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MH-6: Toward Total War- 1863. The Civil War (1863) - Toward Total War : Strategic Overview. By 1863: Both sides move toward Total War : Both field huge Armies of volunteers & conscripts ; Both mobilize their economies & entire populations ;

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MH-6: Toward Total War- 1863

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the civil war 1863 toward total war strategic overview
The Civil War (1863) - Toward Total War:Strategic Overview
  • By 1863: Both sides move toward Total War:
    • Both field huge Armies of volunteers & conscripts;
    • Both mobilize their economies & entire populations;
      • Gradually above $$$ & population seen as legit targets
      • North: destroys South’s agro, factories, rail, mills;
        • Anything viewed as potential support for war
  • NTL – One single Battle cannot end the war
    • No “Napoleon Austerlitz” is possible
    • Nothing in Europe approached US Civil War to date
      • Not even Frederick the Great’s or Napoleon’s Battles
strategic overview 2
Strategic Overview-2
  • 1863: Both sides passed Europe in Total War scale:
    • Total resources of North vs. Total resources of South
    • In long runthen – who was most likely to win & why?
  • Caveat: Total War requires total commitment
    • For North: political willto stay the course:
      • Also dependent on perceived progress toward that goal
      • (It still does!)
  • At 1863’s start - Rebel victory seemed still possible
    • South’s battle wins: (Fredericksburg, Holly Springs):
    • Battle victories encouraged South & depressed North
strategic overview 3
Strategic Overview-3
  • But by July 1863 to end of war-
    • A turning point finallyemerged
    • Decisive victories in 1 major battle & 2 key campaigns:
      • 1. Gettysburg
      • 2. Vicksburg
      • 3. Chattanooga
  • Tactical victories would have major strategic impact
    • (for now at start of 1863 – still in the future)
    • NTL both sides sought to win the decisive battle:
    • Both pursue the elusive dream of Napoleon’s Austerlitz
austerlitz chimera
Austerlitz Chimera*
  • Term’s meaning & historical background:
    • *Greek mythology (fire breathing lion headed sheep)
      • Modern term: *unattainable dreamorillusive myth
  • Napoleon’s tactical battle victory
    • Battle of Austerlitz-1805 with decisivestrategic result
    • Tactical victory destroys 3rd Coalition (strategic)
    • Illusive dream of generals throughout Military History
  • Factors against decisive Civil War battlefield victory:
    • Weapons Technology that favored defense
    • Terrain limiting effective employment of cavalry
    • Leadership make-up shaped amateur tactics & strategy
    • Main reason: very rare opportunities & huge size of Armies
chancellorsville phase i
Chancellorsville - Phase I
  • Hooker vs. Lee (& Jackson)
    • Cmdrs’ Strength & weakness:
    • Hooker:good organizer & planner- restored Union morale
      • But also ambitious & overconfident - until chaos of battle…
    • Lee (& Jackson): no change
  • Force dispositions (Map):
    • Hooker:120K
    • Lee: 60K

Force Dispositions

chancellorsville phase i strategy tactics
Chancellorsville - Phase I Strategy & Tactics
  • Hooker’sObjectives & Tactical Concept:
    • BG Meigadvocates tactical concept:
      • Conduct bold, rapid turn of Rebel Left Flank:
      • Tactical aim: crush Lee between 2 halves
      • Anvil & hammer battle strategy
    • Hookerembraced Meig’s tactical concept
      • Believes it has potential strategic impact
  • Operational & Strategic Objectives:
    • Destroy Lee’s Army
    • Force South’s surrender in the East
chancellorsville phase i tactical battle plan
Chancellorsville - Phase ITactical Battle Plan
  • Plans & preparation (Battle Map Plan):
    • Hookertakes ½ of Force & turns Lee’s LF
    • Sedgwick crosses Rappahannock to fix Lee’s front:
      • Attack Lee’s center & take Fredericksburg
  • Hooker then sends Unioncavalry to raid Lee’s LOC to Richmond
    • (That would turn out to be a big mistake)
chancellorsville phase i tactical deployment
Chancellorsville - Phase ITactical Deployment
  • Hooker’s Deployment:
    • 1st stage: Sedgwick crosses Rappahannock
    • Tactical Aim: fix Lee’s attention at Fredericksburg
  • Rebel scouts report move to Lee
    • Hooker moves 25 miles NW to Kelley’s Ford
    • Stuart reports Hooker’s move over Rapidan
  • Union cavalry conduct lackluster raid-Lee’s LOC
    • Hookerremains ignorant of Lee’s movements-why?
