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[civilwarwest] sherman's war record

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  • Nils Feller
    Don, I think your intense dislike for Sherman makes you overlook at least one undisputable fact; Sherman wasn t much of a battle commander, sure, and you have
    Message 1 of 16 , Jan 30, 2000
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      Don,

      I think your intense dislike for Sherman makes you overlook at least one
      undisputable fact; Sherman wasn't much of a battle commander, sure, and you have
      very convincingly given evidence for some of his misjudgements, but saying that
      he was "worse than Bragg", well, I don't know. The question remains by which
      standard we want to judge "worse" or "better" in a Civil War Commander;
      I suggest we look at the results of their actions. It should be obvious that
      Sherman in his Atlanta campaign and his marches to the sea and throught the
      Carolinas achieved everything he had set out to do: he kept Johnston from
      reenforcing Lee, cut the Confederacy in half and proved beyond the shadow of a
      doubt that the war was lost (but Jeff Davis couldn't admit it and rather had
      some more young southerners die, just to make sure). IMHO, Sherman's campaign
      was strategically speaking excellent and a complete succes. By the way, I think
      he showed some good judgement when he gave Thomas the job of dealing with Hood.
      If we ask for the worst commanders either side, my personal favourites would be
      either Butler or Ambrose Burnside. Hood comes in a close third.

      Looking forward to be proven wrong,
      Nils
    • Don Plezia
      Nils! I ve found from experience that one can never prove another wrong in these types of discussions so, I won t try. One, the defender refuses to accept
      Message 2 of 16 , Jan 30, 2000
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        Nils!

        I've found from experience that one can never prove another wrong in
        these types of discussions so, I won't try. One, the defender refuses
        to accept statements contrary to his belief. Two, the discussion leads
        to recriminations and demands for proof of your statements, contrary to
        his convictions. The first is fruitless to pursue. The second I guess,
        is equally so and I refuse to participate in that type of debate. In my
        mind, it seems that I am providing a free education to someone without
        remuneration and besides that sort of thing is best left either to one's
        self or his parents.

        Now, as to my intense dislike of Sherman! I do not "intensely dislike"
        a person who has been dead over a hundred years.

        I do intensely disapprove of what he and Grant did to damage Thomas's
        reputation and enhance their own at his expense. I also intensely
        disapprove of the oodles of books that come out annually proclaiming
        that Grant and Sherman were the best Generals in the war. And repeat
        the lies they spawned.

        I have read (and possess) all the Thomas biographies except Johnson's
        and Cist's and most come thru praising the man for his character,
        bravery, steadiness, patriotism and generalship. I have yet to see any
        writings indicating Thomas was a liar, failure, crazy, drunkard,
        womanizer, or fool as both Sherman and Grant have been characterized in
        many books. I have most of the major works written about Grant and
        Sherman (including their Memoirs) and have read them all a couple of
        times or more except for Lewis's "fighting Prophet", which after about
        twenty pages I put back into my bookcase and never finished (I will not
        throw away a book). All he did was reword Sherman's Memoirs and
        embellish the lies. You know of course, that upon published his
        Memoirs, Sherman immediately set about issuing retractions and later
        published a revised version (s).

        I have read Castell's "Decision in the West" and find it eminently
        critical (with proof) of Sherman's ability. I've read Buell's "Warrior
        Generals" with the same effect. A southerner, Stanley F. Horn is
        absolutely eulogistic about Thomas and the "Battle of Nashville", as are
        others. The O.R.'s on CD offer additional proof.

        So, I have come to the belief that Thomas has been wronged by his
        comrades in arms and is still being slandered by the "historians" of
        today. They spout the conventional wisdom as perpetrated by Grant,
        Sherman and their followers without a hint of research.

        You read what I read and tell me I'm wrong.

        Now, Sherman's accomplishments.

        I am not impressed by his "March to the Sea". He took 62,000 of the
        best men (half of his Army were Thomas's) available, he took all the
        best equipment, artillery, transports, all to fight some old men and
        boys. He had no serious opposition until he met Johnston at
        Bentonville. There, fighting against about 15,000 worn out confederates
        (5,000 from the Army of Tennessee, shattered by Thomas), he almost lost
        one of his Corps. And when he reached Savannah in November (?), the war
        still lasted another six months.

        His original orders ( from Grant) were to make sure he left Thomas with
        enough troops and materiel to whip Hood. He didn't do that! He sent
        Schofield and Stanley back to help (about 25,000 troops) Thomas, and
        when they arrived, about 15,000 left, their term of service had run out.
        He, Thomas, did get replacements, raw, untrained recruits.

        As to the rest, read Castell's assessment of Sherman's abilities. If
        you have an open mind that will enlighten you.

        Now, Bragg.

