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Albany Rifles
04 May 11,, 20:55
Stole this idea from Brook Simpson's excellent Crossroads Blog

Okay, you have to pick a field army for offensive operations

Pick you commanders...justify.

Here are mine

Army Commander - Sam Grant There was none better

Army Chief Of Staff- Andrew Humphreys He was highly effective as the AOP COS until taking over the II Corps

Army Adjutant General John Rawlins

Chief of Engineers - McPherson That was his true genius

I Corps - Sherman
1 DIV - Cleburne Best division commander on either side
2 DIV - Hood
3 DIV - Peter Osterhaus I think he was the finest of the European commanders

II Corps - Meade
1 DIV Hancock
2 DIV Edward Johnson
3 DIV AP Hill
4 DIV - George Washington Getty His conduct in the Overland Campaign and at Cedar Creek was little short of spectacular

III Corps Thomas

1 DIV John B. Gordon
2 DIV Gibbon
3 DIV John Logan

Cavalry Buford

1 DIV - Stuart
2 DIV - Sheridan
3 DIV - Custer

Chief of Artillery Henry Hunt

Quartermaster General

bigross86
04 May 11,, 21:09
What time frame are we talking about? Are generals limited to one country or are they global? What size army are we dealing with, what size enemy are we dealing with?

Albany Rifles
05 May 11,, 13:37
What time frame are we talking about? Are generals limited to one country or are they global? What size army are we dealing with, what size enemy are we dealing with?

Good question....sorry I didn't lay out ground rules better.

Time frame is mid-Civil War

Must have been a participant in that war

Need not have survived the war but lets not have any Bernard Bee's!

Jimbo
06 May 11,, 06:40
AR, I enjoy your posts especially on the topic of the ACW. I am curious as to your reasons for picking Meade for a Corp command over some other more known commanders, such as Jackson or even as a corp commander over Hancock.

Thank you, this amateur in ACW history is looking forward to your response.

Albany Rifles
06 May 11,, 13:59
AR, I enjoy your posts especially on the topic of the ACW. I am curious as to your reasons for picking Meade for a Corp command over some other more known commanders, such as Jackson or even as a corp commander over Hancock.

Thank you, this amateur in ACW history is looking forward to your response.

Jimbo, thanks for the kind words.

In my book I believe Meade was the finest battlefield commander in the Army of the Potomac. He has been given short shrift until the most recent scholarship. He performed marvelously as a division commander at South Mountain and his was the only Federal force which broke through the Confederate positions at Fredericksburg. He did very well at Gettysburg given his assumption of command literally 2 days before the battle and used his forces well. He reacted to near disasters (Sickles move of the III Corps, Devils Den and Roundtops) by moving reinforcements to key locations and knowing exactly where he could accept risk. While Warren may have been the savior of the Round Tops it was Meade's use of his staff which got the units flowing in. He kept his head and adjusted his forces accordingly. And unlike previous commanders he integrated his cavalry into his operational scheme for 3 July. In the end, he was the first to beat Lee. For the rest of the war he performed very credibly as an Army commander. I just need to keep Sheridan away from him!

Hancock, while very much deserving of the sobriquet The Superb was an excellent corps commander. But I have room for only 3 corps commanders so he gets a division. I believe Sherman and Thomas were better at the corps level in moree difficult circumstances that Hancock.

Jackson does not get a command because I don't think he would work within the comamnd structure as I envision it. He worked well in independent command but soemtimes suffered when having to work within the confines of an overall force. Plus I believe he would not do well under a commander like Grant. Lee was more Napoleonic (i.e., frame the overall campaign objectives and get the forces to the fight and then unleash his corps commanders) and Thomas thrived within that framework. And I actually think Longstreet was a better corps commander thank Jackson.

Hence my reasoning.

Chogy
06 May 11,, 14:58
Did Reynolds not live long enough to gain acclaim as a commander? I thought he was held in high regard by the Confederates.

Albany Rifles
06 May 11,, 16:02
Did Reynolds not live long enough to gain acclaim as a commander? I thought he was held in high regard by the Confederates.

Oh, Reynolds was an excellent corps commander and could have made this list if it was longer. But he died before his time and I thought others had a greater body of work.

I mean imagine the AOP in 1864 with Reynolds instead of Warren!
Its kind of like Horatio Wright as VI Corps commander...a good, steady hand who ws spectacular at Cedar Creek and at the Petersburg Breakthrough...but was an even commander the rest of the time.

Jimbo
08 May 11,, 22:32
AR thanks for the response, I was away this weekend for a graduation and just got back to my home.

