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  #61  
Old 11 Dec 16, 18:21
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There was a route from the Morgan City, Houma, Raceland areas that had a rail line to Algiers. Taylor begged Kirby Smith to let him use it a couple of times. Kirby Smith wanted to take back Arkansas instead. Even earlier if Confederate troops in Texas had been sent to Taylor, the route could have been used when Banks besieged Port Hudson.

I did not matter if Taylor could not cross over, Banks would have had to raise the siege and chase Taylor away.

I don't think even Taylor believed he could have held New Orleans. He would have plundered the Union stores there and conscripted a lot of people into his army. Then he would have had to cross back to the West Bank.

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  #62  
Old 11 Dec 16, 18:27
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I argue that Shiloh was the last chance that the South had to win the war.
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Old 11 Dec 16, 20:01
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I argue that Shiloh was the last chance that the South had to win the war.
What about Gettysburg? That battle could've been won had Stuart and Longstreet obeyed orders. Lee also could've done something at the Seven Days had Jackson not been uncomfortable in a subordinate role.

Lee was usually right, he just never got his army to do what he wanted, except at Chancellorsvile. Chancellorsville was perfect.

I also think something could have been done at the Wilderness had Gordon's attack been launched earlier.

As for the West, Johnston should have done something to save Vicksburg, and Pemberton should not have tried to defend it against 2:1 odds.

I wonder what would have happened had Forrest been in command at Chickamauga.
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Old 11 Dec 16, 21:26
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Originally Posted by Viperlord View Post
The Confederate couldn't attack it from the sea.
Or from anywhere else!
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  #65  
Old 11 Dec 16, 21:30
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What about Gettysburg? That battle could've been won had Stuart and Longstreet obeyed orders. Lee also could've done something at the Seven Days had Jackson not been uncomfortable in a subordinate role.

Lee was usually right, he just never got his army to do what he wanted, except at Chancellorsvile. Chancellorsville was perfect.

I also think something could have been done at the Wilderness had Gordon's attack been launched earlier.

As for the West, Johnston should have done something to save Vicksburg, and Pemberton should not have tried to defend it against 2:1 odds.

I wonder what would have happened had Forrest been in command at Chickamauga.
What was the reason ps for Lee's advance into Pennsylvania?

Follow up question, did Lee ever plan to invade and occupy any part of the North?
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Old 11 Dec 16, 21:41
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What was the reason ps for Lee's advance into Pennsylvania?

Follow up question, did Lee ever plan to invade and occupy any part of the North?
Lee had 3 goals he planned to reach by invading the North: Preserving Southern resources by shifting the war to the North, defeat the Army of the Potomac in detail, and force Lincoln to withdraw troops from Vicksburg.

The Confederate government also sent a peace emissary to Washington, D.C. just as Lee was marching north, so he may have planned to obtain terms of peace, or else Davis was doing that on his own accord.

I don't believe any of Lee's long-term plans, such as an occupation, have ever been recorded. All that is known is what I have stated above. I imagine he would've threatened Washington, but that is just a guess.
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Old 12 Dec 16, 10:00
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Originally Posted by American87 View Post
Lee had 3 goals he planned to reach by invading the North: Preserving Southern resources by shifting the war to the North, defeat the Army of the Potomac in detail, and force Lincoln to withdraw troops from Vicksburg.

The Confederate government also sent a peace emissary to Washington, D.C. just as Lee was marching north, so he may have planned to obtain terms of peace, or else Davis was doing that on his own accord.

I don't believe any of Lee's long-term plans, such as an occupation, have ever been recorded. All that is known is what I have stated above. I imagine he would've threatened Washington, but that is just a guess.
You are correct, but it is the correct answer that reveals flaws in the logic of Davis and Lee.
The South had one chance to secure an end to the war that would benifit them, it needed an early victory. Bull Run could have been that battle, Davis was there at Bull Run and as the Union forces broke off and returned to DC, Davis wanted to pursue them and take DC. Johnston declined because he felt they didn't have enough men.
After that Davis became focused on the principle of "One Big Victory", another plan that never came to fruition. The South enjoyed important victories over the North in several battles, Antietam and Chancellorsville certainly qualified.
But the end result proved the strategy of "One Big Victory" flawed.
Vicksburg was a long siege, and all through the long months Davis was helpless to mount any attempt to break it. Several plans were presented, Longstreet opposed Lee plan to raid Pennsylvania, he and others suggested an advance against Cincinnati or Louisville because the South would be operating within interior lines, and they could draw forces from Tennessee and Georgia, and because it would require the North to defend either with segments of Grants command, most likely the North would use river gun boats supporting Grant to rush troops to defend those Union cities. Cincinnati and Louisville were important shipping centers that supplied the Union operating in the Western Theater. Harrisburg, Lee's original destination offered the South a few smoked hams and cattle. In fact, the suggestion that Lee was going to bring back food to starving Richmond is a myth, because logically, July is not the month that crops are harvested.
If the goal was to resupply Richmond, he would have waited till late September or early October. In July the farmers would be surviving on what they put away the previous winter, so that is a red herring.
Lee and Davis rolled the dice and lost that gamble. The resulting battle at Gettysburg did nothing to kerp Vicksburg In Southern hands.
Lincoln had already warned Davis there would be no negotiating, unless the South offered unconditional surrender. The reason is simple, if Lincoln negotiates with Davis's representatives it would mean recognizing Davis's authority and the CSA as a nation. That was not going to happen.
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  #68  
Old 12 Dec 16, 16:52
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Originally Posted by guthrieba View Post
I argue that Shiloh was the last chance that the South had to win the war.
Mr Guthrie...

