Civil War Joint Operations Papers

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Naval War College Review
Volume 49
Number 1 Winter Article 4
1996

A Littoral Frustration: The Union Navy and the Siege of Charleston, 1863-1865
by Robert J. Schneller Jr

This Article is brought to you for free and open access by the Journals at U.S. Naval War College Digital Commons. It has been accepted for inclusion in Naval War College Review by an authorized editor of U.S. Naval War College Digital Commons. For more information, please contact [email protected].

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https://digital-commons.usnwc.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=3051&context=nwc-review
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Accession Number : ADA602725
Title : Joint Operations in the American Civil War: Blessings and Blunders
Descriptive Note : Master's thesis
Corporate Author : MARINE CORPS COMMAND AND STAFF COLL QUANTICO VA
Personal Author(s) : Jones, Randall K
Report Date : 04 Apr 2012
Pagination or Media Count : 43

Abstract : Although the Union's military did not have a written joint doctrine during the Civil War, the Union's military commanders' unity of effort during their respective campaigns significantly influenced the outcome of battles, as seen in the successful Vicksburg Campaign and in the disastrous Red River Campaign. Therefore, this paper contends that the U.S. military needed to establish a joint doctrine as part of its strategic planning and not leave cooperation between Union commanders to chance. The paper analyzes the joint operations of General Grant's victory during the Vicksburg Campaign and General Nathanial Banks' loss during the Red River Campaign. Specifically, the paper focuses on the Union's military commanders' unity, or lack of effort, during their respective campaigns, which significantly influenced the outcome of both battles. The analysis concludes that in the absence of formal U.S. military joint doctrine as part of its strategic planning, Union victory on the battlefield was determined largely by the amount of cooperation among U.S. commanders. Unity of command is crucial to joint operations and should not hinge on the personality of the commander. The mutually supportive command relationship of Generals Grant and Sherman and Admiral Porter cannot always be guaranteed. A summary of both campaigns emphasizes the strategic importance of joint operations and focuses on the following: (1) command relationships between the Army and Navy; (2) unity, or lack of effort between the commanders at Vicksburg and at Red River; and (3) the commanders' personalities as the driving force between victory and defeat. Valuable lessons learned from both campaigns are addressed and applied to future United States' joint strategic naval and ground operations.

Subject Categories : Humanities and History
Military Operations, Strategy and Tactics
Distribution Statement : APPROVED FOR PUBLIC RELEASE
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AU/AWC/127/1999-04
AIR WAR COLLEGE
AIR UNIVERSITY
UNION JOINT OPERATIONS IN NORTH CAROLINA DURING THE CIVIL WAR
by Quinn G. Hollomon, GS-15, DOD
A Research Report Submitted to the Faculty In Partial Fulfillment of the Graduation Requirements
Advisor: Dr. Howard M. Hensel
Maxwell Air Force Base, Alabama
April 1999


Abstract
During the Civil War some of the earliest examples of joint operations in American Military history were undertaken. Except for General Scott’s landing at Veracruz during the War with Mexico, joint undertakings in the form of amphibious operations were rare. Army and navy commanders had little experience dealing with the problems associated with the ideas of jointness. Doctrinal guidance was unavailable and commanders worked together often with mixed results. In eastern North Carolina, the Union attempted several joint operations during the course of the war. Attacks were crudely planned and executed by modern standards. The North appeared not to have drawn lessons from preceding campaigns in any systematic way. Nevertheless, a basic pattern did develop and was improved upon over time as seen by the progressive sophistication of the operations against Hatteras, New Bern, and Fort Fisher. Today, the United States military has certain fundamental principles of joint warfare that it employs. When they are applied to Civil War campaigns certain trends become evident. The success rate increased when careful planning and preparation were present and the modern principles of joint warfare were followed. Where these elements were missing, Union forces often met with defeat. Failure to anticipate and provide for contingencies doomed many Civil War campaigns and would do the same to modern-day joint operations. The principles of joint warfare are a tool; one designed to make the transition to fighting as a team easier. Using them does not guarantee the warfighter success, but can greatly improves his chances.

