What were the most effective war tactics in history?

So I don’t know if this story was most effective, but it was effective (and glorious).

In the U.S. Civil War in 1862, general McClellan of the Northern States on Virginia’s James River Peninsula excelled.McClellan and his army had landed at the southeastern tip of the peninsula with the aim of marching up the peninsula and taking the capital of the southern states, Richmond.


George B. McClellan, USA

McClellan had about 100,000 soldiers with him, well equipped, the pride of the northern states.Between him and Richmond was only a small meagre division under the command of Brig. Gene. John B. Magruder,[1 a hobby actor.With his acting talents and theatrical skills, he has managed to force McClellan to stop for more than 30 days.


Gene. John B. Magruder, CSA

Magruder ordered the brigades of his division to march around in circles and show up in as many places as possible along the line.By the way, he scattered his artillery and fired shots toward the Yankees almost by chance. He also had “cannons” made from trees and set up to give the impression that he had hundreds of guns ready.

McClellan was convinced that an army of at least 150,000 men was armed to the teeth in front of him, and stopped.In reality, there were just 13,000, and they had hardly any ammunition.

Magruder’s Bugs Bunny tactics gained enough time to put Robert E. Lee’s army in position ahead of Richmond.Lee’s army was still much smaller than McClellan’s and not as well equipped for a long time, but thanks to Magruder, McClellan was now panicking because he firmly believed Lee had well over 200,000 men.

Troop movements in the Peninsula Campaign, McClellan (Northern States) in blue, Johnston/Lee (Southern) in red.

Magruder’s “fortress” is located in the southeast of the peninsula.

Lee took advantage of the situation and, against reason and reason, divided his small army and attacked McClellan’s vast force. In just seven days [2], McClellan was expelled from the peninsula.It is still considered Lee’s masterpiece in U.S. military history.


By the way, strictly speaking, Lee has not won a single battle in the seven days.But he has achieved his goal: to drive the northerners out of the vicinity of Richmond. This was his debut as a general, and he is still regarded as a genius of military strategy. Unfortunately, he chose the wrong side.


I had a nice quote.McClellan was completely fooled and his reputation as a general was gone. At the later Battle of Sharpsburg (Antietam), McClellan caught up with Lee’s army. McClellan again had a much larger army.

A general of Lee’s staff described the situation as follows: McClellan has brought superior forces, it is true.But he has also brought himself.

McClellan won the battle with devastating losses, but given that Lee’s orders came to his hands in advance by chance, he should have completely destroyed Lee.Instead, the war went on for two more bloody years.

As a logistician, McClellan was a genius.But as a strategist a zero.


[1 John Bankhead Magruder – Wikipedia

[2 Seven-Day Battle – Wikipedia

Leave a Reply