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  • Bo Archer
    replied
    Well, the numbers issue is correct but in general at New Orleans the first line of defense had factored that problem into a fighting position involving forts and warships not numbers. New Orleans had the numbers significantly enough to repel the Federals, if those number had been patriotic to the illegal Confederate Nation. Therefore, the problem here is the lack of that type of patriotism, and because there was a lack thereof an additional problem arose of sabotage and betrayal of the Confederates.

    The Federal Navy could have been repelled with the effective functioning three ironclads and fleet of ram gunboats with the array of fire barges. The ironclads were either not finished or had structural flaws. The rams apparently had an unknown number of suspect crewmembers and even commanders. The fire barges were mishandled mostly. Had the forts produced just normal level of fire accuracy to add to the corrected above cited, the situation could have been a Confederate victory. My understanding is that the forts had six months of stored provisions, and any Federal ships above the forts would have been forced to surrender or run the forts again to get back downstream, if the forts had not mutinied and surrendered.

    The same for the City of Memphis as the pattern could have repeated itself, if the Confederate ironclad had been completed in time at Memphis, instead of attempt to finish it upon the Tennessee River; whereupon it was captured and made into the BENTON (if memory serves me). Remember half of the New Orleans ram fleet was there also. Memphis surrendered to the Federal Navy and had it been repelled that battle could have been won by the Confederates until the appearance of unmolested Federal land forces.

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  • T. A. Gardner
    replied
    Well, in the real West, the Confederates never had the numbers they needed to do anything...

    https://www.battlefields.org/learn/a...h-picacho-peak

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  • Bo Archer
    replied
    Why might this work cited above have potential as a new innovative work upon the history of the Civil War in the West?
    Thank You! Allow me to answer myself!
    This work has presented several startling possible historically and previously unrecognized events that had great bearing on the Fall of New Orleans. As I strongly promote the book please allow my list of some of the interesting events presented by the author and giving my wholehearted support and spin thereof:
    1. The gunner and their officers in the Confederate Forts may have been deliberately poorly aiming their artillery guns to the gain of the Federals.
    2. The Fort Jackson garrison was filled with troops inclined to support the Federal forces which lead to the mutiny that caused the surrender of both Forts.
    3. The Confederate Ironclads may have been rendered a greatly reduced efficiency by sabotage in construction by those in sympathy with the Federals and with high bitterness to the Confederates. The author presents a documented act of serious attempt at sabotage and other acts of suspect nature.
    4. The author documents materials supportive of the notion the City of New Orleans had a large community of Unionists from which the Forts garrisons and warships crews were recruited.
    5. The Confederate Ram Fleet appears to have been mostly ran ashore and burned perhaps by crews supportive of the Federals. I will also submit to the readers that half of this massive Ram Fleet was sent to Memphis whereupon they preformed in roughly the same behavior further causing support for the same thesis. The author does not discuss the Battle of Memphis.
    Please not that historically on the Noble Forum I have faithfully promoted these notions for years. Hurrah!

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  • Bo Archer
    replied
    Karri

    The Confederates in fact gave up territory very fast in the West and it had profound effect upon all future operations. The pivotal events were the fall of New Orleans and Memphis so early in the War. I just recently obtained and read an exciting new innovative book as follows: MUTINY AT FORT JACKSON: THE UNTOLD STORY OF THE FALL OF NEW ORLEANS, (CIVIL WAR AMERICA) by MICHAEL D. PIERSON. I am very excited that many of my old agenda points appear supported in this new work. I strongly recommend its study and it will bring better understanding of the one of the greatest weakness of the so call Confederate Nation that was a significant factor in its downfall that being: southern Unionists.

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  • Bo Archer
    replied
    I feel compelled to lift a finger in an effort to restore and rehab the reputation of CSA Buckner's actions at Fort Donelson. He was West Point trained and he was placed under the overall command of a political General Floyd. He was clearly oppressed by having to be in association with another political General Pillow as an equal. First day Buckner faithfully followed army plan agreed on the previous night conference: withdraw from trenches and form up a rear guard force to evacuate the Fort. In course of first day, Pillow wrongly orders Buckner to commit to Pillow's assault which Buckner refuses somewhat. While Pillow has stalled everything to seek Glory, Buckner suffers a Federal assault that captured his trenches being held by a small rear guard force. Buckner discovers belatedly that the evacuation is dead issue; therefore Buckner tried and failed to recovered his trenches. At the second night conference, it is correctly determined the Confederate army in enveloped in a powerful Federal pincher movement; ready to renew it's assault a daybreak. Buckner's Division is standing exposed out of its trenches facing a forming Federal assault; and Pillow Division now facing a larger Federal assault with Pillow's exhausted Division; suffering from snow/sleet storm that lasted for many hours. All commanders agreed to surrender; but only professional Buckner agreed to stay in place and formally surrender the Army. It would have been a Confederate bloodbath if the garrison had not surrendered.

