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USCW Total War 1864-1865. 2 The Civil War –Total War 1864-65 Strategic Overview: By 1864: North attacking all forms of South’s resistance: –Military targets.

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Presentation on theme: "USCW Total War 1864-1865. 2 The Civil War –Total War 1864-65 Strategic Overview: By 1864: North attacking all forms of South’s resistance: –Military targets."— Presentation transcript:

1 USCW Total War

2 2 The Civil War –Total War Strategic Overview: By 1864: North attacking all forms of South’s resistance: –Military targets & field Armies prime tactical objective –Also target South’s economy & population Undermine morale & psyche of South’s entire population; That is: North wages Total War, plan & simple! –Unmatched in Europe – even during Napoleonic wars

3 3 Military Perspective From strictly military perspective – –South was beaten: –Time favored North’s side – to a point - why? Must maintain political will of the people & the voters South’s only chance & hope? –Delay defeat until the Nov 1864 election – Why? –Friendlier Democratic admin to negotiate treaty terms North was also weary of war: –Lincoln particularly concerned about copperheads Democratic candidate’s stated platform position Lincoln's response?

4 4 Lincoln's response Promotes WHO? to General in Chief –Commands all Union Armies as a three star General –The first LT General since George Washington Grant takes firm control of Union Army Pursues multi-front grand strategy: –In stark contrast to all his predecessors – how? Demonstrated by Grant’s Grand Strategic Plan

5 5 Grant’s Grand Strategic Plan –Grant proposes multi-front grand strategy as planned out West –Simultaneous advance on all Southern fronts –Strategy of Exhaustion andAttrition Aim: Press South on all fronts & deny Logistics & LOCs –Operationally: Preclude South’s use of its interior LOCs –How were LOCs used in past campaigns by South?

6 6 Strategic, Operational, & Tactical Goals Grant to Meade: Lee’s Army is your Objective. Union Army: destroy all of South’s main armed forces: –Strategy of attrition vice taking & holding ground; –simply put: Kill the enemy & destroy his army; Destroy South’s resources used to support forces: –Armies now too big to completely destroy in battle; –Therefore –must attack & destroy logistics & supply –Plus: destroy South’s means & ability to supply Use all available means & troops to do it: –Include all detachments & garrison troops; –Offensive advance vice garrison defense; –Grant: best defense is aggressive offense

7 7 Union’s Strategic Plans North’s planned Strategic Deployments: –Two major Union Armies advance simultaneously: Meade’s Army of Potomac AOP; Sherman’s Combined Army of Cumberland, Tennessee, Ohio

8 8 Strategic Deployments- The East Eastern Theater: Meade’s Army pursues Lee’s Siegle advances up Shenandoah –-fails by 15 May –Defeated at Battle of New Market; Butler to conduct amphibious assault & press Richmond –Objective: cut off Richmond’s rail supply from Petersburg Butler soon became stalled, cut-off, & neutralized – soon a liability

9 9 Strategic Deployments- The West Western Theater: Sherman advances on Johnston Banks to advance to Mobile, Alabama –Mobile’s port a key military aim Banks’ army diverted instead to Red River Valley –Due to political considerations & influence –Red River Valley of little strategic military significance –By early April Banks defeated anyway!

10 1864 Campaigns: Strategic Overview Main Union Armies step off in early May, 1864: –Examine Eastern Theater Operations first 10

11 11 Eastern Theater Operations Strategic Overview Let’s examine Grant’s Meade’s final campaign in Virginia

12 12 The Virginia Campaign Strategic Overview Conduct series of flanking maneuvers & vicious fighting & Bloody battles Grant & Meade w119K troops cross Rapidan on 4 May

13 13 Battle of The Wilderness Commanders, Troops & Their objectives Commanders’ strengths & weaknesses: –Grant vs. Lee: Both highly competent & aggressive Force dispositions: –Grant – 119K; –Lee - w64K to West of Union Army Tactical, Operational, & Strategic Objectives: –Grant: Turn Lee’s flank & compel retreat Destroy Lee’s Army & South’s instrument for waging war –Lee: Get there first & keep Union Army outside LOC Use terrain thick veg. of Wilderness to dilute Union numbers

