Matrix Games Forums

Command gets huge update!Order of Battle: Pacific Featured on Weekly Streaming SessionA new fight for Battle Academy!Buzz Aldrin's Space Program Manager is out for Mac!The definitive wargame of the Western Front is out now! War in the West gets teaser trailer and Twitch Stream!New Preview AAR for War in the West!War in the West Manual previewThe fight for Armageddon begins! The Matrix Holiday sales are starting today!
Forums  Register  Login  Photo Gallery  Member List  Search  Calendars  FAQ 

My Profile  Inbox  Address Book  My Subscription  My Forums  Log Out

OT: West Point Officers

 
View related threads: (in this forum | in all forums)

Logged in as: Guest
Users viewing this topic: none
  Printable Version
All Forums >> [New Releases from Matrix Games] >> War in the Pacific: Admiral's Edition >> OT: West Point Officers Page: [1]
Login
Message << Older Topic   Newer Topic >>
OT: West Point Officers - 10/12/2012 10:51:12 PM   
Natali

 

Posts: 103
Joined: 9/18/2012
From: Ocatillo Land
Status: offline
For Canoerebel because I know he likes this knid of thing. From an argument with someone who thinks the South did so good because they got all the West Pointers.

1249 known, living West Point graduates in 1860
- 296 joined Confederate States service (army or political branch)

1098 active Regular Army officers in 1860
- 351 active officers were WP grads from “slave” states
- - 168 active WP grads from “slave” states resigned for CS army service
- - 162 active WP grads from “slave” states stayed with US army service
- - 21 active WP grads from “slave” states retired and went elsewhere

286 of 1098 active RA officers resigned for CS army service
- 168 active WP grads from “slave” states
- 16 active WP grads from “free” states
- 102 active non-WP grads
All from the US Military Academy at West Point records.

Maybe the North finally won because half of the Southern West Pointers stayed with the North. Let’s see, 16 Northerners went South and 162 Southerners stayed North. Hmmm. The North gets George H. Thomas, and the South gets John C. Pemberton.
Post #: 1
RE: OT: West Point Officers - 10/13/2012 2:02:40 AM   
Canoerebel


Posts: 9796
Joined: 12/14/2002
From: Northwestern Georgia, USA
Status: offline
These are interesting numbers that bear further consideration! Thanks, Natali.

Another fascinating aspect of the Civil War is Confederate officers or high government officials with strong ties to the United States. There are any number of governors, senators, congressmen, etc., but what about John C. Breckenridge, former vice president of the USA and later a Confederate general and secretary of war? And general Richard Taylor, whose father was president of the United States? Conf. general John Hardin Helm, Abraham Lincoln's brother in law, was killed at Chickamauga? And just on and on....


Edit: Benjamin Hardin Helm (not John Hardin)

< Message edited by Canoerebel -- 10/13/2012 2:51:08 AM >

(in reply to Natali)
Post #: 2
RE: OT: West Point Officers - 10/13/2012 3:00:26 AM   
borner


Posts: 1486
Joined: 3/20/2005
From: Houston TX
Status: offline

Southern officers and cadets that remained loyal to the Union is something that has not been given a lot of attention. Additionally, those that did seemed to rise slowly through the ranks. Why this happened is somewhat understandable given the attitude in the north at the time, but was a great mistake. Anyone care to think things how different things may have been had Thomas and not Pope been given command of the Army of Virginia?



< Message edited by borner -- 10/13/2012 3:54:14 AM >

(in reply to Canoerebel)
Post #: 3
RE: OT: West Point Officers - 10/13/2012 4:04:17 PM   
crsutton


Posts: 7421
Joined: 12/6/2002
From: Maryland
Status: offline
It is not just West Point but Mexican War experience as well. Most senior commanders on both sides fought in the Mexican War. There is no substitute for experience.

But in my opinion it was not the West Pointers that won the war but the numerous fine lower ranking officers that the North produced. The North simply had a better educated population with lots of leadership and technical skills. With few exception, the best officer material comes with an education. Quite frankly, it is colonels and majors that win wars for you.

