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The Generalship of John C. Pemberton

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  • Bryan Dameron McRaven
    I want to ask the group what their thoughts are on the generalship of John C. Pemberton during the Vicksburg Campaign. I am not really interested in re-hashing
    Message 1 of 2 , Aug 2, 2000
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              I want to ask the group what their thoughts are on the generalship of John C. Pemberton during the Vicksburg Campaign. I am not really interested in re-hashing the tired old question, "Why did he stay in Vicksburg," but  want to focus on the events and battles which led up to his entrenching in the "Hill City."  Given that Pemberton and Johnston had a slightly greater number of men at the outset of the campaign, approx. 52,000, versus Grant's approx. 50,000, why did the Confederate forces give such a poor showing. It is my thesis that the majority of the fault lies with Pemberton, it certainly cannot lie with the troops under his command.
      When John Bowen called for reinforcements at Port Gibson to arrest Grant's advance on May 1, 1863, Pemberton delayed sending troops for more than fourteen hours. When the troops finally arrived, the battle was over. Bowen had held McClernand's Corps, and one Division of McPherson's Corps for twenty hours. What would have happened had he been reinforced in a timely manner?  THe battle at Raymond is another example of the Confederate Troops' tenacity in the face of greatly superior odds, which was again displayed at Jackson the folowing day.
          When Johnston ordered Pemberton to march with all speed to unite their forces, why did Pemberton stop at Edwards, MS for three days? When he did move, he did so not to unite with Johnston, but to strike at Grant's non-existent "line of supply." Why did he not obey orders?  As he advanced, he crossed Baker's Creek, where he stopped, without sending out patrols to find out the whereabouts of the Union army. The next morning he troops fought McPherson and McClernand's Corps, greatly outnumbered and with a river at their backs; the battle of Champion's Hill. Was it Pemberton's ineptitude as a commander, or something else.
           I have many of my own ideas on this subject, but I would enjoy hearing those of fellow researchers.
                                                                                                                                    Bryan Dameron McRaven 
    • Bryan Dameron McRaven
      I want to ask the group what their thoughts are on the generalship of John C. Pemberton during the Vicksburg Campaign. I am not really interested in re-hashing
      Message 2 of 2 , Aug 2, 2000
      • 0 Attachment
                I want to ask the group what their thoughts are on the generalship of John C. Pemberton during the Vicksburg Campaign. I am not really interested in re-hashing the tired old question, "Why did he stay in Vicksburg," but  want to focus on the events and battles which led up to his entrenching in the "Hill City."  Given that Pemberton and Johnston had a slightly greater number of men at the outset of the campaign, approx. 52,000, versus Grant's approx. 50,000, why did the Confederate forces give such a poor showing. It is my thesis that the majority of the fault lies with Pemberton, it certainly cannot lie with the troops under his command.
        When John Bowen called for reinforcements at Port Gibson to arrest Grant's advance on May 1, 1863, Pemberton delayed sending troops for more than fourteen hours. When the troops finally arrived, the battle was over. Bowen had held McClernand's Corps, and one Division of McPherson's Corps for twenty hours. What would have happened had he been reinforced in a timely manner?  THe battle at Raymond is another example of the Confederate Troops' tenacity in the face of greatly superior odds, which was again displayed at Jackson the folowing day.
            When Johnston ordered Pemberton to march with all speed to unite their forces, why did Pemberton stop at Edwards, MS for three days? When he did move, he did so not to unite with Johnston, but to strike at Grant's non-existent "line of supply." Why did he not obey orders?  As he advanced, he crossed Baker's Creek, where he stopped, without sending out patrols to find out the whereabouts of the Union army. The next morning he troops fought McPherson and McClernand's Corps, greatly outnumbered and with a river at their backs; the battle of Champion's Hill. Was it Pemberton's ineptitude as a commander, or something else.
             I have many of my own ideas on this subject, but I would enjoy hearing those of fellow researchers.
                                                                                                                                      Bryan Dameron McRaven 
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