GDG- Inevitable defeat

Dave Glorioso glory at
Mon Jan 23 19:22:50 CST 2012

Just finished "how the south could have won the civil war", by Bevin Alexander-Armchair General 3-2012

It ends: 
Saddled with leaders like Davis and Lee, who could not perceive reality, the South's defeat was inevitable.

The crux of the article is Jackson understood that the means of war now favored the defense as witnessed during the  7 days battles when only 1 of Lee's 5 frontal attacks succeeded.
Rifled muskets and canister would bleed out the southern army at this rate.
Instead, Jackson encouraged offensive movement leading to a defensive stance on ground of his choice.
He also favored aggressive northern invasion with additional plans to destroy factories, railroads and mines.
Both Davis and Lee rejected his strategy. Davis was in favor of a more passive policy hoping the north would tire or Britain/France would intervene.
Lee favored frontal attacks.

At second manassas, Jackson's proposals led to an opportunity to destroy Pope's army. It may have worked if Lee would have attacked Popes left earlier, failing to prevent retreat. 
At Antietam, Jackson disagreed with Lee's goal of going to destroy the  bridge over the Susquehanna.
Instead he wanted to draw Mac to attack him north of Washington with added goal of destroying factories etc
When battle took place at Antietam, Lee chose to fight despite little room for maneuver. Jackson's ideals would have favored withdrawing to a more favorable defensive position.
At Fredericksburg, Jackson proposed going south to North Anna River where the cavalry would better be able to prevent the union army's retreat and resupply.
At Chancellorsville, Lee put Jackson's strategy in place. An end around to cut off Hookers retreat over the Rappahannock  at US Ford was foiled by Jackson's wound.
Lee invaded North again but continued his fixation on frontal attacks during three costly days at Gettysburg.

The above are interesting points although over simplified and without primary sources.


Sent from my iPhone

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