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 Civil War Commanders and Units    
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1stvermont
Vermont, VT, USA
top 50
E-4 Specialist


Posts: 67

A Critical Look at General Grant
Posted on: 10/3/2017 6:34:52 AM
A Critical Look at Ulysses S Grant

“The literature is frequantley slanted in favor of Grant...Grant's setbacks and errors in judgment are minimized or trivialized in the literature”
-Thomas J Rowland George B McClellan and civil war history Kent state university press


Grant is normally regarded as the best union commander, and many times as the best civil war commander. His negatives are often overlooked and I believe he often achieves success not because of his leadership, but at times in spite of his leadership. There were times when Grant was simply in the right place and the right time. His men saved the day for him. Other times his material advantages carried the day.

Benefits of the Union

Part of Grant's success was simply he fought for the north and had the manpower, equipment, supply, naval, and material advantages. Grant was able to bring a more numerous, better supplied force often with a technological advantage to the field. Grant was also one of few generals that performed better in attack rather than on the defensive. Part of why Grant had success is because he fought for the union army on the offensive. Grant was a sub par defender, but an able attacker. Had he been a southern general fighting often on the defensive and outnumbered, I think his performance would have taken a large hit.

Belmont

The only time during the war Grant fought in a battle outnumbered was at Belmont MO. His force was outnumbered 3,114 to 5,000. Confederates reinforced went to cut off Grant's force, the battle ended with the retreat of Grant.
with 600 causalities on each side during the battle.

Ft Donaldson

Grant captured Fort Donaldson and he earned the nickname “Unconditional surrender Grant.” This was a great northern victory and a morale boast. However Grants great victory had little to do with his performance and was won in spite of his performance. The whole campaign was designed by Hallack [who would later be promoted in part for it] and Grant benefited from perhaps the worst southern handling of a situation during the war. First the southern generals Floyd and Pillow should not have retreated to the fort knowing a superior force could surround them with little food to supply the men. Than when they realized there mistake they decided to breakout against a superior force in the winter. Had they waited it out Grants army was low on supply and would soon need to retreat maybe before a surrender. However the breakout caught Grant completely by surprise and won the day. Despite an army of around 16,000 attacking in the winter the army under Grant of 25,000, the south was winning the field. The attack pushed the union men back and created enough room for an easy breakout for the entire force. Than, at the height of success, the confederate high command called off the attack and decided not to attempt a breakout. The men on the field were confused and angered as they had dominated the field, why than call off the attack?

“Thus the confederates literally snatched defeat from the jaws of victory”
- David G Martin The Shiloh Campaign


Had the south continued the attack a great victory would have been had by the south. Or had they simply took advantage of the ground and left the fort for Grant, they would have avoided the surrender. Even still the next day the confederates assumed they would be on the offensive once more.

“The federals were beaten so badly by pillow, Johnson, and Forrest's attacks that there is no doubt, they had no expectation of a surrender ensuing from there day's work. So beaten, in fact, were they [union], that as general Lew Wallace says, he was informed by Grant's chief of staff “a new plan of operations” had been arranged”
-- General Thomas Jordan  J.p. Pryor The Campaigns of General Nathan Bedford Forrest and of Forrest's Cavalry Da Capo Press 1868


Confederate General Nathan Bedford Forrest was disgusted with the high command and asked permission to escape. He left with his command and sent word the whole garrison still could also escape, but the time had passed and the union closed the lines. The confederate high command decided to surrender and hundreds and even entire brigades simply walked off through rough terrain rather than surrender. Of the 13,000 that did surrender to Grant, 7,000 later escaped from Grant after there capture. The entire south saw it as a disgrace and said the soldiers had wanted to fight but the commanders forced them to surrender. The press said the terrible handling of the troops was

“without parallel in the history of the world”
-Atlanta Southern Confederacy march 18 1862


In fact the whole situation should have been avoided in the first place. The defeat should have been

“Easily averted and the Federal forces overwhelmed by resources which the confederates had within easy reach by rail....a glance at the map will show any reader that the confederates had the interior lines. At Columbus KY there were 15,000 infantry, and at Bowling Green...as it was Grant, landing with a petty force of 15,000 in the very center of a force of nearly 45,000 having interior lines for concentration and communication”
-- General Thomas Jordan  J.p. Pryor The Campaigns of General Nathan Bedford Forrest and of Forrest's Cavalry Da Capo Press 1868



Sometimes Grant is also given credit for the capture of Ft Henry, however that was captured by the navy under Admiral Fotte.

Shiloh

“Of the 4 commanding generals, one died, the other three, grant included, should have been court martialed...Grant was the most negligent”
- Otto Eisenschiml author the story of Shiloh


"Grant and Prentiss ought to be court martialed or shot"
Lieutenant governor of Ohio quoted in The Shiloh campaign David Martin


Confederate General Albert Johnston's army of 44,000 sought to surprise and attack Grant's army of 47,000 before he could link up with Buell. Even before the battle started Grant erred in were to place the camp, his placement of divisions within the camp [green troops and veteran should have switched], his disregard of orders from his superior general Halleck to dig in, his neglect to do any scouting of the area, and his decision to camp miles away from his army. General Lew Wallace sent reports of large enemy troops directly to Grant and Grant dismissed them. Since Grant did nothing to entrench and did not set up any kind of defensive line his army was not organized in a defensive position. At one point Grant left his army and could not be contacted by his superior Halleck for 9 days. He ignored reports of large enemy units in the area and of confederate prisoners testimony.

This allowed the confederate army to surprise Grants army while Grant was not even on the field. This caused confusion in the union lines and delayed actions leading to the early rout of his army. Grant also delayed in sending orders to Lew Wallces division on day 1 effectively tacking him out of the battle for day 1.


Shiloh Day 1

Day 1 ASJ had taken Grant by complete surprise and the union lies were broken time and again. the south was able to push the union miles back to a single last hill and line of defense before the Tennessee river. They captured the union camps and dozens of cannons along with over 2,000 troops in the “hornets nest.” It was near the most lopsided complete victory of the war. The entire union army under Grant was literally one hill, one last line of defense away from complete destruction. Multiple factors saved this near disaster. The undisciplined confederates stopped to loot union camps/food during the day one attack. This slowed down the overall advance of the confederates. ASJ died right when the union center was smashed. A temporary slow happened as a result of the change in command and leadership from ASJ to Beauregard, it was very costly at this time to southern victory. Beauregard also changed the focus of attack from ASJ plan of pushing the union flank into the river and blocking all possible retreat, to attacking the hornets nest. This was successful but gave the routed union army time to assemble a last line of defense. After the surrender of the union in the hornets nest, many csa soldiers thought the battle was over and returned to union camps to plunder reducing units available to finish off the union army. Thus the south again “snatched defeat from the jaws of victory”


Shiloh Day 2

[Buell] “Saved Grant from total disaster.”
- David G Martin The Shiloh Campaign



There is no question that Buell's arrival saved Grant on day 2 at Shiloh. Buell arrived with his 18,000 men and
initiated his own attack on day 2. Buell did not communicate with Grant, as he was disgusted with Grants performance and refused to communicate with him. His attack down the middle [later joined by Grants forces on the flanks] was a great success against the confederates. In the end the union won not because of Grant, but despite of him. Confederate losses were 10,699 and union losses 13,000. After Shiloh Grants army was demoralized and Grant was relived of command. General Hallack took command of Grants army after shiloh and Grant almost resigned. His own soldiers and northern newspapers blamed Grant for the defeat on day 1, many called for him to be court-martialed.

Corinth

Grant was than fooled along with Halleck by Beauregard at Corinth. Beauregard was vastly outnumbered but set up dummy positions to fake the federals out [like McClellan on the peninsula] and had his men cheer when trains came in to carry them off. The union command thought they were being reinforced, this allowed Beauregard to withdraw without harm.

First Attempt on Vicksburg

‘”Grant remains stuck in the mud of northern Mississippi, his army no use to him, or anybody else.”
-New York Times
 

After Halleck was promoted Grant was than given the task to capture Vicksburg. His first attempt failed miserably, Grant was “Humiliated and disgusted.” Grant attempted an overland capture of Vicksburg but he could not protect his supply lines against Nathan Bedford Forrest and Van Dorm who both cut his supply line and destroyed his supply base at Holy Springs forcing Grants inglorious retreat. Even Grants wife Julia was almost captured. Grant had also sent Sherman on a river transport attack on fortified Vicksburg that ended in the disaster of Chicksaw Bayou where the federals lost ten times the number of causalities as the confederates.

“It is questionable whether the Grant who was badly surprised and unprepared at Shiloh and who failed several times over the course of nearly a year to conquer Vicksburg, would have lived up to the expectations in the east”
-Thomas J Rowland George b McClellan and civil war history Kent state university press


Grant as a Defensive General

Grant was far from a top defensive general. Belmont the only battle he was ever outnumbered in, he gave up the field and retreated from Polk. Ft Donaldson he was surprised and was not even on the field when the attack came. He was attacked by an inferior force yet his command was pushed back and were losing the day. It was only poor generalship that saved him from an embarrassing defeat. Than he was again taken by surprise and was not even on the field when attacked at Shiloh. His larger force again lost the day and was eventually saved by Buell. Grant showed when faced with a force that could attack, even with sub par generals, he showed great weakness. He would later show himself vulnerable to small scale attacks and counter attacks by Lee's inferior force in Virginia.


The Capture of Vicksburg


Grant capture of Vicksburg was one of the great campaigns of the entire civil war, and he fully deserves the credit. Operations like these are why Grant was one of the best generals of the war and its hard to be critical of it. However Grant faced sub par commanders and had a manpower/equipment advantage. He ordered two fruitless assaults with heavy loses before besieging Vicksburg that was captured not by military genius, but the south's lack of food.

Chattanooga

“Grant’s virtues were not that of a great general so much as a resolute and fearless “manager” of war.”
-Alan Farmer head of history at St Martin’s College, Lancaster


Again its near impossible to apply criticism to his victory at Chattanooga. Grants attacking army of 56,359 defeated Bragg's army of 44,010. However it was more his managing skills than his military brilliance. It was William Smith and George Thomas that planned the breakout of Chattanooga, opening up the supply line, and advanced across the river that Grant accepted. The confederate high command Grant faced of the army of Tennessee was in shambles and infighting, and morale was low. The combination of Bragg, Polk, and Hardee was not a formidable command. Grant literally fought the worst led army that the confederacy could muster in the war.

Grants plan of having Sherman flank the confederates and roll up the army failed. So he was forced to send Thomas on the impossible attack on the entrenched confederate center on missionary hill. Thomas pulled out a miracle, meant to only be a holding force he broke the confederate center and won the day with maybe the grandest charge of the war. Grant would also admit that the victory had as much to do with confederate blunders as anything he did. Grant deserves credit, but so does Thomas and the poor confederate high command for the union victory.

“Confederate western command less skilled than their eastern counterparts, they also made egregious tactical decisions that enabled Grant and Sherman to overpower them”
-Thomas J Rowland George B McClellan and civil war history



Grant moves East Against the Mighty Army of Northern Virginia?

“If Grant had commanded during the first years of the war, we would have gained our independence”
-John Mosby Virginian cavalrymen the “gray Ghost” of the confederacy


“Grant was facing an army totally incapable of resuming the offensive. Grant enjoyed a manpower advantage over Lee that would have made McClellan envious...Grant..was fighting an proponent badly depleted in force and morale and incapable of launching a significant counter offensive”
-Thomas j Rowland George B McClellan and Civil war History


After his victories at Vicksburg and Chattanooga Grant was moved east to face Lee and the army of northern Virginia, the premier army of the confederacy. However Lee's army was no longer the aggressive, fearless, dominate army of old, recent battles had taken there toll. At Chancellorsville the confederates lost 22-23% causalities [higher than the union] and Lee's best subordinate in Stonewall Jackson. Jackson at this point was the most famous general of the war. Lee could not longer divide his army as he did at Chancellorsville and second mananas.

“Lee trusted Jackson alone of his generals to make his own decisions”
-S.C Gwynne Rebel Yell The Violence, Passion and Redemption of Stonewall Jackson Simon and Schuster 2014


His death caused southern national morale to drop as well as the soldiers. After his death

“Who speaks of victory. The word is scarcely herd”
-Maggie Preston after the news of Jacksons death

“Nearly all regard his death as the beginning of the end”
-Jed Hotchkiss

“Men who had fought without flinching up this time became timid and fearful of success”
-13th Virginia solider quoted in rebel yell


So not only was Lee down his best corps commander, but he know was forced to reorganize his army into 3 corps. In the book The Chancellorsville campaign by David martin you will notice in his chapter on army organization how well the confederate army at Chancellorsville was organized. It is streamlined command with talented veterans at every position. Jackson and Longstreet complimented each other and the whole army was collected into just 2 corps controlled by Jackson and Longstreet. After the Loss of Jackson there was no other commander who could control such a force effectively. Lee was forced to reorganize his entire army.

