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Ref #9631 Bragg

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  • captaindan20022000
    Carl, I don t know that I would use the word defeatist at least not as I understand it, but I would agree that Bragg had lost the purer faith by that time.
    Message 1 of 13 , Feb 5, 2002
      Carl,
      I don't know that I would use the word "defeatist" at least not as I
      understand it, but I would agree that Bragg had lost "the purer
      faith" by that time. Still, I think his friendship with Davis and the
      tenacity of his belief kept him in line with Davis et al. On the
      other hand, I have been known to be wrong before. Once, I thought I'd
      made a mistake, but I hadn't......Dan
    • carlw4514
      Certainly I tend to be quite hard on Bragg. And it is possible that the Gragg book CONFEDERATE GOLIATH (this is being auctioned by someone on ebay BTW) is
      Message 2 of 13 , Feb 5, 2002
        Certainly I tend to be quite hard on Bragg. And it is possible that
        the Gragg book CONFEDERATE GOLIATH (this is being auctioned by someone
        on ebay BTW) is biased against our boy. But I am currently of the
        opinion that up until this time Bragg's performance could be debated
        one way or the other, with reasonable people able to differ. But by
        the time of the contest for Ft. Fisher, there can be no reasonable
        defense of the man, for his contribution to that defeat, IMHO.
        -there must have been more than a few Southern defeatists by then!
        Carl

        --- In civilwarwest@y..., "captaindan20022000" <ParrotheadDan@l...>
        wrote:
        > Carl,
        > I don't know that I would use the word "defeatist" at least not as
        I
        > understand it, but I would agree that Bragg had lost "the purer
        > faith" by that time. Still, I think his friendship with Davis and
        the
        > tenacity of his belief kept him in line with Davis et al. On the
        > other hand, I have been known to be wrong before. Once, I thought
        I'd
        > made a mistake, but I hadn't......Dan
      • hank9174
        Bragg in the west began suffering from the ineffectiveness of his subordinates about a year before Lee in the east. However, whereas Lee s occurred from
        Message 3 of 13 , Feb 6, 2002
          Bragg in the west began suffering from the ineffectiveness of his
          subordinates about a year before Lee in the east. However, whereas
          Lee's occurred from attrition, Bragg suffered mostly due to cronyism.

          It is unfair to Bragg to say 'He couldn't work with his generals'.
          That's a two-way street - and the commanding officer drives the bigger
          truck...

          It is noooo secret that Lee's castoffs were moved west to become other
          general's problems. Bragg too far away to effectively deal with Davis'
          personal meddlings in subverting the chain of command which Davis
          sustained whenever Bragg complained. How does a commander deal with a
          president who encourages peronal reports from subordinates?

          DH Hill came to Bragg and the first thnig he did was ignore a specific
          order to attack at McLemores cove.

          Longstreet came west (not a castoff, though) with his superiority
          complex and performed at the level of a poor LtCol.

          And Polk, what can one say, did he EVER follow an order?


          HankC

          --- In civilwarwest@y..., "carlw4514" <carlw4514@y...> wrote:
          > Certainly I tend to be quite hard on Bragg. And it is possible that
          > the Gragg book CONFEDERATE GOLIATH (this is being auctioned by
          someone
          > on ebay BTW) is biased against our boy. But I am currently of the
          > opinion that up until this time Bragg's performance could be debated
          > one way or the other, with reasonable people able to differ. But by
          > the time of the contest for Ft. Fisher, there can be no reasonable
          > defense of the man, for his contribution to that defeat, IMHO.
          > -there must have been more than a few Southern defeatists by then!
          > Carl
          >
          > --- In civilwarwest@y..., "captaindan20022000" <ParrotheadDan@l...>
          > wrote:
          > > Carl,
          > > I don't know that I would use the word "defeatist" at least not
          as
          > I
          > > understand it, but I would agree that Bragg had lost "the purer
          > > faith" by that time. Still, I think his friendship with Davis and
          > the
          > > tenacity of his belief kept him in line with Davis et al. On the
          > > other hand, I have been known to be wrong before. Once, I thought
          > I'd
          > > made a mistake, but I hadn't......Dan
        • Aurelie1999@aol.com
          In a message dated 2/6/02 11:25:20 AM Central Standard Time, clarkc@missouri.edu writes:
          Message 4 of 13 , Feb 7, 2002
            In a message dated 2/6/02 11:25:20 AM Central Standard Time,
            clarkc@... writes:

