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General swapping

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  • hank9174
    Much is made of Lee s ability to move sub-par performing generals out of his theatre. On the US side there appears to be no compulsion to do so. In fact, many
    Message 1 of 16 , Sep 4, 2003
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      Much is made of Lee's ability to move sub-par performing generals out
      of his theatre.

      On the US side there appears to be no compulsion to do so. In fact,
      many US generals stars improved with a change of scenery. (I was
      surprised that the oft-derided Darius Couch was the man whom,
      impatient with delay on the 2nd day at Nashville, organized and began
      the afternonn's attack. I thought he had faded from the scene after
      Antietam...)

      Others whose job performance improved after moving west apear to be:

      John Pope to Minnesota in 1862
      F.J. Hooker to Chattanooga in 1863
      O.O. Howard to Chattanooga in 1863 (kind of an add-on to Hooker)
      William Rosecrans to St Louis in 1864
      James H. Wilson to Tennessee in 1864

      Burnside appears to be an exception to this rule, the peter principle
      aparently applies wherever he moved...

      IMO, the union did a good job of recognizing instances where
      responsibility exceeded personal ability and 'demoting' a person more
      suitable position. I suppose this sample is too small to be
      meaningful and for every 'success' there is a corresponding 'failure'.

      Any thoughts or other examples?


      HankC
    • William H Keene
      ... out ... began ... principle ... more ... corresponding failure . ... My thoughts: - In my opinion Hooker s performance in the west is overrated. (Nor do I
      Message 2 of 16 , Sep 4, 2003
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        --- In civilwarwest@yahoogroups.com, "hank9174" <clarkc@m...> wrote:
        >
        > Much is made of Lee's ability to move sub-par performing generals
        out
        > of his theatre.
        >
        > On the US side there appears to be no compulsion to do so. In fact,
        > many US generals stars improved with a change of scenery. (I was
        > surprised that the oft-derided Darius Couch was the man whom,
        > impatient with delay on the 2nd day at Nashville, organized and
        began
        > the afternonn's attack. I thought he had faded from the scene after
        > Antietam...)
        >
        > Others whose job performance improved after moving west apear to be:
        >
        > John Pope to Minnesota in 1862
        > F.J. Hooker to Chattanooga in 1863
        > O.O. Howard to Chattanooga in 1863 (kind of an add-on to Hooker)
        > William Rosecrans to St Louis in 1864
        > James H. Wilson to Tennessee in 1864
        >
        > Burnside appears to be an exception to this rule, the peter
        principle
        > aparently applies wherever he moved...
        >
        > IMO, the union did a good job of recognizing instances where
        > responsibility exceeded personal ability and 'demoting' a person
        more
        > suitable position. I suppose this sample is too small to be
        > meaningful and for every 'success' there is a
        corresponding 'failure'.
        >
        > Any thoughts or other examples?
        >
        >
        > HankC

        My thoughts:

        - In my opinion Hooker's performance in the west is overrated. (Nor
        do I think Howard is given a fair shake for his performance in the
        east)

        - Burnside didn't do so badly in the west so I would think he is an
        example of what you are talking about.

        - I didn't know that Darius Couch was oft-derided. He did continue
        to play a big role in the east through the Gettysburg campaign.
      • hartshje
        ... Hank, in fact Couch resigned his corps command after Chancellorsville because he refused to serve further under Hooker for blowing such a great
        Message 3 of 16 , Sep 4, 2003
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          --- In civilwarwest@yahoogroups.com, "hank9174" <clarkc@m...> wrote:
          >
          > many US generals stars improved with a change of scenery. (I was
          > surprised that the oft-derided Darius Couch was the man whom,
          > impatient with delay on the 2nd day at Nashville, organized and
          > began the afternonn's attack. I thought he had faded from the scene
          > after Antietam...)
          >

          Hank, in fact Couch resigned his corps command after Chancellorsville
          because he refused to serve further under Hooker for blowing such a
          great opportunity. If he had stayed on, he may have proved his
          mettle at Gettysburg, and may possibly have been the CinC there, IIRC.

