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 Civil War - General
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Phil andrade
London, UK
top 5
E-9 Cmd Sgt Major
Posts: 3069

Attack and Die
Posted on: 4/23/2018 3:13:30 PM
How convincing is that controversial book by Grady McWhiney and Perry D Jamieson ?

Put simply, the argument is that Southern tactics were excessively profligate ; that there was a racial heritage in Confederate soldiers based on a Celtic provenance, and that this made them susceptible to indulging in tactics of folly : i.e. attacking.

I think that the premise of the book is flawed, and there are statistical renditions that I take exception to.

OTOH, it is a superb read and very thought provoking . As commentary, I hold it in high regard.

I would be very circumspect about its value in terms of the depiction of how the armies fought ; and how the exigencies of battle impinged on the outcome of the war.

If you’ve encountered this book, please give me your comments.

Regards, Phil
---------------
"Egad, sir, I do not know whether you will die on the gallows or of the pox!"

"That will depend, my Lord, on whether I embrace your principles or your mistress."

Earl of Sandwich and John Wilkes

Keith W
Albemarle, NC, USA
New User
E-2 Private


Posts: 11

Re: Attack and Die
Posted on: 4/24/2018 11:32:28 AM
After general Early’s attack on Washington failed in 1864, a Union victory was inevitable. The Confederacy was running out of soldiers and supplies needed to maintain effective armies in the field. The blockade and the decision to continue offensive operations regardless of casualties would result in victory soon. However, the South refused to consider surrender because the only terms would be: return to the union (with or without representation), the end of slavery and probable military occupation. The bravery and determination of individual soldiers and officers would not change the outcome. The only chance the South had to win the war had been to win significant victories and convince the North to allow succession of the southern states.

Regards, Keith
---------------
Retrospectfully Submitted,

Keith


"Life, Liberty and Pursuit"

John R. Price
Wilkes-Barre, PA, USA
top 15
E-8 Master Sergeant
Posts: 731

Re: Attack and Die
Posted on: 4/24/2018 12:05:48 PM
Phil,

I haven't read the book but my simple question is what other option is available when any defensive position taken can be flanked and certain points have to be defended such as industrial centers or transportation hubs?
---------------
A battle long forgotten by our country in a war never understood by our country.
"to satisfy our endless needs and justify our bloody deeds, in the name of destiny and in the name of God"


Phil andrade
London, UK
top 5
E-9 Cmd Sgt Major
Posts: 3069

Re: Attack and Die
Posted on: 4/24/2018 1:05:52 PM

Quote:
Phil,

I haven't read the book but my simple question is what other option is available when any defensive position taken can be flanked and certain points have to be defended such as industrial centers or transportation hubs?

--John R. Price


The thing is, John, which form of warfare is better suited to the conditions faced by the Confederacy ?

The Joe Johnston method : husband manpower , fight cautiously and preponderantly on the defensive ? Or the R.E. Lee approach : come out from your corner, and be prepared to take the blows in order to land the bigger ones on your opponent ?

I realise that this is an over simplification : Johnston did eventually launch his long awaited attacks ; and Lee made a deadly account of himself and his army when fighting on the defensive .

The premise of the book I allude to is that the Southern method of combat entailed persistent attacks in conditions which conferred the advantage to the defense.

It almost states that the South bled itself to death on account of its martial ardour. I don’t buy it ; but I do commend the brave foray of the authors.

Regards, Phil
---------------
"Egad, sir, I do not know whether you will die on the gallows or of the pox!"

"That will depend, my Lord, on whether I embrace your principles or your mistress."

Earl of Sandwich and John Wilkes

Phil andrade
London, UK
top 5
E-9 Cmd Sgt Major
Posts: 3069

Re: Attack and Die
Posted on: 4/24/2018 1:14:09 PM

Quote:
After general Early’s attack on Washington failed in 1864, a Union victory was inevitable. The Confederacy was running out of soldiers and supplies needed to maintain effective armies in the field. The blockade and the decision to continue offensive operations regardless of casualties would result in victory soon. However, the South refused to consider surrender because the only terms would be: return to the union (with or without representation), the end of slavery and probable military occupation. The bravery and determination of individual soldiers and officers would not change the outcome. The only chance the South had to win the war had been to win significant victories and convince the North to allow succession of the southern states.

Regards, Keith
--Keith W


Keith,

Don’t you think that inevitable is a very big word ?

No doubt the odds were against the South, especially after Sheridan demolished Early’s threat.

Lincoln was not confident of winning the election in the fall of 1864 until Sherman and Sheridan were victorious at Atlanta and Cedar Creek.

The book is adamant that those odds against the South were lengthened on account of the propensity of southern soldiers to take excessive casualties by insisting on attacking ....a trait attributable to a Celtic heritage.

Arrays of statistics are deployed to demonstrate the cost of this folly.

Regards, Phil
---------------
"Egad, sir, I do not know whether you will die on the gallows or of the pox!"

"That will depend, my Lord, on whether I embrace your principles or your mistress."

Earl of Sandwich and John Wilkes

scoucer
Berlin, Germany
top 5
E-9 Cmd Sgt Major
Posts: 2278

Re: Attack and Die
Posted on: 4/24/2018 1:52:28 PM
Being a Celt myself, I think he is talking bollocks. Like the nonsense about comparing the North and South to Cavaliers and Roundheads.

Trevor
---------------
`Hey don´t the wars come easy and don´t the peace come hard`- Buffy Sainte-Marie

Some swim with the stream. Some swim against the stream. Me - I´m stuck somewhere in the woods and can´t even find the stupid stream.

Phil andrade
London, UK
top 5
E-9 Cmd Sgt Major
Posts: 3069

Re: Attack and Die
Posted on: 4/24/2018 2:21:24 PM

Quote:
Being a Celt myself, I think he is talking bollocks. Like the nonsense about comparing the North and South to Cavaliers and Roundheads.

Trevor
--scoucer


Trevor,

The Welsh longbowmen who slaughtered the French at Crecy and Agincourt were practitioners of defensive warfare of the most lethal effectiveness.

So the Celtic being conflated with attacking rather than defending is exposed as cobblers’ by that yardstick (!).

There can be no denying that Lee did fight and win with the blood and guts of his soldiers....and, I daresay, there were awful casualties that might otherwise have been avoided.

Be that as it may, Lee and his method worked to the extent of putting the Union in existential peril....he knew the temper of his men, and they lived - and died - up to their role.

Regards, Phil
---------------
"Egad, sir, I do not know whether you will die on the gallows or of the pox!"

"That will depend, my Lord, on whether I embrace your principles or your mistress."