        Bragg, I am no fan of Bragg's. I think he did to Joe Johnston what
        Grant and Sherman tried to do to Thomas and despise that action. But
        after reading some of the comments on this thread, I returned to
        Connelly's "Autumn of Glory" and read some the comments about Bragg.
        From what I got out of it, Bragg seemed to have had some mental problems
        (Gee, Sherman did too, didn't he?), early in the Tullahoma campaign.
        Check it out. It's tough to judge a man unless you walk in his shoes.
        His inability to get along with some of his subordinates seems to
        indicate some kind of mental aberration. Given the fact that some of
        the dolts he was saddled with enhanced the problem, makes me think Bragg
        was not the whole problem. Certainly, Davis contributed mightily to
        Bragg's problem with his cronyism. Also, if you have the book read the
        description of the condition of the Confederate forces on pp 114 -116.

        Well, I've almost worn the letters off my keyboard and my wife's at the
        door telling me dinners ready and my Martini's gone.

        Hope I've given you some explanation of where I come from.

        Don Plezia


        ----- Original Message -----
        From: "Nils Feller" <Nils.Feller@...>
        To: <civilwarwest@egroups.com>
        Sent: Sunday, January 30, 2000 3:29 PM
        Subject: [civilwarwest] sherman's war record


        > Don,
        >
        > I think your intense dislike for Sherman makes you overlook at least
        one
        > undisputable fact; Sherman wasn't much of a battle commander, sure,
        and you have
        > very convincingly given evidence for some of his misjudgements, but
        saying that
        > he was "worse than Bragg", well, I don't know. The question remains by
        which
        > standard we want to judge "worse" or "better" in a Civil War
        Commander;
        > I suggest we look at the results of their actions. It should be
        obvious that
        > Sherman in his Atlanta campaign and his marches to the sea and
        throught the
        > Carolinas achieved everything he had set out to do: he kept Johnston
        from
        > reenforcing Lee, cut the Confederacy in half and proved beyond the
        shadow of a
        > doubt that the war was lost (but Jeff Davis couldn't admit it and
        rather had
        > some more young southerners die, just to make sure). IMHO, Sherman's
        campaign
        > was strategically speaking excellent and a complete succes. By the
        way, I think
        > he showed some good judgement when he gave Thomas the job of dealing
        with Hood.
        > If we ask for the worst commanders either side, my personal favourites
        would be
        > either Butler or Ambrose Burnside. Hood comes in a close third.
        >
        > Looking forward to be proven wrong,
        > Nils
        >
        >
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      • dmercado@worldnet.att.net
        don plezia wrote: original article:http://www.egroups.com/group/civilwarwest/?start=577 ... and Cist s and most come thru praising
        Message 3 of 16 , Jan 30, 2000
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          "don plezia" <oneple-@...> wrote:
          original article:http://www.egroups.com/group/civilwarwest/?start=577
          >I have read (and possess) all the Thomas biographies except Johnson's
          and Cist's and most come thru praising the man for his character,

          Don, ebay is offering a Broadfoot reprint of H. Cist's "Army of the
          Cumberland". It is a great book. GOTO this link for details:
          http://cgi.ebay.com/aw-cgi/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=242980308

          but hurry, the auction ends on Monday 1:55PM PST
        • Hawks027@aol.com
          are there any good books on J. Chamberlain? thanks, also what do you guys think was the turning point of the war??
          Message 4 of 16 , Feb 4, 2000
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            are there any good books on J. Chamberlain? thanks, also what do you guys
            think was the turning point of the war??
          • REGIMENTALFLAG@aol.com
            I feel that Chattanooga,November `63 was the turning point . Would like to hear everyone s opinion on this. Thanks, Regimental Flag
            Message 5 of 16 , Feb 4, 2000
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              I feel that Chattanooga,November `63 was the turning point .
              Would like to hear everyone's opinion on this.
              Thanks,
              Regimental Flag
            • Andy Berstel
              regimentalfla-@aol.com wrote: original article:http://www.egroups.com/group/civilwarwest/?start=591 ... Hard to say Reg. Stones River and Chickamauga were the
              Message 6 of 16 , Feb 5, 2000
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                regimentalfla-@... wrote:
                original article:http://www.egroups.com/group/civilwarwest/?start=591
                > I feel that Chattanooga,November `63 was the turning point .
                > Would like to hear everyone's opinion on this.
                > Thanks,
                > Regimental Flag


                :
                Hard to say Reg. Stones River and Chickamauga were the best
                opportunities for the Army of Tennessee to thoroughly whip the Army of
                the Cumberland. Squandered by Bragg, which caused a complete lack of
                confidence in him by his officers and men. This, more than anything
                Grant did, led to the AOT being knocked off Missionary Ridge as easily
                as they were. I suppose you could say it was the turning point in that
                it brought Grant to prominence and resulted in him being put in charge
                of all Union forces. I dont think the north would have won without his
                overall strategies and the determination to see them through.