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  • Bo Archer
    replied
    Yes thank you back Sir guthrieba I will check out Tim Smith's book on the internet to see what people are saying. Pillow's actions and plans are even more disturbing than what is on your above post. Pillow stupidly believed he could withdraw without orders, rest the troops, return to combat in the next morning at the same position he left, with the Federals too beaten to counterattack and recover their (Federal) original position that so much Confederate blood had loss to gain. This was at 2;00 PM with several hours of daylight left and a dangerous Federal battleline just stalemated Pillow's initial victorious assault. Equally stupid he had the arrogance that he was so intelligent that he could force the Commander Floyd (oh well he was right about Floyd) to abort the original order to evacuate/withdraw the garrison on the in middle of a hot engagement. He may have planned this all along secretly if his assault was a success. He is believed to be a militant secessionist State Rights man and giving up the State Capitol was just too much. He appears to have committed treason against the treasonous and illegal Confederate Nation if such existed (now my head is spinning and getting confused). I suspect that his good friend and follower Bedford Forrest was in full compliance with him as their actual behavior somewhat match in that event.

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  • guthrieba
    replied
    Originally posted by Bo Archer View Post
    Sorry guthrieba I failed to cite another major source in my haste this evening. The other source in my possession is: THE LIFE AND WARS OF GIDEON J. PILLOW by NATHANIEL CHEAIRS HUGHES, JR and ROY P. STONESIFER, JR.
    Thanks. Reading Tim Smith's recent Grant Invades Tennessee - The 1862 Battles of Forts Henry and Donelson, it seems that General Pillow was of several opinions regarding the success of the first day's attack. I had not previously appreciated that Pillow, who ordered the withdrawal back into the original positions, also considered the day to be a success.

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  • Kurt Knispel
    replied
    Originally posted by Bo Archer View Post
    My apologies Sir Kurt for my playful teasing about a Bedford Cult. I am known to do a little clowning at times. I do appreciate your lengthy postings and the time applied. Your post above about Bedford is very nice! My focus has been on the loss of the garrison and the blame which lead to the garrison having no role at Shiloh. To me Bedford is a side show but nice. Thanks!
    Thanks Bo for your compliment on my post. An apology for calling me a NBF hero worshiper was not necessary but I will accept it

    As you know, from reading Hurst's book on Forrest, he was an extraordinary man throughout his personal life and his military years. The mere fact that he killed 31 men up close and personal, and had 30 horses shot out from under him, places him in company with Stonewall Jackson as far as bravery is concerned. IMHO, Jackson, although he died after Chancellorsville, and Forrest were 2 of the bravest and intelligent leaders in the history of war.

    As I continue to read more books and further my ACW knowledge I will look forward to our conversations here. I just received author Edward G. Longacre's book The cavalry at Gettysburg: A Tactical Study of Mounted Operations during the Civil Wars Pivotal Campaign 9 June - 14 July 1863.

    I hope to read it next month as I just finished up 4 books on the Second World War China - Burma - India theater and am about to read Col. David Glantz' (for the second time!) To the Gates of Stalingrad: Soviet - German combat operations April - August 1942

    Reading a Glantz book is quite taxing and sometimes you need a second read to absorb everything.

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  • Bo Archer
    replied
    My apologies Sir Kurt for my playful teasing about a Bedford Cult. I am known to do a little clowning at times. I do appreciate your lengthy postings and the time applied. Your post above about Bedford is very nice! My focus has been on the loss of the garrison and the blame which lead to the garrison having no role at Shiloh. To me Bedford is a side show but nice. Thanks!

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  • Bo Archer
    replied
    Sorry guthrieba I failed to cite another major source in my haste this evening. The other source in my possession is: THE LIFE AND WARS OF GIDEON J. PILLOW by NATHANIEL CHEAIRS HUGHES, JR and ROY P. STONESIFER, JR.

