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

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  • 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 1 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 2 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 3 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 4 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 5 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 6 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 7 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 8 of 23 , Nov 12, 2004
                  • 0 Attachment
                    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 9 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 10 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 11 of 23 , Nov 12, 2004
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                          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 12 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 13 of 23 , Nov 12, 2004
                            • 0 Attachment
                              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 14 of 23 , Nov 12, 2004
                              • 0 Attachment
                                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 15 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 16 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 17 of 23 , Nov 12, 2004
                                    • 0 Attachment
                                      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 18 of 23 , Nov 12, 2004
                                      • 0 Attachment
                                        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 19 of 23 , Nov 12, 2004
                                        • 0 Attachment
                                          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 20 of 23 , Nov 12, 2004
                                          • 0 Attachment
                                            --- 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 21 of 23 , Nov 12, 2004
                                            • 0 Attachment
                                              --- 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 22 of 23 , Nov 12, 2004
                                              • 0 Attachment
                                                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.
                                                >
                                                >
                                                >
                                                >
                                                >
                                                >
                                                >
                                                >
                                                >
                                                >
                                                >
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