Saturday, August 6, 2011

Sherman II.

This is coolbert:

Sherman - - "stripped"!


The army of General William T. Sherman, during the monumental "March to the Sea", 1864, "stripped" to the bare minimum of impedimenta. An army expected to maintain a relentless pace, obstacles to be overcome without issue - - troops at all ranks being "loaded" to the "bare" essentials, and most necessarily so. NOT MERELY individual troops "stripped" but an ENTIRE ARMY "stripped". [thanks again to the article from the magazine "Sherman Modern Warrior" by Captain B.H. Liddell Hart "CIVIL WAR Chronicles"] Measures taken to eliminate unnecessary impedimenta to include:

* "Each division and brigade was allocated only enough wagons to carry food and ammunition."

[an army of that period numbering 100,000 men required  2,500 wagon loads of supplies PER DAY during operations!!]

* "Every man brought five days rations on his person or horse."

* "Only one wagon and on ambulance was allowed to reach regiment."

* "a pack mule for the mess kit and baggage of the officers of each company."

* "Tents were forbidden, except for the sick and wounded and one for headquarters as an office."

[that all-wool uniform came in handy when troops had to sleep in the open, during the summer even!]

* "Clerical work in the field was reduced to a minimum."

Sherman too comporting to the same rules that he expected from his troops. Live "rough", without convenience or privilege as might have been normally been found for an officer of such senior rank. Sherman made the same demands upon himself as he did for his various soldiers. Set the example and do not expect others to do what you would not demand of yourself.

"Sherman's own habit of living 'rought 'made his troops more ready to follow his example, while his lack of regard for outward appearance and the trapping of dignity strongly appealed to such pioneer types . . . At night he would often be seen prowling around the camp with his feet in old slippers, his legs covered only by a pair of red flannel drawers, his tall , spare body wrapped in a travel-worn dressing gown, with sometime a short blue cape or cloak over all as a concession to convention."

The "March to the Sea" controversial to this day. Thought in some quarters to be brutal, harsh, unremitting warfare without parallel, scorched earth and destruction on a wide-scale, even violence gratuitous in nature. That is all debatable, but nonetheless, the tactics, means and methods and operational art as practiced by Sherman admirable in the extreme!!


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