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 (1861-1865) Civil War Battles (Eastern Theater)
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Phil andrade
London, UK
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A request for a rough and ready assessment
Posted on: 1/27/2019 6:38:22 AM
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

---------------
"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

Michigan Dave
Muskegon, Michigan, MI, USA
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Posts: 4889

Re: A request for a rough and ready assessment
Posted on: 1/27/2019 3:39:58 PM
Hi Phil,

Interesting questions Phil,

Here is a list of the costliest Civil War Battles, & your right by far the greatest casualties are battles in the east! Of course they involve Robert E Lee, & the ANV! In fact 6 out of 7 of the costliest battles, Lee was the commander!

[Read More]

I'm inclined to think part of the reason is that larger armies were in the east! Also Lee being very aggressive in his tactics!? It's hard to see the CSA Commanders in the West being as aggressive & brilliant as Marse Robert!


BTW I'm sure the average Confederate Soldier in the ANV didn't look at it from the perspective that his chances of survival were greater if he was in the west fighting under another general? I'm sure Lee's troops would follow him any where!?

His appearance always brought cheers from his men!

Regards,
MD
---------------
"The brave men, living and dead, who struggled here, have consecrated it, far above our poor power to add or detract."

Gregory C. White
Canton, GA, USA
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Posts: 224

Re: A request for a rough and ready assessment
Posted on: 1/27/2019 4:16:23 PM
Phil,

Are you saying those that fought in the Eastern Theatre didn't have as much "down time" as those fighting elsewhere?

The opposing capitals of Washington,DC and Richmond probably played a contributing factor, among other things.

Nearly all of my Confederate ancestors served in the Army of Northern Virginia, and looking over the battles their respective units were present at, I'm truly amazed that most survived the war and made it home to Georgia.

Best Regards,

Greg C. White
---------------
"I do not believe that any man can adequately appreciate the world of to-day unless he has some knowledge of...[and] some feeling for...the history of the world of the past." Theodore Roosevelt

Phil andrade
London, UK
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Re: A request for a rough and ready assessment
Posted on: 1/27/2019 5:40:02 PM
Thanks for your replies and your suggestions, Dave and Greg.

Of course, the “ cockpit of the war “ was defined by the proximity of the rival capitals. That said, as Dave reminds us, the singular aggressiveness of RE Lee imparted a certain dynamic to the tempo of operations.

By “ down time”, Greg, do you mean the long intervals between campaigns ?

That would certainly apply : the Seven Days inaugurated a succession of battles : just the trinity of Seven Days, Second Mannassas and Antietam, along with their attendant affairs at Cedar Mountain and South Mountain, cost the blood of forty three thousand of Lee’s men in three months. Out West there was nothing so sustained as this until the May to July fighting in Georgia in 1864. This must not obscure the ferocity of Shiloh, Murfreesboro or Chickamauga : to have served in the confederate ranks in any of those was every bit as dangerous as Sharpsburg or Gettysburg.

The corollary is, of course, that yankee casualties also fell preponderantly in the eastern cockpit of the war : I would confidently suggest that half - or more - of all federal troops cut down in battle were victims of Lee’s soldiers.

Again, though, I would point out that, of all the major battles of the war, the one which cost the Union the highest ratio of killed in proportion to numbers engaged was Stones River. Chickamauga was close behind, and Port Hudson was especially murderous for the yankees....western battles all.

I wonder if the toxicity of the relationship at high command level in the West - and I allude to the Confederacy here - was something that curbed the frequency of battle....even though it might have made bloodshed greater when battle was actually fought.

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
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Re: A request for a rough and ready assessment
Posted on: 1/28/2019 4:22:23 AM
A startling suggestion was mooted by a biographer of General Thomas : the bloody repulse at Kenesaw Mountain on 27 June 1864 was attributable in part to Sherman’s fit of picque....he was angry that the epic bloodshed in the Overland Camapign had overshadowed his own battles in Georgia, and he wanted to make a point by launching a major attack and demonstrating that combat in the West could match that in the East. An awful implication : that there could be such currency in carnage.

I note that, when it comes to casualty figures, the fighting in the West appears to have been more susceptible to “ spin” than that of the East.

Take the chilling estimate of rebel casualties that Logan made in the Battle of Atlanta, for example. An outrageous claim that his men buried 3,220 confederate dead in front of their lines after the fight of 22 July 1864. By comparison, the claim made by Little Mac after Antietam that 2,700 rebel dead were buried by his men seems positively modest. Likewise, after Gettysburg, Meade reported that his men buried 2,954 confederate dead.....actually understating the case. Perhaps Meade, aware of his vulnerability to criticism for being too cautious in pursuit, had a vested interest in playing down the damage to Lee’s army.

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 hayward
Allenstown, NH, USA
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Re: A request for a rough and ready assessment
Posted on: 1/28/2019 8:12:40 PM
In the West you have Halleck slowing the war down after Shiloh, Rosecrans after Stone's River sitting on his hands. Grant laying siege to Vicksburg. There seems to be longer down in the West than in the East.

Phil andrade
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Re: A request for a rough and ready assessment
Posted on: 1/29/2019 7:26:27 AM
Might the Western down time be attributable to logistical difficulties in areas that were more mountainous and remote ?

