Objective Objective


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Objective

  • Objective

  • Offensive

  • Mass

  • Economy of force

  • Maneuver

  • Unity of command

  • Security

  • Surprise

  • Simplicity



George McClellan

  • George McClellan

    • Among the Army’s best educated officers… “the Young Napoleon”
    • Excellent organizer and administrator
      • The right man to rebuild the Federal Army after the defeat at First Manassas
    • Extremely cautious; always wants more troops and more time to prepare
      • Prone to believe enemy is stronger than he really is
    • Mutual distrust with Lincoln


One of McClellan’s formative experiences in the Mexican War was the siege of Vera Cruz

  • One of McClellan’s formative experiences in the Mexican War was the siege of Vera Cruz

  • After the war McClellan was part of a team of US officers sent to observe the Crimean War

    • Studied the siege of Sevastopol there
  • No one in the US Army knew more about conducting sieges than McClellan

  • Advocated the limited war and the conciliatory approaches



Reinforced Beauregard at First Manassas

  • Reinforced Beauregard at First Manassas

  • Highest ranking officer to leave the US Army for the Confederacy

    • However the letter Davis sent to the Senate requesting confirmation of his full generals listed Johnston fourth
    • This infuriated Johnston and from that day on he had a difficult and quarrelsome relationship with Davis
  • Defensive-minded



McClellan near Washington with 100,000 men

  • McClellan near Washington with 100,000 men

  • Johnston near Centreville with 40,000

    • Allan Pinkerton, McClellan’s intelligence officer, estimated Johnston had 150,000
  • Pinkerton’s exaggerated estimate reinforced McClellan’s natural tendency toward caution



McClellan preferred an amphibious operation to an overland one in order to avoid Johnston

  • McClellan preferred an amphibious operation to an overland one in order to avoid Johnston

    • Developed the “Urbanna Plan” which involved a move by water from Annapolis, MD through the Chesapeake Bay to the mouth of the Rappahannock River
    • The landing site of Urbanna was a small hamlet about 60 road miles northeast of Richmond


McClellan hoped to avoid attacking Johnston frontally

  • McClellan hoped to avoid attacking Johnston frontally

  • Instead he would insert himself between Johnston and Richmond, forcing Johnston to evacuate his strong Manassas-Centreville line in order to defend the Confederate capital



Before McClellan could launch his plan, Johnston began to feel vulnerable so far forward

  • Before McClellan could launch his plan, Johnston began to feel vulnerable so far forward

  • Johnston left only a 5,400 man force under Stonewall Jackson in the Shenandoah Valley and withdrew the rest of his force behind the Rappahannock River

    • This move effectively negated the Urbanna Plan


By this time McClellan was mentally committed to an amphibious movement even though most of its advantages were gone

  • By this time McClellan was mentally committed to an amphibious movement even though most of its advantages were gone

  • He shifted his landing site to Fort Monroe which had remained in Federal hands after Virginia seceded





Lincoln was not overly enthusiastic about the Peninsula Campaign but he was happy that McClellan was at least doing something

  • Lincoln was not overly enthusiastic about the Peninsula Campaign but he was happy that McClellan was at least doing something

  • Among Lincoln’s concerns was the safety of Washington after McClellan’s army departed

  • He asked McClellan to explain his plan for safeguarding the capital and McClellan never really gave Lincoln a straight answer

    • McClellan was very condescending to Lincoln
    • He seemed to think that as a professional soldier he did not need to bother sharing his plans with an amateur


Amphibious movement began March 17

  • Amphibious movement began March 17

    • 121,500 men, 14,492 animals, 1,224 wagons, 200 cannon
    • One British observer describes it as “the stride of a giant” (mass)
  • On April 3 Lincoln started asking serious questions about the safety of Washington and became convinced it was inadequate

    • He ordered McDowell’s 30,000 man corps to remain in place rather than join McClellan (security)


