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(1861-1865) Civil War Battles (Eastern Theater)
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morris crumley
Dunwoody
GA USA
Posts: 2554
Re: A request for a rough and ready assessment
Posted on: 2/3/2019 1:11:06 PM

One factor that may account for the casualties...and certainly accounts for the size of the forces, the supplies and ordnance and logistical support for those larger forces, is transport.

That war was as much about railroad tracks and navigable rivers and streams as anything else. The east had a much more extensive network of rail lines...and had more navigable streams than in some areas of the western conflicts...taken overall. It was easier to provide the greater logistical tails for larger armies in the east. Large armies, maneuvering and fighting over these important 19th century highways, will mean more men fighting more battles...and higher casualty totals that occur.

Respects, Morris
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"You are a $70, red-wool, pure quill military genius, or the biggest damn fool in northern Mexico."
Phil andrade
London
 UK
Posts: 4304
Re: A request for a rough and ready assessment
Posted on: 2/3/2019 1:54:00 PM

Morris,

Yes, you’re right ...that must be so : an effective logistical support allows prolonged and sustained combat, with consequential loss of life. Look no further than France and Flanders 1914-18 : huge armies kept in position, backed up with sophisticated lines of support and constantly replenished with men and munitions.

To a degree, this might be said of the area between Richmond and Washington 1861-65. A bit more hit and miss in the mountainous and forested areas of the Western theatre.

My point, though, remains to be addressed. Why is it that in the western battles, the armies seem to have put everyone into the fight , while in the East, large contingents did little while small sections took extreme punishment ? Whole yankee corps stood by at Antietam and Gettysburg, suffering minimal casualties , while other cohorts at the sharp end suffered virtual annihilation.

This might be over simplified, but the rendition I put in my previous post convinces me that there must be something in it.

Regards , Phil
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"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
Posts: 1058
Re: A request for a rough and ready assessment
Posted on: 2/3/2019 7:50:37 PM

Phil.

Could a less effective artillery branch because of the terrain in the West factor in? A lot more cleared land in the more densely populated East.


I'm not sure you can pin it down to a single overriding factor but rather its a combination of many different factors and in all honesty if Franklin and Nashville were included we wouldn't be having this discussion.

Edit Just popped into my head but I remember reading in the orders that extra details were to be made from Union regiments in the West to crew the supply boats and barges on the rivers. Could more men being "detailed" but still on the books of regiments be a cause of lower percentage loss for Union Western Regiments?
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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
Posts: 4304
Re: A request for a rough and ready assessment
Posted on: 2/4/2019 4:42:17 AM

John,

You make a good point about the possible additional details consigned to support duties in the West : if this swelled the nominal strength of the regiment, that would certainly account for differences from the eastern record, where it was more likely that only those involved in the fight were counted.

You’re right to mention the deployment of artillery being more effective in the open eastern farmlands : Chickamauga certainly exemplified this, with immense expenditure of musketry rounds and a comparatively trivial number of artillery projectiles being fired.

The challenging point, though, is that the overall percentage rates of bloodshed in some western battles exceeded those of the East : take Stones River, for example : by Livermore’s analysis, 22.3% of the entire Federal army killed or wounded , compared with 21.2% at Gettysburg. But Stones River does not replicate Gettysburg in the array of regiments suffering outrageous casualties : I cannot for the life of me attribute this to any other reason but that the Yankees at Stones River pitched everything they had into the fight, and that, consequently, the loss was more evenly spread, with many more units suffering thirty to forty per cent casualties, but fewer suffering sixty per cent or more. It’s a question of the spread, rather than the individual record. I suspect that if we analysed the casualties of Grant’s Army of the Tennessee at Shiloh, the same thing would be apparent - allowing for Lew Wallace’s missing division, on that first day virtually every Federal brigade got caught up and took punishment.

The same applies to Confederate regimental losses when we compare Gettysburg with Murfreesboro : there were more extreme rates recorded at Gettysburg, but the overall spread yielded bloodier loss at Murfreesboro in terms of percentage .

Remember to put in all your men ! .....so Lincoln is supposed to have admonished one or two of his eastern commanders. Did he ever have to ask that of Grant or Rosecrans ?

You mention Franklin and Nashville, and suggest that, had they been properly reported, we wouldn’t be having this discussion. Franklin is, of course, especially notorious. I don’t think that Nashville would come onto the radar at all in terms of bloodshed : it was mass surrender that accounted for rebel loss there, not heavy loss in killed and wounded. Rather similar to Chattanooga in that respect. As for Franklin, while Fox doesn’t tabulate southern regimental casualties from that battle, he does cite one brigade report which is pretty awful : Cockrell’s Missouri Brigade took sixty per cent casualties, including an unusually high proportion of killed. Had the individual regiments therein been shown, we would have some horrific details. But, at the risk of seeming heretical, I wonder if Franklin’s reputation has distorted things....what I’m saying here is not playing down Franklin, but suggesting that other fights have been overlooked. Corinth comes to my mind : a really nasty fight with rebels charging earthworks and being cut down by musketry and canister at point blank range. At Franklin, Schofield reported counting 1,750 southern graves on the field when he returned there weeks after the battle : that’s the provenance of the frequently cited figure of Hood’s KIA in that fight. After Corinth, Rosecrans reported that his men killed, counted and buried 1,423 confederates. We don’t hear much about that, do we ? The confederates themselves reported their Corinth casualties as 505 killed, 2,150 wounded and 2,183 captured and missing.

Regards, Phil
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"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
Posts: 1058
Re: A request for a rough and ready assessment
Posted on: 2/4/2019 2:09:55 PM

Phil,

With respect Gettysburg to Murfreesboro is a apples to oranges comparison for one basic reason, one was a meeting engagement with the forces arriving and engaging piecemeal while the other was more set piece with the entire force present before the battle begins. At Gettysburg some regiments were on the field taking casualties for 3 days, some 2 days and some 1 day. How much combat did the unit replacing the 20th Maine on Little Roundtop see on Day 3, its lone full day on the field?

