Discussion Atlanta Depot

atlantis

Sergeant Major
Joined
Nov 12, 2016
Are the written references to the Atlanta depot supplying lee instead of the army at Dalton correct. If so who is responsible for this error. Lee had Wilmington, where was the force at Dalton supposed to get supplies if not Atlanta.
 

Rhea Cole

1st Lieutenant
Joined
Nov 2, 2019
Location
Murfreesboro, Tennessee
The Atlanta Depot was dedicated to the support of the Army of Northern Virginia. The rail link through Chattanooga was the most direct route to Virginia. The strategy was for the Army of Tennessee to protect Atlanta & Chattanooga while drawing rations from Northern Alabama.

The Dalton Depot was administered by Atlanta. it was not an independent operation. During Longstreet’s Valley Forge winter after the Knoxville repulse, his corps was supplied from Dalton. The loss of Chattanooga meant an almost 500 mile RR detour. It was one of the worst winters on record, so the trains were often delayed for extended periods of time.

The most comprehensive discussion, extensive footnotes & notes about how the supplies flowing to Lee distorted CSA operations in the West are in Connelly’s Army of the Heartland & Autumn of Glory. Unlike Connelly, you won’t have to travel to the archives he used. The comprehensive citations can be accessed online.

If Connelly’s two volume history of the Army of Tennessee is not on your, it should be. It is a seminal work. He strove to see the events strictly from the CSA point of view unfolding in real time. As I am sure you are aware, Generals Johnston & Hood engaged in a verbal duel of mutual recriminations after the war. In their zeal to blame the other for the A of TN’s defeats, they both claimed to have made decisions based on facts neither of them could have had. Connelly meticulously documented what they could have known & when.

After the Battle of Stones River, the Army of TN went into winter quarters along the Shelbyville line in Middle Tennessee. The quartermaster officers for the Atlanta Depot came up the N&CRR behind Bragg’s line & out bid his QM’s for hogs & corn, leaving him dependent on a dwindling supply from Northern Alabama. In June 1863, the A of TN ran completely out of meat.

At the onset of the Tullahoma Campaign, the Atlanta finally released 60,000 pounds of bacon to the A of TN. That was only one day’s ration for Bragg’s army during the entire winter & spring. At the same time, tens of thousands of pounds were shipped to Lee’s army on a regular basis.

After reading Connelly, many things will be clear to you about the Western CSA supply system. The books are in print, new from LSU press or used online.
 

DaveBrt

2nd Lieutenant
Joined
Mar 6, 2010
Location
Charlotte, NC
Are the written references to the Atlanta depot supplying lee instead of the army at Dalton correct. If so who is responsible for this error. Lee had Wilmington, where was the force at Dalton supposed to get supplies if not Atlanta.
I am unable to respond to your "written references" since you did not quote or reference them. You also did not give us the time period you are asking about nor did you tell us what supplies you are asking about. This forces me to guess at your intentions.

All supply for Lee from northern Georgia had to go through Atlanta as long as the Knoxville connection remained in Confederate hands (ie until September 1863). Supplies from southern and eastern Georgia went to Lee by way of central South Carolina. A look at a map quickly shows that the Knoxville route was much more direct. The Knoxville route is about 50 miles longer, but it not competing with traffic from any other major source, while the SC route is receiving supplies for Richmond from southeastern GA, Charleston, Columbia, Charlotte, Raleigh, Wilmington and Petersburg. The western route was on a single gauge of track, while the eastern one required one gauge change. The western one used 6 RR companies, though only 5 organizations were actually involved. The eastern route involved 7 companies. So, as long as there was no enemy or weather problem, the western route made more sense than the eastern one.

What "depot" are you referring to? Atlanta supplied horses, artillery, ammunition and clothing to the AoT, not to Lee. Corn was primarily supplied to Lee from SE GA through SC. If you are referring to commissary supplies, the freight numbers do not support the idea that Atlanta supported Lee to the exclusion of the AoT.

Look at the below tables and note the amount of food going WEST from central VA compared with how much was going EAST from Bristol. The numbers do not exactly answer our questions, but they make it clear that plenty of food went both ways on the Virginia & Tennessee RR, the only RR to give us such complete numbers.

As far as Atlanta supplying Longstreet after Knoxville, that is false and was the subject of much unpleasant message traffic.

