User avatar
pgr
General
Posts: 529
Joined: Fri Jan 24, 2014 9:33 pm
Location: Paris France (by way of Wyoming)

The Feed Conundrum

Fri Dec 05, 2014 3:32 pm

As I was reading the Count of Paris's description of Civil War logistical considerations, I was reminded about how incredibly inefficient wagon transportation was, simply because the draft animals ate so much of the cargo. For those of you who think supply is hard in ACWII, the reality was much worse.

The standard Civil War supply wagon could carry about 1 ton (2,000 pounds) and was drawn by a team of 6 mules. The daily ration of a solider came in at around 3 pounds.... but the daily ration of an animal (horse or mule) was a staggering 23-25 pounds! (12 pound of hay and 10 pounds of grain). If the animals couldn't be fed from a depot stockpile, their food had to transported. For the 6 mule team, that comes in at about 150 pounds a day.

The problem gets exponentially large very fast very quickly. A 14 day expedition from a supply base would require more than 2,000 pounds of feed just for the wagon animals! (This is why, contrary to popular belief, it was the Infantry that won the American West, because they could carry 5 days of rations on their backs and go 12 miles a day, while the cavalry horses were hobbled by incredible feed and forage needs.)

In modern terms, those wagons got terrible grain mileage, and therefore the importance of a supply based anchored on a rail road, major river, or both so that steam could deliver unlimited quantities of supplies. If the army stayed within 1/2 days wagon ride of the supply base, the wagon animals could eat at the depots, and all of their wagon space could be used for supply transit. For each day wagon ride from the depot, the wagons had to carry 2 days forage for the wagon animals. (1 day out one day back).

Our good Count gave the example of the logistical needs of an army operating at a distance of 2 days march from its supply base (about 25 miles or 40ish KM...pretty modest for a field army) as follows.

500 men = 4 supply wagons
1000 men = 8 supply wagons
100,000 men = 800 supply wagons

add 16,000 cavalry and artillery horses = 800 supply wagons (to feed those animals)

that gives about 1,600 wagons to carry the food for the combatants.... wagons drawn by 9,600 mules that need to be fed
+ 360 wagons for those 9,600 mules, drawn by 2,460 mules so...
+92 new wagons for the 2,460 mules... which need more mules...
(tiring ain't it? :bonk: )

Cut to the chase, an army of 100,000 men + 16,000 horses needs a little over 2,000 wagons drawn by 12,000 mules. That doesn't include the wagons necessary to distribute the supplies to the division depots, brigades, and regiments. Throw them in, and the wagons necessary for supplying a 100,000 man army every day at 40 km from its base, comes to about 4,000 wagons, 3,000 of which are in constant motion on roads leading back to the base. That's just 2 days away from a base! :blink:

That means an army on the move has to plan to shift its base of supplies every 2-3 days. That means repairing rail lines as you move and shifting the base along the line, moving along the river and shifting steam boat landing sites as you advance, or making a point A to point B trek from one rail-head/port to another.

The nice thing about shifting the supply base, is that the supply wagons don't have to make a dead-head, or empty, return trip, so the range of the army is temporarily extended. 4,000 wagons can keep an army in daily supply a two days from its base, or keep it supplied for 4 days as it transits from one base to another. Range can be further extended by moving stuff out of the wagons and onto the backs of the men... think the infantry carrying 5 days worth of cooked rations in their knapsacks means that they have freed up that much extra space in the wagons.

So depending on how all things were organized in a base shifting operation, an army could transport about 10 to 16 days worth of food before needing to be supplied from a base. The source I have been using, stressed that the efficiency of armies increased with experience, so that the AoP in 1862 under McClellan could organize a base shifting range of about 10 days, the AoP in 1864 under Grant was able to go up to 16.


If we want to make a comparison to the game then, the two turn organic stockpile for units us quite generous, in reality it would have been about (or less than) 1 turn. In game supply wagons can hold incredible amounts of supply while eating very little, which is inverted from the historical reality. (Of course, I suppose you could consider that the supply wagon units represent a local supply base that receives supplies from the depots!)

Anyway, I hope this provides some "food for thought".... and perhaps inspiration for a harsh supply mod that reduces unit supply stockpiles to 1 game turn!

User avatar
tripax
AGEod Veteran
Posts: 777
Joined: Thu Aug 29, 2013 9:58 pm

Fri Dec 05, 2014 3:38 pm

I agree. One way the game is very different from real life is that 7 days before Richmond in the game would never be followed by a retreat since it is so easy in the game to maintain ones supply lines and to survive with cut supply lines and weak generals. I support such a mod - moving supply through dis-loyal regions even with high military control is too easy.

User avatar
pgr
General
Posts: 529
Joined: Fri Jan 24, 2014 9:33 pm
Location: Paris France (by way of Wyoming)

Thu Dec 11, 2014 6:57 pm

And if you are wondering how they did those big cavalry raids.... apparently by riding the horses to death.

The following insights into the difficulties of maintaining healthy mounts during long-running campaigns come from a letter written by Captain Charles Adams of the First Massachusetts Cavalry.

Potomac Creek, May 12, 1863

It is by no means a pleasant thought to reflect how little people at home know of the non-fighting details of the waste and suffering of war. We were in the field four weeks, and only once did I see the enemy, even at a distance. You read of Stoneman's and Grierson's cavalry raids, and of the dashing celerity of their movements and their long, rapid marches. Do you know how cavalry moves? It never goes out of walk, and four miles an hour is very rapid marching "killing to horses" as we always describe it. To cover forty miles is nearly fifteen hours march.

The suffering is trifling for the men and they are always well in the field in spite of wet and cold and heat, loss of sleep and sleeping on the ground. In the field we have no sickness; when we get into camp it begins to appear at once. But with the horses it is otherwise and you have no idea of their sufferings.

An officer of cavalry needs to be more horse-doctor than soldier, and no one who has not tried it can realize the discouragement to Company commanders in these long and continuous marches. You are a slave to your horses, you work like a dog yourself, and you exact the most extreme care from your Sergeants, and you see diseases creeping on you day by day and your horses breaking down under your eyes, and you have two resources, one to send them to the reserve camps at the rear and so strip yourself of your command, and the other to force them on until they drop and then run for luck that you will be able to steal horses to remount your men, and keep up the strength of your command. The last course is the one I adopt.

I do my best for my horses and am sorry for them; but all war is cruel and it is my business to bring every man I can into the presence of the enemy, and so make war short. So I have but one rule, a horse must go until he can't be spurred any further, and then the rider must get another horse as soon as he can seize on one. To estimate the wear and tear on horseflesh you must bear in mind that, in the service in this country, a cavalry horse when loaded carries an average of 225 lbs. on his back. His saddle, when packed without a rider in it, weighs no less than fifty pounds.

The horse is, in active campaign, saddled on an average about fifteen hours out of the twenty four. His feed is nominally ten pounds of grain a day and, in reality, he averages about eight pounds. He has no hay and only such other feed as he can pick up during halts [Horses are supposed to have 12 pounds of hay a day. Pgr]. The usual water he drinks is brook water, so muddy by the passage of the column as to be of the color of chocolate. Of course, sore backs are our greatest trouble. Backs soon get feverish under the saddle and the first day's march swells them; after that, day by day the trouble grows. No care can stop it.

Every night after a march, no matter how late it may be, or tired or hungry I am, if permission is given to unsaddle, I examine all the horses' backs myself and see that everything is done for them that can be done, and yet with every care the marching of the last four weeks disabled ten of my horses, and put ten more on the high road to disability, and this out of sixty -- one horse in three. Imagine a horse with his withers swollen to three times the natural size, and with a volcanic, running sore pouring matter down each side, and you have a case with which every cavalry officer is daily called upon to deal, and you imagine a horse which has still to be ridden until he lays down in sheer suffering under the saddle. Then we seize the first horse we come to and put the dismounted man on his back.

