MILITARY HISTORY ONLINE

User:  
Password:  
 
 (1861-1865) Civil War Battles (Western Theater)
Page 3 of 3 (Page:  1   2    3  )
Message
John R. Price
Wilkes-Barre PA USA
Posts: 1152
Joined: 2004
Rosecrans
5/9/2020 1:33:53 AM
Trevor,

Bragg wouldn't have shined in high command anywhere anytime because he couldn't react to the changing situation and modify the plan on the fly and he couldn't accept blame for anything. At Chickamauga one of Longstreet's staff saw a opportunity for Stewart's Division then sitting on their hands waiting for orders and went to Stewart, identified himself, pointed out the task and gave the order in Longstreet's name to attack. Stewart declined without a written order singed by Longstreet. The staff officer pointed out that by the time he rode to find Longstreet and got a written order and rode back the opportunity would have passed. Stewart agreed but said he couldn't move without the written order. Bragg stifled initiative and the ability of his subordinates to adjust to the changing situation of battle.
----------------------------------
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"
Phil Andrade
London  UK
Posts: 4933
Joined: 2004
Rosecrans
5/9/2020 6:00:17 AM
Trevor,

You disagree with my inclusion of Buonaparte in the coercive command style.

Yes, you’re right : I should not have cited him.....he broke the mould.

Intrigued about Frederick the Great .....I must defer to you here, obviously : but isn’t he supposed to have said that his soldiers needed to be more frightened of their Sergeant Majors than they were of the enemy ?


Pleased you cited Lee’s reproach to AP Hill regarding Wright. By virtue of background and profession, one might have expected Lee to have been stifled by convention .....but, far from it : he strikes me as having a superb sense of what made his ragged volunteers tick.

Regards, Phil
----------------------------------
"Egad, sir, I do not know whether you will die on the gallows or of the pox!" "That will depend, my Lord, on whether I embrace your principles or your mistress." Earl of Sandwich and John Wilkes
scoucer
Berlin  Germany
Posts: 2856
Joined: 2010
Rosecrans
5/9/2020 5:24:34 PM
Quote:
Trevor,
Intrigued about Frederick the Great .....I must defer to you here, obviously : but isn’t he supposed to have said that his soldiers needed to be more frightened of their Sergeant Majors than they were of the enemy ?

Regards, Phil


No. That was his father the "Soldier King" Frederick William I. and his general Leopold I, Prince of Anhalt-Dessau. Leopold was quite a soldier, who had served under Marlborough and Eugene of Savoy. It was he who trained the Prussian Infantry into the formidable disciplined force it would become. What he meant ,of course, was that when the lead was flying the infantry must be disciplined enough to concentrate on reloading and firing. Drill, drill,drill.

Trevor
----------------------------------
`Hey don´t the wars come easy and don´t the peace come hard`- Buffy Sainte-Marie Some swim with the stream. Some swim against the stream. Me - I´m stuck somewhere in the woods and can´t even find the stupid stream.
Phil Andrade
London  UK
Posts: 4933
Joined: 2004
Rosecrans
5/10/2020 9:30:06 AM
Quote:
Quote:
Trevor,
Intrigued about Frederick the Great .....I must defer to you here, obviously : but isn’t he supposed to have said that his soldiers needed to be more frightened of their Sergeant Majors than they were of the enemy ?

Regards, Phil


No. That was his father the "Soldier King" Frederick William I. and his general Leopold I, Prince of Anhalt-Dessau. Leopold was quite a soldier, who had served under Marlborough and Eugene of Savoy. It was he who trained the Prussian Infantry into the formidable disciplined force it would become. What he meant ,of course, was that when the lead was flying the infantry must be disciplined enough to concentrate on reloading and firing. Drill, drill,drill.

Trevor


Now this is what I like so much about MHO !

To be enlightened and entertained by you, and other experts like you, Trevor.

I think I can remember from my school history lessons that Frederick the Great’s Dad was a terrifying man, very short and frightfully obese, who used to storm around Berlin with a stick, beating the terrified residents and shouting out Why don’t you love me, scum ? !

Does memory serve me, Trevor ?

