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Ozzy

On the periphery...

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Away from Pittsburg Landing/Corinth there were operations taking place, concurrently, that affected the build-up of opposing forces... the Battle of Shiloh... the Siege of Corinth. The impact was felt in the availability of men and resources; effect on timing; and 'progress' of the Grand Strategy. The following five questions relate to some of those peripheral operations:

1)  The first canal dug by the Union in an attempt to bypass a strong Confederate position on the Mississippi River was a success: Federal steamers made use of this canal to facilitate transport of Union troops into a strong attacking position. Where was this canal?

2)  That other canal, across from Vicksburg, was not started by U.S. Grant, either. Who was the General that began digging 'Grant's Canal?'

3)  During the advance of Federal Navy gunboats down the Mississippi River towards anticipated capture of Memphis, the Confederate Navy launched an attack that sank two Union ironclads. What was the name given to this naval action?

4)  There was a Confederate General so popular with his men that it was widely accepted, 'they would follow him anywhere... even into Hell.' The death of this General (and quick loss of two successors) at the Battle of Pea Ridge helped curtail Rebel success... and probably affected the availability of Van Dorn's Army of the West to join with Albert Sidney Johnston's attacking force at Corinth, prior to the Battle of Shiloh. Who was this General?

5)  Following the Capture of New Orleans, end of April 1862, it was anticipated that this General, in command of eighteen thousand Federal troops, would quickly secure the roads leading into the South's largest city; then move his Army north to Jackson and effect a join with Halleck's Army of the Mississippi. But, due to a number of factors (misinterpretation of priorities given in his orders; removal of General McClellan; 'lack of cooperation' by the people of New Orleans) this officer never made it to Jackson. Who was this General?

 

Cheers

Ozzy

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19 hours ago, Ozzy said:

Away from Pittsburg Landing/Corinth there were operations taking place, concurrently, that affected the build-up of opposing forces... the Battle of Shiloh... the Siege of Corinth. The impact was felt in the availability of men and resources; effect on timing; and 'progress' of the Grand Strategy. The following five questions relate to some of those peripheral operations:

1)  The first canal dug by the Union in an attempt to bypass a strong Confederate position on the Mississippi River was a success: Federal steamers made use of this canal to facilitate transport of Union troops into a strong attacking position. Where was this canal?

2)  That other canal, across from Vicksburg, was not started by U.S. Grant, either. Who was the General that began digging 'Grant's Canal?'

3)  During the advance of Federal Navy gunboats down the Mississippi River towards anticipated capture of Memphis, the Confederate Navy launched an attack that sank two Union ironclads. What was the name given to this naval action?

4)  There was a Confederate General so popular with his men that it was widely accepted, 'they would follow him anywhere... even into Hell.' The death of this General (and quick loss of two successors) at the Battle of Pea Ridge helped curtail Rebel success... and probably affected the availability of Van Dorn's Army of the West to join with Albert Sidney Johnston's attacking force at Corinth, prior to the Battle of Shiloh. Who was this General?

5)  Following the Capture of New Orleans, end of April 1862, it was anticipated that this General, in command of eighteen thousand Federal troops, would quickly secure the roads leading into the South's largest city; then move his Army north to Jackson and effect a join with Halleck's Army of the Mississippi. But, due to a number of factors (misinterpretation of priorities given in his orders; removal of General McClellan; 'lack of cooperation' by the people of New Orleans) this officer never made it to Jackson. Who was this General?

 

Cheers

Ozzy

Gonna take a stab here...

  1. Duckport Canal
  2. Brig. General Thomas Williams
  3. Plum Point Bend
  4. Brig. General Benjamin McCulloch 
  5. Maj. General Benjamin Butler
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Paul

IRT your answers... 4 correct, out of 5. Close enough for Government work  :)

2)  General Thomas Williams began digging 'Grant's Canal' in June 1862. Flag-Officer Farragut had sent his mortar sloops away to attack Mobile, instead of bringing them along on his cruise up the Mississippi River. By the time he realized his error... called for Porter's mortars... Confederate forces were so well established at Vicksburg (and the mortars were nearly out of explosive shells, having used them all against Forts St. Philip, Jackson and Gaines) that Farragut's effort proved to be of no consequence. The canal... a sort of 'last ditch effort' ...was too great a challenge for the small number of men engaged, and work was abandoned... until Grant arrived in 1863.

