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Remember that time we let ex-Confederate officers back in the Army for the Spanish-American War, aka, the most poorly managed major conflict in US history for absolutely zero reason?

Hell, the Army chose TAMPA as its port of embarkation. You know it's bad when they did that
I mean, hell, at least the Navy had their shit together and the poor Spaniards couldn't shoot straight. The US volunteers basically just charged at everything - yeah, TR, lookin at you, you'd be dead without John Parker's Gatling gun barrage.

Foolishness
This is a conflict in which so many soldiers were dying of disease in Cuba that the Army was like, "fuckit, we out" and basically withdrew everyone

Sanitation is important, people

Also, drink G&Ts and you don't get malaria. Much. Lessons learned.
But yeah. Four former traitors - is that a thing? - got commissions as generals of volunteers in the Span-Am War. Yeah. GOs. For volunteers, sure, but still: US ARMY.

You got Joe Wheeler, Fitzhugh Lee (R.E.L.'s nephew), Matthew Butler, and Thomas Rosser.
So, Joe Wheeler. Rebel cavalry commander in the Western theater, where he lost a lot. During the Atlanta Campaign, he pulled a "JEB Stuart special" & took off on an even bigger ride that did even less & Hood got 0 intel & got his ass kicked out of Atlanta

Whoops
Wheeler didn't accompany Hood's "let's go get destroyed by GH Thomas" expedition to Nashville, but this wasn't super helpful, because his cavalry was as despised in Georgia as Sherman's troops

So he was naturally elected to Congress from Alabama after the war.
In 1898, Wheeler was given command of the US cavalry division in Cuba during the Span-Am War. He had orders not to get fighting started until all the US forces were landed. But discipline was never his thing, so he pulled a Harry Heth & charged a Spanish position right off
Things seemed to be going well for Wheeler's brigade until the Spaniards committed *checks notes* uh, two companies. And then a BN from Puerto Rico counterattacked and halted Wheeler's troops right out. Then he got sick and missed the rest of the campaign.
With this *stellar* reputation, he got a brigadier general's commission in the regular Army and went off to the Philippines where he served under MacArthur's dad - ironic, since Arthur MacArthur had played a role in kicking Wheeler's sorry ass out of Tennessee in the Civil War
Then you got Fitz Lee, who becomes governor of Virginia after the war, specializing in "reconciliation" - which is code for marginalizing former slaves & glossing over the war. He then becomes consul to Havana in 1898 - which he clearly did *super* well at, given that war begins
He gets a commission as major general of volunteers and command of a corps, but never actually serves in any combat. He goes on to be military governor of Havana...which is odd, because he hadn't done a very good job the first time he was there
Thomas Rosser basically just trained cavalry stateside during the war and was discharged as soon as the war was over

But then you've got Matthew Butler. This asshole. As a post-war attorney, he tried to get an all-black militia company in SC to turn over their weapons
This was 1876, Hamburg, SC. They refused, being part of the state's actual lawful militia. An armed white mob assembled, laid siege to the company's armory, killed two of them in the street, and later four that they'd captured.

No white men were ever charged for these murders
The following year, Reconstruction ended and Federal troops were withdrawn, and Butler was elected to the US Senate from 1877-1895. He was accused of intimidating black community leaders with violence. He also introduced a bill to pay freedmen to go back to Africa

Fuck this guy
Thankfully, although he got a commission of volunteers in the Span-Am War, he didn't actually command any troops

In 1903, he was elected VP of the Southern Historical Society, an organization devoted to the history of the Confederacy and a noted peddler of the Lost Cause Myth
So yeah. A stupid war with stupid decisions being made

FTR, the Army recognized this and spent the next 20 years reforming itself so as not to repeat the cf that was the Span-Am War
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