https://apps.dtic.mil/dtic/tr/fulltext/u2/a395182.pdf
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Accession Number: ADA20731
Title: Joint Operations in the Civil War: The Mississippi
Corporate Author: ARMY WAR COLL CARLISLE BARRACKS PA
Personal Author(s): Hailston, Earl B
Report Date: 15 Mar 1989

Abstract: Successful joint operations must become a common and regular reality for the Armed Forces of the United States. This Nation has engaged in joint operations since the Mexican War, but often it appears that we must relearn many of the same lessons that were taught during a previous military operations. This study seeks to examine joint operations during the Civil War along the Mississippi River, during the Vicksburg Campaign and the Red River Campaign. The purpose of this study is to become familiar with the campaigns and to analyze how well the commanders executed, some thoughts will be proposed that will be applicable to the modern battlefield leader for joint operations today.

Distribution Statement : APPROVED FOR PUBLIC RELEASE
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Louisiana State University
LSU Digital Commons
LSU Historical Dissertations and Theses Graduate School
1984

"They Fought Splendidly!": the Struggle for Port Hudson
by Lawrence Lee Hewitt

Louisiana State University and Agricultural & Mechanical College
This Dissertation is brought to you for free and open access by the Graduate School at LSU Digital Commons. It has been accepted for inclusion in LSU Historical Dissertations and Theses by an authorized administrator of LSU Digital Commons. For more information, please contact [email protected].

ABSTRACT
This dissertation examines the Confederate occupation of Port Hudson, Louisiana, and the Union efforts to capture the bastion during the period August 1862-Juiy 1863. Though it recounts the garrison life of the soldiers, it emphasizes the strategic importance the village held for the opposing governments. Throughout the period under consideration, the Confederate government’s objective in garrisoning Port Hudson and Vicksburg was to maintain the vital Red River supply-line. That waterway facilitated the east-west flow of manpower, munitions and foodstuffs between the heart of the confederacy and the Trans—Mississippi. The United States government recognized the importance of this supply-line and made control of the Mississippi River one of its primary goals shortly after the outbreak of hostilities. Furthermore, this study discusses the monumental impact the struggle for Port Hudson, especially the Union assault of May 27, had on the course of the Civil War. Within the framework set forth above, this study explores the events which brought about the Confederate occupation and fortification of Port Hudson; the relationship between the Confederacy's twin bastions of Port Hudson and Vicksburg, Mississippi; the unsuccessful efforts ot Union Admiral David G. Farragut and Major General Nathaniel P. Banks to circumvent the importance of the garrison by controlling the mouth of the Red River and thereby to force the Confederates to evacuate the village due to hunger without the necessity of a costly siege; and the consequences wrought by the Confederates surprisingly successful defense of Port Hudson when finally besieged. The evidence for these matters includes judgments expressed by the opposing commanders, their subordinates of every rank, civilians, and both contemporary and modern historians. Primary sources, including military orders and reports, diaries and letters, and newspapers, provided the bulk of the material consulted in my work. I have supplemented these items with memoirs of participants and regimental histories.


https://digitalcommons.lsu.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=5016&context=gradschool_disstheses
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USAWC MILITARY STUDIES PROGRAM PAPER

JOINT OPERATIONS DURING THE CAMPAIGN OF 1862 ON THE TENNESSEE AND CUMBERLAND RIVERS
BY Lieutenant Colonel Douglas E. Cox

DISTRIBUTION STATEMENT Approved for public release distribution is unlimited

Abstract
The Civil War campaign for Forts Henry and Donelson is illustrative of joint Army-Navy operations. It provides an excellent vehicle to study elements of joint efforts. This study is based on historical accounts and data obtained from Official Records and publications of first hand accounts of the events and personalities associated with the campaign. In addition to providing a strategic and tactical account of the campaign, the study highlights three key points of joint operations: planning, cooperation, and mutual support. It also spans three organizational levels: departmental, theater, and tactical.


