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Lee's successor - 1/8/2009 11:47:58 PM   
Mutation2241

 

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When Marse Robert is killed on the field of battle, who should take command of the main army in the eastern theater? Did Lee ever make a personal choice on who should be his successor? I organize the forces historical accurate for the most part, so I want to have a successor who would be the most possible historical replacement get what I mean?!
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RE: Lee's successor - 1/8/2009 11:53:06 PM   
Mutation2241

 

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Maybe I should add: It's very late in the war, A.S. Johnston has been killed early on, J.E. Johnston commanding the Western Department, Beauregard commanding in the far south, maybe I'll choose Robert F Hoke, but I've read Jeff Davis wanted to appoint Lee's son, Custis Lee, a hard decision I am facing here ;-)

(in reply to Mutation2241)
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RE: Lee's successor - 1/9/2009 12:08:03 AM   
2ndACR


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Rough one there........I play with random stats, so I do not have the set stats memorized.........protect Lee!!!!!

Maybe load up a game, have all leaders available from start etc and check to see who is the best rated.

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RE: Lee's successor - 1/9/2009 9:57:29 AM   
terje439


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I believe I've read (somewere...) that some letters were published (not written by Lee however) that he wished that if a successor was needed, Wade Hampton should be placed in command of all CSA Cavalry, and William Mahone in command of all CSA Infantry.
I do not remember were I read this sadly enough, and how correct it is, I do not know.

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RE: Lee's successor - 1/16/2009 10:00:39 PM   
Mutation2241

 

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I doubt Pres. Davis would have agreed on a candidate who was not a West Point graduate

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RE: Lee's successor - 1/16/2009 11:49:49 PM   
Ingtar

 

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If Jackson were available, I've a gut feeling it would have been him.  Barring that, I expect that J.E. Johnston or Beauregard would have been called back to the East and perhaps Longstreet sent out to relieve them.  Jackson's rise was meteoric. 

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RE: Lee's successor - 1/17/2009 1:52:08 AM   
Gil R.


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So, do we think that Davis might have transferred his good buddy Braxton Bragg?

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RE: Lee's successor - 1/17/2009 4:32:02 PM   
Mutation2241

 

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Hadnt Bragg already lost too much credit for such an appointment by 1865? He was commanding the Dept of NorCar under Joe Johnston, same rank but lower command level.

Agree with Ingtar, Jackson would be the number one choice but he's unavailable in my scenario, and I want Longstreet to remain First Corps commander ;-)

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RE: Lee's successor - 1/17/2009 6:08:58 PM   
Gil R.


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Mutation2241

Hadnt Bragg already lost too much credit for such an appointment by 1865? He was commanding the Dept of NorCar under Joe Johnston, same rank but lower command level.

Agree with Ingtar, Jackson would be the number one choice but he's unavailable in my scenario, and I want Longstreet to remain First Corps commander ;-)



Sure, by 1865. But if Lee had been riding with Jackson at Chancellorsville, let's say, and they both were killed, I can see Bragg being sent to the ANV.

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RE: Lee's successor - 1/18/2009 12:14:25 AM   
Randomizer


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Given that the Confederacy had a more practical ranking system for General Officers, one would think that command should go to a substantive full General.  By late in the war Beauregard, Bragg and Hood were largely discredited and all were serving in positions that could have been held by more junior generals.  Albert Sydney Johnston was dead so if Lee was too, that leaves Samuel Cooper, Joe Johnston or Kirby Smith.

I doubt that a Lt General would have been fleeted up over the heads of the still serving Generals list regardless of how worthy.

J.Johnston and Jefferson Davis were old budds from Mexico, I think that he would get the Eastern command.  Sam Cooper was more valuable to Davis as Adjutant-General but he may have lobbied hard for a field command like the ANV.  At that level it's politics more than ability that decides.