”I know not how to replace him, gods will be done”
-Robert E Lee


The effects of this on the performance of the army is often under noticed. Lee had to create 2 new corps under Richard Ewell and A.P Hill, neither performed close to as well as Jackson. This depleted the talent of the army a great deal. New division commanders were needed to replace Hill and Ewell, new commanders also to fill in the newly created divisions, than new brigade commanders all the way down the line. At Gettysburg Lee would lose even more men, just over 28,000 causalities and 1/3 of his commanders. With the new 3 corps and the high % of losses at Gettysburg to commanders, Lee's army was heavily watered down in talent and untested commanders at new higher levels. Many would say between Gettysburg and Vicksburg the confederacy lost its offensive power. Confederate manpower peaked in 63, by the middle of 64 causalities and desertion had greatly reduced the number of soldiers in the CSA army. The draft increasing brought young boys and old men to fight for the confederacy. As Grant said in 64 the confederacy had “robbed the cradle and the grave” to fill its ranks. And as Gary Gallagher said, this was a new army and it fought different than the old army of northern Virginia.

“By the time Grant arrived east, the time was ripe for success...it helped enormously that the foe he faced was but a mere shadow of its former self”
-Thomas J Rowland George B McClellan and civil war history Kent state university press


When Grant came east he was able to continuity put pressure on Lee without fear of a major counter attack. Had Jackson been their and had Lee the manpower, its likely it could have changed the campaign. Jackson's best qualities were being unpredictable, to hit the enemy where they where weak, best flank attacker in the war, and surprise attacks. These were all of Grants weaknesses as he showed at Fort Donaldson and Shiloh.

Further as Gary Gallagher argues Lee's high command was in shambles by the time the overland campaign began. Of Lee's 4 most important generals Longstreet, Stuart, A.P Hill and Ewell, Longstreet was injured at Grants and Lee's first battle the Wilderness, and out for the next 10 months, to some back late in the siege of Petersburg. Stuart was killed in action in early May around a week after the wilderness. Hill was often sick and out of duty, and Ewell was injured on May 12th and did not return to command with the army.

“Longstreet is wounded and for 8 months...Stuart is killed in May...Grant still had lots of people he can count on, and lee has almost none. And that really contributes more to the end of the war than anything else”
-Jeff Shaara Author


Even Lee himself was fighting failing health issues and old age that would come into play at North Anna. After the defeat at Gettysburg Lee offered his resignation saying to Jefferson Davis in letter his health was not what it should be for the commander of the Army of Northern Virginia, and he asked Davis to replace him with a “younger and abler man.” Than later in 63 during the Mine Run campaign. Lee was unable to finish off a isolated union force and said “ I am to old to command this army. We should not have permitted those people to get away.”

The Army of Northern Virginia was also fighting severe supply shortages. Lee told Richmond he did not think he could keep the army together due to lack of supply. One solider said they did not get a “We never got a square meal that winter.” This was not the army of northern Virginia of fame, it was a beaten down army that Grant faced.


Grant's First Encounter with Lee- The Wilderness

``The Wilderness was a useless battle, fought with great loss and no result,''
-Carl Roebling


The Wilderness campaign started with Grant's army of just over 100,000 men attempting to slip past Lee's flank through the wilderness before Lee could react. His goal was to get on Lee's flank, or between Lee and Richmond forcing Lee to attack Grant in open ground or be forced to fall back to Richmond. Or, even possibly connecting with Butler and than move on to Richmond. However Lee had anticipated the move and was able to maneuver his force of around 60,000 men faster than Grant had assumed, forcing Grant to do battle in the wilderness where his numbers would be of less importance. On May 5th Grant ordered his men to attack unknown numbers of confederates unsupported in the wilderness, they were flanked and took high losses and were unable to remove the confederates from the ground.

“Grant had thrown his forces in piecemeal up against Lee's two corps only to suffer repulse after repulse”
-John Cannan The Wilderness Campaign Combined Books PA


The next day the battle raged back and fourth with heavy losses. Longstreet came on the scene and led a counter attack that saved A.P Hill corps and crushed the union assault and pushed them back in panic while capturing hundreds of prisoners. Longstreet had used a hidden rail line to flank the union forces. He was preparing for yet another flank attack hidden from union eyes further up the rail line that would have shattered the union flank.

“I have felt despair for the cause for some months but am relived, and feel assured that we will put the enemy across the rapidan before knight”
-Micah Jenkins Commander with Longstreet preparing the flank maneuver


But Longstreet was shot and wounded by his own men. Instead of Longstreet's flanking maneuver, Lee did not trust Longstreet inexperience replacement Anderson to accomplish the flanking maneuver. So Lee instead ordered a frontal assault on fortified union lines supported by artillery that failed. Many confederates believed had Longstreet not been injured, Lee's army “would have swept the army of the Potomac back across the rapidan.” However on the other flank Ewell corps led a flanking attack on Grant's line that curled up his defenses and met with success, but ended at nighttime.

“Smashed Grants right, captured 2 generals and 600 prisoners and nearly cut grants supply line...Grants first move had been a disaster. The wilderness had cost 17,000 men ”
- Ken Burns The Civil war PBS Documentary


In the end Grant suffered around 18,000 causalities as a result while Lee suffer around 11,000 with some estimates as low as 8,000. Grants flanking maneuver had failed.

“The army of the Potomac had encountered near disaster on may 6th, suffered thousands of causalities while achieving no perceived gain. Indeed the federal campaign in the wilderness had all but utterly failed. Grant had been unable to flank his adversary, his attacks in the woodland had all been severely repulsed, and both his flanks narrowly escaped collapse...Grant had feared no better than McClellan, Burnside or hooker...Grant had been defeated at the wilderness, a fight he mismanaged tactically with assistance from Meade”
--John Cannan The Wilderness Campaign Combined Books PA


Spotsylvania

“Again and again Lee anticipated Grant”
-PBS Civil war Ken Burns Documentary


The battle of Spotsylvania came close on the heels of the wilderness. Grant's replenished army of around 100,000 men moved south in an attempt to flank Lee's army know of 52,000. However Lee anticipated Grants move and his Calvary were quick to react and got there first. Lee was able to force Grant to attack him on fortified entrenched, high ground, over the campaign. On May the 10th Grant

“Launched unwise assaults up and down the confederate line on may 10th which had stood no chance of success”
-John Cannan The Spotsylvania Campaign Combined Books PA

“Like sheep to the slaughter”
-J.D Bloodgood 144th Pennsylvanian


His piecemeal attacks were repulsed and Grant overconfidence that Lee's army was about to break at any moment, cost many union lives. Later Grant would have success with Upton's attack and netted 1,000-1,200 prisoners. Lee, due to bad intelligence removed artillery from the muleshoe area allowing for a major union attack the next day. Grant sent 20,000 men and was able to break the fortified lines again capturing thousands of troops [ in part because confederate gunpowder was wet and the guns would not fire] . This victory was however counterattacked by confederates who regained most the lost ground and rifle pits. New lines were drawn and Grant than attempted a wide flanking maneuver that resembled Burnside's mud march and exhausted and demoralized his men. A weak attack was made the next morning and repulsed by the exhausted federals. In all, the battle had repulsed Grants attacks and the north had suffered 18,000 casualties to 12,000 for the south.

“Their [federal] leadership was certainly competent, but in no way compare to that which they faced [Lee]...Grants continual folly in believing the confederates were one step away from disaster”
-John Cannan The Spotsylvania Campaign Combined Books PA


Cold Harbor/Grants Fredricksburg

“Again Lee got there first”
-PBS Civil war Ken Burns Documentary


Grants maneuver to attempt to get around Lee was blocked by the confederates at Cold Harbor. Grant decided to delay assaults on Lee's army a day for his men to rest. This allowed Lee to entrench and proved costly for the federal soldiers the next day. Grant ordered the attacks against entrenched confederates on the high ground over terrible attacking terrain. The attacks were repulsed with heavier losses than the south received during Pickett's charge. The federals lost 7,000 men in a half hour. Overall northern losses were 12,700 and Southern losses were 4,500 similar to Fredricksburg.

"I have always regretted that the last assault at Cold Harbor was ever made... No advantage whatever was gained to compensate for the heavy loss we sustained."
-U. S. Grant


Grant Earns the Nickname “The Butcher”

“Grant is a butcher and not fit to be at the head of an army. He loses two men to the enemies one. I could fight an army as well myself”
-Mary Todd Lincoln

“The felling here in the army is that we have been absolutely butchered, that our lives have been periled to no purpose and wasted”
-Union Colonel Stephen minot Weld, petersbrug June 1864


In the time span of just 1 month, Grant had lost 50-60,000 men, half the losses of the army of the Potomac in the first 3 years of fighting. He was out commanded and beaten to the spot by Lee's smaller army time and again. He was unable to destroy Lee, or capture Richmond, as was hoped by the public from the victorious western general. His belief that Lee was always near defeat and his underestimation of Lee as a commander, proved costly on federal losses and morale.

“The army of the Potomac was never enthused much over Grant....the men of the union army firmly believed from the first, just what the next 60 days proved. That Grant didn't have the least idea what he was up against”
-Pennsylvanian solider Harold George


Grants war in Virginia had so far failed.

“Had proved an almost unmitigated disaster. He [Grant] had failed to permanently interrupted traffic over the Virginia Central Railroad. He had failed to destroy Lee's army or drive it into Richmond fortifications. McClellan had had gotten that far in 1862 with less than 10% of the 63,000 causalities that Grant and Butler had suffered”
- John Horn The Petersburg Campaign


Furthermore his causalities were having a negative political effect with more northerners turning against the war as being to costly.

North Anna Grant is Trapped

"game of war seldom presents a more effectual checkmate than was here given by Lee." 
-Northern newspaper


"Grant had wanted to bait Lee out of his works by using Hancock's corps as the bait, to than fight Lee in the open. Yet Lee turned the tables on Grant. Lee was able to deceive Grant, trap and split Grants army into three, around the north Anna River. This was without question Lee's best opportunity to destroy a large section of Grants army. Grant had thought Lee was pulling back south towards Richmond but in actuality Grant was “Unaware that he was marching into Lee's trap.” This was a sure major confederate victory. “Lee's moment had come. His plan to split the Union army had worked, isolating Hancock east of the Confederate position, Burnside north of the river at Ox Ford, and Warren and Wright several miles to the west, near Jericho Mill. Hill, holding the Confederate formation's western leg, could fend off Warren and Wright while Anderson and Ewell, on the eastern leg, attacked Hancock with superior numbers. "[Lee] now had one of those opportunities that occur but rarely in war"
-Gordon Rhea North Anna Campaign

However two incidents prevented this campaign changing victory for the south. First Lee became sick with dysentery and was confined to his tent, his failing health caught up with him at the most vital moment. The second was Lee's decimated high command no longer contained men like Jackson or Longstreet to carry out the complex attack.. Anderson was new to his post, Ewell had proven unreliable. His last corps commander A.P Hill who Lee had just scolded soon before saying "Why didn't you throw your whole force on them and drive them back as Jackson would have done?" had exercised poor judgment at Jericho Mill and inconstant performances. “Physically unable to command and lacking a capable subordinate to direct the army in his place, Lee saw no choice but to forfeit his hard-won opportunity.” Grant was saved.

Petersburg's missed Chance

Grant was able to cross the James before Lee properly reacted and thought the capture of Petersburg would be easy. However Beauregard gave stiff resistance and denied Grant what should have been the capture of the city instead, leading to the long siege. Grant had placed no one in control of the attack on the city, and no concentrated effort was made when the chance was there. He was to slow in later sending Burnside and putting Meade in charge, this gave time for the confederates to react and reinforce Peterburg.

“For this leaderlessness, Grant bears the responsibility...the crossing of the James River seems to have absorbed all the energy of Grant and his staff. They apperd to have assumed that the occupation of the city would be assured by a successful crossing and gave no thought th what action would appropriate if they encountered serious opposition” Grant also bears the responsibility for Butlers failure to interfere with Lee's progress towards Petersburg”
-John Horn The Petersburg Campaign


Grant conducted or ordered multiple failed assaults on Petersburg before it was taken. Grant approved the battle of the creator which Grant called “A stupendous failure.” Grant selected commander James Ledlie by drawing names from a hat. For political reasons Grant would not allow fresh black troops to lead the assault as Butlers plan called for. This change to Butlers plans may have decided the outcome of the failed attack.

