- Nov 21, 2014
In the strategic sense, just taking Rouse Point and Plattsburgh would satisfy British goals, and put them in a position where the Americans simply cannot invade Canada East and threaten Montreal. Conceivably they would be able to send another corps to Canada West and drive the Americans out. But the political reality is that Palmerston and the War Cabinet want a very big signal victory (ala Yorktown or Sevastopol) that will signal they have unambiguously beaten the Americans. Hence marching up this truly unenviable line of advance. In 1863, political issues are increasingly driving the war from London.Great to see an update although given the knowledge of the ground and how it aids the defence I wonder if attacking along this route is the best approach? Would it be better to defend a bit further north, where British supply lines are shorter so that if the Americans attack they can be badly mauled in any attempt, whereas men can be committed say further west or in the fighting on the coastline.
I get the feeling, reading Wolseley's description, written long afterwards that the hopes are going to end in disappointment, both along the path to Albany and possibly also at Washington despite the military edge they should have there in terms of firepower. Its mentioned in Wolseley's description that British artillery has more capability and I think its generally superior in range and impact whereas many of the union forces are using guns not greatly different from Napoleonic times.
From all my research, the Armstrong field guns are essentially much more powerful/reliable than the American Napoleon or Parrot guns put into service. They can blast the Americans at a range that the American gunners cannot respond at. It would make for a pretty uneven contest in artillery so far as I can tell.