Date: March 12, 2021
Speaker: Greg Biggs
Topic: The Logistics of William T. Sherman's Atlanta Campaign
- Chicago Civil War Round Table Monthly Meeting
The Nevins Freeman Address Greg Biggs on The Question Was One of Supplies: The Logistics of William T. Sherman's Atlanta Campaign.
For More Info: WWW.CWRTChicago.com
The French military master Napoleon is said to have observed, "An Army Travels on Its Stomach." More modern military experts observe: "Amateurs talk strategy and Tactics. Professionals Talk Logistics." On March 12th Greg Biggs will be discussing the difficulties that General William T. Sherman encountered in supplying his troops during the Atlanta campaign. No army in history moved without a secure line of supplies especially if it moved into enemy territory. If an army got cut off from its supplies then calamity usually followed often ending in defeat and/or destruction. When William T. Sherman set his sights on Atlanta he prepared for the supplying of his army in a manner that surpassed every other Civil War general. Rebuilding railroads and confiscating locomotives and cars to haul supplies, Sherman set a daily goal for shipments to his forward base in Chattanooga. Ruthless in making sure that only supplies got on the cars, Sherman also had to worry about protecting the line of rails that ran back to Louisville, Kentucky from Confederate raiders.
Building on a system begun by William S. Rosecrans, Sherman's engineers built forts and blockhouses and prepared pre-fabricated trestles for replacing those brought down by Confederate raiders. While his preparations were masterful and thorough, they were not without some flaws. This program will examine the nuts and bolts of these logistics and cover the errors that were also made. In the end, his supply line performed as expected and Atlanta was captured. This set the stage for two more campaigns that Sherman would undertake before the war ended in April 1865.
Greg has been a student of military history from the Spartans through modern times for over 45 years. His Civil War articles have been published in Blue & Gray magazine, Civil War Regiments journal, North-South Trader, Citizen's Companion and local publications. Greg is also a Civil War flags historian and has consulted with many museums and authors and has presented flags programs to the Museum of the Confederacy and the National Civil War Museum. Greg has lectured across the country on Civil War topics primarily on flags and the Western Theater as well as the Revolutionary War. Greg leads tours of the Fort Donelson Campaign, the Tullahoma Campaign, the Atlanta Campaign and Where The River Campaigns Began: Cairo, IL to Columbus/Belmont, KY for Civil War groups, individuals and U.S. Army Staff Rides. He is the president of the Clarksville Civil War Roundtable and an officer of the Nashville CWRT. A good friend of our CWRT, Greg last spoke here in 2016.
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