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Kickoff Topic: Civil War Strategy

Buddamoose
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7/9/2012 3:50:03 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
Seems like a good topic. If you were placed in the shoes of Robert E. Lee, or U.S. Grant(or any other Union General, what would you have done differently tactics wise?

Biggest ones I can think of are Robert E. Lee's invasion of the north(the second) and subsequent foolish mistake of Pickett's charge at Gettysburg. That mistake imo, directly ruined any chance the South had of winning the war.

As for the Union, I would likely forego the "Scorched Earth" policy enacted by William T. Sherman, as that only caused there to be tension between North and South states that hasnt yet gone away.
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bossyburrito
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7/9/2012 3:56:01 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
I would move all troops to a few central locations, then pull a Thermopylae on the south's asss.
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16kadams
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7/9/2012 4:02:43 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
If I was the south I would have sent a large portion of my army to Gettysburg and when the DC garrison chased them entered DC with 30,000 troops. And if their garrison never moved like they did in the original battle, send a message to the other 40,000 troops in PA to hold position and use my 30,000 to hit them in the rear. The Pomatic army would be crushed... hopefully.
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OMGJustinBieber
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7/9/2012 4:57:09 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
As for the Union, I would likely forego the "Scorched Earth" policy enacted by William T. Sherman, as that only caused there to be tension between North and South states that hasnt yet gone away.

Well that's just silly. Who are they mad at? Individual northerners or just the northern regions known as states? Both are ridiculous notions considering the generational separation.
THEBOMB
Posts: 2,872
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7/9/2012 6:06:16 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
At 7/9/2012 4:02:43 PM, 16kadams wrote:
If I was the south I would have sent a large portion of my army to Gettysburg and when the DC garrison chased them entered DC with 30,000 troops. And if their garrison never moved like they did in the original battle, send a message to the other 40,000 troops in PA to hold position and use my 30,000 to hit them in the rear. The Pomatic army would be crushed... hopefully.

Let's be honest, Washington DC was perhaps the most heavily defended city in the states at that time, and one of the most heavily defended cities in the world. By the end of the war, DCs defenses stretched over consisted of 68 forts (over 37 miles), 20 miles of rifle pits, this all was supported by 32 miles of military only use roads and 4 picket stations. On this entire line 93 batteries of artillery had been placed and there were well over 1,500 guns (both field and siege as well as mortars.) There was only one battle at DC for a good reason, the massive defenses all but deterred a direct strike at Washington DC. The point is, even if the Southern Army had managed to capture Washington DC (which wouldn't happened simply because of the defensive fortifications) it would be a major Pyrrhic Victory. The DC garrison wouldn't move 1) the army is safer behind the massive fortifications and 2) it is tactically better to be inside a fort (behind these lines) and let them come to you.
THEBOMB
Posts: 2,872
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7/9/2012 6:11:17 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
At 7/9/2012 3:50:03 PM, Buddamoose wrote:
Seems like a good topic. If you were placed in the shoes of Robert E. Lee, or U.S. Grant(or any other Union General, what would you have done differently tactics wise?

Biggest ones I can think of are Robert E. Lee's invasion of the north

The only chance the South had at winning was a quick strike into the north. They could never win a war of attrition (Grant's strategy).

(the second) and subsequent foolish mistake of Pickett's charge at Gettysburg. That mistake imo, directly ruined any chance the South had of winning the war.

The turning point had occurred a while before (Corinth if I have my timeline accurate) but yea this was dumb.


As for the Union, I would likely forego the "Scorched Earth" policy enacted by William T. Sherman, as that only caused there to be tension between North and South states that hasnt yet gone away.

