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46937Re: [civilwarwest] Envelopment

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  • Chet Diestel
    Jan 20, 2011
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      --- On Thu, 1/20/11, Patricia Swan <pbswan@...> wrote:

      From: Patricia Swan <pbswan@...>
      Subject: [civilwarwest] Envelopment
      To: civilwarwest@yahoogroups.com
      Date: Thursday, January 20, 2011, 11:47 AM

      I thought that "envelopment" meant going around the flank(s) to get
      behind the enemy, not just attacking on the flank(s). If this is a
      correct definition, then Grant's plans at Chattanooga would seem to be
      flank attacks, not envelopments. Sherman was to get up on Missionary
      Ridge at the north end and "roll up" Bragg's army from that point.
      Hooker was to do likewise at the south end. Thomas was to hold the
      middle. As it turned out, Thomas' troops broke through the middle,
      aided by a somewhat late attack on the Confederate left flank by
      Hooker. Sherman was stopped by Cleburne's troops and did not "roll up"
      Bragg's army from his right flank. Thus, Grant's plans for attacks on
      Bragg's flanks were not very successful, while Thomas's troops did more
      than their planned part. It seems, therefore, that this battle was not
      a good example of attacks on the flank(s) and certainly not an envelopment.
         At Chattanooga, Grant's plans was for a full envelopment of the Confederate right flank (CSA POV) by Sherman and, if possible, a double envelopment of Bragg's Army of Tennessee by Hooker on the left.
          It was Grant's intention not just to hit the flanks but go beyond them until the attacking forces were, in  fact, positioned to the rear of the enemy's main battle line and not just roll up the flanks but trap much of the Southern army as the two forces closed with each other.
          Because, as noted, Sherman was held up by Cleburne's troops around Tunnel Hill and Hooker's lack of aggressiveness, the double envelopment never took place. However, the attack by Thomas' troops did hit not only the Confederate center along Missionary Ridge but both enemy flanks posted on the ridge as well.
          IMHO, there is not really a good example of the classical double envelopment -battle -- as exemplified at Cannae by Hannibal or Cowpens by Daniel Morgan ---  during the Civil War, although there were incidents of it taking place in repulsing various assaults during battles, the most famous being by Union troops during what is popularly known as Pickett's Charge at Gettysburg.
                        With regards,

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