Grant’s Plan For 1864 Campaign



One hundred and fifty years ago the decisive campaigns in the Civil War were about to get under way.  This is a good time to recall Grant’s plans for 1864.  Here Grant outlines them in his Memoirs:

The Union armies were now divided into nineteen departments, though four of them in the West had been concentrated into a single military division.   The Army of the Potomac was a separate command and had no territorial limits.   There were thus seventeen distinct commanders.   Before this time these various armies had acted separately and independently of each other, giving the enemy an opportunity often of depleting one command, not pressed, to reinforce another more actively engaged.   I determined to stop this.   To this end I regarded the Army of the Potomac as the centre, and all west to Memphis along the line described as our position at the time, and north of it, [as] the right wing;  the Army of the James, under General [Benjamin] Butler, as the left wing, and all the troops south, as a force in rear of the enemy.   Some of these latter were occupying positions from which they could not render service proportionate to their numerical strength.   All such were depleted to the minimum necessary to hold their positions as a guard against blockade runners;  where they could not do this their positions were abandoned altogether.   In this way ten thousand men were added to the Army of the James from South Carolina alone, with General [Quincy A.] Gillmore in command.   It was not contemplated that General Gillmore should leave his department;  but as most of his troops were taken, presumably for active service, he asked to accompany them and was permitted to do so.   Officers and soldiers on furlough, of whom there were many thousands, were ordered to their proper commands;  concentration was the order of the day, and to have it accomplished in time to advance at the earliest moment the roads would permit was the problem.  (more…)

Published in: on April 25, 2014 at 5:30 am  Comments Off on Grant’s Plan For 1864 Campaign  
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