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Re: [civilwarwest] Re: Questions on Shiloh

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  • John Beatty
    ... mass raiding attack to destroy the enemy, gather as much spoils of war that you could, and then get back to your main base at Corinth. Then why wasn t this
    Message 1 of 118 , Jun 3, 2004
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      >In otherwords, the battle of Shiloh was in a sense, a
      mass raiding attack to destroy the enemy, gather as
      much spoils of war that you could, and then get back
      to your main base at Corinth.

      Then why wasn't this stated _before_ the attack? Why
      were there not empty wagons or any other provision
      made for carrying back these "spoils?" Why was there
      no plan for a return march? Why was Knoxville stated
      _twice_ in planning as the goal of the offensive? And
      how, exactly, was a "raid" going to destroy Buell on
      the eastern side of the Tennessee, as Johnston stated
      he wanted to do after he dealt with Grant?

      >I can see this since Shiloh did not contain any
      strategic importance.

      As the closest the Tennesee River gets to Corinth and
      the crucial rail junctions joining two halves of the
      Confederacy together, Pittsburg Landing and Crump's
      Landing had more strategic importance than any other
      point in middle Tennessee.



      =====
      _________________________________
      John D. Beatty, Milwaukee Wisconsin
      AMCIVWAR.COM/AMCIVWAR.NET
      "History is the only test for the consequences of ideas"




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    • hartshje
      Carl, The British navy had two main problems going right up the Mississippi: 1) the sandbars at the mouth of the river precluded the larger warships from
      Message 118 of 118 , Jun 30, 2004
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        Carl,

        The British navy had two main problems going right up the
        Mississippi:

        1) the sandbars at the mouth of the river precluded the larger
        warships from entering the river, so only smaller warships could be
        used in any attack on Fort St. Philip (which is what happened, and
        they were repulsed). The sandbars were normally dredged during peace
        time, but during both the War of 1812, and the ACW, the blockade
        caused dredging to be suspended (at least until N.O. was captured).

        2) the British ships could ONLY rely on wind power, so once past the
        sandbars, the wind had to be just right to make their way upriver
        against the current. The British command estimated at least a week
        to travel the 100 miles upstream to the fort.

        Farragut's advantage, obviously, was steam power. His ships got
        through the sandbars by literally ramming them over and over until
        they broke through. Even so, the "Colorado" (Farragut's largest
        ship) could not get into the river. Also, when the forts were
        passed, the U.S. ships could travel faster against the current, which
        meant less time under the guns of the forts. Without that added
        advantage, IMO he would have been blasted back.

        I highly recommend an excellent book, "The War of 1812" by John K.
        Mahon. It is concise (386 pgs of text, 60 pgs of notes and
        bibliography), yet a quite detailed account of the entire war for
        anyone who is interested in finding out more about this relatively
        unknown and fascinating era of our past.

        Joe

        --- In civilwarwest@yahoogroups.com, "carlw4514" <carlw4514@y...>
        wrote:
        >
        > . . . neither the Brits or the Yankees seemed to have contemplated
        > this for the assault on these forts. It seems to me that the forts
        > were first to be blasted into rubble before the infantry could
        > finish the job, as far as the Brits were concerned or as far as the
        > original Union plan went. Maybe I'm jumping to conclusions.
        >
        > -- In 27927, "hartshje" <Hartshje@a...> wrote:
        > > Carl,
        > >
        > > I really don't think the forts had any effect on Butler's
        > > landing. I believe it was assumed by just about everybody
        > > (except Farragut) that the forts would have to be put out of
        > > commission before the navy could go upriver. That was going to
        > > be Butler's job if Porter's mortars weren't successful (which
        > > they weren't). Farragut seems to be the only one who believed
        > > they could "run" the gauntlet, making the forts pretty useless.
        > > It would be interesting to know if Farragut really knew how close
        > > the Rebs were to getting the "Louisiana" & "Mississippi" up and
        > > running, or if he just wanted to prove the navy could do it on
        > > their own.
        >
        >
        > Have trolled a bit and found nothing to indicate exactly what his
        > intel on this might have been. At
        >
        > http://www.multied.com/navy/cwnavalhistory/Index.html
        >
        > there are some reports on worrisome developments of rebel Ironclads
        > at N.O. that might find their way upriver, but nothing in the way
        > of what Farragut might have known just before attacking. Farragut
        > could be a bit impulsive, I think, but there is no reason to think
        > he would have wanted to contend with the forts and then tangle with
        > a Reb navy that had anything close to equity. I have to think the
        > Union Intel had the skinny.
        >
        > Carl
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