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Re: [civilwarwest] Re: Bragg's Retreat from Tullahoma

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  • DPowell334@AOL.COM
    In a message dated 1/28/2004 7:30:46 PM Central Standard Time, ... I believe that sending Wheeler across the river in October was a major mistake, and did very
    Message 1 of 25 , Jan 28, 2004
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      In a message dated 1/28/2004 7:30:46 PM Central Standard Time, LWhite64@... writes:


      In regards to a strike at Bridgeport, that seems to be the only feasable offensive action that I could see that would work and have dramatic results, although it would have been done by Wheeler since Bragg was mad at Forrest in the Chickamauga aftermath and would be the factor that might hamper the chance of success.

      Lee



      I believe that sending Wheeler across the river in October was a major mistake, and did very little to actually disrupt the vital Union supply flow.

      I also believe that had Bragg sent a detached column - say 15,000 Infantry and two cavalry divisions - towards Bridgeport as early as the 23rd, he would have forced a crisis in Chattanooga. Even holding the south bank of the Tennessee at Bridgeport was a serious threat to Union efforts to relieve Rosecrans.

      Dave Powell
    • topoiicrimso@aol.com
      According to Sword, elements of Lee s Corps (two brigades) made a night crossing to an island in the Tennessee River near Bainbridge, then crossed to the north
      Message 2 of 25 , Jan 28, 2004
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        According to Sword, elements of Lee's Corps (two brigades) made a night crossing to an island in the Tennessee River near Bainbridge, then crossed to the north shore the next morning.  I believe there was a near-simultaneous crossing near Florence.


        In a message dated 1/28/2004 7:39:53 AM Central Standard Time, SDE80@... writes:


        I agree with all of this.  I would add relative to Hood that he cobbled together a pontoon bridge from pontoons, barges and flatboats, and I seem to remember reading somewhere that they crossed an island, too, but I'm not where I can check that.

        Sam Elliott


      • hartshje
        Whoa Dave! I agree that I neglected to account for transporting the wounded to hospitals, but that would be to the rear, and closer to their food supply, not
        Message 3 of 25 , Jan 28, 2004
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          Whoa Dave! I agree that I neglected to account for transporting the
          wounded to hospitals, but that would be to the rear, and closer to
          their food supply, not North on the campaign trail. And where are
          these 10,000 "extra duty" men coming from. I think the 55,000 figure
          would include everybody that wasn't on the D/W/M list.

          Joe

          --- In civilwarwest@yahoogroups.com, DPowell334@A... wrote:
          > In a message dated 1/28/2004 3:14:41 PM Central Standard Time,
          >
          > Not quite. those 18,000 simply don't disappear, or all die.
          > Something like 12,000 of those men were wounded, and pose an even
          > greater strain on the logistics than do healthy men. You are
          > confusing combat effectives with mouths to feed.
          >
          > Bragg likely had 55,000 combat effectives within one week of the
          > battle. Adding in the present extra duty men, he likely had about
          > 65,000 mouths to feed for just his able bodied men. Then add in the
          > wounded, and you can see that his actual logistical needs might
          > reach 75,000 to 80,000 people. And we have not even discussed the
          > diversion of transport needed to move the wounded to field
          > hospitals, move up extra supplies, etc.
          >
          > Dave Powell
          >

          > Hartshje@a... writes:
          >
          > > Thanks Dave, and others for answering.
          > >
          > > You mentioned 70,000 troops, but it would be more like around
          > > 55,000. Let's not forget he lost over 18,000 in the battle, but
          > > did receive a few more reinforcements (the rest of McLaw's
          > > division). But I do see your point.
          > >
        • hartshje
          ... DAVE, I CERTAINLY CONCUR WITH YOU !! ... LEE, ONCE AGAIN WE WOULD FIND BRAGG MAKING WAR ON HIS OWN COMMANDERS INSTEAD OF THE ENEMY !!
          Message 4 of 25 , Jan 28, 2004
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            --- In civilwarwest@yahoogroups.com, DPowell334@A... wrote:
            >
            > I believe that sending Wheeler across the river in October was a
            > major mistake, and did very little to actually disrupt the vital
            > Union supply flow.
            >
            > I also believe that had Bragg sent a detached column - say 15,000
            > infantry and two cavalry divisions - towards Bridgeport as early as
            > the 23rd, he would have forced a crisis in Chattanooga. Even
            > holding the south bank of the Tennessee at Bridgeport was a serious
            > threat to Union efforts to relieve Rosecrans.
            >
            > Dave Powell

            DAVE, I CERTAINLY CONCUR WITH YOU !!

