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Re: [civilwarwest] Re: Johnston

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  • thecoys@together.net
    Since we have talked about Johnston and Hood recently, I think this quote from Bruce Catton is interesting. I think the decision to replace Johnston with Hood
    Message 1 of 5 , Jun 25, 2001
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      Since we have talked about Johnston and Hood recently, I think this quote
      from Bruce Catton is interesting.

      "I think the decision to replace Johnston with Hood was probably the single
      largest mistake that either government made during the war. In the crucial
      days near the end, it had a direct bearing on the final result."

      Kevin S. Coy

      Bob Huddleston wrote:

      > I left Joe Johnston off my list. Like others, especially the
      > Confederates, he started at the top, without any chance to work his way
      > up. Sometimes I think he is the classic Peter Principle -- always
      > waiting for tomorrow.
      >
      > The message Stanton sent to Grant about Thomas could as easily have been
      > written by Jefferson Davis about Joe Johnston: "Thomas seems unwilling
      > to attack because it is hazardous, as if all war was anything but
      > hazardous. If he waits for Wilson to get ready, Gabriel will be blowing
      > his last horn."
      >
      > On the other hand, Johnston recognized that the glorious but futile
      > charges against the enemy put the Confederacy into a numbers game with
      > the larger US forces and the South could not win *that* contest. So
      > Johnston preferred to keep falling back.
      >
      > However, that strategy conflicted with the Confederacy's basic War
      > Strategy: everywhere the United States Army marched, from the first day
      > of the War to the last, slavery was doomed. Once the boys in blue had
      > passed through, slavery, and therefore the entire reason for the
      > existence of the Confederacy, was finished. And a general who ignores
      > the reasons his country is fighting is doing his job.
      >
      > Take care,
      >
      > Bob
      >
      > Judy and Bob Huddleston
      > 10643 Sperry Street
      > Northglenn, CO 80234-3612
      > 303.451.6276 Adco@...
      >
      >
    • Aurelie1999@aol.com
      From Craig Symonds essay - A Fatal Relationship: Davis and Johnston at War in Jefferson Davis and His Generals, edited by Gabor S. Boritt pgs 3-45 “It is
      Message 2 of 5 , Dec 5, 2001
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        From Craig Symonds essay - A Fatal Relationship: Davis and Johnston at War
        in Jefferson Davis and His Generals, edited by Gabor S. Boritt pgs 3-45

        “It is not too much to assert that the mutual antagonism between Davis and
        Johnston was a major factor in Confederate defeat. If the confederacy had any
        hope at all of overcoming the North’s tangible advantages of manpower and
        industrial resources, it had to have two things: commonality of purpose and
        unity of direction, and the feud between Davis and Johnston helped ensure
        that it had neither. The failure of Confederate leadership in the 1864
        Atlanta campaign was particularly critical.. . . .Although a good case can be
        made by either side [Johnston vs Davis], a more fundamental problem was the
        working relationship between Davis and Johnston had been poisoned long before
        the campaign in north Georgia even began. By the spring of 1864 neither the
        president nor general was willing or able to cooperate effectively with the
        other.

        . . . . That is not to say that there would have been no friction between
        Davis and Johnston without the encouragement of others. . . .But without the
        political element provided by anti-Davis politicians in Richmond who used
        Johnston as a cat’s-paw to assail the president, it is at least conceivable
        that the two men might have managed some minimal level of cooperation.
        Instead their feud became a primary factor in Confederate defeat.

        …….This episode [Yorktown May 3, 1861] highlights the single greatest
        failing in the Davis-Johnston relationship: the lack of full and free
        communication. This was primarily Johnston’s fault, of course. As the junior
        partner in the relationship, it was his responsibility to keep Davis
        informed, particularly since he was aware of Davis’ obsession for
        information. But he made little serious effort to cultivate the president’s
        support, and his failure to do so was deliberate.

        . . . As a result, by the time of the critical Atlanta Campaign of 1864, he
        had lost all credibility with the administration. Whatever merit there may
        have been to the strategic vision he communicated to his friends in Richmond,
        it was unlikely to attract the enthusiastic support of a president who had
        come to view him as the enemy. For that, Johnston himself must bear a major
        responsibility – and with it a major responsibility for the failure of the
        Confederate war effort.

