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MODERATOR'S NOTE, please read... [civilwarwest] Re: "Atlanta Campaign"

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  • ks
    Actually, I see a whole lot WRONG with this post, particularly since our website homepage clearly states that discussion of Cause of the War is off limits on
    Message 1 of 1 , Sep 12, 2007
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      Actually, I see a whole lot WRONG with this post, particularly since our website homepage clearly states that discussion of  Cause of the War is off limits on this group.  So you, Steve, and everyone else had better take it to private email if you wish to continue.  If you choose to continue it on this forum, you will be unsubscribed.
       
      As usual (and also stated on the homepage)...
      All posts concerning moderation of CWWT are to be sent to the group moderators privately and NOT to the entire group.
       
      Do NOT reply to this message via the board.  I don't care if you agree or disagree with me.  Please take it to private email.
       
      Thank you.
       
      Pat Jones, Co-moderator CWWT
       
      ----- Original Message -----
      Sent: Wednesday, September 12, 2007 9:17 PM
      Subject: Re: [civilwarwest] Re: "Atlanta Campaign"

      WRONG on many counts. 
          First of all, the South leaving the Union would NOT have destroyed the Union.  This is a common misconception fed by the Union, and Lincoln, during the war.  As I asked earlier, how did the Southern States leaving the Union threaten the rest of the Union if it decided to continue as a seperate country? 
       
          Second, Secession was legal!  This was why Davis was NEVER brought to trial, on the advice of the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court!  Exercising a legal right, as guaranteed in the tenth amendment, which, by the way, was insisted on by Massachussettes, does not equal a declaration of war!
       
      Third, yes the South did fire on Fort Sumter, which was being held by a force from another country!  If Great Britian pulled out of the Nato, she would have every right to order all U.S. troops, and other Nato forces, out of the country.  France actually did this.  Once a Union is dissolved, as in Great Britian or France pulling out of Nato, or South Carolina pulling out of the Union, then all land within that withdrawing party remain with that party, regardless of who built the facility.  We are allies with Japan today, and have helped to build most of the naval bases and support facilities in Japan, but we have to abide by their laws and off load any nuclear weapons from our carriers before entering their waters.  South Carolina had legally withdrawn from the Union, so all foreign forces, including the troops at Fort Sumter, had to leave if requested to do so, and South Carolina had requested that Anderson leave Fort Sumter. 
       
          You have obviously been brainwashed by the popular "histories" which have been published to justify the war.  Lincoln's most famous speech, which is crammed down the throats of every school age child, is full of lies that any thinking person can see.  A government "by the people, for the people" where over 4 million people have to be FORCED to stay in can not truly be a government "by the people"  can it?  Lincoln only wanted a government "by the people" of the north and "for the people" of the north where the south would basically be a colony of the north, supplying raw material for the northern factories and buying northern goods.  This had long been a problem as northern businesses pushed for protective tarriffs to force the people of the United States to pay inflated prices for the Northern goods instead of buying the less expensive, and many times better made, goods from Europe.  Even with these tarriffs, which, by the way, were the ONLY funds available to the U.S. government, the South still bought goods from Europe because they were superior in most ways.  The taxes raised were then used almost exclusively to improve shipping and communications in the NORTH, even though 70% of the money came from the SOUTH.  Lets see, the South pays 70% of the taxes, but 90% is spent improving northern ports and communications.  I guess that seems fair to some, especially those living in the North.  At the same time, the North is also selling their goods to others in the South and Mid-West at higher prices than the market would normally allow because imported goods have a high tarriff on the, sometimes as high as 40%! 
          Yes, this is government "by the people and for the people" the people of the North!
       
          Also keep in mind that many in the middle states had not left the union and had actually voted to remain in the union, but, as Lee said, he did not feel that secession was the right thing to do, but felt that it was legal and the federal government had no right to coerce any state into staying in the Union.  As you stated, the people of the Southern States, using the SAME means they had used to join the Union, voted to leave the Union.  We are taught that everyone has the right of self-determination, which is supposed to be one of the foundations that this country was based upon.  We "determine" that it was best to seceed from Great Britian, so we declared our independence, and all of the history books proudly proclaim that we were right in doing so, but when the southern states "determined" to seceed from a union which had been formed by free and independent states to begin with, it was wrong. 
       