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  • Kurt Knispel
    replied
    [QUOTE=Bo Archer;n5079273Finally there is oddity of your saying "this paragraph is a rebuttal to your assessment that NBF and men were poor at cavalry recon.[/QUOTE]"

    I was referring to this: https://forums.armchairgeneral.com/f...98#post5075598

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  • Kurt Knispel
    replied
    Bo
    Nathan Bedford Forrest is not my "hero." He does not put food on my table or pay my bills

    That being said I'll get on with it.

    You and many others are very fast to brush aside Forrest as a mere "glorified thug" comparable to the Kansas/Missouri Bush Whackers. I have read 5 books on NBF including the fairly new The Battles and Campaigns of Confederate General Nathan Bedford Forrest. by John R. Scales - Brig. Gen. U.S. Army (ret.). This new book contains over 100 maps and uses many excellent source material from respected ACW historians. The book was printed by Savas Beatie which, as I am sure you know, has a reputation of publishing outstanding books by acclaimed ACW historians/academia's. They do not print second rate ACW books. I will continue to, and am very much prepared to re-buff anyone who claims NBF was a second rate "mere raider" or the aforementioned words above based on knowledge not "hero worship."

    Nathan Bedford Forrest at Fort Donelson:

    The 9th Tennessee Battalion (commander Lt. Col. George Gantt) had performed miserably in protecting the Confederate withdrawal from Fort Henry. Accordingly, on February 7, Confederate units at Hopkinsville were ordered to fall back 20 miles to Clarksville. Forrest's cavalry served as rear guard, following the Confederate infantry until they were safely in Clarksville. NBF was then ordered into a critical situation at Fort Donelson.

    On the morning of 11 February, NBF's regiment were ferried across the Cumberland River. Once at Fort Donelson Forrest was given command of all the Confederate cavalry including Gantt's companies. He now had approximately 1400 men under his command. He made camp behind the entrenchments east of Dover.

    Brig. Gen. Gideon Pillow, the ranking officer present, ordered Forrest to reconnoiter towards Fort Henry to determine where the Union forces were and what they were up to. Taking about 300 men, Forrest rode northwest and, within 3 miles ran into a force of Union cavalry, performing a similar mission. Forrest attacked and the Union Cavalry retreated with Forrest pursuing them for a few miles. Forrest reported taking a prisoner. The following day Forrest took all of his cavalry and reconnoitered west of Fort Donelson where he ran into union troops advancing towards the fort. Forrest deployed 3 dismounted companies with Maynard rifles into line against the union forces of the 4th U.S. and 2nd Illinois Cavalry. Forrest moved another portion of his force left to extend the line and threaten the advancing Union right flank.

    Union commander McClernand ordered his brigade to bypass Forrest's positions and take an alternate route along a parallel road. Forrest cut him off there and attacked. The Union advance stalled until more Union infantry were brought up. Forrest then ordered a mounted cavalry charge to the right to give the previous dismounted units time to disengage. Forrest's units, numbering about 1200 men, stalled the advance of nearly 4000 union cavalry and infantry. The fighting lasted 5 hours. Brig. Gen. Simon B. Buchner ordered Forrest's troops to withdraw to the fort that evening.

    The next morning, 13 February, the Union forces had completely invested Fort Donelson. The weather, which had been unseasonably pleasant, turned bitter cold that day affecting soldiers on both sides. Forrest was ordered to clear out Union sharpshooters who were sniping the Confederate artillery men. On the night of 13 February, Forrest was ordered to a meeting with his superiors to discuss battleplans for the following day.

    The next mornings attack, on 14 February, was to focus on the Union forces blocking the roads of retreat to Nashville. This was accomplished and General Pillow, confident that they could hold the fort after their successes that day
    had to plead his intentions to the other 2 Generals (cowards). Pillow's plan to hold was not agreed to by the other cowards and so it was decided to give up the fort and to not even try to withdraw to Nashville to fight another day. At this decision Forrest could hardly contain himself while asking permission to escape the fort with his cavalry.

    It is clear to me that General's Floyd and Buchner were already decided that the Unions forces had already taken back the ground that their forces, with many sacrifices of dead, had won. This was because of rumors of even more Union reinforcements. Forrest's recon scouts had, on the night of 14/15 February, assured him this was not true. I already stated in my last post of Forrest's successful withdrawal. Did I mention it was estimated that some 3-4,000 soldiers were taken prisoner at Fort Donelson?

    In conclusion, Bo, I admit I was wrong about Floyd but the other 2 officers, under his command acted as cowards.