At Champion Hill Grant fought in the center with a third of his force while both flanks were being held in check by skirmishers and artillery never bringing his full force to bear.

And Cockrell's Brigade was in Stewert's Corps which was more on the flank. Cheatham's Corps was on both sides of the road and both sides of the opening where the breakthrough took place. Hell there are only 2 Brig Gen left in Cheatham's Corps and Greandberry's Brigade is commanded by a Captain. 60% was the norm for Cheatham's Corps.

My numbers for Confederate casualties and captured at Corinth are a little lower. But anyway its 2 to 1 which for a equal force attacking prepared and well manned position I don't see what you are getting at. You want to discuss it I'm willing but I have to did out some stuff I haven't seen in years.
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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
Posts: 4304
Re: A request for a rough and ready assessment
Posted on: 2/4/2019 2:59:27 PM

John,

The thing that catches my eye about Corinth is the numerical similarity with Franklin. In both battles, about twenty thousand were engaged on each side.

In both battles, the yankees admitted to roughly 2,500 casualties.

Rosecrans claimed that 1,424 rebel dead were counted at Corinth ; Schofield referred to 1,750 at Franklin.

The rebels admitted to rather more than 4,500 casualties at Corinth ; Hood stated a similar total for Franklin.

I’m interested in how much credence we can place in the respective claims.

Rosecrans exhibited some hype when he made his congratulatory report to his troops. He reckoned that the rebels had attacked with forty thousand men ; if he doubled the number of the troops opposing him, does it follow that he doubled the number of their dead ?

I browsed the web to find more stuff, and was intirgued to find an eye witness report of a journalist who visited the Corinth battlefield in 1866 : he wrote of a virtual Golgotha of exposed confederate dead, with skulls and bones all over the place, in contrast with neatly tended federal graves. At least the rebel dead at Franklin were afforded proper burial by their own brothers in arms, before they were re- interred in the nearby McGavock Plantation, where nearly fifteen hundred were laid to rest in a decent cemetery.

I also encountered a post battle analysis by Rosecrans after Stones River, where he estimated that 14,560 confederates had been killed or wounded. A fifty per cent exaggeration , it would seem .....but that’s quite a restrained claim in comparison with some. Interestingly, he attributed only 5% of these to artillery fire : a surprisingly low figure considering the effect of those fifty union guns that repulsed the rebels on the battle’s final day. According to local tradition, two thousand confederate dead were buried in a mass grave after the battle.

Regards , Phil

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"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
Posts: 1058
Re: A request for a rough and ready assessment
Posted on: 2/4/2019 4:09:42 PM

Phil,

There were 1,700 plus captured at Corinth so if you add the over 1,400 bodies Rosecrans claimed burying you have both more killed and more captured than wounded at the battle.

As for Franklin the honest truth is nobody will ever know exactly how many because of the attrition in the officer corps over the previous months. You say the attack was made by about 20,000 I think maybe closer to 17,000. You could follow their line of march by bloody footprints in the slush and mud so straggling had to take a toll. After there weren't enough Field grade officers left to make many casualty reports. Three, four or five regiments combined and the combination still doesn't have 200 men. I think Hood's understating the loss especially in Cheatham's Corps.
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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
Posts: 4304
Re: A request for a rough and ready assessment
Posted on: 2/4/2019 5:27:10 PM

John,

Do you think Hood was deluded, or in denial ? Or was he being deceitful ?

Rosecrans claimed that the rebel wounded at Corinth must have numbered at least five thousand, based on the 1400+ bodies, and he also referred to more than 2,200 rebel prisoners, of whom approaching 150 were officers. In other words,he’s implying that there were approaching nine thousand confederate casualties in the battle ! That’s consistent with his claim that the confederate force numbered forty thousand.

So it looks as if his exaggeration of the enemy’s loss at Corinth was more pronounced than Hood’s understatement of his own loss at Franklin.

Rosecrans, it’s been said, was prone to hypermanic conduct when he was under stress : he’s given high marks as a battlefield commander, with that caveat.

Corinth strikes me as a particularly vile affair : not only on account of that fierce fighting , but also because of its distinctly unhealthy environment and the incidence of disease there.

Warfare in Mississippi was rendered more deadly because of the prevalence of fatal illness.

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
Posts: 1058
Re: A request for a rough and ready assessment
Posted on: 2/4/2019 11:33:21 PM

Phil,

When you try and put 40,000 plus people in a area that only produces enough drinking water for 15,000 a month fatal illness will follow and that was Corinth.

I don't really know what was going on with Hood, maybe a combination of deluded, denial and deceitful. The wounds and drugs take their toll. He's at the top of his profession, in the limelight with adulation from many and jr officers jump when he speaks so he doesn't want it to end. He's lying to himself about the pain, the loss, Buck Preston, the war and there still being a chance to win so lying to others can't be very hard.
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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
Posts: 4304
Re: A request for a rough and ready assessment
Posted on: 2/5/2019 4:13:21 AM

John,

Every now and then MHO transcends with a really brilliant comment. Your assessment of Hood’s condition and conduct is one such. First rate , thank you.

Regards, Phil
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"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
Posts: 4304
Re: A request for a rough and ready assessment
Posted on: 2/5/2019 4:58:19 AM

At long last participation in MHO has encouraged me to lift my eyes away from the casualty statistics and take a look at the maps.

What a surprise I’ve had !

My perception of the war is that the Eastern theatre of operations was a relatively confined area between the opposing capitals, with the battles occurring by and large in a ‘ cockpit of the war “ bounded by a few rivers. The Western theatre, in contrast, I imagine to have been an infinitely broader canvas entailing immense distance between the salient locations.

Now I see that Murfreesboro, Nashville and Franklin are all in the same backyard, so to speak,and even the distance between Corinth Miss. and Nashville Tenn. is not that much greater than that between Richmond Va. and Washington DC.

