Book Chat
No Better Place To Die
The Battle of Stones River
By
Peter Cozzen's

This chat took place in the Civil War Home Chatroom on 04/09/07 and covered Chapters 1, 2, & 3

4/9/2007 8:13 pm (et) Basecat: Welcome to the Book Chat. Tonight we start a discussion on Peter Cozzens's book No Better Place To Die: The Battle of Stones River. Our chat tonight focuses on the first 3 chapters of the book. Please no using the private message function during our allotted chat time. Thanks. You may fire when ready...;)

4/9/2007 8:13 pm (et) Widow: My copy of "No Better Place to Die" is paperback with a painting of Yankees, title Retreat, by Keith A. Rocco. Is that the same edition the rest of you have?

4/9/2007 8:13 pm (et) mobile_96: HB, same painting

4/9/2007 8:14 pm (et) Basecat: Widow, same painting on the hardcover edition I have.

4/9/2007 8:14 pm (et) ks: Same here.

4/9/2007 8:14 pm (et) Widow: Basecat, I like the way Cozzens set the scene in chap. 1, the lead up to the battle. It helps a lot.

4/9/2007 8:15 pm (et) amhistoryguy: I'd like to mention that in that cover painting Rocco captures the exact color of the mud around Stones River.

4/9/2007 8:15 pm (et) Widow: Mud comes in different colors?!

4/9/2007 8:15 pm (et) ks: That's the same color the mud was at Shiloh as well, AHG. :) I still see it on my poncho.

4/9/2007 8:15 pm (et) mobile_96: red clay

4/9/2007 8:16 pm (et) Widow: Basecat, I needed to get out my atlas to get a sense of scale and proportion. I don't know TN geography well enough, yet.

4/9/2007 8:16 pm (et) Basecat: Widow, I liked his description of Bragg...The Dyspeptic Martinet..:) Yes it is a fine overview of how things stood out west prior to the battle.

4/9/2007 8:17 pm (et) mobile_96: Goes all the way south to the Gulf.

4/9/2007 8:17 pm (et) ks: Dyspeptic is the term I always see associated with Bragg. Had to finally look it up.

4/9/2007 8:17 pm (et) Widow: And, ks?

4/9/2007 8:17 pm (et) Widow: What is it, heartburn?

4/9/2007 8:18 pm (et) Basecat: ks..Tend to think it is the best description of Bragg, but then again I never have found any good qualities in him in my reading over the years.

4/9/2007 8:18 pm (et) amhistoryguy: As farmers, many of the men who fought paid notice to the color and consistency of the mud. Many letters and diaries describe all the variations of CW mud.

4/9/2007 8:19 pm (et) ks: According to Merriam Webster, INDIGESTION.

4/9/2007 8:19 pm (et) Widow: Bragg was one of those men it's so easy to dislike. There's something pitiful about the man, sometimes I feel sorry for him, most of the time he didn't have a clue.

4/9/2007 8:20 pm (et) Basecat: And in terms of Bragg he seemed to have indigestion since he went into the army. ;)

4/9/2007 8:20 pm (et) Widow: Not that his subordinates were Mr. Personality either.

4/9/2007 8:20 pm (et) amhistoryguy: It struck me that there were similarities in the Confederate western army, to the Union Eastern army, in how they were forced to deal with their political leadership.

4/9/2007 8:21 pm (et) Basecat: Widow, In a way he is the anti-Burnside, as Burnside had no clue either, but was for the most part very well liked by his coleagues.

4/9/2007 8:21 pm (et) Widow: AHG, excellent point, and at war with each other too.

4/9/2007 8:21 pm (et) amhistoryguy: Bragg comes out looking better if you ignore what people said about him. IMO.

4/9/2007 8:22 pm (et) Basecat: amhg...Difference in the Western Army of the Confederacy, there were really no one who actually wanted the job unlike those of the Union who coveted the spot in the East.

4/9/2007 8:23 pm (et) amhistoryguy: Good point Basecat - They didn't want it because of the political interference ?

4/9/2007 8:23 pm (et) Coy: amhg...and ignore who was doing the talking about him.

4/9/2007 8:23 pm (et) Widow: Base, considering the short shrift Davis gave to the AOT, no wonder it was the kiss of death. The army too small for the area.

4/9/2007 8:24 pm (et) Widow: Johnston didn't want it. I mean JEJ. ASJ had his hands full, and Davis hero-worshiped Sidney.

4/9/2007 8:25 pm (et) Widow: Nemmine, that makes no sense.

4/9/2007 8:25 pm (et) Basecat: That and the fact as widow pointed out, the AoT always was in the back seat where Davis was concerned, which always baffled me, as he was from that part of the Confederacy.

