View single post by Widow
 Posted: Sat Dec 9th, 2006 01:10 am
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Joined: Tue Sep 19th, 2006
Location: Oakton, Fairfax County, VA
Posts: 321

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Well, Johnny, this time I disagree with you.

Jackson was an excellent tactician, in that he was good at getting his men to march fast and hard.  For example, 56 miles in 36 hours from the Rapidan River to the plains of Manassas in Aug 1862.  They weren't called Jackson's Foot Cavalry for nothing!  But Jackson left his subordinates completely in the dark. They didn't even know where he was going, or what they were supposed to do when they got there.  It's kind of hard to do your job when your boss refuses to tell you what the work is.  Of course Ol' Blue Light was security conscious, but failure to keep his team informed was not the mark of a great commander, in my opinion.

Joe Johnston has my admiration.  Always he was given the most impossible assignments, as Davis didn't like him.  Johnston was forced to retreat in order to keep his army intact.  Lee did too.  Lee was admired, and Johnston was blamed for the same thing.  Johnston's retreats toward Atlanta, holding off Sherman and waiting for him to make a mistake, were models of careful use of resources that gave Sherman big headaches.

On the blue side, I go for Grant first.  His Vicksburg campaign was the strategic victory that was the beginning of the end.  When he was appointed General-in-Chief, responsible for about a million men spread out over half the continent, he got the job done.  His innovative plan was to put the big squeeze on the Confederacy to the point where it couldn't or wouldn't fight any more.  That meant coordinating the movements of many armies in several directions.  And it worked.  By the way, Grant never took any courses in project management or the running of big operations.  He just saw what had to be done, and did it.

Second, Sherman, from 1864 to the end.  He too had a hard job, Johnston and Hood gave him some very tough fighting in front of Atlanta.  The March to the Sea was a brilliant tactic as part of Grant's overall plan, beautifully executed, although there wasn't much resistance.  Sherman's operating style was to tell his commanders the goal, and his general idea of how to do it, then to give them the authority to go with the delegated responsibility.  That's smart management.  His idea to cut loose from his supply lines flummoxed Hood completely.

My favorite general, hands down, is John Buford.  Why? 'Cuz he was the handsomest hunk on both sides.  Besides, I think cavalry uniforms are cuter.

double chin-grim ---> ((:


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