tv The Civil War CSPAN August 30, 2014 6:00pm-7:06pm EDT
the see later in the year. this was part of the gettysburg civil war institute. it's about an hour. >> before we get started, the map you >> before we get started, the map you see up here is a campaign map. the smaller map indicates the main battle. i know it is probably difficult for those of you in the back of the room to see the small details and maybe read the print , so what we did -- or actually, what pete's staff did, was actually include this in your book.nd handbooks if you turn to page nine, you will see this map in their. you might want to refer to this. it is probably a little easier
to read. i will be making frequent reference to this map as it will help us understand the course of the campaign. as general in chief of all unit forces in 1864, u.s. grant devised accord mated offensive by a number of union army stretching from louisiana all the way to virginia. as you know already, the two most important of these offenses were those of the army of the , andac here in virginia that of william t sherman, who commanded what was called the military division of the mississippi. grants orders to sherman for the campaign, dated april 4, 18 64, were pretty straightforward. grant told sherman to move against the confederate armies of tennessee commanded by general joseph e johnson, and to
, get into the interior of the enemies country as far as you can and inflict as much damage as you can. at the same time, sherman was supposed to prevent johnson from of his armyements to reinforce either lee's army in virginia or confederate forces out in louisiana. that is sherman's objective in the atlanta campaign. if you look at sherman's record during the civil war up until in manyng of 1864, ways, it is not that impressive, particularly if you look at his performance on the battlefield. during the vicksburg campaign of , chattanooga, missionary
ridge, sherman -- the attack sherman launched in those battles were piecemeal and repulsed. he does not have a particularly impressive record on the battlefield. his reputation rest primarily on 1865,e did in 1864 and the infamous grand grand strategy. sherman targeted not only the armies of tennessee, but also of the confederacy to wage war. campaign in the spring and summer of 1864, the symbolize thea way the confederacy waged war. it was a vital rail center in the deep south and was filled with important war industries,
factories and mills turning out uniforms and accoutrements for the confederate army. torman also sought demoralize the confederate soldiers and civilians to prove to these people that their government could no longer defend them. war is cruelty and you cannot refine it. he is an eminently quotable individual, as many of you know. his letters are absolutely superb. i would highly, highly recommend the collected correspondence of william t sherman, one of the most important edited volumes in many decades. brooks simpson, who is on the , is one of the coeditors of that. throughout the campaign, sherman largely avoided launching frontal attacks against his entrenched opponents.
instead, what he repeatedly did was utilize and maneuver flanking movements to rest confederates from strong defensive positions. sherman's greatness also derives from his mastery of logistics. an enormous field army supply day after day, very deep in enemy territory. sherman's army numbered over 100,000 men. horses, 33,000 mules. imagine trying to supply an army of that size day after day after day. the only way to do it, of course, was via railroads. sherman, in the months leading up to the campaign which began in may, 1860 four, had hundreds of trains moving down a rail system through ,entucky and tennessee
stockpiling supplies in nashville and chattanooga. in chattanooga alone, between the months of march and may 1864 there were 165 rail cars unloading on a daily basis there. he is building supply bases he will need as he advances into georgia. hadng the campaign, he about 5000 wagons that were constantly on the move from the railroad to the army in the field. as richard mcmurray writes in one of the best overviews of the campaign -- and like other heard, i am have going to throw out some book titles. atlanta 1864 is a very good overview. decision in the west by albert castel is also a great book.
mcmurray points out that sherman had a couple of big advantages over his opponent at the start of the atlanta campaign. first, sherman had command of a vast apartment that stretched from the appellation mountains in the east all the way to the mississippi river. he commanded troops through this vast division of the mississippi. johnson, on the other hand, commanded a much smaller department. he had no authority over the states of alabama and mississippi. he could not ordered troops from those states to join his army fighting in georgia. he also had the support of his military and civilian superiors. sherman and grant had a very good relationship and lincoln was also very supportive of
sherman's campaigns. at the start of the campaign, sherman's armies numbered about 110,000 men. commanded three separate armies. the largest of these was the army of the cumberland, which numbered close to 73,000 men at the start of the campaign, commanded by general george h , a professional soldier. again, if you look at performance on the battlefield, impressivea far more record on the battlefield than richard t sherman. performed superbly a chicken onto. actually saved the union army at chickamauga as many of you probably know. had shattereds confederate lines at missionary ridge.
