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[civilwarwest] Re: The Decisive Turning Point

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  • ghm22
    Hi, I have come to believe that the fall of Atlanta was the decisive turning point of the Civil War. If the CSA could have held on to the city, it could very
    Message 1 of 16 , Feb 6, 2000
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      Hi,

      I have come to believe that the fall of Atlanta was the decisive turning
      point of the Civil War. If the CSA could have held on to the city, it
      could very well have influenced Lincoln's reelection chances in the
      November 1864 elections. The bloody stalemates in the east and west
      that year may have resulted in a peace settlement and the South gaining
      its independence. There was no chance for victory after the fall of
      Atlanta.

      George McCluskey
      Little Rock, Arkansas

      ghm22@...


      REGIMENTALFLAG@... wrote:
      >
      > I feel that Chattanooga,November `63 was the turning point .
      > Would like to hear everyone's opinion on this.
      > Thanks,
      > Regimental Flag
      >
      > ------------------------------------------------------------------------
      > Unique Valentine gifts, available now at eGroups.
      > http://click.egroups.com/1/1146/1/_/14182/_/949714996/
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    • ghm22
      Hi, I have come to believe that the fall of Atlanta was the decisive turning point of the Civil War. If the CSA could have held on to the city, it could very
      Message 2 of 16 , Feb 6, 2000
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        Hi,

        I have come to believe that the fall of Atlanta was the decisive turning
        point of the Civil War. If the CSA could have held on to the city, it
        could very well have influenced Lincoln's reelection chances in the
        November 1864 elections. The bloody stalemates in the east and west
        that year may have resulted in a peace settlement and the South gaining
        its independence. There was no chance for victory after the fall of
        Atlanta.

        George McCluskey
        Little Rock, Arkansas

        ghm22@...


        REGIMENTALFLAG@... wrote:
        >
        > I feel that Chattanooga,November `63 was the turning point .
        > Would like to hear everyone's opinion on this.
        > Thanks,
        > Regimental Flag
        >
        > ------------------------------------------------------------------------
        > Unique Valentine gifts, available now at eGroups.
        > http://click.egroups.com/1/1146/1/_/14182/_/949714996/
        >
        > -- 20 megs of disk space in your group's Document Vault
        > -- http://www.egroups.com/docvault/civilwarwest/?m=1
      • Don Plezia
        Alfred Castell makes the same point in his Winning and Losing in the Civil War . There were several states with 102 electoral votes, that Lincoln won, in
        Message 3 of 16 , Feb 6, 2000
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          Alfred Castell makes the same point in his "Winning and Losing in the
          Civil War". There were several states with 102 electoral votes, that
          Lincoln won, in some of those states by only 1600 - 3000 votes. He won
          New York by only 6000 votes. Had Atlanta not been won, those votes very
          easily could have gone to McClellan.

          What also seems significant is that Grant gave up trying to supply that
          victory against Lee in the East and told Sherman to try it in the West.

          However, as to a turning point in the war, Atlanta was captured in
          August of 1864 and the war went on for another 9 months. The turning
          point, it seems to me, was the defeat and destruction of the Army of the
          Tennessee at Nashville in December, 1864. After the 2nd largest armed
          force in the Confederacy was eliminated the end was obvious. Even so,
          Lee kept Grant at bay for 4 more months.

          If one seeks a defining moment when comparing the two adversaries,
          probably, the shot fired by Beauregard at Fort Sumter was the beginning
          of the end.

          The South's only hope was a negotiated peace.

          Don Plezia

          ----- Original Message -----
          From: "ghm22" <ghm22@...>
          To: <civilwarwest@egroups.com>
          Sent: Sunday, February 06, 2000 8:55 AM
          Subject: [civilwarwest] Re: The Decisive Turning Point


          > Hi,
          >
          > I have come to believe that the fall of Atlanta was the decisive
          turning
          > point of the Civil War. If the CSA could have held on to the city, it
          > could very well have influenced Lincoln's reelection chances in the
          > November 1864 elections. The bloody stalemates in the east and west
          > that year may have resulted in a peace settlement and the South
          gaining
          > its independence. There was no chance for victory after the fall of
          > Atlanta.
          >
          > George McCluskey
          > Little Rock, Arkansas
          >
          > ghm22@...
          >
          >
          > REGIMENTALFLAG@... wrote:
          > >
          > > I feel that Chattanooga,November `63 was the turning point .
          > > Would like to hear everyone's opinion on this.
          > > Thanks,
          > > Regimental Flag
          > >
          >
          > ----------------------------------------------------------------------
          --
          > > Unique Valentine gifts, available now at eGroups.
          > > http://click.egroups.com/1/1146/1/_/14182/_/949714996/
          > >
          > > -- 20 megs of disk space in your group's Document Vault
          > > -- http://www.egroups.com/docvault/civilwarwest/?m=1
          >
          > ----------------------------------------------------------------------
          --
          > If you want to be single again,
          > Don't buy your Valentine a Gift by clicking here.
          > http://click.egroups.com/1/1153/1/_/14182/_/949844813/
          >
          > -- Talk to your group with your own voice!
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          >
          >
          >
        • Don Plezia
          Alfred Castell makes the same point in his Winning and Losing in the Civil War . There were several states with 102 electoral votes, that Lincoln won, in
          Message 4 of 16 , Feb 6, 2000
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            Alfred Castell makes the same point in his "Winning and Losing in the
            Civil War". There were several states with 102 electoral votes, that
            Lincoln won, in some of those states by only 1600 - 3000 votes. He won
            New York by only 6000 votes. Had Atlanta not been won, those votes very
            easily could have gone to McClellan.

            What also seems significant is that Grant gave up trying to supply that
            victory against Lee in the East and told Sherman to try it in the West.