            << Bragg too far away to effectively deal with Davis'
            personal meddlings in subverting the chain of command which Davis
            sustained whenever Bragg complained. How does a commander deal with a
            president who encourages peronal reports from subordinates?
            >>

            A commanding general's mandate is to work with what he has and find a way to
            solidify his command structure. Look at Grant. He was hardly handed a
            perfect pallet of cooperative subordinates in the west. He simply found a
            way to make it work by developing his own favored lieutenants and ignoring
            others. "An ideal general would have reconciled himself far more quickly to
            the inevitabilities presented him by Davis and would have turned large powers
            of intellect and fortitude to the task of overcoming and making the best of
            them. . . Unlike his eastern counterpart, Robert E. Lee, Bragg showed a
            serious inability to adjust to serious disappointments." Steven E. Woodworth,
            Jefferson Davis's Generals page 72/73.

            In a war, the blame game has no value, innovation, imagination, adjustment
            and commitment to the objective are what counts. Blaming, pouting and
            debating are negatives that go no where.
            Connie
          • hank9174
            You are correct. However, after Chancellorsville, Lincoln began to take a much more dim view of those generals who circumvented the chain of command. By the
            Message 5 of 13 , Feb 7, 2002
              You are correct.

              However, after Chancellorsville, Lincoln began to take a much more dim
              view of those generals who circumvented the chain of command. By the
              time Grant moved out of the western theatre, he was given free rein in
              personnel decisions.

              Davis, OTOH, never did overcome his compulsion to listen to, and
              worse, veritably encourage, dissension from subordinates in the AoT.
              He acted as if the AoT could be commanded by committee. He did this
              with the army with Bragg and with Johnston.

              Lincoln eventually arrived at a position where generals, even his
              favorites, were expendable; Davis ever did...


              HankC


              --- In civilwarwest@y..., Aurelie1999@a... wrote:
              > In a message dated 2/6/02 11:25:20 AM Central Standard Time,
              > clarkc@m... writes:
              >
              > << Bragg too far away to effectively deal with Davis'
              > personal meddlings in subverting the chain of command which Davis
              > sustained whenever Bragg complained. How does a commander deal with
              a
              > president who encourages peronal reports from subordinates?
              > >>
              >
              > A commanding general's mandate is to work with what he has and find
              a way to
              > solidify his command structure. Look at Grant. He was hardly
              handed a
              > perfect pallet of cooperative subordinates in the west. He simply
              found a
              > way to make it work by developing his own favored lieutenants and
              ignoring
              > others. "An ideal general would have reconciled himself far more
              quickly to
              > the inevitabilities presented him by Davis and would have turned
              large powers
              > of intellect and fortitude to the task of overcoming and making the
              best of
              > them. . . Unlike his eastern counterpart, Robert E. Lee, Bragg
              showed a
              > serious inability to adjust to serious disappointments." Steven E.
              Woodworth,
              > Jefferson Davis's Generals page 72/73.
              >
              > In a war, the blame game has no value, innovation, imagination,
              adjustment
              > and commitment to the objective are what counts. Blaming, pouting
              and
              > debating are negatives that go no where.
              > Connie
            • Aurelie1999@aol.com
              In a message dated 2/7/02 12:02:26 PM Central Standard Time, clarkc@missouri.edu writes:
              Message 6 of 13 , Feb 7, 2002
                In a message dated 2/7/02 12:02:26 PM Central Standard Time,
                clarkc@... writes:

                << By the
                time Grant moved out of the western theatre, he was given free rein in
                personnel decisions. >>

                That is absolutely true, but the reason was that Grant had proven himself as
                capable of leading armies during his time in the West, which gained him the
                confidence of both Lincoln and Stanton as well as his subordinates.

