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Sir R. Calder of Southwick

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Sir R. Calder of Southwick last won the day on February 22 2017

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About Sir R. Calder of Southwick

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  • Birthday 08/02/1982

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  1. Was Constitution nerfed at some point?

    Precisely. While it was never identified as such, the Constitution was the period equivalent of the British battlecruiser of the early 20th Century: "It can outrun [and outsail, in our situation] what it can't out gun". The Constitution in its current NA build can do neither.
  2. Was Constitution nerfed at some point?

    It seems it was nerfed well past what you would expect from its historical status. It's so clumsy now that a good 5th rate skipper can do circles around it - and defeat it rather handily. Quite odd for a ship that never lost a battle.
  3. Favorite Commander Choices

    This will limit you to the Eastern Theater, and only one side of it, but I was extremely impressed with Stephen Sears' "Lincoln's Lieutenants: The High Command of the Army of the Potomac". It basically narrates the entire general officer corps of the AoP.
  4. Some (more in depth) questions...

    And yet the game is "done".
  5. Favorite Commander Choices

    I agree with that, and as @Buford Protege pointed out, a Reynolds who stayed alive would have had the ability, strategic sense, and authority to direct the battle and quite possibly get Howard to do a better job with the XI Corps than he historically did. (Remember that even despite Hancock having written orders from Meade to "take command" of the area, Howard protested vehemently that he was senior to Hancock and was very reluctant to agree to being superseded). There is a biography of Reynolds called "Towards Gettysburg". I read it years ago and it might be time for me to dust it off and read it again.
  6. Favorite Commander Choices

    Reynolds most definitely did have the authority to do so. The Army of the Potomac marched north to Gettysburg in two "wings" - Reynolds was in command not just of his corps, but his wing consisting of half the army. He and Meade always had a fairly close relationship, but it was Hooker who designated Reynolds wing commander before his relief; Meade simply left it in place (of course he had many other pressing matters to attend to in the two days he was in command prior to the battle as well). The I Corps might have been nearly annihilated at Gettysburg, but that is not a poor reflection on Reynolds' choice of ground, quite the opposite in fact. Howard's XI Corps broke first, that is a historical fact. The I Corps held their ground against superior numbers long enough for a good defensive position to be set up on Cemetery Hill. What if they hadn't? What if, instead of being "butchered" as you put it, they had fled? What if the corps that Hooker and Reynolds built had broken like the XI did? I surmise - and I think many others would as well - that the route would have taken them well past Cemetery Hill and the Confederates would have occupied the same position that the Federals did. Then, just as Sam Elliot's Buford predicted in Gettysburg: "Meade will deploy spread out around these hills with messages hot from Washington: 'Attack! Attack!' and once Lee is all nice and entrenched behind fat rocks on the high ground we will charge valiantly. And be butchered valiantly." John Buford, with the keen eye of a seasoned general, selected the best ground for miles to make his stand. When John Reynolds arrived, he had the authority to either ratify or reject Buford's decision. He chose to ratify, and reinforce it, for which our nation owes him an eternal debt of gratitude. He made the right decision, but he paid for that decision with his life - which was given I might add while personally placing regiments from the Iron Brigade, which further demonstrates his commitment to duty and how vital he recognized the ground and the coming fight was to be.
  7. Favorite Commander Choices

    I've read the same thing, and it seemed to be relatively well known at the time.
  8. UG Civil War’s Future

    Pity because there are some QOL issues and historical OOB errors that are easy pickings for a patch.
  9. Favorite Commander Choices

    I was fully aware of Wheeler, and you are right in that he deserves more credit. And, as you might also know, Wheeler in addition to commanding the cavalry division in Cuba was also the de facto second in command under Shafter. Joshua Chamberlain volunteered for service in 1898 as well. He was not accepted due to his health - his wound from 1864 caused him serious problems for the rest of his life. In fact, when he died in 1914 it was as a direct result of continued complications and infections so Chamberlain was in fact the last man to die of wounds from the war. At any rate, despite his health he lamented that not being brought into service for the Spanish War was the greatest disappointment of his life. That's a very interesting "what if": had Chamberlain been deemed healthy it is very likely he would have commanded at a brigade, possibly even a division in Cuba. While it's hard to speculate what if any differences that would have made on an already successful campaign, it would still have made quite a book end for his military career. (I live not far from where Chamberlain died in Portland, Maine - it's very sad that even in Maine he is barely remembered now).
  10. Favorite Commander Choices