14 14 Battle of The Wilderness - Terrain Lee effectively uses dense vegetation of Wilderness to negate Grant’s 2:1 advantage –Union Army unable to set skirmish line with troop & artillery batteries

15 15 Battle of The Wilderness- execution Lee attacks 2 Union corps with intensity –Marched through narrow lanes of Wilderness & attacks –Ferocity of fighting takes Grant momentarily taken aback Grant gets unwelcome advice –Instructs his commanders to take more initiative –Continues flanking movement to South around Lee’s RF –Lee forced to react on inside track

16 16 Battle of The Wilderness- results Tactical, Operational, & Strategic Results: –Brief tactical setback for Grant- loss: 17K casualties –Lee takes advantage of thick woods: 10K casualties –No significant operational or strategic change Possible exception- what happens after: –Grant orders Army of Potomac to continue drive Instead to withdrawing to regroup & refit Army ordered to keep pressure on & flank Lee –Union morale & confidence improve

17 17 Battle of Spotsylvania Court House Grant continues flanking move 10 miles SE Map=> Tactical & Operational objectives: –Union: Take key crossroads; –Interpose AOP between Lee & Richmond South: advance element beats Union to this tactical objective: –Hold until reinforced by Lee

18 18 Engagements & Execution Overview: –Lee fights from strong entrenched position; –12 days of bitter, inconclusive fighting; –Grant struggles to penetrate Lee’s lines Battle of Spotsylvania

19 19 Battle of Spotsylvania- New Tactic Emory Upton’s tactical innovation? –charge in new tactical formation: –columns quickly assault a small section of enemy line –trading fire –overwhelm the defenders and achieve breakthrough –Muskets uncapped except for front rank; –Temporary penetration achieved in Rebel line –But Upton is unsupported & forced to withdraw Grant is impressed – employs same tactic with entire corps: –Muleshoe salient broken – 4K POWs captured

20 20 Lee counterattacks to plug hole left by Muleshoe: –Fierce firefights & hand to hand fighting ensues –Lee restores new entrenchment line across baseline –Standoff develops & Lee is reinforced by 8500 Battle of Spotsylvania - counterattack

21 21 Battle of Spotsylvania - results Grant attacks Lee’s left center but is repulsed –Tactical stalemate ensues –Nevertheless, Grant maintains initiative over Lee Possesses both capacity & will to win In stark contrast to his predecessors Grant decides to move again while Lee follows: –Exact reverse of original Union operational objective –Troop morale of Army of Potomac remains good –Next move: south to North Anna River

22 22 Battle of North Anna River Grant continues south to North Anna River –Lee’s advance forces arrive first & quickly set up defense –Establish strong defensive position at Oxford ford After fruitless skirmish Grant moves back across river –Slides southeast once again around Lee’s right flank

23 23 Battle of Cold Harbor Background: Series of small actions ensue: –Grant attempts to flank Lee’s right once again –Lee anticipates & moves quicker than Grant Six week’s of continuous engagements occur –This series breaks previous Civil War battle patterns: –Pattern: high casualties & no clear victory: Union: 55,000 KIA,WIA, & MIA South: 20,000+ –Troops dig in at every opportunity Tactical defense becomes the most favored tactic of the troops

24 24 Battle of Cold Harbor- Strategy & Tactics & Execution Tactical & Operational objectives: –Exploit perceived weak point in Lee’s line; –Destroy Lee’s army; Op. Deployment: –Grant deploys to within 7 miles of Richmond Execution Overview: –Grant makes series of early am frontal assaults on Lee; –Lee strongly entrenched and repulses all Grant’s attempts