                Bragg's effectiveness on the other hand disintegrated with time. He never saw
                or took advantage of the opportunities in front of him, seeing instead only
                obstacles which he responded to in negative ways. He allowed the military
                objective to be distracted by minutia, outrage and disdain, which impacted
                his entire command structure until it splintered with the slivers slicing
                into the CSA as a whole.

                Is it Davis's fault? As far as I am concerned, no. Davis didn't make it
                easy, he meddled and muddled the brew, but in many ways Bragg was better off
                than many other commanders with distance providing a natural shield. So what
                if his officers were inferior to the mighty warriors in the East. It was his
                job to teach them, work with them and turn them from enemy to friend. Look
                at Lincoln, he put his enemies in his cabinet and turned them into supportive
                comrades.

                Heck when Vince Lombardi got to Green Bay, he had a crummy team, no money and
                no respect and a board of directors who were defacto coaches. All Lombardi
                took to his first training camp was grit and good sense.. Three years later,
                he had a winning team. Didn't bring in new players either - Hornung, McGee,
                Starr, Kramer, Taylor were all there at his first training camp. All
                Lombardi did was ignore the board of directors and teach the players he
                inherited how to play and play as a winning team.
              • LWhite64@aol.com
                The only problem is that there was no way you were ever going to make Polk a good General, no matter if Bragg literally poured sugar on him, and as long as he
                Message 7 of 13 , Feb 8, 2002
                  The only problem is that there was no way you were ever going to make Polk a good General, no matter if Bragg literally poured sugar on him, and as long as he is your senior INsubordinate, then you have a huge problem.

                  Lee
                • Aurelie1999@aol.com
                  In a message dated 2/8/02 6:11:48 AM Central Standard Time, LWhite64@aol.com writes:
                  Message 8 of 13 , Feb 8, 2002
                    In a message dated 2/8/02 6:11:48 AM Central Standard Time, LWhite64@...
                    writes:

                    << The only problem is that there was no way you were ever going to make Polk
                    a
                    good General, no matter if Bragg literally poured sugar on him, and as long
                    as he is your senior INsubordinate, then you have a huge problem.

                    Lee
                    >>
                    Maybe not, some men are hopeless. I think then a commander has to get
                    clever. Grant outsmarted both McClernand, & Halleck, and quietly got rid of
                    others who didn't meet his style of command. I'm saying it would not have
                    been easy in Bragg's case, but he did nothing positive to make things work
                    either. Instead he rubbed salt into the wounds and turned it into a public
                    broohaha. I just don't see any justification for Bragg. Shifting blame
                    somewhere else for his sins, doesn't make sense to me.
                  • hank9174
                    Boy, Connie, there s a lot to disagree with in one post ;) He never saw or took advantage of the opportunities ! Actually, he placed his army in positions
                    Message 9 of 13 , Feb 8, 2002
                      Boy, Connie, there's a lot to disagree with in one post ;)

                      'He never saw or took advantage of the opportunities' ! Actually, he
                      placed his army in positions that did take advantage of opportunities.

                      There was a pretty good thread a couple months back detailing the
                      heartland campaign.

                      His attempts to isolate and defeat Rosecran's left wing were pocket
                      vetoed by Polk and Hardee.

                      The attempted wrecking Negley at McLemore's cove came to naught due to
                      Hindman.

                      Polk refused to budge from his poistion on the right at Chickamauga.

                      Longstreet felt that Bragg's closing of the USA supply line at
                      Chattanooga was unimportanat to CSA goals.

                      Other than cloning himself and being everywhere, a commander depends
                      upon his subordinates to carry out orders. (period)

                      I'm not sure where military objectives were impacted by minutiae,
                      outrage and disdain. However, Bragg was frequently outraged while
                      waiting for the sounds of battle that he had ordered.

                      My criticism of Bragg is pretty much just that: too often he was
                      distant from the *planned* point of initial contact. It is best to be
                      be where the fuse is lit and stifle any early confusion. A good horse
                      moves faster than the tide of battle.

                      '...Lincoln, he put his enemies in his cabinet and turned them into
                      supportive comrades.' Lincoln pulled no punches that these men served
                      at his pleasure. He had both Seward's and Chase's resignations in his
                      desk in case he needed them.