            However, as to a turning point in the war, Atlanta was captured in
            August of 1864 and the war went on for another 9 months. The turning
            point, it seems to me, was the defeat and destruction of the Army of the
            Tennessee at Nashville in December, 1864. After the 2nd largest armed
            force in the Confederacy was eliminated the end was obvious. Even so,
            Lee kept Grant at bay for 4 more months.

            If one seeks a defining moment when comparing the two adversaries,
            probably, the shot fired by Beauregard at Fort Sumter was the beginning
            of the end.

            The South's only hope was a negotiated peace.

            Don Plezia

            ----- Original Message -----
            From: "ghm22" <ghm22@...>
            To: <civilwarwest@egroups.com>
            Sent: Sunday, February 06, 2000 8:55 AM
            Subject: [civilwarwest] Re: The Decisive Turning Point


            > Hi,
            >
            > I have come to believe that the fall of Atlanta was the decisive
            turning
            > point of the Civil War. If the CSA could have held on to the city, it
            > could very well have influenced Lincoln's reelection chances in the
            > November 1864 elections. The bloody stalemates in the east and west
            > that year may have resulted in a peace settlement and the South
            gaining
            > its independence. There was no chance for victory after the fall of
            > Atlanta.
            >
            > George McCluskey
            > Little Rock, Arkansas
            >
            > ghm22@...
            >
            >
            > REGIMENTALFLAG@... wrote:
            > >
            > > I feel that Chattanooga,November `63 was the turning point .
            > > Would like to hear everyone's opinion on this.
            > > Thanks,
            > > Regimental Flag
            > >
            >
            > ----------------------------------------------------------------------
            --
            > > Unique Valentine gifts, available now at eGroups.
            > > http://click.egroups.com/1/1146/1/_/14182/_/949714996/
            > >
            > > -- 20 megs of disk space in your group's Document Vault
            > > -- http://www.egroups.com/docvault/civilwarwest/?m=1
            >
            > ----------------------------------------------------------------------
            --
            > If you want to be single again,
            > Don't buy your Valentine a Gift by clicking here.
            > http://click.egroups.com/1/1153/1/_/14182/_/949844813/
            >
            > -- Talk to your group with your own voice!
            > -- http://www.egroups.com/VoiceChatPage?listName=civilwarwest&m=1
            >
            >
            >
          • JackEhmer123@aol.com
            Everyone seems to believe that if McClellan had won the election, that he would have sued for peace and the South would have won their independence. I don t
            Message 5 of 16 , Feb 6, 2000
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              Everyone seems to believe that if McClellan had won the election, that he
              would have sued for peace and the South would have won their independence. I
              don't believe that this theory is supported by the facts.

              First, McClellan was a War Democrat and was an "Union" man. He had already
              repudiated the Peace Democrats' intent to simply let the Southern States go.
              While many War Democrats opposed Lincoln's handling of the war, they had no
              intention of just giving up.

              Second, he would not have been inaugurated for nearly five months. Lincoln
              had stated his intent to do everything possible to win the war before the
              inauguration if he were defeated.

              Third, the capture of Atlanta was simply a matter of time, given the opposing
              forces and opposing generals. Remember that the reason Hood was given the
              command was that Joe Johnston had already given up on Atlanta.

              Fourth, Grant did not sit on his heels and wait for Sherman to win the war.
              He knew that to decisively beat the ANV AND to capture Richmond was to win
              the war. In fact, he intended to accomplish that before Sherman could come
              along and share the glory. Sherman's main contribution in those
              accomplishments was to keep Joe Johnston busy. Sheridan's contributions to
              Lee's surrender were much more significant then Sherman's.

              If McClellan had won, I believe that Sherman would have immediately headed
              for Virginia after the capture of Atlanta. In terms of ending the war,
              Sherman's march to Savannah and up through the Carolinas accomplished little
              except to further destroy Southern morale.

              While what happened to Hood's command at Franklin and Nashville was tragic in
              terms of lives lost, it played little part in the final outcome.

              Just my opinion.

              Jack Ehmer
            • JackEhmer123@aol.com
              Everyone seems to believe that if McClellan had won the election, that he would have sued for peace and the South would have won their independence. I don t
              Message 6 of 16 , Feb 6, 2000
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                Everyone seems to believe that if McClellan had won the election, that he
                would have sued for peace and the South would have won their independence. I
                don't believe that this theory is supported by the facts.

                First, McClellan was a War Democrat and was an "Union" man. He had already
                repudiated the Peace Democrats' intent to simply let the Southern States go.
                While many War Democrats opposed Lincoln's handling of the war, they had no
                intention of just giving up.

                Second, he would not have been inaugurated for nearly five months. Lincoln
                had stated his intent to do everything possible to win the war before the
                inauguration if he were defeated.

                Third, the capture of Atlanta was simply a matter of time, given the opposing
                forces and opposing generals. Remember that the reason Hood was given the
                command was that Joe Johnston had already given up on Atlanta.

                Fourth, Grant did not sit on his heels and wait for Sherman to win the war.
                He knew that to decisively beat the ANV AND to capture Richmond was to win
                the war. In fact, he intended to accomplish that before Sherman could come
                along and share the glory. Sherman's main contribution in those
                accomplishments was to keep Joe Johnston busy. Sheridan's contributions to
                Lee's surrender were much more significant then Sherman's.

                If McClellan had won, I believe that Sherman would have immediately headed
                for Virginia after the capture of Atlanta. In terms of ending the war,
                Sherman's march to Savannah and up through the Carolinas accomplished little
                except to further destroy Southern morale.

                While what happened to Hood's command at Franklin and Nashville was tragic in
                terms of lives lost, it played little part in the final outcome.

                Just my opinion.

