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08 October 2015

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BabelFish

His Foot Calvary was an amazing unit, as the Federals found out to their great dismay.

shepherd

Agreed very much on the topic of Rangers. My wife and I have a hobby of exploring national battlefield parks, which in the US are superb. You really want to grab a Ranger whenever you get the chance; they're astonishingly informed. If you don't mind the cold, I'd advise bundling up and going on a lousy day in winter. You can get a personal tour from one of them that way.

Babak Makkinejad

Col. Lang:

Would the course of the war been different if he had not been killed in action?

turcopolier

Babak

I think so. The 2nd Corps of the A of NV reflected his personality. If he had not gone forward of his lines that night at Chancellorsville, he might well have taken the fords behind Hooker the next day. That is what he intended to do and wanted to see for himself if the ground would support this. Would the Northern war effort have survived the loss of much of Hooker's army? I doubt it. And at Gettysburg... Yes. pl

ISL

Dear Colonel,

One could argue, in Ukraine, too (presuming a strong Russian influence/guidance on strategy). Kiev forces were unable to avoid or respond to the cauldrons as they formed about their thrusts.

I will have to learn if Boyd acknowledged Stonewall Jackson, OODA apparently is older than I thought.

steve

"Getting there firstest with the mostest"?

Bill Herschel

Henderson's biography can be had on Kindle for $1.11 (one dollar and eleven cents). I now own it.

Trey N

One of the great mysteries of the war is Jackson's poor performance during the Seven Days battles before Richmond. Sheer physical exhaustion is the reason most often given for his stupor, and seems to be the most likely explanation.

Whether Gettysburg would have been a decisive Confederate victory if Jackson had been present is, of course, unknowable now (and how much such an outcome would have offset the disaster at Vicksburg is another interesting topic for debate).

The best, and probably the only real, chance that Lee ever had of destroying the Army of the Potomac was during the Seven Days. First flanking the Union army out of position, and then attacking it piecemeal as it retreated through the swamps of the Chickahominy River, was Lee's plan -- and Jackson played the key role in its execution. His mystifying failure to live up to his past (and future) level of performance resulted in the South's losing its best opportunity to win the war outright on the field of battle.

turcopolier

Trey N

There were many opportunities but none greater than that at Chancellorsville. I was asked my opinion. Lincoln and the other radicals had to sustain a Northern willingness to continue to fight offensively on a grand scale Public opinion counted. In that context the loss of the Army of the Potomac, would have been, IMO s crushing blow. pl

turcopolier

Trey N

As you know he was always in poor health probably as the result of a deprived childhood. The physical and emotional cost to him of the Valley Campaign must have been immense. I don't find his long nap under a White Oak tree to be surprising. IMO it is more surprising that the staff did not wake him. pl

DH

Sir, my knowledge of warfare is practically nil, but I would guess that Jackson studied Clausewitz, who also had the idea of getting in your enemies' head. I read somewhere, when ISIS first broke big, that a volume of Clausewitz was found in one of their camps.

As someone who ducked and covered in the first grade, and as a teen believed my NE Ohio steel city was a potential bombing target by the Russians, I felt a sense of camaraderie with them as opponents worthy of respect. It feels more secure knowing things might be getting 'back to normal.' By the same token I don't object to a US/China build-up.

Trey N

That was said by Nathan Bedford Forrest, not Stonewall Jackson, and the actual quote is: "I got there first with the most men."

turcopolier

DH

I don't think "On War" had been translated into English before the WBS. Jomini
and other European students of Napoleon seem to have been his major sources. He also carried Napoleon's Maxims with him. pl

turcopolier

ISL

With respect to John Boyd I don't see anything original in his thinking. pl

Bill Herschel

"Stonewall Jackson's military career was not all hard fighting; nor was it on the battlefield alone that his supreme ability for war was made manifest. His time and thoughts were more occupied by strategy, that is, by combinations made out of the enemy's sight, than by tactics, that is, by manoeuvres executed in the enemy's presence. But strategy, unfortunately, is an unpopular science, even among soldiers, requiring both in practice and in demonstration constant and careful study of the map, the closest computation of time and space, a grasp of many factors, and the strictest attention to the various steps in the problems it presents. At the same time, it is a science which repays the student, although he may have no direct concern with military affairs; for not only will a comprehension of its immutable principles add a new interest to the records of stirring times and great achievements, but it will make him a more useful citizen."