The air of Virginia is literally burdened today with the stench of dead horses, federal and confederate. You pass them on every road and find them in every field, while from their carrions you can follow the march of every army that moves.

On this last raid, dying horses lined the road on which Stoneman's divisions had passed, and we marched over a road made pestilent by the dead horses of the vanished rebels. Poor brutes! How it would astonish and terrify you and all others at home with your sleek, well-fed animals, to see the weak, gaunt, rough animals, with each rib visible and hipbones starting through the flesh, on which these "dashing cavalry raids" were executed. It would knock romance out of you.

So much for my cares as a horsemaster, and they are the cares of all. For, I can safely assure you, my horses are not the worst in the regiment, and I am reputed no unsuccessful chief groom. I put 70 horses in the field on the 13th of April, and not many other Captains in the service did as much.

User avatar
pgr
General
Posts: 529
Joined: Fri Jan 24, 2014 9:33 pm
Location: Paris France (by way of Wyoming)

Sat Dec 13, 2014 8:37 pm

tripax wrote:I agree. One way the game is very different from real life is that 7 days before Richmond in the game would never be followed by a retreat since it is so easy in the game to maintain ones supply lines and to survive with cut supply lines and weak generals. I support such a mod - moving supply through dis-loyal regions even with high military control is too easy.


Here you go... for 1.04...a work in progress...

hanny1
Captain
Posts: 158
Joined: Sat Jan 02, 2016 11:57 am

Thu Jan 21, 2016 8:35 pm

As I was reading the Count of Paris's description of Civil War logistical considerations, I was reminded about how incredibly inefficient wagon transportation was, simply because the draft animals ate so much of the cargo. For those of you who think supply is hard in ACWII, the reality was much worse.

The standard Civil War supply wagon could carry about 1 ton (2,000 pounds) and was drawn by a team of 6 mules. The daily ration of a solider came in at around 3 pounds.... but the daily ration of an animal (horse or mule) was a staggering 23-25 pounds! (12 pound of hay and 10 pounds of grain). If the animals couldn't be fed from a depot stockpile, their food had to transported. For the 6 mule team, that comes in at about 150 pounds a day.


True, but your forgetting that fodder can aquired locally, an acre of grass will supply 50 horses/mules entire daily requirement. Equallly local cerial crops availaible for requisition is a product of population density and time of year, April with have around 6 momths cerial crops harvest stored for consumption till the next crop, if its 2 crop a year system. Bragg lost so many guns at Missionary Ridge because the mules and horses where moved to where the fodder was, which was further away as he had been there some time, resulting in the guns being lost as the transport elemenets were not able to return to move them. Moving horses and mules to the fodder wa sstandard practice, so the first 12lbs requirement was nearly always found locally and not used from the wagons unless circumstances demanded it.

The problem gets exponentially large very fast very quickly. A 14 day expedition from a supply base would require more than 2,000 pounds of feed just for the wagon animals! (This is why, contrary to popular belief, it was the Infantry that won the American West, because they could carry 5 days of rations on their backs and go 12 miles a day, while the cavalry horses were hobbled by incredible feed and forage needs.)

How many going where for 14 days?. Its finite not expodential.
2000 lbs at 24 per mule per day is 84 mules/6 is 14 wagons. So thats 84 wagons for 14 days.

Sorry but no, human portage did not win the West.

A man with 5 days rations ( extra 15 lbs to his mil kit) can reach out to 100 miles before requiring resupply. A man with a wagon and 6 mule team, (2000/63) 2000 being load capacity 63 being a man and 6 mules daily consumption) can reach out for 32 days before requiring resupply, at leisurly 12 mpd, he can go four times the man on foot can, at the same speed 8 times.

In modern terms, those wagons got terrible grain mileage, and therefore the importance of a supply based anchored on a rail road, major river, or both so that steam could deliver unlimited quantities of supplies. If the army stayed within 1/2 days wagon ride of the supply base, the wagon animals could eat at the depots, and all of their wagon space could be used for supply transit. For each day wagon ride from the depot, the wagons had to carry 2 days forage for the wagon animals. (1 day out one day back).


Actually in logistical terms humans have never got as profficient at moving supply under animal ( muscle rather than machine) power as we have under mechanical, as a % of max yield. ( See M V Crvalds work of historical logistics in his many books, if your unfamiliar start with Logistics from Wallenstein to Patton or D Engels Logistics of the Macedonian Army, which covers a lot of logistics for animal ( muscle) powered logistics) A mule can be worked 10 hours in 24, and a 6 mule team pulling a full wagon will average 2.5 mph. So a days supply can reach to 25 miles forward lift, or a 12.5 mile round trip. Mules were also used to move the filed pieces, switching to horses when in the prsecence of the enemy as horses are quicker and stronger over shorter period. A horse you can work 8 hours in 24 and get 3mph. CS had aces to 800,00 mules US 200,000. A million mules and Horses died in the WBTS.

Our good Count gave the example of the logistical needs of an army operating at a distance of 2 days march from its supply base (about 25 miles or 40ish KM...pretty modest for a field army) as follows.

500 men = 4 supply wagons
1000 men = 8 supply wagons
100,000 men = 800 supply wagons

add 16,000 cavalry and artillery horses = 800 supply wagons (to feed those animals)

that gives about 1,600 wagons to carry the food for the combatants.... wagons drawn by 9,600 mules that need to be fed
+ 360 wagons for those 9,600 mules, drawn by 2,460 mules so...
+92 new wagons for the 2,460 mules... which need more mules...
(tiring ain't it? )


100,000 men at 3 lbs per man =300,000 per day requirement, 16000 horses requires 384,000 lbs total daily requirement =684,000 lbs. That requires 342 wagon which is 2052 mules. As its a 25 mile march from base. the requirement of wagons needs to double to allow a supply column each way to maintain the army each day.684 wagons and 4100 mules, 1 supply column with full complement comming out and one empty returning dailly.

Required at end user 684k, ( 100k men 16k Horses) required to transport to end use, (4100 mules) 98,400. to make a full lift to end user and to provide for the required daily usage of getting to end user requires a further 50 wagons/300 mules.

1600 wagons nose to tail would require 12 miles of road space.

Cut to the chase, an army of 100,000 men + 16,000 horses needs a little over 2,000 wagons drawn by 12,000 mules. That doesn't include the wagons necessary to distribute the supplies to the division depots, brigades, and regiments. Throw them in, and the wagons necessary for supplying a 100,000 man army every day at 40 km from its base, comes to about 4,000 wagons, 3,000 of which are in constant motion on roads leading back to the base. That's just 2 days away from a base!


Or 684 wagon loads required by end user, 735 wagons with 4400 mules by transport elements. Half of transport elemnts are empty, giving the animals an easy lift on alternate days. Animals to distribute would be in the 16000 figure, asumming 12k are Cav mounts 2100 are pulling 350 art pieces, leaves 2000 for other uses.

4000 wagons now needs 30 miles of road space, if there is a single road, you have more wagons than there is space to put them in, god forbid someone should try and move one of them forward!.it also calls for 24,000 mules, 12% of all the Mules the Union has acess to. By Jan of 65 the USA had 960k men in arms, that would call for more mules than there are in existence to use as supply elements.

That means an army on the move has to plan to shift its base of supplies every 2-3 days. That means repairing rail lines as you move and shifting the base along the line, moving along the river and shifting steam boat landing sites as you advance, or making a point A to point B trek from one rail-head/port to another.

Excepty it does not mean that.

