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Snake Creek Gap one more time

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  • wh_keene
    Is anyone familiar with the book Grant, Lee and Sherman by Alfred Burne? I saw it in the bookstore and read a few pages out of it. Burne argues that
    Message 1 of 149 , Mar 15, 2002
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      Is anyone familiar with the book "Grant, Lee and Sherman" by Alfred
      Burne? I saw it in the bookstore and read a few pages out of it.

      Burne argues that Sherman's actual plan for the Snake Creek Gap move
      was not what he later says it was in his memoirs, or what we
      generally argue about. He bases his argument on correspondence by
      Sherman made at the time.

      Burne claims that Sherman intended McPherson's move to be essentially
      a raid. Though Burne does not make this analogy, the idea was for
      McPherson to do essentially what Van Dorn and Forrest did to Grant in
      northern Mississippi in December of 62. McPherson was suppossed to
      threaten Johnston's rear and supply line, such that Johnston would
      have to draw back from his position. McPherson was not suppossed to
      bring on a general engagement nor assume a position in Resca, but
      rather draw back to the gap once he had broken the railroad (thus
      McPherson leaves his wagons back of the gap).

      Burne argues that Sherman intended to have Thomas make the main
      attack from his existing position once Johnston began pulling back
      and then McPherson could sally forth from the gap a second time and
      take Johnson in the flank.

      Burne argues that McPherson failed to break the railroad due to lack
      of cavalry and poor intelligence as to the strength of the force at
      Resca. Burne places the blame for these mistakes with Sherman, not
      with McPherson.

      Burne dismisses the idea of Thomas making the Snake Creek Gap move
      instead of McPherson becuase a) Sherman only intended that movement
      to be a diversion to the main attack by Thomas and b) it would have
      been logistically more difficult becuase of the starting positions of
      the forces (ie: from a traffic management point of view it would have
      been a challenge to route Thomas and McPherson around each other).

      This was all very interesting to me. Any comments?
    • William H Keene
      Yesterday I had the opportunity to drop by the library and check out Schofield s memoirs. It is interesting reading in light of our discussion about Sherman
      Message 149 of 149 , Jun 17, 2006
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        Yesterday I had the opportunity to drop by the library and check out
        Schofield's memoirs. It is interesting reading in light of our
        discussion about Sherman and incidents of the Atlanta campaign. If I
        have the chance I will transcribe some of it for the group. He has
        critical things to say about Sherman yet also seems to admire him.
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