Re: [civilwarwest] A "Proper" Defense in the West
- In a message dated 2/4/2003 1:23:09 AM Central Standard Time, tmix@... writes:
Their primary strategy seemed to be reactionary except in 2 occasions.
So true, except I question your exceptions at least GB. Was Gettysburg part of a long term strategy or a reaction to the Union actions in the west.
When planning GB, it appears to me that Lee was going for the big bang battle to relieve what was happening in the west; to drive the North to the peace table and to make certain that he didn't have to go west or send any part of his army. According to Maj. Gen. Issac Trimble's journal entry of June 27, Lee told him: ""I shall throw an overwhelming force on their advance, crush, follow up the success, drive one corps back on another and by successive repulses and surprises before they can concentrate; create a panic and virtually destroy the army. . . the war will be over and we shall achieve the recognition of our independence."
Point is Lee was being pressured to do something in or for the West and I think responding with a diversion into Gettysburg hoping to draw off at least Rosecrans or Burnisdes from Tennessee. I think that Lee's idea was that it was too late to send men to Johnston and that if VB fell and he won at GB and went to the peace table, VB would be returned to the independent nation of the Confederacy. So isn't that a reaction to outside forces?
Sustaining your army off enemy resources while preserving you own is very useful to your moral.
"Will <wh_keene@...>" <wh_keene@...> wrote:
Two thoughts in reaction to Madelon's question:
1) Offensive campaigns 'liberate' areas theoretically disposed to
join the Confederacy (ie: Maryland, Kentucky, Missouri) or lost
through previous advances of the enemy.
2) Offensives campaign create opportunities to engage the enemy on
your terms in his territory. Victories in this situation could have
much greater impact on the will of the enemy populace and thus
greater political impact than defensive victories within one's own
--- In firstname.lastname@example.org, meheatherington@j... wrote:
> In light of Hank Clark's recent notion about the 'offensive' North
> the 'defensive' South, I have another question.
> If, with Hank, we stipulate that "all CSA successes were strictly
> offensive" (whilst acknowledging that this is a mere stipulation,
> the Hunley, torpedos, etc.), then what, really, did the South
> gain by taking the offensive?
> My understanding is that the Confederacy's oft-repeated political
> (failing either European recognition or one grand knock-out Cannae
> would bring the North militarily to its knees) was simply to
> Union, keep up the fighting for so long that squeamish Northern
> (apparently assumed to be less stout of heart than their Southern
> counterparts) would sue for a cessation of hostilities, after which
> South would stagger away, content to be let alone. Winning by
> not-losing, so to speak; victory by endurance.
> So how does a flair for the offensive, with its glamor *and* its
> attrition rate, advance that rather low-keyed wait-'em-out grand
> Or does anybody in the Southern high command think that far ahead?
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