Presentation on theme: "Vicksburg Leadership Lessons Learned. Leadership Grant and Persistence Grant and Porter and Cooperation Grant and Calculated Risk Pemberton and the Peter."— Presentation transcript:
Vicksburg Leadership Lessons Learned
Leadership Grant and Persistence Grant and Porter and Cooperation Grant and Calculated Risk Pemberton and the Peter Principle and Frame of Reference Johnston, Davis and Strategic Direction
Persistence Grant’s Failed Attempts from Dec 1862 to Apr 1863
Vicksburg and the Mississippi The last Confederate post on the river –Key to New Orleans Control of the Mississippi River would provide a safe route for the transportation of troops and supplies. –Impassable batteries Vicksburg was situated on high bluffs overlooking the Mississippi River. A five mile stretch of artillery batteries protected the city from invaders.
Vicksburg and the Mississippi Surrounding terrain –The Delta to the north and the Louisiana lowlands to the east Swampy land covered with thick forests and dense undergrowth containing numerous rivers, lakes and bayous subject to constant floods. –Swamps south of Vicksburg Flooded swamplands prevented ground movement.
Vicksburg and the Mississippi As Union forces moved south towards Vicksburg, the winter and the wet season began. –This ended all possibilities of moving forces by land. –Grant was forced to find an alternative route to reach Vicksburg. –Made several failed attempts from Dec 1862 to April 1863 Serve as a lesson about perseverance
Grant’s First Attempt: Chickasaw Bayou Dec 1862 A frontal attack by William Sherman against Chickasaw Bluffs, just a few miles north of Vicksburg Severely repulsed Confederate cavalry raids by Van Dorn and Forrest show Grant the vulnerability of his logistics
Grant’s Canal Jan-Mar 1863 After the repulse at Chickasaw Bayou, Sherman briefly considered an attack against Snyder’s Bluff, but cancelled it due to fog In Jan, Grant moved his army into camps at Milliken’s Bend and Young’s Point on the Mississippi His objective was to reach the high ground east of the Mississippi floodplain Milliken’s Bend
Grant’s Canal Jan-Mar 1863 An effort to dig a canal across the De Soto Peninsula and bypass the Vicksburg defenses Confederates built batteries commanding the length of the canal Work on the canal essentially stopped on Mar 24 When the river receded in Apr, the canal drained out –By April 4, it was dry
Grant’s Canal Jan-Mar 1863 Grant’s Canal as it appears today in Delta, LA
Lake Providence Feb-Mar 1863 On Feb 3, while work on Grant’s Canal was still in progress, Federal troops cut a short canal from the Mississippi to Lake Providence, hoping to tie into a maze of bayous to gain access to the Red River In early March, Grant personally examined the route and reported that “there was scarcely a chance of this ever becoming a practicable route for moving troops through an enemy’s country” Red River
Yazoo Pass Feb-Apr 1863 Federal engineers blasted a hole in the levee that separated the Mississippi River from the Yazoo River, about ten miles below Helena, Arkansas and 325 miles north of Vicksburg –This would allow troop transports to enter the Tallahatchie River Confederate defenses at Fort Pemberton halted the transports
Steele’s Bayou Admiral Porter tried to force 11 through a heavily obstructed 200 mile route up Steele’s Bayou with Sherman following on foot The Confederates blocked the boats at Rolling Fork and Sherman arrived just in the nick of time to save Porter from destruction
Summary of Failed Attempts While Grant was prepared to capitalize on success, he claimed he never really had any hopes for these preliminary attempts –His main purposes were to Keep the offensive spirit alive Satisfy the public demand for action Keep the enemy guessing Buy time until the weather permitted a wide envelopment of Vicksburg from the south
Public Criticism To the northern public such purposes were not as readily apparent –“The people of the East, knowing about as much of the geography of the region of Grant’s meanderings as they did of Japan, were utterly bewildered by the fragmentary and mixed-up newspaper telegrams about Lake Providence, Moon Lake, Steele’s Bayou, Williams’ Cut-Off, the Yazoo, the Yallabusha, the Tallahatchie…. They only knew that months dragged wearily by… that the soldiers were reported dying from disease… The country was heartsick for victory.” Albert Richardson, New York Tribune
Discussion Question How do leaders handle repeated failures in their units? A company commander wants to raise his unit’s APFT average. –He centralizes the PT program. –He decentralizes the PT program. –He incorporates rewards. –He incorporates punishments. –He focuses on running. –He focuses on strength. Every month the APFT scores stay the same. What does he do?
