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"Fightin' Joe" Wheeler's "meteoric rise"

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  • Carl Williams
    Wheeler seems to have been a favorite of Bragg? Or is there some other reason he rose quickly? Meteoric, I thought, is a bit of a put-down, to say one is a
    Message 1 of 17 , Jan 22, 2007
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      Wheeler seems to have been a favorite of Bragg? Or is there some other
      reason he rose quickly?

      "Meteoric," I thought, is a bit of a put-down, to say one is a "flash
      in the sky" of spectacular but limited duration? See:

      http://www.civilwarhome.com/wheelerbio.htm
    • DPowell334@AOL.COM
      In a message dated 1/22/2007 5:49:13 A.M. Central Standard Time, carlw4514@yahoo.com writes: Wheeler seems to have been a favorite of Bragg? Or is there some
      Message 2 of 17 , Jan 22, 2007
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        In a message dated 1/22/2007 5:49:13 A.M. Central Standard Time, carlw4514@... writes:
        Wheeler seems to have been a favorite of Bragg? Or is there some other
        reason he rose quickly?

        "Meteoric," I thought, is a bit of a put-down, to say one is a "flash
        in the sky" of spectacular but limited duration? See:
         
        Wheeler was a Bragg loyalist during the times when the army was most contentious, which helped his career a great deal.
         
        He was competent at regimental command, perhaps at brigade command. When he first took command of a cavalry brigade, there were few West Pointers in the army, and fewer still in the Cavalry. Seniority kicked in, and as larger formations coalesced in late 62, He was the ranking brigadier.
         
        Earl Van Dorn and he commanded rival cavalry corps in 1863, and he was in pretty high standing after Holly Springs, but EVD's death left Wheeler's only real competition out of the war. Forrest later inherited EVD's corps, but after several command changes, Forrest did not make Bragg happy during Tullahoma and Chickamauga. When Bragg transferred Forrest's men to Wheeler, Forrest was very angry, and ultimately convinced Davis to send him back to Mississippi.
         
        Wheeler was a real mess as a corps commander, however. He was incompetent in administration, Logistics, and operational matters. In September, 1864, for example, when he joined Forrest again before Hood's campaign into Tennessee, Wheeler admitted that though he had 8,000 or so men on the rolls, he could only account for about 2000 of them, he had lost an entire brigade, and he thought he should be relieved. Forrest transmitted all this to higher authorities in a telegraph message, but was ignored.
         
        Dave Powell
      • Jarl K. Jackson
        Meteoric? I think it just means fast and spectacular. That would describe his Civil War service.
        Message 3 of 17 , Jan 22, 2007
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          Meteoric? I think it just means fast and spectacular. That would describe
          his Civil War service.

          On Mon, January 22, 2007 6:42 am, Carl Williams wrote:
          > Wheeler seems to have been a favorite of Bragg? Or is there some other
          > reason he rose quickly?
          >
          > "Meteoric," I thought, is a bit of a put-down, to say one is a "flash
          > in the sky" of spectacular but limited duration? See:
          >
          > http://www.civilwarhome.com/wheelerbio.htm
          >
          >
          >
          >
          > Yahoo! Groups Links
          >
          >
          >
          >
        • Steve Saultz
          DPowell334@AOL.COM wrote: he had lost an entire brigade Hi Dave....... How in the world does one lose a brigade?? Was thru desertion & straggles? Capt.
          Message 4 of 17 , Jan 22, 2007
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            DPowell334@... wrote:  he had lost an entire brigade
             
                                Hi Dave.......
                                      How in the world does one lose a brigade??  Was thru desertion & straggles?
                     Capt. McCracken..........

            DPowell334@... wrote:
            In a message dated 1/22/2007 5:49:13 A.M. Central Standard Time, carlw4514@yahoo. com writes:
            Wheeler seems to have been a favorite of Bragg? Or is there some other
            reason he rose quickly?

            "Meteoric," I thought, is a bit of a put-down, to say one is a "flash
            in the sky" of spectacular but limited duration? See:
             
            Wheeler was a Bragg loyalist during the times when the army was most contentious, which helped his career a great deal.
             
            He was competent at regimental command, perhaps at brigade command. When he first took command of a cavalry brigade, there were few West Pointers in the army, and fewer still in the Cavalry. Seniority kicked in, and as larger formations coalesced in late 62, He was the ranking brigadier.
             