thomas was impressive soldier. and some historians have even argued that thomas would've made it that are commander of the army during the atlanta campaign dan sherman. but, but. very good not have a working relationship with ulysses s. grant. simpson actually are alluded to this yesterday in his talk when he was talking about the tennessee campaign in 1864. had a reputation of being a very slow, very methodical soldier, and that caused sherman some frustration during the atlanta campaign. importanta very, very subordinate, but he is an army campaigner under sherman. the second largest of sherman's was his old command, the army of tennessee.
army, and itvorite was also the most successful union army of the civil war. a recent book on the armies of entitled "nothing but victory," and that army defeat on the battlefield. it's commander during the atlanta campaign was james b mcpherson, a west point graduate who served on grants staff earlier in the civil war. he was a great, great favorite grant and sherman. in fact, both men wrote that they could see a commanding all the union armies. sherman writes a letter to grant that he feels confident that
mcpherson can take command of the union army and win ultimate victory. the smallest of sherman's armies, which is just a single core, is the army of the ohio which numbers close to 13,000 men, under general john m schofield, a west pointer and s, whoe sherman trust performs very well during the campaign. sherman also had three divisions of cavalry numbering 89 hundred men, although sherman does not think very much of his cavalry generals or that branch of the service. i think we can rightfully criticized sherman for his poor employment of cavalry during the atlanta campaign. he in fact thinks the ,onfederate cavalry is superior and he is particularly worried about the campaign under the cavalry.
the close relationship that existed between sherman and his civilian and military superiors stood in stark contrast, dark contrast, to the relationship between joseph p johnson and confederate president jefferson davis. the two men did not like each other at all. and the wrangling in the strange relationship between the two dated all the way back to early in the war when there was wrangling over the issue of rank , which general should have the highest rank in the confederate army. bob krick has written a superb essay about this. the relationship between the two is very strained between the two. in the months prior to the , jefferson davis had
johnson to goed on the defensive. on your map, if you look in the , your upperere left-hand corner, you can see the red lines on the map up here indicate the confederate positions taken during the campaign. the blue lines are the federal positions. months of first few 1864, the confederate surrounded a camp in northwest georgia. the army had been shattered at the battle of missionary ridge in november of 1863 under the command of braxton bragg. it had been a humiliating, disastrous defeat for the army. and johnson is brought in, and johnson in some ways is like george mcclellan. he is a superb organizer and
motivator of men. he rebuilds the army. morale of the soldiers, and the confederate soldiers in the army of tennessee loved joe johnson. he knows that they care about -- he cares about their welfare. that is one thing about him as a general. but while he is rebuilding the army and its winter camps, jefferson davis repeatedly asks johnson to take the offensive against the federals who are camped not all that far north in the vicinity of chattanooga, tennessee. march, butjohnson to johnson claims his army is outnumbered by the yankees. the army doesn't have the adequate supplies or logistical capabilities of marching up into east tennessee. johnson,rtunately for the davis administration is getting very different reports concerning the
army of tennessee from some of johnson subordinates. they are sending back reports that the army is in great shape ,nd should take the offensive so the davis administration is unsure who to believe although he is inclined to believe the core commanders. during the campaign, up until , one of of his removal joe johnson's weaknesses as his continual failure to provide davis and his administration with detailed, regular reports of what going on. if you look in the correspondence section of the official record and compare lee's correspondence with davis is during the campaign with what therehnson was sending, is a stark contrast. johnson's wife in late may, 18 64, suggested to her husband
that it might be a good idea for him to keep the government better informed of what his plans are. says, replies to her that her suggestion was a judicious one but that "the people in richmond take no interest in any partial affairs that may occur in this quarter," suggesting, obviously, that what jefferson davis is really sick. about arely concerned his men in virginia. the strategy then in 1864 was to remain in a strong defensive position around dalton behind a high ridge line called rockies ridge that you can see on your map. and to await an attack by the federals. attacked, theals confederates would defeat them and gain a victory and then move
west to alabama or north to tennessee. johnson's army at its peak strength a few weeks into the was about 69 thousand men divided into three quarters under the command of william j corps underee william j hardy, a judicious general, and folk. -- polk. johnson also had a cavalry of 7000 or 8000 men. began in the first week of may of 1864, and sherman's plan, which was actually a plan the george thomas originally devised and , with somen adopted
modifications -- sherman modified what thomas suggested -- that sherman's plan is to have the army of the ohio and the army of the cumberland demonstrate against the confederate positions north and west of dalton. so keep johnson's attention focused on the immediate vicinity of dalton. then would army march west, south, and west of rocky face ridge, and you can see on the map here again in the upper left corner the movement of the three armies, or you can look on your map there. south of dalton, rocky face ridge, and come out on the eastern side of this ridge line, and then break johnson's supply line on the railroad.
