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General McClellan . Too Cautious?

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  • #76
    Originally posted by Massena View Post
    There is an over-abundance of historical evidence to prove that your assertion is wrong. And quite a bit of it has been posted on this forum in other threads over the years.

    The bottom line is McClellan was defeated by Lee in the Seven Days Campaign and was outgeneraled at Antietam.


    I look forward to the discussion in the future. I will be defending him soon on a thread.

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    • #77
      Originally posted by Sic Semper Tyran View Post

      I will be defending him soon on a thread.
      How?

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      • #78
        Originally posted by Massena View Post

        Only 'slightly'?
        Given Napoleon II's early passing from Tuberculosis, we will probably never know the full heights of his military genius....
        The trout who swims against the current gets the most oxygen..

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        • #79
          Originally posted by American87 View Post
          McClellan was not too cautious; he just relied on ridiculously poor information during the Peninuslar Camapign.

          Had McClellan had accurate information in front of Richmond, I believe he would have taken the city.
          Actually the strength estimates were not nearly that wretched. For example, during the siege of Yorktown he three times gave strength estimates of the enemy position to other commanders (Sumner, Wool and Burnside respectively*). All three were essentially completely correct. When discussing this phase, we shouldn't make the classic mistake of saying McClellan was fooled. He knew exactly what the enemy strength was.

          On the movement from Yorktown, McClellan is silent on estimates, aside from telling Burnside on 21st May he expected "to fight a desperate battle in front of Richmond, and against superior numbers, somewhat entrenched". This is not an incorrect statement - Johnston had started the process of making a general concentration at Richmond. Either equality in numbers or even a slight superiority. Since withdrawing from Yorktown he'd received 7 additional brigades (4 in AP Hill's new division, and 3 from Norfolk), and in the next few weeks would receive another 5 (Ripley, Walker, Ransom, Daniel and Lawton). This is the equivalent of two whole Federal Corps.

          Departing Yorktown, Johnston had (in round figures) 92 infantry regiments with him (equiv. to 23 "standard" brigades of 4, or a brigade short of 8 "standard" divisions). McClellan had, before Franklin arrived, 98 infantry regiments with him, and Franklin arrived with 12 to give 110.

          Departing Yorktown the force ratio 110:92 is approximately correct. By the time of Seven Pines, McClellan still has 110 regiments, but Johnston has received Huger (13.5) and AP Hill (21), and lost one (1st Kentucky, disbanded) to give 126.5. The force ratio is thus already 110:126.5 against McClellan.

          Between Seven Pines and the Seven Days, Lee received 49.5 regiments to total 176 regiments. McClellan received 25 regiments, to total 135. In terms of infantry regiments, the strength ratio is thus 135:176.

          In the aftermath of the Seven Days, Lee gained 23.5 regiments, and McClellan 9. The final ratio was thus 144:199.5
          "[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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          • #80
            Are you going to answer the question(s) on your inaccurate Napoleon and Waterloo posting?

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            • #81
              Originally posted by Massena View Post
              Are you going to answer the question(s) on your inaccurate Napoleon and Waterloo posting?
              I have made no inaccurate Napoleon at Waterloo posting. However, I don't think you realise just how uninvolved Napoleon was until ca. 1600. He basically let Ney fight Wellington on his own hook.
              "[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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              • #82
                Originally posted by 67th Tigers View Post

                I have made no inaccurate Napoleon at Waterloo posting. However, I don't think you realise just how uninvolved Napoleon was until ca. 1600. He basically let Ney fight Wellington on his own hook.
                And that is incorrect both factually and historically. Once again, what was the source you used for the posting?

                Have you read Andrew Field's books on Waterloo? They are well-done, accurate, and refute the nonsense that you posted on the subject.

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                • #83
                  As far as I can tell, we have a Napoleonic Era forum here. Take it there. Further discussion of this nature by either of you here will be deleted on sight now or at any time in the future....PERIOD!

                  ACG Staff


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

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

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                  • #84
                    That's why I asked 67th that very question.

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                    • #85
                      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

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                      • #86
                        I wonder how many more threads on McClellan we're going to have in order for McClellan's admirers to again attempt to prove he was a good general and wasn't absent from most of the battles the Army of the Potomac fought?

