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Re: A "Proper" Defense in the West

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  • Will <wh_keene@yahoo.com>
    ... was ... it ... I find it hard to assume that there would be a standoff in Kentucky for some reasonable amount of time. If Polk hadn t moved I think Grant
    Message 1 of 59 , Feb 4, 2003
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      --- In civilwarwest@yahoogroups.com, "Dave Smith <dmsmith001@y...>"
      <dmsmith001@y...> wrote:
      > ...
      > To somewhat rephrase my question regarding Polk and the premature
      > taking of Columbus: If Polk hadn't moved, and assuming that there
      > was a standoff in Kentucky for some reasonable amount of time (it
      was
      > winter) and the entire Donelson episode doesn't unfold in February,
      > are the Confederacy's chances better under such a situation? Does
      it
      > swing emphasis more on the East - or the Trans-Miss?
      >
      > Dave


      I find it hard to assume that there would be a standoff in Kentucky
      for some reasonable amount of time. If Polk hadn't moved I think
      Grant (under the direction of Fremont) would have, and probably
      within a week from when Polk actually moved.

      But I will try to put that aside and assume in order to address the
      questions you raise. I think it would improve the Confederacy's
      defensive position as the lines of advance around Kentucky are not as
      easy as through Kentucky. I think the emphasis would shift to the
      Missouri-Arkansas region.

      ~Will
    • 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
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        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
        territory.

        ~Will


        --- In civilwarwest@yahoogroups.com, meheatherington@j... wrote:
        > In light of Hank Clark's recent notion about the 'offensive' North
        and
        > 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
        aim
        > (failing either European recognition or one grand knock-out Cannae
        that
        > would bring the North militarily to its knees) was simply to
        outwait the
        > Union, keep up the fighting for so long that squeamish Northern
        civilians
        > (apparently assumed to be less stout of heart than their Southern
        > counterparts) would sue for a cessation of hostilities, after which
        the
        > 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
        hideous
        > 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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