Criticism of Cleburne
- I have studied Patrick Cleburne for many years and will say that there has yet to be the Definative Biography of him, the best so far in my opinion, the Purdue's Patrick Cleburne: Confederate General has a lot of detail but the Purdue's loved the subject and didnt provide any criticism. Symond's book falls short in my opinion by being full of minor errors, I counted nearly 200 in the book. He also really doesnt provide anything new to the subject other than trying to be a little more critical, one of his criticisms being the the Slave Proposal was Niaeve on Cleburne's Part, I would have to argue though that Cleburne was coaxed into it by Thomas Hindman, Hindman was a slave owner and also a fire eater, he was supported by his brigadiers Lucius Polk and Daniel Govan, both slave owners. So from that point I dont think it was so niave. However there is real criticism out there that has been overlooked. Dave made a point about Chickamauga, and another that I will make now, fitting since tomorrow is the 139th Anniversary of the Battle of Pickett's Mill. The criticism that I make is that the victory there is actually due more to Wheeler's Cavalry and to Daniel Govan and Hiram Granbury. The Cavalry made a hellacious fight there, years later Wheeler would say that he lost more men at Pickett's Mill than he lost in Cuba. Now as the fight being Govan's and Granbury's, please take note of this letter from one of Govan's staff, Litton Bostick, "May 31st, 1864", "When we made the reconnaissance the brigade was on the extreme right of the infantry lines of the army with a force of cavalry protecting our right. Information had been received and it was generally believed by our generals that there was no force or at least a very small force of the enemy in front of our position and ti was under this belief that our brigade was ordered to go forward and develop the Yankees. Even after our report was made, Gen. Cleburne did nor believe that there was any considerable force confronting us. It was only on the urgent request of Gen. Govan that our brigade was allowed to fall back to the lines and put up breastworks at the time we did do. Granbury's brigade was ordered into position on our right in a pretty thick woods and had just formed when the enemy appeared in heavy force on their front and opened fire on them....the newspapers say that Gen. Cleburne ambushed the enemy. This is not true; Gen. Cleburne did not know of the approach of them, nor did Granbury's brigade until a moment before they opened fire....Granbury's brigade never wavered for one moment but was in great danger of being turned by the enemy on the right. In order to meet this movement, Gen. Govan sent a regiment of our brigade, the 8th Ark. rapidly around to the right of the Texas Brigade...Soon after dark the firing ceased and Gens. Govan and Granbury requsted Gen. Cleburne to allow them to charge the enemy...he would not consent but about 10 o'clock at night agreed..."