3)  Plum Point Bend was the unexpected engagement that slowed Federal Navy progress down the Mississippi River towards eventual capture of Memphis. Upon capture of Island No. 10 on April 8, 1862, Flag-Officer Foote believed he could take Fort Pillow within days, and reach Memphis before the end of April. But Fort Pillow proved to be stronger than anticipated; and Halleck stripped away most of the Federal Army assisting Foote (for use against Corinth); and Foote himself, suffering exhaustion from an injury that refused to heal (and affected by news of the death of his teenaged son) finally had to leave the arena... and was replaced by Charles Davis. It took a while for Flag-Officer Davis to settle into his position... the engagement at Plum Point Bend happened on his watch. And Memphis was not captured until June 6, 1862.

4)  Benjamin McCulloch was a competent, admired leader, with experience in the 1846 War against Mexico, and service as a Texas Ranger. His death at Pea Ridge (and subsequent loss of two replacement commanders at that battle) resulted in a military unit requiring reorganization: many men just 'drifted away' from McCulloch's, and Sterling Price's armies, and it required time for General Van Dorn to gather them back together on the retreat to Pocahontas, Arkansas. The time required to re-assemble his force (and the lack of urgency expressed in Beauregard's letter to 'bring the Army of the West to the Mississippi River,') resulted in Van Dorn completing a casual movement eastward... with no opportunity to be part of the Battle of Shiloh.

5)  The Operation against New Orleans was months in the planning, and was not initiated until General McClellan learned of the Fall of Fort Columbus (evacuation begun end of February, completed by March 2, 1862.) Flag-Officer David Farragut was appointed Expedition Leader: Commander David Porter had charge of 21 mortar sloops; Major General Benjamin Butler was in command of 18,000 men (Army of the Gulf.) Meanwhile, the forces required for the Operation began to assemble on Ship Island (12 miles off the south coast of Mississippi) in November 1861... and the orders issued to Butler indicated New Orleans as the primary objective, but mentioned Mobile, Jackson, Galveston, Pensacola and a number of other Southern cities as possible objectives, after the capture of New Orleans. In those same orders, General McClellan indicated 'he would clarify Butler's orders later...' but McClellan was removed as Army Chief on March 11, and Butler's orders were never clarified. 

Another factor: Butler was senior to Farragut in rank, but Farragut was in charge of the expedition. And Farragut's orders, issued by the Navy, contained different objectives to Butler's orders. And Farragut let slip a golden opportunity to cooperate with Butler's Army, especially IRT to the half-hearted attempt to take Vicksburg. Unfortunately, as Expedition Commander, Farragut 'gets the credit' for the lack of success at Vicksburg. And it is my belief that Confederate control of Vicksburg (instead of Butler having taken it on his way to Jackson) is what allowed General Beauregard to evacuate Corinth and 'fight another day' ...a whole year of days, before Vicksburg finally fell.

1)  Bissel's Canal, said to be twelve miles long, was constructed through a swamp from Island No. 8 in the Mississippi River (where Foote had his base) to near New Madrid, Missouri, around the north side of Island No. 10. Empty transport steamers were sent through that canal, and arrived in early April to move John Pope's Army across the Mississippi River into the rear of the Confederate forces holding Island No. 10. Meanwhile, USS Carondelet and USS Pittsburg 'ran the guns' of the Confederate defenders at night, and arrived at New Madrid to assist General Pope. The surrender of 7000 Confederates on April 8 allowed Pope's Army to detach from service with Foote, and join the March to Corinth.

Again, well done Paul on overcoming another quiz!

 

Ozzy

 

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"The best laid plans of Mice and Men..."

 

GENERAL ORDERS,

HEADQUARTERS OF THE ARMY, A. G. O. Numbers 20

Washington, February 23, 1862.

I. A new military department, to be called the Department of the Gulf, is hereby constituted. It will comprise all the coast of the Gulf of Mexico west of Pensacola Harbor and so much of the Gulf States as may be occupied by the forces under Major General B. F. Butler, U. S. Volunteers. The headquarters for the present will be movable, wherever the general commanding may be.

By command of Major-General McClellan:

L. THOMAS,

Adjutant-General.

