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 Post subject: A Bum Rap?
PostPosted: Wed May 02, 2018 2:20 pm 
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Joined: Fri Oct 12, 2007 3:20 pm
Posts: 1376
Location: USA
I've read a number of accounts of the field relief of Warren from the command of the V Corps by Sheridan at the Battle of Five Forks. Most recently was the account presented by Joshua Chamberlain in his book, The Passing of the Armies. Warren was later exonerated long after the war was concluded, but by then the damage to his reputation and career had been done. Chamberlain presents a good, detailed recounting of Warren's actions at the battle and, more, importantly, the command environment occasioned by Grant's insistence that Sheridan have the overall command responsibility for the late May strike that was culminated in the battle. There's no doubt that Sheridan thought that he knew what was required to crack open Lee's far right flank, but some of his decisions of May 31st, just prior to the final assault beg closer examination, especially his defensive halt at Dinwiddie Court House that evening. V corps had all but secured the White Oak Road line before Sheridan called for help from Warren.

History records the fall of the Confederate line at Five Forks as the beginning of the end for Lee's army and the Confederate government. The man most responsible for that victory came to be Sheridan. But may we say he did so in spite of himself? Or had Warren fallen victim to his own penchant for becoming too involved in divisional affairs?

General Jos. C. Meyer, ACWGC
Union Army Chief of Staff
Commander, Army of the Shenandoah
Commander, Army of the Tennessee
(2011-2014 UA CoA/GinC)


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 Post subject: Re: A Bum Rap?
PostPosted: Thu May 03, 2018 9:35 am 

Joined: Tue Nov 11, 2003 9:52 am
Posts: 1181
Hi, Joe,

Confederate Waterloo, by Michael J McCarthy, devotes about 100 pages to the Battle of Five Forks and about 160 pages to Warren's attempt to clear his name.

The book makes Sheridan's relief of Warren pretty arbitrary.

But all wars are full of injustices and to my mind this one was pretty minor compared to a million others.

Recommend you watch Ride with the Devil.

MG Mike Mihalik
Forrest's Cavalry Corps

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 Post subject: Re: A Bum Rap?
PostPosted: Thu May 03, 2018 9:37 pm 

Joined: Thu Mar 31, 2005 9:49 am
Posts: 419
Location: USA
To my mind, Warren's past reputation was his biggest problem. He was known for second guessing his superiors; also for conservative actions and half measures in following orders. Grant was aware of this; hence his discretionary orders to Sheridan.

Your Obedient Servant,
Lt Gen Dwight McBride
Ist Division/1st Brigade

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