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Space made for difference.
The critical Civil War campaigns in the East were fought on and near the 120-mile line between Washington to the north and Richmond and Petersburg to the south. The western theater, in contrast, demanded marches and railroad and river journeys of many hundreds of miles. Its vast extent of space principally differentiated the West from the East. Its distances posed immensely more daunting logistical perplexities for campaigns of subtle and adroit maneuver. The sheer extent of Western space tended to distract military commanders from the classical strategic objective, the enemy army, so that they focused their attention on acquiring and retaining territory.
Thus the West presented both challenges and opportunities for generalship not to be found in the East. As the Civil War unfolded, however, almost every commander North and South became so focused upon the challenges of vast space that grasping the West's opportunities faltered. Only one military commander fully exploited the West's opportunities for maneuver warfare, and he happened to be a commander of surprising genius: Major-General, United States Volunteers, Ulysses S. Grant in the Vicksburg Campaign.
It says much about the differences between theaters of war, moreover, that the same Ulysses S. Grant, now a lieutenant-general in the Regular Army, general-in-chief of the U.S. Army,1 and campaigning in the East in 1864-65, failed to wage maneuver warfare as successfully as he had done in the West. His efforts in the East to trap General Robert E. Lee and the Confederate Army of Northern Virginia by means of maneuver foundered, and Grant had to settle for a campaign of brutal trading of casualties with Lee's army. The geographical scale of the East simply did not offer the possibilities for deceptive maneuver that Grant had enjoyed in the West.
To be sure, geographical scale alone does not explain the difference between Grant in the West and Grant in the East. The generalship of R. E. Lee as contrasted, for example, with that of Lieutenant-General John C. Pemberton had something to do with it. So did that more mysterious factor, the superior fighting quality of the Army of Northern Virginia as compared with the Confederate armies beyond the Appalachians, particularly the Army of Tennessee.2
Moreover, the Eastern theater was not so tiny in contrast to the Western as to preclude successful maneuver warfare altogether. Lee and Major-General Thomas J. "Stonewall" Jackson (from October 10,1862 lieutenant-general)3employed maneuver to devastating effect in the Second Manassas and Chancellorsville campaigns, albeit on a tactical rather than an operational or strategic scale; and Jackson's Valley Campaign of 1862, which in fact involved the whole Virginia theater and was therefore operational in scope, vies with Grant's Vicksburg Campaign for high rank among all specimens of maneuver warfare. Nevertheless, while it was in larger part a balance of skills between Grant and Lee that relegated the Virginia Campaign of 1864-65 to an exchange of bloodletting, the limited possibilities for deceptive maneuver in so constricted an area had much to do with undermining the skills of both sufficiently to bring about deadlock. The salient difference between West and East remains territorial extent.
That emphasis made, a further introductory note must be offered. The Western campaigns of the Civil War present to the observer a sometimes spectacular vision of armies marching and struggling over lands imperial in scale, breathtaking in the sheer magnitude of the arena. The East, nevertheless, was the more crucial theaterbecause only there might the war have been won or lost quickly. The very size of the West meant that triumphs there for either side required time for their effects and implications to be felt fully. In the East, in contrast, either side's loss of its capital city might have had a rapidly decisive impact. Both sides were right to deploy usually their biggest armies in front of Washington and Richmond, and try to dispatch their best generals to the East. It was when the main Eastern Confederate army surrendered at Appomattox Court House on April 9, 1865, that the Confederacy had surely lost the war, notwithstanding the existence of other Confederate armies still in the field. Because of its political, psychological, and economic significance, the East was strategically more important than the West.
To say that is by no means to deny, however, the cumulative effects of the North's generally superior record in piling up victories in the West: the denial to the Confederacy of geographically critical Kentucky with its Ohio River boundary potentially constricting the North, through Grant's February 6 and 16, 1862 amphibious victories at Fort Henry and Fort Donelson; the stripping away from the Confederacy of much of the granary state of Tennessee and the Nashville industrial complex through Union exploitation of those same victories and their confirmation at Shiloh on April 6-7, 1862; Union Navy Flag Officer David Glasgow Farragut's capture of the Confederacy's greatest seaport and largest city, New Orleans, as early as April 25, 1862; the threat to cut the Confederacy in two and deprive its East of the resources and European imports from the Trans-Mississippi West posed by the combination of the loss of New Orleans with the June 6, 1862 loss of Memphis; the flat failure of General Braxton Bragg's effort to reverse many of those losses with his northward march through Tennessee and Kentucky in the late summer and early autumn of 1862; Grant's fulfillment of the potential raised by New Orleans and Memphis when his capture of Vicksburg on July 4, 1862, combined with the Confederate surrender of Port Hudson, Louisiana, on July 9, accomplished the bisecting of the Confederacy; the second bisection, cutting the Confederate East in turn in two, achieved by the Union campaign from Nashville through Chattanooga to Atlanta and thence to Savannah. All these efforts amounted to the severing of limbs from the Confederacy and its reduction to the condition of a paraplegic, even if the ultimate blow to the heart and brains had to be struck in the East.
When the war in the East was stagnating under the irresolute leadership of Major-General, United States Army, George B. McClellan and Union morale was apparently plummeting into abyss during the winter of 1861-1862, it was Brigadier-General, United States Volunteers, Ulysses S. Grant who rescued the public spirit of the North. He provided one of the first substantial strategic triumphs of the war (after McClellan's western Virginia campaign of the spring of 1861 and naval and amphibious victories on the Atlantic coast) with his capture of Fort Henry on the Tennessee River and Fort Donelson on the Cumberland. Grant's credit must be shared with his theater commander, Major-General, U.S.A., Henry Wager Halleck of the Department of (the) Missouri. Halleck also wished to exploit the opportunity presented by possible Union Army cooperation with Union Navy gunboats operating on the rivers that flowed from deep within the Confederacy, to lop off from the South a considerable segment of Tennessee. Grant pursued the opportunity, however, much more aggressively than Halleck would have done, in fact provoking the latter's jealousy in the process.
When bombardment by Flag Officer Andrew H. Foote's gunboats promptly opened Fort Henry to Grant's troops on February 6, Grant almost immediately, on February 11, began marching his troops the eight miles eastward overland to Fort Donelson, when Halleck would have paused to refit and reconnoiter. Foote's vessels of course went the longer way via the Ohio River, but after Grant had begun investing Donelson on the 12th, the gunboats arrived as early as the 14th to conduct a bombardment. Donelson was better designed and gunned than Henry and repulsed the naval attack. The next day, however, Grant responded to the nighttime escape of part of the Confederate garrison and an attack on his investing lines by sending his own troops forward, forcing the Confederate surrender on February 16. The Confederates had no further fortification of consequence short of Nashville on the Cumberland and Corinth, Mississippi near the Tennessee River; Grant's victories opened the way to the later Union movement into the Deep South.4
Grant in fact led Halleck's principal field force up the Tennessee River all the way to Pittsburg Landing, only eight miles from the Mississippi state border, pushing his vanguard south and west from the landing about two miles to the area of Shiloh Church. There on Sunday, April 6, the Confederate Army of Mississippi under General Albert Sidney Johnson, reinforced for the occasion to about 40,000 men in four corps, counterattacked hard against Grant's, perhaps slightly smaller, Union Army of the Mississippi of six divisions.5
The Confederates had begun the war in the West by applying President Jefferson Davis's favored strategy of defense, a military posture in accord with the political position of the Confederacy that it was attempting only to defend Southern rights. There were a few exceptions to the defense strategy, notably Major-General Leonidas Polk's foray from Tennessee to capture Columbus, Kentucky on September 4, 1861, which had the counterproductive effect of strengthening Kentucky's adherence to the Union by casting the Confederates in the role of aggressors against the neutrality of the Commonwealth.
