Sherman's Mississippi Campaign by Buck T. Foster

By Buck T. Foster

The practice session for the March to the Sea.    With the autumn of Vicksburg to Union forces in mid-1863, the Federals started paintings to increase and consolidate their carry at the decrease Mississippi Valley. As part of this plan, significant common William Tecumseh Sherman set out from Vicksburg on February three, 1864, with a military of a few 25,000 infantry and a battalion of cavalry. They anticipated to be joined through one other Union strength relocating south from Memphis and supported themselves off the land as they traveled due east throughout Mississippi. Sherman entered Meridian on February 14 and punctiliously destroyed its railroad amenities, munitions crops, and cotton shops, prior to returning to Vicksburg. even though no longer a very potent crusade when it comes to enemy squaddies captured or killed, it bargains a wealthy chance to monitor how this large-scale raid presaged Sherman’s Atlanta and Carolina campaigns, revealing the transformation of Sherman’s strategic thinking.  

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Sherman's Mississippi Campaign

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The Plan / 17 If Union forces could take Atlanta, the move would isolate signi¤cant Confederate territory from the government in Richmond and prevent the supplies of the southernmost farmlands from reaching the Confederate capital. 11 Grant’s ¤rst concern remained the Mississippi River, however. He needed the extra men, now garrisoning locations from Memphis on the Mississippi River to Yazoo City on the Yazoo River, to strengthen his main force for a march into Alabama and Georgia. In order to use these men, the Federals needed to clear Mississippi of Confederate forces so that those soldiers could not attack Grant’s vulnerable lines along the Mississippi River and into western Tennessee.

As Sherman set out on February 2, he had an ambitious goal to accomplish. It looked as if Sherman had perfectly timed his march of destruction across Mississippi. Just the previous year, a drought in the middle and lower sections of the state had ruined the corn and wheat crops, but relief had come in the spring of 1863 with a bountiful wheat crop; the harvest of corn had been so large that prices had dropped across the state. Mississippi corncribs and barns, from Jackson to Meridian, now stood full, and the railroad warehouses over®owed with Confederate supplies.

He needed the extra men, now garrisoning locations from Memphis on the Mississippi River to Yazoo City on the Yazoo River, to strengthen his main force for a march into Alabama and Georgia. In order to use these men, the Federals needed to clear Mississippi of Confederate forces so that those soldiers could not attack Grant’s vulnerable lines along the Mississippi River and into western Tennessee. If a great enough concentration of Confederates could reach the larger towns along the great river, they might retake the waterway, once again disrupting Union shipping.

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