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General McClellan . Too Cautious?

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  • #46
    Originally posted by Massena View Post

    Really? Where did you find that ridiculous statement? That is incorrect and is more from the movie than anything else. In short, it's wrong.
    Saph is correct.

    Napoleon at Waterloo

    Napoleon's main HQ was at La Ferme du Caillou. This is 2.6 km from Ney's forward CP at La Belle Alliance and 4.1 km from the Allied line. Napoleon got up and breakfasted with his generals at du Caillou at 0800. He dismissed the reports of his generals who'd been on the field that morning. Around 0900 the breakfast was over and Napoleon gave a final briefing and left Caillou sometime around 0930.

    Napoleon rode to La Belle Alliance, had a quick look at Wellington's position, and then retired to Rossomme Farm. He rode through 1er Corps en route from La Belle Alliance to Rossomme Farm, 1.5 km south of LBA (this is wrongly sometimes reported as "inspecting the troops"). He arrived there before 1000, because we know he issued an order to Gouchy from there at 1000. Ney was left in command of the field.

    Napoleon didn't visit the forward CP at LBA for some time. It was 1600 before he left Rossomme and returned to LBA. Napoleon had sat out the first 4.5 hours of combat. On returning he found Ney had launched a cavalry charge, and Napoleon ordered the reserve cavalry in as well. Napoleon then became aware of the Prussians at Plancenoit, and telescoped in on that, leaving the combat with Wellington still entirely in Neys hands.

    At 1830, Ney finally took La Haie Sainte, and there was an opportunity. Ney brought his gunline forward and sent an ADC back to have the Guard sent in. Napoleon refused, because he might need them at Plancenoit. Ney himself rode back and argued his case with Napoleon, and at ca. 1930 Napoleon agreed and released the Guard to Ney.

    Napoleon rode with Ney as far forward at La Haie Sainte, but then turned back to LBF. At 2030, sitting at LBF he returned to Rossomme Farm, boarded his carriage, and his last retreat began.

    McClellan and Lee at Antietam

    Now we can compare to some civil war commanders.

    Lee at Antietam set up a CP on Cemetery Hill, around a mile in the rear of the rebel lines, NW of the town itself. He only left there once during the whole battle. Since there was no movement on Longstreet's front, and heavy pressure on Jackson, around 0800 hours Lee committed his entire reserve to Jackson and rode over to Jackson's CP at the Reel House. He remained there for about 90 mins until news of Burnside attempting an assault was received. Lee returned to Cemetery Hill and remained there for the battle.

    McClellan at Antietam set his CP co-located with Porter's. He left there at least once and maybe twice. In the early afternoon McClellan rode to the right to consult with Sumner and Franklin. Whilst there he directed Hancock to take command of Richardson's division. As McClellan was also with Sumner around 1600 it's not clear whether there was one long visit or two shorter ones. Mostly likely McClellan remained ca. 90 mins with Sumner etc., and he rode back to his CP on hearing that Burnside had finally started to advance. This is a similar pattern to Lee.

    Both McClellan and Lee were about equally as "forward" as the other. Both remained at their CP except for one visit to an important sector. This was, in fact, more involved than Napoleon was at Waterloo.
    "[T]he worst that could be said of the Peninsula campaign was that thus far it had not been successful. To make it a failure was reserved for the agency of General Halleck." -Emory Upton

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    • #47
      And this source for Napoleon is?
      We are not now that strength which in old days
      Moved earth and heaven; that which we are we are; One equal temper of heroic hearts
      Made weak by time and fate but strong in will
      To strive to seek to find and not to yield.

      Comment


      • #48
        Originally posted by Massena View Post
        And this source for Napoleon is?
        Why would you think any of this is incorrect?
        "[T]he worst that could be said of the Peninsula campaign was that thus far it had not been successful. To make it a failure was reserved for the agency of General Halleck." -Emory Upton

        Comment


        • #49
          Originally posted by 67th Tigers View Post

          Indeed, and in context you should be using it to point out Lincoln's crassness and lack of understanding. Both McClellan's and Lee's armies had serious outbreaks of hoof and mouth disease. Lincoln made crass epigrams and was unconcerned by the military problem. Davis had fresh horses sent.
          Yet it was Little Mac himself who communicated that his horses were fatigued and underfed along with being ill. The words hoof and mouth aren't found that I can tell. As to the supplies not being delivered, perhaps not to that as well. https://www.nytimes.com/1862/11/10/a...ry-of-war.html

          Now, back to the excuse making for the general who did more for the rebel cause than anyone but Lee himself!

          Regards,
          Dennis

          If stupid was a criminal offense Sea Lion believers would be doing life.

