The link between Colonel Kit Carson`s "Scorched Earth Policy" and General William T. Sherman`s "Total War Strategy."

Booner

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#21
Thanks Lefty... War has always been harsh, which has been the point of it... One empire`s expansion coming at the fall or even extinction of another`s empire which was lost in war. You used the Punic Wars as your example, when the Punic wars were fought by the Romans, they saw a great threat to their own empire by Carthage and had no choice but to confront it, but at that time it was just considered war, as "total war" was not even a concept during that time in our history, as it was a given to destroy your enemy, to include civilians, by any means possible. Wars of old were simply meant to utterly destroy the enemy, quite different than what they have become today, seemingly always ending with police actions and nation building, often times resulting in greater nations being built for the losers than what they had before the wars were fought, which never would have entered the minds of ancient warriors. So by using the standard of more ancient wars the American Civil War was no where near being as extreme in terror and complete destruction of population centers where civilians were living. Regarding the Plains Indian Wars, that was war reverting to its old form... Losing had consequences and part of that was complete submission to the victor with all lands and treasure being taken by the victor as the spoils of war, which has long been the standard of war, going back for as long as wars have existed and were fought from the very beginning of mans history.
I don't know if this helps your thesis or not, but Sherman didn't have to look any farther than is own household to come up with the idea of "Total War, Scorched Earth," etc.

Sherman's father died when he was a boy, and he was sent to live in the Thomas Ewing, Sr. household. Sherman later married his foster sister, Ellen Ewing, and so his foster brother, Thomas Ewing, Jr. became his brother in law. Sherman remained close to his foster brother/brother in law for the rest of his life, naming a son after Thomas Ewing, Jr.

In the summer of 1863, Thomas Ewing, Jr. is now a Union general, and in command of the District of the Border-Kansas and western Missouri. In an attempt to rid the area of domestic support for the querrillias, Ewing issues General Order #10, requiring all southern supporters to immediately remove themselves from a three and a half county area in Missouri, south of Kansas City, and along the border with Kansas. A few days after this order is issued, guerrilla leader Quantrill makes his raid on Lawrence, Ks. In response to this raid, Gen. Ewing issued his infamous General Order #11, requiring ALL persons-northern and southern supporters- to remove themselves from the same three and a half county area. Before many of the civilians had a chance to leave their homes, Union troopers came in and stole everything they could and then applied a "Scorched Earth" policy to the entire area. To this day, this part of Missouri is known as "The Burnt District" and keep in mind, that while Missouri had areas of very strong southern support, the state never left the Union.

I wonder, if after the war at family gatherings of the Sherman and Ewing's, if these two foster brothers, and brother in law compared notes on what they did in and to Missouri and Georgia?
 

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#22
From some of the things that I have read, not long after the fall of Vicksburg, Sherman was really pushing hard for a Scorched Earth Policy of his own, regarding pushing Johnston`s Army completely out of Mississippi, so he went to Memphis to have a long conversation with Grant about it. It took some persuasion but through Sherman`s persistence, Grant had a meeting with Lincoln at Washington and reluctantly received permission for such a policy. By the time that Sherman had made plans to implement the new policy, Johnston had already taken command of the Army of Tennessee and was no longer in Mississippi, Polk had taken command of Johnston`s Department in Mississippi, so Sherman made his plans to implement his new policy in February 1864 during his raid from Vicksburg to Meridian through central Mississippi. This new timeline now included the possibility of getting rid of Nathan Bedford Forrest who was then headquartered at Verona, Ms. up in the Mississippi Delta. The "Meridian Expedition" became the blue print for Sherman`s more famous "march to the sea", just a few months later in November and December of 1864 as he marched from Atlanta to Savannah. By then he had perfected his policy and obtained the results that he was looking for. The "Meridian Expedition" allowed him to work some of the bugs out of his new policy, mostly regarding logistics, and having to rely on a strong pioneer and engineer corps to keep his trains and guns moving forward while on the march, as the Confederate Cavalry were felling trees across the roads, burning bridges, tearing up the roads with pick-axes and spades and slowing his march as much as possible as they fired into his flanks and harassed his rear, vanguard and advance. There were significant delays during the "Meridian Expedition" which Sherman did not want to experience during his much longer march to Savannah, which was not an issue by that point.

Do you know if Ewing joined Sherman and Sheridan after the War had ended and resumed their part in the Plains Indian Wars?
 