    • Calvary off conducting?__________
  • Hooker halts advance & forms defensive line in Wilderness
chancellorsville phase i execution tactical results
Chancellorsville - Phase IExecution & Tactical Results
  • Tactical opportunity unfolds:
    • JEB Stuart reports Union’s RF as: “?__________”
    • Lee decides to seize opportunity presented
  • Tactical Results:
    • Hooker surrenders tactical initiative to Lee
    • Lee plans with Jackson to exploit it
chancellorsville phase ii strategy tactics
Chancellorsville - Phase IIStrategy & Tactics
  • Lee’s Strategic, Operational, & Tactical Objectives:
    • Tactical: HitHooker’sRF & roll up Union line;
    • Operational: Destroy Army of the Potomac;
    • Strategic: Open Washington to potential future attack;
    • Political: Push Union toward negotiated settlement;
  • Just the reverse of Hooker’s Objectives
chancellorsville phase ii battle execution plan
Chancellorsville - Phase IIBattle Execution Plan
  • Plans & preparation:
    • Jackson (w/28K) marches across Union front undetected
    • Lee(w/14K) demonstrates to fix Union center:
      • Convince Hooker of Lee’s intent: frontal assault
      • Reinforce Hooker’s desire to surprise Lee
    • Early (w/10K) to hold heights of Fredericksburg
      • (Against half of Union’s Army of Potomac)
chancellorsville phase ii battle execution
Chancellorsville - Phase II Battle Execution
  • Jackson is late but totally surprises Union RF underHoward’scommand
    • Roll up and through Union RF
    • Jackson & Lee continue to press Union as darkness falls
  • Jackson conducts eve Recon & is hit by NC ?_______ fire:
    • Mistook, along with A.P. Hill, for Union cavalry & is ambushed & wounded seriously
    • Stuart takes Jackson’s corps- but unclear of Jackson’s plan
chancellorsville phase ii battle execution 2
Chancellorsville - Phase II Battle Execution-2
  • Meanwhile, Sedgwick rolls over Early
    • Poses serious threat to Lee’s rear
  • Lee counterattacks & forces Sedgwickto retreat
    • Hooker remains inert (“2000 yard stare”)
  • Hooker then goes immediately on defensive:
    • Surrenders Hazel Grove high ground to Lee’s arty
      • Commands Chancellorsville & surrounding area
    • Hooker is wounded (shell shocked) & decides to withdraw
      • Over strong objections of his corps commanders
  • Lee intent on Hooker’s destruction
    • Unable to prevent Hooker’s escape
    • Demonstrates risks he is willing to take
      • Frontal assaultsagainst fortified position- Again!
chancellorsville phase ii tactical operational strategic results
Chancellorsville - Phase IITactical, Operational, & Strategic Results
  • Lee held Battlefield – (tactical victory), but:
    • Glory very costly – 13K casualties (20%)
    • Union casualties: 17K (out of 120K):
      • Higher casualties less a problem for Union – why?
