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Who would have been the best choice for commander in the West?

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  • illiniillinois
    Hi everyone, I m fairly new here. Been lurking for a while, and have read most of the posts on who would have been the best choice with respect to the
    Message 1 of 23 , Nov 8, 2004
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      Hi everyone, I'm fairly new here. Been lurking for a while, and have
      read most of the posts on who would have been the best choice with
      respect to the Confederacy for commander in the West. Best option,
      IMHO, Lee.

      I know this has been suggested before, and Davis himself even
      considered it, but rejected it partially because of Lee's
      reluctance. Nevertheless, sending Lee west and placing Longstreet in
      command in the East, after Chattanooga, probably would have been the
      Confederacy's best course of action. There are several major
      positives and negatives in this plan and, if everyone will bear with
      me real quick, I'm gonna try to lay 'em out.

      First the weakness:

      1. LONGSTREET'S LACKLUSTER RECORD AS AN INDEPENDANT COMMANDER: For
      whatever reason "Pete" had a fairly lackluster record as an
      independant commander. While he admittedly faced several handicaps
      at Knoxville and during his tenure in command of a department in
      southeastern Virginia, such as having to deal with a number of
      generals Lee had banished there so Marse Robert himself would no
      longer have to worry about them, the record remains disturbing at
      best. Just how would Longstreet have fared if given complete control
      of the ANV? There is enough evidence out there to cast some serious
      doubt on his abilities as an independant commander.

      2. LEE'S OWN RELUCTANCE TO LEAVE THE ANV: Lee was a Virginian by
      birth, by early 1864 he wanted to keep command of the ANV, which he
      had more than earned and proved himself a master at commanding.
      Furthermore Lee's reluctance to leave a theater he knew so well, for
      one he knew very little about is a legitimate objection. I would
      also add to this Davis' heavy reliance on having Lee nearby, not
      only as commander of the ANV, but as a valued friend and general to
      consult with. Nevertheless, given Lee's notion of honor and devotion
      to duty, there is no doubt in my mind that had Davis actually
      ordered him out west, he would have went.

      3. THE REACTION OF THE ANV: While there is no doubt that the ANV
      dearly loved Longstreet, and held him in high esteem, the regard
      they had for him could never compare to that they had for Lee.
      Understandably no general would ever hold in their hearts the place
      that Lee did. Again, nevertheless, if Lee were sent West after
      Chattanooga, given the circumstances, and the fact that by 1864 the
      ANV was an actual army in discipline as well as name, I think the
      change just might have worked.

      Now the strenghts:

      1. LEE'S AGRESSIVENESS, COMPETENCE AS A COMMANDER, AND ABILITY TO
      SEE OPPORTUNITY WHERE OTHERS SAW DISASTER: Lee is exactly the type
      of commander that was needed in the West. One who always remained
      inherently aggressive, and looked for ways to attack the enemy
      rather than lamenting the shortcomings he faced. If anyone could
      have viewed the Confederate situation out West, after Chattanooga,
      and found a way to counterattack the Union advance it would have
      been Lee. Moreover he would have brought a sense of the offensive
      that was often missing in the AoT's commanders (Johnston), although
      not the AoT itself.

      2. LEE'S PERSONALITY: His unique ability to balance delicate and
      often intemperate subordinates. This was a key in the AoT and one
      that all of its previous commanders, including chiefly Bragg and
      Johnston, simply missed. Men like Forrest and even Hood would not
      have bucked Lee as easily as they did Johnston. A situation like
      Cassville, where Hood's attitude toward Johnston, his motivations,
      and his actions were questionable, simply would not have happened
      under Lee. Hood, along with pretty much every other commander in the
      Confederacy revered Lee. It's safe to say even a man like Forrest
      probably would not have reacted to Lee the same way he did to Bragg
      for several reasons. (The first of which is that Lee always highly
      valued the reports of his cavalry and paid close attention to them.
      The second that he was a far more competent operational commander
      than Bragg could ever hope to be, and the third that he was simply
      Robert E. Lee.) Finally men like Cleburne would have been given the
      opportunity to either prove themselves as leaders at higher command
      positions, failed and been moved back to their original command, or
      simply shuffled to another theater as Lee was so adroit at doing.
      (When I look at Cleburne out West I can't help but think of John B.
      Gordon out East. It's hard for me to believe that Clebure would not
      have been, at least temporarily, allowed to try his hand at a corps
      command under Lee.)

      3. THE INHERENT PERSONALITY FLAWS IN THE OTHER COMMANDERS OF THE
      AoT: Say what you like about Johnston, Beauregard and Bragg but they
      were simply not as easy to get along with as Lee. Moreover, with
      respect to Davis, it has always seemed rather beside the point to me
      whether or not Johnston and Beauregard were right about his
      treatment of them. The point is HE, Davis, not them was the
      President of the Confederacy. The president MUST always have
      complete faith in his subordinates and trust their judgement. If he
      can't, even because of his own personal shortcomings, these men must
      be relieved or else the command will suffer. With Lee, Davis would
      have been able to have complete confidence, for the first time since
      Albert Sidney Johnston, in the commander of the AoT. This doubtless
      would have been a better military arrangement for all involved, and
      elevated the morale of the army. Not only would they like their
      commander (as they did Joe Johnston) or the president support him
      (as he did Bragg), but rather both the army and the president would
      both support the commanding general at the same time. A rather novel
      notion out west.

      4. LONGSTREET'S UNDERSTANDING OF THE GRAND STRATEGIC PLAN OUT EAST:
      Longstreet's idea of remaining on the defensive, and simply beating
      off Federal attacks would have worked much better in Virginia than
      it would have in Tenesse or Georgia. Think Fredericksburg. (Yes I
      know Lee was the commanding general, but Longstreet's reading of the
      field and handling of his own troops was masterful here. I think he
      could have done it on a larger scale.) Although Longstreet was
      undoubtedly better under Lee and this strategy may have had its
      difficulties against a federal army under Grant, I don't think it
      would have worn out the ability of the ANV to take the offensive as
      quickly as Lee did.

      In closing, and given the subsequent history, I don't believe Davis
      really had any other viable options. Lee out West, and Longstreet in
      the East, at least until the elections of 1864, and the hope that
      Lee could have kept Sherman out of Atlanta, would have been a
      pretty good hand to play.

      Sorry if this post was too long, but you know what they say. Figured
      I'd try to make somewhat of a good first impression.
    • Mark Peters
      You highlight several problems. Firstly, my belief is that Lee refused command in the West. So, he wasn t a viable option. Davis, as did Lee, thought the war
      Message 2 of 23 , Nov 9, 2004
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        You highlight several problems.

        Firstly, my belief is that Lee refused command in the West. So, he
        wasn't a viable option. Davis, as did Lee, thought the war would be
        won in the east. There is no way that he would have wanted his best
        commander in the west, on a permanent basis.

        Of those willing to serve, as I've stated before, my belief is that
        Beauregard was the best option. The fact that Davis continuously
        meddled in military affairs surely shows that politicians should
        allow their military commanders to get on with it. Because Davis
        did not get on, at a personal level, with Beauregard or J. Johnston
        should not have precluded them from continuous command out west.

        I do agree with you on Cleburne!

        Best wishes,

        Mark

        --- In civilwarwest@yahoogroups.com, "illiniillinois"
        <illiniillinois@y...> wrote:
        >
        > Hi everyone, I'm fairly new here. Been lurking for a while, and
        have
        > read most of the posts on who would have been the best choice with
        > respect to the Confederacy for commander in the West. Best option,
        > IMHO, Lee.
        >
        > I know this has been suggested before, and Davis himself even
        > considered it, but rejected it partially because of Lee's
        > reluctance. Nevertheless, sending Lee west and placing Longstreet
        in
        > command in the East, after Chattanooga, probably would have been
        the
        > Confederacy's best course of action. There are several major
        > positives and negatives in this plan and, if everyone will bear
        with
        > me real quick, I'm gonna try to lay 'em out.
        >
        > First the weakness:
        >
        > 1. LONGSTREET'S LACKLUSTER RECORD AS AN INDEPENDANT COMMANDER: For
        > whatever reason "Pete" had a fairly lackluster record as an
        > independant commander. While he admittedly faced several handicaps
        > at Knoxville and during his tenure in command of a department in
        > southeastern Virginia, such as having to deal with a number of
        > generals Lee had banished there so Marse Robert himself would no
        > longer have to worry about them, the record remains disturbing at
        > best. Just how would Longstreet have fared if given complete
        control
        > of the ANV? There is enough evidence out there to cast some
        serious
        > doubt on his abilities as an independant commander.
        >
        > 2. LEE'S OWN RELUCTANCE TO LEAVE THE ANV: Lee was a Virginian by
        > birth, by early 1864 he wanted to keep command of the ANV, which
        he
        > had more than earned and proved himself a master at commanding.
        > Furthermore Lee's reluctance to leave a theater he knew so well,
        for
        > one he knew very little about is a legitimate objection. I would
        > also add to this Davis' heavy reliance on having Lee nearby, not
        > only as commander of the ANV, but as a valued friend and general
        to
        > consult with. Nevertheless, given Lee's notion of honor and
        devotion
        > to duty, there is no doubt in my mind that had Davis actually
        > ordered him out west, he would have went.
        >
        > 3. THE REACTION OF THE ANV: While there is no doubt that the ANV
        > dearly loved Longstreet, and held him in high esteem, the regard
        > they had for him could never compare to that they had for Lee.
        > Understandably no general would ever hold in their hearts the
        place
        > that Lee did. Again, nevertheless, if Lee were sent West after
        > Chattanooga, given the circumstances, and the fact that by 1864
        the
        > ANV was an actual army in discipline as well as name, I think the
        > change just might have worked.
        >
        > Now the strenghts:
        >
        > 1. LEE'S AGRESSIVENESS, COMPETENCE AS A COMMANDER, AND ABILITY TO
        > SEE OPPORTUNITY WHERE OTHERS SAW DISASTER: Lee is exactly the type
        > of commander that was needed in the West. One who always remained
        > inherently aggressive, and looked for ways to attack the enemy
        > rather than lamenting the shortcomings he faced. If anyone could
        > have viewed the Confederate situation out West, after Chattanooga,
        > and found a way to counterattack the Union advance it would have
        > been Lee. Moreover he would have brought a sense of the offensive
        > that was often missing in the AoT's commanders (Johnston),
        although
        > not the AoT itself.
        >
        > 2. LEE'S PERSONALITY: His unique ability to balance delicate and
        > often intemperate subordinates. This was a key in the AoT and one
        > that all of its previous commanders, including chiefly Bragg and
        > Johnston, simply missed. Men like Forrest and even Hood would not
        > have bucked Lee as easily as they did Johnston. A situation like
        > Cassville, where Hood's attitude toward Johnston, his motivations,
        > and his actions were questionable, simply would not have happened
        > under Lee. Hood, along with pretty much every other commander in
        the
        > Confederacy revered Lee. It's safe to say even a man like Forrest
        > probably would not have reacted to Lee the same way he did to
        Bragg
        > for several reasons. (The first of which is that Lee always highly
        > valued the reports of his cavalry and paid close attention to
        them.
        > The second that he was a far more competent operational commander
        > than Bragg could ever hope to be, and the third that he was simply
        > Robert E. Lee.) Finally men like Cleburne would have been given
        the
        > opportunity to either prove themselves as leaders at higher
        command
        > positions, failed and been moved back to their original command,
        or
        > simply shuffled to another theater as Lee was so adroit at doing.
        > (When I look at Cleburne out West I can't help but think of John
        B.
        > Gordon out East. It's hard for me to believe that Clebure would
        not
        > have been, at least temporarily, allowed to try his hand at a
        corps
        > command under Lee.)
        >
        > 3. THE INHERENT PERSONALITY FLAWS IN THE OTHER COMMANDERS OF THE
        > AoT: Say what you like about Johnston, Beauregard and Bragg but
        they
        > were simply not as easy to get along with as Lee. Moreover, with
        > respect to Davis, it has always seemed rather beside the point to
        me
        > whether or not Johnston and Beauregard were right about his
        > treatment of them. The point is HE, Davis, not them was the
        > President of the Confederacy. The president MUST always have
        > complete faith in his subordinates and trust their judgement. If
        he
        > can't, even because of his own personal shortcomings, these men
        must
        > be relieved or else the command will suffer. With Lee, Davis would
        > have been able to have complete confidence, for the first time
        since
        > Albert Sidney Johnston, in the commander of the AoT. This
        doubtless
        > would have been a better military arrangement for all involved,
        and
        > elevated the morale of the army. Not only would they like their
        > commander (as they did Joe Johnston) or the president support him
        > (as he did Bragg), but rather both the army and the president
        would
        > both support the commanding general at the same time. A rather
        novel
        > notion out west.
        >
        > 4. LONGSTREET'S UNDERSTANDING OF THE GRAND STRATEGIC PLAN OUT
        EAST:
        > Longstreet's idea of remaining on the defensive, and simply
        beating
        > off Federal attacks would have worked much better in Virginia than
        > it would have in Tenesse or Georgia. Think Fredericksburg. (Yes I
        > know Lee was the commanding general, but Longstreet's reading of
        the
        > field and handling of his own troops was masterful here. I think
        he
        > could have done it on a larger scale.) Although Longstreet was
        > undoubtedly better under Lee and this strategy may have had its
        > difficulties against a federal army under Grant, I don't think it
        > would have worn out the ability of the ANV to take the offensive
        as
        > quickly as Lee did.
        >
        > In closing, and given the subsequent history, I don't believe
        Davis
        > really had any other viable options. Lee out West, and Longstreet
        in
        > the East, at least until the elections of 1864, and the hope that
        > Lee could have kept Sherman out of Atlanta, would have been a
        > pretty good hand to play.
        >
        > Sorry if this post was too long, but you know what they say.
        Figured
        > I'd try to make somewhat of a good first impression.
      • illiniillinois
        Thanks for the response mark. Yeah you bring up a good point. I hadn t even thought of Davis fixation on the East. Also I don t have that big a problem with
        Message 3 of 23 , Nov 9, 2004
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          Thanks for the response mark. Yeah you bring up a good point. I
          hadn't even thought of Davis' fixation on the East.

          Also I don't have that big a problem with Beauregard either. Granted
          the man thought he was another Napoleon and he had a fixation with
          overly ambitious, grand strategic plans, but once he was brought
          back down to earth he was able to tailor his plans based somewhat
          more on reality. I think First Manassas was a good example of this,
          even though a lot of the credit goes to Joe Johnston for that. His
          defense of Petersburg was also much better than he traditionally
          gets credit for, IMHO.

          Anyway I know this is a western discussion board, and, especially
          being the new guy, I don't mean to stray too much. As for Davis I
          couldn't agree more. I think the Confederacy's biggest problem was
          his firm belief that because of his previous experience in Mexico
          and as Secretary in War he was, in his opinion, almost a de facto
          general. I just happen to think that he was the president of the
          CSA, for better or worse, and Beauregard and Johnston would have
          been a lot better off, both from a personal and military
          perspective, if they had swallowed their pride and dealt with this
          fact.


          --- In civilwarwest@yahoogroups.com, "Mark Peters"
          <mark.peters14@b...> wrote:
          >
          > You highlight several problems.
          >
          > Firstly, my belief is that Lee refused command in the West. So,
          he
          > wasn't a viable option. Davis, as did Lee, thought the war would
          be
          > won in the east. There is no way that he would have wanted his
          best
          > commander in the west, on a permanent basis.
          >
          > Of those willing to serve, as I've stated before, my belief is
          that
          > Beauregard was the best option. The fact that Davis continuously
          > meddled in military affairs surely shows that politicians should
          > allow their military commanders to get on with it. Because Davis
          > did not get on, at a personal level, with Beauregard or J.
          Johnston
          > should not have precluded them from continuous command out west.
          >
          > I do agree with you on Cleburne!
          >
          > Best wishes,
          >
          > Mark
          >
          > --- In civilwarwest@yahoogroups.com, "illiniillinois"
          > <illiniillinois@y...> wrote:
          > >
          > > Hi everyone, I'm fairly new here. Been lurking for a while, and
          > have
          > > read most of the posts on who would have been the best choice
          with
          > > respect to the Confederacy for commander in the West. Best
          option,
          > > IMHO, Lee.
          > >
          > > I know this has been suggested before, and Davis himself even
          > > considered it, but rejected it partially because of Lee's
          > > reluctance. Nevertheless, sending Lee west and placing
          Longstreet
          > in
          > > command in the East, after Chattanooga, probably would have been
          > the
          > > Confederacy's best course of action. There are several major
          > > positives and negatives in this plan and, if everyone will bear
          > with
          > > me real quick, I'm gonna try to lay 'em out.
          > >
          > > First the weakness:
          > >
          > > 1. LONGSTREET'S LACKLUSTER RECORD AS AN INDEPENDANT COMMANDER:
          For
          > > whatever reason "Pete" had a fairly lackluster record as an
          > > independant commander. While he admittedly faced several
          handicaps
          > > at Knoxville and during his tenure in command of a department in
          > > southeastern Virginia, such as having to deal with a number of
          > > generals Lee had banished there so Marse Robert himself would no
          > > longer have to worry about them, the record remains disturbing
          at
          > > best. Just how would Longstreet have fared if given complete
          > control
          > > of the ANV? There is enough evidence out there to cast some
          > serious
          > > doubt on his abilities as an independant commander.
          > >
          > > 2. LEE'S OWN RELUCTANCE TO LEAVE THE ANV: Lee was a Virginian by
          > > birth, by early 1864 he wanted to keep command of the ANV, which
          > he
          > > had more than earned and proved himself a master at commanding.
          > > Furthermore Lee's reluctance to leave a theater he knew so well,
          > for
          > > one he knew very little about is a legitimate objection. I would
          > > also add to this Davis' heavy reliance on having Lee nearby, not
          > > only as commander of the ANV, but as a valued friend and general
          > to
          > > consult with. Nevertheless, given Lee's notion of honor and
          > devotion
          > > to duty, there is no doubt in my mind that had Davis actually
          > > ordered him out west, he would have went.
          > >
          > > 3. THE REACTION OF THE ANV: While there is no doubt that the ANV
          > > dearly loved Longstreet, and held him in high esteem, the regard
          > > they had for him could never compare to that they had for Lee.
          > > Understandably no general would ever hold in their hearts the
          > place
          > > that Lee did. Again, nevertheless, if Lee were sent West after
          > > Chattanooga, given the circumstances, and the fact that by 1864
          > the
          > > ANV was an actual army in discipline as well as name, I think
          the
          > > change just might have worked.
          > >
          > > Now the strenghts:
          > >
          > > 1. LEE'S AGRESSIVENESS, COMPETENCE AS A COMMANDER, AND ABILITY
          TO
          > > SEE OPPORTUNITY WHERE OTHERS SAW DISASTER: Lee is exactly the
          type
          > > of commander that was needed in the West. One who always
          remained
          > > inherently aggressive, and looked for ways to attack the enemy
          > > rather than lamenting the shortcomings he faced. If anyone could
          > > have viewed the Confederate situation out West, after
          Chattanooga,
          > > and found a way to counterattack the Union advance it would have
          > > been Lee. Moreover he would have brought a sense of the
          offensive
          > > that was often missing in the AoT's commanders (Johnston),
          > although
          > > not the AoT itself.
          > >
          > > 2. LEE'S PERSONALITY: His unique ability to balance delicate and
          > > often intemperate subordinates. This was a key in the AoT and
          one
          > > that all of its previous commanders, including chiefly Bragg and
          > > Johnston, simply missed. Men like Forrest and even Hood would
          not
          > > have bucked Lee as easily as they did Johnston. A situation like
          > > Cassville, where Hood's attitude toward Johnston, his
          motivations,
          > > and his actions were questionable, simply would not have
          happened
          > > under Lee. Hood, along with pretty much every other commander in
          > the
          > > Confederacy revered Lee. It's safe to say even a man like
          Forrest
          > > probably would not have reacted to Lee the same way he did to
          > Bragg
          > > for several reasons. (The first of which is that Lee always
          highly
          > > valued the reports of his cavalry and paid close attention to
          > them.
          > > The second that he was a far more competent operational
          commander
          > > than Bragg could ever hope to be, and the third that he was
          simply
          > > Robert E. Lee.) Finally men like Cleburne would have been given
          > the
          > > opportunity to either prove themselves as leaders at higher
          > command
          > > positions, failed and been moved back to their original command,
          > or
          > > simply shuffled to another theater as Lee was so adroit at
          doing.
          > > (When I look at Cleburne out West I can't help but think of John
          > B.
          > > Gordon out East. It's hard for me to believe that Clebure would
          > not
          > > have been, at least temporarily, allowed to try his hand at a
          > corps
          > > command under Lee.)
          > >
          > > 3. THE INHERENT PERSONALITY FLAWS IN THE OTHER COMMANDERS OF THE
          > > AoT: Say what you like about Johnston, Beauregard and Bragg but
          > they
          > > were simply not as easy to get along with as Lee. Moreover, with
          > > respect to Davis, it has always seemed rather beside the point
          to
          > me
          > > whether or not Johnston and Beauregard were right about his
          > > treatment of them. The point is HE, Davis, not them was the
          > > President of the Confederacy. The president MUST always have
          > > complete faith in his subordinates and trust their judgement. If
          > he
          > > can't, even because of his own personal shortcomings, these men
          > must
          > > be relieved or else the command will suffer. With Lee, Davis
          would
          > > have been able to have complete confidence, for the first time
          > since
          > > Albert Sidney Johnston, in the commander of the AoT. This
          > doubtless
          > > would have been a better military arrangement for all involved,
          > and
          > > elevated the morale of the army. Not only would they like their
          > > commander (as they did Joe Johnston) or the president support
          him
          > > (as he did Bragg), but rather both the army and the president
          > would
          > > both support the commanding general at the same time. A rather
          > novel
          > > notion out west.
          > >
          > > 4. LONGSTREET'S UNDERSTANDING OF THE GRAND STRATEGIC PLAN OUT
          > EAST:
          > > Longstreet's idea of remaining on the defensive, and simply
          > beating
          > > off Federal attacks would have worked much better in Virginia
          than
          > > it would have in Tenesse or Georgia. Think Fredericksburg. (Yes
          I
          > > know Lee was the commanding general, but Longstreet's reading of
          > the
          > > field and handling of his own troops was masterful here. I think
          > he
          > > could have done it on a larger scale.) Although Longstreet was
          > > undoubtedly better under Lee and this strategy may have had its
          > > difficulties against a federal army under Grant, I don't think
          it
          > > would have worn out the ability of the ANV to take the offensive
          > as
          > > quickly as Lee did.
          > >
          > > In closing, and given the subsequent history, I don't believe
          > Davis
          > > really had any other viable options. Lee out West, and
          Longstreet
          > in
          > > the East, at least until the elections of 1864, and the hope
          that
          > > Lee could have kept Sherman out of Atlanta, would have been a
          > > pretty good hand to play.
          > >
          > > Sorry if this post was too long, but you know what they say.
          > Figured
          > > I'd try to make somewhat of a good first impression.
        • Mark Peters
          Davis wanted a commission at the beginning of the war, but ended up with the Presidency. He was the one that never got over this, and hence his continuous
          Message 4 of 23 , Nov 9, 2004
          • 0 Attachment
            Davis wanted a commission at the beginning of the war, but ended up
            with the Presidency. He was the one that never got over this, and
            hence his continuous dabblings. That's my opinion, anyway.

