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Re: Was it the Worst Blunder?

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  • josepharose
    Mr. Smith and Mr. Hartshje: I feel that you are not giving Bragg his due credit, not that I think that he was all that good as a battlefield commander. If the
    Message 1 of 122 , May 1, 2002
      Mr. Smith and Mr. Hartshje:

      I feel that you are not giving Bragg his due credit, not that I
      think that he was all that good as a battlefield commander.

      If the issue is, "what might have happened had Bragg had another
      division at Stone's River," a neutral stance should be maintained in
      guessing the likely outcomes.

      Although Bragg did screw up badly in utilizing his right flank, the
      initial attack on the left did grave damage to the Union line.
      Thus, if the additional division had benn employed to attack the
      Round Forest brigade-by-brigade later in the battle, you would
      probably be correct.

      If, however, the division had been attached to Bragg's left, maybe
      McCook's corps would have been crushed so badly that it couldn't
      offer further resistance; maybe Sheridan would have been swept off
      the field more quickly, allowing the Rebels to successfully insert
      themselves between Thomas' two divisions; or maybe the extra troops
      could have advanced fast enough to have captured the Union supply
      trains which were already in jeopardy.

      The fairest way to estimate the effect of an additional division
      would probably be to assign it the outcome achieved by the *average*
      division in Bragg's army: some success and some failure. The battle
      was such a close-run affair, however, that this might have been
      sufficient to ensure a Confederate victory. Then, again, the
      Federals might still have held on by the skin of their teeths.

      Joseph


      --- In civilwarwest@y..., "dmsmith001" <dmsmith001@y...> wrote:
      > --- In civilwarwest@y..., "hartshje" <Hartshje@a...> wrote:
      > > Dave,
      > >
      > > Given the inflexibility of Bragg's tactical thinking process
      once
      > > conditions on the battlefield have changed significantly, I for
      one
      > > would have to say that Bragg would most likely have flung his
      extra
      > > troops (if he had them) head-on against the re-established Union
      > > line, thereby greatly increasing the casualty count, but not
      > > altering the results one iota !!
      >
      > Joe,
      >
      > I tend to agree 100 percent with you. I've seen little to nothing
      of
      > Bragg's ability to tactically fight a battle that would suggest to
      me
      > anything different would have happened, other than to increase
      > Confederate casualties.
      >
      > About the only way that one can come up with the "improved"
      scenario
      > is to look at it look at it more as a war-gaming scenario, and
      ignore
      > who was actually on the field.
      >
      > >
      > > As far as the biggest blunder, IMO that would have been the
      > > election of J.Davis as President.
      >
      > If not Davis, then whom? Toombs?
      >
      > Dave
      >
      > Dave Smith
      > Villa Hills, KY
    • dmsmith001
      ... Well, OK. :-) I m not sure of the exact timing, but it was probably about June 1 or so when Grant got his besieging lines wrapped to the Mississippi on the
      Message 122 of 122 , May 19, 2002
        --- In civilwarwest@y..., "carlw4514" <carlw4514@y...> wrote:
        > I confess I'm not sure, maybe we'll hear from Dave Smith on this.

        Well, OK. :-)

        I'm not sure of the exact timing, but it was probably about June 1 or
        so when Grant got his besieging lines wrapped to the Mississippi on
        the southern end, covering Halls Ferry and the Warrenton Roads.
        Until then, Pemberton had the option of trying to break out to the
        South, but that had to be a very iffy proposition.

        For sure, Pemberton losed most of his artillery, including a lot of
        the mobile stuff, as well as all of his wounded.

        He has to get south of the Big Black, and probably use the Port
        Gibson / Jackson Road as a nexus to get to Jackson. Johnston can't
        really help him, and he (Pemberton) is moving away from Johnston.

        At this point, roles are reversed - Pemberton is moving on exterior
        lines, and Grant on interior. Not an easy proposition.

        I'd guess had he tried, Pemberton would have lost the city, 3/4 of
        his artillery, and probably half of whatever he tried to get out with.

        I simply cannot see Grant remaining inert during this time, and idly
        letting Pemberton get out.

        Dave

        DAve Smith
        Villa Hills, KY
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