Not to say that the South did not have excellent colonels and majors. The difference was that the South was in a much poorer position to replace those lost in action. You can't really have a good army without a solid educated middle class. This one one thing that the South was lacking.

_____________________________

I am the Holy Roman Emperor and am above grammar.

Sigismund of Luxemburg

(in reply to borner)
Post #: 4
RE: OT: West Point Officers - 10/13/2012 11:23:19 PM   
SpitfireIX


Posts: 264
Joined: 1/9/2003
From: Fort Wayne IN USA
Status: offline
quote:

ORIGINAL: Natali

Maybe the North finally won because half of the Southern West Pointers stayed with the North. Let’s see, 16 Northerners went South and 162 Southerners stayed North. Hmmm. The North gets George H. Thomas, and the South gets John C. Pemberton.



Though I'm a great fan of Thomas, my favorite loyal Southerner is Colonel Benjamin F. Davis.
There are also some interesting cases in the Navy, including David G. Farragut, who was born in Tennessee (though his adoptive family, including brothers David D. and William Porter, were northerners), and Franklin Buchanan, who resigned because he assumed that Maryland would secede, and whose attempt to rescind his resignation was rejected.

Edit: tpyo

< Message edited by SpitfireIX -- 10/13/2012 11:34:24 PM >


_____________________________

"I know Japanese. He is very bad. And tricky. But we Americans too smart. We catch him and give him hell."

--Benny Sablan, crewman, USS Enterprise 12/7/41

(in reply to Natali)
Post #: 5
RE: OT: West Point Officers - 10/14/2012 12:02:36 AM   
wdolson

 

Posts: 8373
Joined: 6/28/2006
From: Near Portland, OR
Status: offline
In a war of attrition, the outcome favors the side with the larger economy and population. The North had more industry and a larger population.

The South had some prominent generals who stood out for their leadership. The plantation system may have helped groom these men for leadership of large formations. The rest of Southern society was not right for prepping middle rank officers and there were not enough plantations to groom more than a handful of men capable of generalship. Most Southerners who were the sons of plantation owners had no aptitude or interest in being in the military. The few with the aptitude and the opportunity ended up standing out when the war came.

(Not defending the plantation system. Slavery is abhorrent.)

Bill

_____________________________

WitP AE - Test team lead, programmer

(in reply to SpitfireIX)
Post #: 6
RE: OT: West Point Officers - 10/14/2012 1:16:47 AM   
danlongman

 

Posts: 461
Joined: 3/27/2012
From: Over the hills and far away
Status: offline
I think it is pretty much impossible for us in the current era to understand politics
and loyalty as seen through 19th century hearts and minds. We can think about it
but unless we are thoroughly racist as most were then I hope understanding will be
difficult. The contentious political issues of the day, including slavery, were so potent
that people who considered themselves patriotic were willing to abandon their country
and their oaths and their duty for regional sympathies. I will endeavour to pick up the
turd by the clean end and say it was loyalty to home rather than anything else. Others
were willing to bring fire and sword on their countrymen to preserve a Union many did
not want. The bunch of them plunged the nation into the hell of civil war to prove a
political point. The way some people talk politics these days, on some fora, really concerns
me. When issues become blindly emotional, reason and compromise are out the window.
My understanding of the era was that a solid minority on both sides wished the zealots
would shut up and find something better to do with their time than bring the country down
around their ears. When a mob protest against the draft became a riot in New York City
the largely immigrant rioters attacked the local black population. How does that make sense? Well it did.
Just a thought or two. My ancestors mostly decamped for Canada until things settled down.
Many with their enlistment bounties in their wallets......(a few went back a few times for the extra
cash).
cheers

_____________________________

"Patriotism: Your conviction that this country is superior to all other countries because you were born in it." - George Bernard Shaw

(in reply to wdolson)
Post #: 7
RE: OT: West Point Officers - 10/14/2012 1:49:26 AM   
wdolson

 

Posts: 8373
Joined: 6/28/2006
From: Near Portland, OR
Status: offline

quote:

ORIGINAL: danlongman

I think it is pretty much impossible for us in the current era to understand politics
and loyalty as seen through 19th century hearts and minds. We can think about it
but unless we are thoroughly racist as most were then I hope understanding will be
difficult. The contentious political issues of the day, including slavery, were so potent
that people who considered themselves patriotic were willing to abandon their country
and their oaths and their duty for regional sympathies. I will endeavour to pick up the


Ultimately people do have more loyalty to what they understand as their "home" than any larger concept. TV and the spreading of national store chains have done a lot to spread people's identity from their local neighborhood to the larger whole. In the 20th century a lot of Americans moved to other parts of the country too. Very few people in the far west have any roots here that go back more than a generation. I'm unusual that I do have family who have lived in the west since the frontier days. And even then, they come from a different part of the west than where I was born and grew up.

quote:


turd by the clean end and say it was loyalty to home rather than anything else. Others
were willing to bring fire and sword on their countrymen to preserve a Union many did
not want. The bunch of them plunged the nation into the hell of civil war to prove a
political point. The way some people talk politics these days, on some fora, really concerns
me. When issues become blindly emotional, reason and compromise are out the window.


Very true. A study done a few years ago on people who held strong political beliefs found that when they were presented with statements that were not political, the logic and emotion centers of their brains kicked in and they would determine if the statement was true or false using rational methods. When these same people were presented with information pertaining to their political beliefs, the logic centers of their brains shut off and they responded completely from the emotional center.

In psychology its called conformational bias. When someone has a strong emotional connection to something, they tend to filter reality to favor the answers that support their emotional feelings about it. This is true of any subject they feeling strongly about, it could be something relatively harmless like a fierce loyalty to their sports team (few people have died over the issue of which team is better), or it could have larger implications like it can with politics.

(If anybody wants to interject any specific attitudes about current politics here, please take it somewhere else. This is not the place for discussing current political issues.)

quote:


My understanding of the era was that a solid minority on both sides wished the zealots
would shut up and find something better to do with their time than bring the country down
around their ears. When a mob protest against the draft became a riot in New York City
the largely immigrant rioters attacked the local black population. How does that make sense? Well it did.
Just a thought or two. My ancestors mostly decamped for Canada until things settled down.
Many with their enlistment bounties in their wallets......(a few went back a few times for the extra
cash).
cheers


My ancestors who were here were in either Nebraska or Utah at that point. They were more concerned about survival in the middle of nowhere.

I have never seen too much history about how the Civil War affected the West. I know the Union stationed troops in California's central valley because there were a lot of Southern sympathizers there, but the US had a few states in the far west that largely sat out the war. They sent a few troops, but their contribution was small.

It must have been sort of surreal to hear the news about the war raging a world away on the other side of the continent.

Bill

_____________________________

WitP AE - Test team lead, programmer

(in reply to danlongman)
Post #: 8
RE: OT: West Point Officers - 10/14/2012 2:33:07 AM   
borner


Posts: 1486
Joined: 3/20/2005
From: Houston TX
Status: offline


After a disaster of a "campaign" in New Mexico/West Texas, where the Confederates lost many times more men to starvation and thirst than action, they really did not make much of an effort in the area. The "West" was the Indian territory for the most part, although there was not much organizes activity past the Arkansas/Kanasa/Missouri areas.


What hurt the Union/helped the Confederacy, especially in the first year of the war, was the "old army" leaders in the Union. In the Southern army, leaders rose more quickly on ability than they tended to do in the North, especially in the Eastern theater. This was overcome more quickly out "West", and was a large reason the Union started to do better there first. In the East, and especially the Army of the Potamac, you had more older officers, and "political officers" (Sickels anyone?). As more of these officers were moved to the side, Union performance improved.

< Message edited by borner -- 10/14/2012 2:50:31 AM >

(in reply to wdolson)
Post #: 9
RE: OT: West Point Officers - 10/14/2012 2:38:25 PM   
crsutton


Posts: 7421
Joined: 12/6/2002
From: Maryland
Status: offline

quote:

ORIGINAL: wdolson

In a war of attrition, the outcome favors the side with the larger economy and population. The North had more industry and a larger population.

