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08 October 2015


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PFC Chuck

"Stonewall Jackson: The Man, The Soldier, The Legend (1997)" Robertson. A massive all inclusive work but IMO Henderson is real art. pl



Who are Christie's neocon advisers? pl


That WOULD be a treasure. Good envy!

ex-PFC Chuck

Thanks. Maybe I'll look at Henderson instead. I do recall that Robertson's level of detail seemed tedious and unnecessary to a degree.

Odin's Raven

Is this what you mean?
'Ashraf had Sultan Husayn's head cut off and sent it to the Ottoman with the message that "he expected to give Ahmad Pasha a fuller reply with the points of his sword and his lance". As Michael Axworthy comments, "In this way Shah Soltan Hossein gave in death a sharper answer than he ever gave in life"'


ex-PFC Chuck

Trey N

The most recent book on the battle is The Fredericksburg Campaign by Francis O'Reilly. Unlike the (deplorable) recent trend to bring many extraneous social factors into what should be strictly military studies (the role of women, blacks, and other civilians living nearby, other current politically correct topics, etc etc), this book sticks to business and gives a very detailed account of the strategy and tactics involved in the battle. I read it last year, and highly recommend it.

Trey N


According to D S Freeman in Lee's Lieutenants, Jackson traveled by both rail and horseback from the Valley to Richmond. He took the VA Central RR from Gordonsville to Fredericks Hall overnight, where he spent Sunday 22 Jun 1862 observing the Sabbath; early the next morning he rode horseback 52 miles in 14 hours to Lee's HQ on the Nine Mile Road outside Richmond. After conferring with Lee and other generals on the 23rd, "Jackson left promptly and spent a second long and sleepless night on the road...[reaching] the vicinity of Beaver Dam on the morning of June 24." A bit further on: "After two long nights in the saddle, Jackson himself did not possess his normal energy and probably failed to realize that he lacked drive and grasp of the situation."

Of course, Jackson did get some sleep before the start of the battle on June 25, but it appears that the cumulative effects of two sleepless nights combined with hard physical exertion over that span quickly caught up with him. Without the benefit of modern pharmaceuticals (amphetamines) to artificially stimulate his body, the severe short-term stress caused it to simply shut down at the most inopportune time, just as the actual fighting was supposed to commence.

Babak Makkinejad

Shah Sultan Hussein significantly contributed to a catastrophe from which the Iranian plateau has not yet recovered.

Let us imagine that Safavids had not been destroyed and lasted until the present time. At the very least Afghans would have been better off presently, partaking on Iran's oil & gas wealth.

And all the generations in between could have lived their lives in relative tranquility.

Weakness in matters of state is a mortal sin - without a doubt.

Chet Richards


The answer is yes, on page 111 of Patterns of Conflict.


Chris Christie lays out his foreign policy priorities very clearly here: http://www.p2016.org/christie/christie051815sp.html

It's called "America's Role in the World" and was given on May 18, 2015. It's worth a read.

Regarding Russia, he says: "... we should immediately put travel bans and asset freezes on every member of the Russian parliament and Putin’s entire circle – including Putin himself. We know who holds the leash on the dogs of war. So let’s not mess around on this. And if that still isn’t enough, we should look at tougher sanctions on Russia’s energy and financial sectors – and hit them where it really hurts. How we deal with Russia is a test for how we stand with all our allies everywhere. We cannot back down, and we need a leader who won’t back down."

He goes on to say: "If we truly care about defending Israel, then we need to consider what the region (Middle East and North Africa) will look like tomorrow – and then take action today."

In short: It is impossible to work with Russia without betraying "our allies", and to protect Israel tomorrow we need to shape the Middle East today.


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Ill take your word for it. PL


I'm well aware who said it, and that the "quote" is dramatized for effect. I was wondering about the similarities, if any, between Forrest and Jackon.

Forrest is buried about 2 miles from my childhood home.


Trey N

I am on the selection panel for the annual military history prize given by the HF Guggenheim foundation. There is unrelenting pressure from the poly sci creatures to have military history be about anything but what you and I want. pl



"War is a social activity, fought by armed groups. It is a process in which the mind of the enemy commander is the principle objective." This concept seems completely lost on our current political leadership. It certainly seems President Putin has gotten completely inside their minds as they are no longer even considering what is in the US strategic interest but being completely responsive in a rather pavlovian sense.

Shouldn't this conduct have an immensely positive effect upon the SAR armed forces and associated militias and a very detrimental one on the ISIS commanders?



"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."

While I was never in the infantry even I can understand the value gained in just such a tour with professionals like the Col. How the heck can one otherwise gain real understanding of the time and effort it takes to move troops and equipment into place and launch a successful attack against a determined foe or how the later are likely to respond, not to mention how such a thing can be done to your own forces?

