A Glorious Union or America: the New Sparta

Discussion in 'Alternate History Discussion: Before 1900' started by TheKnightIrish, Apr 2, 2012.

Loading...
  1. Threadmarks: Chapter Nine We Are All Wet Alike The Rapidan Campaign - Part IV

    TheKnightIrish President of A Glorious Union

    Joined:
    Jun 17, 2011
    Location:
    Middlesex (thats in England you ruddy colonials!)
    Chapter Nine

    We Are All Wet Alike

    The Rapidan Campaign - Part IV

    From “Three Victories and a Defeat - Kearny and Lee in the Fall of 62” by Carl Zeigler
    Georgetown Press 1972


    “A dozen letters and memoirs record David Rumph Jones’ reaction to the order. He slumped down onto a camp stool, thrust the order into the hands of John G. Walker, and put his heads in his hands. Looking up after a moment into Walker’s ashen face “Well John I shall be surprised if you and I see another night”. General Lee had ordered Jones and Walker, with their bloodied divisions, to stand at Madison Court House and hold the Army of the Potomac for two days. In truth even Lee believed it was utterly impossible…”

    [​IMG][​IMG]
    David R Jones and John G Walker

    From “A Man in Search of Death - The Life of Richard Brooke Garnett” by Ganett Brooke
    Orange & West


    It was the most beautiful ground for the task you could imagine. German Ridge on the left, the north face of which was steep and would be difficult for a force to scale in the face of sustained fire. On the right Lost Mountain…

    General Jones then did a brave and noble thing. He addressed the brigade and regimental commanders. He explained the order and its significance. The Unionists had flanked our main force and if they were not slowed the Army and indeed Richmond were imperiled. It was not long before the men understood the task. It was do or die…
    ” General Garnett in a letter to the injured General Kemper.

    From “Yankee Dawdle - the Memoirs of a Private of Pennsylvania” by Anonymous

    “My corporal was nearby when the dandy from K’s staff, Custard or some such [Custer] came to get our General R. Old General K it seems was in a fiercesome rage and it was hoped the presence of his friend would keep him from shooting Generals F and K. That Custard must have been one of life’s optimists…”

    From “Three Victories and a Defeat - Kearny and Lee in the Fall of 62” by Carl Zeigler
    Georgetown Press 1972


    “The narrow front of the battlefield meant General Kearny could not bring his full force into action as he had wished. Franklin’s VI Corps was in front of the column and he pushed Stoneman’s and Rodman’s divisions into action. Too few, too rushed, the attack failed. Franklin then put Slocum in, but Stoneman and Rodman failed to co-ordinate and the second attack failed. It was after the second attack that Kearny appeared with Keyes of IV Corps, who were second in line…

    A third attack under the eye of Kearny but under Franklin’s direction, deploying all three divisions, failed. Kearny was not impressed with Franklin’s performance. It was mid-afternoon but realizing VI Corps was not the tool for the job, Kearny had Keyes bring up IV Corps. Couch, Casey and Baldy Smith took some time deploying their divisions into line, but Kearny was not going to allow another piecemeal attack…

    The eight Confederate brigades fought like an entire Corps that day: Col. Henry Benning leading Toombs’ Brigade, General Drayton’s, General Garnett’s, Col. Montgomery D. Corse leading Kemper’s Brigade, Col. Joseph Walker leading Jenkins’ Brigade, Col. George Tige Anderson leading Jones’ Brigade, Col Van Manning leading Walker’s Brigade and General Ransom’s…

    Keyes interfered in the deployment of his Corps mid attack. As a result Casey came into action in the centre well behind Couch and Smith on the flanks. The attack was repelled. The day was wearing on. General Kearny was seen in a towering rage berating Franklin and Keyes…

    It was the final attack of the day in the failing light. Couch, Casey and Slocum went in. At his own request Kearny had allowed Baldy Smith to withdraw his division from the line to see if a way could be found over or around Lost Mountain. In the twilight Smith swept around the crest, falling on an open the flank, crushing Manning’s troops. The line gave way…but Jones and Walker had held for a day and their command was still reasonably intact. Jones however had been right in one respect, he did not live to see a second night. He had been felled by a shot to the chest during the third attack and died a short way behind the line alongside the source of Beautiful River…

    Kearny had ultimately won the Battle of Lost Mountain but Jones had bought some of the time that had been asked of him, and his command, though bloodied, was still in a reasonable fighting condition as it fell back, under Walker’s command, toward Orange Court House…”
     
    Last edited: Aug 31, 2017
  2. Unknown Member

    Joined:
    Jan 31, 2004
    Location:
    Corpus Christi, TX
    Good updates.
     
  3. Threadmarks: Chapter Nine We Are All Wet Alike The Rapidan Campaign - Part V

    TheKnightIrish President of A Glorious Union

    Joined:
    Jun 17, 2011
    Location:
    Middlesex (thats in England you ruddy colonials!)
    Chapter Nine

    We Are All Wet Alike

    The Rapidan Campaign - Part V

    From “Three Victories and a Defeat - Kearny and Lee in the Fall of 62” by Carl Zeigler
    Georgetown Press 1972


    “As the Army of the Potomac emerged at Madison Court House, the next stage of Kearny’s plan began to develop. The army fanned out to seize its objectives:

    • Keyes’ IV Corps pursued and pressed Walker back towards Orange Court House;
    • Franklin’s VI Corps moved to Keyes’ right to control the two roads leading to Gordonsville;
    • Mansfield’s XII Corps moved south to seize the gap at Charlottesville;
    • Hooker’s III Corps marched towards Rapidan (the town);
    • Richardson’s II Corps followed Hooker to prevent any flanking maneuver between the Cedar and Fox Mountains;
    • Reynolds I Corps was kept in reserve by Kearny at Madison Court House…

    The has been a great deal of speculation about Kearny’s objective in the Rapidan Campaign. If he intended a dash to Richmond in Lee‘s rear (in weather where dashing involved a slow, wearying march in rivers of mud) why fan out to seize the gaps and roads in the last screen of mountains and hill before Richmond. Many have concluded Kearny had already given up on an advance to Richmond and was already planning to settle into winter quarters behind this screen. He could then plunder the Shenandoah and secure his communications through it, while at the same time tying Lee down to the defense of Richmond. If Lee moved on Washington, Kearny would be on his flank and Sedgwick would have his own V Corps and Reno’s IX Corps to screen Washington while Heintzelman’s newly constituted XXII Corps directly defended the city.