            However, I don't agree that Beauregard and Johnston were in the
            wrong, because they didn't accept his war record and military
            ambitions. Rather, they were the ones in the field, and should have
            been given the responsibility to act upon their commissions.

            Best wishes,

            Mark

            --- In civilwarwest@yahoogroups.com, "illiniillinois"
            <illiniillinois@y...> wrote:
            >
            > Thanks for the response mark. Yeah you bring up a good point. I
            > hadn't even thought of Davis' fixation on the East.
            >
            > Also I don't have that big a problem with Beauregard either.
            Granted
            > the man thought he was another Napoleon and he had a fixation with
            > overly ambitious, grand strategic plans, but once he was brought
            > back down to earth he was able to tailor his plans based somewhat
            > more on reality. I think First Manassas was a good example of
            this,
            > even though a lot of the credit goes to Joe Johnston for that. His
            > defense of Petersburg was also much better than he traditionally
            > gets credit for, IMHO.
            >
            > Anyway I know this is a western discussion board, and, especially
            > being the new guy, I don't mean to stray too much. As for Davis I
            > couldn't agree more. I think the Confederacy's biggest problem was
            > his firm belief that because of his previous experience in Mexico
            > and as Secretary in War he was, in his opinion, almost a de facto
            > general. I just happen to think that he was the president of the
            > CSA, for better or worse, and Beauregard and Johnston would have
            > been a lot better off, both from a personal and military
            > perspective, if they had swallowed their pride and dealt with this
            > fact.
            >
            >
            > --- In civilwarwest@yahoogroups.com, "Mark Peters"
            > <mark.peters14@b...> wrote:
            > >
            > > You highlight several problems.
            > >
            > > Firstly, my belief is that Lee refused command in the West. So,
            > he
            > > wasn't a viable option. Davis, as did Lee, thought the war
            would
            > be
            > > won in the east. There is no way that he would have wanted his
            > best
            > > commander in the west, on a permanent basis.
            > >
            > > Of those willing to serve, as I've stated before, my belief is
            > that
            > > Beauregard was the best option. The fact that Davis
            continuously
            > > meddled in military affairs surely shows that politicians should
            > > allow their military commanders to get on with it. Because
            Davis
            > > did not get on, at a personal level, with Beauregard or J.
            > Johnston
            > > should not have precluded them from continuous command out west.
            > >
            > > I do agree with you on Cleburne!
            > >
            > > Best wishes,
            > >
            > > Mark
            > >
            > > --- In civilwarwest@yahoogroups.com, "illiniillinois"
            > > <illiniillinois@y...> wrote:
            > > >
            > > > Hi everyone, I'm fairly new here. Been lurking for a while,
            and
            > > have
            > > > read most of the posts on who would have been the best choice
            > with
            > > > respect to the Confederacy for commander in the West. Best
            > option,
            > > > IMHO, Lee.
            > > >
            > > > I know this has been suggested before, and Davis himself even
            > > > considered it, but rejected it partially because of Lee's
            > > > reluctance. Nevertheless, sending Lee west and placing
            > Longstreet
            > > in
            > > > command in the East, after Chattanooga, probably would have
            been
            > > the
            > > > Confederacy's best course of action. There are several major
            > > > positives and negatives in this plan and, if everyone will
            bear
            > > with
            > > > me real quick, I'm gonna try to lay 'em out.
            > > >
            > > > First the weakness:
            > > >
            > > > 1. LONGSTREET'S LACKLUSTER RECORD AS AN INDEPENDANT COMMANDER:
            > For
            > > > whatever reason "Pete" had a fairly lackluster record as an
            > > > independant commander. While he admittedly faced several
            > handicaps
            > > > at Knoxville and during his tenure in command of a department
            in
            > > > southeastern Virginia, such as having to deal with a number of
            > > > generals Lee had banished there so Marse Robert himself would
            no
            > > > longer have to worry about them, the record remains disturbing
            > at
            > > > best. Just how would Longstreet have fared if given complete
            > > control
            > > > of the ANV? There is enough evidence out there to cast some
            > > serious
            > > > doubt on his abilities as an independant commander.
            > > >
            > > > 2. LEE'S OWN RELUCTANCE TO LEAVE THE ANV: Lee was a Virginian
            by
            > > > birth, by early 1864 he wanted to keep command of the ANV,
            which
            > > he
            > > > had more than earned and proved himself a master at
            commanding.
            > > > Furthermore Lee's reluctance to leave a theater he knew so
            well,
            > > for
            > > > one he knew very little about is a legitimate objection. I
            would
            > > > also add to this Davis' heavy reliance on having Lee nearby,
            not
            > > > only as commander of the ANV, but as a valued friend and
            general
            > > to
            > > > consult with. Nevertheless, given Lee's notion of honor and
            > > devotion
            > > > to duty, there is no doubt in my mind that had Davis actually
            > > > ordered him out west, he would have went.
            > > >
            > > > 3. THE REACTION OF THE ANV: While there is no doubt that the
            ANV
            > > > dearly loved Longstreet, and held him in high esteem, the
            regard
            > > > they had for him could never compare to that they had for Lee.
            > > > Understandably no general would ever hold in their hearts the
            > > place
            > > > that Lee did. Again, nevertheless, if Lee were sent West after
            > > > Chattanooga, given the circumstances, and the fact that by
            1864
            > > the
            > > > ANV was an actual army in discipline as well as name, I think
            > the
            > > > change just might have worked.
            > > >
            > > > Now the strenghts:
            > > >
            > > > 1. LEE'S AGRESSIVENESS, COMPETENCE AS A COMMANDER, AND ABILITY
            > TO
            > > > SEE OPPORTUNITY WHERE OTHERS SAW DISASTER: Lee is exactly the
            > type
            > > > of commander that was needed in the West. One who always
            > remained
            > > > inherently aggressive, and looked for ways to attack the enemy
            > > > rather than lamenting the shortcomings he faced. If anyone
            could
            > > > have viewed the Confederate situation out West, after
            > Chattanooga,
            > > > and found a way to counterattack the Union advance it would
            have
            > > > been Lee. Moreover he would have brought a sense of the
            > offensive
            > > > that was often missing in the AoT's commanders (Johnston),
            > > although
            > > > not the AoT itself.
            > > >
            > > > 2. LEE'S PERSONALITY: His unique ability to balance delicate
            and
            > > > often intemperate subordinates. This was a key in the AoT and
            > one
            > > > that all of its previous commanders, including chiefly Bragg
            and
            > > > Johnston, simply missed. Men like Forrest and even Hood would
            > not
            > > > have bucked Lee as easily as they did Johnston. A situation
            like
            > > > Cassville, where Hood's attitude toward Johnston, his
            > motivations,
            > > > and his actions were questionable, simply would not have
            > happened
            > > > under Lee. Hood, along with pretty much every other commander
            in
            > > the
            > > > Confederacy revered Lee. It's safe to say even a man like
            > Forrest
            > > > probably would not have reacted to Lee the same way he did to
            > > Bragg
            > > > for several reasons. (The first of which is that Lee always
            > highly
            > > > valued the reports of his cavalry and paid close attention to
            > > them.
            > > > The second that he was a far more competent operational
            > commander
            > > > than Bragg could ever hope to be, and the third that he was
            > simply
            > > > Robert E. Lee.) Finally men like Cleburne would have been
            given
            > > the
            > > > opportunity to either prove themselves as leaders at higher
            > > command
            > > > positions, failed and been moved back to their original
            command,
            > > or
            > > > simply shuffled to another theater as Lee was so adroit at
            > doing.
            > > > (When I look at Cleburne out West I can't help but think of
            John
            > > B.
            > > > Gordon out East. It's hard for me to believe that Clebure
            would
            > > not
            > > > have been, at least temporarily, allowed to try his hand at a
            > > corps
            > > > command under Lee.)
            > > >
            > > > 3. THE INHERENT PERSONALITY FLAWS IN THE OTHER COMMANDERS OF
            THE
            > > > AoT: Say what you like about Johnston, Beauregard and Bragg
            but
            > > they
            > > > were simply not as easy to get along with as Lee. Moreover,
            with
            > > > respect to Davis, it has always seemed rather beside the point
            > to
            > > me
            > > > whether or not Johnston and Beauregard were right about his
            > > > treatment of them. The point is HE, Davis, not them was the
            > > > President of the Confederacy. The president MUST always have
            > > > complete faith in his subordinates and trust their judgement.
            If
            > > he
            > > > can't, even because of his own personal shortcomings, these
            men
            > > must
            > > > be relieved or else the command will suffer. With Lee, Davis
            > would
            > > > have been able to have complete confidence, for the first time
            > > since
            > > > Albert Sidney Johnston, in the commander of the AoT. This
            > > doubtless
            > > > would have been a better military arrangement for all
            involved,
            > > and
            > > > elevated the morale of the army. Not only would they like
            their
            > > > commander (as they did Joe Johnston) or the president support
            > him
            > > > (as he did Bragg), but rather both the army and the president
            > > would
            > > > both support the commanding general at the same time. A rather
            > > novel
            > > > notion out west.
            > > >
            > > > 4. LONGSTREET'S UNDERSTANDING OF THE GRAND STRATEGIC PLAN OUT
            > > EAST:
            > > > Longstreet's idea of remaining on the defensive, and simply
            > > beating
            > > > off Federal attacks would have worked much better in Virginia
            > than
            > > > it would have in Tenesse or Georgia. Think Fredericksburg.
            (Yes
            > I
            > > > know Lee was the commanding general, but Longstreet's reading
            of
            > > the
            > > > field and handling of his own troops was masterful here. I
            think
            > > he
            > > > could have done it on a larger scale.) Although Longstreet was
            > > > undoubtedly better under Lee and this strategy may have had
            its
            > > > difficulties against a federal army under Grant, I don't think
            > it
            > > > would have worn out the ability of the ANV to take the
            offensive
            > > as
            > > > quickly as Lee did.
            > > >
            > > > In closing, and given the subsequent history, I don't believe
            > > Davis
            > > > really had any other viable options. Lee out West, and
            > Longstreet
            > > in
            > > > the East, at least until the elections of 1864, and the hope
            > that
            > > > Lee could have kept Sherman out of Atlanta, would have been a
            > > > pretty good hand to play.
            > > >
            > > > Sorry if this post was too long, but you know what they say.
            > > Figured
            > > > I'd try to make somewhat of a good first impression.
          • Tom Mix
            I think the South had three capable leaders after the death of A.S. Johnston. R.E. Lee, Joe Johnston and Beauregard. What they had was a horrible road network
            Message 5 of 23 , Nov 9, 2004
            • 0 Attachment
              I think the South had three capable leaders after the death of A.S.
              Johnston. R.E. Lee, Joe Johnston and Beauregard. What they had was a
              horrible road network (to call it a "network" is a compliment) that
              covered a territory that was simply too large for an East, a West and a
              Southern Mississippi. They needed a third area between Lee and the West.
              Beauregard could have been left in command of the West and Northern
              Mississippi region and Joe Johnston put in charge of a middle area
              around Knoxville, Chattanooga and Georgia.
              Just a thought and probably a lousy one. But something to consider.
              Don't think about Davis and his prejudices. We know of them. This is an
              alternative thought of could be done if Davis really wanted to do
              something that would utilized the best available talent.


              -----Original Message-----
              From: Mark Peters [mailto:mark.peters14@...]
              Sent: Tuesday, November 09, 2004 9:18 PM
              To: civilwarwest@yahoogroups.com
              Subject: [civilwarwest] Re: Who would have been the best choice for
              commander in the West?



              Davis wanted a commission at the beginning of the war, but ended up
              with the Presidency. He was the one that never got over this, and
              hence his continuous dabblings. That's my opinion, anyway.

              However, I don't agree that Beauregard and Johnston were in the
              wrong, because they didn't accept his war record and military
              ambitions. Rather, they were the ones in the field, and should have
              been given the responsibility to act upon their commissions.

              Best wishes,

              Mark

              --- In civilwarwest@yahoogroups.com, "illiniillinois"
              <illiniillinois@y...> wrote:
              >
              > Thanks for the response mark. Yeah you bring up a good point. I
              > hadn't even thought of Davis' fixation on the East.
              >
              > Also I don't have that big a problem with Beauregard either.
              Granted
              > the man thought he was another Napoleon and he had a fixation with
              > overly ambitious, grand strategic plans, but once he was brought
              > back down to earth he was able to tailor his plans based somewhat
              > more on reality. I think First Manassas was a good example of
              this,
              > even though a lot of the credit goes to Joe Johnston for that. His
              > defense of Petersburg was also much better than he traditionally
              > gets credit for, IMHO.
              >
              > Anyway I know this is a western discussion board, and, especially
              > being the new guy, I don't mean to stray too much. As for Davis I
              > couldn't agree more. I think the Confederacy's biggest problem was
              > his firm belief that because of his previous experience in Mexico
              > and as Secretary in War he was, in his opinion, almost a de facto
              > general. I just happen to think that he was the president of the
              > CSA, for better or worse, and Beauregard and Johnston would have
              > been a lot better off, both from a personal and military
              > perspective, if they had swallowed their pride and dealt with this
              > fact.
              >
              >
              > --- In civilwarwest@yahoogroups.com, "Mark Peters"
              > <mark.peters14@b...> wrote:
              > >
              > > You highlight several problems.
              > >
              > > Firstly, my belief is that Lee refused command in the West. So,
              > he
              > > wasn't a viable option. Davis, as did Lee, thought the war
              would
              > be
              > > won in the east. There is no way that he would have wanted his
              > best
              > > commander in the west, on a permanent basis.
              > >
              > > Of those willing to serve, as I've stated before, my belief is
              > that
              > > Beauregard was the best option. The fact that Davis
              continuously
              > > meddled in military affairs surely shows that politicians should
              > > allow their military commanders to get on with it. Because
              Davis
              > > did not get on, at a personal level, with Beauregard or J.
              > Johnston
              > > should not have precluded them from continuous command out west.
              > >
              > > I do agree with you on Cleburne!
              > >
              > > Best wishes,
              > >
              > > Mark
              > >
              > > --- In civilwarwest@yahoogroups.com, "illiniillinois"
              > > <illiniillinois@y...> wrote:
              > > >
              > > > Hi everyone, I'm fairly new here. Been lurking for a while,
              and
              > > have
              > > > read most of the posts on who would have been the best choice
              > with
              > > > respect to the Confederacy for commander in the West. Best
              > option,
              > > > IMHO, Lee.
              > > >
              > > > I know this has been suggested before, and Davis himself even
              > > > considered it, but rejected it partially because of Lee's
              > > > reluctance. Nevertheless, sending Lee west and placing
              > Longstreet
              > > in
              > > > command in the East, after Chattanooga, probably would have
              been
              > > the
              > > > Confederacy's best course of action. There are several major
              > > > positives and negatives in this plan and, if everyone will
              bear
              > > with
              > > > me real quick, I'm gonna try to lay 'em out.
              > > >
              > > > First the weakness:
              > > >
              > > > 1. LONGSTREET'S LACKLUSTER RECORD AS AN INDEPENDANT COMMANDER:
              > For
              > > > whatever reason "Pete" had a fairly lackluster record as an
              > > > independant commander. While he admittedly faced several
              > handicaps
              > > > at Knoxville and during his tenure in command of a department
              in
              > > > southeastern Virginia, such as having to deal with a number of
              > > > generals Lee had banished there so Marse Robert himself would
              no
              > > > longer have to worry about them, the record remains disturbing
              > at
              > > > best. Just how would Longstreet have fared if given complete
              > > control
              > > > of the ANV? There is enough evidence out there to cast some
              > > serious
              > > > doubt on his abilities as an independant commander.
              > > >
              > > > 2. LEE'S OWN RELUCTANCE TO LEAVE THE ANV: Lee was a Virginian
              by
              > > > birth, by early 1864 he wanted to keep command of the ANV,
              which
              > > he
              > > > had more than earned and proved himself a master at
              commanding.
              > > > Furthermore Lee's reluctance to leave a theater he knew so
              well,
              > > for
              > > > one he knew very little about is a legitimate objection. I
              would
              > > > also add to this Davis' heavy reliance on having Lee nearby,
              not
              > > > only as commander of the ANV, but as a valued friend and
              general
              > > to
              > > > consult with. Nevertheless, given Lee's notion of honor and
              > > devotion
              > > > to duty, there is no doubt in my mind that had Davis actually
              > > > ordered him out west, he would have went.
              > > >
              > > > 3. THE REACTION OF THE ANV: While there is no doubt that the
              ANV
              > > > dearly loved Longstreet, and held him in high esteem, the
              regard
              > > > they had for him could never compare to that they had for Lee.
              > > > Understandably no general would ever hold in their hearts the
              > > place
              > > > that Lee did. Again, nevertheless, if Lee were sent West after
              > > > Chattanooga, given the circumstances, and the fact that by
              1864
              > > the
              > > > ANV was an actual army in discipline as well as name, I think
              > the
              > > > change just might have worked.
              > > >
              > > > Now the strenghts:
              > > >
              > > > 1. LEE'S AGRESSIVENESS, COMPETENCE AS A COMMANDER, AND ABILITY
              > TO
              > > > SEE OPPORTUNITY WHERE OTHERS SAW DISASTER: Lee is exactly the
              > type
              > > > of commander that was needed in the West. One who always
              > remained
              > > > inherently aggressive, and looked for ways to attack the enemy
              > > > rather than lamenting the shortcomings he faced. If anyone
              could
              > > > have viewed the Confederate situation out West, after
              > Chattanooga,
              > > > and found a way to counterattack the Union advance it would
              have
              > > > been Lee. Moreover he would have brought a sense of the
              > offensive
              > > > that was often missing in the AoT's commanders (Johnston),
              > > although
              > > > not the AoT itself.
              > > >
              > > > 2. LEE'S PERSONALITY: His unique ability to balance delicate
              and
              > > > often intemperate subordinates. This was a key in the AoT and
              > one
              > > > that all of its previous commanders, including chiefly Bragg
              and
              > > > Johnston, simply missed. Men like Forrest and even Hood would
              > not
              > > > have bucked Lee as easily as they did Johnston. A situation
              like
              > > > Cassville, where Hood's attitude toward Johnston, his
              > motivations,
              > > > and his actions were questionable, simply would not have
              > happened
              > > > under Lee. Hood, along with pretty much every other commander
              in
              > > the
              > > > Confederacy revered Lee. It's safe to say even a man like
              > Forrest
              > > > probably would not have reacted to Lee the same way he did to
              > > Bragg
              > > > for several reasons. (The first of which is that Lee always
              > highly
              > > > valued the reports of his cavalry and paid close attention to
              > > them.
              > > > The second that he was a far more competent operational
              > commander
              > > > than Bragg could ever hope to be, and the third that he was
              > simply
              > > > Robert E. Lee.) Finally men like Cleburne would have been
              given
              > > the
              > > > opportunity to either prove themselves as leaders at higher
              > > command
              > > > positions, failed and been moved back to their original
              command,
              > > or
              > > > simply shuffled to another theater as Lee was so adroit at
              > doing.
              > > > (When I look at Cleburne out West I can't help but think of
              John
              > > B.
              > > > Gordon out East. It's hard for me to believe that Clebure
              would
              > > not
              > > > have been, at least temporarily, allowed to try his hand at a
              > > corps
              > > > command under Lee.)
              > > >
              > > > 3. THE INHERENT PERSONALITY FLAWS IN THE OTHER COMMANDERS OF
              THE
              > > > AoT: Say what you like about Johnston, Beauregard and Bragg
              but
              > > they
              > > > were simply not as easy to get along with as Lee. Moreover,
              with
              > > > respect to Davis, it has always seemed rather beside the point
              > to
              > > me
              > > > whether or not Johnston and Beauregard were right about his
              > > > treatment of them. The point is HE, Davis, not them was the
              > > > President of the Confederacy. The president MUST always have
              > > > complete faith in his subordinates and trust their judgement.
              If
              > > he
              > > > can't, even because of his own personal shortcomings, these
              men
              > > must
              > > > be relieved or else the command will suffer. With Lee, Davis
              > would
              > > > have been able to have complete confidence, for the first time
              > > since
              > > > Albert Sidney Johnston, in the commander of the AoT. This
              > > doubtless
              > > > would have been a better military arrangement for all
              involved,
              > > and
              > > > elevated the morale of the army. Not only would they like
              their
              > > > commander (as they did Joe Johnston) or the president support
              > him
              > > > (as he did Bragg), but rather both the army and the president
              > > would
              > > > both support the commanding general at the same time. A rather
              > > novel
              > > > notion out west.
              > > >
              > > > 4. LONGSTREET'S UNDERSTANDING OF THE GRAND STRATEGIC PLAN OUT
              > > EAST:
              > > > Longstreet's idea of remaining on the defensive, and simply
              > > beating
              > > > off Federal attacks would have worked much better in Virginia
              > than
              > > > it would have in Tenesse or Georgia. Think Fredericksburg.
              (Yes
              > I
              > > > know Lee was the commanding general, but Longstreet's reading
              of
              > > the
              > > > field and handling of his own troops was masterful here. I
              think
              > > he
              > > > could have done it on a larger scale.) Although Longstreet was
              > > > undoubtedly better under Lee and this strategy may have had
              its
              > > > difficulties against a federal army under Grant, I don't think
              > it
              > > > would have worn out the ability of the ANV to take the
              offensive
              > > as
              > > > quickly as Lee did.
              > > >
              > > > In closing, and given the subsequent history, I don't believe
              > > Davis
              > > > really had any other viable options. Lee out West, and
              > Longstreet
              > > in
              > > > the East, at least until the elections of 1864, and the hope
              > that
              > > > Lee could have kept Sherman out of Atlanta, would have been a
              > > > pretty good hand to play.
              > > >
              > > > Sorry if this post was too long, but you know what they say.
              > > Figured
              > > > I'd try to make somewhat of a good first impression.