It means that after a period of non movement the local aviable fodder becomes used up requiring the usage of whats in the wagons, or the extention beyond the single days resuuply range to further distances that then require force protection. Living of the land is a product of population density, the USA average was 18 people per sq mile, VA was 26 and PA 60 in 1860 for example. That means an Army living of the land has the ability to reach 1 days march to either side of itself for resuply localy, 50 miles frontage and 50 miles depth is 2500 sq miles of land the Army effectivly controls around itself when stood still or moving forward per day. In VA that means 26 people per sq mile yields 26*2500=65000 persons, who have at a minimum to feed themselves from what is grown in that land area untill next harvest time, 6 months away. That means in April ( harvest and camapign time for Armies start) there is a minimum of 65000*3*183=35,685,000 lbs of cerial crops within a wagons resuply march of the Army. Three tims that for PA. An Army of 100k foot 16k horse and 4400 mules consumes 780k, so can stay here without consuming anything in its wagons for 46 days. If its willing to let the entire population starve. Horse/Mules will have required 20,000*50=1000000 acres of fodder per day, its this that is the limmiting factor.

Btw your 4000 wagons/Army ( 4000*2000) has a max forward lift of 8,000,000 lbs, consumming 684,000 per day, so after 3 days it has consumed 2,052,000lbs, 25% of stocks. Day 4 there there are 1000 empty wagons back at base of supply and day 5 they return to end user. End user has therfore consumed 5*684,000=3,420,000 and recieved 1000*2000=2000000 on day 5. Lets stick to the 14 day game cycle, 14*684,000=9,575,000 required. 8,000,000 initial stocks, day 5 has the 1000 now empty wagons replacing 2,000,000 lbs, ditto for day 10 and 14.( the extra day is not important as more empty wagons become aviabale over time and return to base of supply for loading and return trip, so a 14 day cycle would see 8,000,000 stock increased by resupply 6,000,000 total 14,000,000 and consumed at 9.5 million, less 3000 wagons who went for resupply and were supplied at base, thats 432,000, call it 9 million consumed from 14 million provided. If i wanted to i could send as many back as i wanted retaining suffiecent for local distibution froma depot created from unloaded wagon stocks.

Heres the kicker, in 14 days the foder ( 12 lbs hay) requiremnt is met locally, by pasture, so consumption of 12 lbs is not met from stocks, so thats 4,032,000 less consumed. IE in 14 days, your army has consumed 5 million lbs and repalced it with 6,000,000.

The nice thing about shifting the supply base, is that the supply wagons don't have to make a dead-head, or empty, return trip, so the range of the army is temporarily extended. 4,000 wagons can keep an army in daily supply a two days from its base, or keep it supplied for 4 days as it transits from one base to another. Range can be further extended by moving stuff out of the wagons and onto the backs of the men... think the infantry carrying 5 days worth of cooked rations in their knapsacks means that they have freed up that much extra space in the wagons.


No thats not how its done, there is always an empty return trip, be it at 12.5 miles out and return to base of supply, end user comming out 12.5 to collect and return with full load, or to 25 miles out for end user, who dispatches empty loads back to base of supply. Your example only works if you treble the transport lift capacity in number of wagaons, and leaves you with the originalf them at end user empty of load, all of which now require resuply by a new supply element that has to lift double the base amount.

Your asumming that Armies were supplied from base for everything, they were not, ( munitions being the exception and oft times they took all they needed with them from inception rather than supplied by a magazine system) warfare was still as much about moving onto supply as it had been for centuries rather than propelled forward by supply.

Shermans Army set out with full wagons, around 5000, arrived at the sea with more wagons that he set out with, and all of them still full.

Nothing wrong with current logistics consumption in the game model, would i have done it differnt?, sure, but it works ok.

User avatar
pgr
General
Posts: 529
Joined: Fri Jan 24, 2014 9:33 pm
Location: Paris France (by way of Wyoming)

Thu Jan 21, 2016 11:52 pm

Hey Hanny1, I was just thinking about this thread, and here you gave it a bump. I'd suggest a little reading material on the subject that I happened upon. (Seems to be in draft form, but the specifics are pretty solid...plus lots of annexes). It expands in detail as to what I presented.

As for your points. I agree that in theory, the country could provide forage in great quantity, but to live off the land that stuff has to be collected and transported. That means dispersing men and horses to forage, which takes them away from more military tasks like marching, tending the picket line etc. An army on the move is moving all day, it doesn't have time to halt and forage. Your example with Bragg loosing his guns because his animals were away foraging is a perfect example of the dangers of trying to live off the land in the presence of the enemy. To be fully combat effective and capable of mobile operations, an army can't be dispersed foraging.

Concerning the 14 day limit, the number of troops is irrelevant. The calculation is just based on the space needed in one wagon for its 6 mule team. 6 mules eating 25lbs of feed eat 150lbs per day. The wagon holds 2,000lbs. Divide 2,000 by 150 and you get 13.3 days. As in a supply wagon has only enough space to hold 14 days worth of food for the 6 mules pulling it. (And remember we are marching all day during that time, eating from our stores, in order not to be forced to waste time foraging).

There were only two times that Civil War armies cast themselves off from a base of supply. Sherman's March to the Sea, which faced no opposition, and was conducted in an extremely dispersed way in order to maximize destruction, And Grant's Vicksburg campaign. The key to Grant's success was speed. From when he departed the supply steamers at Grand Gulf to when he got in contact with supply steamers north of the City was around 16 days (May 3-4 to May 19).

There was a good reason that the armies stayed as close to steam transportation as possible, steam could carry so much more than horse.
To quote from the document I linked to:

McClellan wanted enough rolling stock to supply an army of 130,000 men and 20,000 horses on full rations. Using Van Vliet‟s estimates, the men required 390,000 pounds of food each day and the animals consumed 520,000 pounds of forage daily. Boxcars had a capacity of 20,000 pounds [ten times that of a supply wagon], or 1,285 cubic feet. A minimum of 19.5 boxcar loads of subsistence and 26 boxcar loads of forage, 45.5 boxcar loads per day in total, had to be delivered to the army from the depot. These numbers may be slightly high, at least for the soldier‟s rations. Tables in Annex B of this book show that between 8,000 and 10,000 complete rations could be loaded onto a boxcar by exceeding the car‟s weight capacity. The transportation requirement for subsistence could have been reduced to between 13 and 16¼ boxcars per day if they were loaded as specified in the tables. Annex A of this paper gives the forage ration for 1,000 horses as 26,000 pounds and 1,739.5 cubic feet. Twenty thousand horses required 26 boxcars per day by weight or 27 boxcars per day when measured by volume. Figured either way, between 39 and 43 boxcars per day should have fulfilled McClellan‟s requirement. D.C.McCallum, a superintendent of the U.S. Military Railroad (U.S.M.R.R.) reported that six locomotives and eighty rail cars were destroyed when the railway was abandoned on June 28, 1862.”


As for the management of supply wagons (and indeed we are talking about a gargantuan number of wagons here):

There never was a corps better organized than was the quartermaster‟s corps with the Army of the Potomac in 1864. With a wagon train that would have extended from the Rapidan to Richmond, stretched along in single file and separated as the teams necessarily would be when moving, we could still carry only about three days forage and about ten day to twelve days rations, besides a supply of ammunition. To overcome all difficulties, the chief quartermaster, General Rufus Ingalls, had marked on each wagon the corps badge with the division color and the number of the brigade. At a glance, the particular brigade to which any wagon belonged could be told. The wagons were also marked to note the contents: if ammunition, whether for artillery or infantry; if forage, whether grain or hay; if rations, whether bread, pork, beans, rice, sugar, coffee or whatever it might be. Empty wagons were never allowed to follow the army or stay in camp. As soon as a wagon was empty it would return to the base of supply for a load of precisely the same article that had been taken from it. Empty trains were obliged to leave the road free for loaded ones. Arriving near the army they would be parked in fields nearest to the brigades they belonged to. Issues, except of ammunition, were made at night in all cases. By this system the hauling of forage for the supply train was almost wholly dispensed with. They consumed theirs at the depot.”
General U. S. Grant


One of the main reasons Grant kept going around Lee's right was so that he could keep shifting supply bases along river landings so that he could minimize the time needed to wagon supplies from the depot to the front line. (And I'm sure they used more than one road to do it.) As to your point about the number of draft animals required, it was indeed a huge number. It was also not for nothing that many a Union offensive was delayed while waiting to assemble enough draft animals to be able to move. (And a good chunk of those Union troops at the end of the war were occupying the South out of fixed bases with river or rail access, which reduced their supply wagon needs.)