    Main source for above is the book I mentioned and the author draws extensively on Forrest's actions at Fort Donelson from the book Where the South Lost the War: an analysis of the Fort Henry - Fort Donelson campaign February 1862.




    Last edited by Kurt Knispel; 24 Nov 18, 17:55.

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  • Bo Archer
    replied
    I have had several sources over the years as I have studied the Battle for some time. I will give you the one single best source in my possession: FORT HENRY AND DONELSON: THE KEY TO THE CONFEDERATE HEARTLAND by BENJAMIN FRANKLIN COOLING. Years ago I once possessed a small paperback on the subject at hand and it eventually had its pages falling out from age and use. I had to throw it away but miss it badly. I have forgotten its title and author. It read like a novel but had no footnotes. Anyone remember my old friend! It is likely out of print.

    I admit this was a confusing event that you question. It is because Pillow order the retirement around 1:30 PM after the assault stalled under heavy Federal fire from a final stand of fresh troops and artillery blocking the way. After a lull, Grant appeared and ordered a forward counterassault which did reoccupy the original Federal position. However, most of the Confederate units had left the field but some had not. So there was resistance that had to be pushed aside and there was Confederate artillery fire from their entrenchments; somewhat ineffective as some rounds were defective. Jack Hurst's book on Forrest has Forrest admitting the above stating the time was 2:00 PM. So the confusing answer may be both to some degree as the Confederates were withdrawing under orders and some had to fight and be driven away. Some were there picking up weapons said to have been around 5,000 firearms recovered.

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  • guthrieba
    replied
    Originally posted by Bo Archer View Post
    Hold up Kurt am not finished with me yet! There are only a few more issues!

    I am opposed to your stating that the Generals excuses to surrender the garrison are "ridiculous". It was the West Pointer Buckner to reported the dangerous conditions threating the garrison at the conference that night on day one of very hard fighting. I am not sure you fully understand those conditions as you have not elaborated upon them to any degree. Another issue is your saying Bedford was angry how the three Generals (Floyd, Buckner, Pillow) "conducted the battle". This is not correct as Forrest and Pillow were very pleased over the conduct of the first day of battle whereupon was the problem in the nut shell. Because due to their success they wanted to resume the battle in the next morning at sunlight and NOT evacuate the garrison as Commander Floyd and all had agreed was the Plan before the battle commenced. Note these gentlemen were from State of Tennessee and therefore I speculate they were unwilling to evacuate which means the capital Nashville would be abandoned. Here we have yet another example how State Rights ideology plays against Confederate nationalism if such existed.

    <SNIP>
    What is your source for the highlighted assertion? It is contrary to my understanding of the situation. The Confederates had been drven back to their original position at the end of the first day's fight, and Charles Ferguson Smith had occupied some of the Conferderate entrenchments opposite his position.

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  • Bo Archer
    replied
    Hold up Kurt am not finished with me yet! There are only a few more issues!

    I am opposed to your stating that the Generals excuses to surrender the garrison are "ridiculous". It was the West Pointer Buckner to reported the dangerous conditions threating the garrison at the conference that night on day one of very hard fighting. I am not sure you fully understand those conditions as you have not elaborated upon them to any degree. Another issue is your saying Bedford was angry how the three Generals (Floyd, Buckner, Pillow) "conducted the battle". This is not correct as Forrest and Pillow were very pleased over the conduct of the first day of battle whereupon was the problem in the nut shell. Because due to their success they wanted to resume the battle in the next morning at sunlight and NOT evacuate the garrison as Commander Floyd and all had agreed was the Plan before the battle commenced. Note these gentlemen were from State of Tennessee and therefore I speculate they were unwilling to evacuate which means the capital Nashville would be abandoned. Here we have yet another example how State Rights ideology plays against Confederate nationalism if such existed.

    Finally there is oddity of your saying "this paragraph is a rebuttal to your assessment that NBF and men were poor at cavalry recon." Before your post appear (an your injection of your Idol Bedford) I fail to find any remark by me about Bedford or his men. You appear to have invented this or your mind wander off. I admit that Bedford and his merry small band of cavalry fought very well in their little area of combat plus they done well at recon. Their numbers hardly 500. In fact I will take time to uphold greatly the performance of CSA Bushrod Johnson (a West Pointer if not mistaken) who likely should have been granted the most responsibility of the success of the first day assault that rolled up Grant's right wing and not so such Pillow.

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