is the supplyntic line for both armies during the atlanta campaign. a railroad that stretch from chattanooga in the far upper left-hand corner of the in theatlanta, which is bottom center of your map. both armies are relying on the western and atlantic. it was a good plan. it was a very good plan. , it unfolded just as sherman hoped it would. , mcphersoneighth makes his march down. he gets to the gap, which the confederates have left unguarded. --y've been there all winter and one of the criticisms you can level a johnson is that even though he had been encamped
around dalton for many months, he really hadn't studied the geography very closely south of the town. the confederates certainly knew , but wheeler didn't have any tickets protecting him, so johnson's men are able to march through without a price. then when they come out of the eastern end of the gap, a very short distance in front of them see -- a verythey short distance in front of them they see that clearly there are confederates there. the federals didn't have any cavalry with them, which is a terrible mistake. they are worried that if they continue advancing toward the railroad, the federals might march down from dalton and strike him in the flank.
he keeps moving east. ,o, in that it rushing forward seizing the western atlantic and cutting the supply line, mcpherson instead pulls his army the gap. , he johnson learns of this orders a retreat, very well organized. one of his troops from the dalton vicinity comes back up. lost an enormous opportunity to strike a crippling blow at the confederates. sherman realized this and he wrote to mcpherson, "i regret beyond measure that you did not break the railroad here cohere realized it was an enormous opportunity. on may -- break the railroad."
14, an enormous battle was fought. both armies are fortified their. constructing laud and dirt works whenever they halt for any appreciable time. tactically then, the two-day battle is a draw, but at the operational level, sherman scores a great victory by at ang across the river y site.ite -- ferr and he forces johnson to retreat. johnson retreats and you can look in the middle of your map .ow he retreats down to the vicinity
of a small town where he hopes to lay a trap for sherman. the rogue network is such that sherman ends up dividing his army as they marched south, and johnson's plan was to strike one of the wings of sherman's army as a marched south. unfortunately for johnson, john bell hood, who has been ordered to launch this attack, doesn't do so, and then in a conference that's held between johnson and , hood andcommanders lee unitas polk that the army .eeds to retreat again exactly what happened at this conference and who said what was a point of bitter contention between joe johnson and john bell hood for many, many years. each had a very different version of what happened said is absolutely impossible to reconcile, and we don't need to
go into the details of it now, but the upside is that johnson saw that his corps commanders didn't have any confidence they could hold the position and the army retreated yet again. point is pretty optimistic about the course of the campaign and in a wonderfully evocative phrase, or passage rather, he writes -- this is in mid-may. "we are now in motion like a vast tide of bees and expect to swarm over the chattahoochee in a few days." the chattahoochee was the river flowing from east to west that natural the last barrier between sherman and atlanta. by the third day, johnson's army was entrenched in a very strong position in the mountains. you can see it on your map there just below the etowah river.
