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17747Re: A different perspective

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  • Dave Smith
    May 1, 2003
      I think, too, trying to somehow compare the capture of Arkansas Post
      (a basically defenseless position with no means of receiving support
      once reached) with solving the dilemma of Vicksburg (a for the most
      part unreachable fortress) is kind of silly.

      Since we're trying to fathom the minds of Halleck et al here, I'd
      also suggest that while Grant was doing the "wallowing," he had
      Lincoln's tacit approval. Lincoln, right or wrong, wanted
      Vicksburg. Jeff Davis, parenthetically, wanted it held.

      As far as Rosecrans is concerned, I think you're spot on.


      --- In civilwarwest@yahoogroups.com, "Will" <wh_keene@y...> wrote:
      > --- In civilwarwest@yahoogroups.com, "josepharose"
      > wrote:
      > > Mr. Keene:
      > >
      > > As a barebones chronology, your outline is basically correct, but
      > it
      > > doesn't mention what was going on behind the scenes or summarize
      > the
      > > outcomes related to the generals' actions.
      > My chronology was focused on Grant, so it left out other actors
      > except as they interected with Grant.
      > > Halleck knew, as the message from the naval ORs shows, that
      > > McClernand had been chosen for command, and Halleck did what he
      > > could to prevent this from happening, even though he was
      > > circumventing Lincoln's wishes. This does not appear in your
      > > chronicle.
      > True, but Halleck's agenda was outside the focus of my chronology.
      > > Your one statement should read, "As of the beginning of December,
      > > Grant has received no *official* word that the President has
      > > assigned *McClernand.* Grant almost assuredly knew, but
      > > failure to "officially" determine the facts and to notify Grant
      > > allowed them to use the troops obviously apportioned for
      > > McClernand's river expedition for their (and Sherman's) own.
      > I disagree that Grant assuredly knew. And I disagree that the
      > were obviously (from Grant's persepctive) apportioned for
      > McClernand. He asked Halleck and was told that all troops were his
      > too command.
      > > A different perspective of this period would be:
      > > In their attempt to forestall McClernand's taking command of the
      > > expedition, Halleck, Grant and Sherman hastily sent the troops
      > > downriver where they suffered a lopsided defeat due, in part, to
      > > Sherman's inabilities and to Grant's failure to adequately
      > > his supply lines.
      > I don't think the reasons give are the cause of the failures.
      > > When McClernand belatedly took command, he led the troops to a
      > > significant victory at an objective which Sherman suggested.
      > Most of the leadership was exercised by Sherman and Porter.
      > McClernand also suceeded in immediately sowing discontent among his
      > subordinates and superiors, loosing focus on the assigned mission
      > having no further plan of action.
      > > When Grant took command again, he had the troops wallowing in
      > > ventures up and down the river for some three months during which
      > > time they suffered an inordinate number of deaths due to disease
      > and
      > > illness, before finally beginning the siege of Vicksburg.
      > The alternative being what? Withdraw back to Memphis?
      > I did not think the rate of disease was exceptional, but I will
      > into it.
      > > Grant was the beneficiary of this large influx of fresh troops
      > > had an overwhelming disparity over the Confederates, at a time
      > > Rosecrans fought a desparate battle in which he could have used
      > > additional 10- or 20,000 men.
      > So? Every general could use an additional 10-20,000 men.
      > Rosecrans, not Grant, was the creator of Rosecrans failures.
      > What unusual perspectives you have.
      > -Will (going on vacation for four days) Keene
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