Earl of Sandwich and John Wilkes

John R. Price
Wilkes-Barre, PA, USA
top 15
E-8 Master Sergeant
Posts: 731

Re: Attack and Die
Posted on: 4/24/2018 7:25:24 PM
Phil,

But the premise is crap because it doesn't factor in that for a army to survive it has to be equipped and supplied and for that to happen certain critical points have to be defended. It doesn't factor in that the Union doesn't have to attack prepared defensive positions as there is always a flanking option. Hey we would all like to sit and receive attacks in positions like Marye's Heights or Laural Hill but if the other side doesn't attack but flanks what is the option? Its built on the premise that the other side is going to play your game only.
---------------
A battle long forgotten by our country in a war never understood by our country.
"to satisfy our endless needs and justify our bloody deeds, in the name of destiny and in the name of God"


John R. Price
Wilkes-Barre, PA, USA
top 15
E-8 Master Sergeant
Posts: 731

Re: Attack and Die
Posted on: 4/24/2018 9:21:35 PM
Phil,

I kind of object to the statement "Lee's tactics" because IMHO they were based on sound military principles developed since the cavemen fought with sticks and stones. And it wasn't that "he knew the temper" of his men he knew what the situation called for so that his army was in the best position to achieve the objectives his superiors and country set for them for the majority of the time. The Confederacy couldn't win the war militarily but it needed military victories to break the will of the Northern population to continue supporting the war.
---------------
A battle long forgotten by our country in a war never understood by our country.
"to satisfy our endless needs and justify our bloody deeds, in the name of destiny and in the name of God"


Phil andrade
London, UK
top 5
E-9 Cmd Sgt Major
Posts: 3069

Re: Attack and Die
Posted on: 4/25/2018 1:51:43 AM
John,

If memory serves me, I first heard of this work by these two authors in the mid seventies....at that time there was a school of historians seeking to make a name for themselves by advancing unusual - even outlandish - arguments to explain what happened .

Is it absurd to suggest that southern soldiers were expended at such a rate that the Confederacy bled itself to death ?

There is the testimony of DH Hill, who wrote something like ...We were very lavish of blood in those days, and it was considered a grand thing to attack a battery....

He was alluding to the Seven Days ; but it could equally well apply to Corinth, Murfreesboro or Chancellorsville, not to mention Gettysburg and Chickamauga. The earlier part of the war....that seems to be what DH Hill is implying by those days ....but then we have Franklin to consider.

By the criterion of actual deaths in battle - and I exclude the much heavier mortality from disease in this analysis - the Confederacy lost about ten per cent of its available white military manpower killed or died from wounds. That’s a high ratio ; but certainly not extreme by the standards of other wars, which offer us significantly higher battle fatality rates. Certainly not high enough to endorse a suggestion that the Confederacy threw away its chances of victory by dint of throwing away its men on the battlefield.

There is also a tendency to overlook the fact that Northern men were susceptible to the same syndrome of battlefield sacrifice : their larger numbers concealing the damage done to individual units that took extreme punishment. There were plenty of men of Scottish and Irish descent in the Union ranks ; the casualties suffered by the North were - in numerical terms - heavier than those suffered by the South, even in some battles in which the southerners attacked,

Regards, Phil
---------------
"Egad, sir, I do not know whether you will die on the gallows or of the pox!"

"That will depend, my Lord, on whether I embrace your principles or your mistress."

Earl of Sandwich and John Wilkes

John R. Price
Wilkes-Barre, PA, USA
top 15
E-8 Master Sergeant
Posts: 731

Re: Attack and Die
Posted on: 4/25/2018 3:57:00 PM
Phil,

But Johnston's defensive tactics made the Seven Days happen and Lee's plans were not followed because only at Malvern Hill is a frontal attack the main tactic to be used.

Mufreesboro and Chickamauga was Bragg and the command and control in the Army of Tenn was FIBAR and would take a dozens books to explain. Put in simple terms Bragg had ZERO flexibility and allowed ZERO deviation from his written orders no matter the change in situation on the ground.

Chancellorsville finds JEB in command of 2nd Corps and Gettysburg is the exception to the rule.

Harvey Hill was a damm good field commander but he was a croaker. Weren't there battery's in ever line?
---------------
A battle long forgotten by our country in a war never understood by our country.
"to satisfy our endless needs and justify our bloody deeds, in the name of destiny and in the name of God"


Phil andrade
London, UK
top 5
E-9 Cmd Sgt Major
Posts: 3069

Re: Attack and Die
Posted on: 4/26/2018 3:37:47 AM
John,

McWhiney bases his discussion on the upbringing of southern men - their cultural and racial heritage - and attributes their excessive casualty rates to this ; he does not get into a critique of the actual performance of the individual commanders as you are doing.

It’s a breathtakingly stereotypical way to depict the way a society conducts itself on the battlefield.

Were southern soldiers too keen to rush forward with the bayonet ?

Editing here : another thought....in the earlier part of the war, were southerners fighting at a disadvantage in terms of weapons ? I allude here to the possession of rifled muskets ; was the North better endowed with these than the South until the middle of the war ? If so, then it’s understandable that southern soldiers were making a virtue of necessity , and attempting to press home to close quarters in order to nullify the enemy advantage .


Regards, Phil

---------------
"Egad, sir, I do not know whether you will die on the gallows or of the pox!"

"That will depend, my Lord, on whether I embrace your principles or your mistress."

Earl of Sandwich and John Wilkes

jahenders
Colorado Springs, CO, USA
top 25
E-6 Staff Sergeant


Posts: 320

Re: Attack and Die
Posted on: 4/26/2018 12:37:34 PM

Quote:

The thing is, John, which form of warfare is better suited to the conditions faced by the Confederacy ?

The Joe Johnston method : husband manpower , fight cautiously and preponderantly on the defensive ? Or the R.E. Lee approach : come out from your corner, and be prepared to take the blows in order to land the bigger ones on your opponent ?

I realise that this is an over simplification : Johnston did eventually launch his long awaited attacks ; and Lee made a deadly account of himself and his army when fighting on the defensive .

The premise of the book I allude to is that the Southern method of combat entailed persistent attacks in conditions which conferred the advantage to the defense.

It almost states that the South bled itself to death on account of its martial ardour. I don’t buy it ; but I do commend the brave foray of the authors.

Regards, Phil

--Phil andrade


I haven't read the book, but the premise of attributing the mis-alignment of tactics and the strategic situation to race/ethnic group certainly seems foolish.
I'd agree that the South, especially Lee, often attacked when they should have held back and, in so doing, lost in part because they expended manpower they could ill afford to lose against an enemy that had (relatively speaking) a limitless supply of manpower and material.

But, the South didn't do this because some of them are descended from Celts. I'd suggest they did it for two reasons: 1) Since they were in a relatively poor strategic situation, they felt the only way they could win was by being bold, 2) The mindset of some of their key leaders simply tended that way


John R. Price
Wilkes-Barre, PA, USA
top 15
E-8 Master Sergeant
Posts: 731

Re: Attack and Die
Posted on: 4/26/2018 1:04:12 PM
Phil,

Well then in my opinion he/they are misunderstanding the Southern code of honor which is really what they are talking about with the upbringing of Southern men. IMO that is more responsible with the bull and relationship problems within the officer corps and high command. The bayonet charge was just the basic tactic of the day and the day previous and after I might add.