“Grant and mead, who had caused the disaster by their interference with Burnsides plan.”
-John Horn The Petersburg Campaign

“Grant was lucky [Lincoln] could have seen the episode as evidence of incompaitance lunatic enough to put McClellan and all of Grants predecessors in Virginia to shame”
-Thomas J Rowland George B Mcclellan and Civil war History in the Shadow of grant and Sherman


It took a total of 9 assaults to finally break the lines at Petersburg over many months. “Grants tactical control ended in failure the crater, second deep bottom” “disaster that constituted grants second offensive Wilson raid , Samaria church, battle of reams station all failed with heavy losses”

Grant was only able to break the lines after the south had all but given up hope after the re-election of Lincoln. Between Jan-April 2 1865 Lee lost 40% of his army to desertion, transfers, and combat losses. Grant not only started with a 2-1 advantage, he was able to bring in constant reinforcements while Lee was not. Because of Lee's reduced army “Lee could not protect Richmond and take the offensive elsewhere.” Grant did not have to fear for a major counter offensive from Lee. During the entire Peterburg campaign Grant suffered around 60,000 causalities to Lee's 40,000.

Diversion in the valley

Lee sent Jubal Early's corps to the valley on June 16th to distract from the fight around Richmond and gather much needed food for his army. Grant would not believe that Lee had done so until July 8th. Early had near crossed into Maryland. Grant had thought Lee would send men to Atlanta instead. Since Grant was slow to reinforce the valley this allowed Early to have great success clearing out the valley and even come to the outskirts of D.C skirmishing with the garrison. Early also burnt a town to the ground in Maryland, won a battle on northern soil, and captured a Pennsylvania town. This led to panic and loss of morale across the north. Many thought that Grant had failed in all his objectives so far and Richmond would not fall. This led many in the north to call for a peace and an end to the war.

Appomattox

“By then, many of the southern defenders had given up any hope for for an independent nation...Sheer exhaustion and the lack of proper food was tacking a major toll on the condition of the southern troops ”
-Chris M Calkins The Appomattox Campaign


The Appomattox campaign was well fought by Grant and Sheridan to keep the pressure on Lee's army and cut of his lines to North Carolina. However it was clear by this time Lee's army was low on food, morale, men and equipment. An analogy that has been given was “Grant was a 200 pound, fully equipped boxer, who fought a half starved, bare handed man half his weight.” Lee originally had the step on Grant but the trains meant to supply his army with food, clothing etc instead were weapons and ammo due to a mix up. Lee had to forage the area for a day allowing Grant and Sheridan to catch up the lost time and leading to the eventual surrender of his starved, fatigued army.

“Their [Grants]1864-5 campaigns were won because their forces were larger and better equipped than those of the enemy. 
-Alan Farmer is head of history at St Martin’s College, Lancaster


Did Grant win the war for the Union?

Grant is often credited for defeating Lee and winning the war. However it was really Sherman who won the war for the union when he captured Atlanta. With the re-election of Lincoln the war was already won by the north. The best hope the south had was for Lincoln to lose the election and instead for peace democrats win. Atlanta ensured union victory. Grants failures to either destroy Lee or capture Richmond up until the election, had almost cost Lincoln re-election. His heavy losses turned the north against the war and his slow reaction to Early in the valley also pushed the north towards peace. Grant almost cost the north the war. Grant underestimated his opponents in the east, showed himself unimaginative in attack to often, and showed himself vulnerable to small scale counter attacks when Lee could muster the power.


Major Battles and Causalities of Union Generals vs Lee 

Union commander/ Battle Union Losses Lee loses Union causality per 
Pope- Second Manasas 13,879 Lee 8,353 1.65 per 
Hooker- Chancellorsville 17,100 Lee 12,151 1.43 per 
Burnside- Fredricksburg 13,353 Lee 4,576 2.95 per 
Grant- Wilderness 18,400 Lee 11,400 1.61 per 
Grant- Spotsylvania 18,000 Lee 12,000 1.5 per 
Grant- Cold Harbor 12,737 Lee 4,594 2.8 per 
Grant- Total 49,100 Lee 27,900 1.75 per 
Meade- Gettysburg 23,049 Lee 28,063 .82 
Meade- Total [Above] 72,049 Lee 55,963 1.29 
McClellan - Total 28,250 Lee 30,449 .92 per 

References
-Great Campaigns Jackson's Valley Campaign David G Martin Combined Books PA 1994
-Great Campaigns The Peninsula Campaign David G Martin Combined Books PA 1992
-Great Campaigns The Shiloh Campaign David G Martin Combined Books PA 1996
-Great Campaigns The Second Bull Run Campaighn David G Martin Combined Books PA 1997
-Great Campaigns The Antietam Campaign John Cannon Combined Books PA
-Great Campaigns The Chancellorsville campaign David G Martin Combined Books PA 1991
-Great Campaigns the Atlanta campaign John Cannan Combined Books PA 1991
-Great Campaigns The Wilderness campaign John cannon Combined Books PA -Great Campaigns The Spotsylvania John Cannan Campaign Combined Books PA
-Great Campaigns The Petersburg Campaign John Horn Combined Books PA
-Great Campaigns The Appomattox Campaign Chris M Calkins Combined Books PA
-The Shenandoah in Flames The Valley Campaign of 1864 Thomas A Lewis Time Life Books Alexandria, Virginia
-Battles for Atlanta Sherman Moves East Ronald H Bailey Time-Life Books, Alexandria, Virginia 1985
-Rebel Resurgent Frederiscksburg to Chancellorsville Willliam K Goolrick Time life Books, Alexandria, Virginia William K Goolrick 1985
-Receding Tide Vicksburg and Gettysburg the Campaigns That changed the civil war Edwin C Bearess and J Parker Hills National Geographic D.C 2010
-Thomas J Rowland George B Mcclellan and Civil war History in the Shadow of grant and Sherman Kent State University Press 1998
-Six Armies in Tennessee the Chickamagua and Chattanooga Campaigns Steven E Woodworth University of Nebraska press 1998
-The Campaigns of General Nathan Bedford Forrest and of Forrest's Cavalry Da Capo Press 1996
-Such Troops as these The Genius and Leadership of confederate General Stonewall Jackson Bevin Alexander Berkeley Caliber 2014
-How the South Could Have Won the Civil War: The Fatal Errors That Led to Confederate Defeat Bevin Alexander 2008 Crown Forum
-Personal Memoirs of U.S Grant Da Capo Press 2001
-The North Anna campaign http://www.civilwar.org/battlefields/northanna/north-anna-history-articles/northannarhea.html?referrer=https://www.google.com/ --The Confederate war Gary Gallagher Harvard University press 1999
-James V Murfin Battlefields of the Civil war -Battle Tactics of the Civil war Paddy Griffith Yale university Press 1989 -The Rifel Musket in Civil war Combat Reality and Myth Earl J Hess University of Kansas Press 2008
-The Civil war Ken Burns PBS documentary
-America's Civil war Magazine http://www.historynet.com/americas-civil-war
-Civil war Trust http://www.civilwar.org/
-Gary Gallagher the American civil war great courses in modern history lecture series Teaching company 2000 
---------------
“The CSA congress can have no such power over states officers. The state governments are an essential part of the political system, upon the separate and independent sovereignty of the states the foundation of the confederacy”
-1864 Virginia supremeCourt

OpanaPointer
St. Louis, MO, USA
top 20
E-7 Sgt First Class
Posts: 465

Re: A Critical Look at General Grant
Posted on: 10/3/2017 7:00:17 AM
Does the KKK pay you by the post?

1stvermont
Vermont, VT, USA
top 50
E-4 Specialist


Posts: 67

Re: A Critical Look at General Grant
Posted on: 10/3/2017 8:13:38 AM

Quote:
Does the KKK pay you by the post?
--OpanaPointer


“The truth, indeed, is something that mankind, for some mysterious reason, instinctively dislikes. Every man who tries to tell it is unpopular, and even when, by the sheer strength of his case, he prevails, he is put down as a scoundrel.”
H. L. Mencken


"Ridicule is man’s most potent weapon. There is no defense. It’s irrational. It’s infuriating. It also works as a key pressure point to force the enemy into concessions …  Pick the target, freeze it, personalize it, and polarize it. Cut off the support network and isolate the target from sympathy. Go after people and not institutions; people hurt faster than institutions."
Saul Alinsky’s RULES FOR RADICALS:



How original, call someone a racists when you dont like what they say. Is that kind of post all you ever have to offer to this forum? it is in fact what some sadly resort to when they cannot argue the position historically, faulty logic will follow.


A red herring fallacy 
is where someone tries to divert your attention away from the subject or argument by introducing a new topic. This is a defense technique often employed when the person realizes you have a logical and sound argument forming. This can even develop as an unconscious technique employed by one who wishes to protect their beliefs from any scrutiny, truly a strong self delusion

ad hominem
attack on person not argument

Appeal to motive 
a conclusion is dismissed by simply calling into question the motive of the person or group proposing the conclusion. You’ll often see political organizations use this tactic. “The conclusion of Company X’s positive report on the safety of natural gas fracking can’t be true because they funded the research and have an interest in ensuring there is a positive report.” Sure, Company X may have an interest in getting a positive result for natural gas fracking, but just because they have that motive doesn’t mean the conclusion they reached is necessarily false. Suspect, yes, but not false.

Question begging epithe
when someone imports bias often emotional language to support a claim "ignorant" "dishonest" "stupid" "gullible" or other disparaging remarks

So for example, what if the KKK paid me to be critical of Grant [did they also when i was of lee? or when i defended mac?] would that change anything in my op? would it be more or less accurate? would it change history? I dont like spending my time responding to illogical posts with no support, rather discus the topic at hand and if you disagree or find fault, argue it. I would also suggest you have a very severe case of the following.

Heresyphobia- Fear of deviation from traditional doctrine
Gnosiophobia- Fear of knowledge

The cure can only be done if you are willing.
---------------
“The CSA congress can have no such power over states officers. The state governments are an essential part of the political system, upon the separate and independent sovereignty of the states the foundation of the confederacy”
-1864 Virginia supremeCourt

George
Centre Hastings, ON, Canada
top 5
E-9 Cmd Sgt Major
Posts: 5301

Re: A Critical Look at General Grant
Posted on: 10/3/2017 8:26:47 AM
1st Vermont. Please change your approach.

This is a discussion forum and you continue to post reams of verbiage some of which may be your own, some may be cut and paste.

Always it is followed by a bibliography.

Do you really expect that we should read all of that and then verify the statements from the list of references.

Just talk to us.


Quote:
Had they continued the attack a great victory would have been had by the south. Or had they simply took advantage of the ground and left the fort for Grant, they would have avoided the surrender.


Directly from a post on another site called Total War ( as total relism.) Are you also total relism?

George

1stvermont
Vermont, VT, USA
top 50
E-4 Specialist


Posts: 67

Re: A Critical Look at General Grant
Posted on: 10/3/2017 8:46:29 AM

Quote:
1st Vermont. Please change your approach.

This is a discussion forum and you continue to post reams of verbiage some of which may be your own, some may be cut and paste.

Always it is followed by a bibliography.

Do you really expect that we should read all of that and then verify the statements from the list of references.

Just talk to us.


Quote:
Had they continued the attack a great victory would have been had by the south. Or had they simply took advantage of the ground and left the fort for Grant, they would have avoided the surrender.


Directly from a post on another site called Total War ( as total relism.) Are you also total relism?

George
--George


ok thank you. Are you a mod? but Just to exspalin, I like to make a case for a position I hold and support it with the material that has helped form my opinion. I than "just talk" in responses and conversions that come up after that. I always give my sources under references at the bottom.

I dont think anyone should read it if they dont want to. Most, i would assume, would at least read sections if they are to post in disagreement with a section. I think it is the choice of the poster to check if they think something is off or if i have said something falsely. This is in part why i post, i want my stuff challenged and if incorrect, to fix it. This has happened with former posts i have made. For example the % of union causalities at fredrisckburg by artillery fire vs musket fire.

http://www.militaryhistoryonline.com/Forums/ViewPost.aspx?ForumID=32&ID=32592


Yes, i am also total relism and a few other names. My material is all my own, quotes are given references.
---------------
“The CSA congress can have no such power over states officers. The state governments are an essential part of the political system, upon the separate and independent sovereignty of the states the foundation of the confederacy”
-1864 Virginia supremeCourt

jthlmnn
Milwaukee, WI, USA
top 40
E-4 Corporal


Posts: 164

Re: A Critical Look at General Grant
Posted on: 10/4/2017 12:25:51 PM

Quote:
A Critical Look at Ulysses S Grant

“The literature is frequantley slanted in favor of Grant...Grant's setbacks and errors in judgment are minimized or trivialized in the literature”
-Thomas J Rowland George B McClellan and civil war history Kent state university press


Grant is normally regarded as the best union commander, and many times as the best civil war commander. His negatives are often overlooked and I believe he often achieves success not because of his leadership, but at times in spite of his leadership. There were times when Grant was simply in the right place and the right time. His men saved the day for him. Other times his material advantages carried the day.