    I agree 100%. The Director's cut of Gettysburg touches on all of that - Garnett, Longstreet losing his children, etc. I think Jeffrey Wert was right when he said that Longstreet was "the finest corps commander on either side". I occasionally read alternate history. A few years ago when I read 1901 you can imagine my pleasant surprise when an 80 year old James Longstreet (with Arthur MacArthur as field commander) was selected by President Theodore Roosevelt to take command of the US Army to halt a German invasion.
  11. Favorite Commander Choices

    Sherman was not perfect but many were not. However, he had a very good grasp of grand strategy and for that I think he warrants a corps command in my lineup. Like was already mentioned, McPherson was simply not as flashy as his peers but he was very competent - an excellent military engineer and battlefield commander. I also question in what way Reynolds' actions at Gettysburg could be considered controversial. I remember reading one book (might have been "Generals at Gettysburg") which indicated that there was a school of historical thought which suggested that Reynolds was the "best of a mediocre lot", describing the Army of the Potomac's corps commanders. However, the author took the view (which I do as well) that Reynolds never truly had the opportunity - except for a few hours at Gettysburg - to show what he was really capable of. It is useful to note that not a single contemporary had ANY negative thing to say about John F. Reynolds. His peers on both sides of the conflict universally respected and admired him. His battlefield performance as a brigade and division commander were very good - also do not forget that it was his division at Second Bull Run that stood its ground at Henry Hill and allowed the rest of the army to retreat. When he was reassigned during the Maryland campaign because of the jitters of the Pennsylvania governor, both army commander George McClellan and corps commander Joseph Hooker said "we ought not to be deprived of the usefulness of an entire division because one governor is afraid". Granted, the division was in good hands under George Meade, but the sentiment is still telling. Reynolds' actions at Fredericksburg were already discussed, but there were some other facts about Chancellorsville worth noting. In Hooker's council of war, Reynolds voted (via Meade, who he gave his proxy to) in favor of attacking the next day instead of retreating. Reynolds had been awake for several days and was napping at that point. When Hooker ordered a retreat despite the council narrowly voting in favor of attack, Reynolds woke up and reportedly said - loudly enough for Hooker to hear - "What was the point of calling us together in the middle of the night if he planned to retreat anyway?" Finally, when Lincoln met with Reynolds in early June 1863, he offered him command of the Army of the Potomac. It is universally believed that Reynolds said he would accept only if given a free hand without interference from Washington - specifically Stanton and Halleck. Lincoln could not meet those terms, so the matter dropped. It says something of both Reynolds' abilities and character that he would recognize the negative influence that the War Department often had on field operations and be willing to say as much to the President. Finally, when Meade - who was of course junior to Reynolds - was given command, as soon as Reynolds learned this he put on his dress uniform and immediately went to Meade's HQ to offer his sincere support and tell the very embarrassed Meade that he (Reynolds) was perfectly happy to be under Meade's command and would support and aid him in every way possible. On July 1st, 1863, John Fulton Reynolds certainly upheld his commitment to George Meade. Longstreet was the senior Lieutenant General in the Confederate Army. Unless Jackson were promoted to full general, Longstreet would never have agreed to serve under him. And of course on those few occasions where Lee was away from the Army in Richmond to meet with Davis, it was always Longstreet who was temporarily in command of the ANV. The idolization of Jackson is a product of the lost cause and his death. He was a good general of the time, but as I said elsewhere Longstreet was the true innovator and forward thinker. Longstreet was a strategist; Jackson a tactician. Jackson was not well liked by his subordinates and while many Confederate officers frequently quarreled with one another, Jackson was notoriously difficult to get along with. As AP Hill points out above, he was also notoriously secretive. As someone who runs a large command structure with many subordinates, I can tell you that keeping them in the dark is not a good idea as, when left to their own devices or acting on their own initiative, they will do so in a way that might be hazardous to your overall plan if they do not know what it is. Hill wasn't the only one to run afoul of Jackson in this regard - consider poor Dick Garnett. History has entirely vindicated his performance at Kernstown and his actions there - for which Jackson court-martialed him - saved a large portion of Jackson's command from annihilation. Consider this: "Seldom during the Civil War was a general officer as gallant and as capable as Garnett treated so unjustly.... By any objective standard, Garnett had done the best at Kernstown that could reasonably have been expected under the circumstances as they existed. Ignorant of Jackson's tactical blueprint, his brigade out of ammunition and outflanked, Garnett took the only sane course of action. In doing so he saved the Valley army." - Peter Cozzens, Shenandoah 1862 If anything after all this, I should wonder why we place Jackson as highly as we do in these hypothetical armies!
  12. Favorite Commander Choices

