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rickd79
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Albert Sidney Johnston

Sun Jan 28, 2007 5:36 am

Albert Sidney Johnston:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Albert_Sidney_Johnston

CSA Albert S. Johnston ldr_CSA_ASJohnston3 NULL NULL NULL NULL 20 20 3 1 General 1 NULL 5 1 1

Does anyone else feel like Johnton is being short-changed a bit in his rankings? 5/1/1 seems low to me.

Jefferson Davis considered him to be the best general that the South had (obviously this was before Lee and Jackson rose to fame). Sherman described Johnston as a "real general." Grant said that officers who knew him "expected him to prove the most formidable man that the Confederacy would produce."

In my opinion, Johnston had a pretty good plan in place at Shiloh. Unfortunately for the Confederacy, things did not go as well as possible due to the inexperience of his troops and his subordinate commanders. With some more opportunities and seasoning to those around him, Johnston may have proved to be an extremely talented army commander. However, as history played out, he was wounded and bled to death on the first day at Shiloh.

I think it might be appropriate to give him the "Surpriser" trait, based on his Army's performance during the first day at Shiloh. Had he lived, he might of had some more tricks up his sleeve for the Union forces in the West. Additionally, "Cavalryman" or "Indian Fighter" might be appropriate based on his pre-Civil War experiences.
In my opinion he should also be bumped up at least a little bit in the offensive and defensive rankings...maybe 5/3/2 is more appropriate.

Chris0827
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Sun Jan 28, 2007 6:01 am

It's hard to say since he died so early but I can't see him with a strategic rating of 5. He spread his trops out and tried to defend too much and many ended up prisoners although his subordinates were largely to blame. I'd give him a 3.

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runyan99
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Sun Jan 28, 2007 7:14 am

Johnston is quite possibly underrated.

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marecone
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Sun Jan 28, 2007 9:59 pm

Get him more political power. Not sure what number is it. He was a veryclose fried of the President so...
Supriser trait ok.
Johnston has been faulted for poor judgment in selecting Gens. Tilghman and Floyd for those crucial positions and for not supervising adequate construction of the forts.

Hmmm... What should he get for this one? Maybe QuickAngered. Maybe you could make a trait saying that general can't pick good subordinates. Like BadPicker :niark: .

Anyway this is my suggestion. Just give him more political power.

CSA Albert S. Johnston ldr_CSA_ASJohnston3 [color="Red"]Supriser QuickAngered[/color] NULL NULL 20 20 3 1 General 1 NULL [color="red"]3 3[/color] 1

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rickd79
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Tue Jan 30, 2007 2:30 pm

From what the AGEOD folks and those familiar with BOA are saying, a strategic rating of "3" is pretty crippling as far as moving units across the map.

As a result, I would vote for bumping Johnston at least to a 4 in that area.

I also agree with marecone that Johnston's political power should be bumped up a little bit (given his standing with Jefferson Davis, the player should be stuck with him for at least a little while)

I'm not so sure how I feel about the "QuickAngered" trait either...I'd be intrested to hear some more opinions.

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Tue Jan 30, 2007 2:47 pm

I agree that A S Johnston should be a 4. He was highly regarded by the other generals (north and south) as has been stated above. His plan for defending the west was sound. It was the execution of the plan with weak subordinates that did not work out well. Also, remember at the time of his death he was the second highest ranked general in the Confederate army, outranking the likes of Lee (no 3), Beauregard (no 5) and J Johnston (no 4).
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Tue Jan 30, 2007 2:56 pm

I can't see quick angered--as was mentioned, he was held in some esteem and I don't know of any instance to justify it.

Picking bad subordinates is a problem, but is possibly not any worse than Lee's 'cleaning' of the ANV--anyone who Lee didn't like, respect, or thought was incompetent ended up on garrison duty somewhere on the East coast. If Johnston had lived, it may be that sending people like Floyd to command a garrison was just more of that.

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Tue Jan 30, 2007 5:13 pm

Commanders didn't always get to pick their subordinates especially in the early part of the war. Floyd was a political general being the former governor of Virginia. You can't blame Johnston for him.

