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RE: [civilwarwest] Re: Question on Grant

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  • Harry Smeltzer
    Here s the whole passage, from Chapter 35 of the Library of America edition: When the news reached me of McPherson s victory at Raymond about sundown my
    Message 1 of 3 , Oct 6, 2004
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      Here's the whole passage, from Chapter 35 of the Library of America edition:

      "When the news reached me of McPherson's victory at Raymond about sundown my
      position was with Sherman. I decided at once to turn the whole column
      towards Jackson and capture that place without delay.

      Pemberton was now on my left, with, as I supposed, about 18,000 men; in
      fact, as I learned afterwards, with nearly 50,000. A force was also
      collecting on my right, at Jackson, the point where all the railroads
      communicating with Vicksburg connect. All the enemy's supplies of men and
      stores would come by that point. As I hoped in the end to besiege Vicksburg
      I must first destroy all possibility of aid. I therefore determined to move
      swiftly towards Jackson, destroy or drive any force in that direction and
      then turn upon Pemberton."


      -----Original Message-----
      From: William H Keene [mailto:wh_keene@...]
      Sent: Wednesday, October 06, 2004 2:59 PM
      To: civilwarwest@yahoogroups.com
      Subject: [civilwarwest] Re: Question on Grant

      --- In civilwarwest@yahoogroups.com, "Harry Smeltzer" <hjs21@c...> wrote:
      > Grant, in his Memoirs, wrote that at the time he determined to move on
      > Johnston at Jackson (after the battle at Raymond), he supposed Pemberton
      > at Vicksburg with "about 18,000 men, when in fact, as I learned
      > with nearly 50,000."

      Though I have read the Memoirs more than once, I had never really focused on
      statement before. Did he mean Pemberton's entire force between Vicksburg
      and Big Blakc
      or did he just mena the force concentrated around Edward's Station/Big Black
      Bridge? If
      the later, then the 18000 estimate seemes reasonably accurate to me. I do
      not think
      pemberton had nearly 50,000 if we consider the former.

      > In light of this, the movement is of course less bold. However, and I'm
      > hoping this does not descend to the level of metaphysics or forensic
      > psychology, is there any evidence of what Grant's decision at this point
      > would have been had he known the true strength of Pemberton? Anything
      > may have written later, or anything his staff may have written regarding
      > Grant's thoughts on this?

      I don't know of any evidence to suggest he would have chosen differently.
      However, I have
      also noted above that I have some concerns with the numbers.

      I think there is some evidence that he had considered seizing Jackson from
      the beginning .
      I will look it up when I get a chance. The difference is in whether he
      moves on Jackson in
      full force or whether he just sends a detachment to deal with it.


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