Regards, Phil

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"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
Posts: 1058
Re: A request for a rough and ready assessment
Posted on: 2/6/2019 2:25:46 PM

Thank you for the kind thought Phil.
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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"
morris crumley
Dunwoody
GA USA
Posts: 2554
Re: A request for a rough and ready assessment
Posted on: 2/21/2019 2:40:18 PM

A couple of belated points:

About the belief that some had that an Army that mostly conducts tactical maneuvers, while seldom assaulting works, looses the discipline for offensive operation,... in Sherman`s campaign report after his heavy losses at Kennesaw Mt. ...Sherman refuses to admit it was a mistake.

" I had to do it. The enemy and our own army and officers had settled into the conviction that the assault of lines formed no part of my game....."

He also writes to his wife; " I was forced to make the effort....[his troops] had become so used to my avoiding excessive danger and forcing back the enemy by strategy that they hate to assualt."

As to my belief that Sherman made a great many blunders...after the failed and costly Kennesaw Mt assault. General Newton approached Sherman outside General Howard`s HQ and commented to his commander, " Well this is a damned appropriate culmination of one months blundering!" Sherman made no comment.

Respects, Morris

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"You are a $70, red-wool, pure quill military genius, or the biggest damn fool in northern Mexico."
Steve Clements
Toronto
ON Canada
Posts: 635
Re: A request for a rough and ready assessment
Posted on: 2/22/2019 10:30:49 AM


Quote:
A couple of belated points:

About the belief that some had that an Army that mostly conducts tactical maneuvers, while seldom assaulting works, looses the discipline for offensive operation,... in Sherman`s campaign report after his heavy losses at Kennesaw Mt. ...Sherman refuses to admit it was a mistake.

" I had to do it. The enemy and our own army and officers had settled into the conviction that the assault of lines formed no part of my game....."

He also writes to his wife; " I was forced to make the effort....[his troops] had become so used to my avoiding excessive danger and forcing back the enemy by strategy that they hate to assualt."

As to my belief that Sherman made a great many blunders...after the failed and costly Kennesaw Mt assault. General Newton approached Sherman outside General Howard`s HQ and commented to his commander, " Well this is a damned appropriate culmination of one months blundering!" Sherman made no comment.

Respects, Morris

--morris crumley


Morris,

Agree with your assessment. IMO, Kennesaw was totally unnecessary...Sherman's "excuses" were just that, "excuses". I would note that Thomas was very reluctant to attack..made some comment after about how one or two additional "attacks", such as Kennesaw, would use up the army. And after the Kennesaw debacle, Sherman simply moved right again...why he wouldn't do so without attacking Johnston's centre is hard for me to comprehend...

I personally think that Sherman's tactical abilities - when it came to actually fighting, rather than just maneuvering, were minimal, at best. He rarely actually won a "battle" that he initiated.

s.c.
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morris crumley
Dunwoody
GA USA
Posts: 2554
Re: A request for a rough and ready assessment
Posted on: 2/23/2019 10:36:20 AM

Steve, I have a rather strange opinion of Sherman...not what one would expect from a native born Atlantan who`s ancestors fought for the Confederate Army.

I have great respect for Sherman`s strengths, his dogged determination and his supreme confidence in his actions...and most importantly, the trait he shared with Grant, that war "is all hell" and that to end war as quickly as possible-and to lesson the desire for others to appeal to it...war must be fought totally-or not at all.

He was quick to determine the horrible carnage that was to come, and the fact that such a war was going to take years to end.

But Sherman, as a field commander, made an awful lot of mistakes based upon over-confidence in his beliefs...from Shiloh, where he actually berated and insulted the very notion of reports from scouts that a large and growing presence of Confederates were in the woods to the Southeast...to the Atlanta Campaign where he frequently took confidence in his instincts that turned out to be completely wrong.

In the years after the war, Sherman denied doing that which he did in fact do, waging war on civilians. He continued to lie and say that all the shells that hit civilian dwellings, churches, etc. were merely "overshoots from our batteries" that were the fault of the Confederates constructing fortifications so close in proximity to the city. Sherman, in practice, had some of the best artillery and artillerists in any army. It was instrumental in the repulse by Thomas on the assaults at Peachtree Creek, Sherman`s use of artillery also stopped the penetration of his lines by Manigault near the railroad cut during the Battle of Atlanta..hell Sherman even personally directed the battery that scattered those "saucy rebels" on top of Pine Mountain and killed General Polk. And his own orders during the siege show that he clearly was targeting civilian structures.

Sherman even sent four hundred females, children, and elderly workers of a mill in Roswell all the way to Kentucky and Indiana in a forced relocation and evicted many elderly and afflicted souls , who had no family or resources anywhere near Atlanta when he ordered civilians out of the city after it had been surrendered to him.

I don`t fault him at all for waging total war...I just don`t like the fact that he spent the rest of his life lying about it. And with added context, in the form of the passage of time, he had no qualms about killing old men, women and children, out on the plains.

Respects, Morris
----------------------------------
"You are a $70, red-wool, pure quill military genius, or the biggest damn fool in northern Mexico."
Phil andrade
London
 UK
Posts: 4304
Re: A request for a rough and ready assessment
Posted on: 2/23/2019 3:32:03 PM

Never judge a book by its cover ,we are told, so I must be careful here....but a brief glance at photographs of Sherman convey a sense of a nervous, fidgety and highly intelligent individual .

There is not a trace of the dullard here : the traits of an imposing personality shine through.

An innate defiance emanates from him.

A helluva handful to contend with, I would think, but, at the same time, mightily convivial when the mood takes him.

Many of the generals in those old photos looked trapped in their era : somehow Sherman transcends....you get the impression that he would be at home, even on today’s social media !

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
Posts: 4304
Re: A request for a rough and ready assessment
Posted on: 2/25/2019 2:17:17 AM

How well did Sherman fight at Shiloh after his awful mistake ?

He was caught with his pants down, having refused to countenance the reports of men he commanded.....just as you remind us, Morris.

