Trent war - possible timeline of events, battles, and outcome

Saphroneth

Captain
Joined
Feb 18, 2017
Possible options for that fifth corps:

Pointed directly at Lexington
Downside: supply-ability
Upside: pretty much guarantees that the Union will lose Lexington, Paducah or Mammoth Cave as they can't defend all three places in sufficient force

Making an attack on Pacudah
Downside: two moderately strong thrusts instead of an across-the-continent attack
Upside: could eliminate Grant or (more likely) push him back across the Ohio, would then allow one of the corps to switch axis to Bowling Green

Joining the main army at Bowling Green
Downside: single line of advance along the rail line
Upside: overwhelming force (9 divisions against no more than about 5)
 

Saphroneth

Captain
Joined
Feb 18, 2017
Corps structure...

Corps - Lovell

Division one - Atchison (12 regiments, 1 bn)
Pryor - 8 AL, 14 AL, 14 LA, 32 VA
Blanchard - 1 LA, 3 GA, 4 GA, 22 GA
Gist - 46 GA, 24 SC, 8 GA (Bn) + 34 GA, 52 GA

Division two - Gatlin (14 regiments)
New Bern garrison (Cooke?) - 27 NC, 42 NC, 43 NC, + 32nd NC, 51st NC
Roanoke Inlet garrison (Shaw?) - 8 NC, 17 NC, 31 NC, + 46th NC
Fort Fisher garrison (Lamb) - 11 NC, 20 NC, 30 NC, + 47th NC, 50th NC


Division three - McCown (14 regiments)
Pensacola garrison (Patton Anderson?) - 8 MS, 27 MS, 1 FL
Mobile garrison (Page?) - 1 AL, 32 AL, 3 FL
New Orleans garrison (Duncan) - 3 MS, 21 LA, 22 LA, 23 LA
Savannah garrison (Olmstead) - 1 GA, 29 GA, 30 GA, 32 GA
 

Generic Username

Corporal
Joined
May 12, 2019
Location
Yes
Adding to the material difficulties of the Federals, and upon which you have touched on before, is the lead issue:

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On hand in 1861: 1,302,000 lbs
Purchased to 30 June 1862: 23,057,000 lbs
Expended to 30 June 1862: 18,920,000 lbs
Purchased to 30 June 1863: 48,720,000 lbs
Expended to 30 June 1863: 31,139,000 lbs
Purchased to 30 June 1864: 12,740,000 lbs
Expended to 30 June 1864: 7,624,000 lbs

Lead imports from Britain by year

1861: 1,679,000 lbs
1862: 28,926,000 lbs
1863 5,777,000 lbs
1864 25,929,000 lbs

From June 30th of 1862 to June 30th of 1863, the Union Army alone expended 31 million pounds of lead; total production during that same space was only 28 million pounds. Take in note, this is not including civilian needs, or the needs of the Union Navy and Marine Corps. Without even getting into the saltpeter issue, we see further resistance is impossible. In 1861, the price per 100lbs is between $5-6 and by 1864 is $17 per 100lbs. Still, domestic production is completely unable to meet the demand and wouldn't be able to satisfy the Army's 1862 per annum demand until 1864; this suggests, to me at least, that there is no quick fix available for the Union's shortage in this critical area.
 

67th Tigers

1st Lieutenant
Joined
Nov 10, 2006
I've seen that chart on AH recently. Was it you that got Cancelled?

Lead imports were a major part of HMG's case in the settling up of the Alabama claims. Indeed, there wasn't enough lead to make bullets.
 

Saphroneth

Captain
Joined
Feb 18, 2017
The effective assumption I've been making is that the Union can keep things together without some kind of collapse until at least the end of Q2 1862 (fighting at a somewhat reduced capacity but without a major drop). After that things get rapidly much worse because at that point every cartridge is a significant investment from a small pool of wasting assets - which means that the paucity of ammunition in the hands of the soldiers results in major failings in battle.

It's one of those things that's hard to pinpoint a case of "this ammunition shortage resulted in that loss", but it happens anyway - what it looks like is:

A regiment pulls back because it's run out of ammunition after an enemy attack, but it looks like it pulled back due to enemy pressure
A formation ordered to attack breaks after 5-10 minutes of firefight because it ran out of ammunition, instead of a 20-30 minute firefight that does more damage.
A regiment successfully captures a fort, when if the defenders had fired at them earlier then they would have absorbed one more volley and been unable to press the attack.


And, of course...

