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Re: The View from Bowling Green

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  • James2044
    ... vast. Davis ... was always to ... variety of ... 1862 on to ... failure. The ... attainable strategic ... was most ... while ... despite parity or even ...
    Message 1 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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