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The current time is: 11/18/2017 11:46:46 PM
 Civil War - General    
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anemone
DONCASTER S. YORKS, UK
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Foreign Battlefield Observers at the ACW
Posted on: 3/17/2017 11:09:14 AM
I have often wondered just how many or few battlefield observers- from say Europe- were there in attendance during the ACW.I ask because so little- seemingly- was learned by those nations who would be locked in the Great War of 1914-18.

The British in the Boer war of 1899-1902-were forever charging UP hills to fight Boer marksmen at the top- who shot them to pieces.

The french started their war in th Battle of the Frontiers during which hundreds of thousands of soldiers were lost in reckless frontal assaults dressed in their blue overcoats and red kepis armed with rifle and bayonet.

Similarly frontal assaults were the "modus operandi" from 1914 certainly to 1917-these were tactics of major battles of the ACW; and seemingly Europeans knew nothing and did nothing about changing this tactic.

Coming back to my question -do any of you ACW enthusiasts know how many foreign observerss there were-I would be most pleased and gratified to know.

Regards

Jim
---------------
Pro Patria Saepe Pro Rege Semper

Michigan Dave
Muskegon, Michigan, MI, USA
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E-9 Cmd Sgt Major


Posts: 2860

Re: Foreign War Observers at the ACW
Posted on: 3/17/2017 11:20:59 AM
Hi Jim, Probably the most famous is Col. Arthur Freemantle, from England, who kept a log on his visit to the Confederacy, most noted his stay with Lee and the ANV at Gettysburg!

[Read More]

Regards,
MD
---------------
"The brave men, living and dead, who struggled here, have consecrated it, far above our poor power to add or detract."

anemone
DONCASTER S. YORKS, UK
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E-9 Cmd Sgt Major


Posts: 6039
http:// 82.44.47.99
Re: Foreign War Observers at the ACW
Posted on: 3/17/2017 11:28:37 AM
Thank you Dave-a good start


Quote:
Fremantle wrote a book on his experiences in America, Three Months in the Southern States, based on the diary which he kept throughout his sojourn in the South. Published in 1864, the book was well-received both in Great Britain and in the Union, and it was even printed in Mobile by S.H. Goetzel & Co., being eagerly read even by the beleaguered Southerners, who wanted to see how their struggle was being reported by a foreign visitor.


Pity about the book's outcome and Fremantle dying in 1901

Regards

Jim
---------------
Pro Patria Saepe Pro Rege Semper

scoucer
Berlin, Germany
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E-9 Cmd Sgt Major
Posts: 1941

Re: Foreign War Observers at the ACW
Posted on: 3/17/2017 2:01:17 PM
The most well known Prussian officier was Major Justus Scheibert, an engineer officier, who wrote "Sieben monate in den rebellen-staaten während des nordamerikanischen krieges 1863" - " Seven Months in the Rebel States during the Civil War in 1863". As an observer he witnessed with the Confederate Cavalry the battles of Chancellorsville, Brandy Station and Gettysburg. He would thereafter take part in the War against Denmark (1864), the Franco-Prussian War (1870-71) and would be sent as an observer to the Boxer Wars in China and the Boer War.He was a much liked Lecturer at the Prussian War Academy.

In fact, it was he who referred to the American Civil War armies as "armed mobs" and not Moltke.

Trevor
---------------
`Hey don´t the wars come easy and don´t the peace come hard`- Buffy Sainte-Marie

Some swim with the stream. Some swim against the stream. Me - I´m stuck somewhere in the woods and can´t even find the stupid stream.

anemone
DONCASTER S. YORKS, UK
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E-9 Cmd Sgt Major


Posts: 6039
http:// 82.44.47.99
Re: Foreign War Observers at the ACW
Posted on: 3/17/2017 2:23:59 PM
Most obliged Trevor for you vignette on Schelbert-he was in some action hmself-as well as writing a book-which I assume would be a diary of events-What I am looking for is whether the battlefield errors/misjudgements of the ACW- taught any nation- anything about what to do and the reverse-perhaps the ACW did not attract hoardes of observers and guests.

