2
   

ABE LINCOLN: Is Anyone Aware of Where He Commanded troops in the field?

 
 
farmerman
 
  1  
Reply Fri 18 Mar, 2011 03:54 am
@OmSigDAVID,
Quote:
Absence of evidence is not evidence of absence.

I havent heard that since Real Life left A1K for the Bibloe Belt. In the case of a well documented war and a life of one of our greatest presidents, Id venture a bold statement that absence of evidence IS evidence of absence.

But hey, just be careful of sounding like a trobenyik or a paskudnyak with too much assertion .
Setanta
 
  1  
Reply Fri 18 Mar, 2011 04:32 am
@OmSigDAVID,
I've been reading, in detail, accounts of the American civil war since the topic became all the rage in the 1950s in the lead up to the centennial. Bruce Catton was in his glory days. I've read not only Catton, but Foote, Freeman, Dodge (who participated in that war), and many other reliable authors, as well as memoirs of the participants such as Grant, Kyd Douglas, Heros von Borcke and many, many others. I've read lives of major participants such as Lee, Jackson, Grant, Thomas and A. S. Johnston (the last written by his son), and many published in the years immediately following the war, such as the life of A. S. Johnston, a life of N. B. Forrest, the life of G. H. Thomas by two different authors. I am familiar, in detail, with every major engagement of the war, and to a certain extent at the least, with all the minor engagements. My statement was not based on "a gut feeling," although i suspect that your wild claim has no greater basis than that.

The concept is indeed implausible, and even just on the face of it, improbable. But more than that, it would call for me to be, and others posting here to be, either completely unaware of a battle of that war (the battle in which you allege that Lincoln commanded troops in the field) or for all of us to have unaccountably completely forgotten said battle. It is also implausible since there is no good reason to assume that Lincoln possessed the requisite skills to command a force in the field.

In the end, though, this is your extraordinary claim. You have the burden of proving your assertion, and so far, you've offered no proof.
InfraBlue
 
  1  
Reply Fri 18 Mar, 2011 09:58 am
Given the fogginess of your recollections about the lecture you're talking about, the simplest explanation is that you misheard and misunderstood what Cpt. Diarreah had said about Lincoln.
OmSigDAVID
 
  1  
Reply Fri 18 Mar, 2011 03:29 pm
@InfraBlue,
InfraBlue wrote:
Given the fogginess of your recollections about
the lecture you're talking about, the simplest explanation is that
you misheard and misunderstood what Cpt. Diarreah had said about Lincoln.
Of course that is theoretically possible,
but it is inappropriate and impolite to attempt to besmirch
and befoul the memory of an honorable man for whose service
to America Americans owe him gratitude.

Even if u r not an American, that is no reason to insult his memory.





David
0 Replies
 
OmSigDAVID
 
  1  
Reply Fri 18 Mar, 2011 04:03 pm
@farmerman,
David wrote:
Absence of evidence is not evidence of absence.
farmerman wrote:
I havent heard that since Real Life left A1K for the Bibloe Belt.
In the case of a well documented war and a life of one of our
greatest presidents, Id venture a bold statement that absence of evidence IS evidence of absence.
In your quote,
u conveniently left out your own statement, to which I was replying:
farmerman wrote:
I do not have ANY evidence that supports your ROTCY teachers" fantasy.

which was what YOU personally do not know about this subject. U have not claimed to be an expert on Lincoln; not yet.
I accept your expertise on geology and farming,
but UNLESS u tell us that u have deeply, thoroughly and earnestly studied
the subject matter (as Setanta has asserted) u are not accepted
as an expert in this particular matter, such that if u don't know something about it,
that does not indicate that it is not true anyway.


