Re: Vicksburg and Gettysburg / a question
- I dunno about being off topic, it is all connected strategy. Bragg was
in Chattanooga by 28 July ; the 7 days had ended at the first of July
and the second battle of Manassas did not happen till august 28th.
Yeah, it does sound to me like this was another case of lost
opportunity to concentrate forces, whether you want to make a case of
concentrating in the west or concentrating in the east.
-some possible problems for our armchair generals: there was a
political cost to pay, sometimes too high, to take troops from one
state and send them to another.
-the next move by the enemy is crystal clear by hindsight only.
HOWEVER, if the decision was to be to go on the offensive, why take
off on two separate campaigns at the same time?
--- In civilwarwest@y..., "aot1952" <wakefield1952@m...> wrote:
> 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.
- --- 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?