sherman was very familiar with the mountains. in fact, the geography of this entire section of georgia. he had spent time here in the 1840's as a young army officer. he had been stationed here. sherman knew that it would be foolish, foolish to try to attack johnson's position in the mountains, so what sherman decides to do instead is execute yet another flanking march. this one would involve some risk though because it would move the union army some miles away from the west turn and atlantic, about 15 miles away. the objective of this march would be the town of dallas, and you can see it there in the lower left-hand corner of the schofield, thomas, mcpherson all taking different routes to get there. it's about 15 miles west of the
à la tuna position that johnson held in 15 miles west of the railroad. johnson's cavalry informed of this and he moves away to try to block sherman once again. what ensued then in the final the or last week of may in wast couple of days of june an intense skirmishing every day union attacks against the federate the failed -- the failed. the fighting in this densely wooded region was such that the soldiers on both sides called it the hellhole. the sherman realized
johnson's lines were pretty strong along the dallas ticket it would beat impractical for him to continue south to go around the western because johnson's army it would keep the union forces away from the railroad for too long, he decided to shift back -- eastward toward the western atlantic. by the end of the day, sherman's army was experiencing some pretty serious supply shortages. they had simply been away for too long, and even though 5000 widen sounds like a lot -- wagons sounds like a lot, with an army the size of sherman's, it is really not sufficient to supply a day after day that far from the railroad. so both armies shift back over toward the railroad. skies open up and it
starts to rain. n/a continues to rain over and over, day after -- and it continues to reign over and over day after day for the first few weeks of june. both armies are nearly immobilized, as you can imagine, trying to move in enormous wagon train down mad, down roads that , you candeep in mud imagine being in a trench that is maybe full up to your knees in water and mud. they are broken down physically. and this continues throughout the campaign. thecampaign is similar to overland campaign and the armies are in constant contact. there is constant turmoil day after day, no rest if you are in the trenches on the front lines, enormous toll an
on everyone. sherman becomes frustrated then. the pace of his advance is slowed, and he makes a decision to deviate from the strategy that has been successful up until this point the flanking maneuvers. he writes, "i am now inclined to feign both flanks on the sides and come to the center. it may cost as dear but the result would be better than any attempts to pass around." his army at this time was defending a line a miles long. his rationale was that there must be a weak point in that line. element of surprise, johnson's line might succeed and score a great victory. , shermansn't work
could once again go back to conducting flanking maneuvers. there is also some evidence in both sherman's personal and official correspondence that like a lot of career army of thes at the time civil war, he felt that fighting for prolonged times behind earthworks could damage the , that it woulden make them timid, in effect. john bell hood was very open his memoir,n advance and retreat, and claims that lee felt the same way. so sherman orders attacks, and the resulting battle fought on costly, 1864 was a defeat for sherman. the troops that launched the
, union soldiers were bloodily repulsed. they suffered about 3000 casualties. sherman took a lot of heat from the northern press. his men were disheartened. but, if you look at the losses that sherman's army sustained up , they paled int comparison to what was happening in virginia. consider the losses of just a single day of fighting in the wilderness. sustained, you will see that sherman is taking a lot of territory and suffering relatively few losses as a result. of the day --ss that was a phrase sherman use -- did occur in a flanking maneuver launched by cofield's army
against the far southern end of johnson's long line. schofield actually managed to get his troops closer than did closer tohat's johnson, and this is what forced thenon to abandon the line fall back. , sherman's troops advanced to the chattahoochee. the confederates are in a position that is fairly impregnable. to attack it.azy but in one of the most masterful maneuvers sherman executed during the campaign, he manages to cross north of johnson's position. this is the first time he has gone around johnson's right flank instead of his left flank, ,nd by the second week of july
johnson abandons the chattahoochee line, falls back, and at that point, he is right on the outskirts of him atlanta. -- outskirts of atlanta. when the confederates retreat across the chattahoochee, they are right on the outskirts of the gate city of atlanta as it was called. sherman had achieved something pretty remarkable at this point. he had taken all of northwest georgia, a region important in terms of agriculture and , and had taken an army that was strong still in numbers and morale. contrast that to the position of the army of the potomac when it gets to the outskirts of petersburg, and the morale of the army is pretty shaky.
point, jefferson davis has had enough of joe johnson. jefferson davis has lost faith in joe johnson's ability to hold the city of atlanta. johnson repeatedly told the davis administration and politicians who visited his headquarters that the best way -- to sport the federals's out of georgia was to supply line. but johnson claimed that his cavalry could not do this. he needed reinforcements to
defend the flanks of the army as it fell back. johnson didn't have a line long to defend the men. so what he asked over and over was for the davis administration to send the horse command east to break sherman's supply line. this would involve stripping the states of alabama and mississippi of all of their , and that was something davis -- i think wisely -- refused to do. richard mcmurray and others have pointed out that alabama and mississippi were ready important states. stripping the states of their defenders would have opened up the rich agricultural region of the river about a. it would've opened up important industrial cities like selma. it would not have been a smart move.