4/9/2007 8:25 pm (et) ks: I'll try again and then, if it fails, call it quits, Widow. :)

4/9/2007 8:25 pm (et) amhistoryguy: I wonder how far those who spoke out against Bragg were really willing to go?

4/9/2007 8:25 pm (et) Widow: Basecase, have you ever heard of the Sacred Soil of Tennessee?

4/9/2007 8:26 pm (et) Widow: ks, that's so good it's scary.

4/9/2007 8:26 pm (et) Basecat: amhg...That's the problem IMHO. They sure knew how to place blame, especially for the Kentucky Campaign, but that's about it.

4/9/2007 8:26 pm (et) SteveCone: enters the chatroom.

4/9/2007 8:26 pm (et) Widow: Now I've scrolled him up the top.

4/9/2007 8:27 pm (et) Basecat: Widow...Have walked the sacred soil of Tennessee before...way different mud than what we have here in the Garden State.

4/9/2007 8:27 pm (et) SteveCone: Greetings

4/9/2007 8:27 pm (et) Widow: All top commanders had to have political survival skills. Grant did, Sherman didn't, and almost lost his job. Halleck was a politician. Bragg had no political sense at all, but Davis liked him. Go figure.

4/9/2007 8:27 pm (et) amhistoryguy: Bragg was forced to waste time defending himself, time which could have been put to much better use considering the position he was in.

4/9/2007 8:28 pm (et) Widow: What I meant, Basecat, is that Davis' phrase extended only to the VA state line. As if the rest of the South was nuttin'

4/9/2007 8:29 pm (et) Basecat: I agree with you amhg, and when his army did fight, they actually fought very well...Much of this time of the war they were still poorly armed as well...Hard to imagine any commander of that army being successful, especially when dealing with how to arm and supply it.

4/9/2007 8:29 pm (et) Coy: One thing that made me think of reading the first chapter is the ground/area that the two armies covered after Shiloh. Whereas we all here about the 90 mile Richmond/Washington corridor...the AOT and AotC covered alot of ground from Shiloh to Chattanooga to Louisville/Perryville to Murfreesboro....no wonder they had so many missing and short supplied

4/9/2007 8:30 pm (et) Widow: AHG, Bragg wasn't very good at considering his military position even when he had the time.

4/9/2007 8:30 pm (et) amhistoryguy: Then toss in subordinates working against you - tough to keep your head above water for sure.

4/9/2007 8:30 pm (et) Basecat: Widow, which was a huge mistake. His number 1 mistake IMHO. He should have let Lee deal with the war in the East, and put more of his energy on the war in the west. Thankfully, I am glad he did not...as I would need a passport to visit Tennessee in June.:)

4/9/2007 8:30 pm (et) SteveCone: Bragg had his admirers. Arther M Manigault liked him

4/9/2007 8:31 pm (et) Widow: Steve, Manigault isn't one of your most famous generals, however.

4/9/2007 8:31 pm (et) SteveCone: true

4/9/2007 8:32 pm (et) Widow: What do you think, folks? Was Bragg's reason to withdraw from KY valid? That it would be a useless waste?

4/9/2007 8:32 pm (et) Basecat: I found it interesting that the stuff came out about the meetings Polk and Smith had with Davis, and yet there is no details about what Davis and Bragg talked about. That's a major problem .

4/9/2007 8:33 pm (et) amhistoryguy: I think Bragg SOMETMES gets a bum rap. He suffered from the lack of coordination and cooperation that was a problem throughout the Confederacy.

4/9/2007 8:34 pm (et) Basecat: amhg...Add to that his won/loss record...lose as much as he did, no one had confidence in him that he would eventually succeed.

4/9/2007 8:34 pm (et) mobile_96: I thought he withdrew because he found out he had only fought a portion of Buell's army and figured getting away was smarter than continuing the fight

4/9/2007 8:35 pm (et) amhistoryguy: His own confidence had to have taken a hit.

4/9/2007 8:35 pm (et) Widow: Davis had confidence.

4/9/2007 8:35 pm (et) Basecat: Widow, as for pulling out of Kentucky...the way they entered Kentucky was a problem. they did not really work well together. No cohesion. And when Kentuckians failed to join up, I think he made the right decision to get out of Dodge.

4/9/2007 8:35 pm (et) SteveCone: He does AMHG kinda like JB Hood

4/9/2007 8:36 pm (et) mobile_96: Actually, Kirby Smith was supposed to work with him going into KY, but went off on his own mission.

4/9/2007 8:36 pm (et) Widow: Basecat, the generals were all so fiercely jealous, analogous, in a way, to the larger states' rights debate.