                      Cheers,
                      HankC

                      --- In civilwarwest@y..., Aurelie1999@a... wrote:
                      > In a message dated 2/7/02 12:02:26 PM Central Standard Time,
                      > clarkc@m... writes:
                      >
                      > << By the
                      > time Grant moved out of the western theatre, he was given free rein
                      in
                      > personnel decisions. >>
                      >
                      > That is absolutely true, but the reason was that Grant had proven
                      himself as
                      > capable of leading armies during his time in the West, which gained
                      him the
                      > confidence of both Lincoln and Stanton as well as his subordinates.
                      >
                      > Bragg's effectiveness on the other hand disintegrated with time. He
                      never saw
                      > or took advantage of the opportunities in front of him, seeing
                      instead only
                      > obstacles which he responded to in negative ways. He allowed the
                      military
                      > objective to be distracted by minutia, outrage and disdain, which
                      impacted
                      > his entire command structure until it splintered with the slivers
                      slicing
                      > into the CSA as a whole.
                      >
                      > Is it Davis's fault? As far as I am concerned, no. Davis didn't
                      make it
                      > easy, he meddled and muddled the brew, but in many ways Bragg was
                      better off
                      > than many other commanders with distance providing a natural shield.
                      So what
                      > if his officers were inferior to the mighty warriors in the East.
                      It was his
                      > job to teach them, work with them and turn them from enemy to
                      friend. Look
                      > at Lincoln, he put his enemies in his cabinet and turned them into
                      supportive
                      > comrades.
                      >
                      > Heck when Vince Lombardi got to Green Bay, he had a crummy team, no
                      money and
                      > no respect and a board of directors who were defacto coaches. All
                      Lombardi
                      > took to his first training camp was grit and good sense.. Three
                      years later,
                      > he had a winning team. Didn't bring in new players either -
                      Hornung, McGee,
                      > Starr, Kramer, Taylor were all there at his first training camp.
                      All
                      > Lombardi did was ignore the board of directors and teach the players
                      he
                      > inherited how to play and play as a winning team.
                    • Aurelie1999@aol.com
                      Hank, I have no doubt you are correct, but I think we are looking at things from different angles. I was defining opportunity in a much different way from
                      Message 10 of 13 , Feb 8, 2002
                        Hank,

                        I have no doubt you are correct, but I think we are looking at things from
                        different angles. I was defining "opportunity" in a much different way from
                        moving men on a chessboard. To me opportunity was Bragg's inability to
                        recognize and use the talent he had so that when he ordered a movement, his
                        subordinates were ready to fight the Yanks rather than skewer Bragg. There
                        is more value in a commander who can work with and motivate people, than a
                        brilliant chessboard player. Implementation of an idea is a lot more
                        important than getting it.

                        As to Lincoln, the man was no fool. Seems to me the resignations were
                        excellent insurance. Abe was willing to prostrate himself to achieve an
                        objective. He didn't stir the anger pot except as a last resort. He was
                        perfectly willing to kneel in front of Little Mac to get the job done or
                        suffer through the pomposity of Chase and Seward in order to use their
                        talents. Rather than seeing Chase or Seward as deadly opponents, he saw them
                        as opportunities. He put them where he could see them, use their assets and
                        where their own pride prodded them to work in tandem with the Chief
                        Executive. He messed up on Cameron big time. Pretty smart work, sending the
                        crook to Russia, if you ask me.
                      • hank9174
                        I meant to say: His attempts to isolate and defeat Rosecran s left wing were pocket vetoed by Polk and Hardee . HankC ...
                        Message 11 of 13 , Feb 8, 2002
                          I meant to say:

                          'His attempts to isolate and defeat Rosecran's left wing <early in the
                          Tullahoma campaign> were pocket vetoed by Polk and Hardee' .


