10 June 2007 by Published in: Civil War books and authors 2 comments

Dimitri Rotov has weighed in on the Gallagher issue on his blog. In an extremely well-written and insightful post, Dimitri does an excellent job of explaining why Professor Gallagher is just plain wrong. I will let Dimitri’s post stand as the last word on this particular subject, as there’s really nothing else to say. Thanks, Dimitri.

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Comments

  1. Valerie Protopapas
    Mon 11th Jun 2007 at 9:08 am

    Nothing else to say? Forgive me, General, but isn’t it that particular attitude as posited by Mr. Gallagher that has caused you angst in the first place? Surely, it is not the ORDER of the comments that cause the problem, but their CONTENT.

    I would, however, after reading Mr. Rotov’s fine pronouncement make one little addendum to the issue. It may have been covered, but the matter got a tad to ‘technical’ for me to follow as I have no interest in this particular sub-topic of the general subject. If it has already been commented upon, I ask pardon of whomever reads this comment.

    In the film ‘The Four Feathers’, a British soldier is given four white feathers (denoting cowardice) when he leaves his regiment which is going off to fight against the Mahdi or some other native uprising. In any event, he has become an agent working amongst their foes and only at the end do his four friends (including his former sweetheart) learn of his courage. All take back their feathers but the girl who demands that he show her an especial example of his courage. At a dinner party one evening, her father – a former General of the Armies – begins yet another recounting of a famous charge that he led against the foe which resulted in victory. The young man interrupts the narrative early on and asks if the General if he were not mounted upon a fine stallion sold to him by the young man’s father who, fine horseman that he was, he could not control. The General admits same. The young man then points out that rather than leading the charge by stating, ‘The (whatever regiment) shall move forward!’, in fact, the General’s mount got his bit between his teeth and ran away with his rider. Seeing their leader going forward, the regiment followed and history was made. The General, seeing the matter properly recounted is abashed and more than a little annoyed. ‘Dash it!’ he states, ‘I can never tell that story again!’

    It would seem to me that a good deal of warfare is much the same – accident leading to consequence – rather than everything being the result of tactical planning or missed, misunderstood and/or ignored tactical planning. Stonewall Jackson was shot by his own men as was James Longstreet. Who planned that? Not the Confederates surely, nor yet the Union. Therefore, I do not understand how one – even knowing everything that there is to know about strategies, plans, orders, etc. can be sure that these were the only or even the DEFINING causes of the ultimate result.

    Let us remember good King Richard at Bosworth – for the want of a nail, a kingdom was lost.

  2. Mon 11th Jun 2007 at 9:37 am

    Valerie,

    What we’re trying to say is that Gallagher’s comments have gotten about as much time as they deserve. And that we’re moving forward. Eric and I may write a letter to CWT editor Chris Lewis (as is appears others may as well) but beyond that, we feel we’ve invested as much time in the topic as we can.

    Dimitri’s post has exposed Gallagher and his attitudes based on his past commentary, better than anyone else, and we feel they’re isn’t a whole lot more to say that won’t reflect simply piling on.

    J.D.

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