Did Grant Fight A Pyrrhic War?

Lost Cause

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General David Petraeus is a big fan of Grant, and speaks highly of his tactical and strategic abilities. Gary Gallagher has said that the Overland campaign was not Grant’s first choice. He would have done several campaigns into the South, similar to Sherman’s. Sherman’s March to the sea was a version of this idea. However Washington was focused on Robert E. Lee, so Grant did what was expected of him and faced off. To this day he “wears” it while Lincoln doesn’t.
Do you have evidence that Grant would have conducted a campaign similar to the March to the Sea? Grant was initially reluctant for Sherman to do so, preferring that Sherman go after Hood, until Sherman convinced him otherwise.
 

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Do you have evidence that Grant would have conducted a campaign similar to the March to the Sea? Grant was initially reluctant for Sherman to do so, preferring that Sherman go after Hood, until Sherman convinced him otherwise.
Sherman was reluctant to forage off the land, till Grant showed him it was a successful tactic in the Vicksburg Campaign.

Kevin Dally
 
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Do you have evidence that Grant would have conducted a campaign similar to the March to the Sea? Grant was initially reluctant for Sherman to do so, preferring that Sherman go after Hood, until Sherman convinced him otherwise.
Grant shared his proposal with Halleck in January 1864. The Plan outlined a military campaign into North Carolina to pull Lee out of Virginia and take the last major port of Wilmington.

To: Maj. Gen. Henry W. Halleck
Confidential Head Quarters, Mil. Div. of the Miss. Nashville Ten. Jan.y 19th 1864,

Maj. Gen. H. W. Halleck, Gen. in Chief of the Army, Washington D. C. General,

I would respectfully suggest whether an abandonment of all previously attempted lines to Richmond is not advisable, and in line of these one be taken further South. I would suggest Raleigh North Carolina as the objective point and Suffolk as the starting point. Raleigh once secured I would make New Bern the base of supplies until Wilmington is secured. A moving force of sixty thousand men would probably be required to start on such an expedition. This force would not have to be increased unless Lee should withdraw from his present position. In that case the necessity for so large a force on the Potomac would not exist. A force moving from Suffolk would destroy first all the roads about Weldon, or even as far north as Hicksford. From Weldon to Raleigh they would scarsely meet with serious opposition. Once there the most interior line of rail way still left to the enemy, in fact the only one they would then have, would be so threatened as to force enemy him to use a large portion of his army in guarding it. This would virtually force an evacuation of Virginia and indirectly of East Tennessee. It would throw our Armies into new fields where they could partially live upon the country and would reduce the stores of the enemy. It would cause thousands of the North Carolina troops to desert and return to their homes. It would give us possession of many Negroes who are now indirectly aiding the rebellion. It would draw the enemy from Campaigns of their own choosing, and for which they are prepared, to new lines of operations never expected to become necessary. It would effectually blockade Wilmington, the port now of more value to the enemy than all the balance of their sea coast. It would enable operations to commence at once by removing the war to a more southern climate instead of months of inactivity in winter quarters. Other advantages might be cited which would be likely to grow out of this plan, but these are enough. From your better opportunities of studying the country, and the Armies, that would be involved in this plan, you will be better able to judge of the practicability of it than I possibly can.
I have written this in accordance with what I understood to be an invitation from you to express my views about Military operations and not to insist that any plan of mine should be carried out. Whatever course is agreed upon I shall always believe is at least intended for the best and until fully tested will hope to have it prove so.
I am General, very respectfully
your obt. svt.
U. S. Grant
Maj. Gen.
 

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Grant shared his proposal with Halleck in January 1864. The Plan outlined a military campaign into North Carolina to pull Lee out of Virginia and take the last major port of Wilmington.

To: Maj. Gen. Henry W. Halleck
Confidential Head Quarters, Mil. Div. of the Miss. Nashville Ten. Jan.y 19th 1864,

