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Re: [civilwarwest] Re: McClernand's Competency

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  • Ronald black
    Mr. Rose: The point is that Grant persisted despite any and all battlefield difficulties. He continued to be aggressive both in a battle and in the campaign.
    Message 1 of 27 , Aug 2, 2006
      Mr. Rose:
      The point is that Grant persisted despite any and all battlefield difficulties.  He continued to be aggressive both in a battle and in the campaign.  The armies that he commanded continued to advance through whatever the confederates threw at him.  The battles were only stations along the track of the civil war, and he continued down that track.  Perhaps, instead of asking for ratings concerning a battle, if instead you asked for a rating during the entire civil war.  How would you rate him?  I rate him as a A and I'm not really a fan of Grant but I recognize a job well done.
      Ron
      ----- Original Message -----
      From: Tom Mix
      Sent: Wednesday, August 02, 2006 1:47 AM
      Subject: RE: [civilwarwest] Re: McClernand's Competency

      I think we know those answers with out setting him up for them. The bottom
      line is that Grant won at 4 of the 5 battles listed and that is what
      mattered. He was not forced from the field of battle in any of them.
      At Shiloh he fought for time first and won. Then, on the next day, he fought
      for ground and won that too. Napoleon said that he could always retake
      ground but he could not retake time. Words that Grant followed to the max at
      Shiloh.
      I would give Belmont a C as it was his first combat command and he did
      adequate and learned tremendously. While not a victory it was not a
      devastating loss and it prepared him for the future. Great Generals learn
      from good and bad experiences and Grant learned. Then he applied that
      knowledge in his future efforts.
      The remaining battles were at least a B for each one. He utilized his
      available resources which includes the talents of his officer corps as well
      as his logistics and man power. At Vicksburg he showed innovation and
      creativity as he tried to go the West with a canal system. It did not work
      but at least he tried something. Then he courageously (b...s out, if you
      will) moved his army by water, at night, down the river in front of the
      enemy guns. To me, all interesting efforts.

      Why don't we study the battle with out getting into one specific member's
      hatred of a specific individual for once. I already know where the hate lies
      around here without needing to revisit it again.
      But every body may do as they please.

      Dog out here.
      Tom

      -----Original Message-----
      From: civilwarwest@ yahoogroups. com [mailto:civilwarwest@ yahoogroups. com] On
      Behalf Of jaydee2065
      Sent: Sunday, July 30, 2006 2:24 PM
      To: civilwarwest@ yahoogroups. com
      Subject: [civilwarwest] Re: McClernand's Competency

      --- In civilwarwest@ yahoogroups. com, "josepharose" <josepharose@ ...>
      wrote:
      >
      > Belmont B+
      > Fort Donelson B-
      > Shiloh B
      > Arkansas Post B
      > Port Gibson B
      > Champion Hill C
      > Big Black Bridge B+
      > Vicksburg Assaults B+

      Given these grades for McClernand, how would you grade Grant's
      performance at:

      Belmont
      Fort Donelson
      Shiloh
      Champion Hill
      Vicksburg Assaults

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    • bjer50010
      ... Kiper does point out that Smith also attacked. But what he said was that Grant rebuked McClernand, the political general, but not Smith, the former
      Message 2 of 27 , Aug 3, 2006
        --- In civilwarwest@yahoogroups.com, "Tony Gunter" <tony_gunter@...>
        wrote:
        >
        > --- In civilwarwest@yahoogroups.com, "hank9174" <clarkc@> wrote:
        > >
        > >
        > >
        > > At Ft Donelson he atacked without orders and was bloodily repulsed.
        >
        > Kiper points out that Smith did too, without rebuke.
        >

        Kiper does point out that Smith also attacked. But what he said was
        that Grant rebuked McClernand, the political general, but not Smith,
        the former commandant of WP. His sources are the ORs and Grant's
        memoirs. It's unknown whether Grant rebuked Smith or not (certainly
        there is no record of it).

        But I will point out some key differences in the two situations.
        McClernand attacked a defensive redan in the middle of the Confederate
        line. He used 3-4 regiments, which collectively numbered about the
        same as the defenders (even Kiper criticised this action). In
        contrast, Smith attacked near the Confederate right flank and used two
        full brigades. It is possible, though there is no evidence of this,
        AFAIK, that Grant and Smith had discussed the possibility of the attack
        to feel out the rebel defenses. In contrast, McClernand acted
        completely on his own authority and impulsively, to remove an annoying
        rebel defensive point.

        If this is correct, then it makes sense Grant would rebuke McClernand
        and not Smith. Smith's action appears to have made some sense, while
        McClernand's was just a knee-jerk reaction to some annoying enemy fire.
      • keeno2@aol.com
        Have been following this thread with interest. It would seem that McC made the same mistakes as other citizen generals early in their careers. Some of them
        Message 3 of 27 , Aug 3, 2006
          Have been following this thread with interest. It would seem that McC made the same mistakes as other citizen generals early in their careers. Some of them remained because of their political value. Many of them were given important posts in Montana. McC seemed to be learning the trade. Had he not been so annoying to his superiors, he might have made an able division or corps commander.
          Ken
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