Shiloh was my other pick, nudged out by a whisker by the Wilderness.

Shiloh, indeed, represented a nuique chance for the suth to grab the initiative, and hold it for an undetermined length of time.

Another Great spinoff from a 'full' confederate victory at Shiloh was, almost certainly, Ulysees Simpson Grant would have lost his job, and sherman would have been cashiered, some say into a mental home.

Shiloh, instead, became Albert Sidney Johnston's "Death Ride", Buearegard's unwanted battle, Grant's makeing of his reputation with Lincoln, and Bragg's only battle where he recieved praise from most quarters of the rank and file AND from fellow officers, (Polk excluded).

So, yes, Shiloh might have gone the other way, IMOH had a Confederate left 'turning movement' been adopted, supported by Forrest. Instead, the southern attack ran into a battlefield terrain problem...it was wide and got narrower, and the terrain became too broken for 'proper' deployment.

And those Union gunboats were waiting on the confederate right. A left flank attackk would have aced the "Tyler" and the "Lexington" out of the picture for those crucial last attacks at sunset.

Shiloh was full of "what ifs"....and in terms of Impact, probably the most important battle ever fought in American history up to that stage...

But, the American people had no idea that there were so many more 'Shilohs' to come.

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Old 12 Dec 16, 20:23
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You are correct, but it is the correct answer that reveals flaws in the logic of Davis and Lee.
The South had one chance to secure an end to the war that would benifit them, it needed an early victory. Bull Run could have been that battle, Davis was there at Bull Run and as the Union forces broke off and returned to DC, Davis wanted to pursue them and take DC. Johnston declined because he felt they didn't have enough men.
After that Davis became focused on the principle of "One Big Victory", another plan that never came to fruition. The South enjoyed important victories over the North in several battles, Antietam and Chancellorsville certainly qualified.
But the end result proved the strategy of "One Big Victory" flawed.
Vicksburg was a long siege, and all through the long months Davis was helpless to mount any attempt to break it. Several plans were presented, Longstreet opposed Lee plan to raid Pennsylvania, he and others suggested an advance against Cincinnati or Louisville because the South would be operating within interior lines, and they could draw forces from Tennessee and Georgia, and because it would require the North to defend either with segments of Grants command, most likely the North would use river gun boats supporting Grant to rush troops to defend those Union cities. Cincinnati and Louisville were important shipping centers that supplied the Union operating in the Western Theater. Harrisburg, Lee's original destination offered the South a few smoked hams and cattle. In fact, the suggestion that Lee was going to bring back food to starving Richmond is a myth, because logically, July is not the month that crops are harvested.
If the goal was to resupply Richmond, he would have waited till late September or early October. In July the farmers would be surviving on what they put away the previous winter, so that is a red herring.
Lee and Davis rolled the dice and lost that gamble. The resulting battle at Gettysburg did nothing to prevent Vicksburg to stay in Southern hands.
Lincoln had already warned Davis there would be no negotiating, unless the South offered unconditional surrender. The reason is simple, if Lincoln negotiates with Davis's representatives it would mean recognizing Davis's authority and the CSA as a nation. That was not going to happen.
Lee's invasion of Pennsylvania was not a raid; he had several strategic objectives in mind, the last of which was bringing supplies "to Richmond," if that even was one of his goals. His strategy for invading Pennsylvania was solid, and the main reasons it failed were Stuart going on his raid despite being delayed by the Union army, and Longstreet's failure to march his army four miles to the field the night of July 1-2. I think Ewell deserves some blame too, but at least he obeyed orders. There was no reason to suspect at the outset of the campaign that an invasion of Ohio or Kentucky would've been more productive; Lee correctly reasoned that Lincoln's first priority was the defense of Washington. Lee's strategy was correct in that it targeted Lincoln, the driving force behind all Union operations. I don't know if Lee was aware of the peace commission, but if Davis had to sue for peace, he could hardly have had a better opportunity than Lee defeating the Army of the Potomac north of the Potomac River.

I do agree that Davis lost an opportunity after First Bull Run, but by 1863 it was evident that Lincoln would not call off the war as long as he maintained the initiative. Thus the Battle of Chancellorsville was another setback, but it did not matter as long as Lincoln had his army on southern soil.

