[civilwarwest] Re: What if
Just as a post script to my previous reply... I feel that the Union's
Western Forces held a great deal of admiration from their public at home,
and from their enemies in the field. I remember seeing a quote from a CSA
prisoner to the effect "when we say one reb can whip any three yanks, we
didn't mean you farm boys from out west" (inferring the city slickers from
the east?). West at that time being Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, etc.
The label of "bummers" was not applied until Sherman's March to the Sea.
I will not comment on the appropriateness of his actions or strategy,
because no ones opinions would be swayed by the discussion I am sure would
From: dbowman@... <dbowman@...>
To: civilwarwest@... <civilwarwest@...>
Date: Wednesday, November 24, 1999 10:04 AM
Subject: [civilwarwest] What if
>Ah! here is my favorite Civil War 'What-If' which I guess will serve as
>my intro to this great group around which I have been lurking for the
>last coupla months.
>What if significant elements of the Army of the Northern Virginia slip
>away from Petersburg , get to Danville, crosses the Dan River fords or
>goes a little east crossing the Roanoke River and make a break across
>North Carolina to the hills? And what if the CSA Army of Tennessee and
>the Army of Northern Virginia reunite? And what if the Union Army of
>the Tennessee, Grant's old Army and now Sherman's 'Bummers', catches
>'em? What if Sherman's Army, especially the Army of the Tennessee - the
>fast-moving, hard-hitting Western heirs-apparent to Jackson's foot
>cavalry- corners the shattered remnants of the Army of Northern
>Virginia and the star-crossed Army of Tennessee for the final battle?
>What if the Union veterans of Vicksburg, Shiloh, Atlanta, and Kennesaw
>finally get a shot at the vaunted Bobby Lee and the heroic host of
>which they'd heard for five years as they subjugated the heart of the
>rebellious Confederacy? What if the Union Armies of the Tennessee and
> the Ohio, perhaps supported by Sheridan's cavalry and elements of
>Schofield's Army, pitch into a bedraggled , but desperate, combined
>Confederate Army with the huge Army of the Potomac looming inexorably
>and adding urgency to the cornered rebel armies' desperation? And what
>if the battle takes on the character of the first day at Gettysburg or
>Lookout Mountain, spins out of control?
>What if the Union Army, smelling blood and glory, fully exploits the
>chaos of the situation and the Confederates' vulnerability (fatigue,
>hunger and disorganization) follows up hard on opportunities and routs
>them? What if, instead of the surrender at Appomattox with its
>nobility and grace, the Confederate Army is destroyed in central North
>Carolina, its famous generals taken prisoner and the last prominent
>vestiges of its power are crushed?
>What if - Sherman's army - the best fighting force on the continent at
>that particular moment- April 1865-confident, lean, mobile, experienced
>and now tremendously motivated at the prospect of bagging the great
>army of Bobby Lee instead of its Eastern "paper-collared" brethren,
>gets the opportunity to take center stage? And finish the war?
>Does the romantic chimera that now surrounds the Army of Northern
>Virginia emerge from such a crushing defeat? Does history perhaps take
>a different perspective on the Union western armies--seeing them as
>conquerors as opposed to mere 'bummers'? And do I have to keep seeing
>these noxious bumper stickers that read, "Union 1, Confederacy 0-
>Accurate impartial advice on everything from laptops to tablesaws.
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