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Old July 6th, 2013, 12:38 PM   #251

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Anyway, other Confederates worthy of mention for this thread are Sterling Price and Earl Van Dorn.
[/QUOTE]

On Van Dorn, I would agree. His ideas of boldness were meant more for cavalry raids than for army command. In other words, he tried commanding way above his station.

Price, on the other hand, was more unlucky than incompetent, but that's just the way I see it.
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Old November 4th, 2013, 11:13 AM   #252

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Originally Posted by nuclearguy165
On Van Dorn, I would agree. His ideas of boldness were meant more for cavalry raids than for army command. In other words, he tried commanding way above his station.

Price, on the other hand, was more unlucky than incompetent, but that's just the way I see it.
If Price's career had ended before his quixotic Missouri Raid, I could probably agree. But I don't think there's any getting around his disastrous handling of his campaign in Missouri in 1864. He took an army of 12,500 into Missouri, picked up a few thousand recruits in the process, and returned with maybe 6,000 left. I wouldn't call his performances at Pea Ridge or Iuka anything to boast about either.
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Old November 4th, 2013, 03:03 PM   #253

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Originally Posted by Viperlord View Post
If Price's career had ended before his quixotic Missouri Raid, I could probably agree. But I don't think there's any getting around his disastrous handling of his campaign in Missouri in 1864. He took an army of 12,500 into Missouri, picked up a few thousand recruits in the process, and returned with maybe 6,000 left. I wouldn't call his performances at Pea Ridge or Iuka anything to boast about either.
But do we really know what he actually did wrong that led to this result? I mean it seems that this part of the Civil war is a bit fuzzy anyway, making it very hard to adequately judge any one general's performance. With Napoleon's invasion of Russia for example, we have plenty of information and records to work with to determine what he did wrong that led to his failure, but I'm not sure we have quite the data to determine this with Price's invasion of Missouri. Sure, results can speak for themselves, but bad luck can sometimes speak for results as well. For all we know, the only thing he may have done wrong was in his decision to attempt this campaign in the first place.

If you can better inform me in this quarter though, that would be much appreciated.

Pea Ridge I would consider more Van Dorn's work (though McCulluch's part of the attack was maybe handled just a bit better than Price's, admittedly), and yeah, while nothing to boast about as you say, I wouldn't say his performance at Iuka (where he once again shared command with Van Dorn) was worthy of being on a "most incompetent" list.

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Old November 7th, 2013, 06:49 PM   #254

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Originally Posted by nuclearguy165 View Post
But do we really know what he actually did wrong that led to this result? I mean it seems that this part of the Civil war is a bit fuzzy anyway, making it very hard to adequately judge any one general's performance. With Napoleon's invasion of Russia for example, we have plenty of information and records to work with to determine what he did wrong that led to his failure, but I'm not sure we have quite the data to determine this with Price's invasion of Missouri. Sure, results can speak for themselves, but bad luck can sometimes speak for results as well. For all we know, the only thing he may have done wrong was in his decision to attempt this campaign in the first place.

If you can better inform me in this quarter though, that would be much appreciated.

Pea Ridge I would consider more Van Dorn's work (though McCulluch's part of the attack was maybe handled just a bit better than Price's, admittedly), and yeah, while nothing to boast about as you say, I wouldn't say his performance at Iuka (where he once again shared command with Van Dorn) was worthy of being on a "most incompetent" list.
I also think its worth mentioning that he had an even record as far as battle wins/losses go (5-5). While winning battles alone doesn't really mean you're anything special, I do think that this kind of battle record in independent command should at least absolve a commander of being one of the worst in history, no matter how inept of a strategist he may have been. Just my two cents.
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Old November 8th, 2013, 03:08 PM   #255

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In Swedish history we have spawned two leaders who, while quite skilled in some battles, made terrible decisions on such a scale that they were called traitors:

General Adam Ludwig Lewenhaupt (1659-1719) commanded the Swedish army in retreat after the disastrous battle of Poltava in 1709, joining up with fresh reinforcements on the way. At Perevolochna, he had 12,000 men and was suddenly approached by a Russian force of 9,000. Despite being superior in both numbers and troop quality, Lewenhaupt surrendered his entire force to the enemy and crippled even more of the Swedish army than the Battle of Poltava had done. Upon hearing these news, king Karl XII called Lewenhaupt the worst traitor of his reign and never made any efforts at liberating the general from Russian captivity. Lewenhaupt died in a prison in Moscow in 1719, still wanted for treason in his homeland despite the king's death one year earlier.

Admiral Carl Olof Cronstedt (1756-1820) held one of the world's most powerful fortresses at Sveaborg, with 6,750 men and 734 cannons in the garrison. However, when a Russian army of 6,500 men with 60 cannons appeared in 1808, Cronstedt ordered his men to surrender after a 63-day siege despite the Russians being outnumbered, outgunned and not having launched any serious attack.
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