GDG- A little clarification please.

dherko at dherko at
Fri Jan 27 08:54:18 CST 2012

Lee could not have drawn the AoP away from their supply base by going North.

The Union had developed a series of permanent and temporary supply depots.  I did quite a bit of study on City Point.  Montgomery Meigs was the QM General, Ingals was the AoP QM chief.  As the AoP moved across Virginia throughout the war, the War Department closed and opened temporary depots - city point was the best example.  Permanent depots were just informed by telegraph or other means on how to push supplies and to where they would go.

The greatest example of Union Supply efficiency was the mail for Sherman's Army.  Sherman had not informed the war department on the exact timeand place of where he would emerge at the end of his march.  His troops received the fisrt batch of mail within the week, I think actually four days but less than seven is good enough for arguement's sake.  The Union Supply system was that good.

At Petersburg, if I was a regimental QM, I could request a set of shoes size 16EE.  The request would flow up the chain of command (QM side) through the AoP to Ingals office, as the now Chief of QM for the Armies Operating around Richmond (or whatever title he had).  His department was operating out of the Epp plantation house overlooking the City Point Warfs.  If the clothing warehouses did not have the set of shoes, the request was passed to Meigs HQ in DC, where the request would be sent to the depot for clothing (lets say Boston for instance) if Boston Depot did not have the 16EE, they would contact the manufacturer and several sets of 16EE shoes were made, sent to Boston, forward an intermediate depot if one was assigned for low priority routine deliveries or possibly put on a ship right to City Point if the request was given a higher priority.  Remember City Point was, during the seige, the busiest port in the world.

Conferderate Soldiers who for months smelled fresh bread being delivered to Union troops at Petersburg were in awe when they were proceessed through City Point as prisoners. 

Again that is Lee not truly understanding what he was up against.  His men were supplying themselves for two years on Union good (sadlles, blankets, weapons, clothing, wagons, cannon, anything they could pick up)  the supply never stopped.  The wagon train that Stuart captured had 250 brand new wagons with brand new bits, straps, harnesses,  theat stuff was being crated at record pace.  

As Lee was running out of serviceable horses, Meade had more than he could use.  Hunt was able to create a secret wagon train filled with ammunition for a big fight.  The corperate Union Army, that was prosecuting the war strategically was light years ahead of the CSA.  Only Sherman's Army during his Georgia was the only Union Army that ever was completely severed fro the Union supply system.  

Don Herko (US Army Loggie)  

--- Tom Barrett <tbarrett21 at> wrote: 
> Esteemed GDG Member Contributes:
> From a military standpoint, I think he wanted to draw the AoP far enough so
> that they were separated from their supply and support bases and far enough
> that they would be tired, scattered, and not able to concentrate
> effectively.  Drawing them toward Harrisburg was a good plan, but spreading
> them out would have been even better, so the AoP Corps couldn't quickly
> support one another.
> I think he figured that his forces would be more rested and better
> concentrated than the AoP, and that he'd pick off and defeat the Union units
> as they came north.  
> As it turned out, Gettysburg wasn't far enough, and the AoP was well
> organized, well supplied, and was able to concentrate effectively.  For
> whatever reason, Lee chose to attack anyway.
> Regards,
> TB 
> ________________________________
>    > 
> >> Esteemed GDG Member Contributes:
> >> I tend to favor the notion that Harrisburg was a decoy to draw Union
> forces out into the open. I absolutely believe that Lee would have  sent
> forces into the city, primarily to destroy railroad  infrastructure, damage
> manufacturing operations, capture supplies, and  generally create further
> panic in the north, but holding the city was  never an option. I believe
> there was a relatively small window of  opportunity for the ANV to operate
> in Pennsylvania.
> >> 
> >> On Jan 26, 2012, at 2:13 PM, keith mackenzie wrote:
> >> 
> >>> Esteemed GDG Member Contributes:
> >>> I've read a couple of posts where the esteemed member insisted that  Lee
> did not intend to hold Harrisburg if he did in fact assault and  take it.
> >>> I don't know if it was more than one poster or only one several times.
> >>> My
> >>> question is, does anyone think he would have attempted to hold it? I
> don't think anyone has put forward that POV, but I might have missed  it.
> >>> thanks
> >>> K.
> >>>   
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