    Others suggested that Kearny was merely keeping his options open regarding his line of advance and it was the surprise Joe Hooker got at Rapidan that changed the nature of the campaign…

    From “Fighting Joe Hooker” by Herbert Walter
    Buffalo 1999


    “If the dismounted cavalry which skirmished with III Corps leading regiments concerned Hooker there is no evidence of it. Yet two of his division commanders, Birney and Sickles, later wrote of their own growing sense of unease that they should run into a body of Stuart’s cavalry so soon…

    The weather was worsening at an alarming rate. An icy rain lashed down, seeming to come at the troops sideways. The sky had darkened to such an extent that it seemed that the sun had failed to rise that morning. It was nearly impossible for troops to keep their arms and cartridges in any condition to fire in weather like that. And thus it was in poor visibility, in a rainstorm, that III Corps collided with the division of Dick Ewell. Jackson’s foot cavalry had arrived…

    [​IMG]

    The fighting was hand to hand. There was no other option for men who could not keep anything dry. No other battle in the civil war records so many instances of bayonets charges and hand to hand combat. The gap between the hills at Rapidan was narrow and Ewell’s men where determined to hold it…

    As I saw him [Hooker] that afternoon on his white horse riding in rear of his line of battle, and close up to it, with the excitement of battle in his eyes, and that gallant and chivalric appearance which he always presented under fire, I was struck with admiration. As a corps commander, with his whole force operating under his own eye, it is much to be doubted whether Hooker had a superior in the army” General Phil Kearny…

    [​IMG]

    Hooker…alert and vigilant, conspicuously mounted on a white horse - with flashing eyes, florid face and high shirt collar, that soon wilted down when we got engaged - but as cool and collected under fire as if directing a parade or a picnic…He always seemed to know exactly what to do and when to do it…” General Dan Sickles…

    The one enduring myth of the Battle of the Rapidan (known of veterans as the Battle of the Lightening Bolts - a dozen soldiers on both sides having been struck down in the midst of the battle by this unexpected “artillery”) is that in personally leading charges Hooker and Dick Ewell came to blows. What is certain is that in a melee between Hiram Berry’s brigade of Birney’s Division and Hays’ brigade of Ewell’s Division, Ewell and Hooker were at one point only a few feet apart. Multiple witnesses in 52nd Virginia, 1st New York and 17th Maine attest to this fact. However both Ewell and Hooker always denied coming to blows, though Hooker was always more equivocal about it than Ewell…

    Kearny: “Joe, I believe you met my old comrade Ewell from the 1st Dragoons today. Was he well?
    Hooker: “I regret to say General, when I left him, he was still very much in the flower of health.

    From “Three Victories and a Defeat - Kearny and Lee in the Fall of 62” by Carl Zeigler
    Georgetown Press 1972


    While Hooker was grappling with Ewell, Richardson found himself dealing with the advance elements of A.P Hill’s Light Division trying to slip into the rear of the Army of the Potomac. At the same time Walker had stopped at the Orange Court House and had begun a second contest with Erasmus Keyes. The nature of the narrow fronts in each case, and the appalling weather made these brutal contests of steel that seemed to ebb and flow throughout the remainder of the day and through the night…

    In the end Ewell and Walker were forced to withdraw, and Hill was ordered back. Kearny had won another battle, but Jackson had come up in time to blunt the Kearny’s plan. Lee was on the field, as was Stuart’s cavalry. Longstreet would not be far away, and the weather was an abomination. Yes Kearny has won three of the four contests, but Lee with the help of Jackson’s foot cavalry had effectively won the campaign…”
     
    Last edited: Aug 31, 2017
  4. Threadmarks: Chapter Ten The West Fights in Winter

    TheKnightIrish President of A Glorious Union

    Joined:
    Jun 17, 2011
    Location:
    Middlesex (thats in England you ruddy colonials!)
    Chapter Ten


    The West Fights in Winter


    From “The Vicksburg Campaigns” by Horace E. Parker
    Radical Press 1899

    Sherman disembarked with three divisions at Johnson's Plantation on the Yazoo River to approach the Vicksburg defenses from the northeast. On December 27, the Federals pushed their lines forward through the swamps toward the Walnut Hills, which were strongly defended. On December 28, several futile attempts were made to get around these defenses. On December 29, Sherman ordered a frontal assault, which was repulsed with heavy casualties, and then withdrew…

    During this period, the overland half of Grant's offensive was failing. His lines of communication were disrupted by raids by Van Dorn and Forrest, who destroyed his large supply depot at Holly Springs. Unable to subsist his army without these supplies, Grant abandoned his overland advance…”

    [​IMG]
    The arrival of Jeff Davis' slaves at Chickasaw Bayou

    From “The Most Hated of Men – Braxton Bragg in the Civil War” by Grafton Lowe
    University of Kentucky

    “The uproar over the appointment of a “Yankee” to the command of the Army of Mississippi, in the form of John C Pemberton, had caused a major political revolt in the West. Governor John J. Pettus had said of the appointment “I am Mississippian to the Core. My ancestors are buried upon her hillsides. Whatever may happen, I would rather eat fire than sit down with a Yankee.” Generals Sterling Price and Van Dorn were both encouraged to declare their reluctance to serve under a Yankee. Furthermore hostile elements in Congress were quick to re-ignite the row over Pemberton's command in Charleston when he declared “I would abandon this area rather than risk the loss of this outnumbered army”…

