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Re: Vicksburg and Gettysburg / a question

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  • aot1952
    Obviously, this issue is one where everyone has an opinion and each opinion is just as valid as the other. It is all huge what if! Like Will my opinion of Lee
    Message 1 of 51 , Mar 2, 2002
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      Obviously, this issue is one where everyone has an opinion and each
      opinion is just as valid as the other. It is all huge what if!
      Like Will my opinion of Lee has changed from the days of my love
      affair with the writings of Douglas Southall Freeman. However, while
      I no longer consider Lee a possible diety, (LOL) I still recognize
      him as the best and most successful field commander the South
      possessed. But that is actually a little off topic here I suppose.
      However, as long as we are talking about the possible use of the
      often spoken of "Southern interior lines" the one possibility that
      intrigues me most is one not often discussed.
      How about in August 1862 Bragg taking his 28,000 troops from
      Chattanooga to Virginia instead of following Kirby Smith into
      Kentucky? Since the South still held the direct line thru Knoxville
      the move could have been made relatively swiftly. Grant's people in
      West Tennessee are widely dispersed and not in a position to do much
      more than hunker down in their various garrison assignments at
      Bolivar, Memphis, Jackson, and Corinth. The slow moving Buell was
      inching across North Alabama and seemed at the mercy of the constant
      CS cavalry attacks on his actual or perceived required line of
      communications. The US forces in Virginia where subject to a very
      dangerous non-responsive division of command under the seeming
      uncooperative and ineffective Pope, Little Mac and Henry Halleck.
      Lincoln is waiting anxiously for a victory to play his political and
      diplomatic 'trump' card-- the Emancipation Proclamation.
      To me the possibilities of this move are very intriguing.
      I apologize for this dangerously close to OFF TOPIC post.
      Wakefield
    • hartshje
      ... Will, 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
      Message 51 of 51 , Mar 7, 2002
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        --- In civilwarwest@y..., "wh_keene" <wh_keene@y...> wrote:
        > Joe,
        > 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
        > sometimes.)
        > 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.
        >

        Will,

        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?

        Joe
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