight. If Union troops marched as well as their counterparts the war might have been over at Spotsylvania. You only have to look at Cold Harbor, which Grant himself called his greatest regret of the war, to see that massed assaults wasn't what ended the war. In the end it was the inability of Lee to dictate the action and when it became a siege then Union superior logistic ability made the difference.

General Mark Nelms
6/3/IX/AoO
"Blackhawk Brigade"
Union Military Academy Instructor
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<hr height="1" noshade id="quote"></blockquote id="quote"></font id="quote">

Have to disagree with you on your conclusions. Yes Grant did take the initiative and did force Lee into the entrenchments around Richmond and Petersburg. But forcing Lee back to entrenchments was not his own stated objective. It rather reflects his failure to do what he set out to do, destroy Lee's army in the field before it became a war of entrenchment. The fact that he failed is a testament to Lee's superior handling of a much smaller army.

By even WWI standard an army with over 2:1 manpower should be able to concentrate for an attack at the 3:1 odds normally required to break an enemy line even entrenched. When you consider just how small Lee's army was and how little frontage it could defend the Union army should have been able to turn a flank somewhere. It's failure to do so shows who is the superior General.

LG. Kennon Whitehead
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PostPosted: Mon Oct 13, 2008 1:17 pm 
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I think it more reflects how poor some of Grant's subordinates were rather then how good of a general Lee was. Lee was clearly outmaneuvered and if Grant's corp commanders would have followed through then Petersburg would have never happened and Richmond would have fallen then and there. Only the ineptitude of some Union Generals saved Lee's bacon.

General Mark Nelms
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PostPosted: Mon Oct 13, 2008 1:50 pm 
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<blockquote id="quote"><font size="3" face="book antiqua" id="quote">quote:<hr height="1" noshade id="quote"><i>Originally posted by nelmsm</i>
<br />I think it more reflects how poor some of Grant's subordinates were rather then how good of a general Lee was. Lee was clearly outmaneuvered and if Grant's corp commanders would have followed through then Petersburg would have never happened and Richmond would have fallen then and there. Only the ineptitude of some Union Generals saved Lee's bacon.
<hr height="1" noshade id="quote"></blockquote id="quote"></font id="quote">
Hi, General,

And if Stuart would have done his job or Ewell would have taken Cemetery Hill in the Gettysburg campaign this might be a whole different discussion. If you read Lee's Lieutenants, Freeman's point is that the ANV's best leaders were lost to attrition by 1864 while many of the best AoP leaders were emerging. Lee's best corps commander in 1864 was critically wounded in the first battle, and neither Ewell nor A P Hill were in the same league as Jackson and Longstreet; yet Lee managed to stave off superior numbers until he barely had an army. Funny, Burnside throws his army at an entrenched position suffering losses of 13,000 to 5000 Confederates and for that he goes down in history as the most incompetent army commander of the war. Grant does the same thing a year and a half later at Cold Harbor with the same results and folks are implying he's a genius. Go figure.


MG Mike Mihalik
1/III/AoMiss/CSA


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PostPosted: Mon Oct 13, 2008 4:29 pm 
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Well Cold Harbor was Grant's biggest mistake and he admitted so himself. The difference between he and Burnside is that Grant had a lot of great things to offset his mistake.

General Mark Nelms
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PostPosted: Mon Oct 13, 2008 10:53 pm 
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LUCK? It's hard to seriously rate a commanders performance on that basis, but Gen. Lee was certainly 'lucky' wasn't he?
A huge amount is made of Lee's professionalism and competence, his handling of situations at Strategic, Operational and Tactical levels. But they call him the 'Marble Man' don't they? Is it not the case that his successes and correct decisions have been emphasised and his reverses and mistakes marginalised?
The only time he commanded an Army the same size as that of his Union opponents was during the Peninsula campaign? We see his handling there was frustrated, as much as that of his adversaries, by communication, command and control problems and limitations.

Gettysburg, the greatest of all the Battles and we see Lee made to look very average indeed. His reputation has survived that defeat, other commanders would/have been ruined by similar performances.

Chancellorsville, I find that this battle is widely regarded as his greatest victory and finest hour is astounding. He was lucky, extremely lucky. We have all heard of the maxim that warns against splitting a force in the face of a larger opponent? Lee did this countless times (because he had to?) and he did it at Chancellorsville (to great effect) but that moment really deserved punishing, it really did. The greatest thing about that moment is not Lee's brilliance, but rather Hookers stupidity (on that occassion)
Countless times, Lee is faced with opponents that don't just make the wrong decision...rather they make no decision at all!