As far as the game's supply system goes, I think it works great. The way supplies move from along depots to units, with tracking of the use of rail and sea lift is quite elegant. Its just that units don't eat enough and they store too much. Vanilla cav units have the same GS requirements, even though supply requirements for mounted units were on the order of 10 times higher than dismounted ones. In game terms, a unit can carry two turns worth of general supply, or 30 days, where as in reality, the best that was achieved was around 14 days, or one game turn. That's why i tinkered around with a basic mod.

(And as for the west, I didn't mean to imply that infantry carried everything on their backs, rather that infantry could campaign longer in the field with a given set of supply wagons than a cavalry unit because their food requirements were so much less. Check out the Horsemeat March for a sense of how bad it could be.)

User avatar
Straight Arrow
Colonel
Posts: 363
Joined: Fri Nov 07, 2014 5:44 pm
Location: Washington State

Fri Jan 22, 2016 2:36 am

I have living experience with this topic.

http://www.pcta.org/2015/vintage-pacific-crest-trail-photos-murray-familiy-video-28932/

or see, Life Magazine September 3, 1971.

In my youth, I rode 2,500 miles, from Mexico to Canada, on the Pacific Crest Trail. We started out as a party of 6 humans and 12 horses. Four of the six pack animals carried grain, and two carried a mixture of human food and gear; this was before the invention of modern, light weight camping gear, the rest of the stock was for riding.

Other than a couple of Thoroughbreds given to us that we also gave away and one mare that foaled, all our animals finished the 9 month trip in excellent shape.

We grained twice a day, 1.5 pounds in the morning and 1.5 pounds in the evening. The fodder requirements were met by local pasture and the local pasture we found varied tremendously in quantity and food value. In poor feed, it could take the animals hours to fill up; it was not unusual for our 12 head to eat out small pockets of grass in a day.

Depending upon local grazing, especially in wooded areas, planning on finding enough fodder for a group of animals larger than our twelve would be a very risky move. Odds are your horses will go hungry. And for sure, any stock following in your foot steps will find the best areas picked clean.

Even if the grass is there, grazing stock sounds easier than it is. It takes time, lots of time to handle the animals’ needs. You must first unpack/unhitch them, brush them down, hobble or picket them out, and sometimes it’s necessary to lead them to water. After that, grain needs to be measured out into feed bags and placed on the animal’s head. When the horses have finished eating, the empty bags must be collected and refilled for the morning. Only after this point, are you free to attend your own needs.

We carried about 600 pounds of barley or oats. This provided a very unadequate 3 lb. grain ration per day. The animals need more, but we couldn’t carry it. For long trips, horses should pack about 150 pounds in addition to their saddles and other gear. Mules on the other hand can carry up to 200 pounds.

Weight limitations kept us limited to 2 week time periods before restocking was necessary. Travel wise, we’d average around 15 miles a day on rough mountain trails. It took about 2 hours to break camp and around ½ hour to make camp.

In addition to riding 2,500 miles through the Mohave Desert and up the spine of the Sierra and Cascade Mountains, I have also traveled over 5,000 miles by mule drawn wagon train with an outfit called Vision Quest.

Wagons on roads are a different world from horse packing. We never let our stock graze and always tied them to picket lines. All the mules and riding horses were fed quality hay, supplemented heavily with pellets and grain.

Monday to Friday, our ½ dozen wagons would travel at least 16 to 24 miles. Depending on the terrain, this took around 4 to 6 hours. Other than a few kids driving, the wagons were always empty and we never hauled a load. Looking back, I can’t remember a day I didn’t have 4 hours of afternoon light left to teach school.

The point of all this?

Any military using horses and mules in uninhabited areas that are not grass lands or filled with large meadows, will find themselves killing their stock quickly. And horse use in cultivated areas has its own dangers; you can’t just turn horses lose in grain fields with highly developed kernels. The stock will founder and the souls of their feet will fall, making them useless for any anything other than meat.

As it’s tough to graze the number of animals necessary for a military unit and still have enough time to travel any meaningful distance, large groups of men and animals must carry fodder in the wagons or panniers; and this brings us to the payload figures being thrown around.

I don’t have personal experience in hauling supplies in wagons, but I can tell you traffic control with only six wagons can be pretty tough. Wagons are high centered and easy to tip. Their narrow wheels can really cut up dirt roads, and their turning radius is huge. I can only imagine trying to travel on a road in the middle of a hundred vehicle column. You’d end up moving like an accordion, stopping, starting, stopping, waiting and starting all day long. Daily mileage in a large group must slow to a crawl.

Oh yes, as a foot note, grazing is only available after the grass grows, that’s spring to late fall in North America.
Like arrows in the hand of a warrior are the children of one's youth.

User avatar
1stvermont
Major
Posts: 212
Joined: Wed May 13, 2015 1:20 am
Location: Vermont USA

Fri Jan 22, 2016 11:25 pm

Great stuff guys thanks.
"How do you like this are coming back into the union"
Confederate solider to Pennsylvanian citizen before Gettysburg

"No way sherman will go to hell, he would outflank the devil and get past havens guard"
Southern solider about northern General Sherman

"Angels went to receive his body from his grave but he was not there, they left very disappointed but upon return to haven, found he had outflanked them and was already there".
Northern newspaper about the death of Stonewall Jackson

grimjaw
Colonel
Posts: 353
Joined: Wed Feb 09, 2011 5:38 am
Location: Arkansas

Mon Jan 25, 2016 8:24 am

Thanks for sharing these stories. I'd read that the average life of a team horse during the conflict was about eight months (I assume that's from the time they started using it as a working animal). In addition to many horses being ridden to death, they probably had many that starved to death.

hanny1
Captain
Posts: 158
Joined: Sat Jan 02, 2016 11:57 am

Tue Jan 26, 2016 10:32 am

Hey Hanny1, I was just thinking about this thread, and here you gave it a bump. I'd suggest a little reading material on the subject that I happened upon. (Seems to be in draft form, but the specifics are pretty solid...plus lots of annexes). It expands in detail as to what I presented.


Except this link contradicts your first source, to a degree that is staggering, and yes you do need to read your link.

I pointed you to perhapas the world leading author/educator on logistics, to counter a book that is clearly incorect, you now post a link to website that directly contadicts your first book. Example this link contains a wagon load to be 4 animals with 2800lbs 0r 6 with 3000 against your first books 6 with 2000. The first book list 1600 wagons as being the requirement while the second has double to treble that number of wagons as the requirement, all at 50% greater capacity.

As for your points. I agree that in theory, the country could provide forage in great quantity, but to live off the land that stuff has to be collected and transported. That means dispersing men and horses to forage, which takes them away from more military tasks like marching, tending the picket line etc. An army on the move is moving all day, it doesn't have time to halt and forage. Your example with Bragg loosing his guns because his animals were away foraging is a perfect example of the dangers of trying to live off the land in the presence of the enemy. To be fully combat effective and capable of mobile operations, an army can't be dispersed foraging.


