As for Mr. White's statements, I didn't think Fort Donelson, though important, was not a HUGE battle of the Civil WarI think it's time to hit the books my friend. There are few Civil War battles that had such far reaching results as those that come from the Union victory on the Cumberland River. An entire army is captured, nearly 17,000 men. Two rivers are lost, both of which lead into the southern heartland. Gen. A.S. Johnston's defensive line is pierced and he is forced to withdraw into norhtern Mississippi, losing the capital at Nashville as well as all of southern Kentucky and most of central and west Tennessee. I would suggest the book "Where the South Lost the War: An Analysis of the Fort Henry-Fort Donelson Campaign" by Kendall D. Gott.
But forcing a mobile opponent into a fixed position IS a tactic, as is attrition. As you point out, the cost of the Overland Campaign in human lives could not be sustained. General Grant adapted his tacticts and was successful. General Lee could not adapt and was defeated.
He couldn't beat Lee tactically, so he just pinned him against the wall and gradually wore him down.
Last edited on Fri Aug 11th, 2006 03:23 pm by calcav