                Regards,
                Andy
              • Terry Arliskas
                Try In the Hands of Providence, Joshua Chamberlain and the American Civil War by Alice Trulock - Chapel Hill Press. Great Bio - My opinion on the turning
                Message 7 of 16 , Feb 5, 2000
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                  Try "In the Hands of Providence, Joshua Chamberlain and the American Civil
                  War" by Alice Trulock - Chapel Hill Press. Great Bio -

                  My opinion on the turning point of the War - Battle of Champions Hill, May
                  16. 1863. Pemberton's defeatand Loring's retreat south whixh separates him
                  from the rest of Pemberton's command, effectively took him out of the
                  Vicksburg campaign, and the ultimate fall of Vicksburg was assured.

                  Terry Arliskas
                  29WVI

                  >From: Hawks027@...
                  >Reply-To: civilwarwest@egroups.com
                  >To: civilwarwest@egroups.com
                  >Subject: [civilwarwest] Re: sherman's war record
                  >Date: Fri, 4 Feb 2000 17:56:46 EST
                  >
                  >
                  >are there any good books on J. Chamberlain? thanks, also what do you guys
                  >think was the turning point of the war??
                  >
                  >------------------------------------------------------------------------
                  >Shop for your Valentine at eGroups!
                  >http://click.egroups.com/1/1157/1/_/14182/_/949705041/
                  >
                  >-- Easily schedule meetings and events using the group calendar!
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                  ______________________________________________________
                • Terry Arliskas
                  Try In the Hands of Providence, Joshua Chamberlain and the American Civil War by Alice Trulock - Chapel Hill Press. Great Bio - My opinion on the turning
                  Message 8 of 16 , Feb 5, 2000
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                    Try "In the Hands of Providence, Joshua Chamberlain and the American Civil
                    War" by Alice Trulock - Chapel Hill Press. Great Bio -

                    My opinion on the turning point of the War - Battle of Champions Hill, May
                    16. 1863. Pemberton's defeatand Loring's retreat south whixh separates him
                    from the rest of Pemberton's command, effectively took him out of the
                    Vicksburg campaign, and the ultimate fall of Vicksburg was assured.

                    Terry Arliskas
                    29WVI

                    >From: Hawks027@...
                    >Reply-To: civilwarwest@egroups.com
                    >To: civilwarwest@egroups.com
                    >Subject: [civilwarwest] Re: sherman's war record
                    >Date: Fri, 4 Feb 2000 17:56:46 EST
                    >
                    >
                    >are there any good books on J. Chamberlain? thanks, also what do you guys
                    >think was the turning point of the war??
                    >
                    >------------------------------------------------------------------------
                    >Shop for your Valentine at eGroups!
                    >http://click.egroups.com/1/1157/1/_/14182/_/949705041/
                    >
                    >-- Easily schedule meetings and events using the group calendar!
                    >-- http://www.egroups.com/cal?listname=civilwarwest&m=1
                    >

                    ______________________________________________________
                  • Anna Howland
                    hawks02-@aol.com wrote: original article:http://www.egroups.com/group/civilwarwest/?start=590 ... guys There has been a bonanza of book written re-examining
                    Message 9 of 16 , Feb 5, 2000
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                      hawks02-@... wrote:
                      original article:http://www.egroups.com/group/civilwarwest/?start=590
                      > are there any good books on J. Chamberlain? thanks, also what do you
                      guys

                      There has been a bonanza of book written re-examining Chamberlain-- 1)
                      Conceived in Liberty by Mark Perry (examines the parallel career of
                      Chamberlain and Willaim Oates who faced off on little Round Tops) and a
                      new biography called 2) Joshua Chamberlain by John Pullen (who brought
                      to us the story of him in the book "the Twentieth Maine") Anna H.
                    • Anna Howland
                      hawks02-@aol.com wrote: original article:http://www.egroups.com/group/civilwarwest/?start=590 ... guys There has been a bonanza of book written re-examining
                      Message 10 of 16 , Feb 5, 2000
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                        hawks02-@... wrote:
                        original article:http://www.egroups.com/group/civilwarwest/?start=590
                        > are there any good books on J. Chamberlain? thanks, also what do you
                        guys

                        There has been a bonanza of book written re-examining Chamberlain-- 1)
                        Conceived in Liberty by Mark Perry (examines the parallel career of
                        Chamberlain and Willaim Oates who faced off on little Round Tops) and a
                        new biography called 2) Joshua Chamberlain by John Pullen (who brought
                        to us the story of him in the book "the Twentieth Maine") Anna H.
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