Regards, Phil
----------------------------------
"Egad, sir, I do not know whether you will die on the gallows or of the pox!" "That will depend, my Lord, on whether I embrace your principles or your mistress." Earl of Sandwich and John Wilkes
scoucer
Berlin  Germany
Posts: 2856
Joined: 2010
Rosecrans
5/10/2020 10:15:01 AM
Quote:
Trevor,

Bragg wouldn't have shined in high command anywhere anytime because he couldn't react to the changing situation and modify the plan on the fly and he couldn't accept blame for anything. At Chickamauga one of Longstreet's staff saw a opportunity for Stewart's Division then sitting on their hands waiting for orders and went to Stewart, identified himself, pointed out the task and gave the order in Longstreet's name to attack. Stewart declined without a written order singed by Longstreet. The staff officer pointed out that by the time he rode to find Longstreet and got a written order and rode back the opportunity would have passed. Stewart agreed but said he couldn't move without the written order. Bragg stifled initiative and the ability of his subordinates to adjust to the changing situation of battle.


Point taken John. Completely right.

Trevor
----------------------------------
`Hey don´t the wars come easy and don´t the peace come hard`- Buffy Sainte-Marie Some swim with the stream. Some swim against the stream. Me - I´m stuck somewhere in the woods and can´t even find the stupid stream.
scoucer
Berlin  Germany
Posts: 2856
Joined: 2010
Rosecrans
5/10/2020 11:01:31 AM
Quote:

I think I can remember from my school history lessons that Frederick the Great’s Dad was a terrifying man, very short and frightfully obese, who used to storm around Berlin with a stick, beating the terrified residents and shouting out Why don’t you love me, scum ? !

Does memory serve me, Trevor ?

Regards, Phil


Quite right Phil. He was a terrible, bad-tempered, violent, philistine tyrant, who didn´t hesitate to thrash his children. He and his wife hated each other.
When Berlin residents heard he was on his way, they would all run away and hide. Anybody who was unfortunate to get caught would end up with a thrashing.

One of the reasons Frederick loved his music teacher Johann Quantz ( he would retire until his death in Sans Souci as Frederick´s guest) was that, not only that he was a brilliant teacher, but that he was willing to literally risk his life to sneak into the palace at the request of the Queen to teach the children music, often having to hide in cupboards or stables when the music-hating king unexpectedly showed up.

Trevor
----------------------------------
`Hey don´t the wars come easy and don´t the peace come hard`- Buffy Sainte-Marie Some swim with the stream. Some swim against the stream. Me - I´m stuck somewhere in the woods and can´t even find the stupid stream.
John R. Price
Wilkes-Barre PA USA
Posts: 1152
Joined: 2004
Rosecrans
5/10/2020 3:22:57 PM
Trevor,

Nothing to do with the thread but Sans Souci is blast from my childhood. Hanover is the next town/township south of Wilkes-Barre. one street is W-B the next Hanover, Burger King is in W-B but the BBQ joint across the RR tracks is in Hanover, its Academy St in W-B but after a traffic light near the Burger King it becomes the Sans Souci Highway. About 2 miles down the highway is the former site of the Sans Souci Amusement Park which never reopened after the 72 Agnes flood. Some of my earliest and fondest memories are of my grandmother taking me on the bus to spend the afternoon there during the school year or my mother taking me for the day when school was out. Mom was a teacher and a single parent but it was like I had two mothers and my grandfather was the best. He'd meet us and drive us home from the amusement park when he got off work. Happy Mothers Day in Heaven Mom and Nan!
----------------------------------
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"
Phil Andrade
London  UK
Posts: 4933
Joined: 2004
Rosecrans
5/10/2020 4:44:54 PM
Trevor,

These lurid anecdotes really capture the imagination. Now that you’ve reassured me that my memory is sound, I recall that this foul father also made the sensitive son witness the execution of his friend ( and lover ? )

A searing experience.

People who are determined to exclude gay people from serving in the military would do well to consider the example of Frederick the Great.

Talking of searing experience, Rosecrans himself endured this in the most literal way when he was experimenting with an oil lamp he had invented and wanted to patent. It exploded and burned his face so badly that he was ill for years.

Everyday life was so much more hazardous in those times. I wonder whether the close brush with death, or the ordeal of harsh domestic life, imparted something to the individual that made him better able to adapt to the stress of command in war.

