Chickamauga Chattanooga Who was most responsible for opening the Cracker Line?

wausaubob

Lt. Colonel
Joined
Apr 4, 2017
Location
Denver, CO
What Longstreet thought is thoroughly documented. He dismissed the threat of any attack to secure a bridgehead at Browns Ferry. As we know, two A of the P Corps popping up like a Jack in the box never entered into his planning. The documented record on that subject is unambiguous.
I don't think we disagree. One way of evaluating it was to think that Hooker's divisions would remain closer to Bridgeport and possibly ferry an engine or two across and reduce their logistical load that way. If Sherman was moving, he would probably come in from the west and meet up with Hooker from that direction. That involves some wishful thinking about Thomas being forced to attempt a withdrawal, as had occurred at Chickamauga.
They weren't thinking about Thomas and Smith eliminating the north bank route almost completely and the little steamers being brought into operation and the river being cleared of all practical artillery fire. They had not really comprehended what Grant had planned at Vicksburg. The correct concept of Civil War logistics was to use the most water born logistics as possible, and as few wagons and mules as possible.
Longstreet was thinking conventionally, as if he was dealing with one of the eastern generals. The triple convergence was an audacious plan, involving close cooperation between three forces and an amphibious attack. Its not hard to understand how shocked the Confederates would be when the saw the US forces had no intention of retreating.
 

Rhea Cole

1st Lieutenant
Joined
Nov 2, 2019
Location
Murfreesboro, Tennessee
Rosecrans knew eventually he could get his communications routes back. Reason he gave up Missionary Ridge and Lookout Mountait. He knew it woyod be Temporar.

Thomas explained Baldy Smiths plan to Grant. They rode to Browns Ferry and Grant approved the overall plan.

Rosecrans had to fabricate 110 pontoon boats. Might they be importan? Might that take some time? Evidpence, he was doin, something.

The Grant Apologist are the source of much entertainment.
The innovative design for the Army of the Cumberland’s pontoons was just one of the many ground breaking news initiatives that the highly experienced engineer Rosecrans was involved with. Bridging Brown’s Ferry was a rounding error compared with the pontoon bridge at Bridge point. The collapsible pontoons were already in Chattanooga. There was no need to fabricate them.

Of you read the telegraphic traffic now available, Grant was as involved with the Knoxville operation as he was with Chattanooga. Grant was managing a battle space that went from Nashville to Vicksburg to Chattanooga to Knoxville. To a knowledgeable person, Grants victory in that huge & complex arena needs no apologies.
 
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David Moore

Sergeant Major
Joined
Mar 26, 2014
Location
Washington, DC
I have spent my morning re- reading Dana’s reports from Chattanooga. They are available online from the Huntington Library’s Eckert collection. Dana had a personal cypher & his messages were entered onto a ledger separate from other telegraphic traffic. If you haven’t read Dana’s reports, I encourage you to do do. His reports are a real-time narrative of events. These reports came in from Gen so in do this morning... officers who deserted said this... officers said that. He was a newspaper man & The Who-what-when-where nature of the reports are very different from the often stilted official language of official reports.

The arc of Dana’s regard for Rosecrans that runs from admiration to alarm is documented in the reports. Nobody in this thread has any first hand knowledge of the Events surrounding the Browns Ferry operation, Dana did. His reports went directly to Stanton & Lincoln. He had a direct effect on decision making at the highest level.

So, before we go much further citing references at second, third & fourth remove from what Dana wrote, I suggest reading Dana’s very readable original reports from Chattanooga. Until then, you are citing what somebody else thought about what they read.
A link or specific citations would be nice.
 

David Moore

Sergeant Major
Joined
Mar 26, 2014
Location
Washington, DC
I have spent my morning re- reading Dana’s reports from Chattanooga. They are available online from the Huntington Library’s Eckert collection. Dana had a personal cypher & his messages were entered onto a ledger separate from other telegraphic traffic. If you haven’t read Dana’s reports, I encourage you to do do. His reports are a real-time narrative of events. These reports came in from Gen so in do this morning... officers who deserted said this... officers said that. He was a newspaper man & The Who-what-when-where nature of the reports are very different from the often stilted official language of official reports.

The arc of Dana’s regard for Rosecrans that runs from admiration to alarm is documented in the reports. Nobody in this thread has any first hand knowledge of the Events surrounding the Browns Ferry operation, Dana did. His reports went directly to Stanton & Lincoln. He had a direct effect on decision making at the highest level.

So, before we go much further citing references at second, third & fourth remove from what Dana wrote, I suggest reading Dana’s very readable original reports from Chattanooga. Until then, you are citing what somebody else thought about what they read.
I’d be careful with citing Dana on anything. He admitted he was “unjust” to Rosecrans in a letter written in 1882. He had tried to blame Garfield for treachery to Rosecrans claiming he had two letters that proved it. Only one has ever surfaced. Dana also denied Grant ever drank but privately admitted he did. He later turned against President Grant. Politics. Politics. Politics.
 

