How much of a missed opportunity was the Camden Expedition?

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Sep 17, 2011
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At Westport the climatic battle of the campaign, Missouri and Kansas State militia constituted the bulk of the Union army...

And oddly enough I see MSM often seemingly refered to "regulars" during the pursuit........they were still in reality state militia

And what major accomplishments were made under Kirby Smith and or the forces he raised? They self sufficiently failed to decisively win Red River Campaign or the Camden expedition....or hold Indian territory, Prices raid fails, not seeing alot to gather they were anywhere near an elite fighting force. What limited success they had to make the Union decide to withdraw........they are unable to repeat to hinder or stop the withdrawals.

As far as the strategic picture in the T-M to go after Steele was the right choice, they were incapable of capitalizing on it, which isn't all that surprising as outside sieges, no major armies are really destroyed in the field during the civil war.
 
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At Westport the climatic battle of the campaign, Missouri and Kansas State militia constituted the bulk of the Union army...

And oddly enough I see MSM often seemingly refered to "regulars" during the pursuit........they were still in reality state militia

And what major accomplishments were made under Kirby Smith and or the forces he raised? They self sufficiently failed to decisively win Red River Campaign or the Camden expedition....or hold Indian territory, Prices raid fails, not seeing alot to gather they were anywhere near an elite fighting force. What limited success they had to make the Union decide to withdraw........they are unable to repeat to hinder or stop the withdrawals.

As far as the strategic picture in the T-M to go after Steele was the right choice, they were incapable of capitalizing on it, which isn't all that surprising as outside sieges, no major armies are really destroyed in the field during the civil war.

The defeated the Red River Campaign, they just failed to decisively deliver the blow to make it a decisive victory, precisely because Kirby Smith made the error of going after the already failed Camden Expedition. That's sorta of the whole point in the book, and it wasn't because they "couldn't", but rather bad decisions. As I said earlier, they had to march 100 miles to catch up with an already retreating force.

So yes, I'm not sure why you're dismissing the Trans-Mississippi Theater; they beat the Red River Campaign and they beat the Camden Expedition, which is why the Union retreated after both, no?
 
Joined
Sep 17, 2011
Location
mo
If your commanding the Trans-Mississippi theatre going after Banks force makes zero sense, as its going to mainly retreat and transfer to the western theatre or garrison river towns with gunboat support.

Going after Steele however represents the best chance to reduce the forces that are going to remain a threat in theatre, it represented the best chance to affect future operations, and possibly turn into an offensive, as the Mississippi River would stymy any venture east........

The problem remains if one somehow defeated Banks decisively however unlikely, while perhaps some value to the confederacy to the east.......it does virtually nothing for the Trans-Mississippi that Smith is commanding. Reducing Steele would......
 
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