Regards, Phil
----------------------------------
"Egad, sir, I do not know whether you will die on the gallows or of the pox!" "That will depend, my Lord, on whether I embrace your principles or your mistress." Earl of Sandwich and John Wilkes
scoucer
Berlin  Germany
Posts: 2856
Joined: 2010
Rosecrans
5/10/2020 5:15:28 PM
Quote:
Trevor,

Nothing to do with the thread but Sans Souci is blast from my childhood. Hanover is the next town/township south of Wilkes-Barre. one street is W-B the next Hanover, Burger King is in W-B but the BBQ joint across the RR tracks is in Hanover, its Academy St in W-B but after a traffic light near the Burger King it becomes the Sans Souci Highway. About 2 miles down the highway is the former site of the Sans Souci Amusement Park which never reopened after the 72 Agnes flood. Some of my earliest and fondest memories are of my grandmother taking me on the bus to spend the afternoon there during the school year or my mother taking me for the day when school was out. Mom was a teacher and a single parent but it was like I had two mothers and my grandfather was the best. He'd meet us and drive us home from the amusement park when he got off work. Happy Mothers Day in Heaven Mom and Nan!


Yes John, for me it was Southport, just north of Liverpool. Amusement Park and Beach. Packed lunches as big as a suitcase. We´ed go on the train - My mum, my aunt and my two cousins. Special day out. Candy Floss, Lemonade, Ice creams seemed almost as big as ourselves, Fish and chips on the Promenade. Falling asleep in the back of my uncle´s van on the way home.

Frederick named his Summer Palace Sans Souci because it means "Without a care". Appropriate.

Trevor
----------------------------------
`Hey don´t the wars come easy and don´t the peace come hard`- Buffy Sainte-Marie Some swim with the stream. Some swim against the stream. Me - I´m stuck somewhere in the woods and can´t even find the stupid stream.
Steve Clements
Toronto ON Canada
Posts: 779
Joined: 2004
Rosecrans
5/17/2020 12:12:42 PM
Phil,

Hope you see this...

Quote:
Would be keen to discuss Corinth here.

That, and Iuka....a couple of lesser battles, but characterised by fighting of the bitterest kind, and a test of mettle for Rosecrans.


You had mentioned these two battles on several occasions....

With time on my hands these days ... and who wants to read the paper any more, cuz ALL the news is COVID related.... I have been prowling my bookshelves, looking for books to re-read, and/or discover books that had never been read....

Came across a copy of "The Darkest Days of the War - the Battles of Iuka and Corinth"

About 40% of the way through as of this a.m. .... and Phil, you were correct, very bitter fighting, with a high percentage of casualties (I am talking Iuka here...) on both sides. And the first 50 pages or so were excellent background to how and why the fighting at Iuka (and then Corinth) actually occurred. And the relationship between Rosecrans and Grant is well documented...

Neither Grant or Ord are painted in a very positive light...Grant seemed to be remarkably detached....which (IMO) was something that happened on other occasions....

The author is Peter Cozzens, who has also written on Chickamauga, the battles for Chattanooga and Stones River.

s.c.
Phil Andrade
London  UK
Posts: 4933
Joined: 2004
Rosecrans
5/17/2020 6:53:44 PM
Hi Steve,

Delighted that you've pitched in about Iuka and Corinth.

Those battles capture the imagination, don't they ?

Regards, Phil
----------------------------------
"Egad, sir, I do not know whether you will die on the gallows or of the pox!" "That will depend, my Lord, on whether I embrace your principles or your mistress." Earl of Sandwich and John Wilkes
Phil Andrade
London  UK
Posts: 4933
Joined: 2004
Rosecrans
5/18/2020 7:00:46 AM
Steve,

How right you are about the complete dominance of CV19 in all the media !

I honestly feel as if I've been eating, sleeping and shitting it for a couple of months or more now, and I seek escape.

Heck, I've even enhanced my metrosexual attributes by helping Lynn with housework, and I've just finished a huge floor cleaning exercise, using a mop and bucket on the floor of the kitchen. The kitchen is large and floored with big, square tiles that make the task easier by defining which lines of squares have yet to be conquered. You can move the bucket backwards from one line of squares to another as you accomplish the job. I started to think about the grand strategy of the American Civil War, and see the floor mopping task as an exercise in the " scission and defeat" of the huge territorial expanse of the Confederacy. Now I'm Grant, being detached and ambitious, next I'm Sherman throwing a hysterical protest about how much more cleaning fluid I'm going to need to wipe the floor, then I'm Rosecrans getting incoherent with excitement as I squeeze and twist the dirty mop. I'd imagined being Van Dorn and attempting a Lothario move as I seek praise and approval for what I've done....but, no, on second thoughts, it'd be better if I just stuck to squeezing and twisting the mop !