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runyan99
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Wed Jan 31, 2007 6:12 am

I've had a bit of time to consider Sidney Johnston's entire record.

I don't see anything in his prewar career that we need to worry about. Years spent as an army paymaster, and as the organizer and commander of a cavalry regiment, which only saw service in something called the Utah War, which I had never even HEARD of until today, can pretty much be ignored, I think.

Johnston and Jeff Davis were West Point classmates, where Jeff Davis seems to have developed a sort of hero worship attitude towards Johnston. In my opinion, Davis held Johnston in an esteem far suprassing Johnston's actual abilities.

Possibly due to Davis' personal respect for Johnston, he gave him a general's rank and full control of the Department of the West.

In the West, Johnston's situation was almost hopeless. He had a huge front to try and hold, and he was outnumbered at every point along the line. In some cases his subordinates failed him in holding this line, as in Zolicoffer's defeat at Mill Springs, or the stupid engineers who decided to build Fort Henry below the floodwater level. You could certainly argue that defeat in the west was certain, for which Johnston should not be blamed.

However, I feel that Johnston could have done more. While Johnston used all of his troops for frontal defense, a more cunning general might have seen the futility of this approach. Johnston missed the opportunity to use the rail system to his advantage. He might have set some troops aside for a mobile 'fire brigade' which would remain on the rails as a reserve to counterattack at any threatened point on the line. He might have attempted such a strategy at Henry and Donelson, but he seems to have lacked the imagination or daring to try such a plan.

Strategically, Johnston strikes me as a man who was promoted beyond his capacity, and who was somewhat out of his element in high command.

When losses of ground finally did force him to concentrate his forces, he concieved the attack which led to the battle of Shiloh. Here, the general concept of advancing and crushing Grant's army and suprising it in an unimproved position was his. Beyond that, he seems to have passed on all responsibility for the details to Beauregard, who actually designed the march and attack orders. Shiloh could as easily be said to be Beauregard's brainchild as Johnston's.

At the battle of Shiloh, Beauregard stayed in the rear for overall battle management while Johnston went forward. Johnston spend the day of the battle going from unit to unit to encourage the men and push the attack. It has to be said that almost total suprise was achieved on the first day, and the rebels attacked very hard. Johnston himself was almost personally responsible for organizing the final assault on the Hornet's Nest, which finally got the right wing of the Confederate army advancing to the Tennessee. Then Johnston was shot dead.

The Confederates at Shiloh attacked an army about the same size of their own, in very difficult terrain, attacked very hard and pushed Grant's men back quite a ways. It just might have worked. The confederates just might have been able to renew the attack the next day and destroy the remnants of Grant's 4 divisions, if only Buell did not arrive on the scene right as the battle began, bringing another 15,000 or so soldiers to the battlefield.

On the other hand, Johnston's tactical plan was just to push straight ahead. His tactical plan didn't encompass any attempt to outflank or surround his opponent. It was a simple tactical plan, and pushed hard, but totally without finesse.

So what to make of all this? I suggest:

CSA Albert S. Johnston ldr_CSA_ASJohnston3 $Supriser NULL NULL NULL 20 30 3 1 General 1 NULL 4 2 1

I reduced the strategic value from 5 to 4, based on his lack of success in the West. I increased the political value from 20 to 30 to reflect Davis' unusual loyalty to Johnston, added the $Supriser trait and increased his attack value to 2, both based solely on his one day performance on the first day at Shiloh. That's all we have to judge him by, tactically.

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Wed Jan 31, 2007 4:27 pm

I agree with much of your post, but a "fire brigade" type of defense simply wasn't possible for the CSA. Not only did they lack sufficient rail lines, they lacked the engines and cars to transport a significant number of troops anywhere, especially in the west where lines were even more thin. Remember at this time, the west's rail network was sadly lacking because the rivers were used for the majority of transport, and, unfortunately for the CSA, the rivers all ran the wrong way for them to be much use as transport. One of the biggest advantages the Union had in this region was that they were attacking downstream so to speak.