            Earl Van Dorn and he commanded rival cavalry corps in 1863, and he was in pretty high standing after Holly Springs, but EVD's death left Wheeler's only real competition out of the war. Forrest later inherited EVD's corps, but after several command changes, Forrest did not make Bragg happy during Tullahoma and Chickamauga. When Bragg transferred Forrest's men to Wheeler, Forrest was very angry, and ultimately convinced Davis to send him back to Mississippi.
             
            Wheeler was a real mess as a corps commander, however. He was incompetent in administration, Logistics, and operational matters. In September, 1864, for example, when he joined Forrest again before Hood's campaign into Tennessee, Wheeler admitted that though he had 8,000 or so men on the rolls, he could only account for about 2000 of them, he had lost an entire brigade, and he thought he should be relieved. Forrest transmitted all this to higher authorities in a telegraph message, but was ignored.
             
            Dave Powell

          • DPowell334@AOL.COM
            In a message dated 1/22/2007 8:38:31 AM Central Standard Time, tristan4th@yahoo.com writes: Hi Dave....... How in the world does one lose a brigade?? Was thru
            Message 5 of 17 , Jan 22, 2007
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              In a message dated 1/22/2007 8:38:31 AM Central Standard Time, tristan4th@... writes:
                Hi Dave.......
                                        How in the world does one lose a brigade??  Was thru desertion & straggles?
                       Capt. McCracken... .......
              He wasn't sure. In his dispatch, Forrest made it sound like Wheeler just did not know where they got to...
               
              Dave Powell
            • Carl Williams
              decided to look it up: Similar to a meteor in speed, brilliance, or brevity: a meteoric rise to fame. from:
              Message 6 of 17 , Jan 22, 2007
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                decided to look it up: "Similar to a meteor in speed, brilliance, or
                brevity: 'a meteoric rise to fame.' "
                from:
                http://education.yahoo.com/reference/dictionary/entry/meteoric

                now I have seen this used, in reference to *career*, as a real slap...
                I guess something like a career should not have brevity.

                In the context of the bio on Wheeler, a 'meteoric rise' didnt
                necessarily seem like a put-down; for a war, brevity is kind of the
                deal anyway. Whenever I see "meteoric", though, I'm wondering... and
                Wheeler, having his detractors, I was definitely wondering!

                --- In civilwarwest@yahoogroups.com, "Jarl K. Jackson"
                <jarlkjackson@...> wrote:
                >
                > Meteoric? I think it just means fast and spectacular. That would
                describe
                > his Civil War service.
                >
                > On Mon, January 22, 2007 6:42 am, Carl Williams wrote:
                > > Wheeler seems to have been a favorite of Bragg? Or is there some other
                > > reason he rose quickly?
                > >
                > > "Meteoric," I thought, is a bit of a put-down, to say one is a "flash
                > > in the sky" of spectacular but limited duration? See:
                > >
                > > http://www.civilwarhome.com/wheelerbio.htm
                > >
                > >
                > >
                > >
                > > Yahoo! Groups Links
                > >
                > >
                > >
                > >
                >
              • basecat1@aol.com
                For those interested, Ed Longacre just released a new biography of Joseph Wheeler. The title is A Soldier to the Last: Maj. Gen. Joseph Wheeler In Blue and
                Message 7 of 17 , Jan 22, 2007
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                  For those interested, Ed Longacre just released a new biography of Joseph Wheeler.  The title is A Soldier to the Last: Maj. Gen. Joseph Wheeler In Blue and Gray.  The book is published by Potomac Books.
                   
                  Regards from the Garden State,
                   
                  Steve Basic
                • DPowell334@AOL.COM
                  In a message dated 1/22/2007 11:43:54 P.M. Central Standard Time, basecat1@aol.com writes: For those interested, Ed Longacre just released a new biography of
                  Message 8 of 17 , Jan 23, 2007
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                    In a message dated 1/22/2007 11:43:54 P.M. Central Standard Time, basecat1@... writes:
                    For those interested, Ed Longacre just released a new biography of Joseph Wheeler.  The title is A Soldier to the Last: Maj. Gen. Joseph Wheeler In Blue and Gray.  The book is published by Potomac Books.
                     