The abiding interest I have in the Civil War imparts something special into the most mundane of tasks. Is this a blessing or a curse ?

There is an analogy between the fights at Iuka and Allatoona in Georgia a couple of years later.

Both were small scale but really vicious fights between small parts of armies trying to develop big strategic moves. The statistical records are astonishingly similar. At Iuka, the yankees reported 790 casualties, of whom 141 were posted as killed ; the rebels returned 693 casualties, including only 86 killed. The number of rebel dead counted on the field was about three times as high. At Allatoona, the Federals returned 706 casualties, of whom 142 were killed. The Confederates reported 873 casualties, including 127 killed. The heroic and wounded Union commander reported that his men buried 231 dead rebels on the field and took 411 prisoners.

An interesting thing to contemplate while trying to wipe the floor !

Regards, Phil
----------------------------------
"Egad, sir, I do not know whether you will die on the gallows or of the pox!" "That will depend, my Lord, on whether I embrace your principles or your mistress." Earl of Sandwich and John Wilkes
scoucer
Berlin  Germany
Posts: 2856
Joined: 2010
Rosecrans
5/18/2020 2:23:17 PM
Quote:
Steve,

Heck, I've even enhanced my metrosexual attributes by helping Lynn with housework, and I've just finished a huge floor cleaning exercise, using a mop and bucket on the floor of the kitchen. The kitchen is large and floored with big, square tiles that make the task easier by defining which lines of squares have yet to be conquered. You can move the bucket backwards from one line of squares to another as you accomplish the job. I started to think about the grand strategy of the American Civil War, and see the floor mopping task as an exercise in the " scission and defeat" of the huge territorial expanse of the Confederacy. Now I'm Grant, being detached and ambitious, next I'm Sherman throwing a hysterical protest about how much more cleaning fluid I'm going to need to wipe the floor, then I'm Rosecrans getting incoherent with excitement as I squeeze and twist the dirty mop. I'd imagined being Van Dorn and attempting a Lothario move as I seek praise and approval for what I've done....but, no, on second thoughts, it'd be better if I just stuck to squeezing and twisting the mop !

The abiding interest I have in the Civil War imparts something special into the most mundane of tasks. Is this a blessing or a curse ?

An interesting thing to contemplate while trying to wipe the floor !

Regards, Phil


This is excellent Phil ! This is refered to as " Psychodrama". A school of Therapy developed by Jacob Levy Moreno. I use it often.

Trevor
----------------------------------
`Hey don´t the wars come easy and don´t the peace come hard`- Buffy Sainte-Marie Some swim with the stream. Some swim against the stream. Me - I´m stuck somewhere in the woods and can´t even find the stupid stream.
Michigan Dave
Muskegon MI USA
Posts: 6206
Joined: 2006
Rosecrans
5/19/2020 9:36:43 PM
Here is an excellant video among other things, how Rosecrans was actually detriment to the North, but they overcame it? Comments?

[Read More]

[Read More]

MD
----------------------------------
"The brave men, living and dead, who struggled here, have consecrated it, far above our poor power to add or detract."
Phil Andrade
London  UK
Posts: 4933
Joined: 2004
Rosecrans
5/20/2020 6:56:24 PM
Dave,

You send us good stuff in these links, thank you.

I’ve watched a good part of the first one, and I’ll make a couple of comments, fully aware that I’ve yet to complete viewing .

I thought poor old Rosey was damned with faint praise : his disastrous experience at Chickamauga leaving him described as ineffectual and completely crushed. To be fair, it would have been appropriate to acknowledge his successes at Iuka, Corinth, Stones River and his brilliant advance through Tennessee in the summer of ‘63.

I’m wondering about the way the Chickamauga fighting is depicted. By that phase of the war, were formations that dense and rigid ? It makes for better viewing if the audience is treated to the advancing masses waking into a storm of enemy fire.....but, with the wooded terrain and the natural tendency of soldiers to seek cover , is this a realistic image ?


