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Halleck's Order to Abandon Vicksburg Campaign

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  • slippymississippi <slippymississippi@yah
    What if Pemberton had ignored Johnston s directive to move out from Bovina and attack? Grant would have received Halleck s order to move to Port Hudson as he
    Message 1 of 16 , Dec 30, 2002
      What if Pemberton had ignored Johnston's directive to move out from
      Bovina and attack? Grant would have received Halleck's order to move
      to Port Hudson as he sat in Brownsville (?) pondering how he would
      get across the Big Black River. Would Grant have dismissed the order
      in the same fashion that he did when he received it outside Bovina?
      Or was the destruction of the rail link between Vicksburg and Jackson
      assurance enough that Vicksburg would eventually fall? If the
      campaign had turned into a game of cat-and-mouse in the Mechanicsburg
      Corridor, how would Pemberton have managed to supply his force of
      40,000 men?
    • carlw4514 <carlw4514@yahoo.com>
      If I understand your question to essentially be what would happen if Grant cut off Pemberton but never crossed the Big Black? -- I think we would find
      Message 2 of 16 , Dec 30, 2002
        If I understand your question to essentially be "what would happen if
        Grant cut off Pemberton but never crossed the Big Black?" -- I think
        we would find Pemberton with a great advantage -- Vicksburg would have
        been stocked with supplies and Grant would have had a grim supply
        situation. It's the old question, just who would blink first if both
        get cut off! Grant wasn't going to head to Port Hudson, from what I
        understand -- Banks had seniority, no? Grant must have had a plan B,
        I've always said that. But history does not seem to record it.
        Carl

        --- In civilwarwest@yahoogroups.com, "slippymississippi
        <slippymississippi@y...>" <slippymississippi@y...> wrote:
        >
        > What if Pemberton had ignored Johnston's directive to move out from
        > Bovina and attack? Grant would have received Halleck's order to
        move
        > to Port Hudson as he sat in Brownsville (?) pondering how he would
        > get across the Big Black River. Would Grant have dismissed the
        order
        > in the same fashion that he did when he received it outside Bovina?

        > Or was the destruction of the rail link between Vicksburg and
        Jackson
        > assurance enough that Vicksburg would eventually fall? If the
        > campaign had turned into a game of cat-and-mouse in the
        Mechanicsburg
        > Corridor, how would Pemberton have managed to supply his force of
        > 40,000 men?
      • slippymississippi <slippymississippi@yah
        ... Not really. Grant would have crossed the Big Black easily... the only question being where. According to Grant, his primary goal in the campaign was to
        Message 3 of 16 , Dec 30, 2002
          --- In civilwarwest@yahoogroups.com, "carlw4514 <carlw4514@y...>"
          <carlw4514@y...> wrote:
          > If I understand your question to essentially be "what would happen
          > if Grant cut off Pemberton but never crossed the Big Black?"

          Not really. Grant would have crossed the Big Black easily... the
          only question being where. According to Grant, his primary goal in
          the campaign was to take Snyder's/Hayne's Bluffs. The problem is the
          further up the Big Black one crosses, the more time Pemberton has to
          fortify these positions. The advantage Grant has in this situation
          is that Pemberton does not know Grant's final objective. Grant can
          threaten Bovina/Bridgeport/Messinger's with one corps and move to
          cross the Big Black with the other two. Pemberton is operating blind
          since he has been stripped of cavalry, so the chances he will not
          detect the movement until it's too late is high. The distance from
          Brownsville to Snyder's Bluff is nearly the same as the distance from
          Bovina to Snyder's Bluff, so it essentially becomes a foot race and,
          again, Pemberton is operating without cavalry.

          But Grant received an message from Halleck the day after Champion
          Hill, ordering him to abandon the Vicksburg Campaign and move to Port
          Hudson. Grant and the messenger were arguing over whether Grant
          should obey when Grant's forces spontaneously stormed the
          fortifications at Bovina, sending Pemberton fleeing into Vicksburg.

