--- In email@example.com
, "William H Keene"
> --- In firstname.lastname@example.org, "josepharose"
> <josepharose@y...> wrote:
> > ... If a steady stream of men made it through--regardless as to
> > whether McPherson was in the front, middle, rear, or absent--
> > would have been sufficient troops to have placed a blocking force
> > across Johnston's lines of communication and retreat.
> Some interesting points but the one copied above is speculation.
> a steady stream of men had followed, Johnston would have reacted
> differently thus I do not see how the above conclusion is reached.
Any time you change the most minute historical fact, everything based
on it becomes speculation. The fact is McP reached the CSA lines of
communication above Resaca. He felt that he was not strong enough to
stay there. He *would* have been strong enough to stay there and it
would have been fast enough to block Johnston's army *if* he knew
that there was an unending stream of men 60,000 strong for him to
utilize. He also would have had a division of cavalry to scout out
Resaca and any approaching Confederates coming from the north.
With the men behind him, McP could have moved up his full 23,000-
strong AotT instead of keeping some behind to guard the route (the
unending column would do that for him). That would have been more
than enough to check any initial CSA response in very defensible
terrain. Take a look at it in Topozone.com.
> > 5) Lastly, even with the most modest orders of merely hiding in
> > mouth of the gap and striking the retreating AoT in the flank,
> > McPherson failed to do that or any significant damage.
> The AoT did not present an exposed flank for McPherson to strike
> at. The force in Resaca continued to grow as Loring's Divison
> arrived from Alabama; Martin's cavalry were observing McPherson
> closely; and in the aftermath of McPherson's movement Johnston had
> directed that Walker's division as well as Grigsby's cavalry
> take a position watching McPherson's position along the route that
> passes north of Resaca with Cleburne's division nearby in support.
If that's what stopped McP from even attempting to do some damage--
and you must admit that not much of an attempt was made--then it's
Sherman's fault for giving him more bad orders.
Sherman botched a golden opportunity. That is a conclusion, but it
is one based on readily-described facts and relatively non-arbitrary
assumptions (marching speeds, defensive strength of an equal force,
etc). Sherman had the ability to--and in fact, this was later proved
by Hooker's actually doing so--move a greater force through SCG than
the CSA could fight through.