For the most part, however, the Confederacy in the West had not even followed President Davis's supposedly preferred method of an active, flexible defense, but under Albert Sidney Johnson had settled for a passive cordon defense across the approximately 400-mile east-west length of Tennessee and Kentucky, from the Appalachian Mountains on the east through Bowling Green, Kentucky, and Forts Donelson and Henry in Tennessee, on to Columbus, Kentucky, on the Mississippi River. Johnston never had enough troops for a plausible defense of his long frontier, but the very magnitude of the distance involved appears to have undone the strategic judgment of an officer whom many Southerners considered their best. Against hypnotically wide space, Johnston could think of nothing better, until Grant punctured the Confederate cordon at Henry and Donelson. Then Johnston felt obliged to retreat into Alabama and Mississippi, but spurred by humiliation at the hands of Grant, a supposed drunken failure in the prewar Army, the Confederacy's best general gathered the reinforcements that on the first Sunday of April emerged from the woods around Shiloh Church to attack Grant's camps. The collapse of cordon defense across wide spaces had propelled Johnston through desperation into headlong assault.6
Grant's wartime career thus far had already been one of exemplary tactical skill as well as aggressiveness, but he was not yet a complete military commander. He allowed Johnston's counter stroke at Shiloh, so different from that officer's previous behavior, to take him by surprise. He had thrown forward no adequate reconnaissance to warn him should the enemy approach. He had not sited his divisional camps for defense, let alone prepared any protective works. Johnston quickly sent Grant's forward divisions into a retreat that sometimes approached the condition of a rout. Fortunately for the Union, however, Johnston again gave the lie to his lofty reputation by botching the attack, conducting it in column of corps, four corps advancing in succession along the entire width of his front. This odd formation assured the rapid mixing of units with each other and a degeneration of command and control. Attempting to remedy this chaos of his own making, Johnston fell mortally wounded while rallying his troops like a company commander.
Still more fortunately for the Union, Grant, though surprised, proved imperturbable, and he spent the day gathering together both fugitives and unbroken units to cobble up a new and solid defensive line on the bluffs above Pittsburg Landing. As the day was ending, Grant's reformed line brought the tired Confederates up short. With the Union gunboats Tyler and Lexington firing from the river into the Confederate right flank, and with the Union reinforcements from Major-General, U.S.V., Don Carlos Buell's Army of the Ohio beginning to disembark at Pittsburg Landing, the new Confederate commander, General Pierre Gustave Toutant Beauregard, decided he must retreat to Corinth, a decision confirmed by heavy pressure from Grant and Buell on April 7.7
After the aggressive spasm of Shiloh, the Confederates reverted to a defensive posture in the West, around the important Corinth rail junction where the Memphis and Charleston Railroad running west and east crossed the north-south Mobile and Ohio Railroad. On the Union side, Grant's defensive stubbornness had saved the day at Shiloh, but he could not immediately return to his customary aggressiveness, because Halleck as department commander came down from St. Louis to take the field leading the combination of Grant's field force, Buell's Army of the Mississippi, and Major General, U. S. V., John Pope's army of the Mississippi which had been campaigning directly along the Great River. Halleck now had over 100,000 men to face only about half that number under Beauregard, but he settled into a siege of Corinth lasting more than a month, from April 29 to June 10, ending with Beauregard's abandonment of the place and escape.8
Thereafter Halleck dispersed his armies across nearly as wide a front as Albert Sidney Johnston had held earlier, suggesting that Halleck too felt distance as a weight rather than offering opportunities to exploit. Union troops ranged from the Mississippi River to central Tennessee, whence Buell undertook railroad-rebuilding operations toward Chattanooga way off in the state's southeast corner. At this juncture Halleck's share of the credit for success as theater commander earned him a train ride to Washington to become general-in-chief of the Armies of the United States.9
Halleck's post-Corinth dispersal of resources surrendered the initiative to the enemy and permitted the Western Confederacy a second spasm of offensive action on the model of the march to Shiloh. While Buell and the Army of the Ohio tied themselves up in painstaking railroad chores, General Braxton Bragg, commanding the Confederate Army of Tennessee, bypassed him to hasten northward, recapturing much of central Tennessee. Major-General Edmund Kirby Smith of the Confederate Department of East Tennessee simultaneously marched north, to converge with Bragg in northern Kentucky. To compound the revived Confederate offensive threat, Major-General Earl Van Dorn and Sterling Price with the former's Army of the West and additional troops marched toward Corinth and nearby Iuka, where Grant commanded the portion of the Union forces extending in a quarter-circle south and east from Memphis.
It is not surprising that the stubborn Grant repulsed Van Dorn and Price in the battles of Iuka (September 19) and Corinth (October 3-4). Probably the most noteworthy tactical feature of these contests was that Grant's subordinates missed opportunities he had set up to destroy the enemy army. Without Grant on the scene, the outcome in Kentucky was less assured. Still, Buell conducted a reasonably vigorous chase across central Tennessee and Kentucky to interpose between Bragg and Louisville. Then the rival armies engaged in desultory battle at Perryville on October 8, neither principal commander showing impressive energy nor bringing his full strength into the contest. Nevertheless. Bragg perceived his chances for any major success in Kentucky as intercepted, and he retreated, taking his Army of Tennessee back into its namesake state and eventually to Murfreesboro on Stones River south of Nashville.10
This ebbing of the second Confederate offensive tide in the West set the stage at last for the great campaign of the Western theater, the one campaign in which a commander saw the extensive space of the West not primarily as territory to be won, held, or lost, but as an offer of inviting prospects for maneuver warfare. Grant's repulse of the Iuka-Corinth phase of the Confederates' late 1862 counteroffensive, combined with the removal of Halleck's cautious supervision from the immediate vicinity to distant Washington, freed Grant to concentrate the bulk of his Army of the Tennessee,11for the extension of his Henry-Donelson-Shiloh campaign southward down the Mississippi River. His object was the capture of the fortress city of Vicksburg, situated on high bluffs commanding the river. In Union hands, Vicksburg would make possible the almost certain capture of lesser Confederate posts farther downstream, thus opening the entire length of the Mississippi River to Union navigation, and nearly breaking communication, particularly the transport of supplies, between the Trans-Mississippi West and the remainder of the Confederacy.
Vicksburg represented, however, not only a major strategic prize, but also major operational and tactical difficulties for an assailant. Its location on precipitous hills not only protected it from assault directly out of or across the river, but its hill system also extended to the north to Haines's Bluff, Synder's Bluff, and the Walnut Hills similarly barring an approach from out of the Chickasaw Bayou system of tributaries of the Mississippi. Moreover, Chickasaw Bayou was only the nearest swampy area to Vicksburg of a triangle of waterways and wetlands, the Mississippi Delta region extending at various places then, twenty or thirty miles eastward from the main channel of the Mississippi for almost a hundred miles northward, almost to Memphis. There was dry ground relatively unimpeded by high bluff from which to approach Vicksburg east and south of the town and its fortifications, but there was no readily apparent way to reach the dry ground from the north.