          What if Grant had received the order as he sat in Brownsville
          scheming to cross the Big Black? Would he have risked ignoring the
          order and made a thrust for Snyder's Bluff? If he fails, it's
          suicide for his career...
        • Daniel F. Giallombardo
          Carl, I think that s an excellentr assessment of the situation. Pemberton would ve been in an excellent situation, and the battle of Vicksburg would have stood
          Message 4 of 16 , Dec 30, 2002
            Carl,
            I think that's an excellentr assessment of the situation. Pemberton
            would've been in an excellent situation, and the battle of Vicksburg would
            have stood for the strength of the Western Confederacy, instead of the
            begining of it's demise.
            Dan

            "carlw4514 " wrote:

            > If I understand your question to essentially be "what would happen if
            > Grant cut off Pemberton but never crossed the Big Black?" -- I think
            > we would find Pemberton with a great advantage -- Vicksburg would have
            > been stocked with supplies and Grant would have had a grim supply
            > situation. It's the old question, just who would blink first if both
            > get cut off! Grant wasn't going to head to Port Hudson, from what I
            > understand -- Banks had seniority, no? Grant must have had a plan B,
            > I've always said that. But history does not seem to record it.
            > Carl
            >
            > --- In civilwarwest@yahoogroups.com, "slippymississippi
            > <slippymississippi@y...>" <slippymississippi@y...> wrote:
            > >
            > > What if Pemberton had ignored Johnston's directive to move out from
            > > Bovina and attack? Grant would have received Halleck's order to
            > move
            > > to Port Hudson as he sat in Brownsville (?) pondering how he would
            > > get across the Big Black River. Would Grant have dismissed the
            > order
            > > in the same fashion that he did when he received it outside Bovina?
            >
            > > Or was the destruction of the rail link between Vicksburg and
            > Jackson
            > > assurance enough that Vicksburg would eventually fall? If the
            > > campaign had turned into a game of cat-and-mouse in the
            > Mechanicsburg
            > > Corridor, how would Pemberton have managed to supply his force of
            > > 40,000 men?
            >
            >
            >
            > Your use of Yahoo! Groups is subject to http://docs.yahoo.com/info/terms/
          • slippymississippi <slippymississippi@yah
            ... Pemberton is operating without any cavalry to speak of (Wirt Adam s Independent Regiment being used for close infantry support). Therefore, Grant can
            Message 5 of 16 , Dec 31, 2002
              --- In civilwarwest@yahoogroups.com, "Daniel F. Giallombardo"
              <ParrotheadDan@l...> wrote:
              > Carl,
              > I think that's an excellentr assessment of the situation.
              > Pemberton would've been in an excellent situation, and the battle
              > of Vicksburg would have stood for the strength of the Western
              > Confederacy, instead of the begining of it's demise.

              Pemberton is operating without any cavalry to speak of (Wirt Adam's
              Independent Regiment being used for close infantry support).
              Therefore, Grant can probably pin Pemberton at
              Bovina/Bridgeport/Messinger's with one corps and move on
              Bush/Birdsong with the other two without Pemberton realizing he has
              begun to move. Let's give Pemberton a fortuitous event: a local
              rides up to tell Pemberton that Grant is moving to Birdsong/Bush in
              force and has begun to lay a pontoon across the Big Black. The race
              to Snyder's Bluff is a foot race, and Bush/Birdsong to Snyder's Bluff
              is less distance than either Bovina to Snyder's Bluff or Vicksburg to
              Snyder's Bluff. So let's give Pemberton a miracle and say that he
              releases the Vicksburg garrison towards Snyder's Bluff and they
              somehow beat Grant to the area (troops at Bovina are shifted into
              Vicksburg to cover the city). At this point, Champion Hill is fought
              at the Yazoo River with Union gunboat support instead of Bakers
              Creek. Let's give Pemberton another fortuitous event and suppose
              that Pemberton wins a draw above the Yazoo River. Grant establishes
              a supply line via the area he scouted the previous winter
              (Mississippi River-Steele Bayou-Deer Creek) and begins digging
              furiously in an area whose geography is every bit as daunting as the
              hills of Vicksburg. Johnston and Pemberton reinforce and begin
              plotting to attack Grant.

              Given that Vicksburg is cut off from the railroad, the Yazoo River,
              and the Mississippi River, how long can it support an army of 40,000 -
              75,000 men?
            • Dave Smith <dmsmith001@yahoo.com>
              I think there are a couple of keys here. First, Pemberton had supplies for some period to cover himself. I doubt he d have worried too much, insofar as the
              Message 6 of 16 , Dec 31, 2002
                I think there are a couple of keys here.