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Other factors

Sat Nov 03, 2007 1:43 am

Spharv2 wrote:I agree with much of your post, but a "fire brigade" type of defense simply wasn't possible for the CSA. Not only did they lack sufficient rail lines, they lacked the engines and cars to transport a significant number of troops anywhere, especially in the west where lines were even more thin. Remember at this time, the west's rail network was sadly lacking because the rivers were used for the majority of transport, and, unfortunately for the CSA, the rivers all ran the wrong way for them to be much use as transport. One of the biggest advantages the Union had in this region was that they were attacking downstream so to speak.


He also had Grant to contend with for some of it and he was relentless - But I agree with some of the other writers about AS Johstone - would history have been so kind to him if he had survived Shiloh?

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Sat Nov 03, 2007 3:40 am

Chris0827 wrote:Commanders didn't always get to pick their subordinates especially in the early part of the war. Floyd was a political general being the former governor of Virginia. You can't blame Johnston for him.


Or for Polk, or Pillow . . .
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Sat Nov 03, 2007 4:40 am

Johnston's prewar record:
1826-1834: Adjutant - 2nd US Infantry
1832: Black Hawk War - Chief of Staff to Gen. Atlinson
1836: joined the Army of Texas as a Private - rose through the ranks
1837-1838: Brigadier General commanding the Army of Texas
1838: Secretary of War - Republic of Texas
1839: Campaign against Indians (N Texas)
1846-1847: Mexican War - Colonel (of volunteers) - 1st Texas Rifles
1849-1855: Major - Paymaster of US Army
1855-1857: Colonel - 2nd US Cavalry - (Officers serving under him included Lee, Thomas, Hardee, Kirby Smith, Hood, Van Dorn, Fitz Lee, Stoneman, Evans, Whiting, Field, Major, ...)
1857: Brigadier General (brevet) Mormon War - his predecessor had been completely outgeneralled by Brigham Young, so he negotiated for peace. That's not the official version (he was a hero - saved the army), or the Mormon version (he was bamboozled and humiliated).
1860: Commander - Department of the Pacific

Davis wasn't the only one who thought highly of him. Zachary Taylor said he was the best soldier in the army. Winfield Scott called him a godsend.

Because of his limited resources, his strategy was a giant bluff. He put out propaganda that he had plenty of well equiped troops to cover every contingency. That's why he spread them around. It worked against Fremont, Sherman, Halleck, and Buell. It worked against him trying to get reinforcements from Davis (who didn't realize it was propaganda). Grant called the bluff.

Shiloh was a combination left flank (as concieved by Beauregard) and head-on (as executed by Bragg) attack. Only complex enough that a green army might be able to pull it off. IMO Johnston's mistake (besides getting killed) was sending Breckenridge to the right instead of the left. Beauregard's subsequent mistake was to let Bragg pound away at the Hornet's Nest instead of having him spread out and support the flanks.
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Sat Nov 03, 2007 5:07 am

runyan99 wrote:I reduced the strategic value from 5 to 4, based on his lack of success in the West.


:confused: Because he failed in an almost hopeless situation?
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Sun Nov 04, 2007 3:24 pm

Jabberwock wrote: :confused: Because he failed in an almost hopeless situation?


Well, one could rate a 4 strategy to be significantly above average, which he had. However, given that he did not react necessarily as a 'genious' strategist might have during this point (for example, assigning untried and unqualified generals to defend the major base of Donelson instead of more senior and experienced generals).

4 is still very good, as personally I think that some other generals in the game (Hancock, Bragg, etc.) are over-rated in their strategy rating (they should be rated at 4, meaning that master stratagins at 6 are actually distinguished from the others). At 4 he activates virtually every round, and gives his corps commanders some benefit. He is still a very viable army commander (I personally would give him reckless and charismatic, given how he was always at the front lines leading his men on, and that he was very determined to keep in the battle at Shiloh).