                    Regards from the Garden State,
                     
                    Steve Basic
                    I just picked this up, and am reading it now. I always haved mixed emotions about Longacre's work. This is no exception. It is a good basic outline of Wheeler's career. the author does not pull punches concerning Wheeler's errors and problems, especially with discipline - but only some of the time. Other times, he is curiously forgiving of Wheeler. Despite a lengthy bibliography of primary sources listed, however, the vast majority of the sources  cited are Horn, Connelly, and other secondary historical accounts, rather than primary material.
                     
                    Dave Powell
                  • gnrljejohnston
                    ... It is a good basic outline of ... Wheeler s errors ... We have discussed how Wheeler s bummers were as bad if not worst than the Yankee bummers. However,
                    Message 9 of 17 , Jan 26, 2007
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                      --- In civilwarwest@yahoogroups.com, DPowell334@... wrote:

                      >
                      It is a good basic outline of
                      > Wheeler's career. the author does not pull punches concerning
                      Wheeler's errors
                      > and problems, especially with discipline - but only some of the time.
                      > Dave Powell

                      We have discussed how Wheeler's bummers were as bad if not worst than
                      the Yankee bummers. However, where I mainly fault Wheeler is that
                      instead of being the eyes and ears for his commander, he would rather
                      go off in glory raiding. Bragg, Johnston, Hood, and Hampton were too
                      easy on him in this regard. If he had been chastised more often,
                      perhaps he would have fulfilled his duties as ordered more precisely.

                      JEJ
                    • Bill Bruner
                      Just wondering. Was Wheeler s rise much more meteoric than many others in the CW? After all his counterpart in the Union Army, Judson Kilpatrick, was a
                      Message 10 of 17 , Jan 27, 2007
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                        Just wondering. Was Wheeler's rise much more meteoric than many
                        others in the CW? After all his counterpart in the Union Army, Judson
                        Kilpatrick, was a classmate of Joe's. Any W P Grad that showed energy
                        and a willingness to fight would rise rapidly as there were just so
                        many command postions and so few of the proper rank or experience to
                        fill them. Being promoted from Captain to Brigadier was not unheard
                        of. Lt. Cols. were promoted to Full General Civilians with little or
                        no experience were given Cololnelcies,

                        The Armies on both sides expanded so rapidly that many Meteors were
                        needed.

                        Bill Bruner

                        P.S. Say what you will about Little Joe's shortcomings, he was
                        energetic and willing to fight.
                      • pvtjessett
                        Bill, Compliments, Not knowing a whole lot about Gen. Wheeler, I do a little of Justin Kilpatrick, or as refered to by his troops Killcavary . He was one in
                        Message 11 of 17 , Jan 27, 2007
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                          Bill, Compliments,

                          Not knowing a whole lot about Gen. Wheeler, I do a little of Justin
                          Kilpatrick, or as refered to by his troops "Killcavary". He was one
                          in the Custer mold. Actually after the war insited (SP) Bedford
                          Forrest to a duel and backed out.

                          Pvt. Jessett

                          -- In civilwarwest@yahoogroups.com, "Bill Bruner" <banbruner@...>
                          wrote:
                          >
                          > Just wondering. Was Wheeler's rise much more meteoric than many
                          > others in the CW? After all his counterpart in the Union Army,
                          Judson
                          > Kilpatrick, was a classmate of Joe's. Any W P Grad that showed
                          energy
                          > and a willingness to fight would rise rapidly as there were just so
                          > many command postions and so few of the proper rank or experience
                          to
                          > fill them. Being promoted from Captain to Brigadier was not
                          unheard
                          > of. Lt. Cols. were promoted to Full General Civilians with little
                          or
                          > no experience were given Cololnelcies,
                          >
                          > The Armies on both sides expanded so rapidly that many Meteors were
                          > needed.
                          >
                          > Bill Bruner
                          >
                          > P.S. Say what you will about Little Joe's shortcomings, he was
                          > energetic and willing to fight.
                          >
                        • Tom Mix
                          I would never put Custer and Kilpatrick in the same mold . Custer led from the front and no one ever accused him of butchering his soldiers in foolish
                          Message 12 of 17 , Jan 27, 2007
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                            I would never put Custer and Kilpatrick in the same “mold” .  Custer led from the front and no one ever accused him of butchering his soldiers in foolish charges, prior to 1876.

