Army Combat Effectiveness Jan 30, 2013 18:28:25 GMT -5
Post by tunkasila on Jan 30, 2013 18:28:25 GMT -5
"Instead of the litany of presumptive shortcomings that apologists use to explain questionable conduct at Powder River, Rosebud Creek, and especially Little Big Horn, quite a different army emerges from contemporary sources. This army was very well led and equipped, of sound composition, and with an orthodoxy, albeit unwritten, quite well suited to the mission at hand. Certainly this army of 1876 was not fighting a conventional war and was not the American Army of Empire, a notion virtually unfathomable at the time. But this was an army appropriate for the American West in 1876. While it did lose at Powder River and Little Big Horn, it did not lose the Great Sioux War."
A MUCH better historian than Robert Utley.
"In the main, the line regiments of the American Army of 1876 were in fact rather capably led by a cadre of well-educated and well-seasoned officers, as plainly evidenced in the record."
"Sixty-one percent of all Sioux War officers were Civil War veterans, including every general and field-grade officer engaged."
"Beyond Civil War experience, more than thirty-seven percent of the officers engaged in the Great Sioux War were already veterans of some prior Indian campaign in the West, including over forty-four percent of participating general and field-grade officers."
"Training occurred when recruits reached their final assignments, usually under the careful tutelage of company sergeants, who were all proven, skilled leaders. The persistent impression that an inordinate number of untrained recruits filled the ranks of the army of 1876 does not stand inspection."
"Of 577 enlisted men present for duty on the eve of the regiment's fateful campaign, only 11 troopers had been in the army for less than four months (1.9 percent), a length of time acknowledged as probably inadequate for any meaningful exposure to horsemanship, weaponry, and the art of war. Another 101 of those 577 men had been in the army from four months to one year (17.5 percent)...353 had experiences extending beyond three years (61.2 percent). If the Seventh Cavalry reflected the army of 1876 as a whole, the notion of a substantial body of steady, capable soldiers led by veteran noncommissioned officers gains deserved credence."
"These corporals and sergeants formed the unit's backbone. They were typically older, steady, and thoroughly experienced soldiers, often Civil War veterans, and as a group invariably reflected their company's and regiment's reputation and esprit de corps and instilled it in the ranks."
I'll need to dig my copy out of the "to be read" pile to ensure that you haven't taken some things out of context but on the whole I agree with Hedren that the regular army of that period was not as bad as many would say and not as superior as others will say.
Would Clair do such a thing? You sir are the voice of reason in a mad world.