It is clear to everyone involved that the British long range musketry is tearing the heart out of the Union army, but the Union literally cannot spare the powder and shot to train.
 

Generic Username

Corporal
Joined
May 12, 2019
Location
Yes
Ah, people were asking Saph and I whether we were you.

The source would be interesting.

Given the level of detail and research you two do, I consider it the highest compliment. Ironically though, I've always made it clear I'm an American and spent a lot of time on WWII in the After 1900 section; not sure how the confusion came about lol.

As for the lead issue, here yah go.
 

Generic Username

Corporal
Joined
May 12, 2019
Location
Yes
The effective assumption I've been making is that the Union can keep things together without some kind of collapse until at least the end of Q2 1862 (fighting at a somewhat reduced capacity but without a major drop). After that things get rapidly much worse because at that point every cartridge is a significant investment from a small pool of wasting assets - which means that the paucity of ammunition in the hands of the soldiers results in major failings in battle.

It's one of those things that's hard to pinpoint a case of "this ammunition shortage resulted in that loss", but it happens anyway - what it looks like is:

A regiment pulls back because it's run out of ammunition after an enemy attack, but it looks like it pulled back due to enemy pressure
A formation ordered to attack breaks after 5-10 minutes of firefight because it ran out of ammunition, instead of a 20-30 minute firefight that does more damage.
A regiment successfully captures a fort, when if the defenders had fired at them earlier then they would have absorbed one more volley and been unable to press the attack.


And, of course...

It is clear to everyone involved that the British long range musketry is tearing the heart out of the Union army, but the Union literally cannot spare the powder and shot to train.

To make a rough guess of it:

Production in 1862 overall is 14,000 tons, so I'll make the assumption that 7,000 tons is the production for the first half of 1862, which is 14,000,000 lbs of lead. Expenditure from June of 1861 to June of 1862 is 18,920,000 lbs; it seems likely most of this expenditure was in early 1862 given the lack of combat in late 1861 as compared to 1862 (the Forts, Shiloh, New Orleans, Peninsular Campaign, etc). Based on that, it seems to me the only way the Union could make it to the second half of the year is if they adopt a defensive stance on all fronts and do little to contest the Royal Navy, be it either naval engagements in general or even fighting off their raiding parties.
 

Saphroneth

Captain
Joined
Feb 18, 2017
Given the level of detail and research you two do, I consider it the highest compliment. Ironically though, I've always made it clear I'm an American and spent a lot of time on WWII in the After 1900 section; not sure how the confusion came about lol.
I've seen stranger cases of mistaken identity on AH.com.


To make a rough guess of it:

Production in 1862 overall is 14,000 tons, so I'll make the assumption that 7,000 tons is the production for the first half of 1862, which is 14,000,000 lbs of lead. Expenditure from June of 1861 to June of 1862 is 18,920,000 lbs; it seems likely most of this expenditure was in early 1862 given the lack of combat in late 1861 as compared to 1862 (the Forts, Shiloh, New Orleans, Peninsular Campaign, etc). Based on that, it seems to me the only way the Union could make it to the second half of the year is if they adopt a defensive stance on all fronts and do little to contest the Royal Navy, be it either naval engagements in general or even fighting off their raiding parties.
There is some scope for "reuse" of what had previously been marginal lead or lead not worth recovering, plus e.g. stripping out the plumbing. And I believe cannonballs are iron, not lead, so it's bullets which matter.

One thing to keep in mind is that the typical bullets for a .58 rifle-musket are about thirty to a kilogram, so H1 1862 production under this metric (7,000 tonnes) is enough for about 210 million bullets if that's the only thing they make - or 420 per man in the Union army to a first approximation.
The importance of that number is that it tells us bullets were not the only thing they were making and that therefore there were other uses which were taking up the majority of the lead use - though those other uses would of course suffer badly.






I think what I might do with that fifth corps is have it be assembled successfully around the point that the timeline has currently reached, under Lovell, and send them up from Knoxville on the route Kirby Smith's force followed on the historical Heartland Offensive in August and September. This route hits Lexington KY about two weeks after setting off, and can then be directed towards Frankfort and thence to Louisville, and can turn Buell and force him to retreat on Louisville AFAICT.

This would effectively gain most of Eastern KY.

The thing I'm not sure about is whether the route would be logistically feasible being launched in spring-summer rather than autumn.
 

67th Tigers

1st Lieutenant
Joined
Nov 10, 2006
Yep my various sock puppets have been mistaken for Smith and Tigers both and yet I had one which was a word play on 'Tielhard's Sock Puppet' and no one spotted it.