I'd also hold back a little on the rifle vs smoothbore idea because the more I read in Union diaries the more I'm seeing smoothbores and buck and balls in use in the first year plus of the war. Both sides were handing out what was in inventory or what the militia brought with them.
---------------
A battle long forgotten by our country in a war never understood by our country.
"to satisfy our endless needs and justify our bloody deeds, in the name of destiny and in the name of God"


Phil andrade
London, UK
top 5
E-9 Cmd Sgt Major
Posts: 3069

Re: Attack and Die
Posted on: 4/26/2018 1:52:27 PM

Quote:

Quote:

The thing is, John, which form of warfare is better suited to the conditions faced by the Confederacy ?

The Joe Johnston method : husband manpower , fight cautiously and preponderantly on the defensive ? Or the R.E. Lee approach : come out from your corner, and be prepared to take the blows in order to land the bigger ones on your opponent ?

I realise that this is an over simplification : Johnston did eventually launch his long awaited attacks ; and Lee made a deadly account of himself and his army when fighting on the defensive .

The premise of the book I allude to is that the Southern method of combat entailed persistent attacks in conditions which conferred the advantage to the defense.

It almost states that the South bled itself to death on account of its martial ardour. I don’t buy it ; but I do commend the brave foray of the authors.

Regards, Phil

--Phil andrade


I haven't read the book, but the premise of attributing the mis-alignment of tactics and the strategic situation to race/ethnic group certainly seems foolish.
I'd agree that the South, especially Lee, often attacked when they should have held back and, in so doing, lost in part because they expended manpower they could ill afford to lose against an enemy that had (relatively speaking) a limitless supply of manpower and material.

But, the South didn't do this because some of them are descended from Celts. I'd suggest they did it for two reasons: 1) Since they were in a relatively poor strategic situation, they felt the only way they could win was by being bold, 2) The mindset of some of their key leaders simply tended that way


--jahenders



As John Price reminds us, there is also the need to deal with enemy incursions which threatened vulnerable points and had to be countered, even if that entailed fighting of the most intense kind. The enemy isn’t gracious enough to conform to your plans. Kitchener summed it up well in 1914 :

We have to make war as we must, not as we would wish !

The implication in McWhiney’s treatise is that there was a surfeit of martial ardour in southern men that rendered them susceptible to tactical profligacy.

It’s all too apparent from northern casualty lists that this zeal for combat was not confined to one section.

Regards, Phil
---------------
"Egad, sir, I do not know whether you will die on the gallows or of the pox!"

"That will depend, my Lord, on whether I embrace your principles or your mistress."

Earl of Sandwich and John Wilkes

Phil andrade
London, UK
top 5
E-9 Cmd Sgt Major
Posts: 3069

Re: Attack and Die
Posted on: 4/26/2018 5:13:30 PM
The way that confederate soldiers fought in the months of May and June 1864 - the worst period of intense and sustained bloodshed throughout four years of war - suggests that the terrible casualties of 1862 and 1863 had not blunted their resolve or their effectiveness.

They actually demonstrated a combat skill that indicated flourishing prowess and willingness and ability to fight to the utmost.

This is hard to reconcile with the McWhiney argument.

Regards, Phil
---------------
"Egad, sir, I do not know whether you will die on the gallows or of the pox!"

"That will depend, my Lord, on whether I embrace your principles or your mistress."

Earl of Sandwich and John Wilkes

Phil andrade
London, UK
top 5
E-9 Cmd Sgt Major
Posts: 3069

Re: Attack and Die
Posted on: 4/27/2018 1:43:05 AM
A very rough and ready arithmtical assessment reveals that the South put 900,000 men under arms , of whom 320,000 - about 35% - were killed or wounded in battle. The North fielded 2,000,000 men, of whom 400,000 , or 20%, shed their blood in combat.

These figures do not suggest that the South bled itself to death attacking yankees. The thirty five per cent who were killed or wounded in battle might be compared with the fifty per cent of French soldiers who were struck down in battle 1914-18, and the sixty per cent of Russian military personnel 1941-45.

There is a very significant caveat here : the much greater toll of disease in the Civil War, and the attrition imposed by the capture of great numbers of prisoners.

If these are taken into account, it’s feasible to argue that the Confederacy suffered unbearable damage to its manpower.

It’s a darned sight harder, I would contend, to attribute this to an unenlightened southern approach to the conduct of battle.

On the contrary, I would suggest that the Confederacy displayed a resourcefulness and adaptability that helped to prolong the war.

The failure to adopt Pat Cleburne’s advocacy of arming and freeing the slaves to fight for the South stands as a repudiation of that ; but the overall performance of the Confederacy’s war implies something remarkable in the husbandry and use of limited resources.

Regards, Phil
---------------
"Egad, sir, I do not know whether you will die on the gallows or of the pox!"

"That will depend, my Lord, on whether I embrace your principles or your mistress."

Earl of Sandwich and John Wilkes

John R. Price
Wilkes-Barre, PA, USA
top 15
E-8 Master Sergeant
Posts: 731

Re: Attack and Die
Posted on: 4/27/2018 2:36:04 AM
Phil,

What effect does the POW Exchange program have on the casualty figures and how does the fatality rate of POW's on both sides factor in?
---------------
A battle long forgotten by our country in a war never understood by our country.
"to satisfy our endless needs and justify our bloody deeds, in the name of destiny and in the name of God"


Phil andrade
London, UK
top 5
E-9 Cmd Sgt Major
Posts: 3069

Re: Attack and Die
Posted on: 4/27/2018 7:10:50 AM

Quote:
Phil,

What effect does the POW Exchange program have on the casualty figures and how does the fatality rate of POW's on both sides factor in?
--John R. Price


Good point, John : very significantly, I would say.

The notoriety of Grant’s decision to put a stop to the parole system must have had fatal consequences for thousands of men.

It’s hard to pin down numbers when it comes to prisoners .

I have always been shocked by the numbers of unwounded Confederate prisoners who were captured at Gettysburg and died in captivity. Something in the order of twenty per cent, I believe. Southerners are still angry about this. They point out that everyone thinks of Andersonville , but that the fate of the rebel prisoners is overlooked . What I want to point out, however, is that mortality from disease was so high in the army that many of those POWs who perished in captivity probably would have died anyway from the squalor and hardship of military life even if they had not been taken prisoner. Perhaps one in every six of all southerners who joined the army died from disease, and, of these, fewer than one fifth died whilst POW.

It’s arguable that commanders sought to try conclusions on the battlefield - even at the price of horrific bloodshed - because they knew that prolongation of the war would entail even greater attrition through disease. I’m sure that Grant went on record saying this : I don’t know about Lee, but it’s a fair assumption that he reckoned the same way.

Another thing comes to light : the units which took the heaviest battle casualties suffered relatively low disease mortality. A cynic would remark that this is because bullets caught them before the bugs did....but I suspect that high intensity combat and manoeuvre had some beneficial effect on morale, especially if victory accompanied them. That’s a very non PC thing to suggest, and many will be outraged by the statement. Civil War commanders have been vilified for insisting that men lost their edge when they remained behind their earthworks. It seems a callous thing, downright reprehensible.....but, I’m bound to say, perhaps there was a degree of sense in their observation .

Regards, Phil
---------------
"Egad, sir, I do not know whether you will die on the gallows or of the pox!"

"That will depend, my Lord, on whether I embrace your principles or your mistress."