25 25 Battle of Cold Harbor- results Tactical, Operational, & Strategic Results: –Total waste of troops for no positive gain –Union forced to abort continued assaults –Grant’s casualties: during main attack – Lee’s casualties: 1500 –Greater appreciation on both sides gained for tactical defense Grant would later come to regret making the assault –Determined to find another way to Richmond without higher casualties

26 26 Petersburg Siege- Advance Grant concludes Richmond breakthrough too hard –Redeploys army to attack Petersburg – why? How is Richmond re-supplied? Force dispositions Map:

27 27 Petersburg Siege- Strategy & Tactics Strategic, Operational, & Tactical Objectives: –Cut off Richmond from supply distribution source –Pressure Lee to prevent his sending help to Johnston –Force Lee to attack or abandon Richmond Problem with siege? –presidential election politics Strategic & tactical Deployment Map: –Grant crosses James river initially undetected

28 28 Petersburg Siege- execution & results Engagements & Execution Overview Map: –Missed opportunity: Meade’s Lts botch job –Lee able to reinforce Richmond just in time –Long siege follows Tactical, Operational, & Strategic Results: –Tactical: 10 month siege stalemate ensues –Operational: Lee unable to reinforce Johnston –Strategic: Sherman drives toward Atlanta unmolested

29 29 Western Theater – Atlanta Campaign Sherman heads south Map Commanders’ strengths & weaknesses: –Sherman vs. Johnston: both about even in generalship Force dispositions: –Sherman: 3 part combined Army of 100K: Thomas – Cumberland; McPherson – Tennessee; Schofield corps – Ohio –Johnston: 50K plus up to 60K

30 30 Atlanta Campaign- Strategy & Tactics Strategic, Operational, & Tactical Objectives: –Johnston: On Defense - delay Sherman & buy time –Sherman: outflank Johnston & destroy his army if possible Take Atlanta & destroy Rebel material resources Strategic & tactical Deployment –Union right flank Johnston’s left –Union center & left fix South’s position to facilitate flanking LF

31 31 Atlanta Campaign- execution Sherman presses Johnston in several actions; –Johnston maintains effective defensive retreat –Destroys rr as he withdraws to cut Union LOC Sherman worries Rebel Cavalry will cut his LOC –Sends troops to raid Mississippi as diversion –Successfully diverts Bedford Forrest from attacking Union LOC Johnston eventually runs out of room to maneuver in further retreat –NTL he is able to occupy well fortified positions throughout

32 32 Atlanta Campaign- engagements Several engagements ensue: –Resaca, Cassville, Pickett’s Mill, & Kennesaw Mountain Kennesaw Mountain is first major battle of Atlanta Campaign: –Sherman attempts break through at weak point in line Sherman’s Tactical objective: –Convince Johnston that his entire line remains at risk not just his left flank –Also wants to restore offensive spirit in his forces whose default reaction is to entrench on defense when in doubt

33 33 Atlanta Campaign- Kennesaw Mtn results Tactical, Operational, & Strategic Results: –Kennesaw Mountain: 2000 casualties & no ground gained –Sherman reverts back to flanking movements once again Out of room, Johnston forced to withdraw to Atlanta: –Defend Atlanta behind its outer fortifications

34 34 Battle for Atlanta- prelude Davis becomes more & more frustrated with Johnston’s Fabian tactics –Ultimately replaces him with Johnston’s more aggressive subordinate- who? ?______________ –Lee had advised against this change of command would be proved right in the end Commanders’ strengths & weaknesses: –Sherman: determined commander & sound tactician –Hood: brave but impetuous- was good division commander Not as good an Army commander Force dispositions: –Hood: 40K –Sherman: 100K

35 35 Battle for Atlanta- Strategy & Tactics Strategic, Operational, & Tactical Objectives: –Hood: protect Atlanta from Union Destroy parts of Sherman’s army in detail –Sherman: Destroy Hood & take Atlanta Plans & preparation: –Hood: takes aggressive tactical offensive With 40K against 100K he has to be careful Strategic & tactical Deployment: –Union: tactical flanking maneuvers for position; –Hood: position to strike targets of opportunity in detail Hood launched 3 separate engagements against Sherman –Sharply repulsed at the end of each attack –Hood is ultimately forced to withdraw behind Atlanta defenses –He has lost more than 13K men in 9 days & nothing to show for it

