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28944RE: [civilwarwest] JEJ and the Atlanta Campaign

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  • William Gower
    Oct 4, 2004

      Actually Lee’s first preference for Davis to reinstate Beauregard to be the commander of the AOT.  Davis refused to reinstate Beauregard because his pride would not let him admit that he was wrong in the first place for removing him so the command went to Johnston who was the only other Lt. Gen. available to take the command.  Incidentally Lee was Davis’ first choice but he didn’t want to go.



      From: Rick Moody [mailto:r_moody@...]
      Sent: Monday, October 04, 2004 6:35 PM
      To: civilwarwest@yahoogroups.com
      Subject: Re: [civilwarwest] JEJ and the Atlanta Campaign


      General 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
      his supplies.

      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.

      Rick Moody

      --- 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.

      Rick Moody

      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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