|View single post by slowtrot|
|Posted: Sat Apr 4th, 2009 01:54 pm||
"Slowtrot wrote about Thomas:
"Understood that the object of war is to destroy the enemies means to fight, which Sherman never did."
This is like saying Michael Phelps doesn't know how to swim.
The entire campaign for Atlanta, and the follow up march to the sea and through the Carolina's are a testament to depriving the CSA the means to fight."
The “Atlanta Campaign” as laid down to Sherman by Grant was to “. . . move against Johnston's army, to break it up and to get into the interior of the enemy's country as far as you can, inflicting all the damage you can against their war resources.” Sherman did neither. He screwed up a good plan by Thomas, which could have ended the campaign two weeks after it started.
Johnston fought him to a draw at Resaca and withdrew without Sherman knowing what had happened. He could have trapped Johnston in Resaca by blowing up the bridges over the Oostanaula with Logan's artillery.
He got jealous of Grant’s butchery in Va. and, thought he’d try it at Kennesaw, and failed. He failed to destroy the Army of Tennessee at Jonesborough and within two weeks, Hood was moving back to Dalton to fight again. Sherman chased him around for a month and then decided he couldn’t catch him and detached Thomas to do the job. Some warrior, admitting defeat w/o even trying.
His march to the sea almost lost the war in the west. His orders from Grant were to leave Thomas an adequate force to fight Hood. He didn’t! He took two of Thomas Corps, the XIV and the XX (which he had disparaged earlier in a letter to Grant) on his trip south and left Thomas the wounded, weak and new troops. He took all the best equipment and wagons and left Thomas the damaged. He left Thomas 7,000+ cavalry - - - - without horses.
His march was without event. His opponents were children and old men. The Rebels had already drafted those fit and able to fight. Wheeler showed up occasionally with a couple companies of cavalry. In fact, Sherman boasted he reached Savannah with more cattle than when he started.
As to destroying the Rebel war resources, he burned a few towns, destroyed a few railroads (in many cases unusable by the Confederates) and avoided the larger defended areas of the south.
In fact, the only significant losses by the Confederacy during that period were by Lee in the east and by the destruction of the Army of Tennessee by Thomas in the west. Once Hood was gone, the war in the west was over and Lee’s fate was sealed.
As to the march thru the Carolinas. If not for the bumbling of Bragg, he would have lost a good portion of one of his wings to Joe Johnston. Even then, he tried to avoid a fight.