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Re: Red River Campaign

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  • Dave Smith
    ... snip ... But I think that to be fair to Banks, he no more acted successfully in conjunction with Grant s forces (and he ranked Grant at the time) than
    Message 1 of 55 , Sep 10, 2002
      --- In civilwarwest@y..., David Kowalski <kywddavid@y...> wrote:

      > It does seem that many of the similar failings can be
      > applied to Banks' western campaigns. How quickly did
      > he act? Did he act successfully in conjunction with
      > Grant's forces at Vicksburg?

      But I think that to be fair to Banks, he no more acted successfully
      in conjunction with Grant's forces (and he ranked Grant at the time)
      than Grant acted in conjunction with Banks's forces.

      As a matter of fact, Banks at least called for some cooperation.
      Grant chose to "ignore" the request. Kind of a pocket veto, if you
      will ... ;-)


      Dave Smith
      Villa Hills, KY
    • William H Keene
      ... with Grant. As far ... farther ... of time, ... for ... what did ... I agree with you about Mobile; but sadly Sherman and Halleck did not. They had their
      Message 55 of 55 , Aug 21, 2006
        --- In civilwarwest@yahoogroups.com, keeno2@... wrote:
        > In a message dated 8/21/2006 4:38:57 PM Central Daylight Time,
        > wh_keene@... writes:
        > Halleck and Sherman were the main supporters of the campaign. Banks
        > initially opossed it until Halleck convinced him to do it. Same
        with Grant. As far
        > as I can tell Lincoln simply deferred to Halleck.
        > I don't see the reasoning behind it. Get into Texas? Push the Rebs
        > back from the river? Seems that Mobile would have been less a waste
        of time,
        > even if that had failed as well. Guess that's what I'm looking
        for ... what did
        > they hope to gain?
        > Ken

        I agree with you about Mobile; but sadly Sherman and Halleck did not.
        They had their eye on Shreveport first. The main military attraction
        of Shreveport was that it was the headquarters of the Confederate
        forces west of the Mississippi. [$$$ also played a role in making some
        have an interest in the campaign -- there was a lot of cotton up the
        red river.]

        Sherman seemed to have the idea that he could move up the river with
        Porter's boats and raid Shreveport like he did to Meridian. He
        expected it would have the effect of completely disrupting the
        Confederates in the west and in one letter he refers to going to
        Shreveport to make the enemy 'pay in gold or cotton for all the
        depredations on our river commerce'. Basically he wanted to make
        Louisiana howl. He also expected the enemy forces to retreat into
        Texas rather than fight. He did not, in my opinion, have a good
        understanding of the enemy nor for that matter the geography, even
        though he had spent time there before the war.

        Halleck was more interested in seizing and holding Shreveport. He had
        pushed for the Red River Route as the best way to completely secure
        Arkansas and Louisiana. He expected that this would free up troops in
        Arkansas, Missouri and along the Mississippi which could then be
        shifted eastward. He also focused on a campaign along the Red River
        becuase it would allow for a concentration of forces from Arkansas
        with those from Louisiana, a strategic idea he was fond of.

        It appears to me that Sherman's enthusiasm had a great deal to do with
        making the campaign happen. In fact, in writing about the time,
        Lincoln's secretary John Hay referred to the campaign as Sherman's
        idea. However, it was Halleck's vision of occupying the area that
        became the plan of action -- Grant ordered Banks to "hold Shreveport
        and the Red River with such force as you may deem necessary".
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