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Southern Commanders in the West

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  • Bill Gower
    Please rank for me how you think that the following Army commanders in the west should be rated. Please rate them only on performance, not on popularity with
    Message 1 of 24 , Aug 7, 2005
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      Please rank for me how you think that the following Army commanders in the west should be rated.  Please rate them only on performance, not on popularity with their men or others.  Rate them on the job they did against the Union army.  In other words, how they did what they were hired for.

       

       

      B. Bragg

      A.S. Johnston

      P. T. Beauregard

      J.E. Johnston

      J. B. Hood

       

       

       

    • Rick Moody
      ... I have no #2 as JEJ was head and shoulders above the rest. IMO Rick Moody r_moody@yahoo.com When you arise in the morning, give thanks for the morning
      Message 2 of 24 , Aug 7, 2005
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        --- Bill Gower <billgower@...> wrote:

        > Please rank for me how you think that the following
        > Army commanders in the
        > west should be rated. Please rate them only on
        > performance, not on
        > popularity with their men or others. Rate them on
        > the job they did against
        > the Union army. In other words, how they did what
        > they were hired for.
        >
        >
        >
        >
        >
        > B. Bragg #6
        >
        > A.S. Johnston #3
        >
        > P. T. Beauregard #5
        >
        > J.E. Johnston #1
        >
        > J. B. Hood #4

        I have no #2 as JEJ was head and shoulders above the
        rest. IMO



        Rick Moody
        r_moody@...


        When you arise in the morning,
        give thanks for the morning light,
        for your life and strength.
        Give thanks for your food,
        and the joy of living.

        If you see no reason for giving thanks,
        the fault lies with yourself.

        Tecumseh, Shawnee (The Southern People)



        ____________________________________________________
        Start your day with Yahoo! - make it your home page
        http://www.yahoo.com/r/hs
      • banbruner@aol.com
        In a message dated 8/7/2005 11:09:38 PM Eastern Daylight Time, r_moody@yahoo.com writes: ... I have no #2 as JEJ was head and shoulders above the rest. IMO I
        Message 3 of 24 , Aug 7, 2005
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          In a message dated 8/7/2005 11:09:38 PM Eastern Daylight Time, r_moody@... writes:
          Bill Gower <billgower@...> wrote:

          > Please rank for me how you think that the following
          > Army commanders in the
          > west should be rated.  Please rate them only on
          > performance, not on
          > popularity with their men or others.  Rate them on
          > the job they did against
          > the Union army.  In other words, how they did what
          > they were hired for.
          >

          >

          >
          > B. Bragg #6
          >
          > A.S. Johnston #3
          >
          > P. T. Beauregard #5
          >
          > J.E. Johnston #1
          >
          > J. B. Hood #4

          I have no #2 as JEJ was head and shoulders above the
          rest.  IMO
          I think the original question asked for victories or accomplishments, otherwise I wouldn't quibble with your choice of JEJ  as number one. But may I humbly submit:
           
          Beauregard fought and won battles at Manasses I Petersburg I Petersburg II .  He completely bottled
           
          up and nullified Butler in the Bermuda Hundred Campaign with clear victories at Proctors Creek and
           
          Ware Bottom Church.  He conduicted a very successful defense of Charleston Harbor through several
           
          well fought battles.  And he had the good sense to know the game was up after buell arrived at
           
          Pittsburg Landing.
           
          What do you cite as the victories and or accomplishments  of the commanders you put ahead of him.
          WHB
        • CAMPAIGN62@AOL.COM
          BRAGG J E JOHNSTON BEAUREGARD A S JOHNSTON HOOD
          Message 4 of 24 , Aug 8, 2005
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            BRAGG

            J E JOHNSTON

            BEAUREGARD

            A S JOHNSTON

            HOOD
          • SDE80@aol.com
            In a message dated 8/7/2005 7:57:45 PM Eastern Daylight Time, ... Ranked purely on performance as commander of the West s principal army (that would exclude
            Message 5 of 24 , Aug 8, 2005
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              In a message dated 8/7/2005 7:57:45 PM Eastern Daylight Time, billgower@... writes:

              Please rank for me how you think that the following Army commanders in the west should be rated.  Please rate them only on performance, not on popularity with their men or others.  Rate them on the job they did against the Union army.  In other words, how they did what they were hired for.