    You'd really prefer Taylor over Longstreet for a corps command? Arthritis and all? Don't get me wrong, he was a born soldier, but I am surprised! I would have pegged him for a division. But it does make me think of something: that is that even now, with modern scholarship having sifted through much of the mythology and personal squabbles, it surprises me that James Longstreet is not one of the paramount heroes of the Confederate pantheon. He was, in many respects, the only senior officer on the Confederate side - perhaps in the whole war - who truly understood that the days of the Napoleonic bayonet charge had come to an end. General Longstreet would have been a more successful general than most of the time who fought on the battlefields of Europe from 1914 to 1918 because he, even in the 1860s, understood that modern firepower meant you did not attack a fortified position with a frontal assault. I've read that Longstreet may have been unofficially offered the command to replace Bragg following Chickamauga, but that he did not want it - he apparently instead suggested that Lee take command in the west and Longstreet be elevated to command the Army of Northern Virginia. First, I wonder if it's true. Even if if it were, I can understand why it didn't happen - Lee's entire tenure in command of the ANV was of course centered on that one theater and with his loyalty to his native state I do not think it likely he would have wanted a command anywhere else. Then, of course, the fact that just as the Army of the Potomac was the preeminent command in the Union Army, so was the Army of Northern Virginia in the Confederate. But conversely, in the second place I wonder that if it were true, what exactly Longstreet's motivations for such a suggestion were. One could suggest or argue that as the ANV was the premier posting, ambition played a role. But based on Longstreet's other statements of record, he did seem to recognize that the decisive theater of the war was the west. If he truly believed that, then his suggestion that Lee command in the west, where stopping Grant would have no doubt prolonged the war to a point that a stalemate in 1864 could very well have led to Lincoln's electoral defeat - while simultaneously fighting a defensive battle in the east to merely prevent the Army of the Potomac from taking Richmond, which Longstreet would have excelled at - might have won them the war. Either way, I firmly believe that James Longstreet is perhaps the most under-rated of Confederate generals and, especially in light of his later life, deserves far more appreciation and sympathy than he generally receives.
  13. Favorite Commander Choices

