View single post by Hosford1
 Posted: Mon Apr 4th, 2011 07:22 pm
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Hosford1
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Yes, but McClellan's idea to cross the James did not come when he was advancing up the Peninsula towards the Seven Days, but afterwards - just before Halleck removed him to send his troops to Pope. At that time he was already anchored on the James and wanting to cross over.

You're right - Grant was not Butler, and McClellan wasn't Grant. I don't imagine McClellan would have "stormed the gates" as Grant tried and ultimately did. But with a secure line of commmunication and supplies off the coast and with Lincoln and Halleck's support the end would have been a matter of time - and longer, I expect, than the 9 months it took Grant.

Grant's overland method has always been a little bit of a mystery to me.  Even Porter Alexander - who was an admirer of Grant's - contended that the Petersburg move was the obvious one to McClellen in '62-63 and should have been for Grant in '64.

The only thing I can imagine is Grant initially adopted the silly idea that the direct approach to Washington had to be secure and his belief that frontal assaults was the way to the quickest breakthrough ("fight it out on this line if it takes all summer", indeed.  In fact, he fought it out on 4 lines and then settled down for a siege - what he inexplicitly wanted least of all in the beginning). 

Last edited on Mon Apr 4th, 2011 07:32 pm by Hosford1

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