               




              B. Bragg

              A.S. Johnston

              P. T. Beauregard

              J.E. Johnston

              J. B. Hood



              Ranked purely on performance as commander of the West's principal army (that would exclude Joe Johnston and Beauregard in SC or Va.:

              1) Bragg.  This pick is an indication of how bad the performance of the western commanders was.   Tactically somewhat inept, definitely unlucky, with little ability to inspire his officers, the man had strategic vision.  His move from Tupelo to Chattanooga had the ultimate effect of keeping the Yankees out of Chattanooga for a year, and recovering much of Middle Tennessee (helped handsomely by Halleck).  Hindered at Murfreesboro by the detachment of a large division for Vicksburg, and hindered again in the Tullahoma campaign by the ineptness of his cavalry and, again, the detachment of a division to Mississippi, his concepts to destroy a chunk of the AOC at McLemore's Cove and the whole AOC at Chickamauga were sound, but poorly executed by his officers.   After Chickamauga, though, the feud with his officers made him ineffective.

              2) Beauregard.  Masterful retreats from field of Shiloh and Corinth.   Not much besides that.

              3) Joe Johnston.  Masterful retreater, too, but he had a much larger army than PGTB.  Failure to stay in touch with Richmond and hesitation to counterattack cost him #1 ranking.

              4) AS Johnston.  Ability to inspire officers was his best quality.   Tough situation covering a large front, but failed to adequately guard the two rivers in Feb. 1862, sort of let Beauregard take over for him after that time.  

              5) Hood.  Battles around Atlanta are not what do him in.  Franklin does. 
            • banbruner@aol.com
              In a message dated 8/8/2005 10:18:23 AM Eastern Daylight Time, SDE80@aol.com writes: Ranked purely on performance as commander of the West s principal army
              Message 6 of 24 , Aug 8, 2005
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                In a message dated 8/8/2005 10:18:23 AM Eastern Daylight Time, SDE80@... writes:
                Ranked purely on performance as commander of the West's principal army (that would exclude Joe Johnston and Beauregard in SC or Va.:

                Description

                This group discusses all aspects of the American Civil War as conducted in the Western Theater of operations.

                Any action that did not involve Lee's Army of Northern Virginia or the Peninsula Campaign is open for discussion

                 
                Wouldn't Manassas I, The Bermuda Hundred, and the Defense of Charleston meet the above criteria? Besides it seenm unfair to poor old PGT to arbitrarily dismiss these accomplishments (including Eastern Theater, Petersburg II which was a biggie)
                WHB
              • Tom Mix
                I concur with Sam as that is exactly how I had listed mine. 1 Bragg 2 Beauregard 3 Joe E. Johnston 4 A.S. Johnston 5 Hood Thanks, Sam, you even saved me some
                Message 7 of 24 , Aug 8, 2005
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                  I concur with Sam as that is exactly how I had listed mine.

                  1 Bragg

                  2 Beauregard

                  3 Joe E. Johnston

                  4 A.S. Johnston

                  5 Hood

                   

                  Thanks, Sam, you even saved me some work too.

                  Tom

                   

                  -----Original Message-----
                  From: civilwarwest@yahoogroups.com [mailto:civilwarwest@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of SDE80@...
                  Sent: Monday, August 08, 2005 9:14 AM
                  To: civilwarwest@yahoogroups.com
                  Subject: Re: [civilwarwest] Southern Commanders in the West

                   

                  In a message dated 8/7/2005 7:57:45 PM Eastern Daylight Time, billgower@... writes:


                  Please rank for me how you think that the following Army commanders in the west should be rated.  Please rate them only on performance, not on popularity with their men or others.  Rate them on the job they did against the Union army.  In other words, how they did what they were hired for.

                   




                  B. Bragg

                  A.S. Johnston

                  P. T. Beauregard

                  J.E. Johnston

                  J. B. Hood



                  Ranked purely on performance as commander of the West's principal army (that would exclude Joe Johnston and Beauregard in SC or Va.:

                  1) Bragg.  This pick is an indication of how bad the performance of the western commanders was.   Tactically somewhat inept, definitely unlucky, with little ability to inspire his officers, the man had strategic vision.  His move from Tupelo to Chattanooga had the ultimate effect of keeping the Yankees out of Chattanooga for a year, and recovering much of Middle Tennessee (helped handsomely by Halleck).  Hindered at Murfreesboro by the detachment of a large division for Vicksburg, and hindered again in the Tullahoma campaign by the ineptness of his cavalry and, again, the detachment of a division to Mississippi, his concepts to destroy a chunk of the AOC at McLemore's Cove and the whole AOC at Chickamauga were sound, but poorly executed by his officers.   After Chickamauga, though, the feud with his officers made him ineffective.