            >
            > In a message dated 1/28/2004 7:30:46 PM Central Standard Time,
            > LWhite64@a... writes:
            > >
            > > In regards to a strike at Bridgeport, that seems to be the only
            > > feasable offensive action that I could see that would work and
            > > have dramatic results, although it would have been done by
            > > Wheeler since Bragg was mad at Forrest in the Chickamauga
            > > aftermath and would be the factor that might hamper the chance
            > > of success.
            > >
            > > Lee
            > >

            LEE, ONCE AGAIN WE WOULD FIND BRAGG MAKING WAR ON HIS OWN COMMANDERS
            INSTEAD OF THE ENEMY !!
          • DPowell334@AOL.COM
            In a message dated 1/29/2004 12:02:39 AM Central Standard Time, ... No, not at all. There are many difficulties in reading ACW numbers. The number most
            Message 5 of 25 , Jan 29, 2004
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              In a message dated 1/29/2004 12:02:39 AM Central Standard Time, Hartshje@... writes:


              Whoa Dave!  I agree that I neglected to account for transporting the
              wounded to hospitals, but that would be to the rear, and closer to
              their food supply, not North on the campaign trail.  And where are
              these 10,000 "extra duty" men coming from.  I think the 55,000 figure
              would include everybody that wasn't on the D/W/M list.

              Joe



              No, not at all. There are many difficulties in reading ACW numbers. The number most routinely used by historians is either effective total or Present for duty, because that is the closest number to actual combat strength. In Union armies, it is usually "Present for Duty, equipped."

              However, when you are counting mouths for ration purposes, the better number is Aggregrate present, which is always much higher. This counts all the detailed, extra duty men, the men excused duty for illnesses not serious enough to send to hospital, etc.

              For example, let us look at the December 3 return of the Army of Tennessee, taken at Dalton, 1863.

              The effective total for the infantry and artillery then with the army is 30,127. This number almost certainly does not count the officers, as CSA "effective" numbers tend to not count anyone not carrying a musket.

              The "Aggregate Present" number, by contrast is, 39,463 - just about 9300 more men than the "effective" number. This number is critical, because that is the number that Hardee, and later Johnston, have to feed.  Hence, for combat, the AOT numbered 30,000 men. For supply, it numbered 40,000. See the difference?

              If you have access to the OR, or want to do so online, I strongly suggest you look at a number of strength returns to get a feel for how much numbers can vary.

              Dave Powell

            • hartshje
              Dave, While I certainly knew that there were always a lot of detail personnel that drained the front line regiments, and others like teamsters, bands,
              Message 6 of 25 , Jan 29, 2004
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                Dave,

                While I certainly knew that there were always a lot of "detail"
                personnel that drained the front line regiments, and others like
                teamsters, bands, quartermaster, etc., I didn't think that official
                reports of unit strengths failed to count them. I defer to your
                extensive research knowledge in this area, and will try to study some
                of these in the OR. But basically what you are saying is that most
                books would credit army strengths in battles at far less than their
                actual numbers? So Bragg really had about 78,000 and Rosecrans about
                70,000 at Chickamauga?

                Joe

                --- In civilwarwest@yahoogroups.com, DPowell334@A... wrote:
                >
                > No, not at all. There are many difficulties in reading ACW numbers.
                The
                > number most routinely used by historians is either effective total
                or Present for
                > duty, because that is the closest number to actual combat strength.
                In Union
                > armies, it is usually "Present for Duty, equipped."
                >
                > However, when you are counting mouths for ration purposes, the
                better number
                > is Aggregrate present, which is always much higher. This counts all
                the
                > detailed, extra duty men, the men excused duty for illnesses not
                serious enough to
                > send to hospital, etc.
                >
                > For example, let us look at the December 3 return of the Army of
                Tennessee,
                > taken at Dalton, 1863.
                >
                > The effective total for the infantry and artillery then with the
                army is
                > 30,127. This number almost certainly does not count the officers,
                as CSA
                > "effective" numbers tend to not count anyone not carrying a musket.
                >
                > The "Aggregate Present" number, by contrast is, 39,463 - just about
                9300 more
                > men than the "effective" number. This number is critical, because
                that is the
                > number that Hardee, and later Johnston, have to feed. Hence, for
                combat, the
                > AOT numbered 30,000 men. For supply, it numbered 40,000. See the
                difference?
                >
                > If you have access to the OR, or want to do so online, I strongly
                suggest you
                > look at a number of strength returns to get a feel for how much
                numbers can
                > vary.
                >
                > Dave Powell
                >
                > In a message dated 1/29/2004 12:02:39 AM Central Standard Time,
                > Hartshje@a... writes:
                >
                > >
                > > Whoa Dave! I agree that I neglected to account for transporting
                the
                > > wounded to hospitals, but that would be to the rear, and closer
                to
                > > their food supply, not North on the campaign trail. And where
                are
                > > these 10,000 "extra duty" men coming from. I think the 55,000
                figure
                > > would include everybody that wasn't on the D/W/M list.
                > >
                > > Joe
              • DPowell334@AOL.COM
                In a message dated 1/29/2004 10:01:44 PM Central Standard Time, ... Numbers are dangerous things. the aggregate present is always much higher than the present
                Message 7 of 25 , Jan 30, 2004
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                  In a message dated 1/29/2004 10:01:44 PM Central Standard Time, Hartshje@... writes:


                  Dave,

                  While I certainly knew that there were always a lot of "detail"
                  personnel that drained the front line regiments, and others like
                  teamsters, bands, quartermaster, etc., I didn't think that official
                  reports of unit strengths failed to count them.  I defer to your
                  extensive research knowledge in this area, and will try to study some
                  of these in the OR.  But basically what you are saying is that most
                  books would credit army strengths in battles at far less than their
                  actual numbers?  So Bragg really had about 78,000 and Rosecrans about
                  70,000 at Chickamauga?

                  Joe




                  Numbers are dangerous things. the aggregate present is always much higher than the present for duty number. Historians tend to quote the PFD number because it represents the closest thing to "fighting strength" you find in the OR. (and even then, if you look at a regiment by regiment basis, the final engaged strength for any battle will be still lower.)

                  The Aggregate present number, by contrast, represents the total number of people with the army, including sick lists, details, teamsters, etc. (even slaves, I suspect, if they are doing something like teamster details.) The reason soldiers care about Agg present numbers is that this is how many folks you have to feed - a teamster eats as much as an infantryman.

                  For example, the August 31st Return, 1863, gives Rosecrans a Present For Duty Strength of 74,000 officers and men. The same return gives him an Aggregate Present strength of 96,000 officers and men.

                  Dave Powell
                • DPowell334@AOL.COM
                  In a message dated 1/30/2004 4:14:58 AM Central Standard Time, ... I wanted to give another example of numbers confusion, which, while off-topic, I think is
                  Message 8 of 25 , Jan 30, 2004
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                    In a message dated 1/30/2004 4:14:58 AM Central Standard Time, DPowell334@... writes:

                    For example, the August 31st Return, 1863, gives Rosecrans a Present For Duty Strength of 74,000 officers and men. The same return gives him an Aggregate Present strength of 96,000 officers and men.


                    I wanted to give another example of numbers confusion, which, while off-topic, I think is very illustrative of how much trouble numbers can cause history if not carefully analyzed.

                    Everyone knows McClellan was over-estimating the Rebels he was facing on the Peninsula. It is common knowledge in ACW historiography that Mac estimated the enemy numbers at between 150,000 - 200,000 Thousand when Lee only had 80,000 men, right?

                    In fact, the Rebel forces around Richmond on June 20th reported 110,000 effectives, based on research done at the regimental level by Leon Tenney in a masters thesis at JMU, 1992.

                    Better yet, Tenney was counting PFD numbers, to compare them to Mac's own strength.

                    However, as we have just seen, Agg numbers are much higher than PFD numbers. So if Lee's forces were reporting 110,000 PFD on June 20th, using a similar ratio to the above for Rosecrans, we would get at Aggregate Present number of about 140,000 men for Lee's army on June 20th.

                    Why count the Aggregate? Because that is what Union spies would be counting. Without access to the detailed musters and roll calls of the Rebel Army (and let's face it, those records apparently do not even exist in the Rebel records, so it is very likely that they were not fully kept up to date even at the time) Union agents could only really count who was present. They would not know who was "effective" and who was not.

                    So if Pinkerton is counting 150,000, which he is reporting to Mac, and Lee's own records show he has close to 140,000, suddently, Pinkerton does not look like the fool he has been so often represented as. Instead, he look remarkably effective - an error margin of less than 10% with only a handful of agents.