          > Others whose job performance improved after moving west apear to be:
          > John Pope to Minnesota in 1862

          Fighting Indians?

          > F.J. Hooker to Chattanooga in 1863
          > O.O. Howard to Chattanooga in 1863 (kind of an add-on to Hooker)

          I'll agree with you on these two, although Hooker's record prior to
          Chancellorsville was pretty good.

          > William Rosecrans to St Louis in 1864

          What did he do in St.Louis, I am unfamiliar with his remaining war
          record.

          > James H. Wilson to Tennessee in 1864

          Definitely an improvement. He was a disaster in the Wilderness.

          > Burnside appears to be an exception to this rule, the peter
          principle apparently applies wherever he moved...

          For the most part I think you are correct about Burnside, but he did
          do an admirable job of defending Knoxville.

          Regards,
          Joe
        • tmix
          I agree on all accounts. Hooker was an excellent Corps commander and is highly under rated. Tom ... From: hartshje [mailto:Hartshje@aol.com] Sent: Thursday,
          Message 4 of 16 , Sep 4, 2003
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            I agree on all accounts. Hooker was an excellent Corps commander and is
            highly under rated. Tom

            -----Original Message-----
            From: hartshje [mailto:Hartshje@...]
            Sent: Thursday, September 04, 2003 2:00 PM
            To: civilwarwest@yahoogroups.com
            Subject: [civilwarwest] Re: General swapping

            --- In civilwarwest@yahoogroups.com, "hank9174" <clarkc@m...> wrote:
            >
            > many US generals stars improved with a change of scenery. (I was
            > surprised that the oft-derided Darius Couch was the man whom,
            > impatient with delay on the 2nd day at Nashville, organized and
            > began the afternonn's attack. I thought he had faded from the scene
            > after Antietam...)
            >

            Hank, in fact Couch resigned his corps command after Chancellorsville
            because he refused to serve further under Hooker for blowing such a
            great opportunity. If he had stayed on, he may have proved his
            mettle at Gettysburg, and may possibly have been the CinC there, IIRC.

            > Others whose job performance improved after moving west apear to be:
            > John Pope to Minnesota in 1862

            Fighting Indians?

            > F.J. Hooker to Chattanooga in 1863
            > O.O. Howard to Chattanooga in 1863 (kind of an add-on to Hooker)

            I'll agree with you on these two, although Hooker's record prior to
            Chancellorsville was pretty good.

            > William Rosecrans to St Louis in 1864

            What did he do in St.Louis, I am unfamiliar with his remaining war
            record.

            > James H. Wilson to Tennessee in 1864

            Definitely an improvement. He was a disaster in the Wilderness.

            > Burnside appears to be an exception to this rule, the peter
            principle apparently applies wherever he moved...

            For the most part I think you are correct about Burnside, but he did
            do an admirable job of defending Knoxville.

            Regards,
            Joe






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            http://docs.yahoo.com/info/terms/
          • hank9174
            ... did ... I may be wrong, but wasn t Burnside expected to assist Grant and Thomas at Chattanooga more than he did and later he prompted Sherman s forced
            Message 5 of 16 , Sep 4, 2003
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              --- In civilwarwest@yahoogroups.com, "hartshje" <Hartshje@a...> wrote:
              > --- In civilwarwest@yahoogroups.com, "hank9174" <clarkc@m...> wrote:

              > > Burnside appears to be an exception to this rule, the peter
              > principle apparently applies wherever he moved...
              >
              > For the most part I think you are correct about Burnside, but he
              did
              > do an admirable job of defending Knoxville.
              >

              I may be wrong, but wasn't Burnside expected to assist Grant and
              Thomas at Chattanooga more than he did and later he prompted
              Sherman's forced march to his releif when none was needed?


              HankC
            • hank9174
              ... I may have confused Couch with Sumner... Was Couch one of those disgusted with Hooker at C-ville or was it Sumner? If Couch, then I withdraw the
              Message 6 of 16 , Sep 4, 2003
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                --- In civilwarwest@yahoogroups.com, "William H Keene"
                <wh_keene@y...> wrote:
                >
                > - I didn't know that Darius Couch was oft-derided. He did continue
                > to play a big role in the east through the Gettysburg campaign.
                >

                I may have confused Couch with Sumner...

