Talk:Army of the Potomac

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Hello, and thanks for the interest in the infobox. I want to get some discussion going as to whether we should put Grant in the infobox as a "notable commander". The reason I originally included him was because he was de facto commander in 1864-1865, whether or not Meade still held the formal title. It seems like splitting hairs to exclude him on a technicality, and it reduces the utility of this encyclopedia. Maybe we could include him with an asterisk? Haber 14:41, 23 October 2006 (UTC)

Although some people inaccurately credit Grant with command of the army, there is no reason for an encyclopedia to cater to this misinformation. Grant's relationship to Meade is covered in the text of the article and would require a footnote or some explanation in the infobox if his name were included, which I do not recommend. Hal Jespersen 14:48, 23 October 2006 (UTC)
Thanks for the quick reply. My concern is that people who don't know a lot about the subject, and just read this article, might walk away with the impression that Meade was calling the shots in 1864-65. I also just made a change to the body of the article to include this information. The article is quite short anyway, and I think the whole Meade/Grant issue is probably one of the most interesting things about the Army of the Potomac. We have a good opportunity here to clear up any confusion caused by Lincoln's unusual promotion system. Haber 14:57, 23 October 2006 (UTC)
One of the reasons I don't use these info boxes (but insist that they are correct when they are used) is that they cater to people who are too lazy to read an article. Grant was never a commander of the Army of the Potomac. Period. The Army has no concept of a "de facto commander" and introducing that concept is confusing and inconsistent. Should we list Abraham Lincoln as a de facto commander when he ordered McClellan to launch his Peninsula campaign? Should we list Grant as "de facto commander" of the Army of the James? There are many cases in military history when a senior commander provides detailed supervision of a subordinate, but that senior commander is never listed as the "commander" of that unit. Hal Jespersen 15:12, 23 October 2006 (UTC)
I like your most recent edit. Done. Haber 15:24, 23 October 2006 (UTC)

"The Army of the Potomac was created in 1861, but was only the size of a corps (relatively speaking)." Relative to what? Other Union armies? Contemporary European armies? A modern USA corps? --VAcharon 18:30, 1 January 2007 (UTC)