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Re: Conversation between Lincoln and David Porter

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  • William H Keene
    ... indicate that politically appointed generals were looked down on by West Pointers,if that s incorrect, I m glad to stand corrected. ... This was certainly
    Message 1 of 23 , Feb 18, 2005
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      --- In civilwarwest@yahoogroups.com, Rielle <RielleBhaer@n...> wrote:
      > I'm not an expert, but the reading I've done to date seems to
      indicate that politically appointed generals were looked down on by
      West Pointers,if that's incorrect, I'm glad to stand corrected.
      >



      This was certainly true of some. But I have a hard time making it a
      universal statement.
    • hank9174
      Shiloh was in April 1862 and Vicksburg fell 15 months later and about 14 months of that was a West Point-led overland campaign. HankC ... In ... had ...
      Message 2 of 23 , Feb 18, 2005
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        Shiloh was in April 1862 and Vicksburg fell 15 months later and about
        14 months of that was a West Point-led 'overland' campaign.


        HankC

        --- In civilwarwest@yahoogroups.com, "Tony Gunter" <tony_gunter@y...>
        wrote:
        >
        > --- In civilwarwest@yahoogroups.com, "hank9174" <clarkc@m...> wrote:
        > >
        > >
        > > Political generals were held to a higher standard by the West
        > > Pointers than the West Pomters held themselves...
        > >
        > > The list of generals who were slow time-wasters cannot be
        > > characterized as being overly filled with 'political' officers.
        In
        > > fact, the list is topped by USMA graduates ;)
        > >
        > > Sherman's bias shows in his knee-jerk reponse to McC's success at
        > > Arkansas Post. Was it necessary? No... Was it an unqualified
        > > success? Yes... Especially when compared with the sloooow
        > > operations in northern Mississippi, topped by the loss of Holly
        > > Springs.
        >
        > It seems a little strange to see the words "slow" used to criticize
        > the overland campaign against Vicksbug. In under 30 days, Grant
        had
        > moved almost 100 miles, from Corinth to Grand Junction, to
        Oxford...
        > rebuilding the roads and railway infrastructure as he went.
      • Tony Gunter
        ... Ah... I see your point. I thought you were referencing the concurrent movement by Grant, which had taken the federal army to the doorstep of Grenada in
        Message 3 of 23 , Feb 18, 2005
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          --- In civilwarwest@yahoogroups.com, "hank9174" <clarkc@m...> wrote:
          >
          >
          > Shiloh was in April 1862 and Vicksburg fell 15 months later.

          Ah... I see your point. I thought you were referencing the
          concurrent movement by Grant, which had taken the federal army to the
          doorstep of Grenada in less than 30 days.

          To say that Halleck had a case of the slows is an exercise in dead
          horse beating.

          :)
        • Bob Taubman
          I m reading Kiper as well. McClernand used his political connections to his advantage, or at least he tried to, and Lincoln used McClernand for his,
          Message 4 of 23 , Feb 18, 2005
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            I'm reading Kiper as well. McClernand used his
            political connections to his advantage, or at least he
            tried to, and Lincoln used McClernand for his,
            Lincoln's, political advantage in southern Illinois
            where he was having political problems.

            Kiper suggests Lincoln allowed McClernand to organize
            a Vicksburg campaign, even though McClernand was not a
            West Pointer, because McClellan, Pope, etc, who were
            West Point graduates, had not performed as expected.
            Could McClernand be any worse?

            A good book. Next is Marszalek on Halleck. All the
            good guys at once.