Maybe it took more effort and time to get things marshalled.

More fragile lines of communication , extended over greater areas ?

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

morris crumley
Dunwoody, GA, USA
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Posts: 2081

Re: A request for a rough and ready assessment
Posted on: 1/29/2019 10:08:12 AM
Phil, I just think that Sherman was frustrated that Johnston would not come out and give battle. At Kennesaw Mountain that frustration crept into his decision making..and he pulled a Grant at Cold Harbor mistake.

Sherman, who is given proper credit for his Atlanta campaign....sometimes gets a pass for the myriad of mistakes he made during it. He convinced himself that Hood would attack his forces east of Atlanta, McPherson and Schofield out towards Decatur. The larger single force, Thomas`s Army of the Cumberland, Sherman felt was free to advance on Atlanta.

Hood, in fact had singled out Thomas for attack at Peachtree Creek...Sherman, had been sending irritable and goading dispatches all day to Thomas to advance his men on Atlanta while Hood`s attention was drawn to the east. 'Uncle Billy" didn`t even know that Thomas was heavily engaged in a bloody battle north of the city until about six hours later, a dispatch from Thomas stating that his army had been attacked along its front and had repulsed the enemy.

Sherman also would be wrong about Hood`s next intentions. He had McPherson along the Georgia Railroad in east Atlanta, and had chastised his friend and subordinate for yet another lost opportunity in not moving more forcefully against a small force to his front...though Sherman himself had been convinced that Hood had massed for an attack against McPherson...not Thomas.

McPherson is astride the GRR, his left "in the air" as Sherman sends Garrard`s cavalry off on a raid. And he proposed weakening McPherson further by having him detail parts of his force to "tear up rail" back to Decatur. It is McPherson who rescues Sherman by pleading for "a few hours more" feeling that Hood was planning exactly the move that he did...an attack against McPherson`s left and rear.

And, though Sherman made his ultimate move, leaving a small force in front of Atlanta and making what amounts to a raid by force on Jonesboro, he assures O.O. Howard that his men were free from an attack by Hardee while on the march....which is what happened.

Sherman made a lot of mistakes during that campaign. Kennesaw Mountain was but one.

Respects, Morris
---------------
"You are a $70, red-wool, pure quill military genius, or the biggest damn fool in northern Mexico."

Phil andrade
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Re: A request for a rough and ready assessment
Posted on: 1/29/2019 11:38:17 AM
Thanks for your input, Morris. I note that you hail from Georgia......This lends your observation on the Atlanta Campaign extra weight !

I note that three senior commanders in that campaign - each with a surname beginning with “ H” - had served in the East before they came out west.

Howard, Hooker and, of course, Hood. All three of them had seen furious fighting in Virginia, or Maryland and Pennsylvania. I wonder if they ever remarked on the different kind of warfare they encountered. Hooker, for example, had seen the frightful fighting in the Cornfield at Antietam.....he was also engaged in that very fierce action at the “ Hell Hole “ in late May 1864 in Georgia. This is where, IIRC, Cleburne’s men cut down so many yankees that seven hundred of their dead were counted by Cleburne’s officers : the rebels made the macabre observation that the heaps of enemy dead were marked by a pinkish hue, the result of brains being spilled by head shots at close range. Hooker reported 1,665 killed, wounded and missing : hardly reconcilable with seven hundred dead....whose report is to be believed ? I wonder if fighting Joe felt that this engagement rated up there as worthy of his reputation.

Hood remarked of Franklin that the volume of firepower and its deafening noise brought to mind the deadliest battles in the East : do we have here an implication that, by and large, he regarded the Eastern theatre as the war, and the western warfare as something that, however nasty, was not quite the real thing ?

Editing : musn’t forget Sheridan. I wonder how Little Phil looked back on Perryville and Murfreesboro. He served in both Western and Eastern theatres of war.

If ever a battle had been underrated in terms of severity, it was surely Perryville.

Editing again : I fear that I’m getting Howard and Hooker, New Hope Church and Pickett’s Mill confused, or conflated. Both fought in the same region, and almost on the same day ; both resulting in severe repulse for the yankees ; both resulting in claims of 700 Federals being killed and counted within a short distance of the Confederate lines.

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
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Posts: 919

Re: A request for a rough and ready assessment
Posted on: 1/29/2019 10:10:27 PM
Morris,

One point if you don't mind. It wasn't McPherson who rescued the day for the Union but Hood himself. The plan was that while Hardee hits the flank and rear Cheatham would attack in front. When Hardee attacked many of the Union troops just jumped over their breastworks giving their open backs to Cheatham. The problem is that Cheatham was new to corps command and Hood must not have trusted him fully because he was there with him during the battle and not once, not twice but three times Hood denied Cheatham's request to attack. So instead of being attacked from 3 sides at once the Union defeated the attacks from flank and rear by jumping over their breastworks and giving their backs to the enemy then just jumped back and easily defeated Cheatham's delayed by Hood attack.