    • Attrition rate ?______________________________
  • Lee failed to destroy Hooker’s Army
    • (His Operational Aim)
    • Strategic situation in Virginia remains unchanged
    • Austerlitz Chimera remains just that: an illusive dream
vicksburg campaign
Vicksburg Campaign
  • Background & Overview (Map):
    • Overland campaign (Nov-Dec 1862) failed
      • Holly Springs (Van Dorn cut Grant’s LOC)
      • Several dozen miles of RR LOC torn up by Bedford Forrest
      • Chickasaw Bluffs (Sherman roughly repulsed)
  • Commanders’ strengths & weaknesses
    • Grant:Gritty, determined, good solid leader
    • Pemberton: mediocre, naïve, & indecisive
  • Force dispositions:
    • Union: 44K => 70K (later reinforcements by Hallack)
    • Confederate: 31K
vicksburg campaign ii strategy tactics
Vicksburg Campaign II – Strategy & Tactics
  • Union Strategic, Operational, & Tactical Objectives:
    • Sever South’s East-West communication;
    • Open Mississippi to Union control & commerce;
    • Capture & eliminate Vicksburg command
  • Plans & preparation:
    • Various schemes tried & thwarted (Jan-Apr ’63);
    • Grant later called them: “make-work” efforts #2-5 (Map)*
vicksburg campaign ii
Vicksburg Campaign II
  • Grant conducted various failed schemes (Jan-Apr 1863):
    • 1. Overland campaign
      • Nov-Dec 1862
        • Grant’s LOC cut byVan Dorn at Holly Springs
        • Sherman repulsed at Chickasaw Bluffs… then Grant tries:
    • 2. Lake Providence
    • 3. Canal Bypass
    • 4. Steele’s Bayou expedition
    • 5. Yazoo Pass expedition
  • 6.Grant finally embarks on serious offensive- April-May, 1863
vicksburg campaign ii final deployment
Vicksburg Campaign II- Final Deployment
  • Operational & tactical Deployment:
    • As Grantmarches overland on West bank of Mississippi
    • Porter steams through Vicksburg’s defense on midnight run
    • Then ferries Grant’s forces across lower part of Mississippito east side of river
vicksburg final campaign engagements battle execution
Vicksburg- Final Campaign Engagements & Battle Execution
  • Grant stages out of Bruinsburg 30 April 1863
    • Cuts off Port Hudson to south
  • Grant marches on Jackson(to hit rail & supplies);
    • Reaches Jackson, MSw/3 corps after 2 small battles:
  • Attacks Jackson and forces Johnston’s Army North:
    • Burns Jackson munitions factory, then turns west
  • Defeats Pemberton units on march to Vicksburg:
    • Series of engagements prior to reaching outskirts
    • Champion Hill & Big Black River are the 2 biggest
vicksburg campaign ii siege capture
Vicksburg Campaign II- Siege & Capture
  • First elements of Grant’s army move into position on 18 May 1863
    • 19 May: Conducts initial attacks on Vicksburg defenses
    • Strongly repulsed twice
  • Begins siege & waits for Pemberton’s surrender
    • In the meantime he gathers reinforcements (to 70K) & re-supplies transported by Navy
    • After 47 Days, Pemberton surrenders on 4 July 1863
vicksburg campaign ii results
Vicksburg Campaign II- results
  • Tactical, Operational, & Strategic Results:
    • TacticalUnionvictorywith major Strategic impact
    • Grant captures: 31K troops,172 guns, 60K rifles
    • South can not afford to replace this operational loss
  • Strategic impact:
    • South’s operational loss impacts overall troop levels
    • Grant reopens Mississippi for Union commerce
    • Severed Arkansas, Texas, LA from Confederacy
gettysburg campaign prelude
Gettysburg Campaign-prelude
  • Background & Overview
    • Eastern Theater situation:
      • Crisis facing South
      • Vicksburg stillunder siege
      • Various strategies considered
      • Lee persuades all to invade North
  • Meade vs. Lee:
    • Both solid professionals
    • Lee will have serious lapse in judgment during campaign
  • Force dispositions
    • Hooker (replaced by Meade): 115K
    • Lee: 76K
  • Rebel Deployment:
    • From Chancellorsville to southern Pennsylvania (Map):
      • Via west side of Shenandoah
    • Leeassumed Hookerwould shadow
gettysburg campaign strategy tactics
Gettysburg Campaign-Strategy & Tactics
  • Strategic, Operational, & Tactical Objectives:
    • South: force Hooker to follow & relieve pressure on Richmond
      • Tactical victory in North would:
        • Threaten key Northern cities
        • Press North for peace settlement
        • Gain diplomatic recognition from Britain
    • North: react to and engage Lee’s forces
      • Destroy Lee’s army and protect Washington & Baltimore
  • Plans & preparation:
    • Originally Lee agreed to Longstreet’s strategy:
      • Strategic Offensive & Tactical Defense (or so he thought)
    • Reality of the situation drove the tactics:
      • Meeting engagement for both sides & unplanned for
gettysburg campaign invasion of north
Gettysburg Campaign-Invasion of North
  • By early June Lee deploys north
    • Sends 3 corps North to PA (Map)
    • Spreads out over southern PA
    • Stuart goes off on his own
      • Surprised by Calvary at Brandy Station
      • Attempts replay of his famous ride
  • Lee remains ignorant of Hooker’s close proximity- why?