Your basic premise, as stated in the opening paragraphs of your initial post, is inaccurate. A look at the historiography of U.S. Grant's military (and political) career does not support it. From the early 20th Century on through the last decade or so, Grant, the general, was commonly depicted, and, therefore, commonly perceived, as a dullard and a butcher, with no regard for the carnage his men endured. This portrait of Grant has been historical orthodoxy for about 100 years, as evidenced by the surplus of quotes you employ. Only recently have writers such as Richard N. Current, Brooks D. Simpson, Jean Edward Smith, and Josiah Bunting III, and Joan Waugh attempted to reexamine this portrait.

To my reading, you have set up a straw man, and then spent an inordinate amount of time and space to knock it down. If you want to have a discussion as to Grant's qualities an a military leader, fine. Your approach, however (inundating us with a mountain of assertions), does more to discourage discussion, than to encourage it.

Yours,
JohnT









jthlmnn
Milwaukee, WI, USA
top 40
E-4 Corporal


Posts: 164

Re: A Critical Look at General Grant
Posted on: 10/4/2017 12:52:31 PM

Quote:
Benefits of the Union

Part of Grant's success was simply he fought for the north and had the manpower, equipment, supply, naval, and material advantages. Grant was able to bring a more numerous, better supplied force often with a technological advantage to the field. Grant was also one of few generals that performed better in attack rather than on the defensive. Part of why Grant had success is because he fought for the union army on the offensive. Grant was a sub par defender, but an able attacker. Had he been a southern general fighting often on the defensive and outnumbered, I think his performance would have taken a large hit.


A key question in evaluating a general is whether he employed the advantages in his possession to maximum effect in accomplishing his mission. Unlike many of his colleagues and predecessors (Halleck, McClellan, Pope, Burnside, Hooker, for example), Grant did.

How he performed on the defensive is irrelevant, as Grant understood that, for the Union, the defensive could only be seen as a very short-term, very localized, necessity, and that offensive action was required to win the war.

How Grant would have fared as a CSA general can be entertaining speculation, but here I see it as pointless.

Yours,

JohnT

jthlmnn
Milwaukee, WI, USA
top 40
E-4 Corporal


Posts: 164

Re: A Critical Look at General Grant
Posted on: 10/4/2017 2:09:29 PM

Quote:
Fort Donaldson
First the southern generals Floyd and Pillow should not have retreated to the fort knowing a superior force could surround them with little food to supply the men. Than when they realized there mistake they decided to breakout against a superior force in the winter. Had they waited it out Grants army was low on supply and would soon need to retreat maybe before a surrender. However the breakout caught Grant completely by surprise and won the day. Despite an army of around 16,000 attacking in the winter the army under Grant of 25,000, the south was winning the field. The attack pushed the union men back and created enough room for an easy breakout for the entire force. The union line was being “rolled up" and in danger of being pushed into the river and thus, surrendering itself.Than, at the height of success, the confederate high command called off the attack and decided not to attempt a breakout. The men on the field were confused and angered as they had dominated the field, why than call off the attack?


To my understanding, this is not completely accurate.

The attack on the federal right and center did roll back their line, and make sufficient room for a breakout, but to say the federals were on the verge of surrendering is a gross overstatement.

When the federal right stabilized, and while confusion seemed to reign among the rebel generals, Grant counter-attacked on both the rebel right and left. Gen. Smith captured a portion of the rebel lines on the rebel right, and Gen. Wallace was able to force the rebel left back to where they had been in the morning. The window for a general breakout had been slammed shut.

In other words, a combination of rebel indecision was countered by very decisive action by Grant (who very astutely determined that the rebel right had been weakened to support the assault by their left) and sealed the fate of Fort Donelson.

Yours,
JohnT

jthlmnn
Milwaukee, WI, USA
top 40
E-4 Corporal


Posts: 164

Re: A Critical Look at General Grant
Posted on: 10/4/2017 2:21:20 PM
Sorry, double post.

jthlmnn
Milwaukee, WI, USA
top 40
E-4 Corporal


Posts: 164

Re: A Critical Look at General Grant
Posted on: 10/4/2017 2:48:28 PM

Quote:
Shiloh

“Of the 4 commanding generals, one died, the other three, grant included, should have been court martialed...Grant was the most negligent”
-Historian Otto Eisenschiml


Mr. Eisenschiml was no historian. A good chemist and business executive, yes. A writer, yes. A sensationalist, yes. A conspiracy theorist, yes. A historian? Nope, neither academic, nor amateur. Not by any stretch of the imagination. His best known work, Why was Lincoln Murdered?, is based upon circumstantial evidence, at its best, and wild speculation at its worst. His other works similarly lack substantial foundations.

Citing Eisenschiml (or Thomas DiLorenzo, whom you have cited elsewhere), does nothing to enhance an argument's credibility.

Yours,

JohnT

Note: Why Was Lincoln Murdered?, speculates that Secretary of War Stanton was a major player in a plot to murder the president.

jthlmnn
Milwaukee, WI, USA
top 40
E-4 Corporal


Posts: 164

Re: A Critical Look at General Grant
Posted on: 10/4/2017 4:31:26 PM

Quote:
Buell did not communicate with Grant, as he was disgusted with Grants performance and refused to communicate with him.


From Gen. Buell's official report, dated April 15, and published in the New York Times on May 19:

"Finding Gen. GRANT at the landing, I requested him to send steamers to Savannah to bring up Gen. CRITTENDEN's Division, which had arrived during the morning, and then went ashore with him."

Entire report here: [Read More]


Quote:
Buell arrived with his 18,000 men and initiated his own attack on day 2. Buell did not communicate with Grant, as he was disgusted with Grants performance and refused to communicate with him. His attack down the middle [later joined by Grants forces on the flanks] was a great success against the confederates. In the end the union won not because of Grant, but despite of him.


Grant and Buell did keep their commands separate. Their relationship at his time was definitely tense. Buell did believe that he had saved Grant's bacon, and was the reason for the federal victory the following day. This has been common wisdom for a good many years, and apparently you agree. Not surprisingly, perhaps, Grant and Sherman disagreed with that assessment. Also disagreeing are historians like Larry J. Daniel and Kenneth Noe. Considering that Halleck had to constantly prod Buell to put a little hustle in his move to Shiloh (prior to the attack), and that Grant was already looking at the possibility of a counter-attack on day 1, I am tempted to give Grant's and Sherman's evaluation some credit. I would hesitate to offer either view as solid, indisputable fact, however.

I might suggest a look at this brief article from The civil War Trust, regarding some of the myths that have surrounded this battle for many, many years. [Read More]

Yours,

John T

1stvermont
Vermont, VT, USA
top 50
E-4 Specialist


Posts: 67

Re: A Critical Look at General Grant
Posted on: 10/4/2017 4:55:09 PM

Quote:

Quote:
A Critical Look at Ulysses S Grant

“The literature is frequantley slanted in favor of Grant...Grant's setbacks and errors in judgment are minimized or trivialized in the literature”
-Thomas J Rowland George B McClellan and civil war history Kent state university press


Grant is normally regarded as the best union commander, and many times as the best civil war commander. His negatives are often overlooked and I believe he often achieves success not because of his leadership, but at times in spite of his leadership. There were times when Grant was simply in the right place and the right time. His men saved the day for him. Other times his material advantages carried the day.


Your basic premise, as stated in the opening paragraphs of your initial post, is inaccurate. A look at the historiography of U.S. Grant's military (and political) career does not support it. From the early 20th Century on through the last decade or so, Grant, the general, was commonly depicted, and, therefore, commonly perceived, as a dullard and a butcher, with no regard for the carnage his men endured. This portrait of Grant has been historical orthodoxy for about 100 years, as evidenced by the surplus of quotes you employ. Only recently have writers such as Richard N. Current, Brooks D. Simpson, Jean Edward Smith, and Josiah Bunting III, and Joan Waugh attempted to reexamine this portrait.

To my reading, you have set up a straw man, and then spent an inordinate amount of time and space to knock it down. If you want to have a discussion as to Grant's qualities an a military leader, fine. Your approach, however (inundating us with a mountain of assertions), does more to discourage discussion, than to encourage it.

Yours,
JohnT









--jthlmnn



Thanks for tacking an interest.

I do apologize if this is so. If it is true he has been regarded as a butcher for some time I have missed it. Of course i am referring to my life span and how he is viewed today not in the past. From what i have read, and what most i have talked to have agreed, is grant is generally viewed as a top, or perhaps the top general of the war. I would be surprised if that were not the case here.
---------------
“The CSA congress can have no such power over states officers. The state governments are an essential part of the political system, upon the separate and independent sovereignty of the states the foundation of the confederacy”
-1864 Virginia supremeCourt

1stvermont
Vermont, VT, USA
top 50
E-4 Specialist


Posts: 67

Re: A Critical Look at General Grant
Posted on: 10/4/2017 4:58:09 PM

Quote:

Quote:
Benefits of the Union

Part of Grant's success was simply he fought for the north and had the manpower, equipment, supply, naval, and material advantages. Grant was able to bring a more numerous, better supplied force often with a technological advantage to the field. Grant was also one of few generals that performed better in attack rather than on the defensive. Part of why Grant had success is because he fought for the union army on the offensive. Grant was a sub par defender, but an able attacker. Had he been a southern general fighting often on the defensive and outnumbered, I think his performance would have taken a large hit.


A key question in evaluating a general is whether he employed the advantages in his possession to maximum effect in accomplishing his mission. Unlike many of his colleagues and predecessors (Halleck, McClellan, Pope, Burnside, Hooker, for example), Grant did.

How he performed on the defensive is irrelevant, as Grant understood that, for the Union, the defensive could only be seen as a very short-term, very localized, necessity, and that offensive action was required to win the war.

How Grant would have fared as a CSA general can be entertaining speculation, but here I see it as pointless.

Yours,

JohnT
--jthlmnn



I would disagree "he employed the advantages in his possession to maximum effect" I would also say his defensive weaknesses were relevant, and would have been more so if he was in the east in the first 2 years of the war.
---------------
“The CSA congress can have no such power over states officers. The state governments are an essential part of the political system, upon the separate and independent sovereignty of the states the foundation of the confederacy”
-1864 Virginia supremeCourt

1stvermont
Vermont, VT, USA
top 50
E-4 Specialist


Posts: 67

Re: A Critical Look at General Grant
Posted on: 10/4/2017 5:01:19 PM

Quote:

Quote:
Fort Donaldson
First the southern generals Floyd and Pillow should not have retreated to the fort knowing a superior force could surround them with little food to supply the men. Than when they realized there mistake they decided to breakout against a superior force in the winter. Had they waited it out Grants army was low on supply and would soon need to retreat maybe before a surrender. However the breakout caught Grant completely by surprise and won the day. Despite an army of around 16,000 attacking in the winter the army under Grant of 25,000, the south was winning the field. The attack pushed the union men back and created enough room for an easy breakout for the entire force. The union line was being “rolled up" and in danger of being pushed into the river and thus, surrendering itself.Than, at the height of success, the confederate high command called off the attack and decided not to attempt a breakout. The men on the field were confused and angered as they had dominated the field, why than call off the attack?


To my understanding, this is not completely accurate.

The attack on the federal right and center did roll back their line, and make sufficient room for a breakout, but to say the federals were on the verge of surrendering is a gross overstatement.

When the federal right stabilized, and while confusion seemed to reign among the rebel generals, Grant counter-attacked on both the rebel right and left. Gen. Smith captured a portion of the rebel lines on the rebel right, and Gen. Wallace was able to force the rebel left back to where they had been in the morning. The window for a general breakout had been slammed shut.

In other words, a combination of rebel indecision was countered by very decisive action by Grant (who very astutely determined that the rebel right had been weakened to support the assault by their left) and sealed the fate of Fort Donelson.

