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Grant's apparent "jealousy"

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  • josepharose@yahoo.com
    Eric, As to Grant s decision-making at Chattanooga, there appears to be some agreement that he wanted his old army to gain the honors. From what I ve read,
    Message 1 of 19 , Jun 28, 2001
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      Eric,

      As to Grant's decision-making at Chattanooga, there appears to be
      some agreement that he wanted his old army to gain the honors. From
      what I've read, this certainly seems to be the case.

      You described the forces available to Grant. The problem with
      Thomas' AotC was the paucity of horses to draw the artillery.
      Sherman used his horses to take the AotC's artillery and cover his
      crossing of the Tennessee. Hooker's three divisions, however, had
      horses which could pull his own batteries, if his men were ordered to
      replace Sherman. You cast aspersions on these soldiers, but they
      could hardly have done worse that the AotT in the succeeding days.
      In fact, Geary's division perfomed well on Lookout Mountain and at
      the southern end of Missionary Ridge. Howard's men had less of a
      chance to prove themselves, as Sherman didn't utilize them very well.

      If Thomas's AotC were to make the crossing, it could have borrowed
      Hooker's horses to pull the artillery. Alternatively, a combination
      of these two forces could have made the assault, as both were under
      Thomas' command. That, however, may have been Grant's dilemma. He
      was in a hurry but didn't appear to want Thomas, Hooker, or the AotC
      getting the battle honors. It seems that Thomas had to convince
      Grant to have Hooker take Lookout and, again, to have Hooker move
      against the ridge. Of course, Thomas was responsible for the massive
      assault on Orchard Knob.

      But it all worked out well for Grant in the end. He got his gold
      medal and a Thanks of Congress shortly thereafter. Sherman, whose
      work at Chattanooga could hardly be singled out when compared to
      Thomas' and Hooker's successes, got his Thanks of Congress for
      marching to and from Chattanooga. How's that for political power?

      Joseph



      From: theme_music@y...
      Date: Thu Jun 28, 2001 1:58 pm
      Subject: Re: Sherman's "jealousy" of the AotT

      --- In civilwarwest@y..., josepharose@y... wrote:
      > John, Wayne, et al.,
      >
      > Chattanooga may not be the best case to discuss, because Sherman
      did not even utilize his own army fully. If he had taken advantage
      of Davis' division and Howard's corps, however, maybe he wouldn't
      have been so tentative during the advance on Tunnel Hill. After
      failing to take his objective on the first day, he could have made
      up for it by swamping the defenders on the second--he had a great
      preponderance of force. If Sherman ignored these troops because of
      any chauvinistic feelings, thus jeopardizing Grant's plan for the
      battle, isn't that a problem?

      Joseph,

      Can you explain how simply piling in more men would have made this
      assault more effective? How exactly was Sherman to utilize additional
      troops? I am surprised that you would advocate throwing in wave after
      wave of troops against a well defended position, since you have
      decried exactly this action so many times. Why the inconsistency in
      your position?

      > P.S. An issue for a separate thread would be Grant's use of troops
      > at Chattanooga, which apparently matched--and may have set--this
      > pattern of unmilitary decision-making in the deployment of troops.
      > Although one could argue that Grant didn't trust the military
      > abilities of the AotC, what did he have against the 11th and 12th
      > corps? When Sherman got behind schedule in bringing up his troops,
      > Thomas offered to substitute those which came from the East in the
      > assault on the northern end of the ridge, knowing that time was an
      > important factor. Grant's whole plan for battle seems designed to
      > highlight "his" AotT at the expense of the other troops on the
      > field. If that's a significant reason why he formulated such a
      plan, couldn't that also be considered a problem?

      Grant has the choice of three forces:

      1) The cast-offs from the Army of the Potomoc. Explain why the XI
      corps, given their performance at Gettysburg and Chancellorsville,
      should be considered as elite assault troops.

      2) The AoC, whom you have argued ad infinitum were incapable of any
      movement whatsoever as of 11/8.

      3) And the AoT, Grant's troops from Donelson, Shiloh and Vicksburg,
      that he knew intimately from top to bottom.

      Grant chose the best troops for the job. I don't doubt for a minute
      that Grant was biased in favor of the men he knew and liked best,
      just as I don't doubt that your biases towards the men you know and
      like best result in the frequently flawed analyses you present here.

      Eric
    • theme_music@yahoo.com
      ... From ... to ... In that you ve criticized and nit-picked Grant for every other reason, I suppose criticizing his lack of clairvoyance shouldn t be that
      Message 2 of 19 , Jun 28, 2001
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        --- In civilwarwest@y..., josepharose@y... wrote:
        > Eric,
        >
        > As to Grant's decision-making at Chattanooga, there appears to be
        > some agreement that he wanted his old army to gain the honors.
        From
        > what I've read, this certainly seems to be the case.
        > You described the forces available to Grant. The problem with
        > Thomas' AotC was the paucity of horses to draw the artillery.
        > Sherman used his horses to take the AotC's artillery and cover his
        > crossing of the Tennessee. Hooker's three divisions, however, had
        > horses which could pull his own batteries, if his men were ordered
        to
        > replace Sherman. You cast aspersions on these soldiers, but they
        > could hardly have done worse that the AotT in the succeeding days.

        In that you've criticized and nit-picked Grant for every other
        reason, I suppose criticizing his lack of clairvoyance shouldn't be
        that surprising.