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berto
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Sat Nov 17, 2007 2:30 am

Brochgale wrote:But I agree with some of the other writers about AS Johstone - would history have been so kind to him if he had survived Shiloh?


Looking at this the other way around:

Would history have been so kind to Lee if he had not survived the Seven Days? (A strategic victory, yes, but poorly run tactically. Also, Lee's track record was lackluster before the Seven Days.)

Would history have been so kind to Jackson if (instead of at Chancellorsville) he had died from friendly fire at the Seven Days (lethargic to the point of being comatose; maybe he was just really, really, really tired)?

Would history have been so kind to Grant if he had not survived the first day of Shiloh? Or if, after Shiloh, Lincoln had reflexively sacked him like he did so many of the Army of the Potomac commanders?

Let's not forget that Shiloh was the very first truly serious, large scale, high intensity, high casualties engagement.

In the early stages of the war, in the earliest battles and campaigns, everyone was kind of lost and learning as they went along. Some never learned from their mistakes. Some were faster learners than others. Some never got the chance to make their mistakes, learn from them, and give a better account of themselves in later battles and campaigns.

A.S. Johnston is one of the war's big question marks. Given his contemporaries' universal high regard for the man, given his early demise at the point of near victory against a general (Grant) who over time eventually had the chance to prove himself, I'd give him (Johnston) the benefit of the doubt. IMO, Johnston's default 4/2/1 rating is too low.
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Sat Nov 17, 2007 2:58 am

I think that a lot of generals are given a bad, or a good wrap given limited circumstances or individual events.

Sometimes things are more complicated than they seem. Take Ewell, Lee and Jackson. Ewell's corps reputation is horrid, with very little success under his belt (however, when given operational command of a force, such as the one attacking Winchester, he did fight very well). I think that Ewell's performance is based more than on just his ability. As a divisional commander under Jackson, initiative and drive was not promoted, indeed, it was frowned upon. However, Lee interacted with Jackson (and Longstreet) with (usually) somewhat minimal control over their actions. Lee didn't have to send orders, just suggestions. Ewell, came from a strict command structure, where you were told exactly what to achieve. Whose fault is Ewell's inactivity? A lot should be rested on Lee's shoulders, for not really knowing his new Corps commanders and how they operated. He shouldn't have assumed that anyone would react the same way that Longstreet and Jackson did to his 'vague' orders.

A lot of generals didn't get a chance in history. Magruder, AS Johnston, J Johnston, etc., are given the short end basically because in their one chance in action they failed to perform (while in other actions they were very successful, if given the chance).

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Sat Nov 17, 2007 3:05 am

berto wrote:Looking at this the other way around:

Would history have been so kind to Lee if he had not survived the Seven Days? (A strategic victory, yes, but poorly run tactically. Also, Lee's track record was lackluster before the Seven Days.)

Would history have been so kind to Jackson if (instead of at Chancellorsville) he had died from friendly fire at the Seven Days (lethargic to the point of being comatose; maybe he was just really, really, really tired)?

Would history have been so kind to Grant if he had not survived the first day of Shiloh? Or if, after Shiloh, Lincoln had reflexively sacked him like he did so many of the Army of the Potomac commanders?

Let's not forget that Shiloh was the very first truly serious, large scale, high intensity, high casualties engagement.

In the early stages of the war, in the earliest battles and campaigns, everyone was kind of lost and learning as they went along. Some never learned from their mistakes. Some were faster learners than others. Some never got the chance to make their mistakes, learn from them, and give a better account of themselves in later battles and campaigns.

A.S. Johnston is one of the war's big question marks. Given his contemporaries' universal high regard for the man, given his early demise at the point of near victory against a general (Grant) who over time eventually had the chance to prove himself, I'd give him (Johnston) the benefit of the doubt. IMO, Johnston's default 4/2/1 rating is too low.


True, everyone was learning by early 1862. However, we do have to determine what these ratings really mean. As far as I am concerned, a lot of ratings are 'too high', and that we are bumping up generals just to get a balance, but the balance is rated as too high to begin with.

