"The Army’s top officer withheld a required 2008 budget plan from Pentagon leaders last month after protesting to Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld that the service could not maintain its current level of activity in Iraq plus its other global commitments without billions in additional funding.
The decision by Gen. Peter J. Schoomaker, the Army’s chief of staff, is believed to be unprecedented and signals a widespread belief within the Army that in the absence of significant troop withdrawals from Iraq, funding assumptions must be completely reworked, say current and former Pentagon officials." Spiegal
"An army travels on its stomach.." Did Bonaparte say that? Whether he did or not, it is a profound truth. The phrase is just filled with "truthiness." Operations in Iraq, Afghanistan and elsewhere are eating up huge amounts of money. The fiscal year is ending and other departments of the federal government have been told that if they do not "obligate" all their funds they will be taken away and given to Defense to try to feed the maw of war. The war in Iraq is "eating up"vast amounts of expensive equipment. Procurement is slowing down in order to divert funds to operational costs.
A few weeks ago I told a meeting at a think tank here in Washington that the general assumption that the US has enough strength to do whatever it wants is incorrect, and that we are not as strong as we may think we are. This notion was politely ignored.
I had doubts about Peter Schoomaker. I wondered what he must be if Rumsfeld called him back from retirement to be Chief of Staff. Lately I have been hearing that he is different from what I had thought, that he demands at meetings that officers stop trying to BS him with Power Point slides full of received wisdom. He seems to actually want them to THINK.
Now, he has told Rumsfeld that the Army will not participate in a budgetary farce. My. My.
Pat, what odds do you place on a large military action by the US prior to the election? Based on everything you know.
The NIE? Schoomaker? These things haven’t been delivered by the tooth fairy. Someone out there is super worried.
Do you agree?
Before the election would surprise me.
There are a lot of very worried people in the military and intelligence community. pl
They’d need a casus belli (see Tonkin, Gulf of….) and a pretty convincing one at this point. Not sure if even the killing/capture of one of the SF units reportedly doing recon now in Iran, or a Cole-like incident, would suffice for the military/intel whom the Colonel references above. Any opinion, Colonel Lang…?
Last week someone asked me to think about where the West is really going to attack next, and when “Pakistan” blurted out of my mouth. Which surprised me.
Then it made sense. The Coalition + NATO is taking the fight to the tribes in the mountains on the border, and Musharraf’s military has been unable to control his side of that border. The long-planned pipeline from Kandahar to India has to go through that area. Securing that border from the eastern side also seals off Iran on its east side all the way to the Gulf. And maybe, just maybe, preparation for it can be used to swing the upcoming election. How?
If there is a coup against Musharraf (funny enough, one was rumored this weekend) a huge crisis could be manufactured out of it in time for the elections. Think of it: nuclear missiles fall directly into the hands of the islamo-fascists. Presto, chaos and terror roll into one tightly packed emotional ball, and the need for Order trumps all else. Musharraf’s book sales go up and he starts house-hunting on the Potomac.
Pat, What are the latest estimates with regards to the annual costs of being in Iraq and Afghanistan. Last I heard these numbers weren’t even included in the US budget. Is this still the case? Can they really get away with spending $80bill (I seem to recall that figure from somewhere) and not having it budgeted anywhere?
we’ll wish we could “… keep making war with the Army we used to have…” at this rate.
Schoomaker is not falling into Rumsfeld’s line. Batiste – recently retired – is affirming the leaked NIE. CNO reportedly (reported, not confirmed) recalls the movement of a naval task force. The NIE – approved by all agencies in the community is leaked to the press. If the brass and the spooks get any closer to open rebellion it’ll look like, well, open rebellion…
I am not so sure CSA delivered any big surprise today.
In fact, I think this is all part of some OSD plot to force a lame duck Congress into raising the Pentagon TOA – either before skedaddling from town to re-elect themselves or after the potential November backlash.
Word has been ciruclating for a while about the pot Army is in; now, the CSA lays it out there with what appears to be a crafted communications strategy. (Heck, this was event hte lead story on NPR’s afternoon news show!) Add the 5000 troops now carrying over past their 12 mos BOG (at a $1000 per soldier per month extra pay) and it makes me think these two stories were non-kinetic ops intended to force Congress’ hand and allow the Executive to continue to broadcast their “conservative” and “fiscally responsible” tag lines into every home in America. Besides, CSA is Secdef’s man, chosen over all others (in the unretired line); I find it impossible to believe he would publically toss the boss under the bus. He didn’t do it for Abu Ghraib, he didn’t do it for the lack of exit strategy, he didn’t do it for tossing Geneva; he surely didn’t do it for a few dollars more.