              Yahoo! Groups Links
            • carlw4514
              my comments below yours ... for some reason I never considered this exact combination, but not elevating Longstreet to army command was a huge mistake for the
              Message 6 of 23 , Nov 10, 2004
              • 0 Attachment
                my comments below yours

                --- In civilwarwest@yahoogroups.com, "illiniillinois"
                <illiniillinois@y...> wrote:
                >
                > Hi everyone, I'm fairly new here. Been lurking for a while, and have
                > read most of the posts on who would have been the best choice with
                > respect to the Confederacy for commander in the West. Best option,
                > IMHO, Lee.
                >
                > I know this has been suggested before, and Davis himself even
                > considered it, but rejected it partially because of Lee's
                > reluctance. Nevertheless, sending Lee west and placing Longstreet in
                > command in the East,


                for some reason I never considered this exact combination, but not
                elevating Longstreet to army command was a huge mistake for the CSA,
                IMHO. Your arrangement appeals to me.


                > after Chattanooga,


                I favor the time period prior to the fall of Vicksburg; but replacing
                Bragg may have cost too much in political capital at this earlier
                time, granted.


                > probably would have been the
                > Confederacy's best course of action. There are several major
                > positives and negatives in this plan and, if everyone will bear with
                > me real quick, I'm gonna try to lay 'em out.
                >
                > First the weakness:
                >
                > 1. LONGSTREET'S LACKLUSTER RECORD AS AN INDEPENDANT COMMANDER: For
                > whatever reason "Pete" had a fairly lackluster record as an
                > independant commander. While he admittedly faced several handicaps
                > at Knoxville and during his tenure in command of a department in
                > southeastern Virginia, such as having to deal with a number of
                > generals Lee had banished there so Marse Robert himself would no
                > longer have to worry about them, the record remains disturbing at
                > best. Just how would Longstreet have fared if given complete control
                > of the ANV? There is enough evidence out there to cast some serious
                > doubt on his abilities as an independant commander.



                Good point, but I really think he would have risen to the occassion.


                > 2. LEE'S OWN RELUCTANCE TO LEAVE THE ANV: Lee was a Virginian by
                > birth, by early 1864 he wanted to keep command of the ANV, which he
                > had more than earned and proved himself a master at commanding.
                > Furthermore Lee's reluctance to leave a theater he knew so well, for
                > one he knew very little about is a legitimate objection. I would
                > also add to this Davis' heavy reliance on having Lee nearby, not
                > only as commander of the ANV, but as a valued friend and general to
                > consult with. Nevertheless, given Lee's notion of honor and devotion
                > to duty, there is no doubt in my mind that had Davis actually
                > ordered him out west, he would have went.




                In the balance of things, it usually comes up to Davis's shortcomings,
                failure of vision, cronyism, whatever... a failure in almost
                everything, I am no fan of Jeff Davis as some here will undoubtably
                remember. Apologies to those who think I am a bit shrill on this.



                > 3. THE REACTION OF THE ANV: While there is no doubt that the ANV
                > dearly loved Longstreet, and held him in high esteem, the regard
                > they had for him could never compare to that they had for Lee.
                > Understandably no general would ever hold in their hearts the place
                > that Lee did. Again, nevertheless, if Lee were sent West after
                > Chattanooga, given the circumstances, and the fact that by 1864 the
                > ANV was an actual army in discipline as well as name, I think the
                > change just might have worked.



                The men usually decided they liked someone who kept the casualties
                down, and L. would have done this and also succeeded in winning
                battles, IMO.



                > Now the strenghts:
                >
                > 1. LEE'S AGRESSIVENESS, COMPETENCE AS A COMMANDER, AND ABILITY TO
                > SEE OPPORTUNITY WHERE OTHERS SAW DISASTER: Lee is exactly the type
                > of commander that was needed in the West. One who always remained
                > inherently aggressive, and looked for ways to attack the enemy
                > rather than lamenting the shortcomings he faced. If anyone could
                > have viewed the Confederate situation out West, after Chattanooga,
                > and found a way to counterattack the Union advance it would have
                > been Lee. Moreover he would have brought a sense of the offensive
                > that was often missing in the AoT's commanders (Johnston), although
                > not the AoT itself.


                I have to believe the results would have been good and tremendously
                helped the Confederacy.


                > 2. LEE'S PERSONALITY: His unique ability to balance delicate and
                > often intemperate subordinates. This was a key in the AoT and one
                > that all of its previous commanders, including chiefly Bragg and
                > Johnston, simply missed. Men like Forrest and even Hood would not
                > have bucked Lee as easily as they did Johnston. A situation like
                > Cassville, where Hood's attitude toward Johnston, his motivations,
                > and his actions were questionable, simply would not have happened
                > under Lee. Hood, along with pretty much every other commander in the
                > Confederacy revered Lee. It's safe to say even a man like Forrest
                > probably would not have reacted to Lee the same way he did to Bragg
                > for several reasons. (The first of which is that Lee always highly
                > valued the reports of his cavalry and paid close attention to them.
                > The second that he was a far more competent operational commander
                > than Bragg could ever hope to be, and the third that he was simply
                > Robert E. Lee.) Finally men like Cleburne would have been given the
                > opportunity to either prove themselves as leaders at higher command
                > positions, failed and been moved back to their original command, or
                > simply shuffled to another theater as Lee was so adroit at doing.
                > (When I look at Cleburne out West I can't help but think of John B.
                > Gordon out East. It's hard for me to believe that Clebure would not
                > have been, at least temporarily, allowed to try his hand at a corps
                > command under Lee.)


                Absolutely on the money here.


                > 3. THE INHERENT PERSONALITY FLAWS IN THE OTHER COMMANDERS OF THE
                > AoT: Say what you like about Johnston, Beauregard and Bragg but they
                > were simply not as easy to get along with as Lee. Moreover, with
                > respect to Davis, it has always seemed rather beside the point to me
                > whether or not Johnston and Beauregard were right about his
                > treatment of them. The point is HE, Davis, not them was the
                > President of the Confederacy. The president MUST always have
                > complete faith in his subordinates and trust their judgement. If he
                > can't, even because of his own personal shortcomings, these men must
                > be relieved or else the command will suffer. With Lee, Davis would
                > have been able to have complete confidence, for the first time since
                > Albert Sidney Johnston, in the commander of the AoT. This doubtless
                > would have been a better military arrangement for all involved, and
                > elevated the morale of the army. Not only would they like their
                > commander (as they did Joe Johnston) or the president support him
                > (as he did Bragg), but rather both the army and the president would
                > both support the commanding general at the same time. A rather novel
                > notion out west.


                also a good point


                > 4. LONGSTREET'S UNDERSTANDING OF THE GRAND STRATEGIC PLAN OUT EAST:
                > Longstreet's idea of remaining on the defensive, and simply beating
                > off Federal attacks would have worked much better in Virginia than
                > it would have in Tenesse or Georgia. Think Fredericksburg. (Yes I
                > know Lee was the commanding general, but Longstreet's reading of the
                > field and handling of his own troops was masterful here. I think he
                > could have done it on a larger scale.) Although Longstreet was
                > undoubtedly better under Lee and this strategy may have had its
                > difficulties against a federal army under Grant, I don't think it
                > would have worn out the ability of the ANV to take the offensive as
                > quickly as Lee did.



                In some ways, I think Longstreet would have been more suited to the
                new situation in the East at this time than Lee proved to be.


                > In closing, and given the subsequent history, I don't believe Davis
                > really had any other viable options. Lee out West, and Longstreet in
                > the East, at least until the elections of 1864, and the hope that
                > Lee could have kept Sherman out of Atlanta, would have been a
                > pretty good hand to play.
                >
                > Sorry if this post was too long, but you know what they say. Figured
                > I'd try to make somewhat of a good first impression.


                I think you have succeeded in that good impression, sir.

                Carl
              • illiniillinois
                Sorry but I had to reply to this. What would the central deparment in the West have looked like to you, Tom? Tenesse, Georgia, South Carolina and North
                Message 7 of 23 , Nov 12, 2004
                • 0 Attachment
                  Sorry but I had to reply to this. What would the central deparment
                  in the West have looked like to you, Tom? Tenesse, Georgia, South
                  Carolina and North Carolina? This seems like one of the most
                  intersting ideas to me yet and the more I think on it a darn good
                  idea. Curious on what you were thinking.

                  --- In civilwarwest@yahoogroups.com, "Tom Mix" <tmix@i...> wrote:
                  > I think the South had three capable leaders after the death of A.S.
                  > Johnston. R.E. Lee, Joe Johnston and Beauregard. What they had was
                  a
                  > horrible road network (to call it a "network" is a compliment) that
                  > covered a territory that was simply too large for an East, a West
                  and a
                  > Southern Mississippi. They needed a third area between Lee and the
                  West.
                  > Beauregard could have been left in command of the West and Northern
                  > Mississippi region and Joe Johnston put in charge of a middle area
                  > around Knoxville, Chattanooga and Georgia.
                  > Just a thought and probably a lousy one. But something to consider.
                  > Don't think about Davis and his prejudices. We know of them. This
                  is an
                  > alternative thought of could be done if Davis really wanted to do
                  > something that would utilized the best available talent.
                  >
                  >
                  > -----Original Message-----
                  > From: Mark Peters [mailto:mark.peters14@b...]
                  > Sent: Tuesday, November 09, 2004 9:18 PM
                  > To: civilwarwest@yahoogroups.com
                  > Subject: [civilwarwest] Re: Who would have been the best choice for
                  > commander in the West?
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  > Davis wanted a commission at the beginning of the war, but ended
                  up
                  > with the Presidency. He was the one that never got over this, and
                  > hence his continuous dabblings. That's my opinion, anyway.
                  >
                  > However, I don't agree that Beauregard and Johnston were in the
                  > wrong, because they didn't accept his war record and military
                  > ambitions. Rather, they were the ones in the field, and should
                  have
                  > been given the responsibility to act upon their commissions.
                  >
                  > Best wishes,
                  >
                  > Mark
                  >
                  > --- In civilwarwest@yahoogroups.com, "illiniillinois"
                  > <illiniillinois@y...> wrote:
                  > >
                  > > Thanks for the response mark. Yeah you bring up a good point. I
                  > > hadn't even thought of Davis' fixation on the East.
                  > >
                  > > Also I don't have that big a problem with Beauregard either.
                  > Granted
                  > > the man thought he was another Napoleon and he had a fixation
                  with
                  > > overly ambitious, grand strategic plans, but once he was brought
                  > > back down to earth he was able to tailor his plans based
                  somewhat
                  > > more on reality. I think First Manassas was a good example of
                  > this,
                  > > even though a lot of the credit goes to Joe Johnston for that.
                  His
                  > > defense of Petersburg was also much better than he traditionally
                  > > gets credit for, IMHO.
                  > >
                  > > Anyway I know this is a western discussion board, and,
                  especially
                  > > being the new guy, I don't mean to stray too much. As for Davis
                  I
                  > > couldn't agree more. I think the Confederacy's biggest problem
                  was
                  > > his firm belief that because of his previous experience in
                  Mexico
                  > > and as Secretary in War he was, in his opinion, almost a de
                  facto
                  > > general. I just happen to think that he was the president of the
                  > > CSA, for better or worse, and Beauregard and Johnston would have
                  > > been a lot better off, both from a personal and military
                  > > perspective, if they had swallowed their pride and dealt with
                  this
                  > > fact.
                  > >
                  > >
                  > > --- In civilwarwest@yahoogroups.com, "Mark Peters"
                  > > <mark.peters14@b...> wrote:
                  > > >
                  > > > You highlight several problems.
                  > > >
                  > > > Firstly, my belief is that Lee refused command in the West.
                  So,
                  > > he
                  > > > wasn't a viable option. Davis, as did Lee, thought the war
                  > would
                  > > be
                  > > > won in the east. There is no way that he would have wanted
                  his
                  > > best
                  > > > commander in the west, on a permanent basis.
                  > > >
                  > > > Of those willing to serve, as I've stated before, my belief is
                  > > that
                  > > > Beauregard was the best option. The fact that Davis
                  > continuously
                  > > > meddled in military affairs surely shows that politicians
                  should
                  > > > allow their military commanders to get on with it. Because
                  > Davis
                  > > > did not get on, at a personal level, with Beauregard or J.
                  > > Johnston
                  > > > should not have precluded them from continuous command out
                  west.
                  > > >
                  > > > I do agree with you on Cleburne!
                  > > >
                  > > > Best wishes,
                  > > >
                  > > > Mark
                  > > >
                  > > > --- In civilwarwest@yahoogroups.com, "illiniillinois"
                  > > > <illiniillinois@y...> wrote:
                  > > > >
                  > > > > Hi everyone, I'm fairly new here. Been lurking for a while,
                  > and
                  > > > have
                  > > > > read most of the posts on who would have been the best
                  choice
                  > > with
                  > > > > respect to the Confederacy for commander in the West. Best
                  > > option,
                  > > > > IMHO, Lee.
                  > > > >
                  > > > > I know this has been suggested before, and Davis himself
                  even
                  > > > > considered it, but rejected it partially because of Lee's
                  > > > > reluctance. Nevertheless, sending Lee west and placing
                  > > Longstreet
                  > > > in
                  > > > > command in the East, after Chattanooga, probably would have
                  > been
                  > > > the
                  > > > > Confederacy's best course of action. There are several major
                  > > > > positives and negatives in this plan and, if everyone will
                  > bear
                  > > > with
                  > > > > me real quick, I'm gonna try to lay 'em out.
                  > > > >
                  > > > > First the weakness:
                  > > > >
                  > > > > 1. LONGSTREET'S LACKLUSTER RECORD AS AN INDEPENDANT
                  COMMANDER:
                  > > For
                  > > > > whatever reason "Pete" had a fairly lackluster record as an
                  > > > > independant commander. While he admittedly faced several
                  > > handicaps
                  > > > > at Knoxville and during his tenure in command of a
                  department
                  > in
                  > > > > southeastern Virginia, such as having to deal with a number
                  of
                  > > > > generals Lee had banished there so Marse Robert himself
                  would
                  > no
                  > > > > longer have to worry about them, the record remains
                  disturbing
                  > > at
                  > > > > best. Just how would Longstreet have fared if given complete
                  > > > control
                  > > > > of the ANV? There is enough evidence out there to cast some
                  > > > serious
                  > > > > doubt on his abilities as an independant commander.
                  > > > >
                  > > > > 2. LEE'S OWN RELUCTANCE TO LEAVE THE ANV: Lee was a
                  Virginian
                  > by
                  > > > > birth, by early 1864 he wanted to keep command of the ANV,
                  > which
                  > > > he
                  > > > > had more than earned and proved himself a master at
                  > commanding.
                  > > > > Furthermore Lee's reluctance to leave a theater he knew so
                  > well,
                  > > > for
                  > > > > one he knew very little about is a legitimate objection. I
                  > would
                  > > > > also add to this Davis' heavy reliance on having Lee nearby,
                  > not
                  > > > > only as commander of the ANV, but as a valued friend and
                  > general
                  > > > to
                  > > > > consult with. Nevertheless, given Lee's notion of honor and
                  > > > devotion
                  > > > > to duty, there is no doubt in my mind that had Davis
                  actually
                  > > > > ordered him out west, he would have went.
                  > > > >
                  > > > > 3. THE REACTION OF THE ANV: While there is no doubt that the
                  > ANV
                  > > > > dearly loved Longstreet, and held him in high esteem, the
                  > regard
                  > > > > they had for him could never compare to that they had for
                  Lee.
                  > > > > Understandably no general would ever hold in their hearts
                  the
                  > > > place
                  > > > > that Lee did. Again, nevertheless, if Lee were sent West
                  after
                  > > > > Chattanooga, given the circumstances, and the fact that by
                  > 1864
                  > > > the
                  > > > > ANV was an actual army in discipline as well as name, I
                  think
                  > > the
                  > > > > change just might have worked.
                  > > > >
                  > > > > Now the strenghts:
                  > > > >
                  > > > > 1. LEE'S AGRESSIVENESS, COMPETENCE AS A COMMANDER, AND
                  ABILITY
                  > > TO
                  > > > > SEE OPPORTUNITY WHERE OTHERS SAW DISASTER: Lee is exactly
                  the
                  > > type
                  > > > > of commander that was needed in the West. One who always
                  > > remained
                  > > > > inherently aggressive, and looked for ways to attack the
                  enemy
                  > > > > rather than lamenting the shortcomings he faced. If anyone
                  > could
                  > > > > have viewed the Confederate situation out West, after
                  > > Chattanooga,
                  > > > > and found a way to counterattack the Union advance it would
                  > have
                  > > > > been Lee. Moreover he would have brought a sense of the
                  > > offensive
                  > > > > that was often missing in the AoT's commanders (Johnston),
                  > > > although
                  > > > > not the AoT itself.
                  > > > >
                  > > > > 2. LEE'S PERSONALITY: His unique ability to balance delicate
                  > and
                  > > > > often intemperate subordinates. This was a key in the AoT
                  and
                  > > one
                  > > > > that all of its previous commanders, including chiefly Bragg
                  > and
                  > > > > Johnston, simply missed. Men like Forrest and even Hood
                  would
                  > > not
                  > > > > have bucked Lee as easily as they did Johnston. A situation
                  > like
                  > > > > Cassville, where Hood's attitude toward Johnston, his
                  > > motivations,
                  > > > > and his actions were questionable, simply would not have
                  > > happened
                  > > > > under Lee. Hood, along with pretty much every other
                  commander
                  > in
                  > > > the
                  > > > > Confederacy revered Lee. It's safe to say even a man like
                  > > Forrest
                  > > > > probably would not have reacted to Lee the same way he did
                  to
                  > > > Bragg
                  > > > > for several reasons. (The first of which is that Lee always
                  > > highly
                  > > > > valued the reports of his cavalry and paid close attention
                  to
                  > > > them.
                  > > > > The second that he was a far more competent operational
                  > > commander
                  > > > > than Bragg could ever hope to be, and the third that he was
                  > > simply
                  > > > > Robert E. Lee.) Finally men like Cleburne would have been
                  > given
                  > > > the
                  > > > > opportunity to either prove themselves as leaders at higher
                  > > > command
                  > > > > positions, failed and been moved back to their original
                  > command,
                  > > > or
                  > > > > simply shuffled to another theater as Lee was so adroit at
                  > > doing.
                  > > > > (When I look at Cleburne out West I can't help but think of
                  > John
                  > > > B.
                  > > > > Gordon out East. It's hard for me to believe that Clebure
                  > would
                  > > > not
                  > > > > have been, at least temporarily, allowed to try his hand at
                  a
                  > > > corps
                  > > > > command under Lee.)
                  > > > >
                  > > > > 3. THE INHERENT PERSONALITY FLAWS IN THE OTHER COMMANDERS OF
                  > THE
                  > > > > AoT: Say what you like about Johnston, Beauregard and Bragg
                  > but
                  > > > they
                  > > > > were simply not as easy to get along with as Lee. Moreover,
                  > with
                  > > > > respect to Davis, it has always seemed rather beside the
                  point
                  > > to
                  > > > me
                  > > > > whether or not Johnston and Beauregard were right about his
                  > > > > treatment of them. The point is HE, Davis, not them was the
                  > > > > President of the Confederacy. The president MUST always have
                  > > > > complete faith in his subordinates and trust their
                  judgement.
                  > If
                  > > > he
                  > > > > can't, even because of his own personal shortcomings, these
                  > men
                  > > > must
                  > > > > be relieved or else the command will suffer. With Lee, Davis
                  > > would
                  > > > > have been able to have complete confidence, for the first
                  time
                  > > > since
                  > > > > Albert Sidney Johnston, in the commander of the AoT. This
                  > > > doubtless
                  > > > > would have been a better military arrangement for all
                  > involved,
                  > > > and
                  > > > > elevated the morale of the army. Not only would they like
                  > their
                  > > > > commander (as they did Joe Johnston) or the president
                  support
                  > > him
                  > > > > (as he did Bragg), but rather both the army and the
                  president
                  > > > would
                  > > > > both support the commanding general at the same time. A
                  rather
                  > > > novel
                  > > > > notion out west.
                  > > > >
                  > > > > 4. LONGSTREET'S UNDERSTANDING OF THE GRAND STRATEGIC PLAN
                  OUT
                  > > > EAST:
                  > > > > Longstreet's idea of remaining on the defensive, and simply
                  > > > beating
                  > > > > off Federal attacks would have worked much better in
                  Virginia
                  > > than
                  > > > > it would have in Tenesse or Georgia. Think Fredericksburg.
                  > (Yes
                  > > I
                  > > > > know Lee was the commanding general, but Longstreet's
                  reading
                  > of
                  > > > the
                  > > > > field and handling of his own troops was masterful here. I
                  > think
                  > > > he
                  > > > > could have done it on a larger scale.) Although Longstreet
                  was
                  > > > > undoubtedly better under Lee and this strategy may have had
                  > its
                  > > > > difficulties against a federal army under Grant, I don't
                  think
                  > > it
                  > > > > would have worn out the ability of the ANV to take the
                  > offensive
                  > > > as
                  > > > > quickly as Lee did.
                  > > > >
                  > > > > In closing, and given the subsequent history, I don't
                  believe
                  > > > Davis
                  > > > > really had any other viable options. Lee out West, and
                  > > Longstreet
                  > > > in
                  > > > > the East, at least until the elections of 1864, and the hope
                  > > that
                  > > > > Lee could have kept Sherman out of Atlanta, would have been
                  a
                  > > > > pretty good hand to play.
                  > > > >
                  > > > > Sorry if this post was too long, but you know what they say.
                  > > > Figured
                  > > > > I'd try to make somewhat of a good first impression.
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  > Yahoo! Groups Links
                • Tom Mix
                  I would include central and east Tennessee, Georgia, possibly inland S.C. but not coastal Georgia. I would have a Coastal Defense as a separate entity. Having
                  Message 8 of 23 , Nov 12, 2004
                  • 0 Attachment
                    I would include central and east Tennessee, Georgia, possibly inland
                    S.C. but not coastal Georgia. I would have a Coastal Defense as a
                    separate entity. Having to defend Nashville and the Savannah coast is
                    just nonsensical. To the West the area could be from Nashville to the
                    Mississippi River and South to below Vicksburg. Taylor could command the
                    Tran-Miss area and Texas. The AOT was grossly over extended as A.S.
                    Johnston rapidly discovered. Drawing a middle or central department
                    would add more focus to their efforts. Trying to communicate and
                    coordinate from Knoxville to Vicksburg was not feasible and it just
                    simply did not work.

                    This is just a rough outline of a concept or theory that needs further
                    discussion. But I think it would have been a viable alternative to what
                    actually occurred and failed. They had several capable leaders who kept
                    replacing each other. This program would have put the available talent
                    into the game together, enhanced communication, provided more structure
                    and allowed the Department commander to focus on a more centralized set
                    of problems, tasks and circumstances.
                    Just a thought...

