Battle of Shiloh was a decisive Confederate victory.

C.J.

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This scenario presumes that P.G.T. Beauregard runs his mouth and ****** off Davis early in 1862 and was sent to lead the the department of South Carolina, Georgia, and Florida instead of going west.Meaning he isn't in the west for anything.




April 3, 1862--The Confederate Army of Mississippi leaves Corinth, Mississippi, at dawn, aiming to attack the Union army under Major General Ulysses S. Grant, which is encamped at Pittsburg Landing, Tennessee (in OTL, delays caused in part by actions of General P.G.T. Beauregard and his Adjutant, Colonel Jordan, delayed the advance from Corinth until April 4. Since Beauregard, in the ATL, is commanding in the Carolinas and Georgia, this does not occur). The Confederates arrive at their “jump off point” near Pittsburg Landing on the evening of April 3, and go into camp for the night.

April 4-5, 1862--The Battle of Shiloh. The Confederate Army of Mississippi launches an attack on the Union Army of the Tennessee, under Major General Ulysses S. Grant, at dawn of April 4, 1862. Confederate General Albert Sidney Johnston’s original plan is carried out (in OTL, it was changed by General Beauregard), and the Confederate Army of Mississippi attacks with Polk’s Corps on the left, Bragg’s Corps in the center, and Hardee’s Corps on the right, with Breckinridge’s Corps in reserve, the Confederate Corps moving up side by side in compact columns (instead of the formation ordered by Beauregard in OTL, where the Corps advanced in echelon). Johnston's plan emphasizes the attack on the Confederate right flank against Grant's left, aiming to capture Pittsburg Landing and separate the Union army from its gunboat support (and avenue of retreat) on the Tennessee River, driving it west into the swamps of Snake and Owl Creeks, where it can be destroyed. Johnston makes it known to his subordinates in no uncertain terms that the aim is Pittsburg Landing, and nothing must stop or delay the Confederate thrust toward that objective (in OTL, subordinate commanders were confused after receiving conflicting instructions from Johnston and Beauregard as to the objective…Johnston was saying Pittsburg Landing, but Beauregard envisioned an assault with the objective of driving the enemy into the Tennessee River…the opposite of what Johnston intended).

The attack is a complete surprise, and, despite their inexperience and disorganization caused by the heavily wooded terrain (much less than in OTL due to the attack formation ordered by Johnston, which allows the Corps Commanders to keep much tighter control of their inexperienced troops once the battle has started), the Confederate forces advance rapidly. Among the dead in the first hour of the attack is Union Major General William T. Sherman, who, having been roused from slumber by the first shots of the attack, is shot through the head while mounting his horse as he prepares to ride off and see what is happening. As in OTL, Union forces attempt to make a stand in the Sunken Road (the position which would, in OTL, become known as the Hornet’s Nest). But rather than allowing themselves to be delayed by Union troops holding out in this strong position, the Confederates instead cordon off and bypass the position (it is reduced by concentrated artillery the next day), and continue on toward their objective. Pittsburg Landing falls at 11:00 a.m., and General Grant is killed shortly afterward, as he tries to organize a defense of the Landing, when his party is surprised by fast-moving Confederate cavalry under Colonel Nathan Bedford Forrest. Grant‘s death means that Union command and control pretty much falls into chaos from this point on, and Grant’s Army finds itself effectively flanked and forced away from the Tennessee River into the swamps. The Confederates push them further into the swamps through the rest of the day, until, at about 4:00 p.m., a heavy, cold rain begins to fall, effectively ending that day‘s fighting. It rains all night, turning the fields and roads in the area into quagmires of mud. It also effectively dashes the efforts of the Union Army to construct defensive lines during the night.

The mud-soaked fields and roads caused by the previous night’s rains cause the Confederates to delay renewing their attack until 1:00 p.m. on April 5, 1862. General Johnston spends the intervening time reorganizing his troops and replenishing the ammunition of his men., and the Confederate attack, when it comes, is devastating. It is made all the more so by the fact that Breckinridge’s Reserve Corps, which was never committed to battle the previous day, is completely fresh and rested when it makes it’s assault on April 5. The Union Army of the Tennessee, pushed against the anvil of rain-swollen and impassable Owl and Snake Creeks, it’s morale destroyed by the defeats suffered the previous day and the death of it’s beloved commander, shatters under the Confederate hammer blows. Some individual division commanders (Lew Wallace is the most prominent of these) decide to go out in a blaze of glory, and fight until their positions are literally over-run, causing huge Confederate casualties. Most, however, seeing the impossibility of their position, simply surrender. A few units do manage to escape the trap, but, for the most part, the Army of the Tennessee ceases to exist by 6:00 p.m.