          Kind of a double standard here, don't you think?
       
      Steve Hall - Commander
      Lt. Col. William Luffman Camp #938
      Sons of Confederate Veterans
      Chatsworth, Georgia
      ----- Original Message -----
      From: Tom Mix
      Sent: Wednesday, September 12, 2007 9:36 PM
      Subject: RE: [civilwarwest] Re: "Atlanta Campaign"

      Sorry, Steve, with all due respect, the people of the South and that includes chose to go to war, the voted for the secessionist government; they voted to try to destroy the United States of America and their forces fired the shots on Ft. Sumter. It was their effort that started the war. If they didn’t the violence of war then they should not have elected a government separate from that of their real country, the United States of America. It was their choice, it wasn’t forced upon them. They knew exactly what they were doing and what they wanted and what a war is. They just didn’t like having to suffer for their treason. It was their clear choice and they deserved the repercussions of their efforts. War is not clean and neat.

       

      -----Original Message-----
      From: civilwarwest@ yahoogroups. com [mailto:civilwarwes t@yahoogroups. com] On Behalf Of Steve Hall
      Sent: Wednesday, September 12, 2007 7:29 PM
      To: civilwarwest@ yahoogroups. com
      Subject: Re: [civilwarwest] Re: "Atlanta Campaign"

       

      WRONG.

       

          The people of Georgia did NOT start the war.  The civilians along his path did not start the war, no one with any common sense can say that they did.  Sherman made war on civilians, which is now and was then against all rules of warfare.  If the north had lost the war, Sherman would have been tried as a war criminal.  This is simply justification for the wanton destruction of civilian property.  Also, as you have said before, if the war was basically over, then why was this destruction necessary?  If Sherman would have defeated the Army of Tennessee, as instructed, it would have achieved the same goal of ending the war, would it not?  If the second largest fighting force in the Confederacy, and the one in the central position, had been destroyed, then Sherman could have moved east to aid Grant and end the war, but he could not do it, so he had to resort to wholesale destruction of civilian property. 

          I also do not buy the line that Sherman "ordered" his men not to burn, pillage, rape, steal, etc.  By all accounts, both north and south, when he did this it was with a wink and a gleam in his eye.  Also, regardless of what he might have said, any military commander is responsible for what the men under him do.  This is a fact of military life which any military man will attest to.  If it happened just a few times, it could be said that he could not have prevented it, but then it should have been prosecuted if it was in violation of his orders and I have never heard of anyone in Sherman's army being prosecuted for disobeying that order, have you?  Also, if an act, or acts, continues over a long period of time, the commander has the responsibility to stop it, if he does not, then he is held just as responsible as those who committed the act.  This is not just in Sherman's case, but in every case in the military.  Sherman allowed the attacks on civilians to continue, and even encouraged them.  nt

          I do not buy your bull about the civilians starting a war, and neither does any of the military laws on the books in any country.  Regardless of the reason for the war, non-combatants are not supposed to be targets.  Civilians will sometimes be killed as colateral damage, but they are not supposed to be the targets of military actions, plain and simple.  The ONLY time that civilians are a viable target is if they fire on you or obstruct your lawful progress in some way, this is in the Geneva Conventions which all civilized nations have agreed to and, while the Geneva Accords were not in place at the time, they are simply codifications of existing rules of combat and warfare which civilized countries have used for centuries. 

          As for "trying to destroy our country" I can tell right now that you have almost no understanding of the political truths of the time.  You have completely bought into the Lincoln mis-information that the South leaving the Union in some way threatened the rest of the country.  What would have prevented the remaining states from continueing on as the United States?  Nothing.  All of the northern states could have continued to work together under the Constitution of the United States with or without the Confederate States.  The ONLY threat of any kind to the continuation of the Union was that they would not have the taxes paid by the southern states to fund the government, and the southern states paid over 70% of the taxes to the federal government, but only 10% of the tax money was spent in the south.  Abraham Lincoln said it best when he was asked why he did not allow the Southern states to leave when he said "But who would pay for our government?"