        I believe we should base our analysis on Grant's decisions prior to
        11/24/63 only on the information that would have been available to
        him at that time. Grant had very good reasons to lack confidence in
        Hooker and Howard. You yourself have documented on these pages the
        deficiencies in the AoC as of 11/8.

        Grant decisions were also based on the troops dispositions prior to
        Shermans arrival. There are obvious military advantages to having
        Hooker and Thomas hold their positions while Sherman got into
        position. Taking the logictics into account, which Grant did and you
        do not, moving Sherman upriver was the superior option to any you
        have proposed.


        > If Thomas's AotC were to make the crossing, it could have borrowed
        > Hooker's horses to pull the artillery.


        Wow. So you'd create a logistical nightmare, requiring many more
        troops and equipment crossing the already over-taxed pontoon bridges,
        merely to create an opportunity for your personal favorites.

        You'll notice I've ignored your attempt to troll for other topics.

        Eric
      • josepharose@yahoo.com
        Eric, No logistical nightmare ... the same number of troops and batteries would cross the pontoons and the same number of troops would end up in the assigned
        Message 3 of 19 , Jun 28, 2001
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          Eric,

          No "logistical nightmare" ... the same number of troops and batteries
          would cross the pontoons and the same number of troops would end up
          in the assigned places: Lookout Valley, Chattanooga, and across from
          the South Chickamauga. Just different troops and different batteries.

          What you get is a day or two less delay in launching the attack and
          Hooker's troops would be fresher than Sherman's which had been
          marching since Corinth or so.

          If, as you say, "I believe we should base our analysis on Grant's
          decisions prior to 11/24/63 only on the information that would have
          been available to him at that time," then after the battle there
          should have been no question as to who should be chosen to succeed
          Grant. Thomas, at the end of 1863, had an unbroken string of
          impressive results in battle. Sherman didn't--far from it. This was
          made quite clear by Sherman's actions at Chattanooga.

          If Grant was seriously thinking about the good of the war effort, and
          not in promoting his friends, he would have chosen Thomas.

          Joseph


          From: theme_music@y...
          Date: Thu Jun 28, 2001 8:04 pm
          Subject: Re: Grant's apparent "jealousy"

          --- In civilwarwest@y..., josepharose@y... wrote:
          > Eric,
          >
          > As to Grant's decision-making at Chattanooga, there appears to be
          > some agreement that he wanted his old army to gain the honors.
          From what I've read, this certainly seems to be the case.
          > You described the forces available to Grant. The problem with
          > Thomas' AotC was the paucity of horses to draw the artillery.
          > Sherman used his horses to take the AotC's artillery and cover his
          > crossing of the Tennessee. Hooker's three divisions, however, had
          > horses which could pull his own batteries, if his men were ordered
          to replace Sherman. You cast aspersions on these soldiers, but they
          > could hardly have done worse that the AotT in the succeeding days.

          In that you've criticized and nit-picked Grant for every other
          reason, I suppose criticizing his lack of clairvoyance shouldn't be
          that surprising.

          I believe we should base our analysis on Grant's decisions prior to
          11/24/63 only on the information that would have been available to
          him at that time. Grant had very good reasons to lack confidence in
          Hooker and Howard. You yourself have documented on these pages the
          deficiencies in the AoC as of 11/8.

          Grant decisions were also based on the troops dispositions prior to
          Shermans arrival. There are obvious military advantages to having
          Hooker and Thomas hold their positions while Sherman got into
          position. Taking the logictics into account, which Grant did and you
          do not, moving Sherman upriver was the superior option to any you
          have proposed.

          > If Thomas's AotC were to make the crossing, it could have borrowed
          > Hooker's horses to pull the artillery.

          Wow. So you'd create a logistical nightmare, requiring many more
          troops and equipment crossing the already over-taxed pontoon bridges,
          merely to create an opportunity for your personal favorites.

          You'll notice I've ignored your attempt to troll for other topics.

          Eric
        • theme_music@yahoo.com
          ... batteries ... from ... batteries. You clearly haven t thought this through. Grant s plan: 1) Howard crosses at Brown s Ferry, and then into Chattanooga. 2)
          Message 4 of 19 , Jun 29, 2001
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            --- In civilwarwest@y..., josepharose@y... wrote:
            > Eric,
            >
            > No "logistical nightmare" ... the same number of troops and
            batteries
            > would cross the pontoons and the same number of troops would end up
            > in the assigned places: Lookout Valley, Chattanooga, and across
            from
            > the South Chickamauga. Just different troops and different
            batteries.


            You clearly haven't thought this through.

            Grant's plan:

            1) Howard crosses at Brown's Ferry, and then into Chattanooga.

            2) Sherman crosses at Brown's Ferry, moves up stream and crosses
            again near the mouth of Chickamauga creek.


            Note that the condition of the bridges delayed the motions of these
            few troops.

            Your plan:

            1) Hooker and Howard are stripped of their horses, thus leaving them
            immobile in Lookout Valley. These horses then cross at Brown's ferry
            and again into Chattanooga to pick up Thomas' artillery.

