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Kenesaw (Nebraska, United States) (search for this): chapter 17
tactical operations to which he limited himself. The manner in which that army, then under Hood instead of Johnston, was finally broken up, by Sherman's subordinates in Tennessee, slows clearly enough what kind of modification of Sherman's tactical methods was requisite to enable him to reach the same result in Georgia. Sherman's tactical operations during the entire Atlanta campaign were marked by the highest degree of prudence and caution. Even his one assault upon fortified lines at Kenesaw was no exception; for the worst that could happen in that was what actually did happen, namely, a fruitless loss of a considerable number of men, yet a number quite insignificant in comparison with the total strength of his army. Johnston displayed similar qualities in an equal degree so long as he was in command; and his well-known ability may have suggested to Sherman the wisdom of like prudence in all his own operations. But Hood signalized his accession to the command by the boldest
Mississippi (United States) (search for this): chapter 17
the change of policy above referred to. It is necessary not to confound the march to the sea as actually conceived and executed by Sherman as a preliminary to the march northward for the capture of Lee's army, with the previous far-reaching strategic plans of Grant, of which Sherman and other chief commanders were informed in the spring of 1864. Grant's plans had in view, as their great object, again to cut in two the Confederate territory, as had been done by the opening of the Mississippi River to the gulf. This next line of section might be Chattanooga, Atlanta, and Savannah, or Chattanooga, Atlanta, Montgomery, and Mobile. But with the disappearance of Hood's army from that theater of operations, all reason for that plan of territorial strategy had disappeared, and the occasion was then presented, for the first time, for the wholly different strategical plan of Sherman, of which Lee's army was the sole military objective. Grant was perfectly just to himself as well as to
Raleigh (North Carolina, United States) (search for this): chapter 17
Then Grant was ready with his plan, first to seize and hold the Southern railroads by which supplies could reach Lee, and second, for Sherman and the most of his army to come to Virginia by sea, to which Sherman responded with all the loyalty of his most loyal nature, only mentioning incidentally his own plan. Thereupon, when Grant gave him an invitation to speak freely, he replied as above quoted, and explained in detail his plans for the northward march, to be on the Roanoke, either at Raleigh or Weldon, by the time the spring fairly opens; and if you feel confident that you can whip Lee outside of his intrenchments, I feel equally confident that I can handle him in the open country. But Sherman's busy brain had provided in advance even for the worst possible contingency—that after all his long march, however long it might prove to be, that march might have to stand alone—he might not actually take part in the capture of either of the Confederate armies. Hence, before starti
Columbia, Tenn. (Tennessee, United States) (search for this): chapter 17
is march from Savannah. From Atlanta to Columbia, South Carolina, crossing the Savannah River at or above Augusta, is an easier march than that from Savannah to Columbia. Or if Sherman had not cared about paying a visit to Columbia en route, he could have taken the much shorter Piedmont route to Charlotte, North Carolina, and thColumbia en route, he could have taken the much shorter Piedmont route to Charlotte, North Carolina, and thence northward by whichever route he pleased. Instead of retaining the dominant attitude of master, Sherman lost it the moment he started eastward with his main army, leaving an inferior force to cope with his enemy; and the march through Georgia and the capture of Savannah did not by any means restore that mastery to Sherman. It was not restored until Hood was actually defeated in Tennessee. I have referred to the possibilities of a direct march from Atlanta via Columbia or Charlotte, with a much larger army, at exactly the same time, for the purpose of showing that even Sherman's grand strategic plan to assist in the capture of Lee's army did not n
Alabama (Alabama, United States) (search for this): chapter 17
id not have a chance to assist in the capture of Lee, Thomas had failed to obey his instructions to pursue Hood into the Gulf States, whereby the fragments of that broken and dispirited army, as Thomas well called it, were gathered together, under their old, able commander, General Johnston, and appeared in Sherman's front to oppose his northward march, and finally to capitulate to him at Bennett's House in North Carolina. The remnant of that army which Sherman had disdained to pursue into Alabama or Mississippi had traveled a thousand miles to surrender to him! No story of fiction could be more romantic than that fact of real war history. It was not necessary for Sherman to produce his letter of November 6, 1864; but I have quoted from it here very largely to show that there was no possible contingency which his far-reaching mind had not foreseen and provided for. Sherman's plan was so firmly fixed in his own mind, almost from the very start, that he was determined to adhere