         

      Steve Hall - Commander
      Lt. Col. William Luffman Camp #938
      Sons of Confederate Veterans
      Chatsworth, Georgia

       

      ----- Original Message -----

      From: Tom Mix

         

      Sent: Wednesday, September 12, 2007 1:15 AM

      Subject: RE: [civilwarwest] Re: "Atlanta Campaign"

       

      Well, the Huns and Mongols did their thing simply for viscous fun. In that time it was pretty much a practice to take what they want, including slaves, and destroying the rest. That is not what Sherman did. Napoleon lived off the land but he never destroyed cities or homes simply for fun or even retribution. Sherman was taking the fight to those who started the war, reminding the civilians who voted for succession, voted for the government of succession, raised the armies to fight against the country they were part of and had protected them since 1884. He wanted them to know they were not immune to the evils of war just because they decided not to put on a uniform. Once they felt the hell of war as their soldiers had they were less likely to want to fight.

      It kind of reminds me of a story recorded by Stephen Ambrose about the Allied push into Germany. Some Americans were firing at a young teen Wehrmacht soldier who was using a local resident’s home in Germany for cover. The home owner came and out yelled at the young man to get away, he didn’t want those bullets hitting his house.  The soldier went ballistic yelling, “Don’t scream at me, this is your war. I didn’t start it you did, you put Hitler in power not me! I was too young! So shut up!” I’m sure he had a few other words of righteous indignation to say too. But the point was that he was right, the civilians started the war with the politicians we put in power and we can’t then expect immunity over the results.

      Remember the German’s claimed they knew nothing of Holocaust. Generals Matt Ridgeway and Jim Gavin made them collect the bodies and bury them. You don’t call for war and then claim neutrality. Sherman brought that point home. They have not tried to destroy our country since so it must have worked.

      Tom

       

      -----Original Message-----
      From: civilwarwest@ yahoogroups. com [mailto:civilwarwes t@yahoogroups. com] On Behalf Of Steve Hall
      Sent: Tuesday, September 11, 2007 11:25 PM
      To: civilwarwest@ yahoogroups. com
      Subject: Re: [civilwarwest] Re: "Atlanta Campaign"

       

      Well, first of all, read my response to Ken's message concerning Sherman and Grant, no use putting it all here as well.

       

      As for having confidence in Thomas and Schofield, it is strange that Grant had so much confidence in them when Sherman apparently did not, otherwise why would he have sent them to what were basically occupation position instead of having them with his army, as they had been since before the campaign began?  It is also strange how Sherman supposedly knew the destination of Hood when no one else did.  Hood could have been headed for Knoxville or even Memphis, both of which had their strategic values, Knoxville being the better of the two, so Thomas and Schofield might not have been in position to intercept Hood. 

       

          There were some different ideas in warfare, brought about mainly by the new kinds and ranges of ordnance being used, but the basic tactics were still the same.  The only thing new that Sherman really introduced to the art of "civilized" warfare was really the old tactic of the Hun in attacking everyone in sight and not worry about the people.  Sherman's March to the Sea tactic of living off the land, taking everything you can, and burning anything you can't take with you, is nothing new to warfare.  It has been practiced by marauding bands for centuries, with the Huns and Mongols making the best uses in history. 

       

          As for the flanking attacks of Sherman, you are right to a point.  Johnston did want Sherman to attack him directly, and many times Sherman obliged him, most notably at Kennesaw Mountian, but it can be easily argued that Sherman's flanking movements were not meant to force Johnston to attack him, but to force Johnston into a position where he could not attack and would be forced to surrender.  Grant's tactics in Virginia was to grind Lee down with superior numbers, while Sherman's plan, adhering more to traditional tactics, was to cut off Johnston from resupply, then withstand attacks until Johnston either wore himself down or realized there was no way out.  If, as you say, the new tactics of the day was to force the enemy to attack you, then you would have to say that Lee was the best at this tactic since Grant was almost continually attacking him in fortified positions.  Grant's tactics are directly counter to this idea of forcing the enemy to attack you, wouldn't you say? 