                        The results will be the same with the hard fact that McClellan was a poor general who usually tried to avoid fighting, or at the very least being involved in it.

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                        • #87
                          McClellan had a good idea of turning Johnston's flank at Aquia Creek, but Johnston retreated and saved his army.

                          McClellan then struck for the Peninsula, and he had a good chance of beating Johnston to Richmond, but Lee, as advisor to the commander-in-chief, ordered Johnston down to the Peninsula to block him. He then outmanuevered Johnston to the outskirts of Richmond, in a campaign that somewhat resembles Rosecran's famed Tullahooma campaign. The problem is, McClellan never pushed through with a decisive battle. And that, of course, is due to the incredibly poor information he received as to Confederate strength.

                          It should be pointed out that Grant spent the bloodiest campaign in US history to do what McClellan did almost from the start, i.e. campaign from the James River. Grant then spent 10 months laying siege to Petersburg.

                          McClellan was called off after 2 months.

                          It seems to me the biggest mistake in McClellan's career was not his doing, but Halleck's and Lincoln's. If McClellan stayed on the Peninsula, while Pope advanced from the North, Lee would have been sorely pressed to stave off both advances. The only reason Lee beat Pope and marched into Maryland, was because Lincoln and Halleck ordered McClellan off the Peninsula.
                          Last edited by American87; 05 Jun 19, 22:29.
                          "It is a fine fox chase, my boys"

                          "It is well that war is so terrible-we would grow too fond of it"

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                          • #88
                            Originally posted by 67th Tigers View Post

                            I have made no inaccurate Napoleon at Waterloo posting. However, I don't think you realise just how uninvolved Napoleon was until ca. 1600. He basically let Ney fight Wellington on his own hook.
                            And that information is incorrect.

                            What is your source for this comment?

                            Further, I began a thread on the Napoleonic forum to switch to, so you might want to answer there and not here.

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                            • #89
                              Originally posted by 67th Tigers View Post

                              I have made no inaccurate Napoleon at Waterloo posting. However, I don't think you realise just how uninvolved Napoleon was until ca. 1600. He basically let Ney fight Wellington on his own hook.
                              When are you going to supply your source material, if any, for this inaccurate statement? For a reminder, the thread regarding your Waterloo comments is on the Napoleonic forum on this site.

                              So, please post on the subject there and not here. Perhaps you have no creditable source material? Are you basing your idea on the movie?
                              Last edited by Massena; 11 Jun 19, 07:10.

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                              • #90
                                Originally posted by American87 View Post
                                McClellan had a good idea of turning Johnston's flank at Aquia Creek, but Johnston retreated and saved his army.

                                McClellan then struck for the Peninsula, and he had a good chance of beating Johnston to Richmond, but Lee, as advisor to the commander-in-chief, ordered Johnston down to the Peninsula to block him. He then outmanuevered Johnston to the outskirts of Richmond, in a campaign that somewhat resembles Rosecran's famed Tullahooma campaign. The problem is, McClellan never pushed through with a decisive battle. And that, of course, is due to the incredibly poor information he received as to Confederate strength.

                                It should be pointed out that Grant spent the bloodiest campaign in US history to do what McClellan did almost from the start, i.e. campaign from the James River. Grant then spent 10 months laying siege to Petersburg.

                                McClellan was called off after 2 months.

                                It seems to me the biggest mistake in McClellan's career was not his doing, but Halleck's and Lincoln's. If McClellan stayed on the Peninsula, while Pope advanced from the North, Lee would have been sorely pressed to stave off both advances. The only reason Lee beat Pope and marched into Maryland, was because Lincoln and Halleck ordered McClellan off the Peninsula.
                                McClellan had myriad chances to defeat Johnston in northern Virginia as well as in the Peninsula. He hesitated because he was afraid of engaging. He was bluffed in northern Virginia and again in the Peninsula. After Lee took over, McClellan was now faced with an enemy commander who was not afraid to fight and drove McClellan from the Peninsula.

                                It was not Halleck's nor Lincoln's fault. After the victory at Malvern Hill, won by Porter not McClellan, the latter sat on his hands once again and that is why he was ordered to withdraw. The Peninsular campaign was a costly failure and the responsibility for that failure rests entirely with McClellan. He had his chance(s) and he muffed them.

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