Strategically it was sound decision. Destroy anything that the South could use against you. Also has the added benefit of demoralizing your enemy. It actually worked.
16kadams
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7/9/2012 6:11:56 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
At 7/9/2012 6:06:16 PM, THEBOMB wrote:
At 7/9/2012 4:02:43 PM, 16kadams wrote:
If I was the south I would have sent a large portion of my army to Gettysburg and when the DC garrison chased them entered DC with 30,000 troops. And if their garrison never moved like they did in the original battle, send a message to the other 40,000 troops in PA to hold position and use my 30,000 to hit them in the rear. The Pomatic army would be crushed... hopefully.

Let's be honest, Washington DC was perhaps the most heavily defended city in the states at that time, and one of the most heavily defended cities in the world. By the end of the war, DCs defenses stretched over consisted of 68 forts (over 37 miles), 20 miles of rifle pits, this all was supported by 32 miles of military only use roads and 4 picket stations. On this entire line 93 batteries of artillery had been placed and there were well over 1,500 guns (both field and siege as well as mortars.) There was only one battle at DC for a good reason, the massive defenses all but deterred a direct strike at Washington DC. The point is, even if the Southern Army had managed to capture Washington DC (which wouldn't happened simply because of the defensive fortifications) it would be a major Pyrrhic Victory. The DC garrison wouldn't move 1) the army is safer behind the massive fortifications and 2) it is tactically better to be inside a fort (behind these lines) and let them come to you.

And a fort is worthless when your army leaves it XD

Also as Patton said, "Fixed fortifications are a monument to the stupidity of man"
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THEBOMB
Posts: 2,872
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7/9/2012 6:20:06 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
At 7/9/2012 6:11:56 PM, 16kadams wrote:
At 7/9/2012 6:06:16 PM, THEBOMB wrote:
At 7/9/2012 4:02:43 PM, 16kadams wrote:
If I was the south I would have sent a large portion of my army to Gettysburg and when the DC garrison chased them entered DC with 30,000 troops. And if their garrison never moved like they did in the original battle, send a message to the other 40,000 troops in PA to hold position and use my 30,000 to hit them in the rear. The Pomatic army would be crushed... hopefully.

Let's be honest, Washington DC was perhaps the most heavily defended city in the states at that time, and one of the most heavily defended cities in the world. By the end of the war, DCs defenses stretched over consisted of 68 forts (over 37 miles), 20 miles of rifle pits, this all was supported by 32 miles of military only use roads and 4 picket stations. On this entire line 93 batteries of artillery had been placed and there were well over 1,500 guns (both field and siege as well as mortars.) There was only one battle at DC for a good reason, the massive defenses all but deterred a direct strike at Washington DC. The point is, even if the Southern Army had managed to capture Washington DC (which wouldn't happened simply because of the defensive fortifications) it would be a major Pyrrhic Victory. The DC garrison wouldn't move 1) the army is safer behind the massive fortifications and 2) it is tactically better to be inside a fort (behind these lines) and let them come to you.

And a fort is worthless when your army leaves it XD

The Army would not leave it though...why would then exactly? I mean there are other battalions who could attack the Southern Army.


Also as Patton said, "Fixed fortifications are a monument to the stupidity of man"

Different era.
ConservativePolitico
Posts: 8,210
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7/9/2012 6:31:58 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
At 7/9/2012 6:18:58 PM, THEBOMB wrote:
McClellan passiveness after the battle of Antietam. He refused to pursue General Lee after the battle.

McClellan was a boob.
THEBOMB
Posts: 2,872
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7/9/2012 6:32:57 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
At 7/9/2012 6:31:58 PM, ConservativePolitico wrote:
At 7/9/2012 6:18:58 PM, THEBOMB wrote:
McClellan passiveness after the battle of Antietam. He refused to pursue General Lee after the battle.

McClellan was a boob.

Exactly xD
wjmelements
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7/11/2012 6:29:33 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
Military policies are policies, even in the past. This could have gone under Politics.
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1Historygenius
Posts: 1,639
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9/18/2012 11:58:04 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
I, the master historian, of this website show this video to the masses to amaze you all with my knowledge.
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