4/9/2007 8:36 pm (et) Basecat: Coy makes an excellent point as well...and for those who attend muster will see it first hand...The territory those armies had to march thru. Virginia was a piece of cake compared to what they went through out west.

4/9/2007 8:37 pm (et) mobile_96: But agree, still had huge problems working with the ones immediately under him.

4/9/2007 8:37 pm (et) Basecat: Mobile...True, but Bragg did not exactly try to work with him either...IIRC, only when he felt he needed him.

4/9/2007 8:37 pm (et) Widow: By the way, about General Edmund Kirby Smith. Is Kirby his middle name? Or do you alphabetize him under "K"?

4/9/2007 8:38 pm (et) Basecat: Widow...Rarely have ever seen him called Edmund...It was always Kirby.

4/9/2007 8:39 pm (et) mobile_96: Base, I understand that, but the 2 had worked out a plan, which K. Smith instantly ignored as soon as he headed back to his own troops.

4/9/2007 8:39 pm (et) Widow: OK, like James PETER Longstreet and Edward PORTER Alexander and JLC.

4/9/2007 8:40 pm (et) Basecat: Mobile...True...Smith was the worst of the two on the Kentucky plan.

4/9/2007 8:40 pm (et) Basecat: Widow..Much the same.

4/9/2007 8:41 pm (et) Coy: mobile....that is the way I understand it and never understood why? Did once he get back into camp was he advised by staff not to cooperate? Was it jealousy?


4/9/2007 8:41 pm (et) mobile_96: But I also think Bragg showed bad judgment on visiting to view the attempt at setting up a Confederate government, instead of staying with his troops .

4/9/2007 8:42 pm (et) Basecat: Mobile...That's the thing that I found screwy. Win the battle, and then worry about that political crap.

4/9/2007 8:43 pm (et) Basecat: Leave that stuff to the Politcos...Just makes no sense, especially when you are far away from your home base.

4/9/2007 8:43 pm (et) SteveCone: Well like most wars Political crap gets in the way instead of doing what needs to be done

4/9/2007 8:43 pm (et) Widow: I'm still not sure I understand why Bragg chose Murfreesboro as his place to defend Middle Tennessee. Cozzens explains why it was such bad ground.

4/9/2007 8:43 pm (et) mobile_96: Good question Coy, not sure, but wasn't there was bad blood between them already, and Kirby only visited Bragg to convence him to make the Ky trip, and to show Davis he was "Working" with Bragg??

4/9/2007 8:43 pm (et) Widow: Was it because the railroad ran through Murfreesboro?

4/9/2007 8:44 pm (et) Basecat: Coy...Command structure has a lot to deal with...and yet another problem out there. IIRC, Bragg and Smith were in charge of separate departments.

4/9/2007 8:44 pm (et) amhistoryguy: Some really big egos in play - Kirby Smith and Bragg

4/9/2007 8:44 pm (et) mobile_96: Base, so many of the Generals were Political to start with, don't think they could keep their fingers out of politics

4/9/2007 8:44 pm (et) Basecat: Mobile...I agree...and that's why the damn war went on as long as it did. :)

4/9/2007 8:45 pm (et) Coy: yes, but Smith said he was willing to be subordinate to Bragg if he joined in the campaign and then as Bragg starts Smith backs out.....

4/9/2007 8:45 pm (et) Widow: Ya know, AHG, I have the impression that Bragg wasn't really an egotist. He played the political game so poorly, to ask his subordinates what they thought of him, for Pete's sake! That's a man with no self-confidence.

4/9/2007 8:45 pm (et) Basecat: Same RR ran through Nashville Widow...He never should have given up that place without a fight, but that's what he did.

4/9/2007 8:45 pm (et) SteveCone: Murfreesboro is the center of Tennessee.. and was the bread basket of the state at the time or at least they thought it was.

4/9/2007 8:46 pm (et) Coy: Or I should say Smith does not give all that he could anyway.

4/9/2007 8:46 pm (et) mobile_96: If Bragg had ever figured out how to handle the Western Troops, the Union would have had a Much bigger problem stopping that army.

4/9/2007 8:47 pm (et) Basecat: Any more thoughts on Chapter 1?? Chapter 2 deals with Rosey, and seeing as his Habs did not make the playoffs, am sure Coy is chomping at the bit to toss out some thoughts on what I feel was the most underrated Union General in the Western Theater.