    [​IMG][​IMG]
    Generals John C Pemberton and William Barksdale

    President Davis was not a man given to compromise, but the deterioration of the situation in Virginia was demanding his full attention. He needed someone he could trust for the Western Command. The choice should have fallen upon Joseph E. Johnston, recently recovered from his Peninsula wound, but as the result of an observation of Lee’s, Johnston had been sent to Montgomery, Alabama to assess the potential to raise a force to liberate New Orleans. General Lee was of the belief that the appointment of General Porter to the New Orleans command, opened an opportunity for an aggressive move to retake the city. It was an idea that quickly gained momentum in political circles in Richmond (General William Barksdale of Mississippi is widely created with disseminating a private view expressed by Lee to a hand full of officers in camp, throughout the congressional delegations of Mississippi, Louisiana and Alabama). Johnston was appointed to raise new troops in Alabama and Louisiana, as well as to encourage the release and use of standing state forces. Richard Taylor’s command in West Louisiana was transferred to Johnston’s new Department of the Gulf…

    The perfect candidate, to President Johnston’s mind, then presented itself. General Braxton Bragg would be promoted to command the Department of the Mississippi and Tennessee with responsibility for the defense of Mississippi as far south as Port Hudson, Kentucky, and Tennessee, but excluding Johnston’s newly established Department of the Gulf. He would have Pemberton’s Army of Mississippi and Hardee’s Army of Tennessee under his command. The President ordered Bragg to run his command from Mississippi initially in order to dampen the Pemberton turmoil. Bragg promptly established himself in Vicksburg…

    [​IMG][​IMG]
    Generals Joseph E Johnston and William J Hardee

    Johnston lobbied like a gentleman for command of the Army of Tennessee. Beauregard lobbied like a politician. Johnston was rejected because Davis needed the good will of the delegations he had been appointed to placate. Beauregard was rejected because Davis simply hated him. Bragg, expecting to return to the field in Tennessee at some point, lobbied successfully for General Hardee to be appointed to the command, following the failure of General Polk to follow Bragg’s orders on several occasions in the previous campaign in Kentucky. Hardee’s performance at Mount Vernon had made him the darling of the Western Press so Davis reluctantly demurred to one friend’s judgment and ignored the claims of another…”

    From “Blood and Toil in the Heartland” by Assumpta McCook-Douglas
    University of Tennessee 1998


    “General Rosecrans did not want to move his army until he was ready. On his appointment his considered the army “poor in spirit, poor in supply, poor in drill, and poor in officers”. Rosecrans worked hard to restore morale and good order from the army’s base in Nashville, beginning with its renaming – The Army of the Cumberland. He replaced the incompetent Gilbert with Thomas to command the newly renamed XIV Corps. He was also keen for William “Bull” Nelson’s embryonic corps at Louisville to be added to his command. Thus he waited throughout December for Nelson to be officially ordered to join the army in Nashville.

    [​IMG][​IMG]
    Generals William S Rosecrans and William Nelson​

    Before that order arrived Rosecrans was ordered by Halleck in no uncertain terms to advance and attack Bragg’s (now Hardee’s) Army of Tennessee now lurking in Eastern Tennessee. Reluctantly Rosecrans advanced. It would be January before the armies would meet…”
     
    Last edited: Aug 31, 2017
  5. TheKnightIrish President of A Glorious Union

    Joined:
    Jun 17, 2011
    Location:
    Middlesex (thats in England you ruddy colonials!)
    The politics of the fall of 1862 and winter of 1863 will follow...

    What do people think of the Confederate re-organisation in the West? I hope it sounds plausible...
     
  6. CobiWann Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2009
    I'm not a Civil War expert, but considering how Davis tried to juggle Bragg and Johnston during 1863 and 1864 and Sherman's offensive, it looks fine to me.

    I can believe people being outraged over Pemberton preserving his army rather than standing his ground. Without OTL's Fredericksburg and Chancellorsville, the aura of Lee's invincibility doesn't exist.

    Keep it up, man!
     
  7. Unknown Member

    Joined:
    Jan 31, 2004
    Location:
    Corpus Christi, TX
    Waiting for the next update.
     
  8. Free Lancer Banned

    Joined:
    Jan 4, 2011
    Location:
    Vacaville
    the re-oerganisation sounds plausible Bragg is the one of the generals who the position would go to, a agressive general some time to much for his own good.
     
  9. Threadmarks: Chapter Eleven The Politics of War Part I

    TheKnightIrish President of A Glorious Union

    Joined:
    Jun 17, 2011
    Location:
    Middlesex (thats in England you ruddy colonials!)
    Chapter Eleven

    The Politics of War

    Part I

    From “Emancipation” Paul Robeson White
    Radical Press 1970


    “On December 24, 1862, 14 days after the Rapidan battles, Lincoln called his cabinet into session and issued the Preliminary Proclamation. According to Civil War historian, Carl Zeigler, Lincoln told Cabinet members that he had made a covenant with God, that if the Union drove the Confederacy out of the Shenandoah and wintered deep in Virginia, he would issue the Emancipation Proclamation. Lincoln had first shown an early draft of the proclamation to Vice President Hannibal Hamlin an ardent abolitionist, who was more often than not kept in the dark on presidential decisions.

    [​IMG]

    The final proclamation was issued March 21, 1863. Although implicitly granted authority by Congress, Lincoln used his powers as Commander-in-Chief of the Army and Navy, "as a necessary war measure" as the basis of the proclamation, rather than the equivalent of a statute enacted by Congress or a constitutional amendment. Some days after issuing the final Proclamation, Lincoln wrote to Major General John McClernand: "After the commencement of hostilities I struggled nearly a year and a half to get along without touching the "institution"; and when finally I conditionally determined to touch it, I gave a hundred days fair notice of my purpose, to all the States and people, within which time they could have turned it wholly aside, by simply again becoming good citizens of the United States. They chose to disregard it, and I made the peremptory proclamation on what appeared to me to be a military necessity. And being made, it must stand."