However, I certainly agree with your statement that the Civil War
and Lincoln's biografy are very well known, and if he really did
take personal command of a battle in the Civil War, it surely is NOT secret,
so if we cannot find it after carefully, diligently searching for it,
THEN I must agree with u that absence of evidence IS,
as u point out, evidence of absence.




farmerman wrote:
But hey, just be careful of sounding like a trobenyik or a paskudnyak with too much assertion.
????
farmerman
 
  1  
Reply Fri 18 Mar, 2011 04:59 pm
@OmSigDAVID,
Ive probably read as much as Set on the subject (course I may have forgotten more than he).
I recall reading Shermans Home Letters
PA museum commission's Geology of the Gettysburg Ca,=mpaign
J M schofields Forty Six years in the ARmy
The original Foote(HS)A cask of REmemberance
The Maps of the Civil War Campaigns
Time-Lifes series on the Civil Waqr

The fact that you used the stad Creationist "Absesnce of evidence" crack is precious. For in this case , as in fossils, usually absence of hostorical evidence DOES refute your belief.

WHy not just go sing in blue and green and give up on this.

farmerman
 
  1  
Reply Fri 18 Mar, 2011 05:03 pm
@OmSigDAVID,
Quote:
U have not claimed to be an expert on Lincoln; not yet.
I accept your expertise on geology and farming,

Thank you. All many of us were doing was calling attention to the fact that your good captain may have had his facts wrong. Did that even occur to you? This entire thread is like a discussion re the moon.
Premise no 1--The moon is made of cup cheese, so therefore all assertions that do not comport with that need to be evidenced .

You asked the question, youre looking for a battle. Most of us say the capt was all wet. Prove us wrong.
I love gathering little facts like that, so Ill hold a spot for Lincolns role as field commandant.(Course Im not gonna hold my breath over it)
OmSigDAVID
 
  1  
Reply Fri 18 Mar, 2011 05:13 pm
@Setanta,
Setanta wrote:
I've been reading, in detail, accounts of the American civil war since the topic became all the rage in the 1950s in the lead up to the centennial. Bruce Catton was in his glory days. I've read not only Catton, but Foote, Freeman, Dodge (who participated in that war), and many other reliable authors, as well as memoirs of the participants such as Grant, Kyd Douglas, Heros von Borcke and many, many others. I've read lives of major participants such as Lee, Jackson, Grant, Thomas and A. S. Johnston (the last written by his son), and many published in the years immediately following the war, such as the life of A. S. Johnston, a life of N. B. Forrest, the life of G. H. Thomas by two different authors. I am familiar, in detail, with every major engagement of the war, and to a certain extent at the least, with all the minor engagements.
OK, Setanta: in the face of this newly acquired information
qua your knowledge of the history of the Civil War,
I accept u as an expert in this matter, and I acknowledge that
if u do not know of Lincoln having taken personal command
of Union troops in battle, then it appears that in all probability,
that did not happen.

Upon the basis of your last post, in contemplation of your expertise,
from your extensive scholarship in the history of the Civil War,
I now believe that probably
u were correct and I was rong.

As some people have pointed out, it is possible that I misunderstood the Professor,
or possibly he might have been in error. Anyone can make a mistake.
I do not know the extent of his own scholarship in Civil War history.






Setanta wrote:
My statement was not based on "a gut feeling," although i suspect that your wild claim has no greater basis than that.
U dispute the Professor's EXISTENCE, or that he spoke at all ??




Setanta wrote:
The concept is indeed implausible, and even just on the face of it, improbable.
Tho u have succeeded in convincing me,
based upon your relevant knowledge, that I was in error
in asserting that Lincoln was the commanding general
in a Civil War battle, I disagree that his doing so
is "implausible". I re-iterate that a frustrated CEO
can take the position that: "if u want something done right,
do it yourself." Lincoln HAD the legal authority to DO that.
Becoming a commanding general of troops in battle was within his discretion.
It was a question of what he felt like doing.



Setanta wrote:

But more than that, it would call for me to be, and others posting here to be, either completely unaware of a battle of that war (the battle in which you allege that Lincoln commanded troops in the field) or for all of us to have unaccountably completely forgotten said battle.
That argument IS persuasive and I accept it.