Regards

Jim
---------------
Pro Patria Saepe Pro Rege Semper

James W.
Ballina, Australia
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Posts: 674

Re: Foreign War Observers at the ACW
Posted on: 3/18/2017 2:29:42 AM
Jim, the haughty Europeans even ignored much more recent experience of modern weaponry such as QF artillery, & machine guns, as used in their colonial wars...

Why Kitchener et al imagined that 'rosy-cheeked Tommies' could wade through barbed wire, & then face down Maxim's best - any more effectively than paradise-bent Dervishes at Omdurman..
.. is just mental..

Phil andrade
London, UK
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E-9 Cmd Sgt Major
Moderator
Posts: 2535

Re: Foreign War Observers at the ACW
Posted on: 3/18/2017 3:02:51 AM
This is an interesting topic, Jim.

Good of you to raise it.

There has been some revisionism of late ; it's been stated by Guelzo, a prominent American military historian, that frontal attacks in the ACW often failed because they were not pressed home with the same professional resolve that characterised the more formal European armies of the day.

Remember that at Solferino, a huge frontal assault by the French broke the Austrian centre : this despite the rifled firepower that was deployed against it....this was just a couple of years before the Civil War.

There were British soldiers who were profoundly influenced by the ACW, and cited it constantly when they lectured at Sandhurst.

Look no further than Henderson's biography of Sonewall Jackson.

It's also important to rear in mind that - in the biggest conflict of all in the years immediately prior to the First World War - the Japanese attained victory through the very deployment of profligate frontal attacks against the Russians .

I must not divert this thread away from the questions you ask in your OP, so I will cite some more relevant stuff later : but, in the meantime, I wanted to raise these comments about the popular perceptions and how they might be reconsidered,

Regards , Phil

---------------
"Egad, sir, I do not know whether you will die on the gallows or of the pox!"

"That will depend, my Lord, on whether I embrace your principles or your mistress."

Earl of Sandwich and John Wilkes

anemone
DONCASTER S. YORKS, UK
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E-9 Cmd Sgt Major


Posts: 6039
http:// 82.44.47.99
Re: Foreign War Observers at the ACW
Posted on: 3/18/2017 5:09:20 AM
My thanks James and Phil-the ACW had so much to learn from; but maybe it was too far away and there may have been some residual antipathy amongst the Brits-what can a bunch of rebels tell us what we already know and thus we remained ignorant of what to do and what not to do.There were some individual flashes of brilliance eg The Defence of Rourke's Drift and the Ulundi Ring.the Atbara and khartoum.Paardeburg and Diamond Hill but they were few and far between; and surrounded by abject failures.

Regards

Jim
---------------
Pro Patria Saepe Pro Rege Semper

Phil andrade
London, UK
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E-9 Cmd Sgt Major
Moderator
Posts: 2535

Re: Foreign War Observers at the ACW
Posted on: 3/18/2017 6:03:21 AM
To the fore of my mind comes Prince Philippe , Compte de Paris, who served on McClellan's staff and wrote a lot about the war.

From London's The Times was sent William Russel , woth a coterie of journalists, to provide a British perspective .

Much more to write, but am called to shopping.

Back later.

Regards , Phil
---------------
"Egad, sir, I do not know whether you will die on the gallows or of the pox!"

"That will depend, my Lord, on whether I embrace your principles or your mistress."

Earl of Sandwich and John Wilkes

anemone
DONCASTER S. YORKS, UK
top 5
E-9 Cmd Sgt Major


Posts: 6039
http:// 82.44.47.99
Re: Foreign War Observers at the ACW
Posted on: 3/18/2017 6:16:47 AM

Quote:
In 1861, The Times sent Russell to cover the American Civil War. He was paid the amazing sum of £1,200 a year and expenses. He opposed slavery and supported the Union Army. However,;b] his criticism of their tactics at Bull Run caused him to be forbidden to accompany the army. He returned to England in April 1862.


His sojourn in America was short lived-most unfortunate

Eegards

Jim
---------------
Pro Patria Saepe Pro Rege Semper

James W.
Ballina, Australia
top 15
E-8 Master Sergeant


Posts: 674

Re: Foreign War Observers at the ACW
Posted on: 3/18/2017 6:24:30 AM

Quote:

Quote:
In 1861, The Times sent Russell to cover the American Civil War. He was paid the amazing sum of £1,200 a year and expenses. He opposed slavery and supported the Union Army. However,;b] his criticism of their tactics at Bull Run caused him to be forbidden to accompany the army. He returned to England in April 1862.