                Jack Ehmer
              • Don Plezia
                ... From: To: Sent: Sunday, February 06, 2000 1:40 PM Subject: [civilwarwest] Re: The Decisive Turning Point
                Message 7 of 16 , Feb 6, 2000
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                  ----- Original Message -----
                  From: <JackEhmer123@...>
                  To: <civilwarwest@egroups.com>
                  Sent: Sunday, February 06, 2000 1:40 PM
                  Subject: [civilwarwest] Re: The Decisive Turning Point


                  > Everyone seems to believe that if McClellan had won the election, that
                  he
                  > would have sued for peace and the South would have won their
                  independence. I
                  > don't believe that this theory is supported by the facts.
                  >
                  > First, McClellan was a War Democrat and was an "Union" man. He had
                  already
                  > repudiated the Peace Democrats' intent to simply let the Southern
                  States go.
                  > While many War Democrats opposed Lincoln's handling of the war, they
                  had no
                  > intention of just giving up.

                  This is entirely correct.

                  > Second, he would not have been inaugurated for nearly five months.
                  Lincoln
                  > had stated his intent to do everything possible to win the war before
                  the
                  > inauguration if he were defeated.

                  Lincoln had all his cabinet officers sign a "Blind Memorandum" which in
                  essence stated that in case of McClellan's election the Union should be
                  saved before his (McClellan's) inauguration on 4 March, 1864. He read
                  this to the cabinet shortly after his election.

                  > Third, the capture of Atlanta was simply a matter of time, given the
                  opposing
                  > forces and opposing generals. Remember that the reason Hood was given
                  the command was that Joe Johnston had already given up on Atlanta.

                  You are correct here except, that it was at the time, not a foregone
                  conclusion that Atlanta would be taken any time soon. Sherman had in
                  late July,expressed his worries that he had not been bold enough and too
                  cautious, and had lost three or more opportunities to "break up Joe
                  Johnston's army.

                  And as of August 23rd Lincoln was thinking about writing Sherman, to ask
                  what his chances were of taking Atlanta. While we, with the benefit of
                  hindsight know Atlanta was doomed, there were few around with the same
                  conviction.

                  > Fourth, Grant did not sit on his heels and wait for Sherman to win the
                  war.
                  > He knew that to decisively beat the ANV AND to capture Richmond was to
                  > win the war.

                  Correct again, but he was never able to figure out how to beat old
                  Bobby. He sat in front of Petersburg for 10 months trying to figure
                  that out.

                  In fact, he intended to accomplish that before Sherman could come
                  > along and share the glory. Sherman's main contribution in those
                  > accomplishments was to keep Joe Johnston busy. Sheridan's
                  contributions to
                  > Lee's surrender were much more significant then Sherman's.

                  Your right again! What the hell did vacationing in Savannah do for the
                  war.

                  > If McClellan had won, I believe that Sherman would have immediately
                  headed
                  > for Virginia after the capture of Atlanta. In terms of ending the war,

                  Interesting conjecture!

                  > Sherman's march to Savannah and up through the Carolinas accomplished
                  little
                  > except to further destroy Southern morale.
                  >
                  > While what happened to Hood's command at Franklin and Nashville was
                  tragic in terms of lives lost, it played little part in the final
                  outcome.

                  I totally disagree. Without an Army running around Tennessee,
                  threatening Kentucky, Ohio, Indiana and Illinois, Grant could
                  concentrate on trying to figure out how to beat Lee.

                  Remember all the nagging telegrams and orders to remove Thomas for not
                  engaging Hood sooner at Nashville! Reading the O.R.'s for that period
                  gives you a sence of the panic Washinngton and the north was in
                  regarding Hood. And Thomas removed that panic.

                  Just my opinions!

                  Don Plezia
                • Don Plezia
                  ... From: To: Sent: Sunday, February 06, 2000 1:40 PM Subject: [civilwarwest] Re: The Decisive Turning Point
                  Message 8 of 16 , Feb 6, 2000
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                    ----- Original Message -----
                    From: <JackEhmer123@...>
                    To: <civilwarwest@egroups.com>
                    Sent: Sunday, February 06, 2000 1:40 PM
                    Subject: [civilwarwest] Re: The Decisive Turning Point


                    > Everyone seems to believe that if McClellan had won the election, that
                    he
                    > would have sued for peace and the South would have won their
                    independence. I
                    > don't believe that this theory is supported by the facts.
                    >
                    > First, McClellan was a War Democrat and was an "Union" man. He had
                    already
                    > repudiated the Peace Democrats' intent to simply let the Southern
                    States go.
                    > While many War Democrats opposed Lincoln's handling of the war, they
                    had no
                    > intention of just giving up.

                    This is entirely correct.

                    > Second, he would not have been inaugurated for nearly five months.
                    Lincoln
                    > had stated his intent to do everything possible to win the war before
                    the
                    > inauguration if he were defeated.

                    Lincoln had all his cabinet officers sign a "Blind Memorandum" which in
                    essence stated that in case of McClellan's election the Union should be
                    saved before his (McClellan's) inauguration on 4 March, 1864. He read
                    this to the cabinet shortly after his election.

                    > Third, the capture of Atlanta was simply a matter of time, given the
                    opposing
                    > forces and opposing generals. Remember that the reason Hood was given
                    the command was that Joe Johnston had already given up on Atlanta.

                    You are correct here except, that it was at the time, not a foregone
                    conclusion that Atlanta would be taken any time soon. Sherman had in
                    late July,expressed his worries that he had not been bold enough and too
                    cautious, and had lost three or more opportunities to "break up Joe
                    Johnston's army.

                    And as of August 23rd Lincoln was thinking about writing Sherman, to ask
                    what his chances were of taking Atlanta. While we, with the benefit of
                    hindsight know Atlanta was doomed, there were few around with the same
                    conviction.