            2) Thomas, who according to you was completely immobilized on 11/8,
            now mustnow endeavour to cross at Chattanooga and move into position
            upstream. This however leaves Chattanooga completely unguarded,
            since we know (from your postings) Thomas would never attack without
            maximizing his advantage. Therefore:

            3) Shermans troops must cross at Brown's Ferry and then into
            Chattanooga, co-ordinating with Thomas' exit to keep the defenses
            manned.

            4) Shermans troops had already moved hundreds of miles overland (for
            which you give him zero credit) 10-15 more make little difference
            other the time to travel those miles. Very little effort is involved
            in supplying these troops whether in Lookout Valley or at the mouth
            of the Chickamauga. Your plan, on the other hand involves organizing
            a supply train for either Hooker or Thomas, both of whom are very
            short on transportation


            > What you get is a day or two less delay in launching the attack and
            > Hooker's troops would be fresher than Sherman's which had been
            > marching since Corinth or so.

            But you already gave away their artillery horses to your help your
            favorite, Thomas.

            Not unless you strip away the forces in Lookout Valley prior to
            Shermans arrival there. I know you never consider supply as an
            isssue, but please remember that Hooker's forces were keeping open
            the "Cracker line." Your plan leaves open supply depots to rebel
            raids, Grant's kept them well-protected.

            I'd like to remind remind you, Joseph, that Chattanooga was huge and
            one-sided victory for the Union. You seem to forget that fact, amid
            your fascination wiht petty bickering and minutia, which is
            absolutely the most important one.


            > If, as you say, "I believe we should base our analysis on Grant's
            > decisions prior to 11/24/63 only on the information that would have
            > been available to him at that time," then after the battle there
            > should have been no question as to who should be chosen to succeed
            > Grant. Thomas, at the end of 1863, had an unbroken string of
            > impressive results in battle. Sherman didn't--far from it. This
            was
            > made quite clear by Sherman's actions at Chattanooga.
            > If Grant was seriously thinking about the good of the war effort,
            and
            > not in promoting his friends, he would have chosen Thomas.


            Sherman had shown he could move troops over hundreds of miles and
            bring them into battle. Something Thomas, never at any time during
            the war, proved he could do as a commander. Only by completely
            ignoring, in amateuristic fashion, all issues of logistics, supply,
            and strategic forward motion, can one conclude that Thomas outshines
            Sherman. It can only be the desire to play favorites that would
            cause one to evaluate army commanders in this fashion.

            Grant and Sherman both in knew in 1864 what you still haven't figured
            out today. Civil war battles, with only handful of exceptions, were
            bloody indecisive affairs, most of which had very little impact on
            the end of the war. Success was realized only through successful
            management of strategic campaigns. The South was not defeated by
            tactical actions on the battlefield, but rather by the large scale
            strategic stranglehold put on them by Grant and Sherman, in
            conjuction with the Navy. Focusing on battle tactics (and petty
            bickering) results in a skewed and inaccurate view of the war and its
            key players.

            We know for a fact that Sherman eventually got the job done. That
            Thomas would have done better is only an opinion, despite your
            efforts and wishes to present it as fact. To my line of thinking
            facts trump opinion. Your wish, apparently is for opinion to trump
            facts.

            Eric
          • Dave Smith
            ... massive snips, to make a point Eric is noting the defects of Joseph s plan to move Thomas in place ... And all the while, Bragg is sitting up on Missionary
            Message 5 of 19 , Jun 29, 2001
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              --- In civilwarwest@y..., theme_music@y... wrote:

              massive snips, to make a point

              Eric is noting the defects of Joseph's plan to move Thomas in place
              of Sherman:

              > 3) Shermans troops must cross at Brown's Ferry and then into
              > Chattanooga, co-ordinating with Thomas' exit to keep the defenses
              > manned.
              >
              And all the while, Bragg is sitting up on Missionary Ridge, watching
              this immense drama unfold, and . . .

              While Bragg wasn't fond of attacking unless it could be "en echelon,"
              I cannot believe that this massive movement wouldn't have been more
              apparent than Sherman's was.

              Dave

              Dave Smith
              Villa Hills, KY
            • clarkc@missouri.edu
              joseph, ... I ve lost something in the thread here. What would be the point of Hooker s forces replacing Sherman s forces? Hooker has been on the ground and is
              Message 6 of 19 , Jun 29, 2001
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                joseph,

                > Hooker's three divisions, however, had
                > horses which could pull his own batteries, if his men were ordered
                > to
                > replace Sherman.

                I've lost something in the thread here.

                What would be the point of Hooker's forces replacing Sherman's forces?

                Hooker has been on the ground and is guarding the supply line. Sherman
                has just come up and occupied the left of the USA line. Are you
                suggesting that they switch places merely so that someone besides
                Sherman gets to attack the CSA right flank?

                (Moving units around is not as simple as unit A going to point B and
                unit B going to point A. It's more like one of those children's toys
                with a grid, one open space and tiles that are shifted around to make
                a picture.)

                Cheers,
                HankC
              • clarkc@missouri.edu
                joseph, ... Just for the record, would you say that Grant s priorities were: 1) get Sherman promoted, 2) defeat the CSA armies ? I suppose it is too much to
                Message 7 of 19 , Jun 29, 2001
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                  joseph,

                  > If Grant was seriously thinking about the good of the war effort,
                  > and
                  > not in promoting his friends, he would have chosen Thomas.
                  >

                  Just for the record, would you say that Grant's priorities were:

                  1) get Sherman promoted,
                  2) defeat the CSA armies

                  ?

