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Further replies to David Woodbury

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  • wh_keene
    Did Johnston expect McPherson to move an entire army through Snake Creek Gap? Apparently not. So your saying that Johnston thought McPherson might attack
    Message 1 of 37 , Apr 2 12:41 PM
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      "Did Johnston expect McPherson to move an entire army through Snake
      Creek Gap? Apparently not."

      So your saying that Johnston thought McPherson might attack Resaca
      but he did not think Snake Creek gap was a possible route. Why do you
      think this was? Is it your view that Johnston did not know Snake
      Creek Gap existed? Or did he not feel an army could move through it?


      "As you have repeatedly said, the forces Johnston placed at Resaca
      were to watch for McPherson to arrive from that direction. You said
      it is obvious if one looks at an 1864 map."

      Yes. Are you trying to make any point here?


      "I believe you said Martin was "bothering" McPherson's right, as if
      they had made contact and Martin were pressing McPherson. Kilpatrick
      merely says that Martin is operating in the direction, relative to
      McPherson (his right being Calhoun, and his rear being the line
      stretching off toward Rome).

      Kilpatrick uses the phrase "operating on" and states the side of
      specific forces on which Martin is operating: right of Smith's
      position and right and rear of McPherson's advance. This wording
      indicates some sort of contact or at least close proximity to the
      units mentioned.


      "He said he "must" do it. But I don't see the excuse for failure at
      Resaca that you're referring to? All he says is that Johnston was
      able to move faster on a good road, enabling him to reach sanctuary
      in the works at Resaca."

      On May 10th Sherman tells Halleck that "he will" (7am message) and
      that "he must" (7:30 pm message) get between Johnston and Resaca. In
      messages to Thomas and McPherson on the 10th he describes his plan as
      putting himself between Resaca and Johnston at Dalton. If this is
      his plan, he fails to achieve it. Sherman was unable to cut Johnston
      off from Resaca. In his report he uses the phrase: "Nothing saved
      Johnston's army at Resaca but …", indicating that what follows is a
      reason for why something, his plan, was not achieved.
    • hank9174
      I don t recall the details...but maybe the Snake Creek Gap discussion can move south a bit...We ve been their longer than Sherman and Johnston were ;) HankC
      Message 37 of 37 , Apr 8 8:25 AM
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        I don't recall the details...but maybe the Snake Creek Gap discussion
        can move south a bit...We've been their longer than Sherman and
        Johnston were ;)