          Shouting out to Half Pint for bringing back the big mugs!

          Comment


          • #50
            Originally posted by D1J1 View Post

            Yet it was Little Mac himself who communicated that his horses were fatigued and underfed along with being ill. The words hoof and mouth aren't found that I can tell.
            The words might not be used, but the disease outbreak was real, and well reported. This is Ingalls' report:

            "Immediately after the battle of Antietam, efforts were made to supply deficiencies in clothing and horses. Large requisitions were prepared and sent in. The artillery and cavalry required large numbers to cover losses sustained in battle, on the march, and by disease. Both of these arms were deficient when they left Washington. A most violent and destructive disease made its appearance at this time, which put nearly 4,000 animals out of service. Horses reported perfectly well one day would be dead or lame the next, and it was difficult to foresee where it would end or what number would cover the loss. They were attacked in the hoof and tongue. No one seemed able to account satisfactorily for the appearance of this disease. Animals kept at rest would recover in time, but could not be worked. I made application to send West and purchase horses at once, but it was refused on the ground that the outstanding contracts provided for enough; but they were not delivered sufficiently fast nor in sufficient numbers until late in October and early in November. I was authorized to buy 2,500 late in October, but the delivery was not completed until in November, after we had reached Warrenton."

            - report of Lt Col Ingalls, QMG of the Army of the Potomac, http://antietam.aotw.org/exhibit.php?exhibit_id=400

            As to the supplies not being delivered, perhaps not to that as well. https://www.nytimes.com/1862/11/10/a...ry-of-war.html
            See Ingalls report, amongst other things. Supplies really were not being received. Lincoln told Thomas A. Scott to investigate the claims of McClellan that supplies were not arriving. Scott found that what McClellan said was true. Scott returned to cabinet and began his report to Lincoln; Stanton stood up and shouted at Scott "that's a damned lie", and demanded Scott leave. All eyes turned to Lincoln, who, dumbfounded, said nothing. Scott left the room. He continued his investigation and found the cause - Meigs was "issuing" supplies, but then instead of actually forwarding them to the army, he was stockpiling them in warehouses at Washington. The gig was up, and Scott reported this directly to Lincoln, and Stanton was ordered to have Meigs forward the supplies.

            Meigs reports that supplies started to arrive on the 18th October, and a week later McClellan set the army in motion. Indeed, McClellan did not wait for the army to be fully resupplied, and "made do".
            "[T]he worst that could be said of the Peninsula campaign was that thus far it had not been successful. To make it a failure was reserved for the agency of General Halleck." -Emory Upton

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            • #51
              The main point is that Mac would not fightabattle to win, but rather not to lose.

              Comment


              • #52
                Originally posted by 67th Tigers View Post

                Why would you think any of this is incorrect?
                First, in all the time I've researched the Napoleonic Wars, Waterloo included, this is the first time I've seen any of this supposition which is incorrect.

                Second, you didn't list the source, though I suspect that it is Wikipedia which is not a credible historic source.
                We are not now that strength which in old days
                Moved earth and heaven; that which we are we are; One equal temper of heroic hearts
                Made weak by time and fate but strong in will
                To strive to seek to find and not to yield.

                Comment


                • #53
                  Originally posted by grognard View Post
                  The main point is that Mac would not fightabattle to win, but rather not to lose.
                  That is absolutely correct.
                  We are not now that strength which in old days
                  Moved earth and heaven; that which we are we are; One equal temper of heroic hearts
                  Made weak by time and fate but strong in will
                  To strive to seek to find and not to yield.

                  Comment


                  • #54
                    Originally posted by grognard View Post
                    The main point is that Mac would not fightabattle to win, but rather not to lose.
                    How so?
                    "[T]he worst that could be said of the Peninsula campaign was that thus far it had not been successful. To make it a failure was reserved for the agency of General Halleck." -Emory Upton

                    Comment


                    • #55
                      Originally posted by grognard View Post
                      The main point is that Mac would not fightabattle to win, but rather not to lose.
                      And it has been clearly shown that most of the battles fought with McClellan in command he was absent, preferring to be elsewhere.
                      We are not now that strength which in old days
                      Moved earth and heaven; that which we are we are; One equal temper of heroic hearts
                      Made weak by time and fate but strong in will
                      To strive to seek to find and not to yield.

                      Comment


                      • #56
                        Originally posted by D1J1 View Post

                        Yet it was Little Mac himself who communicated that his horses were fatigued and underfed along with being ill. The words hoof and mouth aren't found that I can tell. As to the supplies not being delivered, perhaps not to that as well. https://www.nytimes.com/1862/11/10/a...ry-of-war.html

                        Now, back to the excuse making for the general who did more for the rebel cause than anyone but Lee himself!