36 36 Siege of Atlanta Sherman conducts quasi siege – bombards Atlanta –Initiates turning movement to cut Atlanta’s LOC –Union corps demonstrates to hold Hood still Hood recognized Sherman’s intent too late: –His belated attempt to break hold by attack at Jonesboro fails –Forced to abandon city which falls Sept 2, 1864 Hood then withdraws into Northern Alabama: –Conducts attacks on Sherman’s LOCs to the North

37 37 Battle for Atlanta- Campaign Results Tactical, Operational, & Strategic Results: –Hood lost 15K of 40K that South can’t afford –Atlanta’s fall has major strategic & political impact: –Lincoln’s re-election very likely –Last chance for a political settlement evaporates In the meantime Grant sent ?______________ to Shenandoah Valley to halt MG Early’s successful series of attacks in the Valley & eliminate his potential threat to Washington – From Aug-Oct 1864 Sheridan would defeat Early & become one of the Union’s best generals- Competent, aggressive, and bold

38 38 Sherman’s March to Sea 15 Nov – 24 Dec 1964 Sherman detached Thomas w35K to defend TN against Hood Sherman finally gains Grant’s approval to abandon Atlanta –Begins his historic march to Savannah with 60K –Sherman’s army would destroy everything in its 60 mile wide path Sherman would replicate this march through Carolinas- Jan-April 1865

39 39 Sherman’s March- Strategic Impact Strategic Impact of Sherman’s March: –Destroyed South’s infrastructure & most of it crops: All food, rail transport, & any potential war making resources Dispelled any Confederate hope of winning: –Ruined South’s morale & encouraged desertions Demonstrated to world especially potential Confederate allies that the North was unstoppable –North able to march through South without opposition –And therefore likely to win only a matter of time

40 40 At start of October Hood conducted raids into TN: –One of the last & riskier Confederate campaigns of war: Hood’s Tennessee Campaign Oct - Nov 1864

41 41 Hood’s Tennessee Campaign- Strategy & Tactics Hood’s highly unrealistic Op. & strategic purpose: –Operational: recover middle Tennessee Cut off Sherman’s LOC from the North No longer a real concern of Sherman- why? –What is Sherman going to do anyway? Strategic: exploit potential to link up with Lee –Attack Grant with the two Armies’ combined forces –Bolster sagging Southern morale political objective Tactical: concentrate on portions of Union army –Defeat in detail Hood failed to achieve these objectives at very high cost –After losing 9K during pointless frontal assaults against well entrenched Union positions at Franklin, he proceeds to Nashville

42 42 Battle of Nashville Dec 1864 Hood continues on with 30K to Nashville: –Even more extensively fortified –70K Federals under Thomas fully ready Hood realizes unable to attack realistically –Conducts show of siege instead Following ice storm, Thomas attacks: –Demonstrates to fix Hood’s attention: –Then hits Hood’s left flank Hood soon forced to retreat –South’s casualties: 7K to Union: 3K –His Army ruined & no longer a credible threat to the North

43 43 Collapse of Confederacy –1865 Army of Potomac continued to besiege Petersburg –Grant continued to extend his line to the West –Added forces as they become available Sheridan & his cavalry were redeployed from successful operations in the Shenandoah Valley Grant tasked Sheridan to break Lee’s right flank: –Tactical aim: capture South Side rail junction and stop it from supplying Petersburg

44 44 Road to Appomattox Lee realized his only hope was to break free of Grant: –Join Johnston 30K in Carolinas with Lee’s 50K –Also anticipated Grant’s intention to cut off his LOC Sends Pickett with 5 Brigades to meet Union threat –Able to check Sheridan’s first attack, but not the second*