    • He asks:“Where is General Stuart?
  • Lee learns of Hooker’sproximity from Longstreet’s “scout” (spy) Harrison- what does Lee do?
    • Orders his widely separated Army to concentrate at Gettysburg
  • Meanwhile Lincoln replaces Hookerwith Meade
gettysburg execution 1 july 1863
Gettysburg-Execution: 1 July 1863
  • A “meeting” engagement
    • Accidental contact soon escalates into major engagement
      • Union’s BG Buford’s Calvaryholds ground until Reynolds’ 1st Corpsarrives just in time
    • Enter 2 heavy corps tooverwhelm Union line by late pm 1 July
      • Union corps forced to retreat through streets of Gettysburg to Cemetery Ridge
  • Lee makes two fateful decisions:
    • 1. Fight general engagement &
    • 2. Fail to insist that LTG Ewell take Cemetery Ridge
gettysburg execution 2 july 1863
Gettysburg-Execution: 2 July 1863
  • Day 2: Rebel assault begins at 1630 on Union left
    • Longstreet’s 1st corps with 2 divisions attack en echelon on Union far left as ordered
  • Battle is extremely intense to the south at Little Round Top
    • Col Chamberlain’s 20th Maine barely holds Union’s far left
      • Then flanks the Rebel RF which culminates in a bayonet charge
  • On Union right Ewellis:
    • Ordered to conduct demonstration
    • Late but almost breaks Union RF
    • Seized Union arty batteries
  • Lee convinced victory near & plans to try it again tomorrow
gettysburg execution 3 july 1863
Gettysburg-Execution: 3 July 1863
  • Day 3: Lee now determined to prevail at all costs
    • Plans a repeat of Day 2 (attack both of Meade’s flanks)
  • But Union arty hit Culp’s Hill first
    • So Lee decides on a frontal assaulton Meade’s center right (Hancock’s II)
    • Longstreet is ordered to command the assault of 3 mixed divisions
  • Pickett’s Charge
    • Pickett, Pettigrew, & 13K men march almost a mile on line to their objective of a small copse of trees
    • Union II corps wait there entrenched with rifled muskets & arty cannister
    • Unmitigated disaster soon follows
  • Lee reforms his line & waits for Meade to counter-attack
  • After a day Lee withdraws his forces under cover of heavy rains
    • His escape made possible in part to Meade’s caution in following at a distance (Calvary)
    • Unlike the Battle, Lee’s retreat well planned & executed
gettysburg results
Gettysburg- Results
  • Tactical, Operational, & Strategic Results:
    • Major defeat for Lee- who almost lost his entire Army
      • 20K veteran casualties not replaceable
      • 15 generals & numerous regimental & field commanders lost
        • To include: Hood & Barksdale & ALL of Pickett's Brigade Cmdrs
    • Union tactical victory with great strategic impact
      • Costly victory (MG Reynolds KIA, Hancock & Sickles WIA)
    • Strategic: Southejected from North, never to return
  • Major post-battle questions:
    • Was major opportunity to destroy Lee’s army missed?