Look at the casualty lists for any of the civil war battles. For all his brilliance, Lee never found a way to really gain an edge for his forces at a tactical level. It's oft stated that the /reb's were trying to 'bleed' the Union into tiring of the huge attrition and get them to quit the war that way? But compare losses, they are horrendous on both sides, makes Lee look rather more average at that level. He inflicts plenty of defeats, but he never actually 'beats' his enemy does he?



Colonel Jim Wilkes.
2nd Brigade, Cavalry Division, XX Corps.
AoC. U.S.A.


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PostPosted: Tue Oct 14, 2008 1:56 am 
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The measure of a great general is that when luck happens he recognizes it and seizes the advantage it gives him. Or as also said no plan survives first contact. A great general adapts his plan to the situation. Lee exhibited flexibility. The other generals of the period either kept hammering when thing changed or became unnerved by them like Hooker.

Chancellorsville is consider his greatest battle because of the audacity he exhibited in the face of overwhelming odds. Any other general would have done what Hooker expected. Admitted defeat and withdrawn toward Richmond. Lee didn't. Instead he did what a Napoleon or a Caesar would have done. He exploited the advantages that Hooker's movement gave him and turned the situation around.

LG. Kennon Whitehead
Chatham Grays
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PostPosted: Wed Oct 15, 2008 6:09 am 
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A great thread - certainly has 'livened' up the Tavern![8D]

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PostPosted: Wed Oct 15, 2008 1:30 pm 
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<blockquote id="quote"><font size="3" face="book antiqua" id="quote">quote:<hr height="1" noshade id="quote"><i>Originally posted by laubster22</i>
<br />A great thread - certainly has 'livened' up the Tavern![8D]

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<hr height="1" noshade id="quote"></blockquote id="quote"></font id="quote">

Thank you Sir! I'll give it a few more days and then I'll post another to see if I can stir up these Rebels again. [:p]

General Mark Nelms
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 16, 2008 6:20 am 
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<blockquote id="quote"><font size="3" face="book antiqua" id="quote">quote:<hr height="1" noshade id="quote"><i>Originally posted by mihalik</i>
<br /><blockquote id="quote"><font size="3" face="book antiqua" id="quote">quote:<hr height="1" noshade id="quote"><i>Originally posted by nelmsm</i>
<br />I think it more reflects how poor some of Grant's subordinates were rather then how good of a general Lee was. Lee was clearly outmaneuvered and if Grant's corp commanders would have followed through then Petersburg would have never happened and Richmond would have fallen then and there. Only the ineptitude of some Union Generals saved Lee's bacon.
<hr height="1" noshade id="quote"></blockquote id="quote"></font id="quote">
Hi, General,

And if Stuart would have done his job or Ewell would have taken Cemetery Hill in the Gettysburg campaign this might be a whole different discussion. If you read Lee's Lieutenants, Freeman's point is that the ANV's best leaders were lost to attrition by 1864 while many of the best AoP leaders were emerging. Lee's best corps commander in 1864 was critically wounded in the first battle, and neither Ewell nor A P Hill were in the same league as Jackson and Longstreet; yet Lee managed to stave off superior numbers until he barely had an army.

<i> <blockquote id="quote"><font size="3" face="book antiqua" id="quote">quote:<hr height="1" noshade id="quote"> Funny, Burnside throws his army at an entrenched position suffering losses of 13,000 to 5000 Confederates and for that he goes down in history as the most incompetent army commander of the war. Grant does the same thing a year and a half later at Cold Harbor with the same results and folks are implying he's a genius. Go figure.<hr height="1" noshade id="quote"></blockquote id="quote"></font id="quote"></i>

Even funnier Lee does it twice. First at Malvern Hill and then 2nd day Gettysburg with the same results and folk's are implying he's a genius. Figure that one out.[:p]

PS: Burnside may be conmsidered the most relucant army commander but I could name a few that could challenge him.[:o)]

MG Mike Mihalik
1/III/AoMiss/CSA
<hr height="1" noshade id="quote"></blockquote id="quote"></font id="quote">

Brig. Gen. Phil Driscoll
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PostPosted: Fri Oct 17, 2008 5:13 am 
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Bill,

You have to admit, it's easier/shorter to march on the inside of the curve, rather than what Grant had to do, going on the outside of the curve...

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PostPosted: Fri Oct 17, 2008 12:04 pm 
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Bill, if not for the incompetence and timidity of some Union generals at Petersburg on the first day there would have been no siege works nor prepared field works to man. Lee was way late in realizing that Grant had crossed the James. Also, Lee beat Grant to Spotsylvania by a whisker. But in the end Lee being forced into a siege worked to Grant's favor also.

General Mark Nelms
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"Blackhawk Brigade"
Union Military Academy Instructor
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