Cynical? You better believe it. Surprised? Not even by the timing. The schtick is getting old.
If memory serves, Wellington said it. Minor point, but he did emerge victorious.
“”An army travels on its stomach..” Did Bonaparte say that? Whether he did or not, it is a profound truth. The phrase is just filled with “truthiness.”
Did you really mean truthiness –
Truthiness is a satirical term coined by Stephen Colbert in reference to the quality by which a person claims to know something intuitively, instinctively, or “from the gut” without regard to evidence, logic, intellectual examination, or actual facts.”
Is that how you judge generals and armies? Wellington said that if he ever saw an officer’s name on the cover of a book, he would make sure the man was never promoted again. Churchill said that “armies should not be judged by whether they won or lost but rather by the quality of their effort.” pl
For your grasp of Wikeality, you are awarded the “Most Solemn Commenter of the Day” award.
Lighten up. pl
Musharraf said his deep fear was that the United States would in the end abandon Pakistan, and that other interests would crowd out the war on terrorism.
Bush fixed his gaze. “Tell the Pakistani people that the president of the United States looked you in the eye and told you we wouldn’t do that.”
Musharraf brought up an article in The New Yorker by investigative reporter Seymour Hersh, alleging that the Pentagon, with the help of an Israeli special operations unit, had contingency plans to seize Pakistan’s nuclear weapons should the country become unstable.
“Seymour Hersh is a liar,” Bush replied.
After 6 P.M. that evening, Bush and Musharraf went to the Empire Room of the Waldorf-Astoria to make statements and answer a few questions from reporters.
(Bob Woodward, “Bush at War”)
SEN. KERRY: And what about any initiatives or discussions with President Musharraf and the Indians with respect to fail-safe procedures in the event — I mean, there have been two attempts on President Musharraf’s life. If you were to have a successful coup in Pakistan, you could have, conceivably, nuclear weapons in the hand of a radical Islamic state automatically, overnight. And to the best of my knowledge, in all of the inquiries that I’ve made in the course of the last years, there is now no failsafe procedure in place to guarantee against that weaponry falling into the wrong hands.
MS. RICE: Senator, we have noted this problem, and we are prepared to try to deal with it. I would prefer not in open session to talk about this particular issue.
SEN. KERRY: Okay. Well, I raise it again. I must say that in my private briefings as the nominee I found the answers highly unsatisfactory. And so, I press on you the notion that, without saying more, that we need to pay attention to that.
MS. RICE: We’re — we’re very aware of the problem, Senator, and we have had some discussions. But I really would prefer not to discuss that.
(Confirmation Hearing of Condoleeza Rice)
I believe there are a few contingency plans, but has too many (fundamental) flaws, too.
“If there is a coup against Musharraf (funny enough, one was rumored this weekend) a huge crisis could be manufactured out of it in time for the elections.”
That would not require much hand tooling. If Mushie fell to an radical coup we’d be up to our eyeballs in trouble. The Pakistanis aren’t careful, cunning folk like the Iranians. Pakistan has intelligence service peppered with Jihadis, they have nukes and if they don’t sell them cheap to Bin Laden their military is nuts enough to use them on a whim.
Looks like the sabers will be rattled up till the mid-terms, as John Robb’s been saying the focus is now on 2008.
A single person, or a small group of persons, can cause harm far beyond their individual means.
We live in a world dominated by “gain”, gain as in the ability of the people lying on the beach next to you to destroy your afternoon by playing their CD player at top volume.
Well, much as I believe that a military strike against Iran would be catastrophic, there are worse things that George is guilty of.
La température du globe au plus haut depuis près de 12 000 ans
LEMONDE.FR avec AFP | 26.09.06 | 11h13 • Mis à jour le 26.09.06 | 11h21
La température terrestre a grimpé au plus haut niveau depuis près de 12 000 ans, et ce durant les trente dernières années, indique une étude publiée, mardi 26 septembre, dans les annales de l’Académie nationale américaine des sciences et réalisée par des chercheurs américains dont l’un des principaux climatologues de la NASA, l’agence spatiale américaine. La rapide montée de la température du globe au cours des trente dernières années, à raison de 0,2 degré Celsius par décennie, fait que nous sommes actuellement à environ un degré Celsius du maximum enregistré depuis près d’un million d’années, indique James Hansen de l’Institut Goddard de la NASA pour les études spatiales, principal auteur de cette recherche.