Setanta wrote:
It is also implausible since there is no good reason to assume that Lincoln possessed the requisite skills to command a force in the field.
That argument is not persuasive and I do not accept it,
inasmuch as Lincoln was as capable of a mistake in judgment
as anyone else and he coud have made a questionable choice
in opting to command troops in battle, if he so decided.





Setanta wrote:
In the end, though, this is your extraordinary claim. You have the burden of proving your assertion, and so far, you've offered no proof.
Agreed.
If I happen upon significant counter-evidence in the future,
I will bring it up. If not, I will be content to accept the fact
that I was rong in this and that Lincoln did not command troops in battle.

Incidentally, to the extent that I have been asking around,
the evidence is accumulating that Setanta is right and I am rong in this.





David
Setanta
 
  1  
Reply Fri 18 Mar, 2011 05:32 pm
@OmSigDAVID,
It's never easy or pleasant to admit that one is, or even might be wrong. You have my respect for that.

I say that it is implausible for Lincoln to have taken command because he was just too important to the war effort. For example, during the battle of the Wilderness, Lee learned that his "old war horse," James Longstreet had been wounded by his own men. A year before, Thomas "Stonewall" Jackons was wounded by his own men a few miles away, and died of his wounds. Lee seems to have been somewhat unhinged by this, and his aides' recollections were that he spoke rapidly and desparingly of losing Longstreet too. The Texas Brigade was marching up, and Lee, in a very uncharateristic manner, began to shout "Hurrah for Texas," waving his hat and telling them that he would lead them. The NCOs in the brigade, without a word of command from their officers, halted the brigade in the road, and as the troops chanted "Lee to the read, Lee to the rear," the NOCs grabbed the reins and bridle of his horse, and lead him to the rear. (Lee may have been attempting suicide by combat--c.f., the death of Wolfe at Québec.) Lee was far too important to them to allow him to go in harm's way like that.

The officers and men of the Army of the Potomac would never have allowed Lincoln to have gone in harm's way, even so much as to view a battle in progress. Of this i have no doubt whatsoever. Lincoln was the very spirit of the war--even though many officers despised him, the men loved him: the absentee ballot in 1864 assured his re-election, as the boys in blue voted for him in overwhelming numbers. They wouldn't have let him get even close to the shooting.

I don't doubt that your professor existed, or that he spoke. I doubt the accuracy of your recollection. If he indeed made that claim, he has no business claiming to be knowledgeable about the civil war.
OmSigDAVID
 
  1  
Reply Fri 18 Mar, 2011 05:41 pm
@farmerman,
farmerman wrote:
Ive probably read as much as Set on the subject (course I may have forgotten more than he).
I recall reading Shermans Home Letters
PA museum commission's Geology of the Gettysburg Ca,=mpaign
J M schofields Forty Six years in the ARmy
The original Foote(HS)A cask of REmemberance
The Maps of the Civil War Campaigns
Time-Lifes series on the Civil Waqr
GOOD WORK!





farmerman wrote:
The fact that you used the stad Creationist "Absesnce of evidence" crack is precious.
I'm glad u liked it.



farmerman wrote:
For in this case, as in fossils, usually absence of hostorical evidence DOES refute your belief.
The absence of fossils can be evidentiary, of itself; i.e., that is NOT
the "absence" of evidence; it is an element in the available evidence.

My professional background was in the practice of law
and that was my source of this observation.
I employed that point of cognition in arguing cases.
It is a principle of evidentiary law.
The fact that no one knows whether something happened
is not evidence that it did not happen.



farmerman wrote:
WHy not just go sing in blue and green and give up on this.
I will do so, except for the singing.





David
OmSigDAVID
 
  1  
Reply Fri 18 Mar, 2011 06:03 pm
@Setanta,
Setanta wrote:
It's never easy or pleasant to admit that one is, or even might be wrong. You have my respect for that.