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Booner

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#23
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Do you know if Ewing joined Sherman and Sheridan after the War had ended and resumed their part in the Plains Indian Wars?
No, Ewing was a lawyer and politician prior to the war, and returned to those persuites after. In 1880 he was a candidate for the governor of Ohio but was defeated, and some scholars contend it was due to the use of George Caleb Binghams use of his painting, General Order #11, as political propaganda that caused Ewing's defete. Ewing moved to New York City to practice law and was struck and killed by a tram in 1896.
 
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#24
In the summer of 1863, Thomas Ewing, Jr. is now a Union general, and in command of the District of the Border-Kansas and western Missouri. In an attempt to rid the area of domestic support for the querrillias, Ewing issues General Order #10, requiring all southern supporters to immediately remove themselves from a three and a half county area in Missouri, south of Kansas City, and along the border with Kansas. A few days after this order is issued, guerrilla leader Quantrill makes his raid on Lawrence, Ks. In response to this raid, Gen. Ewing issued his infamous General Order #11, requiring ALL persons-northern and southern supporters- to remove themselves from the same three and a half county area. Before many of the civilians had a chance to leave their homes, Union troopers came in and stole everything they could and then applied a "Scorched Earth" policy to the entire area. To this day, this part of Missouri is known as "The Burnt District" and keep in mind, that while Missouri had areas of very strong southern support, the state never left the Union.
So this would be around the same time that the James brothers and the Youngers joined with Quantrill, correct?
 

Booner

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#25
I also have to bring up my local connection to "Kit " Carson.
The Carson family moved to Missouri just before the war of 1812 and settled across the Mo river, at a little settlement known as Boonesboro, about 5 or 6 miles from where I now sit. His father was killed by a falling tree limb-I assume he was cutting down the tree, when Kit was just a boy, and coming from a large, but poor family, Kit was apprenticed out to a saddle maker in Franklin, Mo around 1819. At this time, Franklin was the gateway to the west and by 1823, was the starting point for the Santa Fe trail. Kit must have found saddle making boring as he left his apprentiship and joined one of the Santa Fe caravans, and became famous as a trapper, trail blazer, and Indian fighter.
Meanwhile, his family back in southern Howard county Missouri prospers, largely as farmers. Kit's brother, Sashwell Carson, has a farm a few miles north of Boonesborro. The war breaks out, and it's not clear if Sashwell is a loyal Union man, or, like many in Howard County, his sentiments are with the south. He is known as a "peaceable man" by all accounts. By the summer of 1864, this part of central Missouri was a hot bed of guerrilla activity. Anderson, Todd, and Greg had broken away from Quantrill the previous winter and, combining their command with local guerrillas, were on a rampage in the area. The Battle of Fayette would be fought later in the fall just a few miles from Sashwell's farm. Quantrill was hold up with a few faithful followers and his wife in a wooded draw along the Missouri River, also a very short distance from Sashwell's farm.
On May 20, 1864 Sashwells wife is visiting friends and Sashwell has hitched up an ox cart and has gone to the neighbors house to bring his wife home. As his wife approaches the neighbors gate to greet her husband, a band of bushwhackers emerged from the woods, and shoots and kills Sashwell in front of his wife and 12 year old son. That's how the incident was first reported
But upon further investigation, it wasn't a band of bushwackers but a Union guerrilla hunter by the name of Harry Truman-no relation to the president-who did the killing. Truman's real name was J. W. Terman, and acting on the orders of the provost marshal-general in St. Louis, was in central Missouri that summer to act as a spy and bushwhacker-hunter. He ended up showing no indifference to who he robed and killed. He was later caught and stood trial in St. Joseph, Mo but was found innocent of all charges as many would-be witnesses were murdered before the trial, so no one would testify against him.

So the same army who employed Kit, also employed the man who killed his brother.
 

Booner

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#26
So this would be around the same time that the James brothers and the Youngers joined with Quantrill, correct?
Cole Younger joined Quantrill in late '61 and his name appears on a list of 94 men who served under Quatrill. This list was found on the body of one of Q's men in June of '62 and proved devastating to these men's families, as now the Union knew who rode with Q and they now attacked the families, killing the heads of the household and burning their property.
Frank James joined a guerrilla band lead by Fernandez Scott in May of '63. Scott was killed in Wesport, Mo in June of that year and his band was absorbed into Q's band.
Jesse joined Anderson's band in the spring of '64, and was deeply influenced by Anderson's second in command, Archie Clemens.
Q's core group were largely from Jackson county, Mo, around the Blue Springs area. The James boys were from Clay county Mo, which is north of the Missouri River.
Quantrill began forming his band of guerrillas in late '61 and he directly commanded them through the end of '62. In '63 he let his subordinants run their own bands, with the exception of the raid on Lawrence, which he commanded. He also supposedly got married in '63 so perhaps thats why he wasn't very active, bushwhacker-wise that year. During the winter of '63-64 he lost all command of the guerrillas to Anderson, Todd, and Greg with the exception of a handful of loyal men and he spent the summer in Southern Howard County, Mo enjoying married life with the exception of perhaps taking part in the Battle of Fayette in a very limited way.
 