Maj. Gen. H. W. Halleck, Gen. in Chief of the Army, Washington D. C. General,

I would respectfully suggest whether an abandonment of all previously attempted lines to Richmond is not advisable, and in line of these one be taken further South. I would suggest Raleigh North Carolina as the objective point and Suffolk as the starting point. Raleigh once secured I would make New Bern the base of supplies until Wilmington is secured. A moving force of sixty thousand men would probably be required to start on such an expedition. This force would not have to be increased unless Lee should withdraw from his present position. In that case the necessity for so large a force on the Potomac would not exist. A force moving from Suffolk would destroy first all the roads about Weldon, or even as far north as Hicksford. From Weldon to Raleigh they would scarsely meet with serious opposition. Once there the most interior line of rail way still left to the enemy, in fact the only one they would then have, would be so threatened as to force enemy him to use a large portion of his army in guarding it. This would virtually force an evacuation of Virginia and indirectly of East Tennessee. It would throw our Armies into new fields where they could partially live upon the country and would reduce the stores of the enemy. It would cause thousands of the North Carolina troops to desert and return to their homes. It would give us possession of many Negroes who are now indirectly aiding the rebellion. It would draw the enemy from Campaigns of their own choosing, and for which they are prepared, to new lines of operations never expected to become necessary. It would effectually blockade Wilmington, the port now of more value to the enemy than all the balance of their sea coast. It would enable operations to commence at once by removing the war to a more southern climate instead of months of inactivity in winter quarters. Other advantages might be cited which would be likely to grow out of this plan, but these are enough. From your better opportunities of studying the country, and the Armies, that would be involved in this plan, you will be better able to judge of the practicability of it than I possibly can.
I have written this in accordance with what I understood to be an invitation from you to express my views about Military operations and not to insist that any plan of mine should be carried out. Whatever course is agreed upon I shall always believe is at least intended for the best and until fully tested will hope to have it prove so.
I am General, very respectfully
your obt. svt.
U. S. Grant
Maj. Gen.
Thank you for posting this letter.
 

CSA Today

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But what was the end result?

Grant outfoxes Lee, gets across the James, and Lee's army gets pinned to Petersburg - the very thing Lee was striving to prevent in the Wilderness. The crossing of the James was also the moment the Confederacy died, even if all the participants didn't realize it yet. The Confederacy may have had some impressive tactical performances during the Overland campaign, but the rebels failed strategically, and with that failure every remaining hope for the Confederate cause evaporated.
Made easier by having over twice as many men and no qualms about sacrificing them; a butcher bill most previous Federal commanders were unwilling to pay.
 
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Made easier by having over twice as many men and no qualms about sacrificing them; a butcher bill most previous Federal commanders were unwilling to pay.
I would beg to differ on your conclusion that Grant had "no qualms about sacrificing" the men under his command. That is a statement with no foundation as he expressed and exhibited the opposite. I agree with the inference that if Grant's tactics, though necessarily costly, had been employed by other commanders earlier in the war it could have potentially ended sooner saving more lives. I think one issue is that the term "butcher" in slang usage carries a connotation of carelessness in regard to and/or numbness to death and suffering. I don't believe this to be the case for Grant as he was capable of compassion, expressed remorse for the loss of life and sought to minimize casualties on multiple occasions for both sides. His wife Julia recalled that he never gloried over his victories instead there was just an abiding hope that it would prove to shorten the war. One can be pragmatic, calculated and dutiful without being devoid of compassion. The outcome of war is death and suffering, Grant identified what he thought was the best way to end that death and suffering in the shortest time possible to spare the most number of lives overall (within Washington's parameters). The argument that he could have done things differently tactically to reduce casualties and still bring about a swift end to the conflict is one that can and will continue to be debated. The other factor as mentioned here was the extent to which the political pressure from Washington to produce quick results to secure the re-election of Lincoln (Republicans) forced him to modify his strategy. In the end it has to be considered that Grant was not an island unto himself, he factored in advice and reports from staff, corp commanders, politicians, friends, spies and others when developing military actions. His actions, like any commanding officer, were subject to review and he was subject to dismissal if any of his actions proved untenable to the War Dept. & Washington.

Another factor that could be considered is war-hardening. This phenomenon was voiced by General Sherman who definitely took a harder line than Grant "I regard the death and mangling of a couple thousand men as a small affair, a kind of morning dash — and it may be well that we become so hardened." This does not seem to have effected Grant as much as other soldiers in the field. He was naturally imperturbable but not unaffected. Those around him stated that human suffering effected him deeply and there are multiple instances of him showing compassion for both Union and Confederate soldiers on the field of battle.