                First, Pemberton had supplies for some period to cover himself. I
                doubt he'd have worried too much, insofar as the option you're
                describing was exactly what Pemberton had wanted to see in the first
                place.

                Second, I don't think Grant gives up the game while in central
                Mississippi without trying to force the issue with Pemberton.
                Further, with Johnston accumulating a yet-unsized army near Jackson,
                he has to do something to put distance between his army and that of
                Johnston.

                If Grant attacks the Big Black River crossings somewhere near Big
                Black River Bridge, we obviously don't know the result. He would,
                however, be attacking a fortified / strengthened position, something
                that would put Pemberton at an advantage.

                Pemberton would probably have found a way to screw it up, but it's
                interesting speculating ...

                Dave

                Dave Smith
                Villa Hills, KY

                --- In civilwarwest@yahoogroups.com, "slippymississippi
                <slippymississippi@y...>" <slippymississippi@y...> wrote:
                >
                > What if Pemberton had ignored Johnston's directive to move out from
                > Bovina and attack? Grant would have received Halleck's order to
                move
                > to Port Hudson as he sat in Brownsville (?) pondering how he would
                > get across the Big Black River. Would Grant have dismissed the
                order
                > in the same fashion that he did when he received it outside
                Bovina?
                > Or was the destruction of the rail link between Vicksburg and
                Jackson
                > assurance enough that Vicksburg would eventually fall? If the
                > campaign had turned into a game of cat-and-mouse in the
                Mechanicsburg
                > Corridor, how would Pemberton have managed to supply his force of
                > 40,000 men?
              • Dave Smith <dmsmith001@yahoo.com>
                A couple of things had happened by the time Champion Hill had been fought. First, Grant had won a victory and was in pursuit of Pemberton, which made
                Message 7 of 16 , Dec 31, 2002
                  A couple of things had happened by the time Champion Hill had been
                  fought.

                  First, Grant had won a victory and was in pursuit of Pemberton, which
                  made "ignoring" Halleck that much easier. And second, having taken
                  out a portion of Pemberton's army, he now had a reason to move on the
                  Big Black.

                  We fundamentally (from previous discussions) disagree on a couple of
                  things once we get here. I hold that Grant was on borrowed time, and
                  had to find a crossing place quickly. He didn't have the luxury to
                  operate independently of the railroad / road network linking Jackson
                  to Vicksburg, nor did he have time to maneuver up-country towards the
                  Yazoo River. I think Grant was going to have to try to cross
                  somewhere between as far north as Birdsong's Ferry, and as far south
                  as Baldwin's Ferry.

                  It's clear that Grant *wanted* the supply line on the Yazoo River
                  (Haine's Bluff), but to do so, he had to cross the Big Black. I
                  suspect we're of differing opinion as to how easy that would have
                  turned out to be, were Champion Hill not to have happened.

                  Time was about to force his hand. Luckily for Grant, Joe Johnston
                  managed to do so himself.

