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10279Re: [civilwarwest] Further replies to David Woodbury

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    Apr 2, 2002
      In a message dated 4/2/2002 10:44:25 PM Eastern Standard Time, woodbury@... writes:

      As I said in a previous post, I have long ago softened my criticisms
      of Johnston. He was an able general and a worthy opponent. Most of
      our arm-chair critiques of historic figures are unrealistic, or
      skewed -- in many respects, we know too much. In certain very real
      respects, for example, we know more about what transpired at
      Gettysburg than Lee did on his deathbed. Johnston is not deserving of
      the harshest criticisms leveled at him by McMurry, I don't think;
      likewise Sherman and the scathing indictments leveled at him by
      Castel. Both generals penned extraordinarily self-serving memoirs,
      but it's hard to find a Civil War general who didn't.

      That said, though I am more generous to Johnston these days, there's
      only so far that reason and logic allow me to go. To believe that
      Johnston was not surprised, or caught off guard, by McPherson at
      Snake Creek Gap is too far.


      Land of Goshen David,  we agree on something.  <g>  
      As you said above that he was an able General and a worthy opponent.  That is my feeling as well.  Yes he made mistakes.  All of the commanders did;  Grant, Thomas, Sherman, Bragg, Lee, McClellan, Hood, and yes Johnston all had their fair share of errors for which they wish that they had the foresight to do something different.  I believe however, with the odds that he was facing, he did a pretty doggone good job holding Sherman back with costing Sherman more lives than he would lose.  It just seems to me, he is overly criticized and belittled.  One of the main reasons that I tend to admire him, was that he was a soldier's general.  That within itself, depicts a form of good leadership capabilities.  Morale was never higher in the AOT but when he was in command.

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