It says the world has rapidly heated over the last 30 years and is hotter than it has been in 12,000 years.
But, of course, there is no such thing as global warming. And the Proceedings of the National Academy of Science is not to be compared with a reliable publication such as the Wall Street Journal.
🙂 Just so happened I was reading of a battle in 1767, when Colonel Joseph Smith, with “800 European infantry, 5000 sepoys in six battalions and sixteen light guns” marched out to join the Nizam of Hyderabad and the Marathas to face Hydar Ali.
But Hydar Ali got the Nizam to change sides and the Marathas to withdraw, and Joseph Smith, facing 43,000 cavalry and 28,000 infantry with 109 guns had to withdraw.
Withdraw he did, to a place called Changamh “where the Madras Government had assured him that he would find food and reinforcement”. Neither was there, and Smith had to fall back to Trinomalee, 20 miles away. Hydar Ali choose to attack during this march, but Smith was successful in repulsing it.
“He and his men now resumed their march for Trinomalee, which they reach at three the following afternoon, having halted for only a hour and a half and having not only fought a battle against immensely superior forces but marched for ‘twenty-seven hours without the least refreshment for man or beast who were never unloaded.'”
Well, the official who had been sent to Trinomalee to provide Smith supplies had sold most of it for personal profit… etc.
Anyway, through all this Smith emerged victorious. There is truthiness in the dictum after all 🙂
When it gets to “open rebellion”, or at least, ‘open truths’ let me know. I welcome the events that PL noted in this post. But, personally, I have grown weary of self serving leaks (mind you, I still hope said leaks are true) and post service conversions, timed, in some cases, with speaking tours, TV appearances, and book contracts. Don’t get me wrong…I do understand the Generals (and other ranks) who are speaking out are going to pay some price. Not implying their dissent will be pain free for them.
But I just want more. I think the country needs, and deserve more. I think the military deserves more. And I do not think it has to be open rebellion. At this point, anyway. Open truths, I repeat, truths, timely delivered, are enough for me. And if that be called ‘rebellion’ so be it. And if demanding such for a serving general is unprecedented, well, these times are getting to be unprecedented.
“…we are not as strong as we may think we are…”
Self-knowledge — awareness of one’s own limitations — is the foundation of strength and security.
Must we not acknowledge that, in our country at least, politicians who admit we have limitations on our power are not likely to be re-elected. Perhaps that will change. If it doesn’t we’re in trouble.
Hint to Democracts: Simple election message on Iraq: Rumsfeld must go! Clear, understandable and practical (how can our policy improve if the architect remains in place?).
Not that it matters much, but just to help confirm that Napoleon is widely credited with the “marches on its stomach” quote:
And obviously Napoleon wasn’t the only famous general to note this fact. W.T. Sherman’s memoirs paid particular tribute to the dominant role of logistics, although his memoirs focused on supply lines: “The great question of the [Atlanta] campaign was one of supplies.”
If you read more, note the amount of time Sherman spends describing his supply and transport operations in detail. Also note how he had 50,000 men (Armies of Tennessee and Ohio) guarding the supply lines of the 50,000 man Army of the Cumberland.)
Here’s another good Sherman quote that pertains to the current conflict:
“Every attempt to make war easy and safe will result in humiliation and disaster”
And finally, although Sherman has some tough quotes on the merits of being cruel in order to subdue a hostile population, I recall (hopefully correctly), that for better-or-worse he had a strong hands off policy towards the Southern social heiarchy and culture and opposed those who wanted to use the army for social and economic change, making him strangely popular in the South after the war.
Sorry to get off subject – sort of.
Bonaparte. Wellington knew a good idea when he heard it so took the lesson to heart, even more so than the originator. Wellington, BTW, also borrowed some of his ideas on warfare from Nathaniel Greene and Daniel Morgan. Not that there is anything wrong with that, he ultimately used their tactics more effectively than they ever did.
Did Bonaparte say that? I believe he also said that “It is with baubles that men are led.” Bush has given the conservatives at home yellow ribbons on their cars and tax cuts for their wallets – all for their service of voting him in and then sitting on their rumps while others pay the bills – especially the butcher’s bills.
Could this be the beginning of the Revolt of the Generals?
It bears some similarity to the Revolt of the Admirals. A fundamental disagreement on budget and policy matters.