Do they still mention you? I see the occasional rant from one or two people, but I think we're mostly forgotten.
 

Saphroneth

Captain
Joined
Feb 18, 2017
It looks like winter wheat might not have been as widespread and most crop ripening in Kentucky starts in June or later so there would have been less forage, but OTOH they were eating something (and presumably well) so maybe the foraging is doable after all - just as food reserves instead of crops in the fields.

Hmm, so if this fifth Western corps marches out on about March 15th, then they'll end up reaching Lexington KY (and fighting the garrison forces there) around March 30.
If I assume that what's at Lexington is one division of volunteers (Nelson's?) and a couple of brigades of Kentucky Guards, as a result of Buell reacting to the Battles of Cedar Spring and Rocky Hill by pulling in GW Morgan to stiffen his strength, then the corps is going to be hitting at something like 2:1 relative effectiveness (but if Buell hadn't shifted units then he'd be being hit at about 2:1 relative effectiveness where he was).
At that point Buell is going to want to pull back to avoid being cut off from the Ohio river, as far as I can tell, which means he'd react by pulling back to Louisville KY and having what of GW Morgan's forces can do so pull back to the Ohio river as well. At this point Kentucky is largely under Confederate control, though there's been no big "wipe out a Union army" battle.
 

Saphroneth

Captain
Joined
Feb 18, 2017
Following the above I think a likely course of action would be the transfer of one Confederate corps west from operating against Buell to operate against Grant at Pacudah.

Does this seem correct, and what would Buell etc. be doing if they'd been largely pushed out of Kentucky? I'm sort of assuming that if the Ohio is the border then things sort of stabilize, as US gunboats control the river but Union efforts south of the Ohio risk trouble from larger Confederate total forces.

Maybe the Union would try and concentrate all their troops on one axis of advance? This would likely gain ground temporarily but invite a superior concentration against them.
 

Saphroneth

Captain
Joined
Feb 18, 2017
So I'm afraid I've started thinking about how much deployable cavalry manpower the Union would have as of the thaw (i.e. May).

This basically has three components. The first is "how much cavalry was actually mounted in May historically", the second is "how much of that was due to purchases of Canadian horses post-climbdown", and the third is "how is that necessarily limited pool of cavalry actually apportioned"?

I'm going to assume that the main place with the difference worth commenting on is going to be in the East, partly because the AotP is going to be supplying the cavalry for the Army of the St. Lawrence as well as the cavalry for the front of Washington and partly because in the West I can mostly just assume that there's a regiment or so of cavalry at the Niagara and Detroit frontiers. A single regiment of cavalry just isn't enough for operations up the Richelieu, though, so there's going to need to be a fairly major apportionment.

I should also note here that I'm in general assuming that the drop in availability of cavalry horses is the main cost from the non-availability of the Canadian horse supply, though in truth they also supplied many of the horses for both supply wagons and artillery and this would harm the articulation of the Union army in general.

My rough offhand estimate without the effect of the loss of Canadian horses would be:


Historical distribution in late March:

1st Corps Brigade (BG Hatch)
- 2nd NY Cavalry (Col Davis)
- 1st NY Cavalry (Col Reynolds)

2nd Corps Brigade (BG ... unspecified)
- 3rd NY Cavalry (Col Van Alen)
- 8th Illinois Cavalry (Col Farnsworth)
- 1 sqn, 6th NY Cavalry (Col Devin)

3rd Corps Brigade (BG ...)
- 3rd Pennsylvania Cavalry (Col Averell)
- 1st New Jersey Cavalry (Col Wyndham)

4th Corps Brigade
- 1st Pennsylvania Cavalry (Col Bayard)
- 5th Pennsylvania Cavalry (No col)
- 4th NY Cavalry (Col Dickel)

5th Corps Division (to not go to Peninsula)
- 5th NY Cavalry (Col de Forest)
- 1st Vermont Cavalry (Col Holiday)
- 1st Michigan Cavalry (Col Bromhead)
- 1st New England Cavalry (Col Lawton)
- 1st Maine Cavalry (Col Allen)
- 18 Maryland Cavalry coys
- Pennsylvania Cavalry battalion
- Squadron of Virginia Cavalry