Grant's view and expectations regarding the cost of the war evolved like it did for most. When the war broke out he thought like many that "the rebellion against the Government would collapse suddenly and soon" and that their"there will be much less bloodshed than is generally anticipated." After the shocking casualties at Shiloh the true nature and scope of the situation became apparent to him "I gave up all idea of saving the Union except by complete conquest." During the Overland Campaign Grant had made some miscalculations about the state of the Army of Northern Virginia and Cold Harbor was an eye-opener. Grant would tell Halleck "I now find, after thirty days of trial, the enemy...act purely on the defensive behind breastworks, or feebly on the offensive immediately in front of them....Without a greater sacrifice of human life than I am willing to make all cannot be accomplished that I had designed outside the city." This does not seem to be the words of someone who is completely callous to the loss of human life, although I'm sure if you read it a certain way you could see it as a solely tactical statement.

To: General Lee April 9, 1865

"By the south laying down their arms they will hasten that most desirable event, save thousands of human lives, and hundreds of millions of property..."

Was Grant more of a butcher than his superiors who approved his plans? Was he more of a butcher than the Confederates who shot the Union men under his command? Was he more of a butcher than the politicians who instigated the conflict? I think it broke Grant's heart and fired his patriotic passions when his country fell apart. I think he was willing to make serious sacrifices to restore the Union, but I don't think he lost his humanity in the process.

"...you cannot have peace and a division of our country. If the United States submits to a division now, it will not stop, but will go on until we reap the fate of Mexico, which is eternal war." -General Sherman

"War is cruelty. There is no use trying to reform it; the crueler it is, the sooner it will be over." -General Sherman

"Wars produce many stories of fiction, some of which are told until they are believed to be true." -Personal Memoirs of U.S. Grant

For more try this entire thread devoted to Grant the Butcher
 

CSA Today

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I would beg to differ on your conclusion that Grant had "no qualms about sacrificing" the men under his command. That is a statement with no foundation as he expressed and exhibited the opposite. I agree with the inference that if Grant's tactics, though necessarily costly, had been employed by other commanders earlier in the war it could have potentially ended sooner saving more lives. I think one issue is that the term "butcher" in slang usage carries a connotation of carelessness in regard to and/or numbness to death and suffering. I don't believe this to be the case for Grant as he was capable of compassion, expressed remorse for the loss of life and sought to minimize casualties on multiple occasions for both sides. His wife Julia recalled that he never gloried over his victories instead there was just an abiding hope that it would prove to shorten the war. One can be pragmatic, calculated and dutiful without being devoid of compassion. The outcome of war is death and suffering, Grant identified what he thought was the best way to end that death and suffering in the shortest time possible to spare the most number of lives overall (within Washington's parameters). The argument that he could have done things differently tactically to reduce casualties and still bring about a swift end to the conflict is one that can and will continue to be debated. The other factor as mentioned here was the extent to which the political pressure from Washington to produce quick results to secure the re-election of Lincoln (Republicans) forced him to modify his strategy. In the end it has to be considered that Grant was not an island unto himself, he factored in advice and reports from staff, corp commanders, politicians, friends, spies and others when developing military actions. His actions, like any commanding officer, were subject to review and he was subject to dismissal if any of his actions proved untenable to the War Dept. & Washington.

Another factor that could be considered is war-hardening. This phenomenon was voiced by General Sherman who definitely took a harder line than Grant "I regard the death and mangling of a couple thousand men as a small affair, a kind of morning dash — and it may be well that we become so hardened." This does not seem to have effected Grant as much as other soldiers in the field. He was naturally imperturbable but not unaffected. Those around him stated that human suffering effected him deeply and there are multiple instances of him showing compassion for both Union and Confederate soldiers on the field of battle.

Grant's view and expectations regarding the cost of the war evolved like it did for most. When the war broke out he thought like many that "the rebellion against the Government would collapse suddenly and soon" and that their"there will be much less bloodshed than is generally anticipated." After the shocking casualties at Shiloh the true nature and scope of the situation became apparent to him "I gave up all idea of saving the Union except by complete conquest." During the Overland Campaign Grant had made some miscalculations about the state of the Army of Northern Virginia and Cold Harbor was an eye-opener. Grant would tell Halleck "I now find, after thirty days of trial, the enemy...act purely on the defensive behind breastworks, or feebly on the offensive immediately in front of them....Without a greater sacrifice of human life than I am willing to make all cannot be accomplished that I had designed outside the city." This does not seem to be the words of someone who is completely callous to the loss of human life, although I'm sure if you read it a certain way you could see it as a solely tactical statement.

To: General Lee April 9, 1865

"By the south laying down their arms they will hasten that most desirable event, save thousands of human lives, and hundreds of millions of property..."

