GraniteStater wrote:Grant's historical assessment as President has improved in recent decades. I view his conduct in the two offices as entirely separate things. AFAIK, he didn't really want to be President to the degree that, for example, Seward did.
In a similar vein, Grant's stock as a commander has been rising steadily for 50 years, while Lee's reputation is a bit more objectively assessed now. In a nutshell, if I were to choose between the two as my man for a war I had to win in the mid-19th century (one must stick to that time frame, I believe; unlike baseball, historical circumstances are too great an influence), I'd take Grant every time. I'd take Sherman over Lee, too, and even Thomas or Longstreet.
Lee was the last of the romantics, if I may characterize him as such, in temperament and views. The ones I prefer had more of a modern outlook (for some reasons I shall not go into, Longstreet is more of a modern thinker, to my mind).
Grant and Sherman were the chief principals in prosecuting - and winning - the world's first modern war. Don't forget Lincoln, either, who saw what the essential points of principle and practicality were.
GraniteStater wrote:You misunderstand me to some extent. The contrast I made was, to expand, "18th/19th century limited war vs. modern total war".
Lee chose to participate in a rebellion against the lawful authority of the United States. Mistake One, of the most profound consequences.
Stauffenberg wrote:I don't think I misunderstand you at all. You are shifting ground to make this a political debate upon the merits, or demerits, of secessionism. I happen to agree with the secessionists--it was their right. Beyond that, I have stated all I need to in a debate about Grant vs Lee... they were in different dimensions as far as I can see, and their war time, and postbellum, positions and reputations bear this out.
It's not "lawful" if the vast majority of the populace from the Rappahannock to the Rio Grande say it isn't. And VOTE accordingly.
GraniteStater wrote:I'm sorry you feel that way, I truly am (in the wider context).
But you misread if you think I was trying to rehash the Southern rationalizations. One point only: the voting conducted in the South for ratifications was done with bayonets at the ballot box, among other things. Lincoln said that, with the exception of SC, it was debatable whether a majority of the voters, free to vote their will, formed a majority any state voting on the question (which could not be voted upon in the first place - examine, re-examine and think: Andrew Jackson had it right in 1832 and was still right in 1861: the United States government is a government, not a league, to quoye Old Hickory, and that Tennesean was prepared to invade SC and start hanging seditionists who proposed to defy Federal law). And think deeply about it, my friend, with the greatest love I ask you - for what? Their 'right' to hold other human beings in perpetual bondage?
If you wish to go over this in detail, start a thread, unless it;s against forum rules in this case. I can present a very cogent case why it was, indeed, an unlawful rebellion. This is not unimportant; the moral factor carries a certain weight, which is not light.
And it's not Grant versus Lee, really - that was settled in 1865 and Grant won. Look at May 1864 and what followed in Virginia - threaten, maneuver, threaten, maneuver, until the fox was holed up with few exits left. What are ya gonna do now, tricksy Reynaud?
IMHO, Grant is the best commander of the 1860s in North America.
Normally I'd be with Mae on this one. What if the moons a balloon? Just for the hell of it though I'll pose a couple of what ifs......
The first is what if Lee had used Shermans 'total war' tactic in 62/63 during his invasions of the north. Certainly it would have made him hated but what would/could it have done to Union civilian morale?
Then again what if the South had granted emancipation to the slaves in advance of Lincoln's proclamation ? I accept it would have cut right across Southern culture so is highly unlikely but I reckon my country at least would have been more inclined to recognise the independance of the South and it would have most certainly screwed up the Norths morale high ground.
As I said at the start though.. I'm with Mae. There really is no mileage in 'ifs'. If wishes were horses then beggars would ride as my old granny used to say bless her cotton socks.
I'm not idealizing Jackson (well not too much ), but he was always determined to push the enemy, at all costs, towards total collapse in the same ruthless way Forrest was, and with the three stars and an army, in an ideal situation here, to do it with.
Stauffenberg wrote:But as for your remark that "There really is no mileage in 'ifs'..."
I'm glad you don't really believe that, or we wouldn't have that really fine AAR you posted a few years back. Very well-written indeed, and evocative, it showcased this game system and aided my transition from newb to half-decent player (and I'm currently in a pbem with that same opponent of yours). But, the instant you played turn 1 in that game, you engaged in a 'what-if'; indeed, as my first post in this thread attempted to indicate, a model like AGEOD's ACW, were it only able to replicate the historical result every time, would rapidly lose all interest. Every played game is a fascinating what-if.
You're really talking about outrageously unlikely 'what-ifs', and on that we can agree. The writer Harry Turtledove has made a career out of these, exploring various ideas, like a Confederate brigade getting hold of a few thousand AK-47s... "somehow."
soundoff wrote:Hi Stauffenberg,
I nearly let your post go ...... only nearly Lets take what we can agree on. If we are only able to replicate the historical result every time interest is rapidly lost. But thats true with any wargame by any developer based on an historical battle or war.
Now let me turn to the AAR you speak to kindly of. Yes in the strictest of terms in planning moves I engaged in 'what ifs' but only in the sense of 'if I do x what if my opponent does y'. After weighting up all the possibilities that my grey cells could cope with eventually I had to decide on a course of action. That process all players engage in each and every turn to a greater or lesser degree. Trouble is my 'what if's' in the game are alterable. I can go back a turn and redo it another way. I can restart a campaign and adopt an entirely different strategy. These produce 'what if' situations I grant but not in the sense of the 'what ifs' that this thread originally speculated about. To me speculation on historical reality is a fruitless task. And as many times as I play the game I'm not creating historical 'what ifs' because one thing that no computer wargame does is to simulate war or those who participate in it......thank god.
Hopefully I can end, as I began, with something we can both agree on. AGEOD's ACW is an extremely enjoyable game
Jorje Vidrio wrote:Interesting to speculate on how the war would have turned out just on which leaders had lived or died.
What if AS Johnston had lived? The Confederate leadership quality in the West would have been far better.
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