                Was Couch one of those disgusted with Hooker at C-ville or was it
                Sumner? If Couch, then I withdraw the 'oft-derided' description ;)


                HankC
              • Martin Williams
                It was Couch. Sumner had left the Army of the Potomac after Fredericksburg and was under orders to take command of the Department of Missouri when he died in
                Message 7 of 16 , Sep 4, 2003
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                  It was Couch.  Sumner had left the Army of the Potomac after Fredericksburg and was under orders to take command of the Department of Missouri when he died in March, 1863 (thus giving Schofield his first big chance, I think).
                   
                  As for Rosecrans, he apparently was so rattled by events at Chickamauga that he was fairly ineffective commanding in Missouri in 1864, especially when he had to deal with Price's invasion.   (And I would not have counted him in this regard because he moved from one western command that happened to be east of the other western command he moved to.  I also wouldn't count him as a failed eastern general- McClellan took the credit for the campaign he managed in western Virginia in 1861, he was displaced from that command to give Fremont something important to do the following year and he was later assigned to relieve Pope in command of the Army of the Mississippi.)
                   
                  ----- Original Message -----
                  From: hank9174
                  Sent: Thursday, September 04, 2003 5:07 PM
                  Subject: [civilwarwest] Re: General swapping

                  --- In civilwarwest@yahoogroups.com, "William H Keene"
                  <wh_keene@y...> wrote:
                  >
                  > - I didn't know that Darius Couch was oft-derided.  He did continue
                  > to play a big role in the east through the Gettysburg campaign.
                  >

                  I may have confused Couch with Sumner...

                  Was Couch one of those disgusted with Hooker at C-ville or was it
                  Sumner? If Couch, then I withdraw the 'oft-derided' description ;)


                  HankC



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                • William H Keene
                  ... continue ... Sumner died on his way to command in the west after Fredricksburg, so being sent west did not help his performance. Couch quit the AoP in
                  Message 8 of 16 , Sep 4, 2003
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                    --- In civilwarwest@yahoogroups.com, "hank9174" <clarkc@m...> wrote:
                    > --- In civilwarwest@yahoogroups.com, "William H Keene"
                    > <wh_keene@y...> wrote:
                    > >
                    > > - I didn't know that Darius Couch was oft-derided. He did
                    continue
                    > > to play a big role in the east through the Gettysburg campaign.
                    > >
                    >
                    > I may have confused Couch with Sumner...
                    >
                    > Was Couch one of those disgusted with Hooker at C-ville or was it
                    > Sumner? If Couch, then I withdraw the 'oft-derided' description ;)

                    Sumner died on his way to command in the west after Fredricksburg, so
                    being sent west did not help his performance.

                    Couch quit the AoP in disgust at Hooker after C-ville, then got
                    assigned to command in PA (not with the AoP but in the State Capitol)
                    during the Gettysburg campaign, then ended up out west during 1864
                    for Nashville and then was in the North Carolina campaign as a
                    division commander (I think).

                    -Will
                  • William H Keene
                    ... Halleck expected Burnside to move down toward Chattanooga around the time of Chickamauga. I don t think it was a reasonable expectation. I thought, but
                    Message 9 of 16 , Sep 4, 2003
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                      --- In civilwarwest@yahoogroups.com, "hank9174" <clarkc@m...> wrote:
                      > ...
                      > I may be wrong, but wasn't Burnside expected to assist Grant and
                      > Thomas at Chattanooga more than he did and later he prompted
                      > Sherman's forced march to his releif when none was needed?

                      Halleck expected Burnside to move down toward Chattanooga around the
                      time of Chickamauga. I don't think it was a reasonable expectation.
                      I thought, but could be wrong, that the prompting for releif to be
                      sent to Knoxville came from Lincoln.

