View single post by Hellcat
 Posted: Wed Jan 3rd, 2007 07:40 am
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Root Beer Lover

Joined: Tue Nov 15th, 2005
Location: USA
Posts: 981

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Why were a lot of men made generals during the war? Certainly some men proved competent enough in the position for it to be understandable while others it makes very little sense why they were generals. Perhaps why they were even officers period.

I'm not going to go into whether or not Sickles was or was not competent enough for it to be understandable why he was a general. Fact is, I'm probably the last one who can claim to be qualified enough to even make such a decision. All I'm trying to point out is that some people ended up being a general for reasons other than actually demonstrating that they were capable of being competent in that position. Some it might have been who they knew, others it was simply politics. Seems at least on the Union side there were a lot of pre-war politicians who fought and ended up being made generals whether they deserved it or not.

I like playing Civil War computer games and can claim to be competent as a general, even though I loose from time to time. But how would I actually fair on the actual battlefield. I mean, I've got a major advantage in that the games I play I can usually see most of the opposing forces. And I can click on opposing forces to determine their strength, morale, and general status in terms of attacking or being attacked. Which means I can then better direct my own forces because unlike an actual battlefield, I have all the info at my fingertips. I'm not having to rely on aides bringing me reports from the battlefield and then sending them to particular commanders for certain troop movements. Nor am I having to try and mount a hill or tall enough building from where I can better see the battlefield, especially with field glasses. And of course if I no anything about a particular battle, then I have a clue as to what worked and what didn't work. Thus I can try and repeat that which did work while trying to come up with something different for those elements that didn't do so.

So what's my point in bringing this up? Why does it even pertain to anything I'm saying? Well, the games let me play armchair general. And I wouldn't be terribly surprised if some of the folks who became generals during the war had also been doing exactly the same thing. Not playing with computer games, mind you, but taking what they knew of the Revolution, the War of 1812, the Mexican-American War, and the Indian Wars and telling folks what they would have done had they been in charge. Maybe some folks took such thengs seriously and actually put people who never should have been in command right there. Just a theory and undoubtedly a bad one.


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