45 45 Battle of Five Forks April 1: Sheridan moved to attack Pickett at Five Forks: –Lee has charged Pickett with holding Five Forks at all hazards –Warren’s V Corps then deployed to attack Pickett’s center –Confederate defenses were over extended Sheridan personally inspired Warren’s corps for assault –Sought to find weak spot in Rebel line –Custer made his famous cavalry charge on Pickett’s Right Flank –By 4:30 on 1 April 1865, Pickett’s line crumbled

46 46 Fall of Petersburg & Richmond Grant then attacked Lee all along Petersburg line: –Forced Lee to abandon city & march to join with Johnston –Meanwhile Johnston attempted to slow Sheridan

47 47 Battle of Five Forks results Tactical, Operational, & Strategic Results: –South: 5000 out of 10K total effectives lost –North: 2500 casualties out of 25K total effectives –Resounding Tactical victory for North Significant Operational & Strategic impact –Lee now on the run to the West & extremely vulnerable –North closes in for kill

48 48 Grant pursued Lee aggressively: –Sent Sheridan to cut off any avenue to South 6 April: Union Army destroyed Early at Syler’s Creek –Eliminated Lee’s rear guard & captures 6000 Rebel prisoners Grant then sent surrender summons to Lee who declined Pursuit to Appomattox

49 49 April 8 eve: Sheridan positioned Army to block retreat: –Lee was completely cut-off from escape –Made one last attempt to escape & is easily repulsed Lee finally requested conference with Grant –Surrendered 9 April 1865 at Appomattox Court House Surrender at Appomattox

50 50 Flight into Oblivion Davis still under illusion that South can still win: –Talked about new stage for conflict GW?: –Fled Richmond for Danville, Virginia –10 April news reached him of Lee’s surrender: Started his flight into oblivion for Greensboro, NC Davis refused to accept reality until he read Lee’s dispatch –Johnston & Beauregard advised Davis to surrender –Davis reluctantly agreed Davis then tried to evade capture –10 May: Davis captured by Federal Horsemen Imprisoned at Fort Monroe –26 May: Kirby Smith surrender last Rebel force Marking the end of the Civil War

51 51 Assessment - Civil War’s Legacy Pivotal impact on America’s History: Politically: extreme state’s rights destroyed –Strong Federal central government emerged Society: 3.5M African Americans freed –Industrial North emerged as dominate section of Nation Warfare: tactical defense over tactical offense: –Armies can’t be destroyed in battle: Only destroyed if surrounded & surrenders Vicksburg Or exhausted as with Hood’s at Nashville –Strategy of Attrition pursued over Strategy of Annihilation –Corps system becomes standard for employment Wings- independent & self-contained –Navy support of Army coastal & river operations proved effective

52 52 Assessment - 2 Future characteristics of War - Total War: –Mass Armies employed as corps –Conscription more readily used –Mobilization of entire population & resources –All resources subject to targeting & destruction Industrial Revolution’s Impact: –New technologies - exploited especially by North: Rail, rifles, telegraph, turret guns, iron clad ships Steam Engines refined & employed

53 53 Assessment – 3 Strategic & Operational Capabilities Lincoln superior to Davis as Commander in Chief –More effective mobilization & control of Government –Davis got bogged down in details & tended to be ineffective Union & Confederate Generalship about even: –South: Lee, Jackson, Longstreet on upside But also Bragg & Pemberton on downside later Hood uneven –North: Grant, Sherman, Sheridan, Hancock, Buford But also McClellan, Pope, Hooker, & Burnside Both sides employed Napoleonic Model: –Adapted to each side’s logistics requirements

54 54 Assessment – 4 Tactical Lessons Learned Both sides adjusted well to new technologies: –Rifled musket & artillery – employed & exploited for defense –Fortifications & entrenchments used more: Tactical defense over Tactical offense When in doubt- dig in! On downside: both relied on frontal assaults: –Parade dress on line assaults took heavy toll on troops –Gettysburg & Nashville & Cold Harbor Civil War’s Lessons Learned gradually incorporated: –LTC Upton’s tactical reforms at Spotsylvania The Muleshoe Column formation attack at weak salient –Improved & more professional officer corps emerged Improved professional military educational studies Military Schools & War Colleges established –U.S. Army gradually dragged into 20th century

