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Re: [civilwarwest] Re: The View from Bowling Green

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  • GnrlJEJohnston@aol.com
    In a message dated 6/6/2004 1:38:18 PM Eastern Daylight Time, james2044@hotmail.com writes: While I m not in full agreement on Davis, I agree that the CSA made
    Message 1 of 14 , Jun 6, 2004
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      In a message dated 6/6/2004 1:38:18 PM Eastern Daylight Time, james2044@... writes:
      While I'm not in full agreement on Davis, I agree that the CSA made
      very real errors in the west. 
      Let's look at some of these errors.
       
      1.  Insufficient amount of troops to defend an area from the Mississippi River all the way to the Cumberland Gap.
       
      2.  The locations selected for Fts Henry and Donelson
       
      3.  The incursion by Confederate troops onto Columbus and thus breaking Kentucky's neutrality.
       
      4.  Not foreseeing the need for naval vessels needed to operate not only on the Mississippi, but also on the Cumberland and Tennessee rivers.
       
      5.  Utilizing Napoleonic type formations in terrain not suitable for such formations.
       
      6.  Having the assumption that Kentucky residents would flock to join the Confederacy.
       
      7.  Putting themselves in a position where upon evacuation, they give up not only Kentucky, but also most of Tennessee.
       
      8.  Failure to put up a defense not only for Nashville, but also for Memphis
       
      9.  Having leadership command position be primarily disfunctional
       
      10.  Having a tendency to ignore the time honored tradition of following the chain of command.
       
      These are just a few mistakes that they made and I am sure that the forum will come up with many more to add to this list.
       
      JEJ
    • John Beatty
      ... in the east and didn t care about anything else. Everyone was looking to end the war in just one fight, not just Lee and Davis. Shiloh showed that this
      Message 2 of 14 , Jun 7, 2004
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        >IMO, Lee & Davis were looking for a "Waterloo" battle
        in the east and didn't care about anything else.

        Everyone was looking to end the war in just one fight,
        not just Lee and Davis. Shiloh showed that this was
        not going to happen. In comparison, Bull Run was just
        a skirmish.



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




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      • DPowell334@AOL.COM
        In a message dated 6/7/2004 6:29:06 AM Central Daylight Time, ... I think this is too simplistic a view of Davis and Lee. The strategic problems confronting
        Message 3 of 14 , Jun 7, 2004
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          In a message dated 6/7/2004 6:29:06 AM Central Daylight Time, jdbeatty.geo@... writes:


          >IMO, Lee &Davis were looking for a "Waterloo" battle
          in the east and didn't care about anything else.

          Everyone was looking to end the war in just one fight,
          not just Lee and Davis.  Shiloh showed that this was
          not going to happen.  In comparison, Bull Run was just
          a skirmish



          I think this is too simplistic a view of Davis and Lee.

          The strategic problems confronting the South in the west were vast. Davis made a number of attempts to deal with them, but his main effort was always to put a man in charge who would act as his surrogate. This, for a variety of reasons, failed.

          However, I also think that both Davis and Lee decided by about mid 1862 on to follow a basic principle of war - to reinforce success, not failure. The Virginia theater was more compact, more managable, and had attainable strategic objectives in cities like DC. It is the arena where CSA victory was most obtainable.

          One interesting aspect of the war in the west is how often Lee won while badly outnumbered, but how often the South lost in the West despite parity or even numeric advantage. Not until 1864 do you see the kind of strategic numerical advantage in the West that the North enjoyed in the east from 1862 on. This suggests that resources in the West were not the problem, but leadership was.

          Dave Powell
        • James2044
          ... vast. Davis ... was always to ... variety of ... 1862 on to ... failure. The ... attainable strategic ... was most ... while ... despite parity or even ...
          Message 4 of 14 , Jun 7, 2004
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            --- In civilwarwest@yahoogroups.com, DPowell334@A... wrote:
            > The strategic problems confronting the South in the west were
            vast. Davis
            > made a number of attempts to deal with them, but his main effort
            was always to
            > put a man in charge who would act as his surrogate. This, for a
            variety of
            > reasons, failed.
            >
            > However, I also think that both Davis and Lee decided by about mid
            1862 on to
            > follow a basic principle of war - to reinforce success, not
            failure. The
            > Virginia theater was more compact, more managable, and had
            attainable strategic
            > objectives in cities like DC. It is the arena where CSA victory
            was most
            > obtainable.
            >
            > One interesting aspect of the war in the west is how often Lee won
            while
            > badly outnumbered, but how often the South lost in the West
            despite parity or even
            > numeric advantage. Not until 1864 do you see the kind of strategic
            numerical
            > advantage in the West that the North enjoyed in the east from 1862
            on. This
            > suggests that resources in the West were not the problem, but
            leadership was.
            >
            > Dave Powell

            Dave, what you say has merit but the CSA needed the west more than
            Virginia. The loss of supplies from the west couple with the
            manpower loss from Lee's style of war doomed the CSA. Taking one of
            the cities in Maryland or Pennsylvania would not have ended the
            war. Even if taken, how long could it be held? Lee was fixed on
            the "Waterloo" battle that would break the will of the North.
            Gettysburg is all about that search and so is Antietam.

            What the CSA got was losses they could not replace. I've read that
            the AoNV lost more men in 1862 & 1863 than were in the AoT. Never
            checked the numbers but it sounds possible

            James2044
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