                  Dave

                  Dave Smith
                  Villa Hills, KY

                  --- In civilwarwest@yahoogroups.com, "slippymississippi
                  <slippymississippi@y...>" <slippymississippi@y...> wrote:
                  > --- In civilwarwest@yahoogroups.com, "carlw4514 <carlw4514@y...>"
                  > <carlw4514@y...> wrote:
                  > > If I understand your question to essentially be "what would
                  happen
                  > > if Grant cut off Pemberton but never crossed the Big Black?"
                  >
                  > Not really. Grant would have crossed the Big Black easily... the
                  > only question being where. According to Grant, his primary goal in
                  > the campaign was to take Snyder's/Hayne's Bluffs. The problem is
                  the
                  > further up the Big Black one crosses, the more time Pemberton has
                  to
                  > fortify these positions. The advantage Grant has in this situation
                  > is that Pemberton does not know Grant's final objective. Grant can
                  > threaten Bovina/Bridgeport/Messinger's with one corps and move to
                  > cross the Big Black with the other two. Pemberton is operating
                  blind
                  > since he has been stripped of cavalry, so the chances he will not
                  > detect the movement until it's too late is high. The distance from
                  > Brownsville to Snyder's Bluff is nearly the same as the distance
                  from
                  > Bovina to Snyder's Bluff, so it essentially becomes a foot race
                  and,
                  > again, Pemberton is operating without cavalry.
                  >
                  > But Grant received an message from Halleck the day after Champion
                  > Hill, ordering him to abandon the Vicksburg Campaign and move to
                  Port
                  > Hudson. Grant and the messenger were arguing over whether Grant
                  > should obey when Grant's forces spontaneously stormed the
                  > fortifications at Bovina, sending Pemberton fleeing into Vicksburg.
                  >
                  > What if Grant had received the order as he sat in Brownsville
                  > scheming to cross the Big Black? Would he have risked ignoring the
                  > order and made a thrust for Snyder's Bluff? If he fails, it's
                  > suicide for his career...
                • Dave Smith <dmsmith001@yahoo.com>
                  ... wrote: snips ... Assuming it s just Pemberton s 40,000, and Johnston s additional 25,000 remain outside
                  Message 8 of 16 , Dec 31, 2002
                    --- In civilwarwest@yahoogroups.com, "slippymississippi
                    <slippymississippi@y...>" <slippymississippi@y...> wrote:

                    snips
                    >
                    > Given that Vicksburg is cut off from the railroad, the Yazoo River,
                    > and the Mississippi River, how long can it support an army of
                    > 40,000 - 75,000 men?

                    Assuming it's just Pemberton's 40,000, and Johnston's additional
                    25,000 remain outside the defenses, I'd say the math is pretty simple.

                    40,000 is 33.33% larger than the 30,000 men he had in actuality, so
                    instead of 47 days of holding out, he now has only 35 days.

                    I'd guess, however, that given no Champion Hill / Big Black Bridge,
                    the additional 4,500 men he had lost / captured and the 45 cannon he
                    lost in those two days, improved morale, etc. Pemberton attempts to
                    cut his way out the Warrenton Road during the first week of the siege.

                    Just an assumption, of course.

                    Dave

                    Dave Smith
                    Villa Hills KY
                  • slippymississippi <slippymississippi@yah
                    ... River, ... Well, my assumption is that if Grant s attempt on Snyder s Bluff had failed, then Grant would give up control of the Edwards area in order to
                    Message 9 of 16 , Dec 31, 2002
                      --- In civilwarwest@yahoogroups.com, "Dave Smith <dmsmith001@y...>"
                      <dmsmith001@y...> wrote:
                      > --- In civilwarwest@yahoogroups.com, "slippymississippi
                      > <slippymississippi@y...>" <slippymississippi@y...> wrote:
                      >
                      > snips
                      > >
                      > > Given that Vicksburg is cut off from the railroad, the Yazoo
                      River,
                      > > and the Mississippi River, how long can it support an army of
                      > > 40,000 - 75,000 men?
                      >
                      > Assuming it's just Pemberton's 40,000, and Johnston's additional
                      > 25,000 remain outside the defenses, I'd say the math is pretty
                      > simple.

                      Well, my assumption is that if Grant's attempt on Snyder's Bluff had
                      failed, then Grant would give up control of the Edwards area in order
                      to fortify his weak point: the 20-mile supply line through the bayous
                      out to Eagle Bend. This leaves Pemberton with an open road out of
                      Vicksburg, and allows Johnston and Pemberton to link up. However,
                      Johnston's 30,000 man force and Pemberton's 40,000 man force must
                      both subsist off the same broken rail link in an area where the
                      forage has taken a substantial hit. Grant has torn up the rail
                      between Jackson and Edwards, so every ounce of supply going to
                      Vicksburg has to be carried 50 miles in wagons. Would Vicksburg be
                      renderend untenable?
                    • Dave Smith <dmsmith001@yahoo.com>
                      ... wrote: I m being slow today. :-) If Grant gets across the Big Black, Snyder s is untenable for Pemberton
                      Message 10 of 16 , Dec 31, 2002
                        --- In civilwarwest@yahoogroups.com, "slippymississippi
                        <slippymississippi@y...>" <slippymississippi@y...> wrote:

                        I'm being slow today. :-)

                        If Grant gets across the Big Black, Snyder's is untenable for
                        Pemberton to hold (it can be taken from the rear).