4/9/2007 8:47 pm (et) mobile_96: Coy, and to add to the problem Bragg has no idea that Kirby has dropped the agreed to plan

4/9/2007 8:49 pm (et) Coy: Base....you cannot believe how tough it was on me to lose to your guys and then to the Leafs, no less.....arghhh, but that conversation is for later...LOL

4/9/2007 8:49 pm (et) Widow: The eccentricities of the commanders are almost beyond belief. How can you take orders from a man who loses his cool?

4/9/2007 8:50 pm (et) Basecat: :) Coy...Of course I know...:) But yes best saved for later.:) Your thoughts on the description of Rosecrans by Cozzens?

4/9/2007 8:50 pm (et) amhistoryguy: Many professional officers seemed not to realize that they were in command of citizen soldiers. IMO, Rosey was guilty of this as well.

4/9/2007 8:50 pm (et) Widow: Who works through the wee hours of the morning? Sleep deprivation must have played quite a role in battle of Murfreesboro.

4/9/2007 8:51 pm (et) Basecat: amhg...You make a fine point...and some hated that they had to command citizen soldiers. Stuck up about it in a way as well.

4/9/2007 8:52 pm (et) Widow: AHG, the war had been going on for about 18 months. You'd think those officers would have some clue. Cleburne sure did.

4/9/2007 8:52 pm (et) Basecat: Widow...For the most part, I wonder if any General who had a command in the Civil War ever got enough sleep. Highly doubtful.

4/9/2007 8:53 pm (et) Widow: You're right, Basecat. Cozzens' Rosecrans gives me the creeps.

4/9/2007 8:53 pm (et) Coy: I think Cozzens gives a good description of Rosecrans.

4/9/2007 8:54 pm (et) amhistoryguy: "Unique"

4/9/2007 8:54 pm (et) Coy: Don't know about giving me the creeps though....LOL

4/9/2007 8:55 pm (et) SteveCone: Sleep deprivation played a a roll on many occasions.

4/9/2007 8:55 pm (et) amhistoryguy: Gets the point across without being judgmental : )

4/9/2007 8:55 pm (et) Basecat: I tend to agree with his statement that Rosecrans was the only real genius ever to command out there. He certainly changed the morale of the troops he led, and was very beloved by his soldiers. Tend to think he spent too much time talking about the Catholic Church, but he liked to debate on the topic whenever. To me he was a major upgrade to Buell, who was nothing but unspectacular.

4/9/2007 8:55 pm (et) Widow: Coy, because I wouldn't have had the least idea how to deal with such a man. Like being lost in the woods with no compass, I would feel disoriented around Rosecrans.

4/9/2007 8:56 pm (et) Coy: I think the description of may be the only true genius...interesting when I think of other eccentricities (sp) of geniuses

4/9/2007 8:56 pm (et) Widow: Rosecrans was, first, lucky, and second, a genius.

4/9/2007 8:57 pm (et) Widow: And third, eccentric / erratic.

4/9/2007 8:57 pm (et) amhistoryguy: And to the point you made earlier Basecat about lack of confidence in Bragg - Rosey's men had great confidence in Rosecrans.

4/9/2007 8:58 pm (et) Coy: as Base said, he brought organization to the army...the men loved him. He had his late night discussions after the work was done...

4/9/2007 8:58 pm (et) Widow: AHG, does "confidence" mean "I trust you not to waste my life with dumb decisions"?

4/9/2007 9:01 pm (et) amhistoryguy: Of course it is not "Stones River" but I've seen a number of letters and diaries of men at Chickamauga, who basically said, "If anyone can win the day, Rosey will." They had that same impression at Stones River.

4/9/2007 9:01 pm (et) Coy: I think so...at this stage of the war Rosy was very successful. Rich Mountain, Iuka, Corinth. The men new he was trying to get them their pay, create some organization, etc. Hold the poor officers responsible and accountable.

4/9/2007 9:02 pm (et) Coy: amhg...yes, indeed

4/9/2007 9:03 pm (et) Widow: It seems that Bragg and his army were at the other end of that pole.

4/9/2007 9:03 pm (et) Coy: I'm kinda new to the chats.....I've seen this a couple of times tonight....what does the * mean?

4/9/2007 9:03 pm (et) amhistoryguy: The men of the 11th Indiana Battery had been lugging 4.5 inch siege rifles around since muster in, even though they applied for the guns of light infantry. When Rosey took command, he got them their guns. This gave the men confidence in Rosey.

4/9/2007 9:04 pm (et) Widow: Coy, I used it to refresh my screen, with nothing to say.

4/9/2007 9:04 pm (et) SteveCone: I think he was starting to peak at the right time while Bragg just retreated from Ky.

4/9/2007 9:04 pm (et) Basecat: Sorry ..was called away for a few minutes.

