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"Civil War Supply and Strategy: Feeding Men and..." Topic

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Tango01 Supporting Member of TMP28 Nov 2020 8:41 p.m. PST

… Moving Armies

"Civil War Supply and Strategy stands as a sweeping examination of the decisive link between the distribution of provisions to soldiers and the strategic movement of armies during the Civil War. Award-winning historian Earl J. Hess reveals how that dynamic served as the key to success, especially for the Union army as it undertook bold offensives striking far behind Confederate lines. How generals and their subordinates organized military resources to provide food for both men and animals under their command, he argues, proved essential to Union victory.

The Union army developed a powerful logistical capability that enabled it to penetrate deep into Confederate territory and exert control over select regions of the South. Logistics and supply empowered Union offensive strategy but limited it as well; heavily dependent on supply lines, road systems, preexisting railroad lines, and natural waterways, Union strategy worked far better in the more developed Upper South. Union commanders encountered unique problems in the Deep South, where needed infrastructure was more scarce. While the Mississippi River allowed Northern armies to access the region along a narrow corridor and capture key cities and towns along its banks, the dearth of rail lines nearly stymied William T. Sherman's advance to Atlanta. In other parts of the Deep South, the Union army relied on massive strategic raids to destroy resources and propel its military might into the heart of the Confederacy…"


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Extrabio1947 Supporting Member of TMP29 Nov 2020 6:59 a.m. PST

A very good book on a relatively ignored aspect of the ACW. A good companion piece to Hess' book, "Civil War Logistics."

Tango01 Supporting Member of TMP29 Nov 2020 2:14 p.m. PST



Mike the Analyst08 Feb 2021 1:56 p.m. PST

Is there much overlap between these two?

C M DODSON11 Feb 2021 6:30 a.m. PST

I found this link to be useful.

PDF link

Best wishes,


Mike the Analyst07 May 2021 6:31 a.m. PST

I can now answer my own question.

Civil War Logistics looks at the different forms of transport.

Civil War Supply and Strategy looks at the logistics of the different theatres and campaigns.

So the first one looks at logistics layers and the second one takes slices across the layers.

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