I say that it is implausible for Lincoln to have taken command because he was just too important to the war effort. For example, during the battle of the Wilderness, Lee learned that his "old war horse," James Longstreet had been wounded by his own men. A year before, Thomas "Stonewall" Jackons was wounded by his own men a few miles away, and died of his wounds. Lee seems to have been somewhat unhinged by this, and his aides' recollections were that he spoke rapidly and desparingly of losing Longstreet too. The Texas Brigade was marching up, and Lee, in a very uncharateristic manner, began to shout "Hurrah for Texas," waving his hat and telling them that he would lead them. The NCOs in the brigade, without a word of command from their officers, halted the brigade in the road, and as the troops chanted "Lee to the read, Lee to the rear," the NOCs grabbed the reins and bridle of his horse, and lead him to the rear. (Lee may have been attempting suicide by combat--c.f., the death of Wolfe at Québec.) Lee was far too important to them to allow him to go in harm's way like that.

The officers and men of the Army of the Potomac would never have allowed Lincoln to have gone in harm's way, even so much as to view a battle in progress. Of this i have no doubt whatsoever. Lincoln was the very spirit of the war--even though many officers despised him, the men loved him: the absentee ballot in 1864 assured his re-election, as the boys in blue voted for him in overwhelming numbers. They wouldn't have let him get even close to the shooting.

I don't doubt that your professor existed, or that he spoke. I doubt the accuracy of your recollection. If he indeed made that claim, he has no business claiming to be knowledgeable about the civil war.
I understand your reasoning.





David
0 Replies
 
George
 
  1  
Reply Fri 18 Mar, 2011 07:11 pm
This is fun!
I can't wait to see how it comes out.

I once invented a Civil War battle in Massachusetts for a term paper, but chickened
out and did one on the St.Alban's Vermont raid.
Setanta
 
  1  
Reply Fri 18 Mar, 2011 08:41 pm
@George,
There are plenty of places in this country which never heard a shot fired in anger in that war which nonetheless have "re-enactments." It can be (i guess) lucrative. There was a last gasp battle at Bentonville, North Carolina before Johnston retreated on Durham and then surrendered (most vets of that war considered that it ended with Johnston's surrender on April 29, not with Lee's surrender). They have two re-enactments each year (or at least they did when i lived nearby).
0 Replies
 
farmerman
 
  1  
Reply Fri 18 Mar, 2011 09:25 pm
@OmSigDAVID,
Quote:
My professional background was in the practice of law
Yes you have made that abundantly clear, along with your several other habits
Quote:
and that was my source of this observation.
I employed that point of cognition in arguing cases.
It is a principle of evidentiary law.
The fact that no one knows whether something happened
is not evidence that it did not happen.

Im amazed that CApt Diorito wsnt challenged by those more scholarly inclined.

Conversely, its NOT a reason to accept something as fact that common sense and your own past education would tell you was probably false. I suppose with this example and how tenaciously youve stuck to it, youve best explained to me why the "Birthers" and the "911 conspiracists" believe what they do, because of the "Absence of evidence"



Setanta
 
  1  
Reply Fri 18 Mar, 2011 10:29 pm
OK, Boss. Historiography is the process of analyzing and vetting evidence, and it is an evidentiary process, just as is the investigative juridical process. Historians probably more nearly resemble the investigative courts and magistrates of France than the American system, but the basic principles still obtain.

So, for example, on the issue of the absence of evidence not being evidence of absence, let's consider the case of Atlantis. I'm referring to the popular myth that a mid-Atlantic continent was once the home of a highly developed culture which was destroyed when the continent "sank beneath the waves." A proponent of the myth might say the the absence of evidence for such a continent does not constitute evidence of absence. However, that would be a simplistic way to view that absence of evidence. The Atlantic ocean does not reside in a subduction basin. North and South America are moving away from Europe and Africa, not toward them. Therefore, had there been such a mid-Atlantic continent, its remains ought to be very obvious there--but there are no such remains, and given a more subtle and rigorous consideration, it is obvious that in that case, the absence of evidence truly does constitute evidence of absence.