To demonstrate the latter point, Grant's first attempt against Vicksburg foundered upon the most evident obstacle to an approach toward the dry ground from the north. In the late autumn of 1862 Grant began moving his main field force of about 42,000 men down the rail lines from Memphis toward Jackson, Mississippi, whence to approach Vicksburg from the east while using the rails to keep his army supplied. The evident obstacle was the problem of guarding a lengthening railroad umbilical cord against Confederate raiders. While Grant was at Oxford, Van Dorn with 3,500 mounted troops on December 20 struck his secondary base at Holly Springs on the Mississippi Central Railroad, destroying some $1,500,000 worth of supplies. Van Dorn then gobbled up other posts in the vicinity. Meanwhile Major-General Nathan Bedford Forrest broke up some sixty miles of track of the Mobile and Ohio Railroad north of Jackson, Tennessee, injuring the ability of the North to support Memphis itself.12
Meanwhile Grant had attempted to exploit Western distances for aiding deceptive maneuver by sending Major-General, U.S.V., William Tecumseh Shermana close friend as well as principal subordinate since Shiloh southward by way of the Mississippi River itself. Sherman had 32,000 troops from the District of Memphis to attempt an assault on Haines's Bluff in the Walnut Hills north of Vicksburg from Chickasaw Bayou. Grant's hope was to force sufficient dispersal of force upon Lieutenant-General John C. Pemberton, since October 13 commanding the Confederate Department of Mississippi, Tennessee, and East Louisiana, so that one of the Union expeditions would succeed. But neither expedition did. On December 27-29 Sherman failed in head-on assaults.13
Grant himself now became the victim of an ill-conceived Union dispersal of forces. Major-General, U.S.V., John A. McClernand was a Democratic politician from Illinois. In October he had persuaded President Abraham Lincoln to authorize him to conduct his own operations on the Mississippi River in exchange for his carrying out a major Midwestern recruiting drive from which he would largely form his force. After McClernand's recruits gathered at Memphis, some of them were scooped into Sherman's Vicksburg expedition. McClernand traveled to Chickasaw Bayou to meet them, took command by virtue of seniority over Sherman, and at the latter's suggestion embarked his own and Sherman's men back upriver to attack Fort Hindman at Arkansas Post fifty miles up the Arkansas River.
In attacks from January 4 to 12, 1863, Fort Hindman was subdued; but Grant, unaware that the idea for the Arkansas expedition had come from his friend Sherman, and regarding it as an unwarranted sideshow, extracted from General-in-Chief Halleck reassurance that McClernand fell under his own, that is Grant's, command. Halleck, though not always well disposed toward Grant, was much less tolerant of political generals like McClernand who behaved like loose cannons.14
Grant then organized the Thirteenth and Fifteenth Army Corp, out of McClernand's and Sherman's troops. With these formed plus the Seventeenth and eventually the Sixteenth Corps, Grant resumed his own Vicksburg Campaign. The winter of early 1863 was unpropitious because it was excessively wet and the waterways and waterlogged ground of the Mississippi Delta were even more difficult for troop movements than usual. Grant, however, was characteristically determined not to let his soldiers lose their stamina and fighting edge through idleness. He therefore put them to work on a series of digging projects and amphibious expeditions to try to create new waterway approaches to Vicksburg bypassing the bluffs along the Mississippi or linking bayous to come toward the city from its rear. How much confidence Grant himself felt in these ventures is doubtful. Probably that was less the point than maintaining activity and avoiding an embarrassing retreat by his main force all the way back to Memphis.15
In any event, three unsuccessful canal projects west of the Mississippi joined two equally futile naval expeditions trying to penetrate narrow, twisting bayous to reach the Yazoo River above and behind the right flank of the Haines's Bluff defenses. By March 29, however, the weather and its effects had improved enough particularly, muddy roads and levees had dried enough for Grant to mount an utterly serious, climactic maneuver campaign for Vicksburg. If it failed, the result would be disaster to the Union.
Grant ordered McClernand with his Thirteenth Corps to open a road on the west side of the Mississippi River over which the Army of Tennessee could march to a suitable ferrying place south of Vicksburg. He persuaded Acting Rear Admiral David Dixon Porter to attempt to run vessels down the river past the Vicksburg batteries at night. Porter made his first efforts with eight warships and three transports beginning before midnight on April 16. Though the Confederates lighted fires on the west bank to silhouette the vessels, all but the transport Henry Clay made it past. All, however, were riddled with shot. On April 22 six transports and twelve barges tried another run. Five transports and six barges survived.16
The vessels met Grant at Hard Times Landing on the west shore opposite Grand Gulf. A six-hour naval bombardment of Grand Gulf on April 29 failed to silence the Confederate guns there, so Grant shifted his east-shore crossing target twenty miles south to Bruinsburg, where his troops began an unopposed landing on April 30. The garrison of Grand Gulf hastened to interrupt the landing operation, but, on May 1, McClernand's vanguard brushed the Confederates aside at Port Gibson. Sherman meanwhile had staged a feint against his old objective of Haines Bluff. On April 16 Grant had launched Illinois Colonel Benjamin F. Grierson, with the First Brigade, First Division Cavalry of the Sixteenth Corps deep into the interior of the state of Mississippi. Leaving from LaGrange, Tennessee, Grierson's raiders eventually arrived at Baton Rouge, Louisiana, on May 2. The three threats posed by McClernand, Sherman, and Grierson so confused and disturbed Pemberton that he withdrew his forces into Vicksburg.17
Thus, in short order after the failed experiments that had occupied the winter months, the daring running of the Vicksburg batteries and adroit maneuvering over a typically large extent of the Western theater had secured for Grant his first objective on the way to taking Vicksburg: he was on dry ground on the Vicksburg side of the Mississippi River, no longer blocked from his main destination by the bluffs and bayous north of the town. Initially he planned next to join with Union forces farther south to capture Port Hudson, a hundred miles below Vicksburg, before moving the combined forces on Vicksburg. But he now learned that the main part of Major-General, U.S.V., Nathaniel P. Banks's Army of the Gulf had gone not toward Port Hudson but west to the Red River. So Grant decided to proceed against the Vicksburg citadel with his own Army of the Tennessee.18
His method remained maneuver, but the path on which he embarked struck almost everyone but himself as even bolder than the running of the batteries. On May 12 the Army of the Tennessee broke away from its base of operations on the river to plunge eastward into Mississippi. Grant was abandoning his line of communications. The troops would carry ammunition and medical supplies with them. For subsistence they would depend on the country through which they marched. Major-General, U.S.A., Winfield Scott had set the example for Grant in his march to the City of Mexico in 1847, and Major-General, U.S.V., Samuel R. Curtis had similarly cut loose communications in Arkansas after the battle of Pea Ridge early in 1862. Still, no modern military commander had successfully undertaken so formidable a risk in the presence of enemy forces as Grant was now attempting.19
Grant led 44,000 men. Pemberton had about 30,000 in and around Vicksburg. Confederate General Joseph E. Johnston, head of the Department of the West, was gathering another force around Jackson, Mississippi, forty-five miles east of Vicksburg. He had only 12,000 men but the force was capable of growing to a size the Federals could only guess at. It was to squelch Joe Johnston that Grant moved first. On May 12 Major-General, U.S.V., John A. Logan, at the head of the Third Division of Major-General, U.S.V., James B. McPherson's Seventeenth Corps, encountered Brigadier-General John Gregg's Confederate Brigade at Raymond, about fifteen miles southwest of Jackson. Stubborn Confederate resistance held back the much larger Federal force from late morning to late afternoon. Sherman's Fifteenth Corps then joined McPherson in pushing toward Jackson. On May 14 the Federals met Gregg's and Brigadier-General William H.T. Walker's Brigades, drove them into retreat, and entered the Mississippi state capital about four that afternoon. Johnston had to retreat.
