25 September 2011 by Published in: Blogging 8 comments

I had hoped to post this yesterday, but Susan and I had a wedding to attend, and that prohibited me from doing much of anything that wasn’t associated with that wedding. Consequently, I didn’t get this posted yesterday.

Yesterday was the 150th anniversary of J.E.B. Stuart’s promotion to brigadier general, thereby beginning the career of “the greatest cavalryman ever foaled on the North American continent.”

Yesterday was also the sixth anniversary of the first post on this blog. These six years have been great fun, and I have so enjoyed my interactions with all of you that this blog has become a significant factor in my life. I thank each and every one of you for that, and I know that I would miss our interactions if they were no long part of my routine. I never planned or expected that this blog would much more than a chance for me to share a few random thoughts, and I surely never expected it to still be around six years and 1,200 posts later.

I thank all of you–and all of the sponsors of this blog–for your support and friendship over the years. There will be more to come…..

Scridb filter


  1. Chris Evans
    Sun 25th Sep 2011 at 8:35 pm

    One of my favorite Civil War Blogs to visit. I always enjoy reading it. Looking forward to more.


  2. dan
    Mon 26th Sep 2011 at 10:46 am


    Congrats on your blog anniversary.

    Nathan Bedford Forrest was the greatest cavalry commander of the War (with all due respect of course to JEB Stuart).

    RE Lee thought Forrest was the greatest general of the war. I’ll stand by Lee’s assessment.

    Best Regards,

  3. Ralph Hitchens
    Thu 29th Sep 2011 at 8:59 am

    Hard to choose between Forrest and Stuart. JEB failed badly (as you document) in the most important campaign ever undertaken by the Army of Northern Virginia. Forrest, if in many ways a despicable human being, was a resourceful and courageous cavalry leader who (IIRC) was successful against longer odds than Stuart ever faced.

  4. dan
    Thu 29th Sep 2011 at 11:10 am

    Your assertion that Forrest was a “despicable human being” is an opinion of his character rather than of his performance. Do you also consider Sheridan, Sherman, and Butler despicable humans?

  5. Ralph Hitchens
    Fri 30th Sep 2011 at 8:32 am


    No to all three, on the whole. None were responsible for anything quite like Fort Pillow, not to mention a postwar career (albeit fairly brief) in racial terrorism.

    I read your deconstruction of Phil Sheridan and while acknowledging that “Little Phil” was a self-promoting blowhard, how does that make him all that much different from many other 19th century military figures? (Or some 20th century generals as well?) I certainly believe he was miscast as commander of the Cavalry Corps; Grant should have given him command of an infantry corps in the Army of the Potomac. & no one can disagree that he had an overwhelming numerical advantage in the Valley campaign. Still, he was combative and energetic in a war in which too many of his contemporaries were not, and the fact that Grant (and others) held him in fairly high regard ought to count for something. _Little Phil_ was a thought-provoking book, but speaking frankly it did not come across (to me) as even-handed history — not in the same class as _Plenty of Blame_, to which (on Amazon) I gave a very enthusiastic 5-star review.

    Butler’s military record needs no further condemnation, but his character — if his reconstruction role is any guide — was certainly far from despicable.

    Best regards,

  6. Dan
    Fri 30th Sep 2011 at 11:26 am


    Your defense of Sheridan and your criticism of Forrest as a racial “terrorist” seems to me to be entirely unsupportable.

    You compliment Sheridan for being “energetic and combative” as if such things are particularly meritorious rather than being simply basic expecations, which they were. I think we can agree at aleast that few were more “energetic and combative” than Forrest.

    But your support of Sheridan as non-despicable falls apart when one recalls his despicable post-war comment (and related actions) “The only good Indian is a dead Indian.” That sure sounds like “racism” and barbarism to me. Yet you excoriate Forrest as a “racial terrorist” and give a pass to Sheridan. Indeed, how does one explain the black men who were pall bearers at Forrest’s funeral and the many hundreds of black attendees at the same event? Had they forgotten that Forrest was a “racial terrorist?”

    Seems like there’s a bit of cognitive dissonance at work in your comments- but then again, this is the very age of cognitive dissonance.

    Best Regards,

  7. Dennis
    Sun 02nd Oct 2011 at 5:39 am

    Congratulations Eric! Hope you’re recovered from the wedding reception!


  8. Ralph Hitchens
    Mon 03rd Oct 2011 at 3:48 pm

    Dan, I will defer on Forrest, as you are hardly his only defender & taking your point about the negroes who carried his casket. Re. Sheridan, however, you may think that being energetic & combative was a basic expectation, but my lifelong reading about the Civil War suggests to me that many federal generals failed to meet that expectation.

Comments are closed.

Copyright © Eric Wittenberg 2011, All Rights Reserved
Powered by WordPress