    From “Kearny and the Radicals” by Hugh W. McGrath
    New England Press 1992


    “President Lincoln had sought the views of several leading politicians and generals prior to the issuing of the Emancipation Proclamation. General Philip Kearny was among them. His letter to President Lincoln has been the centre of controversy since its disclosure in 1867…

    …but besides drafting, it is time for us to deprive the enemy of their extraneous engines of war. There is no more Southern man at heart than myself. I am so from education, association and from being a purely unprejudiced lover of the Union. But there is now no longer time for hesitation. As the blacks are the rural military force of the South, so should they indiscriminately be received, if not seized and sent off. I would not arm them, but I would use them to spare our boys, needed with their colors, needed to drill, that first source of discipline…But in furtherance of this, instead of the usual 20 pioneers per regiment I would select 50 stalwart blacks, give them the ax, the pick and the spade. But give them high military organisation. We want bands – give 20 blacks – gain military organisation. So too cooks for the companies, teamsters – even artillery drivers. Do not stop there – and always without arms – organise engineer regiments of blacks for fortifications, pontoon regiments of blacks, black hospital corps of nurses. Put this in practice…awaken to the conviction that you have an army of over 50,00 highly disciplined soldiery superior to double the number of our ordinary run of badly disciplined, badly officered, unreliable regiments now instructed with the fortunes of the North…I would seek French officers for them, for their peculiar gift over “natives”. In their own service they easily beat the Arabs – and then officer them and surpass their own troops in desperate valor. Also, I should advise some Jamaica sergeants of the black regiments…

    I know the Southern character intimately. It is not truly brave. It is at times desperate, invincible if successful – most dispirited if the reverse – is intimidated at a distant idea, which they would encounter, if suddenly brought to them, face to face. This idea of black adjuncts to the military awakens nothing inhuman. It but prevents the slave, run away or abandoned to us from becoming a moneyed pressure upon us. It eventually would prepare them for freedom; for surely we do not intend to give them to their rebel masters. In fine, why have we even now many old soldiers on the frontier garrisons? Send there a black regiment on trial – not at once, but gradually – by the process I named above. Do this, and besides acquiring a strong provisional army, you magnify your present one by over fifty thousand men…” Kearny to Lincoln…

    [​IMG]

    From “Emancipation” Paul Robeson White
    Radical Press 1970


    “The recruitment of African American regiments commenced in earnest following issue of the provisional Proclamation. A reluctant Halleck also acted on instructions from Lincoln and Stanton to raise “pioneer” companies to be attached to existing white regiments. It was some years before it emerged that Lincoln was acting on advice received from General Kearny. “What better way to allow both classes of free men to become familiar with one another’s ways and habits, while maintaining a separate organisation. Exposure to our Northern troops must have a beneficial effect on men who have not known and cannot have seen the exercise of freedom in its daily, commonplace form.” (Secretary Chase).
     
    Last edited: Aug 31, 2017
  10. mrmandias Regent

    Joined:
    Nov 29, 2006
    Location:
    The Great Empty
    Kearny's approach is extremely interesting.

    One wrinkle is that a benign form of minor segregation may lead to longer lasting benign forms of minor segregation. On the whole, probably still a severe improvement over OTL.
     
    Gladsome likes this.
  11. TheKnightIrish President of A Glorious Union

    Joined:
    Jun 17, 2011
    Location:
    Middlesex (thats in England you ruddy colonials!)
    For those interested this is an extract from a real Kearny letter.
     
    Evan, Flavius Aetius and Gladsome like this.
  12. Threadmarks: Chapter Eleven The Politics of War Part II

    TheKnightIrish President of A Glorious Union

    Joined:
    Jun 17, 2011
    Location:
    Middlesex (thats in England you ruddy colonials!)
    Chapter Eleven


    The Politics of War


    Part II


    From “Emancipation” by Paul Robeson White
    Radical Press 1970

    “In response to the Emancipation Proclamation and recruitment of African American troops, Jeff Davis issued his own proclamation (otherwise known as General Order 111) which included among it’s terms:

    "That all negro slaves captured in arms be at once delivered over to the executive authorities of the respective States to which they belong to be dealt with according to the laws of said States; and that the like orders be executed in all cases with respect to all commissioned officers of the United States when found serving in company with armed slaves in insurrection against the authorities of the different States of this Confederacy."

    From “An Uncivil War” by Dr Guy Burchett
    LSU


    “In January 1863, Stuart, with Lee's concurrence, authorized Captain John S. Mosby to form and take command of the 43rd Battalion Virginia Cavalry, Partisan Rangers. This was quickly expanded into Mosby's Command, a regimental-sized unit of partisan rangers operating in the Shenandoah Valley and Northern Virginia…

    This coincided with John F. Reynolds appointment to command of the newly created Department of the Shenandoah. This was the beginning of what Secretary Stanton called "the war within a war". The Valley was under occupation during the period from November 1862 to Mach 1863 by two full corps. Reynolds quickly established fortifications with a view to maintaining control of the Valley with, ultimately, a smaller force. Perhaps only two divisions in strength…

    Initially hampered by the sheer number of Union troops stationed in the Valley it was not long before Mosby, with other irregular and partisan forces, quickly began to “raise hell” in the Valley.”