https://apps.dtic.mil/dtic/tr/fulltext/u2/a208654.pdf
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Louisiana State University
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LSU Historical Dissertations and Theses Graduate School
1980

The Confederate Defense of Mobile, 1861-1865. (Volumes I-Ii).
by Arthur William Bergeron Jr

Louisiana State University and Agricultural & Mechanical College
This Dissertation is brought to you for free and open access by the Graduate School at LSU Digital Commons. It has been accepted for inclusion in LSU Historical Dissertations and Theses by an authorized administrator of LSU Digital Commons. For more information, please contact [email protected].

ABSTRACT
The people of Mobile, Alabama, supported the secession of their state from the Union in January 1861, and thousands of her able-bodied men served in the Confederate army from 1861 to 1865. Recognizing the city's strategic importance as a port and major railroad center connecting the eastern and western sections of the new nation, the Confederate government moved quickly to provide adequate defenses for Mobile. Confederate soldiers occupied and began to strengthen Fort Morgan and Fort Gaines, which guarded the main channels leading into Mobile Bay. The Confederate Navy Department converted several steamers into gunboats and began construction of four ironclads, all designed to support the land defenses of Mobile. As the war progressed, Union land and naval forces moved into the Gulf of Mexico, and the Confederate authorities realized that Mobile required more defensive works than the two forts at the mouth of the bay. Engineers, using slave labor, designed and constructed earthern forts along the bay shore near the city and on various islands at the mouths of the rivers which emptied into the bay. They intended all of these batteries to protect the water approaches to Mobile in the event of an enemy naval force running past Fort Morgan and Fort Gaines. To protect the city from a land attack, the engineers erected a series of earthen redoubts connected by infantry entrenchments around Mobile. By war's end, three separate lines of forts and trenches surrounded the city. Mobile undoubtedly possessed fortifications as extensive and strong as almost any city in the Confederacy. Confederate President Jefferson Davis personally chose for assignment as commanding general at Mobile men whom he knew had the qualifications needed to push the construction of all of these defensive works and whom he could rely on to conduct a successful defense against an enemy attack. Confederate brigades, regiments, and artillery batteries moved in and out of the city throughout the war. Although the garrison at times shrank in size to levels which alarmed its commanders, the Confederate military authorities in Richmond made a commitment to see that enough men manned the fortifications to put up a stiff resistance to an actual enemy attack. The War Department also always made sure that the territorial command to which Mobile belonged, whether a department or a district, had the defense of the city as its objective. The Union high command did not seriously contemplate an attack against the Mobile defenses until relatively late in the war. While strategic objectives in other areas caused the Union military authorities to delay a move against Mobile, the strength of the defenses around the city played a part in the decision. A naval demonstration against an earthen fort at Grant's Pass in February 1864 resulted in little damage to that work. Admiral David G. Farragut successfully led a squadron of monitors and wooden gunboats past Fort Morgan and Fort Gaines in August 1864 and captured the lower bay defenses. The commitment of land forces elsewhere prevented the Union navy from proceeding at that time in a campaign against Mobile itself. Such a campaign finally got under way in March 1865, but it had defensive works on the eastern shore as its primary objective. After brief sieges, these Confederate fortifications fell. Faced by overwhelming numbers, Mobile's commander evacuated the city on April 12, 1865, and the city's governmental authorities surrendered Mobile to the enemy that same day.

https://digitalcommons.lsu.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=4510&context=gradschool_disstheses

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CrisGer

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Thank you very much for assembling this fine collection of research papers. Many are very cogent to our project as we plan to include the joint operations on the James River in our project, and are actively now developing digital models and supporting assets from both sides. It is clear that the naval aspect of the situation at City Point and the region were very important, and that there was by then understanding at the highest level of the Union Army of the importance of the naval element. Thank you again and your sharing of these papers is of great help to our efforts.
Chris Gerlach
Project Director
City Point Army USMRR Line Project 1865
 
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