While Chris and I were out on the battlefield the other day, we got to wondering what would happen if General Philip Sheridan and General Thomas Jackson met on the battlefield in 1864? This scenario had never been brought up to me before. I’ve always been asked about many scenarios, but this “what if” was new. Quite frankly, I did not sleep well because I kept thinking about it; I did not answer Chris at the time. I shot him a message the next day that read:
Hey I have been thinking about that “what if” Jackson met Sheridan in battle. There are only three generals in the Civil War that possessed what is called the coup d’oeil. Those three are Grant, Lee, and Jackson. Tactically, Jackson was a better general. I think he would whip Sheridan. Operationally, Jackson would also beat Sheridan before mid-1864. Strategically, I give Sheridan an edge, but Sheridan developed grand strategies when fighting in the Indian Wars. However, if Jackson was in that same position, I think he would be the better strategist. Sheridan needed to grow as a general, but Jackson was already great.
(Jomini defines coup d’oeil as determining the decisive position on a map with a sudden glance. )
While I defend Sheridan on several controversies, I would hardly call him Jackson’s superior. However, I think this would be an essential question to ask everyone in the ECW community. How would you rate Jackson and Sheridan’s abilities against one another?
 Antoine-Henri Jomini, The Art of War: Strategy & Tactics from the Age of Horse & Musket, (London: Leonaur, 2012), 275.