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1117Re: [civilwarwest] Did they fight in the West?

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  • Don Myers
    Aug 2, 2000
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      I have been a sideline observer for some time now. I'm afraid I have
      many more questions than answers. I have studied Grant's Ft.'s Henry and
      Donaldson campaign in some detail, and I am now begining to look at Bragg's
      62 Kentucky Invasion.

      The question posed reference fixed field fortifications by the CSA
      instead of gunboats is thought provoking. Anyone with an shread of tactical
      ability could see the importance of the Rivers in the defense of the South.
      Yet, despite their promises otherwise the Forts were not prepared to meet
      their purpose, and no "Navy" was available to assist in their defense.

      Does anyone believe that not one person in West Tennessee could have
      advised somebody where the high water mark for the Tennessee River was ar
      Ft. Henry. Or was the temperment of the day such that a private or civilian
      could not approach a commander and relay such info?

      Don Myers
      -----Original Message-----
      From: Dick Weeks <shotgun@...>
      To: civilwarwest@egroups.com <civilwarwest@egroups.com>
      Date: Wednesday, August 02, 2000 8:55 PM
      Subject: Re: [civilwarwest] Did they fight in the West?

      >Andy, I could not agree more. Some time back I started this discussion
      >group to try to learn more about the Western Theater.
      >A friend of mine, who is now deceased, that you folks that have visited the
      >various portions of my website knew as Irish, and whom his students knew as
      >Dr. Butner, told me in one of his essay's for the site, "One of the first
      >key moments of the war was found in the security of the border states and
      >the long wide, rolling transportation conduits known as the Ohio,
      >Cumberland and Mississippi Rivers. These were the grand prizes that would
      >either spell defeat or victory in the eyes of the people who held them."
      >Since the inception of my studies of the Civil War many years ago I had
      >concentrated my studies in the East. I am very knowledgeable, can and have
      >given tours on the battlefields of Manassas (both 1st and 2nd), South
      >Mountain and Antietam, and Gettysburg. However, Irish's words struck a
      >and it suddenly dawned on me that regardless of what happened in the East,
      >the war was to be won or lost in the West.
      >Some time after the death of Irish, I decided to see if I could learn more
      >about this "war in the West." I already had read quite a bit and
      >established some opinions but needed more. That being the opinions of
      >others. Irish and I had many a private discussion about the action in the
      >West. We discussed such things as "what if Richmond had fallen in
      >McClellan's Peninsula Campaign? Would this have been the end of the war?
      >would the South build forts to defend the rivers when any student of
      >knows that "fixed fortifications" are a monument to stupidity? Was it
      >because they were stupid or just did not have the resources to man the
      >rivers with ironclads?" Now, if the war in the West was so important, why
      >the war in the East so studied and the war in the West is virtually
      >Maybe some of you folks have an answer.
      >The main purpose of this this mail is to let you folks know that I am very
      >disappointed in the discussions this group has had to date. Let me try to
      >explain. As of today, there is 176 members in this group. There is no way
      >you are going to convince me that of this number there is not at least half
      >that don't have strong opinions about the war in the West. Why then do we
      >not get more discussions started? I can tell you why I don't really try
      >start a discussion, but can speak for no one else. Think back when you were
      >in school and the teacher/instructor/professor, at the end of the lecture
      >asked "are there any questions?" and you thought to yourself, and were
      >afraid to admit to anyone, that you did not know enough to ask an
      >intelligent question. That is were I am. I hope you all understand
      >I firmly believe there the purpose of a "discussion group" is to "discuss."
      >If there is no one out there that has opinions, questions, ideas, then why
      >am I maintaining it? I hope everyone gets my meaning.
      >I am, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
      >Dick (a.k.a. Shotgun)
      >----- Original Message -----
      >From: D. Andrew Burden, Ph.D. <daburden@...>
      >To: <civilwarwest@egroups.com>
      >Sent: Wednesday, August 02, 2000 4:11 PM
      >Subject: [civilwarwest] Did they fight in the West?
      >> The following quote can be found at:
      >> http://www.delawareonline.com/news/2000/april/story404302000.html
      >> I thought this was an interesting observation, by a reenactor no less:
      >> "I believe you can't understand America today unless you
      >> understand the Civil
      >> War," Pickett said. "We came as close as we've ever come
      >> to being two
      >> nations. And this battle was the turning point in the
      >> war. Prior to Gettysburg, the
      >> South had won everything."
      >> Has this guy never studied the Western theater? It was, after all,
      >> where the war was won/lost (depending upon your perspective).
      >> Andy
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