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Bob: Why Longstreet?

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  • nils.feller@t-online.de
    Bob, your list of most harmful Generals includes Longstreet. While I can see the point with the others, I don t quite understand what made you put Old Pete
    Message 1 of 4 , Sep 1, 2000
      Bob,
      your list of most harmful Generals includes Longstreet. While I can see the point with the others, I don't quite understand what made you put Old Pete there? But I'd love to know!
      Just as an aside: We discussed hypocrisy a lot here, or so it seems to me, where would the group put Polk on *that* scale?
      Nils
    • nils.feller@t-online.de
      Bob, your list of most harmful Generals includes Longstreet. While I can see the point with the others, I don t quite understand what made you put Old Pete
      Message 2 of 4 , Sep 1, 2000
        Bob,
        your list of most harmful Generals includes Longstreet. While I can see the point with the others, I don't quite understand what made you put Old Pete there? But I'd love to know!
        Just as an aside: We discussed hypocrisy a lot here, or so it seems to me, where would the group put Polk on *that* scale?
        Nils
      • Bob Redman
        Nils, ... Longstreet desired independent command and really botched it. At Chickamauga he attacked frontally Thomas s remaining half of the army instead of
        Message 3 of 4 , Sep 1, 2000
          Nils,

          At 21:52 9/1/00 +0200, you wrote:

          > Bob, your list of most harmful Generals includes Longstreet. While
          >I can see the point with the others, I don't quite understand what made
          >you put Old Pete there? But I'd love to know! Just as an aside: We
          >discussed hypocrisy a lot here, or so it seems to me, where would the
          >group put Polk on *that* scale? Nils

          Longstreet desired independent command and really botched it. At
          Chickamauga he attacked frontally Thomas's remaining half of the army
          instead of trying to flank it, precisely the sort of error Thomas was
          banking on from someone so that he could survive the day. After the battle
          Longstreet threw himself into the internal politics of the AoT. When Davis
          did not replace Bragg with Longstreet, Longstreet ceased to cooperate with
          Bragg who, in an attempt to placate Longstreet, assigned him the entire
          left flank including Lookout Mountain, Lookout Valley, and the approaches
          thereto. Longstreet displayed indifference to this crucial assignment,
          spending most of his time on the eastern side of the mountain. Bragg
          ordered him to supress the Federal landing point at Brown's Ferry, but
          Longstreet ignored the order. Bragg then ordered Longstreet to attack in
          force Hooker who was arriving from the west with 20,000 men. Longstreet
          chose instead to make a night attack with only 1 division against 1
          division of Hooker's rear guard (Geary) at Wauhatchie. This ended
          inconclusively with Hooker firmly in control of Lookout Valley and the
          cracker line established. Then Longstreet lobbied with Davis to get himself
          sent to attack Burnside at Knoxville. Bragg acuiesced. Longstreet then
          slowly took his 18,000 men to Knoxville and found himself in an analogous
          position vis a vis Burnside as Lee had been vis a vis Meade. He had come
          that far, and he was unwilling to leave without making some sort of attack.
          "The enemy is there and I will strike him" Longstreet may as well have
          said, although he is famous in romantic Civil War history for having
          counseled caution to Lee at Gettysburg. In any case, Longstreet was
          repulsed in a partial attack on a portion of Knoxville's fortifications
          known as Ft. Sanders. One division of Confederates made a pre-dawn assault
          against less than 500 men. Burnside turned out to be not as much a
          stumblebum as he is often supposed to be. The defensive measures were
          ingenious (read up about them). The Confederates hat 813 casualties, the
          Federal defenders of Ft. Sanders 13. Yes, thirteen. I could go into some
          strange things in Longstreet's previous Civil War career, but that is ET.
          Longstreet's actions in and subsequent departure from Chattanooga made the
          loss of Chattanooga inevitable, thus opening up Georgia to the Federal
          advance. You know the rest of the story.

