RARA-AVIS: Re: Pinkerton

From: Moorich2@aol.com
Date: 19 Dec 2001

Recent posts over the last two weeks sent directly have never appeared so I am trying the "reply" route.

I have the Owen Parry book but have yet to read it. Spying in the US Civil War is a fascinating area. The confederate general Longstreet had a personal spy, a former actor, who pops up now and then (notably at Gettysburg).

Allan Pinkerton was closely associated with US General George McClellan, who for a time commanded the Army of the Potomac. A great organizer and beloved by his troops, McClellan's flaw was an overly cautious nature. Consistantly, Pinkerton grossly overestimated the strength of the enemy to McClellan and bears some responsibility for missed opportunities McClellan had to deliver crushing blows. Never bold, as a Grant or Sherman, McClellan always believed he was facing armies twice the size of reality thanks to the Pinkerton estimates. When McClellan was relieved from duty by Lincoln in November 1862, Pinkerton also left.

Richard Moore

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