                          HankC



                          --- In civilwarwest@y..., "hank9174" <clarkc@m...> wrote:
                          >
                          > Boy, Connie, there's a lot to disagree with in one post ;)
                          >
                          > 'He never saw or took advantage of the opportunities' ! Actually, he
                          > placed his army in positions that did take advantage of
                          opportunities.
                          >
                          > There was a pretty good thread a couple months back detailing the
                          > heartland campaign.
                          >
                          > His attempts to isolate and defeat Rosecran's left wing were pocket
                          > vetoed by Polk and Hardee.
                          >
                          > The attempted wrecking Negley at McLemore's cove came to naught due
                          to
                          > Hindman.
                          >
                          > Polk refused to budge from his poistion on the right at Chickamauga.
                          >
                          > Longstreet felt that Bragg's closing of the USA supply line at
                          > Chattanooga was unimportanat to CSA goals.
                          >
                          > Other than cloning himself and being everywhere, a commander depends
                          > upon his subordinates to carry out orders. (period)
                          >
                          > I'm not sure where military objectives were impacted by minutiae,
                          > outrage and disdain. However, Bragg was frequently outraged while
                          > waiting for the sounds of battle that he had ordered.
                          >
                          > My criticism of Bragg is pretty much just that: too often he was
                          > distant from the *planned* point of initial contact. It is best to
                          be
                          > be where the fuse is lit and stifle any early confusion. A good
                          horse
                          > moves faster than the tide of battle.
                          >
                          > '...Lincoln, he put his enemies in his cabinet and turned them into
                          > supportive comrades.' Lincoln pulled no punches that these men
                          served
                          > at his pleasure. He had both Seward's and Chase's resignations in
                          his
                          > desk in case he needed them.
                          >
                          > Cheers,
                          > HankC
                          >
                          > --- In civilwarwest@y..., Aurelie1999@a... wrote:
                          > > In a message dated 2/7/02 12:02:26 PM Central Standard Time,
                          > > clarkc@m... writes:
                          > >
                          > > << By the
                          > > time Grant moved out of the western theatre, he was given free
                          rein
                          > in
                          > > personnel decisions. >>
                          > >
                          > > That is absolutely true, but the reason was that Grant had proven
                          > himself as
                          > > capable of leading armies during his time in the West, which
                          gained
                          > him the
                          > > confidence of both Lincoln and Stanton as well as his
                          subordinates.
                          > >
                          > > Bragg's effectiveness on the other hand disintegrated with time.
                          He
                          > never saw
                          > > or took advantage of the opportunities in front of him, seeing
                          > instead only
                          > > obstacles which he responded to in negative ways. He allowed the
                          > military
                          > > objective to be distracted by minutia, outrage and disdain, which
                          > impacted
                          > > his entire command structure until it splintered with the slivers
                          > slicing
                          > > into the CSA as a whole.
                          > >
                          > > Is it Davis's fault? As far as I am concerned, no. Davis didn't
                          > make it
                          > > easy, he meddled and muddled the brew, but in many ways Bragg was
                          > better off
                          > > than many other commanders with distance providing a natural
                          shield.
                          > So what
                          > > if his officers were inferior to the mighty warriors in the East.
                          > It was his
                          > > job to teach them, work with them and turn them from enemy to
                          > friend. Look
                          > > at Lincoln, he put his enemies in his cabinet and turned them into
                          > supportive
                          > > comrades.
                          > >
                          > > Heck when Vince Lombardi got to Green Bay, he had a crummy team,
                          no
                          > money and
                          > > no respect and a board of directors who were defacto coaches.
                          All
                          > Lombardi
                          > > took to his first training camp was grit and good sense.. Three
                          > years later,
                          > > he had a winning team. Didn't bring in new players either -
                          > Hornung, McGee,
                          > > Starr, Kramer, Taylor were all there at his first training camp.
                          > All
                          > > Lombardi did was ignore the board of directors and teach the
                          players
                          > he
                          > > inherited how to play and play as a winning team.
                        • dmsmith001
                          ... But Hank, you ve damned your subject with faint praise. McClellan put his army in place to win a battle at Antietam, but failed to do so. What I would
                          Message 12 of 13 , Feb 12, 2002
                            --- In civilwarwest@y..., "hank9174" <clarkc@m...> wrote:
                            >
                            > Boy, Connie, there's a lot to disagree with in one post ;)
                            >
                            > 'He never saw or took advantage of the opportunities' ! Actually,
                            > he placed his army in positions that did take advantage of
                            > opportunities.