                    -----Original Message-----
                    From: illiniillinois [mailto:illiniillinois@...]
                    Sent: Friday, November 12, 2004 2:18 AM
                    To: civilwarwest@yahoogroups.com
                    Subject: [civilwarwest] Re: Who would have been the best choice for
                    commander in the West?



                    Sorry but I had to reply to this. What would the central deparment
                    in the West have looked like to you, Tom? Tenesse, Georgia, South
                    Carolina and North Carolina? This seems like one of the most
                    intersting ideas to me yet and the more I think on it a darn good
                    idea. Curious on what you were thinking.

                    --- In civilwarwest@yahoogroups.com, "Tom Mix" <tmix@i...> wrote:
                    > I think the South had three capable leaders after the death of A.S.
                    > Johnston. R.E. Lee, Joe Johnston and Beauregard. What they had was
                    a
                    > horrible road network (to call it a "network" is a compliment) that
                    > covered a territory that was simply too large for an East, a West
                    and a
                    > Southern Mississippi. They needed a third area between Lee and the
                    West.
                    > Beauregard could have been left in command of the West and Northern
                    > Mississippi region and Joe Johnston put in charge of a middle area
                    > around Knoxville, Chattanooga and Georgia.
                    > Just a thought and probably a lousy one. But something to consider.
                    > Don't think about Davis and his prejudices. We know of them. This
                    is an
                    > alternative thought of could be done if Davis really wanted to do
                    > something that would utilized the best available talent.
                    >
                    >
                    > -----Original Message-----
                    > From: Mark Peters [mailto:mark.peters14@b...]
                    > Sent: Tuesday, November 09, 2004 9:18 PM
                    > To: civilwarwest@yahoogroups.com
                    > Subject: [civilwarwest] Re: Who would have been the best choice for
                    > commander in the West?
                    >
                    >
                    >
                    > Davis wanted a commission at the beginning of the war, but ended
                    up
                    > with the Presidency. He was the one that never got over this, and
                    > hence his continuous dabblings. That's my opinion, anyway.
                    >
                    > However, I don't agree that Beauregard and Johnston were in the
                    > wrong, because they didn't accept his war record and military
                    > ambitions. Rather, they were the ones in the field, and should
                    have
                    > been given the responsibility to act upon their commissions.
                    >
                    > Best wishes,
                    >
                    > Mark
                    >
                    > --- In civilwarwest@yahoogroups.com, "illiniillinois"
                    > <illiniillinois@y...> wrote:
                    > >
                    > > Thanks for the response mark. Yeah you bring up a good point. I
                    > > hadn't even thought of Davis' fixation on the East.
                    > >
                    > > Also I don't have that big a problem with Beauregard either.
                    > Granted
                    > > the man thought he was another Napoleon and he had a fixation
                    with
                    > > overly ambitious, grand strategic plans, but once he was brought
                    > > back down to earth he was able to tailor his plans based
                    somewhat
                    > > more on reality. I think First Manassas was a good example of
                    > this,
                    > > even though a lot of the credit goes to Joe Johnston for that.
                    His
                    > > defense of Petersburg was also much better than he traditionally
                    > > gets credit for, IMHO.
                    > >
                    > > Anyway I know this is a western discussion board, and,
                    especially
                    > > being the new guy, I don't mean to stray too much. As for Davis
                    I
                    > > couldn't agree more. I think the Confederacy's biggest problem
                    was
                    > > his firm belief that because of his previous experience in
                    Mexico
                    > > and as Secretary in War he was, in his opinion, almost a de
                    facto
                    > > general. I just happen to think that he was the president of the
                    > > CSA, for better or worse, and Beauregard and Johnston would have
                    > > been a lot better off, both from a personal and military
                    > > perspective, if they had swallowed their pride and dealt with
                    this
                    > > fact.
                    > >
                    > >
                    > > --- In civilwarwest@yahoogroups.com, "Mark Peters"
                    > > <mark.peters14@b...> wrote:
                    > > >
                    > > > You highlight several problems.
                    > > >
                    > > > Firstly, my belief is that Lee refused command in the West.
                    So,
                    > > he
                    > > > wasn't a viable option. Davis, as did Lee, thought the war
                    > would
                    > > be
                    > > > won in the east. There is no way that he would have wanted
                    his
                    > > best
                    > > > commander in the west, on a permanent basis.
                    > > >
                    > > > Of those willing to serve, as I've stated before, my belief is
                    > > that
                    > > > Beauregard was the best option. The fact that Davis
                    > continuously
                    > > > meddled in military affairs surely shows that politicians
                    should
                    > > > allow their military commanders to get on with it. Because
                    > Davis
                    > > > did not get on, at a personal level, with Beauregard or J.
                    > > Johnston
                    > > > should not have precluded them from continuous command out
                    west.
                    > > >
                    > > > I do agree with you on Cleburne!
                    > > >
                    > > > Best wishes,
                    > > >
                    > > > Mark
                    > > >
                    > > > --- In civilwarwest@yahoogroups.com, "illiniillinois"
                    > > > <illiniillinois@y...> wrote:
                    > > > >
                    > > > > Hi everyone, I'm fairly new here. Been lurking for a while,
                    > and
                    > > > have
                    > > > > read most of the posts on who would have been the best
                    choice
                    > > with
                    > > > > respect to the Confederacy for commander in the West. Best
                    > > option,
                    > > > > IMHO, Lee.
                    > > > >
                    > > > > I know this has been suggested before, and Davis himself
                    even
                    > > > > considered it, but rejected it partially because of Lee's
                    > > > > reluctance. Nevertheless, sending Lee west and placing
                    > > Longstreet
                    > > > in
                    > > > > command in the East, after Chattanooga, probably would have
                    > been
                    > > > the
                    > > > > Confederacy's best course of action. There are several major
                    > > > > positives and negatives in this plan and, if everyone will
                    > bear
                    > > > with
                    > > > > me real quick, I'm gonna try to lay 'em out.
                    > > > >
                    > > > > First the weakness:
                    > > > >
                    > > > > 1. LONGSTREET'S LACKLUSTER RECORD AS AN INDEPENDANT
                    COMMANDER:
                    > > For
                    > > > > whatever reason "Pete" had a fairly lackluster record as an
                    > > > > independant commander. While he admittedly faced several
                    > > handicaps
                    > > > > at Knoxville and during his tenure in command of a
                    department
                    > in
                    > > > > southeastern Virginia, such as having to deal with a number
                    of
                    > > > > generals Lee had banished there so Marse Robert himself
                    would
                    > no
                    > > > > longer have to worry about them, the record remains
                    disturbing
                    > > at
                    > > > > best. Just how would Longstreet have fared if given complete
                    > > > control
                    > > > > of the ANV? There is enough evidence out there to cast some
                    > > > serious
                    > > > > doubt on his abilities as an independant commander.
                    > > > >
                    > > > > 2. LEE'S OWN RELUCTANCE TO LEAVE THE ANV: Lee was a
                    Virginian
                    > by
                    > > > > birth, by early 1864 he wanted to keep command of the ANV,
                    > which
                    > > > he
                    > > > > had more than earned and proved himself a master at
                    > commanding.
                    > > > > Furthermore Lee's reluctance to leave a theater he knew so
                    > well,
                    > > > for
                    > > > > one he knew very little about is a legitimate objection. I
                    > would
                    > > > > also add to this Davis' heavy reliance on having Lee nearby,
                    > not
                    > > > > only as commander of the ANV, but as a valued friend and
                    > general
                    > > > to
                    > > > > consult with. Nevertheless, given Lee's notion of honor and
                    > > > devotion
                    > > > > to duty, there is no doubt in my mind that had Davis
                    actually
                    > > > > ordered him out west, he would have went.
                    > > > >
                    > > > > 3. THE REACTION OF THE ANV: While there is no doubt that the
                    > ANV
                    > > > > dearly loved Longstreet, and held him in high esteem, the
                    > regard
                    > > > > they had for him could never compare to that they had for
                    Lee.
                    > > > > Understandably no general would ever hold in their hearts
                    the
                    > > > place
                    > > > > that Lee did. Again, nevertheless, if Lee were sent West
                    after
                    > > > > Chattanooga, given the circumstances, and the fact that by
                    > 1864
                    > > > the
                    > > > > ANV was an actual army in discipline as well as name, I
                    think
                    > > the
                    > > > > change just might have worked.
                    > > > >
                    > > > > Now the strenghts:
                    > > > >
                    > > > > 1. LEE'S AGRESSIVENESS, COMPETENCE AS A COMMANDER, AND
                    ABILITY
                    > > TO
                    > > > > SEE OPPORTUNITY WHERE OTHERS SAW DISASTER: Lee is exactly
                    the
                    > > type
                    > > > > of commander that was needed in the West. One who always
                    > > remained
                    > > > > inherently aggressive, and looked for ways to attack the
                    enemy
                    > > > > rather than lamenting the shortcomings he faced. If anyone
                    > could
                    > > > > have viewed the Confederate situation out West, after
                    > > Chattanooga,
                    > > > > and found a way to counterattack the Union advance it would
                    > have
                    > > > > been Lee. Moreover he would have brought a sense of the
                    > > offensive
                    > > > > that was often missing in the AoT's commanders (Johnston),
                    > > > although
                    > > > > not the AoT itself.
                    > > > >
                    > > > > 2. LEE'S PERSONALITY: His unique ability to balance delicate
                    > and
                    > > > > often intemperate subordinates. This was a key in the AoT
                    and
                    > > one
                    > > > > that all of its previous commanders, including chiefly Bragg
                    > and
                    > > > > Johnston, simply missed. Men like Forrest and even Hood
                    would
                    > > not
                    > > > > have bucked Lee as easily as they did Johnston. A situation
                    > like
                    > > > > Cassville, where Hood's attitude toward Johnston, his
                    > > motivations,
                    > > > > and his actions were questionable, simply would not have
                    > > happened
                    > > > > under Lee. Hood, along with pretty much every other
                    commander
                    > in
                    > > > the
                    > > > > Confederacy revered Lee. It's safe to say even a man like
                    > > Forrest
                    > > > > probably would not have reacted to Lee the same way he did
                    to
                    > > > Bragg
                    > > > > for several reasons. (The first of which is that Lee always
                    > > highly
                    > > > > valued the reports of his cavalry and paid close attention
                    to
                    > > > them.
                    > > > > The second that he was a far more competent operational
                    > > commander
                    > > > > than Bragg could ever hope to be, and the third that he was
                    > > simply
                    > > > > Robert E. Lee.) Finally men like Cleburne would have been
                    > given
                    > > > the
                    > > > > opportunity to either prove themselves as leaders at higher
                    > > > command
                    > > > > positions, failed and been moved back to their original
                    > command,
                    > > > or
                    > > > > simply shuffled to another theater as Lee was so adroit at
                    > > doing.
                    > > > > (When I look at Cleburne out West I can't help but think of
                    > John
                    > > > B.
                    > > > > Gordon out East. It's hard for me to believe that Clebure
                    > would
                    > > > not
                    > > > > have been, at least temporarily, allowed to try his hand at
                    a
                    > > > corps
                    > > > > command under Lee.)
                    > > > >
                    > > > > 3. THE INHERENT PERSONALITY FLAWS IN THE OTHER COMMANDERS OF
                    > THE
                    > > > > AoT: Say what you like about Johnston, Beauregard and Bragg
                    > but
                    > > > they
                    > > > > were simply not as easy to get along with as Lee. Moreover,
                    > with
                    > > > > respect to Davis, it has always seemed rather beside the
                    point
                    > > to
                    > > > me
                    > > > > whether or not Johnston and Beauregard were right about his
                    > > > > treatment of them. The point is HE, Davis, not them was the
                    > > > > President of the Confederacy. The president MUST always have
                    > > > > complete faith in his subordinates and trust their
                    judgement.
                    > If
                    > > > he
                    > > > > can't, even because of his own personal shortcomings, these
                    > men
                    > > > must
                    > > > > be relieved or else the command will suffer. With Lee, Davis
                    > > would
                    > > > > have been able to have complete confidence, for the first
                    time
                    > > > since
                    > > > > Albert Sidney Johnston, in the commander of the AoT. This
                    > > > doubtless
                    > > > > would have been a better military arrangement for all
                    > involved,
                    > > > and
                    > > > > elevated the morale of the army. Not only would they like
                    > their
                    > > > > commander (as they did Joe Johnston) or the president
                    support
                    > > him
                    > > > > (as he did Bragg), but rather both the army and the
                    president
                    > > > would
                    > > > > both support the commanding general at the same time. A
                    rather
                    > > > novel
                    > > > > notion out west.
                    > > > >
                    > > > > 4. LONGSTREET'S UNDERSTANDING OF THE GRAND STRATEGIC PLAN
                    OUT
                    > > > EAST:
                    > > > > Longstreet's idea of remaining on the defensive, and simply
                    > > > beating
                    > > > > off Federal attacks would have worked much better in
                    Virginia
                    > > than
                    > > > > it would have in Tenesse or Georgia. Think Fredericksburg.
                    > (Yes
                    > > I
                    > > > > know Lee was the commanding general, but Longstreet's
                    reading
                    > of
                    > > > the
                    > > > > field and handling of his own troops was masterful here. I
                    > think
                    > > > he
                    > > > > could have done it on a larger scale.) Although Longstreet
                    was
                    > > > > undoubtedly better under Lee and this strategy may have had
                    > its
                    > > > > difficulties against a federal army under Grant, I don't
                    think
                    > > it
                    > > > > would have worn out the ability of the ANV to take the
                    > offensive
                    > > > as
                    > > > > quickly as Lee did.
                    > > > >
                    > > > > In closing, and given the subsequent history, I don't
                    believe
                    > > > Davis
                    > > > > really had any other viable options. Lee out West, and
                    > > Longstreet
                    > > > in
                    > > > > the East, at least until the elections of 1864, and the hope
                    > > that
                    > > > > Lee could have kept Sherman out of Atlanta, would have been
                    a
                    > > > > pretty good hand to play.
                    > > > >
                    > > > > Sorry if this post was too long, but you know what they say.
                    > > > Figured
                    > > > > I'd try to make somewhat of a good first impression.
                    >
                    >
                    >
                    >
                    >
                    >
                    >
                    > Yahoo! Groups Links







                    Yahoo! Groups Links
                  • William H Keene
                    Isn t your idea what was done in the fall of 1862: - Bragg commanded an area consisting of central and eastern Tennesee plus the northern portions of Georgia
                    Message 9 of 23 , Nov 12, 2004
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                      Isn't your idea what was done in the fall of 1862:
                      - Bragg commanded an area consisting of central and eastern Tennesee plus the northern
                      portions of Georgia and Alabama;
                      - Pemberton commanded Mississippi. eastern Louisiana and ambitions of retaking western
                      Tennessee;
                      JEJ was given authority over both Departments in hopes of providing some level of
                      coordination. Coastal Georgia and South Carolina was a separate Department under
                      Beauregard. This structure lasted until early 1864.




