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Old November 17th, 2012, 04:08 PM   #481

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Many, if not all of them were US Army officers before their states seceded, including Lee (who was offered command of all Union Armies before Virginia seceded)..
Lee was offered command of a Union army, not all of them.
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Old November 17th, 2012, 04:54 PM   #482

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But, on close inspection, one finds that Lee was largely a good commander against a lineup of incredibly bad generals and that the praise that has been given to Lee ignores the battles in 1861 that he fought in West Virginia, all of which were defeats.
Good post all round, though you may be underrating the opposition Lee faced. Pope, Hooker, and Burnside ceratinly performed poorly against Lee, but they beat most other Confederate generals they came up against.

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By the time the pontoon boats arrived, Lee had arrived and fortified the heights. Only a fool would directly assault such a position, and assault it, Burnside did.
It certainly was a blunder on Burnside's part. So was Lee's ordering Pickett's Charge, which led the Union troops to begin chanting "Fredericksburg".
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Old November 18th, 2012, 04:46 AM   #483

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Most of the sources I've seen with regard to Lee have generally hailed him as the south's best commander because of his battlefield victories between 1862-1863. The one source I've found that has argued that Lee wasn't was Bevin Alexander's "How the South Could Have Won the Civil War." In that he largely makes the argument for Stonewall Jackson for pushing for a massive attack directly following First Bull Run when the Union Army in the east was essentially in shambles, and then doing to the north what Sherman did to Georgia and the Carolinas later in the war...

After that, Alexander makes the argument that Jackson began to turn to more defensive tactics to try and secure a crushing victory on the same scale as First Bull Run, and from what I could gather from the book, mirroring the Second Bull Run battle. However, Jackson found himself at odds with both Lee, who favored attacking the Union army and Davis who advocated a purely defensive strategy until Britain and/or France came to the South's rescue.

Davis's strategy failed following the Emancipation Proclamation when neither Britain nor France decided to challenge their local abolitionist lobbies (or France wasn't going to act without British support)... and that left the clash between Lee and Jackson, which Lee ultimately won when Jackson was wounded at Chancellorsville.

The book does a good job critiqueing the strategic situation the South was in during the war, but in discussion with other people here, primarily Viperlord, I'd think that Alexander's speculation on what would have happened had Jackson gotten what he wanted after 1st Bull Run would have been tough. The Confederate Army was just as green as the Union army was in that battle, and it's only the good forturne for the South that the Northern army broke first.

But I've never seen anything that would suggest that Jubal Early was better then Lee.
Nor did I. Yankee made the statement Lee didn't win on Northern territory
and I just made a comment Early did. I would never post such an insane
idea that Early was a better general than Robert E. Lee.
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Old November 18th, 2012, 04:50 AM   #484
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Nor did I. Yankee made the statement Lee didn't win on Northern territory
and I just made a comment Early did. I would never post such an insane
idea that Early was a better general than Robert E. Lee.
How much of a loss did Lee suffer when Jackson was killed? Do you think that the absence of Jackson contributed to the disaster at Gettysburg?
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Old November 18th, 2012, 06:08 AM   #485

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How much of a loss did Lee suffer when Jackson was killed? Do you think that the absence of Jackson contributed to the disaster at Gettysburg?
No, because the whole entire key to Gettysburg was speed, and if Jackson was still alive, it would not have changed this I think. The Confederate army was too slow in entering Gettysburg, J.E.B. Stuart was too slow in returning to Lee, and their army was too slow in getting to Little Round Top. If Lee had a better grasp of the situation from his fellow officers, then maybe it might have changed, but having Jackson there would not have significantly altered the events.
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Old November 18th, 2012, 06:25 AM   #486
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No, because the whole entire key to Gettysburg was speed, and if Jackson was still alive, it would not have changed this I think. The Confederate army was too slow in entering Gettysburg, J.E.B. Stuart was too slow in returning to Lee, and their army was too slow in getting to Little Round Top. If Lee had a better grasp of the situation from his fellow officers, then maybe it might have changed, but having Jackson there would not have significantly altered the events.
I cannot help but have this nagging feeling that Jackson would have made a difference. It seems to have taken some of the vigor out of Lee I think.

I think to Lannes, and his death that Napoleon witnessed. I do not think that Napoleon was the same man after that.
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Old November 18th, 2012, 06:47 AM   #487

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How much of a loss did Lee suffer when Jackson was killed? Do you think that the absence of Jackson contributed to the disaster at Gettysburg?
I don't particularly like 'what ifs' but I will respond like this.
Based on Stonewall's history I would have to say the first day

he would have owned Cemetery Hill.
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Old November 18th, 2012, 08:08 AM   #488

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The problem with "what ifs" is that it is equally valid to say "No, he wouldn't have".
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Old November 18th, 2012, 08:23 AM   #489

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Nor did I. Yankee made the statement Lee didn't win on Northern territory
and I just made a comment Early did. I would never post such an insane
idea that Early was a better general than Robert E. Lee.
My fault, I said it. But I was only teasing.
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Old November 18th, 2012, 09:20 AM   #490

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This may be a bit of a distraction, but couldn't many Confederate officers do that? Many, if not all of them were US Army officers before their states seceded, including Lee (who was offered command of all Union Armies before Virginia seceded), and in addition, Longstreet would serve as Grant's minister to Turkey and so Longstreet actually returned to the service of the US after the Civil War...
Dunno......Sounds like a conflict of interest at best. To be clear, I do believe that Longtreet got a raw deal at the hands of Jubal Early and the Lost Causers, but I won't lie-this event is troubling to me.

As to serving under Grant, I don't think the info came out until Wert uncovered it 150 years later.
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