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[CSA] western command : a song of mud and fire

Fri Apr 27, 2007 4:31 pm

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geronimo
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Sat Apr 28, 2007 11:27 am

[CENTER] Diary of A.S Johnston, commander-in-chief in the West[/CENTER]

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geronimo
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Late March

Sat May 05, 2007 10:45 pm

The campaign is launched

I am now commander of all forces west to the appalaches and i have a really hard task to deal with. I must stop the advance of the Union in this area, where she knew most of its success in the first year


Overall strategy
It is based on a defensive stance. Our limited resources command us to limit the risk in the engagements against the Union.
Our defensive strategy does not imply that we must stay on a defensive stance on the operative scale...As much as possible, i got to steal the initiative to decide of the rules of our fights. Delay actions and limited strikes on splited forces are what i will search for.

Plans

First, in the far west(of my theater of operations)
I plan successive defensive positions for a graduate withdrawal to the mississipi. This theater will not receive any reinforcements. I will use my numerous cavalry to break supply lines, to delay my enemy as much as possible

Second, the main theater:between mississipi river and appalaches
There is the big deal....i have no precise plan but an "opening"(like in a chess game). I see several possible objective for the Union:
-Corinth,which is a rail crossroad, and generally the east-west railroad.
-Memphis
-Chatanooga
I divide the ground in two part: one between the mississipi river and the paducah river and the other, the railroad from corinth to chatanooga

-The army of the mississipi is affected to the defense of Memphis and Corinth, with 5 corps (2corps of 2 infantry divisions, 2 corps of 2 brigades and one battery, 1 corps of 4 cav rgts and 2 horse batteries)....corinth is the central point defense
-Forrest command(3 cav rgts) and johnston brigade are affected to the railroad between corinth and chatanooga
- an independant division is positionned in the north of chatanooga to cover the city and the railroad in this area


My first movements:
-in the missouri, i send a cav raid with 3 regular regts and the indians to springfield to burn the warehouse
-in the mississipi, i send my 2 strongest corps(Beauregard and Breckinridge) to johnson, just north of corinth to set up defense line behind the river. Braggs and Hardee corps remain in corinth as reserves as i beware riverine movements on the tennessee river. Polk(who command the cavalry) stays there too
-forrest command and johnson brigades are sent to pulaski, wherefrom they will cover the vital railroad
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geronimo
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early april

Sun May 06, 2007 6:51 pm

Point on situation

Mississipi

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My defense is in position behind the river facing a Union corp in Humboldt.It seems that the Union is just occupying the ground,as another corp captured Columbus. but the main fact is that Buell's army has dissapeared from the sector...to approach Lexington from all directions. Like 2 to 3 divisions for a militia. also, what is the strategic interest of Lexington? not high at the moment and not 2 divisions worth from my point. An opportunity?

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Missouri

Not too good....the cavalry raid ordered by Van Dorn has been countered by the retreat of the Union army to Springfield.. we lost the indians and the 3 regular rgts are completely disorganized

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geronimo
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early april

Mon May 07, 2007 12:37 pm

Missouri

the Van Dorn's Army continues to dig in.
the broken cavalry are ordered to come back in security.
the indians are sent in a deep range raid

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Mississipi

With Buell near Lexington, I have a small number advantage in the humboldt region..also, the road to Ft Henry is clear by the tennessee river. I decide to leave my supply wagons behind to move fast on Ft Henry with Beauregard and Breckinridge; my speed should surprise my opponent. Polk would cover the supply wagons. Braggs and Hardee are moving north too, slower but it is not a problem, as they should be closer enough to support the attack. Anyway, they cover the retreat line in the case of defeat.
The idea is firstly to take Ft Henry, which is the main supply source of Grant's army...the destruction of some Union reserve units would be a bonus. I hope that the break of his supply lines would force retreat of Grant north of Paducah river, but i can't really evaluate the capacity of Grant to be supplied by Foote's fleet.Heaven if we would be each other on the rear of the other, i would be in a better situation
Forrest is ordered to sabotage the railroad west to Nashville, to prevent reinforcements

