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21241Re: [civilwarwest] Confederate High command

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  • Bill Brown
    May 24, 2000
      >Nathan Bedford Forrest's name cannot be mentioned without
      >the words military genius following close behind, and yet he
      >remained a cavalry officer commanding relatively few men and, to
      >my knowlege, was never offered command of an army. If he was
      >such a genius, then why not? His talents may have proved just as
      >effective in a larger sphere.

      Clearly, Forrest was a excellent cavalry commander on the division/brigade
      level and operating as an independent commander, but I have serious doubts
      at his ability as leading anything higher than a division. He was brave in
      combat, but a divisional commander can not get into "personal" fights and
      still overall handle more than two brigades in action aganist the enemy.
      Look at times when he operated within the scope of an army, his abilities
      do not stack up aganist a commander such as Wade Hampton or David Gregg.
      At Chattanooga, he could have materially assisted the Confederate defense,
      but he allowed himself to get in a personal confrontation with Gen. Bragg.
      At Franklin and Nashville, his cavalry did not assist General Hood's
      attempted advance nor stop Gen. Wilson's cavalry.

      >Nathan Bedford Forrest and
      >Pat Cleburn were not of the aristocracy, and I expect were
      >repugnant to them. Pat Cleburn was an Irishman of humble
      >beginnings, just one step above the Negro in those days. It was
      >probably a stretch to promote those guys as far as they did, but
      >after all, things were pretty desperate.

      Steven Woodworth has made a good point that Cleburne was part of that
      Anti-Bragg cabel, and a student of Lt. Gen. William J. Hardee. This fact
      alone probably were strikes aganist promoting Cleburne to corps commander.
      Major General W. J. Walker probably used the weapon of rumor to keep
      Cleburne from corps level to benefit Gen. Walker.


      "When it comes to War, I do not like to take sides!"
      Sgt. Schutz [Hogan's Heroes]

      William H. (Bill) Brown, C.A.
      Governors' Records Archivist
      North Carolina State Archives
      4614 Mail Service Center
      Raleigh, NC 27601-4614
      919-733-3952 (T), 919-733-1354 (F)

      "Opinions expressed in this message may not represent the policy of my
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