Henderson, G. F. R. (2008-04-17). Stonewall Jackson And The American Civil War

The Twisted Genius

pl,

The idea that many of your executive level colleagues found these terrain walks and the study of military history to a waste of time is telling. What short-sighted fools. Too bad they breed so prolifically. Seems there are more of that type in DC than maggots in a dead possum.

I've been intrigued by Stonewall's actions at Fredericksburg and have tramped the hills south of the city to get a better idea of what happened there. I'm still not sure if Jackson misread the trafficability of the marshy area in the center of his line or purposely set a trap for the Union forces, similar to a Soviet fire pocket. Whichever it was, Jackson kept it to himself. It worked out well for Jackson and very poorly for Meade who bore the brunt of that action.

Trey N

Most histories of the Seven Days attribute Jackson's lethargic behavior to his physically exhausting trip from the Valley to Richmond and back to confer with Lee about the role of the Valley Army in the upcoming operation. It appears that he quite literally "rode himself into the ground" in the days immediately preceding the battle.

Bill Herschel

Moral issues cannot be decided by war. The victor in a war is not morally superior, necessarily, to his opponent. If he were, Mao, for example, would be morally superior to the millions of people who died at his hand. Further, the fact that Hitler was defeated does not decide the morality of his actions.

The CIA used Syria as a secret prison to torture kidnapped individuals: "According to the former CIA case officer Bob Baer, "If you want a serious interrogation, you send a prisoner to Jordan. If you want them to be tortured, you send them to Syria. If you want someone to disappear—never to see them again—you send them to Egypt.""

Now, today, Syria is not moral enough for President Obama et al. Fine. But President Obama et al take this one step further: they will invade Syria and replace its government with one to their liking... if the win.

Moral issues cannot be decided by war.

On the other hand, do Islamic terrorists pose an existential threat to Russia. They do. That is not a moral issue.

turcopolier

Trey N

I am under the impression that he rode the Virginia Central RR from Rockfish Gap to Richmond and back. His troops marched over Brown's Gap to reach the VCRR which they rode to capital area. pl

ex-PFC Chuck

Col.,
Six or so months ago you recommended a bio of Jackson, which I checked out of my library and got about half way through when someone else wanted it and I had to bring it back. Now I don't recall the title or the name of the author. If you could post it again I'd appreciate it.

BLL

Just saw Christie on CNBC saying he would impose a no fly zone and when asked what President Christie would do with Russia he said he would talk to Putin in advance and explain if they flew in the zone he would consider it "an act of war". OMG.

rjj

It is online for less in bookoid format.

https://archive.org/details/stonewalljacks01hend
https://archive.org/details/stonewalljackso02hend

with bonus

https://archive.org/details/scienceofwar00henduoft

None of the nice fold out maps were scanned. There are a number of inexpensive editions from ca. 1909 available at ABEbooks.com. The better ones with maps are in UK and one in France which means added shipping cost. Am a crank about old editions because care was taken with design, printing, and binding which makes them readable - and that makes them finishable. Plus they are cheap.

turcopolier

rjj

Mine is a 1911 2 volume, rebound in calf in Calcutta in 1926. I treasure it. pl

Babak Makkinejad

The last line that you wrote, in fact, is a moral issue.

Look up Shah Sultan Hussein Safavi and you will understand what I mean.

ex-PFC Chuck

ISL, you probably know this but in case not: This morning, in a comment on the previous thread, I linked to a blog post by Chuck Spinney, who was one of Boyd's protégés.
http://turcopolier.typepad.com/sic_semper_tyrannis/2015/10/the-future-of-saudi-arabia-really-by-walrus.html#comment-6a00d8341c72e153ef01b7c7daabbb970b

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