                        Regards,
                        Dennis
                        Well done.
                        We are not now that strength which in old days
                        Moved earth and heaven; that which we are we are; One equal temper of heroic hearts
                        Made weak by time and fate but strong in will
                        To strive to seek to find and not to yield.

                        Comment


                        • #57
                          Originally posted by Massena View Post

                          And it has been clearly shown that most of the battles fought with McClellan in command he was absent, preferring to be elsewhere.
                          Hardly. You asserted it, but then it was found you hadn't actually checked where McClellan was or what he was doing. When this was done your assertion was found to be wrong.

                          However, this has happened multiple times before, and will likely happen again.
                          "[T]he worst that could be said of the Peninsula campaign was that thus far it had not been successful. To make it a failure was reserved for the agency of General Halleck." -Emory Upton

                          Comment


                          • #58
                            Originally posted by 67th Tigers View Post

                            Hardly. You asserted it, but then it was found you hadn't actually checked where McClellan was or what he was doing. When this was done your assertion was found to be wrong.

                            However, this has happened multiple times before, and will likely happen again.
                            Found by whom? I gave the reference where the material could be found. The bottom line is that McClellan was perfectly happy to let his subordinate commanders fight the battles of the Seven Days, and he was a mere spectator at Antietam.

                            This subject has been addressed repeatedly on this forum with the same material and conclusions every time. I should think it is time to move on to the next subject. You have been proven wrong on McClellan and you have also shown little knowledge on Napoleon and Waterloo. Perhaps you should do just a little more research for your postings?
                            We are not now that strength which in old days
                            Moved earth and heaven; that which we are we are; One equal temper of heroic hearts
                            Made weak by time and fate but strong in will
                            To strive to seek to find and not to yield.

                            Comment


                            • #59
                              Originally posted by Massena View Post

                              Found by whom? I gave the reference where the material could be found. The bottom line is that McClellan was perfectly happy to let his subordinate commanders fight the battles of the Seven Days,
                              Yes, he let corps commanders command their corps, division commanders command their divisions etc. McClellan commanded the whole army. He directed the movements of the army, the positions of divisions and controlled the commitment of reserves.

                              Lets imagine you're a battery commander. Are you not in command of your battery when your CPO relays a fire mission to a gun sub? Are you still not in command when the gun commander says "fire" or when the no. 3 fires the ordnance?

                              and he was a mere spectator at Antietam.
                              Which is why multiple corps made assaults on the enemy? From his CP he directed corps and, to a lesser extent, divisions. No, he did not wave his sword at the front of every regiment making a charge. He commanded the whole army.

                              Did Napoleon at Waterloo direct any of the combat against Wellington's line? No, he gave a general instruction to Ney and let him get on with it.

                              You have been proven wrong on McClellan and you have also shown little knowledge on Napoleon and Waterloo. Perhaps you should do just a little more research for your postings?
                              Indeed. The "proof" is of course simply your assertions, which we've shown to be incorrect in the past.
                              "[T]he worst that could be said of the Peninsula campaign was that thus far it had not been successful. To make it a failure was reserved for the agency of General Halleck." -Emory Upton

                              Comment


                              • #60
                                Originally posted by 67th Tigers View Post

                                Yes, he let corps commanders command their corps, division commanders command their divisions etc. McClellan commanded the whole army. He directed the movements of the army, the positions of divisions and controlled the commitment of reserves.

                                Lets imagine you're a battery commander. Are you not in command of your battery when your CPO relays a fire mission to a gun sub? Are you still not in command when the gun commander says "fire" or when the no. 3 fires the ordnance?



                                Which is why multiple corps made assaults on the enemy? From his CP he directed corps and, to a lesser extent, divisions. No, he did not wave his sword at the front of every regiment making a charge. He commanded the whole army.

                                Did Napoleon at Waterloo direct any of the combat against Wellington's line? No, he gave a general instruction to Ney and let him get on with it.



                                Indeed. The "proof" is of course simply your assertions, which we've shown to be incorrect in the past.
                                Really, where?

                                And I've posted supporting documentation in the past as I have in this thread.

                                Everyone makes mistakes-you merely continue with yours, ad nauseum.

                                When I make an 'assertion' it is based on credible evidence, not Wikipedia or some other doubtful source.

                                By the way, who is 'we'? Do you have a mouse in your pocket?
                                We are not now that strength which in old days
                                Moved earth and heaven; that which we are we are; One equal temper of heroic hearts
                                Made weak by time and fate but strong in will
                                To strive to seek to find and not to yield.

                                Comment

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