                    Of course, McClellan also knew these numbers were aggregate, not PFD, and he was deliberatly misleading Washington when he would report Lee's Agg totals and compare them to his own PFD. He knew full well that not all of those men were combat effective, just based on his own army data. He was also adding in more "padding" of Pinkerton's numbers because he thought it was not possible for Pinkerton to be so accurate, and hence the high end estimate of 200,000 rebs was used.

                    My point is, however, that the traditional view of numbers between Mac and Lee is quite different than the reality. Lee had far more than 80,000 men, as his records show, and might well have had 140,000. Mac's terrifying estimates, long held to be fantasy, are blamed on Pinkerton, when instead they should be laid squarely at McClellan's feet. Historians have simply relied for too long on the 80,000 vs 120,00 figures without actually looking to see what those numbers mean.

                    Sorry for taking us east, but I think that the example proves in general how confrusing the numbers game can be, especially when we talk about logistics. It is not how many who fight, but how many you feed, that matters.

                    I will respond to McClellan/Peninsula stuff by private email, so as not to clutter the group with eastern theater stuff, which, as we all know, was not really important anyway:)

                    Dave Powell
                  • hank9174
                    Men are kept on the rolls until mustered out or deceased. Wounded, in the hospital, missing, awol, on furlough, captured, among others, are still counted in
                    Message 9 of 25 , Jan 30, 2004
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                      Men are kept on the rolls until mustered out or deceased. Wounded, in
                      the hospital, missing, awol, on furlough, captured, among others, are
                      still counted in the 'present and absent' or 'total aggregate'
                      category.

                      'Present' is pretty much the same as in 2nd grade - a warm body ready
                      to work.

                      Here's an example that allows one to become terribly mislead if
                      unaware of what the numbemeans. The Army of Northern
                      Virginia's 'present and absent' for March 1865 is 118,000 - pretty
                      substantial, right? Except about 1/3 of that total is in the hospital
                      and another 1/3 is AWOL.

                      Teamsters are not part in CSA line regiments; they are in a different
                      department and, believe it or not, paid more.


                      HankC

                      --- In civilwarwest@yahoogroups.com, "hartshje" <Hartshje@a...> wrote:
                      > Dave,
                      >
                      > While I certainly knew that there were always a lot of "detail"
                      > personnel that drained the front line regiments, and others like
                      > teamsters, bands, quartermaster, etc., I didn't think that official
                      > reports of unit strengths failed to count them. I defer to your
                      > extensive research knowledge in this area, and will try to study
                      some
                      > of these in the OR. But basically what you are saying is that most
                      > books would credit army strengths in battles at far less than their
                      > actual numbers? So Bragg really had about 78,000 and Rosecrans
                      about
                      > 70,000 at Chickamauga?
                      >
                      > Joe
                      >
                      > --- In civilwarwest@yahoogroups.com, DPowell334@A... wrote:
                      > >
                      > > No, not at all. There are many difficulties in reading ACW
                      numbers.
                      > The
                      > > number most routinely used by historians is either effective
                      total
                      > or Present for
                      > > duty, because that is the closest number to actual combat
                      strength.
                      > In Union
                      > > armies, it is usually "Present for Duty, equipped."
                      > >
                      > > However, when you are counting mouths for ration purposes, the
                      > better number
                      > > is Aggregrate present, which is always much higher. This counts
                      all
                      > the
                      > > detailed, extra duty men, the men excused duty for illnesses not
                      > serious enough to
                      > > send to hospital, etc.
                      > >
                      > > For example, let us look at the December 3 return of the Army of
                      > Tennessee,
                      > > taken at Dalton, 1863.
                      > >
                      > > The effective total for the infantry and artillery then with the
                      > army is
                      > > 30,127. This number almost certainly does not count the officers,
                      > as CSA
                      > > "effective" numbers tend to not count anyone not carrying a
                      musket.
                      > >
                      > > The "Aggregate Present" number, by contrast is, 39,463 - just
                      about
                      > 9300 more
                      > > men than the "effective" number. This number is critical, because
                      > that is the
                      > > number that Hardee, and later Johnston, have to feed. Hence, for
                      > combat, the
                      > > AOT numbered 30,000 men. For supply, it numbered 40,000. See the
                      > difference?
                      > >
                      > > If you have access to the OR, or want to do so online, I strongly
                      > suggest you
                      > > look at a number of strength returns to get a feel for how much
                      > numbers can
                      > > vary.
                      > >
                      > > Dave Powell
                      > >
                      > > In a message dated 1/29/2004 12:02:39 AM Central Standard Time,
                      > > Hartshje@a... writes:
                      > >
                      > > >
                      > > > Whoa Dave! I agree that I neglected to account for
                      transporting
                      > the
                      > > > wounded to hospitals, but that would be to the rear, and closer
                      > to
                      > > > their food supply, not North on the campaign trail. And where
                      > are
                      > > > these 10,000 "extra duty" men coming from. I think the 55,000
                      > figure
                      > > > would include everybody that wasn't on the D/W/M list.
                      > > >
                      > > > Joe
                    • huddleston.r@comcast.net
                      Teamsters are not part in CSA line regiments; they are in a different department and, believe it or not, paid more. HankC Never realized that Southerners
                      Message 10 of 25 , Jan 30, 2004
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                        "Teamsters are not part in CSA line regiments; they are in a different
                        department and, believe it or not, paid more.