                  2) Beauregard.  Masterful retreats from field of Shiloh and Corinth.   Not much besides that.

                  3) Joe Johnston.  Masterful retreater, too, but he had a much larger army than PGTB.  Failure to stay in touch with Richmond and hesitation to counterattack cost him #1 ranking.

                  4) AS Johnston.  Ability to inspire officers was his best quality.   Tough situation covering a large front, but failed to adequately guard the two rivers in Feb. 1862, sort of let Beauregard take over for him after that time.  

                  5) Hood.  Battles around Atlanta are not what do him in.  Franklin does. 

                • GnrlJEJohnston@aol.com
                  J.E. JOHNSTON (Of course, I am not biased at all ) BRAGG (He would be No:1 if he could have gotten along with his subordinates and who would follow his
                  Message 8 of 24 , Aug 8, 2005
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                    J.E. JOHNSTON   (Of course, I am not biased at all  )
                    BRAGG  (He would be No:1 if he could have gotten along with his
                                      subordinates and who would follow his orders)

                    BEAUREGARD  (Here is another example of not having a fair shake 
                                                    from Davis) 

                    A S JOHNSTON  (He does have a good last name  )

                    HOOD   (He was excellent as a Brigade commander but after that
                                     he was a classic example of the Peter Principle)
                     
                    JEJ
                  • LWhite64@aol.com
                    I have to agree with Sam s listing as well. Lee
                    Message 9 of 24 , Aug 8, 2005
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                      I have to agree with Sam's listing as well.
                       
                      Lee
                    • Rick Moody
                      ... I was rating them IMO on their accomplishments in the west only. In the west PGTB was average at best. He is one of those generals who deserve credit for
                      Message 10 of 24 , Aug 8, 2005
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                        --- banbruner@... wrote:


                        > I think the original question asked for victories or
                        > accomplishments,
                        > otherwise I wouldn't quibble with your choice of JEJ
                        > as number one. But may I humbly
                        > submit:
                        >
                        > Beauregard fought and won battles at Manasses I
                        > Petersburg I Petersburg II .
                        > He completely bottled
                        >
                        > up and nullified Butler in the Bermuda Hundred
                        > Campaign with clear victories
                        > at Proctors Creek and
                        >
                        > Ware Bottom Church. He conduicted a very successful
                        > defense of Charleston
                        > Harbor through several
                        >
                        > well fought battles. And he had the good sense to
                        > know the game was up after
                        > buell arrived at
                        >
                        > Pittsburg Landing.
                        >
                        > What do you cite as the victories and or
                        > accomplishments of the commanders
                        > you put ahead of him.
                        > WHB
                        >

                        I was rating them IMO on their accomplishments in the
                        west only. In the west PGTB was average at best. He
                        is one of those generals who deserve credit for trying
                        to keep the peace after the war. I think he was past
                        his prime, old school and slow to modernize.
                        Charleston was the perfect placement for him. The
                        type of fighting suited his style.

                        I am surprised that others have picked Bragg so high.
                        People I respect BTW. I have a hard time rating
                        someone who just let jealousies ruin his command. You
                        can’t lead people who are unwilling to follow. Bragg
                        was so abrasive no one would go the extra mile for
                        him. The respect of your subordinates is mandatory
                        for a successful operation IMO.


                        Rick Moody
                        r_moody@...


                        When you arise in the morning,
                        give thanks for the morning light,
                        for your life and strength.
                        Give thanks for your food,
                        and the joy of living.

                        If you see no reason for giving thanks,
                        the fault lies with yourself.

                        Tecumseh, Shawnee (The Southern People)



                        ____________________________________________________
                        Start your day with Yahoo! - make it your home page
                        http://www.yahoo.com/r/hs
                      • LWhite64@aol.com
                        In a message dated 8/8/2005 11:12:44 PM Eastern Standard Time, r_moody@yahoo.com writes: Bragg was so abrasive no one would go the extra mile for him. The
                        Message 11 of 24 , Aug 8, 2005
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                          In a message dated 8/8/2005 11:12:44 PM Eastern Standard Time, r_moody@... writes:
                          Bragg
                          was so abrasive no one would go the extra mile for
                          him.  The respect of your subordinates is mandatory
                          for a successful operation IMO.
                          Well the key thing to see is that Bragg was not as universally unpopular as he has been made out to be.  He did have the support of a number of his subordinates, the problem then comes down to their ability.  I have been trying to puzzle them out for sometime now.  But the whole notion that the majority of the AOT's Generals were against Bragg is a myth. 
                           
