Tuesday, January 24, 2017
Management in the American Civil War
Edwin B. Coddington's The Gettysburg Campaign: A Study in Command can be read as history but it can also be devoured as an intriguing view of how the leadership of both sides related to the North's ultimate victory.
I didn't plan on reading the book until a few others on my stack have been finished but once into the first few pages, it was hard to stop. Now I have to finish it.
Call it a management consultant's guide to the war. Coddington, who died shortly before the book was published in 1979, delves into the indirect effects of policies. He details misguided recruitment policies; the Confederate cavalry's way of acquiring horses; and how the Union Army began to stress sanitation and proper diet. There are plenty of personality conflicts - J.E.B Stuart could not stand one of the other Confederate commanders - and communication glitches. You'll read reports that could have been written in any large organization just a few hours ago. You'll also feel the anguish of soldiers who had to follow the commands of fools.
A number of items that you have already read about the war may be challenged.
A fascinating book. Thought-provoking. Check it out.
Posted by Michael Wade at 4:00 AM