It makes me think of Stalin being in denial about the German attack that his people were constantly warning about right up to the moment that Barbarossa was unleashed.

At Shiloh, Sherman took a bullet to the hand, and officers and men around him were being killed as he realised the terrible mistake he had made.

His subsequent conduct on that field is something I would like to investigate .

Regards, Phil
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"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
morris crumley
Dunwoody
GA USA
Posts: 2554
Re: A request for a rough and ready assessment
Posted on: 2/26/2019 9:21:47 AM

Phil I am not an expert on Shiloh, that said it is rather ironic that Sherman and Grant...both of whom had a total disrespect for non-WestPointers, (like General Lew Wallace) were the most responsible for the non-military disposition and preparedness of the Federal forces on the field at Pittsburgh Landing.

Interesting too is the excuse Sherman uses for not throwing up field fortifications at Shiloh, that the men would lack offensive-minded initiative if they dug too much.

Both Sherman and Grant made huge blunders...the most raw members of the force at Pittsburgh landing were thrown out and encamped to the south, in scattered, non-linear camps...no field fortifications, with an attitude that the field was "well suited" for drill and parade inspection...yet any Confederate assault would come from that direction!

Both had utterly convinced themselves that the gathering Confederate forces at Corinth would "stay in their works" and await an attack.

Sherman`s behavior towards the Colonel of the 53d Ohio is total disrespect and arrogance in command. At Shiloh, and elsewhere, Sherman was arrogantly convinced of delusions, that the enemy was doing that which Sherman wished him to be doing..not what they were doing in reality.

Respects, Morris
----------------------------------
"You are a $70, red-wool, pure quill military genius, or the biggest damn fool in northern Mexico."
Steve Clements
Toronto
ON Canada
Posts: 635
Re: A request for a rough and ready assessment
Posted on: 3/6/2019 1:32:15 PM


Morris,


Quote:
In the years after the war, Sherman denied doing that which he did in fact do, waging war on civilians. He continued to lie and say that all the shells that hit civilian dwellings, churches, etc. were merely "overshoots from our batteries" that were the fault of the Confederates constructing fortifications so close in proximity to the city.


It is certainly my understanding that Sherman deliberately shelled the city/town of Atlanta. And damn the civilian casualties... Sherman was very caught up in the belief that he could end the war (sooner) by breaking civilian morale. Sorta reminds me of "Bomber Harris" in WWII. There is a part of me that suspects that waging war on civilians was a lot simpler for Sherman, than beating the enemy on the battlefield.

Sherman actively put into practice his "belief" that the way to win the war was the break the back of civilian morale. His 'march to the sea' is perhaps the best example...and IMO, if not for the strong of friendship between Grant and Sherman, he would not have been allowed to do what he did...which was permit Hood to go rambling all over hell's half acre, and end up at the outskirts of Nashville.

This type of 'make war on the civilians, not the enemies' armies' strategy should have been dictated from the top i.e. either Sherman's civilian boss (Mr. Lincoln), or General Grant. That Sherman was able to go off on his own philosophical tangent and shell Atlanta etc. is (IMO) inexcusable. Which, IMO helps to explain - in part - just why Grant lost his cool when Hood was in front of Thomas at Nashville. Grant 'knew' (IMO) that he had made a mistake allowing Sherman to go on one giant picnic BEFORE taking care of Hood.

s.c.
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Phil andrade
London
 UK
Posts: 4304
Re: A request for a rough and ready assessment
Posted on: 3/6/2019 6:27:52 PM

Steve and Morris,

Am I right in stating that there were very few civilians killed by the shelling of Atlanta ?

Gunners that were skilful enough to target General Polk and kill him were surely able to inflict massive casualties on the civilian folks of Atlanta if they had intended to do so.

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
Steve Clements
Toronto
ON Canada
Posts: 635
Re: A request for a rough and ready assessment
Posted on: 3/6/2019 7:30:25 PM


Quote:
Steve and Morris,

Am I right in stating that there were very few civilians killed by the shelling of Atlanta ?

Gunners that were skilful enough to target General Polk and kill him were surely able to inflict massive casualties on the civilian folks of Atlanta if they had intended to do so.

Regards, Phil
--Phil andrade


Phil,

....and if you play golf for long enough, eventually, you will knock down one or two 80 foot putts....skill? or luck...I am of course referring to Polk being sent to a better place...which has nothing to do, IMO, with what I believe to be the fact that Sherman deliberately sent shells into the civilian parts of Atlanta.

Yeah, war is hell, but Sherman had a track record, again IMO, of being more comfortable fighting women and children than the enemy's soldiers. A little harsh, I will admit...but not totally unfair.

And skillful has two "l's" -:)

s.c.
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Phil andrade
London
 UK
Posts: 4304
Re: A request for a rough and ready assessment
Posted on: 3/7/2019 2:45:29 AM

Points taken, Steve, I’m more than willing to reconsider, and I hope that you see that I have taken the trouble to put two “l’s” into willing !

The thing that I want to discuss is the remarkable paucity of civilian casualties at Atlanta, bearing in mind Sherman’s determination to make war harsh for civilians.

Hadn’t shelling of civilian habitation also occurred at Vicksburg and Charleston ? Again, very few - if any - civilians killed in those places. I wonder about Petersburg, too.

Who made war harsher on civilians : Sherman in Georgia or Sheridan in the Shenandoah ?

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
Steve Clements
Toronto
ON Canada
Posts: 635
Re: A request for a rough and ready assessment
Posted on: 3/7/2019 1:55:44 PM

Hi Phil,

I have never seen figures for civilian casualties for either Vicksburg or Atlanta...though I do not have the impression that the numbers were very high. But that is not the point (IMO). What was the military value in shelling a residential area...beyond attempting to inflict "terror" upon a civilian population?