Johnston had ordered Pemberton to march out of Vicksburg to aid him. Delaying until May 15, Pemberton chose not to march toward Johnston by any direct route but to attack southeastward against Grant's line of communications. He was unable to find any such thing, of course, because it did not exist. He then turned north toward Edward's Station on the direct route between Vicksburg and Jackson on the Mississippi Railroad, with a view to uniting with Johnston northeast of there and northwest of Johnston at Brownsville. Pemberton had wasted too much time, however, for he found that Grant had changed direction and was bearing down on him.20
With some 20,000 men Pemberton took up a defensive position at a prominent eminence, about seventy-five feet above the adjacent ground, called Champion's Hill. There on May 16 McPherson's and McClernand's corps, some 29,000Sherman was still in Jackson, destroying any property useful to the Confederatesattacked the Army of Vicksburg. McClernand failed to do his part promptly and vigorously, compelling McPherson to deal alone with the enemy's main strength. This he ultimately did with success, after several hours of seesaw fighting and back-and-forth captures of the hill. He drove the Confederates away toward Vicksburg.21
The next day Pemberton's rear guard waited with 4,000 men and its back to the Big Black River, hoping to be rejoined by Major-General William W. Loring's Division which had become separated in the retreat from Champion's Hill. The Federal vanguard quickly routed the detachment, taking over 1,700 prisoners and eighteen guns in about an hour's fighting. The Confederates destroyed the railroad and road bridges when they retreated, but by next morning the Federals were nevertheless crossing on their own bridges. Before day's end, Grant's army was investing Vicksburg, and reaching out with its right to reestablish contact with Admiral Porter's vessels north of town, thus reopening an avenue of communication and supply.
Vicksburg was doomed. Grant worried about Joe Johnston roaming and raising reinforcements in his rear, and so on May 19 and again on May 22, he tried to hasten fate by hurling all three of the corps he had on the scene, the Thirteenth, Fifteenth, and Seventeenth, against Pemberton's elaborate, well prepared defenses. The assaults failed, but the second of them was prolonged at excessive cost because McClernand falsely reported that he was about to break through. The latter episode precipitated the departure of the troublesome Illinois politician at last, with Grant replacing McClernand on June 19, with Major-General, U.S.V., Edward O. C. Ord.
Grant had to settle down to a siege, but his worries about Johnston were needless. While Richmond was able to reinforce Johnston to about 30,000, Washington strengthened Grant to 71,000, including sending him the First and Second Divisions of Major-General, U.S.V., John G. Parke's peripatetic Ninth Corps from the Department of the Ohio, the corps having fought earlier on the North Carolina coast and at Second Bull Run and Antietam. By mid-June, Johnston had abandoned hope of rescuing Pemberton.22
Starvation and accompanying sickness stalked Vicksburg, afflicting the civilian population as well as rendering about half of Pemberton's soldiers unfit for duty. Union artillery continually rained shells on the city, sending the citizenry like the soldiers into sheltering caves dug into the bluffs. On June 28 Admiral Porter informed Grant that two Confederate deserters said only six days' rations remained. The Confederates intercepted Porter's signal to this effect and thus became aware that Grant knew their condition. As Grant prepared for another assault on July 6, he and Pemberton met on July 3 to discuss surrender terms. Perhaps hoping to get a better bargain by yielding on the national holiday of the United States, Pemberton agreed that at 10 a.m. on the Fourth of July he would capitulate. Rather than bear the expense and effort of dealing with thousands of prisoners, and perhaps the better to circulate distress through the South, Grant agreed to parole Vicksburg's garrison and let Pemberton's men go home until exchanged.23
Pemberton surrendered 2,166 officers, 27,230 enlisted men, and 115 civilian employees, along with 172 canon and 50,000-60,000 muskets and rifles.24From Port Gibson on May 1 until July 4, Grant's losses were 1,514 killed, 7,395 wounded, and 453 captured or missing, a total of 9,362, of whom more than half, 5,630, were lost at Champion's Hill and in the assault of May 22.25 Without fighting a single battle on the scale of a Shiloh or a Gettysburg, but by relying instead on mystifying maneuver particularly by breaking free from his line of communication - and assisted by Western distances in abetting mystification, Grant had achieved the opening of the Mississippi River and the bisecting of the Confederacy. Port Hudson surrendered on July 9 when the news of Vicksburg's fall arrived. In its ratio of low costs to rich rewards, the Vicksburg Campaign was one of the great campaigns of maneuver in all military history. Grant received an appropriate reward in a major-generalcy in the Regular Army to date from July 4, 1863.26
Vicksburg helped Union Secretary of War Edwin M. Stanton to prod Major-General, U.S.V., William S. Rosecrans to resume activity with his Army of the Cumberland in central Tennessee. There Rosecrans had found excuses to remain idle since securing a narrow margin of victory over Braxton Bragg at Stones River or Murfreesboro on December 31, 1862, and January 2, 1863. Indeed, Rosecrans answered the Secretary's prodding with success enough to amaze all concerned. As if inspired by Grant, he also exploited space to achieve perplexing maneuver, so befuddling Bragg as to pry his way into the important railroad junction of Chattanooga on September 9. Like Grant, Rosecrans reached a major strategic objective without having to fight a major battle.27
Among those evidently awed by Rosecrans'success was that general himself, who let his accomplishments go to his head, concluding that Bragg and the Confederate Army of Tennessee were no longer effective opponents, and marching incautiously from Chattanooga into northwest Georgia toward Atlanta. The mountains of this area separated Rosecrans'army into separate columns beyond convenient mutual supporting distance. Bragg found in this circumstance a tonic to bring him rapid recovery from the funk into which Rosecrans's recent maneuver had driven him. Bragg turned quickly and nearly gobbled up several of Rosecrans's columns. It was mainly almost incredible uncooperativeness from Bragg's subordinateshe had an acerbic temper and was highly unpopularthat saved the Union Army of the Cumberland.28
In the nick of time Rosecrans reassembled his columns along West Chickamauga Creek. There Bragg struck the Federal battle line on September 19 with his army reinforced by Major-Generals Lafayette McLaws's and John Bell Hood's famous and formidable Divisions of Lieutenant-General James Longstreet's First Corps of the Army of Virginia, brought West by railroad from the East. Fortunately for the Confederates, on the second day of a hitherto indecisive battle, an assault headed by Longstreet struck a gap that misunderstood orders had created in Rosecrans's line. Much of Rosecrans's army, along with the commanding general, fled in near-panic back to Chattanooga. Major-General, U.S.V., Gordon Granger who had marched to the sound of the guns, held firm at Chickamauga long enough to permit the final phase of the retreat to be orderly, and defenses became well enough prepared to prevent Bragg from reoccupying Chattanooga.29
Nevertheless, Bragg was able to lay siege to Chattanooga and for a time to threaten a Vicksburg in reverse by nearly starving the garrison. He cut the town's direct railroad connections with the North and compelled Rosecrans to rely on wagon transport across sixty miles of mountainous terrain and muddy roads from Stevenson, Alabama. The wagons required eight days to traverse the distance, and such horses as did not break down on the way - which many did - tended to consume almost as much supply tonnage as they could haul.30
By the autumn of 1863, however, the military might of the Union was too formidable to allow such difficulties to persist. That formidability included the military brain of U. S. Grant. The Lincoln government responded to the Chattanooga emergency by sending reinforcements from the East and the further West, and on October 16 the War Department put Grant in charge of relief operations as commander of the Military Division of the Mississippi. Grant was allowed to replace Rosecrans with George Thomas as chief of the Army of the Cumberland.31
To trump the Confederate reinforcements from Longstreet's Corps, the Federal Eleventh and Twelfth Corps traveled by rail from the Army of the Potomac, arriving in Tennessee to cooperate with troops from Thomas's army to make sure that the reinforcements did not simply become more starving mouths. The Federals opened the "Cracker Line," a much more direct supply route by water and short overland hauls from Bridgeport on the Tennessee River and across a loop formed by the river near Chattanooga. Grant's old Army of the Tennessee, now commanded by Sherman, also arrived.32
Grant's theater command notwithstanding, the distances of the West were destined to nourish no more masterpieces of maneuver warfare like the Vicksburg Campaign or even Rosecrans's capture of Chattanooga. Grant did not spend enough additional time in the West before he moved on March 2 and 9, 1864 to a further reward as lieutenant-general, U.S.A, and general-in-chief of the United States Army.33Meanwhile circumstances made his last battle in the West a soldiers' battle instead of another demonstration of genius. Thereafter the distances of the West proved again to undermine rather than inspire military leadership on both sides.
