Your Surviving the War was Better under Grant... then Lee

Discussion in 'Civil War Battles' started by 5fish, Nov 7, 2019.

  1. 5fish

    5fish Well-Known Member

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    I have seen of late all these personal attacks on General Grant and I come with this thread to end these attacks on the General Grant. General Grant was simply the best general of our civil war. If you go by the causality data, Grant wins hands down. During the the war, he lost a little over 15% of his soldiers under his command to combat while Lee lost a little over 20% of his soldiers under his command to combat. There were several other generals that lost over 19% of their soldiers to combat. Here is a link to a page in a book that goes over the causality data showing it was better to be a soldier under Grant then Lee if you wanted to survive the war untouched. Scroll down to the the header The Other Side: and start going over the causality data comparing the two generals...

    https://books.google.com/books?id=xzxBCgAAQBAJ&pg=PT112&lpg=PT112&dq=Edward+H+Bonekemper+compares+General+Lee+and+General+Grant&source=bl&ots=3ul-Z_DkOD&sig=N_SwNuvph9YgJ7HWBbwcxf5uifE&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0CEYQ6AEwB2oVChMIhJPv6riayQIVBO0mCh0H4Aqy#v=onepage&q=Edward H Bonekemper compares General Lee and General Grant&f=false


    Is not the object of war is to kill more of your foe then of your own? Lee fails this test while Grant passes with flying colors...
     
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  2. Wehrkraftzersetzer

    Wehrkraftzersetzer Hüter des Reinheitsgebotes

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    might also have something to do with supplies, condition of men and the desperate situation. Would need a much deeper display than "overall performance"
     
  3. 5fish

    5fish Well-Known Member

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    The book link above does not work for me because its says I have used up my allotted time... So I have gone about trying to find the casualty rates of both General again... You will see Lee's aggressive style was dooming the Confederate chases of a victory... Lee only needed a draw to win the war...

    LINK: https://www.historyonthenet.com/grants-war-strategy-that-made-3-confederate-armies-surrender

    The manpower-short Confederacy could not afford to trade numerous casualties with the enemy. During each major battle in the critical and decisive phase of the war from June 1862 through July 1863, Lee was losing an average 19 percent of his men while his manpower-rich enemies were suffering casualties at a tolerable 13 percent.


    By 1864, therefore, Grant had a 120,000-man army and additional reserves to bring against Lee’s 65,000 and, by the sheer weight of his numbers, imposed a fatal 47 percent casualty rate on Lee’s army while losing a militarily tolerable 43 percent of his own replaceable men, as he drove from the Rappahannock to the James River and created a terminal threat to Lee’s army and Richmond. The high casualties sustained by Grant’s army in 1864 were substantial because “he was then under considerable political pressure to end the war quickly before the autumn presidential election.”

    Snip I think I found it... Grant

    In their thought-provoking book, Attack and Die: Civil War Military Tactics and the Southern Heritage, Gordon McWhiney and Perry D. Jamieson provided some astounding numbers related to Grant’s major battles and campaigns. First, they determined that, in his five major campaigns and battles of 1862–3, he commanded a cumulative total of 220,970 soldiers and that 23,551 of them (11 percent) were either killed or wounded. Second, they determined that, in his eight major campaigns and battles of 1864–5 (when he was determined to defeat or destroy Lee’s army as quickly as possible), he commanded a cumulative total of 400,942 soldiers and that 70,620 of them (18 percent) were either killed or wounded. Third, they determined that during the course of the war, therefore, he commanded a cumulative total of 621,912 soldiers in his major campaigns and battles and that a total of 94,171 of them (a militarily tolerable 15 percent) were either killed or wounded.80 These loss percentages are remarkably low—especially considering the fact that Grant’s war strategy was on the strategic and tactical offensive in most of these battles and campaigns.

    Snip,,, Lee

    It may be helpful to put these numbers in perspective by comparing them to the casualty figures for the Army of Northern Virginia under Lee’s command and to those for other Confederate commanders. Incomplete figures show that Lee, in his major campaigns and battles, commanded a cumulative total of 598,178 soldiers, of whom 121,042 were either killed or wounded—a total loss of 20.2 percent, about one-third higher than Grant. Other major Confederate commanders with higher percentages killed or wounded than Grant were Generals Braxton Bragg (19.5 percent), John Bell Hood (19.2 percent), and Pierre Gustave Toutant Beauregard (16.1 percent).

    Snip...

    Similarly, Lee’s generals were mortally wounded in battle at a much higher rate than those under other Confederate commanders. After Lee took command of the Army of Northern Virginia, he lost two of the three mortally wounded Confederate lieutenant generals (corps commanders), four of the seven mortally wounded Confederate major generals (division commanders), and 33 of 53 mortally wounded Confederate brigadier generals (brigade commanders). McWhiney and Jamieson also tallied those Civil War battles in which either side incurred the heaviest percentage of losses suffered by one side during the entire war. Of the nineteen battles in which one side lost nineteen percent or more of its troops (killed or wounded), only “one” involved such a loss by Grant’s troops (and that was actually two battles—29.6 percent at Wilderness and Spotsylvania combined). Given the number of battles Grant’s armies fought, this is a surprising, but informative, result. Contrarily, Lee’s army suffered the highest percentage of such losses in a single battle at Gettysburg (30.2 percent) and the fifth and seventh highest such losses at Antietam (22.6 percent) and Seven Days’ (20.7 percent).