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geronimo
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Late april

Wed May 09, 2007 6:49 pm

Point on situation

Lexington

Buell took Lexington but the orphan brigade escaped...north. Anyway, the travel to join southern forces will take a time

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Mississipi

I reached Ft Henry with Beauregard and Breckinridge but we did not catch Grant who concentrated his corps in Humboldt. Forrest has reached the railway. Braggs and Hardee cover lines at Decaturville as we siege Ft Henry
Something worrying is the presence of Pope on the Mississipi. Will he pass the Island 10? The fleet is loaded of 1 division and some brigades

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Missouri

[CENTER]"Funny war" in the west

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Late april

Thu May 10, 2007 12:34 pm

Mississipi

i am quite undecided. Which posture must i adopt now? I think that island 1 will not hold for long,what will complicate the cover of Memphis. The logic of my plan would be to attack on columbus to cut Grant of his rear. But in the same time, i must have enough troops to secure corinth and Memphis.So the need of garrisons in Memphis/Corinth increases; and i am going on a split of my forces. Finally i decide to stay on my positions, and the siege of Ft Henry continues(and my troops rest so they recover their cohesion). I concentrate my south reinforcements in Corinth and send a brigade to Memphis; i recall Johnson bgde from Pulaski. Forrest does what he is made for

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Early May

Tue May 29, 2007 6:16 pm

Missouri/Arkansas


Warehouses in Fayetteville are empty...also Missouri and quite most of Arkansas has no strategic value or immediate risk. I decide to reorganize Van Dorn command in one infantry division and one cavalry division. Van Dorn and guns groups must reach Little Rock for a rail trip to Memphis or Louisiana. The cavalry will delay Union and destroy everything valuable on their way (i think Ft Smith especially). But i really think myself about setting Van Dorn in Ft Smith, as i am not really satisfied of leaving the area


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west Tennessee/Mississipi


Ft Henry felt..But Grant built a supply stock in Humboldt. I really "brained" on it for a long long time: is there a valid railroad between Humboldt and Cairo? an answer to know if i must attack on Columbus.
The mud kills all hope of happy attack on Columbus:my supply stocks are going worse and troops are slowed at the point that Bragg or Hardee could not support this attack. THis attack in itself is dangerous as it would engage me deeper, especially risky with a weak supply line


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It seems that the opportunity has vanished, in part with the weather. I decide to go back behind the Forked Deer river in a defensive stance and so i order


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I plan to reorganize the army, with the constitution of 2 new infantry divisions by merging hardee and braggs corps with the reinforcements who are now in corinth. these divisions wille be under direct command of Johnston. i am not yet decided on officers command: one will be sent in the east of Tennesse and perhaps one in Louisiana..I am thinking of the replacement of van dorn as army commander; he would be more useful as cavalry corp commander in Johnston army.


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east Tennessee


The Orphan brigade always on his trip but it seems that there are hunters after it. A division is in Knoxville but it needs one or two brigades and a gun battery to be a serious defense. Perhaps i was wrong when i beware an offensive on Chatanooga; Knoxville is now the closest valuable target for Buell's army

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Louisiana


A new fire to deal with...nothing to counter the division that took New Orleans. I think i will call for militia in a first time till i can bring regular troops: Sterling from Missouri and i hope a division of the east(a wish? the situation is not good around savannah but there is 2 divisions of poor use near Norfolk)


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Late May

Tue Jun 05, 2007 1:20 pm

[CENTER][/CENTER]East Tennessee


The Union moves to cut the railroad between Chatanooga and Virginia.Something i can worry about, as it could really increase my logistics problems. Fremont is out of range; this will be a task for my eastern mate


