September 22 was the First Day of Autumn (officially). Do you have a favorite Civil War battle or campaign that took place during the fall months? Why?
General Hood’s invasion of Tennessee specifically Spring Hill and Franklin. The debate on the numerous issues will go on forever. If Hood was not under the influence of opiates as he and his descendants claim why didn’t you get off his Fanny to check all the reports of Union activity? How did the whole Union Army March past the Confederates without anyone reporting it to their direct supervisor and if they did how did nobody’s supervisor do anything about it? And then of course Hood blaming some of the greatest Generals in the CSA not realizing he’s no longer a brigade Commander he’s an army commander and the buck stops with him yet it was everyone’s fault but his. Most bizarre incident I’ve ever read about in any battle at any time and world history.
Chattanooga and Knoxville: The dramatic reversal of the Chickamauga victory, and the collapse of the Confederacy in Tennessee; the end of Bragg and Longstreet as commanding generals; the rise of Grant to political and military prominence; the drama of the battles of Lookout Mountain and Missionary Ridge.
That’s a great one too, like you said that pretty much effectively ended Long Street and Braxton brakes career
Perryville. Some large stakes and potential, bumbled away on both sides by Braxton Buell and Don Carlos Bragg. Toss in acoustic shadows, extreme drought, an inept captain commanding a corps, the murder of one general by another, multiple capitals in Kentucky, and the Smith/Sills sideshows – with a second act going on in the background at Corinth.
Another great suggestion! I think we should get together and form a think tank haha !! Perryville is really an excellent suggestion as you stated there’s plenty of drama plenty of goof-ups and a lot of carnage a very great tactical study and how not to wage a battle good choice my brother
Dear Tuff, David and John:
All four campaigns are great, although I lean toward Chattanooga for two reason:
1) It involved a victory by my favorite CW general – Grant (with a huge assist from my second-favorite general – George Thomas).
2) It probably had the greatest overall impact, i.e. finally convincing Lincoln and the rest of the Washington establishment that Grant could win the war for them.
Tuff’s fascination with Spring Hill and Franklin is well taken. Like Tuff, I have always been interested in Hood’s inept handling of the entire campaign, which, of course, ended in disaster at Nashville. And talk about long-term effects. Franklin marked the death of the Confederacy’s finest general in the West – Pat Cleburne. If Cleburne (my third most-favorite CW general) had lived past Franklin, could he have saved the Army of Tennessee at Nashville like he did after Chattanooga?
Dear Mr. Ruth:
I couldn’t help but smile from ear to ear upon reading your e-mail because it was almost as if I wrote it. First George Thomas-I always felt he was the most underated General of the civil war. First off during the Chickamagua Campaign had he not held the horseshoe the entire demoralized Army of the Cumberland could have been destroyed leaving Tennessee and Kentucky wide open for the C.S.A. Then when Sherman became obsessed with marching to the sea and Hood took off toward Tennessee despite the fact Grant and Sherman felt General Thomas was inflicted with the “slows” he was the only one Sherman felt confident in sending to stop and crush Hood-something Sherman couldn’t do. Then you write of General Cleburne’s passing at Franklin. From what Cleburne did too Sherman at Vicksburg and Chattanooga too his progressive thinking of arming the slaves (which many believe is why he was never promoted despite later in the war the top figures of the C.S.A. considered the same proposal) I feel had Cleburne been given more power the Western Theater could have changed drasticly. Or if General Lee had him taking the place of Stonewall rather then Ewell of the II corps when the infamous “if you find it practicle to assault” order was sent…Great column Bob Ruth!!!!
Bob: Good points, but I’d put Perryville out there as a better reality tv project. (:
You’re absolutely right about Cleburne’s proposal of using African-Americans as Rebel troops costing him promotion. Being an Irish immigrant, Cleburne probably wasn’t infected with the same level of white supremacy that most Southerners (and Northerners, for that matter) suffered from during the CW.
Actually, our country is lucky that Cleburne wasn’t promoted. I shutter to think what Cleburne would have done in the Western Theater if he had been promoted to commander of the Army of Tennessee – or, as you suggest, as commander of the II Corps for the Army of Northern Virginia.
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