Historians as numerologists (cont. again)

I thought I would have time to get into some substance tonight, but time is short, so let's at least roll forward with more analysis.

There are essentially four possible positions available on commanders and Civil War estimates:

(1) We know - they didn't know.

(2) We know - they knew.

(3) We don't know - they didn't know.

(4) We don't know - they knew.

What's your view? Most people, sadly, fit into (1) and these are the people torturing Manny by calling the fallen "stupid as pissants."

To let you know where I am coming from, I am closer to (4) than to (3).

I view (1) and (2) as preposterous. Until I see one historian use the Union's Medical and Surgical History figures (or refute them), (1) and (2) are beyond the reach of the Civil War reading public. Totally beyond its reach.

Choice (3) requires a humility that is not in the least encouraged in the literature.

Hubris in ACW authors is why I was so surprised to find (4) in David Detzer's Donnybrook. Detzer notices Robert Patterson attributing high numbers to Johnston's army in the valley and asks why? He asks it honestly, humbly, not as a setup for character assasination.

He asks, he seeks, and he finds something remarkable. That's where we'll pick this up next time.