                      --- In civilwarwest@yahoogroups.com, "Tom Mix" <tmix@i...> wrote:
                      > I would include central and east Tennessee, Georgia, possibly inland
                      > S.C. but not coastal Georgia. I would have a Coastal Defense as a
                      > separate entity. Having to defend Nashville and the Savannah coast is
                      > just nonsensical. To the West the area could be from Nashville to the
                      > Mississippi River and South to below Vicksburg. Taylor could command the
                      > Tran-Miss area and Texas. The AOT was grossly over extended as A.S.
                      > Johnston rapidly discovered. Drawing a middle or central department
                      > would add more focus to their efforts. Trying to communicate and
                      > coordinate from Knoxville to Vicksburg was not feasible and it just
                      > simply did not work.
                      >
                      > This is just a rough outline of a concept or theory that needs further
                      > discussion. But I think it would have been a viable alternative to what
                      > actually occurred and failed. They had several capable leaders who kept
                      > replacing each other. This program would have put the available talent
                      > into the game together, enhanced communication, provided more structure
                      > and allowed the Department commander to focus on a more centralized set
                      > of problems, tasks and circumstances.
                      > Just a thought...
                      >
                      > -----Original Message-----
                      > From: illiniillinois [mailto:illiniillinois@y...]
                      > Sent: Friday, November 12, 2004 2:18 AM
                      > To: civilwarwest@yahoogroups.com
                      > Subject: [civilwarwest] Re: Who would have been the best choice for
                      > commander in the West?
                      >
                      >
                      >
                      > Sorry but I had to reply to this. What would the central deparment
                      > in the West have looked like to you, Tom? Tenesse, Georgia, South
                      > Carolina and North Carolina? This seems like one of the most
                      > intersting ideas to me yet and the more I think on it a darn good
                      > idea. Curious on what you were thinking.
                      >
                      > --- In civilwarwest@yahoogroups.com, "Tom Mix" <tmix@i...> wrote:
                      > > I think the South had three capable leaders after the death of A.S.
                      > > Johnston. R.E. Lee, Joe Johnston and Beauregard. What they had was
                      > a
                      > > horrible road network (to call it a "network" is a compliment) that
                      > > covered a territory that was simply too large for an East, a West
                      > and a
                      > > Southern Mississippi. They needed a third area between Lee and the
                      > West.
                      > > Beauregard could have been left in command of the West and Northern
                      > > Mississippi region and Joe Johnston put in charge of a middle area
                      > > around Knoxville, Chattanooga and Georgia.
                      > > Just a thought and probably a lousy one. But something to consider.
                      > > Don't think about Davis and his prejudices. We know of them. This
                      > is an
                      > > alternative thought of could be done if Davis really wanted to do
                      > > something that would utilized the best available talent.
                      > >
                      > >
                      > > -----Original Message-----
                      > > From: Mark Peters [mailto:mark.peters14@b...]
                      > > Sent: Tuesday, November 09, 2004 9:18 PM
                      > > To: civilwarwest@yahoogroups.com
                      > > Subject: [civilwarwest] Re: Who would have been the best choice for
                      > > commander in the West?
                      > >
                      > >
                      > >
                      > > Davis wanted a commission at the beginning of the war, but ended
                      > up
                      > > with the Presidency. He was the one that never got over this, and
                      > > hence his continuous dabblings. That's my opinion, anyway.
                      > >
                      > > However, I don't agree that Beauregard and Johnston were in the
                      > > wrong, because they didn't accept his war record and military
                      > > ambitions. Rather, they were the ones in the field, and should
                      > have
                      > > been given the responsibility to act upon their commissions.
                      > >
                      > > Best wishes,
                      > >
                      > > Mark
                      > >
                      > > --- In civilwarwest@yahoogroups.com, "illiniillinois"
                      > > <illiniillinois@y...> wrote:
                      > > >
                      > > > Thanks for the response mark. Yeah you bring up a good point. I
                      > > > hadn't even thought of Davis' fixation on the East.
                      > > >
                      > > > Also I don't have that big a problem with Beauregard either.
                      > > Granted
                      > > > the man thought he was another Napoleon and he had a fixation
                      > with
                      > > > overly ambitious, grand strategic plans, but once he was brought
                      > > > back down to earth he was able to tailor his plans based
                      > somewhat
                      > > > more on reality. I think First Manassas was a good example of
                      > > this,
                      > > > even though a lot of the credit goes to Joe Johnston for that.
                      > His
                      > > > defense of Petersburg was also much better than he traditionally
                      > > > gets credit for, IMHO.
                      > > >
                      > > > Anyway I know this is a western discussion board, and,
                      > especially
                      > > > being the new guy, I don't mean to stray too much. As for Davis
                      > I
                      > > > couldn't agree more. I think the Confederacy's biggest problem
                      > was
                      > > > his firm belief that because of his previous experience in
                      > Mexico
                      > > > and as Secretary in War he was, in his opinion, almost a de
                      > facto
                      > > > general. I just happen to think that he was the president of the
                      > > > CSA, for better or worse, and Beauregard and Johnston would have
                      > > > been a lot better off, both from a personal and military
                      > > > perspective, if they had swallowed their pride and dealt with
                      > this
                      > > > fact.
                      > > >
                      > > >
                      > > > --- In civilwarwest@yahoogroups.com, "Mark Peters"
                      > > > <mark.peters14@b...> wrote:
                      > > > >
                      > > > > You highlight several problems.
                      > > > >
                      > > > > Firstly, my belief is that Lee refused command in the West.
                      > So,
                      > > > he
                      > > > > wasn't a viable option. Davis, as did Lee, thought the war
                      > > would
                      > > > be
                      > > > > won in the east. There is no way that he would have wanted
                      > his
                      > > > best
                      > > > > commander in the west, on a permanent basis.
                      > > > >
                      > > > > Of those willing to serve, as I've stated before, my belief is
                      > > > that
                      > > > > Beauregard was the best option. The fact that Davis
                      > > continuously
                      > > > > meddled in military affairs surely shows that politicians
                      > should
                      > > > > allow their military commanders to get on with it. Because
                      > > Davis
                      > > > > did not get on, at a personal level, with Beauregard or J.
                      > > > Johnston
                      > > > > should not have precluded them from continuous command out
                      > west.
                      > > > >
                      > > > > I do agree with you on Cleburne!
                      > > > >
                      > > > > Best wishes,
                      > > > >
                      > > > > Mark
                      > > > >
                      > > > > --- In civilwarwest@yahoogroups.com, "illiniillinois"
                      > > > > <illiniillinois@y...> wrote:
                      > > > > >
                      > > > > > Hi everyone, I'm fairly new here. Been lurking for a while,
                      > > and
                      > > > > have
                      > > > > > read most of the posts on who would have been the best
                      > choice
                      > > > with
                      > > > > > respect to the Confederacy for commander in the West. Best
                      > > > option,
                      > > > > > IMHO, Lee.
                      > > > > >
                      > > > > > I know this has been suggested before, and Davis himself
                      > even
                      > > > > > considered it, but rejected it partially because of Lee's
                      > > > > > reluctance. Nevertheless, sending Lee west and placing
                      > > > Longstreet
                      > > > > in
                      > > > > > command in the East, after Chattanooga, probably would have
                      > > been
                      > > > > the
                      > > > > > Confederacy's best course of action. There are several major
                      > > > > > positives and negatives in this plan and, if everyone will
                      > > bear
                      > > > > with
                      > > > > > me real quick, I'm gonna try to lay 'em out.
                      > > > > >
                      > > > > > First the weakness:
                      > > > > >
                      > > > > > 1. LONGSTREET'S LACKLUSTER RECORD AS AN INDEPENDANT
                      > COMMANDER:
                      > > > For
                      > > > > > whatever reason "Pete" had a fairly lackluster record as an
                      > > > > > independant commander. While he admittedly faced several
                      > > > handicaps
                      > > > > > at Knoxville and during his tenure in command of a
                      > department
                      > > in
                      > > > > > southeastern Virginia, such as having to deal with a number
                      > of
                      > > > > > generals Lee had banished there so Marse Robert himself
                      > would
                      > > no
                      > > > > > longer have to worry about them, the record remains
                      > disturbing
                      > > > at
                      > > > > > best. Just how would Longstreet have fared if given complete
                      > > > > control
                      > > > > > of the ANV? There is enough evidence out there to cast some
                      > > > > serious
                      > > > > > doubt on his abilities as an independant commander.
                      > > > > >
                      > > > > > 2. LEE'S OWN RELUCTANCE TO LEAVE THE ANV: Lee was a
                      > Virginian
                      > > by
                      > > > > > birth, by early 1864 he wanted to keep command of the ANV,
                      > > which
                      > > > > he
                      > > > > > had more than earned and proved himself a master at
                      > > commanding.
                      > > > > > Furthermore Lee's reluctance to leave a theater he knew so
                      > > well,
                      > > > > for
                      > > > > > one he knew very little about is a legitimate objection. I
                      > > would
                      > > > > > also add to this Davis' heavy reliance on having Lee nearby,
                      > > not
                      > > > > > only as commander of the ANV, but as a valued friend and
                      > > general
                      > > > > to
                      > > > > > consult with. Nevertheless, given Lee's notion of honor and
                      > > > > devotion
                      > > > > > to duty, there is no doubt in my mind that had Davis
                      > actually
                      > > > > > ordered him out west, he would have went.
                      > > > > >
                      > > > > > 3. THE REACTION OF THE ANV: While there is no doubt that the
                      > > ANV
                      > > > > > dearly loved Longstreet, and held him in high esteem, the
                      > > regard
                      > > > > > they had for him could never compare to that they had for
                      > Lee.
                      > > > > > Understandably no general would ever hold in their hearts
                      > the
                      > > > > place
                      > > > > > that Lee did. Again, nevertheless, if Lee were sent West
                      > after
                      > > > > > Chattanooga, given the circumstances, and the fact that by
                      > > 1864
                      > > > > the
                      > > > > > ANV was an actual army in discipline as well as name, I
                      > think
                      > > > the
                      > > > > > change just might have worked.
                      > > > > >
                      > > > > > Now the strenghts:
                      > > > > >
                      > > > > > 1. LEE'S AGRESSIVENESS, COMPETENCE AS A COMMANDER, AND
                      > ABILITY
                      > > > TO
                      > > > > > SEE OPPORTUNITY WHERE OTHERS SAW DISASTER: Lee is exactly
                      > the
                      > > > type
                      > > > > > of commander that was needed in the West. One who always
                      > > > remained
                      > > > > > inherently aggressive, and looked for ways to attack the
                      > enemy
                      > > > > > rather than lamenting the shortcomings he faced. If anyone
                      > > could
                      > > > > > have viewed the Confederate situation out West, after
                      > > > Chattanooga,
                      > > > > > and found a way to counterattack the Union advance it would
                      > > have
                      > > > > > been Lee. Moreover he would have brought a sense of the
                      > > > offensive
                      > > > > > that was often missing in the AoT's commanders (Johnston),
                      > > > > although
                      > > > > > not the AoT itself.
                      > > > > >
                      > > > > > 2. LEE'S PERSONALITY: His unique ability to balance delicate
                      > > and
                      > > > > > often intemperate subordinates. This was a key in the AoT
                      > and
                      > > > one
                      > > > > > that all of its previous commanders, including chiefly Bragg
                      > > and
                      > > > > > Johnston, simply missed. Men like Forrest and even Hood
                      > would
                      > > > not
                      > > > > > have bucked Lee as easily as they did Johnston. A situation
                      > > like
                      > > > > > Cassville, where Hood's attitude toward Johnston, his
                      > > > motivations,
                      > > > > > and his actions were questionable, simply would not have
                      > > > happened
                      > > > > > under Lee. Hood, along with pretty much every other
                      > commander
                      > > in
                      > > > > the
                      > > > > > Confederacy revered Lee. It's safe to say even a man like
                      > > > Forrest
                      > > > > > probably would not have reacted to Lee the same way he did
                      > to
                      > > > > Bragg
                      > > > > > for several reasons. (The first of which is that Lee always
                      > > > highly
                      > > > > > valued the reports of his cavalry and paid close attention
                      > to
                      > > > > them.
                      > > > > > The second that he was a far more competent operational
                      > > > commander
                      > > > > > than Bragg could ever hope to be, and the third that he was
                      > > > simply
                      > > > > > Robert E. Lee.) Finally men like Cleburne would have been
                      > > given
                      > > > > the
                      > > > > > opportunity to either prove themselves as leaders at higher
                      > > > > command
                      > > > > > positions, failed and been moved back to their original
                      > > command,
                      > > > > or
                      > > > > > simply shuffled to another theater as Lee was so adroit at
                      > > > doing.
                      > > > > > (When I look at Cleburne out West I can't help but think of
                      > > John
                      > > > > B.
                      > > > > > Gordon out East. It's hard for me to believe that Clebure
                      > > would
                      > > > > not
                      > > > > > have been, at least temporarily, allowed to try his hand at
                      > a
                      > > > > corps
                      > > > > > command under Lee.)
                      > > > > >
                      > > > > > 3. THE INHERENT PERSONALITY FLAWS IN THE OTHER COMMANDERS OF
                      > > THE
                      > > > > > AoT: Say what you like about Johnston, Beauregard and Bragg
                      > > but
                      > > > > they
                      > > > > > were simply not as easy to get along with as Lee. Moreover,
                      > > with
                      > > > > > respect to Davis, it has always seemed rather beside the
                      > point
                      > > > to
                      > > > > me
                      > > > > > whether or not Johnston and Beauregard were right about his
                      > > > > > treatment of them. The point is HE, Davis, not them was the
                      > > > > > President of the Confederacy. The president MUST always have
                      > > > > > complete faith in his subordinates and trust their
                      > judgement.
                      > > If
                      > > > > he
                      > > > > > can't, even because of his own personal shortcomings, these
                      > > men
                      > > > > must
                      > > > > > be relieved or else the command will suffer. With Lee, Davis
                      > > > would
                      > > > > > have been able to have complete confidence, for the first
                      > time
                      > > > > since
                      > > > > > Albert Sidney Johnston, in the commander of the AoT. This
                      > > > > doubtless
                      > > > > > would have been a better military arrangement for all
                      > > involved,
                      > > > > and
                      > > > > > elevated the morale of the army. Not only would they like
                      > > their
                      > > > > > commander (as they did Joe Johnston) or the president
                      > support
                      > > > him
                      > > > > > (as he did Bragg), but rather both the army and the
                      > president
                      > > > > would
                      > > > > > both support the commanding general at the same time. A
                      > rather
                      > > > > novel
                      > > > > > notion out west.
                      > > > > >
                      > > > > > 4. LONGSTREET'S UNDERSTANDING OF THE GRAND STRATEGIC PLAN
                      > OUT
                      > > > > EAST:
                      > > > > > Longstreet's idea of remaining on the defensive, and simply
                      > > > > beating
                      > > > > > off Federal attacks would have worked much better in
                      > Virginia
                      > > > than
                      > > > > > it would have in Tenesse or Georgia. Think Fredericksburg.
                      > > (Yes
                      > > > I
                      > > > > > know Lee was the commanding general, but Longstreet's
                      > reading
                      > > of
                      > > > > the
                      > > > > > field and handling of his own troops was masterful here. I
                      > > think
                      > > > > he
                      > > > > > could have done it on a larger scale.) Although Longstreet
                      > was
                      > > > > > undoubtedly better under Lee and this strategy may have had
                      > > its
                      > > > > > difficulties against a federal army under Grant, I don't
                      > think
                      > > > it
                      > > > > > would have worn out the ability of the ANV to take the
                      > > offensive
                      > > > > as
                      > > > > > quickly as Lee did.
                      > > > > >
                      > > > > > In closing, and given the subsequent history, I don't
                      > believe
                      > > > > Davis
                      > > > > > really had any other viable options. Lee out West, and
                      > > > Longstreet
                      > > > > in
                      > > > > > the East, at least until the elections of 1864, and the hope
                      > > > that
                      > > > > > Lee could have kept Sherman out of Atlanta, would have been
                      > a
                      > > > > > pretty good hand to play.
                      > > > > >
                      > > > > > Sorry if this post was too long, but you know what they say.
                      > > > > Figured
                      > > > > > I'd try to make somewhat of a good first impression.
                      > >
                      > >
                      > >
                      > >
                      > >
                      > >
                      > >
                      > > Yahoo! Groups Links
                      >
                      >
                      >
                      >
                      >
                      >
                      >
                      > Yahoo! Groups Links
                    • Tom Mix
                      To a degree. But you have AOT fighting from Perryville to Shiloh from Chattanooga to Mississippi. It was simply stretched too thin and the territorial command
                      Message 10 of 23 , Nov 12, 2004
                      • 0 Attachment
                        To a degree. But you have AOT fighting from Perryville to Shiloh from
                        Chattanooga to Mississippi. It was simply stretched too thin and the
                        territorial command responsibilities were clearly lacking of focus. A.S.
                        Johnston had a huge territory to attempt to control and he found he
                        could not do attempting to consolidate his efforts at Shiloh. It was too
                        diverse, too unwieldy. So, what you describe did exist but was not
                        applied as it should have been. Just follow the combat history of Bragg.
                        From Shiloh to Perryville. Hood from Atlanta to Nashville. No focus.

                        -----Original Message-----
                        From: William H Keene [mailto:wh_keene@...]
                        Sent: Friday, November 12, 2004 3:18 PM
                        To: civilwarwest@yahoogroups.com
                        Subject: [civilwarwest] Re: Who would have been the best choice for
                        commander in the West?



                        Isn't your idea what was done in the fall of 1862:
                        - Bragg commanded an area consisting of central and eastern Tennesee
                        plus the northern
                        portions of Georgia and Alabama;
                        - Pemberton commanded Mississippi. eastern Louisiana and ambitions of
                        retaking western
                        Tennessee;
                        JEJ was given authority over both Departments in hopes of providing some
                        level of
                        coordination. Coastal Georgia and South Carolina was a separate
                        Department under
                        Beauregard. This structure lasted until early 1864.




                        --- In civilwarwest@yahoogroups.com, "Tom Mix" <tmix@i...> wrote:
                        > I would include central and east Tennessee, Georgia, possibly inland
                        > S.C. but not coastal Georgia. I would have a Coastal Defense as a
                        > separate entity. Having to defend Nashville and the Savannah coast is
                        > just nonsensical. To the West the area could be from Nashville to the
                        > Mississippi River and South to below Vicksburg. Taylor could command
                        the
                        > Tran-Miss area and Texas. The AOT was grossly over extended as A.S.
                        > Johnston rapidly discovered. Drawing a middle or central department
                        > would add more focus to their efforts. Trying to communicate and
                        > coordinate from Knoxville to Vicksburg was not feasible and it just
                        > simply did not work.
                        >
                        > This is just a rough outline of a concept or theory that needs further
                        > discussion. But I think it would have been a viable alternative to
                        what
                        > actually occurred and failed. They had several capable leaders who
                        kept
                        > replacing each other. This program would have put the available talent
                        > into the game together, enhanced communication, provided more
                        structure
                        > and allowed the Department commander to focus on a more centralized
                        set
                        > of problems, tasks and circumstances.
                        > Just a thought...
                        >
                        > -----Original Message-----
                        > From: illiniillinois [mailto:illiniillinois@y...]
                        > Sent: Friday, November 12, 2004 2:18 AM
                        > To: civilwarwest@yahoogroups.com
                        > Subject: [civilwarwest] Re: Who would have been the best choice for
                        > commander in the West?
                        >
                        >
                        >
                        > Sorry but I had to reply to this. What would the central deparment
                        > in the West have looked like to you, Tom? Tenesse, Georgia, South
                        > Carolina and North Carolina? This seems like one of the most
                        > intersting ideas to me yet and the more I think on it a darn good
                        > idea. Curious on what you were thinking.
                        >
                        > --- In civilwarwest@yahoogroups.com, "Tom Mix" <tmix@i...> wrote:
                        > > I think the South had three capable leaders after the death of A.S.
                        > > Johnston. R.E. Lee, Joe Johnston and Beauregard. What they had was
                        > a
                        > > horrible road network (to call it a "network" is a compliment) that
                        > > covered a territory that was simply too large for an East, a West
                        > and a
                        > > Southern Mississippi. They needed a third area between Lee and the
                        > West.
                        > > Beauregard could have been left in command of the West and Northern
                        > > Mississippi region and Joe Johnston put in charge of a middle area
                        > > around Knoxville, Chattanooga and Georgia.
                        > > Just a thought and probably a lousy one. But something to consider.
                        > > Don't think about Davis and his prejudices. We know of them. This
                        > is an
                        > > alternative thought of could be done if Davis really wanted to do
                        > > something that would utilized the best available talent.
                        > >
                        > >
                        > > -----Original Message-----
                        > > From: Mark Peters [mailto:mark.peters14@b...]
                        > > Sent: Tuesday, November 09, 2004 9:18 PM
                        > > To: civilwarwest@yahoogroups.com
                        > > Subject: [civilwarwest] Re: Who would have been the best choice for
                        > > commander in the West?
                        > >
                        > >
                        > >
                        > > Davis wanted a commission at the beginning of the war, but ended
                        > up
                        > > with the Presidency. He was the one that never got over this, and
                        > > hence his continuous dabblings. That's my opinion, anyway.
                        > >
                        > > However, I don't agree that Beauregard and Johnston were in the
                        > > wrong, because they didn't accept his war record and military
                        > > ambitions. Rather, they were the ones in the field, and should
                        > have
                        > > been given the responsibility to act upon their commissions.
                        > >
                        > > Best wishes,
                        > >
                        > > Mark
                        > >
                        > > --- In civilwarwest@yahoogroups.com, "illiniillinois"
                        > > <illiniillinois@y...> wrote:
                        > > >
                        > > > Thanks for the response mark. Yeah you bring up a good point. I
                        > > > hadn't even thought of Davis' fixation on the East.
                        > > >
                        > > > Also I don't have that big a problem with Beauregard either.
                        > > Granted
                        > > > the man thought he was another Napoleon and he had a fixation
                        > with
                        > > > overly ambitious, grand strategic plans, but once he was brought
                        > > > back down to earth he was able to tailor his plans based
                        > somewhat
                        > > > more on reality. I think First Manassas was a good example of
                        > > this,
                        > > > even though a lot of the credit goes to Joe Johnston for that.
                        > His
                        > > > defense of Petersburg was also much better than he traditionally
                        > > > gets credit for, IMHO.
                        > > >
                        > > > Anyway I know this is a western discussion board, and,
                        > especially
                        > > > being the new guy, I don't mean to stray too much. As for Davis
                        > I
                        > > > couldn't agree more. I think the Confederacy's biggest problem
                        > was
                        > > > his firm belief that because of his previous experience in
                        > Mexico
                        > > > and as Secretary in War he was, in his opinion, almost a de
                        > facto
                        > > > general. I just happen to think that he was the president of the
                        > > > CSA, for better or worse, and Beauregard and Johnston would have
                        > > > been a lot better off, both from a personal and military
                        > > > perspective, if they had swallowed their pride and dealt with
                        > this
                        > > > fact.
                        > > >
                        > > >
                        > > > --- In civilwarwest@yahoogroups.com, "Mark Peters"
                        > > > <mark.peters14@b...> wrote:
                        > > > >
                        > > > > You highlight several problems.
                        > > > >
                        > > > > Firstly, my belief is that Lee refused command in the West.
                        > So,
                        > > > he
                        > > > > wasn't a viable option. Davis, as did Lee, thought the war
                        > > would
                        > > > be
                        > > > > won in the east. There is no way that he would have wanted
                        > his
                        > > > best
                        > > > > commander in the west, on a permanent basis.
                        > > > >
                        > > > > Of those willing to serve, as I've stated before, my belief is
                        > > > that
                        > > > > Beauregard was the best option. The fact that Davis
                        > > continuously
                        > > > > meddled in military affairs surely shows that politicians
                        > should
                        > > > > allow their military commanders to get on with it. Because
                        > > Davis
                        > > > > did not get on, at a personal level, with Beauregard or J.
                        > > > Johnston
                        > > > > should not have precluded them from continuous command out
                        > west.
                        > > > >
                        > > > > I do agree with you on Cleburne!
                        > > > >
                        > > > > Best wishes,
                        > > > >
                        > > > > Mark
                        > > > >
                        > > > > --- In civilwarwest@yahoogroups.com, "illiniillinois"
                        > > > > <illiniillinois@y...> wrote:
                        > > > > >
                        > > > > > Hi everyone, I'm fairly new here. Been lurking for a while,
                        > > and
                        > > > > have
                        > > > > > read most of the posts on who would have been the best
                        > choice
                        > > > with
                        > > > > > respect to the Confederacy for commander in the West. Best
                        > > > option,
                        > > > > > IMHO, Lee.
                        > > > > >
                        > > > > > I know this has been suggested before, and Davis himself
                        > even
                        > > > > > considered it, but rejected it partially because of Lee's
                        > > > > > reluctance. Nevertheless, sending Lee west and placing
                        > > > Longstreet
                        > > > > in
                        > > > > > command in the East, after Chattanooga, probably would have
                        > > been
                        > > > > the
                        > > > > > Confederacy's best course of action. There are several major
                        > > > > > positives and negatives in this plan and, if everyone will
                        > > bear
                        > > > > with
                        > > > > > me real quick, I'm gonna try to lay 'em out.
                        > > > > >
                        > > > > > First the weakness:
                        > > > > >
                        > > > > > 1. LONGSTREET'S LACKLUSTER RECORD AS AN INDEPENDANT
                        > COMMANDER:
                        > > > For
                        > > > > > whatever reason "Pete" had a fairly lackluster record as an
                        > > > > > independant commander. While he admittedly faced several
                        > > > handicaps
                        > > > > > at Knoxville and during his tenure in command of a
                        > department
                        > > in
                        > > > > > southeastern Virginia, such as having to deal with a number
                        > of
                        > > > > > generals Lee had banished there so Marse Robert himself
                        > would
                        > > no
                        > > > > > longer have to worry about them, the record remains
                        > disturbing
                        > > > at
                        > > > > > best. Just how would Longstreet have fared if given complete
                        > > > > control
                        > > > > > of the ANV? There is enough evidence out there to cast some
                        > > > > serious
                        > > > > > doubt on his abilities as an independant commander.
                        > > > > >
                        > > > > > 2. LEE'S OWN RELUCTANCE TO LEAVE THE ANV: Lee was a
                        > Virginian
                        > > by
                        > > > > > birth, by early 1864 he wanted to keep command of the ANV,
                        > > which
                        > > > > he
                        > > > > > had more than earned and proved himself a master at
                        > > commanding.
                        > > > > > Furthermore Lee's reluctance to leave a theater he knew so
                        > > well,
                        > > > > for
                        > > > > > one he knew very little about is a legitimate objection. I
                        > > would
                        > > > > > also add to this Davis' heavy reliance on having Lee nearby,
                        > > not
                        > > > > > only as commander of the ANV, but as a valued friend and
                        > > general
                        > > > > to
                        > > > > > consult with. Nevertheless, given Lee's notion of honor and
                        > > > > devotion
                        > > > > > to duty, there is no doubt in my mind that had Davis
                        > actually
                        > > > > > ordered him out west, he would have went.
                        > > > > >
                        > > > > > 3. THE REACTION OF THE ANV: While there is no doubt that the
                        > > ANV
                        > > > > > dearly loved Longstreet, and held him in high esteem, the
                        > > regard
                        > > > > > they had for him could never compare to that they had for
                        > Lee.
                        > > > > > Understandably no general would ever hold in their hearts
                        > the
                        > > > > place
                        > > > > > that Lee did. Again, nevertheless, if Lee were sent West
                        > after
                        > > > > > Chattanooga, given the circumstances, and the fact that by
                        > > 1864
                        > > > > the
                        > > > > > ANV was an actual army in discipline as well as name, I
                        > think
                        > > > the
                        > > > > > change just might have worked.
                        > > > > >
                        > > > > > Now the strenghts:
                        > > > > >
                        > > > > > 1. LEE'S AGRESSIVENESS, COMPETENCE AS A COMMANDER, AND
                        > ABILITY
                        > > > TO
                        > > > > > SEE OPPORTUNITY WHERE OTHERS SAW DISASTER: Lee is exactly
                        > the
                        > > > type
                        > > > > > of commander that was needed in the West. One who always
                        > > > remained
                        > > > > > inherently aggressive, and looked for ways to attack the
                        > enemy
                        > > > > > rather than lamenting the shortcomings he faced. If anyone
                        > > could
                        > > > > > have viewed the Confederate situation out West, after
                        > > > Chattanooga,
                        > > > > > and found a way to counterattack the Union advance it would
                        > > have
                        > > > > > been Lee. Moreover he would have brought a sense of the
                        > > > offensive
                        > > > > > that was often missing in the AoT's commanders (Johnston),
                        > > > > although
                        > > > > > not the AoT itself.
                        > > > > >
                        > > > > > 2. LEE'S PERSONALITY: His unique ability to balance delicate
                        > > and
                        > > > > > often intemperate subordinates. This was a key in the AoT
                        > and
                        > > > one
                        > > > > > that all of its previous commanders, including chiefly Bragg
                        > > and
                        > > > > > Johnston, simply missed. Men like Forrest and even Hood
                        > would
                        > > > not
                        > > > > > have bucked Lee as easily as they did Johnston. A situation
                        > > like
                        > > > > > Cassville, where Hood's attitude toward Johnston, his
                        > > > motivations,
                        > > > > > and his actions were questionable, simply would not have
                        > > > happened
                        > > > > > under Lee. Hood, along with pretty much every other
                        > commander
                        > > in
                        > > > > the
                        > > > > > Confederacy revered Lee. It's safe to say even a man like
                        > > > Forrest
                        > > > > > probably would not have reacted to Lee the same way he did
                        > to
                        > > > > Bragg
                        > > > > > for several reasons. (The first of which is that Lee always
                        > > > highly
                        > > > > > valued the reports of his cavalry and paid close attention
                        > to
                        > > > > them.
                        > > > > > The second that he was a far more competent operational
                        > > > commander
                        > > > > > than Bragg could ever hope to be, and the third that he was
                        > > > simply
                        > > > > > Robert E. Lee.) Finally men like Cleburne would have been
                        > > given
                        > > > > the
                        > > > > > opportunity to either prove themselves as leaders at higher
                        > > > > command
                        > > > > > positions, failed and been moved back to their original
                        > > command,
                        > > > > or
                        > > > > > simply shuffled to another theater as Lee was so adroit at
                        > > > doing.
                        > > > > > (When I look at Cleburne out West I can't help but think of
                        > > John
                        > > > > B.
                        > > > > > Gordon out East. It's hard for me to believe that Clebure
                        > > would
                        > > > > not
                        > > > > > have been, at least temporarily, allowed to try his hand at
                        > a
                        > > > > corps
                        > > > > > command under Lee.)
                        > > > > >
                        > > > > > 3. THE INHERENT PERSONALITY FLAWS IN THE OTHER COMMANDERS OF
                        > > THE
                        > > > > > AoT: Say what you like about Johnston, Beauregard and Bragg
                        > > but
                        > > > > they
                        > > > > > were simply not as easy to get along with as Lee. Moreover,
                        > > with
                        > > > > > respect to Davis, it has always seemed rather beside the
                        > point
                        > > > to
                        > > > > me
                        > > > > > whether or not Johnston and Beauregard were right about his
                        > > > > > treatment of them. The point is HE, Davis, not them was the
                        > > > > > President of the Confederacy. The president MUST always have
                        > > > > > complete faith in his subordinates and trust their
                        > judgement.
                        > > If
                        > > > > he
                        > > > > > can't, even because of his own personal shortcomings, these
                        > > men
                        > > > > must
                        > > > > > be relieved or else the command will suffer. With Lee, Davis
                        > > > would
                        > > > > > have been able to have complete confidence, for the first
                        > time
                        > > > > since
                        > > > > > Albert Sidney Johnston, in the commander of the AoT. This
                        > > > > doubtless
                        > > > > > would have been a better military arrangement for all
                        > > involved,
                        > > > > and
                        > > > > > elevated the morale of the army. Not only would they like
                        > > their
                        > > > > > commander (as they did Joe Johnston) or the president
                        > support
                        > > > him
                        > > > > > (as he did Bragg), but rather both the army and the
                        > president
                        > > > > would
                        > > > > > both support the commanding general at the same time. A
                        > rather
                        > > > > novel
                        > > > > > notion out west.
                        > > > > >
                        > > > > > 4. LONGSTREET'S UNDERSTANDING OF THE GRAND STRATEGIC PLAN
                        > OUT
                        > > > > EAST:
                        > > > > > Longstreet's idea of remaining on the defensive, and simply
                        > > > > beating
                        > > > > > off Federal attacks would have worked much better in
                        > Virginia
                        > > > than
                        > > > > > it would have in Tenesse or Georgia. Think Fredericksburg.
                        > > (Yes
                        > > > I
                        > > > > > know Lee was the commanding general, but Longstreet's
                        > reading
                        > > of
                        > > > > the
                        > > > > > field and handling of his own troops was masterful here. I
                        > > think
                        > > > > he
                        > > > > > could have done it on a larger scale.) Although Longstreet
                        > was
                        > > > > > undoubtedly better under Lee and this strategy may have had
                        > > its
                        > > > > > difficulties against a federal army under Grant, I don't
                        > think
                        > > > it
                        > > > > > would have worn out the ability of the ANV to take the
                        > > offensive
                        > > > > as
                        > > > > > quickly as Lee did.
                        > > > > >
                        > > > > > In closing, and given the subsequent history, I don't
                        > believe
                        > > > > Davis
                        > > > > > really had any other viable options. Lee out West, and
                        > > > Longstreet
                        > > > > in
                        > > > > > the East, at least until the elections of 1864, and the hope
                        > > > that
                        > > > > > Lee could have kept Sherman out of Atlanta, would have been
                        > a
                        > > > > > pretty good hand to play.
                        > > > > >
                        > > > > > Sorry if this post was too long, but you know what they say.
                        > > > > Figured
                        > > > > > I'd try to make somewhat of a good first impression.
                        > >
                        > >
                        > >
                        > >
                        > >
                        > >
                        > >
                        > > Yahoo! Groups Links
                        >
                        >
                        >
                        >
                        >
                        >
                        >
                        > Yahoo! Groups Links







