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Sherman's March: Review/Discuss the Show - General Civil War Talk - Civil War Talk - Civil War Interactive Discussion Board
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 Posted: Fri Apr 27th, 2007 02:06 pm
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David White
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Ole:

I'll agree that Augusta was a logical target, but it wasn't Sherman's intention to expend ammunition along the way. How was he to replace it?

It would have been easier to replace for him than it would have been for Lee's army in Virginia without Augusta.

As it was, Sherman had to fight for Millidgeville against the GSM expending ammunition, fighting for Augusta with the regional forces spread thin would not have been much more taxing in that regard.  If I was Sherman, I would not have altered the ultimate March to the Sea destination, just taken the left feint and maybe have my new left feint head for Columbia.

Another thing I thought the show overlydramatized was the supply situtation for Sherman.  At one point they showed Union troops marching barefoot near the end of the march, I don't recall reading that Sherman's men were in that desperate of straits.  Sherman was a worry wart throughout his life (especially compared to Grant)and I only get the impression he was concerned about his supply situation during the march (as he should be) and never overly worried.  As you say, the Confederacy was a shell at that point so he could be Alfred E. Neuman.

Good discussion, thanks for sharing your thoughts.



 Posted: Sat Apr 28th, 2007 12:16 am
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ole
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At one point they showed Union troops marching barefoot near the end of the march, I don't recall reading that Sherman's men were in that desperate of straits.

I noticed that as well. Like you, I don't recall reading anywhere that supplies were getting tight by the time they got out of the Piney Woods. I could swear I read just the opposite  -- that Sherman had more cattle with him at Savannah than he had when he left Atlanta. And that his men had gained weight on the march.

And, yes, Sherman was a stickler. I have no doubt that he had 120,000 pairs of shoes in his wagons -- as well as coffee, salt, and hardtack. It would be interesting to know the source of that story.

Ole



 Posted: Sat Apr 28th, 2007 01:13 am
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Johan Steele
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Supplies weren't really a problem at Savannah; things didn't really start to get tight until well into the Carolinas.  There is ample anecdotal & literary evidence of Shermans men walking out of their shoes; theyt were rarely hungry or w/out ammo.  The sheer mileage they covered had them wearing their clothing out...

The evidence was often mentioned during the Grand Review... as a note NC was kind enough to provide enough uniform trousers to cover the tail ends of about 2/3 of the AoT.



 Posted: Sat Apr 28th, 2007 02:44 pm
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trench nerd
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I found the program OK. The re-enactments were a little sparse not giving the viewer a proper feel for the magnitude of the march. I was a little disappointed they skimmed over the burning of Columbia with the conclusion he did nto purposely burn the city. That fact is still being debated today. While they did address the atrocities perpetrated on the civilian population they once again IMHO skimmed over the utter devastation to the area, particularly in SC.
Even Sherman said the Carolina campaign was harder than the Georgia campaign, yet it felt like the producers gave more credence to the Ga. march. I also felt they didn't give enough concerning the conditions the Federals encountered in SC, cold, high water, impenetrable swamps etc.
Over all I would give the program a 7 out of 10. More could be said, I learned nothing new, but am glad any CW topic is again being produced.



 Posted: Sat Apr 28th, 2007 03:21 pm
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Jimtno
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TrenchNerd ,

Thank you for making that point as well. I think that is one of the biggest issues right now.  The CW seems to be slipping from the General populations conscience. Granted the 145 Anniversary (Which has started) and the upcoming 150th will most likely spark interest again, but with the CW either not being taught in school or the following very shallow points are studied IE, THe south seceded, they fired on Fort Sumter, the Battle of Gettysburg was fought and was the turning point in the war, Lee surrendered at Appotmattox and we went right into reconstruction. Oh yes it was all about slavery.. (That last one almost makes me sick to my stomach.. ).

While I agree that I too struggled with some aspects of this, (South Carolina got the living crap kicked out of it), I thought it was very well done. We must remember they were trying to cover a 100 day campaign in 2 hours, with such major events as the fall  of Atlanta, Savanah, Charleston, Columbia and then the major battles of Aversboro and Bentonville included.. I was also a little bit upset with the lack of attention given to the surrender at Bennett Place. A major event as well.
But overall a very good job.

Jim



 Posted: Sat Apr 28th, 2007 05:58 pm
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ole
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On the money, jimtno and trench nerd (what a fascinating handle!).

Perhaps it should be revisited and reissued as a series of 4 one-hour shows. This recommendation is based on the idea that I wouldn't know what to cut out of the original (except commercials) to make room for some of the points we'd like to have seen.