The Confederates have won a huge victory, but at a terrible cost…almost 13,000 Confederates are dead, wounded, or missing. The Union army has suffered far worse, however…over 15,000 dead or wounded, another 20,000 captured. Only 5,000 out of the original 40,000-strong Union army escapes to fight another day. It has been the bloodiest two-day period in American history up to that point.

April 6, 1862--Refugees from Grant’s Army of the Tennessee reach the headquarters of Major General Don Carlos Buell, who is, at the time leading his army to link up with Grant at Pittsburg Landing. Buell, hearing their reports that Grant is dead and Pittsburg Landing has fallen, decides to retreat back to Nashville rather than continuing on to Pittsburg Landing.

Now what I'm curious about is what happens after.

-What would be Sidney Johnston's objectives in the aftermath of his victory? Johnston is shortly going to be reinforced by another 20,000 men (Van Dorn's Army of the West, ordered across the Mississippi from Arkansas). Does he try to reclaim Nashville and/or invade Kentucky? If Johnston later meets Don Carlos Buell in battle, who wins?

--How would the Lincoln Administration react...would they take troops away from George McClellan and send them west to redeem the situation there, and if so, does that effectively scuttle the Peninsula Campaign?
 

Generic Username

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Once Van Dorn joins the Army of the West with Johnston's, they easily have the advantage over Buell and can probably reclaim Tennessee. They can seek to do this directly by moving on Nashville and seeking battle with Buell's smaller force or by maneuver, by sending a force into Paducah and cutting the Federal logistics. The latter option is probably better, as it liberates Tennessee as well as opens the chance for the Confederates to secure Kentucky as they attempted later in 1862.

With regards to effects on the Lincoln Administration and the course of the war, that is a very good question. Lincoln was, to put it mildly, zealously concerned with the defense of Washington to the point he undermined McClellan to the point it resulted in the failure of the Peninsula Campaign. If Lincoln pulls/holds back any more resources from McClellan, it is likely the Siege of Yorktown will fail and force McClellan to withdraw back into Maryland. I'll tag @Saphroneth to get his thoughts on this element specifically.
 

Saphroneth

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With regards to effects on the Lincoln Administration and the course of the war, that is a very good question. Lincoln was, to put it mildly, zealously concerned with the defense of Washington to the point he undermined McClellan to the point it resulted in the failure of the Peninsula Campaign. If Lincoln pulls/holds back any more resources from McClellan, it is likely the Siege of Yorktown will fail and force McClellan to withdraw back into Maryland. I'll tag @Saphroneth to get his thoughts on this element specifically.
Don't forget the timing. At this point McClellan has enough troops with his army to make the regular-approaches method work, and has already lost 1st Corps.

I think the critical decision might be "do we reopen recruitment?"
 

C.J.

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Once Van Dorn joins the Army of the West with Johnston's, they easily have the advantage over Buell and can probably reclaim Tennessee. They can seek to do this directly by moving on Nashville and seeking battle with Buell's smaller force or by maneuver, by sending a force into Paducah and cutting the Federal logistics. The latter option is probably better, as it liberates Tennessee as well as opens the chance for the Confederates to secure Kentucky as they attempted later in 1862.

With regards to effects on the Lincoln Administration and the course of the war, that is a very good question. Lincoln was, to put it mildly, zealously concerned with the defense of Washington to the point he undermined McClellan to the point it resulted in the failure of the Peninsula Campaign. If Lincoln pulls/holds back any more resources from McClellan, it is likely the Siege of Yorktown will fail and force McClellan to withdraw back into Maryland. I'll tag @Saphroneth to get his thoughts on this element specifically.
Interesting, if Johnston dose go agenst Paducah dose buell go at him or dose he retreat.
If they fight the result would be bad, bulle managed to lose to an army half his size later in the year, agenst an army that out numbers him i would put better then even odds that he loses his hole army as well, leaving only popes army of the missippi in the west.
At that point Lincoln has to pull troops west.
Don't forget the timing. At this point McClellan has enough troops with his army to make the regular-approaches method work, and has already lost 1st Corps.

I think the critical decision might be "do we reopen recruitment?"
I'm not sure I'm following this, what is the regular approaches method? An Overland Campaign?
 

Saphroneth

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I'm not sure I'm following this, what is the regular approaches method? An Overland Campaign?
"Regular approaches" basically means using siege guns and parallels. It's not simply "a siege" because a siege involves blocking off the routes into a place and starving it out, it's "formal siege operations" because you're taking it by the time-consuming but very certain method of blasting the walls down - it's a terminological thing.

Historically McClellan took Yorktown not by starving it out per se, but by setting up his siege guns in protected batteries at long range and then bombarding the town. It happens that the first shots hit the wharves which JE Johnston was using to feed his army, but even if they hadn't the siege guns would have been able to neutralize the Yorktown defences, destroying the walls and unseating the guns - at which point it's a much easier target for assault.

