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Re: [civilwarwest] Vicksburg - Halleck in general

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  • nickrelee@aol.com
    On Halleck needing to give permission for a movement. Ambrose quotes Sec of Navy Gideon Welles [Halleck] originates nothing, anticipates nothing, to assist
    Message 1 of 1 , Jul 14 9:28 PM
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       On Halleck needing to give permission for a movement.  Ambrose quotes Sec of Navy Gideon Welles "[Halleck] originates nothing, anticipates nothing, to assist others; takes no responsibility, plans nothing, suggests nothing, is good for nothing."  (back cover of book)  Assuming Welles is accurate and not exaggerating, Halleck probably would not give Grant a real plan because that would mean taking responsibility.  If it was a failure Grant could say, "Halleck ordered me to do it, I told him it was impossible, that he was 1500 miles away and didn't know the situation, but he gave me the orders so I did it."  Its in Halleck's interests to give broad ideas for the campaign so that he has a little wiggle room.
       
       Ambrose also says that "Halleck had few directions for the perplexed generals.  Even when he did offer advice [Ambrose cites some real examples that are generalities such as Meade should pursue a retreating enemy, Lee after Gettysburg] he could not make himself understood.  As a director of the field operations, his administrative ability made possible, Halleck was a failure."  (207)
      --Nick Kurtz
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