it's highly debatable, too, whether men could've actually created enough damage in the sherman to have to retreat. sherman was acutely aware that his supply line was vulnerable and he went to great lengths to try to protect it. we don't have time to talk about the ways. 1860 four, jefferson davis makes the extremely wasroversial decision -- it controversial in the summer of 1864, it's still controversial today, of relieving joe johnson of command. him with one of his corps commanders, john bell hood, an officer probably all of reputationd gained a in 1862 in 1863 as one of lee's s for data and division commanders. best brigade and
division commanders. a had a reputation of being very bold commander. in a message that relieved joe of war, the secretary set as you have failed to arrest the advance of the enemy to the vicinity of atlanta far in the interior of georgia and expressed no confidence that you can defeat or repel him you are hereby relieved. so, he is relieved of minute dash of command and he has a very clear mandate that he has he is relieved of command and he has a very clear mandate that he has to atlanta. the city of he doesn't have a lot of room to maneuver. and there is evidence that hood had been angling for this command for some time before getting it.
he was an intensely ambitious officer. johnson then, a general who "lacked the ability to shape campaigns." throughout his career, he reacted to the moves of his opponents rather than seizing initiative. that was clear in atlanta. the army needed but could not get robert e lee. but upon taking command immediately ordered attacks. you can see the first of the three main battles that was fought around the sea and up for the very top, the middle of your map. plan was to attack the union forces advancing from the north after they crossed peachtree creek but before they could entrench. his corps commanders were
supposed to send their units forward in echelon. the attacks ended up being uncoordinated, not very well managed by the core commanders, and after hard fighting, the federal's managed to hold their line. confederal casualties numbered about 25 hundred. federals about 2100. you can find a book on the battle, a very detailed tactical study by my friend robert jenkins, that i very much recommend. detailsnly now getting of the battles in the west. we have had details of the eastern battles for many decades. , let after peach creek learned that the far left flank .s vulnerable it's in the air. and he decides to try to execute
a flanking march to strike this of sherman'srtion line. this is part of the army of tennessee under mcpherson. hood orders a very long flank march on the night of july 21 under the troops of party. these are men who had already had an exhausting 48 hours before hand. what he was asking his men to do was ugly unrealistic in terms of their physical abilities. termsply unrealistic in of their physical abilities. a were exhausted shoulder -- exhausted soldiers. flank march was executed and on july 22 largest halibut campaign is fought. this is the one in more allies immortalizedus --
in the enormous circular painting in atlanta. the map in the upper right-hand corner gives you some sense of the battle. it was the single bloodiest day of fighting in the last 10 months of the civil war. the confederates did achieve .ome success they break through the union line. they capture large numbers of risen or zen canon. they kill general james c of prisoners and canon. they kill general james c mcpherson, the highest ranking officer in the army. this is a huge blow to sherman, as you can imagine. but at the end of the day, the federal's launched counterattacks. they retake the forces of their , and even though many sawederates at the time
this as a victory, in is a battlethis that cost the army very heavily. there is another book all the "the day dixie died" that i would recommend. -- hud's army lost between 6300-6700 men that single day of fighting. following the battle, sherman decided to change his strategy and reorient his efforts to take the battle to the west of atlanta with hopes of cutting off the last railroad that led south out of atlanta. at the same time, sherman tries andaunch cavalry raids wreck the rail lines south of the city.
