Informal Leadership and Civil War Command

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 […]

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Technology in U.S Military History Series Posts

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 […]

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Stewards of Civil War Railroads – Part III

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 […]

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Stewards of Civil War Railroads – Part II Davis

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 […]

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Jomini on the Nature of War – Part VII – Jomini's Impact on Civil War Leadership

  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 […]

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On the Temperment of Military Leaders – I

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 […]

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