10.4.07

PROFESSIONALS STUDY LOGISTICS. Two former supply officers who were not all that well-regarded in the antebellum Army and who were initially overlooked in favor of more politically connected captains and colonels became the leadership team that quelled the Rebellion. In Book Review No. 6 I highly recommend Grant and Sherman: The Friendship that Won the Civil War, particularly for readers who would like an overview of the Civil War that provides a balanced presentation of individuals, intrigues, campaigns, the trials that total war brings, and their triumphs and struggles after Lee and Johnston surrendered. The generals were together at Shiloh, Vicksburg, and Chattanooga and worked together on the coordinated campaign in Virginia and Georgia that gave rebel commanders more contemporaneous challenges than they had resources to meet. I've provided previous commentary on the western campaigns in a review of Nothing But Victory and see little reason to repeat previous material. I note a few snippets from Grant and Sherman. During the Georgia campaign, the Army of the Tennessee had a few problems with improvised explosive devices, which Genl Sherman dealt with by conscripting residents of towns thought to be harboring bomb-planters to go on bomb-clearing patrols. The book makes no mention of patrician pacifist abolition types in environs such as Boston being appalled by such practices in the service of their cause. That Army was so committed to scavenging off the land that as their boots wore out, many soldiers opted to march, and to fight, barefoot. Some even refused an issue of new boots on the eve of the Grand Review in Washington, D.C. that marked the end of major combat operations.

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