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 Posted: Tue Apr 24th, 2012 06:59 pm
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JG6789
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Texas Defender wrote:
I am well aware of what General Grant's position was in the spring of 1864.

Sorry if I offended you by mentioning the fact that a full appreciation of Grant’s strategic ability has to take into consideration all the armies of the United States and not just the Army of the Potomac. I’ll refrain from mentioning obvious facts if you refrain from posting Wikipedia links to “educate” me about attrition.


In the East, General Grant's objective was the DESTRUCTION of the ANV.

But not through attrition…


It wasn't to keep it from dispatching reinforcements to other commands.

By the end that was absolutely one of his goals. All the while, of course, he kept his eyes open for an opportunity to destroy the ANV in Battle.



 Posted: Tue Apr 24th, 2012 07:06 pm
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Texas Defender
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JG6789-

  The last word on this thread will be left to you. I doubt that any source presented would have any effect on you if it deviated from what you wished to believe.

  In an earlier posting, you gave your view that General Sherman was: "Kind of arrogant" for making a statement that I believe General Grant would have agreed with. You have made your first appearance in this forum coming in and blasting away at people. Its apparent to me that you have more than your share of arrogance.



 Posted: Tue Apr 24th, 2012 07:21 pm
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JG6789
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Texas Defender wrote:
I doubt that any source presented would have any effect on you if it deviated from what you wished to believe.

It's not what I wish to believe, sir. It's what I believe the historical evidence shows. And I've attempted to support my points by citing sources where appropriate.


You have made your first appearance in this forum coming in and blasting away at people. Its apparent to me that you have more than your share of arrogance.

Again, sorry if I’ve offended; I actually thought I was being pretty polite. Please let me know where I’ve “blasted away” and I’ll try to moderate my future posts.



 Posted: Tue Apr 24th, 2012 08:15 pm
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HankC
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grant's objective everywhere, and at all times, is the destruction of confederate armies.

he succeeds at vicksburg and appomattox and captures a large force at fort donelson.

in northern virginia the operational area is quite a bit more constricted than out west...



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 Posted: Wed Apr 25th, 2012 03:17 am
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JG6789
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Savez wrote:
When did the Confederates have a numerical advantage during the Vicksburg campaign?

What I meant was, while Grant had more total men than the Confederates, they were rarely united. There were occasions where the Confederates could have combined faster than Grant could have, had they moved quickly. The Confederates’ best chance was probably during or right after the initial river crossings. On May 1st Grant had only McClernand’s corps and one division of McPherson’s across. But the Confederates were deceived, and Grant never stayed in one place long enough for them to figure out what he was up to. Even after it was more or less clear what was happening Pemberton dithered about joining with Johnston.



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 Posted: Wed Apr 25th, 2012 02:16 pm
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HankC
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vicksburg well points out the great advantage Grant had in the campaign - room to maneuver. He tried nummerouis strategies before finding one that worked.

conversely, the same space was a decided CSA disadvantage.

They had plenty of men, in Mississippi, Arkansas and Louisiana, but could not concentrate them and instead left them spread out to be either unengaged or defeated in detail...



 Posted: Wed Apr 25th, 2012 03:34 pm
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JG6789
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Savez wrote:
"I now determined upon a regular siege to 'out-camp the enemy,' as it were, and to incur no more losses. The experience of the 22d convinced officers and men that this was best, and they went to work on the defenses and approaches with a will. With the navy holding the river the investment of Vicksburg was complete. As long as we could hold our position, the enemy was limited in supplies of food, men, and munitions of war, to what they had on hand. These could not last always."

-U.S. Grant

I would call that attrition.


This is the statement I object to: “Grant had no strategy beyond using the north's advantages in manpower and equipment to wear down his opponents in a war of attrition.”



 Posted: Wed Apr 25th, 2012 03:43 pm
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JG6789
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Savez wrote:
Pemberton had just 40,000. They were scattered. Many of them were chasing Greirson. The force you mention consisted of about 20,000 men supported by gunboats. Any real concentration of troops against this force was next to impossible. However, give credit to Grant for knowing this and for also risking being cut off from his supply line for a period of time with this move. It was a bold move.

Greirson's raid, along with Sherman’s diversion at Chickasaw bluffs, was what I meant when I wrote that the Confederates were deceived. Grant feinted and they bit. Had they not the landing could have been opposed.



 Posted: Wed Apr 25th, 2012 04:34 pm
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JG6789
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Savez wrote:
Grant was fond of siege warfare apparently.

And why not if he could pull it off? It’s a generally low-cost way to reduce an enemy army. Time and again Grant skillfully maneuvered his enemies into such untenable positions…Lee understood the danger (“We must destroy this Army of Grant's before he gets to the James River. If he gets there it will become a siege and then it will be a mere question of time"), yet couldn’t avoid that fate.

In any case, don’t you think it’s a bit disingenuous to lump siege warfare in with other forms of attritional strategies? I submit that it’s not what people generally mean when they argue that Grant defeated the Confederacy by resorting to a war of attrition.



 Posted: Wed Apr 25th, 2012 06:19 pm
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little mac
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An interesting perspective. However, since generalship, good or great bad or poor, is subjective, the definition of a successful commander or general, in this case, depends on several factors, the most important is how the 'reader' applies their own defined views and beliefs as it can be applied to their "hero". As a fan of McClellan, I would define him, from my perspective, as a commander with superior generalship; dare I say the best in the early parts of the war and the figure which would define and shape how others would or would not perform. I recently had an opportunity to discuss this point of view at 2nd Manassas where a park ranger and I discussed Pope and McClellan. Historians, scholars, and adademia have sided with the popular belief that McClellan was slow, religously fanatic, eccentric, and somewhat timid. If we take into account West Point and its instruction on Johmini tactics and the lack of a professional Army and the fielding of a force beyond which any force had been assembled before under one commander (I could list a dozen more but I think you get the point), McClellan faced all of these at one moment in time. I looked at his inactions or actions from a compete 180 perspective. Rather being slow he was thorough, rather than being timid he was analytical, and rather a religous fanatic he was par for the course. Rowland in his one opportuity clearly defends many of these points.

Great discussion point!



 Posted: Wed Apr 25th, 2012 08:35 pm
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'siege' is an interesting term and one we tend to use lightly.

examples:

Fort Donelson - Grant surrounded the CS forces and prepares to attack immediately. The CS surrendered the same day.

Vicksburg - Grant surrounded the CS forces, attacked and then used regular approaches to constrict the defenders. The CS surrendered.

Petersburg - The CS forces were not surrounded. They were in very close quarters for 9 months with various flanking attempts and other remote actions attempting to gain advantage (for either side). eventually the CS line was stretched too thin...



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 Posted: Mon Apr 30th, 2012 06:09 pm
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JG6789
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Savez wrote:
JG6789 wrote: Savez wrote:
"I now determined upon a regular siege to 'out-camp the enemy,' as it were, and to incur no more losses. The experience of the 22d convinced officers and men that this was best, and they went to work on the defenses and approaches with a will. With the navy holding the river the investment of Vicksburg was complete. As long as we could hold our position, the enemy was limited in supplies of food, men, and munitions of war, to what they had on hand. These could not last always."

-U.S. Grant

I would call that attrition.


This is the statement I object to: “Grant had no strategy beyond using the north's advantages in manpower and equipment to wear down his opponents in a war of attrition.”

 The above was mainly for Hank C's comment..

"a 'war of attrition' hardly describes Grant."

 

I maintain that attrition describes him well.
 



Jubal Early, is that you?



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