                          Lee
                        • Tom Mix
                          The only reason I put Bragg first is Chickamauga. He is the only one to win a large battle. Sid got killed before he had a real chance and he really didn t
                          Message 12 of 24 , Aug 8, 2005
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                            The only reason I put Bragg first is Chickamauga. He is the only one to
                            win a large battle. Sid got killed before he had a real chance and he
                            really didn't show much at Shiloh, basically acting as a Corps commander
                            and turning the army commander over to Beauregard. Thus, creating more
                            confusion to an already confused situation that was about to get worse
                            with his death. Joe did the best he could with what he had. As I think
                            Beauregard did but he wasn't given any more real combat commands after
                            Shiloh, generally speaking. Hood killed his army. That leaves Bragg.
                            Not much there is there?

                            -----Original Message-----
                            From: civilwarwest@yahoogroups.com [mailto:civilwarwest@yahoogroups.com]
                            On Behalf Of Rick Moody
                            Sent: Monday, August 08, 2005 10:12 PM
                            To: civilwarwest@yahoogroups.com
                            Subject: Re: [civilwarwest] Southern Commanders in the West

                            --- banbruner@... wrote:


                            > I think the original question asked for victories or
                            > accomplishments,
                            > otherwise I wouldn't quibble with your choice of JEJ
                            > as number one. But may I humbly
                            > submit:
                            >
                            > Beauregard fought and won battles at Manasses I
                            > Petersburg I Petersburg II .
                            > He completely bottled
                            >
                            > up and nullified Butler in the Bermuda Hundred
                            > Campaign with clear victories
                            > at Proctors Creek and
                            >
                            > Ware Bottom Church. He conduicted a very successful
                            > defense of Charleston
                            > Harbor through several
                            >
                            > well fought battles. And he had the good sense to
                            > know the game was up after
                            > buell arrived at
                            >
                            > Pittsburg Landing.
                            >
                            > What do you cite as the victories and or
                            > accomplishments of the commanders
                            > you put ahead of him.
                            > WHB
                            >

                            I was rating them IMO on their accomplishments in the
                            west only. In the west PGTB was average at best. He
                            is one of those generals who deserve credit for trying
                            to keep the peace after the war. I think he was past
                            his prime, old school and slow to modernize.
                            Charleston was the perfect placement for him. The
                            type of fighting suited his style.

                            I am surprised that others have picked Bragg so high.
                            People I respect BTW. I have a hard time rating
                            someone who just let jealousies ruin his command. You
                            can't lead people who are unwilling to follow. Bragg
                            was so abrasive no one would go the extra mile for
                            him. The respect of your subordinates is mandatory
                            for a successful operation IMO.


                            Rick Moody
                            r_moody@...


                            When you arise in the morning,
                            give thanks for the morning light,
                            for your life and strength.
                            Give thanks for your food,
                            and the joy of living.

                            If you see no reason for giving thanks,
                            the fault lies with yourself.

                            Tecumseh, Shawnee (The Southern People)



                            ____________________________________________________
                            Start your day with Yahoo! - make it your home page
                            http://www.yahoo.com/r/hs





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                          • Chet Diestel
                            ... I was rating them IMO on their accomplishments in the west only. In the west PGTB was average at best. He is one of those generals who deserve credit for
                            Message 13 of 24 , Aug 9, 2005
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                              Rick Moody <r_moody@...> wrote:

                              --- banbruner@... wrote:



                              I was rating them IMO on their accomplishments in the
                              west only.  In the west PGTB was average at best.  He
                              is one of those generals who deserve credit for trying
                              to keep the peace after the war.  I think he was past
                              his prime, old school and slow to modernize.
                              Charleston was the perfect placement for him.  The
                              type of fighting suited his style.

                              I am surprised that others have picked Bragg so high.
                              People I respect BTW.  I have a hard time rating
                              someone who just let jealousies ruin his command.  You
                              can’t lead people who are unwilling to follow.  Bragg
                              was so abrasive no one would go the extra mile for
                              him.  The respect of your subordinates is mandatory
                              for a successful operation IMO.

                                The Confederate high command in the West --- with the notable exception of Richard Taylor --- was pretty much a disaster from beginning to end. Joe Johnston was the best of the lot, but his own shortcomings, especially his hatred for Jefferson Davis, hamstrung him in so many ways. While I am suspecting most people would rank Hood as the worse AOT commander, I actually put Albert S. Johnston at the top of that category for his ineptitude in the Henry-Donelson campaign where he remained at Bowling Green with eye fixed on Louisville and the never-moving Don Carlos Buell instead of acting as a department commander and realizing Grant was the real threat. The loss of Donelson doomed the Confederate cause in the West and, ultimately, doomed the cause of the Confederacy itself.

