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 Posted: Thu Mar 20th, 2008 11:33 pm
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Don
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At Joanie's request, I've started a new thread to focus on her original question, but let's not abandon this thread. There's too much good discussion here to lose. Yes, Ole, I want to have my cake and eat it too.

I think perhaps one of the 'qualities' that we're missing is the intangible. I happen to be a Thomas fan, and I think he was one of the better Union generals. But I don't think he was great. Very good, maybe another very for good measure, but not great.

Sheridan definitely not, Sherman possibly, Grant I'm pretty sure.

Jackson probably but I'm not completely convinced (see Thomas), Lee definitely, Stuart maybe, Longstreet possibly, Hampton probably.

Funny thing, though, the more I think about it, it's much easier to decide who isn't than who is!

Another thought: isn't the quality of the opposition a factor? IMO, that's keeping Forrest off of my list.



 Posted: Thu Mar 20th, 2008 11:49 pm
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JoanieReb
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Thank you, Don!

Hey, Y'All - I PM'd Don twice today, asking him to start a  "Great Generals, Junior" thread.

I'm awfully grateful that he did. Of course, the threat that, if he didn't, I would, may have helped....

This is just like (as Don suggested), having our cake and eating it, too.

We get to be more whimsical on the first thread, and really focus on the subject-at-hand on the second one.

I am truly looking forward to reading what Y'All have to say on both threads.

Thanks Don & All,

JoanieReb

Last edited on Thu Mar 20th, 2008 11:50 pm by JoanieReb



 Posted: Thu Mar 20th, 2008 11:54 pm
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Don
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That's what happens when you PM someone at lunchtime and mention eating....



 Posted: Fri Mar 21st, 2008 12:58 am
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PvtClewell
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I put this post where it belonged on 'Introduction — question.'

Last edited on Fri Mar 21st, 2008 04:08 am by PvtClewell



 Posted: Fri Mar 21st, 2008 05:46 am
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JoanieReb
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CleborneFan wrote:

"Good call, Susan. I didn't even think of Fremont, but then I seldom do.:D"

Hahahahahahaha!

I, myself, try not to.

Back when we were voting for "Best and Worst Generals" here, my pick for worst was Fremont.  (But I got confused about the whole thing, and ended up not voting at all.  Sigh.)



 Posted: Fri Mar 21st, 2008 06:54 pm
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ashbel
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I would agree that Thomas was not a Lee, Grant or a Lincoln.  Likewise he probably lacked agressiveness but he was a capable general nonetheless.

thanks for the link to the Thomas thread.  It confirms what I thought.  There are some pretty knowledgeable folks on this Board.

 



 Posted: Sun Mar 23rd, 2008 12:42 am
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JoanieReb
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"Hampton probably."

Ah, Hampton!  He is rarely mentioned on this board.  In fact, this is about the first time I've seen him mentioned here at CWi, except by myself.   I'm assuming we are talking about Wade III, yes?

He is tied with AP Hill for my "favorite CW general".   But, I fear saying so is even more politically incorrect than naming NB Forrest, as pre- and post-war, Hampton (perhaps the wealthiest plantation owner in The South,  pre-war)  represents all the qualities most generally hated and derided in what is referred to as "The Southern aristocracy".  The fact that I have great admiration for both The General and The Man has not endeared me to many Yankees, here in the Great White North.=+-

On another note,  in my own mind,  I have tended to percieve one "over-all" generalship as being made up of two men:  The Lee-and-Jackson Generalship.  For a time, together, their whole was much greater than the sum of their parts.  When they worked together, there was magic - and a particular character to their strategies and battles.  In my mind, for a period prior to Jackson's death, Jackson was more than Lee's "right arm",  he was one half of an almost unfathomly effective and brillant military duo.

Last edited on Sun Mar 23rd, 2008 12:45 am by JoanieReb



 Posted: Sun Mar 23rd, 2008 12:54 am
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ole
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AP Hill's health was far too fragile for heavy reliance. Hampton was a tiger. I don't know much about him other than that he was Stuart's trusted second. What that means, I can't say. Was he innovative? Crafty? Or did he just do what he was told to do with extraordinary skill?

I'm going to do a little speculating here. When Grant was called east, he went. Did he want to bring Sherman and Thomas with him? Probably. But Sherman and Thomas were vital to what Grant had in mind for the west, so he couldn't very well uproot them and leave the west to others.