I mentioned Allatoona a post or two earlier. Fought exactly two years after Corinth, this contrasts strikingly with the earlier frontal assaults that so ravaged the army of Van Dorn. The rebels who attacked the yankees on 5 October 1864 were confronted with strong redoubts and formidable works, manned by resolute soldiers.

The attackers used skilful methods, pinning down the defenders with deadly sharpshooting and killing large numbers, without suffering casualties that had been so disparate as those taken by their counterparts two years earlier at Corinth. The intervening two years had imparted skills in the tactics of firepower and movement which made the Confederate infantry better able to deal with attacking strong defensive positions.
As to how far this had been apparent at Chickamauga , I’m intrigued to learn more. Judging by the bloodshed suffered by the Confederates there, their attacks were profligate. Maybe the film is right.

And before I settle for the argument that the Allatoona attack was skilful and effective, I mustn’t forget that a few weeks later these same soldiers would be slaughtered at Franklin.

Regards, Phil
----------------------------------
"Egad, sir, I do not know whether you will die on the gallows or of the pox!" "That will depend, my Lord, on whether I embrace your principles or your mistress." Earl of Sandwich and John Wilkes
Steve Clements
Toronto ON Canada
Posts: 779
Joined: 2004
Rosecrans
5/21/2020 11:52:03 AM
Quote:
Hi Steve,

Delighted that you've pitched in about Iuka and Corinth.

Those battles capture the imagination, don't they ?

Regards, Phil


Hi Phil,

Yes they do...

Just about finished Cozzens' book (I assume that you had read the same...). He certainly does not paint a very positive picture of Rosecrans....and as you have noted on several occasions, the fighting at both Iuka and Corinth was simply brutal. Particularly the latter...

Frankly, not too many of the senior officers - on either side - come out looking very good.

I had read overviews of the struggle at Iuka ... but I do not think I had ever read anything about Corinth. Which I find surprising....

Big shout out to you for pushing me to 'read up' on these two related battles....

s.c.
mikecmaps
CAMARILLO CA USA
Posts: 79
Joined: 2020
Rosecrans
5/21/2020 3:51:55 PM
RE Rosecrans
Dave & Phil, (sorry to be late to discussion, again)
With reference to tactics, sorry self-plug, see article here “Was the Civil War Modern – No.”
And the tactical accounts of Arthur Wagner (Organization & tactics), Earl Hess, Brent Nosworthy (and Westpoint Atlas Maps) show “skillful fire & movement” tactics rarely (if ever) actually occurred. Problem was to control a brigade or division formation required dense packed lines and columns. Article specifically addresses Overland Campaign. But troop handling in western battles faced same problem. Wagner shows diagrams on pages 97 Ft. Donelson , 99 Kenesaw Mtn, and 101 Spotsylvania (Upton’s). Wilderness & Spotsylvania attacks were made in dense formations even in heavy wooded areas. Of course effort was made to select best ground but open ground, better for forming up, gave good fields of fire. And especially Grant ’64 faced old problem, dense formations needed to support quality of troops problem, same as Napoleon 1812-1815. “skillful fire & movement” tactics not practical with green troops.

respectfully,
Mike_C
Phil Andrade
London  UK
Posts: 4933
Joined: 2004
Rosecrans
5/21/2020 4:25:37 PM
Mike,

Given the preponderance of black powder and muzzle loading weapons, it was almost axiomatic that you had to mass men in order to deliver firepower.

Was it DH Hill who wrote that a confederate battle line was always as ragged as a ram’s horn ?

I did feel that the fight at Allatoona in October 1864 attested some kind of skilful attack against an entrenched foe.

I reckon I’ve been wrong : without automatic weapons and smokeless powder this was bound to be more redolent of warfare fifty years earlier than that which was to kill millions fifty years later.

The relationship between hygiene and weapons is an aspect to consider here .

Squalour and hardship took such a toll in the Civil War that death rates matched those of the Great War, although the proportion killed in battle was lower.