       

          In this it would be hard to argue that they had really moved into a new realm of military thought.  Grant was operating in siege mode, Sherman in Mongol Horde mode, nothing really new here.  Lee was "protecting the capital" and Hood was attacking the rear areas and supply lines, which would have worked against anything but the Mongol mode of warfare. 

       

      Steve Hall - Commander
      Lt. Col. William Luffman Camp #938
      Sons of Confederate Veterans
      Chatsworth, Georgia

       

      ----- Original Message -----

      From: Tom Mix

      Sent: Tuesday, September 11, 2007 11:34 PM

      Subject: RE: [civilwarwest] Re: "Atlanta Campaign"

       

      While, as usually, you make some points lets look at few things.

       

      Once Hood took command and took off from Sherman, Sherman’s responsibilities changed from Hood to a new his new priority of addressing the new nature of modern war, making those who start the war feel the war. “Make ‘em howl”. Grant understood this and had enough confidence in Thomas and Schofield to let them deal with Hood as Sherman would not be needed to do so. Nor would they play Hood’s game. Hood wants to leave? Fine, enjoy Tennessee and send a post card.

       

      As for the North losing all offensives, well, they beat Lee pretty well but the nature of war was changing. Now it was to try to get the enemy to fight you one the ground of your choosing but defensive or offensive but it would be better to get them to attack you. The nature of war had changed and Grant and Sherman knew this and Sherman’s constant flank efforts (as well as Johnston’s) illustrate this.  They wanted to force the other to attack. While they may do such attack generally was not designed to be the main effort but more to draw the other into a counter attack against the defensive position.

       

      I’m not exactly breaking new ground here. Just trying to illustrate how by 1864 some more advanced thinking Generals (not Hood) had moved into a new realm of military thought.

      Tom

       

      -----Original Message-----
      From: civilwarwest@ yahoogroups. com [mailto:civilwarwes t@yahoogroups. com] On Behalf Of Steve Hall
      Sent: Tuesday, September 11, 2007 9:46 PM
      To: civilwarwest@ yahoogroups. com
      Subject: Re: [civilwarwest] Re: "Atlanta Campaign"

       

      Well, whether or not any of this is true, it still does not make Atlanta the goal of the campaign, does it? 

       

      As for your points below, Sherman's job, as assigned by Grant, was to basically lock horns with Johnston and not let go, just as Grant was doing with Lee in Virginia.  Taking territory was never part of his assignment.  Did this help them win the war, yes, but it was not in his orders.  As to Davis being dissatisfied with Johnston's "failure" that is an entirely different discussion that can take a life of its own that maybe we can take up at another time. 

          When Hood moved away from Sherman, that is really the point in time where Sherman's campaign became a failure in that the main reason Grant wanted Sherman to lock horns with the Army of Tennessee was to keep that army so busy that it could not take the offensive.  Grant knew that in almost every campaign where the Confederates were able to take the offensive, the North lost.  Grant also saw the tactics used in the movement of troops between commands which led to the Confederate victory at Chickamauga and wanted to prevent movement of forces between the Army of Tennessee and Army of Virginia.  If Hood had gone up through Knoxville instead of toward Nashville, it is very possible that he could have gone into Virginia and attacked Grant.  With Grant's army locked in a death struggle with Lee around Richmond and Petersburg, a force the size of Hood's falling on his supply lines up near Manassas could have been very devastating.  It has always been a mystery why Hood went to Nashville instead of Knoxville for this very reason.  Hood thought that by moving north he could draw Sherman back out of Georgia, and a move to Knoxville could have attained the same goal, but would have also been a threat to Grant, forcing him to pull back and relieve the pressure on Lee at the same time.  This would have also allowed Lee more room to maneuver.  By going to Nashville, there was no threat of a link up between the two armies and they could not support each other. 

          I guess the talk about Sherman locking horns with Johnston should really be Sherman's forces locking horns with Johnston's forces, which was really what Grant wanted.  Sherman just got lucky that the remains of Johnston's army made its way back into his path, after Sherman had given up on attacking that force.  Sure, Johnston's forces finally surrendered to Sherman, but not really because of Sherman's attacks against that force, but because once Lee surrendered, Johnston knew that he would soon be facing Grant as well, so it could really be argued that it was Grant who actually forced Johnston's surrender, not Sherman. 

