Jim, I really wish Dr. B was around to talk about this subject again. I always thought of Kirby Smith as an honest man in over his head. Now I wonder if he wasn't simply another snake in the weeds. He certainly seems to have been glory seeking when he tried to overtake and whip Steele in Arkansas and there is no doubt he snatched defeat out of the jaws of victory by undermining Taylor.
I am not a subscriber to the idea that the war was lost on any one field of battle or even campaign. But I can't help but wonder if Lincoln would have been relected in 1864 if Taylor had captured Banks at Monet's Ferry and/or the Union fleet at Alexandria.