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1 MH-6: Toward Total War- 1863. 2 The Civil War (1863) - Toward Total War: Strategic Overview By 1863: Both sides move toward Total War: –Both field huge.

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Presentation on theme: "1 MH-6: Toward Total War- 1863. 2 The Civil War (1863) - Toward Total War: Strategic Overview By 1863: Both sides move toward Total War: –Both field huge."— Presentation transcript:

1 1 MH-6: Toward Total War- 1863

2 2 The Civil War (1863) - Toward Total War: Strategic Overview By 1863: Both sides move toward Total War: –Both field huge Armies of volunteers & conscripts; –Both mobilize their economies & entire populations; Gradually above $$$ & population seen as legit targets North: destroys South’s agro, factories, rail, mills; –Anything viewed as potential support for war NTL – One single Battle cannot end the war –No “Napoleon Austerlitz” is possible –Nothing in Europe approached US Civil War to date Not even Frederick the Great’s or Napoleon’s Battles

3 3 Strategic Overview : Both sides passed Europe in Total War scale: –Total resources of North vs. Total resources of South –In long run then – who was most likely to win & why? Caveat: Total War requires total commitment –For North: political will to stay the course: Also dependent on perceived progress toward that goal (It still does!) At 1863’s start - Rebel victory seemed still possible –South’s battle wins: (Fredericksburg, Holly Springs): –Battle victories encouraged South & depressed North

4 4 Strategic Overview-3 But by July 1863 to end of war- –A turning point finally emerged –Decisive victories in 1 major battle & 2 key campaigns: 1. Gettysburg 2. Vicksburg 3. Chattanooga Tactical victories would have major strategic impact –(for now at start of 1863 – still in the future) –NTL both sides sought to win the decisive battle: –Both pursue the elusive dream of Napoleon’s Austerlitz

5 5 Battle Map Overview- 1863:

6 6 Austerlitz Chimera* Term’s meaning & historical background: –*Greek mythology (fire breathing lion headed sheep) Modern term: *unattainable dream or illusive myth Napoleon’s tactical battle victory –Battle of Austerlitz-1805 with decisive strategic result –Tactical victory destroys 3 rd Coalition (strategic) –Illusive dream of generals throughout Military History Factors against decisive Civil War battlefield victory: –Weapons Technology that favored defense –Terrain limiting effective employment of cavalry –Leadership make-up shaped amateur tactics & strategy –Main reason: very rare opportunities & huge size of Armies

7 7 Chancellorsville - Phase I Hooker vs. Lee (& Jackson) –Cmdrs’ Strength & weakness: –Hooker: good organizer & planner- restored Union morale But also ambitious & overconfident - until chaos of battle… –Lee (& Jackson): no change Force dispositions (Map): –Hooker: 120K –Lee: 60K Force Dispositions

8 8 Chancellorsville - Phase I Strategy & Tactics Hooker’s Objectives & Tactical Concept: – BG Meig advocates tactical concept: Conduct bold, rapid turn of Rebel Left Flank: Tactical aim: crush Lee between 2 halves Anvil & hammer battle strategy –Hooker embraced Meig’s tactical concept Believes it has potential strategic impact Operational & Strategic Objectives: –Destroy Lee’s Army –Force South’s surrender in the East

9 9 Chancellorsville - Phase I Tactical Battle Plan Plans & preparation (Battle Map Plan): –Hooker takes ½ of Force & turns Lee’s LF –Sedgwick crosses Rappahannock to fix Lee’s front: Attack Lee’s center & take Fredericksburg Hooker then sends Union cavalry to raid Lee’s LOC to Richmond – (That would turn out to be a big mistake)

10 10 Chancellorsville - Phase I Tactical Deployment Hooker’s Deployment: –1st stage: Sedgwick crosses Rappahannock –Tactical Aim: fix Lee’s attention at Fredericksburg Rebel scouts report move to Lee –Hooker moves 25 miles NW to Kelley’s Ford –Stuart reports Hooker’s move over Rapidan Union cavalry conduct lackluster raid-Lee’s LOC –Hooker remains ignorant of Lee’s movements- why? –Calvary off conducting?__________ Hooker halts advance & forms defensive line in Wilderness