4/9/2007 9:04 pm (et) Coy: oh...I see...thanks, Widow

4/9/2007 9:05 pm (et) Widow: SteveC, sorta yin and yang, maybe?

4/9/2007 9:05 pm (et) Widow: One's up, the other's down.

4/9/2007 9:06 pm (et) Basecat: amhg...That's why I like Rosey...He did think of his men first, for the most part. Know he became a thorn in the side for those in DC, but he was right in what he asked for, and felt they should get was due them.

4/9/2007 9:07 pm (et) amhistoryguy: Should have been Light Artillery.

4/9/2007 9:07 pm (et) SteveCone: Well i just think Brag wasn't able to prove himself before folks were on him

4/9/2007 9:07 pm (et) Basecat: There's definitely no Light Infantry in today's reenactors, but that too is for another day..:)

4/9/2007 9:08 pm (et) Widow: Basecat :=))

4/9/2007 9:09 pm (et) Widow: SteveC, Davis gave Bragg plenty of chances to prove himself.

4/9/2007 9:10 pm (et) Basecat: One of the things that Cozzens aptly describes of Rosey...in terms of his thinking he mostly was concerned about his theater of operations, and that would be a continuing problem as the days go by.

4/9/2007 9:10 pm (et) Coy: Rosy arrived in Bowling Green on October 30...by mid-November Washington was screaming for him to move....wow.

4/9/2007 9:11 pm (et) SteveCone: Technically his plan won the day Dec 31st like wise the same thing at Chickamauga.

4/9/2007 9:11 pm (et) Widow: Coy, Washington was worried, and that was BEFORE Fredericksburg.

4/9/2007 9:12 pm (et) Basecat: Coy..and we all know how that worked out for Burnisde at about the same time...I don't blame him for moving right away.it made no sense to do so. IMHO.

4/9/2007 9:12 pm (et) amhistoryguy: Sometimes I think that Washington was a bit fearful of having any one general become too successful, for fear of feeding political aspirations.

4/9/2007 9:12 pm (et) Basecat: Anymore thoughts on Chapter 2?

4/9/2007 9:12 pm (et) Widow: Basecat, Rosecrans had a large jurisdiction, and a lot of work to do. What's wrong with keeping your eye on your job instead of looking at stuff that's not your business?

4/9/2007 9:12 pm (et) SteveCone: Washington knew that they needed a victory and soon .

4/9/2007 9:13 pm (et) Widow: Base, I'm disagreeing with Cozzens, not with you.

4/9/2007 9:14 pm (et) Basecat: Widow...Nothing, but that said you must also cooperate with other movements and that was not the case. For what it is worth, when Grant took charge, he made sure all armies made a move at the same time. That's what eventually won the war as the Confederacy just could not cope with that combined pressure.

4/9/2007 9:14 pm (et) Coy: Absolutely right, a victory was needed...but the AotT and the AoP were always close to the supply lines....AotC had to move inland..farther and farther away from the supply lines...which took a lot more cavalry, men, etc,,,

4/9/2007 9:15 pm (et) Coy: I'm biased though...:)

4/9/2007 9:16 pm (et) amhistoryguy: I think Rosecrans deserves credit for recognizing what was to be gained vs. what was to be lost.

4/9/2007 9:16 pm (et) Widow: Coy, the AoT's supply lines were kinda rickety, and didn't have many supplies to deliver. Nashville was real handy for the A of Cumb.

4/9/2007 9:17 pm (et) Basecat: amhg..Plus those in DC can easily say move fast, but had no clue about the scenario taking place out there...and then when they did send someone...it was as a spy for the Secretary of War. But I am getting ahead of the war at this time.:)

4/9/2007 9:18 pm (et) Widow: Basecat, Lincoln wanted that from the beginning, but not even Grant saw it at first - maybe none of them believed such a strategy was necessary for the "short" war.

4/9/2007 9:18 pm (et) Coy: Widow, Nashville was the AotC second base of supplies....all supplies originated from Louisville to advance that far...Grant's AotT had the Miss. R. behind them always and AoP was never far from anything....

4/9/2007 9:18 pm (et) SteveCone: A little tid bit not really in the book is that Crittenden Left wing was camped within 3 miles of where I live. now. In the the 2nd div / 2nd Brigade was Hazen Brigade I had a distant relative in the unit. that was in early Nov. on Nov 9th there was skirmish here with some of J.H. Morgan men

4/9/2007 9:19 pm (et) Basecat: Widow...Very true...but it was a new and radical idea, and not something that was taught at West Point. Plus change was a dirty word to those in charge of armies, IMHO.