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In Knoxville, the only division awaits the reinforcements..i send the european brigade from Memphis. With the loss of Huntsville, it seems that the orphan brigade is lost. We can see that Union secures its communication lines. I'll need to send more troops there, if i can


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Arkansas


The plan is going as well as possible for now, as Van Dorn should reach Little Rock within 2weeks.The cavalry division will stay in Ft Smith till enemy forces approach, and will then destroy the warehouses


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Tennessee/Mississipi


The army is concentrating in Madison, that my 2 main corps should reach within a decade. There i would reorganize divisions and corps with the reinforcements from corinth. If possible 2 or 3 brigades will leave for Knoxville with one officer. Back to the defensive plan: Madison is a good position, midway between Mississipi and Paducah river; the river should decide Grant to try to outflank me, what would be difficult as he must protect his supply lines


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ps: in a first plan, i wanted to send Braggs and Hardee to corinth to reorganize them there, but finally decided that it would be reinforcements that would reach Madison, as it was better to hold the area in case of union attack as my 2 main corps had to cross the river. Unfortunately, i did not a good second look to my orders, as i did not cancel Braggs and Hardee primitive orders, with bad consequences (it would not have made a great difference but u know, it's frustating)
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geronimo
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Tue Jun 19, 2007 10:29 am

Arkansas

A clean retreat as Union did not yet move. The cav division will stand in Ft Smith for a month i think...indians are dealing with a cav bgde at Ft Gibson.


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Mississipi

A bad time For Johnston. Hardee and Braggs were victims of contrary orders(in real, i change of strategy during the turn and forgot to change the orders of these 2 guys); so they moved from madison to corinth, leaving the river without guard as Johnston had always to pass by. Badly, Grant decided to force the passage and crossed the river before Johnston. He only faced the reinforcements from Corinth, which were heavily outnumbered but fortunately, Hindman was wise enough to limitate the engagement


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Then Jonhston tried to cross the river. He succeeded but with heavely losses..We counted the complete destruction of Hardee's Corp(u cant see with battle screen but 2 brigades of 3or 4k men and a gun battery were destroyed) who was himself injured, when he runs at gun sound with Braggs along
*(somewhere i am thinking if there was not a problem in my losses counts; i am asking myself if there was not a problem when Hardee was injured as i feel that my total losses exceeded the battle losses)


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another skirmish when Grant tried to catch us on our retreat


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There, we can see the situation, with the Army concentrated in Corinth.

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It is time to reorganize the troops with the forming of 2 new divisions. U can see below the forces under Johnston after the first reorganization. Hardee would take 2 divisions in a Corp. I send Braggs in Louisiana with a promotion; Beauregard with the johnson bgde to Knoxville to command and reinforce our troops there

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Van Dorn

I plan to dismantle Van Dorn's command. He will replace Polk at the head of the cavalry corp. Price's division will go to Louisiana with Braggs. Most of the guns batteries are for Johnston. Beauregard will benefit of the hq


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East Tennessee


Chatanooga

Forrest command.


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Knoxville

THe orphan bgde is near condemned. I'll have to defend in Knoxville but the position is quite good in wild ground and behind a river.

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Here are the Knoxville's garrison and the reinforcements which come from Corinth

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Tennessee theater

Ok, there is the plan. I send beauregard to take in charge in Knoxville. I send Braggs to Baton Rouge; he will lead Price's division and suppletive forces in Louisiana
Johnston will make his stand in Corinth. It is quite hazardous to place troops in Memphis, due to the possible retreat line, especially with the broken railroad(this point changes with patch 1.04 which repairs the rail around Jackson..so next turn i will brain on defending Memphis), so i only send Polk to cover Mephis from an audacious cav raid. A feeling or a fact, i feel weaker than my opponent; i am for now condemned to an attrition warfare. As the majority of generals, i shout for reinforcements(like a certain general Meade ^^)


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geronimo
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Tue Jun 19, 2007 7:05 pm

database problem this morning so the right post is good only now
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geronimo
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early june