Rhea Cole

1st Lieutenant
Joined
Nov 2, 2019
Location
Murfreesboro, Tennessee
I’d be careful with citing Dana on anything. He admitted he was “unjust” to Rosecrans in a letter written in 1882. He had tried to blame Garfield for treachery to Rosecrans claiming he had two letters that proved it. Only one has ever surfaced. Dana also denied Grant ever drank but privately admitted he did. He later turned against President Grant. Politics. Politics. Politics.
I have absolutely no problem citing Dana. My recent reading of his reports from Chattanooga have left me with an appreciation of his man on the scene reports. The arc of his reports on Rosecrans begin with outright admiration. Others have read into Dana what they want without bothering to read the original text.
 

David Moore

Sergeant Major
Joined
Mar 26, 2014
Location
Washington, DC
I have absolutely no problem citing Dana. My recent reading of his reports from Chattanooga have left me with an appreciation of his man on the scene reports. The arc of his reports on Rosecrans begin with outright admiration. Others have read into Dana what they want without bothering to read the original text.
You think Dana is an honest and trustworthy person? I assume you know Granger in an 1864 letter to Rosecrans called Dana “ a loathesime pimp.”
Perhaps more troubling is his attempt to blame the dead Garfield for treachery when some would say Dana was actually guilty of that. Evidence of Dana’s untrustworthyness is his failure to produce a second Garfield letter he claimed to have showing treachery to Rosecrans. Dana admitted to Rosecrans that he wrote things that could be considered unjust. Ultimately he like others turned against Grant.
 

Rhea Cole

1st Lieutenant
Joined
Nov 2, 2019
Location
Murfreesboro, Tennessee
There seem to be many volumes. Is there something concerning Rosecrans that is markedly different from what is in the OR?
The Dana ledger is or his messages only. It is the record of what Lincoln & Stanton read in the order in which they read it. Lincoln was fond of reading Dana’s reports out loud. Vital decisions were made based on Dana’s reports.

In all candor, there is a world of absolute twaddle written about Dana’s reports. Grant trusted him. Stanton trusted him. Lincoln trusted him. Were any of the individuals who snipe at Dana in a better position to judge the quality of his reporting than they were? If you want to understand why thy had such confidence in him, read the reports.

I have no reason to make a comparison between the O.R. with the original ledger. All I can say is that reading the original is is a very different experience.
 

David Moore

Sergeant Major
Joined
Mar 26, 2014
Location
Washington, DC
Some think Dana was sent as a spy. He said publicly Grant never drank. Privately he said he did. But I think- like Garfield and others- Rosecrans was a marked man. Do you think there is any evidence Grant could have done the Tullahoma and Chickamauga campaigns? Consider engineering experience. Mountain campaigning experience. Innovation accomplishments.
 

uaskme

2nd Lieutenant
Joined
Nov 9, 2016
Location
SE Tennessee
The innovative design for the Army of the Cumberland’s pontoons was just one of the many ground breaking news initiatives that the highly experienced engineer Rosecrans was involved with. Bridging Brown’s Ferry was a rounding error compared with the pontoon bridge at Bridge point. The collapsible pontoons were already in Chattanooga. There was no need to fabricate them.

Of you read the telegraphic traffic now available, Grant was as involved with the Knoxville operation as he was with Chattanooga. Grant was managing a battle space that went from Nashville to Vicksburg to Chattanooga to Knoxville. To a knowledgeable person, Grants victory in that huge & complex arena needs no apologies.

Maybe you can explain how the Federals could get pontoons from Bridgeport to Chattanooga. They couldn’t get enough food or fodder to survive. The reason they were opening the Cracker Line. Maybe the Grantees think he flew them there? Grant was a MacGyver, no doubt.

You and others seem to have an Interest in Chickamauga and Chattanooga. Maybe you should go in together and get you a good book on the subject?

There were 2 saw mills in Chattanooga. Came in handy.

Wiley Sword, Mountains Touched With Fire

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wausaubob

Lt. Colonel
Joined
Apr 4, 2017
Location
Denver, CO
It wasn’t prudent to relieve Rosecrans before the Ohio gubernatorial election on October 13.
Which was probably the critical date. Grant did not make it to Chattanooga until some time after the 13th and Rosecrans met him as Rosecrans departed. Grant was not in a hurry at Louisville, and recalled that he was traveling with his wife. Then all heck broke loose and Grant had to go in person to Chattanooga. Most of this got lost, as Halleck and Stanton removed material from the record that presented them in an unflattering light.
 