One other request if you don't mind, I am somewhat familiar with most of your division commanders, but not on Peter Osterhaus, and Edward Johnson. I have started reading up a bit on the Internet, but if you have anything in particular to say in regards to these two generals, I would appreciate it.

Thanks.

Albany Rifles
09 May 11,, 14:04
AR thanks for the response, I was away this weekend for a graduation and just got back to my home.

One other request if you don't mind, I am somewhat familiar with most of your division commanders, but not on Peter Osterhaus, and Edward Johnson. I have started reading up a bit on the Internet, but if you have anything in particular to say in regards to these two generals, I would appreciate it.

Thanks.

Jimbo,

Not sure if you saw this website in your search Peter Joseph Osterhaus, Major General, U.S.V. (http://www.pjosterhaus.com/)

Osterhaus was a German '48er whyo came to America and fought very well for his adopted country. As has been pointed out he fought in most every significant battle in the western theater from beginning to end. He led an excellent division and then was selected by Sherman to lead his old corps, the XVth Corps.

Mary Townsend's Yankee Warhouse is an excellent read abotu him.

Allegheny Johnson was, in my estimation, the best of Lee's division commanders who served in that role for the entire war. He had the misfortune of being captured twice but he still managed to have an impressive body of work from early Western Virginia righ tup to Franklin & Nashville.

I recommend Gregg Clemmer's Old Alleghany: Life and Wars of General Ed Johnson

Jimbo
10 May 11,, 02:41
Albany,

Thanks for the links I will check out those reads. I did come across that website and after reading about him I quickly realized why he made your list.

Interesting how many very capable commanders are relative unknowns to me compared to those who weren't as capable. Or that a mistake out west leads people to believe you were always an incompetent leader, like Custer. Perception and history are a funny thing.

Albany Rifles
10 May 11,, 14:15
Perception and history are a funny thing.

That's why you got people like me around, to fix perceptions!:biggrin:

M551
08 Aug 13,, 03:27
Stole this idea from Brook Simpson's excellent Crossroads Blog

Okay, you have to pick a field army for offensive operations

Pick you commanders...justify.

Here are mine

Army Commander - Sam Grant There was none better

Army Chief Of Staff- Andrew Humphreys He was highly effective as the AOP COS until taking over the II Corps

Army Adjutant General John Rawlins

Chief of Engineers - McPherson That was his true genius

I Corps - Sherman
1 DIV - Cleburne Best division commander on either side
2 DIV - Hood
3 DIV - Peter Osterhaus I think he was the finest of the European commanders

II Corps - Meade
1 DIV Hancock
2 DIV Edward Johnson
3 DIV AP Hill
4 DIV - George Washington Getty His conduct in the Overland Campaign and at Cedar Creek was little short of spectacular

III Corps Thomas

1 DIV John B. Gordon
2 DIV Gibbon
3 DIV John Logan

Cavalry Buford

1 DIV - Stuart
2 DIV - Sheridan
3 DIV - Custer

Chief of Artillery Henry Hunt

Quartermaster General

I realize the necromancy, but it did say allowable if the content was new, so hopefully...
I would keep most of Mr. Albany_Rifles' choices as they are excellent, however:

II Corps goes to James Longstreet

Cavalry re-organized:

Cavalry Sheridan

1DIV Stuart
2DIV Buford
3DIV Gregg
1DRAGOON BDE Wilder
Reserve BDE Custer
Reserve BDE Wheeler

Hrs.ARTYBAT Alexander

For QMst can we take demotions in this scenario?
Then maybe Halleck or Mc Clellan

Albany Rifles
18 Aug 13,, 04:15
I love your Wilder inclusion....I should have added him!!!

What might have been at Chickamauga....

Minskaya
27 Sep 13,, 08:05
One thing that surprised me (in relation to Gettysburg) is the number of Prussian officers in the Army of the Potomac.

Albany Rifles
27 Sep 13,, 15:30
One thing that surprised me (in relation to Gettysburg) is the number of Prussian officers in the Army of the Potomac.

Minnie,

A lot of them were Forty-Eighters...some got out ahead of the hangman's noose! Also many were Turners.

They were damn fine soldiers (okay, not Franz Sigel!) and the largest single immigrant group to serve the Union. Wherever Germans settled they were staunch Unionists and MANY were abolitionists. Though soem served in the Confederate forces it was more due to the fact they were 2nd/3rd generation than immigrants. In fact there were strong pockets of Unionism throughout the South, often headded by German populations (see Fredericksburg, TX).

The Wiki has a pretty good explanation for a quick overview.


