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Re: [civilwarwest] What if Johnston had replaced Pemberton at vicksburg?

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  • Don Plezia
    Message 1 of 6 , Apr 7, 2000
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      From: <tsalagibra@... writes:-

      > Turning Point is generally considered as that point in a war,
      battle, or
      > skirmish when one side gains a strategic or tactical advantage which
      > outweighs the corresponding loss to the other side.

      I can't see a loss. The Union controlled the river north and south as
      well as the mouth of the river, well before Vicksburg's fall. So
      Pemberton's loss only allowed ". . . the river to flow, unvexed to the
      sea". This, in my mind only benefited the northerner's who disliked
      paying costs of transportation over the northern rails and wanted to use
      the cheaper river transportation. The Union could not perfectly
      control, the entire stretch of river, even with the use of gunboats. So
      if crossing the river was necessary, it only made crossing a little more
      of a gamble. It seems only in the minds of the media was the
      "Confederacy cut in half".

      After Chattanooga, the Union forces found really large amounts of
      stores, including meats, that the Confederates could not carry off, in
      Bragg's warehouses in Chickamauga Station.

      When Sherman made his trip to Savannah, he counted on feeding his army
      off the land. Claiming that ". . . . where a million (Georgians) live,
      I shall not starve", and he didn't.

      When Wilson invaded Alabama, and captured Selma on April 2nd of 1865,
      McCook reported upon entering the city, that he found "immense
      quantities of stores of every kind". After the capture of Montgomery,
      on April 12th, Upton reports the capture of "large quantities of stores
      and small arms and cotton". On April 16th, 1865, now in Georgia heading
      to West Point, Colonel La Grange reported the capture of Columbus with
      immense quantities of small arms and stores". So much that he could'nt
      count them.

      When Lee retreated from Richmond, he was counting on stores being placed
      on his retreat route. Only the fact that the order was not obeyed
      caused his surrender. The stores were available. This was two (2)
      years after Vicksburg.

      > . .when the Federals regained complete and unmolested access to the
      Mississippi > River; that when the Confederacy was divided (which, by
      the way, is Step 1 in
      > the classic maneuver called "divide and conquer") and had lost access
      > mail/telegraph contact) with half of their country; I believe it would
      be a
      > fair assessment to say it was the turning point of the war. A major
      > objective had been gained for the Union and it's corresponding loss to
      > Confederacy was overwhelming.

      I don't think so!

      Certainly the incidents listed above don't indicate that.

      Don Plezia
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