                    > Fourth, Grant did not sit on his heels and wait for Sherman to win the
                    war.
                    > He knew that to decisively beat the ANV AND to capture Richmond was to
                    > win the war.

                    Correct again, but he was never able to figure out how to beat old
                    Bobby. He sat in front of Petersburg for 10 months trying to figure
                    that out.

                    In fact, he intended to accomplish that before Sherman could come
                    > along and share the glory. Sherman's main contribution in those
                    > accomplishments was to keep Joe Johnston busy. Sheridan's
                    contributions to
                    > Lee's surrender were much more significant then Sherman's.

                    Your right again! What the hell did vacationing in Savannah do for the
                    war.

                    > If McClellan had won, I believe that Sherman would have immediately
                    headed
                    > for Virginia after the capture of Atlanta. In terms of ending the war,

                    Interesting conjecture!

                    > Sherman's march to Savannah and up through the Carolinas accomplished
                    little
                    > except to further destroy Southern morale.
                    >
                    > While what happened to Hood's command at Franklin and Nashville was
                    tragic in terms of lives lost, it played little part in the final
                    outcome.

                    I totally disagree. Without an Army running around Tennessee,
                    threatening Kentucky, Ohio, Indiana and Illinois, Grant could
                    concentrate on trying to figure out how to beat Lee.

                    Remember all the nagging telegrams and orders to remove Thomas for not
                    engaging Hood sooner at Nashville! Reading the O.R.'s for that period
                    gives you a sence of the panic Washinngton and the north was in
                    regarding Hood. And Thomas removed that panic.

                    Just my opinions!

                    Don Plezia
                  • JackEhmer123@aol.com
                    In a message dated 02/06/2000 3:10:40 PM Mountain Standard Time, oneplez@earthlink.net writes:
                    Message 9 of 16 , Feb 6, 2000
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                      In a message dated 02/06/2000 3:10:40 PM Mountain Standard Time,
                      oneplez@... writes:

                      << I totally disagree. Without an Army running around Tennessee,
                      threatening Kentucky, Ohio, Indiana and Illinois, Grant could
                      concentrate on trying to figure out how to beat Lee.

                      Remember all the nagging telegrams and orders to remove Thomas for not
                      engaging Hood sooner at Nashville! Reading the O.R.'s for that period
                      gives you a sence of the panic Washinngton and the north was in
                      regarding Hood. And Thomas removed that panic.

                      Just my opinions!

                      Don Plezia
                      >>
                      Good Point. The idea of Hood rampaging through Ohio would certainly be
                      unsettling to Washington, to say the least. However, it is unlikely that he
                      could have accomplished anything that would change the final result,
                      particularly with Thomas' replacement, (Logan I believe), on his tail.

                      In the meantime, Lee's forces were getting weaker and weaker due to lack of
                      supplies and desertions. Eventually, Sherman would have joined Grant and Lee
                      would have been doomed.

                      Every general had his weaknesses (even Lee) and Thomas' was slowness in
                      starting. However, once he got started, he acted decisively and tenaciously.

                      As far as the decisive turning point, I still believe that the surrender at
                      Vicksburg allowed the North to start closing the noose around the ANV, which
                      I believe was the only hope of the Confederacy.

                      Jack Ehmer
                    • JackEhmer123@aol.com
                      In a message dated 02/06/2000 3:10:40 PM Mountain Standard Time, oneplez@earthlink.net writes:
                      Message 10 of 16 , Feb 6, 2000
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                        In a message dated 02/06/2000 3:10:40 PM Mountain Standard Time,
                        oneplez@... writes:

                        << I totally disagree. Without an Army running around Tennessee,
                        threatening Kentucky, Ohio, Indiana and Illinois, Grant could
                        concentrate on trying to figure out how to beat Lee.

                        Remember all the nagging telegrams and orders to remove Thomas for not
                        engaging Hood sooner at Nashville! Reading the O.R.'s for that period
                        gives you a sence of the panic Washinngton and the north was in
                        regarding Hood. And Thomas removed that panic.

                        Just my opinions!

                        Don Plezia
                        >>
                        Good Point. The idea of Hood rampaging through Ohio would certainly be
                        unsettling to Washington, to say the least. However, it is unlikely that he
                        could have accomplished anything that would change the final result,
                        particularly with Thomas' replacement, (Logan I believe), on his tail.

                        In the meantime, Lee's forces were getting weaker and weaker due to lack of
                        supplies and desertions. Eventually, Sherman would have joined Grant and Lee
                        would have been doomed.

                        Every general had his weaknesses (even Lee) and Thomas' was slowness in
                        starting. However, once he got started, he acted decisively and tenaciously.

                        As far as the decisive turning point, I still believe that the surrender at
                        Vicksburg allowed the North to start closing the noose around the ANV, which
                        I believe was the only hope of the Confederacy.

                        Jack Ehmer
                      • Don Plezia
                        ... From: To: Sent: Sunday, February 06, 2000 10:19 PM Subject: [civilwarwest] Re: The Decisive Turning Point
                        Message 11 of 16 , Feb 7, 2000
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                          ----- Original Message -----
                          From: <JackEhmer123@...>
                          To: <civilwarwest@egroups.com>
                          Sent: Sunday, February 06, 2000 10:19 PM
                          Subject: [civilwarwest] Re: The Decisive Turning Point


                          > In a message dated 02/06/2000 3:10:40 PM Mountain Standard Time,
                          > oneplez@... writes:
                          >
                          > << I totally disagree. Without an Army running around Tennessee,
                          > threatening Kentucky, Ohio, Indiana and Illinois, Grant could
                          > concentrate on trying to figure out how to beat Lee.
                          >
                          > Remember all the nagging telegrams and orders to remove Thomas for
                          not
                          > engaging Hood sooner at Nashville! Reading the O.R.'s for that
                          period
                          > gives you a sense of the panic Washington and the north was in
                          > regarding Hood. And Thomas removed that panic.
                          >
                          > Just my opinions!
                          >
                          > Don Plezia
                          > >>
                          > Good Point. The idea of Hood rampaging through Ohio would certainly be
                          > unsettling to Washington, to say the least. However, it is unlikely
                          that he
                          > could have accomplished anything that would change the final result,
                          > particularly with Thomas' replacement, (Logan I believe), on his tail.