                  I suppose it is too much to expect a yes or no answer?


                  Cheers,
                  HankC
                • clarkc@missouri.edu
                  joseph, ... Just for the record, would you say that Grant s priorities were: 1) get Sherman promoted, 2) defeat the CSA ? Cheers, HankC
                  Message 8 of 19 , Jun 29, 2001
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                    joseph,

                    > If Grant was seriously thinking about the good of the war effort,
                    >and
                    > not in promoting his friends, he would have chosen Thomas.


                    Just for the record, would you say that Grant's priorities were:

                    1) get Sherman promoted,
                    2) defeat the CSA

                    ?

                    Cheers,

                    HankC
                  • josepharose@yahoo.com
                    Hank, It certainly seems to me that Grant allowed his personal feelings to interfere with his military decision-making. Sherman s promotion is definitely a
                    Message 9 of 19 , Jun 29, 2001
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                      Hank,

                      It certainly seems to me that Grant allowed his personal feelings to
                      interfere with his military decision-making. Sherman's promotion is
                      definitely a good example of that.

                      Eric told me that, in reviewing an historical situation, one
                      shouldn't use what happened afterwards as a factor--which is, of
                      course, an intelligent observation.

                      Therefore, when Sherman was promoted after Chattanooga, his history
                      included several positive acts, but too many failures. Just quickly,
                      I would say he gets credit for (with an * for important actions):
                      Fighting at Shiloh
                      Meridian
                      Heavy marching

                      I would say he deserves discredit for:
                      Bull Run
                      Kentucky
                      Pre-battle Shiloh
                      Chickasaw Bluffs*
                      Chattanooga*

                      Compared to Thomas, this seems to be no contest, as Thomas should
                      recieve kudos for:
                      Mill Springs*
                      Murfreesboro
                      Chickamauga*
                      Chattanooga

                      Sherman didn't have that much fighting to do in the final Vicksburg
                      campaign. I won't count the assaults of 5/19 and 5/22 against him as
                      he was ordered to do so by Grant. His chasing Johnston twice out of
                      Jackson also doesn't rise to creditable status, in this little
                      review. I know that these are all arguable points, but there you
                      have it.

                      Joseph




                      From: clarkc@m...
                      Date: Fri Jun 29, 2001 10:32 am
                      Subject: Re: Grant's apparent "jealousy"

                      joseph,

                      > If Grant was seriously thinking about the good of the war effort,
                      >and
                      > not in promoting his friends, he would have chosen Thomas.

                      Just for the record, would you say that Grant's priorities were:

                      1) get Sherman promoted,
                      2) defeat the CSA

                      ?

                      Cheers,

                      HankC
                    • josepharose@yahoo.com
                      Eric, In this little what-if scenario, you seem to forget that Sherman s four divisions were traveling with the supply trains following their respective
                      Message 10 of 19 , Jun 29, 2001
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                        Eric,

                        In this little what-if scenario, you seem to forget that Sherman's
                        four divisions were traveling with the supply trains following their
                        respective divisions. (Sherman's goof here contradicts your
                        assertion: "Sherman had shown he could move troops over hundreds of
                        miles and bring them into battle.") This strung-out the column of
                        march and slowed it down immensely. The only division that wouldn't
                        be slowed was the first in line, as that had no wagons in front of it.

                        As I remember, Thomas suggested using Hooker's three divisions
                        instead of Sherman's in the amphibious assault. These troops could
                        start crossing at Brown's Ferry even before Sherman's first division
                        entered Lookout Valley. Once the first division took up their
                        positions to protect the Cracker Line, Hooker's last units could move
                        over the pontoon bridge. They could be in position behind the hills
                        on the right bank while much of Sherman's column was still en route
                        to Lookout Valley.

                        Logistically, instead of Sherman's animals pulling their own
                        artillery, as well as crossing into Chattanooga to take some of
                        Thomas', Hooker's animals would follow the same route. There would
                        be no difference.

                        Because Hooker's divisions were rather small, Davis' division as well
                        as another from the AotC could be sent over to reinforce the
                        assaulting units. That would still leave three divisions for
                        Chattanooga's defense.

                        As time was of the essence, this plan would surely hurry things
                        forward, as opposed to waiting for Sherman's men.

                        Joseph

                        P.S. You correctly assert that: "Civil war battles, with only handful
                        of exceptions, were bloody indecisive affairs, most of which had very
                        little impact on the end of the war." That is one of the reasons why
                        Thomas was such a good commander. At Nashville, Grant would have
                        been satisfied with a drawn battle. Thomas was going for the
                        decisive victory. Guess what. He did it.




                        From: theme_music@y...
                        Date: Fri Jun 29, 2001 4:23 am
                        Subject: Re: Grant's apparent "jealousy"

                        --- In civilwarwest@y..., josepharose@y... wrote:
                        > Eric,
                        >
                        > No "logistical nightmare" ... the same number of troops and
                        batteries
                        > would cross the pontoons and the same number of troops would end up
                        > in the assigned places: Lookout Valley, Chattanooga, and across
                        from
                        > the South Chickamauga. Just different troops and different
                        batteries.

                        You clearly haven't thought this through.

                        Grant's plan:

                        1) Howard crosses at Brown's Ferry, and then into Chattanooga.

