How could the CSA have won the Atlanta Campaign?

Luke Freet

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To me, the confederates had very few opportunities to turn the tide on Sherman. A continued defense would only result in Sherman circumventing Confederate defenses. Was there a particular point when the Confederates could have turned the tide? At Reseca? Cassville? New Hope? Kennesaw? The 3 Atlanta battles? Jonesboro?
 

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Saruman

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To me, the confederates had very few opportunities to turn the tide on Sherman. A continued defense would only result in Sherman circumventing Confederate defenses. Was there a particular point when the Confederates could have turned the tide? At Reseca? Cassville? New Hope? Kennesaw? The 3 Atlanta battles? Jonesboro?
I think it could have been done. The terrain was highly defensible. The Army of Tennessee just needed: 1) a competent commander like Richard Taylor instead of the ineffectual Joe Johnston, and 2) a large cavalry force under Nathan B. Forrest to harass and raid Sherman's supply lines.
 

John Winn

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I think the clock was running out on the Confederacy and eventually they'd have lost Atlanta no matter what. However, I do think they could have stalled Sherman way longer than they actually did and I agree with @Saruman how that might have happened. It's one of those classic what-if things if Atlanta didn't fall until after the election and how that might have affected the ultimate outcome. My feeling is that at that point the Union wasn't going to just give up even if McClellan won so things might have got dragged out even further but in the end the Confederacy was defeated and didn't have the resources to fight a war more than one or two more major battles and Atlanta was just a matter of time.
 

Ole Miss

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Lack of men, supplies, transportation and overall strategic planning all ensured the failure of the Atlanta campaign.
Regards
David
 

ucvrelics

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It may have been the same fate as Vicksburg or Petersburg, a long siege on Atlanta
 

leftyhunter

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To me, the confederates had very few opportunities to turn the tide on Sherman. A continued defense would only result in Sherman circumventing Confederate defenses. Was there a particular point when the Confederates could have turned the tide? At Reseca? Cassville? New Hope? Kennesaw? The 3 Atlanta battles? Jonesboro?
One could argue the battle of Atlanta was already decided when Major General Hooker broke through Confederate lines and established the Cracker Line to supply the besieged garrison at Chattanooga.
If( and it's quite a big if) Major General's Bragg and Longstreet worked as a team and kept out General Hooker's relief troops from establishing the Cracker Line perhaps General Grant would of been forced to surrender the garrison at Chattanooga.
If the Confederacy was going to save Georgia it had to defeat the AoC at Chattanooga.
Conventional warfare is very unforgiving to those general's who miss a critical opportunity.
Leftyhunter
 

19thGeorgia

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To me, the confederates had very few opportunities to turn the tide on Sherman. A continued defense would only result in Sherman circumventing Confederate defenses. Was there a particular point when the Confederates could have turned the tide? At Reseca? Cassville? New Hope? Kennesaw? The 3 Atlanta battles? Jonesboro?
July 22, 1864...if Hardee and Cheatham attack at the same time.
 

TomV71

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A more competent general with the right amount of aggresiveness could have beaten the Union armies and corps piecemeal.
The chance was there a couple of times during the advance to Atlanta. Especially the battles around Dallas, New Hope Church and Picketts Mill. Johnston was too cautious and Hood was too reckless.
In most Civil War Campaigns, the most important factor was the competence of the General in charge. IMO.
 
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To me, the confederates had very few opportunities to turn the tide on Sherman. A continued defense would only result in Sherman circumventing Confederate defenses. Was there a particular point when the Confederates could have turned the tide? At Reseca? Cassville? New Hope? Kennesaw? The 3 Atlanta battles? Jonesboro?
jeff davis should have hired a couple of apaches, may be

smilie_girl_222.gif
 

Carronade

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To me, the confederates had very few opportunities to turn the tide on Sherman. A continued defense would only result in Sherman circumventing Confederate defenses. Was there a particular point when the Confederates could have turned the tide? At Reseca? Cassville? New Hope? Kennesaw? The 3 Atlanta battles? Jonesboro?
While they were fighting in the mountains, it would have been just as difficult for the Confederates to take the offensive as it was for Sherman. I think their best opportunity came when the armies advanced/retreated into open terrain, before they were besieged in Atlanta. Here are my thoughts from the last time this came up:

https://civilwartalk.com/threads/confederate-victory-at-atlanta-could-it-happen-and-could-it-have-brought-southern-victory.151745/#post-1929062
 

James N.

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This is one of those what-ifs that requires absolutely everything to have been done differently to come true, not just a couple changes. That makes it very unrealistic to me.
I think it could have been done. The terrain was highly defensible. The Army of Tennessee just needed: 1) a competent commander like Richard Taylor instead of the ineffectual Joe Johnston, and 2) a large cavalry force under Nathan B. Forrest to harass and raid Sherman's supply lines.
July 22, 1864...if Hardee and Cheatham attack at the same time.
They would have had a better chance without General Hood leading the charge.
A corollary to this is also that everything has to go right; while not an impossibility it greatly reduces any chance of success. Several possibilities that don't include everything done differently include things already mentioned: Forrest ignores Taylor's order to counter Sturgis' raid and instead himself raids Sherman's supply line (in other words, Taylor actually helped screw things up); Hood follows Johnston's orders and attacks at Cassville; Johnston remains in command for Peachtree Creek; the attack on MacPherson at Atlanta is coordinated. There are probably others that don't jump out at the moment, but though none of these was a sure-fire solution a combination of successes might have made a difference.
 
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ErnieMac

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IMO once McPherson got through Snake Creek Gap (even though he botched the planned operation) Atlanta was doomed. No real good defensive positions between Resaca and Atlanta. While Sherman might fumble as at Kennesaw Mountain, Johnston had no real means of stopping him.
 

CheathamHill

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They couldn't have. As soon as Uncle Billy realized he could just keep flanking and going around prior to and after crossing the Chattahoochee it was all but over no matter how many battles would've occurred.
 


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