Not theory, its how the WBTS was fought in practice, a portion of it ( a force (detached extra duty)at every level as detailed in your link, ANV had a forage Bttn at Div level whose only job was to provide fodder) was detailed to forage and provide the means to exist ona daily basis. Every Reg/Div/Corpshad uints dedicated to forage, and force protection, ( as detailed in your link, you did read it right?, if so why contadict it?} who did that and nothing else, its how Armies operated, and a perfect example of you unfamilirity with the subject matter. Foraging occurs while the army is in motion, it occurs when it is not, its how the Army stays alive because otherwise it dies, there was not in this century a supply from base to end user in operation in the USA for ffod/fodder. Had you read any book on logistics you would know that. Supply from base only become required when munitions tonnage excedded food/fodder requirement making supply from source mandatory, and thats a century away, in the WBTS the only time supply from base came close to being required was for extended sieges, and that was becauase the amount of local resources was unable to sustain the increase in numbers consuming it over time.

Grant orders to Hunter were to lay the Shenadoah valley to wate,moving to Staunton then to Charlotsville, then to Lynchburg living of the land fo rthe entire Journey, thats all 18,000 of Hunters command for 6 weeks to live of the land.

AoP in G-Burg requistioned around 2 millions worth of it as it marched to get there and back, more than the dollar value it carried with it. Lee took 2.5 million from PA in the same timeframe.

Concerning the 14 day limit, the number of troops is irrelevant.


Only irlevent if your not interested in logistics, or unable to count. Otherwise its a critical value that if gotten wrong means a failure of epic proportion in real life or at otal failure to understand whats happening in history, and its impossible to know when the capaicity will be used up without that value. Its also the value of the timeframe in game so as to understand if the model fits with reality.
The calculation is just based on the space needed in one wagon for its 6 mule team. 6 mules eating 25lbs of feed eat 150lbs per day. The wagon holds 2,000lbs. Divide 2,000 by 150 and you get 13.3 days. As in a supply wagon has only enough space to hold 14 days worth of food for the 6 mules pulling it. (And remember we are marching all day during that time, eating from our stores, in order not to be forced to waste time foraging).


Your fist book and second link both used different number values. Book one is 6 mules and 2000 load, the second is 4 with 2800 and 6 with 3000. Your second link tells us that wagons use short rations when moving, Wagons on the march only issue 9lbs of extra grain instead of any fodder. Your prior post was full of factuall errors in regard to the innefiecent wagon supply usage, logiticans term the "critical distance" as the distance forces using any given vehicle can support itself, before it requires resupply a wagons critical distance is 144 lbs per day to maintain itsel, 25 miles in 10 hours, 2000lbs load, gives its critical distance of 375 miles. No Army in the WBTS every got close to using that potential capacity, nor did it do so anywhere else in the world. 22% of the potential, 120 miles was competent commanders the world over achieved with it. 12% more than has been achied with motorised transport in the next century.

So your link now has 6*23/2800=20.2 days and no eating any fodder and therfore being able to move all day.

The general ratio of fodder/forage wagons was 2 out of 6 with each 1000 men. generally speaking a third of all wagons carried fodder/rations.

There were only two times that Civil War armies cast themselves off from a base of supply.

Except that this is not factually correct at all. Forces did it from choice quite often, and the oposistion put them in that posistion quite often at both the startegic and tactical level .

Example ANV on 14 June had 80,000 foot, 20,000 horse, 47,000 mules with 7500 wagons.Requiring 60 miles of road space, each Corps ( never more than 30k men ona raoad net), the same is in Europe had a principle road asigned to as this was the max number that can use the road space. They recieved no resupply except ammo from then till 14 July when they returned to VA.
80.000*3*28=6.7 million lbs required
20,000*24*28=13.5 million lbs.
47,000*24*28=31.5 million lbs.
50 million lbs required in round numbers.

7500 wagons holds 15 million lbs, and that excludes everything other than food/fodder, ie no munition, tents etc. For a month ANV could meet a third of its daily requirements from stocks, the rest it aquired localy, but that is using every wagon for fodder forage when in reality its forage fodder is a third of all wagons so it actauuly confiscated even more, the 22,000 cattle it sent back fed it till winter 64, in addition to everything else. The huge shortfall was gathered locally, not supplied from base.

Sherman's March to the Sea, which faced no opposition, and was conducted in an extremely dispersed way in order to maximize destruction,


Sherman 57,000 foot 5000 mounted 2500 wagons campaign lasted 28 days, took him 220 miles.His total forward lift capacity was 5 million lbs, and required 18 million to be consumed, so his supply carried was enough for around a third of what was required. He seperated becausae of ease of movement by having a Corps on different roads and foraging over 100 miles in frontage.

Shermans Army was supplied at Atlanta by a single RR stretching back 473 miles, Sherman estimated that this single rail line did the work of 36,800 wagons and 220,800 mules.

And Grant's Vicksburg campaign. The key to Grant's success was speed. From when he departed the supply steamers at Grand Gulf to when he got in contact with supply steamers north of the City was around 16 days (May 3-4 to May 19).


Except that he never was out of supply..http://www.civilwar.org/battlefields/vicksburg/vicksburg-history-articles/vicksburgsupplyhillpg.html

Grant's Vicksburg Supply Line

Myth or Fact?

Ill providea another such example.

F Steel planned a 14 day, 210 mile campaign from Little Rock to Shreveport, to met up with Banks Red River campaign, 23 March to 3 May was the reality, a 41 day campaign of 350 miles, crossing 4 major river and fighting 5 battles, lossing 650 of his 1050 wagons, along with the mules.

He began with10,000 foot 5000 Mtd, 1050 wagons, *14 days =2,600,000lbs required at full supply, which was enough to get them there for resupply by Banks using the USN supply lift, ie he went with enough to get there and no more, but had a spare week in time to reach there, he planned to move at 15mpd but had spare time, and was not supplied from base. This was highly common ( living of the land for a period) in the WBTS as entire Armies often deliberatly set out without an umbilical supply chain, as that did not exist in the century and only come into exixtence in the next. Lee abandoned his base of supply during G-Burg for instance, Staunton being the most advanced rail head, oncre he was 90 miles past it on 14 June he was adrift from his base of supply for munitions. Armies and Corps would often set out tacticaly abondoning the supply net. His actual 41 day campaign required 5 million more lbs than he had in stock, which he found locally, which is in part why LA lost 40% of all its livestock by the end of the war.

Banks was defeated and Steel with a 2:1 numbers advantage, on hearing turned back after the CS haveing already chopped 300 wagons in his rear with mounted attacks by Marmadukes 3000 cav, on his rear as they were too few to stop him frontaly.Having stopped Banks they now would be able to concentrated on Steel and Taylor was comming on fast after stopping Banks

April 17 Telegram to Halleck from Steel, expaining the logistical reason why he was turning back.
"Our supplie are nearly exhusted,We are obliged to forage 5 to 15 miles to either side of the road to keep our stock alive."

Thats an area of 270 sq miles every day that had its acumalted stocks taken to make up the shortfall, 14 person per sq miles, so every day the foragers found 2,041,200 lbs and took 120,000 lbs of it. reducing the acumalted stocks of the civilian population by 6%, ie 6 peope in every hundred now faced starvation. Because there was a total shortfall in stocks required of 5,000,000 lbs, 120,000lbs a day more was required than existed and had to be confiscated localy. This was done with crualty ( QM repoert "198 Wagons loaded with bacon,corn, bed quilts, womens and childrens cloths,hogs, geese,and all the plunder were lost") resulting in no mercy shown by CS forces to Steels men during the campaign, one Reg losing 117 dead from 182 total losses defending one foraging expidition from Walkers CS forces, who got amongst them ( from above QM after action acount) who executed all the wounded.



