Observations About the American Civil War
Army of the Potomac versus the Army of Northern Virginia in the spring
of 1864 and again in 1865
find it interesting to compare the relative performance of the two
opposing armies in the spring of 1864 to the spring of 1865.
both cases, the campaigns started with approximately 120,000 Yankees
against 60,000 rebels. The results were remarkably
different. In my mind, the major reason for this difference,
the replacement of every single Union Corp commander in the intervening
year. It started with the death of Sedgewick, killed at
Spotsylvannia and culminated with the dismissal of Warren, after five
forks. Union Corp commander performance during the Battle of
Wilderness was absolutely abysmal. During the Appomattox
Campaign, Union Corp commanders performed brilliantly.
general feeling has been that Cavalry in the American Civil War was not
a decisive battlefield weapon, but was more suited for scouting and
securing ones flanks. Though I need to research this topic
it is clear that Sheridan effectively used Cavalry as a
battlefield force in late 1864 and 1865 in Virginia. Why and
did this come to be, so late in the war, when entrenching and
fortifications also became such an important part of the battlefield?
Entrenched Troops was Doomed to FailureEntrenched
troops were frequently attacked successfully, sometimes with decisive
results. Extreme examples of what could be achieved include
Missionary Ridge, Nashville, and the Breakthrough
What if Meade had Immediately Counter Attacked
after Pickett's ChargeCould
the result have been the same as Wellington's counter attack after the
failed charge of the French Guard at Waterloo? Sure there was
that line of Confederate artillery to overcome - but it seems like the
reward would have been worth the risk. I think that it would
been difficult for Lee to escape with that portion of his army that was
North and East of Gettysburg had his center been decisively broken.
Men of the Iron Brigade and the Beanpole and CornStalk BridgeBefore
they were famous, three companies of soldiers from the Iron Brigade
built the famous "Beanpole and Cornstalk" bridge over Potomic Creek in
1862 for the famous railroader Haupt. Haupt's
May25th, 1862, he clearly states that "many of the men
and ineffiecient". This is clearly a different vision of the
Brigade soldiers than what is so often reported in the history books.
Round Top Myth DebunkedCheck out this article: http://www.gettysburgdaily.com/?p=7217.
If you think about it, you might come to the conclusion that this
was an opportunity lost by
unaggressive northern generals. Can you think of a time when so
many troops were rushed to a location and were not used. The
apparent ease at which the north recovered the 9th Mass Artillery's
guns at the trostle farm, reinforces this conclusion.
What Was The Real Reason That The Southern States Succeeded?This
is a controversial topic that shouldn't be. Some of the southern
state governments authored documents that clearly state why they
succeeded. They were called "Declaration of Causes of Succession".
Here is a link to four of them. The one from Mississippi is most to the point.
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