So he brought Sheridan and left The Rock and Crazy Cump to keep the faith in the west. Not a bad decision. Any takers?

ole



 Posted: Sun Mar 23rd, 2008 01:01 am
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ole
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In my mind, for a period prior to Jackson's death, Jackson was more than Lee's "right arm",  he was one half of an almost unfathomly effective and brillant military duo.

Poopoo, Miss Joanie. Stonewall occasionally performed very well. Unfortunately, there were times that he didn't perform at all. I see Longstreet, A.P. Hill and "Baldy" Ewell as more long-term stalwarts than Jackson. Jackson was a hollow icon. He had his qualities and, if he'd lived, would certainly have meant trouble for Meade and Grant, but his reputation is overrated.

ole;)



 Posted: Sun Mar 23rd, 2008 01:15 am
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JoanieReb
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"AP Hill's health was far too fragile for heavy reliance."

Sadly, far too true.  I thought of AP Hill instantly when I saw that someone had listed "physical capacity" as one of qualities for greatness.

I believe that, as a general, AP Hill had true greatness in him.  And that his physical infirmities notably interfered with his reaching and maintaining his true potential.

Yes, Hampton was a tiger, among other things.  I believe he was about 40 years old when the war broke out?  And, it would seem, in his prime.



 Posted: Sun Mar 23rd, 2008 01:24 am
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CleburneFan
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JoanieReb wrote: "Hampton probably."

Ah, Hampton!  He is rarely mentioned on this board.  In fact, this is about the first time I've seen him mentioned here at CWi, except by myself.   I'm assuming we are talking about Wade III, yes?


 

Not wanting at all to get into an argument with our esteemed Joannie Reb, but wasn't General Wade Hampton III the richest man in the South because he had the most slaves of anyone in the South? And wasn't he one of those who most vehemently opposed Patrick Cleburne's proposal to arm and emancipate male slaves and their families if they would fight for the Confederacy?  

This is in no way is a dispute about how effective Hampton was as a cavalry commander. 

 

 



 Posted: Sun Mar 23rd, 2008 01:32 am
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JoanieReb
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 "Jackson was a hollow icon."

"Sherman didn't have it."

Suffice it to say- for the time being - I disagree with your accessments of both Jackson and Sherman. 

I'll put up my long argument later.

Here's a question for you:  Do you think Grant would still have achieved the level of greatness he did, had he not Sherman for a friend and as a military complement?

Last edited on Sun Mar 23rd, 2008 02:22 am by JoanieReb



 Posted: Sun Mar 23rd, 2008 01:38 am
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JoanieReb
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"but wasn't General Wade Hampton III the richest man in the South because he had the most slaves of anyone in the South? And wasn't he one of those who most vehemently opposed Patrick Cleburne's proposal to arm and emancipate male slaves and their families if they would fight for the Confederacy?"  


Hee-hee - see what I said about Wade III being the most politically incorrect man to mention?  And that he represents all that is hated about The Old South?

There is a reason I rarely mention my admiration for him.  Yes, he is the poster boy for all that was bad about The Old South, and I do not deny that.

He also had many fine personal qualites which I respect. 

It's like with NB Forrest, only worse,=+++!

 



 Posted: Sun Mar 23rd, 2008 01:42 am
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CleburneFan
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I'm on your side on this one, Joannie. Sherman and Grant make--I'm struggling for the right word here, one of the more synergistic pairs of the Civil War.

Although I hate alternative histories and refuse to read them, a great alternative scenario would be what it had not been Sherman that Grant assigned to the Atlanta Campaign and beyond?



 Posted: Sun Mar 23rd, 2008 01:50 am
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CleburneFan
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JoanieReb wrote:
Hee-hee - see what I said about Wade III being the most politically incorrect man to mention?  And that he represents all that is hated about The Old South?

There is a reason I rarely mention my admiration for him.  Yes, he is the poster boy for all that was bad about The Old South, and I do not deny that.

He also had many fine personal qualites which I respect. 

It's like with NB Forrest, only worse,=+++!

Hey! We all get to admire whatever general we please.  Afterall, I am Cleburne Fan. Last I checked, he fought for the Confederacy.:dude:  And that is true even though I am a Yank who grew up in the shadow of Gettysburg. So being a Cleburne admirer is definitely politically incorrect where I came from...although he never fought in that campaign or even that theater of the war.