There was a good reason that the armies stayed as close to steam transportation as possible, steam could carry so much more than horse.
To quote from the document I linked to:

McClellan wanted enough rolling stock to supply an army of 130,000 men and 20,000 horses on full rations. Using Van Vliet?s estimates, the men required 390,000 pounds of food each day and the animals consumed 520,000 pounds of forage daily. Boxcars had a capacity of 20,000 pounds [ten times that of a supply wagon], or 1,285 cubic feet. A minimum of 19.5 boxcar loads of subsistence and 26 boxcar loads of forage, 45.5 boxcar loads per day in total, had to be delivered to the army from the depot. These numbers may be slightly high, at least for the soldier?s rations. Tables in Annex B of this book show that between 8,000 and 10,000 complete rations could be loaded onto a boxcar by exceeding the car?s weight capacity. The transportation requirement for subsistence could have been reduced to between 13 and 16¼ boxcars per day if they were loaded as specified in the tables. Annex A of this paper gives the forage ration for 1,000 horses as 26,000 pounds and 1,739.5 cubic feet. Twenty thousand horses required 26 boxcars per day by weight or 27 boxcars per day when measured by volume. Figured either way, between 39 and 43 boxcars per day should have fulfilled McClellan?s requirement. D.C.McCallum, a superintendent of the U.S. Military Railroad (U.S.M.R.R.) reported that six locomotives and eighty rail cars were destroyed when the railway was abandoned on June 28, 1862.” As for the management of supply wagons (and indeed we are talking about a gargantuan number of wagons here):


Except Mc asked for the above for a army unable to forage because he had the sea to his back and major rivers on both flanks And Richmond before him And a finite amount of land area for local forage that he had already exhusted. His 3500 wagons on hand, 980 would be required to maintain that number of men/horses, over the same 40 miles of RR laid to replace them, less thyan the number the regs give to do that job, so Mc had the capacity to maintain himself as this 980 is less a third of the number on hand and dedicated to supplying food and fodder. So a more effiecent RR supply nice but not actaully required to maintain the Army.



General U. S. Grant One of the main reasons Grant kept going around Lee's right was so that he could keep shifting supply bases along river landings so that he could minimize the time needed to wagon supplies from the depot to the front line

Grant had 140,000 men and 56,000 horses and mules, 5000 wagons Grants forward lift was therefore 10,000,000 lbs, the river landings were to his rear and he moved away from them, changing resuupy from them from 1 day to days.( to which was added 5 dyays rations carried by mule train and on the men themselves giving AoP a 10 day suppy when it set oyut) with a a daily requirement of 1,764,000, he could go anywhere for 5.5 days/140 miles, and still have the same amount for the next week. For the 40 days his base of supply changed, or rather he ignored it and lived of the land untill a base close to where he was became established, he went left not least because in doing so he wenovver ground neither Army had yet to draw upon for any supplies. ( from your link:His Qm expaling what happened

From the outset General Grant has cut boldly loose from his line of supplies – the Orange and Alexandria Railroad – and trusted to luck and hard blows to find another. Loading up his wagons, he turned his army, though more numerous than ever before, into a moveable column, fighting as it marched, and resolved to depend for supplies on a base equally moveable. His first change of base was from Culpepper to Fredericksburg, or rather Belle Plain next to Port Royal, next to the White House, and then to City Point, or at least it is still here at this writing. All of these changes involved gigantic work on the part of the Quartermaster?s Department, which was all the more onerous and harassing because no one could say how long it would prove available.)

, all wounded went back on empty wagons and returned with munitions and fodder. which provided all of the AoP resupply whever it went." I have sent all my wagons back to Belle Plain for a fresh supply of provisions, and propose to fight it out on this line if it takes all summer" Grant. So again, no that not why he went where he went.

Culpeper was a round trip of under 24 hours, the average dailly WIA sent back to hospsitals for the month was 2300, or 322,000 lbs of WIA going back to Culpeper and returing with that same amount of supply every day. Every day 845 wagons became empty of supply and went back and returned with 1,770,00 lbs totaly daily resupply excedded daily consumption till he was 10 days into the month.By the end of the month this change of base ment a 4 day round trip instead. So your post is factually wrong at every level as he lengthened the resupply chain by moving 80 miles further south away from the nearest supply sources to his rear, putting major rivers in the way and having to dismantle existing pontoons to create new passable points on rivers as he moved away from existing crossing points.

(And as for the west, I didn't mean to imply that infantry carried everything on their backs, rather that infantry could campaign longer in the field with a given set of supply wagons than a cavalry unit because their food requirements were so much less. Check out the Horsemeat March for a sense of how bad it could be.)


Not at all the posistion you started out claiming.
And thats also not how it works in practice, it works almost exactly the oposite way.
From your linked article, which you must get around to reading.
9. The supply trains shall be as follows: To each 1,000 men, for cavalry and infantry, for quartermaster?s stores, subsistence, &c., 7 wagons; to each cavalry division, for carrying forage for cavalry horses, 30 wagons additional

1000 Infantry require 3000lbs a day 1824 for mules a total of 4824, and have 7 wagons at 2000=14000 capacity, this unit can move for 2.9 days before resuply, it has a 72 mile operational bound.
1000 Cavalry requires 3000lbs for riders, 29328 for mounts/mules, 33,000 lbs total, and 37 wagons with a capicity of 74,000 lbs, this unit can move for 2.24 days, it has an operational bound of 168 miles.
1000 cavalry requires 3000lbs for riders, 28106 for mounts on short ration ( no fodder but replaced with 9lbs extra grain) and 37 wagons with a capacity of 74,000 lbs, this unit can move for 2.37 days, it has an operational bound of 178 miles.

Or to put it another way, mounted get there quicker and go further than do unmounted, its roughly twice as effiecent as a manouver element as it covers twice the milage in around two thirds the time frame, and Infantry take longer to achive less, so your still wrong.

[quote]
In game terms, a unit can carry two turns worth of general supply, or 30 days, where as in reality, the best that was achieved was around 14 days, or one game turn. That's why i tinkered around with a base(/quote]
You have an incorrect opinion on how forces sustained themselves in the field, or moved for that matter, reality was that Grant Sherman and Lee existed for a month without any problem, in fact two had both gained logisticly from doing so.

User avatar
pgr
General
Posts: 529
Joined: Fri Jan 24, 2014 9:33 pm
Location: Paris France (by way of Wyoming)

Tue Jan 26, 2016 5:03 pm

Hanny1, you seem to be missing the point of my argument. I don't contest that foraging was practiced, and that if armies were unable to receive supplies that they foraged locally. I argue that the game over models their ability to carry supplies. In game terms, there is a national supply network, units fill up their organic stockpiles, and only once those stockpiles are depleted do they attempt to forage (and suffer hits or cohesion loss if they fail). The game models an organic storage capacity of units at two turns, i.e. 30 days. That means that a unit can store 30 days of food before it is forced to forage for food. This is simply inaccurate, and your counter examples don't disprove the point.

A more accurate model would be for forces to have an organic storage capacity of one turn, and if they aren't fully supplied in the next turn they attempt to forage to make up the difference.

(And I'll stick with Grant as a source for a 14 day limit on how much an army could carry organically before being re-supplied. Grant at Vicksburg moved from one base of supply, Port Hudson, to another, landings North of Vicksburg in roughly 15 days. In the Overland Campaign, he most certainly did not "cast off from a base of supply." Every time his army moved around Lee's right, he changed his base of supply. And one of the major reasons he kept moving to the right was that he could keep his supply lines shorter by shifting his base to various landings on Va's rivers, than if he had relied on the Orange and Alexandria Railroad.)

In any event, it is quite simple in the current game for a force to stock up on supply wagons, dive into enemy territory, and run around for months before being forced to forage, which I hope even you could admit is a bit silly.

hanny1
Captain
Posts: 158
Joined: Sat Jan 02, 2016 11:57 am

Thu Jan 28, 2016 11:47 am

pgr wrote:
(And I'll stick with Grant as a source for a 14 day limit on how much an army could carry organically before being re-supplied. Grant at Vicksburg moved from one base of supply, Port Hudson, to another, landings North of Vicksburg in roughly 15 days. In the Overland Campaign, he most certainly did not "cast off from a base of supply."