German Americans in the Civil War - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/German_Americans_in_the_Civil_War)

desertswo
27 Sep 13,, 15:52
I realize the necromancy, but it did say allowable if the content was new, so hopefully...
I would keep most of Mr. Albany_Rifles' choices as they are excellent, however:

II Corps goes to James Longstreet

Cavalry re-organized:

Cavalry Sheridan

1DIV Stuart
2DIV Buford
3DIV Gregg
1DRAGOON BDE Wilder
Reserve BDE Custer
Reserve BDE Wheeler

Hrs.ARTYBAT Alexander

For QMst can we take demotions in this scenario?
Then maybe Halleck or Mc Clellan

I like your cavalry reorganization. I believe that with regard to strategic vision and operational art, Sheridan was the man. Where the cusp of operational art meets tactics, I'll take Buford. Pure tactician, Jeb Stuart was pretty damn good . . . when he kept his head in the game.

McClellan cab be your G-1/G-4. He had a feel for it; although he'd be a much better G-4 than G-1 in my opinion. Got to give the devil his due at some point.

desertswo
27 Sep 13,, 16:06
One thing that surprised me (in relation to Gettysburg) is the number of Prussian officers in the Army of the Potomac.

Minnie,

You might also be interested in this little bit of history (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Military_history_of_Jewish_Americans#Jews_and_the_ Union). Jews have served with gallantry in every war the US has ever fought, and no less so the Civil War. Brevet Brigadier General Frederick Knefler's performance in battle was nothing short of remarkable, but he has another curious point of interest affixed to has name, and that was his close association with Major General Lew Wallace. Wallace is famous for having written a little book that when turned into a film by Cecil B. DeMille, made a big star out of Charleton Heston; Ben-Hur.

Mihais
27 Sep 13,, 19:09
Minnie,

A lot of them were Forty-Eighters...some got out ahead of the hangman's noose! Also many were Turners.

They were damn fine soldiers (okay, not Franz Sigel!) and the largest single immigrant group to serve the Union. Wherever Germans settled they were staunch Unionists and MANY were abolitionists. Though soem served in the Confederate forces it was more due to the fact they were 2nd/3rd generation than immigrants. In fact there were strong pockets of Unionism throughout the South, often headded by German populations (see Fredericksburg, TX).

The Wiki has a pretty good explanation for a quick overview.


German Americans in the Civil War - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/German_Americans_in_the_Civil_War)

19th century and before compare favourably with our age when it comes to opportunities and flexibility.You have officers taking a leave,going to the other side of the world,fight a war there,return to their country to fight another.If you resign,no black marks in the personnel file.

Great age.

Triple C
28 Sep 13,, 10:14
AR, on the topic of 48ers, I recall that you believe some had been unjustly blamed as scapegoats in Gettysburg? Who were the best German American generals, in your opinion? Okay, it's a minor derail....

Albany Rifles
28 Sep 13,, 16:51
Captain....agree on Little Mac. But I think Monty Miegs was topnotch in the actual role.

As for G1...there was no comparable position in the ACW Army. A central personnel system did not exist. If it had I would nominate Halleck.


Triple C....let me think about that.

Jimbo
12 Nov 13,, 14:43
I would rather have George Minty rather than Wheeler. Look at the combat record between those two, and often Wheeler had more men in those engagements. So unless one was planning on using your reserve brigade for raiding I wouldn't actually even want Wheeler as I can think of a number of Brigade commanders I would rather have (Hampton, Devin, Chapman, Kidd, Wilson etc.).

Albany Rifles
12 Nov 13,, 15:57
Jimbo

Tomato, Tomahto.

No real disagreement.

George Minty was my second or third alternate...probably behind Hampton. My selection of Wheeler was with a thought of allowing him more freedom and independent movement.

Within a more structured AOP like command structure I would take Minty or Hampton over Wheeler.

And Triple C, I have not forgotten your question from late September.

Triple C
14 Nov 13,, 14:06
I think immigrants, especially German 48ers, is going to be my next reading project on the ACW.

Albany Rifles
14 Nov 13,, 14:40
Triple C,

Schimmelfenning & von Steinwehr and their subordinates all fought well in very tough circumstances at Gettysburg. They were dealt a very difficult deck of cards to play. Barlow's wrongheaded move forward leaving his right flank in the air (against the expressed recommendation fo his subordinates, caused the collapse of the entire line. And the terrain as you moved closer to town became much more restrictive...all roads lead into the town square. A logjam was guaranteed.

In the AOP the was a prejudice against Germans early on...much less so in the West. It is a rather puzzling point considering what teh Germans brought as a culture...educated, hard working, dedication....beer. The language barrier, though, was really held against them.

Interestingly, when the 11th Corps went west to Chattannoga (and later amalgamated with the 12th Corps into the 20th Corps) they were seen as a very good outfit.

They suffered from the poor showings of their early leaders (Sigel, Schurz), rather unfairly.