Question of the Week: 7/31-8/6/23

In your opinion, who’s the most-valued-player of 1863 in Civil War History?

18 Responses to Question of the Week: 7/31-8/6/23

  1. In the Eastern Theater….John Buford for picking a place where the AoP could not be pushed off from.

    In the Western Theater….US Grant, for taking a Confederate Army out of the War.

  2. I love the choices above but George Gordon Meade! In overall command of the disfunctional A of P(Dan Sickles et al)for barely a week and does not lose to Lee. A vile individual in a Civil War discussion group called Meade a vile word for Meade not attacking Lee afterwards. We can debate that but he didn’t lose July 1-3!!!

    1. Ugh…I forgot to give bonus points to Meade for NOT attacking at Mine Run ie Not Fredericksburg Two!!! Loved reading the book by Chris!!!

  3. I would say, and it may be an “obvious choice” for some, but Joshua Chamberlin for the famous “gate” maneuver that he did when the 20th Maine was low on ammunition. That move, I feel, would eventually save the Union.

  4. I’ll vote for the most valued naval player: Adm. David D. Porter, since even Grant admitted he couldn’t have taken Vicksburg without him.

  5. For all of 1863, I’d say Grant — Vicksburg and Chattanooga were two of the more decisive victories that either side won in the war. Any good MVP conversation considers value above replacement, and it’s hard to imagine the next Union general in the rotation successfully taking Vicksburg.

  6. President Abraham Lincoln for sticking to his promise and signing the Emancipation Proclamation on January 1, 1863.

  7. I would go for co-MVP’s. As mentioned in several previous responses, Grant and Meade are the hands down choices.

  8. I think that it would be George Meade with Grant a close second. Meade’s accomplishment at Gettysburg is monumental. He took command on 28 June without complete knowledge of his Army’s location, re-sctructured the command as well as he could under the circumstances and won a victory by 3 July over Lee and his “invincible” Army of Northern Virginia. Even with the capture of Vicksburg, a defeat at Gettysburg would have been disastrous for the Union.

  9. I would say the “Superb” Hancock and his troops for holding the line during Pickett’s Charge.

  10. Meade. The AoP finally had a good commander after 2 long years of frustrations and missed opportunities. The fact that Meade remained in the position until the war’s end validates that. He had the gig thrust upon him out of the blue just days before Gettysburg, and delivered a resounding Union victory. Lee’s army did ‘get away’ to the disappointment of the Union government, but efforts were made by Meade to impede that. Grant’s ‘star’ had been rising in the West, Meade’s was now on the rise in the East. Within 2 years or so the War woukd be over.

  11. Just to change the flow a little, I nominate the “Least Valuable Player” of 1863: Dirty Dan Sickles.

    Let’s start with Chancellorsville, May 2, when Dirty Dan misreads and reports Jackson’s movement as a retreat, contributing to the debacle that followed (and, in vintage Dirty Dan fashion, he alters the facts on this in his subsequent official report.)

    Let’s move to July 2. We know all about this one. Dirty Dan creates all sorts of problems when he unilaterally moves forward, divorcing himself from the II Corps on his right, increasing the distance from his supports, doubling the length of his already too thinly-held line, and creating an indefensible position. The result was the virtual wrecking of his own III Corps and the salvaging of the Union left only by Meade’s emergency triaging of reinforcements from hither and yon.

    Let’s finish with the rest of 1863. Dirty Dan launches a campaign attacking Meade and spinning his July 2 stupidity into the heroic decision that saved the Army of the Potomac and won Gettysburg.

    That’s a tough record to challenge for the award. Of course, Dan had a leg up. What he did in 1863 was accomplished by a master of underhanded stunts and deeds.

  12. My vote goes to Grant for his taking of Vicksburg. Meade is out of contention as he let Lee and the AoV get away. By the way Lincoln signed the Emancipation Proclamation in September, 1862 to take effect January 1, 1863.

  13. The Union’s Secret Weapon, Braxton Bragg, who by the meritorious misuse of superior numbers near impregnable positions and strategic opportunities during most of the Chickamauga and Chattanooga Campaigns, improbably snatched defeat from the jaws of victory! Without his unpraised and unplanned contributions to the evolving Legend of Ulysses Grant, the Union army’s 1864 Atlanta Campaign may have commenced in Nashville.

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