My own insight, if you can call it that, came from my most recent visit to Gettysburg. I took a horseback tour with one of the licensed guides. He talked to us about the 50,000 plus animals present, in addition to the men of A of NV. When we were all smelling horse and manure (from the few horses on the tour circuit) we began to comprehend some of what those men were experiencing at the time. I think we easily loose sight of that with all of our modern comforts. The complexity of the logistics behind moving that many man and their equipment has a bit more meaning now.

The Twisted Genius

Trey N.,

I'll have to get that book. Thanks for the pointer. I'm familiar with Frank O'Reilly and his immense knowledge of Fredericksburg. Here's a quick talk he gave shortly after the Slaughter Pen Farm area of the battlefield was acquired for historical preservation.



If he is the Civil War soldier who got shot in the head but still stayed alive for a while, he gave birth to the "Jacksonian epilepsy" in medicine.

Trey N

Congratulations on the honor!

I'm curious how that process works. Are your choices restricted in any manner, or do you get to choose a work on any time or place in world history? Do you get to nominate any books that you have read, or is a list presented for you to choose from?

Given that the last four years have marked the 150th anniversary of the War for Southern Independence, I was surprised and disappointed at the relative lack of new books on the subject. I thought such a milestone would be the occasion for a flood of new works reflecting the latest research in the field. Some outstanding new tomes did indeed appear, but far fewer than I had hoped for.


Trey N

It is not an honor. I have been on the board of this foundation for a long time at the family's request. The prize is two years old and I asked to participate to keep it from becoming more poly sci bilge. authors and publishers submit and a panel of distinguished military historian plus me weed through dozens of submitted books. There have been a lot of WBS books submitted. None of them won. pl



Not the case. He was shot in the arm and died from pneumonia complications. pl

different clue

Colonel Lang,

If it turns out that Christie isn't found to have any neocon advisers, could his desire to live up to his own Jersey tough-guy image be enough to explain this outburst?

Trey N

You are correct: the first translation into English of "Vom Kriege" by Clausewitz was by a colonel in the British Army in 1873.

"The Art of War" by Henri Jomini was translated from French twice, once in 1854 and again in 1862 (both at West Point). The 1862 edition became the standard for the next century and a half , but was deeply flawed by a decision to omit Jomini's introductory material. A new "restored edition" published in 2008 includes the previously excised material.

Somewhere recently I came across a book addressing this very topic of what the prewar students at West Point were actually taught. The most astounding thing was how little classroom time was actually spent on strictly military studies, such as strategy and tactics. Most of the curriculum focused on math and science, with the goal being to produce top graduates qualified to serve in the army's Corps of Engineers. Clausewitz was unheard of, but students were able to read Jomini's works in the library on their own time if they were so interested (in the original French, of course, before 1854, which they could do since learning that language was a required course).

Trey N

Bedford Forrest and T. J. Jackson (along with R. E. Lee) were by far the most aggressive generals in the Confederate Army, and advocates of relentlessly carrying the war to the enemy. Beyond having that in common, along with physical courage and Scotch-Irish ancestry, it is their differences that are most striking.

Jackson was a West Point graduate and a veteran of the Mexican War. Forrest not only had no military training, he had very little formal education at all. Jackson was a very religious man and a professor at VMI before the war. Forrest was a course, profane, physically imposing man, a planter and slave trader who was a millionaire and one of the most wealthy men in the antebellum South.

Jackson began his Civil War service as a Colonel of Virginia militia and rose to the rank of Lieutenant General in the Confederate Army. Forrest enlisted as a private in the Tennessee Mounted Rifles in 1861, and also rose to the rank of Lt. Gen. by the end of the war (and was the only such general on either side who began the war as a private).

Forrest raised his own troops (twice!) and literally led from the front - he is said to have had 29 horses shot from under him and to have personally killed that same number of yankees, and was wounded himself four times. Jackson's personal reconnaissance in front of his lines at Chancellorsville cost him his life.

Both men attained renown as independent commanders, Jackson in his famous Valley Campaign in the spring of 1862 and Forrest in raids and battles throughout the western theater of the war. Each is involved in a great "what if?" of the conflict: "What if Jackson had lived to command his corps at Gettysburg?" and "What if Forrest had been unleashed against Sherman's railroad supply line during the Atlanta campaign?" (which was the threat most dreaded by Sherman, who said that he wanted Forrest killed "if it cost 10,000 lives and bankrupts the treasury").

Though for most of the war Jackson commanded an infantry corps in the east and Forrest a cavalry division in the west, each man carved his own niche in history with a highly aggressive approach to waging war that utilized speed, deception, and a willingness to fight. One thing is certain: the South could never had sustained the struggle for independence as long it did without the service these two men.

Trey N

Sorry, I have no idea which soldier you are referring to, but for sure it wasn't Stonewall Jackson. He was wounded in the hand and arm, not the head.

I had never heard of Jacksonian seizures before your reference. It turns out they are named for the English neurologist John Hughlings Jackson, who first described them in 1863.

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