                               Although, in mitigating defense of the CSA western commanders, they were severely limited by the Davis' policy of defending everything everywhere. It worked in Virginia where the theater was confined and the infrastructure was the best in the South, but was a failure in the West which was emense in territory, poor in infrastructure and where the invasion routes were by the rivers and the means the North was best able to capitalize upon and the South least able to counter-act.

                                With regards,

                                 Chet G. Diestel


                              Rick Moody
                              r_moody@...


                              When you arise in the morning,
                              give thanks for the morning light,
                              for your life and strength.
                              Give thanks for your food,
                              and the joy of living.

                              If you see no reason for giving thanks,
                              the fault lies with yourself.

                              Tecumseh, Shawnee (The Southern People)


                                         
                              ____________________________________________________
                              Start your day with Yahoo! - make it your home page
                              http://www.yahoo.com/r/hs


                              Start your day with Yahoo! - make it your home page
                            • GnrlJEJohnston@aol.com
                              In a message dated 8/9/2005 9:47:24 A.M. Eastern Daylight Time, agatematt@yahoo.com writes: The Confederate high command in the West --- with the notable
                              Message 14 of 24 , Aug 9, 2005
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                                In a message dated 8/9/2005 9:47:24 A.M. Eastern Daylight Time, agatematt@... writes:
                                The Confederate high command in the West --- with the notable exception of Richard Taylor --- was pretty much a disaster from beginning to end. Joe Johnston was the best of the lot, but his own shortcomings, especially his hatred for Jefferson Davis, hamstrung him in so many ways.
                                I agree that JEJ was the best of the lot, with all biases aside.  I just have to go along with what Dave Evans had to say about JEJ.
                                 
                                For two months, Sherman's chief aim had been the destruction of Johnston's army.  He had failed.  Johnston had skillfully parried every thrust, answered every riposte, at Snake Creek Gap, at Resaca, at New Hope Church, and at Kennesaw Mountain.  Outnumbered and out gunned, the Rebel general had grudgingly given ground, but the army he brought to the north bank of the Chattahoochee was still a potent fighting force, ready to defend every bridge, ford, and ferry.  Even if Sherman shouldered his way across the river,  Johnston would find ready refuge a half-days march to the South, inside the formidable earthworks already ringing Atlanta.   Sherman's Horsemen,  introduction xxxvi.
                                 
                                Was JEJ able to defeat Sherman, no - - but in the same light, Johnston prevented Sherman from destroying his army.  From Dalton to Atlanta, JEJ demonstrated excellent generalship, leadership, and tactical strategy.  He took over an army from Bragg in which was rag torn, tired, and that had a very low morale.  He turned that army around.  He brought back discipline.  He made sure that the troops had enough food and clothing.  He changed for the good on how the troops received fresh meat.  He in essence brought back the Army of Tennessee to be a lean, mean, fighting machine.  With the exception of a few subordinates who were close with Davis, JEJ was well respected by the majority of his command.  He does deserve to be ranked number one for Confederate commanders in the West.
                                 
                                JEJ
                                 
                                 
                              • hank9174
                                ... in the ... against ... for. ... B. Bragg C+ A.S. Johnston I P. T. Beauregard C J.E. Johnston B- J. B. Hood D
                                Message 15 of 24 , Aug 9, 2005
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                                  --- In civilwarwest@yahoogroups.com, "Bill Gower" <billgower@c...>
                                  wrote:
                                  > Please rank for me how you think that the following Army commanders
                                  in the
                                  > west should be rated. Please rate them only on performance, not on
                                  > popularity with their men or others. Rate them on the job they did
                                  against
                                  > the Union army. In other words, how they did what they were hired
                                  for.
                                  >

                                  B. Bragg C+
                                  A.S. Johnston I
                                  P. T. Beauregard C
                                  J.E. Johnston B-
                                  J. B. Hood D



                                  HankC A ;)
                                • Rick Moody
                                  My revised list: After thorough discussion I have revised my list. Hank C #1 JEJ #3 ASJ #4 PB #5 JBH #6 Bragg #7 ROTFLMAO Rick Moody r_moody@yahoo.com When you
                                  Message 16 of 24 , Aug 9, 2005
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                                    My revised list:

                                    After thorough discussion I have revised my list.

                                    Hank C #1
                                    JEJ #3
                                    ASJ #4
                                    PB #5
                                    JBH #6
                                    Bragg #7

                                    ROTFLMAO


                                    Rick Moody
                                    r_moody@...