Savannah River (United States) (search for this): chapter 17
ply shows that neither had at that time conceived the possibility of any movement of Sherman toward Virginia. All their thoughts had reference to continuing operations in the south, Sherman's most important object being to get control of the Savannah River; or, as expressed, in his last words: If you can whip Lee, and I can march to the Atlantic, I think Uncle Abe will give us a twenty days leave of absence to see the young folks. Their joint action against Lee does not appear to have been sugd thousand men, instead of sixty thousand. All this could have surely been accomplished by the middle of January, or before the time when Sherman actually began his march from Savannah. From Atlanta to Columbia, South Carolina, crossing the Savannah River at or above Augusta, is an easier march than that from Savannah to Columbia. Or if Sherman had not cared about paying a visit to Columbia en route, he could have taken the much shorter Piedmont route to Charlotte, North Carolina, and thence
Mobile, Ala. (Alabama, United States) (search for this): chapter 17
t at first, nor was any mention of it at that time necessary. Besides, events might possibly render the march to Richmond unnecessary or impracticable; or, possibly, Sherman might be compelled for some reason to make his new base at Pensacola or Mobile, though he was determined to make it at Savannah, if possible; and hence it was necessary to have, in reserve as it were, a sufficient logical reason for the preliminary operation, if that finally had to stand alone. Again, that part of the orir great object, again to cut in two the Confederate territory, as had been done by the opening of the Mississippi River to the gulf. This next line of section might be Chattanooga, Atlanta, and Savannah, or Chattanooga, Atlanta, Montgomery, and Mobile. But with the disappearance of Hood's army from that theater of operations, all reason for that plan of territorial strategy had disappeared, and the occasion was then presented, for the first time, for the wholly different strategical plan of S
Savannah (Georgia, United States) (search for this): chapter 17
ith so large an army? Why change his base to Savannah? What was he to operate against after he gotobile, though he was determined to make it at Savannah, if possible; and hence it was necessary to higinal plan which contemplated the capture of Savannah in advance could not be carried out. Grant core replenished his supplies by the river from Savannah, and marched thence northward by the upland rherman was, as he thought, compelled to go to Savannah first, capture that place himself, and make tsta, and reach the sea-shore at Charleston or Savannah, from either of which points I could reinforcof section might be Chattanooga, Atlanta, and Savannah, or Chattanooga, Atlanta, Montgomery, and Mobster of the situation? before he started for Savannah. Hood and Forrest had utterly failed so to dy and over such obstacles as those found from Savannah to Goldsboroa, showed him to be a master of ts army in Tennessee, while he was marching to Savannah, as a legitimate and foreseen part of his gen[16 more...]
Charlotte (North Carolina, United States) (search for this): chapter 17
ina, crossing the Savannah River at or above Augusta, is an easier march than that from Savannah to Columbia. Or if Sherman had not cared about paying a visit to Columbia en route, he could have taken the much shorter Piedmont route to Charlotte, North Carolina, and thence northward by whichever route he pleased. Instead of retaining the dominant attitude of master, Sherman lost it the moment he started eastward with his main army, leaving an inferior force to cope with his enemy; and the mareorgia and the capture of Savannah did not by any means restore that mastery to Sherman. It was not restored until Hood was actually defeated in Tennessee. I have referred to the possibilities of a direct march from Atlanta via Columbia or Charlotte, with a much larger army, at exactly the same time, for the purpose of showing that even Sherman's grand strategic plan to assist in the capture of Lee's army did not necessitate or justify his action in marching to Savannah and quitting his ow
Atlantic Ocean (search for this): chapter 17
lusion that he personally must abandon the attempt to catch Hood, as he called it, his busy brain did not fail to perceive every possible alternative plan of operations. The abandonment of Georgia by Hood had completely opened up two other alternatives, one of which was before not possible, and the other only partly so. The one was a movement upon Richmond or its communications to join with Grant in the capture of Lee's army, and the other was to destroy the military resources of the Southern Atlantic States. The first was too grand, and perhaps might seem too visionary, to be talked about at first, nor was any mention of it at that time necessary. Besides, events might possibly render the march to Richmond unnecessary or impracticable; or, possibly, Sherman might be compelled for some reason to make his new base at Pensacola or Mobile, though he was determined to make it at Savannah, if possible; and hence it was necessary to have, in reserve as it were, a sufficient logical reas
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