As I see it, a 4-2-1 is a very good general, even army commander. However, in light of some generals (over-rated in my opinion) are rated at 6-6-4, or 5-4-5, etc., in 'comparison' a 4-2-1 appears low. As I see the game, there are generals who are bad, and generals who are good, no 'general who has a strength here, but a flaw there'.

Lee is an obvious choice for your main army commander, yet, historically he got his army into a lot of trouble. How much was the ANV's success due to Lee, or due to the combination of Lee and his corps and division commanders?

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Tue Jul 15, 2008 9:40 pm

Yes, Johnston did have his troops spread out thin, but it was the plan that both he and Beuragard came up with because they knew they would be spread thin but they planed to use the railroads to bring troops from areas not in any immediate danger

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Sat May 30, 2009 9:35 pm

Brochgale wrote:He also had Grant to contend with for some of it and he was relentless - But I agree with some of the other writers about AS Johstone - would history have been so kind to him if he had survived Shiloh?


Perhaps, because the second day might have gone differently with him in charge probably.
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Sat May 30, 2009 9:41 pm

runyan99 wrote:I've had a bit of time to consider Sidney Johnston's entire record.

I don't see anything in his prewar career that we need to worry about. Years spent as an army paymaster, and as the organizer and commander of a cavalry regiment, which only saw service in something called the Utah War, which I had never even HEARD of until today, can pretty much be ignored, I think.

Johnston and Jeff Davis were West Point classmates, where Jeff Davis seems to have developed a sort of hero worship attitude towards Johnston. In my opinion, Davis held Johnston in an esteem far suprassing Johnston's actual abilities.

Possibly due to Davis' personal respect for Johnston, he gave him a general's rank and full control of the Department of the West.

In the West, Johnston's situation was almost hopeless. He had a huge front to try and hold, and he was outnumbered at every point along the line. In some cases his subordinates failed him in holding this line, as in Zolicoffer's defeat at Mill Springs, or the stupid engineers who decided to build Fort Henry below the floodwater level. You could certainly argue that defeat in the west was certain, for which Johnston should not be blamed.

However, I feel that Johnston could have done more. While Johnston used all of his troops for frontal defense, a more cunning general might have seen the futility of this approach. Johnston missed the opportunity to use the rail system to his advantage. He might have set some troops aside for a mobile 'fire brigade' which would remain on the rails as a reserve to counterattack at any threatened point on the line. He might have attempted such a strategy at Henry and Donelson, but he seems to have lacked the imagination or daring to try such a plan.

Strategically, Johnston strikes me as a man who was promoted beyond his capacity, and who was somewhat out of his element in high command.

When losses of ground finally did force him to concentrate his forces, he concieved the attack which led to the battle of Shiloh. Here, the general concept of advancing and crushing Grant's army and suprising it in an unimproved position was his. Beyond that, he seems to have passed on all responsibility for the details to Beauregard, who actually designed the march and attack orders. Shiloh could as easily be said to be Beauregard's brainchild as Johnston's.

At the battle of Shiloh, Beauregard stayed in the rear for overall battle management while Johnston went forward. Johnston spend the day of the battle going from unit to unit to encourage the men and push the attack. It has to be said that almost total suprise was achieved on the first day, and the rebels attacked very hard. Johnston himself was almost personally responsible for organizing the final assault on the Hornet's Nest, which finally got the right wing of the Confederate army advancing to the Tennessee. Then Johnston was shot dead.

The Confederates at Shiloh attacked an army about the same size of their own, in very difficult terrain, attacked very hard and pushed Grant's men back quite a ways. It just might have worked. The confederates just might have been able to renew the attack the next day and destroy the remnants of Grant's 4 divisions, if only Buell did not arrive on the scene right as the battle began, bringing another 15,000 or so soldiers to the battlefield.

On the other hand, Johnston's tactical plan was just to push straight ahead. His tactical plan didn't encompass any attempt to outflank or surround his opponent. It was a simple tactical plan, and pushed hard, but totally without finesse.