Yours,
JohnT
--jthlmnn


True, when I said "The union line was being “rolled up" and in danger of being pushed into the river" i was indeed giving a worse case scenario and it assumed the success of the attack would continue as well as the decisiveness [as you point out] of the attack had the south a different general .
---------------
“The CSA congress can have no such power over states officers. The state governments are an essential part of the political system, upon the separate and independent sovereignty of the states the foundation of the confederacy”
-1864 Virginia supremeCourt

1stvermont
Vermont, VT, USA
top 50
E-4 Specialist


Posts: 67

Re: A Critical Look at General Grant
Posted on: 10/4/2017 5:04:10 PM

Quote:

Quote:
Shiloh

“Of the 4 commanding generals, one died, the other three, grant included, should have been court martialed...Grant was the most negligent”
-Historian Otto Eisenschiml


Mr. Eisenschiml was no historian. A good chemist and business executive, yes. A writer, yes. A sensationalist, yes. A conspiracy theorist, yes. A historian? Nope, neither academic, nor amateur. Not by any stretch of the imagination. His best known work, Why was Lincoln Murdered?, is based upon circumstantial evidence, at its best, and wild speculation at its worst. His other works similarly lack substantial foundations.

Citing Eisenschiml (or Thomas DiLorenzo, whom you have cited elsewhere), does nothing to enhance an argument's credibility.

Yours,

JohnT

Note: Why Was Lincoln Murdered?, speculates that Secretary of War Stanton was a major player in a plot to murder the president.
--jthlmnn



Thanks for the correction. I shall edit it to read author, not historian. He wrote The Story of Shiloh (1946)
---------------
“The CSA congress can have no such power over states officers. The state governments are an essential part of the political system, upon the separate and independent sovereignty of the states the foundation of the confederacy”
-1864 Virginia supremeCourt

1stvermont
Vermont, VT, USA
top 50
E-4 Specialist


Posts: 67

Re: A Critical Look at General Grant
Posted on: 10/4/2017 5:12:34 PM

Quote:

Quote:
Buell did not communicate with Grant, as he was disgusted with Grants performance and refused to communicate with him.


From Gen. Buell's official report, dated April 15, and published in the New York Times on May 19:

"Finding Gen. GRANT at the landing, I requested him to send steamers to Savannah to bring up Gen. CRITTENDEN's Division, which had arrived during the morning, and then went ashore with him."

Entire report here: [Read More]


Quote:
Buell arrived with his 18,000 men and initiated his own attack on day 2. Buell did not communicate with Grant, as he was disgusted with Grants performance and refused to communicate with him. His attack down the middle [later joined by Grants forces on the flanks] was a great success against the confederates. In the end the union won not because of Grant, but despite of him.


Grant and Buell did keep their commands separate. Their relationship at his time was definitely tense. Buell did believe that he had saved Grant's bacon, and was the reason for the federal victory the following day. This has been common wisdom for a good many years, and apparently you agree. Not surprisingly, perhaps, Grant and Sherman disagreed with that assessment. Also disagreeing are historians like Larry J. Daniel and Kenneth Noe. Considering that Halleck had to constantly prod Buell to put a little hustle in his move to Shiloh (prior to the attack), and that Grant was already looking at the possibility of a counter-attack on day 1, I am tempted to give Grant's and Sherman's evaluation some credit. I would hesitate to offer either view as solid, indisputable fact, however.

I might suggest a look at this brief article from The civil War Trust, regarding some of the myths that have surrounded this battle for many, many years. [Read More]

Yours,

John T
--jthlmnn



I believe the refuse to communicate was in regards to military coordination for the attack. I am not surprised that Grant and Sherman would disagree as it would make them out to seem better, something they did often post war [see George Thomas] I have not read those historians so i cannot comment. But it is clear [is it not?] that after the battle the northern press and the war department [and federals at the battle] generally all agreed it was Grant to blame. The fact that Buell had to be pushed to join the fight has nothing to do with the situation as it was when he arrived or the fighting the second day. It very well may be Grant had intersessions of a counter attack. Burnside had intentions of success at fredricksburg. Thanks for the article i will have a look when i have time.
---------------
“The CSA congress can have no such power over states officers. The state governments are an essential part of the political system, upon the separate and independent sovereignty of the states the foundation of the confederacy”
-1864 Virginia supremeCourt

John R. Price
Wilkes-Barre, PA, USA
top 20
E-7 Sgt First Class
Posts: 466

Re: A Critical Look at General Grant
Posted on: 10/5/2017 12:28:13 AM
1stVermont,

Belmont

Belmont was a raid and was never intended to take and hold territory. Polk was never in command on the field Cheatham was. Grant attacked and drove a inferior force through their camps and then was driven back by reinforcements from across the river lead by Cheatham.

Fort Henry

Fort Henry was indefensible because it was built on the flood plain and at the time of the attack most of the work were filled with 3 feet of water. It was surrendered to the Navy because the commander of the rear guard was a ex Naval officer commanding the big guns of the fort.

Fort Donaldson

"Continuing the attack" was never a option, ordering the breakout was the plan with I believe Brown's force acting a rear guard to keep the corridor open. Also they didn't retreat into the fort and it really wasn't a lack of food that was the problem. It was the Union Fleet rather easily passing by their river batteries therefore cutting off their route of resupply and reinforcement.

Shiloh

Nobody was digging in at the time of Shiloh so you can't fault Grant for that and with respect there weren't any veteran troops available they were all green. Brave as hell but just as green. The three main reasons Ablert Sidney Johnston's attack failed were first PTGB's FUBAR attack plan with the Corps spread out along the entire attack frontage making command and control impossible. Second it was a mob not a army attacking, the Confederates were just as green. Third the Union gunboats and their firepower.

That's bull that Buell and Grant weren't communicating.

Corinth

Grant was basically relieved from command and played little to no part.

Vicksburg

I assume your talking about Champion Hill and The Big Black when you say "two fruitless assaults before besieging Vicksburg" and with respect he had no choice but to attack at Champion Hill Pemberton was blocking the approach to Vicksburg. At the Big Black he didn't order the original attack it was done by one of his division commanders when one of his brigades discovered a covered approach to the Confederate lines. Plus he won both battles driving Pemberton into the Vicksburg defenses so how can they be fruitless???

Chattanooga

Its really easy to apply criticism if you've done the reading. The only reason he wins is because the Confederate defensive line on Missionary Ridge is sited on the topographical crest instead of the military crest. Throw in that Bragg was in the middle of a reorganization of the AOT breaking up divisions and brigade and replacing commanders.

You do understand that Lee was going to 3 Corps no matter if Jackson lived or died and with respect Longstreet was the better Corps commander anyway. And Longstreet wasn't at Chancellorsville. Lee divided the army in the Wilderness and when he sent early to the Valley and on to Washington.

EDIT He divided the army on the march up the Valley and into Maryland and PA prior to Gettysburg. He divided the army when Longstreet went West for Chickamauga. The army was divided before the Wilderness.

It wasn't the high command of the ANVA where there was a crisis in command but at the regimental and company level in 64. Throw in that the recruits of 61 turned into the draftees of 64 who didn't want to be there at all and deserted in droves.

I'll get to the rest tomorrow

---------------
A battle long forgotten by our country in a war never understood by our country.
"to satisfy our endless needs and justify our bloody deeds, in the name of destiny and in the name of God"


John R. Price
Wilkes-Barre, PA, USA
top 20
E-7 Sgt First Class
Posts: 466

Re: A Critical Look at General Grant
Posted on: 10/5/2017 12:36:54 AM
JohnT,

Nobody who came before Grant had the logistical capabilities Grant did. They couldn't just go around the flank after being stopped in the Wilderness because they wouldn't have been able to supply the move. Plus none who came before face a Confederacy worn down by the attrition in manpower, equipment and supply that Grant did. None who came before had complete command and a complete free hand that Grant did as C&C.

I also think you are taking the description of the previous historical view of Grant to the extreme. It wasn't as bad as you are saying just as the revisionist version isn't as good.
---------------
A battle long forgotten by our country in a war never understood by our country.
"to satisfy our endless needs and justify our bloody deeds, in the name of destiny and in the name of God"


1stvermont
Vermont, VT, USA
top 50
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Posts: 67

Re: A Critical Look at General Grant
Posted on: 10/5/2017 5:13:56 PM

Quote:
1stVermont,

Belmont

Belmont was a raid and was never intended to take and hold territory. Polk was never in command on the field Cheatham was. Grant attacked and drove a inferior force through their camps and then was driven back by reinforcements from across the river lead by Cheatham.

Fort Henry

Fort Henry was indefensible because it was built on the flood plain and at the time of the attack most of the work were filled with 3 feet of water. It was surrendered to the Navy because the commander of the rear guard was a ex Naval officer commanding the big guns of the fort.

Fort Donaldson

"Continuing the attack" was never a option, ordering the breakout was the plan with I believe Brown's force acting a rear guard to keep the corridor open. Also they didn't retreat into the fort and it really wasn't a lack of food that was the problem. It was the Union Fleet rather easily passing by their river batteries therefore cutting off their route of resupply and reinforcement.

Shiloh

Nobody was digging in at the time of Shiloh so you can't fault Grant for that and with respect there weren't any veteran troops available they were all green. Brave as hell but just as green. The three main reasons Ablert Sidney Johnston's attack failed were first PTGB's FUBAR attack plan with the Corps spread out along the entire attack frontage making command and control impossible. Second it was a mob not a army attacking, the Confederates were just as green. Third the Union gunboats and their firepower.

That's bull that Buell and Grant weren't communicating.

Corinth

Grant was basically relieved from command and played little to no part.

Vicksburg

I assume your talking about Champion Hill and The Big Black when you say "two fruitless assaults before besieging Vicksburg" and with respect he had no choice but to attack at Champion Hill Pemberton was blocking the approach to Vicksburg. At the Big Black he didn't order the original attack it was done by one of his division commanders when one of his brigades discovered a covered approach to the Confederate lines. Plus he won both battles driving Pemberton into the Vicksburg defenses so how can they be fruitless???

Chattanooga

Its really easy to apply criticism if you've done the reading. The only reason he wins is because the Confederate defensive line on Missionary Ridge is sited on the topographical crest instead of the military crest. Throw in that Bragg was in the middle of a reorganization of the AOT breaking up divisions and brigade and replacing commanders.

You do understand that Lee was going to 3 Corps no matter if Jackson lived or died and with respect Longstreet was the better Corps commander anyway. And Longstreet wasn't at Chancellorsville. Lee divided the army in the Wilderness and when he sent early to the Valley and on to Washington.

EDIT He divided the army on the march up the Valley and into Maryland and PA prior to Gettysburg. He divided the army when Longstreet went West for Chickamauga. The army was divided before the Wilderness.

It wasn't the high command of the ANVA where there was a crisis in command but at the regimental and company level in 64. Throw in that the recruits of 61 turned into the draftees of 64 who didn't want to be there at all and deserted in droves.

I'll get to the rest tomorrow


--John R. Price



could you support belmont was a raid? and yes i am aware it was the reinforcements that pushed him back. Cheatham may have been the ir leader but was not polk in full control the highest ranking officer? to simplify a long post would you agree that naming polk as commander is just as good.


Unless of course a better commander was at the helm. The attack was as you say to break out, but it met witch success that if continued, could have been a great victory rather than an escape.


Grant was ordered to dig in, and yes some early war did dig in. Lee did in west Virginia McClellan on the peninsula, confederates on the peninsula etc. I will look up the placment of the camps by grant and get back to you.


No I am referring to the Fruitless assaults on Vicksburg itself. After the south retreated into the ir works.


as i did say he won in part because the south leadership at Chattanooga was so awful as he himself said. But your just proving my point how bad they were, this is still not a criticism of Grants performance. It is not his fault they were terrible.


Could you support he was changing to 3 corps? I would disagree on your opinion on Jackson/Longstreet but that is for another day as Lee was without both most the time he faced Grant. Good point on Lee dividing with early.


I would not count that as a divide, either one. Separate paths when you think you have time does not count neither does sending 2 division against his will to reinforce the west. He did not do so in the face of the enemy like he did at second mananas and Chancellorsville with Jackson.



Thanks for your posts and thoughts.


---------------
“The CSA congress can have no such power over states officers. The state governments are an essential part of the political system, upon the separate and independent sovereignty of the states the foundation of the confederacy”
-1864 Virginia supremeCourt

1stvermont
Vermont, VT, USA
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Posts: 67

Re: A Critical Look at General Grant
Posted on: 10/5/2017 8:45:06 PM



--John R. Price

So I am reading from the Shiloh campaign by David Martin. "Grants greatest error was permitting his army to encamp at Pittsburgh landing, a position in enemy territory with its back to the river"

he than goes on and says how he left wallaces division exposed and "his veteran divisions were posted nearest Pittsburgh landing simply because they got there first. His two greenest divisions, Shermans and Prentiss, were then posted farthest from the landing and closest to the confederates"

"the most serious charge against Grant was the fact he did not order his army to entrench...Halleck had ordered Grant to entrench, and grant did not do so"
---------------
“The CSA congress can have no such power over states officers. The state governments are an essential part of the political system, upon the separate and independent sovereignty of the states the foundation of the confederacy”
-1864 Virginia supremeCourt

John R. Price
Wilkes-Barre, PA, USA
top 20
E-7 Sgt First Class
Posts: 466

Re: A Critical Look at General Grant
Posted on: 10/6/2017 1:05:24 AM
1stVermont,

Polk never crossed the river and made no decisions that factored into the outcome. Cheatham receive a formal "Thanks From Congress" for his part in the battle Polk got no recognition. Try "Tenn Forgotten Warriors" to back up the claim that Belmont was a raid.