                          I missed something here?

                          Thomas was never replaced. After he destroyed Hood's Army, he was left
                          to wallow in the backwaters of the west.

                          >
                          > In the meantime, Lee's forces were getting weaker and weaker due to
                          lack of
                          > supplies and desertions. Eventually, Sherman would have joined Grant
                          and Lee
                          > would have been doomed.
                          >
                          > Every general had his weaknesses (even Lee) and Thomas' was slowness
                          in
                          > starting. However, once he got started, he acted decisively and
                          tenaciously.

                          Now we are in complete disagreement. Thomas was never slow! The slow
                          appelation was tacked on by Sherman and Grant to detract from Thomas's
                          accomplishments. Remember Sherman never won a battle. Thomas never
                          lost one. According to some definitions, prior preparations are defined
                          as slow. If you cite his activities at Nashville as slow then you have
                          to read the existing history. Thomas had to start an Army from scratch,
                          and train most of it. Devise a plan to beat Forrest who was threatening
                          Shermans trip to Savannah, guard the various detachments around the
                          state, including the gunboats patrolling the various rivers, find out
                          where Hood was going, plan to beat him, which he did handsomely and
                          destroyed the second great army of the confederacy. In addition, he did
                          this with second rate transportation and material. All the good stuff
                          went with Sherman, to be used against old men and boys. And Thomas did
                          this in about two months.

                          Further info regardng 'slow'. In 1863 Thomas was ordered by Buell to
                          march to Pea Ridge (?) KY from Chatannooga TN. He responded by
                          immediately marching the 100 + miles in 5 days. He averaged 20 miles
                          per day and arrived in time to march into line of battle. At the
                          beginning of Sherman's campaign against Johnston, Grant ordered the
                          campaing to start on May 2nd. Guess who was there on the 2nd, - Thomas!
                          The campaign didn't start until the 5th tho because eveyone had to wait
                          for McPherson, who was slow getting started. I can give other examples
                          but, not off the top of my head.

                          Don Plezia
                        • Don Plezia
                          ... From: To: Sent: Sunday, February 06, 2000 10:19 PM Subject: [civilwarwest] Re: The Decisive Turning Point
                          Message 12 of 16 , Feb 7, 2000
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                            ----- Original Message -----
                            From: <JackEhmer123@...>
                            To: <civilwarwest@egroups.com>
                            Sent: Sunday, February 06, 2000 10:19 PM
                            Subject: [civilwarwest] Re: The Decisive Turning Point


                            > In a message dated 02/06/2000 3:10:40 PM Mountain Standard Time,
                            > oneplez@... writes:
                            >
                            > << I totally disagree. Without an Army running around Tennessee,
                            > threatening Kentucky, Ohio, Indiana and Illinois, Grant could
                            > concentrate on trying to figure out how to beat Lee.
                            >
                            > Remember all the nagging telegrams and orders to remove Thomas for
                            not
                            > engaging Hood sooner at Nashville! Reading the O.R.'s for that
                            period
                            > gives you a sense of the panic Washington and the north was in
                            > regarding Hood. And Thomas removed that panic.
                            >
                            > Just my opinions!
                            >
                            > Don Plezia
                            > >>
                            > Good Point. The idea of Hood rampaging through Ohio would certainly be
                            > unsettling to Washington, to say the least. However, it is unlikely
                            that he
                            > could have accomplished anything that would change the final result,
                            > particularly with Thomas' replacement, (Logan I believe), on his tail.

                            I missed something here?

                            Thomas was never replaced. After he destroyed Hood's Army, he was left
                            to wallow in the backwaters of the west.

                            >
                            > In the meantime, Lee's forces were getting weaker and weaker due to
                            lack of
                            > supplies and desertions. Eventually, Sherman would have joined Grant
                            and Lee
                            > would have been doomed.
                            >
                            > Every general had his weaknesses (even Lee) and Thomas' was slowness
                            in
                            > starting. However, once he got started, he acted decisively and
                            tenaciously.

                            Now we are in complete disagreement. Thomas was never slow! The slow
                            appelation was tacked on by Sherman and Grant to detract from Thomas's
                            accomplishments. Remember Sherman never won a battle. Thomas never
                            lost one. According to some definitions, prior preparations are defined
                            as slow. If you cite his activities at Nashville as slow then you have
                            to read the existing history. Thomas had to start an Army from scratch,
                            and train most of it. Devise a plan to beat Forrest who was threatening
                            Shermans trip to Savannah, guard the various detachments around the
                            state, including the gunboats patrolling the various rivers, find out
                            where Hood was going, plan to beat him, which he did handsomely and
                            destroyed the second great army of the confederacy. In addition, he did
                            this with second rate transportation and material. All the good stuff
                            went with Sherman, to be used against old men and boys. And Thomas did
                            this in about two months.

                            Further info regardng 'slow'. In 1863 Thomas was ordered by Buell to
                            march to Pea Ridge (?) KY from Chatannooga TN. He responded by
                            immediately marching the 100 + miles in 5 days. He averaged 20 miles
                            per day and arrived in time to march into line of battle. At the
                            beginning of Sherman's campaign against Johnston, Grant ordered the
                            campaing to start on May 2nd. Guess who was there on the 2nd, - Thomas!
                            The campaign didn't start until the 5th tho because eveyone had to wait
                            for McPherson, who was slow getting started. I can give other examples
                            but, not off the top of my head.