So what to make of all this? I suggest:

CSA Albert S. Johnston ldr_CSA_ASJohnston3 $Supriser NULL NULL NULL 20 30 3 1 General 1 NULL 4 2 1

I reduced the strategic value from 5 to 4, based on his lack of success in the West. I increased the political value from 20 to 30 to reflect Davis' unusual loyalty to Johnston, added the $Supriser trait and increased his attack value to 2, both based solely on his one day performance on the first day at Shiloh. That's all we have to judge him by, tactically.


I disagree with a lot of this. the Mormon/Utah War was a significant event in American western history. Not well known, but many officers that participated in the Civil War were in it and that was the bulk of their campaigning experience before the war (mostly the younger ones who missed the Mexican War).

A.S. Johnston was the commander in the West before the War which says something about his qualities as a commander of a huge area. Just the fact that he was THE leader in the Western half of the United States pre-railroad says a ton about the man. The West was harsh and dangerous, and this guy rode all over it, survived, and prospered.

The first day of Shiloh was brilliant for the most part and the Union army was surprised and soundly beat. Johnston was killed, however, and the second day didn't go as well.

This guy is definitely tough to rate because he didn't survive his only major battle. However, this guy was a leader and a fighter on the same level as Lee or J. Johnston, and probably was better than Beauregard. So his ratings should at the very least be in the J. Johnston and Beauregard range. 5-4-1 maybe?
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RebelYell
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Thu Jul 04, 2013 9:33 am

Reading eye witness accounts from Shiloh i have to say he needs the trait Charismatic.

Im not going to argue for this stats, i would like 4-2-2, but this is a trait he deserves!

He rallyed his men when others could not and he took over that field of battle with his presence, he was a general that men looked up to and followed.

I hope this is possible, almost seems wrong towards him if does not get some recognition for his leadership in this game.

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Sun Jul 07, 2013 5:30 pm

RebelYell wrote:Reading eye witness accounts from Shiloh i have to say he needs the trait Charismatic.

Im not going to argue for this stats, i would like 4-2-2, but this is a trait he deserves!

He rallyed his men when others could not and he took over that field of battle with his presence, he was a general that men looked up to and followed.

I hope this is possible, almost seems wrong towards him if does not get some recognition for his leadership in this game.


Really, what I would like to see is an "Assault Leader" characteristic for certain generals like Johnston, Jackson, Stuart, A.P. Hill, Reynolds, McPherson, Ransom etc.

Any force commanded by a general with this characteristic has its offensive rating doubled for all-out assaults (only). :p ouet:
And such leaders conducting all-out assaults have their likelihood of getting wounded or killed tripled. :eek:
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Sun Jul 07, 2013 11:59 pm

I like the idea of something like an "Assault Leader" trait that models how certain officers were masters of getting the most out of their troops but at the same time not giving those officers numerical ratings that are out of line (for example, Johnston here was largely mediocre at best outside of launching a devastating assault at Shiloh)

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Ol' Choctaw
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Sat Aug 10, 2013 7:47 pm

The amount of time he actually lead, it is hard to say largely mediocre.

Remember that Lee didn’t show much in Western Virginia either, and was recalled to Richmond and Jackson didn’t fair well there either.

However Johnston’s raiding tactics took a toll on Union forces and convinced them that he had a much larger force. He commanded for only 7 months before Shiloh with Generals under him that would make anyone cringe. Polk, Crittenden, Floyd, and Pillow. Add Bragg into the mix and you can see he had more difficulty with his politically appointed generals than he should have had with the enemy. Generals no one else would have on their staff, let alone the idea of allowing them to command.
He ordered Floyd and the forces from Ft. Donelson back to Nashville but none of the forces moved until it was too late. I would say that it is near miraculous that he managed to get his forces concentrated at Corinth and launch an attack at Shiloh and that he had to have outstanding leadership skills to accomplish it.

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Mon Aug 12, 2013 4:21 am

Ol' Choctaw wrote:The amount of time he actually lead, it is hard to say largely mediocre.

Remember that Lee didn’t show much in Western Virginia either, and was recalled to Richmond and Jackson didn’t fair well there either.