                        Yahoo! Groups Links
                      • Ricky Washburn
                        My idea is a far fetched belief, but i do believe that giving a appropriate command staff, and a small area of command Van Dorn had potential. I am not sure
                        Message 11 of 23 , Nov 12, 2004
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                          My idea is a far fetched belief, but i do believe
                          that giving a appropriate command staff, and a small
                          area of command Van Dorn had potential. I am not sure
                          what it is, though maybe if he was placed as a corps
                          commander he might have done a decent job, or made use
                          of cavalry as scouts for a regular army...

                          =====

                          .....Eternally.....





                          __________________________________
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                        • Mark Peters
                          Tom, I think with an increased number of Departments, Davis would have been a fly in the ointment , and made the option unworkable. Forgetting the
                          Message 12 of 23 , Nov 12, 2004
                          • 0 Attachment
                            Tom,

                            I think with an increased number of Departments, Davis would have
                            been a 'fly in the ointment', and made the option unworkable.

                            Forgetting the Trans-Missippi, he struggled to find two commanders,
                            at any one time, that he could work with effectively. Would it have
                            been feasable that he could have found three?

                            We also know that Union Generals often bickered over who had control
                            of troops, when they crossed into another sphere of influence. I
                            wonder how the egos of the CSA high-command would have reacted when
                            this happened!

                            Best wishes,

                            Mark

                            --- In civilwarwest@yahoogroups.com, "Tom Mix" <tmix@i...> wrote:
                            > I would include central and east Tennessee, Georgia, possibly
                            inland
                            > S.C. but not coastal Georgia. I would have a Coastal Defense as a
                            > separate entity. Having to defend Nashville and the Savannah coast
                            is
                            > just nonsensical. To the West the area could be from Nashville to
                            the
                            > Mississippi River and South to below Vicksburg. Taylor could
                            command the
                            > Tran-Miss area and Texas. The AOT was grossly over extended as A.S.
                            > Johnston rapidly discovered. Drawing a middle or central department
                            > would add more focus to their efforts. Trying to communicate and
                            > coordinate from Knoxville to Vicksburg was not feasible and it just
                            > simply did not work.
                            >
                            > This is just a rough outline of a concept or theory that needs
                            further
                            > discussion. But I think it would have been a viable alternative to
                            what
                            > actually occurred and failed. They had several capable leaders who
                            kept
                            > replacing each other. This program would have put the available
                            talent
                            > into the game together, enhanced communication, provided more
                            structure
                            > and allowed the Department commander to focus on a more
                            centralized set
                            > of problems, tasks and circumstances.
                            > Just a thought...
                            >
                            > -----Original Message-----
                            > From: illiniillinois [mailto:illiniillinois@y...]
                            > Sent: Friday, November 12, 2004 2:18 AM
                            > To: civilwarwest@yahoogroups.com
                            > Subject: [civilwarwest] Re: Who would have been the best choice for
                            > commander in the West?
                            >
                            >
                            >
                            > Sorry but I had to reply to this. What would the central deparment
                            > in the West have looked like to you, Tom? Tenesse, Georgia, South
                            > Carolina and North Carolina? This seems like one of the most
                            > intersting ideas to me yet and the more I think on it a darn good
                            > idea. Curious on what you were thinking.
                            >
                            > --- In civilwarwest@yahoogroups.com, "Tom Mix" <tmix@i...> wrote:
                            > > I think the South had three capable leaders after the death of
                            A.S.
                            > > Johnston. R.E. Lee, Joe Johnston and Beauregard. What they had
                            was
                            > a
                            > > horrible road network (to call it a "network" is a compliment)
                            that
                            > > covered a territory that was simply too large for an East, a
                            West
                            > and a
                            > > Southern Mississippi. They needed a third area between Lee and
                            the
                            > West.
                            > > Beauregard could have been left in command of the West and
                            Northern
                            > > Mississippi region and Joe Johnston put in charge of a middle
                            area
                            > > around Knoxville, Chattanooga and Georgia.
                            > > Just a thought and probably a lousy one. But something to
                            consider.
                            > > Don't think about Davis and his prejudices. We know of them.
                            This
                            > is an
                            > > alternative thought of could be done if Davis really wanted to do
                            > > something that would utilized the best available talent.
                            > >
                            > >
                            > > -----Original Message-----
                            > > From: Mark Peters [mailto:mark.peters14@b...]
                            > > Sent: Tuesday, November 09, 2004 9:18 PM
                            > > To: civilwarwest@yahoogroups.com
                            > > Subject: [civilwarwest] Re: Who would have been the best choice
                            for
                            > > commander in the West?
                            > >
                            > >
                            > >
                            > > Davis wanted a commission at the beginning of the war, but ended
                            > up
                            > > with the Presidency. He was the one that never got over this,
                            and
                            > > hence his continuous dabblings. That's my opinion, anyway.
                            > >
                            > > However, I don't agree that Beauregard and Johnston were in the
                            > > wrong, because they didn't accept his war record and military
                            > > ambitions. Rather, they were the ones in the field, and should
                            > have
                            > > been given the responsibility to act upon their commissions.
                            > >
                            > > Best wishes,
                            > >
                            > > Mark
                            > >
                            > > --- In civilwarwest@yahoogroups.com, "illiniillinois"
                            > > <illiniillinois@y...> wrote:
                            > > >
                            > > > Thanks for the response mark. Yeah you bring up a good point.
                            I
                            > > > hadn't even thought of Davis' fixation on the East.
                            > > >
                            > > > Also I don't have that big a problem with Beauregard either.
                            > > Granted
                            > > > the man thought he was another Napoleon and he had a fixation
                            > with
                            > > > overly ambitious, grand strategic plans, but once he was
                            brought
                            > > > back down to earth he was able to tailor his plans based
                            > somewhat
                            > > > more on reality. I think First Manassas was a good example of
                            > > this,
                            > > > even though a lot of the credit goes to Joe Johnston for that.
                            > His
                            > > > defense of Petersburg was also much better than he
                            traditionally
                            > > > gets credit for, IMHO.
                            > > >
                            > > > Anyway I know this is a western discussion board, and,
                            > especially
                            > > > being the new guy, I don't mean to stray too much. As for
                            Davis
                            > I
                            > > > couldn't agree more. I think the Confederacy's biggest problem
                            > was
                            > > > his firm belief that because of his previous experience in
                            > Mexico
                            > > > and as Secretary in War he was, in his opinion, almost a de
                            > facto
                            > > > general. I just happen to think that he was the president of
                            the
                            > > > CSA, for better or worse, and Beauregard and Johnston would
                            have
                            > > > been a lot better off, both from a personal and military
                            > > > perspective, if they had swallowed their pride and dealt with
                            > this
                            > > > fact.
                            > > >
                            > > >
                            > > > --- In civilwarwest@yahoogroups.com, "Mark Peters"
                            > > > <mark.peters14@b...> wrote:
                            > > > >
                            > > > > You highlight several problems.
                            > > > >
                            > > > > Firstly, my belief is that Lee refused command in the West.
                            > So,
                            > > > he
                            > > > > wasn't a viable option. Davis, as did Lee, thought the war
                            > > would
                            > > > be
                            > > > > won in the east. There is no way that he would have wanted
                            > his
                            > > > best
                            > > > > commander in the west, on a permanent basis.
                            > > > >
                            > > > > Of those willing to serve, as I've stated before, my belief
                            is
                            > > > that
                            > > > > Beauregard was the best option. The fact that Davis
                            > > continuously
                            > > > > meddled in military affairs surely shows that politicians
                            > should
                            > > > > allow their military commanders to get on with it. Because
                            > > Davis
                            > > > > did not get on, at a personal level, with Beauregard or J.
                            > > > Johnston
                            > > > > should not have precluded them from continuous command out
                            > west.
                            > > > >
                            > > > > I do agree with you on Cleburne!
                            > > > >
                            > > > > Best wishes,
                            > > > >
                            > > > > Mark
                            > > > >
                            > > > > --- In civilwarwest@yahoogroups.com, "illiniillinois"
                            > > > > <illiniillinois@y...> wrote:
                            > > > > >
                            > > > > > Hi everyone, I'm fairly new here. Been lurking for a
                            while,
                            > > and
                            > > > > have
                            > > > > > read most of the posts on who would have been the best
                            > choice
                            > > > with
                            > > > > > respect to the Confederacy for commander in the West. Best
                            > > > option,
                            > > > > > IMHO, Lee.
                            > > > > >
                            > > > > > I know this has been suggested before, and Davis himself
                            > even
                            > > > > > considered it, but rejected it partially because of Lee's
                            > > > > > reluctance. Nevertheless, sending Lee west and placing
                            > > > Longstreet
                            > > > > in
                            > > > > > command in the East, after Chattanooga, probably would
                            have
                            > > been
                            > > > > the
                            > > > > > Confederacy's best course of action. There are several
                            major
                            > > > > > positives and negatives in this plan and, if everyone will
                            > > bear
                            > > > > with
                            > > > > > me real quick, I'm gonna try to lay 'em out.
                            > > > > >
                            > > > > > First the weakness:
                            > > > > >
                            > > > > > 1. LONGSTREET'S LACKLUSTER RECORD AS AN INDEPENDANT
                            > COMMANDER:
                            > > > For
                            > > > > > whatever reason "Pete" had a fairly lackluster record as
                            an
                            > > > > > independant commander. While he admittedly faced several
                            > > > handicaps
                            > > > > > at Knoxville and during his tenure in command of a
                            > department
                            > > in
                            > > > > > southeastern Virginia, such as having to deal with a
                            number
                            > of
                            > > > > > generals Lee had banished there so Marse Robert himself
                            > would
                            > > no
                            > > > > > longer have to worry about them, the record remains
                            > disturbing
                            > > > at
                            > > > > > best. Just how would Longstreet have fared if given
                            complete
                            > > > > control
                            > > > > > of the ANV? There is enough evidence out there to cast
                            some
                            > > > > serious
                            > > > > > doubt on his abilities as an independant commander.
                            > > > > >
                            > > > > > 2. LEE'S OWN RELUCTANCE TO LEAVE THE ANV: Lee was a
                            > Virginian
                            > > by
                            > > > > > birth, by early 1864 he wanted to keep command of the ANV,
                            > > which
                            > > > > he
                            > > > > > had more than earned and proved himself a master at
                            > > commanding.
                            > > > > > Furthermore Lee's reluctance to leave a theater he knew so
                            > > well,
                            > > > > for
                            > > > > > one he knew very little about is a legitimate objection. I
                            > > would
                            > > > > > also add to this Davis' heavy reliance on having Lee
                            nearby,
                            > > not
                            > > > > > only as commander of the ANV, but as a valued friend and
                            > > general
                            > > > > to
                            > > > > > consult with. Nevertheless, given Lee's notion of honor
                            and
                            > > > > devotion
                            > > > > > to duty, there is no doubt in my mind that had Davis
                            > actually
                            > > > > > ordered him out west, he would have went.
                            > > > > >
                            > > > > > 3. THE REACTION OF THE ANV: While there is no doubt that
                            the
                            > > ANV
                            > > > > > dearly loved Longstreet, and held him in high esteem, the
                            > > regard
                            > > > > > they had for him could never compare to that they had for
                            > Lee.
                            > > > > > Understandably no general would ever hold in their hearts
                            > the
                            > > > > place
                            > > > > > that Lee did. Again, nevertheless, if Lee were sent West
                            > after
                            > > > > > Chattanooga, given the circumstances, and the fact that by
                            > > 1864
                            > > > > the
                            > > > > > ANV was an actual army in discipline as well as name, I
                            > think
                            > > > the
                            > > > > > change just might have worked.
                            > > > > >
                            > > > > > Now the strenghts:
                            > > > > >
                            > > > > > 1. LEE'S AGRESSIVENESS, COMPETENCE AS A COMMANDER, AND
                            > ABILITY
                            > > > TO
                            > > > > > SEE OPPORTUNITY WHERE OTHERS SAW DISASTER: Lee is exactly
                            > the
                            > > > type
                            > > > > > of commander that was needed in the West. One who always
                            > > > remained
                            > > > > > inherently aggressive, and looked for ways to attack the
                            > enemy
                            > > > > > rather than lamenting the shortcomings he faced. If anyone
                            > > could
                            > > > > > have viewed the Confederate situation out West, after
                            > > > Chattanooga,
                            > > > > > and found a way to counterattack the Union advance it
                            would
                            > > have
                            > > > > > been Lee. Moreover he would have brought a sense of the
                            > > > offensive
                            > > > > > that was often missing in the AoT's commanders (Johnston),
                            > > > > although
                            > > > > > not the AoT itself.
                            > > > > >
                            > > > > > 2. LEE'S PERSONALITY: His unique ability to balance
                            delicate
                            > > and
                            > > > > > often intemperate subordinates. This was a key in the AoT
                            > and
                            > > > one
                            > > > > > that all of its previous commanders, including chiefly
                            Bragg
                            > > and
                            > > > > > Johnston, simply missed. Men like Forrest and even Hood
                            > would
                            > > > not
                            > > > > > have bucked Lee as easily as they did Johnston. A
                            situation
                            > > like
                            > > > > > Cassville, where Hood's attitude toward Johnston, his
                            > > > motivations,
                            > > > > > and his actions were questionable, simply would not have
                            > > > happened
                            > > > > > under Lee. Hood, along with pretty much every other
                            > commander
                            > > in
                            > > > > the
                            > > > > > Confederacy revered Lee. It's safe to say even a man like
                            > > > Forrest
                            > > > > > probably would not have reacted to Lee the same way he did
                            > to
                            > > > > Bragg
                            > > > > > for several reasons. (The first of which is that Lee
                            always
                            > > > highly
                            > > > > > valued the reports of his cavalry and paid close attention
                            > to
                            > > > > them.
                            > > > > > The second that he was a far more competent operational
                            > > > commander
                            > > > > > than Bragg could ever hope to be, and the third that he
                            was
                            > > > simply
                            > > > > > Robert E. Lee.) Finally men like Cleburne would have been
                            > > given
                            > > > > the
                            > > > > > opportunity to either prove themselves as leaders at
                            higher
                            > > > > command
                            > > > > > positions, failed and been moved back to their original
                            > > command,
                            > > > > or
                            > > > > > simply shuffled to another theater as Lee was so adroit at
                            > > > doing.
                            > > > > > (When I look at Cleburne out West I can't help but think
                            of
                            > > John
                            > > > > B.
                            > > > > > Gordon out East. It's hard for me to believe that Clebure
                            > > would
                            > > > > not
                            > > > > > have been, at least temporarily, allowed to try his hand
                            at
                            > a
                            > > > > corps
                            > > > > > command under Lee.)
                            > > > > >
                            > > > > > 3. THE INHERENT PERSONALITY FLAWS IN THE OTHER COMMANDERS
                            OF
                            > > THE
                            > > > > > AoT: Say what you like about Johnston, Beauregard and
                            Bragg
                            > > but
                            > > > > they
                            > > > > > were simply not as easy to get along with as Lee.
                            Moreover,
                            > > with
                            > > > > > respect to Davis, it has always seemed rather beside the
                            > point
                            > > > to
                            > > > > me
                            > > > > > whether or not Johnston and Beauregard were right about
                            his
                            > > > > > treatment of them. The point is HE, Davis, not them was
                            the
                            > > > > > President of the Confederacy. The president MUST always
                            have
                            > > > > > complete faith in his subordinates and trust their
                            > judgement.
                            > > If
                            > > > > he
                            > > > > > can't, even because of his own personal shortcomings,
                            these
                            > > men
                            > > > > must
                            > > > > > be relieved or else the command will suffer. With Lee,
                            Davis
                            > > > would
                            > > > > > have been able to have complete confidence, for the first
                            > time
                            > > > > since
                            > > > > > Albert Sidney Johnston, in the commander of the AoT. This
                            > > > > doubtless
                            > > > > > would have been a better military arrangement for all
                            > > involved,
                            > > > > and
                            > > > > > elevated the morale of the army. Not only would they like
                            > > their
                            > > > > > commander (as they did Joe Johnston) or the president
                            > support
                            > > > him
                            > > > > > (as he did Bragg), but rather both the army and the
                            > president
                            > > > > would
                            > > > > > both support the commanding general at the same time. A
                            > rather
                            > > > > novel
                            > > > > > notion out west.
                            > > > > >
                            > > > > > 4. LONGSTREET'S UNDERSTANDING OF THE GRAND STRATEGIC PLAN
                            > OUT
                            > > > > EAST:
                            > > > > > Longstreet's idea of remaining on the defensive, and
                            simply
                            > > > > beating
                            > > > > > off Federal attacks would have worked much better in
                            > Virginia
                            > > > than
                            > > > > > it would have in Tenesse or Georgia. Think Fredericksburg.
                            > > (Yes
                            > > > I
                            > > > > > know Lee was the commanding general, but Longstreet's
                            > reading
                            > > of
                            > > > > the
                            > > > > > field and handling of his own troops was masterful here. I
                            > > think
                            > > > > he
                            > > > > > could have done it on a larger scale.) Although Longstreet
                            > was
                            > > > > > undoubtedly better under Lee and this strategy may have
                            had
                            > > its
                            > > > > > difficulties against a federal army under Grant, I don't
                            > think
                            > > > it
                            > > > > > would have worn out the ability of the ANV to take the
                            > > offensive
                            > > > > as
                            > > > > > quickly as Lee did.
                            > > > > >
                            > > > > > In closing, and given the subsequent history, I don't
                            > believe
                            > > > > Davis
                            > > > > > really had any other viable options. Lee out West, and
                            > > > Longstreet
                            > > > > in
                            > > > > > the East, at least until the elections of 1864, and the
                            hope
                            > > > that
                            > > > > > Lee could have kept Sherman out of Atlanta, would have
                            been
                            > a
                            > > > > > pretty good hand to play.
                            > > > > >
                            > > > > > Sorry if this post was too long, but you know what they
                            say.
                            > > > > Figured
                            > > > > > I'd try to make somewhat of a good first impression.
                            > >
                            > >
                            > >
                            > >
                            > >
                            > >
                            > >
                            > > Yahoo! Groups Links
                            >
                            >
                            >
                            >
                            >
                            >
                            >
                            > Yahoo! Groups Links
                          • William H Keene
                            ... I am a little confused about what you mean. The Confederate force at Shiloh was not called the Army of Tennessee. ... I agree that A.S.J. had too large a
                            Message 13 of 23 , Nov 12, 2004
                            • 0 Attachment
                              --- In civilwarwest@yahoogroups.com, "Tom Mix" <tmix@i...> wrote:
                              > To a degree. But you have AOT fighting from Perryville to Shiloh from
                              > Chattanooga to Mississippi.

                              I am a little confused about what you mean.
                              The Confederate force at Shiloh was not called the Army of Tennessee.


