Re: [civilwarwest] Confederate strategy
- Cash wrote:
<<<Of course, casualty figures are only one part of the story. We obviously
can't make a final decision based on the casualty count alone; however, I
would submit that a Confederacy that was well behind in manpower to start
with had to maintain its armies as intact as possible to still have a chance.>>>
I know a lot of people think Lee was an idiot for using localized offensives or even the strategic offensive at Gettysburg (Maryland in 62 was not a true offensive) but I have to question the logic of people who think the South would have had a better chance by sitting back and waiting for the North to come, a la Fredricksburg - the most noted example.
I'm not a big guy. Five foot eight inches, 130 pounds soaking wet. If I was in a fight with someone twice my size there's no way I'd sit back and let them hit me and hit me and hit me. That's what Grant did. Grant won. Right there the so called "best strategy for the South" backfires in your face.
No, if I'm in a fight, I have to take chances to win. Go for the gonads so to speak. Lee knew this, and so did Davis, I think. The entire Southern war effort HAD to be based on hoping they could get the one victory that would cause the North to sue for peace. Any other option simply meant the North could wait them out. Guerilla warfare was not an option, and would have no benefit. The slaves would still be freed, the land over run by Yankee troops.
Nope, the South had to attack at least from time to time. Yes, defensive victories like Fredricksburg and Cold Harbor are great if you're Southern, but that's only two examples.
You can use an aggresive STRATEGY and still fight defensive TACTICAL battles. Lee tried to do that every chance he got. Let's all try to remember the difference between strategy and tactics...
- Halleck was called a "genius" because of his acomplishments before the war.
There is a new biography of him which not only details these but also shows the
character flaws which caused so much trouble later. i suggest you check it