The South had some prominent generals who stood out for their leadership. The plantation system may have helped groom these men for leadership of large formations. The rest of Southern society was not right for prepping middle rank officers and there were not enough plantations to groom more than a handful of men capable of generalship. Most Southerners who were the sons of plantation owners had no aptitude or interest in being in the military. The few with the aptitude and the opportunity ended up standing out when the war came.

(Not defending the plantation system. Slavery is abhorrent.)

Bill


Good point Bill. But I doubt the plantation system produced few good officers. It was not the kind system to provide leadership that a modern war demanded. In fact I doubt the plantation system provided one whit of benefit to the South. I am a Southern boy and love my Confederate heroes but when Sherman marched trough my native state of Georgia, wrecking and burning everything is sight-he was doing the place a favor. The system had to be dismantled.


_____________________________

I am the Holy Roman Emperor and am above grammar.

Sigismund of Luxemburg

(in reply to wdolson)
Post #: 10
RE: OT: West Point Officers - 10/14/2012 7:25:01 PM   
US87891

 

Posts: 199
Joined: 1/2/2011
Status: offline
quote:

ORIGINAL: crsutton
quote:

ORIGINAL: wdolson
In a war of attrition, the outcome favors the side with the larger economy and population. The North had more industry and a larger population.

The South had some prominent generals who stood out for their leadership. The plantation system may have helped groom these men for leadership of large formations. The rest of Southern society was not right for prepping middle rank officers and there were not enough plantations to groom more than a handful of men capable of generalship. Most Southerners who were the sons of plantation owners had no aptitude or interest in being in the military. The few with the aptitude and the opportunity ended up standing out when the war came.

(Not defending the plantation system. Slavery is abhorrent.)
Bill

Good point Bill. But I doubt the plantation system produced few good officers. It was not the kind system to provide leadership that a modern war demanded. In fact I doubt the plantation system provided one whit of benefit to the South. I am a Southern boy and love my Confederate heroes but when Sherman marched trough my native state of Georgia, wrecking and burning everything is sight-he was doing the place a favor. The system had to be dismantled.

I am not so sure about that. Most of even Lee's lower generals were lawyers and politicians. Many did fight in the Mexican war which may be important in the early years. The South was agrarian and Jeffersonian in its policies (funny how Jefferson's party was called Republican at the time ). They liked the Mexican war and wanted to get more land to expand into so more of them volunteered to fight and more of their volunteer leaders got experience down there. It helped that the Texans were mostly from the South and that the South was a lot closer to the fight than, say, Vermont.

This was the early middle of the 19th century and not too far away from the Revolution or the Napoleonic wars. Back then in the 18th century, it was cultural that the comfortable classes contribute leaders; their children were raised up in this environment of privilege. These were people who had no other productive function in society, and it was accepted that they would become either Clerics or Officers. IMHO the South was much of the same mind and cultural background; they had more children of privilege to fill out the early leadership slots. They did fine till the Northern lawyers and politicians got their equivalent of Mexican war experience.

It is possible that the first corner could have been turned earlier but for political pressures. Davis was an officious administrator of the type that puts the modern EPA to shame, but nonetheless he recognized the value of experience. With junior officers this was helpful, but with senior officers who collided with his self-appointed military brilliance, it was fatal. His commanders had to laud his greatness and bow to his authority.

Lincoln, OTOH, spread out BG commissions on the basis of demographics. He wasn't overtly political, but a State would get BG commissions in proportion to their Electoral College representation. The choice would fall on the representatives of the respective States. And so Washburne picks U.S.Grant to become a BG. Lincoln was not military and as soon as a commander came up that he could work with, his hands came off.

It is a matter of moving perspective: with a relatively static source, from a small population, on the one hand, and a relatively dynamic source, from a much larger population, on the other.