McClellan began his advance inland on April 4

  • McClellan began his advance inland on April 4

  • Facing him was a 13,000 man force commanded by John Magruder

    • Magruder had a weak defensive line designed to trade space for time until a more solid defense could be formed
    • Magruder was a very high strung personality and he started sending off panicky reports to Robert E. Lee who was serving as Davis’s military advisor
  • Lee tried to calm Magruder down and began a “reconcentration” of forces which would ultimately bring 53,000 Confederates into position to oppose McClellan (balance)



Magruder was not a particularly distinguished combat general but he was an amateur thespian

  • Magruder was not a particularly distinguished combat general but he was an amateur thespian

  • He put his acting talent to work to deceive McClellan

    • Magruder marched a couple of his regiments out of a thicket into clear view of the Federal advanced guard
    • The Confederates then disappeared into another woods, doubled back around while they were out of sight, and then repeated the process


The target of a military deception operation is the mind of the enemy commander

  • The target of a military deception operation is the mind of the enemy commander

  • It is always easier to make someone believe what they were already predisposed to believe

  • Thanks to Pinkerton’s exaggerated estimates and McClellan’s natural caution, McClellan was predisposed to believe the Confederates outnumbered him

  • Magruder’s ruse worked perfectly



Magruder’s deception, poor maps, difficult terrain, uninspired actions by subordinates, and McClellan’s natural caution led him to stop his advance within 24 hours and begin siege operations against Yorktown (maneuver?)

  • Magruder’s deception, poor maps, difficult terrain, uninspired actions by subordinates, and McClellan’s natural caution led him to stop his advance within 24 hours and begin siege operations against Yorktown (maneuver?)

      • Joe Johnston said, “Nobody but McClellan would have hesitated to attack.” (offensive?)


The Confederates had converted the old USS Merrimack into an ironclad and rechristened it the CSS Virginia

  • The Confederates had converted the old USS Merrimack into an ironclad and rechristened it the CSS Virginia

    • The casemate walls contained 24 inches of oak and pine timbers which were then covered with four inches of armor plating


The presence of the Virginia posed a serious threat to the Federal fleet

  • The presence of the Virginia posed a serious threat to the Federal fleet

  • On March 8, the Virginia made its trial run and wreaked havoc among the five Federal blockade ships anchored in Hampton Roads

  • As the tide ebbed the Virginia withdrew to deeper waters, intending to finish her work the next day



By then however, the Federal ironclad, the Monitor, had arrived on the scene

  • By then however, the Federal ironclad, the Monitor, had arrived on the scene

  • The two fought to a tactical draw, but again the Virginia had to withdraw to deeper waters giving the Monitor a strategic victory

  • The Virginia remained a threat, but fears that she would single-handedly destroy the Federal fleet were now abated



On May 3 Johnston began to evacuate Yorktown and withdraw up the Peninsula

  • On May 3 Johnston began to evacuate Yorktown and withdraw up the Peninsula

    • This opened up the York and James River to Federal gunboats
    • It also forced the abandonment of Gosport Naval Yard and scuttling of the Virginia which opened up the James River to the Federals


Johnston’s strategy was to withdraw to the immediate vicinity of Richmond in order to strengthen his defenses and prevent McClellan from outmaneuvering him

  • Johnston’s strategy was to withdraw to the immediate vicinity of Richmond in order to strengthen his defenses and prevent McClellan from outmaneuvering him

  • The Confederates fought a rear guard action at Williamsburg to cover the retreat



Williamsburg indicated several themes that would repeat themselves throughout the Peninsula Campaign

  • Williamsburg indicated several themes that would repeat themselves throughout the Peninsula Campaign

    • The terrain favored the defense
    • Frontal attacks would prove very costly
    • Synchronizing in order to achieve mass at the decisive point would be difficult
    • McClellan would absent himself from the tactical battlefield and not provide the necessary command and control


Without the Virginia blocking the way, McClellan also had a potential water approach to Richmond

  • Without the Virginia blocking the way, McClellan also had a potential water approach to Richmond