                            Don Plezia
                          • Dick Weeks
                            ... Interesting about Thomas and his perceived slowness. Some years ago I have the pleasure to participate, almost daily, in a Civil War Chat room, hosted by
                            Message 13 of 16 , Feb 7, 2000
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                              Don Plezia wrote:
                              Now we are in complete disagreement.  Thomas was never slow!  The slow
                              appelation was tacked on by Sherman and Grant to detract from Thomas's
                              accomplishments.  Remember Sherman never won a battle.  Thomas never
                              lost one.  According to some definitions, prior preparations are defined
                              as slow.  If you cite his activities at Nashville as slow then you have
                              to read the existing history.  Thomas had to start an Army from scratch,
                              and train most of it.  Devise a plan to beat Forrest who was threatening
                              Shermans trip to Savannah, guard the various detachments around the
                              state, including the gunboats patrolling the various rivers, find out
                              where Hood was going, plan to beat him, which he did handsomely and
                              destroyed the second great army of the confederacy.  In addition, he did
                              this with second rate transportation and material.  All the good stuff
                              went with Sherman, to be used against old men and boys.  And Thomas did
                              this in about two months.

                              Further info regardng 'slow'.  In 1863 Thomas was ordered by Buell to
                              march to Pea Ridge (?) KY from Chatannooga TN.  He responded by
                              immediately marching the 100 + miles in 5 days.  He averaged 20 miles
                              per day and arrived in time to march into line of battle.  At the
                              beginning of Sherman's campaign against Johnston, Grant ordered the
                              campaing to start on May 2nd.  Guess who was there on the 2nd, - Thomas!
                              The campaign didn't start until the 5th tho because eveyone had to wait
                              for McPherson, who was slow getting started.  I can give other examples
                              but, not off the top of my head.

                              Don Plezia

                              Interesting about Thomas and his perceived slowness.  Some years ago I have the pleasure to participate, almost daily, in a Civil War Chat room, hosted by WebAmerica, where we counted amongst our members a man who called himself "Irish." Although he had only one arm, Irish was a prolific typist and just loved to discuss the war with everyone he came in contact with in the room. He also would write short essay style papers for us all to ponder and discuss. Irish, was in fact, Dr. Ernest Butner, a well known and respected military history professor out of Pepperdine University.   Well, the good Dr. has since passed away, but his writings for the chat room are still with us on my website.  Among these is pretty good one on Thomas that I think you all might find enlightening in light of the current thread.

                              The Battle of Nashville
                              http://www.civilwarhome.com/nashvilleIrish.htm

                              If you want to read more of Dr. Butner's writing you can go to this section of my website,

                              A Tribute to Irish
                              http://www.civilwarhome.com/irishtribute.htm

                              There are 9 of Dr. Butner's short essays linked from this page. While they are all good, I think this group would be especially interested in two of them, besides the Thomas one I have linked above.  Those are "Key Moments in the Civil War" and "Joe Johnston."  I hope you enjoy reading them as much as I do.

                              I am, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
                              Dick (a.k.a. Shotgun)
                              http://www.civilwarhome.com

                            • Dick Weeks
                              ... Interesting about Thomas and his perceived slowness. Some years ago I have the pleasure to participate, almost daily, in a Civil War Chat room, hosted by
                              Message 14 of 16 , Feb 7, 2000
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                                Don Plezia wrote:
                                Now we are in complete disagreement.  Thomas was never slow!  The slow
                                appelation was tacked on by Sherman and Grant to detract from Thomas's
                                accomplishments.  Remember Sherman never won a battle.  Thomas never
                                lost one.  According to some definitions, prior preparations are defined
                                as slow.  If you cite his activities at Nashville as slow then you have
                                to read the existing history.  Thomas had to start an Army from scratch,
                                and train most of it.  Devise a plan to beat Forrest who was threatening
                                Shermans trip to Savannah, guard the various detachments around the
                                state, including the gunboats patrolling the various rivers, find out
                                where Hood was going, plan to beat him, which he did handsomely and
                                destroyed the second great army of the confederacy.  In addition, he did
                                this with second rate transportation and material.  All the good stuff
                                went with Sherman, to be used against old men and boys.  And Thomas did
                                this in about two months.

                                Further info regardng 'slow'.  In 1863 Thomas was ordered by Buell to
                                march to Pea Ridge (?) KY from Chatannooga TN.  He responded by
                                immediately marching the 100 + miles in 5 days.  He averaged 20 miles
                                per day and arrived in time to march into line of battle.  At the
                                beginning of Sherman's campaign against Johnston, Grant ordered the
                                campaing to start on May 2nd.  Guess who was there on the 2nd, - Thomas!
                                The campaign didn't start until the 5th tho because eveyone had to wait
                                for McPherson, who was slow getting started.  I can give other examples
                                but, not off the top of my head.

                                Don Plezia

                                Interesting about Thomas and his perceived slowness.  Some years ago I have the pleasure to participate, almost daily, in a Civil War Chat room, hosted by WebAmerica, where we counted amongst our members a man who called himself "Irish." Although he had only one arm, Irish was a prolific typist and just loved to discuss the war with everyone he came in contact with in the room. He also would write short essay style papers for us all to ponder and discuss. Irish, was in fact, Dr. Ernest Butner, a well known and respected military history professor out of Pepperdine University.   Well, the good Dr. has since passed away, but his writings for the chat room are still with us on my website.  Among these is pretty good one on Thomas that I think you all might find enlightening in light of the current thread.

