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44061Re: [civilwarwest] The hard hand of logistics in the Chickamauga-Chattanooga Campaign

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  • Steve Hall
    Jul 20, 2007
      This is very interesting, especially in light of the fact that Grant had opened his "cracker line" into Chattanooga on Oct. 28.  This shows that the history books do not give the full story since they all paint the picture that supplies were plentiful up to Bridgeport, and it was from there to Chattanooga over the Cumberland Plateau that there was a major problem.  The Chattanooga - Chickamauga Battlefield website only says "Within days of Grant's arrival atChattanooga in October, the situation began to change dramatically. On October 28 Federal troops opened a short supply route (called the "Cracker Line") from Bridgeport, Alabama." Then it goes on to tell about the fighting in late November around Chattanooga.  I noticed that it also says nothing about how bad things got with the troops in Chattanooga and the lack of supplies! 
          Why can't the "historians" of today do as their fore runners did?  I am currently reading a book entitled "Historical Collections of Georgia" by Rev. George White.  It was originally published in 1855 and tries very hard to show both sides of the issues involved.  I am reading the section currently dealing with the period just before the Revolution and he has included documents from both sides of the issue.  Some of the documents included show the reasonable demands and reasons for opposing the laws of Parlament, then the very next will show the arguments for supporting the crown and mother country.  Books today do not even try to show both sides and makes it look like all true Americans were for the revolution, while the truth of the matter is that most were really undecided.  In one passage from this work one of the selected delegates to the Continental Congress makes the point that the undecided elements of the state greatly outnumber those who support their mission and those who oppose it! 
          BTW, I found it very interesting to read some of the resolutions passed by the merchants and other citizens in protest to the tarriffs and other "intolerable acts" of the British government.  One clause in particular jumped out.  They were listing the items that they would NOT purchase or import, tea being the most obvious one, but "Slaves from Africa or the West Indies" came up in several of these.  Georgia was barring the importation of slaves in 1774!  Not the picture painted by the history books concerning the end of the slave importation is it?  Most of them make it look like it was the South that wanted the trade to continue and, barring that, insisted on it continueing for 20 years after the ratification of the Constitution, when in reality, the 20 year period was brought out by the NORTH!
      Steve Hall - Commander
      Lt. Col. William Luffman Camp #938
      Sons of Confederate Veterans
      Chatsworth, Georgia
      ----- Original Message -----
      Sent: Friday, July 20, 2007 5:44 PM
      Subject: [civilwarwest] The hard hand of logistics in the Chickamauga-Chattanooga Campaign

      I noticed this letter in a catalog and thought it worth sharing.

      189. LETTER-REPORT CONCERNING WAGON TRAINS 3p 8x10 manuscript from Ezra B.
      Kirk 71st NY, 14th OVI then AQM Vols. Letter going to Col. A. J. McKay
      STEVENSON, ALA, Nov 1st 1863. Col, Enclosed I hand you report of arrival and
      departures of wagons trains at this place for the day. Your dispatch was
      received and answered by Telegraph. Enclosed I hand you statement of trains
      now here with remarks. I have done all in my power to facilitate the mooring
      of trains but feel that all my labor has been in vain, caused so from
      several reasons; first, the want of forage. For 3 and 4 days at a time not a
      sack of corn was to be had and trains were compelled to forage in the
      country for sufficient to keep their stocks alive. Second, the want of
      mechanics to repair the wagons and shoe the mules. I don't pretend to say
      whose fault it is that the necessary foreage and mechanics are not provided
      but an increased supply of both are very much needed out of the Seventeen
      trains now here, only four have a grain of corn, two of them (both belonging
      to 3d Divs 14th AC) have sufficient to make the trip to Chatanooga, the
      other two a couple of days rations each. I shall send 50 wagons out foraging
      in the morning if no forage arrives tonight. The general understanding seems
      to be that trains now here and arriving are to remain until the roads
      improve and supply of forage is sent to the front is that the fact? In my
      report of yesterday, Capt McCunes train of 41 wagons, 3d Div 14 AC was
      reported as departed, it was an error of my clerk, the train has not
      started. There will be at least seventy five wagons to be deducted out of
      the 456 reported here should you desire to make an estimate of the amt.
      transportated. Many of the teams would not be able to haul the empty wagon
      back if they had been well fed while here and as it is they cannot get back
      without a harness on. Capt. Warren has about 2000 head of horses and mules
      in one correll and they are decaying at the rate of 30 head per day,
      something should be done with them at once. All commissary stores are
      passing through to Bridgeport. I should like very much to get away from
      here. I am Col, very Resp your obtd svt E. B. Kirk AAQM.
      40478....... ......... ......... .$65.00

      Catalog 223, June 2007, Olde Soldier Books

      Take care,


      Judy and Bob Huddleston
      10643 Sperry Street
      Northglenn, CO 80234-3612
      303.451.6376 Huddleston.r@ comcast.net

      "The rule is perfect: in all matters of opinion our adversaries are insane."

      ---Mark Twain, 1907

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