Re: [civilwarwest] Re: Peachtree Creek and The Battle of Atlanta
- In a message dated 1/3/2007 12:31:41 AM Eastern Standard Time, jacobson@... writes:
Just a question....
Do you believe that Davis should perhaps have chosen Stewart to
command the army? If not Stewart or Hood then who?Hardee, notwithstanding his stepping aside for Joe the previous December.Stewart just wasn't ready. He was readier than Hood, but not ready yet. Remember, even if you count the period in early 1863 that he commanded McCown's Division, he had only been in division command for about 18 months at that point. If, as Steve Woodworth suggests, he was given a corps command in January or February, 1864, and had commanded a corps during the first two months of the Atlanta campaign, probably so.Interestingly, Johnston thought the AOT's 7 divisions (before Polk came) should be divided into 3 corps, one of 3 divisions and two of two. Stewart was given the defense of Mill Creek Gap with his division and that of Bate--effectively commanding a corps during the fighting in Feb. 1864 and in the first few days of the Atlanta campaign.Sam Elliott
- Eric:Please let me eat my words as I find I answered your earlier comment concerning Hood's command expericience as the situation existed (in September, 1863. I forgot he commanded a corps in summer 1864. After this revision, I now rank Hood and Stewart as about equal. I would love to mention his (Hood's) disabilities would effect his role as a army commander, but in justice to him, these have not manifested themselves yet. Certainly, not like they did later. So, (begrudingly) Hood and Stewart rank equally, but Hood was still Davis' favorite for reasons already mentioned.When we think of a situation in terms of that time and not with factors or events that came to light later, it greatly clarifies the thinking of those who made the decisions then.If you must eat your words, choose the flavor of ink and paper carefully.Ron----- Original Message -----From: Eric JacobsonSent: Wednesday, January 03, 2007 12:31 AMSubject: [civilwarwest] Re: Peachtree Creek and The Battle of Atlanta
Agreed that Hood's letters probably did more damage than anyone. But
I guess my main point is that Hood was not the only one corresponding
directly with Richmond, that is, without going through Johnston. I
guess perhaps I have seen too many posts or being involved in too
many conversations where Hood is alluded to be the only person who
ever engaged in such activity.
As to Hood's experience I have to maintain my position. In the Army
of Tennessee in mid-1864 there was no one in the army, aside from
Hardee who had already passed up the opportunity, who had Hood's
experience and length of time in corps command at the very minimum.
I think Hood's physical limitations may have precluded him, but Davis
obviously looked beyond that. By mid-1864 A. P. Stewart was about
the only other person with at least corps command experience who
Davis could have turned to. S. D. Lee was new to the scene and
neither Frank Cheatham or Patrick Cleburne had experience beyond
division command. Forrest is a cavalryman, no one way he could be
considered. Maybe Richard Taylor could have been brought in, but he
wasn't. Edmund Kirby Smith.....no. R. E. Lee wasn't coming west and
Longstreet didn't fit the bill. Beauregard definitely wasn't going
to get the nod. So Davis is fed up with Johnston. Who's left?
--- In civilwarwest@ yahoogroups. com, "Ronald black" <rblack0981@ ...>
> I second your comment about Sam's book concerning A. P. Stewart, a
very good read.
> Having said that, I must disagree with your comments about Hood,
Hardee and Stewart. I do not understand how Stewart and Hardee could
be doing the same thing as Hood. It just does not add up. Hood was
on a personal basis with Davis and was ambitious. It is obvious that
Hood's letters to Davis were injuring Johnston while no such thing
resulted by any correspondence between Davis and Hardee and Stewart.
The character of these three men clarifies the situation.
> I agree with your second paragraph, mainly concerning Longstreet.
My question was to spark some interest among the members. However, I
must disagree with your statement in the same paragraph, that Hood
had more command expericience. Hood had risen to the level of corps
commander, only by commanding a temporary ad-hoc corps at
Chickamauga. There were other officers that had as much expericience
as Hood. As outlined earlier, Hood's promotion was of personal
reasons and his reputation as a fighter. In any event, the time was
upon the confederacy and President Davis to breed and create more
high level commanders.
> ----- Original Message -----
> From: Eric Jacobson
> To: civilwarwest@ yahoogroups. com
> Sent: Tuesday, January 02, 2007 8:18 PM
> Subject: [civilwarwest] Re: Peachtree Creek and The Battle of
> Nice to correspond with you. I think your book about A. P.
> is among the best bios out there. I defer to your knowledge about
> Stewart's letter; I thought there was a June letter as well.
> However, I will say that those who demonize Hood use ANY
> correspondence he had with Richmond as evidence of dishonesty or
> inside maneuvering. But again, Hood was largely doing what Davis
> asked. Some may think him a dupe or worse, but the President had
> made the request.
> Also, I think Stewart's effort to suspend Johnston's removal was
> much the result of his happening to show up at Old Joe's
> that night as anything else. I think perhaps Hardee and even Hood
> might have done the same.
