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RE: [civilwarwest] Re: Logistics

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  • Harry Smeltzer
    The old saying goes Amateurs study tactics - professionals study logistics. I think this is mostly because tactics lends itself more easily to sweeping,
    Message 1 of 23 , Sep 3, 2005
      The old saying goes "Amateurs study tactics - professionals study
      logistics." I think this is mostly because tactics lends itself more easily
      to sweeping, romantic generalizations in relative vacuums. Logistics is
      complicated and mind numbingly dull - most amateurs see it more often than
      not as an "excuse" for the failure of tactics.

      Harry

      -----Original Message-----
      From: civilwarwest@yahoogroups.com [mailto:civilwarwest@yahoogroups.com] On
      Behalf Of profgrimsley
      Sent: Friday, September 02, 2005 11:47 PM
      To: civilwarwest@yahoogroups.com
      Subject: [civilwarwest] Re: Logistics

      One of the best introductions to the subject I have seen is an article
      that is now almost half a century old:

      John G. Moore, "Mobility and Strategy in the Civil War" Military
      Affairs, Vol. 24, No. 2, Civil War Issue. (Summer, 1960), pp. 68-77.

      Stable URL:
      http://links.jstor.org/sici?sici=0026-3931%2819602
      2%2924%3A2%3C68%3AMASITC%3E2.0.CO%3B2-T

      Its documentation is deceptively simple, but it has some pretty shrewd
      calculations about the extent to which Civil War armies of a given
      size could forage within a given area and, particularly, the demands
      of supplying an army at increasing distances from a railhead.

      The issue is available online (thus the Stable URL). But--so far as I
      know-- it can only be accessed through
      J-STOR (short for Journal Storage), and you'll need permission to
      do so. However, many college libraries and even some secondary
      schools subscribe to it, and you can get to it via their on-site
      computers. You can find a list participating institutions here:

      http://www.jstor.org/about/participants_na.html

      It's not so much that this single article is worth the trouble of
      gaining access to J-STOR, but there's such an abundance of scholarship
      available once you do get access that it's worth looking into.

      As an alternative, the Moore article is reprinted in _Military
      Analysis of the Civil War_ (KTO Press, 1977).

      Mark






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    • Norris Darrall
      ... , I suspect he simply kept on his staff ... could not. ... Grant had about five years experience (47-52) as a Regimental Quartermaster and wartime
      Message 2 of 23 , Sep 5, 2005
        --- In civilwarwest@yahoogroups.com, keeno2@a... wrote:
        , I suspect he simply kept on his staff
        > people who could reliably do those calculations for him. His logistical
        > "talent" was likely in intuitively knowing what could work and what
        could not.
        >
        Grant had about five years experience (47-52) as a Regimental
        Quartermaster and wartime experience during the Mexican War. He had
        first hand knowledge of lower level logistics requirements and
        hands-on methods. His grasp of this field contributed to his efforts
        as Army Commander.
      • keeno2@aol.com
        Thanks for pitching in, Norris. It s a given that Grant had some certifiably solid experience. I guess what I didn t make clear was that Moore s article was
        Message 3 of 23 , Sep 5, 2005
          Thanks for pitching in, Norris.
           
          It's a given that Grant had some certifiably solid experience. I guess what I didn't make clear was that Moore's article was frought with calculations that made my eyes cross, glaze, and eventually close. My intention was to suppose that he didn't personally make those calculations if, indeed, similar calculations were in use.
           
          Speed of the march and its front affect the ratio of human to animal food required for the movement. It is this sort of balance that I propose he intuitively knew.
        • Tom Mix
          Plus he was an excellent mathematician having done well enough to have been offered a teaching position at the Point upon his graduation, according some
          Message 4 of 23 , Sep 5, 2005
            Plus he was an excellent mathematician having done well enough to have
            been offered a teaching position at the Point upon his graduation,
            according some objective Grant historians.

            -----Original Message-----
            From: civilwarwest@yahoogroups.com [mailto:civilwarwest@yahoogroups.com]
            On Behalf Of Norris Darrall
            Sent: Monday, September 05, 2005 9:09 AM
            To: civilwarwest@yahoogroups.com
            Subject: [civilwarwest] Re: Logistics

            --- In civilwarwest@yahoogroups.com, keeno2@a... wrote:
            , I suspect he simply kept on his staff
            > people who could reliably do those calculations for him. His
            logistical
            > "talent" was likely in intuitively knowing what could work and what
            could not.
            >
            Grant had about five years experience (47-52) as a Regimental
            Quartermaster and wartime experience during the Mexican War. He had
            first hand knowledge of lower level logistics requirements and
            hands-on methods. His grasp of this field contributed to his efforts
            as Army Commander.







            Yahoo! Groups Links
          • josepharose
            ... his staff ... could not. As to Grant s mathematical/logistical skills, IIRC, he once ordered that a certain number of wagons carry a specified amount of
            Message 5 of 23 , Sep 5, 2005
              --- In civilwarwest@yahoogroups.com, keeno2@a... wrote:
              > Thanks, Mark, for the heads-up on Moore's article.
              >
              > Given Grant's distaste for mathematics, I suspect he simply kept on
              his staff
              > people who could reliably do those calculations for him. His logistical
              > "talent" was likely in intuitively knowing what could work and what
              could not.

              As to Grant's mathematical/logistical skills, IIRC, he once ordered
              that a certain number of wagons carry a specified amount of
              ammunition. He had to be told that the weight of the ammo which he
              requested was much too much for each wagonload, and that the number of
              wagons would consequently have to be increased.