                      -Will
                    • Harry Smeltzer
                      Politically, I think it was important for a Union presence to be in Knoxville at the time. Important for Lincoln. Also, Burnside flat out asked Halleck what
                      Message 10 of 16 , Sep 4, 2003
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                        Politically, I think it was important for a Union presence to be in Knoxville at the time.  Important for Lincoln.

                         

                        Also, Burnside flat out asked Halleck what he wanted, and as usual Old Brains gave no definitive reply.

                         

                        HArry

                         

                        -----Original Message-----
                        From: William H Keene [mailto:wh_keene@...]
                        Sent: Thursday, September 04, 2003 6:12 PM
                        To: civilwarwest@yahoogroups.com
                        Subject: [civilwarwest] Re: General swapping

                         

                        --- In civilwarwest@yahoogroups.com, "hank9174" <clarkc@m...> wrote:
                        > ...
                        > I may be wrong, but wasn't Burnside expected to assist Grant and
                        > Thomas at Chattanooga more than he did and later he prompted
                        > Sherman's forced march to his releif when none was needed?

                        Halleck expected Burnside to move down toward Chattanooga around the
                        time of Chickamauga.  I don't think it was a reasonable expectation.
                        I thought, but could be wrong, that the prompting for releif to be
                        sent to Knoxville came from Lincoln.

                        -Will





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                      • hartshje
                        I believe you are correct Will. The gang in Washington were obessessed with not losing E. Tenn. and so were hounding Grant to save Burnside. When Sherman
                        Message 11 of 16 , Sep 4, 2003
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                          I believe you are correct Will. The gang in Washington were
                          obessessed with not losing E. Tenn. and so were hounding Grant to
                          save Burnside. When Sherman arrived, he was surprised to find the
                          Knoxville garrison living high on the hog, and Burnside's men were
                          equally shocked that they had supposedly been starving all this
                          time. They certainly did not think they needed to be saved.

                          Joe

                          --- In civilwarwest@yahoogroups.com, "William H Keene"
                          <wh_keene@y...> wrote:
                          > Halleck expected Burnside to move down toward Chattanooga around
                          > the time of Chickamauga. I don't think it was a reasonable
                          > expectation. I thought, but could be wrong, that the prompting
                          > for releif to be sent to Knoxville came from Lincoln.
                          >
                          > -Will
                          >
                          > --- In civilwarwest@yahoogroups.com, "hank9174" <clarkc@m...> wrote:
                          > > ...
                          > > I may be wrong, but wasn't Burnside expected to assist Grant and
                          > > Thomas at Chattanooga more than he did and later he prompted
                          > > Sherman's forced march to his releif when none was needed?
                          >
                        • hank9174
                          ... Fredericksburg and was under orders to take command of the Department of Missouri when he died in March, 1863 (thus giving Schofield his first big chance,
                          Message 12 of 16 , Sep 5, 2003
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                            --- In civilwarwest@yahoogroups.com, "Martin Williams"
                            <williams484@m...> wrote:
                            > It was Couch. Sumner had left the Army of the Potomac after
                            Fredericksburg and was under orders to take command of the Department
                            of Missouri when he died in March, 1863 (thus giving Schofield his
                            first big chance, I think).
                            >
                            Correct. I was confused - no longer.

                            >
                            > As for Rosecrans, he apparently was so rattled by events at
                            Chickamauga that he was fairly ineffective commanding in Missouri in
                            1864, especially when he had to deal with Price's invasion. (And I
                            would not have counted him in this regard because he moved from one
                            western command that happened to be east of the other western command
                            he moved to. I also wouldn't count him as a failed eastern general-
                            McClellan took the credit for the campaign he managed in western
                            Virginia in 1861, he was displaced from that command to give Fremont
                            something important to do the following year and he was later
                            assigned to relieve Pope in command of the Army of the Mississippi.)
                            >

                            Rosecrans did a good administrative job of integrating militia,
                            volunteers and regular army in alleviating the Missouri guerilla war
                            in 1864. (At least from a military aspect, the civilians may care do
                            differ.) He improved the system of fortified block houses, created a
                            system of cavalry sweeps and 'armored' railroad cars for better
                            defense against marauders.