          Polk unilaterally invaded Kentucky (Columbus) without orders while the
          pretense of neutrality was still being upheld. The Federals were just
          waiting for this in order to move into Kentucky in force. A.S. Johnston
          wasn't nearly ready to effectively counter this. Polk had gone to West
          Point, had been in fact Davis's roommate, but never served in a military
          command after that until the Civil War where his rise to upper command was
          meteoric. He was at best mediocre as a troop commander, but world champion
          in infighting. He constantly fomented rebellion against Bragg, disobeyed
          orders at will, and was protected by Davis until after Chickamauge against
          every attempt of Bragg to impose his authority. Polk couldn't have done a
          better job if he were a Federal plant.

          I hope this answers your questions.

          Greetings,

          Bob Redman
        • Bob Redman
          Nils, ... Longstreet desired independent command and really botched it. At Chickamauga he attacked frontally Thomas s remaining half of the army instead of
          Message 4 of 4 , Sep 1, 2000
            Nils,

            At 21:52 9/1/00 +0200, you wrote:

            > Bob, your list of most harmful Generals includes Longstreet. While
            >I can see the point with the others, I don't quite understand what made
            >you put Old Pete there? But I'd love to know! Just as an aside: We
            >discussed hypocrisy a lot here, or so it seems to me, where would the
            >group put Polk on *that* scale? Nils

            Longstreet desired independent command and really botched it. At
            Chickamauga he attacked frontally Thomas's remaining half of the army
            instead of trying to flank it, precisely the sort of error Thomas was
            banking on from someone so that he could survive the day. After the battle
            Longstreet threw himself into the internal politics of the AoT. When Davis
            did not replace Bragg with Longstreet, Longstreet ceased to cooperate with
            Bragg who, in an attempt to placate Longstreet, assigned him the entire
            left flank including Lookout Mountain, Lookout Valley, and the approaches
            thereto. Longstreet displayed indifference to this crucial assignment,
            spending most of his time on the eastern side of the mountain. Bragg
            ordered him to supress the Federal landing point at Brown's Ferry, but
            Longstreet ignored the order. Bragg then ordered Longstreet to attack in
            force Hooker who was arriving from the west with 20,000 men. Longstreet
            chose instead to make a night attack with only 1 division against 1
            division of Hooker's rear guard (Geary) at Wauhatchie. This ended
            inconclusively with Hooker firmly in control of Lookout Valley and the
            cracker line established. Then Longstreet lobbied with Davis to get himself
            sent to attack Burnside at Knoxville. Bragg acuiesced. Longstreet then
            slowly took his 18,000 men to Knoxville and found himself in an analogous
            position vis a vis Burnside as Lee had been vis a vis Meade. He had come
            that far, and he was unwilling to leave without making some sort of attack.
            "The enemy is there and I will strike him" Longstreet may as well have
            said, although he is famous in romantic Civil War history for having
            counseled caution to Lee at Gettysburg. In any case, Longstreet was
            repulsed in a partial attack on a portion of Knoxville's fortifications
            known as Ft. Sanders. One division of Confederates made a pre-dawn assault
            against less than 500 men. Burnside turned out to be not as much a
            stumblebum as he is often supposed to be. The defensive measures were
            ingenious (read up about them). The Confederates hat 813 casualties, the
            Federal defenders of Ft. Sanders 13. Yes, thirteen. I could go into some
            strange things in Longstreet's previous Civil War career, but that is ET.
            Longstreet's actions in and subsequent departure from Chattanooga made the
            loss of Chattanooga inevitable, thus opening up Georgia to the Federal
            advance. You know the rest of the story.

            Polk unilaterally invaded Kentucky (Columbus) without orders while the
            pretense of neutrality was still being upheld. The Federals were just
            waiting for this in order to move into Kentucky in force. A.S. Johnston
            wasn't nearly ready to effectively counter this. Polk had gone to West
            Point, had been in fact Davis's roommate, but never served in a military
            command after that until the Civil War where his rise to upper command was
            meteoric. He was at best mediocre as a troop commander, but world champion
            in infighting. He constantly fomented rebellion against Bragg, disobeyed
            orders at will, and was protected by Davis until after Chickamauge against
            every attempt of Bragg to impose his authority. Polk couldn't have done a
            better job if he were a Federal plant.

            I hope this answers your questions.

            Greetings,

            Bob Redman
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