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[civilwarwest] Vicksburg Significance

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  • daburden@mtsu.edu
    Hello all. I m new to the list, though I ve been monitoring it for a while. I can t dispute the idea that Vicksburg was the turning point of the war (better
    Message 1 of 10 , Nov 10, 1999
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      Hello all. I'm new to the list, though I've been monitoring it for a
      while. I can't dispute the idea that Vicksburg was the turning point
      of the war (better minds than mine have come to that arguable
      conclusion), but I am curious as to what extent that assertion can be
      backed up by hard numbers. What were the level of resources available
      in the Trans-Mississippi and were their loss that significant to the
      overall Confederate effort? How many troops were stuck west of the
      river and how many of them could have realistically been sent to the
      Western theater to, say, reinforce Johnston in Georgia? Was the most
      important aspect of Vicksburg the loss of an entire CSA army? Was it a
      combination of all of these factors and more? I could go to the
      library and probably find answers to these questions and draw my own
      opinions, but then we wouldn't have the enjoyment of the discussion.
      Any thoughts?
      Andy

      P.S. Lincoln said that to lose Kentucky was to lose the game. Bragg
      had a straight shot at Louisville in '62 and blew it. Had he not blown
      this opportunity, could Munfordville have been the turning point?
      Crazy idea, I know.
    • L.A. Chambliss
      Dear Andy and group, I used to think that the loss of Vicksburg was indeed a dreadful defeat for the Confederacy due to the loss of access to the
      Message 2 of 10 , Nov 10, 1999
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        Dear Andy and group,

        I used to think that the loss of Vicksburg was indeed a dreadful defeat for
        the Confederacy due to the loss of access to the Trans-Mississippi
        resources.

        Further discussion and reading has caused me to modify this opinion
        somewhat. There never really WAS that much in the way of transfer of
        resources across the Mississippi, evidently! Troops fought on one side or
        the other; transfer of supplies was limited to what could be sent on boats
        in any case as there were no bridges.

        The significance of the loss of Vicksburg was primarily in (1) Confederate
        morale, the loss of their last hold on the river; (2) the loss of an entire
        army under Pemberton--even though they were paroled rather than carted off
        to prisons, a significant percentage never reported back to service when
        they were supposed to, or ever-- (3) a further blow to any hope of foreign
        recognition for the Confederate government, since one of the prime
        definitions of a "nation" is the ability to control one's borders, and
        finally, and what I think is definately the most important (4) the VICTORY
        this represented to the Union.

        Since the first settlements across the Appalachian Mountains just after the
        Revolution, settlers had been dependent on river transport to get goods to
        market. This required going down the Ohio, Illinois, Missouri, Tennessee,
        or other local waterway of choice, to the Mississippi and thence to New
        Orleans. It was far faster and cheaper to go this way than to ship
        anything overland.

        This was, at the time of the outbreak of the War, beginning to get
        competition from the railroads, but the war itself upset the railroad
        system for military needs. The farmers of Indiana, Illinois, Iowa et al
        were absolutely desperate for normal shipping to resume by 1863. Had the
        guns of Vicksburg NOT been taken out, it would have done more to change
        the outcome of the election of 1864 than any battlefield events could have
        done.

        Or such is my humble opinion anyway. ;)

        Laurie Chambliss
        Civil War Interactive
        www.almshouse.com

        daburden@... wrote:

        > Hello all. I'm new to the list, though I've been monitoring it for a
        > while. I can't dispute the idea that Vicksburg was the turning point
        > of the war (better minds than mine have come to that arguable
        > conclusion), but I am curious as to what extent that assertion can be
        > backed up by hard numbers. What were the level of resources available
        > in the Trans-Mississippi and were their loss that significant to the
        > overall Confederate effort? How many troops were stuck west of the
        > river and how many of them could have realistically been sent to the
        > Western theater to, say, reinforce Johnston in Georgia? Was the most
        > important aspect of Vicksburg the loss of an entire CSA army? Was it a
        > combination of all of these factors and more? I could go to the
        > library and probably find answers to these questions and draw my own
        > opinions, but then we wouldn't have the enjoyment of the discussion.
        > Any thoughts?
        > Andy
        >
        > P.S. Lincoln said that to lose Kentucky was to lose the game. Bragg
        > had a straight shot at Louisville in '62 and blew it. Had he not blown
        > this opportunity, could Munfordville have been the turning point?
        > Crazy idea, I know.
        >
        > ------------------------------------------------------------------------
        > Imagine a credit card with a 0% Intro APR and Instant Approval…
        > It seems impossible, but it’s not. Visit GetSmart.com’s Credit Card
        > Finder and click on instant approval cards right now at
        > http://clickhere.egroups.com/click/1272
        >
        > -- 20 megs of disk space in your eGroup's Document Vault
        > -- http://www.egroups.com/docvault/civilwarwest/?m=1
      • L.A. Chambliss
        Dear Andy and group, I used to think that the loss of Vicksburg was indeed a dreadful defeat for the Confederacy due to the loss of access to the
        Message 3 of 10 , Nov 10, 1999
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          Dear Andy and group,

          I used to think that the loss of Vicksburg was indeed a dreadful defeat for
          the Confederacy due to the loss of access to the Trans-Mississippi
          resources.

