--- In firstname.lastname@example.org
, "aot1952" <aot1952@y...> wrote:
> Dear Mr. Jewell-
> I find your reference to the 2nd Manassas Campaign and its
> comparison to the Snake Creek Gap operation interesting. However, I
> think that there is one huge difference in the two operations. When
> Jackson was sent he was going into well known and friendly
That is a good point, certainly he had less need of cavalry for scouting, but he
certainly needed them to screen his force. The other difference, with regard to
cavalry, was that Lee then sent along a much larger cavalry force, after
Jackson was on the march.
> Thus there might not have been the same reasons to
> anticipate the need for larger numbers of cavalry to be able to
> provide information and scouting.
But he did need them to screen his movements. Pope's entire army, plus
reinforcements were much closer to Jackson than the rest of the AoNV. You
are correct that he didn't have a need for the information gathering services,
> Clearly Jackson and many of the
> units under his command where intimately familiar with the area
> around Manassas.
> The same was certainly not the case with McPherson
> and the troops under is command. I am not sure it makes a huge
> difference but I do think that it does make some difference.
There are two circumstances which suggest that McPherson may have had
access to good information about the terrain, one is that Sherman was
confident he knew the terrain very well, having been posted in the region prior
to the war. (He made some comment about knowing the ground better than
the rebels). So I think McPherson would have had access to that information.
The other source, presumably, would be Thomas. According to his
supporters Thomas was better at having accurate maps made than most other
army commanders. Since he had been in the area for several months at that
point and had the area scouted (and presumably mapped) I would expect that
he had accurate maps available and that McPherson could use that resource.
Of course I could be wrong and Thomas wasn't that good at gathering that
type of information, but that seems unlikely given what I have read of the man.
> I have often wondered what difference it would have made if John
> Buford had not gotten sick and passed away in late 1863. He had been
> ordered to the Army of the Cumberland to take command of its cavalry
> forces and I think it is quite possible that he might have been a
> greater contributor than Stoneman. But who knows?
I think Buford would have been a good choice. Certainly I think he would
have been better in 1864 than Wilson was. Wilson, until much later, was not
really a match for Forrest, as shown at Spring Hill and the lead up to Franklin.