    Reports conflict on this. Some sources say exactly what you just stated, from whence he got his derogatory nickname "Slow-Come Slocum". Others have taken a different view. Consider that it was Slocum who elected to leave a brigade on Culp's Hill when ordered to reinforce the left by Meade. Had he followed his orders to the letter and moved his entire corps, then there would have been no defense present on the hill on the afternoon of the second day. This is from Wikipedia, but they cite their sources. This interpretation has also been corroborated by some of the recent histories written about Gettysburg. "Despite this, some modern historians of Gettysburg have questioned the actions of Slocum on the afternoon of July 1, 1863.[12] They allege that he failed to come to the immediate aid of General Howard’s XI Corps and engage Confederate troops in a timely way at Gettysburg. Information from recently accessed records, however, including Gen. Meade’s archives, shows that Slocum, in fact, dispatched the First Division of his Corps to Gettysburg immediately upon hearing the first report of the fighting. Further, Gen. Slocum’s First Division commander, Brig. Gen. Alpheus S. Williams, verified this as he reported in late 1865 that “when reports of the battle going on in advance of Gettysburg were brought to Gen. Slocum… orders were issued to put the corps in motion,” and the “corps was immediately put in rapid march toward the scene.”[13] A report by Maj. Guindon, whom Slocum had sent on a reconnaissance mission, corroborates Williams’ report; Maj. Guindon indicated that Slocum moved out troops even before he received a request for aid from Gen. Howard.[14][15] Furthermore, Slocum advanced his First Division despite an order (known as the “Pipe Creek Circular”) issued by General Meade that morning, and received by Slocum at 1:30 pm, to “halt your command where this order reaches you.” Contrary to modern interpretation, Slocum’s actions in fact showed initiative. Slocum arrived at the battlefield marching from Two Taverns on the Baltimore Pike, about 5 miles southeast of the battlefield, late in the afternoon on July 1, 1863. As the ranking general on the field, Slocum commanded the Union army for about six hours, until Meade arrived after midnight. During this time, Slocum was responsible for the supervision of the formation of the Union defensive lines. For the duration of the battle, Slocum would command the Union line from the “point of the fish hook” from Culp’s Hill to the south. Slocum’s XII Corps would successfully defend Culp’s Hill for three days, denying a Confederate victory at this most crucial of battles. During the battle of Culp’s Hill, in addition to his own XII Corps, Slocum commanded elements of the I, VI and XI Corps." Slocum certainly wasn't an all-star general, but I think he was solidly dependable. As far as your comments on Doubleday, I tend to agree with you. I had forgotten that he had some earlier credits - and though he never stood out compared to some of his contemporaries, I think he deserved to keep command of the I Corps - especially considering that within about 10 months it ceased to exist anyway.
  14. Favorite Commander Choices

    Interesting you have a division to Doubleday. I have some sympathy for him. He was generally a mediocre division commander, but you can't help feel a little sorry for him. His performance commanding the I Corps after the death of Reynolds on 1 July 1863 was the best combat performance of his life. He truly did rise to the occasion and as a result, I think deserved to be given the corps command instead of John Newton - who was also a mediocre officer. It is yet another example of why I do not like Oliver Howard. Not only did he play the greatest role in the defeat at Chancellorsville (Hooker's concussion was the next biggest culprit) but he flat out lied to Meade in his report of the combat on the first day at Gettysburg in claiming that the I Corps broke before the XI did. As if! So, I guess here is my Union "dream team". I don't have much different to add on the Confederate side, except I am surprised J.E. Johnston doesn't get more support. Commanding General: Ulysses S. Grant Chief of Staff: Charles P. Stone -1st Corps Commander: John F. Reynolds --1st Division Commander: Joseph Hooker --2nd Division Commander: Philip Kearny --3rd Division Commander: Winfield Scott Hancock -2nd Corps Commander: James McPherson --1st Division Commander: William Rosecrans --2nd Division Commander: John Sedgewick --3rd Division Commander: Joshua Chamberlain -3rd Corps Commander: William T. Sherman --1st Division Commander: Edward Ord --2nd Division Commander: Henry Slocum --3rd Division Commander: John Logan -4th Corps Commander: George Meade --1st Division Commander: Henry W. Slocum --2nd Division Commander: Gouvenor K Warren --3rd Division Commander: George H. Thomas -Cavalry Corps Commander: John Buford --1st Division Commander: Philip Sheridan --2nd Division Commander: Benjamin Grierson Artillery: Henry Hunt
  15. Historical general traits?

    And while that is a whole different argument to the topic, that is precisely why Longstreet was a better general. I'm reminded of Winston Churchill's quote: "Battles are won by maneuver and slaughter. The better the general, the more he provides in maneuver and the less he demands in slaughter". That is Longstreet in a nutshell.