                            I always wondered how “grateful” Sherman was to have his good friend Grant send him Kilpatrick.  He earned the nickname of Kilcavalry.  It wasn’t the enemy he was killing.  Ask Elon Farnsworth.  No you can’t, Kilpatrick got him, and much of his command, killed. Kilpatrick was no John Buford or Wade Hampton.

                            Tom

                             

                            -----Original Message-----
                            From: civilwarwest@yahoogroups.com [mailto:civilwarwest@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of pvtjessett
                            Sent: Saturday, January 27, 2007 8:15 PM
                            To: civilwarwest@yahoogroups.com
                            Subject: [civilwarwest] Re: "Fightin' Joe" Wheeler's "meteoric rise"

                             

                            Bill, Compliments,

                            Not knowing a whole lot about Gen. Wheeler, I do a little of Justin
                            Kilpatrick, or as refered to by his troops "Killcavary" . He was one
                            in the Custer mold. Actually after the war insited (SP) Bedford
                            Forrest to a duel and backed out.

                            Pvt. Jessett

                            -- In civilwarwest@ yahoogroups. com, "Bill Bruner" <banbruner@. ..>
                            wrote:

                            >
                            > Just wondering. Was Wheeler's rise much more meteoric than many
                            > others in the CW? After all his counterpart in the Union Army,
                            Judson
                            > Kilpatrick, was a classmate of Joe's. Any W P Grad that showed
                            energy
                            > and a willingness to fight would rise rapidly as there were just so
                            > many command postions and so few of the proper rank or experience
                            to
                            > fill them. Being promoted from Captain to Brigadier was not
                            unheard
                            > of. Lt. Cols. were promoted to Full General Civilians with little
                            or
                            > no experience were given Cololnelcies,
                            >
                            > The Armies on both sides expanded so rapidly that many Meteors were
                            > needed.
                            >
                            > Bill Bruner
                            >
                            > P.S. Say what you will about Little Joe's shortcomings, he was
                            > energetic and willing to fight.
                            >

                          • keeno2@aol.com
                            In a message dated 1/27/2007 10:40:37 PM Central Standard Time, tmix@insightbb.com writes: I would never put Custer and Kilpatrick in the same “mold” . Nor
                            Message 13 of 17 , Jan 28, 2007
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                              In a message dated 1/27/2007 10:40:37 PM Central Standard Time, tmix@... writes:
                              I would never put Custer and Kilpatrick in the same “mold” .
                              Nor would I. Sherman hisself said something like, "Kilpatrick is a damned fool, but he's exactly the kind of fool I want with me." This while he was assembling his troops for the hike across Georgia. Judson's only endorsement, if I'm recollecting rightly. Custer had a few good points; Kilcavalry had none at all.
                              Ken.
                            • NPeters102@aol.com
                              In a message dated 1/27/2007 11:40:38 P.M. Eastern Standard Time, tmix@insightbb.com writes: I always wondered how “grateful” Sherman was to have his good
                              Message 14 of 17 , Jan 28, 2007
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                                In a message dated 1/27/2007 11:40:38 P.M. Eastern Standard Time, tmix@... writes:
                                I always wondered how “grateful” Sherman was to have his good friend Grant send him Kilpatrick.
                                Tom:
                                 
                                "I know that Kilpatrick is a hell of a damned fool, but I want just that sort of man to command my cavalry on this expedition."
                                 
                                Be careful what you wish for.
                                 
                                Respectfully,

                                Mike Peters
                                npeters102@...
                              • Tom Mix
                                Isn t that the truth. I kind of doubt the troopers Kilpatrick commanded felt the same, except for the fool part. Tom ... From: civilwarwest@yahoogroups.com
                                Message 15 of 17 , Jan 28, 2007
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                                  Isn’t that the truth.

                                  I kind of doubt the troopers Kilpatrick commanded felt the same, except for the fool part.

                                  Tom

                                   

                                  -----Original Message-----
                                  From: civilwarwest@yahoogroups.com [mailto:civilwarwest@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of NPeters102@...
                                  Sent: Sunday, January 28, 2007 7:56 AM
                                  To: civilwarwest@yahoogroups.com
                                  Subject: Re: [civilwarwest] Re: "Fightin' Joe" Wheeler's "meteoric rise"

                                   

                                  In a message dated 1/27/2007 11:40:38 P.M. Eastern Standard Time, tmix@insightbb. com writes:

                                  I always wondered how “grateful” Sherman was to have his good friend Grant send him Kilpatrick.