But that's not the only weapon in the arsenal of an historiographer. A much more important consideration is probability. So, for example, if Steven Hawking were found in a room with the freshly murdered corpse of what had obviously been until just a few moments before a healthy young man, but who was now dead from being repeatedly stabbed, it would be reasonable to conclude that Hawking could provide testimony to the act. But it would be absurd to consider him the murderer for even a moment. Hawking could not hold a knife in his hand, let alone stab anyone repeatedly with it, and any healthy young man, any healthy toddler could escape Hawking if he felt threatened. The probability of Hawking being the murderer is so low as to approximate zero. By the same token, anyone alleging that they are a blood descendant of George Washington would stretch credulity beyond probability. Washington was known to be a devoted admirer of women, a flirt and a lusty young man. Yet never in his lifetime did anyone allege that she had had his child. Furthermore, he and Martha Dandridge Custis enjoyed an obviously loving relationship. She had become pregnant four times by her former husband, Daniel Parke Custis, delivering two stillbirths and two children who subsequently lived into adulthood. Yet in more than 40 years of marriage, she and George did not produce a single child. The evidence is extremely strong that George was shooting blanks. It is just too improbable that anyone would have been the natural child of Washington, but that there had been not a whisper of that for 200 years.

Another pillar of historiography is cui bono, with which i am sure you are familiar. In the case of historiography, the question is not asked in the legalistic sense of who would benefit from an action, but who would benefit from their version of events. So, for example, when Thomas Jackson was shot by his own troops on the night of May 2nd, 1862, several accounts of the details of the event emerged after the war. (Great controversies arose about this or that event between the survivors, especially the surviving officers.) One version of events was given by Alvin Powell Hill, and promoted by his supporters. But Little Powell Hill and Jackson had never gotten along, he was Jackson's senior division commander, ane would have taken command of the Second Corps after Jackson was wounded, had he not been wounded himself by shrapnel from Federal artillery fire just a few minutes after Jackson was shot. Not only could he not possibly have been a witness to the event, he had a good deal of interest in the portrayal of the event, being a central character in it, even if not present. The matter was not settled to the satisfaction of almost all historians until Douglas Southall Freeman used the manuscript memoirs of Kyd Douglas, who had been present, who never rose to high rank (he finally rose to the rank of Colonel, in a staff position, by the end of the war), who did not write his memoirs for publication and who never made any public comment (as far as anyone knows) in the controversy. (His memoirs, badly edited and perhaps significantly altered were not published until the time of the big hooraw preceding the civil war centennial--published, i believe in 1940. Freeman is very likely the last person to see the unaltered and unedited manuscript memoir before it was published, other than the family member who actually had them published.)

In that case, A. P. Hill had a stake in the account. So did James Ewell Brown Stuart, who actually took command of the Second Corps after both Jackson and Hill were wounded. The only account of the event for which one can say, with regard to cui bono, that the reporter had no personal stake in the account is that of Henry Kyd Douglas. So, if any part of Douglas' account contradicts Little Powell Hill or "Jeb" Stuart, Douglas is by far the preferred reporter, because he obviously never had his personal reputation at stake. Hill's reputation was at stake, or so he thought--Jackson and Stuart were both dead, and no one of great public reputation was there to contradict him.

**********************************************

So, if one aduces an absence of evidence not being evidence of absence, it is simplistic. The Official Records of the War of Rebellion, drawn from the records of the war and navy departments of the United States and the Confederate States, was published in 128 books, grouped into 70 volumes, published in four series between 1881 and 1901. If Lincoln actually had ever lead troops in battle, somewhere in those more than 130,000 pages of official reports, orders, correspondence, memoirs, maps and diagrams there ought to have been abundant evidence of such an event. Even the historical punters who are obsessed with that war are familiar with the OR, and refer to it often (whether or not they have ever actually read any part of it, is, of course, hard to say). Scholarly historians of that war could hardly have overlooked such an event, and the evidence would have been incontrovertible. Yet Catton, Foote and all the legion of other reliable historians never mention such an event. Harper's Weekly published an account of the war (i had a copy once, which grew legs and disappeared), and it is never mentioned there, in a book compiled from their own reportage of the war.

