Shenandoah Valley 1864 Reinforcing Petersburg

danny

Sergeant
Joined
Feb 20, 2005
Location
Hattiesburg
Which means that it wasn't really Grant making the decision on whether 6th Corps should stay in the Valley. It was between Sheridan (supplying the faulty information) and whoever it was who was overriding or ignoring the times Grant sent orders to that effect (presumably Halleck, at a guess).
Seems rather disingenuous on the parts of both Sheridan and Grant considering the overwhelming advantages they already possessed.
 

Saphroneth

Major
Joined
Feb 18, 2017
Seems rather disingenuous on the parts of both Sheridan and Grant considering the overwhelming advantages they already possessed.
Well, there's overwhelming and overwhelming; you always want to maximize your capability to win the campaign as quickly as possible so long as you're not causing greater problems otherwise. Effectively there is a choice at work in late 1864, which is whether to transfer Union resources to Petersburg to seek a decisive resolution there (while holding in the north around Washington) or to keep the disposable resources in the Shenandoah to seek a decision there (and hold at Petersburg).

Grant's concern is that the enemy will transfer their own resources south and seek a decision at Petersburg, or at any rate that they will keep large amounts of Union resources occupied in the Shenandoah for a small commitment of their own resources and thus permit a stalemate in both positions. In the event, this does not happen, but the Shenandoah operations effectively consume the rest of the campaign season without allowing Grant the offensive concentration he feels he needs.


I think there are ways Grant could have campaigned effectively without that offensive concentration (i.e. without 6th Corps) largely relying on "regular approaches", which means to fight close to an enemy fortified position by advancing siege lines and gaining good artillery platforms.
 

wausaubob

Lt. Colonel
Joined
Apr 4, 2017
Location
Denver, CO
He wanted the Army of the Potomac reunited and I think he thought the VI corp was his main strike force. With the VI corp in the trenches at Petersburg the strain on his army was less, and everyone could prepare for the spring final push. The City Point forward depot had become the equivalent of any primary depot, and it was efficient not to run another such depot in the Shenandoah Valley. The US cavalry on the other hand consumed so much forage and fodder, that it was best logisitcally to supply it directly from Washington as long as possible.
 
Top