His sojourn in America was short lived-most unfortunate

Eegards

Jim
--anemone


Could've been much worse, if he'd been 'embedded' - with the front line 'bluebellies', at Bull Run...

anemone
DONCASTER S. YORKS, UK
top 5
E-9 Cmd Sgt Major


Posts: 6039
http:// 82.44.47.99
Re: Foreign War Observers at the ACW
Posted on: 3/18/2017 6:40:20 AM
Russel was no tyro-he had been in the Crimea 1954/56 and the Indian Mutiny 1957/58 previously; and knew where to place himself during a battle.

Regards

Jim
---------------
Pro Patria Saepe Pro Rege Semper

James W.
Ballina, Australia
top 15
E-8 Master Sergeant


Posts: 674

Re: Foreign War Observers at the ACW
Posted on: 3/18/2017 6:45:55 AM
I guess it was his call, back then, unlike these days...

Phil andrade
London, UK
top 5
E-9 Cmd Sgt Major
Moderator
Posts: 2535

Re: Foreign War Observers at the ACW
Posted on: 3/18/2017 7:05:36 AM
There's some superb stuff on my shelves about this : all the more pertinent because it's written by British professional soldiers in the late nineteenth and earlier twentieth centuries .

When time permits - difficult today - I'll post some more.

Regards , Phil
---------------
"Egad, sir, I do not know whether you will die on the gallows or of the pox!"

"That will depend, my Lord, on whether I embrace your principles or your mistress."

Earl of Sandwich and John Wilkes

anemone
DONCASTER S. YORKS, UK
top 5
E-9 Cmd Sgt Major


Posts: 6039
http:// 82.44.47.99
Re: Foreign War Observers at the ACW
Posted on: 3/18/2017 7:11:02 AM
The influence of Napoleon on the ACW


Quote:
The Civil war has been called the first modern war, it began with the suicidal linear tactics of European warfare and ended with the nightmarish trench warfare, soon to be spread to Europe. Though many, if not all , Napoleonic maxims seemingly make common sense today- they were on the cutting edge of military thinking in Antebellum and Civil War times and many of them have become a part of our modern military culture.
Napoleon at War

I am not all sure as to the validity of this statement and I would invite comment please.

Regards

Jim
---------------
Pro Patria Saepe Pro Rege Semper

BWilson

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E-9 Cmd Sgt Major


Posts: 3443

Re: Foreign War Observers at the ACW
Posted on: 3/18/2017 9:43:08 AM
 The "principles of war" as taught by the U.S. military are a list thoroughly impacted by Napoleon's thought, and the staff system still used today is derived from that used by Napoleon. He was a very modern man for his time, and many of his military insights have stood the test of time.

Cheers

BW
---------------
With occasional, fatigued glances at life's rear-view mirror from the other side of time.

anemone
DONCASTER S. YORKS, UK
top 5
E-9 Cmd Sgt Major


Posts: 6039
http:// 82.44.47.99
Re: Foreign War Observers at the ACW
Posted on: 3/18/2017 10:02:19 AM
Thank you very much Bill-not many people would know that.I confess that when i came across the statement; and not being someone with a military background I was left wondering as to it's validity.I find it most intriguing that a man from 200 years ago- could possibly have his "principles of ear" embedded in US military doctrine even today.

Regards


Jim
---------------
Pro Patria Saepe Pro Rege Semper

BWilson

top 5
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Posts: 3443

Re: Foreign War Observers at the ACW
Posted on: 3/18/2017 10:29:48 AM
 In the main, I think it is because his ideas were general in nature -- concepts like massing at the point of decision and using economy of force elsewhere. I also seem to recall that he was among the first to codify the "principles" into a list. Other thinkers prior to him had hit on the same points, but had not quite as concisely presented them.

Cheers

BW
---------------
With occasional, fatigued glances at life's rear-view mirror from the other side of time.

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