                              > ... It was simply stretched too thin and the
                              > territorial command responsibilities were clearly lacking of focus. A.S.
                              > Johnston had a huge territory to attempt to control and he found he
                              > could not do attempting to consolidate his efforts at Shiloh. It was too
                              > diverse, too unwieldy.

                              I agree that A.S.J. had too large a geography for too small a force. But it seems to me that
                              this was rectified by late 1862 along the lines of what you suggested. I don't think that
                              ASJ's problem was that his force was unwieldy.


                              > .. So, what you describe did exist but was not
                              > applied as it should have been. Just follow the combat history of Bragg.
                              > From Shiloh to Perryville. Hood from Atlanta to Nashville. No focus.

                              I don't understand the examples. Why is there no focus? Hood was also at Antietam and
                              the Seven Days.

                              -Will
                            • Tom Mix
                              The key it to remember that we are working on theory here. You are correct in that Davis would have messed it up. He has a solid track record of that. what I
                              Message 14 of 23 , Nov 12, 2004
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                                The key it to remember that we are working on theory here. You are
                                correct in that Davis would have messed it up. He has a solid track
                                record of that. what I am doing is just trying to form an alternative
                                that MAY have worked if given a valid opportunity.
                                I think the talent was available. Joe Johnston, Beauregard, Bragg,
                                Hardee, and Stewart come readily to mind. Cleburne and Cheatham.
                                The Richmond command didn't just think inside the box they reinforced
                                it, put a lid on it and lived there. But if they allowed a little
                                creativity to enter perhaps they could have got beyond the West Point
                                only leadership and seen talent where education was not. A West Point
                                education alone did not make a good general. Forrest did ok. So,
                                venturing outside the practical whelm of history, letting some
                                imagination to enter, I think it might have worked, at least better if
                                not successfully.

                                -----Original Message-----
                                From: Mark Peters [mailto:mark.peters14@...]
                                Sent: Friday, November 12, 2004 3:43 PM
                                To: civilwarwest@yahoogroups.com
                                Subject: [civilwarwest] Re: Who would have been the best choice for
                                commander in the West?



                                Tom,

                                I think with an increased number of Departments, Davis would have
                                been a 'fly in the ointment', and made the option unworkable.

                                Forgetting the Trans-Missippi, he struggled to find two commanders,
                                at any one time, that he could work with effectively. Would it have
                                been feasable that he could have found three?

                                We also know that Union Generals often bickered over who had control
                                of troops, when they crossed into another sphere of influence. I
                                wonder how the egos of the CSA high-command would have reacted when
                                this happened!

                                Best wishes,

                                Mark

                                --- In civilwarwest@yahoogroups.com, "Tom Mix" <tmix@i...> wrote:
                                > I would include central and east Tennessee, Georgia, possibly
                                inland
                                > S.C. but not coastal Georgia. I would have a Coastal Defense as a
                                > separate entity. Having to defend Nashville and the Savannah coast
                                is
                                > just nonsensical. To the West the area could be from Nashville to
                                the
                                > Mississippi River and South to below Vicksburg. Taylor could
                                command the
                                > Tran-Miss area and Texas. The AOT was grossly over extended as A.S.
                                > Johnston rapidly discovered. Drawing a middle or central department
                                > would add more focus to their efforts. Trying to communicate and
                                > coordinate from Knoxville to Vicksburg was not feasible and it just
                                > simply did not work.
                                >
                                > This is just a rough outline of a concept or theory that needs
                                further
                                > discussion. But I think it would have been a viable alternative to
                                what
                                > actually occurred and failed. They had several capable leaders who
                                kept
                                > replacing each other. This program would have put the available
                                talent
                                > into the game together, enhanced communication, provided more
                                structure
                                > and allowed the Department commander to focus on a more
                                centralized set
                                > of problems, tasks and circumstances.
                                > Just a thought...
                                >
                                > -----Original Message-----
                                > From: illiniillinois [mailto:illiniillinois@y...]
                                > Sent: Friday, November 12, 2004 2:18 AM
                                > To: civilwarwest@yahoogroups.com
                                > Subject: [civilwarwest] Re: Who would have been the best choice for
                                > commander in the West?
                                >
                                >
                                >
                                > Sorry but I had to reply to this. What would the central deparment
                                > in the West have looked like to you, Tom? Tenesse, Georgia, South
                                > Carolina and North Carolina? This seems like one of the most
                                > intersting ideas to me yet and the more I think on it a darn good
                                > idea. Curious on what you were thinking.
                                >
                                > --- In civilwarwest@yahoogroups.com, "Tom Mix" <tmix@i...> wrote:
                                > > I think the South had three capable leaders after the death of
                                A.S.
                                > > Johnston. R.E. Lee, Joe Johnston and Beauregard. What they had
                                was
                                > a
                                > > horrible road network (to call it a "network" is a compliment)
                                that
                                > > covered a territory that was simply too large for an East, a
                                West
                                > and a
                                > > Southern Mississippi. They needed a third area between Lee and
                                the
                                > West.
                                > > Beauregard could have been left in command of the West and
                                Northern
                                > > Mississippi region and Joe Johnston put in charge of a middle
                                area
                                > > around Knoxville, Chattanooga and Georgia.
                                > > Just a thought and probably a lousy one. But something to
                                consider.
                                > > Don't think about Davis and his prejudices. We know of them.
                                This
                                > is an
                                > > alternative thought of could be done if Davis really wanted to do
                                > > something that would utilized the best available talent.
                                > >
                                > >
                                > > -----Original Message-----
                                > > From: Mark Peters [mailto:mark.peters14@b...]
                                > > Sent: Tuesday, November 09, 2004 9:18 PM
                                > > To: civilwarwest@yahoogroups.com
                                > > Subject: [civilwarwest] Re: Who would have been the best choice
                                for
                                > > commander in the West?
                                > >
                                > >
                                > >
                                > > Davis wanted a commission at the beginning of the war, but ended
                                > up
                                > > with the Presidency. He was the one that never got over this,
                                and
                                > > hence his continuous dabblings. That's my opinion, anyway.
                                > >
                                > > However, I don't agree that Beauregard and Johnston were in the
                                > > wrong, because they didn't accept his war record and military
                                > > ambitions. Rather, they were the ones in the field, and should
                                > have
                                > > been given the responsibility to act upon their commissions.
                                > >
                                > > Best wishes,
                                > >
                                > > Mark
                                > >
                                > > --- In civilwarwest@yahoogroups.com, "illiniillinois"
                                > > <illiniillinois@y...> wrote:
                                > > >
                                > > > Thanks for the response mark. Yeah you bring up a good point.
                                I
                                > > > hadn't even thought of Davis' fixation on the East.
                                > > >
                                > > > Also I don't have that big a problem with Beauregard either.
                                > > Granted
                                > > > the man thought he was another Napoleon and he had a fixation
                                > with
                                > > > overly ambitious, grand strategic plans, but once he was
                                brought
                                > > > back down to earth he was able to tailor his plans based
                                > somewhat
                                > > > more on reality. I think First Manassas was a good example of
                                > > this,
                                > > > even though a lot of the credit goes to Joe Johnston for that.
                                > His
                                > > > defense of Petersburg was also much better than he
                                traditionally
                                > > > gets credit for, IMHO.
                                > > >
                                > > > Anyway I know this is a western discussion board, and,
                                > especially
                                > > > being the new guy, I don't mean to stray too much. As for
                                Davis
                                > I
                                > > > couldn't agree more. I think the Confederacy's biggest problem
                                > was
                                > > > his firm belief that because of his previous experience in
                                > Mexico
                                > > > and as Secretary in War he was, in his opinion, almost a de
                                > facto
                                > > > general. I just happen to think that he was the president of
                                the
                                > > > CSA, for better or worse, and Beauregard and Johnston would
                                have
                                > > > been a lot better off, both from a personal and military
                                > > > perspective, if they had swallowed their pride and dealt with
                                > this
                                > > > fact.
                                > > >
                                > > >
                                > > > --- In civilwarwest@yahoogroups.com, "Mark Peters"
                                > > > <mark.peters14@b...> wrote:
                                > > > >
                                > > > > You highlight several problems.
                                > > > >
                                > > > > Firstly, my belief is that Lee refused command in the West.
                                > So,
                                > > > he
                                > > > > wasn't a viable option. Davis, as did Lee, thought the war
                                > > would
                                > > > be
                                > > > > won in the east. There is no way that he would have wanted
                                > his
                                > > > best
                                > > > > commander in the west, on a permanent basis.
                                > > > >
                                > > > > Of those willing to serve, as I've stated before, my belief
                                is
                                > > > that
                                > > > > Beauregard was the best option. The fact that Davis
                                > > continuously
                                > > > > meddled in military affairs surely shows that politicians
                                > should
                                > > > > allow their military commanders to get on with it. Because
                                > > Davis
                                > > > > did not get on, at a personal level, with Beauregard or J.
                                > > > Johnston
                                > > > > should not have precluded them from continuous command out
                                > west.
                                > > > >
                                > > > > I do agree with you on Cleburne!
                                > > > >
                                > > > > Best wishes,
                                > > > >
                                > > > > Mark
                                > > > >
                                > > > > --- In civilwarwest@yahoogroups.com, "illiniillinois"
                                > > > > <illiniillinois@y...> wrote:
                                > > > > >
                                > > > > > Hi everyone, I'm fairly new here. Been lurking for a
                                while,
                                > > and
                                > > > > have
                                > > > > > read most of the posts on who would have been the best
                                > choice
                                > > > with
                                > > > > > respect to the Confederacy for commander in the West. Best
                                > > > option,
                                > > > > > IMHO, Lee.
                                > > > > >
                                > > > > > I know this has been suggested before, and Davis himself
                                > even
                                > > > > > considered it, but rejected it partially because of Lee's
                                > > > > > reluctance. Nevertheless, sending Lee west and placing
                                > > > Longstreet
                                > > > > in
                                > > > > > command in the East, after Chattanooga, probably would
                                have
                                > > been
                                > > > > the
                                > > > > > Confederacy's best course of action. There are several
                                major
                                > > > > > positives and negatives in this plan and, if everyone will
                                > > bear
                                > > > > with
                                > > > > > me real quick, I'm gonna try to lay 'em out.
                                > > > > >
                                > > > > > First the weakness:
                                > > > > >
                                > > > > > 1. LONGSTREET'S LACKLUSTER RECORD AS AN INDEPENDANT
                                > COMMANDER:
                                > > > For
                                > > > > > whatever reason "Pete" had a fairly lackluster record as
                                an
                                > > > > > independant commander. While he admittedly faced several
                                > > > handicaps
                                > > > > > at Knoxville and during his tenure in command of a
                                > department
                                > > in
                                > > > > > southeastern Virginia, such as having to deal with a
                                number
                                > of
                                > > > > > generals Lee had banished there so Marse Robert himself
                                > would
                                > > no
                                > > > > > longer have to worry about them, the record remains
                                > disturbing
                                > > > at
                                > > > > > best. Just how would Longstreet have fared if given
                                complete
                                > > > > control
                                > > > > > of the ANV? There is enough evidence out there to cast
                                some
                                > > > > serious
                                > > > > > doubt on his abilities as an independant commander.
                                > > > > >
                                > > > > > 2. LEE'S OWN RELUCTANCE TO LEAVE THE ANV: Lee was a
                                > Virginian
                                > > by
                                > > > > > birth, by early 1864 he wanted to keep command of the ANV,
                                > > which
                                > > > > he
                                > > > > > had more than earned and proved himself a master at
                                > > commanding.
                                > > > > > Furthermore Lee's reluctance to leave a theater he knew so
                                > > well,
                                > > > > for
                                > > > > > one he knew very little about is a legitimate objection. I
                                > > would
                                > > > > > also add to this Davis' heavy reliance on having Lee
                                nearby,
                                > > not
                                > > > > > only as commander of the ANV, but as a valued friend and
                                > > general
                                > > > > to
                                > > > > > consult with. Nevertheless, given Lee's notion of honor
                                and
                                > > > > devotion
                                > > > > > to duty, there is no doubt in my mind that had Davis
                                > actually
                                > > > > > ordered him out west, he would have went.
                                > > > > >
                                > > > > > 3. THE REACTION OF THE ANV: While there is no doubt that
                                the
                                > > ANV
                                > > > > > dearly loved Longstreet, and held him in high esteem, the
                                > > regard
                                > > > > > they had for him could never compare to that they had for
                                > Lee.
                                > > > > > Understandably no general would ever hold in their hearts
                                > the
                                > > > > place
                                > > > > > that Lee did. Again, nevertheless, if Lee were sent West
                                > after
                                > > > > > Chattanooga, given the circumstances, and the fact that by
                                > > 1864
                                > > > > the
                                > > > > > ANV was an actual army in discipline as well as name, I
                                > think
                                > > > the
                                > > > > > change just might have worked.
                                > > > > >
                                > > > > > Now the strenghts:
                                > > > > >
                                > > > > > 1. LEE'S AGRESSIVENESS, COMPETENCE AS A COMMANDER, AND
                                > ABILITY
                                > > > TO
                                > > > > > SEE OPPORTUNITY WHERE OTHERS SAW DISASTER: Lee is exactly
                                > the
                                > > > type
                                > > > > > of commander that was needed in the West. One who always
                                > > > remained
                                > > > > > inherently aggressive, and looked for ways to attack the
                                > enemy
                                > > > > > rather than lamenting the shortcomings he faced. If anyone
                                > > could
                                > > > > > have viewed the Confederate situation out West, after
                                > > > Chattanooga,
                                > > > > > and found a way to counterattack the Union advance it
                                would
                                > > have
                                > > > > > been Lee. Moreover he would have brought a sense of the
                                > > > offensive
                                > > > > > that was often missing in the AoT's commanders (Johnston),
                                > > > > although
                                > > > > > not the AoT itself.
                                > > > > >
                                > > > > > 2. LEE'S PERSONALITY: His unique ability to balance
                                delicate
                                > > and
                                > > > > > often intemperate subordinates. This was a key in the AoT
                                > and
                                > > > one
                                > > > > > that all of its previous commanders, including chiefly
                                Bragg
                                > > and
                                > > > > > Johnston, simply missed. Men like Forrest and even Hood
                                > would
                                > > > not
                                > > > > > have bucked Lee as easily as they did Johnston. A
                                situation
                                > > like
                                > > > > > Cassville, where Hood's attitude toward Johnston, his
                                > > > motivations,
                                > > > > > and his actions were questionable, simply would not have
                                > > > happened
                                > > > > > under Lee. Hood, along with pretty much every other
                                > commander
                                > > in
                                > > > > the
                                > > > > > Confederacy revered Lee. It's safe to say even a man like
                                > > > Forrest
                                > > > > > probably would not have reacted to Lee the same way he did
                                > to
                                > > > > Bragg
                                > > > > > for several reasons. (The first of which is that Lee
                                always
                                > > > highly
                                > > > > > valued the reports of his cavalry and paid close attention
                                > to
                                > > > > them.
                                > > > > > The second that he was a far more competent operational
                                > > > commander
                                > > > > > than Bragg could ever hope to be, and the third that he
                                was
                                > > > simply
                                > > > > > Robert E. Lee.) Finally men like Cleburne would have been
                                > > given
                                > > > > the
                                > > > > > opportunity to either prove themselves as leaders at
                                higher
                                > > > > command
                                > > > > > positions, failed and been moved back to their original
                                > > command,
                                > > > > or
                                > > > > > simply shuffled to another theater as Lee was so adroit at
                                > > > doing.
                                > > > > > (When I look at Cleburne out West I can't help but think
                                of
                                > > John
                                > > > > B.
                                > > > > > Gordon out East. It's hard for me to believe that Clebure
                                > > would
                                > > > > not
                                > > > > > have been, at least temporarily, allowed to try his hand
                                at
                                > a
                                > > > > corps
                                > > > > > command under Lee.)
                                > > > > >
                                > > > > > 3. THE INHERENT PERSONALITY FLAWS IN THE OTHER COMMANDERS
                                OF
                                > > THE
                                > > > > > AoT: Say what you like about Johnston, Beauregard and
                                Bragg
                                > > but
                                > > > > they
                                > > > > > were simply not as easy to get along with as Lee.
                                Moreover,
                                > > with
                                > > > > > respect to Davis, it has always seemed rather beside the
                                > point
                                > > > to
                                > > > > me
                                > > > > > whether or not Johnston and Beauregard were right about
                                his
                                > > > > > treatment of them. The point is HE, Davis, not them was
                                the
                                > > > > > President of the Confederacy. The president MUST always
                                have
                                > > > > > complete faith in his subordinates and trust their
                                > judgement.
                                > > If
                                > > > > he
                                > > > > > can't, even because of his own personal shortcomings,
                                these
                                > > men
                                > > > > must
                                > > > > > be relieved or else the command will suffer. With Lee,
                                Davis
                                > > > would
                                > > > > > have been able to have complete confidence, for the first
                                > time
                                > > > > since
                                > > > > > Albert Sidney Johnston, in the commander of the AoT. This
                                > > > > doubtless
                                > > > > > would have been a better military arrangement for all
                                > > involved,
                                > > > > and
                                > > > > > elevated the morale of the army. Not only would they like
                                > > their
                                > > > > > commander (as they did Joe Johnston) or the president
                                > support
                                > > > him
                                > > > > > (as he did Bragg), but rather both the army and the
                                > president
                                > > > > would
                                > > > > > both support the commanding general at the same time. A
                                > rather
                                > > > > novel
                                > > > > > notion out west.
                                > > > > >
                                > > > > > 4. LONGSTREET'S UNDERSTANDING OF THE GRAND STRATEGIC PLAN
                                > OUT
                                > > > > EAST:
                                > > > > > Longstreet's idea of remaining on the defensive, and
                                simply
                                > > > > beating
                                > > > > > off Federal attacks would have worked much better in
                                > Virginia
                                > > > than
                                > > > > > it would have in Tenesse or Georgia. Think Fredericksburg.
                                > > (Yes
                                > > > I
                                > > > > > know Lee was the commanding general, but Longstreet's
                                > reading
                                > > of
                                > > > > the
                                > > > > > field and handling of his own troops was masterful here. I
                                > > think
                                > > > > he
                                > > > > > could have done it on a larger scale.) Although Longstreet
                                > was
                                > > > > > undoubtedly better under Lee and this strategy may have
                                had
                                > > its
                                > > > > > difficulties against a federal army under Grant, I don't
                                > think
                                > > > it
                                > > > > > would have worn out the ability of the ANV to take the
                                > > offensive
                                > > > > as
                                > > > > > quickly as Lee did.
                                > > > > >
                                > > > > > In closing, and given the subsequent history, I don't
                                > believe
                                > > > > Davis
                                > > > > > really had any other viable options. Lee out West, and
                                > > > Longstreet
                                > > > > in
                                > > > > > the East, at least until the elections of 1864, and the
                                hope
                                > > > that
                                > > > > > Lee could have kept Sherman out of Atlanta, would have
                                been
                                > a
                                > > > > > pretty good hand to play.
                                > > > > >
                                > > > > > Sorry if this post was too long, but you know what they
                                say.
                                > > > > Figured
                                > > > > > I'd try to make somewhat of a good first impression.
                                > >
                                > >
                                > >
                                > >
                                > >
                                > >
                                > >
                                > > Yahoo! Groups Links
                                >
                                >
                                >
                                >
                                >
                                >
                                >
                                > Yahoo! Groups Links







                                Yahoo! Groups Links
                              • Tom Mix
                                And how miles away is Antietam from the VA peninsula? I would say much closer than from Perryville to Nashville. I am not so much interested in exact titles of
                                Message 15 of 23 , Nov 12, 2004
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                                  And how miles away is Antietam from the VA peninsula? I would say much
                                  closer than from Perryville to Nashville.

                                  I am not so much interested in exact titles of the armies as I am the
                                  theory of territorial command. But just follow Bragg's combat experience
                                  he was at Shiloh, Chattanooga and Perryville. That is a huge territory
                                  to monitor and command. And I believe it was the same army if not title.

                                  What I meant by unwieldy was the territory not the force. He had a good
                                  army it just could not do job asked of it over such a vast and difficult
                                  terrain. They tried something like in '62 but they didn't give clear
                                  concise orders of control nor man power allocations. They seemed to be
                                  whipping all over the South trying to put out fires. While accomplishing
                                  nothing. A clear line of division, a clear command structure, an
                                  organized set army in each department under clear command, working in
                                  unison with the other departments as needed would clear up questions
                                  like should we be in Chattanooga or Vicksburg. Those would be two
                                  separate departments. Again, working on theory. That is all a what if is
                                  anyways.

                                  You make good valid points though.

                                  -----Original Message-----
                                  From: William H Keene [mailto:wh_keene@...]
                                  Sent: Friday, November 12, 2004 3:51 PM
                                  To: civilwarwest@yahoogroups.com
                                  Subject: [civilwarwest] Re: Who would have been the best choice for
                                  commander in the West?



                                  --- In civilwarwest@yahoogroups.com, "Tom Mix" <tmix@i...> wrote:
                                  > To a degree. But you have AOT fighting from Perryville to Shiloh from
                                  > Chattanooga to Mississippi.

                                  I am a little confused about what you mean.
                                  The Confederate force at Shiloh was not called the Army of Tennessee.


                                  > ... It was simply stretched too thin and the
                                  > territorial command responsibilities were clearly lacking of focus.
                                  A.S.
                                  > Johnston had a huge territory to attempt to control and he found he
                                  > could not do attempting to consolidate his efforts at Shiloh. It was
                                  too
                                  > diverse, too unwieldy.

                                  I agree that A.S.J. had too large a geography for too small a force.
                                  But it seems to me that
                                  this was rectified by late 1862 along the lines of what you suggested.
                                  I don't think that
                                  ASJ's problem was that his force was unwieldy.


                                  > .. So, what you describe did exist but was not
                                  > applied as it should have been. Just follow the combat history of
                                  Bragg.
                                  > From Shiloh to Perryville. Hood from Atlanta to Nashville. No focus.

                                  I don't understand the examples. Why is there no focus? Hood was also
                                  at Antietam and
                                  the Seven Days.

                                  -Will








                                  Yahoo! Groups Links
                                • Mark Peters
                                  Tom, ... I couldn t disagree that the talent was there. Notably Lee, Johnston and Beauregard. But looking at my earlier point about co- operation, between
                                  Message 16 of 23 , Nov 12, 2004
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                                    Tom,

                                    > I think the talent was available. Joe Johnston, Beauregard, Bragg,
                                    > Hardee, and Stewart come readily to mind. Cleburne and Cheatham.
                                    > The Richmond command didn't just think inside the box they
                                    > reinforced

                                    I couldn't disagree that the talent was there. Notably Lee,
                                    Johnston and Beauregard. But looking at my earlier point about co-
                                    operation, between commanders, it wasn't just an issue with Davis.