At Chattanooga itself, Grant, who favored old friends to a fault, planned to have Sherman strike the decisive blow to break Bragg's line. On November 24 Major-General, U.S.V., Joseph Hooker, who had come west with Potomac troops, mounted a diversionary attack against Lookout Mountain to the south, using troops from all three of the main Union armies at hand to drive the Confederates from the shelf midway up the mountainside that was the military key to the position. The purpose was to distract Bragg's attention from his opposite, northern flank at the northern extremity of Missionary Ridge, east of Chattanooga. As it happened, however, Sherman's attack on that flank bogged down the next day against rough ground just north of a part of the ridge called Tunnel Hill.
Hooker tried to concoct another diversion on the Confederate south or left flank, but he was still too far from the main enemy defenses for the effort to be effective. Grant ordered another diversion in the center, by four divisions of Thomas's army. These units made Chattanooga a soldier's battle. They were supposed to occupy rifle pits at the foot of Missionary Ridge, but without orders they went on to charge straight up the face of the 200-to-400 foot ridge. Contrary to the usual experience of Civil War frontal attacks, they carried the height with ease. The Confederates, in retreat from the rifle pits, helped demoralize the defenders farther up, and the guns at the summit had been poorly sited. Still, the spontaneous charge up Missionary Ridge was one of the most spectacular events of the whole war, and its sheer audacity and drama helped send the entire Confederate Army of Tennessee into retreat.34
Grant's move eastward to command all the Armies of the United States gave Sherman the Military Division of the Mississippi on March 18, 1864. With an intelligence more incandescent than Grant's, Sherman was not only the inevitable choice to succeed his friend but he may well have seemed destined for military triumphs as brilliant as Grant's. In Northern popular estimation by the end of the war and since, that destiny was fulfilled.35
In truth, Sherman fell short of that high standard, not withstanding the substantial achievements to which his name became attached. In particular, while Grant had exploited the geographic scale of the West to enhance his victories, Sherman allowed that scale to cast a spell upon him that diminished his triumphs. He did not permit the size of the West to paralyze him as it did some commanders; but he displayed a focus on territory as an objective that detracted from the clarity of his strategic vision for winning the war.
Those criticisms apply, with a measure of irony, more to the accomplishments for which Sherman is best remembered, his famous marches to the sea and then north through the Carolinas, than to the first phase of his theater command, his command from Chattanooga to Atlanta. Nevertheless, while Grant, charged now with winning the whole war not simply gaining a geographic objective such as Vicksburg, ordered the Army of the Potomac to make the destruction of Lee's army its principal aim, his parallel orders to Sherman prescribed not only the destruction of the enemy army but also invasion into the interior of the enemy's country, i.e., the capture of Atlanta. The difference reflected Sherman's divergence from Grant; Sherman elevated geography to near-equality in strategic importance with destruction of the opposing force. Surely Grant's orders to Major-General, U.S.V., George G. Meade in the East might have similarly singled out the Confederate capital of Richmond as a principal objective along with Lee's army if he had fully shared Sherman's view; but he did not.36
The differing orders probably help account for Sherman's not grasping the Confederate Army of Tennessee in daily battle to destroy it with the single-mindedness that Grant and Meade showed clinging to the Army of Northen Virginia. To be sure, the skill and strategic vision of Sherman's opponent in the first weeks of the campaign for Atlanta surely had something to do with Sherman's not progressing as far toward destruction of the Army of Tennessee in that period as Grant might have wished. Joe Johnston, back in a major Western command upon taking over the army on December 27, 1863, proved himself at least Sherman's equal as tactician in the battles southeast of Chattanooga. He was also unwilling to run the kind of risks of battlefield casualties that characterized Lee in the East, so he was able to maintain his army substantially intact against Sherman's superior numbers. Johnston had to yield ground, but he was deliberately trading space for men and for time. Still, the beginning of the Atlanta campaign displayed a tendency on Sherman's part to fix his eye not on the main prize, the Army of Tennessee, but on what should have been a secondary objective, Atlanta.37
The capture of Atlanta on September 2 coincided with severe deterioration of the Army of Tennessee, less because of Sherman's methods of war than because Johnston's necessary retreats had exhausted the patience of President Davis and led him to replace Johnston with John Bell Hood on July 17. The more aggressive Hood, expected to insure that Atlanta would not fall without a fight, produced plenty of fighting but also ill-affordable casualties and the loss of the city all the same. He specialized in headlong assaults that required no tactical genius on the part of Sherman and his chieftains to repulse, commanding tough veteran soldiers as they did.38
Hood responded to losing Atlanta with better judgment than he had shown in defending it. He conducted a series of raids on Sherman's supply line from Chattanooga, the Western and Atlantic Railroad, and he prepared to march northwest beyond Chattanooga to compel Sherman to move back into Tennessee to defend his long line of communications through Nashville back to Louisville and Cincinnati. Sherman was paying one of the penalties of campaigning in the vastness of the West. Already at the outset of the campaign from Chattanooga to Atlanta, he had felt obliged to employ almost half his troops to guard the rail lines and supply depots in his rear. Now the length of his supply lines threatened to paralyze his armies completely.39
His response customarily receives enthusiastic applause. Rather than remain tethered to a dangerously prolonged line of communications, he decided to follow the example of Grant in the Vicksburg Campaign and abandon that line, to feed his armies from the countryside through which they moved. He detached George Thomas and Major-General, U.S.V., John M. Schofield with enough troops to defend Nashville and central Tennessee with an army of about 50,000 men. With 60,000 soldiers remaining under his own direct command, he proposed the subsequently celebrated march from Atlanta to the sea, subsisting on the countryside as he went, while destroying all property potentially useful to the Confederacy that he could not consume. He thus visited economic ruination upon a swath of Georgia sixty miles wide and 120 long and deliberately instilled terror not only across his immediate path but throughout the entire South as well.40
Here was the apogee of the focus upon land rather than upon the enemy army as objective that the space of the Western theater encouraged. Sherman's marches to the sea and subsequently through the Carolinas have been the principal foundation of his enduring fame, but his strategy of making war not primarily upon the enemy's army but by way of the vastness of the land upon the enemy's economy and the morale of the enemy people deserves a reconsideration as to its wisdom.