Earl of Sandwich and John Wilkes

jahenders
Colorado Springs, CO, USA
top 25
E-6 Staff Sergeant


Posts: 320

Re: Attack and Die
Posted on: 4/27/2018 9:42:16 AM

Quote:
A very rough and ready arithmtical assessment reveals that the South put 900,000 men under arms , of whom 320,000 - about 35% - were killed or wounded in battle. The North fielded 2,000,000 men, of whom 400,000 , or 20%, shed their blood in combat.

These figures do not suggest that the South bled itself to death attacking yankees. The thirty five per cent who were killed or wounded in battle might be compared with the fifty per cent of French soldiers who were struck down in battle 1914-18, and the sixty per cent of Russian military personnel 1941-45.

There is a very significant caveat here : the much greater toll of disease in the Civil War, and the attrition imposed by the capture of great numbers of prisoners.

If these are taken into account, it’s feasible to argue that the Confederacy suffered unbearable damage to its manpower.

It’s a darned sight harder, I would contend, to attribute this to an unenlightened southern approach to the conduct of battle.

On the contrary, I would suggest that the Confederacy displayed a resourcefulness and adaptability that helped to prolong the war.

The failure to adopt Pat Cleburne’s advocacy of arming and freeing the slaves to fight for the South stands as a repudiation of that ; but the overall performance of the Confederacy’s war implies something remarkable in the husbandry and use of limited resources.

Regards, Phil
--Phil andrade


Phil,
A couple things:
1) Your caveat is very substantial -- disease and capture were very large factors.
2) Additionally, we need to consider desertion. Both sides had deserters of course. However, there were periods where the South hemorrhaged men via desertion. Desertion, of course, happens for a variety of reason, but hopelessness is often key, especially if one feels, "If I stay here, I'm going to die for nothin' -- I'll either get shot, stabbed, or starve to death."
3) Taking casualties as a pure number of men "under arms" can be problematic. The South had a fair number of men "under arms" who were far from any action, guarding various outposts, focus areas for certain states, etc. If you exclude these men under arms who are not part of the main battlefield armies, then the casualty rate among those battlefield armies (as a percentage of total) goes up somewhat. This was certainly a bigger issue for the North than the South, but it does exacerbate the casualty rates you mention

In general the South DID make great use of limited resources. I think few would doubt that. That being said, there were times that the South went on the offensive Strategically and/or Tactically where the correlation of forces would suggest defense instead. Sometimes this won them surprising victories, sometimes costly defeat. In either case, it typically cost them more men than defense likely would have. Since they were always at a strategic disadvantage (and often a tactical one) in manpower and materiel that was often unwise. You can win a great tactical victory, but if it leaves you worse of strategically, you've lost.

Jim


Phil Andrade
London, UK
top 5
E-9 Cmd Sgt Major
Posts: 3069

Re: Attack and Die
Posted on: 4/27/2018 12:50:04 PM
Jim,

Your points are both well made, and equally well taken.

The reason I focus on the figures for killed and wounded in action is because this is the feature that excercised McWhiney in his rendition: he tended to isolate the casualties of bloodshed and cite them as the principal testimony to the southern profligacy that he reckons contributed to the failure of the Confederacy.

As far as my guesswork is valid , it seems that a confederate soldier in the Civil War was about as likely to be killed in battle as a British soldier in World War One, which is pretty awful : even my grandchildren shudder at the very names Somme and Passchendaele.

The striking difference lies in the toll of disease : a confederate soldier was ten times as likely to succumb to fatal illness as his British counterpart half a century later.

Yes, the additional toll of disease and desertion was enormous.

Regards, Phil
---------------
"Egad, sir, I do not know whether you will die on the gallows or of the pox!"

"That will depend, my Lord, on whether I embrace your principles or your mistress."

Earl of Sandwich and John Wilkes

John R. Price
Wilkes-Barre, PA, USA
top 15
E-8 Master Sergeant
Posts: 731

Re: Attack and Die
Posted on: 4/27/2018 1:26:02 PM
Phil,

Back to the original point of discussion and I found a quote you might find interesting.

"use only the bayonet and carry every battery the enemy shows.' That isn't from 62 and it isn't from a Confederate commander. It is in a dispatch Warren sent Meade from the Brock road on the morning of May 7, 1864 on the road to Spotsylvania telling of the orders he gave his lead Division under Robinson.

Wouldn't the correlation be discipline and command ability? I mean disease would have been effected gtreatly by how and where latrines were built in a camp for instance and commander ensuring the details and instilling the discipline that latrines will be used exclusively rather than here, there or anywhere make a difference.
---------------
A battle long forgotten by our country in a war never understood by our country.
"to satisfy our endless needs and justify our bloody deeds, in the name of destiny and in the name of God"


Phil andrade
London, UK
top 5
E-9 Cmd Sgt Major
Posts: 3069

Re: Attack and Die
Posted on: 4/27/2018 6:56:17 PM
John,

This is most interesting.

Reliance on the bayonet was to the fore in Upton’s attack on the Mule Shoe on 10 May, and was replicated in the pre dawn attack on a much bigger scale two days later. Far from being rendered obsolete, the cold steel was still being promulgated in the war’s final year.

Help me out a bit on the allusion to latrines. As Walt Whitman said, War is nine hundred and ninety nine parts diarrhoea ....the reference to discipline and command ability needs to be explained ; huge scope for discussion here.

Regards,Phil

---------------
"Egad, sir, I do not know whether you will die on the gallows or of the pox!"

"That will depend, my Lord, on whether I embrace your principles or your mistress."

Earl of Sandwich and John Wilkes

John R. Price
Wilkes-Barre, PA, USA
top 15
E-8 Master Sergeant
Posts: 731

Re: Attack and Die
Posted on: 4/27/2018 8:43:42 PM
Phil.

You stated that as rule of thumb units with higher battle casualties had lower mortality rates to disease. I'm saying that discipline and leadership could be the reason why using the latrine as a example of why I'm putting it out there. There is a hell of a lot that goes into military leadership that isn't bravery and knowledge of tactics and strategy.
---------------
A battle long forgotten by our country in a war never understood by our country.
"to satisfy our endless needs and justify our bloody deeds, in the name of destiny and in the name of God"


Phil andrade
London, UK
top 5
E-9 Cmd Sgt Major
Posts: 3069

Re: Attack and Die
Posted on: 4/28/2018 2:50:37 AM
John,

Thanks....your explanation carries great weight : hygiene drill is every bit as important as battle drill.

Throughout this thread I have been relying on estimates of confederate death rates ; the figures are based on the research of Fox.

The widely cited number of 258,000 Confederate deaths from all causes is based on his guesswork.

The implications of such a figure - bearing in mind the population of the Confedearacy - are that approaching one quarter of all white males of military age died or were killed. That is staggering.

Regards, Phil
---------------
"Egad, sir, I do not know whether you will die on the gallows or of the pox!"

"That will depend, my Lord, on whether I embrace your principles or your mistress."

Earl of Sandwich and John Wilkes

Phil andrade
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Re: Attack and Die
Posted on: 4/28/2018 4:01:45 AM
Some more thoughts need to be pitched. I worry that I’m firing through too many portholes here, but there is an aspect to this that I want to discuss.