And Phil there are multiple reports that Hood before Franklin promised to break the army of its reluctance to attack breastworks and prepared positions.
---------------
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
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Posts: 2081

Re: A request for a rough and ready assessment
Posted on: 1/30/2019 12:03:27 AM
Fine points John, Sherman was "rescued" more often than not, by Confederate blundering to match his own. At Peachtree Creek, Bates Division ...which was tasked by Hood to open the en echelon attack on Thomas, marched off too far to the right..missing Newton`s men altogether and spent the entire afternoon trying to find yankees to shoot. Maney`s four brigades of Cheathams division, the center of the attack only partially advanced..and suffered but 250 or so casualties...proof of but little action at all that day.
The night march to attack McPherson was also ill-executed and way late.

But, on that day of days for McPherson, he had wished to order Dodge to shift Sweeny`s division so that it could cover the exposed left of the 17th Corps. Sherman countermanded the order, and told McPherson to put Dodge`s entire corps to work to the east, tearing up railroad tracks all the way to Decatur. McPherson, who knew Hood well, had expected an attack on his left front all that morning....went in person to see Sherman with his staff and asked Sherman to delay his orders to Dodge till later in the day.

When the expected attack from Hood did not occur...Sherman finally issued orders for McPherson to send Dodge off towards Decatur, tearing up Georgia Railroad track. If I remember correctly, the orders came about the time McPherson met Logan and Blair for lunch in a stand of Oaks along the railroad..when Hardee`s long delayed attack got under way. Before Dodge had been removed from the vicinity of the battle.

Respects, Morris
---------------
"You are a $70, red-wool, pure quill military genius, or the biggest damn fool in northern Mexico."

Phil andrade
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Re: A request for a rough and ready assessment
Posted on: 1/30/2019 7:33:11 AM
John,

....not once, not twice but three times Hood denied Cheatham’s request to attack.

Jeepers Creepers ! Did the cock crow ?

I remember reading an account of the yankees jumping over those breastworks as they had to repulse attacks coming from front and rear: someone likened them to the old fairground clockwork monkey toys that would flip this way and that .

Using Fox’s tabular record of Federal regimental casualties in the war, I took a look at the record of Pickett’s Mills, 27 May 1864, and saw that the 49th Ohio of Wood’s division suffered a loss of 52 confirmed killed in action, 147 wounded and 4 missing. This certainly demonstrates that fighting with Billy Sherman could be as deadly as fighting with Sam Grant, if you were unlucky enough to be in the wrong place at the wrong time. In the Battle of the Wilderness, only one yankee regiment suffered a heavier loss in confirmed killed than this ; at Spotsylvania, only two. The word “confirmed” is crucial : the investigation of the muster rolls revealed to Fox that the total of 52 killed for the 49th Ohio changed to 83 killed or died from wounds....the implication being that the four missing men had been killed and that 27 of the wounded men - more than eighteen per cent - had been fatally stricken. Ambrose Bierce wrote an article about this battle, and stressed that it produced an astonishingly high proportion of dead to wounded. It tends to endorse the claims of rebel officers who claimed that seven hundred yankee dead were counted in front of their lines, many of them shot at close range through the head.

It certainly confirms my view that the fighting in Georgia rivalled that of the East in severity, if not in scale.

A couple of years ago I attended a Civil War conference and , as usual, an array of old second hand books and pamphlets was set up for sale. I’m reluctant to buy them, because my shelves are over burdened....but something caught my eye. A little pamphlet, hand typed and bound in cardboard covers : JOURNAL, Confederate Historical Society, summer 1968. I thought to myself....this is probably a Lost Causer effort in the tradition of the SHSP..... but I gave it a browse and bought it for next to nothing. A wise choice.

The principal article is an essay titled SKETCHES OF SOME OF THE BATTLES AND OPERATIONS AROUND KENESAW MOUNTAIN IN 1864. The author is William R Johnston. He concludes :

Critics have assailed Sherman severely for this fruitless attack. His defence was a lame one. He claimed that he had taught his men that they sometimes had to attack fortified lines, and he had shown the Confederates that he was capable of bold assaults. It should be said in his favour that by using a limited attack he did not afford Johnston any real opportunity of a counter-stroke. Nor was his loss so crushing as to endanger further efforts. In the east, Grant had burned out the offensive spirit of his army to a greater extent than had Lee. This was the real reason for the long stalemate of nine months around Petersburg. Sherman did not make this mistake nor did his opponent Johnston . Both armies knew they were well handled and the battles around Kenesaw did not much blunt the cutting edge of either. Again frontal attacks had demonstrated their normal futility , and again flank attacks and turning movements showed that they were the way to success.

This author states that Altogether at least thirty - five hundred Union casualties can be reasonably established for the big attack on 27 June. That’s about half the yankee total for the bad day at Cold Harbor 24 days before.

I’m intrigued that he attributes the same syndrome to Sherman that you allude to in regard to Hood in your last sentence, John.

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

morris crumley
Dunwoody, GA, USA
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Re: A request for a rough and ready assessment
Posted on: 1/30/2019 9:50:03 AM
Phil, I concur with the point that John makes.

It does appear that some commanders believed that if their army became too used to marching....digging....receiving an attack...then withdrawing...marching and entrenching again...that the army would loose the discipline and coordination required to mount an assault against a fortified position.

