Thursday, November 26, 2009

Missionary Ridge

Though it occurred yesterday in 1863, I cannot help but comment on it.

At the Battle of Missionary Ridge, Grant ordered the Army of the Cumberland to take the Confederate rifle positions at the bottom of the valley and then wait for additional orders. The troops assaulted those pits and took them. Facing enemy fire from the top of the ridge, Union officers and the soldiers themselves disobeyed Grant's orders and attacked the Confederate positions at the top of the ridge. They took those positions, sending Braxton Bragg's Army of the Tennessee into retreat.

Like many successes, this one laid the seed of trouble down the road. Among the officers who disobeyed Grant's orders was Lieutenant Arthur MacArthur. For his part in the successful assault, MacArthur received the Medal of Honor. He later fathered Douglas MacArthur. One lesson Arthur imparted to Douglas was the occasional need for a military man to disobey orders to achieve his objective. The younger MacArthur would follow this lesson as commander of UN forces in Korea, leading to his climactic confrontation with President Truman.
Sent from my Verizon Wireless BlackBerry

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