11 11 Chancellorsville - Phase I Execution & Tactical Results Tactical opportunity unfolds: –JEB Stuart reports Union’s RF as: “?__________” –Lee decides to seize opportunity presented Tactical Results: –Hooker surrenders tactical initiative to Lee –Lee plans with Jackson to exploit it

12 12 Chancellorsville - Phase II Strategy & Tactics Lee’s Strategic, Operational, & Tactical Objectives: –Tactical: Hit Hooker’s RF & roll up Union line; –Operational: Destroy Army of the Potomac; –Strategic: Open Washington to potential future attack; –Political: Push Union toward negotiated settlement; Just the reverse of Hooker’s Objectives

13 13 Chancellorsville - Phase II Battle Execution Plan Plans & preparation: –Jackson (w/28K) marches across Union front undetected –Lee (w/14K) demonstrates to fix Union center: Convince Hooker of Lee’s intent: frontal assault Reinforce Hooker’s desire to surprise Lee –Early (w/10K) to hold heights of Fredericksburg (Against half of Union’s Army of Potomac)

14 Chancellorsville - Phase II Battle Execution Jackson is late but totally surprises Union RF under Howard’s command –Roll up and through Union RF –Jackson & Lee continue to press Union as darkness falls Jackson conducts eve Recon & is hit by NC ?_______ fire: –Mistook, along with A.P. Hill, for Union cavalry & is ambushed & wounded seriously –Stuart takes Jackson’s corps- but unclear of Jackson’s plan

15 15 Chancellorsville - Phase II Battle Execution-2 Meanwhile, Sedgwick rolls over Early –Poses serious threat to Lee’s rear Lee counterattacks & forces Sedgwick to retreat –Hooker remains inert (“2000 yard stare”) Hooker then goes immediately on defensive: –Surrenders Hazel Grove high ground to Lee’s arty Commands Chancellorsville & surrounding area –Hooker is wounded (shell shocked) & decides to withdraw Over strong objections of his corps commanders Lee intent on Hooker’s destruction –Unable to prevent Hooker’s escape –Demonstrates risks he is willing to take Frontal assaults against fortified position- Again!

16 16 Chancellorsville - Phase II Tactical, Operational, & Strategic Results Lee held Battlefield – (tactical victory), but: –Glory very costly – 13K casualties (20%) –Union casualties: 17K (out of 120K): Higher casualties less a problem for Union – why? –Attrition rate ?______________________________ Lee failed to destroy Hooker’s Army –(His Operational Aim) –Strategic situation in Virginia remains unchanged –Austerlitz Chimera remains just that: an illusive dream

17 17 Vicksburg Campaign Background & Overview (Map): –Overland campaign (Nov-Dec 1862) failed Holly Springs (Van Dorn cut Grant’s LOC) Several dozen miles of RR LOC torn up by Bedford Forrest Chickasaw Bluffs (Sherman roughly repulsed) Commanders’ strengths & weaknesses –Grant: Gritty, determined, good solid leader –Pemberton: mediocre, naïve, & indecisive Force dispositions: –Union: 44K => 70K (later reinforcements by Hallack) –Confederate: 31K

18 18 Vicksburg Campaign II – Strategy & Tactics Union Strategic, Operational, & Tactical Objectives: –Sever South’s East-West communication; –Open Mississippi to Union control & commerce; –Capture & eliminate Vicksburg command Plans & preparation: –Various schemes tried & thwarted (Jan-Apr ’63); –Grant later called them: “make-work” efforts #2-5 (Map)*

19 19 Vicksburg Campaign II Grant conducted various failed schemes (Jan-Apr 1863): –1. Overland campaign Nov-Dec 1862 –Grant’s LOC cut by Van Dorn at Holly Springs –Sherman repulsed at Chickasaw Bluffs… then Grant tries: –2. Lake Providence –3. Canal Bypass –4. Steele’s Bayou expedition –5. Yazoo Pass expedition 6. Grant finally embarks on serious offensive- April-May, 1863

20 20 Vicksburg Campaign II- Final Deployment Operational & tactical Deployment: –As Grant marches overland on West bank of Mississippi –Porter steams through Vicksburg’s defense on midnight run –Then ferries Grant’s forces across lower part of Mississippi to east side of river