As for Sheridan vs. Sherman, I would make two points:

1) Sheridan was ordered to burn crops and barns in the Shenandoah. Sherman was not told to shell the non military parts of Atlanta. Sherman took it upon himself to wage war on southern civilians. It was Sherman that 'decided' that the quickest way to end the war was to attack the morale of southern civilians...he may have been right...but that is not, IMO, the issue. As I argued in a previous post, that sort of decision should have been made by Sherman's superiors. That it was condoned by Grant as a lot to do with Grant's friendship for Sherman...and does not IMO reflect well on Grant.

2) Sheridan was a fighter. Not saying he was a tactical genius. But any read of Third Winchester, Cedar Creek, Fisher's Hill or Five Forks makes it pretty clear (IMO) that Sheridan sought out the enemy whenever possible, and did not shirk from a fight.

In contrast, Sherman had an unpleasant habit of letting the enemy escape to fight another day. He let the defenders of Savannah escape...and more importantly, after capturing Atlanta, somehow allowed Hood to get around him and back onto Sherman's supply lines. In addition, after Jonesborough, Sherman had at least one of Hood's three corps effectively cut off from the balance of Hood's army. The various pieces of the AoT should never have been allowed to regroup and reform. But Sherman just let it happen! Sheridan (or Thomas, for that matter) would never have allowed that to happen!

s.c.
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Phil andrade
London
 UK
Posts: 4304
Re: A request for a rough and ready assessment
Posted on: 3/7/2019 2:50:06 PM

Thanks for addressing my points, Steve.

At the risk of seeming complacent about the suffering of the southern civilians, I reckon that the ordeal of the people of the Iberian Peninsula in the Napoleonic warfare fifty years before would make the treatment meted out by Sherman positively benign in comparison.

That’s not properly dealing with our topic, I know, but it does convey my impression that, compared with other civil wars before and after, the American war was remarkably restrained in terms of the way civilians were treated.

That the notoriety of Butler and Pope reached the pitch that it did goes a long way to revealing the extent of the respect for property and person that was extant in mid nineteenth century America.

The trans Mississippi guerilla affairs displayed a move forwards frontier barbarism : Lawrence in Kansas and some episodes in Missouri were nasty....then, of course, there were the massacres of black troops that occurred at Fort Pillow and Prairie Grove.

These notwithstanding , the war stands out for its compliance with restraint and decent conduct. That’s my impression, but I might need to have my views shaken up a bit.

Edit : Apologies for error : I alluded to the Battle of Prairie Grove ; that should have been Poison Springs.

Regards, Phil

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"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
morris crumley
Dunwoody
GA USA
Posts: 2554
Re: A request for a rough and ready assessment
Posted on: 3/7/2019 3:05:09 PM

Of a personal interest, my uncle grew up in East Atlanta in a shotgun house on Degress Avenue. When my aunt went to work in the Governors office... they decided to stop renting that house out, I remodeled it for them, and they moved in there to be closer to the state capital.

It is the exact location where the Illinois battery, under the command of Capt Francis Degress, ( 4 20 pound Parrot guns) lobbed the first shells into Atlanta on July 20, 1864. The Avenue runs along a north-south ridge, and an old church stands now where the Troup-Hurt house stood during the battle of Atlanta.

Sherman made clear in countless orders, like on August 1, to General Thomas; " You may fire ten to fifteen shots from every gun you have in position into Atlanta that will reach any of it`s houses."

On August 7 he he ordered Thomas to utilize 30-pounder Parrots that had arrived from Chattanooga to "put them in your best position, and "knock down the buildings of the town."

He mentions in other dispatches: ...reach the heart of Atlanta and reduce it to ruins....making all parts of the town unsafe."

There were still somewhere between 2000 and 5000 civilians in the city. The reason for as few civilian casualties as there were is because those left in Atlanta burrowed into underground cellars and dugouts.

Another relative of mine, ( through marriage) was 9 at the time. Carrie Berry wrote a diary of the siege and fire upon Atlanta. Carrie would eventually go on to marry William Macon Crumley. Her diary is a good read about a young kid`s vision of life in a dugout, telling of shells bounding nearby as they were standing in the yard...spending countless hours sheltering in to try to survive 36 days of shelling into the town.

As I said, I can understand the concept of "total war." That war is so horrible a gambit, it must be made to be insufferable so that it will not be turned to again..and that civilians make the armies in the field possible. I just don`t respect that Sherman lied about what he did for years afterwards.

Another criticism of Sherman is his use of cavalry. Both McCook and Stoneman were virtually destroyed on useless raids that Sherman supported. And one can only ask of Sherman, even if Stoneman managed to ever free thousands of prisoners at Andersonville..how was it expected that shoe less, sick and starved men could hope to keep up on the march with cavalry. What was expected to come of them?

Respects, Morris
----------------------------------
"You are a $70, red-wool, pure quill military genius, or the biggest damn fool in northern Mexico."
Phil andrade
London
 UK
Posts: 4304
Re: A request for a rough and ready assessment
Posted on: 3/7/2019 3:23:45 PM

The use of that phrase “ total war” has been called into question when it comes to the ACW.

The more appropriate phrase might be “ hard war “.

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
Steve Clements
Toronto
ON Canada
Posts: 635
Re: A request for a rough and ready assessment
Posted on: 3/8/2019 10:08:45 AM

Phil,


Quote:
That’s not properly dealing with our topic, I know, but it does convey my impression that, compared with other civil wars before and after, the American war was remarkably restrained in terms of the way civilians were treated.


Agree that the American CW was remarkably restrained, but also agree with "that's not properly dealing with out topic," -:)


For whatever reason, Sherman seems to get a bit of a 'free pass' from history... which I obviously do not agree with.

And agree with Morris about Sherman's use of cavalry. Less than inspiring...and always struck by how Sherman was keen to take on Kilpatrick (Kill Cavalry), at a time when Kill Cavalry's rep as a prima dona, that got good men killed, was fully promulgated through out the army.

s.c.
----------------------------------
Steve Clements
Toronto
ON Canada
Posts: 635
Re: A request for a rough and ready assessment
Posted on: 3/8/2019 10:10:21 AM


Quote:
Of a personal interest, my uncle grew up in East Atlanta in a shotgun house on Degress Avenue. When my aunt went to work in the Governors office... they decided to stop renting that house out, I remodeled it for them, and they moved in there to be closer to the state capital.

