If Sherman had been killed?

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diane

Retired User
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Jan 23, 2010
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State of Jefferson
An interesting question! I think he came closer to getting killed a year before, at Fallen Timbers, when he literally ran into Col Bedford Forrest. Forrest had a terrifying skill set and was in full combat mode, Sherman thought he was a goner but...he'd been shot earlier and had his arm in a sling. If he had had a weapon - I don't think there would have been a march to the sea! (And maybe sometimes Forrest thought about that opportunity in Tennessee...:x3:)

For me, I really can't see another commander working as well with Grant as Sherman did. That was a partnership that's rare in the military world. Sherman jumped before Grant said how high! Couldn't have had a better subordinate. It was that cohesion and thinking alike that made the winning team.
 
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jackt62

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While Grant shared much of the same strategic vision as Sherman in terms of cutting a path through the Confederate heartland and waging economic war, the March to the Sea was Sherman's idea, and his alone. Grant, Halleck, Stanton, and Lincoln reluctantly bought into the concept. So it's difficult to imagine any other commander conceiving such a plan once Atlanta fell. The obvious commanders would have been Thomas, Howard, and Schofield who commanded the 3 major armies by the time the city was captured. The most likely scenario would be the one that Sherman in fact, started off with; pursuing the AOT northward.
 

Joshism

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Thomas would presumably have the largest western army after Grant went east, but I don't think Grant trusts Thomas with an army group / theater command. There was nobody Grant trusted as much as Sherman. (McPherson in distant third?)

I daresay Grant stays west to fill the Sherman role instead of going to Virginia. Otherwise the 1864 campaign looks very different out west.
 
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cake1979

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Thomas would presumably have the largest western army after Grant went east, but I don't think Grant trusts Thomas with an army group / theater command. There was nobody Grant trusted as much as Sherman. (McPherson in distant third?)

I daresay Grant stays west to fill the Sherman role instead of going to Virginia. Otherwise the 1864 campaign looks very different out west.
As much as I like Thomas, he’s not going to March across Georgia. He’d likely just try to defeat the AofT.

Interesting point about Grant though. Thomas would never have gotten the chance anyway, as Grant would have stayed out West. Wonder if the war in the West would’ve ended a little sooner under US? There’s no question that the war in the East would’ve lasted longer!
 

cake1979

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As the obvious answers are all taken and I'm bored. He gives it to his bestest buddy Sheridan and Lincoln promotes his fav Banks as his #2 they promptly raid Ohio and are caught and destroyed by the Mexican/French army at the 4 day battle of Madison, Wisconsin. Hooray for Dixie!
That is terrific. The “Frenchicans” are apparently very mobile! Madison is quite a trek.....
 

jackt62

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I daresay Grant stays west to fill the Sherman role instead of going to Virginia. Otherwise the 1864 campaign looks very different out west.
Interesting. Sherman did not want Grant to be stationed in Washington and caught in the political mire and intrigue of the capitol. Which is why Grant chose to tag along with the AOTP in the field. I'm still not convinced however, that Grant would have gone out west to fill the void created if Sherman were not around. Grant knew the capabilities of the western commanders and while dubious about Thomas, Grant had a better understanding of those commanders than he did of the eastern ones. So he may still have chosen to go with the AOTP and left the western war in the hands of leaders who had at least amassed a fairly good record.
 
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wausaubob

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Interesting. Sherman did not want Grant to be stationed in Washington and caught in the political mire and intrigue of the capitol. Which is why Grant chose to tag along with the AOTP in the field. I'm still not convinced however, that Grant would have gone out west to fill the void created if Sherman were not around. Grant knew the capabilities of the western commanders and while dubious about Thomas, Grant had a better understanding of those commanders than he did of the eastern ones. So he may still have chosen to go with the AOTP and left the western war in the hands of leaders who had at least amassed a fairly good record.
George Thomas functioned almost as Sherman's executive officer. He could have filled that roll for someone else. And Thomas never lost a battle. Joe Hooker or William Rosecrans could have been given the overall command, if Thomas did not want to be the No. 1 guy. My money would be on Rosecrans, who certainly had the intellectual capacity. Grant and Thomas would have strengthened the command structure.
 