                            Rosecrans sent a force that deflected Price's 1864 raid at Ironton
                            away from St. Louis into the Missouri hinterlands where it pretty
                            much died of it's own weight and lack of purpose.


                            HankC
                          • hank9174
                            ... Capitol) ... You are correct. Somewher by brain wired Sumner being sent west into Couch. How did Couch get there? I assume he was still active duty after
                            Message 13 of 16 , Sep 5, 2003
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                              --- In civilwarwest@yahoogroups.com, "William H Keene"
                              <wh_keene@y...> wrote:

                              > Couch quit the AoP in disgust at Hooker after C-ville, then got
                              > assigned to command in PA (not with the AoP but in the State
                              Capitol)
                              > during the Gettysburg campaign, then ended up out west during 1864
                              > for Nashville and then was in the North Carolina campaign as a
                              > division commander (I think).
                              >

                              You are correct. Somewher by brain wired Sumner being sent west into
                              Couch.

                              How did Couch get there? I assume he was still active duty after his
                              Pa service and was merely assigned west. What did he do between
                              July'63 and Dec'64?
                            • hank9174
                              ... out ... S.D. Lee appears to be a CSA general who continued to improve after moving west. Nothing spectacular, but he commanded both infantry and cavalry in
                              Message 14 of 16 , Sep 5, 2003
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                                --- In civilwarwest@yahoogroups.com, "hank9174" <clarkc@m...> wrote:
                                >
                                > Much is made of Lee's ability to move sub-par performing generals
                                out
                                > of his theatre.
                                >

                                S.D. Lee appears to be a CSA general who continued to improve after
                                moving west. Nothing spectacular, but he commanded both infantry and
                                cavalry in a competent manner.

                                Was he moved west for 'pure' reasons? His and EP Alexander's careers
                                appear to be very similar in style and substance...


                                HankC
                              • Martin Williams
                                Thanks for clearing that up. Couch commanded the Department of the Susquehanna from June 11, 1863 to December 1, 1864, when it was renamed the Department of
                                Message 15 of 16 , Sep 5, 2003
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                                  Thanks for clearing that up.
                                   
                                  Couch commanded the Department of the Susquehanna from June 11, 1863 to December 1, 1864, when it was renamed the Department of Pennsylvania.   His replacement was George Cadwalader.  This is going outside of the scope of this group, but for what it is worth when Couch took command his headquarters was at Chambersburg and the Department consisted of all of Pennsylvania east of Johnstown.  By the end of the month headquarters was at Harrisburg.  Subsequently the western half of the state and part of Ohio was added to the Department.  When Cadwalader took over headquarters was announced as being at Philadelphia.
                                   
                                   
                                   
                                   



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                                • hartshje
                                  Couch also had a son in the Army of the Potomac who fought with a Massachusetts regiment IIRC, and was presumed killed at Cold Harbor in 1864. At least, he
                                  Message 16 of 16 , Sep 5, 2003
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                                    Couch also had a son in the Army of the Potomac who fought with a
                                    Massachusetts regiment IIRC, and was presumed killed at Cold Harbor
                                    in 1864. At least, he was never heard from again following that
                                    battle. Maybe Couch took a leave of absence at this time, before
                                    heading west (just speculating).

                                    Joe

                                    --- In civilwarwest@yahoogroups.com, "Martin Williams"
                                    <williams484@m...> wrote:
                                    >
                                    > Couch commanded the Department of the Susquehanna from June 11,
                                    1863 to December 1, 1864, when it was renamed the Department of
                                    Pennsylvania. His replacement was George Cadwalader. This is going
                                    outside of the scope of this group, but for what it is worth when
                                    Couch took command his headquarters was at Chambersburg and the
                                    Department consisted of all of Pennsylvania east of Johnstown. By
                                    the end of the month headquarters was at Harrisburg. Subsequently
                                    the western half of the state and part of Ohio was added to the
                                    Department. When Cadwalader took over headquarters was announced as
                                    being at Philadelphia.
                                    >
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