                        2) Sherman crosses at Brown's Ferry, moves up stream and crosses
                        again near the mouth of Chickamauga creek.


                        Note that the condition of the bridges delayed the motions of these
                        few troops.

                        Your plan:

                        1) Hooker and Howard are stripped of their horses, thus leaving them
                        immobile in Lookout Valley. These horses then cross at Brown's ferry
                        and again into Chattanooga to pick up Thomas' artillery.

                        2) Thomas, who according to you was completely immobilized on 11/8,
                        now mustnow endeavour to cross at Chattanooga and move into position
                        upstream. This however leaves Chattanooga completely unguarded,
                        since we know (from your postings) Thomas would never attack without
                        maximizing his advantage. Therefore:

                        3) Shermans troops must cross at Brown's Ferry and then into
                        Chattanooga, co-ordinating with Thomas' exit to keep the defenses
                        manned.

                        4) Shermans troops had already moved hundreds of miles overland (for
                        which you give him zero credit) 10-15 more make little difference
                        other the time to travel those miles. Very little effort is involved
                        in supplying these troops whether in Lookout Valley or at the mouth
                        of the Chickamauga. Your plan, on the other hand involves organizing
                        a supply train for either Hooker or Thomas, both of whom are very
                        short on transportation


                        > What you get is a day or two less delay in launching the attack and
                        > Hooker's troops would be fresher than Sherman's which had been
                        > marching since Corinth or so.

                        But you already gave away their artillery horses to your help your
                        favorite, Thomas.

                        Not unless you strip away the forces in Lookout Valley prior to
                        Shermans arrival there. I know you never consider supply as an
                        isssue, but please remember that Hooker's forces were keeping open
                        the "Cracker line." Your plan leaves open supply depots to rebel
                        raids, Grant's kept them well-protected.

                        I'd like to remind remind you, Joseph, that Chattanooga was huge and
                        one-sided victory for the Union. You seem to forget that fact, amid
                        your fascination wiht petty bickering and minutia, which is
                        absolutely the most important one.


                        > If, as you say, "I believe we should base our analysis on Grant's
                        > decisions prior to 11/24/63 only on the information that would have
                        > been available to him at that time," then after the battle there
                        > should have been no question as to who should be chosen to succeed
                        > Grant. Thomas, at the end of 1863, had an unbroken string of
                        > impressive results in battle. Sherman didn't--far from it. This
                        was
                        > made quite clear by Sherman's actions at Chattanooga.
                        > If Grant was seriously thinking about the good of the war effort,
                        and
                        > not in promoting his friends, he would have chosen Thomas.


                        Sherman had shown he could move troops over hundreds of miles and
                        bring them into battle. Something Thomas, never at any time during
                        the war, proved he could do as a commander. Only by completely
                        ignoring, in amateuristic fashion, all issues of logistics, supply,
                        and strategic forward motion, can one conclude that Thomas outshines
                        Sherman. It can only be the desire to play favorites that would
                        cause one to evaluate army commanders in this fashion.

                        Grant and Sherman both in knew in 1864 what you still haven't figured
                        out today. Civil war battles, with only handful of exceptions, were
                        bloody indecisive affairs, most of which had very little impact on
                        the end of the war. Success was realized only through successful
                        management of strategic campaigns. The South was not defeated by
                        tactical actions on the battlefield, but rather by the large scale
                        strategic stranglehold put on them by Grant and Sherman, in
                        conjuction with the Navy. Focusing on battle tactics (and petty
                        bickering) results in a skewed and inaccurate view of the war and its
                        key players.

                        We know for a fact that Sherman eventually got the job done. That
                        Thomas would have done better is only an opinion, despite your
                        efforts and wishes to present it as fact. To my line of thinking
                        facts trump opinion. Your wish, apparently is for opinion to trump
                        facts.

                        Eric
                      • Dave Smith
                        ... snips But Joseph, have you ever worked in the business world? Had people report to you, and been in a position of responsibility? For better or worse,
                        Message 11 of 19 , Jun 29, 2001
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                          --- In civilwarwest@y..., josepharose@y... wrote:
                          > Hank,
                          >
                          > It certainly seems to me that Grant allowed his personal feelings
                          > to interfere with his military decision-making. Sherman's
                          > promotion is definitely a good example of that.
                          >
                          > Eric told me that, in reviewing an historical situation, one
                          > shouldn't use what happened afterwards as a factor--which is, of
                          > course, an intelligent observation.
                          >
                          snips

                          But Joseph, have you ever worked in the business world? Had people
                          report to you, and been in a position of responsibility?

                          For better or worse, you're most aware of the people that work with
                          you, and (obviously) less so with the people in other organizations.
                          If it comes time to promote someone inside the company, and you (as a
                          recent promotee) get to choose, is it that strange that you can't
                          help but look more favorably upon someone whom you respect, and feel
                          the most qualified candidate?

                          Grant saw and judged the worth of Sherman on a day-to-day basis, and
                          only would have had small understanding of the value of Thomas.

                          Is it right? Grant was probably within his rights. Was he in
                          error? I'm not sure.

                          Is it favoritism? Probably so, but it's a normal, built-in kind of
                          favortism.

                          Dave

                          Dave Smith
                          Villa Hills, KY
                        • dbowman@radford.edu
                          Well, here s my attempt to engage the tar baby. To me, the following line captures the essence of this exercise in speculative history. ... So, it is your
                          Message 12 of 19 , Jun 29, 2001
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                            Well, here's my attempt to engage the tar baby.