The Admirals were right, of course. What’s been proven more useful, a B-36 (or B-2), or an aircraft carrier?
In this case, Schoomaker is not only right, he ain’t even told half the story!
“Anyway, through all this Smith emerged victorious. There is truthiness in the dictum after all”
The counterpoint example is Lee’s reaction when he arrived at Amelia Courthouse on the retreat from Petersburg expecting to find train loads of stockpiled provisions. But his order had gone astray, and the cupboard was bare.
Said an aide (this is from memory): “In the entire war, I never saw such a haunted expression on his face.”
Needless to say, Lee did NOT emerge victorious.
Thought you would appreciate this comment from Olbermann.
During the Civil War, the South was almost uniformly let down at the logistical end.
If the situation is as bad as Schoomaker’s actions make it out to be let him go public with it all. If he loses, that is. What I fear the most is the ‘compromise’, the McCain-like compromise. Where the individual makes it appear as if “I fought the good fight and got something anyway”. In the end that “something” turns out to be meaningless in any practical sense. Except to the individual’s reputation among the less inform. Because if that happens now here, with the military, and events take an unexpected (or expected, for that matter) turn for the worse, we could see a lot of “haunted expressions” around DC and the nation in general. I suspect the stakes here are much, much, higher than the mainstream media is letting on.
In a previous post I had asked if anyone knew the lastest figures relating to the cost of the war in Iraq, Afghanistan, etc. I found this today.. have’t read the entire thing but its quite interesting>
As long as we’re throwing quotes about the military out there, here’s one that’s alot older.
“Endless money forms the sinews of war” -Cicero
That is true, but after prolonged contemplation I have reached the conclusion that the shortage of white manpower was the cause of the South’s failed attempt to leave the Union.
The planter interest in the Confederate Senate prevented passage of a “Negro Soldier Law” until it was too late and that was fatal given the endless reserves of foreign and Black manpower that could be brought to bear on the other side.
That told as did the deep, deep devotion of the North to this “marriage” for keeping the Union together. “A love so strong it would not let us go.”
Ah, but the South was saved from damnation. I think of that every time some waiter in the Deep North refers to me and my wife as “You guys.” pl
By my back-of the-envelope calculations the sum spent by the US in Iraq amounts to nearly $50,000 per Iraqi family, representing perhaps several years earnings. One wonders what effects that amount of money might have on influencing Iraqi behavior if it could have been spent more as a “bribe” than on military efforts.
Likewise in Afghanistan. There is a near shortage in the West of morphine-type licenced medical products for pain relief. If we were to buy up the poppy crops under our military surveillance the locals might well have less reason to fight us, or to side with their warlords to prevent destruction of their cash crops. Why has this option not been fully explored?
The Deep North. Hehe, hi you-all. (Mohawk Valley Tryon County militia, upstate New York here.)
I read a fascinating work back in the early 90’s by a future Nobel winner, Bob Fogel. One of his former students gave me two volumes as a gift.
Fogel won the prize largely for his research on the economics of slavery in the South. While morally much against the practice, Fogel argued that slavery wouldn’t have ended of its own accord, first because the market mechanism was still working nicely, second because overall agricultural productivity was sustainably higher with slaves, and third because slaves enjoyed better conditions on average than industrial workers in the North.
It was a fairly shocking read, and really opened my mind because while Fogel is honest about his misgivings, he still honors the discomfiting data he uncovers. (And let me note for the record and other readers that I don’t consider slavery a proper human condition. I’m just trying to balance conflicting ideas in my head in order to better understand a past conflict.)
I am not sure that a Bonaparte or Wellington, could be successful given the constraints of the present situation. Perhaps Custer would fit into the present regime better.
Unfortuately or fortunately the American Indians did not have competitive fire power to resist Manifest Destiny.
Maybe too many cowboy vs Indian movies were consumed by the policy makers of today.
PL, I applaud you for writing Sen. Specter and Leahy on the Senate Judiciary Commitee that the current proposed legislation for handling detainees is flawed. Torture, indefinite detention with no habeas corpus and kangaroo trials are un-American.
I am outraged that our Senators are even willing to consider such legislation. What a shame! The framers of the Declaration of Independence will surely be turning in their graves. What happened to, “We hold these Truths to be self-evident, that all Men are created equal, that they are endowed, by their Creator, with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness.”
To what extent was Jefferson Davis’ meddling in military matters a cause of the South’s defeat?
Lee couldn’t abide him, I believe.