55 Back-up Slides 55

56 56 Grant’s Leadership Grant’s leadership style: Leads from front: –Maintains HQ w Meade’s Army of Potomac why? Avoid Washington politics Hands on Commander Provide additional supervision for Army of Platomic Main Union Armies step off in early May, 1864: –Examine Eastern Theater Operations first

57 57 Battle of Franklin 30 Nov 1864 MG Thomas concentrates 70K at Nashville: –Sends Schofield w28K to delay Hood –Hood manages to end run around flank –Schofield able to retreat to Franklin Hood enraged orders frontal assault: –18K Rebels charge strong Union defense: –Union dug in: entrenchments, arty, rapid fire carbines –Assault is worse than Pickett’s charge at Gettysburg Hood suffers 9K casualties plus 5 generals; –Destroys his Army’s tactical offensive potential

58 58 Battle of Nashville 16 Dec 1864 Hood soon forced to retreat Wilson’s cavalry plays key role: –Speed and power to press Hood –Pursues Hood for several days Hood’s Army of TN essentially ruined: –No longer credible threat to North –South’s casualties: 7K –Union: 3K

59 59 Naval Warfare Strategic Role of Navy 1. Sea Control –Minor but important role –Union dominated coastal seas all over South –Conduct ship to ship engagements: USS Monitor vs. CSS Virginia Harbinger of future sea battles Mahan’s Command of the Sea thesis 2. Blockade significant but mixed tactical success: –Reduced South’s importexport commerce; –Sent strong message to Europe of North’s power

60 60 Navy’s Strategic, Operational, & Tactical Roles 3. Joint Operations – to include: A. Strategic Deployment: –Transport Union Army & equipments –Logistic re-supply; –McClellan’s Peninsula campaign To include redeployment back –Negative impact on future amphibious Operations B. Strategic & tactical Employment: –Amphibious support landing the force –Fire support & Logistic re-supply to Army Burnside along Carolina coast

61 61 Navy’s Strategic, Operational, & Tactical Roles Riverine Warfare- most effective for Union: –Inland Operations includes all of the above –Joint operational & tactical support of Army: Fort Henry & Fort Donelson Island Number 10 Grant’s Vicksburg Campaign 5. Commerce Raiding: – South’s only primary realistic option: –CSS Alabama quite successful commerce raider Finally – Blockade Running: –South’s other limited option

62 62 Battle for Atlanta – 2 engagements-37 Battle of Peachtree Creek –Hood strikes Army of Cumberland without success Hardee slow & uncoordinated Battle of Atlanta July 22 –Hood strikes McPherson’s Army of Tennessee Sends Hardee to hit Union LF Breaches gap in Union line McPherson is killed –McPherson’s defense recovers & restores line at cost of 3700 causalities –Rebel losses over 5500

63 63 Battle for Atlanta – 3rd engagement-38 Battle of Ezra Church- 28 July –Sherman moves Army of TN now under Howard west of Atlanta –Hood launches his last attack against Army of TN Inexperienced corps commander S. D. Lee makes frontal assault Results in severe repulse with 3000 casualties Hood forced to withdraw behind Atlanta defenses –Lost more than 13K men in nine days

64 64 Sheridan in Shenandoah Valley Fall 1864 Sheridan defeats Early in 2 sharp battles in September: –Early withdraws south & and is forced to abandon Valley –Sheridan destroys farms, barns, crops, supplies throughout Valley Sheridan destroys Early’s Army in October for good; –Completely eliminates Rebel threat in Valley –Then destroys everything his army can’t consume or take with them Sheridan now able to rejoin Grant at Petersburg: –Destined to play key role in final defeat of Lee


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