Cooperation Grant, Porter, and Joint Operations
New Plan On March 29, with the failure of the winter attempts and the promise of better spring weather, Grant decided to march his army down the west side of the Mississippi to a point below Vicksburg where river transports could ferry the men across To make this work, the transports would have to run past the gauntlet of the Vicksburg batteries
The Federal Army Ulysses Grant’s Army of the Tennessee Hurlbut- XVI Corps (headquartered in Memphis, largely performing rear area missions) Sherman- XV Corps McPherson- XVII Corps McClernand- XIII Corps –Maneuver force of ten divisions (44,000 effectives)
The Federal Navy Mississippi River Squadron commanded by Flag Officer David Porter –About 60 combat vessels of which 20 to 25 could support the Vicksburg operation at any one time –13 ironclads
Joint Operations Operations carried on by two or more of the armed forces At Vicksburg, this was the Army and the Navy
Grant and Porter’s Relationship Porter reported to the Navy Department in Washington rather than to Grant Neither Grant nor Porter had the authority to act as a joint commander and direct the combined efforts of the Army and the Navy Instead Grant and Porter would have to cooperate with each other in order to achieve unity of effort
Unity of Command vs. Unity of Effort Unity of Command –All forces operate under one responsible commander who possesses requisite authority to direct forces in pursuit of a common unified purpose Unity of Effort –Coordination and cooperation among all forces, not necessarily part of the same command structure toward a commonly recognized objective
Grant’s Approach to Unity of Effort Grant worked hard to ensure the good relations, constant communication, and division of labor necessary to achieve unity of effort “I had had in contemplation the whole winter the movement by land to a point below Vicksburg from which to operate– my recollection was that Admiral Porter was the first one to whom I mentioned it. The cooperation of the Navy was absolutely essential to the success (even to the contemplation) of such an enterprise.” –Ulysses Grant
Joint Operations in the Vicksburg Campaign Running the Gauntlet Grand Gulf Bruinsburg Siege Logistics “Running the Gauntlet At Vicksburg” by Don Stivers. Admiral Porter's fleet steams past the Confederate batteries at Vicksburg.
Running the Gauntlet Grant decided to shift Porter’s fleet to the south of Vicksburg Once in place they could protect and transport any troops Grant moved there First however, Porter would have to make it past the Vicksburg batteries
Running the Gauntlet On the night of April 16, Porter led seven gunboats followed by three transports loaded with thousands of men –The transports towed ten barges loaded with coal and ammunition to be used in future operations down river The Confederate batteries observed the flotilla, lit up the river with flares, and opened up with their cannon –Only one ship was lost On the 26 th Grant ran the gauntlet again with six more transports laden with coal and rations
Grand Gulf While Porter was moving by river, the army was moving south by land down the west side of the Mississippi Across the river from Hard Times was the Confederate defensive position at Grand Gulf Grant had a truly joint plan for Grand Gulf –Porter and the navy would silence the Confederate batteries followed by rapid landings by McClernand’s Corps to seize the fortifications and secure a foothold for the rest of the army
Grand Gulf: April 29, 1863 Porter’s ironclads opened fire on Grand Gulf but could not defeat it –Porter declared, “Grand Gulf is the strongest place on the Mississippi.” Grant stopped the operation and decided to try a different landing site View from Fort Cobun
Bruinsburg After consulting Porter, Grant decided to run the fleet past Grand Gulf while McClernand marched his force past along a concealed route By dawn the army and navy were at Bruinsburg where Porter ferried the army across the river without opposition By May 6, more than 33,000 troops had made the crossing Grant now was on the east side of the Mississippi River, south of Vicksburg His cooperation with Porter is what made this possible
Discussion Question How do we train soldiers to build unity of effort in Iraq? A platoon leader has to deal with –Local government officials –Religious and community leaders –Other US military units –Iraqi security forces –NGOs –State Department officials What does he do?
