43441Re: McPherson's Flanking Movement at Port Gibson
- Apr 15, 2007--- In email@example.com, "Carl Williams" <carlw4514@...>
>I think Bearss just shoots from the hip, and sometimes he hits his
> geez, how the heck did I do that?
> anyway, care to comment? My question was, what conceivable motive
> would there be to discredit McPherson? Is this a case of Bearss'
> interpretation becoming gospel, and many other historians following in
> unquestioning lock-step?
target and sometimes he misses wildly. McPherson's role in the
Vicksburg Campaign is just one of those things that he missed wildly.
Exacerbating the problem is that Bearss leans heavily on the O.R., and
McPherson doesn't show up in the O.R. often, because he already has the
confidence of Grant and doesn't feel compelled to explain himself or
puff himself up. All of the O.R. reports from people reporting to
McPherson, of course, do not reference McPherson because they assume
McPherson knows what he did. So if you really want to find what
McPherson was doing, you have to derive it by inference or find
references to his activity in obscure sources. Bearss for instance
places McPherson back on the ridge, watching from 1/2 away at the
Battle of Raymond, but if you stare hard enough at a battlefield sketch
by Theodore Davis, you notice that McPherson is sitting on his horse in
the field of battle, talking to a courier or staff member.
As far as other historians go, I think the Battles of Port Gibson and
Raymond are both so understudied that most people writing on the
campaign simply prefer to reference the secondary resources. For all
intents, that is Bearss. Other recent authors on the Vicksburg
Campaign include Terry Winschel and Grabau. Terry Winschel basically
has followed Bearss' storyline for 30 years, so his version deviates
almost not at all from Bearss, and Grabua is a close friend of Bearss
and appears to have made only superficial modifications to the
traditional Bearss storyline.
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