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Grant's victory

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  • josepharose@yahoo.com
    I just read in Samuel Eliot Morison s The Oxford History of the American People a statement by Lincoln who said that he had the same dream of victory before
    Message 1 of 80 , Feb 2, 2001
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      I just read in Samuel Eliot Morison's "The Oxford History of the
      American People" a statement by Lincoln who said that he had the same
      dream of victory "before Antietam, Murfreesboro, Vicksburg, and
      Wilmington. Matter-of-fact Grant remarked that Murfreesboro was no
      victory; a few such fights would have ruined us."

      I find this a strange assertion from Grant who, in his memoirs stated,
      concerning Shiloh, "The result was a Union victory that gave the men
      who achieved it great confidence in themselves ever after."

      At Shiloh, Grant was somewhat outnumbered the first day, but the Union
      troops heavily outnumbered the Confederates on the second. At
      Murfreesboro, Rosecrans somewhat outnumbered Bragg's forces throughout
      the battle. Both Union commanders remained on the field of battle
      when the fighting was over. Strategically, both battles had the
      similar effects of repulsing a Confederate advance.

      Why would Grant, attending a cabinet meeting with the president,
      contradict Lincoln in such a way? The two battles seem generally
      equivalent--close enough that calling one a victory and one not is
      highly questionable. He certainly didn't hold Rosecrans in high
      regard. But was he also trying to enhance his own image at the
      expense of others? Grant's statement that "a few such fights would
      have ruined us", moreover, is ridiculous. The master of attrition
      didn't feel that way when he nearly bled the Army of the Potomac dry
      while advancing toward Richmond.

      Although the figures below on available troops and casualties for the
      two sides come from the web and differ from other numbers which I have
      seen, they give an indication of the comparable losses for the various
      engagements.

      Avail. troops Casualties
      Battle USA CSA USA CSA
      Shiloh 63,000 40,000 13,047 10,694
      Murfreesboro 43,000 37,000 11,577 9,865
      Wilderness 102,000 61,000 18,400 11,400
      Spotsylvania 100,000 52,000 18,000 12,000
      Cold Harbor 108,000 62,000 12,000 2,500
      Petersburg 64,000 42,000 8,150 2,970

      I will give Grant credit, where credit is due, for the wrap-up of the
      Vicksburg campaign. Much of the rest of his Civil War career was not
      nearly so successful; his great reputation appears to be quite
      dependent upon exaggerations and mistruths made by him and his
      defenders. They should be recognized for what they are.

      Joseph
    • ParrotheadDan@avenew.com
      ... Steve, I beleive you to be correct.And as I recall, Rosey was next to him when it happened.----Dan
      Message 80 of 80 , Feb 7, 2001
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        --- In civilwarwest@y..., sdwakefield@p... wrote:
        > I believe that Rosey's Chief of Staff at Murfreesboro was Colonel
        > Julius Garesche' a native of Cuba. Sadly he did have his head shot
        > off during December 31, 1862. I believe that Garfield was Garesche's
        > replacement.
        > Regards-
        > Wakefield



        Steve,

        I beleive you to be correct.And as I recall, Rosey was next to
        him when it happened.----Dan
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