Calculated Risk Grant and Logistics
The Challenge Once Grant was across the Mississippi, he had a decision to make The principal difficulty in any campaign against Vicksburg remained logistical This point had been driven home to Grant in Dec 1862 when Van Dorn’s cavalry destroyed Grant’s advanced depot at Holly Springs and Forrest conducted a raid on the important railroad junction in Jackson, TN
Logistics Vulnerabilities The twin raids wrecked Grant’s plan for an overland, railroad-centered attack to support Sherman’s Chickasaw Bayou expedition –It also forced Grant to rely on foraging and requisition in the surrounding countryside to feed his army in the weeks surrounding the raid –This showed Grant that the Mississippi Valley, though relatively underpopulated, was agriculturally rich in beef, hogs, and grain He now decided to change his plan
The Solution “Up to this time my intention had been to secure Grand Gulf, as a base of supplies, detach McClernand’s corps to Banks and cooperate with him in the reduction of Port Hudson.” Now Grant “determined to move independently of Banks, cut loose from my base, destroy the rebel force in rear of Vicksburg or invest or capture the city.” –Grant, Memoirs Crossing at Bruinsburg placed Grant between Vicksburg and Port Hudson, LA which was being threatened by Federal General Banks
Grant “Cuts Loose” When Grant says he “cut loose” from his line of supply he somewhat exaggerates He still had a strong system that brought wagons from Young’s Point to Bower’s Landing where the supplies were loaded on steamboats and carried to Grand Gulf From Grand Gulf huge wagons escorted by brigades brought the supplies forward to the main force Winslow Homer print of Civil War wagon train
“Convoy Operations” So really what Grant meant by “cutting loose” was that he did not occupy and garrison the supply route Instead he conducted something similar to today’s convoy resupply system
Grant “Cuts Loose” Grant continued to use wagon trains for war materiel (weapons, ammunition, medical supplies, etc) and some limited food items like coffee and bread –The countryside however would sustain his army with bulky animal forage, meat, and other provisions The “forage cap,” as the name suggests, was used not only as a hat but also as a “bag” to put vegetables, eggs, etc. in while foraging during a campaign.
Grant “Cuts Loose” “We started from Bruinsburg with an average of about two days’ rations, and received no more from our supplies for some days; abundance was found in the meantime.” –Grant, Memoirs To survive in a foraging environment, speed would be essential –Had to keep moving to avoid exhausting local supplies –Grant wrote Sherman, “I believe we can be in Vicksburg in seven days.”
Effect on Pemberton Grant’s efforts to move south had left him with two well-stocked advance depots –One below Vicksburg and several just above it As Grant moved away from his new base at Grand Gulf, Pemberton expected him to stay close to the river to take advantage of these depots Grant’s move inland caught Pemberton by surprise
Discussion Question What’s the difference between a risk and a gamble? The most likely population course of action is to comply with US directives. The most dangerous COA is for them to resist using guerrilla type tactics. How do you mitigate the risk?
The Peter Principle and Frame of Reference John Pemberton
John Pemberton was a northerner (born in Pennsylvania) whose association with the South was by marriage When he resigned from the US Army on Apr 24, 1861 he was only a captain In the Confederate Army he experienced a meteoric and seemingly unwarranted rise to brigadier general on June 17, 1861.
John Pemberton In February, 1862, he was appointed major general and placed in command of South Carolina, Georgia and Florida. In this capacity he demonstrated an unsuitability for the pressures of high command and a thoroughly bureaucratic approach to his duties He also learned the importance of defending a fixed location, Charleston, and developed a defensive strategic approach Fort Pemberton was built to deny Union gunboats access to the Stono River as it approached Charleston
John Pemberton In spite of mixed results in Charleston and not gaining any useful experience in field or combat command, six months later Pemberton was made lieutenant general and given command over the Department of Mississippi and East Louisiana –Commanded five divisions totaling 43,000 effectives
John Pemberton Honest and dedicated, but ill-suited for the leadership demands of Vicksburg –Served under William Worth, an inflexible and irascible commander, in Mexico –Previous Civil War service had focused on fortifications and batteries to defend against naval attack –Virtually no experience in leading an army in the field –An example of the “Peter Principle”
The Peter Principle The theory that employees within an organization will advance to their highest level of competence and then be promoted to and remain at a level at which they are incompetent.
