View single post by HankC
 Posted: Wed Feb 11th, 2009 03:28 pm
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Joined: Tue Sep 6th, 2005
Posts: 517

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The US had bad maps, a continuous supply problem, lousy roads, too many wheeled vehicles and a constricted area for maneuver. The Confederates suffered from the middle 2 as well.

The US supply line depended on extending a line of depots down the Potomac. In effect, a new depot was alwasy being built ahead of the last one, requiring double the effort and manpower. Wagons frequently showed up at the 'wrong' depot only to find it was being decommisioned in order to leapfrog ahead.

Lee's supplies came up, and wounded went down, the RF&P, a flimsy single track line much the worse for wear from already serving military needs for 3 years.

Grant reduced both the number of cannon and the number of supply wagons accompanying the troops. The QM also devined a better way of moving supplies from the main depot to a series of ever smaller depots down to the brigade level where fewer wagons were used on the last leg to the troops. However it required more reloading of the supplies from wagon to wagon.

Poor maps and bad roads were the bane of virtually every campaign.

In Grant's moves to the left, the basic procedure was to dig in, have the right-most corps decamp, march behind the other 2 corps and take up the far-left position. Like a track on a bulldozer, each corps would be in front for a bit, stay in place for a while, become the rear guard and then move a long way to repeat the process.


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