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Re: [civilwarwest] Re: Why I prefer the Civil War in the West over the East

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  • Daniel Cole
    OK, I am a newbie but wanted to put my two cents in on this. Regarding Gen l Grant, I don t know that he was a military genius . What he was, I think,
    Message 1 of 198 , Jan 4, 2006
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      OK, I am a "newbie" but wanted to put my two cents in on this.  Regarding Gen'l Grant, I don't know that he was a "military genius".  What he was,  I think, was a military pragmatist.  He knew exactly what it would take to win. That simply was to make sure that you have a large, more well equipped army than your opponent, and do not be afraid to use your asset.  I believe that it is well documented that in every campaign in which Grant was in command, his leadership, to the extent that he knew his objective and was not afraid to do whatever it took to achieve it, held him in good stead.  As to the other "famous" generals that you mention that he is compared to, I believe that is one major difference.  Modesty. 
      I don't necessarily consider him to be military genius, but rather, an extraordinarily efficient soldier who did his job, as he put it himself many times.  Conversely and comparitively, in relation to the other generals in the US Army at the time, he was ahead of his time, and certainly not as politically motivated as some of them.  Therefore, the best thing that a soldier can have, an attitude that there is nothing to lose, and everything to gain.
      Do I think General Grant a military genius. Not necessarily, A great leader;  absolutely. A  great military tactician, well yes to a degree. In most of his writings it becomes clear, at least to me, that he rarely if ever got into a fight that he was not absolutely sure of the outcome, that is, with him winning.  This is based on his knowledge that he was in a fight that, based on sheer numbers alone, could hardly be lost.  More importantly, he, more than anyone else, gives credance to the valor of the American Fighting Soldier.  He knew what he had and he was not afraid to use it.
      Several generations later the phrase "walk softly and carry a big stick" was used to define the American attitude toward other nations.  I think that this phrase could be very aptly applied to Grants' sense of his job in the War.
      josepharose <josepharose@...> wrote:
      --- In civilwarwest@yahoogroups.com, "Dan Giallombardo"
      <DanGiallo@A...> wrote:
      > --- In civilwarwest@yahoogroups.com, "josepharose" <josepharose@y...>
      > wrote:

      Dan (sorry, I forgot),

      >                      Joe,
      >    It would seem to me that reputations and reliablity are very much
      > like art: in the eyes of the beholder.

      But Grant's memoirs are usually treated much differently than the
      rest.  They are compared to Caesar's Commentaries and are held up as
      being especially modest and truthful.  Their impact on Civil War
      history is very strong. Wouldn't you agree?

      Don't you also make distinctions as to which individuals then, and
      even which modern authors now, are more reliable than others in their

      > Many people find Grant to be a
      > drunk,incompetent, who happened to be in the right place at the
      right time.

      I would think that the current conventional wisdom is that Grant was a
      military genius, with some people ranking him with Caesar, Wellington,
      and Napoleon.

      > Personally, I see him differently. That is a question of
      > perspective. It is also a question of his reputation.
      >     Reliability? In battle, in their memoirs? I don't know of a
      > single memoir written in total objectivity. Longstreet's writings are
      > filled with subjective memory. It's the curse of memoirs.

      And aren't Grant's also filled with subjective memory?


      > And Mr.
      > Giallombardo died in 1992, my name is Dan. Thanx---Dan

      Yahoo! DSL Something to write home about. Just $16.99/mo. or less

    • oneplez
      ... to the ... punches or ... Sherman, ... of him, ... considered ... of ... as a ... I never said his racist reputation affected his military reputation! I
      Message 198 of 198 , Jan 11, 2006
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        --- In civilwarwest@yahoogroups.com, "Bill Gower" <billgower@c...>
        > But he did not let it affect how he fought or his decision to march
        to the
        > sea and through the Carolinas. IMHO, Sherman did not pull any
        punches or
        > work less to defeat the South because of his views. In fairness to
        > when Stanton asked the black leaders of Savannah of their opinion
        of him,
        > after he had left the room, they gave high praise to Sherman and
        > him a friend and a gentleman. Again I don't like the racist views
        > Sherman, but I don't have to like his racist views to respect him
        as a
        > military leaders and a great strategist.
        > Bill

        I never said his racist reputation affected his military reputation!
        I said they were both bad!!!!!!


        > -----Original Message-----
        > From: civilwarwest@yahoogroups.com
        [mailto:civilwarwest@yahoogroups.com] On
        > Behalf Of josepharose
        > Sent: Wednesday, January 11, 2006 1:58 PM
        > To: civilwarwest@yahoogroups.com
        > Subject: [civilwarwest] Re: Sherman's racism
        > --- In civilwarwest@yahoogroups.com, "Bill Gower" <billgower@c...>
        > >
        > > I am not saying that it is unfair. I am saying that if you remove
        > all Union
        > > generals who were racists and who were not fighting to rid the
        South of
        > > slavery, the Union army would have been ruled by a couple of
        > privates from
        > > Massachusetts. Ok that's an exaggeration, but IMHO a good majority
        > of union
        > > soldiers started the war as racists and then as they saw the
        > conditions of
        > > slavery began to rethink their views. I do have a problem with
        > Sherman and
        > > racism but fortunately he didn't let racism get in the way of
        > fighting the
        > > South and wanting to restore the Union. I will not judge his
        > > career by whether he was a racist or not. If that's the case,
        > can be
        > > said about Custer and Sheridan?
        > >
        > > Bill
        > But Mr. Gower, I just indicated below that Sherman *did* let his
        > racism directly detract from the war effort by his contravening
        > administration policy.
        > Joseph
        > > -----Original Message-----
        > > From: civilwarwest@yahoogroups.com
        > [mailto:civilwarwest@yahoogroups.com] On
        > > Behalf Of josepharose
        > > Sent: Wednesday, January 11, 2006 12:53 PM
        > > To: civilwarwest@yahoogroups.com
        > > Subject: [civilwarwest] Sherman's racism
        > >
        > > --- In civilwarwest@yahoogroups.com, "Bill Gower" <billgower@c...>
        > wrote:
        > > >
        > > > Sherman was no more a racist than a lot of other generals in the
        > period.
        > > > Frank Blair and Jefferson C. Davis were good examples of
        > > that were
        > > > racisst. The majority of Americans, north and south, would
        have been
        > > > considered "racist" by today's standards. I too, have a problem
        > > with the
        > > > racism of Sherman but then I am trying to judge him and others
        > > today's
        > > > standards. I am not saying that racism is right or that he was
        > > right for
        > > > it. I am just saying that through years of indoctrination by
        > > planter
        > > > party of the South and by the Democrats of the day, the
        majority of
        > > > Americans were racists. Fortunately Generals were not chosen
        > because of
        > > > racial beliefs or the North would have had a hard time fielding
        > > armies with
        > > > generals.
        > > >
        > > > Bill
        > >
        > >
        > > Although you may think it unfair to discuss Sherman's racism in
        > > detail, I think that it was worse than you indicate and worse
        than the
        > > average Union general.
        > >
        > > I don't have the details from the ORs, but as I understand it,
        > > contravened the administration's orders on Black enlistment
        because of
        > > his feelings on the subject. I can't think of any other generals
        > > let their racist feelings do that.
        > >
        > > Joseph
        > >
        > >
        > >
        > >
        > >
        > >
        > > Yahoo! Groups Links
        > >
        > Yahoo! Groups Links
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