21 21 Vicksburg- Final Campaign Engagements & Battle Execution Grant stages out of Bruinsburg 30 April 1863 –Cuts off Port Hudson to south Grant marches on Jackson (to hit rail & supplies); –Reaches Jackson, MS w/3 corps after 2 small battles: Attacks Jackson and forces Johnston’s Army North: –Burns Jackson munitions factory, then turns west Defeats Pemberton units on march to Vicksburg: –Series of engagements prior to reaching outskirts –Champion Hill & Big Black River are the 2 biggest

22 22 Vicksburg Campaign II- Siege & Capture First elements of Grant’s army move into position on 18 May 1863 –19 May: Conducts initial attacks on Vicksburg defenses –Strongly repulsed twice Begins siege & waits for Pemberton’s surrender –In the meantime he gathers reinforcements (to 70K) & re- supplies transported by Navy –After 47 Days, Pemberton surrenders on 4 July 1863

23 23 Vicksburg Campaign II- results Tactical, Operational, & Strategic Results: –Tactical Union victory with major Strategic impact –Grant captures: 31K troops,172 guns, 60K rifles –South can not afford to replace this operational loss Strategic impact: –South’s operational loss impacts overall troop levels –Grant reopens Mississippi for Union commerce –Severed Arkansas, Texas, LA from Confederacy

24 24 Gettysburg Campaign- prelude Background & Overview –Eastern Theater situation: Crisis facing South Vicksburg still under siege Various strategies considered Lee persuades all to invade North Meade vs. Lee: –Both solid professionals –Lee will have serious lapse in judgment during campaign Force dispositions –Hooker (replaced by Meade): 115K –Lee: 76K Rebel Deployment: –From Chancellorsville to southern Pennsylvania (Map): Via west side of Shenandoah –Lee assumed Hooker would shadow

25 25 Gettysburg Campaign- Strategy & Tactics Strategic, Operational, & Tactical Objectives: –South: force Hooker to follow & relieve pressure on Richmond Tactical victory in North would: –Threaten key Northern cities –Press North for peace settlement –Gain diplomatic recognition from Britain –North: react to and engage Lee’s forces Destroy Lee’s army and protect Washington & Baltimore Plans & preparation: –Originally Lee agreed to Longstreet’s strategy: Strategic Offensive & Tactical Defense (or so he thought) –Reality of the situation drove the tactics: Meeting engagement for both sides & unplanned for

26 26 Gettysburg Campaign- Invasion of North By early June Lee deploys north –Sends 3 corps North to PA (Map) –Spreads out over southern PA –Stuart goes off on his own Surprised by Calvary at Brandy Station Attempts replay of his famous ride Lee remains ignorant of Hooker’s close proximity- why? –He asks:“Where is General Stuart? Lee learns of Hooker’s proximity from Longstreet’s “scout” (spy) Harrison- what does Lee do? –Orders his widely separated Army to concentrate at Gettysburg Meanwhile Lincoln replaces Hooker with Meade

27 27 Gettysburg- Execution: 1 July 1863 A “meeting” engagement –Accidental contact soon escalates into major engagement Union’s BG Buford’s Calvary holds ground until Reynolds’ 1 st Corps arrives just in time –Enter 2 heavy corps to overwhelm Union line by late pm 1 July Union corps forced to retreat through streets of Gettysburg to Cemetery Ridge Lee makes two fateful decisions: –1. Fight general engagement & – 2. Fail to insist that LTG Ewell take Cemetery Ridge

28 28 Gettysburg- Execution: 2 July 1863 Day 2: Rebel assault begins at 1630 on Union left –Longstreet’s 1 st corps with 2 divisions attack en echelon on Union far left as ordered Battle is extremely intense to the south at Little Round Top –Col Chamberlain’s 20 th Maine barely holds Union’s far left Then flanks the Rebel RF which culminates in a bayonet charge On Union right Ewell is: –Ordered to conduct demonstration –Late but almost breaks Union RF –Seized Union arty batteries Lee convinced victory near & plans to try it again tomorrow