Regards, Phil
----------------------------------
"Egad, sir, I do not know whether you will die on the gallows or of the pox!" "That will depend, my Lord, on whether I embrace your principles or your mistress." Earl of Sandwich and John Wilkes
mikecmaps
CAMARILLO CA USA
Posts: 79
Joined: 2020
Rosecrans
5/21/2020 5:25:03 PM
Phil,

Completely true. It took repeating small arms, smokeless powder, machine guns, rapid fire artillery to produce “modern tactics” and not until 1917-18, 3 years into WWI and 50 years after ACW. There were 110k union battle deaths but 225k died of disease.

Mike_C.
Phil Andrade
London  UK
Posts: 4933
Joined: 2004
Rosecrans
5/21/2020 6:29:37 PM
Mike,

Your article is essential reading .

It is a very good survey .

I reckon that the battle of Verdun in 1916 marked a transition of sorts : the stupefying artillery concentration resulting in a dispersal of manpower and the creation of the “ invisible battlefield “.

There is something about the Overland fighting of May to June 1864 in Virginia that lends it a character that might be evocative of France and Flanders fifty years later, albeit on a different scale.

That notwithstanding , I heartily agree with your assessment .

Regards, Phil
----------------------------------
"Egad, sir, I do not know whether you will die on the gallows or of the pox!" "That will depend, my Lord, on whether I embrace your principles or your mistress." Earl of Sandwich and John Wilkes
John R. Price
Wilkes-Barre PA USA
Posts: 1152
Joined: 2004
Rosecrans
5/22/2020 12:27:22 AM
Mike,

I don't know if anybody has ever tried to claim the Civil War as "modern" but I would say it was the start of the modernization of war. The use of the railroads, the rifled barrel increasing the accuracy and range and industrialization change the nature of was and its going to take time and trial and error to understand and digest the changes.

Plus with respect "modern skillful fire and movement tactics" were impossible with muzzle loaders.
----------------------------------
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"
Phil Andrade
London  UK
Posts: 4933
Joined: 2004
Rosecrans
5/22/2020 6:11:09 AM
Quote:
Mike,

I don't know if anybody has ever tried to claim the Civil War as "modern" but I would say it was the start of the modernization of war. The use of the railroads, the rifled barrel increasing the accuracy and range and industrialization change the nature of was and its going to take time and trial and error to understand and digest the changes.

Plus with respect "modern skillful fire and movement tactics" were impossible with muzzle loaders.



John,

Most assuredly, we’d all agree about the impossibility of reconciling modern fire and movement tactics with black powder, muzzle loading warfare. It frustrates me to see historians overlook that simple aspect when they attempt to endow the ACW with modern attributes. Heck, people were still massed in close order and firing their weapons - rifled or smoothbore - at ranges of one hundred yards, more or less.....they even resorted to buck and ball when circumstances allowed....and the forested character of so many of the battlefields made it difficult to exploit the greater range and accuracy of the rifles, anyway. “ Rally round the Flag, Boys ! “.... a literal truth in 1861-65, so let’s dispense with sensational claims about modernity. That also applies to concepts of “ Total” war.....this was refined compared with the horrors of earlier conflicts , when non combatants were slaughtered, tortured and enslaved as a matter of course. What the Romans and Carthaginians, and others in Antiquity, did to each other made the conduct of Sherman and Sheridan look like a convention of maiden aunts at a vicar’s tea party.

There are some things about the ACW which stand out as “new”....the character of the soldiery, with large volunteer citizen armies, predominantly literate, made the commanders unprecedentedly accountable to the influence of politicians and the press. Consider the Election of 1864, if I might be forgiven for stating the obvious .

The intensity and bloodiness of combat was certainly nothing new : the worst bloodbaths of the Civil War pale besides those of the Napoleonic times, and eighteenth century Continental battles in Europe were sometimes far bloodier than Antietam or Gettysburg. I do note, however, that in the battles of earlier times, while armies suffered greater overall percentage of killed and wounded, the bloodshed was more evenly spread ; at Gettysburg, individual regiments took even worse punishment than their counterparts at Waterloo, while the aggregate carnage had been significantly worse in 1815. Might this be described as “ localism” of slaughter among the ranks of contending armies ?

I still feel the Overland in May and June 1864 is remarkable for intensity and relentlessness .....and the intrusion of press and politicians amplified the impact in a way that was unique at the time. Those two months in 1864, on all fronts, cost the Union one hundred thousand battle casualties, and herein was something that starts to smell a bit like 1914-18.