Specifically, was Davis’ decision to replace Johnson with Hood a critical mistake?
Although his attempts at “helpfulness” were generally not, the out come of the war was largely determined by running out of fighters. Materiel (ordnance) was tight but available. Men often were hungrier than they should have been but the sheer numbers were deadly on the nothern side. In the Overland campaign of 1864 in Virginia, Grant lost more men beween the start and the James River crossing after 2nd Cold Harbor than Lee had in his army at the start and Grant still had the same number of men as his starting strength. How? They just kept bringing up more reserves from the rear.
Similar thing in Sherman’s advance through Georgia. pl
Pat, even though a yankee (born in Gettysburg), it is difficult to think of you and you wife as “you guys”, but damned if you aren’t on target with the comment.
Well, towards the end of the conflict, many of the South’s fighters were running. Desertion reached epic proportions near the end. And one could blame that on provisions.
But I am certainly not an expert. At all.
The Confederacy never succesfully adopted conscription, and had a high tolerance for desertion (particularly at harvest time).
While many southerners did serve at some point during the fighting, it could be argued that comparatively few of them served for the duration.
State governors also jealously guarded state militias and actively sabotaged attempts at conscription and to centralize logistics.
In many ways, the Confederate government was Jeffersonian democracy taken to its logical–and disastrous–conclusion.
The Confederacy adopted conscription in 1862 and it was ruthlessly enforced. The resulting conscripts were integrated into existing units quite successfully.
The United States instituted conscripton just after Gettysburg. This resulted in a week of rioting in New York City.
Yes, after Grant’s strategic methods killed off enough men in attritional butchery those who were left lost hope in the final months and there were a lot of losses through desertion. People just went home.
Nevertheless, the Johnnies as my Army of the Potomac great grandfather called them remained dangerous to the end.
He respected them but hated them at the same time, at least that is what my father, who knew him well said were his attitudes.
The respect seems to have disappeared over the years.
I wonder what the old man would have thought of that. pl
Nice post, as usual, sir. Saw you on PBS the other night as well. Here’s something interesting: http://haveskunk.blogspot.com/2006/09/booshs-neocon-amnesty-program.html
The thing that stands out about the Civil War is 600,000 dead soldiers. That and the fact that it was probably the hollowest “victory” on record.
Virginia’s own Senator Allen who named his son after the founder of the Ku Klux Klan (and, yes, I know that Bedford Forrest was a brilliant commander) is adequate testimony to the pyrrhic nature of the North’s “victory”.
But on to more amusing things. Bush released the NIE executive summary saying that it supported his beliefs about the Iraq war.
There are those who say he didn’t read it. They admit that this is nearly impossible to believe, but they adduce it as a possibility.
I guarantee he didn’t read it.
I sense in some of this discussion the suggestion that white Southerners did not really support nor fight hard for their “cause.”
This is ludicrous. The Confederacy represented one of the greatest examples of full mobilization of available military manpower in all of history.
I quote from James McPherson’s “Battle Cry of freedom.”
“During the course of the war, some two million men served in the Union Army (out of a total white population of 20 million), while some 750,000 men served in the Confederate forces out of a white population of approximately six million ( Figures from Millett & Maslowski1994, 163). Maintaining these levels of military manpower came at great economic cost: in the Confederate case, the near-total mobilization of young men for military service resulted in great hardship on the home front and ultimately contributed to economic exhaustion as the war dragged on, while from the Northern perspective, the appealing prospect of untapped manpower in the form of African-American slaves in the south was a central factor in the transformation of Northern war aims from restoring the Union to the extinction of slavery.”
Freeman, the point you are missing is where all that money is going. Bribing the Iraqis instead of fighting them might be a lot more effective and a whole lot cheaper, but then how are you going to funnel hundreds of billions in defence contracts to your campaign donators ?
Wonder how the Prof factored in the value of ‘freedom’ in this statement: “third because slaves enjoyed better conditions on average than industrial workers in the North”
How does ‘freedom’ fit into considerations of ‘conditions’?
Fogel wrote “Time on the Cross,” I believe. This was an economic analysis and he and his writing partner ——— demonstrated that the MATERIAL well being of the average field hand was better than, say, that of the average mill worker in Biddeford or Lowell, MA. Slaves were valued capital assets and were consequently taken care of. A grown, healty man was worth several thousand dollars in the money of the time. Nobody gave a damn in New England if an immigrant Irishman died at his loom.
