Johnston was only a threat to shoe leather!Pemberton was indeed placed in an untenable position. His immediate military superior, Joe Johnston, directed Pemberton to save his army by maneuvering in open field, whereas Jeff Davis ordered that Vicksburg be held at all costs. To some extent, this was a problem with the muddled leadership of the Confederacy and the lack of clear lines of authority. Pemberton should have followed Johnston's urgings, which would have sacrificed the city but left his army intact, allowing it to link up with whatever forces Johnston was able to bear, and present a clear threat to Grant and the AoT
Holding out longer wouldn't have changed much. Surrendering when they did allowed some paroled and exchanged Confederates to be sent to and in the fight at Chickamauga and most of the rest of them joined the AoT for the Chattanooga Campaign. That's the only military "good" I see in it.The surrender at Vicksburg did not prevent cross river commerce or individual traffic. It did relieve the confederacy of trying to defend fixed positions vulnerable to combined US army/naval operations. Mobile was far more important to the confederacy than Vicksburg and the surrender freed the confederates to fight a mobile defense in the Alabama/ Mississippi theater. Note confederate forces in the theater didn't surrender at end of war until well after Lee/Johnston.
Johnston had 5 divisions. Not sure how many men.That was closer to what I understood. Not much of a threat except to disrupt his line of supply.
Not to mention the surrender of a major Confederate army and the lost of the connection to the West . How could such a loss be good if you mean for the Confederacy ? Why did the Confederate force not leave and faced the Union army in open combat. Not only did the Confederate strategy result in the loss of Vicksburg but also the loss of Jackson, Ms. What would it have been if the the army from Vicksburg and the other armies had meet Grant and Sherman in open terrain. Would it be the Gettysburg of that theater? It would have been a classical battle.There's an argument to be made for Vicksburg being a more important political and financial victory for the Union than a military one. An open Mississippi meant the restoration of river commerce for the Old Northwest.
That's exactly why I didn't wish to enter that argument.Pemberton was indeed placed in an untenable position. His immediate military superior, Joe Johnston, directed Pemberton to save his army by maneuvering in open field, whereas Jeff Davis ordered that Vicksburg be held at all costs. To some extent, this was a problem with the muddled leadership of the Confederacy and the lack of clear lines of authority.
Sherman wanted Johnston to attack Sherman's army. Sherman would have probably tried to get east of Johnston and drive the Confederate south and west into the lands that the US had already stripped of everything useful. Grant would been glad to try to add Johnston to the surrender.According to Wikipedia, 30,000 men. Sherman had 40,000 to face him on July 5.
My GGG Grandfather's papers has a lot on this subject, I will try and post in the near future. Being Pemberton's AG he was there up close and personnelThat's exactly why I didn't wish to enter that argument.
There are too many threads about Pemberton's dilemma.
I actually feel sorry for the man.
His immediate commanding officer is telling him to do one thing, while the President of his Country is ordering him to do something opposite.
As a civilian, I've always understood one accepts the direct order of the highest ranking officer issuing any direct order.
(I'm sure our military members can explain the details of conflicting orders).
President Davis had been a very successful US Army Officer during the Mexican War.
Not to mention the former United States Secretary of War.
That said, Pemberton was correct to follow Davis' orders ... IMHO.