(in reply to crsutton)
Post #: 11
RE: OT: West Point Officers - 10/15/2012 9:00:37 PM   
crsutton


Posts: 7421
Joined: 12/6/2002
From: Maryland
Status: offline

quote:

ORIGINAL: US87891

quote:

ORIGINAL: crsutton
quote:

ORIGINAL: wdolson
In a war of attrition, the outcome favors the side with the larger economy and population. The North had more industry and a larger population.

The South had some prominent generals who stood out for their leadership. The plantation system may have helped groom these men for leadership of large formations. The rest of Southern society was not right for prepping middle rank officers and there were not enough plantations to groom more than a handful of men capable of generalship. Most Southerners who were the sons of plantation owners had no aptitude or interest in being in the military. The few with the aptitude and the opportunity ended up standing out when the war came.

(Not defending the plantation system. Slavery is abhorrent.)
Bill

Good point Bill. But I doubt the plantation system produced few good officers. It was not the kind system to provide leadership that a modern war demanded. In fact I doubt the plantation system provided one whit of benefit to the South. I am a Southern boy and love my Confederate heroes but when Sherman marched trough my native state of Georgia, wrecking and burning everything is sight-he was doing the place a favor. The system had to be dismantled.


This was the early middle of the 19th century and not too far away from the Revolution or the Napoleonic wars. Back then in the 18th century, it was cultural that the comfortable classes contribute leaders; their children were raised up in this environment of privilege. These were people who had no other productive function in society, and it was accepted that they would become either Clerics or Officers. IMHO the South was much of the same mind and cultural background; they had more children of privilege to fill out the early leadership slots. They did fine till the Northern lawyers and politicians got their equivalent of Mexican war experience.



I am afraid I have to disagree here. The Civil War more of modern war-especially as the war progressed. You are correct in that the South relied on the upper class for it's officer cadres, but quite frankly this class was not big enough, educated enough or talented enough to meet the demands of leadership required to win a conflict of that scope-much less provide the replacements needed to fill the vacancies of attrition. This was the North's advantage. Northern industry and commerce expanded vastly during the war. Business was great and the North was building a trans Continental railroad while fighting a major war.Shelby Foote said it was as if the North was whipping the South with one hand tied behind their back...These same men (and women) who accomplished these feats also provided the pool of leadership for the North that the South could never hope to duplicate.

General Stuart was a dashing figure on horseback, and Grant was an excellent rider as well. This looks good in the history books but had nothing to do with the mechanics of winning a war in 1865. I really don't think a privileged agrarian background served much purpose either.

I am interested to hear what others think about this.


_____________________________

I am the Holy Roman Emperor and am above grammar.

Sigismund of Luxemburg

(in reply to US87891)
Post #: 12
RE: OT: West Point Officers - 10/16/2012 2:43:38 AM   
borner


Posts: 1486
Joined: 3/20/2005
From: Houston TX
Status: offline
Yes the South had some fine leaders, and good line officers, but I do not think this is from young men being used to running a plantation any more or less than to men supervising people on a production line or warehouse. What plantation life did lend itself to a much better Calvary arm. For the first couple years of the war, until the Union acquired enough experience, (and repeating rifles) to balance this out, this was probably the largest Southern advantage. At the very end of the war Wilson and Sheridan showed what a large, well trained force could do, but it took until 1865 to get there.

As crsutton points out, business boomed in the north during the war. Manufacturing, commerce, across the board companies thrived. There are many reasons for this, but the average person in the north did not see a huge negative impact in quality of life, other than loosing a loved one in service to the cause. Also, the many rail lines that were built during the war laid the groundwork for an even mor rapid expansion after the conflict ended.



(in reply to crsutton)
Post #: 13
Page:   [1]
All Forums >> [New Releases from Matrix Games] >> War in the Pacific: Admiral's Edition >> OT: West Point Officers Page: [1]
Jump to:





New Messages No New Messages
Hot Topic w/ New Messages Hot Topic w/o New Messages
Locked w/ New Messages Locked w/o New Messages
 Post New Thread
 Reply to Message
 Post New Poll
 Submit Vote
 Delete My Own Post
 Delete My Own Thread
 Rate Posts


Forum Software © ASPPlayground.NET Advanced Edition 2.4.5 ANSI

0.109