                            To me, the following line captures the essence of this exercise in
                            speculative history.

                            > If Grant was seriously thinking about the good of the war effort, and
                            > not in promoting his friends, he would have chosen Thomas.

                            So, it is your opinion that the war would have been over faster and
                            with less bloodshed had Thomas ascended? OK, please elaborate.

                            Joe, here is an opportunity to take the offensive, that critical aspect
                            of warfighting for which Buell, Rosecrans, Thomas and the AofC is
                            synonomous. Here is the chance for you on their behalf to take bold
                            aggressive action. Here is the opportunity for you on their behalf to
                            seize the initiative and tell me how shelving the relentless,
                            unflappable, creative Grant and his partner, the fiesty, risk-taking,
                            master logistician Sherman, would altered the course of the American
                            Civil War.

                            Again, how would Thomas as full Western Theater commander and with the
                            AofC as lead army have made the war end faster, and with less
                            bloodshed?

                            I'll get you started: Through Snake Creek Gap like a raging flood, a
                            50K-man torrent of aggressive AofC campaigners flow with newly-named
                            Lieutenant General Thomas in the van. They cut Johnston off from
                            Atlanta and pin him in the mountains. Ol' Joe turns to fight? What does
                            the new command team of Thomas and fighting Joe Hooker, laurels fresh
                            yet from their magic at Chattanooga, do then – besides send those two
                            pretenders Grant and Sherman out to pasture?


                            don
                          • josepharose@yahoo.com
                            Don, Is this a trick question? You ve made it too easy. Thomas, having cut off the Confederates supply line and finding that Ol Joe turns to fight , merely
                            Message 13 of 19 , Jun 29, 2001
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                              Don,

                              Is this a trick question? You've made it too easy.

                              Thomas, having cut off the Confederates supply line and finding
                              that "Ol' Joe turns to fight", merely has to fortify a good,
                              defensible position. There would seem to be a probability that
                              Johnston stupidly shatters his army against Thomas' lines and,
                              consequently invites an annihilating counterattack. Otherwise, the
                              Confederates might try to withdraw through the mountains, leaving
                              behind trains and artillery (not to mention some of their morale).

                              If Sherman had won with McPherson's maneuver, then he would have
                              shortened the war. On the day after he passed through it, Thomas
                              offered to send Hooker's Corps after it. If Sherman had done this
                              soon enough and McPherson was perhaps a little more bold, Johnston
                              still could have been cut off.

                              I read today that Johnston did send down three divisions on the tenth
                              which, finding that McPherson had retreated back to the gap's mouth,
                              themselves withdrew northward.

                              Joseph



                              From: dbowman@r...
                              Date: Fri Jun 29, 2001 2:41 pm
                              Subject: Re: Grant's apparent "jealousy"

                              Well, here's my attempt to engage the tar baby.

                              To me, the following line captures the essence of this exercise in
                              speculative history.

                              > If Grant was seriously thinking about the good of the war effort,
                              and
                              > not in promoting his friends, he would have chosen Thomas.

                              So, it is your opinion that the war would have been over faster and
                              with less bloodshed had Thomas ascended? OK, please elaborate.

                              Joe, here is an opportunity to take the offensive, that critical
                              aspect
                              of warfighting for which Buell, Rosecrans, Thomas and the AofC is
                              synonomous. Here is the chance for you on their behalf to take bold
                              aggressive action. Here is the opportunity for you on their behalf to
                              seize the initiative and tell me how shelving the relentless,
                              unflappable, creative Grant and his partner, the fiesty, risk-taking,
                              master logistician Sherman, would altered the course of the American
                              Civil War.

                              Again, how would Thomas as full Western Theater commander and with
                              the
                              AofC as lead army have made the war end faster, and with less
                              bloodshed?

                              I'll get you started: Through Snake Creek Gap like a raging flood, a
                              50K-man torrent of aggressive AofC campaigners flow with newly-named
                              Lieutenant General Thomas in the van. They cut Johnston off from
                              Atlanta and pin him in the mountains. Ol' Joe turns to fight? What
                              does
                              the new command team of Thomas and fighting Joe Hooker, laurels fresh
                              yet from their magic at Chattanooga, do then – besides send those two
                              pretenders Grant and Sherman out to pasture?


                              don
                            • dmercado@worldnet.att.net
                              ... Joe, that was too easy. Try something tougher. Let s see what Lt. General Thomas (has a nice ring) does according to Donn Piatt (General George H. Thomas
                              Message 14 of 19 , Jun 29, 2001
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                                --- In civilwarwest@y..., josepharose@y... wrote:
                                > Thomas, having cut off the Confederates supply line and finding
                                > that "Ol' Joe turns to fight", merely has to fortify a good,
                                > defensible position.

                                Joe, that was too easy.

