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I suppose this could be looked at in several ways. I would say one mistake would be the order to fire on a group of riders given by Maj. John D. Barry. Barry's 18th NCI Regiment opened fire on what they thought was the enemy, but it turned out it was General Stonewall Jackson returning from a meeting with his aides. As far as giving the enemy an advantage, I would say this was a major turning point as Old Jack was a cornerstone of the army. One of the most common (and most costly) mistakes made is failure to seize and maintain initiative. When a commander has the initiative he is able to keep the enemy off-balance and to control many factors of the engagement. He can force the enemy to: fight in less than favorable conditions, to deploy troops and delay, to spend valuable resources attempting to contain attacking forces, to react to feints which open up the flanks or the rear to attack, and to fight in terrain not suited to the enemy force's strengths. By giving up the initiative, the commander opens his own force up to these same disadvantages.

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Q: What are some major errors made by leaders to give their enemies an advantage?
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