                            But Hank, you've damned your subject with faint praise.

                            McClellan put his army in place to win a battle at Antietam, but
                            failed to do so.

                            What I would encourage you to do is look past the simple battle plans
                            as laid out by Bragg, and look towards how he worked to solve
                            repetitive problems once they cropped up.

                            For example, by McLemore's Cove, if Bragg were concerned that
                            Hindman, or DH Hill at Dug Gap, might not fullfil his orders, why did
                            he not move to Hindman to make sure his orders were carried out?

                            One of my favorite things to note about Bragg is the absolute lack of
                            physical evidence of his presence at any of the major battles. Who
                            ever heard of him visiting Polk, or Hardee, or Longstreet during a
                            battle?

                            If you're a supervisor, and you tell people to do certain things and
                            they have a history of not doing it, don't you make *sure* a future
                            order is carried out? Especially if you don't have permission to
                            fire those subordinates, unilaterally?

                            snips

                            > Other than cloning himself and being everywhere, a commander
                            > depends upon his subordinates to carry out orders. (period)

                            Activity helps. Personal involvement. Some interpersonal skills
                            help, too.
                            >
                            > I'm not sure where military objectives were impacted by minutiae,
                            > outrage and disdain. However, Bragg was frequently outraged while
                            > waiting for the sounds of battle that he had ordered.

                            And did what?
                            >
                            snips

                            Dave

                            Dave Smith
                            Villa Hills, KY
                          • hank9174
                            But Dave, you snipped out where I said what you, more or less, restated in your post: My criticism of Bragg is pretty much just that: too often he was distant
                            Message 13 of 13 , Feb 12, 2002
                              But Dave, you snipped out where I said what you, more or less,
                              restated in your post:

                              'My criticism of Bragg is pretty much just that: too often he was
                              distant from the *planned* point of initial contact. It is best to be
                              be where the fuse is lit and stifle any early confusion. A good horse
                              moves faster than the tide of battle.'

                              HankC


                              --- In civilwarwest@y..., "dmsmith001" <dmsmith001@y...> wrote:
                              > --- In civilwarwest@y..., "hank9174" <clarkc@m...> wrote:
                              > >
                              > > Boy, Connie, there's a lot to disagree with in one post ;)
                              > >
                              > > 'He never saw or took advantage of the opportunities' ! Actually,
                              > > he placed his army in positions that did take advantage of
                              > > opportunities.
                              >
                              > But Hank, you've damned your subject with faint praise.
                              >
                              > McClellan put his army in place to win a battle at Antietam, but
                              > failed to do so.
                              >
                              > What I would encourage you to do is look past the simple battle
                              plans
                              > as laid out by Bragg, and look towards how he worked to solve
                              > repetitive problems once they cropped up.
                              >
                              > For example, by McLemore's Cove, if Bragg were concerned that
                              > Hindman, or DH Hill at Dug Gap, might not fullfil his orders, why
                              did
                              > he not move to Hindman to make sure his orders were carried out?
                              >
                              > One of my favorite things to note about Bragg is the absolute lack
                              of
                              > physical evidence of his presence at any of the major battles. Who
                              > ever heard of him visiting Polk, or Hardee, or Longstreet during a
                              > battle?
                              >
                              > If you're a supervisor, and you tell people to do certain things and
                              > they have a history of not doing it, don't you make *sure* a future
                              > order is carried out? Especially if you don't have permission to
                              > fire those subordinates, unilaterally?
                              >
                              > snips
                              >
                              > > Other than cloning himself and being everywhere, a commander
                              > > depends upon his subordinates to carry out orders. (period)
                              >
                              > Activity helps. Personal involvement. Some interpersonal skills
                              > help, too.
                              > >
                              > > I'm not sure where military objectives were impacted by minutiae,
                              > > outrage and disdain. However, Bragg was frequently outraged while
                              > > waiting for the sounds of battle that he had ordered.
                              >
                              > And did what?
                              > >
                              > snips
                              >
                              > Dave
                              >
                              > Dave Smith
                              > Villa Hills, KY
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