I have already canvassed the probability of such an event.

But the final question is cui bono. Who would benefit from spreading such a tale? Frankly, i can't imagine that anyone would actually benefit from retailing such a story, but it is worth noting that anyone who was a passionate admirer of Lincoln might always have wished that Lincoln had commanded in the field, and might eventually (as wishful thinkers so often do) have convinced himself that it actually happened. I don't know if that would describe your instructor, but you can answer for yourself whether or not he was a passionate admirer of Lincoln. Might such an admirer, with a captive audience, and an audience very likely not sufficiently well verse in the history of that era to contradict--might not such an admirer succumb to the tempation to make of the man, his idol, what he had always wished he had been?
OmSigDAVID
 
  1  
Reply Fri 18 Mar, 2011 11:26 pm
@farmerman,
David wrote:
My professional background was in the practice of law
farmerman wrote:
Yes you have made that abundantly clear,
My point is that I choose not to argue
theology-based science on A2K.
I am not familiar with their arguments.
I stand by my OWN assertions, until disproven.



farmerman wrote:
along with your several other habits
WHICH other habits?



David wrote:
and that was my source of this observation.
I employed that point of cognition in arguing cases.
It is a principle of evidentiary law.
The fact that no one knows whether something happened
is not evidence that it did not happen.
farmerman wrote:
Im amazed that CApt Diorito wsnt challenged by those more scholarly inclined.
Yeah, because college students r so assiduous.




farmerman wrote:
Conversely, its NOT a reason to accept something as fact that
common sense and your own past education would tell you was
probably false.
I considerd it plausible and in keeping with human nature
for Lincoln to say: "get out of the way; lemme do it"
when he was dissatisfied with his generals' work.
I knew and I know that he had the Constitutional authority to DO it.
(I was not spying on Lincoln during every battle.)
Will u DENY that he was ever thusly dissatisfied, during the Civil War??
R u gonna tell me that he was always HAPPY about military results??




farmerman wrote:
I suppose with this example and how tenaciously youve stuck to it,
That is an unfair, inaccurate characterization of my position,
which was simply to accumulate more evidence, with an open mind,
b4 reaching a decision. I 'm not on-the-clock for how fast I must put up the White Flag.



farmerman wrote:
youve best explained to me why the "Birthers"
I have an open mind about that, too.
I dunno where he was born.



farmerman wrote:
and the "911 conspiracists" believe what they do, because of the "Absence of evidence"
????
Maybe u know more about conspiracies than I do.
I have not been keeping up.

0 Replies
 
OmSigDAVID
 
  1  
Reply Sat 19 Mar, 2011 12:11 am
@Setanta,
Setanta wrote:
OK, Boss. Historiography is the process of analyzing and vetting evidence, and it is an evidentiary process, just as is the investigative juridical process. Historians probably more nearly resemble the investigative courts and magistrates of France than the American system, but the basic principles still obtain.

So, for example, on the issue of the absence of evidence not being evidence of absence, let's consider the case of Atlantis. I'm referring to the popular myth that a mid-Atlantic continent was once the home of a highly developed culture which was destroyed when the continent "sank beneath the waves." A proponent of the myth might say the the absence of evidence for such a continent does not constitute evidence of absence. However, that would be a simplistic way to view that absence of evidence. The Atlantic ocean does not reside in a subduction basin. North and South America are moving away from Europe and Africa, not toward them. Therefore, had there been such a mid-Atlantic continent, its remains ought to be very obvious there--but there are no such remains, and given a more subtle and rigorous consideration, it is obvious that in that case, the absence of evidence truly does constitute evidence of absence.
Agreed; a more competent rendition of the principle
is: absence of evidence is not evidence of absence unless
PRESENCE of evidence is rationally to be expected.