Johnston`s Army Of The Tennessee was quite adept at efficient, coordinated withdrawal and maneuver...and strong entrenchments and hard fighting. But, the Atlanta Campaign proves that they were not very adept at offensive attack, and when Hood, a very aggressive commander who had been with Lee and Longstreet, was given command, it exposed the weakness and lack of discipline in offensive operations of the AOT.

Now, Hood was also to blame, as John pointed out, ( where the hell was Confederate artillery properly utilized by Hood in the fighting around Atlanta?) At Peachtree Creek, the attack was more than three hours late in getting started, not that uncommon for any army, but only some of four divisions attacked when seven divisions were present,( Bates wandered off into the morass of Clear Creek never finding the Union flank at all, and Maney barely moved.) And despite considerable time to prepare for the attack, no artillery was effectively used to support the infantry.

This became the norm for the Army of Tennessee ...not meant as a slur upon the men of arms of that Army...but Johnston did not discipline his Army for offensive operations..and when Hood tried to fight like Lee would, that showed.

So, at Kennesaw, I think Sherman was frustrated that Johnston would not "come out and fight"....but I also think he felt it a necessity to both harden up his soldiers...and show them that attacking fortified positions was part and parcel of their operations of maneuver.

Respects, Morris
---------------
"You are a $70, red-wool, pure quill military genius, or the biggest damn fool in northern Mexico."

Phil andrade
London, UK
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Re: A request for a rough and ready assessment
Posted on: 1/30/2019 11:24:42 AM
Morris,

Thanks for your rendition. It certainly convinces me.

How interesting this is !

The difference between Eastern and Western fighting was so largely attributable to the traits of respective confederate commanders..... chronically risk averse on the one hand ; supremely audacious on the other : a tendency to fight too little ( is that fair ? ) , in contrast with a propensity to fight ( perhaps ? ) rather too much.

I remember reading a report by Grant, citing his impression of the culminating phase of the Overland fighting. IIRC, he stated something like a battle outside of their earthworks cannot be had . I believe that here he was making a positive spin ; the rebels were, essentially, becoming reluctant to venture open battle, and sought the security of trenches. Hardly consistent with what we perceive of Lee’s zeal for combat.

The passage I cited in my earlier post wins my agreement : I’m convinced that the attritional aspects of the Overland hurt the Yankees more than the rebels.

As for Johnston versus Sherman , the attrition is harder to assess. There was a higher ratio of loss attributable to heavy skirmishing and sharpshooting as opposed to major battle. The constant manoeuvre and abandonment of positions cost the rebels heavily in terms of exhaustion and desertion - and attendant loss of prisoners - even if they won the killing matches at New Hope Church, Pickett’s Mills and Kenesaw.

A question for you - and for you, too, John - have you read Earl J Hess’s book on Peachtree Creek ? I like his book on Ezra Church ( I just glimpsed at it in a bookshop ).....and I’m wondering how his study of the Peachtree Creek fight compares.

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
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E-8 Master Sergeant
Posts: 919

Re: A request for a rough and ready assessment
Posted on: 1/30/2019 1:13:41 PM
Morris and Phil,

I'm not sure you can blame what I'll call the "breastwork syndrome" to the commanders because from my reading by 1864 if there was even the remote possibility of contact with the enemy the men in the ranks would throw up "breastworks" without being ordered just about every time they stopped on the march.


I also don't believe the lack of coordination and discipline needed for offensive maneuver was a lack of training or offensive spirit in the AOT. It was Hood setting unrealistic objectives and timetables for the physical condition of the officers and men under his command and the state of the officer corps in his command. Morris comments about Hardee's flank attack against McPherson being late and the approach march being screwed up but there is no mention to the fact that the troops had been basically marching or fighting for three days with a single meal and little sleep. Then lets talk about the attrition that occurred in the officer corps from the Georgia boarder to the outskirts of Atlanta. There is a OOB online showing the regimental level command at stages of the campaign that gives and idea of what I'm talking about. http://civilwarhome.com/atlantaorderofbattle(confed).html Lets take Cleburne's Division as a example at the start of the campaign there are 11 Col commanding out of 20 regiments in four Brigades and by the end there were 6 Col commanding out of 23 regiments with Polk's brigade being disbanded and a brigade of Georgia troops taking their place.(I didn't count the Bats as they didn't rate a Col in the first place)


I would also add the problem advancing Hood to command on the eve of Peachtree Creek caused to command. You have a new corps commander and division commander in Hood's Corps but it basically elevates Hardee to army command and Cleburne to corps command because Hardee is put in command to the two corps making the flanking movement. So basically you have 2 new army commanders, 2 new corps commanders and 2 new division commanders and lets not forget that Bishop Polk was KIA not long before.


Can you say CRISIS IN COMMAND?




---------------
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
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E-9 Sergeant Major
Posts: 2081

Re: A request for a rough and ready assessment
Posted on: 1/30/2019 2:13:49 PM


John, you are absolutely correct about Hardee`s night march to attack McPherson.