The whole point of the fortifications was to block traffic on the river and the Union Fleet easily passed the fortifications batteries and cut off the fortification from reinforcement and resupply. As long as they stay there they are doomed so its a to borrow your term a "fruitless" victory.

He wasn't ordered to "dig in" maybe the word "fortify" was used but that didn't mean dig in. Plus you are talking two different things with fortifying Lee did so to hold specific points with fewer troops to free up troops for offensive operations and Little Mac did so to conduct siege operations against fortified positions guarding cities. Grant was landing troops at a forward location to conduct offensive operations. Also it doesn't matter who is in the front line they were all green troops. The most combat any of them have see is 1 single battle.

Well that's not what you originally said. And yes Pemberton did retreat into the works at Vicksburg after getting beat in battle at Champion Hill and the Big Black river crossing.

Well like I said do the reading his plan was screwed up and based on a faulty understanding of the terrain. He believed that Sherman could flank Tunnel Hill which was impossible and Thomas's attack on Missionary Ridge was a holding action to keep reinforcements from going to Cleburne's aid against Sherman. He didn't know the Confederate line was badly sighted.

Read the correspondence from Lee to Davis that winter. Then look at the fact that Ewell, Heath and Trimble are coming back to the army and that he's trying to find a way to promote Pender. Then look at the way the army was divided before Chacellorsville. Then read Lee's correspondence after Jackson's death. As for who was a better corps commander Longstreet got 1st Corps so I'll agree with Lee's judgement.

There was a two mile gap between Ewell and AP Hill as they marched to battle in the Wilderness and Longstreet was about 18 miles away. Your also forgetting that Meade attacked into the Wilderness while Longstreet was out West but declined to give battle once Lee blocked his passage. And before Gettysburg 2nd Corps was near Harrisburg, 3rd Corps south of Gettysburg and 1st Corps strung out about 10 miles behind 3rd Corps with JEB God knows where and the AOP marching to intercept all in the enemy's territory.

---------------
A battle long forgotten by our country in a war never understood by our country.
"to satisfy our endless needs and justify our bloody deeds, in the name of destiny and in the name of God"


John R. Price
Wilkes-Barre, PA, USA
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E-7 Sgt First Class
Posts: 466

Re: A Critical Look at General Grant
Posted on: 10/6/2017 1:11:07 AM
1stVermont,

Where else was he supposed to land the troops and set up a supply point? It is a amphibious operation so no matter where you land the river is going to be at your back.

Again there were no veteran troops all were green. One battle does not make you a veteran.

Halleck ordered the supply point to be "fortified" with respect I think Martin is making a mountain out of a mole hill and misunderstanding the actual intent of the order.
---------------
A battle long forgotten by our country in a war never understood by our country.
"to satisfy our endless needs and justify our bloody deeds, in the name of destiny and in the name of God"


1stvermont
Vermont, VT, USA
top 50
E-4 Specialist


Posts: 67

Re: A Critical Look at General Grant
Posted on: 10/6/2017 6:16:28 PM

Quote:
1stVermont,

Polk never crossed the river and made no decisions that factored into the outcome. Cheatham receive a formal "Thanks From Congress" for his part in the battle Polk got no recognition. Try "Tenn Forgotten Warriors" to back up the claim that Belmont was a raid.

The whole point of the fortifications was to block traffic on the river and the Union Fleet easily passed the fortifications batteries and cut off the fortification from reinforcement and resupply. As long as they stay there they are doomed so its a to borrow your term a "fruitless" victory.

He wasn't ordered to "dig in" maybe the word "fortify" was used but that didn't mean dig in. Plus you are talking two different things with fortifying Lee did so to hold specific points with fewer troops to free up troops for offensive operations and Little Mac did so to conduct siege operations against fortified positions guarding cities. Grant was landing troops at a forward location to conduct offensive operations. Also it doesn't matter who is in the front line they were all green troops. The most combat any of them have see is 1 single battle.

Well that's not what you originally said. And yes Pemberton did retreat into the works at Vicksburg after getting beat in battle at Champion Hill and the Big Black river crossing.

Well like I said do the reading his plan was screwed up and based on a faulty understanding of the terrain. He believed that Sherman could flank Tunnel Hill which was impossible and Thomas's attack on Missionary Ridge was a holding action to keep reinforcements from going to Cleburne's aid against Sherman. He didn't know the Confederate line was badly sighted.

Read the correspondence from Lee to Davis that winter. Then look at the fact that Ewell, Heath and Trimble are coming back to the army and that he's trying to find a way to promote Pender. Then look at the way the army was divided before Chacellorsville. Then read Lee's correspondence after Jackson's death. As for who was a better corps commander Longstreet got 1st Corps so I'll agree with Lee's judgement.

There was a two mile gap between Ewell and AP Hill as they marched to battle in the Wilderness and Longstreet was about 18 miles away. Your also forgetting that Meade attacked into the Wilderness while Longstreet was out West but declined to give battle once Lee blocked his passage. And before Gettysburg 2nd Corps was near Harrisburg, 3rd Corps south of Gettysburg and 1st Corps strung out about 10 miles behind 3rd Corps with JEB God knows where and the AOP marching to intercept all in the enemy's territory.


--John R. Price



Thanks for clarifying on Polk.


unless of course the breakout turns into a chance to push the union into the river.


Grant was ordered to "entrench" and even defended why he did not after the war fully aware hallack had ordered him to. Grant was to wait for buell, not go on the offensive alone. That is why he was to entrench. Perhaps you are correct in placement of troops in that most were all green.

Ok i reread and can see why their might be confusion I should have said assaults on the works.



so anything that could support he intended to go to 3 corps before jacksons death?


that is not diving an army for offensive operation in front of the enemy, that is a cops late to the battle and an invading army strung out without good Intel.






---------------
“The CSA congress can have no such power over states officers. The state governments are an essential part of the political system, upon the separate and independent sovereignty of the states the foundation of the confederacy”
-1864 Virginia supremeCourt

1stvermont
Vermont, VT, USA
top 50
E-4 Specialist


Posts: 67

Re: A Critical Look at General Grant
Posted on: 10/6/2017 6:19:29 PM

Quote:
1stVermont,

Where else was he supposed to land the troops and set up a supply point? It is a amphibious operation so no matter where you land the river is going to be at your back.

Again there were no veteran troops all were green. One battle does not make you a veteran.

Halleck ordered the supply point to be "fortified" with respect I think Martin is making a mountain out of a mole hill and misunderstanding the actual intent of the order.
--John R. Price



martin suggested "It would have been much wiser to have his base at Savannah, which was much more accessible to Buell because it was on the eastern bank of the Tennessee rive. if Grant had encamped at Savannah, there is practically no way he could have suffered a surprise attack from the enemy."

the rest i responded to last post. Thanks.
---------------
“The CSA congress can have no such power over states officers. The state governments are an essential part of the political system, upon the separate and independent sovereignty of the states the foundation of the confederacy”
-1864 Virginia supremeCourt

John R. Price
Wilkes-Barre, PA, USA
top 20
E-7 Sgt First Class
Posts: 466

Re: A Critical Look at General Grant
Posted on: 10/6/2017 7:22:01 PM
1stVermont,

They can't push the Union into the river they have no counter to the gunboats and they can't resupply or reinforce their position because they have no counter to the gunboats.

After the war Grant said Joe Johnston was the best general he ever faced even though he never fought a major battle against Johnston. Would you please show me in the official orders the actual order Hallack gave Grant.

The correspondence between Lee and Davis during the winter before Chancellorsville. The way the army was divided at the time of Chancellorsville. The impending return of the 3 officers I mentioned and the wish to promote Pender. There is a letter in which Lee says that he had long been planning/intending to go to a three corps division but as I don't have it in front of me right now I'm not sure if that was before or after Chancellorsville. Try Cornell online library for the official documents and correspondence I think they still have it available.

That is moving to face the enemy and initiate contact in the Wilderness. And Longstreet wasn't late to the battle he was separated from the other two corps.

With all due respect Grant's base of operations couldn't have been Savanah for operations against Corinth because of the distance involved. You have to have a railhead or port within 25 miles for the logistics to work otherwise the supply trains can't carry enough to keep themselves moving and the army supplied. The teams and teamsters of the trains have to eat so a percentage of the space on each wagon has to hold their supplies and over 25 miles means their supplies are taking up too much of the available space.


Edit Plus if you would read a little more than overviews short on information you would know that space in the supply wagons was a even bigger issue at Corinth because of the shortage of drinking water in the area. It is the main reason why Bragg pulled out because more of the Confederates were getting sick for lack of available healthy drinking water than were still in the ranks. The majority of water for the Union had to come in with the supplies and they could never bring in enough of both from Pittsburg Landing so how can they from even farther away?
---------------
A battle long forgotten by our country in a war never understood by our country.
"to satisfy our endless needs and justify our bloody deeds, in the name of destiny and in the name of God"


1stvermont
Vermont, VT, USA
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E-4 Specialist


Posts: 67

Re: A Critical Look at General Grant
Posted on: 10/7/2017 7:17:31 AM

Quote:
1stVermont,

They can't push the Union into the river they have no counter to the gunboats and they can't resupply or reinforce their position because they have no counter to the gunboats.

After the war Grant said Joe Johnston was the best general he ever faced even though he never fought a major battle against Johnston. Would you please show me in the official orders the actual order Hallack gave Grant.

The correspondence between Lee and Davis during the winter before Chancellorsville. The way the army was divided at the time of Chancellorsville. The impending return of the 3 officers I mentioned and the wish to promote Pender. There is a letter in which Lee says that he had long been planning/intending to go to a three corps division but as I don't have it in front of me right now I'm not sure if that was before or after Chancellorsville. Try Cornell online library for the official documents and correspondence I think they still have it available.

That is moving to face the enemy and initiate contact in the Wilderness. And Longstreet wasn't late to the battle he was separated from the other two corps.

With all due respect Grant's base of operations couldn't have been Savanah for operations against Corinth because of the distance involved. You have to have a railhead or port within 25 miles for the logistics to work otherwise the supply trains can't carry enough to keep themselves moving and the army supplied. The teams and teamsters of the trains have to eat so a percentage of the space on each wagon has to hold their supplies and over 25 miles means their supplies are taking up too much of the available space.


Edit Plus if you would read a little more than overviews short on information you would know that space in the supply wagons was a even bigger issue at Corinth because of the shortage of drinking water in the area. It is the main reason why Bragg pulled out because more of the Confederates were getting sick for lack of available healthy drinking water than were still in the ranks. The majority of water for the Union had to come in with the supplies and they could never bring in enough of both from Pittsburg Landing so how can they from even farther away?
--John R. Price



are we talking Donaldson or Shiloh here? at Donaldson they could have made it one hell of a time and retreat, had the attack succeeded despite the cover fire.


I do not have the official order if i have time i believe it is quoted in -Thomas J Rowland George B Mcclellan and Civil war History in the Shadow of grant and Sherman Kent State University Press 1998 behind me. I think the ken burns dvd quotes from it. But how would you exspalin the aftermath of it and grants acknowledgment of it had it not been given.


None of that supports the claim Lee was going to 3 corps unless you could provide what you claimed "There is a letter in which Lee says that he had long been planning/intending to go to a three corps division but as I don't have it in front of me right now I'm not sure if that was before or after Chancellorsville" and clearly if that was real and after jacksons death, it than has nothing to do with my op. I would be very surprised given the armies structure and success if lee would have wanted 3 corps.


Did sherman do this in his march through Georgia? protecting supply lines is also key. plus Grant was not to move on Corinth until buell arrived. So he could have been at Savannah and than when buell arrived, moved on.