                                The Battle of Nashville
                                http://www.civilwarhome.com/nashvilleIrish.htm

                                If you want to read more of Dr. Butner's writing you can go to this section of my website,

                                A Tribute to Irish
                                http://www.civilwarhome.com/irishtribute.htm

                                There are 9 of Dr. Butner's short essays linked from this page. While they are all good, I think this group would be especially interested in two of them, besides the Thomas one I have linked above.  Those are "Key Moments in the Civil War" and "Joe Johnston."  I hope you enjoy reading them as much as I do.

                                I am, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
                                Dick (a.k.a. Shotgun)
                                http://www.civilwarhome.com

                              • D. Andrew Burden, Ph.D.
                                Also recall that Grant considered the situation at Nashville in Dec. 1864 to be so critical that he actually was on his way to assume command there personally
                                Message 15 of 16 , Feb 7, 2000
                                • 0 Attachment
                                  Also recall that Grant considered the situation at Nashville in Dec.
                                  1864 to be so critical that he actually was on his way to assume command
                                  there personally when he heard of Thomas' victory. Their fear was of
                                  the "mortifying spectacle" of a Confederate army appearing on the banks
                                  of the Ohio. In hindsight this does not appear to be a real
                                  possibility, but it certainly was to those people not "on the ground" in
                                  the West. Thomas may well have not seen the situation as being that
                                  critical because he had a much clearer picture of what he was facing
                                  than did his superiors. It is also fairly clear that his supposed
                                  slowness in engaging Hood was fully justified on the grounds of both
                                  logistics and weather. It was very unlikely that Hood could have taken
                                  Nashville, although he might have if Thomas had suffered a disaster
                                  against him.

                                  Don Plezia wrote:
                                  >
                                  > ----- Original Message -----
                                  > From: <JackEhmer123@...>
                                  > To: <civilwarwest@egroups.com>
                                  > Sent: Sunday, February 06, 2000 1:40 PM
                                  > Subject: [civilwarwest] Re: The Decisive Turning Point
                                  >
                                  > > Everyone seems to believe that if McClellan had won the election, that
                                  > he
                                  > > would have sued for peace and the South would have won their
                                  > independence. I
                                  > > don't believe that this theory is supported by the facts.
                                  > >
                                  > > First, McClellan was a War Democrat and was an "Union" man. He had
                                  > already
                                  > > repudiated the Peace Democrats' intent to simply let the Southern
                                  > States go.
                                  > > While many War Democrats opposed Lincoln's handling of the war, they
                                  > had no
                                  > > intention of just giving up.
                                  >
                                  > This is entirely correct.
                                  >
                                  > > Second, he would not have been inaugurated for nearly five months.
                                  > Lincoln
                                  > > had stated his intent to do everything possible to win the war before
                                  > the
                                  > > inauguration if he were defeated.
                                  >
                                  > Lincoln had all his cabinet officers sign a "Blind Memorandum" which in
                                  > essence stated that in case of McClellan's election the Union should be
                                  > saved before his (McClellan's) inauguration on 4 March, 1864. He read
                                  > this to the cabinet shortly after his election.
                                  >
                                  > > Third, the capture of Atlanta was simply a matter of time, given the
                                  > opposing
                                  > > forces and opposing generals. Remember that the reason Hood was given
                                  > the command was that Joe Johnston had already given up on Atlanta.
                                  >
                                  > You are correct here except, that it was at the time, not a foregone
                                  > conclusion that Atlanta would be taken any time soon. Sherman had in
                                  > late July,expressed his worries that he had not been bold enough and too
                                  > cautious, and had lost three or more opportunities to "break up Joe
                                  > Johnston's army.
                                  >
                                  > And as of August 23rd Lincoln was thinking about writing Sherman, to ask
                                  > what his chances were of taking Atlanta. While we, with the benefit of
                                  > hindsight know Atlanta was doomed, there were few around with the same
                                  > conviction.
                                  >
                                  > > Fourth, Grant did not sit on his heels and wait for Sherman to win the
                                  > war.
                                  > > He knew that to decisively beat the ANV AND to capture Richmond was to
                                  > > win the war.
                                  >
                                  > Correct again, but he was never able to figure out how to beat old
                                  > Bobby. He sat in front of Petersburg for 10 months trying to figure
                                  > that out.
                                  >
                                  > In fact, he intended to accomplish that before Sherman could come
                                  > > along and share the glory. Sherman's main contribution in those
                                  > > accomplishments was to keep Joe Johnston busy. Sheridan's
                                  > contributions to
                                  > > Lee's surrender were much more significant then Sherman's.
                                  >
                                  > Your right again! What the hell did vacationing in Savannah do for the
                                  > war.
                                  >
                                  > > If McClellan had won, I believe that Sherman would have immediately
                                  > headed
                                  > > for Virginia after the capture of Atlanta. In terms of ending the war,
                                  >
                                  > Interesting conjecture!
                                  >
                                  > > Sherman's march to Savannah and up through the Carolinas accomplished
                                  > little
                                  > > except to further destroy Southern morale.
                                  > >
                                  > > While what happened to Hood's command at Franklin and Nashville was
                                  > tragic in terms of lives lost, it played little part in the final
                                  > outcome.
                                  >
                                  > I totally disagree. Without an Army running around Tennessee,
                                  > threatening Kentucky, Ohio, Indiana and Illinois, Grant could
                                  > concentrate on trying to figure out how to beat Lee.
                                  >
                                  > Remember all the nagging telegrams and orders to remove Thomas for not
                                  > engaging Hood sooner at Nashville! Reading the O.R.'s for that period
                                  > gives you a sence of the panic Washinngton and the north was in
                                  > regarding Hood. And Thomas removed that panic.
                                  >
                                  > Just my opinions!
                                  >
                                  > Don Plezia
                                  >
                                  > ------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                  > If you want to be single again,
                                  > Don’t buy your Valentine a Gift by clicking here.
                                  > http://click.egroups.com/1/1161/1/_/14182/_/949874913/
                                  >
                                  > -- Talk to your group with your own voice!
                                  > -- http://www.egroups.com/VoiceChatPage?listName=civilwarwest&m=1
                                • D. Andrew Burden, Ph.D.
                                  Also recall that Grant considered the situation at Nashville in Dec. 1864 to be so critical that he actually was on his way to assume command there personally
                                  Message 16 of 16 , Feb 7, 2000
                                  • 0 Attachment
                                    Also recall that Grant considered the situation at Nashville in Dec.
                                    1864 to be so critical that he actually was on his way to assume command
                                    there personally when he heard of Thomas' victory. Their fear was of
                                    the "mortifying spectacle" of a Confederate army appearing on the banks
                                    of the Ohio. In hindsight this does not appear to be a real
                                    possibility, but it certainly was to those people not "on the ground" in
                                    the West. Thomas may well have not seen the situation as being that
                                    critical because he had a much clearer picture of what he was facing
                                    than did his superiors. It is also fairly clear that his supposed
                                    slowness in engaging Hood was fully justified on the grounds of both
                                    logistics and weather. It was very unlikely that Hood could have taken
                                    Nashville, although he might have if Thomas had suffered a disaster
                                    against him.