4/9/2007 9:19 pm (et) Widow: SteveC, cool!

4/9/2007 9:19 pm (et) amhistoryguy: The supply situation at Nashville was such that the AoC still had to send out troops to forage. Many supplies sent from Louisville to Nashville never arrived.

4/9/2007 9:20 pm (et) Coy: Steve...yes, indeed,, very cool

4/9/2007 9:21 pm (et) SteveCone: Also relatives on the Confederate side in the 22nd & 28th Alabama.. I don't recall the date but the 22nd Followed a wagon train to Lebanon to get wheat for the army.

4/9/2007 9:21 pm (et) amhistoryguy: very very cool !

4/9/2007 9:22 pm (et) Widow: Can't find the page, but Cozzens talks about positions "behind" Stones River and "in front of " Stones River. How can you be behind a river?

4/9/2007 9:22 pm (et) Widow: Across a river, or west of the river, or on the left bank, but "behind"?

4/9/2007 9:23 pm (et) Basecat: Widow...Very easy and you will see why when we visit there. Stones River meanders all over the place down there. Much easier to explain when you see the ground.

4/9/2007 9:23 pm (et) amhistoryguy: Men from the 22nd Alabama engaged my 11th Indiana Boys at Chickamauga - Steve, Did your grandpa shoot my grandpa ? : )

4/9/2007 9:24 pm (et) Widow: Basecat, OK, I'll ask again when we're there.

4/9/2007 9:24 pm (et) SteveCone: On pg 9 there is a map of the River widow as you can see its like a snake.

4/9/2007 9:25 pm (et) Widow: SteveC and SteveB - yes, it's almost the Snake River. I just am baffled by "behind" as a way to describe a position.

4/9/2007 9:25 pm (et) Basecat: Widow...It's a good question, but it needs to be seen to understand the troop dispositions...It's a wacky battle in terms of where they were posted on both sides.

4/9/2007 9:26 pm (et) Basecat: Thoughts or questions on Chapter 3??

4/9/2007 9:26 pm (et) Widow: The river was so shallow they could just walk across. Not a good place to anchor a line, even if the banks are steep.

4/9/2007 9:26 pm (et) SteveCone: AHG Might have.. I had one captured and wounded there .. one buried in the Stones river national cemetery from the 69th Ohio died in may not sure if it was from wounds or not though.

4/9/2007 9:27 pm (et) SteveCone: Widow it varies some parts are shallow other parts not

4/9/2007 9:27 pm (et) Basecat: Widow...Not in those temps...Last thing I would want is to have to wade a river in late Fall and Early Winter...but that's what they did.

4/9/2007 9:28 pm (et) Coy: I am curious about Stevenson's division....had they ever actually joined Bragg's Army?

4/9/2007 9:28 pm (et) Widow: It was wet and cold, that's bad enough for me.

4/9/2007 9:28 pm (et) SteveCone: Especially on Dec 2.

4/9/2007 9:28 pm (et) amhistoryguy: GGGrandpa didn't hold a grudge. Carried that ball for many years though.

4/9/2007 9:29 pm (et) SteveCone: Stevenson's Division was with Bragg until Davis sent them to Vicksburg.

4/9/2007 9:29 pm (et) SteveCone: God Bless him glad he lived a long life afterwards

4/9/2007 9:31 pm (et) SteveCone: I think if they left it up to the men with out the political crap and the newspapers the men in the ranks would been done with fighting in very short time.

4/9/2007 9:31 pm (et) Coy: they were assigned to Bragg's Army...but were they ever really a part of the army?

4/9/2007 9:32 pm (et) Basecat: Just to add to Steve's post, they were sent to Vicksburg at the worst possible time...and a major mistake IMHO. But then again you must relize that's how thin the forces were out there.. Plus you have to remember that Sherman and Grant were advancing on Vicksburg at the same time. Rock in a hard place is the best way to describe it.

4/9/2007 9:32 pm (et) SteveCone: I think so but don't quote me.

4/9/2007 9:32 pm (et) Basecat: Coy...Not for a long time...but yes they were a part of Bragg's army, and then got shipped to Vicksburg. Short stay IIRC.

4/9/2007 9:32 pm (et) amhistoryguy: Davis seems to have taken his "commander in chief " roll very seriously. Lots of decision making without the consult of those "on the ground."

4/9/2007 9:33 pm (et) Coy: yea...7500 men could have been put to good use....if Bragg would've used them correctly.

4/9/2007 9:34 pm (et) Basecat: amhg..and will add, he did not utilize his manpower at all correctly...Many were on duty at coastal sites, and taking them outta there would have caused an uproar as well. No win situation IMHO.

