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Re: [civilwarwest] Re: The viability of Attack in the West versus the East

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  • John Wilson
    ... A difference from ancient and medieval battles was that a large proportion of modern armies could be be routed, and a relatively small group could hold up
    Message 1 of 109 , Dec 28, 2007
      --- William H Keene <wh_keene@...> wrote:

      > --- In civilwarwest@yahoogroups.com,
      > "guitarmandanga"
      > <iceman1977_01@...> wrote:
      > >
      > > Something I've been thinking of recently, that
      > might stimulate a
      > > good bit of discussion:
      > >
      > > Most of us are familiar with the standard canard
      > of modern-day
      > > assessments of ACW-era tactics, particularly the
      > supposed
      > > "invincibility" of the tactical defense. It's a
      > general article of
      > > faith among the academics that "most Civil War
      > battles were won by
      > > the defender"---or, even further, that the
      > majority of tactical
      > > attacks were stopped dead in their tracks, with
      > little of no
      > > material success in the interim. Certainly the
      > majority of battles
      > > in the Eastern Theater are borne out by this
      > conclusion---at First
      > > Manassas, most of the Seven Days' Battles, Cedar
      > Mountain, 2nd
      > > Manassas, Antietam, Fredericksburg, the last two
      > days of
      > Gettysburg,
      > > Cold Harbor, Petersburg, and others.
      > >
      > > However, most of the battles in the Western
      > Theater don't seem to
      > > fit this analsysis: Fort Donelson, Shiloh,
      > Perryville, Stones'
      > River-
      > > --all of these were battles were the initial
      > attack was quite
      > > successful, sometimes dramatically so. At
      > Chickamauga and the
      > > battles around Chattanooga, we even have battles
      > where attacking
      > > forces facing defenders that possessed "superior"
      > ground managed to
      > > succeed in overwhelming these static, fortified
      > positions. Only
      > > during the Atlanta Campaign do the battles in the
      > Western Theater
      > > start to resemble those of the Eastern: attacks
      > that are costly
      > and,
      > > furthermore, almost completely unsuccessful.
      > >
      > > Why is this?
      >
      > I dont think the difference is as clear as you
      > claim. While attacks
      > in some western battles that you mention did show
      > initial success --
      > Donelson, Shiloh, Perryville, Corinth -- the attacks
      > were all
      > defeated in the end. I could just as easily list
      > battles in the east
      > wherein attacks also enjoyed initial success but
      > were then halted --
      > Gaines Mill, Cedar Mt, Antietam, the US left wing at
      > Fredericksburg,
      > Jackson at Chancellorsville, the Confederates on Day
      > 1 and Day 2 of
      > Gettsyburg. I could also point to attacks in the
      > east that carried
      > the day -- Longstreet at 2nd Manassas or Jackson at
      > Winchester.
      > Furthermore, you theory about the openness of
      > terrain in the east
      > makes it worth pointing out that the battle known as
      > the Wilderness
      > occureed in the East.
      >
      >
      A difference from ancient and medieval battles
      was that a large proportion of modern armies could be
      be routed, and a relatively small group could hold up
      the attackers while the army reformed.
      Regards
      John GW


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    • ngreadermail
      I was asking Ray for a source on Jackson. ... versus the East ... ohara@ ... ... 1/2/2008 11:29 AM
      Message 109 of 109 , Jan 2, 2008
        I was asking Ray for a source on Jackson.

        --- In civilwarwest@yahoogroups.com, "Ronald black" <rblack0981@...>
        wrote:
        >
        > Ray;
        > How many sources do you want? Take your pick.
        > Ron
        > ----- Original Message -----
        > From: ngreadermail
        > To: civilwarwest@yahoogroups.com
        > Sent: Wednesday, January 02, 2008 3:45 PM
        > Subject: [civilwarwest] Re: The viability of Attack in the West
        versus the East
        >
        >
        > --- In civilwarwest@yahoogroups.com, "raymondohara" <raymond-
        ohara@>
        > wrote:
        > >
        > > --- In civilwarwest@yahoogroups.com, "Ronald black"
        <rblack0981@>
        > > wrote:
        > > >
        > > > Ray:
        > > > They didn't go to Jackson.
        > > > Ron
        > > >
        > >
        > >
        > > when grant began the next campaign. they were at jackson.
        >
        > Source?
        >
        >
        >
        >
        >
        >
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