    • Would Lee’s destruction have ended war?
chattanooga campaign prelude
Chattanooga Campaign-Prelude
  • Commanders’ strengths & weaknesses:
    • Bragg: Good tactician but seemly unable to follow through
      • Also not in full command of subordinates
      • (Who all like confidence in their Commander)
    • Rosecrans: cautious & plodding
      • Tends toward overconfidence when committed
      • Uneven in temperament in a crisis
  • Force dispositions:
    • Bragg : 66K => reinforced: splits into two wings
    • Rosecrans: 56K
chattanooga campaign battle of chickamauga
Chattanooga Campaign-Battle of Chickamauga
  • Rosecrans is convinced Bragg is retreating
    • Aggressively pursues
    • Splits forces into columns & deploys over Georgia’s mountainous terrain
  • Bragg seizes opportunity & attacks 1 Union corps
    • Feds wage good defense
    • Rosecrans plugs holes
    • Then fateful error=>
rock of chickamauga
“Rock of Chickamauga”
  • Major tactical defeat for Union
    • Entire right wing of Rosecrans’ line crumbles in disarray
    • Rosecrans flees the field all the way back to Chattanooga
  • MG Thomas rallies Left Wing of Union forces and holds on Snodgrass Hill(“Rock of Chickamauga”)
    • Then makes orderly withdrawal back to Chattanooga lines
  • Bragg begins siege of Chattanooga
    • Pinches off Union supply LOC
    • Rosecran’s army being starved into crisis
    • But Bragg is roundly criticized for not exploiting his victory
  • Lincoln turns to Grant-assigned command of all of West
    • Visits Chattanooga, takes charge, restores “cracker line”
    • Relieves Rosecrans & replaces with him with Thomas
    • Reinforces Grant with two corps from Meade
      • Deploy 1200 miles by rail
  • Grant organizes forces to break out of Bragg’s siege
    • Relies on his faithful subordinate Sherman
battle of missionary ridge
Battle of Missionary Ridge
  • Grant’s arrival imbue new spirit in Union forces at Chattanooga
    • By late Fall ready to attack
    • 24-25 Nov conduct series of assaults aimed at break out
  • MG Thomas ordered to attack center & hold at bottom of Missionary Ridge
    • But his troops still smarting over defeat at Chickamauga
battle of missionary ridge1
Battle of Missionary Ridge
  • Thomas’ limited attack turns into full frontal assault at Bragg’s center
    • Union troops fight their way up ridge
    • Bragg’s forces flee in disarray
battle of missionary ridge results
Battle of Missionary Ridge-results
  • Reason for successful Union attack:
    • Poor Rebel disposition on ridge
      • Situated on top of geographic crest vice military crest (?)*
      • Rebel line of fire blocked (how?) while Union troops used terrain
        • Rocky terrain and crevices provided ?__________
    • Too few Rebels placed at foot of ridge to stop assault
      • Forced defenders at top to hold fire as friendly troops retreated
  • Also Bragg failed to pursue Rosecrans after Chickamauga
    • Mismanaged siege of Chattanooga & allowed Grant to restore situation to Union’s favor
  • Union tactical victory with strategic impact
    • Grant secured permanent Union hold on gateway to South
    • South’s heartland now open to Union attack
  • By 1863 - South’s Battle Losses totaled 66K veterans
  • South tactical losses translated into key strategic defeat
    • Losses the South can not replace!
    • Loss of motivated, combat hardened veterans
    • Manpower stretched beyond South’s capacity
  • North: Time was on the Union’s side
    • Plenty of reserves available - to include willing African Americans
    • Economic & industrial power finally fully mobilized
    • Generals get better: Grant, Sherman, Sheridan, Hancock, Reynolds, Buford
  • South’s defeat at Gettysburg, Vicksburg, & Chattanooga:
    • Marked major strategic turning point of the war
    • Generated crisis of confidence throughout South (historical debate):
      • Most say eventual defeat as inevitable
      • Nobody wanted to be the last to die for lost cause
      • Result: desertions escalated
  • It would soon get much worse as Grant took overall Command
    • Sherman’s march of Total War to the Sea
two american societies at war
Two American Societies at War
  • Define Total War
    • Simply stated: everything is considered a target!