                                    When you arise in the morning,
                                    give thanks for the morning light,
                                    for your life and strength.
                                    Give thanks for your food,
                                    and the joy of living.

                                    If you see no reason for giving thanks,
                                    the fault lies with yourself.

                                    Tecumseh, Shawnee (The Southern People)

                                    __________________________________________________
                                    Do You Yahoo!?
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                                  • hank9174
                                    ... That list would have ended the war a day earlier...and a century later... say April 8, 1965 HankC
                                    Message 17 of 24 , Aug 10, 2005
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                                      --- In civilwarwest@yahoogroups.com, Rick Moody <r_moody@y...> wrote:
                                      > My revised list:
                                      >
                                      > After thorough discussion I have revised my list.
                                      >
                                      > Hank C #1
                                      > JEJ #3
                                      > ASJ #4
                                      > PB #5
                                      > JBH #6
                                      > Bragg #7
                                      >
                                      > ROTFLMAO
                                      >

                                      That list would have ended the war a day earlier...and a century
                                      later... say April 8, 1965


                                      HankC
                                    • Chet Diestel
                                      GnrlJEJohnston@aol.com wrote:I agree that JEJ was the best of the lot, with all biases aside. I just have to go along with what Dave Evans had to say about
                                      Message 18 of 24 , Aug 10, 2005
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                                        GnrlJEJohnston@... wrote:
                                        I agree that JEJ was the best of the lot, with all biases aside.  I just have to go along with what Dave Evans had to say about JEJ.
                                         
                                        For two months, Sherman's chief aim had been the destruction of Johnston's army.  He had failed.  Johnston had skillfully parried every thrust, answered every riposte, at Snake Creek Gap, at Resaca, at New Hope Church, and at Kennesaw Mountain.  Outnumbered and out gunned, the Rebel general had grudgingly given ground, but the army he brought to the north bank of the Chattahoochee was still a potent fighting force, ready to defend every bridge, ford, and ferry.  Even if Sherman shouldered his way across the river,  Johnston would find ready refuge a half-days march to the South, inside the formidable earthworks already ringing Atlanta.   Sherman's Horsemen,  introduction xxxvi.
                                         
                                        Was JEJ able to defeat Sherman, no - - but in the same light, Johnston prevented Sherman from destroying his army.  From Dalton to Atlanta, JEJ demonstrated excellent generalship, leadership, and tactical strategy.  He took over an army from Bragg in which was rag torn, tired, and that had a very low morale.  He turned that army around.  He brought back discipline.  He made sure that the troops had enough food and clothing.  He changed for the good on how the troops received fresh meat.  He in essence brought back the Army of Tennessee to be a lean, mean, fighting machine.  With the exception of a few subordinates who were close with Davis, JEJ was well respected by the majority of his command.  He does deserve to be ranked number one for Confederate commanders in the West.
                                         
                                        JEJ
                                         
                                        Whether he was aware of it or not, Joe Johnston actions in north Georgia was an excellent counterweight to Grant's and Sherman's strategic plans for 1864. Neither Grant nor Sherman really cared about Richmond or Atlanta respectively. Their targets were the two main Southern armies, which for a wide variety of reasons, including political and economic, would have to defend those cities. Grant and Sherman were after the Confederate armies --- destroy them and you've destroyed the Confederacy.
                                          By 1864, the South's last real hope of coming out of the war with some type of victory was playing for time and creating at least a stalemate in a gamble that a war weary North would defeat Lincoln and the Republicans in the November elections.
                                          With regards,
                                           Chet Diestel



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                                      • CAMPAIGN62@AOL.COM
                                        What good is an Army that won t fight? JEJ may have seen as necessary the preservation of the AOT as a threat to Union advances, but it was only a threat. As
                                        Message 19 of 24 , Aug 11, 2005
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                                          What good is an Army that won't fight? JEJ may have seen as necessary the
                                          preservation of the AOT as a threat to Union advances, but it was only a threat.
                                          As Sherman manuevered him from position to position, it became more and more
                                          clear that Johnson would not risk his army in battle.

                                          It was impossible during the Civil War to completely destrroy an army unless
                                          it was defending a major position like Vicksburg. In which case it would
                                          surrender rather than be starved. If Sherman's objective was to destroy JEJ's army,
                                          he took on an impossible task.

