Civil War Supply and Strategy Feeding Men and Moving Armies / Earl J. Hess.

"In "Civil War Supply and Strategy," renowned Civil War historian Earl Hess examines the decisive link between distributing provisions to soldiers and the strategic movement of armies during the conflict. Feeding men and moving armies, he suggests, became the foundation of success, es...

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Online Access: Access E-Book
Access Note:Access to electronic resources restricted to Simmons University students, faculty and staff.
Main Author: Hess, Earl J. (Author)
Format: eBook
Language:English
Published: Baton Rouge : Louisiana State University Press, [2020]
Series:Book collections on Project MUSE.
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Summary:"In "Civil War Supply and Strategy," renowned Civil War historian Earl Hess examines the decisive link between distributing provisions to soldiers and the strategic movement of armies during the conflict. Feeding men and moving armies, he suggests, became the foundation of success, especially for the army that was on the strategic offensive. While a defending army found its logistical and supply problems minimized, an offensive army discovered that those problems multiplied. The purpose of Hess's newest study is to see how generals and their subordinates organized military resources to provide food for both men and animals under their command, especially when on the strategic offensive. It takes a chronological approach to the topic, looking at the significant campaigns of the Civil War in each of the three major theaters of operations. He devotes more attention to the West, the region between the Appalachian highlands and the Mississippi River because that is where the problems of shipping material and moving large armies were most formidable. The Union army developed a powerful logistical capability that enabled it to penetrate Confederate territory and exert control over selected regions of the South. Its strategy was therefore heavily dependent on lines of supply, road systems, pre-existing railroad lines, and natural watercourses. Union logistical power, Hess explains, was limited, and those limitations also influenced its strategy. Union commanders could efficiently operate in the upper South, but the Deep South presented unusual problems. The Mississippi River allowed its armies to penetrate the region along a narrow corridor of control, capturing all key cities along its banks, and railroads barely allowed William T. Sherman to advance as far as Atlanta. For the rest of the Deep South, however, the Union army relied on massive strategic raids to destroy resources and bring its military power into the heart of the Confederacy. One of Hess's main objectives is to delineate how logistics and supply came to empower Union offensive strategy and to limit it as well. His reveals how this influence acted in operations on the ground, making this a study of in-theater supply rather than an examination of the national lines of military transportation, which was the subject of his previous book, Civil War Logistics. Although this examination covers the entire war and all means of logistics and supply in the field, it emphasizes three main areas. First, it devotes more attention to the Western theater than to the Trans-Mississippi or the East, and it pays more attention to Union than Confederate operations because the Federals were on the strategic offensive and left behind far more information on how Union logistics and supply worked. Second, it gives more attention to railroad management than to river steamboats because it was much more difficult for army commanders to manage railroad transport than river transport. Finally, it posits a conception of the Civil War as not only divided into three main theaters of operation, east to west, but also into two main theaters of operation, north to south. The war in the upper South was very different from the operations that took place in the Deep South, and Hess wants to ensure that students of the conflict are aware of those differences and understand how Federal officials dealt with the logistical complications associated with army mobility in the lower Confederate states"--
Physical Description:1 online resource (pages cm)
Bibliography:Includes bibliographical references and index.
ISBN:9780807174470
0807174475
Access:Access to electronic resources restricted to Simmons University students, faculty and staff.