The term comes I believe from how this method of attack was basically the most studied military subject of the 17th-19th centuries, you could practically predict to within a few days how long a fort would hold out if you knew enough details about it and about the guns the attackers had.
 

C.J.

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"Regular approaches" basically means using siege guns and parallels. It's not simply "a siege" because a siege involves blocking off the routes into a place and starving it out, it's "formal siege operations" because you're taking it by the time-consuming but very certain method of blasting the walls down - it's a terminological thing.

Historically McClellan took Yorktown not by starving it out per se, but by setting up his siege guns in protected batteries at long range and then bombarding the town. It happens that the first shots hit the wharves which JE Johnston was using to feed his army, but even if they hadn't the siege guns would have been able to neutralize the Yorktown defences, destroying the walls and unseating the guns - at which point it's a much easier target for assault.

The term comes I believe from how this method of attack was basically the most studied military subject of the 17th-19th centuries, you could practically predict to within a few days how long a fort would hold out if you knew enough details about it and about the guns the attackers had.
Ok, and how is this effected by the shiloh sinario, I have outlined?
 

Saphroneth

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Ok, and how is this effected by the shiloh sinario, I have outlined?
Well, what I'm basically saying is that Yorktown can be taken, in the event of this scenario playing out, even if extra troops are being sent west from the Eastern Theatre - or, at least, it would take the wholesale cancellation of the Peninsular Campaign to prevent that.

Strangely enough it actually seems to me that Richmond could be taken even in a post-Shiloh situation, if the right choices were made... it's not inconceivable to run a "shoestring campaign" based on naval mobility up the James and taking Drewry's Bluff.
 

Generic Username

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Interesting, if Johnston dose go agenst Paducah dose buell go at him or dose he retreat.
If they fight the result would be bad, bulle managed to lose to an army half his size later in the year, agenst an army that out numbers him i would put better then even odds that he loses his hole army as well, leaving only popes army of the missippi in the west.
At that point Lincoln has to pull troops west.

I'm not sure I'm following this, what is the regular approaches method? An Overland Campaign?
My expectation is Buell will do what he did in August and September, which is to pullback onto Louisville and maintain a defensive posture until he sees what Johnston intends to do.
 

C.J.

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My expectation is Buell will do what he did in August and September, which is to pullback onto Louisville and maintain a defensive posture until he sees what Johnston intends to do.
That does seem like Buell yes, I wonder what Johnston dose then. Probably continue west to threatened the Ohio, missippi conjunction.
 

Generic Username

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That does seem like Buell yes, I wonder what Johnston dose then. Probably continue west to threatened the Ohio, missippi conjunction.
Probably much of what Bragg did historically, in terms of screening Louisville and taking Frankfurt, Lexington, etc. Heth contemplated attacking and burning Cincinnati, so he might try that.
 

C.J.

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Probably much of what Bragg did historically, in terms of screening Louisville and taking Frankfurt, Lexington, etc. Heth contemplated attacking and burning Cincinnati, so he might try that.
But that invasion did lead to Perryville, and Buell seems to have been willing to fight by the end of that campaign. And thats not going to go nearly as well if Buell is up agenst Johnston instead of brag.
 

Desert Kid

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The Western Theater was we know is butterflied away. In fact, with Grant dead, the whole Union grand strategy is drastically changed.

McClellan or Meade hold on longer to the AotP, Lee fares better in Virginia as a result, larger chunks of Tennessee are in Confederate hands, Memphis is captured months later than OTL. The Kentucky Campaign plays out far differently, and with Johnston at the helm probably more aggressively than Bragg wanted in OTL.

Sherman never gets a major promotion, probably dies later in life an obscure alcoholic.
 

C.J.

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The Western Theater was we know is butterflied away. In fact, with Grant dead, the whole Union grand strategy is drastically changed.

McClellan or Meade hold on longer to the AotP, Lee fares better in Virginia as a result, larger chunks of Tennessee are in Confederate hands, Memphis is captured months later than OTL. The Kentucky Campaign plays out far differently, and with Johnston at the helm probably more aggressively than Bragg wanted in OTL.

Sherman never gets a major promotion, probably dies later in life an obscure alcoholic.
The main thing I'm curious about is what happens during that kuntuky campaign, if Johnston destroys Buell's army next dose that mean he now controls kuntuky, and if he does how long would it take the Union to rebuild the army in the west and what can Johnston do whith that time?
 