                                          Best regards,

                                          Jim H
                                        • Rick Moody
                                          ... I would like to add to this if I may? An army has multiple objectives. Sherman s primary objective would have been Johnston s army, as their surrender
                                          Message 20 of 24 , Aug 11, 2005
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                                            --- CAMPAIGN62@... wrote:

                                            > What good is an Army that won't fight? JEJ may have
                                            > seen as necessary the
                                            > preservation of the AOT as a threat to Union
                                            > advances, but it was only a threat.
                                            > As Sherman manuevered him from position to position,
                                            > it became more and more
                                            > clear that Johnson would not risk his army in
                                            > battle.
                                            >
                                            > It was impossible during the Civil War to completely
                                            > destrroy an army unless
                                            > it was defending a major position like Vicksburg. In
                                            > which case it would
                                            > surrender rather than be starved. If Sherman's
                                            > objective was to destroy JEJ's army,
                                            > he took on an impossible task.
                                            >
                                            > Best regards,
                                            >
                                            > Jim H
                                            >

                                            I would like to add to this if I may? An army has
                                            multiple objectives. Sherman's primary objective
                                            would have been Johnston's army, as their surrender
                                            would have opened many doors of opportunity. Since
                                            the terrain that Johnston occupied was excellent for
                                            defensive works the battles were fought to Johnston’s
                                            advantage. Sherman had to attack his entrenchments or
                                            flank him out. Sherman chose to flank him, as the
                                            railroad was Johnston’s weakest link. As Sherman
                                            advanced the railroad became his supply line and his
                                            weakest link. Which made the railroad an objective
                                            for both sides in the campaign.

                                            Had Sherman been successful in defeating Johnston and
                                            forcing his surrender at any point in the campaign, I
                                            believe that they would have immediately changed their
                                            primary objective and marched to Atlanta.

                                            Atlanta was the next portion of the southern rail
                                            system that needed to be taken out. For that reason
                                            alone Atlanta was always an objective of the campaign
                                            though secondary to Johnston’s surrender.

                                            We can see that Hood’s army remained an objective as
                                            he turned his attention to destroying Sherman’s,
                                            formerly Johnston’s, supply lines. Sherman ended up
                                            chasing Hood all the way back through the same
                                            territory out of necessity.

                                            In time the decision was made to stop chasing Hood and
                                            the objective became Savanna. Reassignments were made
                                            and Thomas was given the objective of keeping Hood and
                                            Sherman began his infamous march.

                                            Objectives change and are modified as need and
                                            circumstances arise.


                                            Rick Moody
                                            r_moody@...


                                            When you arise in the morning,
                                            give thanks for the morning light,
                                            for your life and strength.
                                            Give thanks for your food,
                                            and the joy of living.

                                            If you see no reason for giving thanks,
                                            the fault lies with yourself.

                                            Tecumseh, Shawnee (The Southern People)

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                                          • GnrlJEJohnston@aol.com
                                            In a message dated 8/11/2005 8:09:34 A.M. Eastern Daylight Time, CAMPAIGN62@AOL.COM writes: What good is an Army that won t fight? JEJ may have seen as
                                            Message 21 of 24 , Aug 11, 2005
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                                              In a message dated 8/11/2005 8:09:34 A.M. Eastern Daylight Time, CAMPAIGN62@... writes:
                                              What good is an Army that won't fight? JEJ may have seen as necessary the
                                              preservation of the AOT as a threat to Union advances, but it was only a threat.
                                              As Sherman manuevered him from position to position, it became more and more
                                              clear that Johnson would not risk his army in battle.
                                              I do not see where you believe that JEJ would not fight.  He did fight.  He fought a defensive battle, not an offensive battle in which he would have come out the loser due to the odds.  In fighting a defensive battle, Sherman's casualties were way excessive in comparison to those lost by JEJ.  My question is, why is it that when Lee fights defensively, no criticism is given, but when JEJ fights defensively, he is always berated as one who would not fight offensively and can only retreat.  Yes, Sherman took area, but JEJ made him pay good for every inch.
                                               
                                              JEJ
                                               
                                              JEJ
                                            • Chet Diestel
                                              Rick Moody wrote: I would like to add to this if I may? An army has multiple objectives. Sherman s primary objective would have been
                                              Message 22 of 24 , Aug 11, 2005
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                                                Rick Moody <r_moody@...> wrote:

                                                I would like to add to this if I may?  An army has
                                                multiple objectives.  Sherman's primary objective
                                                would have been Johnston's army, as their surrender
                                                would have opened many doors of opportunity.  Since
                                                the terrain that Johnston occupied was excellent for
                                                defensive works the battles were fought to Johnston’s
                                                advantage.  Sherman had to attack his entrenchments or
                                                flank him out.  Sherman chose to flank him, as the
                                                railroad was Johnston’s weakest link.  As Sherman
                                                advanced the railroad became his supply line and his
                                                weakest link.  Which made the railroad an objective
                                                for both sides in the campaign. 