29 29 Gettysburg- Execution: 3 July 1863 Day 3: Lee now determined to prevail at all costs –Plans a repeat of Day 2 (attack both of Meade’s flanks) But Union arty hit Culp’s Hill first –So Lee decides on a frontal assault on Meade’s center right (Hancock’s II) –Longstreet is ordered to command the assault of 3 mixed divisions Pickett’s Charge –Pickett, Pettigrew, & 13K men march almost a mile on line to their objective of a small copse of trees –Union II corps wait there entrenched with rifled muskets & arty cannister –Unmitigated disaster soon follows

30 Aftermath Lee reforms his line & waits for Meade to counter-attack After a day Lee withdraws his forces under cover of heavy rains –His escape made possible in part to Meade’s caution in following at a distance (Calvary) –Unlike the Battle, Lee’s retreat well planned & executed 30

31 31 Gettysburg- Results Tactical, Operational, & Strategic Results: –Major defeat for Lee- who almost lost his entire Army 20K veteran casualties not replaceable 15 generals & numerous regimental & field commanders lost –To include: Hood & Barksdale & ALL of Pickett's Brigade Cmdrs –Union tactical victory with great strategic impact Costly victory (MG Reynolds KIA, Hancock & Sickles WIA) –Strategic: South ejected from North, never to return Major post-battle questions: –Was major opportunity to destroy Lee’s army missed? –Would Lee’s destruction have ended war?

32 32 Chattanooga Campaign- Prelude Commanders’ strengths & weaknesses: –Bragg: Good tactician but seemly unable to follow through Also not in full command of subordinates (Who all like confidence in their Commander) –Rosecrans: cautious & plodding Tends toward overconfidence when committed Uneven in temperament in a crisis Force dispositions: –Bragg : 66K => reinforced: splits into two wings –Rosecrans: 56K

33 33 Chattanooga Campaign Deployment Overview

34 34 Chattanooga Campaign- Battle of Chickamauga Rosecrans is convinced Bragg is retreating –Aggressively pursues –Splits forces into columns & deploys over Georgia’s mountainous terrain Bragg seizes opportunity & attacks 1 Union corps –Feds wage good defense –Rosecrans plugs holes –Then fateful error=>

35 35 “Rock of Chickamauga” Major tactical defeat for Union –Entire right wing of Rosecrans’ line crumbles in disarray –Rosecrans flees the field all the way back to Chattanooga MG Thomas rallies Left Wing of Union forces and holds on Snodgrass Hill (“Rock of Chickamauga”) –Then makes orderly withdrawal back to Chattanooga lines Bragg begins siege of Chattanooga –Pinches off Union supply LOC –Rosecran’s army being starved into crisis –But Bragg is roundly criticized for not exploiting his victory Lincoln turns to Grant-assigned command of all of West –Visits Chattanooga, takes charge, restores “cracker line” –Relieves Rosecrans & replaces with him with Thomas –Reinforces Grant with two corps from Meade Deploy 1200 miles by rail Grant organizes forces to break out of Bragg’s siege –Relies on his faithful subordinate Sherman

36 36 Chattanooga Campaign- Force Disposition prior to Grant’s Breakout

37 37 Battle of Missionary Ridge Grant’s arrival imbue new spirit in Union forces at Chattanooga –By late Fall ready to attack –24-25 Nov conduct series of assaults aimed at break out MG Thomas ordered to attack center & hold at bottom of Missionary Ridge –But his troops still smarting over defeat at Chickamauga

38 38 Battle of Missionary Ridge Thomas’ limited attack turns into full frontal assault at Bragg’s center –Union troops fight their way up ridge –Bragg’s forces flee in disarray

39 39 Battle of Missionary Ridge- results Reason for successful Union attack: –Poor Rebel disposition on ridge Situated on top of geographic crest vice military crest (?)* Rebel line of fire blocked (how?) while Union troops used terrain –Rocky terrain and crevices provided ?__________ –Too few Rebels placed at foot of ridge to stop assault Forced defenders at top to hold fire as friendly troops retreated Also Bragg failed to pursue Rosecrans after Chickamauga –Mismanaged siege of Chattanooga & allowed Grant to restore situation to Union’s favor Union tactical victory with strategic impact –Grant secured permanent Union hold on gateway to South –South’s heartland now open to Union attack