It is the exact location where the Illinois battery, under the command of Capt Francis Degress, ( 4 20 pound Parrot guns) lobbed the first shells into Atlanta on July 20, 1864. The Avenue runs along a north-south ridge, and an old church stands now where the Troup-Hurt house stood during the battle of Atlanta.

Sherman made clear in countless orders, like on August 1, to General Thomas; " You may fire ten to fifteen shots from every gun you have in position into Atlanta that will reach any of it`s houses."

On August 7 he he ordered Thomas to utilize 30-pounder Parrots that had arrived from Chattanooga to "put them in your best position, and "knock down the buildings of the town."

He mentions in other dispatches: ...reach the heart of Atlanta and reduce it to ruins....making all parts of the town unsafe."

There were still somewhere between 2000 and 5000 civilians in the city. The reason for as few civilian casualties as there were is because those left in Atlanta burrowed into underground cellars and dugouts.

Another relative of mine, ( through marriage) was 9 at the time. Carrie Berry wrote a diary of the siege and fire upon Atlanta. Carrie would eventually go on to marry William Macon Crumley. Her diary is a good read about a young kid`s vision of life in a dugout, telling of shells bounding nearby as they were standing in the yard...spending countless hours sheltering in to try to survive 36 days of shelling into the town.

As I said, I can understand the concept of "total war." That war is so horrible a gambit, it must be made to be insufferable so that it will not be turned to again..and that civilians make the armies in the field possible. I just don`t respect that Sherman lied about what he did for years afterwards.

Another criticism of Sherman is his use of cavalry. Both McCook and Stoneman were virtually destroyed on useless raids that Sherman supported. And one can only ask of Sherman, even if Stoneman managed to ever free thousands of prisoners at Andersonville..how was it expected that shoe less, sick and starved men could hope to keep up on the march with cavalry. What was expected to come of them?

Respects, Morris
--morris crumley


thanks for posting this...
----------------------------------
Nick Spencer
IOW,United kingdom
 
Posts: 93
A request for a rough and ready assessment
Posted on: 1/2/2020 9:41:09 AM

Quote:
If we were to take a brief survey of all the major battles and campaigns in the Eastern theatre of the war, starting with First Mannassas and going through all the subsequent affairs : Pensinsula. Shenandoah, Second Mannassas , Maryland and Fredericksburg in 1862 ; Chancellorsville , Gettysburg etc in 1863 ; Overland, Petersburg, Shenandoah and Appomattox in 1864-65, and allowing for all the minor skirmishes in between, do you think it likely that at least half of all Confederate soldiers killed in battle throughout the war were casualties of this eastern fighting ?

The vast majority of this bloodshed would, of course, have been incurred under Lee’s command : ninety five per cent, I would guess.

The reason I seek your opinion here is because I reckon that, at most, one in four of all the Confederate soldiers who fought in all theatres of war served at one time or another in Lee’s army. I include herein those who were fighting in the year before Lee took command.

The implication is that the warfare in the East was more intense and unremitting than it was elsewhere. This must not obscure the bloodlines and ferocity of Shiloh, Murfreesboro, Chickamauga, to cite just three terrible western battles. Those fights were every bit as deadly as their Eastern counterparts : some would suggest even more so.

The suggestion that looms in my mind is that, if you served under General Lee, you were twice as likely to come to grief on the battlefield as you were if you donned the gray or butternut in the other theatres. A quick reflection on the Battle of Franklin is enough to challenge that : but, in the simplistic arithmetical view of the war, the numbers stack up to demonstrate the preponderance of the eastern theatre of operations.

Please offer me your reaction to this.

Regards, Phil


https://www.encyclopediavirginia.org/army_of_northern_virginia#start_entry
Legacy
Certainly never was there such an Army in ancient or modern times," a soldier wrote to his mother, a sentiment that reflects more than just boasting. Few armies could measure up to the Army of Northern Virginia's suffering. Of the approximately 200,000 soldiers who passed through its ranks, more than 30,000 were killed in action, a greater number than died of disease. Seventy-five percent of all infantrymen, 47 percent of all artillerists, and 44 percent of all cavalrymen were either killed or wounded in battle, died of disease, or were captured prior to the final surrender. In the face of this suffering, fewer armies could still claim to have done such damage on the enemy. Forty-five percent of all Union casualties—including 56.4 percent of all Union troops wounded and 36.4 percent of all Union troops killed in action—fell at the hands of Lee's army.

200k with 30k KIA, if you go with a low 800k CSA served you get ANV with 25% of manpower and 30% of KIA. if you go with a higher CSA military participation, it of course drops, if you go with 1 million its 20% and 30% and so on.

If you put whichever authors numbers you prefer ( Livermore/Fuller/Bonkemper/McWhinney etc) into a spreadsheet over time and theatre you can get what your after. What is interesting if you do this, is the force levels in the different Theatres over time, and the losses incurred and the ground won from doing so, and what % of in Theatre forces were with the main Armys, as most authors dont bother to look at that kind of thing, unlike say Harsh.

----------------------------------
Phil Andrade
London
 UK
Posts: 4304
A request for a rough and ready assessment
Posted on: 1/2/2020 10:29:54 AM

Nick,

Thanks for pitching in here.

The figure of “more than 30,000” for “ killed in action” begs the question : does the killed in action include the died from wounds ?

Rule of thumb is that two soldiers died of wounds for every three who were killed on the field.

By that criterion, the 30,000 killed might well imply 50,000 battle deaths. This equates to rather more than half of the widely accepted estimate of 94,000 CSA battle deaths ( KIA+DOW).

If the 30,000 does include the mortally wounded as well as the killed outright, then the thing looks very different, and the Eastern battles account for just under one third of the confederate total of battle deaths.

I have been wrestling with this question for years.

