Question of the Week: 11/7-11/13/16

Question-HeaderWhat is your favorite late autumn battle, campaign, or other military movement to study?

Note: “late autumn” refers to October, November, and the very beginning of December.

14 Responses to Question of the Week: 11/7-11/13/16

  1. Perryville. I regard it as one of the most unusual battles of the entire war. 15,000 Rebels attack an entire Union army, but instead of being crushed, they achieve a remarkable tactical success. Each army commander (Bragg and Buell) is badly out-of-touch with the actual situation; if either had been really aware of the situation, the battle never would have happened.

  2. Chattanooga, the event that inspired President Lincoln and the Congress to promote Grant to Lieutenant General and give him the role of commanding general of all Federal armies.

    Besides, it has the storming of Missionary Ridge, one of those ‘stunning’ events that require much study to explain but are nevertheless amazing to contemplate.

  3. Chattanooga, without a doubt. No other place provides a view from which the story of a battle can be described. It stuns the imagination that such steep slopes can be defeated by bold, inspired charges by the soldiers in blue. Also, as noted above, Grant’s promotion to leadership impacted the results of the war.
    It is also an awesome scenic treat to behold.

  4. The Battle of Franklin…the Army of Tennessee’s forlorn hope of recapturing Nashville hinged on this bloody frontal assault against prepared Union positions…the almost suicidal attack was ordered by a petulant and vindictive Gen.Hood….who had plenty of problems with his senior officers. The gallantry of the charge is best summoned up by Gen.Cleburne before the assault;
    ” Well Govan ( Brig.Gen.Daniel Govan ) if we must die, let us die like men.”

  5. Prairie Grove, the battle that saved Missouri for the Union. It’s undeservedly obscure, but recently received a terrific scholarly treatment by William L. Shea. The battle featured an epic, 120-mile march in three days by Frank Herron’s division which helped to save the day and possibly the Union cause in the Trans-Mississippi. The battlefield in northwest Arkansas is largely undeveloped and well worth a visit.

  6. Spring Hill and Franklin—–The lead up to Franklin where the Union army stole a march on Hood’s Army of Tennessee. The heated discussion at Rippavilla, leading up to the slaughter at Franklin which in my opinion does not get the publicity that it deserves. The attack of the Confederates on the fixed positions of the Union around the Carter House and the Cotton Gin makes Pickett’s Charge look small in comparision. Five Confederate generals, including the standout Patrick Cleburne, killed at Franklin attests to the ferocity of the battle!

  7. Mine Run. It’s the great battle that never happened, yet the consequences were enormous. (Can you say, “Ulysses S. Grant,” anyone?) It’s also a preview in miniature of some things that play out during the Overland Campaign, such as Lee’s defensive strategy, and Warren’s strengths and weaknesses as a subordinate.

  8. I seconded Dave’s Perryville nomination above. Since you didn’t specify just Civil War, I’d like to nominate Saratoga 1777, the Lost Battalion 1918, CRUSADER 1941, Leyte Gulf 1944, and Chosin-Hungnam 1950.

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