              Joseph

              > Of course, when planning a move, he was not exactly starting from
              scratch.
              > Where his armies were parked at any given moment were gathering
              points for
              > supplies. To move any part of his army would be to move
              transportation to that part
              > involved. To move all of his army would involve the gathering of extra
              > wagons, horses, et al.
              >
              > As Moore pointed out, the speed of the march and the front it covered
              > dictated the availability of foraged sustenance. The factors boggle.
              Bring in that
              > genius Colonel. Tell him we're moving yesterday and I want the
              wherewithal to be
              > ready the day before that.
              >
              > Thanks again.
              > Ken
            • Jfepperson@aol.com
              Given Grant s distaste for mathematics ===== This is one of the more ludicrous things I have seen here. Mathematics was one of Grant s favorite (and best)
              Message 6 of 23 , Sep 5, 2005
                 
                Given Grant's distaste for mathematics
                =====
                This is one of the more ludicrous things I have seen here.  Mathematics
                was one of Grant's favorite (and best) subjects at West Point.
                 
                JFE
                 

                James F. Epperson
                http://members.aol.com/jfepperson/causes.html
                http://members.aol.com/siege1864
              • keeno2@aol.com
                Mr. Epperson. I was wondering how long it would take for someone to pick up on that statement. It may be even more ludicrous to think that Grant sat up late
                Message 7 of 23 , Sep 5, 2005
                  Mr. Epperson. I was wondering how long it would take for someone to pick up on that statement. It may be even more ludicrous to think that Grant sat up late every night to relish the mathematical intricacies of calculating logistical necessities.
                • hank9174
                  ... pick up ... sat up ... calculating logistical ... The tidbit on supply in the Moore article during a theoretical 1864 move on Gordonsville, Virginia is a
                  Message 8 of 23 , Sep 6, 2005
                    --- In civilwarwest@yahoogroups.com, keeno2@a... wrote:
                    > Mr. Epperson. I was wondering how long it would take for someone to
                    pick up
                    > on that statement. It may be even more ludicrous to think that Grant
                    sat up
                    > late every night to relish the mathematical intricacies of
                    calculating logistical
                    > necessities.

                    The tidbit on supply in the Moore article during a theoretical 1864
                    move on Gordonsville, Virginia is a useful counterweight to Krick's
                    assertion that the lack of such an 'obvious' move casts an aspersion on
                    Grant's generalship.


                    HankC
                  • Tom Mix
                    So? Kind of nit picky to me but what I have come to expect regarding any ANY comment on or about Grant. ... From: civilwarwest@yahoogroups.com
                    Message 9 of 23 , Sep 6, 2005
                      So?
                      Kind of nit picky to me but what I have come to expect regarding any ANY
                      comment on or about Grant.

                      -----Original Message-----
                      From: civilwarwest@yahoogroups.com [mailto:civilwarwest@yahoogroups.com]
                      On Behalf Of josepharose
                      Sent: Monday, September 05, 2005 10:17 PM
                      To: civilwarwest@yahoogroups.com
                      Subject: [civilwarwest] Re: Logistics

                      --- In civilwarwest@yahoogroups.com, keeno2@a... wrote:
                      > Thanks, Mark, for the heads-up on Moore's article.
                      >
                      > Given Grant's distaste for mathematics, I suspect he simply kept on
                      his staff
                      > people who could reliably do those calculations for him. His
                      logistical
                      > "talent" was likely in intuitively knowing what could work and what
                      could not.

                      As to Grant's mathematical/logistical skills, IIRC, he once ordered
                      that a certain number of wagons carry a specified amount of
                      ammunition. He had to be told that the weight of the ammo which he
                      requested was much too much for each wagonload, and that the number of
                      wagons would consequently have to be increased.

                      Joseph

                      > Of course, when planning a move, he was not exactly starting from
                      scratch.
                      > Where his armies were parked at any given moment were gathering
                      points for
                      > supplies. To move any part of his army would be to move
                      transportation to that part
                      > involved. To move all of his army would involve the gathering of extra

                      > wagons, horses, et al.
                      >
                      > As Moore pointed out, the speed of the march and the front it covered
                      > dictated the availability of foraged sustenance. The factors boggle.
                      Bring in that
                      > genius Colonel. Tell him we're moving yesterday and I want the
                      wherewithal to be
                      > ready the day before that.
                      >
                      > Thanks again.
                      > Ken






                      Yahoo! Groups Links
                    • Tom Mix
                      No doubt about it, Jim. Grant was a great mathematician. ... From: civilwarwest@yahoogroups.com [mailto:civilwarwest@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of
                      Message 10 of 23 , Sep 6, 2005

                        No doubt about it, Jim. Grant was a great mathematician.

                         

                        -----Original Message-----
                        From: civilwarwest@yahoogroups.com [mailto:civilwarwest@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of Jfepperson@...
                        Sent: Monday, September 05, 2005 10:26 PM
                        To: civilwarwest@yahoogroups.com
                        Subject: Re: [civilwarwest] Re: Logistics

                         

                         

                        Given Grant's distaste for mathematics

                        =====

                        This is one of the more ludicrous things I have seen here.  Mathematics

                        was one of Grant's favorite (and best) subjects at West Point.

                         

                        JFE

                         


                        James F. Epperson
                        http://members.aol.com/jfepperson/causes.html
                        http://members.aol.com/siege1864

                         

                      • banbruner@aol.com
                        In a message dated 9/6/2005 11:50:33 AM Eastern Daylight Time, tmix@insightbb.com writes: No doubt about it, Jim. Grant was a great mathematician and a grim
                        Message 11 of 23 , Sep 8, 2005
                          In a message dated 9/6/2005 11:50:33 AM Eastern Daylight Time, tmix@... writes:
                          No doubt about it, Jim. Grant was a great mathematician
                          and a grim mathematgician.
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