 

 

HEADQUARTERS OF THE ARMY,

Washington, February 23, 1862.

Major General BENJAMIN F. BUTLER,

U. S. Volunteers:

GENERAL: You are assigned to the command of the land forces destined to co-operate with the Navy in the attack upon New Orleans. You will use every means to keep your destination a profound secret, even from your staff officers, with the exception of your chief of staff, and Lieutenant Weitzel, of the Engineers. The force at your disposal will consist of the first thirteen regiments named in your memorandum handed to me in person, the Twenty-first Indiana, Fourth Wisconsin, and Sixth Michigan (Old and good regiments from Baltimore). The Twenty-First Indiana, Fourth Wisconsin, and Sixth Michigan will await your orders at Fort Monroe. Two companies of the Twenty-first Indiana are well drilled at heavy artillery. The cavalry force already en route for Ship Island will be sufficient for your purposes. After full consultation with officers well acquainted with the country in which it is proposed to operate, I have arrived at the conclusion that two light batteries, fully equipped, and one without horses, will be all that are necessary. This will make your force 14,400 infantry, 275 cavalry, 580 artillery-total 15,255 men. The commanding general of the Department of Key West is authorized to loan you temporarily two regiments. Fort Pickens can probably give you another, which will bring your force to nearly 18,000.

The object of your expedition is one of vital importance: the capture of New Orleans. The route selected is up the Mississippi River, and the first obstacle to be encountered (perhaps the only one) is in the resistance offered by Forts Saint Philip and Jackson. It is expected that the Navy can reduce these works. In that case you will, after their capture, leave a sufficient garrison in them to render them perfectly secure; and it is recommended that on the upward passage a few heavy guns and some troops be left at the Pilot Station (at the forks of the river), to cover a retreat in the event of a disaster. The troops and guns will of course be removed as soon as the forts are captured. Should the Navy fail to reduce the works, you will land your forces and siege train, and endeavor to breach the works, silence their guns, and carry them by assault.

The next resistance will be near the English Bend, where there are some earthen batteries. Here it may be necessary for you to land your troops to co-operate with the naval attack, although it is more than probable that the Navy, unassisted, can accomplish the result. If these works are taken, the city of New Orleans necessarily falls. In that event it will probably be best to occupy Algiers with the mass of your troops; also the eastern bank of the river above the city. It may be necessary to place some troops in the city to preserve order; but if there appears sufficient Union sentiment to control the city, it may be best, for purposes of discipline, to keep your men out of the city.

After obtaining possession of New Orleans it will be necessary to reduce all the works guarding its approaches from the east, and particularly to gain the Pass Manchac. Baton Rouge, Berwick Bay, and Fort Livingston will next claim your attention. A feint on Galveston may facilitate the objects we have in view. I need not call your attention to the necessity of gaining possession of all the rolling stock you can on the different railways and of obtaining control of the roads themselves. The occupation of Baton Rouge by a combined naval and land force should be accomplished as soon as possible after you have gained New Orleans. Then endeavor to open your communication with the northern column by the Mississippi, always bearing in mind the necessity of occupying Jackson, Miss., as soon as you can safely do so, either after or before you have effected the junction. Allow nothing to divert you from obtaining full possession of all the approaches to New Orleans. When that object is accomplished to its fullest extent it will be necessary to make a combined attack on Mobile, in order to gain possession of the harbor and works, as well as to control the railway terminus at the city. In regard to this I will send more detailed instructions as the operations of the northern column develop themselves. I may briefly state that the general objects of the expedition are, first, the reduction of New Orleans and all its approaches, then Mobile and its defense; then Pensacola, Galveston, &etc.

It is probable that by the time New Orleans is reduced it will be in the power of the Government to re-enforce the land forces sufficiently to accomplish all these objects. In the mean you will please give all the assistance in your power to the Army and Navy commanders in your vicinity, never losing sight of the fact that the great object to be achieved is the capture and firm retention of New Orleans.

I am, very respectfully,

GEO. B. McCLELLAN,

Major-General, Commanding in Chief.

 

[The above General Orders No.20 and Letter of Clarification from MGen McClellan to MGen Butler, both dated 23 FEB 1862 may be found OR 6 pp.694 - 696.]

 

 

 

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