            --- Bill Gower <billgower@...> wrote:
            > No you are correct and the feelings were mutual.
            > Many of the politicians
            > looked down on the West Pointers. In fact the
            > members of the JCCC thought
            > that all you wanted was ambition and courage and
            > anyone could be a good
            > general. I think that it is unfair to lump all the
            > politician generals as
            > bad and all the West pointers as good. All we have
            > to do is to consider
            > that McDowell, Burnside, Hooker and McClellan were
            > West Pointers. Lincoln
            > needed his political generals. They helped to boost
            > morale among the
            > people. They helped in the drive for enlistments.
            > I have just been reading
            > the biography of McClernand by Kiper and it is
            > amazing how many troops that
            > were organized by McClernand in the fall of 1862.
            > The biggest problem with
            > political generals was not that they were idiots,
            > there were plenty of West
            > Pointers that would be grouped in that bunch also.
            > The biggest problem was
            > that they did what they did for political gain, for
            > future enhancement. If
            > you ever look at the courses that the West Pointers
            > took you will see that
            > it was more geared to math, geology, artillery,
            > engineering. They did not
            > have courses like military strategy, managing your
            > troops etc. They were
            > great at drilling, marching etc. So I think that
            > we often go overboard
            > with how great the West Point generals were as
            > opposed to the Political
            > generals and forget that West Point was not trying
            > to turn out Napoleons or
            > great military strategists. That was not the goal
            > of a four year education
            > at West Point.
            >
            >
            >
            > Bill
            >
            >
            >
            > _____
            >
            > From: Rielle [mailto:RielleBhaer@...]
            > Sent: Thursday, February 17, 2005 11:29 PM
            > To: civilwarwest@yahoogroups.com
            > Subject: Re: [civilwarwest] Re: Conversation between
            > Lincoln and David
            > Porter
            >
            >
            >
            > I'm not an expert, but the reading I've done to date
            > seems to indicate that
            > politically appointed generals were looked down on
            > by West Pointers,if
            > that's incorrect, I'm glad to stand corrected.
            >
            >
            >
            > How body from spirit does unwind, until we are pure
            > spirit at the end
            > "Infirmity" by Theodore Roethke
            > American poet, 1908-1963
            >
            >
            > --- "hank9174" <clarkc@...> wrote:
            >
            > From: "hank9174" <clarkc@...>
            > Date: Thu, 17 Feb 2005 16:40:58 -0000
            > To: civilwarwest@yahoogroups.com
            > Subject: [civilwarwest] Re: Conversation between
            > Lincoln and
            > David Porter
            > Political generals were held to a higher standard by
            > the West
            > Pointers than the West Pomters held themselves...
            > The list of generals who were slow time-wasters
            > cannot be
            > characterized as being overly filled with
            > 'political' officers.
            > In
            > fact, the list is topped by USMA graduates ;)
            > Sherman's bias shows in his knee-jerk reponse to
            > McC's success
            > at
            > Arkansas Post. Was it necessary? No... Was it an
            > unqualified
            > success?
            > Yes... Especially when compared with the sloooow
            > operations in
            > northern Mississippi, topped by the loss of Holly
            > Springs.
            > If Abe considered him a thorn in his side, he
            > hid the pain
            > pretty
            > well ;)
            > HankC
            > --- In civilwarwest@yahoogroups.com, Rick Moody
            > <r_moody@y...>
            > wrote:
            > > McClernand and Lincoln were both born in Kentucky,
            > > fought in the Black Hawk War, admitted to the bar
            > in
            > > Illinois, served terms in the state legislature
            > and in
            > > congress. McClernand was a loyal to the union
            > > Democrat and for political purposes was allowed to
            > > raise the McClernand Brigade of Illinois
            > volunteers
            > > and was commissioned a brigadier-general of
            > > volunteers. At Shilo he was in reserve to
            > Sherman.
            > > It was the opinion of Admiral Foote and General
            > > Sherman (Arkansas Post) that McClernand was unfit
            > for
            > > command and it was expressed so to Grant. It was
            > > Grant's opinion that at Champion's Hill he was
            > slow
            > > and wasting time. A congratulatory order to his
            > corps
            > > was published in the press contrary to an order of
            > > Grant, he was relieved of his command. Lincoln
            > who
            > > saw him as a leader of loyal democrats restored
            > him to
            > > command but he resigned later that year. One of
            > the
            > > most famous pictures of Lincoln is the one where
            > he is
            > > standing with McClernand and Alan Pinkerton. I
            > > believe that McClernand was a constant thorn in
            > > Lincolns side but politics were an important part
            > of
            > > the war and Lincoln had to keep the loyal
            > democrats on
            > > board.
            > > It would not surprise me if Lincoln said something
            > > like that in 1862.
            > >
            > > Rick Moody
            > > r_moody@y...
            > >
            > > "It is the duty of every good citizen to use all
            > the
            > > opportunities
            > > which occur to him, for preserving documents
            > relating
            > > to the
            > > history of our country." --Thomas Jefferson
            > >
            > >
            > >
            > >
            > > --- Bill Gower <billgower@c...> wrote:
            > >
            > > > Is there any confirmation from the standpoint of
            > > > Lincoln's work that
            > > > collaborates a conversation that Porter and
            > Lincoln
            > > > had on October 15, 1862,
            > > > in which Lincoln says to Porter?
            > > >
            > > >
            > > >
            > > > "Well, Admiral, I have in mind a better general
            > than
            > > > either of them (meaning
            > > > Sherman and Grant) that is McClernand, an old
            > and
            > > > intimate friend of mine."
            > > > When Porter stated that he did not know
            > McClernand,
            > > > Lincoln exclaimed:
            > > > "What! Don't know McClernand? Why, he saved the
            > > > battle of Shiloh.He is a
            > > > natural born general."
            > > >
            > > >
            > > >
            > > > This comes from _Major General. John Alexander
            > > > McClernand_ by Richard Kiper
            > > > and he cites _Incidents and Anecdotes_ by David
            > > > Porter for the quote. I
            > > > understand from certain readings elsewhere that
            > > > Porter did not have any
            > > > qualms to embellishing a story. I just can't
            > > > believe that Lincoln said
            > > > this.
            > > >
            > > >
            > > >
            > > >
            > >
            >
            === message truncated ===
          • GnrlJEJohnston@aol.com
            In a message dated 2/18/2005 1:29:57 P.M. Eastern Standard Time, rtaubman@rogers.com writes: Kiper suggests Lincoln allowed McClernand to organize a Vicksburg
            Message 5 of 23 , Feb 18, 2005
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              In a message dated 2/18/2005 1:29:57 P.M. Eastern Standard Time, rtaubman@... writes:
              Kiper suggests Lincoln allowed McClernand to organize
              a Vicksburg campaign, even though McClernand was not a
              West Pointer, because McClellan, Pope, etc, who were
              West Point graduates, had not performed as expected.
              I have a sneaking hunch, but no documentation or proof, that Lincoln knew exactly how Grant would react to this, and then would stay out of the picture.  That is being a true politician.
               
              JEJ who has a great distaste for politicians, especially those named Davis
            • CAMPAIGN62@AOL.COM
              I think the Vicksburg canal wasa more of a make work project. it kept the soldiers busy and the administration happy with the appearance of doing something.
              Message 6 of 23 , Feb 18, 2005
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                I think the Vicksburg canal wasa more of a "make work" project. it kept the
                soldiers busy and the administration happy with the appearance of doing
                something. Compare the harrasment Rosecrans received from Halleck and Stanton after
                Murfreesboro and Tullahoma.
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