> --- In civilwarwest@ yahoogroups. com, SDE80@ wrote:
> > In a message dated 1/2/2007 7:19:50 PM Eastern Standard Time,
> > jacobson@ writes:
> > It is well established that both William Hardee and A. P.
> > were doing largely what Hood was doing. That does not exonerate
> > Hood, but it puts his behavior in context.
> > I beg to differ. Stewart's one letter to Bragg at Richmond was
> dated March
> > 19, 1864. There was not a single word critical of Johnston in
> > asks Bragg to use his influence to see that the Army of
> > reinforced so it could assume the offensive while Sherman was
> thought to be heading
> > off into the Red River area. And, Stewart added, if Sherman
> not and came
> > back to N. Ga., the AOT would need the reinforcements in any
> event. Joe
> > Johnston could not have asked for anything more himself.
> > Remember, when the order came to relieve Johnston and place
> > Stewart led an effort to get it suspended.
> > Sam Elliott
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- --- In firstname.lastname@example.org, "Ronald black" <rblack0981@...>
>concerning Hood's command expericience as the situation existed (in
> Please let me eat my words as I find I answered your earlier comment
September, 1863. I forgot he commanded a corps in summer 1864. After
this revision, I now rank Hood and Stewart as about equal.
And I would rank Stewart above Hood. Not just basing this on corps
experience, but overall experience. One has to remember also, that
Hood would have flunked out West Point if it hadn't been that his room
mate tutored him in a couple of subjects including mathematics. That
room mate was Jamie McPherson. He was not that high in his graduating
class whereas (correct me on this Sam) Stewart was close to the top or
at least in the top ten percent of his class. He was a highly
intellectual individual. Stewart was always highly respected by his
troops despite the nickname of Old Straight that they gave him. Hood
was respected by his Texas Brigade for his heroism, but that is
basically all. He lamblasted Johnston for not attacking, but yet, he
let one regiment of mounted infantry scare him into not attacking.
Then also, his attacking without intel or without Johnston's approval
at Kolb's farm is totally inexcusable. In addendum, as a career
military officer, he knew quite well that to maintain order, the chain
of command must never be broken. He violated that without any remorse.
- Stewart graduated 12th out of, I believe, 56. Honestly, no matter
matter what you may think of Hood (and with all deference to Sam
Elliott) I don't see how in any way Stewart's experience (brigade,
division, and corps) in any way supercedes Hood's. Look at Hood's
track record with Lee and one can make an argument that he may have
been among the best division commanders the Army of Northern Virginia
ever had. That is no knock on Stewart, but one has to honestly say
they were very equal soldiers heading into the spring of 1864. Hood,
of course, by that stage has serious physical limitations.
The whole West Point thing, in my opinion, is often way overblown in
regards to a number of Civil War generals. Consider Hood and the
issue of demerits. Forever I heard different people state Hood, who
had 196 demerits in his senior year, was nearly expelled which is
true. But those same people conveniently neglect to mention that
John Schofield, his opponent at Franklin, had the EXACT same number
of demerits. So what does the number prove? Maybe nothing other
than one liked to drink and smoke and play cards and the other had
long hair, was tardy, and talked back. No doubt Stewart was an
intellectual, but that does not in any way indicate that Hood was a
Also, you may want to study Cassville a bit deeper. Johnston's
accustaions against Hood are slanted and there is ample evidence that
Hood was justified in his actions. It is incredible how Hood is
regularly pinned as the guy who did nothing but attack when he
doesn't think an attack is wise (Cassville and Gettysburg) he gets
flack for that, too. No doubt, however, that his decision making at
Kolb's Farm was not at all good. Hood blundered plain and simple
--- In email@example.com, "gnrljejohnston"
> --- In firstname.lastname@example.org, "Ronald black" <rblack0981@>
> > Eric:
> > Please let me eat my words as I find I answered your earlier
> concerning Hood's command expericience as the situation existed (inAfter
> September, 1863. I forgot he commanded a corps in summer 1864.
> this revision, I now rank Hood and Stewart as about equal.room
> And I would rank Stewart above Hood. Not just basing this on corps
> experience, but overall experience. One has to remember also, that
> Hood would have flunked out West Point if it hadn't been that his
> mate tutored him in a couple of subjects including mathematics.That
> room mate was Jamie McPherson. He was not that high in hisgraduating
> class whereas (correct me on this Sam) Stewart was close to the topor
> at least in the top ten percent of his class. He was a highlyhis
> intellectual individual. Stewart was always highly respected by
> troops despite the nickname of Old Straight that they gave him.Hood
> was respected by his Texas Brigade for his heroism, but that ishe
> basically all. He lamblasted Johnston for not attacking, but yet,
> let one regiment of mounted infantry scare him into not attacking.approval
> Then also, his attacking without intel or without Johnston's
> at Kolb's farm is totally inexcusable. In addendum, as a careerchain
> military officer, he knew quite well that to maintain order, the
> of command must never be broken. He violated that without anyremorse.