                                                Had Sherman been successful in defeating Johnston and
                                                forcing his surrender at any point in the campaign, I
                                                believe that they would have immediately changed their
                                                primary objective and marched to Atlanta.

                                                Atlanta was the next portion of the southern rail
                                                system that needed to be taken out.  For that reason
                                                alone Atlanta was always an objective of the campaign
                                                though secondary to Johnston’s surrender.

                                                We can see that Hood’s army remained an objective as
                                                he turned his attention to destroying Sherman’s,
                                                formerly Johnston’s, supply lines.  Sherman ended up
                                                chasing Hood all the way back through the same
                                                territory out of necessity.

                                                In time the decision was made to stop chasing Hood and
                                                the objective became Savanna.  Reassignments were made
                                                and Thomas was given the objective of keeping Hood and
                                                Sherman began his infamous march.

                                                Objectives change and are modified as need and
                                                circumstances arise.


                                                Rick Moody
                                                r_moody@...

                                                 Rick --- You're dead on target, to use an old artillery term. Grant and Sherman had both come to the conclusion that the targets for the 1864 campaign were the main Confederate armies. Richmond and Atlanta were only goals because they were cities for both political and economic reasons the Southern armies had to defend.

                                                  Both of the Union generals knew that to destroy the Confederacy they had to destroy the Confederate armies as effective fighting forces. Thus, Grant went after Lee and Sherman after Johnston, keeping the momentum by flanking movements, pressing the opposing forces ever back on the two cities and eventual trench warfare.

                                                  As to the railroad, it was the weakest link, but Sherman was able to both hold and repair his supply line during the fall maneuvers, but the AOT failed both at Decatur and decisively at Jonesboro.

                                                  Even after Atlanta and the planning of the March to the Sea, Sherman kept his eye on the AOT, now under Hood, and did not commit to the march until he got Thomas up to Nashville and directed enough forces to easily handled Hood's weakened forces. And that Pap Thomas would do just that, Sherman had no worries.

                                                  With regards,

                                                   Chet Diestel


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                                              • Rick Moody
                                                ... In reality JEJ launched counter attacks in most if not all of the battles in the Atlanta campaign. In each case the counter attacks exposed the flanks of
                                                Message 23 of 24 , Aug 11, 2005
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                                                  --- GnrlJEJohnston@... wrote:

                                                  > I do not see where you believe that JEJ would not
                                                  > fight. He did fight. He
                                                  > fought a defensive battle, not an offensive battle
                                                  > in which he would have
                                                  > come out the loser due to the odds. In fighting a
                                                  > defensive battle, Sherman's
                                                  > casualties were way excessive in comparison to those
                                                  > lost by JEJ. My question
                                                  > is, why is it that when Lee fights defensively, no
                                                  > criticism is given, but
                                                  > when JEJ fights defensively, he is always berated as
                                                  > one who would not fight
                                                  > offensively and can only retreat. Yes, Sherman took
                                                  > area, but JEJ made him
                                                  > pay good for every inch.
                                                  >
                                                  > JEJ

                                                  In reality JEJ launched counter attacks in most if not
                                                  all of the battles in the Atlanta campaign. In each
                                                  case the counter attacks exposed the flanks of the
                                                  units attacking. Federal artillery and counter
                                                  movements forced the southern forces back behind their
                                                  defensive positions. I have not attempted to compare
                                                  Lee's counter movements to JEJ's but I am willing to
                                                  stick my neck out and bet that JEJ launched more
                                                  attempts and had equal or better success than Lee had
                                                  against Grant.

                                                  Rick Moody
                                                  r_moody@...


                                                  When you arise in the morning,
                                                  give thanks for the morning light,
                                                  for your life and strength.
                                                  Give thanks for your food,
                                                  and the joy of living.

                                                  If you see no reason for giving thanks,
                                                  the fault lies with yourself.

                                                  Tecumseh, Shawnee (The Southern People)

                                                  __________________________________________________
                                                  Do You Yahoo!?
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                                                • CAMPAIGN62@AOL.COM
                                                  Which fight are youreferring too? Kennesaw? Best regards, Jim h
                                                  Message 24 of 24 , Aug 12, 2005
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                                                    Which fight are youreferring too? Kennesaw?

                                                    Best regards,

                                                    Jim h
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