                        If Pemberton keeps Grant on the other side of the Big Black, Grant's
                        only supply line is from Grand Gulf (this assuming supplies cannot
                        find their way north of Snyders, because of the defenses).

                        Eagle Bend is where?

                        Thanks,

                        Dave


                        >
                        > Well, my assumption is that if Grant's attempt on Snyder's Bluff
                        had
                        > failed, then Grant would give up control of the Edwards area in
                        order
                        > to fortify his weak point: the 20-mile supply line through the
                        bayous
                        > out to Eagle Bend. This leaves Pemberton with an open road out of
                        > Vicksburg, and allows Johnston and Pemberton to link up. However,
                        > Johnston's 30,000 man force and Pemberton's 40,000 man force must
                        > both subsist off the same broken rail link in an area where the
                        > forage has taken a substantial hit. Grant has torn up the rail
                        > between Jackson and Edwards, so every ounce of supply going to
                        > Vicksburg has to be carried 50 miles in wagons. Would Vicksburg be
                        > renderend untenable?
                      • slippymississippi <slippymississippi@yah
                        ... I don t think there was any indication that Pemberton expected to mount a defense of Bush or Birdsong. You ve pointed out in the past that Pemberton was
                        Message 11 of 16 , Dec 31, 2002
                          --- In civilwarwest@yahoogroups.com, "Dave Smith <dmsmith001@y...>"
                          <dmsmith001@y...> wrote:
                          > A couple of things had happened by the time Champion Hill had been
                          > fought.
                          >
                          > First, Grant had won a victory and was in pursuit of Pemberton,
                          > which made "ignoring" Halleck that much easier. And second,
                          > having taken out a portion of Pemberton's army, he now had a
                          > reason to move on the Big Black.
                          >
                          > We fundamentally (from previous discussions) disagree on a couple
                          > of things once we get here. I hold that Grant was on borrowed
                          > time, and had to find a crossing place quickly. He didn't have
                          > the luxury to operate independently of the railroad / road network
                          > linking Jackson to Vicksburg, nor did he have time to maneuver up-
                          > country towards the Yazoo River. I think Grant was going to have
                          > to try to cross somewhere between as far north as Birdsong's Ferry,
                          > and as far south as Baldwin's Ferry.
                          >
                          > It's clear that Grant *wanted* the supply line on the Yazoo River
                          > (Haine's Bluff), but to do so, he had to cross the Big Black. I
                          > suspect we're of differing opinion as to how easy that would have
                          > turned out to be, were Champion Hill not to have happened.

                          I don't think there was any indication that Pemberton expected to
                          mount a defense of Bush or Birdsong. You've pointed out in the past
                          that Pemberton was guarding Baldwin Ferry, Halls Ferry, and Bovina
                          with division-sized garrisons, but these locations were part of the
                          planned defenses of Vicksburg which ran from Warrenton on the
                          Mississippi River west to Halls Ferry, then north to Bovina.

                          If Grant had feinted towards Edwards with his entire force, then
                          moved with the same celerity as the move through Rocky Springs
                          towards Brownsville with two corps, how would Pemberton detect the
                          movement any better than he detected the move on Jackson? Remember,
                          with Grant's army facing West from Edwards, Pemberton has to garrison
                          Bovina, Bridgeport, and Messingers, the latter two lacking the 50
                          foot bluffs the Pemberton had fortified at Bovina.
                        • Dave Smith <dmsmith001@yahoo.com>
                          The maneuvering, or game of leap frog, as it seemed to be, to guard the fords at Hankinson s, Hall s, Baldwin s and Big Black Bridge were not so much
                          Message 12 of 16 , Dec 31, 2002
                            The maneuvering, or game of "leap frog," as it seemed to be, to guard
                            the fords at Hankinson's, Hall's, Baldwin's and Big Black Bridge were
                            not so much planned, but a response by Pemberton to the movements of
                            Grant. As Grant moved inland from Port Gibson, Pemberton sidled with
                            him, and constantly moved his forces "up" the Big Black River.

