Saturday, November 7, 2009

Command Changes

During the Civil War, 'tis was the season for command changes. Like a baseball team in the off-season, it was time to hire or promote new management. Since the armies were generally in winter quarters during this time of the year, the timing was appropriate.

The North and the South both made some big changes. Yesterday in 1862, Lincoln replaced McClellan with Ambrose Burnside to lead the Army of the Potomac. Today in the same year, Longstreet became a lieutenant general and head of the First Corps of the Army of Northern Virginia. Stonewall Jackson also rose in the ranks to head the Second Corps of Lee's army.

Of course, we all know the results of the change in the Union's command. Winter was the season when the civilian leadership hoped to get the commanders in the right places. Unfortunately, Lincoln felt the need to change his head coach many times. Even when he found a good general manager (Grant), it could be argued that he did not find a dynamic coach for the Army of the Potomac until Phil Sheridan. It took four winters and the beginning of the regular season for that army to reach the necessary level of leadership.
Sent from my Verizon Wireless BlackBerry

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