Was Grant more of a butcher than his superiors who approved his plans? Was he more of a butcher than the Confederates who shot the Union men under his command? Was he more of a butcher than the politicians who instigated the conflict? I think it broke Grant's heart and fired his patriotic passions when his country fell apart. I think he was willing to make serious sacrifices to restore the Union, but I don't think he lost his humanity in the process.

"...you cannot have peace and a division of our country. If the United States submits to a division now, it will not stop, but will go on until we reap the fate of Mexico, which is eternal war." -General Sherman

"War is cruelty. There is no use trying to reform it; the crueler it is, the sooner it will be over." -General Sherman

"Wars produce many stories of fiction, some of which are told until they are believed to be true." -Personal Memoirs of U.S. Grant

For more try this entire thread devoted to Grant the Butcher
The fact Grant lost nearly s many men as Lee had suggested otherwise.

“In the whole campaign from the Wilderness to Cold Harbor, the Union’s losses were approximately 55,000, nearly as much as Lee’s whole army. As a defensive accomplishment in fighting off superior numbers, the campaign stands as a significant chapter in Confederate annals.”

J.G. Randall, David Donald, The Civil War and Reconstruction pp.419-420
 

Cavalry Charger

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I think you said it all @GrantCottage1885 with this statement:

'The outcome of war is death and suffering'

It's impossible to avoid the penalty.

And I heartily agree with everything else you stated above.

This is also a man who did not want to take out any more on his enemies than absolutely necessary.

He was always generous in the moment of surrender.

I think that says as much about him as anything.
 
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treebie2000

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Made easier by having over twice as many men and no qualms about sacrificing them; a butcher bill most previous Federal commanders were unwilling to pay.
Can't get past the "butcher bill" reference here.
Grants' proposal to Halleck in January of '64 laid out a number of factors that give us a glimpse into his mind, if we care to look....and to actually see.

The bullet points he lays out in that correspondence show us that he was knowingly fighting a war of attrition. It was the main point of his strategic plan.
1. Destroy Rail Lines, thus depriving the ANV of supplies from the south.
2. Reduce the stores of the enemy directly, and use those stores for his own army.
3. Cause thousands of the North Carolina troops to desert and return to their homes.
4. Deny the Confederates the labor of the negroes who would be "freed" in the armys' wake.
5. Warmer climate would allow him to continue to bring the fight to the Confederates, instead of going into winter quarters where they could "catch their breath"/re-supply/reinforce/intrench etc.

All of those points support the strategy of attrition.
These are not the thoughts of a butcher.
These are the thoughts of a man who knows his enemy will not quit. He knows he will have to kill or starve them until everyone concerned has to face the futility of further resistance.

His victories are not pyrrhic, nor are they butchery.
They are simply well-planned, well-executed, hard won victories.
 

treebie2000

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Yeah, there are a lot of folks on CWT who know a lot more about the American Civil War than I do. A lot of them buy into the "Butcher" belief.
As far as seeing the butcher references in various forms of the media; I think it catches the eyes of some folks who WANT to read, watch, and see Grant torn down.
Below is another reference to The Butchers Bill. It is used to pull the reader in. The article itself is a balanced, well written (in my opinion) piece that goes on to...........I'll let you read it for yourself.
Let me know what you think.


https://www.historynet.com/the-butchers-bill.htm
 
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Yeah, there are a lot of folks on CWT who know a lot more about the American Civil War than I do. A lot of them buy into the "Butcher" belief.
As far as seeing the butcher references in various forms of the media; I think it catches the eyes of some folks who WANT to read, watch, and see Grant torn down.
Below is another reference to The Butchers Bill. It is used to pull the reader in. The article itself is a balanced, well written (in my opinion) piece that goes on to...........I'll let you read it for yourself.
Let me know what you think.


https://www.historynet.com/the-butchers-bill.htm
Thanks for sharing. It's a good article and well researched, he comes off a bit tough on Lee, but perhaps deservedly so. I think the numbers don't lie and if you can't see that then you simply "can't see the forest for the trees". "We tend to accept the truth we want to believe." -Chris Mackowski. We are also creatures of habit. People tend to stick to their initial impressions long after they have been presented with irrefutable evidence or a factual reason to change their conclusions and/or perspective (myths die hard).