But, I mentioned that Hardee`s attack at Peachtree creek was late. It was late because a dispatch from Wheeler`s cavalry warned of McPherson`s approach to the east, one that overlapped Hood`s line and caused Hood to order Cheatham to shift a half division front to the south, with Stewart and Hardee to conform. Cheatham went too far south...and the entire movement became totally confused. All of which tallies with your take that there was a "crisis in command."

Respects, Morris


---------------
"You are a $70, red-wool, pure quill military genius, or the biggest damn fool in northern Mexico."

John R. Price
Wilkes-Barre, PA, USA
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Posts: 919

Re: A request for a rough and ready assessment
Posted on: 1/30/2019 4:06:48 PM
Morris,

Yes the shift adds to the delay but the truth is with or without it the flanking column would have been late. The whole point of the plan is to be in position to attack while Thomas is in the process of crossing the creek before he has a chance to occupy and fortify a defensive position. Hood planned to attack at 1PM the attack was made at 4PM but if it was to actually meet the point of the plan the attack would have had be ready to go in at about 11/11:30AM. Thomas would have been committed to the crossing but his lead troops wouldn't have gotten very far in constructing a defensive position. If the attack goes in at say noon there is only 1 division partially entrenched with 3 strung out on the march and a clogged two crossing points that the attack will turn into a crapstorm of confusion.
---------------
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
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Moderator
Posts: 3810

Re: A request for a rough and ready assessment
Posted on: 1/31/2019 3:47:38 AM
A thought occurs : there were large contingents of Mississippians, Texans, Tennesseans, Arkansas, Alabamians and Lousianans and Georgians present in the battles fought in Virginia, Maryland and Pennsylvania . Why were there not comparable numbers of Virginians and Carolinians fighting in the Western theatre ?
Was this noticed and resented by soldiers in the West ? Did the same disparity apply in the Union armies ?

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
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E-8 Master Sergeant
Posts: 919

Re: A request for a rough and ready assessment
Posted on: 1/31/2019 9:20:21 AM
Phil,

Check your numbers, 1 Regiment from Ark, 3 Regiments from Tex, 3 Regiment from Tenn, 2 Brigades from La and 2 Brigades from Miss. Add in we are talking defending the capital and that the popular notion at the start of the war was that it would be one major battle and win the war. Every state is going to want some of her native sons defending the capital and involved in the battle that wins indepenfence.

Edit Yes the same held true for the Union and maybe more pronounced until they send a Corps under Hooker West to counter Longstreet being sent West. Were there any Kentucky, Iowa, Kansas or Mizzu Regiments in the AOP? Off the top of my head maybe Iowa but the others I can't think of one.
---------------
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"


Michigan Dave
Muskegon, Michigan, MI, USA
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Posts: 4889

Re: A request for a rough and ready assessment
Posted on: 1/31/2019 9:22:31 AM
Hi Phil,

Excellent point, also with all of those soldiers fighting in the east, they had to cringe as the Union occupied their home areas out west! They had to wonder why they couldn't fight to protect their states, & homes? Often wondered if any wrote or made recorded comments on this?

A dilemma for them?
Regards,
MD
---------------
"The brave men, living and dead, who struggled here, have consecrated it, far above our poor power to add or detract."

phil andrade
London, UK
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Re: A request for a rough and ready assessment
Posted on: 1/31/2019 2:06:20 PM
Thank you, Dave.

I did check some numbers.

At Gettysburg, 5,441 Confederate soldiers were killed or mortally wounded. Five hundred of them were Mississippians. I wonder how many Virginians died fighting at Vicksburg.


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
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Re: A request for a rough and ready assessment
Posted on: 1/31/2019 3:14:18 PM
Phil,

What is your point? Gettysburg was in PA and if those 2 Brigades of Mississippians and others weren't in Virginia since 1862 Richmond would have been lost and there would be no need for troops at Vicksburg in 1863 because the war would have already been over. Plus Vicksburg didn't fall for lack of troops but for how the troops there were used and because of the lack of a unified and harmonious command.
---------------
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 hayward
Allenstown, NH, USA
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Re: A request for a rough and ready assessment
Posted on: 1/31/2019 8:39:10 PM
To answer the question about Va troops at Vicksburg....Botetourt (Virginia) Artillery:) Lt James P. Wright seems to the only ones

John R. Price
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Re: A request for a rough and ready assessment
Posted on: 1/31/2019 9:29:36 PM
I have found 7 VA Infantry Regiments, the 36th, 50th, 51th, 54st, 56th, 60th and 64th, that served in the West and I believe 4 Artillery Batteries.
I have also found 6 NC Infantry Regiments, the 29th, 39th, 58th, 60th, 62nd, and 64th, 1 Cavalry, the 6th and 2 Artillery Batteries.
Throw in a Maryland Artillery Battery.
---------------
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
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Re: A request for a rough and ready assessment
Posted on: 2/1/2019 3:02:05 AM

Quote:
Phil,

What is your point? Gettysburg was in PA and if those 2 Brigades of Mississippians and others weren't in Virginia since 1862 Richmond would have been lost and there would be no need for troops at Vicksburg in 1863 because the war would have already been over. Plus Vicksburg didn't fall for lack of troops but for how the troops there were used and because of the lack of a unified and harmonious command.
--John R. Price


John,

You make the point for me.