A southern preference for attacking is one thing. Willingness to engage in intense and sustained battle is another. McWhiney suggests that the South combined both these attributes to an extent that caused it excessive damage.

Take a survey of the immense series of battles that raged in the East from late June to later September 1862. The Seven Days is the supreme exemplar of southern prodigality in attacking strongly defended yankee positions, and paying an appalling price for doing so. Now take a look at the ensuing Second Mannassas fighting ; this is rather different, isn’t it ? Which side displayed the greater tendency to press home costly attacks this time ? The Railroad Cut has a story to tell. Then again, Longstreet’s juggernaut on 30 August was one of the biggest attacks of the war....and a strikingly successful one too.

Who pressed home a reckless attack at Cedar Mountain ? Banks, if I am correct.

The Maryland Campaign shows Lee at his most reckless....but this time he’s exposing his men in a defiant and outrageously risky defensive stand at Sharpsburg.

The Bloodiest Day : who attacks more this time ? It’s arguable that southern counter attacks were so bold and expensive that they displayed a form of recklessness and might be cited in a McWhiney treatise ; but they were compelled by a series of crises for an army that was fighting for survival, literally.

All in all, through those three months in the East, Lee’s soldiers took immense casualties in a series of bloody and desperate battles ..... my guess is that approaching forty five thousand of them were killed or wounded, in addition to those taken prisoner, and thousands who deserted, straggled or fell victim to sickness and exhaustion. An excessive price ? Given the strategic advantages that Lee gained - Washington threatened, the Union itself under the most frightening threat at the end of August - it’s arguable that the price was worth paying. And how far was that price based on an excessive preference for the attack ?
I think we need to countenance a southern willingness to accept intense and repeated combat, but we must avoid conflating that with a singular preference for attack.

Now consider another Attack and Die scenario : the Overland Campaign of May and June 1864. Which side demonstrates the syndrome this time ; what was the price ; and what was gained ?

I reckon McWhiney might change his mind.

Regards, Phil
---------------
"Egad, sir, I do not know whether you will die on the gallows or of the pox!"

"That will depend, my Lord, on whether I embrace your principles or your mistress."

Earl of Sandwich and John Wilkes

Nick Spencer
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Re: Attack and Die
Posted on: 6/23/2018 10:28:06 AM
Depends on the inputs and if your trying to prove anything, or trying to answering a question.


At the Wilderness, Grant had 118,000 men, suffered 18,000 casualties; Lee had 67,000 men, suffered 11,000 casualties.

At Spotsylvania, Grant had 100,000 men, suffered 18,000 casualties; Lee had 57,000 men, suffered 12,500 casualties.

At North Anna, Grant had 115,000 men, suffered 2,600 casualties; Lee had 63,900 men, suffered 1,600 casualties.

At Cold Harbor, Grant had 130,000 effectives, suffered 13,000 casualties; Lee had 75,700 men, suffered 5,000 casualties.

So Grant/Lee both had to have enough replacements from, injured/new draft/fresh units to make good their casulaties suffered and move up from 118,000 to 130,000, and 67,000 to 75,700.

Total forces employed. Grant 192200 with 51600 losses Lee 106000 with 30500.

So we can go Grant inflicted 17% on lee and suffered 28% own army size in doing so for a normalized cost benifit of -11%, while lee went inflicting 49% and sufferd 28% in doing so, for a normalized cost benifit of +21%. in other words, Grant was 89% effiecent in doing what he did, while lee was 121% effiecent.

Grant caused 30500/192200 as a %
lee caused 51600/106000 as a %
Grant lost 51600/192200 as a %
lee lost 3050/1060008 as a %

L-Streets attack on day 2 at G-Burg

Casulaties for L-strets attack.
III Corps 11,924, V corps 12,509, XI Corps 2700: Total 27133
Hood and Mclaws 20,000. ( inc arty Crews rather than work through US ton remove those numbers)

Losses CS to US.

Wheat Field 2822 4133
Emmitsburg Road 1978 2645
Peach orchard 1047 1285
Round Top 826 575
Total 6673 8638

US inflicted 25% of its start strength as losses on the CS, CS inflicted 43% of its start strengt as losses on US, CS lost 33% of start strength in doing so, US lost 32%.

L-street attack at odds of 2:3.

US inflicting 24.6% while loseing 31.8% shows a negative of 7.2%.
CS inflicting 43% while loseing 33.4%,shows a posative of 9.8%.

Pickets charge
Pickets charge

US 116.7%/57.5% US is +59.2%
CS 28.8%/58.3% CS is -29.5%




Phil andrade
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Re: Attack and Die
Posted on: 6/23/2018 4:13:36 PM
Nick,

Allow me to suggest an important caveat to these tabular comparisons.

There are casualties..... and there are casualties, so to speak.

By this, I mean that two opposing armies might suffer remarkably similar casualty totals in a fight ; but, for whatever reasons, the irreplaceable losses might be significantly higher on one side than they are on the other.

At the Wilderness, Grant lost 17,660 men, while Lee took 11,125 casualties. In proportionate terms, by the criterion of total casualties, they suffered similar damage.....but a far higher proportion of Lee’s wounded were slight cases, and the actual number of fatalities represented a significantly lower proportion of casualties in the Confederate figures than they did among the Federals. Very few of Lee’s wounded were abandoned to the enemy.

At Gettysburg , on the other hand, while the two armies suffered an uncannily similar number of total casualties , Lee abandoned his wounded to the enemy to a far greater extent than did the Federals. This pushed the level of irrevocable casualties in the AoNV to a much higher level than that of the AoP, although the total casualty figures in the two armies were almost identical.

I hope I make a convincing case for interpreting th figures here.

Regards, Phil

---------------
"Egad, sir, I do not know whether you will die on the gallows or of the pox!"

"That will depend, my Lord, on whether I embrace your principles or your mistress."

Earl of Sandwich and John Wilkes

John R. Price
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Re: Attack and Die
Posted on: 6/23/2018 6:41:28 PM
Phil,

Add what effect those casualties have on the civilian perception of the war and their willingness to continue to support the war effort.
---------------
A battle long forgotten by our country in a war never understood by our country.
"to satisfy our endless needs and justify our bloody deeds, in the name of destiny and in the name of God"


Phil andrade
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Re: Attack and Die
Posted on: 6/24/2018 3:43:09 AM

Quote:
Phil,

Add what effect those casualties have on the civilian perception of the war and their willingness to continue to support the war effort.
--John R. Price


Yes, John, absolutely ! In this respect I get the impression that the North was more fragile, especially in the impact on the political administration . Lee must have factored that in. Indeed, the Overland Campaign is often cited as Grant’s attritional onslaught against the Confederacy ; I get the impression that it was more like the other way round, with Lee seeking to inflict such damage that Lincoln would fail to get re-elected. Lee came closer to succeeding in his goal here than Grant did, if we focus on the Overland in isolation.....but I suppose we must take the over all impact into account, and see it as just one part of a massive concerted union effort that eventually prevailed .

Nick,

You’ve just joined us, and I want to welcome you, and hope that you will pitch in again ASAP.