---------------
“The CSA congress can have no such power over states officers. The state governments are an essential part of the political system, upon the separate and independent sovereignty of the states the foundation of the confederacy”
-1864 Virginia supremeCourt

jthlmnn
Milwaukee, WI, USA
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Posts: 164

Re: A Critical Look at General Grant
Posted on: 10/7/2017 1:03:14 PM

Quote:

Quote:

Quote:
Shiloh

“Of the 4 commanding generals, one died, the other three, grant included, should have been court martialed...Grant was the most negligent”
-Historian Otto Eisenschiml


Mr. Eisenschiml was no historian. A good chemist and business executive, yes. A writer, yes. A sensationalist, yes. A conspiracy theorist, yes. A historian? Nope, neither academic, nor amateur. Not by any stretch of the imagination. His best known work, Why was Lincoln Murdered?, is based upon circumstantial evidence, at its best, and wild speculation at its worst. His other works similarly lack substantial foundations.

Citing Eisenschiml (or Thomas DiLorenzo, whom you have cited elsewhere), does nothing to enhance an argument's credibility.

Yours,

JohnT

Note: Why Was Lincoln Murdered?, speculates that Secretary of War Stanton was a major player in a plot to murder the president.
--jthlmnn



Thanks for the correction. I shall edit it to read author, not historian. He wrote The Story of Shiloh (1946)
--1stvermont


Better that you delete him from your list, but do as you will.

JohnT

jthlmnn
Milwaukee, WI, USA
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Posts: 164

Re: A Critical Look at General Grant
Posted on: 10/7/2017 1:46:43 PM

Quote:


So I am reading from the Shiloh campaign by David Martin. "Grants greatest error was permitting his army to encamp at Pittsburgh landing, a position in enemy territory with its back to the river"

he than goes on and says how he left wallaces division exposed and "his veteran divisions were posted nearest Pittsburgh landing simply because they got there first. His two greenest divisions, Shermans and Prentiss, were then posted farthest from the landing and closest to the confederates"

"the most serious charge against Grant was the fact he did not order his army to entrench...Halleck had ordered Grant to entrench, and grant did not do so"
--1stvermont


Grant was not commanding the Army of Tennessee in the field at the time the site at Pittsburgh Landing was chosen and the encampment was initiated. Halleck had placed Br. Gen. Charles F. Smith in command of the expedition at that time. It was Smith and Sherman who chose the site, and Halleck would have had to approve it. Could Grant have changed the location after he was restored to field command? I don't know. Was there a better location for combining and concentrating two armies preparing to march on Corinth? I'd be open to hearing the suggestions, in greater detail than just, "the other side of the river."

I would place the first arrivals nearest the landing as well, and expand or extend the line from there. The alternative is to install a gap between those encamped, and the landing, which does not strike me as wise.

Finally, since most of Grant's army was made up of raw recruits, and since they were expected to go on the march and fight shortly after the arrival of Buell's Army, Grant thought that time was better spent training for battle than digging entrenchments. I would tend to agree- better that they know how to fight as an organized unit.

Yours,

JohnT

(Edit to add)

I see Mr. Martin suggested Savannah. I believe I understand his logic. I also believe he does not fully appreciate the degree of logistical complication this adds to the federal plan. Once the armies were combined and ready to move, they would have to be ferried across the river, either directly across from Savannah, or downriver, like at at Pittsburgh Landing, and then reassembled. The former would add about 10 miles to any march. The latter would involve longer trips by boat. Both would take longer and expend more resources than assembling at Pittsburgh landing to begin with.


John R. Price
Wilkes-Barre, PA, USA
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E-7 Sgt First Class
Posts: 466

Re: A Critical Look at General Grant
Posted on: 10/7/2017 4:07:31 PM
1stVermont,

Donaldson is where you said the Confederates had a chance to drive them into the river. The attack wouldn't have succeeded and even if Grant could have been forced to retreat he would have just re-boarded the transports under cover of the gunboats. But with respect it wasn't going to happen.

How do you explain the aftermath of say Five Forks or Missionary Ridge where the defending force was dug in and still got badly defeated? Grant wasn't telling what happened so much as he was trying to defend himself from criticism and paint his action in the best possible light. Like his response to Lee saying Little Mac was the best he faced was Joe Johnston was the best he faced even though he never faced Johnston in a major battle.

Try Douglas Southall Freeman's bio on Lee, volume 2 chapter 2 or the Official Records volume 2 pages 810 and 811.

Yes Sherman did that all the way from Resca to the coast never getting more than 25 miles from the single rail line. The difference in the "March Through Georgia" is that he loaded up the rail cars with as much as they could hold, heavy on ammo, then brought them with him then forgaged for as much food as he could find.

---------------
A battle long forgotten by our country in a war never understood by our country.
"to satisfy our endless needs and justify our bloody deeds, in the name of destiny and in the name of God"


1stvermont
Vermont, VT, USA
top 50
E-4 Specialist


Posts: 67

Re: A Critical Look at General Grant
Posted on: 10/8/2017 6:57:20 AM
John Price

again from martin and the Shiloh campaign on belmont. "Grant himself would lead a force of 3,000 men on river steamers under the protection of the gunboats lexington and tyler, using the river he would be able to threaten columbus, belmont, and new madrid. his real purpose, however, was to eliminate the confederate position at belmont"


He also states how Polk was the commander making the calls for action ordered the reinforcements that also most cut grant off. Do you see anything wrong here? thanks
---------------
“The CSA congress can have no such power over states officers. The state governments are an essential part of the political system, upon the separate and independent sovereignty of the states the foundation of the confederacy”
-1864 Virginia supremeCourt

1stvermont
Vermont, VT, USA
top 50
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Posts: 67

Re: A Critical Look at General Grant
Posted on: 10/8/2017 7:06:35 AM

Quote:
1stVermont,

Donaldson is where you said the Confederates had a chance to drive them into the river. The attack wouldn't have succeeded and even if Grant could have been forced to retreat he would have just re-boarded the transports under cover of the gunboats. But with respect it wasn't going to happen.

How do you explain the aftermath of say Five Forks or Missionary Ridge where the defending force was dug in and still got badly defeated? Grant wasn't telling what happened so much as he was trying to defend himself from criticism and paint his action in the best possible light. Like his response to Lee saying Little Mac was the best he faced was Joe Johnston was the best he faced even though he never faced Johnston in a major battle.

Try Douglas Southall Freeman's bio on Lee, volume 2 chapter 2 or the Official Records volume 2 pages 810 and 811.

Yes Sherman did that all the way from Resca to the coast never getting more than 25 miles from the single rail line. The difference in the "March Through Georgia" is that he loaded up the rail cars with as much as they could hold, heavy on ammo, then brought them with him then forgaged for as much food as he could find.

--John R. Price


i did. I think had the attack worked, its hard to do an orderly boarding and transportation under fire. had the attack led to a rout [as you said very unlikely, i think you correct on this] i see thousands of prisoners and the river a major obstacle. But how would you like me to reword my op on this section?

what if i changed my op that reads

"The attack pushed the union men back and created enough room for an easy breakout for the entire force. The union line was being “rolled up" and in danger of being pushed into the river and thus, surrendering itself."

to this

"The attack pushed the union men back and created enough room for an easy breakout for the entire force. The union line was being “rolled up"

just get rid of the last part.


I am not sure i buy it but I will try and dig deeper into this on grant digging in orders from halleck, search for original.



and with a larger army and you think grant camping a few miles difference for a short time waiting for buell is that big a deal?
---------------
“The CSA congress can have no such power over states officers. The state governments are an essential part of the political system, upon the separate and independent sovereignty of the states the foundation of the confederacy”
-1864 Virginia supremeCourt

1stvermont
Vermont, VT, USA
top 50
E-4 Specialist


Posts: 67

Re: A Critical Look at General Grant
Posted on: 10/8/2017 7:10:35 AM

Quote:

Quote:


So I am reading from the Shiloh campaign by David Martin. "Grants greatest error was permitting his army to encamp at Pittsburgh landing, a position in enemy territory with its back to the river"

he than goes on and says how he left wallaces division exposed and "his veteran divisions were posted nearest Pittsburgh landing simply because they got there first. His two greenest divisions, Shermans and Prentiss, were then posted farthest from the landing and closest to the confederates"

"the most serious charge against Grant was the fact he did not order his army to entrench...Halleck had ordered Grant to entrench, and grant did not do so"
--1stvermont


Grant was not commanding the Army of Tennessee in the field at the time the site at Pittsburgh Landing was chosen and the encampment was initiated. Halleck had placed Br. Gen. Charles F. Smith in command of the expedition at that time. It was Smith and Sherman who chose the site, and Halleck would have had to approve it. Could Grant have changed the location after he was restored to field command? I don't know. Was there a better location for combining and concentrating two armies preparing to march on Corinth? I'd be open to hearing the suggestions, in greater detail than just, "the other side of the river."

I would place the first arrivals nearest the landing as well, and expand or extend the line from there. The alternative is to install a gap between those encamped, and the landing, which does not strike me as wise.

Finally, since most of Grant's army was made up of raw recruits, and since they were expected to go on the march and fight shortly after the arrival of Buell's Army, Grant thought that time was better spent training for battle than digging entrenchments. I would tend to agree- better that they know how to fight as an organized unit.

Yours,

JohnT

(Edit to add)

I see Mr. Martin suggested Savannah. I believe I understand his logic. I also believe he does not fully appreciate the degree of logistical complication this adds to the federal plan. Once the armies were combined and ready to move, they would have to be ferried across the river, either directly across from Savannah, or downriver, like at at Pittsburgh Landing, and then reassembled. The former would add about 10 miles to any march. The latter would involve longer trips by boat. Both would take longer and expend more resources than assembling at Pittsburgh landing to begin with.


--jthlmnn



He allowed sherman to chose and and did not change the position when he was in command. He had plenty of time after. Also if halleck approved it is because he also ordered to entrench.

I dont disagree with much else of what you have said. Thanks for the post.
---------------
“The CSA congress can have no such power over states officers. The state governments are an essential part of the political system, upon the separate and independent sovereignty of the states the foundation of the confederacy”
-1864 Virginia supremeCourt

John R. Price
Wilkes-Barre, PA, USA
top 20
E-7 Sgt First Class
Posts: 466

Re: A Critical Look at General Grant
Posted on: 10/8/2017 10:35:34 AM
1stVermont,

I never said the Confederate attack at Donaldson was likely to cause the Union forces to "rout." First I don't think you understand the terrain. Grant marched overland from Henry to Donaldson with the river on his left. The Confederate breakout attempt pushed back Grant's right meaning the gunboats are firing into the Confederate flank and for the Union Army to "rout" and be thrown back into the river the Confederate attack would have to envelope the Union right then wheel driving the Union right before it and then defeat the entire Union force. All this from a smaller force in its first battle with less firepower. Or would you rather they drive the entire force the I believe 12 miles back to the river near Forth Henry?

But the Union line was never in danger of being rolled up. Two thirds of the Union line wasn't even engaged by the attack. What did happen is that the Union line on the right flank was driven back a short distance so as to create enough room for a breakout attempt but the order to breakout was never given and the attacking force was counterattacked as was the holding force and both were driven back past their original positions.


There was no rail line at Pittsburg Landing and Sherman had close to a month in Atlanta to stockpile supplies to take with him. Plus again there was more than enough water available on the march through Georgia to supply Sherman's Army there wasn't in and around Corinth. Then understand just how hard it was to transport water on the scale that a army consumes each and every day.
---------------
A battle long forgotten by our country in a war never understood by our country.
"to satisfy our endless needs and justify our bloody deeds, in the name of destiny and in the name of God"


1stvermont
Vermont, VT, USA
top 50
E-4 Specialist


Posts: 67

Re: A Critical Look at General Grant
Posted on: 10/8/2017 4:10:56 PM

Quote:
1stVermont,

I never said the Confederate attack at Donaldson was likely to cause the Union forces to "rout." First I don't think you understand the terrain. Grant marched overland from Henry to Donaldson with the river on his left. The Confederate breakout attempt pushed back Grant's right meaning the gunboats are firing into the Confederate flank and for the Union Army to "rout" and be thrown back into the river the Confederate attack would have to envelope the Union right then wheel driving the Union right before it and then defeat the entire Union force. All this from a smaller force in its first battle with less firepower. Or would you rather they drive the entire force the I believe 12 miles back to the river near Forth Henry?

But the Union line was never in danger of being rolled up. Two thirds of the Union line wasn't even engaged by the attack. What did happen is that the Union line on the right flank was driven back a short distance so as to create enough room for a breakout attempt but the order to breakout was never given and the attacking force was counterattacked as was the holding force and both were driven back past their original positions.