Those Mississippians fought with terrific zeal and held nothing back. They were clearly keen to fight in the place that counted most. Perhaps they felt themselves blessed to be under Marse Robert’s command, rather than in the toxic foul ups in the west.

I want to find out if those men from the western part of the confederacy ever lamented how their own homes were in jeopardy while they were fighting and dying in Virginia, Maryland and Pennsylvania . What were desertion rates in those contingents ? Did distance impart better adherence to the ranks ? After all, a Texan or an Arkansan is hardly in a position to visit his family at the drop of a hat if he’s marching through Maryland.....a Virginian is more sorely tempted.

Vicksburg was lost by Pemberton who was from Pennsylvania , with the added contribution of half hearted commitment - bordering on indifference - by Jo Johnston, who was a Virginian .

There is a point to be made somewhere here, but I find myself struggling to make it.

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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Posts: 919

Re: A request for a rough and ready assessment
Posted on: 2/1/2019 7:38:57 AM
Phil,

When London was under the Blitz did men in 8th Army wish they were back home manning the AA guns or in a fighter plane shooting down the enemy rather than in North Africa?


Of course the men agonized for the safety of the homes they were only human but I also think they also believed that many believed they in Virginia, Maryland and PA were the instrument to provide safety for their homes by winning the war. You see it in diary entries and letters written on the march to Gettysburg.


Desertion rates I don't know but if you get a chance search Fort Gregg and read about what a handful of troops from Miss, GA and NC did there and when they did it.


Maybe its because I'm from PA but I tend to blame one of Pemberton's Southern born officers more for the loss of Vicksburg. I also understand that there really wasn't much Joe Johnston could do about Vicksburg he didn't really command any troops and when he did have the troops he didn't have the logistics because Grant tore up the railroad.
---------------
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: A request for a rough and ready assessment
Posted on: 2/1/2019 8:08:35 AM
John,

You do strike home with your points : I worry that the way I’m posting here might seem rather indisciplined....my mind wanders hither and thither, and I tend to pitch in with what must seem random or inconsequential thoughts. A self indulgent habit on my part, and it’s good that you’re here to provide that focus and control !

When I look at that famous photograph of dead rebels along the Hagerstown Pike at Antietam, I reflect on the fact that they were men of Starke’s Louisiana Brigade, and they perished in that place hundreds of miles away from home. A stevedore from a New Orleans wharf gets cut down by yankee bullets, and his bloated corpse is photographed by Gardner and put on display in a gallery for yankee civilians to gawp at. People tended not to move far away from their home parishes in those days : how extraordinary the story of that war is ! Having said that, I acknowledge that Starke himself was born in Virginia : perhaps people were more transient than I depict.

I wonder if those Louisiana men fought with even more ferocity on account of the occupation of New Orleans. Think of those Poles who flew in Hawker Hurricanes in the Battle of Britain, or who fought their way up to the Abbey at Monte Cassino, or who stemmed the German counter attacks in Normandy....and that when their beloved country was being subjugated and destroyed. Did warriors ever fight harder than they did ?

Believe it or not, I had actually thought about Fort Gregg, and was wondering how to incorporate the story into my thread.

You will see a brave defence , said Lee.....how right he was !

The thing makes me think of the Alamo.

Here I go again, drifting .....

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
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Posts: 919

Re: A request for a rough and ready assessment
Posted on: 2/1/2019 8:33:47 AM
Phil,

Wander all you want.

Do you mean the Sunken Road pic?

There is a book about Gregg named "Confederate Alamo." But I really have to remember that it was a two fort complex, Gregg and Anderson/Whitworth with a mixed force of GA, Miss and NC troops and maybe Maryland and LA artillery in Gregg and Miss troops in the second. Longstreet waved to Gibbon I believe during the battle and saw Grant for the first time.(there was a hell of a dispute played out mainly in the post war press about who actually defended Gregg which also brings into question Lee quote you used)
---------------
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
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Re: A request for a rough and ready assessment
Posted on: 2/1/2019 8:45:43 AM
John,

No, not the Bloody Lane photos, but the rail fence along the Hagerstown Turnpike. It’s probably the most widely published of all the photographs of the Antietam dead.

The accounts I’ve read of the action we call Fort Gregg depict a couple of hundred rebels inflicting six hundred casualties on the attacking yankees. It entailed hand to hand fighting in the most literal sense, with the first yankees to enter the rampart being bayoneted, and a rebel officer being beaten to death with brickbats.

I’ll check my books to see if memory serves me.

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
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Posts: 919

Re: A request for a rough and ready assessment
Posted on: 2/1/2019 9:52:49 AM
Phil,

You are dam close with Fort Gregg. From memory a little over 300 KIA and WIA with 32/33 left standing for the Confederates and a little over 700 KIA and WIA for the Union out of a total of about 3,500 infantry committed.
---------------
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
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Re: A request for a rough and ready assessment
Posted on: 2/1/2019 10:11:52 AM
Phil, my grt grt grandfather was in the 24th Georgia along with his brother...in winter of 1862-1863 was selected for transfer to the 3rd Georgia Battalion SS. He and his brother, from Sautee Georgia fought in North Carolina, Virginia, Maryland, Pennsylvania, Tennessee..then back to Virginia. The only time they ever "fought" in their home state was when they skirmished with retreating rear guard of Rosecrans at Lookout Mountain, and Wauhatchie.