40 40 Assessment By South’s Battle Losses totaled 66K veterans South tactical losses translated into key strategic defeat –Losses the South can not replace! –Loss of motivated, combat hardened veterans –Manpower stretched beyond South’s capacity NorthNorth: Time was on the Union’s side –Plenty of reserves available - to include willing African Americans –Economic & industrial power finally fully mobilized –Generals get better: Grant, Sherman, Sheridan, Hancock, Reynolds, Buford South’s defeat at Gettysburg, Vicksburg, & Chattanooga: –Marked major strategic turning point of the war –Generated crisis of confidence throughout South (historical debate): Most say eventual defeat as inevitable Nobody wanted to be the last to die for lost cause Result: desertions escalated It would soon get much worse as Grant took overall Command – Sherman’s march of Total War to the Sea

41 Back-up Slides 41

42 42 Two American Societies at War Define Total War –Simply stated: everything is considered a target! North’s Grand Strategy by mid-1863? –South’s war economy targeted –Population demoralization- civilian property hit Mobilization & various approaches to achieving: –Conscription & its mixed success –Political costs high- South: “Rich man’s war and poor man’s fight” Results: Draft evasion, riots, unfair burden Future Lessons Learned (L/L) for WWI

43 43 War Economy mobilization South: less effective: –Highly centralized economic control: Government runs almost everything (Very inefficient) –Tax revenue only 5% of that required (1/2 of 1% tax) –Barrow & print $$$ => 9000% inflation & high debt North: more effective: –Decentralized economic control: –Private enterprise runs most everything (some corrupt) –Government manages & encourage BZ’s cooperation; –Tax revenue provides 21% of that required –SECTREAS Chase effective manager of North’s $$; –Lincoln promoted Bz cooperation w/Gov. (or else- rail)

44 44 Western Theater Meanwhile – other operations initially conducted in the West had little significant strategic impact on the war Grant’s first overland campaign to capture Vicksburg had to be abandoned when his LOCs are attacked by Van Dorn at Holly Springs & Bedford Forrest to the NE –Leaving Sherman unsupported & ultimately repulsed at Chickasaw Bluffs Bragg’s raids into Kentucky & Tennessee end with limited tactical success & little strategic relevance –Culminating in little more than a tactical draw against Rosecrans at the Battle of Stones River (Murfreesboro)

45 45 Grant’s Overland Campaign to Vicksburg Long LOC (via rail) vulnerable to cavalry raids –Van Dorn’s attack at Holly Springs –Bedford Forrest to NE Grant forced to abandon campaign when LOC cut off –Subsists off land => key Lessons Learned (LL) Sherman left unsupported at Chickasaw Bluffs: –Soundly repulsed by Vicksburg’s defenders –It’s back to “drawing board”

46 46 Battle of Stones River (Murfreesboro) Execution: 31 Dec 1862 –Bragg anticipates Rosecrans –Attacks Union’s right flank at dawn exploiting tactical surprise –Surprised Union troops on right collapsed into closed “jackknife” like defensive stance 2 Jan 1863: Bragg then attacks Union left across Stones River –Union holds & its arty decimates Rebel attack –Bragg forced to withdraw 30 miles SE to Tullahoma

47 47 Assessment: Stalemate & Contributing Factors Geography: –Virginia: numerous rivers & creeks (spring rains) Difficult to maneuver & deploy forces rapidly (time) –Western Theater: greater distances: Stretch out Lines of Communication & supply; Overland LOCs (rr) especially vulnerable to attack: Grant’s Overland Campaign to Vicksburg –Example: Van Dorn at Holly Springs & Bedford Forrest to NE Different fighting capacities & trade-offs: –North: Mpw, Logistic/supply, $$$ & industrial power –South: Well led & motivated troops, aggressive tactics

48 48 Assessment –Toward Total War Contrasting perspectives: –Federal view: South’s determined resistance surprising –McClellan’s theory: small Southern elite were main culprits –Grant: Surprise assault at Shiloh proved otherwise: Especially after Union victories at Forts Henry & Donelson Peninsula Campaign convinced the rest of North – long war –Total War now appeared unavoidable Grand Strategy required major revision for Total War: –Southern society must now be changed by force; –North must overthrow South’s entire way of life; Total War requires new & harsher tactics: –Seize & destroy property, crops, & all material support; –Destroy industry & towns & RR, & treat civilians as enemy


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