There was no rail line at Pittsburg Landing and Sherman had close to a month in Atlanta to stockpile supplies to take with him. Plus again there was more than enough water available on the march through Georgia to supply Sherman's Army there wasn't in and around Corinth. Then understand just how hard it was to transport water on the scale that a army consumes each and every day.
--John R. Price



Thanks for your comment and corrections. What i said was had it turned into a rout, not that it was. Just because the attacking force was smaller does not mean it could not happen [especially with green troops] and the flank was rolled up while an attack on the center held forces in place. The reason the union line was not fully engaged is because the attack that was successful, was called off and the men returned, that is my argument in the op, the southern command was awful.
---------------
“The CSA congress can have no such power over states officers. The state governments are an essential part of the political system, upon the separate and independent sovereignty of the states the foundation of the confederacy”
-1864 Virginia supremeCourt

jthlmnn
Milwaukee, WI, USA
top 40
E-4 Corporal


Posts: 164

Re: A Critical Look at General Grant
Posted on: 10/9/2017 12:25:34 AM

Quote:

Quote:

Quote:


So I am reading from the Shiloh campaign by David Martin. "Grants greatest error was permitting his army to encamp at Pittsburgh landing, a position in enemy territory with its back to the river"

he than goes on and says how he left wallaces division exposed and "his veteran divisions were posted nearest Pittsburgh landing simply because they got there first. His two greenest divisions, Shermans and Prentiss, were then posted farthest from the landing and closest to the confederates"

"the most serious charge against Grant was the fact he did not order his army to entrench...Halleck had ordered Grant to entrench, and grant did not do so"
--1stvermont


Grant was not commanding the Army of Tennessee in the field at the time the site at Pittsburgh Landing was chosen and the encampment was initiated. Halleck had placed Br. Gen. Charles F. Smith in command of the expedition at that time. It was Smith and Sherman who chose the site, and Halleck would have had to approve it. Could Grant have changed the location after he was restored to field command? I don't know. Was there a better location for combining and concentrating two armies preparing to march on Corinth? I'd be open to hearing the suggestions, in greater detail than just, "the other side of the river."

I would place the first arrivals nearest the landing as well, and expand or extend the line from there. The alternative is to install a gap between those encamped, and the landing, which does not strike me as wise.

Finally, since most of Grant's army was made up of raw recruits, and since they were expected to go on the march and fight shortly after the arrival of Buell's Army, Grant thought that time was better spent training for battle than digging entrenchments. I would tend to agree- better that they know how to fight as an organized unit.

Yours,

JohnT

(Edit to add)

I see Mr. Martin suggested Savannah. I believe I understand his logic. I also believe he does not fully appreciate the degree of logistical complication this adds to the federal plan. Once the armies were combined and ready to move, they would have to be ferried across the river, either directly across from Savannah, or downriver, like at at Pittsburgh Landing, and then reassembled. The former would add about 10 miles to any march. The latter would involve longer trips by boat. Both would take longer and expend more resources than assembling at Pittsburgh landing to begin with.


--jthlmnn



He allowed sherman to chose and and did not change the position when he was in command. He had plenty of time after. Also if halleck approved it is because he also ordered to entrench.

I dont disagree with much else of what you have said. Thanks for the post.

--1stvermont


By "He", I assume you mean Grant. Let me be clear. Grant was not consulted on the selection of the site. Sherman recommended it to Smith, but it was Smith's call. Grant had no say in the matter until he was restored to command of the expedition. He took over that command on the evening of March 17. At that time, Grant did have the option to change the site, as he wrote to Halleck on March 18,


Quote:
I arrived here last evening, and found that Generals Sherman's and Hurlbut's divisions were at Pittsburg, partially debarked; General Wallace at Crump's Landing, six miles below, same side of the river; General McClernand's division at this place (Savannah) encamped; and General Smith's division, with unattached regiments, on transports, also here...I shall go tomorrow to Crump's Landing and Pittsburg, and if I think any change of position for any of the troops needed I will make the change. Having full faith, however, in the judgement of General Smith, who selected the present points of debarkation, I do not expect any change will be made. There are no intermediate points where a steamer can land at the present stage of water."


Yours,

JohnT



John R. Price
Wilkes-Barre, PA, USA
top 20
E-7 Sgt First Class
Posts: 466

Re: A Critical Look at General Grant
Posted on: 10/9/2017 1:58:18 PM
1stVermont,

Thanks for your comment and corrections. What i said was had it turned into a rout, not that it was. Just because the attacking force was smaller does not mean it could not happen [especially with green troops] and the flank was rolled up while an attack on the center held forces in place. The reason the union line was not fully engaged is because the attack that was successful, was called off and the men returned, that is my argument in the op, the southern command was awful.

No the flank was not "rolled up." To "roll up" a line you have to attack the flank of the line defeating each unit and driving it back onto the unit next in line like Jackson's flank attack at Chancellorsville. The attack at Donaldson was more a frontal attack against the Union right flank that drove that section of the line back to a predetermined point so as to open a corridor for the remainder of the garrison to escape through. The attack wasn't "called off" the attacking force reached that predetermined point and went on the defensive to hold open the corridor. The order to breakout wasn't given but the attacking force held their position until counterattacked and forced to retreat. So while I agree the Confederate command of Pillow and Floyd was "awful" the reasons for you coming to that conclusion and your understanding of the battle and terrain are wrong.
---------------
A battle long forgotten by our country in a war never understood by our country.
"to satisfy our endless needs and justify our bloody deeds, in the name of destiny and in the name of God"


John R. Price
Wilkes-Barre, PA, USA
top 20
E-7 Sgt First Class
Posts: 466

Re: A Critical Look at General Grant
Posted on: 10/9/2017 2:12:12 PM
JohnT,

I believe Smith came down with a bad case of dysentery and died soon after.
---------------
A battle long forgotten by our country in a war never understood by our country.
"to satisfy our endless needs and justify our bloody deeds, in the name of destiny and in the name of God"


1stvermont
Vermont, VT, USA
top 50
E-4 Specialist


Posts: 67

Re: A Critical Look at General Grant
Posted on: 10/9/2017 5:52:26 PM

Quote:

Quote:

Quote:

Quote:


So I am reading from the Shiloh campaign by David Martin. "Grants greatest error was permitting his army to encamp at Pittsburgh landing, a position in enemy territory with its back to the river"

he than goes on and says how he left wallaces division exposed and "his veteran divisions were posted nearest Pittsburgh landing simply because they got there first. His two greenest divisions, Shermans and Prentiss, were then posted farthest from the landing and closest to the confederates"

"the most serious charge against Grant was the fact he did not order his army to entrench...Halleck had ordered Grant to entrench, and grant did not do so"
--1stvermont


Grant was not commanding the Army of Tennessee in the field at the time the site at Pittsburgh Landing was chosen and the encampment was initiated. Halleck had placed Br. Gen. Charles F. Smith in command of the expedition at that time. It was Smith and Sherman who chose the site, and Halleck would have had to approve it. Could Grant have changed the location after he was restored to field command? I don't know. Was there a better location for combining and concentrating two armies preparing to march on Corinth? I'd be open to hearing the suggestions, in greater detail than just, "the other side of the river."

I would place the first arrivals nearest the landing as well, and expand or extend the line from there. The alternative is to install a gap between those encamped, and the landing, which does not strike me as wise.

Finally, since most of Grant's army was made up of raw recruits, and since they were expected to go on the march and fight shortly after the arrival of Buell's Army, Grant thought that time was better spent training for battle than digging entrenchments. I would tend to agree- better that they know how to fight as an organized unit.

Yours,

JohnT

(Edit to add)

I see Mr. Martin suggested Savannah. I believe I understand his logic. I also believe he does not fully appreciate the degree of logistical complication this adds to the federal plan. Once the armies were combined and ready to move, they would have to be ferried across the river, either directly across from Savannah, or downriver, like at at Pittsburgh Landing, and then reassembled. The former would add about 10 miles to any march. The latter would involve longer trips by boat. Both would take longer and expend more resources than assembling at Pittsburgh landing to begin with.


--jthlmnn



He allowed sherman to chose and and did not change the position when he was in command. He had plenty of time after. Also if halleck approved it is because he also ordered to entrench.

I dont disagree with much else of what you have said. Thanks for the post.

--1stvermont


By "He", I assume you mean Grant. Let me be clear. Grant was not consulted on the selection of the site. Sherman recommended it to Smith, but it was Smith's call. Grant had no say in the matter until he was restored to command of the expedition. He took over that command on the evening of March 17. At that time, Grant did have the option to change the site, as he wrote to Halleck on March 18,


Quote:
I arrived here last evening, and found that Generals Sherman's and Hurlbut's divisions were at Pittsburg, partially debarked; General Wallace at Crump's Landing, six miles below, same side of the river; General McClernand's division at this place (Savannah) encamped; and General Smith's division, with unattached regiments, on transports, also here...I shall go tomorrow to Crump's Landing and Pittsburg, and if I think any change of position for any of the troops needed I will make the change. Having full faith, however, in the judgement of General Smith, who selected the present points of debarkation, I do not expect any change will be made. There are no intermediate points where a steamer can land at the present stage of water."


Yours,

JohnT



--jthlmnn



"and if I think any change of position for any of the troops needed I will make the change. Having full faith, however, in the judgement of General Smith, who selected the present points of debarkation, I do not expect any change will be made."
---------------
“The CSA congress can have no such power over states officers. The state governments are an essential part of the political system, upon the separate and independent sovereignty of the states the foundation of the confederacy”
-1864 Virginia supremeCourt

1stvermont
Vermont, VT, USA
top 50
E-4 Specialist


Posts: 67

Re: A Critical Look at General Grant
Posted on: 10/9/2017 6:17:46 PM

Quote:
1stVermont,

Thanks for your comment and corrections. What i said was had it turned into a rout, not that it was. Just because the attacking force was smaller does not mean it could not happen [especially with green troops] and the flank was rolled up while an attack on the center held forces in place. The reason the union line was not fully engaged is because the attack that was successful, was called off and the men returned, that is my argument in the op, the southern command was awful.

No the flank was not "rolled up." To "roll up" a line you have to attack the flank of the line defeating each unit and driving it back onto the unit next in line like Jackson's flank attack at Chancellorsville. The attack at Donaldson was more a frontal attack against the Union right flank that drove that section of the line back to a predetermined point so as to open a corridor for the remainder of the garrison to escape through. The attack wasn't "called off" the attacking force reached that predetermined point and went on the defensive to hold open the corridor. The order to breakout wasn't given but the attacking force held their position until counterattacked and forced to retreat. So while I agree the Confederate command of Pillow and Floyd was "awful" the reasons for you coming to that conclusion and your understanding of the battle and terrain are wrong.
--John R. Price




Image of the breakout
https://www.google.com/search?q=ft+donelson+breakout&rlz=1C1MSIM_enUS733US733&tbm=isch&source=iu&pf=m&ictx=1&fir=ThmjX7lGjunb6M%253A%252CVR5z9-ZhGNPZWM%252C_&usg=__GPyc_aPDnGa6fa4nTZ5oZ6FwXD0%3D&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwj17oaRyOTWAhVHvhQKHQUiCGwQ9QEIRjAG#imgrc=ThmjX7lGjunb6M:



The attack was called off, from martin


"Buckners men advanced to assault wallaces 3rd division, in the center of Grants line. This movement kept Wallace from reinforcing Mcclerand, whose weary division was soon swept from the field by the victorious confederates.
At this point the confederates had what they wanted, Grants's right wing had been smashed, and the road to Nashville and safety lay open. Better yet, it was then possible for Buckner and Pillow to roll up the reminder of Grants line [ here was my mistake it was not rolled up just smashed and pushed back martin believes the rest of the union line could have been rolled up] and so win a smashing victory....the confederate battle plan called for Buckner to strip his trenches in front of Donaldson and commit most his men to attack the union center. This plan was working perfectly, as the union leaders were too busy defending their own right flank to notice how weak the confederate right was. It was at this point that the confederate command suffered a failure of nerve...Pillow had second thoughts about the safety of Buckners original line. For some inexplicable reason, he ordered Buckner to stop his attack and return to his trenches."



I will agree the best they could have done [and should have] is likely the breakout of the force. I have removed from my op "The union line was being “rolled up" and in danger of being pushed towards the river." Thanks for improving my op.
---------------
“The CSA congress can have no such power over states officers. The state governments are an essential part of the political system, upon the separate and independent sovereignty of the states the foundation of the confederacy”
-1864 Virginia supremeCourt

jthlmnn
Milwaukee, WI, USA
top 40
E-4 Corporal


Posts: 164

Re: A Critical Look at General Grant
Posted on: 10/9/2017 7:33:13 PM

Quote:
JohnT,

I believe Smith came down with a bad case of dysentery and died soon after.
--John R. Price


It was an infection from an injury to his shin, or foot, sustained when jumping into a boat in the dark. He had been ill with dysentery, which didn't help, prior to the movement toward Pittsburg Landing. He died April 25.

Yours,

JohnT

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