4/9/2007 9:35 pm (et) Widow: Of course nobody knew how things were going to go. Take an outfit here, send it there. You do it because it looks more promising than the status quo.

4/9/2007 9:35 pm (et) amhistoryguy: Plus Davis had state governments to keep happy.

4/9/2007 9:36 pm (et) SteveCone: Davis tended to interfere with things when he didn't need to.. course they thought they would be going into winter quaters.. Perhaps Rosey got wind that that those troops left and that's why he decided to move.

4/9/2007 9:36 pm (et) Coy: True....didn't they think everyone was going into winter quarters?

4/9/2007 9:36 pm (et) mobile_96: Which was a almost impossible task.

4/9/2007 9:36 pm (et) Basecat: Widow...All good and true, but some of those units that were guarding specific areas did just that...sit and do nothing.. A Major flaw in how to effectively use the manpower in the Confederacy. Union could do what they wished, as they had a lot more to draw from the pool.

4/9/2007 9:38 pm (et) Widow: Basecat, I disagree with your first sentence. One of the purpose of posted guards is to discourage the prowlers or raiders or attackers. So if there was no attack, does that mean the guards were useless?

4/9/2007 9:39 pm (et) SteveCone: A wonderful addition to the book is Eyewitness accounts at the battle of Stones River.. Quotes from diaries and letters.

4/9/2007 9:41 pm (et) Widow: SteveC, absolutely. They bring it to life in a way that no historian can.

4/9/2007 9:41 pm (et) Basecat: Widow...Good point, and there lies another problem...setting up Home Guard units to take care of that sort of thing, and they tended to be worse than the thieves, raiders or prowlers. That said, just a bad job of it, and those on the home front should have taken care of their own neighborhoods instead of costing the Confederacy many soldiers who should have been fighting battles instead of doing police work, IMHO.

4/9/2007 9:42 pm (et) SteveCone: I have them For Shiloh, Stones River, Franklin and Nashville.. some will make you cry other make you laugh

4/9/2007 9:42 pm (et) Widow: Oh, Basecat, I thought you were talking about SOLDIERS at military posts, not home guards terrorizing their citizens.

4/9/2007 9:43 pm (et) Widow: I saw Cold Mountain :=))

4/9/2007 9:43 pm (et) Basecat: Widow...I was...That's my point...that's what those Soldiers were doing...

4/9/2007 9:43 pm (et) Coy: I have the Stones River one....need to go through it again.

4/9/2007 9:44 pm (et) Babs: SteveC, You have letters from your family or others?

4/9/2007 9:44 pm (et) SteveCone: Well all home guards weren't like that one most were young boys and old men.

4/9/2007 9:44 pm (et) Widow: Basecat, political pull and social status had a lot to do with who was guarding what where.

4/9/2007 9:45 pm (et) SteveCone: No I don't Babs Sure wish I did though.

4/9/2007 9:45 pm (et) Babs: Steve, would be treasures for sure.

4/9/2007 9:45 pm (et) Basecat: Steve...You are correct, and I should not use the word all when talking about them all being bad apples... My point being that it just wasted Confederate manpower at the worst times...and this time of the war was one of the worst.

4/9/2007 9:45 pm (et) Widow: Basecat, I have to leave soon. What's the reading assignment for next week, please?

4/9/2007 9:46 pm (et) Basecat: Next 3 Chapters Widow. 4, 5, and 6. My apologies to all once again for being late. Something came up here late this afternoon and had to be dealt with.

4/9/2007 9:47 pm (et) SteveCone: Coy I read mine usually around the ANV of the battles as I remember those that fought there.. Some of saddest stories I have ever read come from them.

4/9/2007 9:47 pm (et) Coy: Grant knew that...that is why he disbanded all those guarding Washington in 1864...use them to win the war...

4/9/2007 9:47 pm (et) SteveCone: Oh I agree Steve.

4/9/2007 9:47 pm (et) Basecat: Coy...Which is an excellent point...and one of his better decisions.

4/9/2007 9:47 pm (et) Widow: OK, thanks, everybody. This is always the highlight of my week.

4/9/2007 9:48 pm (et) mobile_96: Is that a series of books??

4/9/2007 9:48 pm (et) Coy: Steve...I had two gggrandfather's that fought at Stones River....81st Indiana and 79th Illinois

4/9/2007 9:48 pm (et) Widow: Talk to you next Sunday evening at 8 PM, and most likely in between also.

4/9/2007 9:48 pm (et) amhistoryguy: In September I'll tell you a version of my G'pa vs. your G'pa at Chickamauga Steve.

4/9/2007 9:48 pm (et) Widow: logs off.