                            By the time of Edwards, the lower fords (Hankinson's, Hall's) could
                            be guarded with a light force. I do not see why Pemberton, with Big
                            Black Bridge as an anchor, would not have used a similar strategy
                            with the fords in the vicinity of the railroad.

                            Grant's movements, prior to May 16, were clearly with an eye towards
                            keeping his ties with Grand Gulf (he simply had to). What I don't
                            know is to what degree, or more importantly, for how long, he could
                            have cut loose from the railroad to maneuver east of the Big Black,
                            but north of the railroad.

                            My instinct, and Brooks Simpson has said he agrees, is that Grant was
                            on borrowed time. How much more he had, I simply do not know. But I
                            suspect the nature of the ground north of the railroad would not have
                            worked in his favor (I had no idea how rough the territory around the
                            Big Black, north of the railroad was until I drove some of it).

                            We think Grant's movement into the interior of Mississippi was gutsy -
                            heading north of the railroad would have been even "gutsier."

                            Dave

                            --- In civilwarwest@yahoogroups.com, "slippymississippi
                            <slippymississippi@y...>" <slippymississippi@y...> wrote:
                            > --- In civilwarwest@yahoogroups.com, "Dave Smith <dmsmith001@y...>"
                            > <dmsmith001@y...> wrote:
                            > > A couple of things had happened by the time Champion Hill had
                            been
                            > > fought.
                            > >
                            > > First, Grant had won a victory and was in pursuit of Pemberton,
                            > > which made "ignoring" Halleck that much easier. And second,
                            > > having taken out a portion of Pemberton's army, he now had a
                            > > reason to move on the Big Black.
                            > >
                            > > We fundamentally (from previous discussions) disagree on a couple
                            > > of things once we get here. I hold that Grant was on borrowed
                            > > time, and had to find a crossing place quickly. He didn't have
                            > > the luxury to operate independently of the railroad / road network
                            > > linking Jackson to Vicksburg, nor did he have time to maneuver up-
                            > > country towards the Yazoo River. I think Grant was going to have
                            > > to try to cross somewhere between as far north as Birdsong's
                            Ferry,
                            > > and as far south as Baldwin's Ferry.
                            > >
                            > > It's clear that Grant *wanted* the supply line on the Yazoo River
                            > > (Haine's Bluff), but to do so, he had to cross the Big Black. I
                            > > suspect we're of differing opinion as to how easy that would have
                            > > turned out to be, were Champion Hill not to have happened.
                            >
                            > I don't think there was any indication that Pemberton expected to
                            > mount a defense of Bush or Birdsong. You've pointed out in the
                            past
                            > that Pemberton was guarding Baldwin Ferry, Halls Ferry, and Bovina
                            > with division-sized garrisons, but these locations were part of the
                            > planned defenses of Vicksburg which ran from Warrenton on the
                            > Mississippi River west to Halls Ferry, then north to Bovina.
                            >
                            > If Grant had feinted towards Edwards with his entire force, then
                            > moved with the same celerity as the move through Rocky Springs
                            > towards Brownsville with two corps, how would Pemberton detect the
                            > movement any better than he detected the move on Jackson?
                            Remember,
                            > with Grant's army facing West from Edwards, Pemberton has to
                            garrison
                            > Bovina, Bridgeport, and Messingers, the latter two lacking the 50
                            > foot bluffs the Pemberton had fortified at Bovina.
                          • Will <wh_keene@yahoo.com>
                            ... move ... order ... Bovina? I beleive he would have, since he would be unwilling to go back on the movement to date from Grand Gulf/Port Gibson. (I don t
                            Message 13 of 16 , Jan 2, 2003
                              --- In civilwarwest@yahoogroups.com, "slippymississippi
                              <slippymississippi@y...>" <slippymississippi@y...> wrote:
                              >
                              > What if Pemberton had ignored Johnston's directive to move out from
                              > Bovina and attack? Grant would have received Halleck's order to
                              move
                              > to Port Hudson as he sat in Brownsville (?) pondering how he would
                              > get across the Big Black River. Would Grant have dismissed the
                              order
                              > in the same fashion that he did when he received it outside
                              Bovina?

                              I beleive he would have, since he would be unwilling to go back on
                              the movement to date from Grand Gulf/Port Gibson. (I don't think the
                              issue of rank with Banks was as important a factor as Carl does).



