Johnston vs. Hood & Davis
- The early campaign is as interesting as the TN invasion and is a
study in contrast between defensive ideas.
Johnston, felt that keeping the AoT intact and a threat to Sherman
was the most important thing. If he could force Sherman to attack
him, defeat Sherman and counter attack, it might be possible to
recover the lost area. In truth, he was forced to fall back as
Sherman used his larger army to flank him out of several positions.
I seem to remember that someone said he would "retreat to Cuba" if
Hood & Davis wanted the AoT to "strike a blow" having faith that
some how Sherman would be beaten and driven back. In truth, the AoT
lost a large number of men and could not afford to continue
attacking Sherman at a disadvantage. When this happened, Hood
abandoned the idea of confronting Sherman and marched north.
In the end Sherman took Atlanta and was free to "March to the Sea"
with little danger from the CSA. Hood & Davis' ideas only reduced
the number of men the AoT had to fight with. An interesting
question, if Johnston had stayed in command, could he have reduced
the damage Sherman did? How much of an impact could the AoT had if
the hung onto Sherman as he marched to the sea?