However Johnston’s raiding tactics took a toll on Union forces and convinced them that he had a much larger force. He commanded for only 7 months before Shiloh with Generals under him that would make anyone cringe. Polk, Crittenden, Floyd, and Pillow. Add Bragg into the mix and you can see he had more difficulty with his politically appointed generals than he should have had with the enemy. Generals no one else would have on their staff, let alone the idea of allowing them to command.
He ordered Floyd and the forces from Ft. Donelson back to Nashville but none of the forces moved until it was too late. I would say that it is near miraculous that he managed to get his forces concentrated at Corinth and launch an attack at Shiloh and that he had to have outstanding leadership skills to accomplish it.


Bragg was actually chiefly responsible for organizing the Corinth mob into an effective army serving as Johnston's chief of staff. Bragg gets a bad rap (some deservedly so) for his own difficulties commanding the AoT but he was as good a subordinate as Johnston could ever have hoped for.

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Mon Aug 12, 2013 7:31 am

Bragg had an excellent and devoted staff of his own. They got his troops up there in a short amount of time from the Gulf Coast, but had little to do with getting everyone else there.

Bragg was good at self promotion and a master of the backstab. None the less, he did seem to be a good staff officer, under Johnston, at least. His handling of a corps at Shiloh was less than stellar but he seemed competent at retreat, as he would repeatedly demonstrate.

Long piece on Bragg: http://www.cincinnaticwrt.org/data/ccwrt_history/talks_text/smith_bragg_quarrel.html

wsatterwhite
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Tue Aug 13, 2013 5:23 am

Ol' Choctaw wrote:Bragg had an excellent and devoted staff of his own. They got his troops up there in a short amount of time from the Gulf Coast, but had little to do with getting everyone else there.

Bragg was good at self promotion and a master of the backstab. None the less, he did seem to be a good staff officer, under Johnston, at least. His handling of a corps at Shiloh was less than stellar but he seemed competent at retreat, as he would repeatedly demonstrate.

Long piece on Bragg: http://www.cincinnaticwrt.org/data/ccwrt_history/talks_text/smith_bragg_quarrel.html


I believe Beauregard deserves the credit for getting the other various commands to Corinth, Bragg's main contribution was in organizing and training the army once assembled.

Interesting article but it seems to fall into the typical trap of Bragg criticism in that it pretty much glosses over the legitimate issues with Bragg's subordinates. It's very easy to simply say that Bragg having issues with everyone else was evidence of a serious problem with Bragg but it ignores the fact that for the most part, his subordinates were all troublemakers.

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Ol' Choctaw
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Tue Aug 13, 2013 7:38 am

Lets cover Bragg in his own thread, I think he was an excellent staff officer who could plan in minute detail and should have a trait to reflect that, but as a commander he did a very poor job, held grudges, and squandered opportunities and resources (leaders). His problems continued into civilian life, where no one was competent except for himself, in his view, and eventually led to bitter isolation and poverty.

His piecemeal deployment and commitment of his Corps at Shiloh delayed the breakthrough during the battle and may well have cost the CS the victory they sought.

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1stvermont
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Sat May 30, 2015 6:42 pm

I could not believe how low they had him, that was biggest surprise next being grant so good. He was the one the confederacy was looking to, he whipped grant [much higher ratings] first day at shiloh just one hill away from grants whole surrender. Grant was completely surprised by johnson , Grant had more men and without the next days reinforcements would not have done what he did. The south at the time felt shiloh a slight victory because day 1 and freely left the field because of lack of food. If I were to rate I would give something like a 5/4/3. Any mods for him?
"How do you like this are coming back into the union"
Confederate solider to Pennsylvanian citizen before Gettysburg

"No way sherman will go to hell, he would outflank the devil and get past havens guard"
Southern solider about northern General Sherman

"Angels went to receive his body from his grave but he was not there, they left very disappointed but upon return to haven, found he had outflanked them and was already there".
Northern newspaper about the death of Stonewall Jackson

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