Grant’s Move Inland As Grant moved away from his new base at Grand Gulf, Pemberton expected him to stay close to the river to take advantage of his supply depots Grant’s move inland caught Pemberton by surprise
Sherman and Grierson’s Diversions Grant helped confuse Pemberton even more by having Sherman send a strong force back up the Yazoo to create a diversion around Hayne’s Bluff that convinced Pemberton the main attack was coming from that direction Grant also sent Benjamin Grierson on a cavalry raid from Tennessee into Mississippi that led Pemberton to inefficiently divert units from his strategic reserve to chase after Grierson
Pemberton’s Confusion With Grant closing in, Pemberton was left with a choice— defend from Vicksburg or strike Grant. Johnston ordered Pemberton to unite his forces and attack Grant, even if that meant abandoning Vicksburg. President Davis instructed Pemberton to “hold both Vicksburg and Port Hudson.” Pemberton lacked the flexibility to deal with such a confused and complicated situation. Crossing at Bruinsburg placed Grant between Vicksburg and Port Hudson, LA which was being threatened by Federal General Banks
Pemberton’s Frame of Reference and the Peter Principle Nothing Pemberton had learned in Mexico or Charleston had prepared him for such a fluid situation In fact his bureaucratic approach to command, his defeatism, and his inflexibility were all seriously liabilities now Pemberton was simply the wrong man for the job at Vicksburg
Discussion Question What does the expression “history repeats itself” mean? What are some things from Pemberton’s past that affected his actions at Vicksburg? What past experience or “frame of reference” in your life affected the way you acted in a certain situation? How does the Army’s evaluation system guard against the Peter Principle?
Strategic Direction Joe Johnston and Jefferson Davis
The Confederate Departmental System The Confederacy had a vast amount of territory that needed to be somehow organized militarily –But the South’s strong adherence to the principle of states’ rights impeded efforts of form an efficient, centralized command system The result was a departmental organization of regional commands –Divided the Confederacy up based on geography Most operational decisions were left to the departmental commanders, theoretically allowing the Confederate government to focus on only the most important strategic decisions The reality was that departmental commanders tended to operate in isolation from each other with only limited unity of effort
The Confederate Departmental System Pemberton fell under Joe Johnston’s Department of the West –But Pemberton was allowed to report directly to Richmond, bypassing Johnston Johnston felt marginalized and that he had be given much responsibility but only limited authority –Did not get along well with Davis –Was primarily defensive in his strategy –Provided Pemberton little useful help or guidance
The Commanders: Confederates The Trans-Mississippi Department was commanded by E. Kirby Smith, who Pemberton told, “You can contribute materially to the defense of Vicksburg and the navigation of the Mississippi River by a movement upon the line of communications of the enemy on the western side of the river....To break this would render a most important service.” Pemberton was responsible for one side of the Federal high- speed avenue of approach (the Mississippi) and Smith was responsible for the other
Milliken’s Bend When Pemberton finally got some support in June for an attack from the Trans-Mississippi against Milliken’s Bend, the help was grudging at best LTG Dick Taylor complained that “Remonstrances were to no avail. I was informed that all the Confederate authorities in the east were urgent for some effort on our part in behalf of Vicksburg, and that public opinion would condemn us if we did not try to do something.” He insisted “that to go two hundred miles and more away from the proper theatre of action in search of an indefinite something is hard; but orders are orders.”
Jefferson Davis West Point class of 1828, hero of the battle of Buena Vista in Mexico, excellent Secretary of War under Franklin Pierce –Appeared to have all the qualities necessary to be a great commander-in-chief Instead, he proved to be a far less effective wartime president than Abraham Lincoln who had almost no military experience Should have been the one to unify efforts of the various departments, but didn’t Poor relationship with Johnston and direct line of communication to Pemberton resulted in his giving orders to Pemberton that conflicted with Johnston’s guidance to Pemberton
Champion Hill Pemberton was a man who needed to be told what to do In the absence of that strategic direction from Davis and Johnston, Pemberton floundered His defeat at Champion Hill sealed the fate of Vicksburg
Surrender On July 4, Pemberton surrendered after a 47 day siege The South was split in two and the North now controlled the Mississippi River The victory propelled Grant to the position of commanding general of all the Federal forces where he developed the ultimate strategy that would lead to Federal victory
Discussion Question What are important obligations a leader has to his subordinates? Describe a situation you were in in which someone provided you with good leadership.
Contact Information Kevin Dougherty –Instructor, Dept of History, USM – Another powerpoint lesson is at Lsn%209-%20Vicksburg.ppt Lsn%209-%20Vicksburg.ppt A two week “mini-session” course is at 204%20Vicksburg.htm 204%20Vicksburg.htm