Jefferson davis Talent as a confederate general or sectary of war

JWQ

Banned
Suppose Jefferson Davis had rejected the offer of being the president of the confederate states of America. Instead, he preferred to be General in the confederate army, particularly the rank of General in chief of the confederate army. Still, He was willing to be posted where ever the confederacy asked him to be. I know that Jefferson Davis also liked the idea of being secretary of war again, and he hated the position of being president of the confederacy. Historians, particularly William c Davis, Emory Thomas, regarded his presidential leadership as incompetent in a very dire situation; nepotism was one of his many major faults.

How well would have Jefferson Davis have fared as a political General under the confederate army of Mississippi under Mississippi Governor petius? Even if the general were not able to retain the rank at a minimum given his political connections and experiences, a major general would be the most probable rank he held during the war and at minimum a brigadier general, which I could see him do much better at compared to the president of the CSA.

As there are better generals than Jefferson Davis, he would not have been able to retain the ranked throughout the war though I could see him being of the better of the political generals, I don't think he would have done well as a wartime confederate secretary of state
 
Davis got high marks as a commander in the Mexican-American war, and as secretary of war. He'd probably have served in either of those roles fairly well. But he was promoted beyond his competency---kind of like Hood, who was an awesome brigade commander, but a horrid army commander.
 
Davis got high marks as a commander in the Mexican-American war...
Commanding a regiment. That really doesn't say much about how he'd do in command of larger formations. A. S. Johnson was very senior, with a huge reputation from pre-war - but his tenure in command was a litany of failures.
and as secretary of war. He'd probably have served in either of those roles fairly well. But he was promoted beyond his competency---kind of like Hood, who was an awesome brigade commander, but a horrid army commander.
However, he managed his plantation successfully, and was OK as Sec of War. So major leadership was not beyond him.

He would not have been C-in-C of the CS Army; he was way too junior for that. Most likely, he would get a brigade command to start with, with a fairly quick bump to division. If he did well, corps or independent-corps level command.
 
Commanding a regiment. That really doesn't say much about how he'd do in command of larger formations. A. S. Johnson was very senior, with a huge reputation from pre-war - but his tenure in command was a litany of failures.

However, he managed his plantation successfully, and was OK as Sec of War. So major leadership was not beyond him.

He would not have been C-in-C of the CS Army; he was way too junior for that. Most likely, he would get a brigade command to start with, with a fairly quick bump to division. If he did well, corps or independent-corps level command.
The big question, assuming Davis gets a brigade or maybe a division, is who is the President of the CSA? Judah Benjamin? Toombs?
 
The big question, assuming Davis gets a brigade or maybe a division, is who is the President of the CSA? Judah Benjamin? Toombs?
Benjamin was never a candidate, for obvious reasons. I've read that Toombs could have had it if he hadn't mistakenly deferred to Howell Cobb. But that is a whole different question, not immediately relevant.
 

dcharleos

Donor
Benjamin was never a candidate, for obvious reasons. I've read that Toombs could have had it if he hadn't mistakenly deferred to Howell Cobb. But that is a whole different question, not immediately relevant.

In A Government of Our Own, William C Davis said that Toombs was in the running, but kept getting wasted at the dinner parties in Montgomery--making him seem like a bigger jackass than the people he was eating with.
 

JWQ

Banned
Benjamin was never a candidate, for obvious reasons. I've read that Toombs could have had it if he hadn't mistakenly deferred to Howell Cobb. But that is a whole different question, not immediately relevant.
Howell cobb would be a likely nominee for the CSA presidency as the convention preferred him over Toombs. The problem would be Howell Cobb didn't want to be president. Therefore, it would be beneficial for Jefferson Davis to have not elected him as president. Instead, if the former secretary of war knew that he was about to be nominated, president, if he could ask a commission in their army or secretary of war, Davis would have desired.

If Davis agreed to endorse Howell cobb, established by the two-man would establish a plausible covenant for president cobb to share his leadership power with vice president Robert Toombs.While a different administration and divergence other then Jefferson Davis as the csa president earns by captivation I'm primarily interested in Jefferson Davis thought experiment for him to be general or secretary of war. I do appreciate everyone’s comments however.

Jefferson Davis clearly failed as wartime leader, but he perhaps would’ve been a better officer than commanders and chief
 
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If Davis agreed to endorse Howell cobb, established by the two-man would establish a plausible covenant for president cobb to share his leadership power with vice president Robert Toombs.
First, Davis was not present in Montgomery, and took no part in the deliberations of the Provisional Confederate Congress. So he could not endorse anyone.

Second, if Howell Cobb from Georgia was chosen as CS President, then political balance would require that the CS Vice President be from some other state, not Georgia. So there would be no possibility of Toombs being chosen.
 
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William Davis seems to imply that Davis was the natural choice, especially since Toombs self destruction removed him from the running, if Davis explicitly doesn't want it or backs down Cobb is the next runner up, with potentially Stephens as well.

To me, Stephens seemed to be a much better politician than Davis was (at least on a personal level).
 
Since he was from Mississippi, Davis would likely been assigned a command in the West. Since A.S. Johnston had such a high reputation prewar, Davis would probably been a subordinate of Johnston. Since Davis hero worshipped him, I can see Davis okay with that.
So that leads to where does he command? Bragg had the force at Pensacola. Polk had Columbus, KY. Hardee had Central Kentucky. Zollicoffer had East Tennessee. With Davis' political clout, he could probably push out any of them. Each one is a very interesting scenario. There is even a dark horse:Jeff Davisdom instead of Kirby Smithdom in the TransMississippi.
 
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