Though one died at Cedar Creek, they had both re-enlisted in spring of 1864, and the newspaper story I read about the meeting made it clear they all felt the war was lost...but they felt a duty to each other to stay. What made the desertion rates increase for Georgia troops was the letters they were getting about Sherman, and the severe deprivations that resulted of their families back home...especially in North West Georgia.

Respects, Morris
---------------
"You are a $70, red-wool, pure quill military genius, or the biggest damn fool in northern Mexico."

Phil andrade
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Re: A request for a rough and ready assessment
Posted on: 2/1/2019 10:39:48 AM
Morris,

Forgive my ignorance, but does the SS after the 3rd Georgia Bn stand for sharp shooters ?

Were they under Gordon’s command ? I associate Gordon with Cedar Creek.

You tell us that one of the brothers died in that battle. Are there details about his death : was he confirmed as killed in action ; or was he recorded as having died of his wounds....or was he posted as missing and presumed dead ? It’s always been a feature of civil war casualty lists that excites my interest....the extent to which the numbers returned as killed actually reflected the true total of deaths.

I have heard it said that Cedar Creek - even more than the fall of Atlanta - saved Lincoln from defeat in the 1864 election .

It’s always astonished me that the yankee losses in killed and wounded at Cedar Creek were so much higher than those of the rebels. You would think, on the strength of the casualty figures, that the Confederates won the battle, and convincingly 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

morris crumley
Dunwoody, GA, USA
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Posts: 2081

Re: A request for a rough and ready assessment
Posted on: 2/1/2019 6:03:29 PM
Phil, yes... 3rd Battalion Georgia Sharpshooters.

They served in Wofford`s Brigade under General Joseph Kershaw at Petersburg when assigned to join with Early`s Army of the Valley.

The only details I know of Sgt. George B Crumley, B Co. 3rd Ga Batt. at Cedar Creek is that he is listed on the muster rolls in Dec as "wounded in action, Strasburg Va, 19 Oct 1864."

He next appears in Jan. 1865 as " killed in action Cedar Creek, 19 Oct 1864." My grt grt grandfather, (Sidney) Smith Crumley, was nearly captured and they got separated during the counterattack by Custer`s men that afternoon.

On the February muster roll, my grt grt grandfather shows up as "absent on sixty day furlough of indulgence." This is the only furlough he received...and it comes after he had lost his second brother to the war.

I suspect that George was buried in one of those "here lies 34 rebels" grave somewhere at Belle Grove.

Respects, Morris


---------------
"You are a $70, red-wool, pure quill military genius, or the biggest damn fool in northern Mexico."

John R. Price
Wilkes-Barre, PA, USA
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Re: A request for a rough and ready assessment
Posted on: 2/2/2019 1:19:38 AM
Morris and Phil,

Haven't finished this yet but I'm still reading and that means its making a case a whole lot better than Hood's relative and his book did.

https://scholarworks.sjsu.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?referer=&httpsredir=1&article=5038&context=etd_theses
---------------
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
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Re: A request for a rough and ready assessment
Posted on: 2/2/2019 9:39:55 AM
John,

Thanks for that link. I browsed through it at speed, stopping here and there to get the flavour of it.

It looks good on the historiography.

One or two allusions to the work of Stephen Davis....a couple of years ago he came over here and I heard him deliver a lecture on the Atlanta campaign. He made a good impression on me.

I like the recent revisionism of Hood’s generalship. No longer so widely depicted as the commander with the heart of a lion and the brains of a donkey. A more balanced and nuanced approach.

Horrified to see that the author of this essay writes that the nearly sixty thousand US dead from the Vietnam War equated to one per cent of the population : a thirty fold exaggeration . Perhaps just a typo...all the same, it makes you wonder about how such an error was allowed to pass. Maybe my eyes deceived me : I hope so.

He writes that the casualty rates suffered by the AOT were not so high as those in the AONV. Shiloh, Murfreesboro and Chickamauga persuade me otherwise, let alone Franklin. Perryville must not be overlooked, either.

Quibbles aside, much enjoyed and rewarding to contemplate .

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
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Re: A request for a rough and ready assessment
Posted on: 2/2/2019 11:08:22 AM
Phil,

He used a 14% death rate of all in the military during the Civil War so I think that is supposed to be 1% of those who served in the military during Vietnam which I think might work with a little massage of the numbers.

Isn't the idea that the casualty rate was higher in the East basically what this thread was started on?


Do we have the same relative of Hood? Do you mean Stephen M Hood? If so he losses me completely over the whole "Franklin is the key to Nashville, Nashville is the key to the Ohio and the Ohio is the key to independence" trying to refute the gist of Cleburne's "let us die like men" quote. If as Morris said his relatives understood in the spring of 64 that the chances of "independence" were on a wing and a prayer how is anybody standing in a battle line outside of Franklin in Dec 64 going to believe it inevitable if they take that position?
---------------
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
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Re: A request for a rough and ready assessment
Posted on: 2/2/2019 11:22:59 AM
John,

Doesn’t 14% mortality for the civil war armies strike you as too low ?