          Further discussion and reading has caused me to modify this opinion
          somewhat. There never really WAS that much in the way of transfer of
          resources across the Mississippi, evidently! Troops fought on one side or
          the other; transfer of supplies was limited to what could be sent on boats
          in any case as there were no bridges.

          The significance of the loss of Vicksburg was primarily in (1) Confederate
          morale, the loss of their last hold on the river; (2) the loss of an entire
          army under Pemberton--even though they were paroled rather than carted off
          to prisons, a significant percentage never reported back to service when
          they were supposed to, or ever-- (3) a further blow to any hope of foreign
          recognition for the Confederate government, since one of the prime
          definitions of a "nation" is the ability to control one's borders, and
          finally, and what I think is definately the most important (4) the VICTORY
          this represented to the Union.

          Since the first settlements across the Appalachian Mountains just after the
          Revolution, settlers had been dependent on river transport to get goods to
          market. This required going down the Ohio, Illinois, Missouri, Tennessee,
          or other local waterway of choice, to the Mississippi and thence to New
          Orleans. It was far faster and cheaper to go this way than to ship
          anything overland.

          This was, at the time of the outbreak of the War, beginning to get
          competition from the railroads, but the war itself upset the railroad
          system for military needs. The farmers of Indiana, Illinois, Iowa et al
          were absolutely desperate for normal shipping to resume by 1863. Had the
          guns of Vicksburg NOT been taken out, it would have done more to change
          the outcome of the election of 1864 than any battlefield events could have
          done.

          Or such is my humble opinion anyway. ;)

          Laurie Chambliss
          Civil War Interactive
          www.almshouse.com

          daburden@... wrote:

          > Hello all. I'm new to the list, though I've been monitoring it for a
          > while. I can't dispute the idea that Vicksburg was the turning point
          > of the war (better minds than mine have come to that arguable
          > conclusion), but I am curious as to what extent that assertion can be
          > backed up by hard numbers. What were the level of resources available
          > in the Trans-Mississippi and were their loss that significant to the
          > overall Confederate effort? How many troops were stuck west of the
          > river and how many of them could have realistically been sent to the
          > Western theater to, say, reinforce Johnston in Georgia? Was the most
          > important aspect of Vicksburg the loss of an entire CSA army? Was it a
          > combination of all of these factors and more? I could go to the
          > library and probably find answers to these questions and draw my own
          > opinions, but then we wouldn't have the enjoyment of the discussion.
          > Any thoughts?
          > Andy
          >
          > P.S. Lincoln said that to lose Kentucky was to lose the game. Bragg
          > had a straight shot at Louisville in '62 and blew it. Had he not blown
          > this opportunity, could Munfordville have been the turning point?
          > Crazy idea, I know.
          >
          > ------------------------------------------------------------------------
          > Imagine a credit card with a 0% Intro APR and Instant Approval…
          > It seems impossible, but it’s not. Visit GetSmart.com’s Credit Card
          > Finder and click on instant approval cards right now at
          > http://clickhere.egroups.com/click/1272
          >
          > -- 20 megs of disk space in your eGroup's Document Vault
          > -- http://www.egroups.com/docvault/civilwarwest/?m=1
        • Terry Arliskas
          I don t believe the fall of Vicksburg can be underestimated in the impact that it had on the outcome of the war. Lincoln himself said: Vicksburg is the key,
          Message 4 of 10 , Nov 11, 1999
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            I don't believe the fall of Vicksburg can be underestimated in the impact
            that it had on the outcome of the war. Lincoln himself said: "Vicksburg is
            the key, and the war cannot be brought to a successful conclusion until that
            key is in our pocket". General-in-Chief telegraphed Maj. Gen. US Grant in
            March, 1863 that: "The great objective on your line now is the opening of
            the Mississippi River, and everything else must tend to that purpose. The
            eyes and hopes of the whole country are now directed to your army. In my
            opinion, the opening of the Mississippi River wil be to us of more advantage
            than the capture of forty Richmonds."

