Post by stevenonhudson on Jan 3, 2011 14:42:22 GMT -5
No, not necessarily my opinion but this description appears in big, bold, blue letters on the cover, along with the classic May, 1865 photograph of a seated GAC in full regalia, of the just arrived February 2011 issue of Civil War Times. The lead article is actually entitled 'Judging George Custer' by Stephen Budiansky. And while I don't want to spoil the 'ending', let's just say that I believe it will make Clair one 'Happy Hussar' and 'Benteen' Dan possibly wanna locate the nearest shredder...
LOL...while I admire Custer greatly, I do NOT consider him to be the "perfect Cavalry officer."
If we could combine the best attributes of Custer and John Buford together, THEN maybe we would have the perfect cavalry officer.
I think George Patton may have been that man, but his combat experience is so different from the others it is hard to tell. And he still wasn't "perfect," as the press will tell you.
So America has yet to produce the "perfect" Cavalry officer. <g> There may be some European/Asian ones, but I certainly don't know enough about the details of their lives to make such a claim. But a list of contenders can be found in many books...Alexander, Seydlitz, LaSalle, Kellerman, Blucher, Kutusov, Subotai, Suluman, Tchukovsky, Platov, etc.
Most likely the best cavalry leader EVER is lost to history, and will never be recognized.
Very true, Dan, but even less philosophically, I mistrust "history." I don't think it tells us enough, and I don't trust much of what is written.
The sign of a true historian is that we can no longer just read a book and take what it says, we have to focus in on the writers of these books and try and find out if they did their work well.
There was a time when I could be considered one of those people who had a "photographic memory" of sorts and for a while that was a primary trait that made me special and then I started to read things like a historian has to read things and now my memory is shot.
One step forward can be a step backward, and I'm frequently at odds with trying to figure out the right and wrongs of these wars and what information is reliable. I can barely say anything matter of factly except the obvious of what we begin with.
Post by windolph76 on Jan 12, 2011 16:28:09 GMT -5
True, Custer may not have been the "Perfect Cavalry Officer", but there is a major factor that one has to look at when looking at his Civil War career. He produced results. The object of war is to win it and Custer did more than his part in defeating the south. True, there was numerous men that were killed under his command, but once again the results is what matter. The preservation of the Union.
Goes back to Napoleon's famous saying about what he looked for in a potential "Marshal." He said he would rather have "lucky" generals than "good" ones.
What he meant is that a man that seems to have a lot of faults, such as Murat, somehow "pulls it out" in any clinch...he "gets the job done," as you say, over and over again. And people scratch their heads and wonder how such a "wierd" person can do it.
Wild-eyed, immature, flambouyant, Hussar types are often like this. Many consider them to be "unprofessional," yet they come out and beat the "professionals," and the "odds," most of the time.
That is what Napoleon was looking for...and he led some of the greatest, and "luckiest," subordinate leaders this world has seen.
Is it by chance that one of the first appellations anyone, be they pro- or anti- Custer, puts on him is "lucky?"