Another factor for Grant being considered a "butcher" in 1864 is war weariness in the north. This would naturally lead to more blaming and scapegoating. That's not to say that Grant wasn't a target of blame as early as Shiloh for casualties. In the end Grant placed men in harms way but ultimately Confederate bullets killed them. This does not absolve Grant of responsibility, but there are many factors in war and battle that conspire to run up casualties. The crux is in the statement "useless butchery." Did the cost in lives seem useless at the moment or was it truly tactically useless? I think it can be argued that every action weakened the enemy regardless of loss, making it mathematically "useful" in some respect to the ultimate objective.

"I have always regretted that the last assault at Cold Harbor was ever made... no advantage whatever was gained to compensate for the heavy loss we sustained. Indeed, the advantages other than those of relative losses, were on the Confederate side." -Personal Memoirs of US Grant

He is acceding that the assault, while not wholly commensurate to the loss of life in his view, did still weaken the enemy in strength.

I can understand where these notions of "putting a lower value" or "having not great regard" of human life come from, but they simply lack proper perspective. If Grant was going to fulfill his duty and fulfill it as prescribed and within the parameters set, there truly was "no turning back". He was committed and those that died were just as committed. Grant did not ask his men to submit to something he had not submitted to, ie. being on the firing line. Grant is guilty of one thing, that is putting the preservation of the Union over the individual lives of his soldiers. This may seem callous to some, but mathematically he was looking down the long road where he saw a worse outcome for all. The soldiers had also all pledged their lives to the cause. Grant had to believe the sacrifice was worth it overall or he would not have fully committed.

"We believed then, and believe now that we had a government worth fighting for, and, if need be, dying for. How many of our comrades of those days paid the latter price for our preserved Union. Let their heroism & sacrifice be ever green in our memory." -US Grant speech to the Army of the Tennessee Reunion 1875

There is also his worldview to consider. As he alluded to in his memoirs he had a belief in providential intervention and consequence. "Man proposes and God disposes." and "Nations like individuals, are punished for their transgressions. We got our punishment in the most sanguinary and expensive war of modern times." I think there was a vein of pragmatic cause and effect even spiritual "sow and reap" in this sentiment. He operated under powerful convictions as did the soldiers under him.

Grant noticed the perspective problem commenting in his memoirs: "[The Mexican] authorities of the present day grow enthusiastic over their theme when telling of [Mexican] victories [in the Mexican American War], and speak with pride of the large sum of money they forced us to pay in the end. With us, now twenty years after [the Civil War], we have writers-who profess devotion to the nation-engaged in trying to prove that the Union forces were not victorious; practically, they say, we were slashed around from Donelson to... Appomattox, when the physical rebellion gave out from sheer exhaustion. There is no difference in the amount of romance in the two stories."

He goes on to say "I would like to see truthful history written. Such history will do full credit to the courage, endurance and soldierly ability of the American citizen, no matter what section of the country he hailed from, or in what ranks he fought."

In the end some people will glaze over the surface and promote under-researched conclusions while others do real research to gain a better perspective. Unfortunately the former usually are typically the louder class, and as we know those that are louder, repeat themselves and exude confidence are "right" by default. Fortunately they haven't started book burnings in favor of twitter and blog posts yet.
 

CSA Today

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Can't get past the "butcher bill" reference here.
Grants' proposal to Halleck in January of '64 laid out a number of factors that give us a glimpse into his mind, if we care to look....and to actually see.

The bullet points he lays out in that correspondence show us that he was knowingly fighting a war of attrition. It was the main point of his strategic plan.
1. Destroy Rail Lines, thus depriving the ANV of supplies from the south.
2. Reduce the stores of the enemy directly, and use those stores for his own army.
3. Cause thousands of the North Carolina troops to desert and return to their homes.
4. Deny the Confederates the labor of the negroes who would be "freed" in the armys' wake.
5. Warmer climate would allow him to continue to bring the fight to the Confederates, instead of going into winter quarters where they could "catch their breath"/re-supply/reinforce/intrench etc.

All of those points support the strategy of attrition.
These are not the thoughts of a butcher.
These are the thoughts of a man who knows his enemy will not quit. He knows he will have to kill or starve them until everyone concerned has to face the futility of further resistance.

His victories are not pyrrhic, nor are they butchery.
They are simply well-planned, well-executed, hard won victories.
Grant accomplished all of this and still paid such a dreadful butcher bill to bring down such a depleted foe who supposedly had little will to fight.
 

Cavalry Charger

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The confederacy, as explified by Hood, had the will but not the means to continue. They are the non joke of the black knight in Montey Python's Holy Grail. All chopped up, but still hurling invective at the victors
On second thoughts ...
 