Regards, Phil
---------------
"Egad, sir, I do not know whether you will die on the gallows or of the pox!"

"That will depend, my Lord, on whether I embrace your principles or your mistress."

Earl of Sandwich and John Wilkes

Nick Spencer
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Re: Attack and Die
Posted on: 6/25/2018 5:17:14 AM

Quote:
Nick,

Allow me to suggest an important caveat to these tabular comparisons.

There are casualties..... and there are casualties, so to speak.

By this, I mean that two opposing armies might suffer remarkably similar casualty totals in a fight ; but, for whatever reasons, the irreplaceable losses might be significantly higher on one side than they are on the other.

At the Wilderness, Grant lost 17,660 men, while Lee took 11,125 casualties. In proportionate terms, by the criterion of total casualties, they suffered similar damage.....but a far higher proportion of Lee’s wounded were slight cases, and the actual number of fatalities represented a significantly lower proportion of casualties in the Confederate figures than they did among the Federals. Very few of Lee’s wounded were abandoned to the enemy.

At Gettysburg , on the other hand, while the two armies suffered an uncannily similar number of total casualties , Lee abandoned his wounded to the enemy to a far greater extent than did the Federals. This pushed the level of irrevocable casualties in the AoNV to a much higher level than that of the AoP, although the total casualty figures in the two armies were almost identical.

I hope I make a convincing case for interpreting th figures here.

Regards, Phil


--Phil andrade


Phil

A casualty is something inflicted on you that deprives you of assets for any period of time, so being WIA and returned to duty is still a casualty. Being WIA and captured, and then returned under an exchange of pow is still a casualty. Irrevocable casualties are those KIA or died of wounds, ie never returned but require replacement. Micro data is different from macro, and there is not enough for the CS in all theatres to do it except by extrapolation, but it could be done. For most readers, i guess, all they really want to hold in their head is how effiecent are the commanders in battle, ( if 2 men fight and both die they are both 10%% effiecent, if 4 fight 2 and 2 die each side, the side with 4 is only half as effiecent) do they achieve their mission goals, and is the cost of doing so able to be born by the nation.

As my post pointed out returned to duty, ie seen by a docter and judged able to return to duty, is present in the calculations.

Back to Attack and Die, he presents only the loss of the force as being important, hence Lees agression is bad as it bleeds out the ANV in eneconomical attacks. His lee in all campaigns maths shows lee lost 20.2% and inflicted 15.4% on his oponents. So he hopes a readers thinks Lee was uneconomic, but this is dishonest, as it only shows what is lost, not what it took to inflict the loss, when you do that, you find the oposite is true. Lee inficted 22% to suffer 20% in doing so and his openents sufferd 15% to inflict 14%.

His choice of numbers is also very suspect, 17k US and 22K CS losses at G-Burg for instance, ignoring Grants 30k replacemnts in overland etc.

You might like this https://books.google.co.uk/books?id=8urEDgAAQBAJ&pg=PA284&lpg=PA284&dq=attack+and+die+hanny+total+war+center&source=bl&ots=MxUOEnjoKt&sig=Cu1TYANWxxaM1G7_S9u8sVqSW_U&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwi5oKyQkOzbAhWFB8AKHdRtDU4Q6AEIYDAH#v=onepage&q=attack%20and%20die%20hanny%20total%20war%20center&f=false

Attack and Die is also a google book, free online to read.



Nick Spencer
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Re: Attack and Die
Posted on: 6/25/2018 5:43:55 AM

Quote:
Phil,

Add what effect those casualties have on the civilian perception of the war and their willingness to continue to support the war effort.
--John R. Price


At a US lost 5 to inflict 3 ratio for overland, the support for Grants style of war, in the North went south, Lincoln expected to lose in election, only success elswhere gave lincoln victory at the polls. 15% of all wartime casualties occur in Overland for the North.

Nick Spencer
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Re: Attack and Die
Posted on: 6/25/2018 9:03:36 AM

Quote:
A very rough and ready arithmtical assessment reveals that the South put 900,000 men under arms , of whom 320,000 - about 35% - were killed or wounded in battle. The North fielded 2,000,000 men, of whom 400,000 , or 20%, shed their blood in combat.

http://www.civilwarhome.com/casualties.htm
http://www.essentialcivilwarcurriculum.com/disease-in-the-civil-war.html
https://books.google.co.uk/books?id=3ZPNcOisgfMC&pg=PA3&lpg=PA3&dq=medical+accounts+of+the+army+of+the+potomac&source=bl&ots=DighEsHATp&sig=g8JfKhj5mANXCQPfQ_Bu9JEpHgA&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwjxkbGN8-7bAhWTbMAKHVoHAvM4ChDoAQguMAE#v=onepage&q=medical%20accounts%20of%20the%20army%20of%20the%20potomac&f=false This probaly the source for your reference to the 6k CS WIA at G_burg going north as pows, in case you only saw a reference to G-burg and not other instances.

I used to have a working online link to the army of the Potomac 4 volume acount of all wounds treated, but its a dead link now, dammit.
Never mind found one https://archive.org/details/medicalsurgical32barnrich

Another intresting way to look at the human cost of the war, people die in peace and war time, in peacetime in agricultural society its at a rate of 17 per 000 per annum, but in a high urban population it rises to 25 per 000. Putting hundreds of 000s, or even 10s of 000s of men togther in wartime
changes their peacetime death rate from 17 to 25, so its actually only the difference between the two that are an extra human cost of the war. Think of armies as high urban populations moving across the land in wartime with that level of expected death as oposed to being back in their rural homes witha far lower loss of expected life. In the decade up to 1860, the death rate per year, was 2.2% of the total population, death was common back then, people were used to it. Much more so than we are today.

Phil andrade
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Re: Attack and Die
Posted on: 6/25/2018 11:47:52 AM
Nick,

Thanks for pitching in again !

I had hoped that you would do so.

Have you read Alfred C Young’s book on the numbers regarding the AoNV in the Overland Campaign ; and also John and Travis Busey’s survey of Confederate casualties at Gettysburg ?

I cite those two books because they reveal just how much data we now have as a result of the internet age of research. When I first started studying the Civil War, it was a matter of faith that the actual numbers of confederate casualties in certain battles and campaigns could never be known, and we’d have to rely on the estimates of Livermore to tide us over. Things are very different now. Service records, muster rolls, newspaper articles and pension records have allowed us some very authoratitive and defining figures , produced by people with the patience and motivation to do the research.

The Attack and Die tabulations are very much based on the estimates of Livermore, and his statistics are deployed without any challenge as to their accuracy.

To cite one example, Lee’s Gettysburg casualties are cited as 22,638 killed and wounded because that is what Livermore estimated ( 3,903 killed and 18,735 wounded ). Livermore himself extrapolated and conjectured to arrive at this figure.

Busey and Son now provide us with a properly and painstakingly researched figure of 19,092 killed and wounded ( 3,446 killed and 15,646 wounded, of whom 1,995 died from their wounds).

There are similarly meticulous breakdowns in the figures for the Overland as compiled by Alfred Young.

Regards, Phil
---------------
"Egad, sir, I do not know whether you will die on the gallows or of the pox!"

