Sherman's March to the Sea 1864: Atlanta to Savannah (Campaign, Volume 179)
The March to the Sea was the culmination of Union General William T. Sherman's 1864 campaign during the American Civil War (1861-1865) and was a devastating example of "total war." Confederate hopes in 1864 hinged on frustrating Union forces in the field and forcing Abraham Lincoln out of office in the November elections. However, this optimism was dampened by Sherman's success in the battle of Atlanta that same year.
Riding on the wave of this victory, Sherman hoped to push his forces into Confederate territory, but his plan was hindered by a Confederate threat to the army's supply lines.
After much delay, he boldly chose to abandon these, forcing the army to live off the land for the entirety of the 285-mile march to Savannah, destroying all war-making capabilities of the enemy en route, and inflicting suffering not only on Confederate troops, but also on the civilian population. Despite the vilification that this brutal tactic earned him, the march was a success.
Supported by contemporary photographs, detailed maps, bird's eye views, and battlescene artwork, this title explores the key personalities, strategies, and significant engagements of the march, including the battles of Franklin and Nashville, and the ultimate fall of Savannah to the Union, to provide a detailed analysis of the campaign that marked the "beginning of the end" of the American Civil War.
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Concentrated his efforts (at least on the first day at Nashville) on outflanking his enemy. In contrast, the opposing forces in Georgia were so mismatched that the majority of Sherman's men had no need to call on their arms at all and, in a tragic parallel to events in Tennessee, it would be an ill-advised frontal assault against a prepared position that would bring the highest casualties of the campaign. 25 OPPOSING PLANS UNION PLANS he plans of the opposing armies were quite naturally.
Railroad tracks and overrun supply depots as far as Tunnel Hill, the point from where Sherman had started his campaign to take Atlanta earlier in the year. Hood regroups around Resaca and moves to La Fayette, where he hopes to meet and defeat Sherman's pursuing army. On October 17 Hood is stunned to find that his officers do not believe it is possible to defeat Sherman at this point. Disappointed, Hood moves down the Chattooga Valley and across the border into Alabama. He is pursued with no real.
27 THE MARCH TO THE SEA: PART 1 ith Grant's approval for his march, Sherman immediately set about the detailed planning that would be necessary for such an undertaking. The four corps he would take with him needed to be concentrated at Atlanta. These corps had already been stripped of the ill and infirm, leaving only healthy, fit soldiers to march to the coast. Sherman was satisfied that the men Thomas had at Nashville, plus those on the way, were sufficient to deal with Hood and he was able.
Cost of the war - and with no end in sight, defeat for Lincoln in November's election was a real possibility. (LOC, LC-B811-3181) 7 Lincoln was opposed in the 1864 election by his former general-inchief, George Brinton McClellan, the political opponents photographed together here at the Battle of Antietam, 1862. (LOC, LC-B817-7948) 8 give up Atlanta without a fight, replaced him with the impetuous corps commander John Bell Hood. Hood almost immediately attacked, but was beaten at Peach Tree.
Present for duty and equipped, were comprised as follows: IV Corps - 14,172; XXIII Corps - 10,207; XVI Corps - 10,280; Provisional Detachment (District of the Etowah) - 7,750; Post of Nashville - 2,027; Cavalry Corps - 11,982. This total of 56,418 men dwarfed Hood's force, which now numbered around 25,000. Hood was in no condition to attack, and even if his army had been a numerical match for Thomas's, Nashville's defenses were extensive. A line of fortifications stretched for 10 miles,.