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It is likely that when comparing Civil War Generals that the historian cannot make general or specific comparisons between personalities like Robert E Lee and Ulysses S Grant They eventually fought each other and Grant was the victor Who was more bold Who was more the genius Who had the best instincts When comparing Robert E Lee with Joseph Johnston comparisons come quickly One was a bold offensive minded general and the other And the other was also an offensive minded general who lacked boldness As a strategist Johnston seems to have been dominated by the concepts of Frederick the Great Jomini and Napoleon He rarely strayed from the accepted maxims Concentration and maneuver-these formed the twin pillars of his strategical thought Lee on the other hand was more in the Washington or Wellington mold The ability to grow the flower of victory upon the rock of defeat seemed very much a part of Lees capability The Confederacy was limited in human resources and with enormous land and sea frontiers to defend they could not hope to meet Union pressures at every point Therefore the correct strategy Johnston contended was to give ground wherever necessary and to concentrate against the main field armies of the North This was his strategy at Bull Run his recommendation for opposing McClellan in front of Richmond and his basic plan for the defense of the Mississippi where he hoped to unite General Holmes troops from Arkansas with Pembertons army in the vicinity of Vicksburg His strategies ran counter to the policies of the President His strategies ran counter to the principle of States Rights Johnstons plan for Vicksburg would have subordinated the interests of one section to the fortunes of the Confederacy at large and Davis was unwilling to sacrifice a geographical area in order to bring about the
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