"That will depend, my Lord, on whether I embrace your principles or your mistress."

Earl of Sandwich and John Wilkes

Nick Spencer
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Re: Attack and Die
Posted on: 6/26/2018 2:38:53 AM
https://www.amazon.co.uk/Lost-Cause-Confederate-Army-1865/dp/188281049X/ref=sr_1_9?ie=UTF8&qid=1529994456&sr=8-9&keywords=lost+for+the+cause

Is imo the best record we currently have, and at 8 quid a bargain resource. Yes ive read all the authors you mention, not all are still on my book shelf tho.

Yes the net has allowed us all access to data and be able to make our own judgments rather than read others inpretation of it.
Pension rolls for instance and McPherson there were no black confederates.
McPherson BCF page 306 uses the surviving CS veterns total including negoes, divides into into surviving US total of white and negro to get his 42%, its the only way to get 42% from those numbers.

He then says that US 2,100,000 US total saw service, so the CS 42% ( plus some because CS lost a higher % in the war from combat) would have given them 882,00 soldiers and sailors.

Which means the official records and McPherson posistion is that 1%, 8,882 CS negro soldiers/sailors were mobolised, and saw service.

Now McPherson was a little sloopy, he failed to tabulate surving negro war widows for the CSA, so the number of survivoirs was little higher.

We can cross refernce that 8,882 number with other census data.Total population of free blacks in the southern states was 132760, from that number 32,291 were of military age during 1860-1865.

So, when we take the US Governments figures from the Veterans Census, including war widows, we have a minium number of 8800 and max of 32000. If we look at USCT 53k still surving in 1890 to be counted ( compared to a 180k end of war strength) we can see the effect of negros life expetency being lower, when compared to whites. ( ie blacks were dying quicker than whites in the northern example of surviviors to end of war known number, so CS surviviors should follow the same ratio of deaths) So we can aduce the likely upper limit of the number of free men of colour who served the CS states in the mil as soldier/Naval as 8800 which is 27% of the total manpower pool, which compares to CS whites at 40%, These numbers of white and black CS participation level and gives us our range of CS mil participation of free men of colour, 9000 or so.

US Soldiers and Sailors

Total 1,034,073

White 980,274............95%

Black 53,799.................5%


CS Soldiers and Sailors

Total 432,020

White 428,747...........99%

Black 3,273..................1%

Raw data is here:
http://www2.census.gov/prod2/decenni...0a_v1p2-14.pdf

SC black confederate pension rolls are here http://www.latinamericanstudies.org/slavery/Black-Confederate-Pensioners.pdf

Phil andrade
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Re: Attack and Die
Posted on: 6/26/2018 8:40:55 AM
Nick,
There are attributes of the casualty stats of this war that defy widely held views.

Take the mortality from wounds, for example.

McPherson states in his one volume history that medical services favoured Northerners to the extent that, if fourteen per cent of federal wounded died from their wounds in hospital, we might assume that eighteen per cent of their confederate counterparts succumbed.

Gettysburg would stand as a good example of the abandonment of wounded and the concomitant mortality in the confederate army.

Yet, as Busey & Son have revealed, of 15,646 wounded from Lee’s army at Gettysburg, 1,995 died,which equates to 12.75%.

He records the deaths of 2,100 Union Gettysburg wounded from 14,500 : a mortality rate of 14.5%.

Contrary to expectation, it was the yankee wounded who fared worse, even in a battle entailing the defeat and retreat of the rebels.

The Overland Campaign likewise produced a significantly more favourable survival rate among confederate wounded than it did for the Federals : we have A.C. Young’s research to refer to, and the summary for the entire campaign reveals that 2,105 confederates died from their wounds, from a total of 19,857 who were wounded in action : a death rate of 10.6%. Ironically , the Union casualty figures for the campaign have not been given the same attention : the assumption being that they are bound to be correct and that they can be taken at face value. My own research suggests a very different conclusion. Using Fox, and taking the muster rolls of individual regiments, it’s possible to identify the actual mortality from individual engagements , and compare it with the official return of killed in action. As one might expect, the fate of many of the missing in action, and the mortality from wounds, greatly increases the fatal toll. The Battle of the Wilderness, for example, yielded a total of 2,246 yankees posted as confirmed killed ; but the investigation I carried out indicates at least another two thousand additional deaths, attributable to the fate of the missing ( many of them burnt to death) , and the subsequent mortality among wounded men. The disparity was greatest at Cold Harbor : no surprise there, given the fate of the wounded who were posted as missing, but who were left to die between the lines.
Young identifies the confederate loss in the campaign as 3,525 killed outright : barely more in thirty odd days as Lee had lost in three at Gettysburg. Most strikingly of all, only 867 wounded confederates were left in enemy hands, compared with 7,581 at Gettysburg.

This exemplifies my point about the nature of the casualties being important, as a caveat regarding the total numbers.

Regards, Phil
---------------
"Egad, sir, I do not know whether you will die on the gallows or of the pox!"

"That will depend, my Lord, on whether I embrace your principles or your mistress."

Earl of Sandwich and John Wilkes

Phil andrade
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Re: Attack and Die
Posted on: 6/27/2018 2:34:04 AM
Nick,

A more concise rendition of what I’ve been trying to say : the 24,000 confederate casualties at Gettysburg included a higher number of irrevocable losses than the 33,000 suffered in the Overland. This despite the fact that twice as many unwounded southern prisoners were captured in the Overland. Despite the great haul of rebel prisoners captured at Spotsylvania and elsewhere in the Wilderness to Cold Harbor fighting. fewer than half the casualties suffered by Lee’s men were killed or captured, including the 867 who were left wounded or dying in enemy hands. At Gettysburg, two thirds of the Confederate casualties were killed or captured, with most of the latter being wounded or dying. The effect on morale needs to be considered : there are few things more deleterious to this than abandoning your wounded brothers in arms to the enemy.

Young’s research is ground breaking and heroic : yet he fails to comment on the fantastically low number of wounded rebels who were captured. It astonishes me that he hasn’t made that connection in the breakdown of the casualties.

Regards, Phil
---------------
"Egad, sir, I do not know whether you will die on the gallows or of the pox!"

"That will depend, my Lord, on whether I embrace your principles or your mistress."

Earl of Sandwich and John Wilkes

Nick Spencer
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Re: Attack and Die
Posted on: 6/27/2018 4:55:58 AM

Quote:
Phil
There are attributes of the casualty stats of this war that defy widely held views.

Take the mortality from wounds, for example.

McPherson states in his one volume history that medical services favoured Northerners to the extent that, if fourteen per cent of federal wounded died from their wounds in hospital, we might assume that eighteen per cent of their confederate counterparts succumbed.


BCF page 485 footnote 37 is based on Fox tabulations for US and livermoores for CS and two small books written in the 1930s.

Not necessarily acurate https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4790547/ US 12000 trained docters to CS 3000 is certainly a factor, as was the work load of 2000000 cases for the north. See link for more recent studies that through Mc numbers into doubt.

Quote:

Gettysburg would stand as a good example of the abandonment of wounded and the concomitant mortality in the confederate army.