Setanta wrote:
But that's not the only weapon in the arsenal of an historiographer. A much more important consideration is probability. So, for example, if Steven Hawking were found in a room with the freshly murdered corpse of what had obviously been until just a few moments before a healthy young man, but who was now dead from being repeatedly stabbed, it would be reasonable to conclude that Hawking could provide testimony to the act. But it would be absurd to consider him the murderer for even a moment. Hawking could not hold a knife in his hand, let alone stab anyone repeatedly with it, and any healthy young man, any healthy toddler could escape Hawking if he felt threatened. The probability of Hawking being the murderer is so low as to approximate zero. By the same token, anyone alleging that they are a blood descendant of George Washington would stretch credulity beyond probability. Washington was known to be a devoted admirer of women, a flirt and a lusty young man. Yet never in his lifetime did anyone allege that she had had his child. Furthermore, he and Martha Dandridge Custis enjoyed an obviously loving relationship. She had become pregnant four times by her former husband, Daniel Parke Custis, delivering two stillbirths and two children who subsequently lived into adulthood. Yet in more than 40 years of marriage, she and George did not produce a single child. The evidence is extremely strong that George was shooting blanks. It is just too improbable that anyone would have been the natural child of Washington, but that there had been not a whisper of that for 200 years.

Another pillar of historiography is cui bono, with which i am sure you are familiar. In the case of historiography, the question is not asked in the legalistic sense of who would benefit from an action, but who would benefit from their version of events. So, for example, when Thomas Jackson was shot by his own troops on the night of May 2nd, 1862, several accounts of the details of the event emerged after the war. (Great controversies arose about this or that event between the survivors, especially the surviving officers.) One version of events was given by Alvin Powell Hill, and promoted by his supporters. But Little Powell Hill and Jackson had never gotten along, he was Jackson's senior division commander, ane would have taken command of the Second Corps after Jackson was wounded, had he not been wounded himself by shrapnel from Federal artillery fire just a few minutes after Jackson was shot. Not only could he not possibly have been a witness to the event, he had a good deal of interest in the portrayal of the event, being a central character in it, even if not present. The matter was not settled to the satisfaction of almost all historians until Douglas Southall Freeman used the manuscript memoirs of Kyd Douglas, who had been present, who never rose to high rank (he finally rose to the rank of Colonel, in a staff position, by the end of the war), who did not write his memoirs for publication and who never made any public comment (as far as anyone knows) in the controversy. (His memoirs, badly edited and perhaps significantly altered were not published until the time of the big hooraw preceding the civil war centennial--published, i believe in 1940. Freeman is very likely the last person to see the unaltered and unedited manuscript memoir before it was published, other than the family member who actually had them published.)

In that case, A. P. Hill had a stake in the account. So did James Ewell Brown Stuart, who actually took command of the Second Corps after both Jackson and Hill were wounded. The only account of the event for which one can say, with regard to cui bono, that the reporter had no personal stake in the account is that of Henry Kyd Douglas. So, if any part of Douglas' account contradicts Little Powell Hill or "Jeb" Stuart, Douglas is by far the preferred reporter, because he obviously never had his personal reputation at stake. Hill's reputation was at stake, or so he thought--Jackson and Stuart were both dead, and no one of great public reputation was there to contradict him.

**********************************************

So, if one aduces an absence of evidence not being evidence of absence, it is simplistic. The Official Records of the War of Rebellion, drawn from the records of the war and navy departments of the United States and the Confederate States, was published in 128 books, grouped into 70 volumes, published in four series between 1881 and 1901. If Lincoln actually had ever lead troops in battle, somewhere in those more than 130,000 pages of official reports, orders, correspondence, memoirs, maps and diagrams there ought to have been abundant evidence of such an event.
I 'm sure that 's true.
I 'd never dispute that.
It was not my belief that Lincoln had ever SECRETLY commanded
troops in battle. If, indeed, Lincoln had been the commanding general
of any battle of the Civil War, I am certain that it is indeed recorded
with the rest of the battles.
I accepted the Professor's word on a prima facie basis.
If he said that Lincoln decided to personally take charge
in one particular instance, I took his word for it.
He appeared to be better informed on the subject than I was.

