View single post by Hellcat
 Posted: Tue Jan 3rd, 2012 06:41 am
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Hellcat
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No, I don't think it would. Grant's Overland Campaing began in May of 1864. Sherman didn't turn North until the Carolina's Campaign began in February 1865. With everything equal Lee would then have almost a year to deal with Grant. And with pressure put on Grant to produce results I believe Lee could have defeated Grant before Sherman could be brought North.

Grant would have had to have had Sherman abandon his attempts to capture Atlanta and then Savannah in order to join him against Lee sooner than he would have been able to in reality had the two armies managed to link up prior to Lee's surrender. Sherman didn't reach NC until what, late Febryuary/early March 1865? And even then it was a little bit before he was near the NC-Va border. Grant would have had to pull Sherman in 1864 to make a difference if everything were equal, and most likely before he even began the Overland Campaign. Which then put's Grant back in a position of more men and supplies than Lee and brings up again the fact that with fewer men and supplies Lee still won most of his battles against Grant. Though I think the number Lee would win may be fewer than actually happened. 

But remember Lee is still better equipped, better supplied, and has more men than he actually did even with Sherman there. So Appomattox may not have happened until later in 1865 or sometime in 1866, and then it would have been someplace else. It's gonna take a bit longer to wear Lee down if Sherman is brought North sooner. Even if Sherman reaches Grant when he would have historically the war would last longer.

And abandoning Atlanta would possibly mean Lincoln does't get re-elected as the capture of Atlanta and Mobile Bay greatly helped his attempts at re-election. Despite his own opinions, had McClellan thus managed to win the election he'd have been forced to bow to the Democrat Party's platform of ending the war and negotiating a settlement with the Confederacy. Which then means that if Grant doesn't pull Sherman north sooner then the war could end before Sherman could hook up with Grant. And with them hooked up from Sherman being brought north sooner it's still going to end before Grant can defeat Lee.

If we do say Sherman takes Atlanta before Grant calls Sherman up, then figure Savannah doesn't happen. And likely the battles towards the end of the Atlanta campaign don't happen. So now Thomas has to defend Atlanta. Thomas now has to divide his forces to keep Atlanta and prevent Hood from taking central Tennessee. Which then leads to a second division to try to protect Nashville and chase Hood. Hood may then be able to defeat Thomas and retake Nashville before the 1864 election, which would negate Sherman's taking Atlanta in the public's view because it would put a captured Confederate capital back in Confederate hands. Which then increases the possibility of Lincoln loosing to McClellan because it would be seen as Federal forces being willing to trade one Confederate capital for another.

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