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Re: [civilwarwest] A "Proper" Defense in the West

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  • GnrlJEJohnston@aol.com
    Hello Jfepperson@aol.com, In reference to your comment: è I m not sure. I think the only viable physical line was è the Ohio River, but I don t think that
    Message 1 of 59 , Feb 4, 2003
      Hello Jfepperson@...,

      In reference to your comment:

      è I'm not sure.  I think the only viable physical line was
      è the Ohio River, but I don't think that was viable in any
      è sort of realistic way.

      "The Mississippi, the Cumberland, and especially the Tennessee were mighty streams that were dominated by Yankee gunboats from early in the war.  They provided the Northerners with safe convenient avenues to move easily and quickly deep into the geographical heartland of the Confederacy, and they ensured that the advancing Yankee armies could readily be supplied and reinforced by boat.  "The Mississippi River," writes the historian James M. McPherson, "was an arrow thrust into the heart of the Lower South."

      The Mississippi flanked, and the Cumberland and the Tennessee broke, the defensive line that the Rebels established across southern Kentucky in late 1861.  The same three rivers also constituted formidable obstacles to the east-west movement of Confederate troops along that line and across the Mississippi Valley."

             Two Great Rebel Armies   Richard McMurry   page 15

      As McMurry stated, these rivers constituted formidable obstacles, one can say that they formed a viable line.  They also enabled Union troops to be able to utilize flanking manuevers against Confederate troops.  In the West, topography was defineately against the Confederacy.

    • Alan Smolinski
      Sustaining your army off enemy resources while preserving you own is very useful to your moral. Will wrote:Two
      Message 59 of 59 , Feb 7, 2003

        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 civilwarwest@yahoogroups.com, 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,
        yes yes
        > the Hunley, torpedos, etc.), then what, really, did the South
        expect to
        > 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
        outwait the
        > 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
        > strategy?
        > Or does anybody in the Southern high command think that far ahead?
        > Regards,
        > Madelon

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