Wed Jun 27, 2007 4:38 pm

Around the Mississipi river

We had a balanced battle in Corinth...strange thing was that Grant was not at the head of union columns

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An union division is boarded to attack Memphis. I only have Polk with the cavalry corp there to defend so i decide to send Breckinridge with a division to settle an adequate defense

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Price's division and Braggs are on their way to Louisiana. Johnston holds Corinth. In the west, Mc Cullogh(will check the name i am missing it for now) is in a well place at Ft Smith. a cav bgde is sent to Madison to burn the warehouse, and the supply train is boarded to Vicksburg

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East of Tennessee

Beauregard now holds a very strong position in Knoxville. The orphan bgde will try to pass through union lines. Forrest must lead a raid around Bowling Greene

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Late August

Sun Sep 16, 2007 9:29 pm

[With holidays and deep holes in my brain, u will suffer an hyperjump from june to august, but i will try to give a summary of all i can remember]

Mississipi


[CENTER]union positions
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July:Several battles occured in july around corinth; union columns were repelled each time but not without losses. I was unable to find a way to cover Memphis with efficiency and Breckinridge was pulled back in the city by the Union with the remnant of his division and Polk's cavalry.
I saw no issue in this situation and as before i prefered to preserve my troops. I sacrified the ground to avoid an attrition war i could not win(am i a Mc Clellan clone?). My bad since the beginning of the campaign: i had been unable to maneuver against the methodical advance of Grant. Inferiority complex, excessive caution, or mediocrity?
I burned all warehouses in the area and headed to the south, destroying all railroads behind me. Breckinridge and Polk were evacuated by riverine fleet to Vicksburg. The evacuation of the "far west" was completed:Price's division was sent to New Orleans under Braggs command and the cavalry formed a division affected to the rear guard. Only the indians remain in the west, where the same policy of burned ground was applied


Far West


July:The evacuation of the "far west" was completed:Price's division was sent to New Orleans under Braggs command and the cavalry formed a division affected to the rear guard of Johnston. Only the indians remain in the west, where the same policy of burned ground was applied

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East Tennessee


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July:Awaited in Knoxville, union troops made a "magic move" using unspotted riverine vessels to move on Chatanooga. Beauregard with one division moved to rally the city, fastly joined by a distached division of Johnson, as Chatanooga area is a strategic way to the heart of the confederation.

August:I gave Beauregard the lead of a new army, settled to protect the gap of Chatanooga. The Union division who took Chatanooga escaped, with just a little force left behind...the assault is discussed. In the same time, Knoxville was lost, with the loss of a militia
Near Nashville, Forrest does his job well

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geronimo
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Late August

Sun Sep 16, 2007 9:30 pm

Back to Mississipi


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The plan for "the battle of the line"



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Tue Sep 18, 2007 8:12 pm

Back to Mississipi

Here a look at all the confederation forces:

Bragg and Hardee besieging New Orleans

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Breckinridge and Cheatham around Meridian

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The new division formed in Vicksburg

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In Jackson

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In the north with the blues

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The plan for "the battle of the line"

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U can figure the positions of forces around the 15th. The future axe of defense is the line Vicksburg-Jackson-Meridian. A problem is the lack of supplies in Meridian, that i was thinking to be my gravity center. So i plan to send a division or two to Mobile and ask for more trains to increase supplies stocks in Meridian

I hope to end the siege of New Orleans before the Union advances from Corinth. I will defend Vicksburg and Jackson with one division in each city(perhaps not a division for Jackson..thing to think about). Most of my forces will be in Meridian(4 divisions).
I suppose two possible strategy for my opponent: historical advance by the Mississipi with Vicksburg as main objective but i think he would build warehouses in a city on the other side of the Mississipi; other way is following the railroads but he would surely send forces on each of the two ways not to be turned back. Let the communication line with the east opened is a vital point, what decides the position for my main force.The cavalry will cover space between Jackson and Meridian
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