  • North’s Grand Strategy by mid-1863?
    • South’s war economy targeted
    • Population demoralization- civilian property hit
  • Mobilization & variousapproaches to achieving:
    • Conscription & its mixed success
    • Political costs high-
      • South: “Rich man’s war and poor man’s fight”
      • Results: Draft evasion, riots, unfair burden
      • Future Lessons Learned (L/L) for WWI
war economy mobilization
War Economy mobilization
  • South: less effective:
    • Highly centralized economic control:
      • Government runs almost everything (Very inefficient)
    • Tax revenue only 5% of that required (1/2 of 1% tax)
    • Barrow & print $$$ => 9000% inflation & high debt
  • North: more effective:
    • Decentralized economic control:
    • Private enterprise runs most everything (some corrupt)
    • Government manages & encourage BZ’s cooperation;
    • Tax revenue provides 21% of that required
    • SECTREAS Chase effective manager of North’s $$;
    • Lincoln promoted Bz cooperation w/Gov. (or else- rail)
western theater
Western Theater
  • Meanwhile – other operations initially conducted in the West had little significant strategic impact on the war
  • Grant’sfirst overland campaign to capture Vicksburg had to be abandoned when his LOCs are attacked by Van Dorn at Holly Springs & Bedford Forrest to the NE
    • Leaving Sherman unsupported & ultimately repulsed at Chickasaw Bluffs
  • Bragg’s raids into Kentucky & Tennessee end with limited tactical success & little strategic relevance
    • Culminating in little more than a tactical draw against Rosecransat the Battle ofStones River (Murfreesboro)
grant s overland campaign to vicksburg
Grant’s Overland Campaign to Vicksburg
  • Long LOC (via rail) vulnerable to cavalry raids
    • Van Dorn’s attack atHolly Springs
    • Bedford Forrest to NE
  • Grantforced to abandon campaign when LOC cut off
    • Subsists off land => key Lessons Learned (LL)
  • Shermanleft unsupported at Chickasaw Bluffs:
    • Soundly repulsed by Vicksburg’s defenders
    • It’s back to “drawing board”
battle of stones river murfreesboro
Battle of Stones River (Murfreesboro)
  • Execution: 31 Dec 1862
    • Bragg anticipates Rosecrans
    • Attacks Union’s right flank at dawn exploiting tactical surprise
    • Surprised Union troops on right collapsed into closed “jackknife” like defensive stance
  • 2 Jan 1863: Bragg then attacks Union left across Stones River
    • Union holds & its arty decimates Rebel attack
    • Bragg forced to withdraw 30 miles SE to Tullahoma
assessment stalemate contributing factors
Assessment:Stalemate & Contributing Factors
  • Geography:
    • Virginia: numerous rivers & creeks (spring rains)
      • Difficult to maneuver & deploy forces rapidly (time)
    • Western Theater: greater distances:
      • Stretch out Lines of Communication & supply;
      • Overland LOCs (rr) especially vulnerable to attack:
      • Grant’s Overland Campaign to Vicksburg
        • Example: Van Dorn at Holly Springs & Bedford Forrest to NE
  • Different fighting capacities & trade-offs:
    • North: Mpw, Logistic/supply, $$$ & industrial power
    • South: Well led & motivated troops, aggressive tactics
assessment toward total war
Assessment –Toward Total War
  • Contrasting perspectives:
    • Federal view: South’s determined resistance surprising
    • McClellan’s theory: small Southern elite were main culprits
    • Grant: Surprise assault at Shilohproved otherwise:
      • Especially after Union victories at Forts Henry & Donelson
      • Peninsula Campaign convinced the rest of North – long war
    • Total War now appeared unavoidable
  • Grand Strategy required major revision for Total War:
    • Southern society must now be changed by force;
    • North must overthrow South’s entire way of life;
  • Total War requires new & harsher tactics:
    • Seize & destroy property, crops, & all material support;
    • Destroy industry & towns & RR, & treat civilians as enemy