       

      Steve Hall - Commander
      Lt. Col. William Luffman Camp #938
      Sons of Confederate Veterans
      Chatsworth, Georgia

      ----- Original Message -----

      From: Tom Mix

      Sent: Tuesday, September 11, 2007 5:01 PM

      Subject: RE: [civilwarwest] Re: "Atlanta Campaign"

       

      Steve,

      Excellent synopsis of the campaign. But didn’t Sherman:

      1 take the territory that Johnston was defending by forcing Joe to move, reset and then move again, ceding territory to Sherman

      2 Davis was so dissatisfied with Johnston’s failure to hold central Georgia, including Atlanta that he removed Johnston if favor of Hood

      3 Hood then moved away from Sherman and attacked north into Tennessee thus leaving Sherman in control of Georgia

      4 Johnston resurfaces in the Carolinas where the remnants of Hood’s defeated army joined with him

      5 Sherman then defeated Johnston and Johnston surrendered his forced to Sherman at Bentonville

       

      With that, perhaps it can be said that Sherman did accomplish his goals. He defeated the moral of the Confederate civilians in taking their war to them and then accepted Johnston’s surrender.

       

      Just some evaluations.

      With respect.

      Tom

       

      -----Original Message-----
      From: civilwarwest@ yahoogroups. com [mailto:civilwarwes t@yahoogroups. com] On Behalf Of Steve Hall
      Sent: Tuesday, September 11, 2007 4:48 AM
      To: civilwarwest@ yahoogroups. com
      Subject: Re: [civilwarwest] Re: "Atlanta Campaign"

       

      When Sherman received his orders from Grant, his job was to attack Johnston and destroy him.  He was to follow Johnston whereever he went and destroy the Confederate Army of Tennessee.  That was Sherman's only goal.  One which he was unable to accomplish.  He continued to attack, flank, attack, flank, but he was never able to get around behind Johnston to defeat him, as a matter of fact, Johnston constantly defeated Sherman in every battle, but, due to Sherman's superior numbers, Sherman was able to then outflank Johnston following each battle.  Johnston would then withdraw to his next position and would again stop Sherman.

          When Hood, who had replaced Johnston, finally had to abandon Atlanta after Sherman had again outflanked him to cut off his supply line, left Atlanta, Sherman simply proclaimed that his "Atlanta Campaign" had been sucessful, even though he had completely failed in his actual goal.  Truth be told, Hood had actually passed right through the area previously occupied by Sherman, moved to the west, then over into Alabama.  Sherman pursude as far as Ceder Bluff, Alabama, due west of Rome Georgia, then gave up and returned to Atlanta. 

          By proclaiming victory in his campaign, making it appear to the northern people that he had completed his campaign and had achieved his goal, Sherman helped to guarentee a victory for Lincoln in the upcoming election.  The people of the north were VERY war weary by this time and many were ready to let the South go just to end the war (sounds somewhat familier)  The fall of Atlanta, and Sherman's statements about winning the campaign, at a time when Grant was sending his men into the deadly meat-grinder around Richmond, showed the people of the north that there was a chance to win the war.  Lincoln's reelection campaign used this to get them to keep him in office to finish the job, instead of electing McClellen who was running on and "end the war" platform.  As a matter of fact, McClellan still won 3 states!

       

      Steve Hall - Commander
      Lt. Col. William Luffman Camp #938
      Sons of Confederate Veterans
      Chatsworth, Georgia

      ----- Original Message -----

      Sent: Monday, September 10, 2007 8:59 PM

      Subject: [civilwarwest] Re: "Atlanta Campaign"

       

      --- In civilwarwest@ yahoogroups. com, "Steve Hall" <Tunnelhill@ ...> wrote:
      >
      > One thing that always amazes me is how much people talk about the
      > "Atlanta Campaign"

      this is a new one for me

      >when that was NEVER the goal of Sherman's campaign! Calling it the
      >"Atlanta Campaign" was nothing more than a political ploy to help
      >Lincoln win the upcoming election!

      well, Sherman took Atlanta, and it should not be called the "battle"
      of Atlanta, since it was a series of battles. So it fits to call it a
      campaign from that sense. You might explain further?

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