Cavalry Reserve Division (BG St. Geo. Cooke)
1st Brigade (BG Emory)
- 5th US Cavalry
- 6th US Cavalry
- 6th Pennsylvania Cavalry (Col Rush)
2nd Brigade (Col Blake)
- 1st US Cavalry
- 8th Pennsylvania Cavalry (Col Gregg)
- Barker's Illinois Squadron & Oneida Coy

to Washington - 3rd Indiana Cavalry

From those, I'd assume:
Army of the St. Lawrence gets two brigades, one per corps
1st Maine Cavalry goes back to Maine for operations there
Army of the Potomac retains the rest of the corps cavalry (i.e. about 13 regiments counting the 3rd Indiana) and possibly the Cavalry Reserve Division, though that might go to the AotSL - if it does then the AotSL "corps" cavalry would be two two-regiment brigades. If however the Cav Reserve Division stays with the AotP then the AotSL would get two three-regiment brigades, which might then be converged into two two-regiment brigades with the corps and one two-regiment brigade at army level.

So that means it's either:

AotSL: 6
Maine: 1
AotP: 16

or

AotSL: 9
Maine: 1
AotP: 13

That then gets reduced by the horse issues.
 

steve59p

Sergeant
Joined
Oct 21, 2016
So I'm afraid I've started thinking about how much deployable cavalry manpower the Union would have as of the thaw (i.e. May).

This basically has three components. The first is "how much cavalry was actually mounted in May historically", the second is "how much of that was due to purchases of Canadian horses post-climbdown", and the third is "how is that necessarily limited pool of cavalry actually apportioned"?

I'm going to assume that the main place with the difference worth commenting on is going to be in the East, partly because the AotP is going to be supplying the cavalry for the Army of the St. Lawrence as well as the cavalry for the front of Washington and partly because in the West I can mostly just assume that there's a regiment or so of cavalry at the Niagara and Detroit frontiers. A single regiment of cavalry just isn't enough for operations up the Richelieu, though, so there's going to need to be a fairly major apportionment.

I should also note here that I'm in general assuming that the drop in availability of cavalry horses is the main cost from the non-availability of the Canadian horse supply, though in truth they also supplied many of the horses for both supply wagons and artillery and this would harm the articulation of the Union army in general.

My rough offhand estimate without the effect of the loss of Canadian horses would be:


Historical distribution in late March:

1st Corps Brigade (BG Hatch)
- 2nd NY Cavalry (Col Davis)
- 1st NY Cavalry (Col Reynolds)

2nd Corps Brigade (BG ... unspecified)
- 3rd NY Cavalry (Col Van Alen)
- 8th Illinois Cavalry (Col Farnsworth)
- 1 sqn, 6th NY Cavalry (Col Devin)

3rd Corps Brigade (BG ...)
- 3rd Pennsylvania Cavalry (Col Averell)
- 1st New Jersey Cavalry (Col Wyndham)

4th Corps Brigade
- 1st Pennsylvania Cavalry (Col Bayard)
- 5th Pennsylvania Cavalry (No col)
- 4th NY Cavalry (Col Dickel)

5th Corps Division (to not go to Peninsula)
- 5th NY Cavalry (Col de Forest)
- 1st Vermont Cavalry (Col Holiday)
- 1st Michigan Cavalry (Col Bromhead)
- 1st New England Cavalry (Col Lawton)
- 1st Maine Cavalry (Col Allen)
- 18 Maryland Cavalry coys
- Pennsylvania Cavalry battalion
- Squadron of Virginia Cavalry

Cavalry Reserve Division (BG St. Geo. Cooke)
1st Brigade (BG Emory)
- 5th US Cavalry
- 6th US Cavalry
- 6th Pennsylvania Cavalry (Col Rush)
2nd Brigade (Col Blake)
- 1st US Cavalry
- 8th Pennsylvania Cavalry (Col Gregg)
- Barker's Illinois Squadron & Oneida Coy

to Washington - 3rd Indiana Cavalry

From those, I'd assume:
Army of the St. Lawrence gets two brigades, one per corps
1st Maine Cavalry goes back to Maine for operations there
Army of the Potomac retains the rest of the corps cavalry (i.e. about 13 regiments counting the 3rd Indiana) and possibly the Cavalry Reserve Division, though that might go to the AotSL - if it does then the AotSL "corps" cavalry would be two two-regiment brigades. If however the Cav Reserve Division stays with the AotP then the AotSL would get two three-regiment brigades, which might then be converged into two two-regiment brigades with the corps and one two-regiment brigade at army level.

So that means it's either:

AotSL: 6
Maine: 1
AotP: 16

or

AotSL: 9
Maine: 1
AotP: 13

That then gets reduced by the horse issues.