            Control of the Mississippi River was of inestimable importance to the Union
            from the beginning of the War. It provided a natural outlet for
            agricultural and industrial products from the Northwest to the great
            commercial artery at New Orleans; it provided a safe avenue for the
            transportation of troops and supplies through an extremely large area that
            was extremely ill-provided with roads and railroads; control of the river
            allowed for the navigation of the many numerous streams tributary to the
            Mississippi and offered ready routes of invasion into the heart of the
            South; and most importantly, Union control would cut off and isolate the
            section of the Confederacy lying west of the river - Texas, Arkansas and
            most all of Louisiana - very nearly 1/2 of the land mass of the Confederate
            States of America, and a very important source of food, military supplies
            and recruits for the Southern Armies.

            The surrender of Pemberton and his army of 29,500 on July 4 was without a
            doubt the greatest victory the Union army achieved during the War. On July
            9, of course, Port Hudson was surrendered, and just one week later the
            merchant steamer "Imperial" made the 1,000 mile passage from St. Louis to
            New Orleans. Lincoln thanked Grant for the "almost inestimable service you
            have done the country".

            The Confederate high command realized the significance of Vicksburg as well.
            Jefferson Davis wrote to Pemberton after the fall: "I thought and still
            think that you did right to risk an army for the purpose of keeping command
            of even a section of the Mississippi River". Josiah Gorgas wrote in his
            diary in July of 1863: "Events have succeeded one another with disastrous
            rapidity. One brief month ago we were apparently at the point of success.
            Lee was in Pennsylvania threatening Harrisburgh, and even Philadelphia.
            Vicksburg seemed to laugh all Grant's efforts to scorn . . . All looked
            bright. Now the pciture is just as somber as it was bright then. Lee
            failed at Gettysburg, Vicksburg and Port Hudson capitulated, surrendering
            thirty-five thousand men and forty-five thousand arsm. It seems incredible
            that human power could effect such a change in so brief a space. Yesterday
            we rode on the pinnacle of success - today absolute ruin seems to be our
            portion. The Confederacy totters to its destruction."

            Of course, this is only my two cents worth --

            Terry Arliskas

            ______________________________________________________
          • Terry Arliskas
            I don t believe the fall of Vicksburg can be underestimated in the impact that it had on the outcome of the war. Lincoln himself said: Vicksburg is the key,
            Message 5 of 10 , Nov 11, 1999
            • 0 Attachment
              I don't believe the fall of Vicksburg can be underestimated in the impact
              that it had on the outcome of the war. Lincoln himself said: "Vicksburg is
              the key, and the war cannot be brought to a successful conclusion until that
              key is in our pocket". General-in-Chief telegraphed Maj. Gen. US Grant in
              March, 1863 that: "The great objective on your line now is the opening of
              the Mississippi River, and everything else must tend to that purpose. The
              eyes and hopes of the whole country are now directed to your army. In my
              opinion, the opening of the Mississippi River wil be to us of more advantage
              than the capture of forty Richmonds."

              Control of the Mississippi River was of inestimable importance to the Union
              from the beginning of the War. It provided a natural outlet for
              agricultural and industrial products from the Northwest to the great
              commercial artery at New Orleans; it provided a safe avenue for the
              transportation of troops and supplies through an extremely large area that
              was extremely ill-provided with roads and railroads; control of the river
              allowed for the navigation of the many numerous streams tributary to the
              Mississippi and offered ready routes of invasion into the heart of the
              South; and most importantly, Union control would cut off and isolate the
              section of the Confederacy lying west of the river - Texas, Arkansas and
              most all of Louisiana - very nearly 1/2 of the land mass of the Confederate
              States of America, and a very important source of food, military supplies
              and recruits for the Southern Armies.

              The surrender of Pemberton and his army of 29,500 on July 4 was without a
              doubt the greatest victory the Union army achieved during the War. On July
              9, of course, Port Hudson was surrendered, and just one week later the
              merchant steamer "Imperial" made the 1,000 mile passage from St. Louis to
              New Orleans. Lincoln thanked Grant for the "almost inestimable service you
              have done the country".