Editing : anxious that I appear to have contradicted myself when I attributed some fire and movement skills to the rebel attack at Allatoona. It does look very different from the way they attacked exactly two years earlier at Corinth : different circumstances and commanders must have had a lot to do with it.....but I get the impression that more effective use of sharpshooters and less cumbersome direct frontal assaults demonstrate some learning curve had been at work : all dispelled by Franklin, of course.

Regards, Phil
----------------------------------
"Egad, sir, I do not know whether you will die on the gallows or of the pox!" "That will depend, my Lord, on whether I embrace your principles or your mistress." Earl of Sandwich and John Wilkes
John R. Price
Wilkes-Barre PA USA
Posts: 1152
Joined: 2004
Rosecrans
5/22/2020 1:30:28 PM
Phil,

My point is, as it has been since my first post on MHO, what good does it do us to judge on only our definitions, standards and understanding when none of it was the definition, standard or understanding of those who fought the Civil War. Modern fire and movement tactics didn't exist and what the hell is the difference between the recruits of 1861-64 and 1941-44 in "quality" and ability to learn tactics? I don't agree with what is being discussed.
----------------------------------
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"
Phil Andrade
London  UK
Posts: 4933
Joined: 2004
Rosecrans
5/23/2020 8:28:44 AM
Quote:
Phil,

My point is, as it has been since my first post on MHO, what good does it do us to judge on only our definitions, standards and understanding when none of it was the definition, standard or understanding of those who fought the Civil War. Modern fire and movement tactics didn't exist and what the hell is the difference between the recruits of 1861-64 and 1941-44 in "quality" and ability to learn tactics? I don't agree with what is being discussed.



Forgive me, John, and - with respect - are we discussing the same thing ?

Indeed, you almost make my point for me : the difference between the recruits of 1861-64 and 1941-44 was pretty minimal in one respect : both were citizen soldiers, and, as such, very conscious of their democratic rights . The same could not be said of the majority of the men who fought against Napoleon fifty years before Gettysburg. Therein lies a certain " modernity" in the American Civil War.

Regards, Phil

----------------------------------
"Egad, sir, I do not know whether you will die on the gallows or of the pox!" "That will depend, my Lord, on whether I embrace your principles or your mistress." Earl of Sandwich and John Wilkes
mikecmaps
CAMARILLO CA USA
Posts: 79
Joined: 2020
Rosecrans
5/23/2020 4:14:44 PM
John,
Sorry for reference to my article again, but covers much of the issue. Page 3 of T. Harry Williams “Lincoln and His Generals”, 1952; first sentence “The Civil War was the first of the modern total wars, and the American democracy was almost totally unready to fight it.” This became a common theme in civil war history – though not true. Distinguished Civil War historian James M McPherson seems to support the Idea but has modified the claim to “became” modern – again with no supporting information. This popular theme was never true and never supported with analysis or data but intuitively popular and sounded good. As a 60 year reader of ACW history I finally had it and did my own research. I was pretty surprised how ill-founded the glittering generality really is. this sometimes morphs into "General X or Y was more successful because he was more modern and "saw" the modern trend - flatly untrue nonsense. There was nothing (trend) to see.

respectfully, Mike_C.
John R. Price
Wilkes-Barre PA USA
Posts: 1152
Joined: 2004
Rosecrans
5/23/2020 11:06:44 PM
Mike,

But the "first" is the hinge between the old and the new and is going to have some of both camps represented. Being the first means it isn't going to have all the standards and definitions of what we know as modern today. Plus tactics isn't the only trend to consider in the evidence and in fact shouldn't be a main point because the alternative you point to didn't exist as a viable alternative tactic. The Civil War wasn't a Modern War based on our definition but it was the base which Moder War was built on. There was a hell of a lot of the trend to see.

Edit I also have to say the tactics did evolve somewhat. You go from DH Hill saying, and I'm just getting the quote in the ballpark, we were happy to charge batteries during the Seven Days to Hood justifying Franklin as he had to break the men of their fear of attacking breastworks. You go from Granny Lee because he orders works to the men digging them anytime they stop marching without orders when near the enemy.
----------------------------------
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"
Page 3 of 3 (Page:  1   2    3  )

© 2021 - MilitaryHistoryOnline.com LLC