As for Antietam, it was not the sort of victory that could benefit the South. A lot of people today would even argue-though I disagree with them-that Antietam was a Confederate loss. The type of victory Lee needed was an offensive one where the Union army could be routed or captured.

In short, the best chance the CSA had for a victory was an offensive on northern soil. Lee could read the signs, and he had the diplomacy to convince Davis. The next best option, one of necessity, was holding out in the hopes that Lincoln would lose his reelection bid.
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Old 12 Dec 16, 21:44
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Vicksburg is probably most important to the overall shape of the war after it, not because of the direct military significance, but because it ensured job security for Grant. Contrary to legend, Lincoln had seriously considered sparing him on multiple occasions before; Vicksburg seems to have settled his doubts nearly completely (he did still send David Hunter to report on Grant during Chattanooga).
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Old 13 Dec 16, 00:19
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I do believe that Grant had a lot of 'politicals' as generals t begin with, and they used their influence to spread gossip about Grant drinking, or casting dispersions on his ability to handle large amounts of troops.

All of Grants division commanders at shiloh, incl. sherman, were lawyers. all had influence, and most had more influence than ability, like Mclernand, for instance.

Grant had to play a waiting game for these men, to find "enough rope" such that their conduct would be questioned, then Grant would have the excuse he needed to be rid of them

I don't think any other Army suffered from such political problems for the Union. It must have been a Western Army 'thing', because something similar was going on in Bragg's Army of Tennessee, with results that were spectacularly bad for the confederates, and Davis hanging on to his old freind and fellow West pointer Braxton for what the rank and file felt was far too long

In fact, it might have been better for Davis to cashier the lot of them...Polk, Hardee, Breckinridge. Stones river was Davis's opportunity to fix the problem, but he seemed to have a fear of cashiering Bragg for reasons other than just loyalty to old freinds.

Bragg should have been in charge of recruitment and training for the entire confederate Army. His undoubted talents at organisation, and his concern for the health and welfare of the common soldeir might have made him a GREAT 4 star general, say in Sam cooper's spot.

Regardless, the Army of Tennessee did not work together as a cohesive unit; professional jealousy may have played a part, but there was this inability from ALL the Generals to not back down if slighted. Bragg and Polk fueded over things that happened at Shiloh for over 12 months!

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Old 13 Dec 16, 00:34
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At Shiloh the way the Southern Troops lined up for the attack resulted in confusion once the units mixed with other units coming up behind them. If each Division had formed columns, the troops coming up would have been under the same commander and mixing would have caused less confusion.

Grant might have had Mclernan, but Bragg had Polk. Bragg was trying to overcome a greater handicapped.

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Old 13 Dec 16, 04:29
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Just a quick question...

How, exactly will this nice qquestion be decided?

Poll?
Consensus?
Waiting for that "magic" post where everyone, all of a sudden says "Yeah"..?

Lots of worthy points, lots of worthy battles.
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Old 13 Dec 16, 05:10
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Originally Posted by Drusus Nero View Post
Just a quick question...

How, exactly will this nice qquestion be decided?

Poll?
Consensus?
Waiting for that "magic" post where everyone, all of a sudden says "Yeah"..?

Lots of worthy points, lots of worthy battles.
The same way all posts are decided
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Old 13 Dec 16, 09:20
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Mr Guthrie...

Shiloh was my other pick, nudged out by a whisker by the Wilderness.

Shiloh, indeed, represented a nuique chance for the suth to grab the initiative, and hold it for an undetermined length of time.

Another Great spinoff from a 'full' confederate victory at Shiloh was, almost certainly, Ulysees Simpson Grant would have lost his job, and sherman would have been cashiered, some say into a mental home.

Shiloh, instead, became Albert Sidney Johnston's "Death Ride", Buearegard's unwanted battle, Grant's makeing of his reputation with Lincoln, and Bragg's only battle where he recieved praise from most quarters of the rank and file AND from fellow officers, (Polk excluded).

So, yes, Shiloh might have gone the other way, IMOH had a Confederate left 'turning movement' been adopted, supported by Forrest. Instead, the southern attack ran into a battlefield terrain problem...it was wide and got narrower, and the terrain became too broken for 'proper' deployment.

And those Union gunboats were waiting on the confederate right. A left flank attackk would have aced the "Tyler" and the "Lexington" out of the picture for those crucial last attacks at sunset.

Shiloh was full of "what ifs"....and in terms of Impact, probably the most important battle ever fought in American history up to that stage...

But, the American people had no idea that there were so many more 'Shilohs' to come.

Drusus
"Broken" terrain is an understatement. It was nearly impassable. Yet Another battle where a Confederate naval force could have made a difference.
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They defend [the war's] integrity from the evasions of those who insist that the South fought for something other than slavery; they protect it from those who emphasize the North's narrow self-interest. Such myths may be comforting.
Edward Ayers
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