to these movements by sending a quarter out west to atlanta to block the federal movement out there. these are troops he sends out there under a very inexperienced corps commander who is a close friend. area wheret to the he is supposed to be. he takes the federal's out there and he takes it upon himself to start a battle. he doesn't have any orders to do this, but he starts launching frontal attacks at the federal armies. and these are the armies of tennessee who, as i mentioned, have never known defeat. and what happened is cabochon mountain in reverse. losinge confederates
battles.ortified the confederates lose about 3000 men. the federal's lose about 600. the calgary larry -- the cavalry raids prove disastrous. smashed byup being the confederate cavalry. this is wieder's finest performance in his career, and is lower is sherman's already poor opinion of the cavalry and that the cavalry can't wreck a railroad. it's going to take more than that. hud had not achieved what he in the three battles, and none of them, incidentally, were intended to be frontal attacks
against entrenched union soldiers. in each instance, what he was trying to institute was a flank attack, and it didn't work. , cumulatively, these battles did have the effect of making sherman a little more cautious .han he had been two of sherman's core commanders -- been classmates of good hood, and new him very well. they knew his reputation, and sherman did to. so, atlanta is not completely surrounded but sherman brings out the big bands among bards the city. he is also trying to get around out the bigbrings guns and bombards the city. trying to get around the city.
he is facing the discharge of 10,000 men in august. a siege. impatient for he is a pretty nervous, impatient individual. he doesn't want a long drawnout affair like what happened in petersburg, so he decides on a bold plan. decides to abandon the siege lines east and north of atlanta, pull his troops out of the trenches, leave a single core to hold the city point where his supply line, the western atlantic, crosses the chattahoochee river. of the army on a wide flanking march to the west of southwest and south atlanta that's shown in the lower right-hand corner of your west railroadhe
south of the city. sherman was commenced at this point the cavalry raids could not do the job of wrecking the railroad. so his infantry pulls out of the challenges -- out of the trenches and they reached the western. put in the meantime has sent his cavalry off to do a johnson had not been willing to do. we are is set off on a raid cache wieder is set off on a raid to try to disrupt sherman's supply lines. and's a spectacular failure he wrecks his cavalry corps in the process. first, when he learns that the federal trenches north of the city are vacant, what do you think he has -- he believes? wieder's rate has been a success, sherman is retreating. but then he realizes what going
on and he heads towards jonesboro. if you look on the map toward the lower right you will see jonesboro at the very bottom. they are given the orders to tennesseermies of away from the railroad, protect that vital supply line, and on the first day of the battle of jonesboro, the last day of the battle of the campaign, these launchedderate corps attacks are repulsed. in the meantime, hood finds out rail lines north of jonesboro have been broken. you can see that on the map, and he abandons the city on the night of september 1. during the evacuation of the
city, the confederates discover they have left a large train of munitions in the eastern central portion of atlanta that they obviously can't get out so they set it on fire. it's 28 boxcars full of explosives, and you can imagine 15-20 milesas heard away. this is the scene, incidentally, that is to pick it in "gone with the wind" when fred is in the wagon trying to get scarlett, melody, and the -- rhett butler is trying to get scarlett, melody, and the baby back. i always tell my kids how some of those sets are from "the ."zard of oz yurik it's worth pointing out here that the destruction of atlanta cannot be attributed solely to uncle billy sherman.
hood's army began the process with the distraction of this train and then sherman to get a .ood deal further on september 2, the mayor of atlanta, james calhoun, surrendered the city. sherman announced abraham lincoln, "atlanta is ours and won." would not push much further on this rate, which is an interesting word to describe the campaign. into a garrison city. fall of the city caused great celebration in the north. desperately needed boost to the fortunes of the republican party. and here, here is where we get
to the significance of the atlanta campaign, what makes it so important. so, the following land, along with the victories won by sheridan in the shenandoah valley later and set number hope tesh helped to boost the confidence of northern voters the -- helped to boost confidence of the northern voters that lincoln was going to win a victory and that the president needed a second term in office. the fall of atlanta helped to reassure the reelection of lincoln and also offer the public a reaffirmation of his war policy. tocoln gets a proper mandate continue a war that would end on the basis of both reunion and emancipation, something that would not have been the case of the democrats of one. fall ofame time, the atlanta and lincoln's reelection helped to ensure that u.s. grant
would remain as general in chief and sherman as his chief lieutenant and that these two architects ofhe ultimate union victory in the civil war. thank you. do we have time for a few questions? do you want to come up to the microphone? yes or. was there any thought to putting robert e lee in charge of all of the confederate army? >> yes, that did happen ultimately, but after the atlanta campaign. the question, if you did not hear it, was if there was any thought to putting lee in charge of all of the confederate army, and that did happen but after