First, Sherman's strategy allowed even the Confederate Army of Tennessee in its condition of nearly terminal illness to pose a final danger. Hood fulfilled his scheme of carrying the war back to central Tennessee and caused Grant and the Lincoln administration anxious moments lest Nashville return to Confederate possession, a possibility not conducive to high Northern morale at this late stage of the conflict. Fortunately General Thomas proved more than equal to the challenge though leading something of a makeshift army. While he prolonged Grant's uneasiness and provoked the General-in-Chief's annoyance by cautiously delaying a climactic battle with Hood, when he did strike in the December 14-15 battle of Nashville, Thomas completed the ruination of the Army of the Tennessee almost altogether, an unprecedented battlefield accomplishment in this war. But there remains the question whether Sherman's own departure from Hood's front produced dividends proportionate to the risks of allowing the Confederate army to disport itself in Tennessee against a weakened Union foe.41
Sherman's leaving Thomas to deal with Hood so that he himself could target the enemy's economy and morale has won praise partly because it seemed to offer a more attractive alternative to Grant's brutal trading of casualties in his 1864-1865 Virginia campaign. Sherman's marches may well have encouraged the receptivity of American military men in the twentieth century to the theory of independent air power, with the promise of leaping over battlefields like those of 1861-1865 and 1914-1918 to win victory expeditiously and with less total loss of life than in confronting the enemy army. By wrecking the economy and the will of an enemy's people to continue fighting, the argument has gone, such activities will cause the enemy's armed forces to collapse of their own weight.
It is easy to assume that because final Confederate defeat followed so closely upon Sherman's marches, Sherman's strategy aimed at the enemy's economy and morale contributed importantly to the Union's winning the war. But to accept that idea is, of course, to commit the logical fallacy of post hoc ergo propter hoc. In fact, twentieth-century experience with Sherman's strategy, with aerial bombardment rather than destructive marches as principal means, should cause us to doubt the efficacy of the marches. We know from World War II, Korea, and Vietnam that against resolute enemies, attacks on popular morale did not break the will to fight, and that against exceptionally critical economic targets - such as Germany's petroleum industry in World War II - violent attacks against the enemy economy have also proven much less fatal then either admirers of Sherman or prophets of air power would have had us believe. We have learned that violent attacks against an enemy's homeland, economy, and people can actually encourage a popular rallying in support of the very government that the attacks are intended to bring down.
By the time of Sherman's marches, the Confederacy was already doomed. Sherman set out from Atlanta to the sea on November 16, 1864. Lincoln had already been re-elected for a second term as President of the United States on November 8. Every intelligent Southerner knew that with Lincoln's re-election, the Confederacy had lost the war. It would be nearly impossible to hold out against Lincoln for another four years. Only President Davis's acute sense of duty kept resistance going. Thus, with the Civil War almost over before Sherman's marches began, we can never know what their effect might have been had they occurred earlier, when Confederate prospects for continued resistance were more real.
Might earlier marches have obstructed and delayed Union victory, by provoking renewed Southern resentment and fear and thus enhancing resistance? As it was, the resentment the marches generated made Southern acceptance of reunion more difficult after the war. Southern anger at Sherman obstructed the ultimate object of war, reunification. Had it not been too late in the war for renewed effective Southern military resistance, Sherman's marches might have proven immediately counterproductive to the desired outcome of the war. As it was they were subtly counterproductive through their effect on Reconstruction and reunion.
Therefore, we should at least consider whether the effects of Western distance and space on Civil War strategy might have been baleful not only for the Confederacy, which lacked the manpower to defend Western distances effectively, but also upon Union strategy except for the strategy of Ulysses S. Grant. Only the one true military genius who campaigned in the West during the Civil War was able to rise above the intimidating effects of Western space to exploit that space on behalf of brilliant maneuver warfare. For all other Western generals Union and Confederate, even William Tecumseh Sherman, Western space had a distorting impact on strategic thought, hampering the prosecution of the war. The Western theater's challenge of vast space yielded finally only to the military genius of Ulysses S. Grant.
1. Grant began the Civil War as colonel of the 21st
Illinois Volunteer Infantry (until June 28, 1861 the Seventh District Regiment) from June
17 to August 7, 1861. He became brigadier-general, United States Volunteers, postdated to
May 17, 1861; major-general, U.S.V., February 16, 1862; major general, United States Army,
to date from July 4, 1863. He became lieutenant general, U.S.A., March 2, 1864 and
general-in-chief of the Army March 9, 1864. "Grant, Ulysses Simpson,: and for
repetition of the final date, "commanders of the Army since 1775," Francis B.
Heitman, Historical Register and Dictionary of the United Sates Army From Its
Organization, September 29, 1789, to March 2, 1903. Published under act of Congress
approved March 2, 1903. (57th Congress, 2nd Session, House Document
445 [serial 4536], 2 vols., Washington: Government Printing Office, 1903), I, 470, 17. For
the Seventh District Regiment, Brooks D. Simpson, Ulysses S. Grant: Triumph over
Adversity, 1822-1865 (Boston, New York: Houghton Mifflin Company, 2000), 85.
2. For a comparison of these two forces and an analysis of the reasons for the qualitative superiority of the Eastern army, see Richard N. McMurry, Two Great Rebel Armies: An Essay in Confederate Military History (Chapel Hill & London: The University of North Carolina Press, 1989). This book also argues cogently for the greater strategic importance of the West over the East.
3. Jackson, Thomas Jonathan ('Stonewall')," Mark Mayo Boatner III, The Civil War Dictionary (Revised Edition, New York: Vintage Books, A Division of Random House, 1991), 432-433, particularly 432.
4. The standard account of the Fort Henry-Fort Donelson Campaign is Benjamin Franklin Cooling, Forts Henry and Donelson: The Key to the Confederate Heartland (Knoxville: The University of Tennessee Press, 1987). See also Kenneth P. Williams, Lincoln Finds a General: A Military Study of the Civil War (5 vols., New York: The Macmillan Company, 1950-1959), III, Grant's First Year in the West (1952), Chapters IX, "Gunboats Take a Fort," and X, "Fort Donelson," 199-228, 229-259, 494-500, 500-507; Bruce Catton, Grant Moves South (Boston, Toronto: Little, Brown and Company, 1960), Chapters Seven. "Between the Rivers," and Eight, "Unconditional Surrender," 134-157, 158-178, 502-504, 504-505; Simpson, Grant , 108-118; Jean Edward Smith, Grant (New York, London, Toronto, Sydney, Singapore: Simon & Schuster, 2001), 137-166.
5. For the Confederate strength of 40,000, Williams, Lincoln Finds a General, III, 370; for the battle, ibid., Chapter XIV, "Shiloh," 345-395, 521-532; James Lee McDonough, Shiloh-in Hell Before Night (Knoxville: The University of Tennessee Press, 1980); Wiley Sword, Shiloh: Bloody April (Dayton, Ohio: Press of Morningside Bookshop, 1988); Catton, Grant Moves South, Chapters Eleven, "The Guns on the Bluff," and Twelve, "The Questions of Surprise," 222-242, 243-264, 509-512, 512-516; Simpson, Grant, 123-140; Smith, Grant, Chapter six, "Shiloh," 167-205, 653-658.
6. Thomas Lawrence Connelly, Army of the Heartland: The Army of Tennessee, 1861-1862 (Baton Rouge: Louisiana State University Press, 1967), 62-166; Archer Jones, Civil War Command and Strategy: The Process of Victory and Defeat (New York: The Free Press, A Division of MacMillan, Inc.; Toronto: Maxwell Macmillan Canada; New York, Oxford, Singapore, Sydney: Maxwell International, 1992), 44-52.
7. See again the references to Shiloh in note 5 above, particularly on Grant's conduct, Williams, Lincoln Finds A General, III, 362-365, 386-388.