Yet, as Busey & Son have revealed, of 15,646 wounded from Lee’s army at Gettysburg, 1,995 died,which equates to 12.75%.

He records the deaths of 2,100 Union Gettysburg wounded from 14,500 : a mortality rate of 14.5%.

Contrary to expectation, it was the yankee wounded who fared worse, even in a battle entailing the defeat and retreat of the rebels.


Not surprising, the CS took away the lightly wounded and left 6802 too badly wounded to move behind to be taken as pows, so in CS records they show up as missing,n presumed pow, not casualties, these would have a disproportionate death from wounds outcome in US care, see Coddington A Study in command page 537 footnote 18, esp how CS only records a a casualty as a casualty if it means they are not fit for duty as oposed to the US system of recording anyone seen by a docter as a casualty. Mc uses US numbers as PFD and that includes extra duty assignment, but uses CS numbers that exclude such deductions, since this is a rather large deduction he under represents CS numbers.

To complicate matters further, at F-Burg post battle, many CS missing returned shortly after being awol to vist relations in the region as the campaign was clearly over, and authors have used the higher CS loss without relasing they were only temporily awol and not combat casulaties. But had the campaign continued they would not be present for duty.

To my knowledge this is the best single reposistory of data
https://www.nlm.nih.gov/hmd/about/exhibition/pdf/2011directoryofamericancivilwarcollections.pdf

Gross numbers and sourc es here
https://books.google.co.uk/books/about/Final_Report_Made_to_the_Secretary_of_Wa.html?id=eZCsYgEACAAJ&redir_esc=y


Quote:

This exemplifies my point about the nature of the casualties being important, as a caveat regarding the total numbers.



Any form of casualty that makes an asset not present for duty is the same, its how you use the numbers thats important, by using cost benifit, what it cost to what it inflicted, it matters not what the numbers are to begin with. If only counting what each side lost, your not answering the question of effiecency.

Nick Spencer
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Re: Attack and Die
Posted on: 6/27/2018 5:21:17 AM

Quote:
Phil

A more concise rendition of what I’ve been trying to say : the 24,000 confederate casualties at Gettysburg included a higher number of irrevocable losses than the 33,000 suffered in the Overland. This despite the fact that twice as many unwounded southern prisoners were captured in the Overland. Despite the great haul of rebel prisoners captured at Spotsylvania and elsewhere in the Wilderness to Cold Harbor fighting. fewer than half the casualties suffered by Lee’s men were killed or captured, including the 867 who were left wounded or dying in enemy hands. At Gettysburg, two thirds of the Confederate casualties were killed or captured, with most of the latter being wounded or dying. The effect on morale needs to be considered : there are few things more deleterious to this than abandoning your wounded brothers in arms to the enemy.

Young’s research is ground breaking and heroic : yet he fails to comment on the fantastically low number of wounded rebels who were captured. It astonishes me that he hasn’t made that connection in the breakdown of the casualties.

Regards, Phil
--Phil andrade


Ah but Youngs principly intersted in trying to make Grant look good.

He writes " Lastly, even the rolls that are all present and properly filed frequently do not show or report the occurrence of slight wounds. The critical May–June roll reflects the status of a soldier on June 30. Even if he was slightly wounded in an engagement in May, sent to a hospital for a short period, and returned to the ranks, this would not be shown on the June 30 report."

Here he shows he is not aware of how the CS filled there medical reports in, and instead judges them inacurate, and contradicts what is known about CS medicaL reports.

Instead he prefers newspaper reports of casualties, i ask you what more reliable the Governmnts or judicary records, of number of rapes in the last year, or the number reported in the press?.

Young has no training as a historian, and is a revisionst of the unhelpfull kind.

D S Freeman and Coddington et al all comment that CS morale post G-Burg was high not low. Its the north with a morale and manpower problem problem post Overland, as well as the South, Grant starting with 1.75 odds in his favour, droping to 1.2 by August, rising to 1.76 by Oct, dropping to 1.52 by Nov before going over 2 to one from Jan till end of war.

Grant in June had recieved every man the war dept had to send, 55,178 individual reinforcements, the barrell was empty, "The siege of Richmond bids fare to be tedious, and in consequence of the very extended lines we must have, a much larger force will be necessary than would be required in ordinary sieges against the same force that now opposes us. With my present force I feel perfectly safe against Lee's Army, and acting defensively would still feel so against Lee and Johnston combined. But we want to act offensively. In my opinion to do this, effectively we should concentrate our whole energy against the two principal Armies of the enemy. ... All the troops [Canby] can spare should be sent here at once. In my opinion the white troops of the 19th Corps can all come together, with many of the colored troops. I wish you would place this matter before the Sec. of War and urge that no offensive operations West of the Miss, be allowed to commence until matters here are settled. Send the 19th Corps and such other troops as you can, from the Dept. of the Gulf, to me". - Grant to Halleck, 23rd June 1864.

Early actions in the valley, just like Jacksons, pushed back Grants plans by a 8/9 months.

Another such example that Attack and Die ignores, necisity, in the 7 days Lee pushed the AoP away from a siege of Richmond, a siege is meerly a question of time, in 61 there was no vast range of prepared defences as there was by end of 64, had lee not achieved what he did, at a high cost to be sure, the siege would have ended the war in 62 in all probability.

Phil andrade
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Re: Attack and Die
Posted on: 6/27/2018 8:52:36 AM
Nick,

You’re mistaken - if you’ll forgive me saying so - in the matter of those 6,802 wounded confederates left behind after Gettysburg. When Busey investigated the southern casualties, he identified the fate of all the missing, including those who were omitted entirely from the original returns ( of which there were very large numbers in Heth’s and Pender’s commands ), and he re-allocated many of them to the total of killed. Nothing better illustrates this than the analysis of Pickett’s command, which returned a fulsome report of 2,880 casualties. Only 232 were posted as killed, but 1,499 were reported missing. Busey has traced the fate of all of them, and has increased the number killed in Pickett’s division to just under 500, with an additional 233 died from wounds. Many of the abandoned wounded were recorded as casualties ; although in many cases they had been posted as missing rather than as wounded. Many of them were not accounted for at all, especially in AP Hill’s Corps . Lord knows how Busey and Son found the time and inclination to discover their fate. A labour of love, if ever there was one.

I am impressed by the importance civil war soldiers attached to the recovery of dead and wounded comrades. This is a case of stating the bleeding obvious, of course....but in that era it assumed a high priority, and I suspect that it impinged on morale to a greater extent than we might allow for. Bragg, that notoriously ascerbic personality, was very emotional about leaving his wounded behind after Murfreesboro. When Hood claimed a degree of success after that massacre at Franklin, he cited the abandonment by the Federals of their dead and wounded on the field as a justification. It’s significant that nearly half the yankee casualties in that battle were posted as missing, with the number of their killed being understated.

So I attach high importance to the effect on morale when it comes to the way casualties are accounted for ; in that regard, it’s a function of efficiency and husbandry, which needs to be countenanced.

Regards, Phil
---------------
"Egad, sir, I do not know whether you will die on the gallows or of the pox!"

"That will depend, my Lord, on whether I embrace your principles or your mistress."

Earl of Sandwich and John Wilkes

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