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Re: Snake Creek Gap

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  • josepharose@yahoo.com
    Mr. Wakefield, There are four beginnings which we could use in discussing your scenario about each force in North Georgia cutting off the other s supply line.
    Message 1 of 198 , Jul 1, 2001
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      Mr. Wakefield,

      There are four beginnings which we could use in discussing your
      scenario about each force in North Georgia cutting off the other's
      supply line. As I remember the events:

      The historical situation would not have been a good one for Johnston
      to start with as only McPherson's men (and shortly thereafter,
      Hooker's) went through Snake Creek Gap (SCG) leaving the bulk of the
      Federals defending Chattanooga. The Confederates would have been
      trapped, it seems, in trying to do that.

      Following Thomas' original plan also probably wouldn't allow the
      Confederates the chance to cut Union supply lines as both Schofield
      and McPherson would be in their way. The countryside in front of
      Chattanooga appears to favor defense. The AoT would have to get
      through Buzzard's Roost--or pass north of Rocky Face. Then they
      would have the ridge near Ringgold and then Missionary Ridge to break
      through (although they might not have to go too far to cut off the
      communications to whatever force went through SCG).

      Once McPherson's men went through SCG, Thomas quickly offered to send
      Hooker next. Sherman, in response, requested Thomas' suggestions as
      to how to proceed: just send Hooker or pass all three armies through
      SCG. I think Thomas reiterated his choice of the former. This, as
      stated above, would probably not have offered Johnston a good
      opportunity to cut the Federal supply lines.

      If Sherman had sent through his entire force, however, it seems
      difficult to surmise what might have happened next. One benefit for
      the Confederates could have been the amount of Federal supplies piled
      up in Chattanooga--compared to those the Confederates left behind in
      Dalton and points south. A small Federal force could more easily
      slow up the AoT, though, giving the Federals time to destroy much of
      their laid-up provisions. The Federal force which passed through
      Snake Creek Gap would have had an easier advance up the valley to the
      Confederates rear. The Federals also would probably have been able
      to open up connections to East Tennessee from Dalton, but that region
      wasn't awash in supplies of any kind. Maybe the armies would then
      have a contest to determine which starved first.

      It's certainly an interesting "what-if."

      Joseph




      From: sdwakefield@p...
      Date: Sun Jul 1, 2001 9:49 am
      Subject: Re: Snake Creek Gap

      Carl-
      One last point then I really must cut some of this two feet high
      grass-- to me the the intriguing 'might have been' regarding Snake
      Creek Gap situation is what if Johnston had been willing to 'swap
      queens' like Bragg had been in the late summer of 1862 and given up
      his supply line to try and get astride of Sherman's line of
      supply...it would have been gutsy ( more than Old Joe had ever
      displayed) but is kind of interesting to think about --at least to me-
      Wakefield
    • GnrlJEJohnston@aol.com
      In a message dated 9/4/2005 10:37:14 A.M. Eastern Standard Time, dan6764@yahoo.com writes: An 1866 document produced by laborers locating bodies on the
      Message 198 of 198 , Sep 4, 2005
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        In a message dated 9/4/2005 10:37:14 A.M. Eastern Standard Time, dan6764@... writes:
        An 1866 document produced by laborers locating bodies on the battlefield stated that the heaviest concentrations of dead lay on the eastern and western sections of the field and that the dead were fairly light in the center where the Hornets Nest was located.. 
        This may be true Dan, but remember, as soon as the battle ended, Union troops started gathering up their dead as well as Confederate dead.  Those that might have been found after the war was over, were most likely those that were killed in the brush and bramble of the battlefield, whereas, the Hornet's Nest was quite open and bodies were easily found there following the battle.
        Just a thought of common sense with only documentation of them finding and burying the dead following the battle.  IIRC, Grant denied Beauregard  access to Confederate dead, since they already had been gathered up and buried.
         
        JEJ
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