                                Try something tougher. Let's see what Lt. General Thomas (has a
                                nice ring) does according to Donn Piatt (General George H. Thomas A
                                Critical Biography, Robert Clarke & Co, 1893):

                                "Had General Thomas been intrusted with the command given Grant he
                                would have placed Rosecrans or Buell in command of a force large
                                enough to cover Washington, and transported the Army of the Potomac
                                to Tennessee. This would have forced Lee to evacuate Virginia and
                                concentrate his forces in the cotton states. We would then have had
                                the immense advantage of but one army of invasion and that with its
                                base in the very heart of the Confederacy where our fleet could have
                                co-operated in not only keeping open the Mississippi, but menacing
                                the coast of both the Atlantic and the Gulf. This would have been
                                the intelligent warfare on our part that General Thomas saw in the
                                beginning and kept in view until the end."

                                Actually, not being a Lt. General myself I have no idea if this would
                                work, but it is fun to speculate. Also, while Piatt did have several
                                conversations with Thomas, no one else including Thomas has mentioned
                                this `theory' as far as I know. Best regards, Dave
                              • theme_music@yahoo.com
                                ... their ... wouldn t  be slowed was the first in line, as that had no wagons in front of it. That misses the point entirely. Sherman already had
                                Message 15 of 19 , Jun 30, 2001
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                                  --- In civilwarwest@y..., josepharose@y... wrote:
                                  > Eric,
                                  >
                                  > In this little what-if scenario, you seem to forget that Sherman's
                                  > four divisions were traveling with the supply trains following
                                  their
                                  > respective divisions. (Sherman's goof here contradicts your
                                  > assertion: "Sherman had shown he could move troops over hundreds of
                                  > miles and bring them into battle.") This strung-out the column of
                                  > march and slowed it down immensely. The only division that
                                  wouldn't
                                   be slowed was the first in line, as that had no wagons in front of
                                  it.

                                  That misses the point entirely. Sherman already had organized and
                                  fully functional supply trains. Hooker did not. To move Hooker (or
                                  Thomas) you first need to organize supply. Just one part of the
                                  logistics your plan fails to consider. I get from your posts that
                                  consider this trivial but, Grant couldn't and didn't.

                                  Sherman did fail to revise his marching orders, which had actually
                                  served him quite well over the course of march. This did slow his
                                  advance from Bridgeport. However, in order to contradict the
                                  statement the statement "Sherman had shown he could move troops over
                                  hundreds of miles and bring them into battle" you must
                                  prove "Sherman had shown he could NOT move troops over hundreds of
                                  miles and bring them into battle." If accuracy was your wish you
                                  might state "Sherman had shown he could move troops over hundreds of
                                  miles and bring them into battle with a delay of several days."


                                  > As I remember, Thomas suggested using Hooker's three divisions
                                  > instead of Sherman's in the amphibious assault. These troops could
                                  > start crossing at Brown's Ferry even before Sherman's first
                                  division
                                  > entered Lookout Valley. Once the first division took up their
                                  > positions to protect the Cracker Line, Hooker's last units could
                                  move
                                  > over the pontoon bridge. They could be in position behind the hills
                                  > on the right bank while much of Sherman's column was still en route
                                  > to Lookout Valley.


                                  Your plan exposes the Cracker Line. Grant's did not. If sufficient
                                  force is left behind to guard the Cracker Line until Sherman arrives,
                                  no time is saved.

                                  Your plan requires moving two large bodies of troops. Grant's
                                  required moving only one.

                                  And why don't we hold to our standard of merit based on past
                                  performance. In Grant's eyes, and Thomas', if truly possessed of the
                                  military acumen you've attached to him, Sherman,s men would have to
                                  have been considered the better choice. Surely your jealousy of
                                  Sherman and his troops is not a good enough reason in and of itself
                                  to choose Hooker, especially given the more complex and tactically
                                  inferior planning required.


                                  > Logistically, instead of Sherman's animals pulling their own
                                  > artillery, as well as crossing into Chattanooga to take some of
                                  > Thomas', Hooker's animals would follow the same route. There would
                                  > be no difference.

                                  In this scenario, you are depriving Hooker of the ability to move his
                                  artillery. Grant's plan did not, which had the advantage of enabling
                                  Hooker's move over Lookout and through Rossville Gap. Your plan
                                  forces Hooker to sit immobile in Lookout Valley.

                                  Your plan exposes Chattanooga. Grant's did not.

                                  Your plan requires Thomas to organize a supply train and cross it
                                  over the river along with his troops. Grant's did not.

                                  Let's take a look at what you consider to be no different: Orders
                                  are issued to all batteries under Hooker, a detail sent to collect
                                  all the horses and bring them into Chattanooga. Orders issued and a
                                  detail to assign horses to Thomas artillery. Additional forage must
                                  be provided (don't forget that Sherman's supply trains take care of
                                  this in Grant's plan)to Thomas. Given your previous statements about
                                  Thomas' immobility we must also assume that a supply of wagons,
                                  limbers, harness, caissons etc must be brought up. You believe this
                                  is the same as leaving Hooker's artillery as it was??

                                  It should be obvious, then, that the plan Grant enacted, and I might
                                  add with the assistance and co-operation of Thomas, is superior in
                                  many, many, ways to either of the scenarios you have proposed.
                                  Simply put Grant required Hooker and Thomas to stay where they were
                                  while Sherman got into position. Either of your scenarios requires
                                  putting a second body of troops in motion. No significant time is
                                  saved by either of your scenarios since Sherman must arrive and place
                                  his troops in position before the attack can get underway.



                                  > Because Hooker's divisions were rather small, Davis' division as
                                  well
                                  > as another from the AotC could be sent over to reinforce the
                                  > assaulting units. That would still leave three divisions for
                                   Chattanooga's defense.