As for someone else’s comment about the “ferocity” of the Southern soldier, Grady McWhiney wrote in “Cracker Culture” that the civil war gave them the chance to be what all of British Celtic history had prepared them for. pl
The South fought a brilliantly excuted Napoleonic war againt an opponent with rifled muskets who wound up fighting a Twentieth Century war. You’re right about the excellence of the Southern mobilization, insofar as one speaks of manpower and weapons. The Southrons did less well getting foodstuffs–Lee’s Army was starving in 1865 while there were lots of rations which were exempt from being commandeered. What let the Confederacy down was its leadership, who were backward looking and touchy about pride and honor. Lee fought Napoleonic campaigns and battles, would have been a great general if the war had been fought with smoothbore muskets. Pickett’s Charge shows that he didn’t understand the tactical implications of the 1855 Rifle. Lee pretty much created his manpower shortage. Either Johnston or Pickett would have been better for the Cause but Lee perfectly fitted the job description, as it was understood in the CSA. Going down because of the system’s internal contradictions, is how the Marxists would have put it. The Southrons were beat a long time before they were able to conceive the notion of using African troops.
The Napoleonic versus “modern” argument is really bogus. Napoleon himself would have used telegraph, canned goods and railroads if they had been available to him and it would have changed little in his methods.
The South used railroads, telegraph, etc. The South was the 8th largest industrial power in the world. The Union armies were almost altogether equipped with rifled muskets and muzzle loading cannon. The presence of the Spencer carbine in the Union cavalry at the end of the war is interesting but not decisive in any way. The South actually posessed artillery weapons more effective than those of the North. You can go see examples of this handful of breechloading guns at Gettysburg.
No. This was about mobilizable manpower. The Confederacy died bacaue the Senate would not listen to the Cleburne Memorial in 1864. pl
By the end of Gettysburg, Lee had run through his manpower by use of textbook copies of Napoleonic offensive combat, much the same way the French did in 1914. He did that because he was a backward looking general, quite representative of his cause. Beyond the handicap of inheriting the cream of the pre-war West Pointers, the South was an anti-modern sort of affair. Had Napoleon been around he’d have altered his methods, more or less the way Grant did. He was clear on how the new artillery system of the 1780’s changed things, and won with the observation. Presumably he’d have caught on to the futility of bayonet charges against rifles. Lee was an excellent commander of his army. They fit tightly. But had the South not run through all those irreplacable troops from the Seven Days to Gettysburg, the’d have had plenty of men for the 1864 campaign.
The Union would have run through its available manpower if there had been any bottom to the barrel filled with “Heavy Artillery” regiments, foreign enlistees and “US. Colored Infantry.” The rifle company my great grandfather father commanded at Petersburg in Sixth Corps was down to about thirty men by then.
There was nothing post-Napoleonic about Union tactical generaling throughout the war. The tactical level is where people get killed or wounded. All of them, North and South were the “intellectual” children of Danial Hart Mahan at West Point where he taught ONE course in military engineering in which he managed to sneak in a liitle something about Napoleon. That was all they knew unless they had studied on their own after they became offcers. With the exception of a few people like Halleck. Jackson and Beauregard, few did so. They either wanted to get out of the army to make money or were sunk in the trivia of garrison life.
Lee made foolish frontal attacks at Gettysburg and Malvern Hill?
What about Grant at either of the Cold Harbors? His men there, including my ancestor, pinned notes to each others’ backs with their names and addresses so that someone would send the body home if there were no survivors. What about Sheridan at 3rd Winchester, Fisher’s Hill, Cedar Creek and Five Forks where he ordered massed MOUNTED cavalry charges of over ten thousand sabers in each case. “Huzzah!” Each time against a flank. What could be more Napoleonic? Murat would have been gratified.
No. The telegraph line reaching from Grant’s field headquarters was nothing but a pain in the ass.
Manpower decided the war.
Backward looking? I guess the winners always get to define the context. pl
The real war was fought out West and Grant manouvered there whenever he could. Lee fought offensively when he couldn’t afford to. He did gain the upper hand over the Army of the Potomac but that was a trap. In Lee’s case, he had quite mistakenly decided that time wasn’t on his side. In fact delay was the only hope that the South had. Any offensive action which doesn’t yield decisive results is bad when it costs as much of your available resources as Lee’s did. Joe Johnston had it right. But the Army of Northern Virginia didn’t like defending. Again, a lot like the 1914 French, who also couldn’t afford to attack. Pretty much any attack Lee made was a luxury he couldn’t afford.