Saphroneth

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McClellan or Meade hold on longer to the AotP, Lee fares better in Virginia as a result, larger chunks of Tennessee are in Confederate hands, Memphis is captured months later than OTL. The Kentucky Campaign plays out far differently, and with Johnston at the helm probably more aggressively than Bragg wanted in OTL.
I'm not sure you can go from "McClellan or Meade hold on longer to the AotP" to "Lee fares better in Virginia". Lest it be forgotten, both Confederate invasions of the North were turned back when after a defeat for a different general one of the George M's was put in place...
 

C.J.

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I'm not sure you can go from "McClellan or Meade hold on longer to the AotP" to "Lee fares better in Virginia". Lest it be forgotten, both Confederate invasions of the North were turned back when after a defeat for a different general one of the George M's was put in place...
And lest we forget neither did very well invading vergia.
 

Saphroneth

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And lest we forget neither did very well invading vergia.
I'm not so sure? McClellan was at the gates of Richmond within three months and only forced away by a Confederate army which outright outnumbered him, and for his second invasion he got sacked just as he'd split Lee's army in half; Meade's Army of the Potomac was down to ~81,000 men for the Mine Run campaign, which limited his options considerably compared to Grant's 142,000 men about six months later.

You can't separate the relative performance of commanders from their relative situations, not entirely.

But even absent that, what does "Lee fares better in Virginia" look like? A successful defence of the line of the Rapidan in 1864? Possible, but then again you can get one of those even if Grant's in command - it's a close run thing in the Wilderness, despite Grant's massive numerical superiority.
 

Desert Kid

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I'm not sure you can go from "McClellan or Meade hold on longer to the AotP" to "Lee fares better in Virginia". Lest it be forgotten, both Confederate invasions of the North were turned back when after a defeat for a different general one of the George M's was put in place...

Remember, Grant's dead here. No Overland, no Cold Harbor, no Petersburg. Not even a Vicksburg Campaign as we know it.

That means a less capable commander is sent to make inroads into Virginia and Mississippi. Sherman's friendship with Grant was a pretty big part of him getting that initial promotion. That means no March to the Sea. That also means, in late 62, when Lee invades Maryland, a more unified Confederate army in the Western Theater under AS Johnston may pull attention away from McClellan's army.
 

Saphroneth

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Remember, Grant's dead here. No Overland, no Cold Harbor, no Petersburg. Not even a Vicksburg Campaign as we know it.

That means a less capable commander is sent to make inroads into Virginia and Mississippi. Sherman's friendship with Grant was a pretty big part of him getting that initial promotion. That means no March to the Sea. That also means, in late 62, when Lee invades Maryland, a more unified Confederate army in the Western Theater under AS Johnston may pull attention away from McClellan's army.
Hold on, we need to rewind a bit here. There are all sorts of possible knock-ons in 1862 before we need to start looking at 1863 or 1864.

Firstly, does the Union high command feel it needs more troops or not? Given when recruiting closed they might just reopen it again almost straight off.

Secondly, so long as troops aren't moved from the east to the west then there's nothing in principle that would change the course of the Peninsula campaign until July.

Thirdly, if Halleck doesn't take Corinth (and he might well not) then he doesn't come east and post-Seven-Days the Peninsular campaign might be sustained with reinforcement (from Burnside's future 9th Corps, as was planned but ultimately cancelled) instead of recalled. So there's scope for this to actually make things worse for the Confederates.
 

Desert Kid

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Hold on, we need to rewind a bit here. There are all sorts of possible knock-ons in 1862 before we need to start looking at 1863 or 1864.

Firstly, does the Union high command feel it needs more troops or not? Given when recruiting closed they might just reopen it again almost straight off.

Secondly, so long as troops aren't moved from the east to the west then there's nothing in principle that would change the course of the Peninsula campaign until July.

Thirdly, if Halleck doesn't take Corinth (and he might well not) then he doesn't come east and post-Seven-Days the Peninsular campaign might be sustained with reinforcement (from Burnside's future 9th Corps, as was planned but ultimately cancelled) instead of recalled. So there's scope for this to actually make things worse for the Confederates.

So, with Grant dead. And a Confederate victory at Shiloh. Memphis falls a bit later than OTL.

In your opinion, what does this do to the East in the Summer of 1862? Because I'm a firm believer that AS Johnston would be more aggressive going into Kentucky than Bragg was in the Fall.
 

Saphroneth

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So, with Grant dead. And a Confederate victory at Shiloh. Memphis falls a bit later than OTL.

In your opinion, what does this do to the East in the Summer of 1862? Because I'm a firm believer that AS Johnston would be more aggressive going into Kentucky than Bragg was in the Fall.
Okay, so the first questions are whether any troops get transferred from the East as a result of Shiloh, and whether Halleck still goes after Corinth, and whether the Union reopens recruitment as a result of Shiloh, and whether John Pope is available to come east.

Care to pick an answer for those?
 
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