His QM disagreed, the maths disagree, and the sooner you understand your wrong the better off we will all be.

Every time his army moved around Lee's right, he changed his base of supply. And one of the major reasons he kept moving to the right was that he could keep his supply lines shorter by shifting his base to various landings on Va's rivers, than if he had relied on the Orange and Alexandria Railroad.)

As i already posted the maths show reverese is true in that he lengthened the logistical resupply when he did so, casting of from being in supply, to not being in supply.

In any event, it is quite simple in the current game for a force to stock up on supply wagons, dive into enemy territory, and run around for months before being forced to forage, which I hope even you could admit is a bit silly.

Except your still uniformed as to the reality of warfare, the total volume of supply carried is miniscule to the amount aquired locally by forage, German Army went to the Marne with only 10% of its food/fodder carried with it, all armies had a similar xperience of living of the land. Since i alraedy posted examples of 100k+ Armies living of the land without supply from depots thats exactly what happened in the WBTS, all those wagons we there to distribute and restock from localaly avaialble produce.

Please read a book on logistics, any book.

User avatar
pgr
General
Posts: 529
Joined: Fri Jan 24, 2014 9:33 pm
Location: Paris France (by way of Wyoming)

Thu Jan 28, 2016 1:51 pm

hanny1 wrote:His QM disagreed.


Show me a quote where Grant's QM disagreed with his description of logistical constraints facing the Overland Campaign. I can show you plenty that demonstrate that Grant never "cast off" from a base in the Overland Campaign, and decided to go around Lee's left for logistical reasons.
In fact here is one... from a book even

Page 239-40
"From the commencement of the advance in early May 1864 until after the battle of Spotsylvania, the Army of the Patomic was connected to a base of operations at Belle Plain, Aquia Creek and Fredricksburg. After Spotsylvania, Grant moved his base to a new point at Port Royal, V.A. on the Rappahannock River, allowing him to maneuver east and south to the North Anna. A week later (On 28 May) he moved his base again to White House on the York River, allowing him to maneuver east and south to fight at Totopotomy Creek and eventually Cold Harbor. He left the White House base in mid-June and connected to a different base on the James River, facilitating a partial investment of Petersburg and Richmond. Grant understood the value of the base and the benefit of switching bases to enable maneuver. Historians latter called his operation the Overland Campaign, but in fact his overland movement was possible only because of his use of maritime lines of communication and shore side bases of operation (just as he had done in Mississippi.)


At no point was Grant not supplied from a base of operations or reliant on foraging for his operations in Va. There is no reason to doubt Grant's description of his logistical operations as a constant shuttling of supplies with his force's wagons from his various bases of supply, or that he shifted those bases as necessary so that this system of the draft animals for the wagons eating only at the supply depots in order to maximize the transport of supplies to the front.

That forces could conduct raiding operations, and live for a time, off the land is not in dispute. But no force could carry with, land transport alone, enough supplies for 30 days of operations, without having to forage or resupply at some point. In the game as modeled, that is the standard carrying capacity of all units.

hanny1
Captain
Posts: 158
Joined: Sat Jan 02, 2016 11:57 am

Thu Jan 28, 2016 3:46 pm

pgr wrote:Show me a quote where Grant's QM disagreed with his description of logistical constraints facing the Overland Campaign.


As i already posted twice, its in your own second link. I went on to show you the maths of why that was so.

User avatar
pgr
General
Posts: 529
Joined: Fri Jan 24, 2014 9:33 pm
Location: Paris France (by way of Wyoming)

Thu Jan 28, 2016 4:44 pm

hanny1 wrote:As i already posted twice, its in your own second link. I went on to show you the maths of why that was so.


The article I linked to never quotes Grant's quartermaster. It does quote McClellan's quartermaster Van Vliet, and and various regimental quartermasters. The author makes comparison's between his calculated lift potential and what was historically organized. As for the nature of the wagons, there was the standard regulation, but as the article states there was variance. 3,000lbs was cited as a max load, but with the warning that a wagon at that weight would be difficult to manage, especially on poor roads. There are quite a few other sources that put the standard load at 2,000lbs.

As far as Steel's expedition, he only planned to be out of contact with a supply base for 14 days. Of course, his troops foraged when they were forced to, but it is hardly a stellar example of military operations. In the view of the wiki article article on his expedition:
The Camden Expedition was perhaps the greatest Federal military disaster of the Civil War in Arkansas. Union forces suffered over 2,500 casualties [out of 8,500], lost hundreds of wagons and failed to take Shreveport or Texas.
In game terms, they were out of supply after one turn, were forced to forage (and presumably couldn't make up all the difference, taking losing cohesion and taking hits) and got hammered by CSA forces.

hanny1
Captain
Posts: 158
Joined: Sat Jan 02, 2016 11:57 am

Fri Jan 29, 2016 10:28 am

As soon as a wagon was empty it would return to the base of supply for a load of precisely the same article that had been taken from it. Empty trains were obliged to leave the road free for loaded ones. Arriving near the army they would be parked in fields nearest to the brigades they belonged to. Issues, except of ammunition, were made at night in all cases. By this system the hauling of forage for the supply train was almost wholly dispensed with. They consumed theirs at the depot.”73 General U. S. Grant

The subsequent campaign of the Army of the Potomac, beginning with the movement from Culpepper last sprig, and continuing down to the present writing, has been a severe one in all respects, for all branches of the service. From the outset General Grant has cut boldly loose from his line of supplies – the Orange and Alexandria Railroad – and trusted to luck and hard blows to find another. Loading up his wagons, he turned his army, though more numerous than ever before, into a moveable column, fighting as it marched, and resolved to depend for supplies on a base equally moveable.

Captain J. F. Rusling, A. Q. M. Thats both Grants and AoP QM Dept, ( Rusling was Inspectort General of the QM Dept AoP) both from your own link.

Since you unable to read the material in question, let alone understand it, we are through.

User avatar
pgr
General
Posts: 529
Joined: Fri Jan 24, 2014 9:33 pm
Location: Paris France (by way of Wyoming)

Fri Jan 29, 2016 11:29 am

With respect to the good Captain, his description is more romantic than accurate. He did cut loose from the Orange and Alexandria...and established new supply lines as described in detail by every history of the campaign. And since you are incapable of civil discourse, I am happy to let the matter end here.

User avatar
pgr
General
Posts: 529
Joined: Fri Jan 24, 2014 9:33 pm
Location: Paris France (by way of Wyoming)

Re: The Feed Conundrum

Thu Apr 27, 2017 12:09 am

Ran into a nice little analysis done on the logistics of the Pea Ridge campaign. http://www.dtic.mil/cgi-bin/GetTRDoc?AD=ADA623051
Major Bailey does a good job of laying out the challenges and how they were overcome.