8. On the Union organizational system see "Mississippi, Union Department of the, "Ohio, Union Department and Army of the," "Mississippi, Pope's and Rosecrans' Union Army of the, "Boatner, Civil War Dictionary, 555; 606-607, particularly 606; 554-555. For the Corinth Campaign see Williams, Lincoln Finds a General, III, 410-422; Connelly, Army of the Heartland, 175-177. Grant was relegated to second in command of the combined force April 30-June 10; Williams, Lincoln Finds a General, III, 410, 422.
9. Halleck became general-in-chief July 23, 1862, "Halleck, Henry Wager," Heitman, Historical Register, I, 491 (Heitman's list of "Commander of the Army since 1775," ibid., 17, gives the date as July 22); Frank J. Welcher, The Union Army 1861-1865: Organization and Operations (2 vols., Bloomington and Indianapolis: Indiana University Press, 1989-1993), I, The Eastern Theater, 4. For the dispersal of Union forces after Corinth, see Williams, Lincoln Finds a General, III, 422-440; Jones, Civil War Command and Strategy, 85-88.
10. For the Confederate invasion of Kentucky, Williams, Lincoln Finds a General, IV, Iuka to Vicksburg (1956), 44-71, and Chapter V, "Battle in Kentucky; Decision in the White House," 107-143, 493-503; Connelly, Army of the Heartland, 193-280. For Iuka and Corinth, Williams, Lincoln Finds a General, IV, Chapter IV, "Iuka and Corinth," 72-106, 482-492; Catton, Grant Moves South, 308-320; Simpson, Grant, 147-155; Smith, Grant, 217-219. On July 17 Grant had assumed command of the District of West Tennessee; Simpson, Grant, 147.
11. . "Tennessee, Union Department and Army of the," Boatner, Civil War Dictionary, 830. The department was created October 16, 1862; until December 18 its troops were designated as the Thirteenth Army Corps; ibid.
12. "Holly Springs," Forrest's Second Raid," ibid., 405-406, 291-292. On the Vicksburg Campaign, see especially David G. Martin, The Vicksburg Campaign April 1862-July 1863 (Revised and Expanded, Conshohocken, Pennsylvania: Combined Books, 1994), particularly 74 and 76, 74 and 81 on the Van Dorn and Forrest raids, respectively; Williams, Lincoln Finds a General, IV, Chapters VII, "Holly Springs and Chickasaw Bluffs [sic; the correct term is Chickasaw Bluffs being located near Memphis]," 187-221, 515-526; X, "Memphis Interlude," 286-305, 541-546; XI, "Winter in the Bayous," 306-345, 546-557; XII, "Unrelenting Siege and Final Victory: Vicksburg," 388-425, 565-573, particularly 196-204 on Van Dorn and Forrest; Catton, Grant Moves South, 320-489, 522-538; Simpson, Grant, 156-215, 485-492, particularly 167-168; Smith, Grant, 221-257, 660-664, particularly 224, 223.
13. Martin, Vicksburg, 74, 76-80; Williams, Lincoln Finds a General, IV, 170-173, 177, 194, 206-217; Catton, Grant Moves South, 332, 342-343; Simpson, Grant, 166-168; Smith, Grant, 224-225; Lloyd Lewis, Sherman: Fighting Prophet (New York: Harcourt, Brace and Company, 1932), 257-259; John F. Marszalek, Sherman: A Soldier's Passion for Order (New York: The Free Press, A Division of Macmillan, Inc.; Toronto: Maxwell Macmillan International, 1993), 202-207.
14. Williams, Lincoln Finds a General, IV, 176, 187-188, 204, 217-218, 282, 287, 293-301, 305-308; Catton, Grant Moves South, 324-327, 329-330, 334, 338-340, 343-344, 374-376; Simpson, Grant, 167-169, 171-172; Smith, Grant, 222-223, 227-228; Lewis, Sherman, 260-262; Marszalek, Sherman, 203, 208-210.
15. "XIII Corps," "XV Corps," Boatner, Civil War Dictionary, 194-195, particularly 194, and 195 for corps organization. On the canal and bayou projects, Martin, Vicksburg, 83-92; Williams, Lincoln Finds a General, IV, 319-322, 324-330, 332-333; Simpson, Grant, 172-174, 181; Smith, Grant, 229-230.
16. Williams, Lincoln Finds a General, IV, 335-338; Simpson, Grant, 187-188; Smith, Grant, 234-237; Chester G. Hearn, Admiral David Dixon Porter: The Civil War Years (Annapolis, Maryland: Naval Institute Press, 1996), 207-219. Porter's command of the Mississippi Squadron carried the rank of acting rear admiral; he was to be promoted to the permanent rank as of July 4, 1863; ibid., 139-140, 237.
17. Williams, Lincoln Finds a General, IV, 338-339, 342-349; Catton, Grant Moves South, 412-413, 419-425; Simpson, Grant, 188-190; Smith, Grant, 237-239; Hearn, Porter, 222-226. On the forces of Grierson's Raid, "Grierson's Raid," Boatner, Civil War Dictionary, 359-361, particularly 359.
18. Williams, Lincoln Finds a General, IV, 357-358; Catton, Grant Moves South, 432-434; Simpson, Grant, 193.
19. For Curtis's relatively neglected campaign after Pea Ridge, see the exemplary study by William L. Shea & Earl J. Hess, Pea Ridge: Civil War Campaign in the West (Chapel Hill & Lincoln: The University of North Carolina Press, 1992), 291-296, 297-304.
20. Martin, Vicksburg, 103-108; Williams, Lincoln Finds a General, IV, 358-373; Catton, Grant Moves South, 426-441; Simpson, Grant, 194-198; Smith, Grant, 240-247; Lewis, Sherman, 273-276; Marszalek, Sherman, 221-222; Craig L. Symonds, Joseph E. Johnston: A Civil War Biography (New York, London: W. W. Norton & Company, 1992), 205-210.
21. Martin, Vicksburg, 108-112; Williams, Lincoln Finds a General, IV, 373-380; Catton, Grant Moves South, 442-445; Simpson, Grant, 198-201; Smith, Grant, 248-250; Symonds, Johnston, 208-209.
22. Martin, Vicksburg, 119-142, and 217 for the divisions of the Ninth Corps; "Vicksburg Campaign," Boatner, Civil War Dictionary, 871-877, particularly 876-877, with 876 for Johnston's numbers and 877 for Grant's eventual strength; Williams, Lincoln Finds a General, IV, 380-413; Catton, Grant Moves South, 445-468; Simpson, Grant, 210-212; Smith, Grant, 241-254; Lewis, Sherman, 276-290; Marszalek, Sherman, 224-228; Symonds, Johnston, 210-215. For the date of Ord's accession to command of the Thirteenth Corps, see :Ord, Edward Otho Cresap," Boatner, Civil War Dictionary, 609-610, particularly 609.
23. Martin, Vicksburg, 142-145, 151-153, and Chapter XII, "The Surrender," 193-200; Williams, Lincoln Finds a General, IV, 413-420; Catton, Grant Moves South, 469-479; Simpson, Grant, 212-214; Smith, Grant, 254-256.
24. Williams, Lincoln Finds a General, IV, 420.
25. Ibid. for campaign casualties. Thomas L. Livermore, Number and Losses in the Civil War in America 1861-65 (Second Edition, Boston and New York: Houghton, Mifflin and Company, 1901; reprint, Dayton, Ohio: Morningside, 1986), 99, 100, gives the losses at Champion's Hill as 410 killed, 1,844 wounded, 187 missing, total 2,431, and in the may 22 assault as 502 killed, 25,550 wounded, 147 missing, total 3,199, combined total 5,630.
26. "Port Hudson," Boatner, Civil War Dictionary, 663, for the surrender of the place; "Grant, Ulysses Simpson," Heitman, Historical Register, I, 470.