                                    Don Plezia wrote:
                                    >
                                    > ----- Original Message -----
                                    > From: <JackEhmer123@...>
                                    > To: <civilwarwest@egroups.com>
                                    > Sent: Sunday, February 06, 2000 1:40 PM
                                    > Subject: [civilwarwest] Re: The Decisive Turning Point
                                    >
                                    > > Everyone seems to believe that if McClellan had won the election, that
                                    > he
                                    > > would have sued for peace and the South would have won their
                                    > independence. I
                                    > > don't believe that this theory is supported by the facts.
                                    > >
                                    > > First, McClellan was a War Democrat and was an "Union" man. He had
                                    > already
                                    > > repudiated the Peace Democrats' intent to simply let the Southern
                                    > States go.
                                    > > While many War Democrats opposed Lincoln's handling of the war, they
                                    > had no
                                    > > intention of just giving up.
                                    >
                                    > This is entirely correct.
                                    >
                                    > > Second, he would not have been inaugurated for nearly five months.
                                    > Lincoln
                                    > > had stated his intent to do everything possible to win the war before
                                    > the
                                    > > inauguration if he were defeated.
                                    >
                                    > Lincoln had all his cabinet officers sign a "Blind Memorandum" which in
                                    > essence stated that in case of McClellan's election the Union should be
                                    > saved before his (McClellan's) inauguration on 4 March, 1864. He read
                                    > this to the cabinet shortly after his election.
                                    >
                                    > > Third, the capture of Atlanta was simply a matter of time, given the
                                    > opposing
                                    > > forces and opposing generals. Remember that the reason Hood was given
                                    > the command was that Joe Johnston had already given up on Atlanta.
                                    >
                                    > You are correct here except, that it was at the time, not a foregone
                                    > conclusion that Atlanta would be taken any time soon. Sherman had in
                                    > late July,expressed his worries that he had not been bold enough and too
                                    > cautious, and had lost three or more opportunities to "break up Joe
                                    > Johnston's army.
                                    >
                                    > And as of August 23rd Lincoln was thinking about writing Sherman, to ask
                                    > what his chances were of taking Atlanta. While we, with the benefit of
                                    > hindsight know Atlanta was doomed, there were few around with the same
                                    > conviction.
                                    >
                                    > > Fourth, Grant did not sit on his heels and wait for Sherman to win the
                                    > war.
                                    > > He knew that to decisively beat the ANV AND to capture Richmond was to
                                    > > win the war.
                                    >
                                    > Correct again, but he was never able to figure out how to beat old
                                    > Bobby. He sat in front of Petersburg for 10 months trying to figure
                                    > that out.
                                    >
                                    > In fact, he intended to accomplish that before Sherman could come
                                    > > along and share the glory. Sherman's main contribution in those
                                    > > accomplishments was to keep Joe Johnston busy. Sheridan's
                                    > contributions to
                                    > > Lee's surrender were much more significant then Sherman's.
                                    >
                                    > Your right again! What the hell did vacationing in Savannah do for the
                                    > war.
                                    >
                                    > > If McClellan had won, I believe that Sherman would have immediately
                                    > headed
                                    > > for Virginia after the capture of Atlanta. In terms of ending the war,
                                    >
                                    > Interesting conjecture!
                                    >
                                    > > Sherman's march to Savannah and up through the Carolinas accomplished
                                    > little
                                    > > except to further destroy Southern morale.
                                    > >
                                    > > While what happened to Hood's command at Franklin and Nashville was
                                    > tragic in terms of lives lost, it played little part in the final
                                    > outcome.
                                    >
                                    > I totally disagree. Without an Army running around Tennessee,
                                    > threatening Kentucky, Ohio, Indiana and Illinois, Grant could
                                    > concentrate on trying to figure out how to beat Lee.
                                    >
                                    > Remember all the nagging telegrams and orders to remove Thomas for not
                                    > engaging Hood sooner at Nashville! Reading the O.R.'s for that period
                                    > gives you a sence of the panic Washinngton and the north was in
                                    > regarding Hood. And Thomas removed that panic.
                                    >
                                    > Just my opinions!
                                    >
                                    > Don Plezia
                                    >
                                    > ------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                    > If you want to be single again,
                                    > Don’t buy your Valentine a Gift by clicking here.
                                    > http://click.egroups.com/1/1161/1/_/14182/_/949874913/
                                    >
                                    > -- Talk to your group with your own voice!
                                    > -- http://www.egroups.com/VoiceChatPage?listName=civilwarwest&m=1
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