    Snip.. last thought Dana

    Writing in 1898, Charles Dana, Assistant Secretary of War during the Civil War, analyzed this facet of Grant’s Overland Campaign: “There are still many persons who bitterly accuse Grant of butchery in this campaign. As a matter of fact, Grant’s war strategy lost fewer men in his successful effort to take Richmond and end the war than his predecessors lost in making the same attempt and failing.” Dana examined the specific casualties suffered by Union troops in the East under Grant’s predecessors and then under Grant. Under Generals McDowell, McClellan, Pope, Burnside, Hooker, and Meade, the Union’s eastern armies, according to Dana’s table of statistics, had 15,745 killed, 76,079 wounded, and 52,101 missing or captured for a total of 143,925 casualties between May 24, 1861, and May 4, 1864. He then calculated Grant’s losses between May 5, 1864, and April 9, 1865, as 15,139 killed, 77,748 wounded, and 31,503 missing or captured for a total of 124,390. Dana concluded that these numbers showed that “Grant in eleven months secured the prize with less loss than his predecessors suffered in failing to win it during a struggle of three years.”
     
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  4. Wehrkraftzersetzer

    Wehrkraftzersetzer Hüter des Reinheitsgebotes

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    You know that at that time the normal thought was that theattacker has the advantage? Yes Lee was aggressive but the only chance the Confederacy ever had was either a decisive victory or a breakdown of the Union's will to fight (= a war of attrition).

    Forget that or they hadn't had the men, nor the supplies (in men from overseas as well as in goods). No decisive victory possible against an enemy with bigger manpower and better supplies without being aggressive.

    However thee need to end the war quick made Grant a butcher of his own men.
     
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  5. 5fish

    5fish Well-Known Member

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    This is my point Lee only needs to create war-weariness in the Northern civilians... to win the war...

    I wonder what Sherman's and Johnston's causality rates were...
     
  6. 5fish

    5fish Well-Known Member

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  7. 5fish

    5fish Well-Known Member

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    I hope someone read that one page about casualty rates by other Generals during the civil war.

    The union generals had low casualty rates compare to the Confederate generals .. .
     
  8. Wehrkraftzersetzer

    Wehrkraftzersetzer Hüter des Reinheitsgebotes

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    I think I allready mentioned the base reasons?
     
  9. Kirk's Raider's

    Kirk's Raider's Well-Known Member

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    Not so sure of that . The Confederacy had plenty of war weariness such has desertion,refugees ,food riots, defectors etc not to mention escaped slave's.
    War weariness was definitely a two way street.
    Kirk's Raider's
     
  10. 5fish

    5fish Well-Known Member

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    I like to point out the Confederates only needed a draw to win... They only had to outlast Northern desire to make war... the question is how many years of stalemate before the Northern politicians would have been forced to end the war... If the Confederacy had fought a war of conservancy, maybe victory could have been...
     
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  11. 5fish

    5fish Well-Known Member

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    The historians tell us that it was Lee's only option to fight and win a decisive battle just like in the wars of past European wars... If the Confederacy had taken a more long term plan to outwait the North's will to fight, things would have been different... even Guerilla warfare may have been used...
     
  12. rittmeister

    rittmeister trekkie in residence Staff Member

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    so why on earth didn't they invade the north a few weeks after sumter? in my humble opinion the only chance to win - green troops are way better than no troops.
     
    Last edited: Nov 9, 2019
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  13. Kirk's Raider's

    Kirk's Raider's Well-Known Member

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    Maybe not.There were food riots in Southern cities by 1862 There were already serious Confederate desertion by 1862. There were already serious economic problems caused by the Union Naval Blockade. Southern morale was at least as fragile as Union morale. The value if slaves was already lower by 1862.
    Kirk's Raider's
     
  14. Kirk's Raider's

    Kirk's Raider's Well-Known Member

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    As General Beaugaurd pointed out "an army in victory is as disorganized as an army defeat". By the time after the battle of 1st Bull Run was over it took time to reorganize the Confederate troops and get the logistics in line. By that time other Union troops had arrived in Washington DC.
    Kirk's Raider's
     
  15. Kirk's Raider's

    Kirk's Raider's Well-Known Member

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    The Confederacy was not French Algeria.
    The whole reason for the ACW was to preserve and expand slavery. Guerrilla warfare can't achieve that goal.
    Guerrilla warfare doesn't keep cotton plantations out of Union hands nor does it keep ports out of Union hands.
    Guerrilla warfare was tried by the Confederacy in many states and failed every time.
    Union counterinsurgency forces were arguably not the best in history but they prevailed every time.
    Kirk's Raider's
     
  16. rittmeister

    rittmeister trekkie in residence Staff Member

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    they could have started earlier
     
  17. Kirk's Raider's

    Kirk's Raider's Well-Known Member

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    Getting the necessary troops in position and having them well trained and supplied takes time. There is no scenario where three weeks after the firing on Ft.Sumpter the Confederate Army can undertake a major invasion of the Union.
    Kirk's Raider's
     
  18. rittmeister

    rittmeister trekkie in residence Staff Member

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    there is no defence within those three weeks
     
  19. Kirk's Raider's

    Kirk's Raider's Well-Known Member

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    There is no well trained and organized Confederate Army that early in the war capable of undertaking a major offensive against the Union.
    Kirk's Raider's
     
  20. rittmeister

    rittmeister trekkie in residence Staff Member

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    just being there would have done the job
     

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