28942Re: [civilwarwest] JEJ and the Atlanta Campaign
- Oct 4, 2004General Sherman estimated, with the use of spy's, that
Joe Johnston had forty to sixty thousand men
entrenched at Dalton. Sherman had one hundred
thousand. These numbers do not allow Johnston any
other choice. He must fight a defensive campaign or
risk loosing his supply lines.
In a letter to General Grant, Sherman makes his
opinions quite clear.
"My own opinion is that Johnston will be compelled to
hang to his railroad, the only possible avenue of
supply to his army, estimated at from forty-five to
sixty thousand men."
Later in the campaign at New Hope he wrote.
"Satisfied that Johnston in person was at New Hope
with all his army, and that it was so much nearer my
"objective;" the railroad."
With an Army half the size of his foe and a single
supply source what alternative did he have? There is
plenty of evidence to support the idea that Sherman
wished that Johnston would, stay in one place and
fight it out, allowing him to surround him and cut off
I believe that Lee would have done the same thing, In
fact when Lee was handed the control of all the
confederate forces the first thing he did was restore
Johnston to command to slow the advance of Sherman
through the Carolinas.
--- William Gower <billgower@...> wrote:
> Was Joseph E. Johnston justified in his not wanting=====
> to take the offensive
> after he took over command of the Army of Tennessee?
> At the time he took
> over he did have a demoralized, badly trained army
> which he rectified by the
> end of March.
> Did he do the only thing possible for his army to do
> by his continually
> falling back to Atlanta?
> Or was Johnston, the McClellan of the South always
> waiting for the perfect
> situation and never thinking that he had enough
> troops? I realize the
> situation was a little bit different in that he was
> outnumbered by Sherman
> whereas McClellan outnumbered Lee/Johnston.
General Grant upon meeting Robert E. Lee for the first time at Appomattox Court House.
"I felt like anything rather than rejoicing at the downfall of a foe who had fought so long and valiantly, and had suffered so much for a cause, though that cause was, I believe, one of the worst for which a people ever fought, and one for which there was the least excuse."
"Whatever enables us to go to war, secures our peace." --Thomas Jefferson
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