    [​IMG]
    Mosby's raids in the Shenandoah on Union Supply Trains

    From “Kearny the Magnificent” by Roger Galton
    NorthWestern


    “Without consultation with Washington or waiting for an official response, Kearny issued Special Order 54. It clarified the Army’s position on spies – any Rebel, officer or enlisted man, found out of uniform behind Union lines would be summarily executed. However it went on to stress that if any troops from the Army of the Potomac were executed, with specific reference to African-American troops and their officers, in defiance of recognised protocols for the treatement of prisoners of war, then a like number of Rebel prisoners of war would be summarily put to death…

    Special Order 54 was formally adopted by the War Department as official government policy. Furthermore Kearny’s position was hugely popular in an army that many claimed was at least ambivalent about the Emancipation Proclamation and the arming of former slaves…

    It confirmed what many already knew, regardless of color or creed, General Kearny would treat any man appointed to his command as an American serviceman fully entitled to the rights and protection of their country and commanding general…

    Special Order 54 ensured that General Kearny, was at least in the first half of 1863, the darling of the Radicals Republicans in Congress…”

    From “A Thunderbolt on the Battlefield – the Battles of Philip Kearny: Volume III” by Professor Kearny Bowes
    MacArthur University Press 1962


    “During the upcoming campaign Kearny desired the co-operation, if not the complete operational control of both McDowell’s VII Corps, Department of Virginia, and Burnside’s X Corps, Department of the South. Kearny lobbied Lincoln and the War Department for the transfer of Burnside’s troops to the Peninsula to join with McDowell in creating a new army to threaten Richmond from the east. When Kearny began his campaign against Richmond in the spring, from the west, this envelopment would place Lee between “the anvil of an Army of the Peninsula and the hammer of the Army of the Potomac”…

    Stanton approved the plan to concentrate forces in the Peninsula. It solved a political problem that the Administration faced. McDowell and Burnside were retained in command of their corps but the commander of the new Army of the James would be the influential War-Democrat, Major General Benjamin Butler, who had been in search of a post since he was relieved of the Gulf Command…


    [​IMG][​IMG][​IMG]
    Generals Benjamin Butler, Irvin McDowell and Ambrose E Burnside
    of the newly constituted Army of the James

    Butler’s instructions were “to co-operate with the forces of General Kearny”. Unfortunately Butler’s orders did not deal with the issue of seniority leaving compliance with requests from Kearny to Butler’s discretion…”
     
    Last edited: Aug 31, 2017
  13. Threadmarks: Chapter Eleven The Politics of War Part III

    TheKnightIrish President of A Glorious Union

    Joined:
    Jun 17, 2011
    Location:
    Middlesex (thats in England you ruddy colonials!)
    Chapter Eleven

    The Politics of War

    Part III


    From “Kearny the Magnificent” by Roger Galton
    NorthWestern


    “The passing of the Enrollment Act in March 1863 did not pass unnoticed in the camps of the Army of the Potomac at it stirred for a spring offensive. Kearny’s view on conscripts was relatively generous for the time, “perhaps with no full understanding of the grave issues at stake; with the picture painted by a jaundiced press; with the pressures of family and its responsibilities, it is easy to see how many young men might otherwise have baulked at the idea of service…we shall give these men the opportunity to serve their country; to learn an order and discipline their lives may have been lacking; to become part of this great enterprise; to garner the honor of having served their country. Here we shall not shun conscripts, if they shall not shun their duty once here”

    Those paying a commutation fee or worse paying for a substitute however were the subject of contempt in General Kearny’s view. “There are perhaps a few thousand men in the northern states – a small number – whose duty to the nation in political office or in vital industry is the best service they can provide. But the numbers now seeking to buy their freedom from duty, their escape from service, are beyond contempt. They shall forever be shunned by those who have taken up arms in the service of their country, volunteer or conscript, white or black…There is more honor in one newly freed, ill educated run away who has taken up arms to preserve his freedom and serve the Union that has bestowed that freedom upon him…than is to be found in a hundred New York gentlemen, of no useful employment, now advertising for a substitute. There is no substitute for honor sir…What man might make his application for a place in society or for one of his nation's offices in the times to come who has not taken service in his country's cause? None by heaven if my word is heard...” General Kearny to General James Wadsworth.


    [​IMG]

    From “A Thunderbolt on the Battlefield – the Battles of Philip Kearny: Volume III” by Professor Kearny Bowes
    MacArthur University Press 1962


    “The one other vital aspect of Kearny’s reorganisation in early 1863 was the cavalry. “After the transfer of Burnside to the Peninsula, the one thing I value above all others is the accumulation of trained cavalry to this department” (Kearny to Stanton, early February 1863)…

    By March 1863 Kearny had sufficient cavalry to divide Wynn Davis’ force into four divisions: Buford’s I, Pleasanton’s II, Benjamin Franklin Davis’ III, and Wyndham’s IV. Buford and Pleasanton remained attached to Kearny’s main body of the Army of the Potomac directly under Wynn Davis' eye; B.F. Davis was attached to Sedgwick’s wing of the Army now resting on the Rappahannock; and Wyndham was assigned to Reynolds’ Department of the Shenandoah to assist in the suppression of partisans…

    [​IMG][​IMG]
    Brigadier Generals John Buford and Alfred Pleasanton

    It was an unusual error of judgment for Kearny for surely the European manners, training and tactics of Wyndham, who had served in both Austrian and Italian cavalry regiments, were best suited to the grand warfare of open fields and manoeuvre upon which Kearny was about to embark, and perhaps of all B.F. Davis was the most temperamentally suited to hunting down guerrillas and partisans…

    [​IMG][​IMG]
    Colonels Benjamin F. Davis and Sir Percy Wyndham
     
    Last edited: Aug 31, 2017
  14. Threadmarks: Chapter Twelve Grant shovels while Bragg shuffles

    TheKnightIrish President of A Glorious Union

    Joined:
    Jun 17, 2011
    Location:
    Middlesex (thats in England you ruddy colonials!)
    Chapter Twelve

    Grant shovels while Bragg shuffles


    From “The Kingdom – The Civil War in the Trans-Mississippi” by Professor Raymond B. Santana
    Texas State 1959


    “The Second Battle of Galveston occurred on January 1, 1863 when forces under major General John B. Magruder attacked and expelled occupying Union troops from the city of Galveston, Texas…The Union blockade around the city of Galveston was lifted temporarily for four days, and Galveston remained in Confederate hands for the remainder of the war. The Confederate Congress stated this on the successful recapture of Galveston:

    [​IMG]
    The Second Battle of Galveston

    The bold, intrepid, and gallant conduct of Maj. Gen. J. Bankhead Magruder and other officers, and of the Texan Rangers and soldiers engaged in the attack on, and victory achieved over, the land and naval forces of the enemy at Galveston, on the 1st of January, 1863, eminently entitle them to the thanks of Congress and the country... This brilliant achievement, resulting, under the providence of God, in the capture of the war steamer Harriet Lane and the defeat and ignominious flight of the hostile fleet from the harbor, the recapture of the city and the raising of the blockade of the port of Galveston, signally evinces that superior force may be overcome by skillful conception and daring courage. We trust it will provide an example of the fruits of bold action...”