                                    Lee ensured that his AoNV had the pick of supplies and
                                    reinforcements, despite the political protestations from those out
                                    west. I do wonder if these persons, let alone Bragg, could have put
                                    aside their differences and worked as a team. Of course, an extra
                                    Department would have caused additional strain on limited
                                    resources. As a result, relationships would have been strained even
                                    further than was the reality.

                                    As always, best wishes

                                    Mark
                                  • William H Keene
                                    ... So you have Hood going from the Peninsula to Antietam to Gettysburg to Chickamaugua to Knoxville to Atlanta to Nashville. While Bragg goes from Pensacola
                                    Message 17 of 23 , Nov 12, 2004
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                                      --- In civilwarwest@yahoogroups.com, "Tom Mix" <tmix@i...> wrote:
                                      > And how miles away is Antietam from the VA peninsula? I would say much
                                      > closer than from Perryville to Nashville.

                                      So you have Hood going from the Peninsula to Antietam to Gettysburg to Chickamaugua
                                      to Knoxville to Atlanta to Nashville. While Bragg goes from Pensacola to Shiloh to
                                      Perryville via Chattanooga to Stone's River to Chickamauaga to Chattanooga. So?
                                      Sherman went from Bull Run to Shiloh to Vicksburg to Chattanooga to Atlanta to Savannah
                                      to the Carolinas. I don't see what this shows about the focus of Departments.


                                      > I am not so much interested in exact titles of the armies as I am the
                                      > theory of territorial command. But just follow Bragg's combat experience
                                      > he was at Shiloh, Chattanooga and Perryville. That is a huge territory
                                      > to monitor and command. And I believe it was the same army if not title.

                                      The titles changed and so did Bragg's command position. He was in command of the army
                                      at Perryville and Chattanooga, he was in command of a Corps at Shiloh.


                                      > What I meant by unwieldy was the territory not the force. He had a good
                                      > army it just could not do job asked of it over such a vast and difficult
                                      > terrain. They tried something like in '62 but they didn't give clear
                                      > concise orders of control nor man power allocations. They seemed to be
                                      > whipping all over the South trying to put out fires. While accomplishing
                                      > nothing. A clear line of division, a clear command structure, an
                                      > organized set army in each department under clear command, working in
                                      > unison with the other departments as needed would clear up questions
                                      > like should we be in Chattanooga or Vicksburg. Those would be two
                                      > separate departments.

                                      After October 1862, they were. One was Bragg's department, the other was Pemberton's
                                      Department. There was a clear division between these two departments, I think the
                                      allocations in late 1862 were quite concise. During the middle of 1862 there was much
                                      confusion. I think a lot of that was becuas eof the death of ASJ and the loss of much of
                                      Tennessee and uncertainty of what to do next. the reorganization in the fall of 1862
                                      straightened things out.
                                    • Tom Mix
                                      You are missing my point all together. If it worked so well, show me the great accomplishments of Pemberton in Tennessee or Alabama or anywhere beyond the
                                      Message 18 of 23 , Nov 12, 2004
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                                        You are missing my point all together.
                                        If it worked so well, show me the great accomplishments of Pemberton in
                                        Tennessee or Alabama or anywhere beyond the outlying areas of Vicksburg.


                                        I tried illustrate that the ANV had a very small territory to cover.
                                        While Bragg was all over the map trying to do his job. He had a vast
                                        territory to cover and it possibly could have been better if done a
                                        better way.

                                        Lets hear your ideas or alternatives to a command structure that failed.

                                        -----Original Message-----
                                        From: William H Keene [mailto:wh_keene@...]
                                        Sent: Friday, November 12, 2004 4:27 PM
                                        To: civilwarwest@yahoogroups.com
                                        Subject: [civilwarwest] Re: Who would have been the best choice for
                                        commander in the West?



                                        --- In civilwarwest@yahoogroups.com, "Tom Mix" <tmix@i...> wrote:
                                        > And how miles away is Antietam from the VA peninsula? I would say much
                                        > closer than from Perryville to Nashville.

                                        So you have Hood going from the Peninsula to Antietam to Gettysburg to
                                        Chickamaugua
                                        to Knoxville to Atlanta to Nashville. While Bragg goes from Pensacola
                                        to Shiloh to
                                        Perryville via Chattanooga to Stone's River to Chickamauaga to
                                        Chattanooga. So?
                                        Sherman went from Bull Run to Shiloh to Vicksburg to Chattanooga to
                                        Atlanta to Savannah
                                        to the Carolinas. I don't see what this shows about the focus of
                                        Departments.


                                        > I am not so much interested in exact titles of the armies as I am the
                                        > theory of territorial command. But just follow Bragg's combat
                                        experience
                                        > he was at Shiloh, Chattanooga and Perryville. That is a huge territory
                                        > to monitor and command. And I believe it was the same army if not
                                        title.

                                        The titles changed and so did Bragg's command position. He was in
                                        command of the army
                                        at Perryville and Chattanooga, he was in command of a Corps at Shiloh.



                                        > What I meant by unwieldy was the territory not the force. He had a
                                        good
                                        > army it just could not do job asked of it over such a vast and
                                        difficult
                                        > terrain. They tried something like in '62 but they didn't give clear
                                        > concise orders of control nor man power allocations. They seemed to be
                                        > whipping all over the South trying to put out fires. While
                                        accomplishing
                                        > nothing. A clear line of division, a clear command structure, an
                                        > organized set army in each department under clear command, working in
                                        > unison with the other departments as needed would clear up questions
                                        > like should we be in Chattanooga or Vicksburg. Those would be two
                                        > separate departments.

                                        After October 1862, they were. One was Bragg's department, the other
                                        was Pemberton's
                                        Department. There was a clear division between these two departments,
                                        I think the
                                        allocations in late 1862 were quite concise. During the middle of 1862
                                        there was much
                                        confusion. I think a lot of that was becuas eof the death of ASJ and
                                        the loss of much of
                                        Tennessee and uncertainty of what to do next. the reorganization in the
                                        fall of 1862
                                        straightened things out.











                                        Yahoo! Groups Links
                                      • Tom Mix
                                        Mark, All good points. Lets face it, it was a not a great decision for the South to start a civil war. But they did. We both know they were doomed from the get
                                        Message 19 of 23 , Nov 12, 2004
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                                          Mark,
                                          All good points. Lets face it, it was a not a great decision for the
                                          South to start a civil war. But they did. We both know they were doomed
                                          from the get go. This is just a theory to bounce around with. I doubt if
                                          it would work. But perhaps Georgia, for example, would have been more
                                          willing to send supplies and personal to a more local department rather
                                          than to Richmond or Memphis. Or Alabama to Memphis or Vicksburg instead
                                          of Knoxville, Charlotte or Richmond.
                                          I doubt it, but who knows?
                                          Thanks,
                                          Tom

                                          -----Original Message-----
                                          From: Mark Peters [mailto:mark.peters14@...]
                                          Sent: Friday, November 12, 2004 4:23 PM
                                          To: civilwarwest@yahoogroups.com
                                          Subject: [civilwarwest] Re: Who would have been the best choice for
                                          commander in the West?



                                          Tom,

                                          > I think the talent was available. Joe Johnston, Beauregard, Bragg,
                                          > Hardee, and Stewart come readily to mind. Cleburne and Cheatham.
                                          > The Richmond command didn't just think inside the box they
                                          > reinforced

                                          I couldn't disagree that the talent was there. Notably Lee,
                                          Johnston and Beauregard. But looking at my earlier point about co-
                                          operation, between commanders, it wasn't just an issue with Davis.

                                          Lee ensured that his AoNV had the pick of supplies and
                                          reinforcements, despite the political protestations from those out
                                          west. I do wonder if these persons, let alone Bragg, could have put
                                          aside their differences and worked as a team. Of course, an extra
                                          Department would have caused additional strain on limited
                                          resources. As a result, relationships would have been strained even
                                          further than was the reality.

                                          As always, best wishes

                                          Mark









                                          Yahoo! Groups Links
                                        • Tom Mix
                                          Will, I just have to say that I am aware that Bragg did not command the army at Shiloh. Again you missed the point. It was the same army that fought in all
                                          Message 20 of 23 , Nov 12, 2004
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                                            Will,
                                            I just have to say that I am aware that Bragg did not command the army
                                            at Shiloh. Again you missed the point. It was the same army that fought
                                            in all those places you mentioned and Bragg was either in partial or
                                            full command. I could have used Cheatham or Cleburne or a number or
                                            other names just as easy. The point is that it was one army covering way
                                            too much territory. While the Union had Grant toward the west and
                                            Rosecrans, among others, in the center.

                                            -----Original Message-----
                                            From: William H Keene [mailto:wh_keene@...]
                                            Sent: Friday, November 12, 2004 4:27 PM
                                            To: civilwarwest@yahoogroups.com
                                            Subject: [civilwarwest] Re: Who would have been the best choice for
                                            commander in the West?



                                            --- In civilwarwest@yahoogroups.com, "Tom Mix" <tmix@i...> wrote:
                                            > And how miles away is Antietam from the VA peninsula? I would say much
                                            > closer than from Perryville to Nashville.

                                            So you have Hood going from the Peninsula to Antietam to Gettysburg to
                                            Chickamaugua
                                            to Knoxville to Atlanta to Nashville. While Bragg goes from Pensacola
                                            to Shiloh to
                                            Perryville via Chattanooga to Stone's River to Chickamauaga to
                                            Chattanooga. So?
                                            Sherman went from Bull Run to Shiloh to Vicksburg to Chattanooga to
                                            Atlanta to Savannah
                                            to the Carolinas. I don't see what this shows about the focus of
                                            Departments.


                                            > I am not so much interested in exact titles of the armies as I am the
                                            > theory of territorial command. But just follow Bragg's combat
                                            experience
                                            > he was at Shiloh, Chattanooga and Perryville. That is a huge territory
                                            > to monitor and command. And I believe it was the same army if not
                                            title.

                                            The titles changed and so did Bragg's command position. He was in
                                            command of the army
                                            at Perryville and Chattanooga, he was in command of a Corps at Shiloh.



                                            > What I meant by unwieldy was the territory not the force. He had a
                                            good
                                            > army it just could not do job asked of it over such a vast and
                                            difficult
                                            > terrain. They tried something like in '62 but they didn't give clear
                                            > concise orders of control nor man power allocations. They seemed to be
                                            > whipping all over the South trying to put out fires. While
                                            accomplishing
                                            > nothing. A clear line of division, a clear command structure, an
                                            > organized set army in each department under clear command, working in
                                            > unison with the other departments as needed would clear up questions
                                            > like should we be in Chattanooga or Vicksburg. Those would be two
                                            > separate departments.

                                            After October 1862, they were. One was Bragg's department, the other
                                            was Pemberton's
                                            Department. There was a clear division between these two departments,
                                            I think the
                                            allocations in late 1862 were quite concise. During the middle of 1862
                                            there was much
                                            confusion. I think a lot of that was becuas eof the death of ASJ and
                                            the loss of much of
                                            Tennessee and uncertainty of what to do next. the reorganization in the
                                            fall of 1862
                                            straightened things out.











                                            Yahoo! Groups Links
                                          • William H Keene
                                            ... Who said it worked well. My point was just that there was a clear division of Departments as you have theorized about. ... By the time Pemberton took
                                            Message 21 of 23 , Nov 12, 2004
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                                              --- In civilwarwest@yahoogroups.com, "Tom Mix" <tmix@i...> wrote:
                                              > You are missing my point all together.
                                              > If it worked so well...

                                              Who said it worked well. My point was just that there was a clear division of Departments
                                              as you have theorized about.

                                              > ... , show me the great accomplishments of Pemberton in
                                              > Tennessee or Alabama or anywhere beyond the outlying areas of Vicksburg.

                                              By the time Pemberton took over, western Tennesee was pretty much lost to the
                                              Confederates, so his command was constrained to Mississippi. Northern Alabama was in
                                              Bragg's Department; southern Alabama was in a different Department. Van Dorn's raid of
                                              December 1862 (which was ordered by Pemberton) was a nice accomplishement, but in
                                              gneeral Pemberton's activities were focused around Vicksburg. There was a focus.

                                              > I tried illustrate that the ANV had a very small territory to cover.
                                              > While Bragg was all over the map trying to do his job. He had a vast
                                              > territory to cover and it possibly could have been better if done a
                                              > better way.
                                              >
                                              > Lets hear your ideas or alternatives to a command structure that failed.

                                              I don't think the size of Bragg's Department was a problem. In fact I think Bragg's
                                              command area was well drawn -- northern Georgia, northern Alabama and middle
                                              Tennessee seems like a manageable area. Leadership and resources were a problem.

                                              I do think there was a problem with the extent of Pemberton's Department since he was
                                              tasked with blocking the Mississippi but he had no authority over forces to the west of the
                                              river. I think a department that to some extent straddled the river might have been
                                              better. In fact, I think that at times the problem was too many Departments, not too few.
                                              The Deprtmental divide of the river made cooperation more difficult and during much of
                                              the time, eastern Tennessee was a separate Department.
                                            • William H Keene
                                              ... At the time of Shiloh, the Union had Grant and Buell coming together in one place. Toss in Pope during the move on Corinth and the Union was as
                                              Message 22 of 23 , Nov 12, 2004
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                                                --- In civilwarwest@yahoogroups.com, "Tom Mix" <tmix@i...> wrote:
                                                > Will,
                                                > I just have to say that I am aware that Bragg did not command the army
                                                > at Shiloh. Again you missed the point. It was the same army that fought
                                                > in all those places you mentioned and Bragg was either in partial or
                                                > full command. I could have used Cheatham or Cleburne or a number or
                                                > other names just as easy. The point is that it was one army covering way
                                                > too much territory. While the Union had Grant toward the west and
                                                > Rosecrans, among others, in the center.

                                                At the time of Shiloh, the Union had Grant and Buell coming together in one place. Toss in
                                                Pope during the move on Corinth and the Union was as concetrated in a single army as
                                                the Confederates. The Confederates also had Kirby-Smith with a small force covering
                                                East Tennessee, includign Chattanooga, at the time of Shiloh.

                                                Later when the Union had Grant in the western part of Tennessee and Buell in the center,
                                                the Confederates had Bragg and Smith operating together against Buell while Van Dorn
                                                and Price were operating in Mississippi against Grant. Then it was Rosecrans against
                                                Bragg and Grant against Pemberton.

                                                So my point is that there wasn't just this one Confederate army shuttling back and forth.
                                                Multiple armies were formed, split, united, moved, etc.

                                                -Will

                                                > -----Original Message-----
                                                > From: William H Keene [mailto:wh_keene@y...]
                                                > Sent: Friday, November 12, 2004 4:27 PM
                                                > To: civilwarwest@yahoogroups.com
                                                > Subject: [civilwarwest] Re: Who would have been the best choice for
                                                > commander in the West?
                                                >
                                                >
                                                >
                                                > --- In civilwarwest@yahoogroups.com, "Tom Mix" <tmix@i...> wrote:
                                                > > And how miles away is Antietam from the VA peninsula? I would say much
                                                > > closer than from Perryville to Nashville.
                                                >
                                                > So you have Hood going from the Peninsula to Antietam to Gettysburg to
                                                > Chickamaugua
                                                > to Knoxville to Atlanta to Nashville. While Bragg goes from Pensacola
                                                > to Shiloh to
                                                > Perryville via Chattanooga to Stone's River to Chickamauaga to
                                                > Chattanooga. So?
                                                > Sherman went from Bull Run to Shiloh to Vicksburg to Chattanooga to
                                                > Atlanta to Savannah
                                                > to the Carolinas. I don't see what this shows about the focus of
                                                > Departments.
                                                >
                                                >
                                                > > I am not so much interested in exact titles of the armies as I am the
                                                > > theory of territorial command. But just follow Bragg's combat
                                                > experience
                                                > > he was at Shiloh, Chattanooga and Perryville. That is a huge territory
                                                > > to monitor and command. And I believe it was the same army if not
                                                > title.
                                                >
                                                > The titles changed and so did Bragg's command position. He was in
                                                > command of the army
                                                > at Perryville and Chattanooga, he was in command of a Corps at Shiloh.
                                                >
                                                >
                                                >
                                                > > What I meant by unwieldy was the territory not the force. He had a
                                                > good
                                                > > army it just could not do job asked of it over such a vast and
                                                > difficult
                                                > > terrain. They tried something like in '62 but they didn't give clear
                                                > > concise orders of control nor man power allocations. They seemed to be
                                                > > whipping all over the South trying to put out fires. While
                                                > accomplishing
                                                > > nothing. A clear line of division, a clear command structure, an
                                                > > organized set army in each department under clear command, working in
                                                > > unison with the other departments as needed would clear up questions
                                                > > like should we be in Chattanooga or Vicksburg. Those would be two
                                                > > separate departments.
                                                >
                                                > After October 1862, they were. One was Bragg's department, the other
                                                > was Pemberton's
                                                > Department. There was a clear division between these two departments,
                                                > I think the
                                                > allocations in late 1862 were quite concise. During the middle of 1862
                                                > there was much
                                                > confusion. I think a lot of that was becuas eof the death of ASJ and
                                                > the loss of much of
                                                > Tennessee and uncertainty of what to do next. the reorganization in the
                                                > fall of 1862
                                                > straightened things out.
                                                >
                                                >
                                                >
                                                >
                                                >
                                                >
                                                >
                                                >
                                                >
                                                >
                                                >
                                                > Yahoo! Groups Links
                                              • Tom Mix
                                                Ok. ... From: William H Keene [mailto:wh_keene@yahoo.com] Sent: Friday, November 12, 2004 6:15 PM To: civilwarwest@yahoogroups.com Subject: [civilwarwest] Re:
                                                Message 23 of 23 , Nov 12, 2004
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                                                  Ok.

                                                  -----Original Message-----
                                                  From: William H Keene [mailto:wh_keene@...]
                                                  Sent: Friday, November 12, 2004 6:15 PM
                                                  To: civilwarwest@yahoogroups.com
                                                  Subject: [civilwarwest] Re: Who would have been the best choice for
                                                  commander in the West?



                                                  --- In civilwarwest@yahoogroups.com, "Tom Mix" <tmix@i...> wrote:
                                                  > Will,
                                                  > I just have to say that I am aware that Bragg did not command the army
                                                  > at Shiloh. Again you missed the point. It was the same army that
                                                  fought
                                                  > in all those places you mentioned and Bragg was either in partial or
                                                  > full command. I could have used Cheatham or Cleburne or a number or
                                                  > other names just as easy. The point is that it was one army covering
                                                  way
                                                  > too much territory. While the Union had Grant toward the west and
                                                  > Rosecrans, among others, in the center.

                                                  At the time of Shiloh, the Union had Grant and Buell coming together in
                                                  one place. Toss in
                                                  Pope during the move on Corinth and the Union was as concetrated in a
                                                  single army as
                                                  the Confederates. The Confederates also had Kirby-Smith with a small
                                                  force covering
                                                  East Tennessee, includign Chattanooga, at the time of Shiloh.

                                                  Later when the Union had Grant in the western part of Tennessee and
                                                  Buell in the center,
                                                  the Confederates had Bragg and Smith operating together against Buell
                                                  while Van Dorn
                                                  and Price were operating in Mississippi against Grant. Then it was
                                                  Rosecrans against
                                                  Bragg and Grant against Pemberton.

                                                  So my point is that there wasn't just this one Confederate army
                                                  shuttling back and forth.
                                                  Multiple armies were formed, split, united, moved, etc.

                                                  -Will

                                                  > -----Original Message-----
                                                  > From: William H Keene [mailto:wh_keene@y...]
                                                  > Sent: Friday, November 12, 2004 4:27 PM
                                                  > To: civilwarwest@yahoogroups.com
                                                  > Subject: [civilwarwest] Re: Who would have been the best choice for
                                                  > commander in the West?
                                                  >
                                                  >
                                                  >
                                                  > --- In civilwarwest@yahoogroups.com, "Tom Mix" <tmix@i...> wrote:
                                                  > > And how miles away is Antietam from the VA peninsula? I would say
                                                  much
                                                  > > closer than from Perryville to Nashville.
                                                  >
                                                  > So you have Hood going from the Peninsula to Antietam to Gettysburg to
                                                  > Chickamaugua
                                                  > to Knoxville to Atlanta to Nashville. While Bragg goes from Pensacola
                                                  > to Shiloh to
                                                  > Perryville via Chattanooga to Stone's River to Chickamauaga to
                                                  > Chattanooga. So?
                                                  > Sherman went from Bull Run to Shiloh to Vicksburg to Chattanooga to
                                                  > Atlanta to Savannah
                                                  > to the Carolinas. I don't see what this shows about the focus of
                                                  > Departments.
                                                  >
                                                  >
                                                  > > I am not so much interested in exact titles of the armies as I am
                                                  the
                                                  > > theory of territorial command. But just follow Bragg's combat
                                                  > experience
                                                  > > he was at Shiloh, Chattanooga and Perryville. That is a huge
                                                  territory
                                                  > > to monitor and command. And I believe it was the same army if not
                                                  > title.
                                                  >
                                                  > The titles changed and so did Bragg's command position. He was in
                                                  > command of the army
                                                  > at Perryville and Chattanooga, he was in command of a Corps at Shiloh.
                                                  >
                                                  >
                                                  >
                                                  > > What I meant by unwieldy was the territory not the force. He had a
                                                  > good
                                                  > > army it just could not do job asked of it over such a vast and
                                                  > difficult
                                                  > > terrain. They tried something like in '62 but they didn't give clear
                                                  > > concise orders of control nor man power allocations. They seemed to
                                                  be
                                                  > > whipping all over the South trying to put out fires. While
                                                  > accomplishing
                                                  > > nothing. A clear line of division, a clear command structure, an
                                                  > > organized set army in each department under clear command, working
                                                  in
                                                  > > unison with the other departments as needed would clear up questions
                                                  > > like should we be in Chattanooga or Vicksburg. Those would be two
                                                  > > separate departments.
                                                  >
                                                  > After October 1862, they were. One was Bragg's department, the other
                                                  > was Pemberton's
                                                  > Department. There was a clear division between these two departments,
                                                  > I think the
                                                  > allocations in late 1862 were quite concise. During the middle of
                                                  1862
                                                  > there was much
                                                  > confusion. I think a lot of that was becuas eof the death of ASJ and
                                                  > the loss of much of
                                                  > Tennessee and uncertainty of what to do next. the reorganization in
                                                  the
                                                  > fall of 1862
                                                  > straightened things out.
                                                  >
                                                  >
                                                  >
                                                  >
                                                  >
                                                  >
                                                  >
                                                  >
                                                  >
                                                  >
                                                  >
                                                  > Yahoo! Groups Links







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