Talk:Battle of Yellow Tavern

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Unqualified success?[edit]

I don't understand how one could say that Sheridan's raid was an "unqualified success." Sheridan burned needed supplies and rescued some prisoners, but that was not his goal. Indeed:

  • Despite having three times the number of troops, Sheridan failed to defeat Stuart's forces and was forced to cede the field.
  • Stuart's death was incidental rather than intentional and came only after the tide of battle had turned decisively in favor of the Confederate forces.
  • Sheridan's performance was not sufficient as to convince contemporary or future commanders of the value of mobile forces operating independently of the main body; even as late as the Battle of France, the notion of tank formations (the inheritors of the cavalry tradition) moving on their own as decisive elements of battle was heretical.

Given these factors, I think it more justifiable to characterize Sheridan's raid as incidentally successful in that it resulted in the death of Stuart, and important in that it further ground down the already weakened Confederate cavalry. But it is not a testament to Sheridan's ability except when contrasted with the amazingly poor performance of many of his contemporaries. Jsamans (talk) 18:18, 15 June 2010 (UTC)

I have rewritten it. Let us know if the revised text is satisfactory. Hal Jespersen (talk) 23:47, 15 June 2010 (UTC)