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Rosecrans' Best Victory

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  • Rosecrans' Best Victory

    An important Union commander who is often overlooked because of his defeat at Chickamauga.

    What is William Starke Rosecrans' best victory or campaign?

    1. West Virginia Campaign
    2. Battle of Iuka
    3. Second Battle of Corinth
    4. Battle of Stones River
    5. Tullahoma Campaign
    12
    West Virginia Campaign
    0.00%
    0
    Battle of Iuka
    0.00%
    0
    Battle of Corinth
    0.00%
    0
    Battle of Stones River
    25.00%
    3
    Tullahoma Campaign
    75.00%
    9
    Last edited by semperpietas; 22 Dec 12, 04:49.
    "Hit hard when you start, but don't start until you have everything ready." - Lt. Gen. James Longstreet

    Pyrrhus Travels West:
    Hanno the Infamous, General of Carthage, Rb Mhnt of Sicily

  • #2
    Tullahoma. Brilliant campaign using turning movements that drove Bragg out of Middle Tennessee with few casualties. Rosey was a very effective commander who unfortunately, because of his defeat at Chickamauga is largely forgotten and not given his due.

    To a lesser extent, that happened to Hooker whose less than stellar performance as a commander at Chancellorsville makes many overlook his solid performance as an subordinate.
    Last edited by cici; 22 Dec 12, 19:03.

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    • #3
      I agree on Tullahoma.
      Stones Ri. next.
      He was not aided by the war dept. before Chickamauga, even tho they knew Longstreet was on his way, did not hurry either Burnside or Sherman to his aid.
      He was loved by the men of "his army", years after, blind and frail, there was not a dry eye at Delmonicos in NYC for a reunion, as it turned out, his last.

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      • #4
        I've covered the ground of the Tullahoma Campaign, and if you've ever seen any of it, you come to appreciate even more the sheer genius of Rosecrans' campaign. Had Rosecrans not maneuvered Bragg out of position, it would have been an incredibly bloody campaign. That he cleared middle Tennessee of Confederate troops with less than 1000 casualties is really remarkable.

        I am a great admirer of William S. Rosecrans, and have long believed that he got a raw deal from the government in 1863 and an even more raw deal from history. For one bad day, he's been consigned to the rubbish bin of history, but the truth is that he was an excellent battlefield commander and an even better strategist.
        "If you want to have some fun, jine the cavalry"

        Maj. Gen. James Ewell Brown Stuart

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        • #5
          And I would bet that the situation with General Woods was a rather common occurrence....Rosy simply misunderstood where his troops were and a prior exchange had Woods thinking he wasn't going to bring up the possible conflict.

          Since we are on Rosecrans, does anyone think that Longstreets attack could have been halted had Woods not been moved off line?

          Eric, didn't you mention at one time that you were flirting with the idea of writing about Tullahoma...or perhaps Rosecrans?
          Last edited by mikeck; 22 Dec 12, 16:43.

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          • #6
            Mike, I'm working on aspects of Tullahoma--specifically, the actions at Hoover's Gap and the great cavalry battle at Shelbyville.
            "If you want to have some fun, jine the cavalry"

            Maj. Gen. James Ewell Brown Stuart

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by mikeck View Post
              And I would bet that the situation with General Woods was a rather common occurrence....Rosy simply misunderstood where his troops were and a prior exchange had Woods thinking he wasn't going to bring up the possible conflict.

              Since we are on Rosecrans, does anyone think that Longstreets attack could have been halted had Woods not been moved off line?

              Eric, didn't you mention at one time that you were flirting with the idea of writing about Tullahoma...or perhaps Rosecrans?
              Though I am no expert on Chickamauga like Dave Powell, I think the Union line would have been untenable, with or without Wood moving.

              1. The size and formation of Longstreet's assault. Longstreet deployed each division into two lines, an assault line and support line. He spent his morning actively planning, inspecting, and arranging his line. Longstreet originally planned his assault featuring Hood's division plus two of Kershaw's Brigades in an assault column with the other divisions advancing close up and Preston's Division as a reserve. However, in aligning the divisions to create a space for Hood's men and to close with the Polk's wing, Bushrod Johnson saw the gap opening between his and Stewart's Division and closed the gap before Hood's Division could move into position, forcing Hood's Division into a supporting position behind Johnson. Thus Longstreet's five brigade column turned into a eight brigade column. Additionally, Longstreet ordered that each division deploy into two lines, an assault line and a support line, with each brigade in a single line. Thus when Longstreet attacked, five of his six divisions would be moving forward (though Bragg's pre-emptory order would prematurely send Stewart forward to repulsed). That is about 21,000 men, arranged in multiple lines, with around 10,000 in the main column under Hood.

              2. That Wood's Division had around 2,800 effectives in two brigades, plus a borrowed brigade, defending the Brotherton field. Even if he repulsed Johnson, Hood's Division would be following in close echelon by Kershaw's two large brigades.

              3. That Longstreet's wing overlapped the Union right considerably. In particular not only did Hindman's Division overlap Davis' beat up division (on Wood's right flank), but it was fresher and outnumbered it (Hindman commanded the second largest division in the Army of Tennessee at Chickamauga). Much of Davis' Division was broken and routed by a single frontal assault by Deas' Alabama Brigade. In fact, not only did Hindman overlap and turn Davis, his division pressed on and broke Sheridan's Division at Lytle Hill (taken advantage of the two line formation to press Sheridan's flanks simultaneously). Thus even if Wood had held with his division, Davis' division on his right would have been shattered and his own right flank compromised. His position still would have been untenable and would unravel the Union line.
              "Hit hard when you start, but don't start until you have everything ready." - Lt. Gen. James Longstreet

              Pyrrhus Travels West:
              Hanno the Infamous, General of Carthage, Rb Mhnt of Sicily

              Comment


              • #8
                Longstreet put together a sledgehammer attack that would've needed many more men and artillery to stop (Hunt could only slow Longstreet down at G'burg).
                Few places to put artillery was a problem for Rosey as well as disbelief Longstreet was there at all.

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