Edit: As posted had E.K. Smith killed in 1863 but this didn't sound right; he died in 1893 and new glasses are on order. Also some sources list him as a substantive Lt. General but the copy of the Confederate General Officers List that I have list him as being fifth in seniority amongst the full Generals. Perhaps someone has better data.

< Message edited by Randomizer -- 1/18/2009 4:07:38 AM >

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RE: Lee's successor - 1/18/2009 1:26:56 PM   
jkBluesman


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Well, Hood got his command in the West although he only temporarily became full general. So he would be a good example for a rising officer. Joe Johnston and Davies were at ill terms after Johnston retreated down the peninsular and their relationship got worse later. About Cooper I still have to do some research and then write his bio. But I doubt that a Non-Virginian would have gotten the ANV, so maybe Jubal Early (late in the war)?

_____________________________

"War is the field of chance."
Carl von Clausewitz

(in reply to Randomizer)
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RE: Lee's successor - 1/18/2009 5:08:41 PM   
Randomizer


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You are correct about Davis' - Johnston's relationship but in dire straights the President was pragmatic enough to perhaps overlook Johnston's failures, particularly since the issue was not personal and Davis would never forgive a personal offence.

I would suggest that any reasonable discussion of a potential replacement for Marse Robert first has to deal with two separate issues since Lee was not only Commander ANV but also General in Chief of the Confederacy. (After January 31st 1865, but from March 1862 he was effectively commander of the entire Confederate Army).

Either his successor wore both hats or his replacement would have to be two distinct officers.

One of the characteristics of the Confederate Army that it inherited from the “Old Army” was the system of seniority. Any officer of the same rank was automatically subordinate to an officer of the same rank whose promotion date was earlier. One could mitigate that somewhat through temporary promotions (like Hood’s who I believe retained his full general’s rank to the end of the War) but it was a significant factor in who got what commands at the senior level.

Hood is a poor example of fleeting up a junior Lt. General he was promoted over the heads of the likes of Longstreet, Hardee and A.P. Hill because look how that turned out. Given that he was an outstanding brigade and divisional commander when closely supervised, as an independent army commander he essentially annihilated his own force and did the Southern cause irreparable harm. Sounds more like the poster boy for not over-promoting a relatively junior general.

Wade Hampton was still a Maj. General until February 1865 and would become the sixteenth Confederate Lt. General. With the example of Hood’s failure in command still fresh do you really believe the President would have gambled and reached deep down into the Maj. General’s list to find a commander for the ANV? Was the senior leadership of the Confederate Army actually that poor late in the War? I think not.

Wade Hampton was certainly an effective commander but at look Lee’s successor should also examine the military, political and legal realities (seniority in rank was the law of the land) that would have driven that selection. Not doing so leads to a typically circular Insert-Favorite-General-Here Internet argument where the last posting "wins".

Pure merit has little to do with who gets the big prize at the level of command.


< Message edited by Randomizer -- 1/18/2009 5:10:14 PM >

(in reply to jkBluesman)
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RE: Lee's successor - 1/19/2009 8:16:10 AM   
Jonah


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Longstreet would have been the temporary successor, as happened when Lee was unfit for duty in the early stages of the maryland campaign. The main choice would probably have been Longstreet. For the reasons being that

A. Longstreet was his undisputed second and was going to take command of the ANV when Lee was possibly going to go west to Chickamauga.

B. Beauregard, Johnston and others were loathed by Davis, so probably would be promoted and was viewed by the ANV as inaffectual commanders And Kirby Smith and the like were too much of outsiders.

C. If they couldn't find a replacement for Bragg after his subordinates complained in 1863, why would the create that needless gap if Lee was killed?

D. One of Lee's other commanders simply did not have the talent. Jackson was not a good adminastrator, Early was not well like and fair at best, Ewell was indescive, Hill had no initiative and was ussualy ill, Stuart was to young rash and not suited for infantry, Anderso was merely adaquete and Gordon and Hampton were non proffesionals. Thus, I believe Longstreet would have been the pick.

_____________________________

“Duty is ours, Consequences are God’s.”

