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Albany Rifles
12 Mar 12,, 15:47
12 March 1864

Grant placed in overall command and a new strategy emerges


On March 9, 1864, President Lincoln promoted U.S. Grant to the newly revived rank of Lieutenant General and on March 12 was made General in Chief of the Armies of the United States, taking over the strategic direction of the Federal war effort. Major General Hallack was made Chief of Staff to oversee the administration and logistics details and so removed from Grant the burden of paperwork and allowed him to concentrate solely on overall Federal strategy.
Grant's plan was fairly simple. Sherman, who took Grant's old job in command of the Federal armies in the Western Theater, would advance against the Confederate Army of Tennessee defending Atlanta while Grant would do the same against Lee's Army of Northern Virginia and Richmond. Once the armies were engaged, there would be no let up in pressure against the remaining Confederate forces. Whoever reached their objective first would then join the other for final offensive operations.
After shaking up the command of the Army of the Potomac, removing many "rear area" units from their cushy assignments and putting them into combat organizations, and bringing Phil Sheridan east to command his 13,000 Federal cavalry, Grant was ready, by the beginning of May, to move south. After giving Sherman his go-ahead, the Army of the Potomac was again ready to go into action.

Blademaster
12 Mar 12,, 15:57
Can you find a similar date for my birthdate, March 30?

By the way, just how big was the Army of the Potomac when Grant was finally ready to move? Confederate Army?

Albany Rifles
12 Mar 12,, 16:01
Can you find a similar date for my birthdate, March 30?

You mean besides your birth?;)

Give me some time...I want to say 110,000 AOP to 78,000 ANV but I am not sure...let me check.

Doktor
12 Mar 12,, 16:14
July 4th, 1863, maybe?

Blademaster
12 Mar 12,, 16:40
You mean besides your birth?;)

Give me some time...I want to say 110,000 AOP to 78,000 ANV but I am not sure...let me check.

What about artillery pieces and trains? that numbers quoted seems to me that the Army of Potomac didn't really have the edge in numbers as if you need to go on the offensive, you need to have a 3-1 ratio of attackers vs defenders in order to have a successful chance. Perhaps AOP made up the difference in terms of artillery and machine guns?

Albany Rifles
12 Mar 12,, 16:41
Overland Campaign - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Overland_Campaign#cite_note-Eicher660-0)

The Wiki says 118,000 and 63,000 but I have heard as low as 102,000 for the Union.

Having the first battle in The Wilderness really offset the numerical advantages for the Union; and a switch to defense works greatly increased the combat power of the ANV.

And 30 MAR was kind of a repositioning day and breaking camp for AOP in 1864. In 1865 it showed them repositioning forces after the Battle of Lewis's Farm and getting ready for the the Battle of White Oak Road 31 MAR 65, opening shots of the Appomattox Campaign.

Albany Rifles
12 Mar 12,, 17:02
What about artillery pieces and trains? that numbers quoted seems to me that the Army of Potomac didn't really have the edge in numbers as if you need to go on the offensive, you need to have a 3-1 ratio of attackers vs defenders in order to have a successful chance. Perhaps AOP made up the difference in terms of artillery and machine guns?

No machine guns.

Artillery would not make up the difference....manpower, tenacity and logistics did.

Grant would strip his rear area bare an continuously continuously shift his logistics bases from one waterway to the next one moving south.

From Staff Ride Handbook for the Overland Campaign, Virginia, 4 May to 15 June 1864:A Study in Operational-Level Command


Looking first at the Northern perspective, supplies for the eastern theater came from all parts of the North across an extensive and effective rail net that eventually funneled to Baltimore and Washington, DC. The supplies then had to be transported from these major ports and railheads to the armies in the field. At the start of the Overland Campaign, Grant’s main forces (the Army of the Potomac and the IX Corps) received their logistics support from the port of Alexandria (across the Potomac River from Washington). The Orange and Alexandria railroad connected the Union camps at Brandy Station with the supply base at Alexandria. In their initial move into the Wilderness, the Union forces needed an extensive wagon train to carry the minimum requirements expressed in the supply regulations (see table 4). The army’s animals alone needed 477 tons of forage each day. Grant tried to cut back on nonessential items and decreed a rigorous reduction in wagons, but he still ended up with 4,300 wagons and 835 ambulances at the start of the campaign.
After the Battle of the Wilderness, Grant decided to continue to the south in part driven by the desire to cut Lee’s army from its rail supply lines: the Richmond, Fredericksburg, and Potomac (coming from Richmond), and the Virginia Central which brought supplies from the Shenandoah. In order to make this move, the Federals shifted their base to Aquia Landing and Belle Plain on the Potomac River. These ports were securely positioned behind the moving Union forces and connected by a short rail line to a forward position at Fredericksburg.
After Spotsylvania, Grant again shifted to the south and southeast, all the time hoping to get astride the railroads that were Lee’s lifeline. In particular, the fighting on the North Anna centered on the Federal attempt to seize Hanover Junction where the Virginia Central Railroad met the Richmond, Fredericksburg, and Potomac line. In these moves, first to the North Anna, then further south to Cold Harbor, the Union forces deftly executed two more base changes: first to Port Royal on the Rappahannock River and then to White House on the Pamunkey River (which in turn flows into the York River). There was no rail line from Port Royal to the army, but the distance from the port to the troops was a relatively short wagon haul for the trains. At White House, the same base used by McClellan in the Peninsula Campaign in 1862, the Union forces could use the Richmond and York River Railroad to bring supplies from the port closer to the front lines at Cold Harbor.
Grant’s final move in the campaign brought him to Petersburg, south of the James River. This final flanking movement was clearly aimed at the five rail lines that converged at Petersburg. For this final move, he had the advantage of shifting his base to City Point, a port on the James that was already in Union hands and had been supporting Butler’s Army of the James in the Bermuda Hundred Campaign. During the siege at Petersburg, City Point would become one of the busiest ports in the world—a testimony to the ample resources and logistical might of the North.

And Grant himself mattered a lot. He was bound and determined to beat Lee and his army. He would not accept a setback as a defeat.

He was also in a use or lose sitution....as has been discussed a lot previously the 3 year enlistments for the Union troops expired in the summer of 1864 and Grant would start hemmoraging entire regiments and brigades starting in late June 64.

By the time of the Crater Grant would only have 6,000 more men than Lee at Petersburg.

Albany Rifles
09 Apr 12,, 19:23
Another key date....

9 April 1865 saw the cessation of hostilities at Appommattox Courthouse between the Union armies of the Potomac and James and the Confederate Army of Northern Virginia. The actual surrender would occur on 12 April 1865.

Much remained to be done but the major fighting was done.

Albany Rifles
12 Apr 12,, 14:24
12 April

1861 The Ball opens....Confederate fire on FT Sumter

1862 The Confederate Army of the Potomac is combined with John Magruder's Army of the Peninsula and a large garrison at Norfolk to create the Army of Northern Virginia commanded by GEN Joseph E. johnston.
The Great Locomotive Chase

1863 The Siege of Suffolk, VA begins
1864 The Fort Pillow Massacre