                                  I' m hoping you realize that you keeping shifting back and forth
                                  between two entirely different, and mutually exclusive scenarios.
                                  I'll assume you know this, but I'm becoming less and less certain.

                                  At any rate, Grant's plan clearly allowed for troops to be shifted
                                  around based on need, or on the bridges being out of action, as it
                                  was done several times.

                                  >
                                  > As time was of the essence, this plan would surely hurry things
                                   forward, as opposed to waiting for Sherman's men.

                                  If you don't wait for Sherman, Chattanooga or the Cracker Line is
                                  left undefended. I am sure Grant, Thomas and Hooker would all
                                  consider this a fatal flaw to any proposed plan. If you wait for
                                  Sherman, you don't gain any measurable time.

                                  I see no advantages to either scenario your have presented, other
                                  than filling the need to enhance one commander at the expense of
                                  another. The persuasiveness of the many, many keystrokes expended in
                                  arguments bemoaning favoritism, is belied by the obvious fact that
                                  you have failed to convince yourself.

                                  >
                                  > Joseph
                                  >
                                  > P.S. You correctly assert that: "Civil war battles, with only
                                  handful
                                  > of exceptions, were bloody indecisive affairs, most of which had
                                  very
                                  > little impact on the end of the war." That is one of the reasons
                                  why
                                  > Thomas was such a good commander. At Nashville, Grant would have
                                  > been satisfied with a drawn battle. Thomas was going for the
                                  > decisive victory. Guess what. He did it.
                                  >

                                  Hood's army was ill-led, poorly supplied, demoralized, out numbered,
                                  starved and freezing in a ridiculous position outside Nashville. I
                                  would hope that a battle which was the rough equivalent of Mike Tyson
                                  taking on a malnourished, dim-witted, one armed, one legged man is
                                  not the only claim to fame of a truly great commander. You can't be
                                  the best until you've beaten the best, know what I mean?

                                  Eric
                                • brooksdsimpson@yahoo.com
                                  ... Would highlighting the irony here be excessive? :) ... numbered, ... I ... Tyson ... Eric is right on the mark here. To celebrate Thomas as being a great
                                  Message 16 of 19 , Jun 30, 2001
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                                    --- In civilwarwest@y..., theme_music@y... wrote:
                                    > --- In civilwarwest@y..., josepharose@y... wrote:
                                    > I see no advantages to either scenario your have presented, other
                                    > than filling the need to enhance one commander at the expense of
                                    > another.

                                    Would highlighting the irony here be excessive? :)

                                    > > At Nashville, Grant would have
                                    > > been satisfied with a drawn battle. Thomas was going for the
                                    > > decisive victory. Guess what. He did it.
                                    > >
                                    >
                                    > Hood's army was ill-led, poorly supplied, demoralized, out
                                    numbered,
                                    > starved and freezing in a ridiculous position outside Nashville.
                                    I
                                    > would hope that a battle which was the rough equivalent of Mike
                                    Tyson
                                    > taking on a malnourished, dim-witted, one armed, one legged man is
                                    > not the only claim to fame of a truly great commander.

                                    Eric is right on the mark here. To celebrate Thomas as being a great
                                    commander because of Nashville is like elevating James H. Wilson over
                                    Forrest because of Selma. Just as Forrest's weakness helps to
                                    explain Wilson's success, John Bell Hood's performance at Franklin
                                    goes far to explain what happened at Nashville--indeed, it is the
                                    most significant variable.
                                  • josepharose@yahoo.com
                                    Eric, I m sorry, but in explaining my thoughts, it appears that I evidently have not been able to do so sufficiently for your understanding. That being the
                                    Message 17 of 19 , Jun 30, 2001
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                                      Eric,

                                      I'm sorry, but in explaining my thoughts, it appears that I evidently
                                      have not been able to do so sufficiently for your understanding.
                                      That being the case, it would unfortunately be fruitless to attempt
                                      an answer to your post.

                                      Joseph
                                    • redpepper@searchcentralonline.com
                                      I suppose that it would also be excessive to highlight the irony of the whining about Sherman s delay at Chattanooga and the repeated attempts to justify and
                                      Message 18 of 19 , Jul 1, 2001
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                                        I suppose that it would also be excessive to highlight the irony of
                                        the whining about Sherman's delay at Chattanooga and the repeated
                                        attempts to justify and even glorify Thomas' foot dragging at
                                        Nashville.
                                        Red
                                      • redpepper@searchcentralonline.com
                                        ... evidently ... LOL. Sorry but I think everyone understood exactly what your concept was and that Eric simply and cogently debunked it. However I do
                                        Message 19 of 19 , Jul 1, 2001
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                                          --- In civilwarwest@y..., josepharose@y... wrote:
                                          > Eric,
                                          >
                                          > I'm sorry, but in explaining my thoughts, it appears that I
                                          evidently
                                          > have not been able to do so sufficiently for your understanding.
                                          > That being the case, it would unfortunately be fruitless to attempt
                                          > an answer to your post.
                                          >
                                          > Joseph

                                          LOL. Sorry but I think everyone understood exactly what your concept
                                          was and that Eric simply and cogently debunked it. However I do
                                          certainly agree that it would be fruitless for you to attempt to
                                          answer Eric's post.
                                          Red
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