              The Confederate high command realized the significance of Vicksburg as well.
              Jefferson Davis wrote to Pemberton after the fall: "I thought and still
              think that you did right to risk an army for the purpose of keeping command
              of even a section of the Mississippi River". Josiah Gorgas wrote in his
              diary in July of 1863: "Events have succeeded one another with disastrous
              rapidity. One brief month ago we were apparently at the point of success.
              Lee was in Pennsylvania threatening Harrisburgh, and even Philadelphia.
              Vicksburg seemed to laugh all Grant's efforts to scorn . . . All looked
              bright. Now the pciture is just as somber as it was bright then. Lee
              failed at Gettysburg, Vicksburg and Port Hudson capitulated, surrendering
              thirty-five thousand men and forty-five thousand arsm. It seems incredible
              that human power could effect such a change in so brief a space. Yesterday
              we rode on the pinnacle of success - today absolute ruin seems to be our
              portion. The Confederacy totters to its destruction."

              Of course, this is only my two cents worth --

              Terry Arliskas

              ______________________________________________________
            • Nonums@aol.com
              Dear Terry: Your two cents worth was, in my opinion, very well done. Would you be kind enough to post he Josiah Gorgas book you referenced. He is frequently
              Message 6 of 10 , Nov 11, 1999
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                Dear Terry:
                Your two cents worth was, in my opinion, very well done.
                Would you be kind enough to post he Josiah Gorgas book you referenced.
                He is frequently referenced throughout Confederate-detailed history for his
                extensive and successful arms procurement as well as the blockade runners
                themselves. He must have been one hellova General.
                Jack O'Connor
              • Nonums@aol.com
                Dear Terry: Your two cents worth was, in my opinion, very well done. Would you be kind enough to post he Josiah Gorgas book you referenced. He is frequently
                Message 7 of 10 , Nov 11, 1999
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                  Dear Terry:
                  Your two cents worth was, in my opinion, very well done.
                  Would you be kind enough to post he Josiah Gorgas book you referenced.
                  He is frequently referenced throughout Confederate-detailed history for his
                  extensive and successful arms procurement as well as the blockade runners
                  themselves. He must have been one hellova General.
                  Jack O'Connor
                • Terry Arliskas
                  Thanks Jack - The quote is from The Journals of Josiah Gorgas 1857-1878 edited by Sarah Wiggins, University of Alabama Press - good stuff! They re on the
                  Message 8 of 10 , Nov 12, 1999
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                    Thanks Jack -

                    The quote is from "The Journals of Josiah Gorgas 1857-1878" edited by Sarah
                    Wiggins, University of Alabama Press - good stuff! They're on the web at
                    www.uapress.ua.edu/

                    >From: Nonums@...
                    >Reply-To: civilwarwest@egroups.com
                    >To: civilwarwest@egroups.com
                    >Subject: [civilwarwest] Re: Vicksburg Significance
                    >Date: Thu, 11 Nov 1999 16:23:30 EST
                    >
                    >Dear Terry:
                    > Your two cents worth was, in my opinion, very well done.
                    > Would you be kind enough to post he Josiah Gorgas book you referenced.
                    >He is frequently referenced throughout Confederate-detailed history for his
                    >extensive and successful arms procurement as well as the blockade runners
                    >themselves. He must have been one hellova General.
                    > Jack O'Connor
                    >
                    >------------------------------------------------------------------------
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                    ______________________________________________________
                  • Terry Arliskas
                    Thanks Jack - The quote is from The Journals of Josiah Gorgas 1857-1878 edited by Sarah Wiggins, University of Alabama Press - good stuff! They re on the
                    Message 9 of 10 , Nov 12, 1999
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                      Thanks Jack -

                      The quote is from "The Journals of Josiah Gorgas 1857-1878" edited by Sarah
                      Wiggins, University of Alabama Press - good stuff! They're on the web at
                      www.uapress.ua.edu/

                      >From: Nonums@...
                      >Reply-To: civilwarwest@egroups.com
                      >To: civilwarwest@egroups.com
                      >Subject: [civilwarwest] Re: Vicksburg Significance
                      >Date: Thu, 11 Nov 1999 16:23:30 EST
                      >
                      >Dear Terry:
                      > Your two cents worth was, in my opinion, very well done.
                      > Would you be kind enough to post he Josiah Gorgas book you referenced.
                      >He is frequently referenced throughout Confederate-detailed history for his
                      >extensive and successful arms procurement as well as the blockade runners
                      >themselves. He must have been one hellova General.
                      > Jack O'Connor
                      >
                      >------------------------------------------------------------------------
                      >A shopper�s dream come true! Find practically anything on earth at eBay!
                      >Come and browse the more than 2 million items up for bid at any time.
                      >You never know what you might find at eBay!
                      >http://clickhere.egroups.com/click/1140
                      >
                      >-- Check out your eGroup's private Chat room
                      >-- http://www.egroups.com/ChatPage?listName=civilwarwest&m=1
                      >
                      >

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