                              --- In civilwarwest@yahoogroups.com, "slippymississippi
                              <slippymississippi@y...>" <slippymississippi@y...> wrote:
                              > Not really. Grant would have crossed the Big Black easily...

                              I think that is not so easy.


                              --- In civilwarwest@yahoogroups.com, "slippymississippi
                              <slippymississippi@y...>" <slippymississippi@y...> wrote:
                              > Pemberton is operating without any cavalry to speak of (Wirt Adam's
                              > Independent Regiment being used for close infantry support).
                              > Therefore, Grant can probably pin Pemberton at
                              > Bovina/Bridgeport/Messinger's with one corps and move on
                              > Bush/Birdsong with the other two without Pemberton realizing he has
                              > begun to move. Let's give Pemberton a fortuitous event: a local
                              > rides up to tell Pemberton that Grant is moving to Birdsong/Bush in
                              > force and has begun to lay a pontoon across the Big Black. The
                              race
                              > to Snyder's Bluff is a foot race, and Bush/Birdsong to Snyder's
                              Bluff
                              > is less distance than either Bovina to Snyder's Bluff or Vicksburg
                              to
                              > Snyder's Bluff. So let's give Pemberton a miracle and say that he
                              > releases the Vicksburg garrison towards Snyder's Bluff and they
                              > somehow beat Grant to the area (troops at Bovina are shifted into
                              > Vicksburg to cover the city).


                              Was not part of the Vicksburg garrison already at Snyder's Bluff?
                              I think it likely that a battle would be fought between the Yazoo and
                              the Big Black (maybe the battle of Oak Ridge PO), but I am not so
                              convinced that Union gunboats would have been that important as the
                              main action would have occurred along the Benton or Bridgeport
                              Roads.


                              ~Will

                              ps HAPPY NEW YEAR to all
                            • slippymississippi <slippymississippi@yah
                              ... from ... would ... So he responds to Halleck that the situation has changed, and that the fall of Vicksburg is eminent? How would Halleck react to that?
                              Message 14 of 16 , Jan 6, 2003
                                --- In civilwarwest@yahoogroups.com, "Will <wh_keene@y...>"
                                <wh_keene@y...> wrote:
                                > --- In civilwarwest@yahoogroups.com, "slippymississippi
                                > <slippymississippi@y...>" <slippymississippi@y...> wrote:
                                > >
                                > > What if Pemberton had ignored Johnston's directive to move out
                                from
                                > > Bovina and attack? Grant would have received Halleck's order to
                                > move
                                > > to Port Hudson as he sat in Brownsville (?) pondering how he
                                would
                                > > get across the Big Black River. Would Grant have dismissed the
                                > order
                                > > in the same fashion that he did when he received it outside
                                > Bovina?
                                >
                                > I beleive he would have, since he would be unwilling to go back on
                                > the movement to date from Grand Gulf/Port Gibson.

                                So he responds to Halleck that the situation has changed, and that
                                the fall of Vicksburg is eminent? How would Halleck react to that?

                                >
                                >
                                >
                                > --- In civilwarwest@yahoogroups.com, "slippymississippi
                                > <slippymississippi@y...>" <slippymississippi@y...> wrote:
                                > > Not really. Grant would have crossed the Big Black easily...
                                >
                                > I think that is not so easy.

                                It's very easy to cross. In a single day, Sherman crossed his entire
                                corps and was well on his way to Snyder's Bluff from Bridgeport.
                                McPherson and McClernand were equally successful crossing near
                                Bovina. Worst case, Pemberton beats Grant to Bush & Birdsong. This
                                still leaves Cox's Ferry, which Pemberton has no access to.

                                > > Snyder's Bluff. So let's give Pemberton a miracle and say
                                > > that he releases the Vicksburg garrison towards Snyder's Bluff
                                > > and they somehow beat Grant to the area (troops at Bovina are
                                > > shifted into Vicksburg to cover the city).
                                >
                                >
                                > Was not part of the Vicksburg garrison already at Snyder's Bluff?

                                A single division covering a mile of fortifications, all facing away
                                from Grant.