  • On May 15, five Federal ships including the Monitor advanced up the James River only to be blocked by the Confederate fort at Drewry’s Bluff, just seven miles below Richmond



Drewry’s Bluff was indicative of problems the Federals had throughout the campaign of achieving joint unity of effort

  • Drewry’s Bluff was indicative of problems the Federals had throughout the campaign of achieving joint unity of effort

  • The Navy had requested “a cooperating land force” but McClellan had answered that he was “not yet ready to cooperate with them”



While all this is going on on the Peninsula, Stonewall Jackson was having a big effect in the Shenandoah Valley

  • While all this is going on on the Peninsula, Stonewall Jackson was having a big effect in the Shenandoah Valley

  • The Valley represented a potential Confederate avenue of approach to Washington, which concerns Lincoln

  • Still in his capacity as Davis’s military advisor, Lee began coordinating with Jackson to help relieve pressure on the Peninsula

    • While “the Confederates were concentrating coastal troops at Richmond, their immediate response [to McClellan’s Peninsula Campaign] began with Jasckson’s important Valley campaign”


Shenandoah Valley

  • Shenandoah Valley

    • Agricultural support for Confederacy
    • Controlled Baltimore & Ohio Railroad
    • Avenue of approach into Maryland and Pennsylvania
  • Originally Jackson faced 38,000 Federals with only 4,500 of his own men

    • Federal force grew to nearly 60,000 which Jackson kept from threatening the Peninsula


Jomini (1779-1869): Swiss military theorist who influenced many Civil War generals through his Summary of the Art of War

  • Jomini (1779-1869): Swiss military theorist who influenced many Civil War generals through his Summary of the Art of War

  • Very geometrical and scientific approach to war

    • Stressed interior lines


Jackson neutralized Federal forces three times larger than his own.

  • Jackson neutralized Federal forces three times larger than his own.

  • Fought six battles between March 23 and June 9: Kernstown, McDowell, Front Royal, Winchester, Cross Keys, and Port Republic.

  • “Jackson’s foot cavalry”

    • 676 miles in 48 marching days; an average of 14 miles a day






Instructions on filling canteens which would prevent straggling for this purpose,

  • Instructions on filling canteens which would prevent straggling for this purpose,

  • Hourly rest breaks of ten minutes in duration,

  • Mess times,

  • Location of commanders during the march,

  • Procedures for safeguarding weapons,

  • Personnel accountability procedures,

  • Guidance for transporting baggage, and

  • Medical and ambulance support procedures.

    • Frank Vandiver, Mighty Stonewall, McGraw-Hill: NY, 1957, p. 232-233.


As a general rule, commanders should limit a soldier’s load to an amount equal to 45% of his body weight in order to retain agility, stamina, alertness, and mobility.

  • As a general rule, commanders should limit a soldier’s load to an amount equal to 45% of his body weight in order to retain agility, stamina, alertness, and mobility.

  • For the average soldier this is 72 pounds.



In the interest of being able to move rapidly, Jackson kept his soldiers’ load to the minimum.

  • In the interest of being able to move rapidly, Jackson kept his soldiers’ load to the minimum.

    • Jackson’s men did not carry extra clothing, overcoats, or knapsacks.
    • They marched with their rifles, ammunition, and just enough food to keep going.
    • Each man carried one blanket or rubber sheet and slept with a comrade for extra warmth.
    • The cooking was done at a common mess so that not everyone had to carry individual frying pans and skillets. Even the skillet handle had been spiked so that on the march it could be stuck in a rifle barrel.


One soldier’s explanation of how Hill picked the name:

  • One soldier’s explanation of how Hill picked the name:

  • “Why it was called the Light Division I did not learn; but I know that the name was applicable, for we often marched without coats, blankets, knapsacks, or any other burdens except our arms and haversacks, which were never heavy and sometimes empty.”

      • W. F. Dunaway quoted in William Hassler, A. P. Hill: Lee’s Forgotten General, Garrett and Massie: Richmond, 1962.