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#28
And it seems I've taken over your thread. My apologies.
You can have it back.
No worries, actually I enjoyed what you added to the conversation. I was thinking of writing an "OP" regarding Confederate Influence on the Wild West during the Reconstruction Era, specifically using the James brothers, Younger brothers and the Daltons as my example.. You seem to be very knowledgeable about Quantrill and the Missouri / Kansas area where all of this happened. I was actually planning a trip up to your area with my father with-in the next couple of months to visit Dodge City, Fort Dodge and Fort Larned. While up there I was going to make a trip to Kearney, Mo. to visit the old James Homestead. So what you have added to the conversation is very much an interest to me. The Santa-Fe trail was a very important route in the western expansion of our great nation, which ran right through your neck of the woods.
 
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Booner

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#30
No worries, actually I enjoyed what you added to the conversation. I was thinking of writing an "OP" regarding Confederate Influence on the Wild West during the Reconstruction Era, specifically using the James brothers, Younger brothers and the Daltons as my example.. You seem to be very knowledgeable about Quantrill and the Missouri / Kansas area where all of this happened. I was actually planning a trip up to your area with my father with-in the next couple of months to visit Dodge City, Fort Dodge and Fort Larned. While up there I was going to make a trip to Kearnsey, Mo. to visit the old James Homestead. So what you have added to the conversation is very much an interest to me. The Santa-Fe trail was a very important route in the western expansion of our great nation, which ran right through your neck of the woods.
Thank you, I didn't intend to but I highjacked your thread.
--so I'll highjack it a little more:
The James were related to the Youngers by marriage of their mother, Zerelda James. However, they may not have been cognizant of that relationship. The Dalton's were cousins of the Youngers.
The mother of Cole Younger maiden name was Fristoe and many of the men who rode with Q were in some manner, related to the Fristoe family. If they weren't related by blood, they were the friends and neighbors of fellow Q members. There is a Baptist Church in Blue Springs, Mo where nearly all the young men who were members rode with Q. The event that lead up to the Lawrence raid was the collapse of a jail in Kansas City, Mo that killed 5 young women, who were all related to Q's men. They were the sisters, wives, and cousin's of close to 40% of Q's men, and their southern code of manhood demanded that they had to seek revenge. I tend to study the guerrilla war in Missouri from the standpoint of who was related to who; until recently, that aspect has been ignored. And why did they join? Overwhelming it had to do with revenge for something the Union or Kansas jaywalkers had done to them or their family. I'm not trying to make excuses for what they did, I'm just trying to understand them.

The Santa Fe trail started directly across the river from my town, maybe a mile and half from where I sit. When Mexico gained their independence, William Becknell started for Santa Fe from the town Square of Franklin, Mo in 1823. The town lasted until 1826 when it was flooded out by the river. Prior to that, it was the fastest growing town and region in the state. When Lewis and Clark came up river, they noted in their journel the many salt licks in the area. Around 1805, the sons of Daniel Boone began boiling salt from one of the springs, thus giving the name of this area of Mo, "The Booneslick Region." Kit Carson's family came to the Boonslick just before the war of 1812 and settled on some land about a mile from the the salt Springs the Boone family worked. Perhaps Kit's dad was killed in cutting down a tree to be used in the boiling of salt?
Also this area of the state along the river to the Kansas City area is known as "Little Dixie" as the majority of the early settlers were from the upper south. This would include the Younger and JAmes as well as most of Q's men, or at least their ancestors.

You may want to check out the book "The Ghosts of Guerrilla Memory, how Civil War Bushwhackers became gunslingers in the American West" by Matthew Christopher Gilbert.

And finally, I found out last year I'm very distantly related to the James family. It does really mean anything, but it is kind of cool.
 
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#31
You may want to check out the book "The Ghosts of Guerrilla Memory, how Civil War Bushwhackers became gunslingers in the American West" by Matthew Christopher Gilbert.
Thank you for the information, it goes well beyond what I have been able to amass regarding those familial lines through my own research. I find all of the relations through both marriage and blood fascinating regarding the James`, Younger`s and the Dalton`s. It makes since now that they would all come together as the nucleus of the James gang not long after the American Civil War was brought to a close. Again I really appreciate your input, I found it to be very informative.