Ole



 Posted: Sat Apr 28th, 2007 07:48 pm
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calcav
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To be quite honest I thought the program was excellent. Did it cover everything? Nope! If the show lasted 24 hours a day for the next year it could not cover the whole story. Could they have concentrated on other parts of the campaigns that were only touched upon? Of course, but it did not need to.

 

Documentaries, no matter what the subject, do not tell the whole story. Ever. Nor should they. If the filmmaker is smart and knows his business he does not even try. The idea is to present enough factual information to provoke the viewer to study/research/discuss the topic in greater detail.

 

For those that don’t know I am a Park Ranger. A few weeks ago I gave a two hour walking tour of the Hornet’s Nest at Shiloh to about forty visitors. (Our fellow poster Swamp Shadow was in the group!) I talked loud and I talked fast and in two hours I barely scratched the surface about what happened in that one small corner of the battlefield. I couldn’t tell it all, nor did I try. Was I effective in my interpretation? Ask our friend Swamp Shadow.

 

There are a few quotes that I consider before giving my programs:

“Do not try to satisfy your vanity by teaching a great many things. Awaken people’s curiosity. It is enough to open minds; do not overload them. Put there just a spark. If there is some good inflammable stuff, it will catch fire.” Anatole France.

 

“The chief aim of interpretation is not instruction, but provocation.” Freeman Tilden.

 

“The mind is a flame to be kindled, not a vessel to be filled.” Plutarch.

 

The fact that we are debating the show and looking deeper into the books to prove our points is evidence that the show was a success. Well done History Channel! Give us more of the same.



 Posted: Sun Apr 29th, 2007 01:10 am
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CleburneFan
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Calcav, great response. Bravo! Applause! I loved what you said.



 Posted: Sun Apr 29th, 2007 11:32 am
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Kent Nielsen
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Well All I can say at the moment is that this has increased my interest in the program to an even higher level then it was already. :) I hope to get it on DVD or video soon as I get a credit card issue resolved. Thanks for the insights so far. :) I hope this keeps up.



 Posted: Sun Apr 29th, 2007 01:32 pm
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Jimtno
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:)

Calcav,

I  agree with your assesment.   I had never given it a thought about what the producers were trying to do.

You put it so well. They are trying to rekindle the interest in the Civil War. And by taking on one of the most controversial aspects of the war, they accomplished their mission!

Thank you for your insights, thank you for your input and thank you for your service sir!

Some time I am going to have to come down to Shiloh and walk the ground with you......

Regards from NJ,

Jim



 Posted: Sun Apr 29th, 2007 02:09 pm
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ole
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The History Channel, with its Sherman's March, gained back some of its former respectability. We can hope it will continue along this new path.

Ole



 Posted: Mon Apr 30th, 2007 02:05 pm
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David White
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Well they are losing credit gained by Sherman's March by airing a show called Spiderman Tech this week, no doubt to coincide with the release of the movie.  Are you kidding me? 



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 Posted: Tue May 1st, 2007 02:25 pm
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David White
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It was a war crime to use prisoners in that manner.



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 Posted: Tue May 1st, 2007 05:23 pm
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trench nerd
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CalCav, as was posted before, I know it is off topic, but what interpertation of the Hornet's Nest did you give? The time honored traditional or the Stacy Allen and forensic version? :D :D



 Posted: Tue May 1st, 2007 09:39 pm
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Kentucky_Orphan
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Am I the only one who thought this program was increadibly boring? I can't really put my finger on exactly why I thought it was such a struggle to make it through even half the program (I quit watching about half-way through), maybe the other half they really broke loose. The battle scenes didn't even get a rise out of me. Usually I enjoy  the history channels programming on the civil war, but not this. I think I will stick to reading about Shermans march and using my own imagination, thanks.

I don't really have any comment as to the "fairness" of the program, having long since given up hope for absolute fairness on such a topic as the ACW. If you want fair, no matter which side you take on an issue, you will most likely never get it. Like with the news media, watch fox news and CNN and maybe you will get a general idea of what is really going on-the same premise often times applies to the study of the ACW.

As to the marching of prisoners into suspected areas of landmines, it is indeed a warcrime. However, the confederates should have countered it will equal ruthlesness if they wanted it to stop. It's war, not a friendly game of basketball. I'm not defending the actions of the Federals in this case, but am simply being a realist. Take a page out of the Mosby book if you want such actions to cease.



 Posted: Wed May 2nd, 2007 09:20 am
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Kent Nielsen
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Kent Nielsen wrote: Well All I can say at the moment is that this has increased my interest in the program to an even higher level then it was already. :) I hope to get it on DVD or video soon as I get a credit card issue resolved. Thanks for the insights so far. :) I hope this keeps up.
I placed an order for the DVD on Tuesday. I look forward to seeing it.:)



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