4/9/2007 9:49 pm (et) Coy: see ya Widow

4/9/2007 9:49 pm (et) Basecat: Night Widow...Take care and thanks for your input into the discussion.

4/9/2007 9:49 pm (et) SteveCone: You can senD it to me any time.

4/9/2007 9:49 pm (et) Babs: I need to depart as well. Good night.

4/9/2007 9:49 pm (et) Basecat: Mobile..Tend to think they are talikng about the Voices of the CW Series that Time Life put out a few years ago.

4/9/2007 9:49 pm (et) SteveCone: G'night

4/9/2007 9:49 pm (et) amhistoryguy: Night Babs

4/9/2007 9:49 pm (et) Basecat: Night Babs. Take Care.

4/9/2007 9:50 pm (et) Babs: logs off.

4/9/2007 9:50 pm (et) Coy: g'night Babs...good seeing ya' remember that Lightning Brigade...:)

4/9/2007 9:50 pm (et) mobile_96: Night Babs.

4/9/2007 9:50 pm (et) mobile_96: Thanks Base.

4/9/2007 9:50 pm (et) Basecat: Just a reminder, we will be back to Sunday evenings on April 15th at 8 PM EDT.

4/9/2007 9:51 pm (et) Basecat: Mobile...As per usual, I have the set here, but have I read them yet?? Well you know the answer..;)

4/9/2007 9:51 pm (et) SteveCone: Mobil its Eyewitness at the Battle of Stones River by David R. Logsdon

4/9/2007 9:52 pm (et) mobile_96: Don't think I have any of them

4/9/2007 9:52 pm (et) mobile_96: Thanks Steve will try to find a copy.

4/9/2007 9:52 pm (et) amhistoryguy: Baumgartner & Strayer did nice books of recollections for Chickamauga / Chattanooga, also Kennesaw and Atlanta.

4/9/2007 9:53 pm (et) Basecat: Steve..Are these older books?? Had no idea that they were out and about.

4/9/2007 9:53 pm (et) SteveCone: He's done one on Fort Donelson, Shiloh, Franklin And Nashville.

4/9/2007 9:54 pm (et) SteveCone: Last several years I would say.

4/9/2007 9:54 pm (et) Basecat: Know we have yet to delve into the actual battle of Stones River, but it is a highly important one in terms of Northern morale, especially after the debacle of Fredericksburg earlier that month. Vastly underrated in terms of importance during the Civil War.

4/9/2007 9:55 pm (et) Coy: I received mine a couple of years ago through the Friends of Stones River.

4/9/2007 9:55 pm (et) mobile_96: They have a website?

4/9/2007 9:55 pm (et) Basecat: Thanks Steve...Not familiar with them, but will see if I can track them down. Then again, like I need more books.;)

4/9/2007 9:55 pm (et) Coy: Yes.....

4/9/2007 9:55 pm (et) SteveCone: yes you can get them at the park, Carter House in Franklin carry them as well .. I have seen them on Ebay as well

4/9/2007 9:56 pm (et) mobile_96: Same here Base, very tight for space now

4/9/2007 9:56 pm (et) Coy: But I don't think they are selling books through it...brb

4/9/2007 9:56 pm (et) mobile_96: I'll check Amazon or Abe

4/9/2007 9:56 pm (et) amhistoryguy: You'll need a trailer hitch for your return trip from muster Basecat : )

4/9/2007 9:56 pm (et) SteveCone: Theses are small 150 pages but worth every penny if you want to feel what the men in the ranks feel.

4/9/2007 9:56 pm (et) Basecat: LOL..amhg..Why do you think I am driving this year? ;)

4/9/2007 9:57 pm (et) mobile_96: Buy early and sent thru parcel post.

4/9/2007 9:57 pm (et) Coy: www.friendsofstonesriver.org

4/9/2007 10:00 pm (et) SteveCone: You can do a quick search and find it I'm sure.

4/9/2007 10:00 pm (et) mobile_96: Already there.

4/9/2007 10:01 pm (et) SteveCone: One of the stories in the Stones River one has a union soldier that is looking over a dead Confederate and a officer thinks he going through the body.. and the union soldier tells the officer it "not what you think Sir .. this here is my brother"

4/9/2007 10:02 pm (et) mobile_96: No, don't see any Store on the site.

4/9/2007 10:02 pm (et) SteveCone: Brothers were from KY one joined the union the other the Confederacy.

4/9/2007 10:04 pm (et) amhistoryguy: Great chat tonight, thanks everyone, got to go get some sleep.

4/9/2007 10:04 pm (et) Basecat: Night amhg. Thanks and Take Care.

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