Lincoln’s Impact on Military Operations
This Weekend's Reading: "Grant" and "Lincoln and His Generals"
In class, we’ve been discussing how the decisions of the two commanders-in-chief during the American Civil War impacted events at the operational level. Modern scholars have challenged the notion that Lincoln simply stayed involved in military details until he found the right general (Grant).
Informal Leadership and Civil War Command
I’m reading this weekend for class, Lincoln and His Generals by T. Harry Williams. For pleasure, I’m reading Grant by Jean Edward Smith, this on my Kindle.
Technology in U.S Military History Series Posts
I’m reading the second half of Archer Jones’ Civil War Command and Strategy: The Process of Victory And Defeat this weekend. He makes an interesting point about the power of informal leadership over formal leadership positing that people find informal leaders just as they create informal organizations. He suggests that George McClellan provides one of […]
Stewards of Civil War Railroads – Part III
I was quite flattered to discover that my series on Technology in U.S. Military History was listed as “Recommended Reading” on a graduate course in Military Leadership at the University of Oklahoma. To make it easier for those posts to be accessed, I’ve moved them to the “Popular Series” section pages. That can be accessed […]
Stewards of Civil War Railroads – Part II Davis
This post completes the series, Stewards of Civil War Railroads. Read Part I here and Part II here. Above: Group of the Construction Corps U.S. Mil. R. Rds., with working tools, etc., Chattanooga, Tennessee Courtesy of Library of Congress: LC-USZ62-62364 Millett and Maslowski posit that President Abraham Lincoln did not have Jefferson Davis’ sensitivity about […]
Jomini on the Nature of War – Part VII – Jomini's Impact on Civil War Leadership
This post continues from Part I, here. Jefferson Davis (above) and the Confederate Congress, by contrast, were reluctant to wrestle control of the railroads away from civilian owners. This was consistent with a laissez faire pattern exhibited by Davis on a number of issues involving civilian commercial interests and may have been a response to […]
On the Temperment of Military Leaders – I
This post continues the series of “Jomini on the Nature of War.” Part I: Introduction is available here, Part II: The Burgeoning Military Theorist here, Part III: The Founder of Modern Strategy here, Part IV: The Basics here, Part V: Lines of Operation here, and Part VI – The Conduct of War here. Returning to Baron […]
The review of Jomini’s theories on the art of war brought back some thoughts about the purpose of military philosophy itself and a debate we had in class over whether the conduct of war – in all of its complexity – should be reduced to principles, systems, models, tactics, etc. I suggested that war has both quantifiable and unquantifiable aspects. Arguably, it […]