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Which individual Confederate deserves the most blame for the defeat in the West?

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  • Which individual Confederate deserves the most blame for the defeat in the West?

    If you could blame on individual Confederate for the defeat in the Western Theater, who earn your vote?

    A true academic answer would probably be more a lot more complex, but I am interested in seeing the views of those here if a single individual could be blamed as carrying the responsibility for ultimately losing the war in the west, who would it be?
    34
    Jefferson Davis
    47.06%
    16
    Albert Sidney Johnston
    0.00%
    0
    Joseph Johnston
    0.00%
    0
    Braxton Bragg
    29.41%
    10
    Leonidas Polk
    5.88%
    2
    Edmund Kirby Smith
    0.00%
    0
    John B. Hood
    5.88%
    2
    John C. Pemberton
    0.00%
    0
    Earl Van Dorn
    2.94%
    1
    Gideon Pillow
    0.00%
    0
    Other (Please Name)
    8.82%
    3
    Last edited by semperpietas; 26 Oct 12, 00:47.
    "Hit hard when you start, but don't start until you have everything ready." - Lt. Gen. James Longstreet

    Pyrrhus Travels West:
    Hanno the Infamous, General of Carthage, Rb Mhnt of Sicily

  • #2
    No one that was alive to blame. Jackson and Stuart dying an untimely death definitely played a huge role in that defeat.

    Comment


    • #3
      Jefferson Davis-the buck stops here. If you want to discuss which MILITARY leader is the most responsible, we can go there......I just don't believe that Davis can escape the responsibility of being the one to chose leaders & make military policy.
      The muffled drums sad roll has beat the soldier's last tatoo. No more on life's parade shall meet that brave and fallen few.

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by Zuzah View Post
        No one that was alive to blame. Jackson and Stuart dying an untimely death definitely played a huge role in that defeat.
        In the West? What does the death of Jackson in 63 & Stuart in 64 have to do with any issues with command & control or decisions west of the Appalachian Mountains?
        The muffled drums sad roll has beat the soldier's last tatoo. No more on life's parade shall meet that brave and fallen few.

        Comment


        • #5
          I had to split my vote between Jefferson Davis (Heckboy is very right in the buck stops with him) and Albert S. Johnston who died in the high point of his Confederate career, but otherwise lost all he touched prior to Shiloh.
          Eagles may fly; but weasels aren't sucked into jet engines!

          "I'm not expendable; I'm not stupid and I'm not going." - Kerr Avon, Blake's 7

          What didn't kill us; didn't make us smarter.

          Comment


          • #6
            davis

            I believe Jefferson Davis was most responsible. As Hell Boy stated the buck stops here. Davis's refusal to get along or inability to get along with anybody but Braxton Bragg, who also cooperated with nobody, seriously hampered any chance the South had in the West. That being said I do not think anyone could have won in the west. The north was just to powerful. Maybe if in the early days of the war more attention was paid and they were better equipped and supported the South could have made some inroads into Ohio and beyond, but i still believe the North would have overcome.Just look at the East where Lee knew how to handle Davis and the final result there. Maybe things would have been different if there was total cooperation all along the front. The North might have asked for peace but that is a another subject.
            Is she crying? There's no crying in baseball.

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by RichardS View Post
              (Heckboy is very right in the buck stops with him)
              Originally posted by midaeu View Post
              As Hell Boy stated the buck stops here. .
              I think we've been here long enough that you guys can call me Jon.
              The muffled drums sad roll has beat the soldier's last tatoo. No more on life's parade shall meet that brave and fallen few.

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by hellboy30 View Post
                I think we've been here long enough that you guys can call me Jon.
                Assuming of course that I can remember names at a given point.
                Eagles may fly; but weasels aren't sucked into jet engines!

                "I'm not expendable; I'm not stupid and I'm not going." - Kerr Avon, Blake's 7

                What didn't kill us; didn't make us smarter.

                Comment


                • #9
                  I am currently reading William Shea's "Fields of Blood: The Prairie Grove Campaign", which is about the Trans-Mississippi, but I plan on reading "The Civil War in the West: Victory and Defeat from the Appalachians to the Mississippi" by Earl J. Hess next, which should give a much better answer to this very question.

                  Edit: From the glowing reviews on that book, to paraphrase Pickett, I think the Yankees had something to do with it!
                  The muffled drums sad roll has beat the soldier's last tatoo. No more on life's parade shall meet that brave and fallen few.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Lee. He never saw the bigger picture.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by hellboy30 View Post
                      Jefferson Davis-the buck stops here. If you want to discuss which MILITARY leader is the most responsible, we can go there......I just don't believe that Davis can escape the responsibility of being the one to chose leaders & make military policy.
                      That is true of course. One thing that strikes me is the odd way Jefferson Davis used the Departmental System. It really hurt Bragg's Army, especially in the fall and winter of 1862. Bragg could not order reinforcements from East Tennessee nor could he control troops in Mississippi like his department was originally outlined for.

                      When Davis brought Johnston in, he made it worse by forcing the armies of Pemberton and Bragg to cooperate under Johnston, which was difficult given the terrain. It would have been better, as Johnston, Bragg, and Pemberton pointed out, to group Bragg's Army and East Tennessee/SW Virginia forces in a department under Lee while grouping Pemberton's Army with Holmes' forces (in Arkansas and Louisiana) under Johnston.

                      In hindsight, perhaps I should have limited the poll somewhat to military figures. However, I concur that the buck stops with Davis.
                      "Hit hard when you start, but don't start until you have everything ready." - Lt. Gen. James Longstreet

                      Pyrrhus Travels West:
                      Hanno the Infamous, General of Carthage, Rb Mhnt of Sicily

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Charger View Post
                        Lee. He never saw the bigger picture.
                        Huh? What? Not much Lee could do. Don't forget he did send his best Corps Commander and Corps to Bragg. But his focus, rightly, was on Virginia. He could have done more if J. Davis had made him CIC of the Confederate Armies like Grant was for the Union.
                        Eagles may fly; but weasels aren't sucked into jet engines!

                        "I'm not expendable; I'm not stupid and I'm not going." - Kerr Avon, Blake's 7

                        What didn't kill us; didn't make us smarter.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by RichardS View Post
                          Huh? What? Not much Lee could do. Don't forget he did send his best Corps Commander and Corps to Bragg. But his focus, rightly, was on Virginia. He could have done more if J. Davis had made him CIC of the Confederate Armies like Grant was for the Union.
                          Richard,

                          Agreed. A number of critics, especially the renowed historian Thomas Connelly, have taken Lee to task as being myopic with the focus entirely on the VA theatre. But, as you point out, Lee was an army commander and therefore, rightly so in my view, was concerned with the ANV and how his army could help with winning the war. Plus, considering the other Rebel commanders track record it would be understandable if Lee wanted to keep (or get) as many troops as he could.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by hellboy30 View Post
                            Jefferson Davis-the buck stops here. If you want to discuss which MILITARY leader is the most responsible, we can go there......I just don't believe that Davis can escape the responsibility of being the one to chose leaders & make military policy.
                            Hellboy,

                            You are correct. But, outside of Davis, I will go with Polk whose move into Kentucky did much to injure the Confederate cause. Nevermind all the other instances of him being a thorn in the side of any Commander he was under.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              I agree. The heart went out, even out of Lee.

                              Originally posted by Zuzah View Post
                              No one that was alive to blame. Jackson and Stuart dying an untimely death definitely played a huge role in that defeat.
                              This bass guitar kills TERRORISTS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

                              Comment

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