Saphroneth

I think you might have this the wrong way around as it seems to be saying to me if the reserve goes to the AotSL they have 4 regiments while if it stays with the AotP then the AotSL has 6. Know what you mean but just to mention.

Suspect there are a lot more Canadian horses going to the supply and logistics as they would be much larger than the cavalry but could be difficult to tell. Don't suppose there are figures on the rates of sale/purchase?

Steve
 

Saphroneth

Captain
Joined
Feb 18, 2017
I think you might have this the wrong way around as it seems to be saying to me if the reserve goes to the AotSL they have 4 regiments while if it stays with the AotP then the AotSL has 6. Know what you mean but just to mention.
I mean that either the AotSL gets 4 cavalry plus the reserve, or it gets 6 cavalry and does not get the reserve.


Suspect there are a lot more Canadian horses going to the supply and logistics as they would be much larger than the cavalry but could be difficult to tell. Don't suppose there are figures on the rates of sale/purchase?
That's what I'm wondering. While I know the supply and logistics would be seriously affected (and would basically be one reason the AotSL has to stick close to the Richelieu river / clear the rail line north) it would also have a direct impact on the cavalry because horsing a cavalry regiment is expensive in horses - you need at least some cavalry, after all.


I might well see what it looks like if I assume any regiment horsed after December just does not get any.
 

steve59p

Sergeant
Joined
Oct 21, 2016
I mean that either the AotSL gets 4 cavalry plus the reserve, or it gets 6 cavalry and does not get the reserve.



That's what I'm wondering. While I know the supply and logistics would be seriously affected (and would basically be one reason the AotSL has to stick close to the Richelieu river / clear the rail line north) it would also have a direct impact on the cavalry because horsing a cavalry regiment is expensive in horses - you need at least some cavalry, after all.


I might well see what it looks like if I assume any regiment horsed after December just does not get any.

Saphroneth

Ah OK, I was misunderstanding. :redface: Thanks for clarifying.

Steve
 

Saphroneth

Captain
Joined
Feb 18, 2017
I make the allocation as follows.

Inf:

Army of the Potomac - 9 field divisions
Army of the St Lawrence - 6 field divisions


Total cav to apportion: 22 regiments, minus 1 for one regiment which was not available as it wasn't yet horsed, -1 for the 1st Maine going to Maine (so 20)

Thus, with cav roughly pro rata:

8 regiments with Army of St Lawrence
with consolidated reserve div (St Cooke)
(Emory (5th US, 6th US), Blake (6th PA, 1st US))
and individual corps units
Hatch (1st NY, 2nd NY) with 1st Corps AotSL, Farnsworth? (3rd NY, 8th IL) with 2nd Corps AotSL
(Facing off against 3 regiments of regular British cavalry around Montreal (Paget, Horse Gds, 5th Dragoons, 10th Hussars) and 3 in the Quebec area (Lawrenson, 2nd Life Guards, 1st Dragoons, 15th Hussars), plus 6 troops of Canadian volunteer cavalry around Montreal and 3 from the Quebec area)


12 regiments with Army of the Potomac
with consolidated reserve div (Stoneman)
(Holiday? (1st VT, 1st NE/RI, 1st NJ), Buford (3rd IN, Maryland companies etc. totalling roughly 2 regiments))
and individual corps units
Averell? (3rd PA, 8th PA), Bayard (1st PA, 5th PA), Dickel? (4th NY, 5th NY)
(Facing off against 4 brigades of Confederate cavalry totalling 14 regiments, 3 legions and odds and sodds almost equating to another regiment)

Confederate cavalry with Lee and Johnston's army (all under Stuart):
(1 VA, 3 VA, 4 VA, 5 VA) - F. Lee
(7 VA, 9 VA, 13 VA, 1 NC) - WH Lee
(2 VA, 6 VA, 12 VA, 14 VA, 17 VA) - Robertson
(Hampton Legion, Jeff Davis Legion, Cobb Legion (all just cav components), 10th VA, Crichter's Bn, Burrougs' Bn, Goodwyn's coy) - Hampton


Which means that the AotP cavalry is facing a superior but not overwhelming opponent (about 3:2 strength ratio, maybe a bit less) and the AotSL cavalry initially (when just one British regular cav brigade is in theatre) has a significant numerical advantage but also a serious quality disadvantage; once Lawrenson arrives the Union cavalry is in serious trouble because of the quality problems, though it can probably still do the screening thing a bit.
 
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