Limiting the options in 1862 to the options that were possible in 1862 seems to me to be quite reasonable. If you literally can't feed your army south of Warrenton Junction then doing an ATL Wilderness seems quite implausible!My main point is that if the main objective is to bring the confederates to battle, it could have been done by Overland just as by the Peninsula. Limiting the options in '62 seems to me more about making excuses for McClellan.
But by that standard Grant should have defeated Lee in 1864 - and done it easily. The Seven Days battles saw no more than 105,000 Union troops involved; Grant had had 175,000 Union troops involved by the end of Spotsylvania.Why not? It's basically fighting the Seven Days battles but not on the Peninsula. I don't see why a competent federal commander couldn't defeat Johnston/Lee with those numbers in battles out in the open. The problem is the leadership.
The only reasonable conclusion I can draw from your argument (that an 1862 Overland is fighting the Seven Days Battles but out in the open) is either:
- In 1862 Johnston/Lee will go on the attack instead of defending, thus sacrificing their army and country, for no apparent benefit.
- Grant was not a competent Federal commander, because he had 175,000 PFD and you think a competent commander would have been successful (after bringing the Confederates to battle) with 105,000 PFD.