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  #16  
Old 20 Feb 11, 16:54
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Attack and Die was written by Prof. Grady McWhiney and (I think) one of his graduate students.

If Lee was a butcher, what was Burnside, who took 13,000 casualties at Fredericksburg alone? Or McClellan, who took massive casualties from the Peninsula through Antietam? Or Hood himself, who pretty much sacrificed an entire army at Franklin?

It's easy to put these labels on 150 years later. You have to look at the times in their context.
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Last edited by Eric Wittenberg; 20 Feb 11 at 18:33..
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  #17  
Old 20 Feb 11, 18:42
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Neither was a butcher. Grant only got the label after the 40 days against Lee, and some of that was because of exagerated casulaty figures--remember Phister's 9,000 dead by May 12?
Some people have said Lee lost too many men, but a) he won and b) the 30,000 lost at Vicksburg, which led to another 9,000 at Port Hudson were completely wasted, Lee's losses produced victories. And they weren't exactly lost by aggressiveness.
Lee was right in his aggressiveness because the worse thing any general can do is turn the initative over to his opponent--Hooker at Chancellorsville is a great example--good start, but then he stopped and waited. What general except Lee could have won then? And if he fell back, rather than attack,that means a seige of Richmond in 1863.
Same with attacking Pope if 1862, is it better to sit and wait?
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  #18  
Old 20 Feb 11, 19:27
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Eric Wittenberg View Post
Attack and Die was written by Prof. Grady McWhiney and (I think) one of his graduate students.

If Lee was a butcher, what was Burnside, who took 13,000 casualties at Fredericksburg alone?
Burnside was in over his head LOL
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  #19  
Old 20 Feb 11, 21:10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Eric Wittenberg View Post
Attack and Die was written by Prof. Grady McWhiney and (I think) one of his graduate students.

If Lee was a butcher, what was Burnside, who took 13,000 casualties at Fredericksburg alone? Or McClellan, who took massive casualties from the Peninsula through Antietam? Or Hood himself, who pretty much sacrificed an entire army at Franklin?

It's easy to put these labels on 150 years later. You have to look at the times in their context.
Eric,

Perry Jamieson was the graduate student you were thinking about. The book, as far as a discussion of tactics is concerned was pretty solid. Their thesis that the South attacked more often than the Union armies because of their Celtic Heritage is dubious.

The best statements that Lee bled the South to death came from Russell Weigley and Alan Nolan, two very good historians. Peter Carmichael and Gary Gallagher have ably responded in Lee's defense.
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Old 20 Feb 11, 21:31
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The concept of Lee as a butcher is not without merit; Pickett's charge for example, Lee refused to take responsibility for his actions and blamed it on the Union. Although that doesn't mean that 19th century warfare was somehow more brutal than 20th century war. Ah yes their Celtic heritage, never mind the fact that Lincoln was Welsh, Grant had Scottish ancestry or that the Old South treated Irish immigrants like animals. The concept of a 'Celtic' confederacy is an attempt to portray secesh as noble braveheart types resisting "yankee imperialism."
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Old 20 Feb 11, 22:07
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Quote:
Originally Posted by The Highwayman View Post
The concept of Lee as a butcher is not without merit; Pickett's charge for example, Lee refused to take responsibility for his actions and blamed it on the Union. Although that doesn't mean that 19th century warfare was somehow more brutal than 20th century war. Ah yes their Celtic heritage, never mind the fact that Lincoln was Welsh, Grant had Scottish ancestry or that the Old South treated Irish immigrants like animals. The concept of a 'Celtic' confederacy is an attempt to portray secesh as noble braveheart types resisting "yankee imperialism."
?

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  #22  
Old 20 Feb 11, 23:59
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Basically Lee tried one flank and then the other. The only thing he had not tried was right up the middle. While this seems rather clumsy today, there are examples of this tactic working. Missionary Ridge is one. One of the big factors working against Lee at Gettysburg was his artillery was not firing accurately and the Union guns were.

Which battle was it in 1865 where Lee appeared and announced he was going to lead the Texas Brigade in another attack after they had been repulsed? Riding a horse into an Infantry attack was usually suicide. Garnett proved in Pickett's Charge. Maybe he should have tried using the Louisiana Brigades...(Texans, attempt at humor!)

How many other Army Commanders offered to lead the attack themselves?

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  #23  
Old 21 Feb 11, 00:24
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Stop by the Visitor Center and take the "tour" at Gettysburg -- It's worth every moment of your time!

