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33800RE: [civilwarwest] Re: Logistics

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  • Harry Smeltzer
    Sep 3, 2005
      The old saying goes "Amateurs study tactics - professionals study
      logistics." I think this is mostly because tactics lends itself more easily
      to sweeping, romantic generalizations in relative vacuums. Logistics is
      complicated and mind numbingly dull - most amateurs see it more often than
      not as an "excuse" for the failure of tactics.


      -----Original Message-----
      From: civilwarwest@yahoogroups.com [mailto:civilwarwest@yahoogroups.com] On
      Behalf Of profgrimsley
      Sent: Friday, September 02, 2005 11:47 PM
      To: civilwarwest@yahoogroups.com
      Subject: [civilwarwest] Re: Logistics

      One of the best introductions to the subject I have seen is an article
      that is now almost half a century old:

      John G. Moore, "Mobility and Strategy in the Civil War" Military
      Affairs, Vol. 24, No. 2, Civil War Issue. (Summer, 1960), pp. 68-77.

      Stable URL:

      Its documentation is deceptively simple, but it has some pretty shrewd
      calculations about the extent to which Civil War armies of a given
      size could forage within a given area and, particularly, the demands
      of supplying an army at increasing distances from a railhead.

      The issue is available online (thus the Stable URL). But--so far as I
      know-- it can only be accessed through
      J-STOR (short for Journal Storage), and you'll need permission to
      do so. However, many college libraries and even some secondary
      schools subscribe to it, and you can get to it via their on-site
      computers. You can find a list participating institutions here:


      It's not so much that this single article is worth the trouble of
      gaining access to J-STOR, but there's such an abundance of scholarship
      available once you do get access that it's worth looking into.

      As an alternative, the Moore article is reprinted in _Military
      Analysis of the Civil War_ (KTO Press, 1977).


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