"Draft animals added to the logistical problem of an army. Animals had to eat too. More wagons and mules were needed to carry food just for the animals and wagons carrying food for soldiers. Half of an army’s food requirement was for animals. The further an army got from its supply base only compounded the problem. Armies that relied on muscle-powered logistics could only carry around ten days’ worth of supplies (a little less generous than my 15 days, but more or less one game turn)"(pg.22)

He also has a nice description of the depot system in use by the Federals:

"The Union Army relied on the depot system to supply the army. There are four main types of depots: general, base, advanced, and temporary. The general depots under the control of the supply bureaus of the War Department sent supplies to base depots, which in turn forwarded supplies to advanced depots then on to temporary depots if necessary. The main general depots were located in New York, Boston, Philadelphia, Baltimore, Washington, Cincinnati, Louisville, St. Louis, Chicago, and New Orleans. Quartermasters had authorization to establish depots as required. During offensive operations, commanders established advance depots where the army drew supplies and did not have to return to a general depot for them. Armies tried to keep advanced depots within two days march. If needed, temporary depots were established as a distribution point for using units in the vicinity. These temporary depots received their supplies from the advanced depots and allowed armies to operate further away from their advanced depot."(Pg.21)

The rest of the work describes how Curtis and Sheridan planned and executed where to place advance depots connecting back to the base depot in Rolla, how the advance depots served as collection and processing centers, and how traffic was constantly flowing between the depots. The in-game depot and supply movement system does a good job representing this. The big difference is that in-game units can carry with them far more supplies before needing to be resupplied than their historical counterparts did.

hanny1
Captain
Posts: 158
Joined: Sat Jan 02, 2016 11:57 am

Re: The Feed Conundrum

Sat May 06, 2017 10:26 am

pgr wrote:Ran into a nice little analysis done on the logistics of the Pea Ridge campaign. http://www.dtic.mil/cgi-bin/GetTRDoc?AD=ADA623051
Major Bailey does a good job of laying out the challenges and how they were overcome.

"Draft animals added to the logistical problem of an army. Animals had to eat too. More wagons and mules were needed to carry food just for the animals and wagons carrying food for soldiers. Half of an army’s food requirement was for animals. The further an army got from its supply base only compounded the problem. Armies that relied on muscle-powered logistics could only carry around ten days’ worth of supplies (a little less generous than my 15 days, but more or less one game turn)"(pg.22)

He also has a nice description of the depot system in use by the Federals:

"The Union Army relied on the depot system to supply the army. There are four main types of depots: general, base, advanced, and temporary. The general depots under the control of the supply bureaus of the War Department sent supplies to base depots, which in turn forwarded supplies to advanced depots then on to temporary depots if necessary. The main general depots were located in New York, Boston, Philadelphia, Baltimore, Washington, Cincinnati, Louisville, St. Louis, Chicago, and New Orleans. Quartermasters had authorization to establish depots as required. During offensive operations, commanders established advance depots where the army drew supplies and did not have to return to a general depot for them. Armies tried to keep advanced depots within two days march. If needed, temporary depots were established as a distribution point for using units in the vicinity. These temporary depots received their supplies from the advanced depots and allowed armies to operate further away from their advanced depot."(Pg.21)

The rest of the work describes how Curtis and Sheridan planned and executed where to place advance depots connecting back to the base depot in Rolla, how the advance depots served as collection and processing centers, and how traffic was constantly flowing between the depots. The in-game depot and supply movement system does a good job representing this. The big difference is that in-game units can carry with them far more supplies before needing to be resupplied than their historical counterparts did.
except as he constantly writes the whole campaign was planned to take supplies from the local population, it began on such a recce to establish if it could feed the intended advance, if not there was no advance. He goes on to list 15000 men, 585 wagons, which means the campaign had three times the wagons used by everyone other union army, hence it had 10 days in wagons, but the rest of the quote is being ignored, i.e. The army spent more time looking for food than it did fighting*'had it the same number of wagons as the regulations allowed, it would have had 3 days, and was still unable to supply itself from a base of supply. He gives the number of wagons, distance from base, number requiring supplies, so it's a simple maths question and the answer is there are not enough wagons to supply from base, and he had to separate to forage locally and was thus attacked by a superior force which he defeated. Infinite supply exists, each day the supplies go forward 20 miles by wagons, so 200 miles from infinite range supply, means 9 wagon trains outward bound, 9 wagon trains returning, a force of 9100 inf, 2500 cav requires, 9100@3=27300 +2500@20=50000 total food per day, 77300lbs, at 2250 lbs a wagon( qm reg give 4000 on tarmac roads in good weather no incline, down to 2000 in poor roads in bad weather with incline) means34 wagons to feed the end user. The delivery system of mules wagons, is 585@6@20=70200 lbs per day consumption. Totally day consumption, 147500lbs. Total available lift, 585@2250=13116250. Divide the days requirmenr by available lift and you get 9 days lift, i.e. There is enough forward lift to supply 9, yet operating at 9 points away, ( 9 out 9 back)means there is only half the number of wagons available. Half the supplies have to come from local forage. That's based on no ammunition carried at all, no artyillary with guns and horses, and not a single piece of equipment, like tents, cooking, medical, etc, and every wagon being used for food rations. He also writes only 300 wagons were in use to effect this supply net, used 4000 as the planning figure, yet also relates that wagons were limited to 2000 by the regs for poor roads in winter, so he vastly overestimates capacity and under estimates consumption, by not recognising the meaning of the data he uses, not a competent supply officer. He describes logistics, but fails to fully explain how it operated in practice, despite his many references to how the army foraged for the bulk of its requirements.

* 1861 field regulations give 15% on manpower allocated to forage duties, as supply from trains will furnish only the mimimium of supply required. As of 1862 with the confiscation act, the union abandoned supply of food fodder to armies in the field and lived of the land more than it had already done so, but now it stopped paying for it, post war the southern claims commisiion payed out millions to those who could show they were loyal and had lost food supplies,in this fashion. He wore his forage kept while doing so, it gets its name from the function being performed, which was what he spent a considerable amount of time doing.

hanny1
Captain
Posts: 158
Joined: Sat Jan 02, 2016 11:57 am

Re:

Sat May 06, 2017 11:51 am

pgr wrote:With respect to the good Captain, his description is more romantic than accurate. He did cut loose from the Orange and Alexandria...and established new supply lines as described in detail by every history of the campaign.
er it's his official report, as the qm of grants army, explaining what happened logistically, the principly primary source for all future authors. Learn to comprehend what your reading rather than dismiss it because it does not conform to you pre conceived notion of what happened. From your last link, he shows the same problem, he writes the regs give 7 ration wagon per 1000 men per day. Wagon has 2250@7=15750, wagons mules consume 840 a day, men consume 3000 a day, total 3840, so his own figures show the force can carry only 4 days, while writing it can carry 10, since he is quoting Gabriel, who explains forage was the only way armies could operate, the rest of the 10 days requirement comes from local requisition, he is giving us 40% from supply, and 60% from forage every 10 days. That's the rest of the quote you chose to ignore, and the author makes clear on many instances it was local forage that allowed the campaign to function.

User avatar
pgr
General
Posts: 529
Joined: Fri Jan 24, 2014 9:33 pm
Location: Paris France (by way of Wyoming)

Re: The Feed Conundrum

Mon May 08, 2017 1:39 pm

Once again we seem to be talking past each other. Did the campaign use local forage? Yes of course. Did the maneuver force forage? no. It was resupplied at regular intervals from the advance and temporary depots that Curtis established along his advance (and he detached forces to man these depots.) I fully agree that these depots foraged/requisitioned locally to constitute their stock of forage to push forward to the maneuvering column. (Indeed the article has nice detail about the effort Sheridan made to take over local mills an bakeries in order for the advance depot to process the raw materials into usable supplies.)

At the end of the day, we seem to be arguing over the level of scale. You are looking at things at the high level. For the totality of Curtis's forces he is able acquire a large part of his supplies locally. That view does not make the distinction between maneuver forces and rear area support. I'm looking at things from the perspective of the regimental/brigade/division commander. They are not foraging. They are maneuvering, carrying 5-10 days supplies (at most) with their organic lift and are dependent on being resupplied at regular intervals (ideally every 2-3 days) from rear area depots.

As far as the game goes, supply is modeled from that regimental perspective. Elements can carry a certain amount of supply and get resupplied from depots. The depots are representing everything from huge depots to advance depots that "forage" for supplies buy pulling the local production around them and pushing it to units. It's an elegant way of modeling the process. I've just argued that the game is overly generous in giving those combat elements a 30 day ability to carry supplies.

Return to “ACW History Club / Histoire de la Guerre de Sécession”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: youkali and 1 guest