    General Magruder, Prince John of the old Army, had redeemed the name he had made in command on the Peninsula and lost under General Lee in the Seven Days Campaign. When General Bragg requested the assistance of a senior general with experience of independent command, with a view to corps command at Vicksburg, the press quickly took up the name of Prince John, the Victor of Galveston…”

    [​IMG]
    Major General "Prince" John Bankhead Magruder

    From “Vicksburg or Bust” by John W. Scharf
    Empire 1984


    “Rear Adm. David Dixon Porter began landing troops near Arkansas Post in the evening of January 9. The troops started up river towards Fort Hindman. Sherman's corps quickly overran Confederate trenches, and the defenders retreated to the protection of the fort and adjacent rifle-pits. Porter, on January 10, moved his fleet towards Fort Hindman and bombarded it, withdrawing at dusk. Union artillery fired on the fort from positions across the river on January 11, and the infantry moved into position for an attack. Union ironclads commenced shelling the fort and Porter's fleet passed it to cut off any retreat. As a result of this envelopment, and the attack by Morgan's troops, the Confederate command surrendered in the afternoon. Although Union losses were high and the victory did not contribute to the capture of Vicksburg, it did eliminate one more impediment to Union shipping on the Mississippi…

    Grant was not happy to learn that McClernand had conducted the operation without his approval, considering it a distraction from his main objective of Vicksburg, but since it had been successful and his ally Sherman had suggested it, he took no punitive action. However, he ordered McClernand back to the Mississippi and assumed personal command of the campaign on January 13 at Milliken's Bend, 15 miles northwest of Vicksburg…”

    From “The Most Hated of Men – Braxton Bragg in the Civil War” by Grafton Lowe
    University of Kentucky


    “The attack did nothing to convince General Bragg in Vicksburg that troops should be left to defend Arkansas in anything like their current numbers. “This campaign, and indeed the war, will not be decided in Arkansas. The troops currently assigned to the command of General Whiting, and jealously husbanded by that officer, would be better applied in this Army of Mississippi, and in preparing to repulse Grant’s inevitable movement towards this city [Vicksburg]…I have formerly applied to the President either for General Whiting’s department to be placed under my command, or for a substantial transfer of troops from that department to this…” (General Bragg to Generals Hardee and Johnson)…

    [​IMG][​IMG]
    Brigadier General John S. Marmaduke and Major General Carter L. Stevenson

    Bragg’s requests for more troops would net him the division of General John S. Marmaduke from Whiting’s command, as well as the division of General Stevenson from Hardee’s Army of Tennessee…

    Bragg's newly instituted "Left" Corps would be assigned to John Magruder, currently on his way from Texas, and contained the divisions of Stevenson and Martin L. Smith. The "Right" Corps went to the next senior Major General William W.Loring, and contained the divisions of Forney, Bowen, Maury and Marmaduke. Lieutenant General Pemberton remained in his position as commander of the Army of Mississippi, but in practice acted at Bragg's Chief of Staff...

    [​IMG]
    Major General William W. Loring

    From “Vicksburg or Bust” by John W. Scharf
    Empire 1984


    “Through January, February and March, Grant conducted a series of initiatives to approach and capture Vicksburg, now termed "Grant's Bayou Operations". Their general theme was to use or construct alternative waterways so that troops could be positioned within striking distance of Vicksburg, without requiring a direct approach on the Mississippi under the Confederate guns…

    [​IMG]
    The Canal Dam

    1. Grant's Canal

    The Williams Canal across De Soto Peninsula had been abandoned by Adm. Farragut and Brig. Gen. Williams in July 1862, but it had the potential to offer a route downriver that bypassed Vicksburg's guns. In late January 1863, Sherman's men, at the urging of Grant, who was advised by the navy that President Lincoln liked the idea, resumed digging. Sherman derisively called the work "Butler's Ditch" (since it was originally Maj. Gen. Benjamin Butler who had sent Williams upriver to do the work). Grant ordered Sherman to expand the canal… and the effort became known as Grant's Canal. It was not properly engineered based upon the hydrology of the Mississippi River, however, and a sudden rise in the river broke through the dam at the head of the canal and flooded the area. The canal began to fill up with back water and sediment. In a desperate effort to rescue the project, two huge steam-driven dipper dredges, Hercules and Sampson, attempted to clear the channel, but the dredges were exposed to Confederate artillery fire from the bluffs at Vicksburg and driven away. By late March, work on the canal was abandoned…

    2. Lake Providence Expedition

    Grant ordered Brig. Gen. James B. McPherson to construct a canal of several hundred yards from the Mississippi to Lake Providence, northwest of the city. This would allow passage to the Red River, through Bayous Baxter and Macon, and the Tensas and Black Rivers. Reaching the Red River, Grant's force could join with Fitz John Porter’s at Port Hudson. McPherson reported that the connection was navigable on March 18, but the few "ordinary Ohio River boats" that had been sent to Grant for navigation of the bayous could only transport 8,500 men, far too few to tip the balance at Port Hudson. Although this was the only one of the bayou expeditions to successfully bypass the Vicksburg defenses, historian Terence Shearsmith calls this episode the "Lake Providence Boondoggle"…