I am not an expert on the history of the Civil War,
tho I find it to be very interesting.
I certainly recognized your reference to General Nathan Bedford Forrest.
I did a biografical paper on him in that class.
He was quite an interesting man, to say the least.
He was a HERO, in multiple different ways over the course of his life.




Setanta wrote:
Even the historical punters who are obsessed with that war are familiar with the OR, and refer to it often (whether or not they have ever actually read any part of it, is, of course, hard to say). Scholarly historians of that war could hardly have overlooked such an event, and the evidence would have been incontrovertible. Yet Catton, Foote and all the legion of other reliable historians never mention such an event. Harper's Weekly published an account of the war (i had a copy once, which grew legs and disappeared), and it is never mentioned there, in a book compiled from their own reportage of the war.

I have already canvassed the probability of such an event.

But the final question is cui bono. Who would benefit from spreading such a tale? Frankly, i can't imagine that anyone would actually benefit from retailing such a story, but it is worth noting that anyone who was a passionate admirer of Lincoln might always have wished that Lincoln had commanded in the field, and might eventually (as wishful thinkers so often do) have convinced himself that it actually happened. I don't know if that would describe your instructor, but you can answer for yourself whether or not he was a passionate admirer of Lincoln. Might such an admirer, with a captive audience, and an audience very likely not sufficiently well verse in the history of that era to contradict--might not such an admirer succumb to the tempation to make of the man, his idol, what he had always wished he had been?
He did not appear to be especially interested in Lincoln, so far as I observed.
He did not speak of Lincoln at length.
His presentation appeared to be dispassionate.
He appeared to be fully of sound mind, which no one ever questioned.

I have no passions related to Lincoln.





David
0 Replies
 
OmSigDAVID
 
  1  
Reply Sat 19 Mar, 2011 12:46 am
@BillRM,
BillRM wrote:
Here is his whole military career beginning and ending in 1832.

http://americanhistory.about.com/od/abrahamlincoln/p/plincoln.htm

Abraham Lincoln's Military Career:

In 1832, Lincoln enlisted to fight in the Black Hawk War. He was quickly elected to be the captain of a company of volunteers. His company joined regulars under Colonel Zachary Taylor. He only served 30 days in this capacity and then signed on as a private in the mounted Rangers. He then joined the Independent Spy Corps. He saw no real action during his short stint in the military.

It looks like u r probably correct, Bill. Thank u.





David
0 Replies
 
OmSigDAVID
 
  1  
Reply Sat 19 Mar, 2011 12:53 am
@farmerman,
David wrote:
U have not claimed to be an expert on Lincoln; not yet.
I accept your expertise on geology and farming,
farmerman wrote:
Thank you. All many of us were doing was calling attention to the fact
that your good captain may have had his facts wrong.
Did that even occur to you?
It DID.



farmerman wrote:
This entire thread is like a discussion re the moon.
Premise no 1--The moon is made of cup cheese,
so therefore all assertions that do not comport with that need to be evidenced .

You asked the question, youre looking for a battle.
Yes.




farmerman wrote:
Most of us say the capt was all wet. Prove us wrong.
I love gathering little facts like that, so Ill hold a spot for Lincolns role as field commandant.
(Course Im not gonna hold my breath over it)
If I find a place n date, I 'll let u know.
Chances don't look good.
George
 
  1  
Reply Sat 19 Mar, 2011 06:57 am
@OmSigDAVID,
OmSigDAVID wrote:
. . . If I find a place n date, I 'll let u know.
Chances don't look good.

Don't give up.
We're counting on you.
Did you ever hear about the Battle of Chevy Chase?
 

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