To see the battlefields - the hills - the artillery emplacements - and the trees and buildings that still show evidence of the battle (intentionally left for tourists) -- It's a great experience.
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  #24  
Old 21 Feb 11, 00:37
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Which battle was it in 1865 where Lee appeared and announced he was going to lead the Texas Brigade in another attack after they had been repulsed?
It was the Wilderness (1864).
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Old 21 Feb 11, 02:58
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Quote:
Originally Posted by The Highwayman View Post
The concept of Lee as a butcher is not without merit; Pickett's charge for example, Lee refused to take responsibility for his actions and blamed it on the Union. Although that doesn't mean that 19th century warfare was somehow more brutal than 20th century war. Ah yes their Celtic heritage, never mind the fact that Lincoln was Welsh, Grant had Scottish ancestry or that the Old South treated Irish immigrants like animals. The concept of a 'Celtic' confederacy is an attempt to portray secesh as noble braveheart types resisting "yankee imperialism."
Back down the slope scarcely 5,000 survivors fled, razed and raked and maimed again. Many heard Lee greet them. “All this is my fault. Too bad! Too bad! Oh, TOO BAD!”

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  #26  
Old 21 Feb 11, 08:06
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pruitt View Post
Basically Lee tried one flank and then the other. The only thing he had not tried was right up the middle. While this seems rather clumsy today, there are examples of this tactic working. Missionary Ridge is one. One of the big factors working against Lee at Gettysburg was his artillery was not firing accurately and the Union guns were.

Which battle was it in 1865 where Lee appeared and announced he was going to lead the Texas Brigade in another attack after they had been repulsed? Riding a horse into an Infantry attack was usually suicide. Garnett proved in Pickett's Charge. Maybe he should have tried using the Louisiana Brigades...(Texans, attempt at humor!)

How many other Army Commanders offered to lead the attack themselves?

Pruitt
Scott got the battle right, but your post is incorrect on a couple of points.
the Texans had not been repulsed, they had just arrived on the field, other units had broken under Yankee attack, and Lee needed to stop Hancock's charge. The Texans refused to advance if Lee waas going with them. "Lee to the rear" became part of Texas folklore afterwards, and Hood's old brigade could boast odf the day "they gave orders to General Lee."
And yes, the attack was successful.
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Old 21 Feb 11, 09:44
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Neither were butchers. There is no easy bloodless way to win.
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  #28  
Old 21 Feb 11, 10:36
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Quote:
Originally Posted by The Highwayman View Post
The concept of Lee as a butcher is not without merit; Pickett's charge for example, Lee refused to take responsibility for his actions and blamed it on the Union. Although that doesn't mean that 19th century warfare was somehow more brutal than 20th century war. Ah yes their Celtic heritage, never mind the fact that Lincoln was Welsh, Grant had Scottish ancestry or that the Old South treated Irish immigrants like animals. The concept of a 'Celtic' confederacy is an attempt to portray secesh as noble braveheart types resisting "yankee imperialism."
On many things, I'm with you. There are some things that are not entirely correct in your post. In the aftermath of Pickett's Charge, Lee was heard to say that it was all his fault. And if Lee had Pickett's Charge and Malvern Hill, Grant had Cold Harbor and the May 22 charge at Vicksburg.

Remember that in the antebellum army there was a "know nothing" sentiment against Irish-Catholics that pervaded throughout regardless of where the native born soldier came from. Thus, we get the San Patricios - and not without good reason.

Your last sentence, however was spot on.
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Old 21 Feb 11, 11:02
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TomDeFranco View Post
On many things, I'm with you. There are some things that are not entirely correct in your post. In the aftermath of Pickett's Charge, Lee was heard to say that it was all his fault. And if Lee had Pickett's Charge and Malvern Hill, Grant had Cold Harbor and the May 22 charge at Vicksburg.

Remember that in the antebellum army there was a "know nothing" sentiment against Irish-Catholics that pervaded throughout regardless of where the native born soldier came from. Thus, we get the San Patricios - and not without good reason.

Your last sentence, however was spot on.
How ironic LOL - I agree with him on all but the last sentence.

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Old 21 Feb 11, 11:03
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It really sticks in my craw when I hear folks call Grant "butcher", especially when you look through the statistics of all of his battles. He wasn't out trying to get his men killed-he was simply one of those men who understood what needed to be done to win. In the case of the 64 campaign where he suffered his greatest casualties, he was relying on his subordinate commanders to do what they were supposed to so that the men wouldn't have to suffer as much. Had Hunter done what he was supposed to in the Valley & (more importantly), had Butler taken Petersburg when he was supposed to, the 64 campaign would have gone a lot smoother for Grant & his men. The failure of those 2 generals cost the Union thousands more men than it should have & put the war off from being won by almost a year.

I would essentially agree with Bonekemper.
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