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
Posts: 4304
A request for a rough and ready assessment
Posted on: 1/2/2020 3:57:01 PM

Nick,

That link you send furnishes figures from the work of Professor Joseph Glatthaar, who’s made a major foray into the statistics of the AONV. He examines the records of five hundred soldiers, and uses that to assess the experiences of 200,000+ . Is that a sufficiently robust numerical base for extrapolation ?

Forty five per cent of all Union casualties - including 56.4 percent of all Union troops wounded and 36.4 percent of all Union troops killed in action - fell at the hands of Lee’s army.

Those figures suggest that, for some reason, Lee’s soldiers did not shoot to kill. If they did, why were they so conspicuously unsuccessful ? Are we to understand that yankees who were struck by enemy fire in the East were far less likely to be fatalities than their counterparts in the West ? I doubt that the Union casualty figures from Antietam, Gettysburg, the Wilderness, Spotsylvania and Cold Harbor would attest that. If 56.4% of all yankee wounded were victims of Lee’s men, then, surely , an equivalent, or very similar, ratio of all yankees killed in action would apply.

I suspect that Glatthaar might have failed to allow for many thousands of Union returned as missing in action, who were left dead or dying on the field and were not accounted for in the returns of confirmed KIA.

Applying that 56.4% ratio to the 110,000 recorded Union battle fatalities would yield a total of 62,000.

If we apply it to the ( estimated) 94,000 Confederate battle deaths, we get 53,000...that seems too high, bearing in mind that Lee’s men exacted such a disproportionate toll in the Overland : but 45,000 to 48,000 looks about right. I have to admit, that is an extraordinarily high proportion of the 200,000 that are said to have served in Lee’s army at one time or another. I wonder if that number is an understatement .

It’s bothering me : nothing clicks 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
Nick Spencer
IOW,United kingdom
 
Posts: 93
A request for a rough and ready assessment
Posted on: 1/3/2020 5:25:30 AM

Quote:
Nick,

Thanks for pitching in here.

The figure of “more than 30,000” for “ killed in action” begs the question : does the killed in action include the died from wounds ?

Rule of thumb is that two soldiers died of wounds for every three who were killed on the field.

By that criterion, the 30,000 killed might well imply 50,000 battle deaths. This equates to rather more than half of the widely accepted estimate of 94,000 CSA battle deaths ( KIA+DOW).

If the 30,000 does include the mortally wounded as well as the killed outright, then the thing looks very different, and the Eastern battles account for just under one third of the confederate total of battle deaths.

I have been wrestling with this question for years.

Regards, Phil


Each author sets out his methods and they are always different, the link i used is only concerned with KIA, but that does include short term dead from mortal wounds (MW) from those seen at hospitals. However, post battle reports, some written several months after the event, all contain those listed as being KIA/WIA/MIA etc or MW on medical returns, now if a report is written several months after the engagement, the officer making the report will have more accurate data as the medical returns if known will be available, ie returned to duty after treatment, discharged or died from wounds and so on. Of course decades after the end of the conflict men still passed away from wounds that ended their military participation, but they rarely if ever show up as a battlefield KIA, while someone mortally wounded who passes in a coupkle of months does. Livermore which you mentioned for instance returns roughly 32k to 18k KIA split East to West, and he splits where known to have KIA/WIA/MIA. Different authors use different numbers, rarely do they agree, so you have to look deeper to see why they do not, it may be because they used primary accounts and there may be
more than one number set to chose from, or it may be because it was thought better to use an existing authors tabulations.

One author who touches on medical records in great depth, but only for the last year or so of the war is S Newton https://www.amazon.com/Lost-Cause-Confederate-Army-1864/dp/188281049X Chapter 5 Casualties, attrition and morale in GA, for instance he notes that Hood was twice as effective at getting men back into the ranks from the hospital system than had been Johnston and that the ratio of of wounded/sick being returned to duty between the CSA and USA was almost identical. What the inclusion of medical data shows is that Hood lost 55.3% to Johnstones 44.7% of combat casualties, but because Hood had half the number of men sick he kept in PFD numbers up far better than Johnstone did, so that when all the sick returns are added to combat losses, Hood was superior at keeping Army numbers up, as he lost 48% of combat and sick losses compared to Johnstone 52%, since we are talking about Hood ability to return 26788 men from the hospitals compared to 15780 its not small change. AoT lost 31828 KIA/WIA/MIA, but 51698 to sickness.

Quote:


That link you send furnishes figures from the work of Professor Joseph Glatthaar, who’s made a major foray into the statistics of the AONV. He examines the records of five hundred soldiers, and uses that to assess the experiences of 200,000+ . Is that a sufficiently robust numerical base for extrapolation ?


Its more accurate than anyone else. A sample of 500 has 4.5% margin of error.


Quote:

Forty five per cent of all Union casualties - including 56.4 percent of all Union troops wounded and 36.4 percent of all Union troops killed in action - fell at the hands of Lee’s army.

Those figures suggest that, for some reason, Lee’s soldiers did not shoot to kill. If they did, why were they so conspicuously unsuccessful ? Are we to understand that yankees who were struck by enemy fire in the East were far less likely to be fatalities than their counterparts in the West ? I doubt that the Union casualty figures from Antietam, Gettysburg, the Wilderness, Spotsylvania and Cold Harbor would attest that. If 56.4% of all yankee wounded were victims of Lee’s men, then, surely , an equivalent, or very similar, ratio of all yankees killed in action would apply.


I see no reason for any such odd assumptions.
----------------------------------
Nick Spencer
IOW,United kingdom
 
Posts: 93
A request for a rough and ready assessment
Posted on: 1/3/2020 5:30:31 AM

Double post
----------------------------------
Phil Andrade
London
 UK
Posts: 4304
A request for a rough and ready assessment
Posted on: 1/3/2020 9:38:38 AM

Hi Nick,

Please direct me to the source of Livermore’s split of 32,000 killed in the East compared with 18,000 in the West.

