- May 23, 2016
While I don't disagree that Sherman's operational and higher order tactics were more responsible for the repulse at Chickasaw Bayou, primary tactics were part of the larger Federal problem. Only a single Federal regiment reached the Confederate line and it was forced back because it was not supported. Sherman's (and Morgan Smith's) primary tactics were unable to overcome the problems posed by terrain and enemy opposition.I am going to disagree with your overall conclusion and highlight the part above. When Sherman was at the division level he conducted action at the primary tactical level and the result was not bad, though the sample is small (Shiloh, the actions during the advance on Corinth, Port Arkansas). At Chickasaw Bayou it wasnt the primary tactics that were the problem -- it was Sherman's mistakes at the operational and strategic level. At Kennessaw he didnt oversee primary tactics and the mistake was his higher level decision to attack instead of maneuver.
As for Kennesaw, I didn't attribute his repulse or his problem as being primary tactics, merely that his operational thinking was flawed in his belief that he could break through the Army of Tennessee's lines and force Johnston into the Chattahoochee. However, I worded that section very poorly and have edited it to reflect my intent. I appreciate your analysis and criticism.