-Lieutenant General Thomas Jonathan Jackson

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RE: Lee's successor - 1/19/2009 4:28:06 PM   
Randomizer


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I have to agree with you that the best solution would be Longstreet and whether he recieved is commision as a full General or not would be irrelevant since he was already the senior Lt. General.  He had also commanded in Lee's absence and was probably the best man for the job.

Originally went with Joe Johnston presuming that the ANV had to go to one of the full general's with all the political crap that usually goes with these things but veiwed him merely as the lesser of several bad choices.  He was after all, still an army commander and he had friends in high places.

So, who gets Lee's General in Chief job?

(in reply to Jonah)
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RE: Lee's successor - 1/19/2009 5:01:34 PM   
Jonah


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In my opinion, the commander in chief job would have either

A. Dissolved. The job just forgotten and put and put to the side.
or
B. Joe Johnston would have got the job but would have been not really effectively giving orders, like how he was when he commanded dept. no. 2.

The bottom line is that Lee was the only one that had the people's confidance and Davis' trust. He wasn't there for politics, simply to do his job. And since by Fredericksburg and on, Lee was the south: If he went, I think the south would have crumbled. Like Hannibal in the punic wars after a while the south was not fighting for Davis rather for Lee. If he and his army survived, the cause would as well.



_____________________________

“Duty is ours, Consequences are God’s.”

-Lieutenant General Thomas Jonathan Jackson

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RE: Lee's successor - 1/19/2009 6:05:05 PM   
Mutation2241

 

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Only thing thats bugging me is Longstreet had shown incapacity for independent command before, otherwise yes, actually had temporary command of the ANV at times, and temporary appointments turned into permanent ones were not unusual.

Brings up the next question: Who is to replace Longstreet as commanding General of I Corps when RH Anderson already sent home. IMO Mahone would have been a good choice to be promoted to (temporary) Lt Gen and assume command of 1st Cps in this case.. maybe even Pickett if his disastrous charge never happened

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RE: Lee's successor - 1/19/2009 6:19:20 PM   
Mutation2241

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: Jonah

If he and his army survived, the cause would as well.




I think the Confederates would have fought on if things were going to some degree favorable even after Lee's death. In no way I see the CSA dissolving after Bobby Lee was killed if there was still a chance to fight to a draw to preserve the Confederacy

(in reply to Jonah)
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RE: Lee's successor - 1/19/2009 7:50:55 PM   
Randomizer


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Jonah
The bottom line is that Lee was the only one that had the people's confidance and Davis' trust. He wasn't there for politics, simply to do his job. And since by Fredericksburg and on, Lee was the south: If he went, I think the south would have crumbled. Like Hannibal in the punic wars after a while the south was not fighting for Davis rather for Lee. If he and his army survived, the cause would as well.



I think in a long war were so many had sacrificed so much already the death of one general, however much he was held to personify the Confederacy would not likely be fatal to the Cause.

I suspect that grief and despair would have given way to a grim determination to carry on regardless. Lee never threw in the towel when Jackson, his “Right Arm” was killed at Chancellorsville; although he “knew not how to replace him” Marse Robert carried on anyway.

Why would the South not do the same had Lee been killed?

(in reply to Jonah)
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RE: Lee's successor - 1/20/2009 5:24:44 PM   
Jonah


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I'm not saying that It would have dissolved, but within 6 months I believe it would have. When you look at the facts, Lee was the south's only good army commander: Johnston too timid, Beauregard non committal, Hood too aggresive, A. S. Johnston was as well, Kirby Smith was average and Bragg was...just plain awful. Jackson dieing was a blow, but he was a Corps commander, not an army commander.

Also Longstreet was only not suited at independant command simply because it was in operations he had no enthusiasim for, not that he was weak himself.

_____________________________

“Duty is ours, Consequences are God’s.”

-Lieutenant General Thomas Jonathan Jackson

(in reply to Randomizer)
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