        HankC


        --- In civilwarwest@y..., "carlw4514" <carlw4514@y...> wrote:
        > But I would say that Sherman DID work on the flanks and get Johnston
        > worried about his supply line; he worked Johnston out of his
        positions
        > by manuevering him out IMHO. Kennesaw Mountain seems to be the
        > exception, what got into him there ??
        > carl
        > --- In civilwarwest@y..., "hank9174" <clarkc@m...> wrote:
        > >
        > > unre,
        > >
        > > The occasional counter-punch get be very effective. Sometimes it
        hits
        > > air, sometimes it hits muscle, sometimes it gets through and hits
        the
        > > jaw.
        > >
        > > If you can get the opponent worried about their flanks and their
        > > supply line and their line of rtreat there is not much left to
        > > concentrate on offensive operations. I do not recall that Sherman
        much
        > > concerned himself with any of these (I suppose he considered
        cavalry
        > > raids on the railroad a potential nuisance); all his time was
        devoted
        > > to the offense.
        > >
        > > Johnston seems to have had it in the back of his mind that if a
        golden
        > > opportunity presented itself (a la Seven Pines) he would attack.
        This
        > > assumes his opponent blunders, so again he is waiting on the
        opponent
        > > rather than creating an opportunity himself.
        > >
        > > IIRC, Johnston was 'relieved' by a union bullet at Fair Oaks/Seven
        > > Pines. Personally, whatever we say about these fellows ability
        with
        > > strategy and tactics, most were extremely brave and willing to
        lead by
        > > example.
        > >
        > >
        > > HankC
        > >
        > >
        > > --- In civilwarwest@y..., "carlw4514" <carlw4514@y...> wrote:
        > > > Will, what do you think of Johnston's basic ideas of handling a
        > > > situation like he was handed here? We know the advantages in
        numbers
        > > > and resources went to the enemy, a problem for any general.
        > > Johnston's
        > > > tactics seem to be to make a stand and back up to the next best
        > > > defendable position when flanking pressure eased him out of his
        > > > redoubt. You know the whole situation in this part of the
        Atlanta
        > > > Campaign was damned similar to the Peninsula Campaign and in
        both
        > > > instances Johnston was relieved of command when he allowed the
        enemy
        > > > to eventually get basically to the city limits!
        > > > -So my question is, did Johnston's tactics as you describe them
        > > really
        > > > suffice? Johnston wanted to do battle, if Sherman would attack
        his
        > > > fortified positions, but Sherman wasn't going to play ball that
        way.
        > > > Did Johnston get backed up too easily? I sometimes think so.
        What
        > > > could he have done differently?
        > > > --- In civilwarwest@y..., "wh_keene" <wh_keene@y...> wrote:
        > > > > David said of McClellan and Johnston that "Both of them were
        > > > > reluctant to commit those armies to battle..."
        > > > >
        > > > > I disagree. Between Dalton and Atlanta was Johnston ever
        > > reluctant
        > > > > to battle with Sherman?
        > > > >
        > > > > Johnston's itinerary from early May through early July goes
        > > something
        > > > > like this:
        > > > >
        > > > > He met Sherman's attacks around Dalton.
        > > > > He left only when Sherman moved away instead of fighting some
        > > more.
        > > > >
        > > > > He moved to Resaca in order to battle with Sherman.
        > > > > He left only when Sherman moved away instead of fighting some
        > > more.
        > > > >
        > > > > He moved to Altoona Pass in order to battle with Sherman.
        > > > > He left when Sherman moved away instead of fighting at all.
        > > > >
        > > > > He moved to New Hope Church in order to battle with Sherman.
        > > > > He left only when Sherman moved away instead of fighting some
        > > more.
        > > > >
        > > > > He moved to Kennesaw Mountain in order to battle with Sherman.
        > > > > He left only when Sherman moved away instead of fighting some
        > > more.
        > > > >
        > > > > He moved to Smyrna to battle with Sherman.
        > > > > He left when Sherman moved away instead of fighting at all.
        > > > >
        > > > > He moved to the Chattahoochee to battle with Sherman.
        > > > > He left when Sherman moved away instead of fighting at all.
        > > > >
        > > > > If Sherman had stayed and fought at any of these places,
        Johnston
        > > > > would not have moved. But each time Sherman decided to move
        > > around
        > > > > instead.
        > > > >
        > > > >
        > > > >
        > > > >
        > > > > --- In civilwarwest@y..., David Woodbury <woodbury@s...>
        wrote:
        > > > > > >At 9:30 PM -0500 4/2/02, FLYNSWEDE@A... wrote:
        > > > > > >Yes, a good road that he had the foresight to start
        building in
        > > > > January.
        > > > > >
        > > > > > Yes, it really paid off when he had to rapidly retreat after
        > > > > Sherman
        > > > > > fooled him just days into the start of the campaign.
        > > > > >
        > > > > > Obviously Johnston worked wonders with the army from
        December to
        > > > > May.
        > > > > > He organized it, bolstered it, increased morale, and so on.
        In
        > > this
        > > > > > respect, he perhaps had some things in common with
        McClellan.
        > > Both
        > > > > of
        > > > > > them were able administrators. Both of them knew how to get
        an
        > > army
        > > > > > ready for active campaigning. Both of them were reluctant to
        > > commit
        > > > > > those armies to battle, however, and both consistently
        inflated
        > > the
        > > > > > enemy's numbers while downplaying their own. Both feuded
        with
        > > their
        > > > > > commanders-in-chief.
        > > > > >
        > > > > > As I said in a previous post, I have long ago softened my
        > > > > criticisms
        > > > > > of Johnston. He was an able general and a worthy opponent.
        Most
        > > of
        > > > > > our arm-chair critiques of historic figures are unrealistic,
        or
        > > > > > skewed -- in many respects, we know too much. In certain
        very
        > > real
        > > > > > respects, for example, we know more about what transpired at
        > > > > > Gettysburg than Lee did on his deathbed. Johnston is not
        > > deserving
        > > > > of
        > > > > > the harshest criticisms leveled at him by McMurry, I don't
        > > think;
        > > > > > likewise Sherman and the scathing indictments leveled at him
        by
        > > > > > Castel. Both generals penned extraordinarily self-serving
        > > memoirs,
        > > > > > but it's hard to find a Civil War general who didn't.
        > > > > >
        > > > > > That said, though I am more generous to Johnston these days,
        > > > > there's
        > > > > > only so far that reason and logic allow me to go. To believe
        > > that
        > > > > > Johnston was not surprised, or caught off guard, by
        McPherson at
        > > > > > Snake Creek Gap is too far.
        > > > > >
        > > > > > David
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