Twenty per cent plus seems more plausible to me.

I have to agree that I did kick off this thread with a suggestion that half of all battle deaths in the war - and perhaps more - can be attributed to the warfare in the East. I did qualify that by drawing attention to the extreme intensity and bloodshed in several western battles, and I think we agreed that the long interval between the big western battles accounted for the greater aggregate loss of life in the east.

The thing that I want to stress is that, when it did come to battle, the men from the AOT were subjected to casualty rates that rivalled those in the AONV- with the caveat that Joe Johnston did save his men from such losses in May and June 1864....and even then he was susceptible to the criticism that attrition from constant retreat imposes a special cost in terms of exhaustion, desertion and capture.

Stephen Davis is a different historian from Hood’s descendant : he would agree with much of what Stephen Hood wrote.

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
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Posts: 919

Re: A request for a rough and ready assessment
Posted on: 2/2/2019 12:39:27 PM
Phil,

It isn't mortality rate its KIA and related which I take for KIA and in POW Camps or as a direct result of battle. So subtract the deaths from disease in camp.

I'm not sure I totally agree about interval of battle because you had more battles being fought in the West as a whole, You had the AOT fighting at Stones River, the AOM around Corinth, Buckner's Corps around Nashville. Sterling Price in the Trans Miss, another in the Dept of Ark, another in the Dept of Texas and Taylor in LA. No I think it more about concentration of forces being greater in the East be that either in VA, NC or SC. The armies were larger therefore the battle were bigger with more casualties.

Did Joe Johnston save them or was it Hood not attacking or screwing up the attack orders.

I agree with a lot of what both have to say but Stephen Hood is trying to blame anybody and everybody but JB Hood for what happened in the AOT after he took command. And don't get me wrong there was a crisis in command in all of the officer corps but I think we are talking two different people from the point he gets wounded at Chickamauga.

I also think those beating the drum for Hood tend to downplay Joe Johnston's influence on the plans of battle around Atlanta.
---------------
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
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Re: A request for a rough and ready assessment
Posted on: 2/2/2019 2:14:09 PM
John,

So much hinges on who we count here : I’m sure that there must be immense availability of online regimental data now that would throw light on these statistics .

I heard a distinguished North Carolina authority giving a talk on the history of the famous 26th NCA. People will always associate this regiment with Gettysburg , especially Day One when an incredible number of its men were killed or wounded. In the war as a whole, it suffered a loss of twenty per cent in KIA or DOW. What was emphasised, though, was the fact that the regiment escaped the meat grinders of Antietam, Fredericksburg and Chancellorsville. With that in mind, I’m tempted to conclude that the twenty per cent combat mortality was not so exceptional for the AONV. The significant thing that this speaker told me was that the total death rate of forty per cent ( 800 out of 2,000 total enlistments ) was equally divided between combat and disease. Those who perished as POWs were counted as disease deaths, unless it was specifically noted that they died of wounds while prisoner.

If this is apparent in the muster rolls of the AONV, it must also be possible to gain data from their counterparts in the AOT, which would throw a lot of light on the things I’m trying to investigate and discuss.

If you know of any sources online that could be useful here, I would be grateful for advice.

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
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Re: A request for a rough and ready assessment
Posted on: 2/3/2019 12:04:27 PM
Here’s an excercise that might reveal something .

Using Fox’s Regimental losses, I refer to two tabular lists of maximum recorded percentage losses of 64 Federal and 70 Confederate regiments in the various individual battles of the war. There are doubtless imperfections here : the inadequacy of some of the confederate reports being crucial ; but I still feel the results are indicative and pertinent to our thread.

Of the sixty four yankee regiments that all suffered casualties of fifty per cent or more in killed and wounded in specific engagements, forty nine suffered these casualties in Eastern battles, and only fifteen in the West.

The seventy confederate regiments all suffered forty per cent or more in killed and wounded. The fact that Franklin is not featured indicates the extent to which reports are lacking for that particular battle. The confederate record is also heavily weighed towards the Eastern battles, but less preponderantly so. They include forty three from the East and twenty seven from the West : and of those western examples, nineteen are from Chickamauga.

I struggle to interpret what this means : the yankee figures being especially hard to account for in terms of East West disparity.

There seems to be only one explanation.

It would appear that in the West, the burden of bloodshed fell more evenly throughout the armies engaged : fewer extreme rates of fifty per cent plus, but far more in the thirty to fifty per cent range. The percentage of yankees who were killed or wounded at Stones River or Chickamauga exceeded that of Gettysburg, but neither of those western battles is anywhere near Gettysburg in the citation of the top tier of casualty rates.

This is endorsed by the higher proportion of western battles in the confederate tabulation, where the bar was lowered to forty per cent.

This is the first time that I’ve tried this : I went to it with an open mind and it’s a bit bewildering, especially given the fact that Shiloh, Stones River and Chickamauga saw some of the most extreme bloodshed of the war, in percentage terms.

It must be that, for whatever reasons, western armies tended to engage their strength more equitably than their eastern counterparts, although this is more apparent in the Union than the Confederate record .

Does this make sense ?

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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