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Irishtom29

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Wonder if the war in the West would’ve ended a little sooner under US? There’s no question that the war in the East would’ve lasted longer!
Had the was in the West ended sooner so would the war in the East have as the western armies moved east, as happened in the real event as Sherman with five corps was moving north to throw in against Lee at the time Lee was bagged.
 

wausaubob

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Even though by 1863 (if not sooner), McClellan and his Democratic party leanings were anathema to Lincoln and the Radical Republicans?
Grant could have persuaded McClellan that was the way the Presidency, in 1868. Grant had time to wait out Lincoln and McClellan.
 

Irishtom29

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Had Sherman been killed in 63 I reckon Thomas would've commanded the thrust down on Atlanta. Come on, who else? McPherson? Ord? Maybe, had one of them been given command of the Army of the Tennessee at Chattanooga.

Of the three in hindsight Ord was probably most to Grant's liking---he could move fast and was a dogged fighter. Yeah. Ord sounds good. Just so the Space Bat Aliens don't interfere.
 
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Texas
An interesting question! I think he came closer to getting killed a year before, at Fallen Timbers, when he literally ran into Col Bedford Forrest. Forrest had a terrifying skill set and was in full combat mode, Sherman thought he was a goner but...he'd been shot earlier and had his arm in a sling. If he had had a weapon - I don't think there would have been a march to the sea! (And maybe sometimes Forrest thought about that opportunity in Tennessee...:x3:)

For me, I really can't see another commander working as well with Grant as Sherman did. That was a partnership that's rare in the military world. Sherman jumped before Grant said how high! Couldn't have had a better subordinate. It was that cohesion and thinking alike that made the winning team.
Sherman and Forrest literally saw each other?
 

diane

Retired User
Joined
Jan 23, 2010
Location
State of Jefferson
Sherman and Forrest literally saw each other?
Yes, their horses came nearly nose to nose. When Forrest launched his charge from the top of the slope, Sherman decided he had better get out of the way and was moving carefully through a mud hole. He looked up and Forrest was sitting right in front of him! Sherman was convinced Forrest had emptied his pistols on the way down or he would have shot him. Forrest had several guns with him, however, that Sherman apparently hadn't noticed (and considering Forrest's war face was remarkable enough he may be forgiven for that!) but did not assess him as a threat so he moved on very quickly. Sherman's arm was in a sling and he had no weapon.
 

DixieRifles

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Collierville, TN
An interesting question! I think he came closer to getting killed a year before, at Fallen Timbers, when he literally ran into Col Bedford Forrest.
The battlefield at Collierville was small and fighting at close quarters. I estimate the Confederate got 2 of their small breech-loaders within 150 yards range of General Sherman.
 
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diane

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State of Jefferson
The battlefield at Collierville was small and fighting at close quarters. I estimate the Confederate got 2 of their small breech-loaders within 150 yards range of General Sherman.
He was certainly very much under fire at that battle, before he even got off the train! Chalmers was the commander, I believe, and Sherman's extra troops were unexpected indeed. They got close enough to steal one of his horses, Dolly...and maybe she did as well as anybody that day! Dolly was very difficult and temperamental - Sherman didn't ride her often. When told she had been stolen, he said, "Well, at least I have the satisfaction of knowing she will break the neck of the first rebel who tries to ride her!"
 

Joshism

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Jupiter, FL
As much as I like Thomas, he’s not going to March across Georgia. He’d likely just try to defeat the AofT.
Absolutely agree. But with Thomas in charge he's likely taking a different approach to Atlanta than Sherman. Not radically different, and not necessarily any better or worse, but the butterfly is flapping its wings enough that Thomas doesn't even get in the situation Sherman was in the early fall of 1864.
 
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