                                  Tom:

                                   

                                  "I know that Kilpatrick is a hell of a damned fool, but I want just that sort of man to command my cavalry on this expedition."

                                   

                                  Be careful what you wish for.

                                   

                                  Respectfully,

                                  Mike Peters
                                  npeters102@aol. com

                                • Carl Williams
                                  If meteoric is a bit of a slap, it might explain it, because you are right, there are plenty of quick rises to cite. If the AoT had a better cavalry
                                  Message 16 of 17 , Jan 28, 2007
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                                    If 'meteoric' is a bit of a slap, it might explain it, because you are
                                    right, there are plenty of quick rises to cite. If the AoT had a
                                    better cavalry commander, it could have made a difference. Perhaps the
                                    vulnerability of such an ambitious overland campaign as the Atlanta
                                    campaign could have been better exploited by someone else.

                                    --- In civilwarwest@yahoogroups.com, "Bill Bruner" <banbruner@...> wrote:
                                    >
                                    > Just wondering. Was Wheeler's rise much more meteoric than many
                                    > others in the CW? After all his counterpart in the Union Army, Judson
                                    > Kilpatrick, was a classmate of Joe's. Any W P Grad that showed energy
                                    > and a willingness to fight would rise rapidly as there were just so
                                    > many command postions and so few of the proper rank or experience to
                                    > fill them. Being promoted from Captain to Brigadier was not unheard
                                    > of. Lt. Cols. were promoted to Full General Civilians with little or
                                    > no experience were given Cololnelcies,
                                    >
                                    > The Armies on both sides expanded so rapidly that many Meteors were
                                    > needed.
                                    >
                                    > Bill Bruner
                                    >
                                    > P.S. Say what you will about Little Joe's shortcomings, he was
                                    > energetic and willing to fight.
                                    >
                                  • Dan Giallombardo
                                    Tom, I couldn t agree more. Enlisted men I ve known, were never sized by the psuedo-visionary zeal of men like Kilpatrick. They just hunkered down and prayed
                                    Message 17 of 17 , Jan 29, 2007
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                                      Tom,
                                      I couldn't agree more. Enlisted men I've known, were never sized
                                      by the psuedo-visionary zeal of men like Kilpatrick. They just
                                      hunkered down and prayed to go home in one piece. He may have seen
                                      himself as a romantic figure-I don't know that-,reckless would be a
                                      word I would strongly consider applying. Perhaps, even suicidal. I've
                                      never read what his troops thought.---Dan

                                      --- In civilwarwest@yahoogroups.com, "Tom Mix" <tmix@...> wrote:
                                      >
                                      > Isn't that the truth.
                                      >
                                      > I kind of doubt the troopers Kilpatrick commanded felt the same,
                                      except for
                                      > the fool part.
                                      >
                                      > Tom
                                      >
                                      >
                                      >
                                      > -----Original Message-----
                                      > From: civilwarwest@yahoogroups.com
                                      [mailto:civilwarwest@yahoogroups.com] On
                                      > Behalf Of NPeters102@...
                                      > Sent: Sunday, January 28, 2007 7:56 AM
                                      > To: civilwarwest@yahoogroups.com
                                      > Subject: Re: [civilwarwest] Re: "Fightin' Joe" Wheeler's "meteoric
                                      rise"
                                      >
                                      >
                                      >
                                      > In a message dated 1/27/2007 11:40:38 P.M. Eastern Standard Time,
                                      > tmix@... writes:
                                      >
                                      > I always wondered how "grateful" Sherman was to have his good
                                      friend Grant
                                      > send him Kilpatrick.
                                      >
                                      > Tom:
                                      >
                                      >
                                      >
                                      > "I know that Kilpatrick is a hell of a damned fool, but I want just
                                      that
                                      > sort of man to command my cavalry on this expedition."
                                      >
                                      >
                                      >
                                      > Be careful what you wish for.
                                      >
                                      >
                                      >
                                      > Respectfully,
                                      >
                                      > Mike Peters
                                      > npeters102@...
                                      >
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