 




 Posted: Sun Mar 23rd, 2008 02:02 am
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JoanieReb
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"synergistic"

Hey Fan, that's exactly the word I was looking for when I was writing of Lee and Jackson!!!!!   Where did you find it?  Even with my thesaurus it totally escaped me!

(I hate it when I want a certain word, and just cain't quite call it forth!)

Yes, it applies to Grant and Sherman.  I wanted to make a comparison of Jackson-and-Lee to Grant-and-Sherman, but couldn't without that word!

Thank you for bringing it out of hiding.  (Gotcha now, "Synergism", you slippery little devil!)



 Posted: Sun Mar 23rd, 2008 02:17 am
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CleburneFan
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Joannie Reb--now you have an entirely new thread to start. "Who were the most synergistic pairs of the Civil War?"  

 



 Posted: Sun Mar 23rd, 2008 02:18 am
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JoanieReb
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"Hey! We all get to admire whatever general we please."

Just to make it clear:  I do not admire Wade III because he was at the apex of The Inherently Evil Southern Aristocracy;  I admire him In Spite of it. 

And, like NB Forrest, W-III had backbone, character, substance, and style, thus making for some highly entertaining (and some very touching) anecdotes.



 Posted: Sun Mar 23rd, 2008 02:36 am
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CleburneFan
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JoanieReb wrote: "Hey! We all get to admire whatever general we please."

Just to make it clear:  I do not admire Wade III because he was at the apex of The Inherently Evil Southern Aristocracy;  I admire him In Spite of it. 

And, like NB Forrest, W-III had backbone, character, substance, and style, thus making for some highly entertaining (and some very touching) anecdotes.

Not to worry. I completely understood that. In fact, as one of the South's plantation elite, Hampton could have been effete, a spoiled brat, a wastrel and playboy, but instead he took responsibility to fight for what he believed, carrying on his family's history and tradition of doing so.



 Posted: Sun Mar 23rd, 2008 02:45 am
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Longstreet called Wade Hampton," the greatest cavalry leader ofour age".

Actually it was his grandfather that wasthe wealthiest planter in the US. and his father had the finest horse stable in US.  

Wade 111 trained as a lawyer , and managed the family business interest .  Served in State , House of Rep and Senate. 

He did own 3,000 slaves

He was opposed to secession but followed his state.He offered his cotton as collateral for goverment credit to buy military supplies

He outfitted his own Legion with his own money . 

He was Stuart's second in command but the two didn't agree . He thought many of Stuart's raids were a foolish risk of men and horse.  Little strategic value . He felt Stuart had perferential treatment .  1863 he complained to Lee about Stuart.  He blamed Stuart for the death of his brother at Brand Station.

Hampton was more serious that Stuart . His style of fighting was different than Stuarts  On Stuart's death he functioned as Cavalry corps leader .  In 1864 there was some bad blood with Lee that Jefferson Davis personally calmed Hampton down .  He was upset Fritzhugh Lee was promoted over him as Lee was West Point trained .   

Hampton was named Chief of Cavalry eventually.  In defense of Richmond in Oct of 1864 one son was killed and another was wounded.  He was a Yankee hater the rest of his life. 

Lee sent him back to South Carolina .  Here he did not want to take orders from a man 18 years his junior (Wheeler).  Beaureguard helped to have him promoted over Wheeler .   He was made Lt. General only one of two Confederates Cav leaders to attain that rank and the only one to have served in two theaters. 

When Sherman came to Columbia three of the four houses Hampton owned were destroyed by Sherman.

He fought at Bentonville but was not with Johnston when he surrendered.  Hampton was headed south to join Jeff Davis.  He wanted to head to Mexico and continue the fight.  His wife after three days talked him out of it.

He had to start all over after the war,  He was bankrupt.  But in 1876 he ran for governor of South Carolina and won.  Many of his former slaves voted for him.  1979 He served in the US senate.

There is a huge equestrian statue of him on the State house grounds.  Around the base are the names of all the battles he was in and he is in Uniform.  Interesting thing is the statue faces a newer monument onthe grounds. The African Americna memorial. 

 

Notes are from an article I read in an old Civil War Times or North /South  I am not sure which.  I took them in my travel notebook before I went to South Carolina two years ago.  Can't believe I didn't write down the source.  I usually do. 

One of the items on display in Columbia Confederate Relic room I saw was a huge sword presented to Hampton . 

Susan



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