The Confederate supply system was staffed by smart, patriotic men. They made the best decisions they could, bearing in mind the terrible shortage of everything the army needed (including transportation).

http://csa-railroads.com/Virginia_and_Tennessee_Tonnage,_Eastward.htm
http://csa-railroads.com/Virginia_and_Tennessee_Tonnage,_Westward.htm
http://csa-railroads.com/Virginia_and_Tennessee_Tonnage,_Eastbound_Food.htm
 

Rhea Cole

1st Lieutenant
Joined
Nov 2, 2019
Location
Murfreesboro, Tennessee
I am unable to respond to your "written references" since you did not quote or reference them. You also did not give us the time period you are asking about nor did you tell us what supplies you are asking about. This forces me to guess at your intentions.

All supply for Lee from northern Georgia had to go through Atlanta as long as the Knoxville connection remained in Confederate hands (ie until September 1863). Supplies from southern and eastern Georgia went to Lee by way of central South Carolina. A look at a map quickly shows that the Knoxville route was much more direct. The Knoxville route is about 50 miles longer, but it not competing with traffic from any other major source, while the SC route is receiving supplies for Richmond from southeastern GA, Charleston, Columbia, Charlotte, Raleigh, Wilmington and Petersburg. The western route was on a single gauge of track, while the eastern one required one gauge change. The western one used 6 RR companies, though only 5 organizations were actually involved. The eastern route involved 7 companies. So, as long as there was no enemy or weather problem, the western route made more sense than the eastern one.

What "depot" are you referring to? Atlanta supplied horses, artillery, ammunition and clothing to the AoT, not to Lee. Corn was primarily supplied to Lee from SE GA through SC. If you are referring to commissary supplies, the freight numbers do not support the idea that Atlanta supported Lee to the exclusion of the AoT.

Look at the below tables and note the amount of food going WEST from central VA compared with how much was going EAST from Bristol. The numbers do not exactly answer our questions, but they make it clear that plenty of food went both ways on the Virginia & Tennessee RR, the only RR to give us such complete numbers.

As far as Atlanta supplying Longstreet after Knoxville, that is false and was the subject of much unpleasant message traffic.

The Confederate supply system was staffed by smart, patriotic men. They made the best decisions they could, bearing in mind the terrible shortage of everything the army needed (including transportation).

http://csa-railroads.com/Virginia_and_Tennessee_Tonnage,_Eastward.htm
http://csa-railroads.com/Virginia_and_Tennessee_Tonnage,_Westward.htm
http://csa-railroads.com/Virginia_and_Tennessee_Tonnage,_Eastbound_Food.htm
If referring to Connelly’s seminal work isn’t a reference, then nothing is. I wasn’t aware you were looking for an unpaid research assistant.
 
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DaveBrt

2nd Lieutenant
Joined
Mar 6, 2010
Location
Charlotte, NC
If referring to Connelly’s seminal work isn’t a reference, then nothing is. I want aware you were looking for an unpaid research assistant.
In the first place, I was not replying to you. In the second place, if you don't have the facts, attack the messenger. I provided facts to support my statements -- you? In the third place, even "seminal works" must agree with the facts.
 
Joined
May 18, 2005
Location
Spring Hill, Tennessee
If referring to Connelly’s seminal work isn’t a reference, then nothing is. I want aware you were looking for an unpaid research assistant.
Rhea, I'm sure your a knowledgeable guy, but every time I go on a thread - you are - at least in your mind - the authority on anything and everything. Then you get upset when someone doesn't agree with your thoughts. Please keep in mind that books that were written 50 years ago still have value, but a lot more information has come to light since then. Most every book I see you mention is thirty to fifty years or older. Again, they have some value, but more recent books have shed much greater light on subjects since then. I'm beginning to think you haven't bought a new book in at least twenty-five years! Additionally - no one is asking for a research assistant, and if I was, I wouldn't ask you. What people want is citations from books to support their theories, or the theories of the person they are quoting. Just try not to be so snarky please. By the way, I agree with DaveBrt.
 

