Re: Vicksburg and Gettysburg / a question
- Stephen, as usual you do an excellent job of articulating the
"reality" vs "theory" side of things. As far as that goes, it might
even be that the rickety reb rail-road's ramshacklediness [like that
xan?] just couldn't have handled a trip virginia to mississippi.
-the problems might have had as much to do with Lee's opposition as
anything; the man must have liked the idea of using interior lines.
-I certainly like the idea of maintaining a defensive posture around
Chattanooga and sending the 15k or so to Johnston. Actually, as I
mentioned previously, having the wherewithal to really accomplish
something would have been a tonic to mr. morose *I think*.
-Perhaps Hank is right, Lee needed to come with the troops!
-BE THAT AS IT MAY, to eschew the advantages of interior lines was to
admit defeat in 1863. Somehow it had to be made to work and Lee's
northern invasion was not the answer (of course we know THAT by
-PS. I always think of how much you (and Hank) would like that
boardgame when discussing stuff like this :-)
--- In civilwarwest@y..., "aot1952" <wakefield1952@m...> wrote:
> me to see exactly how the Hardee-Polk- Longstreet triplets would
> worked better for Bragg than the later Longstreet- Hill-Buckner
> Also as far as trying to get the 15k and Longstreet bunch to Joe
> Johnston to Mississippi-- that would have taken awhile and I am
> unclear that they could have reached the Magnolia state in time to
> make much of a difference. I think the critical time in Mississippi
> was the last week of April and first two weeks in May. No way that
> troops from Virginia could have made it to Mississippi during this
> critical time -- unless they had left in very early April, a month
> before the Chancellorsville Campaign. The suggestion of sending
> troops from Virginia to Mississippi only works if Longstreet's
> Suffolk Campaign is not undertaken.
> Now assuming that these CS troops even get to Missisippi in time the
> question then becomes (like in Tennessee) does Longstreet's
> appearence suddenly mean that Joe Johnston and Pemberton suddenly
> become a well oiled command machine?
> One other consideration in transferring all these troops -- as
> Longstreet's September transfer showed--- when it was done the
> Virginia troops did not bring their wagons and field transport with
> them . The end result being that once they got off the trains they
> became virtually immobile--- rather than setting the stage for an
> aggressive offensive such troops became an anchor preventing the
> swift counter-offenses that the Western Bloc advocated seemed to
> I realize that the issue is subject to debate--- but IMHO giving
> either Bragg or Joe Johnston in June 1863 more infantry would have
> been alot like putting perfume on a pig!
> The real problem with the CS war effort in the early summer of 1863
> was not the need for more troops in the West but rather for another
> General like Lee.
> Of course I could be all wrong--
- --- In civilwarwest@y..., "wh_keene" <wh_keene@y...> wrote:
> I always thought Grant had something to do with the initial
> evacuation of Nashville. Maybe score the point for Foote with an
> assist by Grant. (Sorry, basketball terminology sneaks in
> With an alternative outcome to Stone's River and a recapture of
> Nashville, I think the challenge for Bragg would be to contest any
> effort of Grant to cross the Tennessee.
1. Of course, it was Grant who captured Fort Donelson, opening the
Cumberland R. all the way to Nashville. But when A.S. Johnston
retreated from Bowling Green, he didn't even try to defend Nashville
against Buell coming down from Kentucky. He knew he couldn't do
anything to stop Foote's flotilla, nor could he keep them from
helping Buell to cross the river. So Johnston chose to abandon the
city and hook up with Beauregard at Corinth. (Here's another what if:
what if Beauregard had come to Nashville instead, and their combined
forces struck Buell after he crossed the Cumberland?)
2. Assuming, in our hypothetical scenario, that Bragg scores a
knockout at Stone's River, and recaptures Nashville, I think the best
next move on his part would be to go after Grant who is still in
northern Mississippi at this time, hopefully linking up with
Pemberton's army. Here again, we see that an overall commander in
this theater would be needed. Logically, that would be Bragg. Do
you think he could have managed a hook-up with Pemberton? What do
you think Grant's reaction to all this would be?