Mr. Smith and Mr. Hartshje:
I feel that you are not giving Bragg his due credit, not that I
think that he was all that good as a battlefield commander.
If the issue is, "what might have happened had Bragg had another
division at Stone's River," a neutral stance should be maintained in
guessing the likely outcomes.
Although Bragg did screw up badly in utilizing his right flank, the
initial attack on the left did grave damage to the Union line.
Thus, if the additional division had benn employed to attack the
Round Forest brigade-by-brigade later in the battle, you would
probably be correct.
If, however, the division had been attached to Bragg's left, maybe
McCook's corps would have been crushed so badly that it couldn't
offer further resistance; maybe Sheridan would have been swept off
the field more quickly, allowing the Rebels to successfully insert
themselves between Thomas' two divisions; or maybe the extra troops
could have advanced fast enough to have captured the Union supply
trains which were already in jeopardy.
The fairest way to estimate the effect of an additional division
would probably be to assign it the outcome achieved by the *average*
division in Bragg's army: some success and some failure. The battle
was such a close-run affair, however, that this might have been
sufficient to ensure a Confederate victory. Then, again, the
Federals might still have held on by the skin of their teeths.
--- In civilwarwest@y..., "dmsmith001" <dmsmith001@y...> wrote:
> --- In civilwarwest@y..., "hartshje" <Hartshje@a...> wrote:
> > Dave,
> > Given the inflexibility of Bragg's tactical thinking process
> > conditions on the battlefield have changed significantly, I for
> > would have to say that Bragg would most likely have flung his
> > troops (if he had them) head-on against the re-established Union
> > line, thereby greatly increasing the casualty count, but not
> > altering the results one iota !!
> I tend to agree 100 percent with you. I've seen little to nothing
> Bragg's ability to tactically fight a battle that would suggest to
> anything different would have happened, other than to increase
> Confederate casualties.
> About the only way that one can come up with the "improved"
> is to look at it look at it more as a war-gaming scenario, and
> who was actually on the field.
> > As far as the biggest blunder, IMO that would have been the
> > election of J.Davis as President.
> If not Davis, then whom? Toombs?
> Dave Smith
> Villa Hills, KY