Rhea Cole

1st Lieutenant
Joined
Nov 2, 2019
Location
Murfreesboro, Tennessee
Rhea, I'm sure your a knowledgeable guy, but every time I go on a thread - you are - at least in your mind - the authority on anything and everything. Then you get upset when someone doesn't agree with your thoughts. Please keep in mind that books that were written 50 years ago still have value, but a lot more information has come to light since then. Most every book I see you mention is thirty to fifty years or older. Again, they have some value, but more recent books have shed much greater light on subjects since then. I'm beginning to think you haven't bought a new book in at least twenty-five years! Additionally - no one is asking for a research assistant, and if I was, I wouldn't ask you. What people want is citations from books to support their theories, or the theories of the person they are quoting. Just try not to be so snarky please. By the way, I agree with DaveBrt.
Facts, in this case, were the stablished 150 years ago. I started studying the Civil War over 30 years ago. I had the privilege of personal interviews with authors duch as Andrew Lytle, whose writing on Forrest was, in part, based on interviews with veterans of Forrest’s cavalry. When I cite my conversations with Ed Bearss about Forrest’s campaigns, I am referencing hours of one on one contact & group tours. I haven’t just read some Wiki post.

These days, I have been reading the raw telegraphic traffic in the Eckert Collection at the Huntington Library. I wrote a review of the Dana ledger that contains all of his reports from Chattanooga. I have repeatedly referred to & recommended that resource on this forum ever since. You want to guess how many individuals have responded with comments based upon n that reference? Zero.

There are over a billion citations online about the counter factual Lost Cause narrative. Recently, I wasted my time citing one of them after a request for a citation. The excellent entry in the Encyclopedia of Alabama was dismissed, obviously unread, because it came from Alabama. I should have known better, theorists aren’t really interested in the facts. They are too nuanced & difficult to digest.

I have absolutely no interest in theories, tropes, what abouts & imaginary rewrites of history. I post the things I do because I care about what happened, why it happened & who was involved. When I want to read about imaginary events, I have a stack of books that I read to my grand & great grand daughters. None of them are about the Civil War.

If my posts appear to be authoritative, I thank you for noticing. I have often spent considerable time refreshing my memory & researching the topic before I write. I often include references where I deem appropriate. I am not quite sure why I bother, even when I do there is never a response saying ,”I read that book & now I understand why you posted that response.” If that actually happened every once in a while I would take the show me your references thing seriously.
 
Joined
May 18, 2005
Location
Spring Hill, Tennessee
Facts, in this case, were the stablished 150 years ago. I started studying the Civil War over 30 years ago. I had the privilege of personal interviews with authors duch as Andrew Lytle, whose writing on Forrest was, in part, based on interviews with veterans of Forrest’s cavalry. When I cite my conversations with Ed Bearss about Forrest’s campaigns, I am referencing hours of one on one contact & group tours. I haven’t just read some Wiki post.

These days, I have been reading the raw telegraphic traffic in the Eckert Collection at the Huntington Library. I wrote a review of the Dana ledger that contains all of his reports from Chattanooga. I have repeatedly referred to & recommended that resource on this forum ever since. You want to guess how many individuals have responded with comments based upon n that reference? Zero.

There are over a billion citations online about the counter factual Lost Cause narrative. Recently, I wasted my time citing one of them after a request for a citation. The excellent entry in the Encyclopedia of Alabama was dismissed, obviously unread, because it came from Alabama. I should have known better, theorists aren’t really interested in the facts. They are too nuanced & difficult to digest.

I have absolutely no interest in theories, tropes, what abouts & imaginary rewrites of history. I post the things I do because I care about what happened, why it happened & who was involved. When I want to read about imaginary events, I have a stack of books that I read to my grand & great grand daughters. None of them are about the Civil War.

If my posts appear to be authoritative, I thank you for noticing. I have often spent considerable time refreshing my memory & researching the topic before I write. I often include references where I deem appropriate. I am not quite sure why I bother, even when I do there is never a response saying ,”I read that book & now I understand why you posted that response.” If that actually happened every once in a while I would take the show me your references thing seriously.
I understand what you are saying. However, recollections of conversations aren't evidence of anything other than another person's recollection of their own theory.

History is subjective. All historians formulate an opinion (or theory) on something and run with it, but they do that with the information that they have uncovered. Sometimes Most times, they have only scratched the surface of their field of study. It would be a lifelong endeavor to locate and read every piece of information of the primary sources that comprise a particle of history of the subject that they are trying to relate in the form of a 200, 400 or 1,500 page book - or even volumes for that matter.