                        HankC"

                        Never realized that Southerners were unionized that early.....

                        --
                        Take care,

                        Bob

                        Judy and Bob Huddleston
                        10643 Sperry Street
                        Northglenn, CO 80234-3612
                        huddleston.r@...
                      • GnrlJEJohnston@aol.com
                        In a message dated 1/29/2004 11:01:24 PM Eastern Standard Time, Hartshje@aol.com writes: But basically what you are saying is that most books would credit army
                        Message 11 of 25 , Jan 30, 2004
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                          In a message dated 1/29/2004 11:01:24 PM Eastern Standard Time, Hartshje@... writes:
                          But basically what you are saying is that most
                          books would credit army strengths in battles at far less than their
                          actual numbers?  So Bragg really had about 78,000 and Rosecrans about
                          70,000 at Chickamauga?

                          Joe
                          Joe,
                          From what I have been told, the Federals and the Confederates used two different methods for determining strengths and effectives.  This is what makes it difficult today to determine how strong each army was.
                           
                          JEJ
                        • hank9174
                          no... Halliburton... ... different
                          Message 12 of 25 , Jan 30, 2004
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                            no... Halliburton...


                            --- In civilwarwest@yahoogroups.com, huddleston.r@c... wrote:
                            > "Teamsters are not part in CSA line regiments; they are in a
                            different
                            > department and, believe it or not, paid more.
                            >
                            >
                            > HankC"
                            >
                            > Never realized that Southerners were unionized that early.....
                            >
                            > --
                            > Take care,
                            >
                            > Bob
                            >
                            > Judy and Bob Huddleston
                            > 10643 Sperry Street
                            > Northglenn, CO 80234-3612
                            > huddleston.r@c...
                          • DPowell334@AOL.COM
                            In a message dated 1/30/2004 5:46:52 PM Central Standard Time, ... A post of rare wit and erudition:) Dave Powell
                            Message 13 of 25 , Jan 30, 2004
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                              In a message dated 1/30/2004 5:46:52 PM Central Standard Time, clarkc@... writes:


                              no... Halliburton...



                              A post of rare wit and erudition:)

                              Dave Powell
                            • Timothy Seeley
                              This statistical information is revealing, because a Richmond based Confed staffer figured out in mid to late 63 that when it came to effectives the
                              Message 14 of 25 , Jan 31, 2004
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                                This statistical information is revealing, because a Richmond based Confed
                                staffer figured out in mid to late 63 that when it came to effectives the
                                Confederates had only 150,000 troops (source Bruce Catton Centennial
                                History) and 40,000 of those were trapped with Kirby Smith out in the Trans
                                Misssissippi. If they could of been moved to the east bank the southerners
                                could of enacted the best plan for Confederate victory concived during the
                                war an invasion of Kentucky proposed by Longstreet whom I consider the best
                                southern general of all.


                                >From: GnrlJEJohnston@...
                                >Reply-To: civilwarwest@yahoogroups.com
                                >To: civilwarwest@yahoogroups.com
                                >Subject: Re: [civilwarwest] Re: Bragg's Retreat from Tullahoma
                                >Date: Fri, 30 Jan 2004 17:50:45 EST
                                >
                                >In a message dated 1/29/2004 11:01:24 PM Eastern Standard Time,
                                >Hartshje@... writes:
                                >But basically what you are saying is that most
                                >books would credit army strengths in battles at far less than their
                                >actual numbers? So Bragg really had about 78,000 and Rosecrans about
                                >70,000 at Chickamauga?
                                >
                                >Joe
                                >Joe,
                                >From what I have been told, the Federals and the Confederates used two
                                >different methods for determining strengths and effectives. This is what
                                >makes it
                                >difficult today to determine how strong each army was.
                                >
                                >JEJ

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