Alternatives for the 1864 Valley Campaign

Fewer ads. Lots of American Civil War content!
JOIN NOW: REGISTER HERE!

Luke Freet

Sergeant
Joined
Nov 8, 2018
Recently, people on this board have been speaking of alternative commanders to lead in the Valley Campaign. I myself have posted a thread trying to look at the thought of reinforcing Early with excess troops from the Army of Tennessee.
I create this thread to look for general alternatives prevading the Valley Campaign: Should another Corps be sent?; Should it have been undertaken at all? Specific moments or oppurtunities the confederates could have capitalized that they historically missed.
Anything is game.
 

33RDNCK

Cadet
Joined
Feb 4, 2019
A most interesting subject! What does the Confederacy do after Atlanta? IMO the Army of Tennessee could have sat in SW GA, moved around to the ATL to Augusta corridor, or executed any combination of those two while reinforcing Early or Lee. The Shenandoah option seems best to me; send Early a large (15-20000 man) force by rail, and hope to defeat Sheridan before he received similar reinforcements.

Sherman's march could not have happened as we know it if a near-peer adversary were in his front. If he had stayed in GA, Hood could have nearly replaced the detachments to Early by the late fall.
 
Fewer ads. Lots of American Civil War content!
JOIN NOW: REGISTER HERE!

33RDNCK

Cadet
Joined
Feb 4, 2019
The bulk of the Army of Tennessee was moved from Mississippi to Augusta in less than 20 days in January-Feb 1865. The two corps that were part of the initial movement were plagued by desertion and probably lost 30 percent or more of their men along the route. Nevertheless, at least 8000-10000 infantry were started on their way in late January, and at least 6000 or so were available in SC by early February. The movement was pretty impressive given the broken nature of the rail network in Alabama (no continuous line), and additional breaks in GA as a result of Sherman's march. The rail network between Macon and Virginia was in much better shape in September 1864 than the rail/riverboat connection between Meridian and Macon was in January-February 1865. I believe that a large number of soldiers from the Army of Tennessee could have been moved from southwest Georgia to Virginia in a relatively short amount of time in September 1864. The Army of Tennessee had just under 43000 infantry and artillery according to the September 20 1864 strength return; with each corps numbering between 13000-15000. On a side note, this illustrates the extent of the loss in the Tennessee campaign; Hood lost 2/3rds of his infantry and artillery between September 20 1864 and January 20 1865.
 

Luke Freet

Sergeant
Joined
Nov 8, 2018
The bulk of the Army of Tennessee was moved from Mississippi to Augusta in less than 20 days in January-Feb 1865. The two corps that were part of the initial movement were plagued by desertion and probably lost 30 percent or more of their men along the route. Nevertheless, at least 8000-10000 infantry were started on their way in late January, and at least 6000 or so were available in SC by early February. The movement was pretty impressive given the broken nature of the rail network in Alabama (no continuous line), and additional breaks in GA as a result of Sherman's march. The rail network between Macon and Virginia was in much better shape in September 1864 than the rail/riverboat connection between Meridian and Macon was in January-February 1865. I believe that a large number of soldiers from the Army of Tennessee could have been moved from southwest Georgia to Virginia in a relatively short amount of time in September 1864. The Army of Tennessee had just under 43000 infantry and artillery according to the September 20 1864 strength return; with each corps numbering between 13000-15000. On a side note, this illustrates the extent of the loss in the Tennessee campaign; Hood lost 2/3rds of his infantry and artillery between September 20 1864 and January 20 1865.
It is quite notable Hood's incompetence leading first a corps, and then the whole army. While his aggressive nature was a necessary change by that point, he was moronically aggressive, and was incapable of properly coordinating assaults.
But that another argument entirely. I made earlier a thread to discuss a scenario from Tsouras' Dixie Victorious about Cleburne's division being transferred to the Valley to join Jubal Early in June. Guess i should lump that in this thread, since no one is posting on that one.
 

jackt62

1st Lieutenant
Joined
Jul 28, 2015
Location
New York City
If the object of the 1864 Valley Campaign was to safeguard Confederate supply lines, and then disrupt and delay federal moves along the southeastern Virginia front, then undertaking that Campaign was one of the few effective moves that Lee could make. It's execution got off to a good start under Breckinridge, but ultimately failed when Early was defeated by Sheridan. But that doesn't change the original conception.
 
Fewer ads. Lots of American Civil War content!
JOIN NOW: REGISTER HERE!

Robin Lesjovitch

Sergeant
Joined
Dec 16, 2018
The bulk of the Army of Tennessee was moved from Mississippi to Augusta in less than 20 days in January-Feb 1865. The two corps that were part of the initial movement were plagued by desertion and probably lost 30 percent or more of their men along the route. Nevertheless, at least 8000-10000 infantry were started on their way in late January, and at least 6000 or so were available in SC by early February. The movement was pretty impressive given the broken nature of the rail network in Alabama (no continuous line), and additional breaks in GA as a result of Sherman's march. The rail network between Macon and Virginia was in much better shape in September 1864 than the rail/riverboat connection between Meridian and Macon was in January-February 1865. I believe that a large number of soldiers from the Army of Tennessee could have been moved from southwest Georgia to Virginia in a relatively short amount of time in September 1864. The Army of Tennessee had just under 43000 infantry and artillery according to the September 20 1864 strength return; with each corps numbering between 13000-15000. On a side note, this illustrates the extent of the loss in the Tennessee campaign; Hood lost 2/3rds of his infantry and artillery between September 20 1864 and January 20 1865.
I'll opine that a move by Hood to assist VA could have happened.
Hood moves north declaring a "march on the Ohio" (something he actually did later), Hood himself marching into Middle Tenn, while half his force moves into East Tenn. Hood blusters about Kentucky while his East Tenn. column marches north, feinting but never attacking any Federals.
The East Tenn column gets to SW VA and most get on the rail line to Danville. Small detachments, though, would make noise west and north, as if rejoining Hood. Early is informed of something to be in ready for, but no details. Early is ordered to play dead for a while.
If Early is inactive the Federal VI Corps will be sent to Petersburg.
18,000-20,000 men of the "Tenn. Corps" will be moving behind Early from Lynchburg.
Early gets details, and a "Cedar Creek" occurs that has the Confederates in overwhelming force. Despite the CSA deficiencies in cavalry, Sheridan has to withdraw to protect DC., and reform a shattered army.
Early leaves a feinting force to make noise in the lower Valley, while he leads 25,000 men on the flanking march against Meade at Petersburg, a few days before the Federal elections.
Or, something.
This COULD have happened. But variables cannot be factored as they would be unknown.
It was very possible for Lincoln to be very inconvenienced right before the Presidential election, though.
 
Fewer ads. Lots of American Civil War content!
JOIN NOW: REGISTER HERE!
Top