So, my point is - that when we use a historian - such as Connelly - as a reference, it is good to cite the pages in which Connelly (or whomever) is discussing the specific point that we are arguing. That doesn't mean it's up to you to cite Connelly's citations, it means it's up to whomever is questioning you to go look at those citations and then argue them - if they can. In some cases, new information may have come to light that argue conclusions made fifty years ago, and in other cases maybe not.

That is awesome that you are looking into the telegraphic traffic, and it - no doubt - has great information in it, but may not always be relative to the subject matter that others are discussing - or maybe so. In that case, you have the raw materials and can counter anything that is in dispute to your contentions.

I personally don't believe any historian's point of view until I have gone to the sources that they cited myself and conducted my own - not cherry picked - look at the information in its entirety.

“All good history is interpretation, but not all interpretation is good history. The fact that historical explanation involves an element of subjective judgment should not be taken to mean that ‘one opinion is as good as another.’ Interpretations based on shoddy scholarship or faulty reasoning should be exposed and rejected. It all boils down to one concept: While there is room for much honest disagreement among historians, in certain cases it must be recognized that some interpretations fit the facts better than others. All history, indeed all scholarship, must be judged with the critical eye of the skeptic. Reading history is not a passive task where you simply absorb ‘knowledge’; it is a pursuit that requires active participation on the part of the reader.”[1]



[1] Furay and Salevouris, p. 53.
 
Joined
May 18, 2005
Location
Spring Hill, Tennessee
Do you really think that I don’t know the difference between anecdotes & documentation?
I guess you're not seeing what I'm throwing out there.

I'm saying that Connelly's (or whoever's) conclusions of historical events are dated, and may or may not stand up to new information that has surfaced. So, I suppose I'm saying that I wouldn't use Connelly's conclusions as documentation or evidence to support much of anything unless I had more recent materials that have surfaced in primary sources or modern scholarship that concurs in everyway with his conclusions. I'm not saying that he or any other older book is wrong, just that what an author or historian says is not fact.

Simply put, historian's can't cite their own opinions, but their opinions can and will be cited as fact.

That in itself is horrible, but true. Just because a historian says something doesn't mean it is fact, but if someone reads their works, that person can factually say that "Connelly", or whoever they are quoting, wrote it and it must be fact because they used primary sources in their citations. If I only had a nickel for every citation I have seen used out of context or cherry picked for a piece of relative information for the persons writing their idea of a historical event. Then new information surfaces and nobody can believe it because they suffer from Confirmation bias and Attitude polarization.

It's not about what Connelly or other historians think, it's about the documentation or evidence that they used to come to their conclusions.

I didn't suggest anything about any anecdotes, so not sure where you got that from.​
 

atlantis

Sergeant Major
Joined
Nov 12, 2016
Thanks everyone for the responses I found them helpful. The references I was referring to were complaints by Johnston and guess I assumed too much that he was getting nothing from Atlanta. Really highlights the pressure not to let Atlanta fall.
 

Lubliner

1st Lieutenant
Forum Host
Joined
Nov 27, 2018
Location
Chattanooga, Tennessee
I have a sampler in my studio wall that reads, “Perfection is the enemy of accomplishment.” Just as true today as it was in 1859.
Was it Einstein that wrote 1 per cent inspiration, 99 per cent perspiration? Not everyone sweats, you know! When the inspiration is gone...time out...[I can leave it blank]…time in.
Lubliner.
 

Rhea Cole

1st Lieutenant
Joined
Nov 2, 2019
Location
Murfreesboro, Tennessee
Was it Einstein that wrote 1 per cent inspiration, 99 per cent perspiration? Not everyone sweats, you know! When the inspiration is gone...time out...[I can leave it blank]…time in.
Lubliner.
“Owning a phone book is a lot like knowing all the phone numbers.” Is my favorite Einsteinium.
 

Lubliner

1st Lieutenant
Forum Host
Joined
Nov 27, 2018
Location
Chattanooga, Tennessee
You will need an Edisonism now. I looked up that quote I referred to. It was Thomas, not Albert.
'When the lights are dim, the eyes may mimic the mind, so beware of sharp points.'
Lubliner.

@Sbc :giggle:
 
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