                                Here's the way I think Grant saw the campaign. Vicksburg virtually
                                sits on an island, bounded by the Mississippi, the Big Black, and the
                                Yazoo Rivers, and connected to Jackson by the railroad. The railroad
                                had been cut, the Big Black was not viable as a line of resupply, and
                                the Union held the Mississippi. Once Grant puts himself across the
                                Yazoo, the fall of Vicksburg is inevitable because a force of 40,000-
                                50,000 men cannot be maintained 50 miles from its base of resupply.
                              • Dave Smith <dmsmith001@yahoo.com>
                                ... wrote: snips ... I suspect that you meant Once Grant puts himself across the Big Black ... , unless by
                                Message 15 of 16 , Jan 6, 2003
                                  --- In civilwarwest@yahoogroups.com, "slippymississippi
                                  <slippymississippi@y...>" <slippymississippi@y...> wrote:

                                  snips
                                  >
                                  > Here's the way I think Grant saw the campaign. Vicksburg virtually
                                  > sits on an island, bounded by the Mississippi, the Big Black, and
                                  > the Yazoo Rivers, and connected to Jackson by the railroad. The
                                  > railroad had been cut, the Big Black was not viable as a line of
                                  > resupply, and the Union held the Mississippi. Once Grant puts
                                  > himself across the Yazoo, the fall of Vicksburg is inevitable
                                  > because a force of 40,000- 50,000 men cannot be maintained 50 miles
                                  > from its base of resupply.

                                  I suspect that you meant "Once Grant puts himself across the Big
                                  Black ...", unless by the statement you meant crossing in the
                                  Snyder's area (which puts him inside the Big Black as well).
                                  Certainly, approaching from the north, it would have been preferable
                                  to cross the Yazoo rather than approaching from the south, the way he
                                  eventually did.

                                  I agree with the point that once fronting Vicksburg, it was
                                  impossible to supply the 40-50,000 men in the garrison. Approaching
                                  from the south, however, and with the presense of Johnston's
                                  growing "Army of Relief," those strategies had to be changed. What
                                  seemed obvious in February had obviously changed by May.

                                  The key for the Confederates was to break the stranglehold on
                                  Vicksburg, or attempt a breakout and give up the city and the hold on
                                  the Mississippi.

                                  Dave

                                  Dave Smith
                                  Villa Hills, KY
                                • slippymississippi <slippymississippi@yah
                                  ... virtually ... miles ... I should have said Once Grant positions himself astride the Yazoo. With Jackson s rail depot destroyed, Pemberton had to rely on
                                  Message 16 of 16 , Jan 6, 2003
                                    --- In civilwarwest@yahoogroups.com, "Dave Smith <dmsmith001@y...>"
                                    <dmsmith001@y...> wrote:
                                    > --- In civilwarwest@yahoogroups.com, "slippymississippi
                                    > <slippymississippi@y...>" <slippymississippi@y...> wrote:
                                    >
                                    > snips
                                    > >
                                    > > Here's the way I think Grant saw the campaign. Vicksburg
                                    virtually
                                    > > sits on an island, bounded by the Mississippi, the Big Black, and
                                    > > the Yazoo Rivers, and connected to Jackson by the railroad. The
                                    > > railroad had been cut, the Big Black was not viable as a line of
                                    > > resupply, and the Union held the Mississippi. Once Grant puts
                                    > > himself across the Yazoo, the fall of Vicksburg is inevitable
                                    > > because a force of 40,000- 50,000 men cannot be maintained 50
                                    miles
                                    > > from its base of resupply.
                                    >
                                    > I suspect that you meant "Once Grant puts himself across the Big
                                    > Black ...", unless by the statement you meant crossing in the
                                    > Snyder's area (which puts him inside the Big Black as well).

                                    I should have said "Once Grant positions himself astride the Yazoo."
                                    With Jackson's rail depot destroyed, Pemberton had to rely on the
                                    Yazoo River for provisions for his army. With the rail line
                                    permanently cut, and the Yazoo supply line interdicted, the fall of
                                    Vicksburg is merely a formality. Pemberton would have to supply his
                                    entire force from a supply point fifty miles distant. Meanwhile,
                                    Grant would be connected to the Mississippi via Steele Bayou and Deer
                                    Creek, with short wagon roads for portage.
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