View single post by jroberts
 Posted: Sun Aug 31st, 2008 03:27 am
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Joined: Sun Oct 22nd, 2006
Location: Long Beach, California USA
Posts: 1

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Was it not General Lee who said that he saw his tactical role as bringing the army to the battleground, preferably one of hisw own choosing and then letting his subordinates (meaning, I suppose, his corps commanders) make most of the rest of the decisions on how to fight it out?  That would seem to me to allow for enormous latitude for indivicual initiative on the part of his subordinates.

To say that A.P. Hll lacked inititive is to ignore his actions not only at Bristoe Station, but at Mechanicsvillle and Antietam and maybe other scenes of action that don't immediately come to mind.

One reason a 19th century commanding general was wise to insert "if practicable' in his orders was because he often as not could not know the tactical situaton at any given moment along a battle line that could, and often did, extend for miles. His  corps and divison commanders naturally had a more complete understanding (or should have) of the tactical situation on their front than the commanding general stationed at some more remote point. Commanders today have the luxury of real time communications that helps dispel some of the "fog of war" if not all of it.





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