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Grant was attacking Lee's fortified position. He was fighting the supreme combat engineer. He had no choice in the level of casualties he had to take. If he was going to fight Lee, had to fight on Lee's terms.

He should have had more competent subordinates. Butler's getting bottled up in Bermuda Hundred was a disaster, he should ave gone for Petersberg and done what he was supposed to do and have a large force splitting Lee's army. Same thing with Butler, which should have going for Mobile and dividing Johnson's forces.

He had one competent sbordinate, and he did miracles with what he had
 

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Grant was attacking Lee's fortified position. He was fighting the supreme combat engineer. He had no choice in the level of casualties he had to take. If he was going to fight Lee, had to fight on Lee's terms.

He should have had more competent subordinates. Butler's getting bottled up in Bermuda Hundred was a disaster, he should ave gone for Petersberg and done what he was supposed to do and have a large force splitting Lee's army. Same thing with Butler, which should have going for Mobile and dividing Johnson's forces.

He had one competent sbordinate, and he did miracles with what he had
As others have pointed out Grant actually wanted to invade Virginia via North Carolina by landing at the Union occupied port of New Berne.
Lots of potential because Richmond was dependent in food supplies from North Carolina. By taking out the Railways Grant could in essence starve out Richmond. Another advantage is that Grant could along the way capture the critical Confederate port at Wilmington.
Even earlier in the war General Burnside wanted to capture the vital Confederate railroad junction at Goldsboro but Lincoln ordered his troops to reinforce the AoP at the Peninsula.
Lincoln vetoed Grant's purposed plan to enter North Carolina and instead stay between Washington DC and the AnV.
In hindsight there is an excellent possibility that Grant if allowed to invade Virginia through North Carolina could have saved many casualties.
Leftyhunter
 

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Grant shared his proposal with Halleck in January 1864. The Plan outlined a military campaign into North Carolina to pull Lee out of Virginia and take the last major port of Wilmington.

To: Maj. Gen. Henry W. Halleck
Confidential Head Quarters, Mil. Div. of the Miss. Nashville Ten. Jan.y 19th 1864,

Maj. Gen. H. W. Halleck, Gen. in Chief of the Army, Washington D. C. General,

I would respectfully suggest whether an abandonment of all previously attempted lines to Richmond is not advisable, and in line of these one be taken further South. I would suggest Raleigh North Carolina as the objective point and Suffolk as the starting point. Raleigh once secured I would make New Bern the base of supplies until Wilmington is secured. A moving force of sixty thousand men would probably be required to start on such an expedition. This force would not have to be increased unless Lee should withdraw from his present position. In that case the necessity for so large a force on the Potomac would not exist. A force moving from Suffolk would destroy first all the roads about Weldon, or even as far north as Hicksford. From Weldon to Raleigh they would scarsely meet with serious opposition. Once there the most interior line of rail way still left to the enemy, in fact the only one they would then have, would be so threatened as to force enemy him to use a large portion of his army in guarding it. This would virtually force an evacuation of Virginia and indirectly of East Tennessee. It would throw our Armies into new fields where they could partially live upon the country and would reduce the stores of the enemy. It would cause thousands of the North Carolina troops to desert and return to their homes. It would give us possession of many Negroes who are now indirectly aiding the rebellion. It would draw the enemy from Campaigns of their own choosing, and for which they are prepared, to new lines of operations never expected to become necessary. It would effectually blockade Wilmington, the port now of more value to the enemy than all the balance of their sea coast. It would enable operations to commence at once by removing the war to a more southern climate instead of months of inactivity in winter quarters. Other advantages might be cited which would be likely to grow out of this plan, but these are enough. From your better opportunities of studying the country, and the Armies, that would be involved in this plan, you will be better able to judge of the practicability of it than I possibly can.
I have written this in accordance with what I understood to be an invitation from you to express my views about Military operations and not to insist that any plan of mine should be carried out. Whatever course is agreed upon I shall always believe is at least intended for the best and until fully tested will hope to have it prove so.
I am General, very respectfully
your obt. svt.
U. S. Grant
Maj. Gen.
Hi @Saphroneth ,
Here is the post that I thought Cash wrote but obviously he did not. My bad. Anyway the Overland Campaign is certainly not Grant's idea but Lincoln's and obviously Grant is obligated to follow orders.
Leftyhunter
 


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