Rhea Cole

1st Lieutenant
Joined
Nov 2, 2019
Location
Murfreesboro, Tennessee
Some think Dana was sent as a spy. He said publicly Grant never drank. Privately he said he did. But I think- like Garfield and others- Rosecrans was a marked man. Do you think there is any evidence Grant could have done the Tullahoma and Chickamauga campaigns? Consider engineering experience. Mountain campaigning experience. Innovation accomplishments.
Dana was sent to Grant’s HQ by Stanton to check up on Grant. He was given a cover story to investigate paymasters. Nobody was fooled by the cover story. Grant’s officers openly planned to obstruct his investigation. When Grant got word of that, he ordered that Dana had full access to anything & anybody he wanted to look into. It was, of course exactly the right to do.
If you read Dana’s reports, it was no wonder that his growing admiration & respect for Grant made such an impression on Stanton & Lincoln. Dana’s telegraphic messages were sent in a private cipher. That way he side stepped the Hallecks of the world.
At Chattanooga, it is obvious that his function as Stanton/Lincoln’s eyes & ears was fully understood. He received real-time action reports & openly interviewed officers & men. There is an almost play by play quality to them. Grant made use of him as well.
The Dana as spy fallacy is one of those things that people who haven’t read Dana’s original reports front to back say.

Could Grant have pulled off both the Tullahoma Campaign & the Vicksburg Campaign at the same time? It would have taken a super hero able to shift from Mississippi to Murfreesboro instantly... which strikes me as unlikely
 

uaskme

2nd Lieutenant
Joined
Nov 9, 2016
Location
SE Tennessee
Dana was sent to Grant’s HQ by Stanton to check up on Grant. He was given a cover story to investigate paymasters. Nobody was fooled by the cover story. Grant’s officers openly planned to obstruct his investigation. When Grant got word of that, he ordered that Dana had full access to anything & anybody he wanted to look into. It was, of course exactly the right to do.
If you read Dana’s reports, it was no wonder that his growing admiration & respect for Grant made such an impression on Stanton & Lincoln. Dana’s telegraphic messages were sent in a private cipher. That way he side stepped the Hallecks of the world.
At Chattanooga, it is obvious that his function as Stanton/Lincoln’s eyes & ears was fully understood. He received real-time action reports & openly interviewed officers & men. There is an almost play by play quality to them. Grant made use of him as well.
The Dana as spy fallacy is one of those things that people who haven’t read Dana’s original reports front to back say.

Could Grant have pulled off both the Tullahoma Campaign & the Vicksburg Campaign at the same time? It would have taken a super hero able to shift from Mississippi to Murfreesboro instantly... which strikes me as unlikely

There are some pretty good historians who have studied Dana and are in complete disagreement with you. David Powell for one.

Grant gave Dana a permit to trade Cotton. Of course Dana said he never made any money in the Venture. Surely Dana wasn’t that inept. One hand washes the other.

Dana was a tool of Stanton. That seems to have slipped by you. Dana knew what Stanton and Lincoln for that matter wanted. The demise of Rosey. Dana was a lier and backstabbed. He also wet himself at Chickamauga. Blobbed early reports of the AOCs utter destruction after Chickamauga, which he tried to reconstruct after he composed himself. All too late, the damage was done.

Grant spewed utter nonsense at Rosecrans. Part of their history, Grant apologist will never believe.

I don’t think you can believe anything Dana or Grant wrote post War. Both were self serving hypocrites. It is what it is.
 

Rhea Cole

1st Lieutenant
Joined
Nov 2, 2019
Location
Murfreesboro, Tennessee
There are some pretty good historians who have studied Dana and are in complete disagreement with you. David Powell for one.

Grant gave Dana a permit to trade Cotton. Of course Dana said he never made any money in the Venture. Surely Dana wasn’t that inept. One hand washes the other.

Dana was a tool of Stanton. That seems to have slipped by you. Dana knew what Stanton and Lincoln for that matter wanted. The demise of Rosey. Dana was a lier and backstabbed. He also wet himself at Chickamauga. Blobbed early reports of the AOCs utter destruction after Chickamauga, which he tried to reconstruct after he composed himself. All too late, the damage was done.

Grant spewed utter nonsense at Rosecrans. Part of their history, Grant apologist will never believe.

I don’t think you can believe anything Dana or Grant wrote post War. Both were self serving hypocrites. It is what it is.
Have you read all of Dana’s reports for yourself? I have never read a word Dana wrote post-war, nor am I likely to. Unlike your characterization, in the immediate aftermath of the retreat to Chattanooga, Dana’s reports praise Rosecrans. His interviews with officers reflect their surprisingly high morale. Donelson, Shiloh & Stones River had begun with tactical setbacks, but they had beat ‘em in the ende every time.

When Grant arrived on Chattanooga, the telegraph line from Washington was burning up with concern about holding Knoxville. The loyal population of East Tennessee was a top priority. Grant was as involved with the defense of Cumberland Gap as he was in Bridgeport. Which is why he sent Dana to Knoxville to check on things for him. It is all there in Dana’s reports.

Given the chance, I will certainly listen to what David Powell has to say on the subject, but for now I am going to stick to the primary resources & form my own opinion.
 
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