    3. Yazoo Pass Expedition

    The next attempt was to get to the high ground of the loess bluffs above Hayne's Bluff and below Yazoo City by blowing up the Mississippi River levee near Moon Lake, some 150 miles (240 km) above Vicksburg, and following the Yazoo Pass into the Coldwater River, then to the Tallahatchie River, and finally into the Yazoo River at Greenwood, Mississippi. The dikes were blown up on February 3, beginning what was called the Yazoo Pass Expedition. Ten Union boats, under the command of Lt. Cmdr. Watson Smith, with army troops under the command of Brig. Gen. Benjamin Prentiss, began moving through the pass on February 7. But low-hanging trees destroyed anything on the gunboats above deck and Confederates felled more trees to block the way. These delays allowed the Confederates time to quickly construct a "Fort Bragg" near the confluence of the Tallahatchie and Yalobusha Rivers near Greenwood, Mississippi, which repulsed the naval force on March 11, March 14, and March 16. The Union effort collapsed in early April…

    4. Steele's Bayou Expedition

    Admiral Porter started an effort on March 16 to go up the Yazoo Delta via Steele's Bayou, just north of Vicksburg, to Deer Creek. This would outflank Fort Bragg and allow landing troops between Vicksburg and Yazoo City. “Animals attacked their boats from the trees!” according to one riverboat sailor. Confederates once again felled trees in their path, and willow reeds fouled the boats' paddlewheels. This time the Union boats became immobilized, and aggressive Confederate cavalry and infantry under newly assigned General Dabney Maury threatened to capture them. Sherman sent infantry assistance to repel the Confederates bedeviling Porter, but Porter's approach was abandoned as too difficult…

    5. Duckport Canal

    Grant's final attempt was to dig another canal from Duckport Landing to Walnut Bayou, aimed at getting lighter boats past Vicksburg. By the time the canal was almost finished, on April 6, water levels were declining, and none but the lightest of flatboats could get through. Grant abandoned this canal and started planning anew…

    All of the Bayou Operations were failures, but Grant was known for his stubborn determination and would not quit. His final option was bold but risky: March the army down the west side of the Mississippi, and try to cross the river south of Vicksburg…”
     
    Last edited: Sep 1, 2017
  15. Corder President of the Mid-Atlantic

    Joined:
    Jul 8, 2011
    I can't tell if Kearny is a War Democrat or a Radical? I suspect if he lives and Lee doesn't do a number on him that will be important.

    If Bragg manages to concentrate Confederate forces in the west to the critical points/armies Grant might have a harder time of it...?

    Where are you getting the mugshots of the generals? (Butler, McDowell and Burnside looked like a police lineup!).
     
    Gladsome likes this.
  16. Darth_Kiryan The Númenorean Sith

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2010
    Location:
    AUS
    Damn. You can't not say that the building of those Canals does not make Grant brilliant.
     
    Gladsome likes this.
  17. Threadmarks: Chapter Thirteen Duck! The Battle of Duck River Part I

    TheKnightIrish President of A Glorious Union

    Joined:
    Jun 17, 2011
    Location:
    Middlesex (thats in England you ruddy colonials!)
    Chapter Thirteen

    Duck! The Battle of Duck River

    Part I

    From “The Life of General William J. Hardee - Teach Them How To War” by Christopher L. Pike
    Bison 1965


    “Hardee had chosen the Duck River south of Shelbyville as initial defensive line, and set up his headquarters in the town. He had decided to follow the example of Lee and Bragg in reorganizing his divisions into two Napoleonic sized corps. General Polk’s Corps consisted of Cheatham’s and Wither’s Divisions, with Wharton’s cavalry brigade attached. General Breckinridge’s Corps consisted of Cleburne’s, Churchill’s and McCown’s Divisions with Wheeler’s cavalry brigade attached. Abraham Buford with the brigade of John Pegram (formally Pegram’s and Buford’s brigades, now united) remained under Hardee’s direct control, as did the artillery which Hardee pooled together under newly promoted Major Felix Huston Robertson. General Hardee’s orders in the coming campaign to Robertson were clear - he was to take his orders from Hardee and his staff directly, and from the corps commanders. He was not to follow the orders of divisional and brigade commanders to “squander” his artillery piecemeal…

    [​IMG][​IMG][​IMG][​IMG]
    Generals Polk, Breckinridge and Buford and Major Robertson

    The departure of Bragg had the winter had been a good time for the Army of Tennessee. The Duck River area was rich in food, forage and other supplies and morale was high. One reporter visiting the army from Richmond in late December and early January reported “General Hardee, whose excellent text book of tactic was the bane of our youthful military education, but whose volumes nevertheless, have acted as the Drill Master for both armies in the war, is in fine spirits. Hardee, whom all the ladies adore!…He is always a gallant and graceful gentleman in the parlor as well as on the field…Hardee, a philosopher and a hero”. One cannot imagine a visitor to Bragg being moved to write similar words of him…

    At Christmas, Rosecrans, an old army friend sent numerous flags of truce “and almost always some kind message…was sent thereby to General Hardee usually accompanied by a bottle of brandy” (Major Roy)…

    Hardee was not resting on his laurels over this period. The bridges over the Duck River had been destroyed, from Simpsons and Werners Bridges west of Shelbyville to the Nashville & Chattanooga Railroad Bridge in the east. Hardee had also seen the high ground above the cluster of fords south east of the town. He had Major Robertson prepare artillery emplacements and had him work out the ranges to each of the critical fords and landmarks in range. The five divisions were ordered to prepare obstacles at the fords and dig rifle pits, an activity not designed to please the troops in a cold winter. Hardee also took the opportunity to ride the banks of the river with both corps commanders and all the divisional during the first two weeks in January…

    From “Old Rosy - A Biography of General William S. Rosecrans” by Lemuel M. Williams
    Old Miss 1961


    “Cold rain splashed heavily throughout the night of January 18. At reveille tents were struck, and breakfasts eaten. Veterans remarked that soldiers are more cheerful on gloomy days. Sheridan later remembered that the army was “compact and cohesive, undisturbed by discord and unembarrassed by jealousies; under a commander who had the energy and skill necessary to direct us to a success. A national confidence in our invincibility made us all keen for a test of strength”…