I don’t remember seeing that in his book. It’s a very significant marker to my original question. Nearly two thirds of union killed attributed to the Eastern theatre : more than I would have guessed.

The total that Livermore cites is 67,000 Kia and 43,000 died of wounds .

Livermore relied on Fox, who did the heavy lifting.

If Livermore ascribed 32, 000 and 18,000 Kia, how does he account for the remaining 17,000 ?

Fox researched regimental muster rolls and revealed that Gettysburg cost the Union 5,291 battle dead, of whom 3,070 were killed in action and the remaining 2,200 or so died of wounds, of whom, he emphasised, three fourths died within one week of the battle’s end.

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
IOW,United kingdom
 
Posts: 93
A request for a rough and ready assessment
Posted on: 1/3/2020 11:14:58 AM

Quote:

Please direct me to the source of Livermore’s split of 32,000 killed in the East compared with 18,000 in the West.

I don’t remember seeing that in his book. It’s a very significant marker to my original question. Nearly two thirds of union killed attributed to the Eastern theatre : more than I would have guessed.


Your own list of the major battles you wanted to consider.


Quote:

If Livermore ascribed 32, 000 and 18,000 Kia, how does he account for the remaining 17,000 ?




To engagements outside of major battles.
----------------------------------
Phil Andrade
London
 UK
Posts: 4304
A request for a rough and ready assessment
Posted on: 1/3/2020 12:59:37 PM

Quote:
Quote:

Please direct me to the source of Livermore’s split of 32,000 killed in the East compared with 18,000 in the West.

I don’t remember seeing that in his book. It’s a very significant marker to my original question. Nearly two thirds of union killed attributed to the Eastern theatre : more than I would have guessed.


Your own list of the major battles you wanted to consider.


Quote:

If Livermore ascribed 32, 000 and 18,000 Kia, how does he account for the remaining 17,000 ?




To engagements outside of major battles.


To my dismay, I cannot remember making a list of battles showing the breakdown of killed between the Eastern and Western Theatres. There is every possibility that I’m suffering some impairment of memory !

What I did do, about fifteen years ago, was attempt to compile a summary of the thirteen bloodiest days of the war. I had to use a degree of supposition , and make a guess as to the numbers of missing in action which needed to be added to the official return ; for example, at Chickamauga , the official return of Union casualties contained nearly thirty per cent posted as missing . Of these, the great majority were prisoners , but a significant number had been killed or were left dying, and the original return of killed was probably several hundred short of the mark. This, it should be noted, does not allow for the great number who died from their wounds in the aftermath of battle. With this in mind, I was intrigued to see how it stacked up. The criterion was a minimum of ten thousand killed or wounded in a single day : there were many days which were very bloody, but fell just short of the ten thousand mark .

The resulting tabulation revealed that 183,250 were killed or wounded on those thirteen days : no less than one quarter of the war’s entire battlefield bloodshed. Most striking of all was the astonishingly even balance between the two sides : 95,000 for the North, and 88,250 for the South, or an average of 7,307 Union and 6,788 Confederate for each of those thirteen days.

Four of those thirteen days were in the West : the first day of Shiloh , the opening day of Murfreesboro and both days at Chickamauga. Those four days , I reckon, accounted for 58,000 killed and wounded, of whom 27,000 were Union and 31,000 Confederate. The remaining nine days of Eastern battles killed or wounded 68,000 yankees and 57,250 rebels.

The arithmetic of those thirteen days yields a heavy balance of bloodshed in the East : 72.5% for the Union and 65% for the Confederacy.

I am sure that those aggregates overstate the Eastern preponderance : if I try and assess the host of lesser days - including the second days at Shiloh and Murfreesboro , Perryville, Corinth, the Battles of Atlanta and, most notorious , Franklin, in the West, and then try and account for their Eastern counterparts, I would guess that the disparity would reduce a bit.

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
Posts: 4304
A request for a rough and ready assessment
Posted on: 1/4/2020 8:45:29 AM

Daunted by the prospect of trying to add up all the battles, I’ve decided to make a comment that speaks volumes about the preponderance of bloodshed in the East.

Close to twenty five per cent of all Union battle deaths for the entire Civil War can be attributed to the campaign that started in the Wilderness and ended at Appomattox . For the Confederacy, the proportion of battle dead in this eleven month struggle in Virginia was far lower : not more than fifteen per cent of the total, I would guess, and, I daresay, as low as twelve percent.

In the earlier part of the war, though, the CSA had been excessively lavish in lives and blood. Lee lost as many men killed in three days at Gettysburg as he lost in thirty days between the Wilderness and Cold Harbor, and his men suffered equal loss of life in the Seven Days in 1862. I reckon that Lee lost 85,000 killed and wounded between the Seven Days and the end of the Gettysburg campaign, and up to 50,000 for the rest of the war. In terms of prisoners, though, it was the other way round, with Grant achieving spectacular attritional results. These guesses do not allow for CSA killed and wounded in the Virginia battles before Lee took command.

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
Posts: 1058
A request for a rough and ready assessment
Posted on: 1/5/2020 7:42:06 AM

Phil,

Forgive me if I'm being simplistic but weren't the armies in Virginia larger than those out West while the area being fought over was much more constricted? More men fighting in a smaller area are going to produce higher casualties.
----------------------------------
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
Posts: 4304
A request for a rough and ready assessment
Posted on: 1/5/2020 11:14:43 AM

John,

You’re surely right about the greater expanse of the western theatre of operations, but when it came to actual combat, I would have thought that the ratio of manpower to firepower and dispersal of area would have been much the same.

Corinth , Chickamauga and Franklin were confined by black powder weapons as surely as Gettysburg or Spotsylvania.

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
Posts: 1058
A request for a rough and ready assessment
Posted on: 1/5/2020 2:49:36 PM

Phil,

But in the actual combat the AOP and ANVA had more men and combat power able to inflict and incur more casualties. More men fighting and a smaller area of operations to me equals more battles, big and small, and more casualties.

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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"
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