the atlanta campaign. davis relied very heavily on lee's advice not only on the eastern theater but also on matters in the west. when davis was considering removing joe johnson from lee who do youed think would be a good replacement. lee said that hood was a bold fighter on the battlefield but -- this is paraphrasing, i should know this rebating, but he said something to the effect --t he was a bold fighter bold on the battlefield the careless off the battlefield. when he was saying was that when it comes to administrative responsibilities, who had some weaknesses there. yes. how did sherman come up with
sherman's knots, or sherman's bowties as they were sometimes called. what he's asking about are the twisted rails. when the union troops would wreck rail lines -- or confederates, for that matter. you get thousands of injured of infantrymen to stand next to a rail line and they would lift up the crossed eyes, separate with -- cross hammersparate them with , pile up the ties into huge ands and light bonfires when the center of the iron rails turned hot, the union
soldiers would grab it. i was rereading this and thought , i hope they used clubs because those would've been pretty hot. they would take the red-hot them aroundist trees, which would make it extraordinarily difficult for the confederates to straighten out and reuse. there's some good photographs taken of this process. your question was one i really can't answer. it wasn'tling is that sherman the device to this but something that engineers and soldiers came up with. it had been employed prior to this time. sherman had wrecked railroads in , the meridiassippi meridiantion --
expedition. that's a great question. i don't know if we know where it originated but it became a pretty common procedure. >> the campaigns in 64, grant , the warheads and 62 ton 61 capturing capitals and capital ies to capturing manufacturing and supply centers. sherman was marching toward depots. could you tell us a little bit how important to the war effort were these depots and supply centers? >> sure. atlanta was absolutely vital. some of the largest manufacturing centers in the confederacy, not just atlanta .ut augusta
these term part of the state had the largest powder mill in the world. there were quartermaster depots in atlanta, columbus and augusta that produced an enormous number of uniforms for the army. there were boundaries that produced canon. if you look at the rail network , it's evidentuth immediately how important atlanta is for being at the juncture of many railroads. we could go on and on about the contractors that were producing pistols and rifle muskets and accoutrements, all different kinds of accoutrements. they were absolutely vital and the confederates realize that. although, by the time the siege takes place of atlanta, the city's value as a center of industry has really fallen because they had evacuated so
much of the machinery and so many of the workers and send them south to columbus in macon. so, there are only about 3000 civilians left in atlanta when sherman seizes the city, and when he takes the city, he orders the expulsion of all of that. yes. >> you mentioned at the beginning of your talk sherman's logistics during the campaign. how much of that duty directly oversee and how much of it was delegated to somebody else and who for that matter was a delegatedo -- was a to? why sure, that's a great question. sherman had very capable and staff that would look after various logistical concerns.
he had authority over the railroads. this was a controversial matter in the months leading up to the campaign. he abandoned civilian traffic near the railroad. for thelanned confederates to try to break the stockpiling rails and ties at various locations. he had crews of civilians, african-americans avoid -- employed as civilian laborers and airs that could rebuild -- and engineers they could rebuild railroads. they would always burn these bridges, and it was truly remarkable how quick we sherman couldineers and laborers
rebuild these huge spans. that's where the real mastery and logistics comes into play. one moreover here. >> general hood has been undergoing a bit of a reevaluation. >> right. he had crews of civilians, e -- n-american labor laborers. you can see they would always burn these bridges. it was truly remarkable how engineers and 's laborers could rebuild these huge wooden spans. that's where the real master of logistics, i think, comes into
lay. one more. a general hood is undergoing bit of a reexamination. >> right j -- right. >> it seems his plans were good, but they couldn't make good on them in one way or another. can you comment on general hood's command of the army. >> sure. hood certainly doesn't have the master of logistics that sherman does. that becomes painfully evident during the tennessee campaign in 1874. but hood is operating under some pretty severe handicaps. he also has some some generals inefficient atly
command. they don't carry out hood's plans the way he had envisioned hem. i think the other important factor are hood's time constraints working with his men. atlanta is a prime example of of that. hood's men were already totally exhausted. the reevaluation of hood's generalship is one, you're right, that's taking place in certain authors' work. thank you. [applause] >> the civil war airs here every saturday at 6:00 and 10:00 p.m. to watch more of our civil war rogramming visit our web site,
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