    [​IMG][​IMG][​IMG]
    Major Generals Thomas, Crittenden and McCook

    Rosecrans intelligence had told him that Hardee had occupied Shelbyville and was sitting behind the Duck River with two corps. Rosecrans initial plan was to send McCook’s Corps to the west towards Franklin and Columbia to lure Hardee into divide his forces. Although Hardee kept a close eye on McCook’s movement with Wheeler’s cavalry he did not dispatch any other formations to the west. Crucially both Wheeler and Forrest had arranged for deserters to Rosecrans camp to confirm that Cleburne and Churchill’s divisions had been moved to counter McCook’s Corps. Rosecrans gave the order to concentrate in the direction of Shelbyville…

    [​IMG]
    Wheeler's cavalry raids McCook's encampments

    Thomas advanced along the line of the Nashville & Chattanooga Railroad; Crittenden via the Murfeesboro Pike; and McCook arrived along the Unionville Pike. All during McCook’s march east, Wheeler had aggressively nipped at his heels. Rosecrans’ cavalry, under David S. Stanley, had therefore been focused on keeping Wheeler at bay. Therefore on the morning of January 19, Rosecrans did not know he faced all 5 divisions of the Army of Tennessee across the Duck River. The Battle of Shelbyville was about to commence…”
     
    Last edited: Sep 1, 2017
  18. TheKnightIrish President of A Glorious Union

    Joined:
    Jun 17, 2011
    Location:
    Middlesex (thats in England you ruddy colonials!)
  19. TheLordProtector Patron Deity of Democratic Socialism

    Joined:
    Mar 25, 2011
    Location:
    Coweta, OK
    Oh, man, this has to be the only Civil War TL I absolutely love. Also possibly the best military alternate history I've ever read, what with being able to follow the movements of all armies on the maps you provide. Amazing.
     
  20. Threadmarks: Chapter Thirteen Duck! The Battle of Duck River Part II

    TheKnightIrish President of A Glorious Union

    Joined:
    Jun 17, 2011
    Location:
    Middlesex (thats in England you ruddy colonials!)
    Chapter Thirteen

    Duck! The Battle of Duck River

    Part II​


    From “The Battle of Shelbyville” by Jones N. Keegan
    Osprey 1998


    “Rosecrans’ plan was relatively simple in principle. It was an attack in echelon from west to east. Crittenden’s XXI Corps, being the first to arrive, would push through Shelbyville and seek a crossing. A pontoon train had been created for the purpose. Van Cleve’s Division was to attempt a crossing at Silvan’s Mill; Palmer’s across the river at the now ruined Shelbyville Bridge; the unfortunately named Jeff Davis was to keep his division in reserve to support either of the two crossings.

    McCook’s XX Corps, coming down the Unionville Pike, passed behind Crittenden to the east of the town. His objectives were the Scullcamp Ford, assigned to Richard Johnson’s Division, Caldwell’s Ford and Lacey’s Ford, both assigned to Robert Mitchell’s Division. Sheridan formed his division up along the line of the Shelbyville Branch railroad to support the attacks.

    Finally Thomas would force the Three Forks Mill Ford, assigned to James Jackson’s Division, and Paines Ford and Good Ford, assigned to James S Negley’s Division. Thomas intended that Rousseau’s Division would support Negley in order that the hammer blow fall on the extreme flank.

    Rosecrans’ hope was to stretch the under strength Rebels, drawing troops westwards to deal with Crittenden and McCook. Thomas would then cross, turning Hardee’s flank and interposing himself between Hardee and his supply base at Chattanooga…”

    [​IMG]
    A section of the newly created Artillery Reserve, Army of Tennessee

    From “The Battle of Duck River” by C. M. Townsend
    LSU


    “With the two bridges to the west of the Shelbyville down, Hardee did not anticipate a concerted effort to cross there. The entire sector north of the Lewisburg Pike was placed in the stewardship of Wheeler’s recently arrived, and somewhat worn out, cavalry. Then came McCown’s Division sitting along the Lewisburg Pike with his line refused parallel to the Fayetteville Pike. Next Cleburne’s division covered the Scullcamp Ford and the mid river island. This narrow front meant that Cleburne placed the brigades of Polk and Wood in front, with Liddell and Johnson in reserve near the Reed Farm.

    Churchill’s division covered Caldwells and Lacey’s Ford, and did so from the high ground south of the river. This mean that the loop in the river, at Caldwell’s Ford, was unoccupied. Robertson had placed the bulk of his artillery along well prepared positions on the high ground, and had found a perfect vantage point from the roof of the Davidson's Farm barn.

    Evander McNair’s Arkansas Brigade had been separated from Churchill’s Division to cover the river between Little Flat Creek and Tompsons Creek. Shaffners Bridge had been thoroughly destroyed, but Hardee was concerned that a pontoon bridge might be made, and it was McNair’s job to both prevent such a crossing and to warn Hardee if such were attempted.

    General Cheatham covered the Three Forks Mill Ford. With the time at his disposal the Cobb Farm, a farmhouse, a barn and 3 other sundry timber buildings had been turned into a not insubstantial fortification. Often referred to Creighton’s Castle, after Lt J. R. J. Creighton whose Tennessee Sharpshooters of Smith’s Brigade, were the first assigned there. Cheatham had kept Stewart’s Brigade in reserve at the Jenkins Farm.

    [​IMG]
    A sketch of "Fort Creighton"
    There is still some debate as to whether this was the original building that stood at the time of the battle​


    Finally General Withers had responsibility for covering the Paines and Good Fords (the Railroad Bridge having been destroyed). He had also discovered Deep Ford on his flank so he formed his troops into an inverted L, with the long end facing Paines and Good Ford, and the short end (Maingault’s Brigade) facing Deep Ford. His troops were positioned close to the track running west to east near the Loran House. Withers did not like the look of the Sulphur Bluff on the north side of the river, “if Rosecrans gets artillery up there, I will need a pail to catch their shot”. Polk, who had set himself up in the church at Rowesville, had kept Wharton’s Cavalry in reserve at the village of Normandy.

    Such were Hardee’s dispositions as the battle opened…”
     
Loading...