        . . . .Even the end of the war did not end the feud. It extended into the
        postwar years as each man wrote his memoirs, and in this battle Davis emerged
        the clear victor. Neither man produced a particularly readable or
        enlightening memoir. But Davis’s account was at least relatively restrained
        whereas Johnston’s was confrontational and combative. The bitter and
        unyielding tone of his postwar writings probably did more to undermine his
        historical reputation than all of his actions – or inaction – on the
        battlefield.”
      • parrotheaddan2000
        --It is a good question. I could theorize: Johnston saw difficulty of getting appropriate force into the gap, saw limitations of the terrain in the gap, saw
        Message 3 of 5 , Apr 10, 2002
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          --It is a good question. I could
          theorize: Johnston saw difficulty
          of getting appropriate force into the
          gap, saw limitations of the
          terrain in the gap, saw the possibility
          of the gap being flanked
          bottling up his defending force. One
          clue Johnston gives is his
          comments in the Century article about
          the terrain of N. Georgia not
          being as defensible as has been claimed



          I tend to agree. I think terrain played a large roll in this.The
          question of the gap, the question, not only of being flanked, but of
          being able to move forces effectively, played - I think - a major role
          here.---Dan
        • hartshje
          Dan and Will, To attempt flanking a Confederate position in S.C.G. via Villanow using the Pocket Road would mean the Union forces would have to march parallel
          Message 4 of 5 , Apr 10, 2002
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            Dan and Will,

            To attempt flanking a Confederate position in S.C.G. via Villanow
            using the Pocket Road would mean the Union forces would have to march
            parallel to the western face of John's and Horn Mountains a scant 1/2
            mile from the ridgeline. Not only would this move be totally
            visisble to the Confederates, I would think the road could be easily
            dominated by artillery. Furthermore, after passing by these high
            points, the column would still have to march around Mill Mountain and
            Calbeck Mountain to approach S.C.G. & Resaca from the southwest. The
            road then passes between the Oostanaula River and the eastern face of
            what I think is still Calbeck Mountain, a very tight squeeze. In the
            meantime, Confederate forces with a much shorter route could easily
            be in place already to block that approach. Now the Union force
            would really be out on a limb. Their other alternative would have
            been to march on Rome. But even if they did that, the Confederate
            force that would have been in S.C.G. still would not be trapped. I
            just can't buy that argument.

            Joe H.


            --- In civilwarwest@y..., "parrotheaddan2000" <ParrotheadDan@a...>
            wrote:
            > --It is a good question. I could
            > theorize: Johnston saw difficulty
            > of getting appropriate force into the
            > gap, saw limitations of the
            > terrain in the gap, saw the possibility
            > of the gap being flanked
            > bottling up his defending force. One
            > clue Johnston gives is his
            > comments in the Century article about
            > the terrain of N. Georgia not
            > being as defensible as has been claimed
            >
            >
            >
            > I tend to agree. I think terrain played a large roll in this.The
            > question of the gap, the question, not only of being flanked, but
            of
            > being able to move forces effectively, played - I think - a major
            role
            > here.---Dan
          • wh_keene
            Joe, Good points. I raised the possibility of Snake Creek Gap being flanked as a result of contemplating whether any of the other gaps over Horn Mountain were
            Message 5 of 5 , Apr 10, 2002
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              Joe,

              Good points. I raised the possibility of Snake Creek Gap being
              flanked as a result of contemplating whether any of the other gaps
              over Horn Mountain were passable in 1864, particularly Gentry Gap. I
              was just throwing out theories about why a commander might not choose
              to place a force in the gap. Scratch that one from the list.


              --- In civilwarwest@y..., "hartshje" <Hartshje@a...> wrote:
              > Dan and Will,
              >
              > To attempt flanking a Confederate position in S.C.G. via Villanow
              > using the Pocket Road would mean the Union forces would have to
              march
              > parallel to the western face of John's and Horn Mountains a scant
              1/2
              > mile from the ridgeline. Not only would this move be totally
              > visisble to the Confederates, I would think the road could be
              easily
              > dominated by artillery. Furthermore, after passing by these high
              > points, the column would still have to march around Mill Mountain
              and
              > Calbeck Mountain to approach S.C.G. & Resaca from the southwest.
              The
              > road then passes between the Oostanaula River and the eastern face
              of
              > what I think is still Calbeck Mountain, a very tight squeeze. In
              the
              > meantime, Confederate forces with a much shorter route could easily
              > be in place already to block that approach. Now the Union force
              > would really be out on a limb. Their other alternative would have
              > been to march on Rome. But even if they did that, the Confederate
              > force that would have been in S.C.G. still would not be trapped. I
              > just can't buy that argument.
              >
              > Joe H.
              >
              >
              > --- In civilwarwest@y..., "parrotheaddan2000" <ParrotheadDan@a...>
              > wrote:
              > > --It is a good question. I could
              > > theorize: Johnston saw difficulty
              > > of getting appropriate force into the
              > > gap, saw limitations of the
              > > terrain in the gap, saw the possibility
              > > of the gap being flanked
              > > bottling up his defending force. One
              > > clue Johnston gives is his
              > > comments in the Century article about
              > > the terrain of N. Georgia not
              > > being as defensible as has been claimed
              > >
              > >
              > >
              > > I tend to agree. I think terrain played a large roll in this.The
              > > question of the gap, the question, not only of being flanked, but
              > of
              > > being able to move forces effectively, played - I think - a major
              > role
              > > here.---Dan
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