Loading ...
Sorry, an error occurred while loading the content.
 

Johnston

Expand Messages
  • 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 1 of 5 , Dec 5, 2001
      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 2 of 5 , Apr 10, 2002
        --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 3 of 5 , Apr 10, 2002
          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 4 of 5 , Apr 10, 2002
            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
          Your message has been successfully submitted and would be delivered to recipients shortly.