As for the book, I will look it up online to see where I can purchase a copy. It sounds like it would fit perfectly with my interest regarding the Guerillas and Bushwhackers in the border states of Missouri and Kansas during the War, who operated in another, if not separate, capacity of the Confederate Army, but both having mutual goals. And then following some of their influences as outlaws and gunslingers in the west during Reconstruction and beyond.

So, let me ask you this, do you think it would be fair to say that the United States was actually fighting on 3 fronts during the American Civil War"? The war back east against the Confederate States Army, against Confederate Guerillas and Bushwhackers during the Missouri - Kansas conflict and the government continuing its war with the various Indian nations out on the plains and American frontier during western expansion?
 
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Booner

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#32
..........

So, let me ask you this, do you think it would be fair to say that the United States was actually fighting on 3 fronts during the American Civil War"? The war back east against the Confederate States Army, against Confederate Guerillas and Bushwhackers during the Missouri - Kansas conflict and the government continuing its war with the various Indian nations out on the plains and American frontier during western expansion?
I would agree with your statement, but I get the impression that the war against the guerrillas and Indians were holding actions with the governments main focus on the rebellion.
 
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#33
So, let me ask you this, do you think it would be fair to say that the United States was actually fighting on 3 fronts during the American Civil War"? The war back east against the Confederate States Army, against Confederate Guerillas and Bushwhackers during the Missouri - Kansas conflict and the government continuing its war with the various Indian nations out on the plains and American frontier during western expansion?
I myself don't see it as another "front" in the Civil War. I agree that this was a case of " the government continuing its war with the various Indian nations out on the plains and American frontier during western expansion."

I fear that when we say it was another "front" it makes it seem like this was part and parcel of the conflict between two parts of what was the American nation over its future. But it was more about the continuance of a manifest destiny notion that encompassed Indian Removal and the Mexican War, for example. I think the losing Confederates were treated in a way the Native Peoples could only dream of.

- Alan
 
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#34
I would agree with your statement, but I get the impression that the war against the guerrillas and Indians were holding actions with the governments main focus on the rebellion.
I agree with that... Leaving the government`s military resources split between three fronts with the Confederate States Army being the only of the three which could possibly be a legitimate threat in and of its self to do damage to the nation as we had come to know it. As neither the various plains Indian nations on the western frontier or the guerillas and bushwhackers in the Missouri - Kansas conflict wielded that capacity alone.
 

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#35
It should be noted that the impact of the 1862 Dakota War/Dakota Uprising had an enormous impact. The best part of a US state was stripped of white people and the actual casualties will likely never truly be none but are most often down played. No enemy of the US has yet had such an impact on the nation. It was certainly a wider are impacted than any CS invasion and to more effect in the long run. The US Army rnged against the Native American in reaction to the Dakota War from the Minnesota River to Montana, an area not much different in size than the entire CS. Just my two cents in addition to the conversation. The area was sparsely populated in relation to the eastern half of the country but the impact was very real and still felt more than a decade later.
 
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#36
It should be noted that the impact of the 1862 Dakota War/Dakota Uprising had an enormous impact. The best part of a US state was stripped of white people and the actual casualties will likely never truly be none but are most often down played. No enemy of the US has yet had such an impact on the nation. It was certainly a wider are impacted than any CS invasion and to more effect in the long run. The US Army rnged against the Native American in reaction to the Dakota War from the Minnesota River to Montana, an area not much different in size than the entire CS. Just my two cents in addition to the conversation. The area was sparsely populated in relation to the eastern half of the country but the impact was very real and still felt more than a decade later.
I agree... but no where near the vast amounts of population centers and millions of U.S. civilians affected back in the east and south-east during the ACW.. You do make a great point though. The sheer numbers affected make the vast difference between the two conflicts. In 1860 the population of the United States was about 31 million people, with the vast majority living in the population centers back east and in the south-east. Where as the Dakota Territory, inclusive of both north and south, was well less than 10,000 in 1862. By 1870 the population had reached no more than 10,000. Both North and South Dakota were not granted Statehood until 1889 by President Grover Cleveland.
 
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AndyHall

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#37
One of my first serious writing pieces was about Carson's campaign against the Navajo, and in the conclusion I made that comparison with Sherman. In retrospect, I think that was a little facile and superficial, because while Sherman's march through Georgia was destructive, it wasn't as brutal and devastating as Carson's -- Sherman wasn't trying to force Georgians onto a reservation by destroying their basic sustenance. I'd go back and change that if I could.
 
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