Jackson’s success in the Valley affected things on the Peninsula

  • Jackson’s success in the Valley affected things on the Peninsula

  • On May 18, McClellan had been told by Secretary of War Stanton that McDowell’s Corps would be marching from Fredericksburg where it had been held previously for fear of Washington’s safety

  • Jackson’s new threat caused Lincoln to change his mind and on May 24 he telegraphed McClellan, “In consequence of Gen. Banks’ critical position I have been compelled to suspend Gen. McDowell’s movement to join you.”

    • McDowell complained, “If the enemy can succeed so readily in disconcerting all our plans by alarming us first at one point then at another, he will paralyze a larger force with a very small one.” (simultaneity and depth)


On May 28 Johnston received a report from Jeb Stuart that McDowell was not moving toward Richmond but was instead returning to Fredericksburg

  • On May 28 Johnston received a report from Jeb Stuart that McDowell was not moving toward Richmond but was instead returning to Fredericksburg

    • With McDowell held in place thanks to Jackson, the Confederates could act more aggressively
  • Johnston learned from other reconnaissance that McClellan’s army was divided by the Chickahominy River



Johnston tried to crush the isolated southern wing of the Federal army in the Battle of Seven Pines May 31

  • Johnston tried to crush the isolated southern wing of the Federal army in the Battle of Seven Pines May 31

    • Johnston mismanaged the battle, issued vague orders, and was wounded
    • Robert E. Lee replaced him


Johnston was well-liked by the soldiers and Lee was initially looked at with suspicion

  • Johnston was well-liked by the soldiers and Lee was initially looked at with suspicion

  • However, even Johnston admitted, “The shot that struck me down is the very best that has been fired in the Confederate cause yet.”



Lee completely changed the situation

  • Lee completely changed the situation

    • Good relationship with Davis
    • Offensive-minded and extremely audacious
    • Makes excellent use of intelligence and cavalry
    • Strong advocate of the turning movement


Jackson’s success allowed Lee to concentrate his forces against McClellan

  • Jackson’s success allowed Lee to concentrate his forces against McClellan

    • Lee will defend Richmond with 20,000 and use 60,000 to attack
  • Plan depended on the timely arrival of Jackson who was to attack Porter from the flank and rear

    • Jackson was inexplicably late
      • Result was Mechanicsville (June 26) turned out to be an unsupported frontal attack rather than an envelopment


Gaines’s Mill (June 27)

  • Gaines’s Mill (June 27)

    • Another poor performance by Jackson limits Confederate victory, but Lee succeeded in causing McClellan to go on the defensive
  • Savage Station (June 29)

  • Frayser’s Farm (June 30)

  • Malvern Hill (July 1)

    • Federal artillery defeated Confederate frontal assault
  • McClellan withdrew to Harrison Landing under protection of Federal gunboats on the James River





Historians have closely scrutinized Jackson’s poor performance on the Peninsula in contrast with his brilliant performance in the Valley

  • Historians have closely scrutinized Jackson’s poor performance on the Peninsula in contrast with his brilliant performance in the Valley

  • Explanations include

    • He did not receive orders to act more aggressively
    • He was unfamiliar with the geography
    • He could operate better independently than in close cooperation with others
    • He felt other units ought to bear more of the fighting burden


The main reason was that by the time Jackson got to the Peninsula he was physically and mentally was exhausted

  • The main reason was that by the time Jackson got to the Peninsula he was physically and mentally was exhausted

    • Jackson usually required much sleep and he just did not get it during the rigors of the Valley Campaign and his subsequent march to the Peninsula
    • His aide Sandie Pendleton wrote on June 7, “Jackson is completely broken down.”


Objective

  • Objective

  • Offensive

  • Mass

  • Economy of force

  • Maneuver

  • Unity of command

  • Security

  • Surprise

  • Simplicity



Fort Donelson and Shiloh

  • Fort Donelson and Shiloh




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