27. Williams S. Lamers, The Edge of Glory: A Biography of General William S. Rosecrans, U.S.A. (New York: Harcourt, Brace & World, Inc., 1961), 215-310; Peter Cozzens, This Terrible Sound: The Battle of Chickamauga (Urbana and Chicago: University of Illinois Press, 1992), 7-62; Glenn Tucker, Chickamauga: Bloody Battle of the West (Indianapolis, New York: The Bobbs-Merrill Company, Inc., A Subsidiary of Howard W. Sims & Co., Inc., Publishers, 1961), 15-29; Thomas Lawrence Connelly, Autumn of Glory: The Army of Tennessee, 1862-1865 (Baton Rouge: Louisiana State University Press, 1971), 46-174; Williams, Lincoln Finds a General, V, Prelude to Chattanooga. 202-247, 357-369.
28. Lamers, Rosecrans, 310-324; Cozzens, This Terrible Sound, 63-100; Tucker, Chickamauga, 29-30, 60-71, 97-109; Connelly, Autumn of Glory, 173-199; Williams, Lincoln Finds a General, V, 246-257.
29. Lamers, Rosecrans, Fifteen, "ChickamaugaThe Great Battle of the West," 325-361, 484; Cozzens, This Terrible Sound, 102-517, 569-615; Tucker, Chickamauga, 110-378, 407-420; Williams, Lincoln Finds a General, V, 255-269, 370-373.
30. Lamers, Rosecrans, 364-379; Peter Cozzens, The Shipwreck of Their Hopes: The Battle for Chattanooga (Urbana and Chicago: University of Illinois Press, 1994), Chapter Two, "Starvation Camp," 8-22, 419-422; Bruce Catton, Grant Takes Command (Boston, Toronto: Little, Brown and Company, 1969), 31-33.
31. "Mississippi, Union Military Division of the," Boatner, Civil War Dictionary, 555, for the creation of the new command. Catton, Grant Takes Command, 34-35; Simpson, Grant, 226-227; Cozzens, Shipwreck of Their Hopes, 4.
32. Cozzens, Shipwreck of Their Hopes, Chapter Four, Grant Takes Command, 44-56; Simpson, Grant, 228-231; Smith, Grant, 265-268; "XI Corps," Boatner, Civil War Dictionary, 1993-194; "XII Corps," ibid., 194, for those formations; Cozzens, Shipwreck of Their Hopes, 406-407, 407, for Fifteenth and Seventeenth Corps.
33. "Grant, Ulysses Simpson," and for the repetition of the latter date, "Commanders of the Army since 1775," Heitman, Historical Register, I, 470, 17.
34. Cozzens, Shipwreck of Their Hopes, 160-394, 441-471; Connelly, Autumn of Glory, 270-277; Catton, Grant Takes Command, 71-85; Simpson, Grant, 234-242; Smith, Grant, 273-281.
35. "Mississippi, Union Military Division of the," Boatner, Civil War Dictionary, 555; Lewis, Sherman, 344-345; Marszalek, Sherman, 257-258.
36. U.S. Grant, Lieutenant-General, Culpeper Court-House, Va., April 9, 1864. To Maj. Gen. G. G. Meade, Commanding Army of the Potomac. U.S. War Department, The War of the Rebellion: A Compilation of the Official Records of the Union and Confederate Armies (Four Series, 70 vol. In 128 vols., Washington: Government Printing Office, 1880-1901), XXXIII (serial 60, 1891), 828-829. Principal part of text also in Ulysses S. Grant, Personal Memoirs of U.S. Grant (2 vols., New York: C. L. Webster & Co., 1885-1886), II, 135n. U. S. Grant, Lieutenant-General. Private and Confidential. Headquarters Armies of the United States, Washington, D.C., April 4, 1864. To Maj. Gen. W. T. Sherman, Commanding Military Division of the Mississippi, O.R., XXXII, pt. 3 (serial 59, 1891), 245-246. Principal text also in Grant, Memoirs, II, 131n. For Grant's conferring with Sherman on his plans, Marszalek, Sherman, 259.
37. For Johnston's assumption of command, "Johnston, Joseph Eggleston," "Tennessee, Con-federate Army of," Boatner, Civil War Dictionary, 441, 828-829, particularly 829; Symonds, Johnston, 249. For a critical analysis of the tactics of the Sherman-versus-Johnston campaign for Atlanta, see Albert Castel, Decision in the West: The Atlanta Campaign of 1864 (Lawrence: University of Press of Kansas, 1992), particularly 181-182, 208, 260-262, 343-344, 539-542, 563-565, 567-568, 579n5, 624nn28, 29, 628n6.
38. For Johnston's replacement by Hood, "Johnston, Joseph Eggleston," "Hood, John Bell." "Tennessee, Confederate Army of," Boatner, Civil War Dictionary, 441, 407-408, particularly 407, and 828-829, particularly 829, the latter giving July 18 as the date when Hood actually relieved Johnston. For Hood's conduct of the defense of Atlanta, see especially Castel, Decision in the West, 366-527, 605-622; Marszalek, Sherman, 276-287; Connelly, Autumn of Glory, 416-469.
39. Lewis, Sherman, 425-430; Marszalek, Sherman, 290-293; Connelly, Autumn of Glory, 477-480. For the distribution of Sherman's troops at the beginning of the Atlanta Campaign, see William T, Sherman, Memoirs of General William T, Sherman by Himself (2 vols., New York: D. Appleton &Company, 1875), II, 15.
40. Livermore, Number and Losses, 132, gives the total Federals engaged at Thomas's climactic battle of Nashville as 49,773. "March to the Sea," Boatner, Civil War Dictionary, 509-512, particularly 509, gives Sherman's numbers at commencement of the march as 55,000 infantry, 5,000 cavalry, and 2,000 artillery. For the march, see Lewis, Sherman, 436-466; Marszalek, Sherman, 293-308, 550-554; Charles Royster, The Destructive War: William Tecumseh Sherman, Stonewall Jackson, and the Americans (New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1991), 327-330; Joseph T. Glatthaar, The March to the Sea and Beyond: Sherman's Troops in the Savannah and Carolinas Campaigns (New York & London: New York University Press, 1986); Lee Kennett, Marching through Georgia: The Story of Soldiers and Civilians During Sherman's Campaign (New York: Harper Collins Publishers, 1995); Mark Grimsley, The Hard Hand of War: Union Military Policy Toward Southern Civilians, 1861-1865 (Cambridge University Press, 1995), 190-200.
41. On the Nashville Campaign, see Wiley Sword, Embrace an Angry Wind: The Confederacy's Last Hurrah: Spring Hill, Franklin, and Nashville (New York: Harper Collins Publishers, 1992; republished in paperback as The Confederacy's Last Hurrah: Spring Hill, Franklin, and Nashville [Lawrence: University Press of Kansas, 1993]); Connelly, Autumn of Glory, 489-514. On Sherman's follow-up to the March to the Sea in his march through the Carolinas, see Lewis, Sherman, 47, "Hell-Hole of Secession," 48, "God Almighty Started Wind," and 49, "Splendid Legs," 486-498, 498-508, 508-517; Marszalek, Sherman, Chapter 14, "Punishing South Carolina and Ensuring Victory," 317-333, 554-557; Royster, Destructive War, 330-332; Chapter 1, "The Destruction of Columbia," 3-33, 419-424; and on both marches and the thinking behind them, Chapter 3, "The Aggressive War: Sherman," 79-143, 435-451, and passim; Glatthaar, March to the sea and Beyond; Grimsley, The Hard Hand of War, 201-204.