Join us as historian Greg Biggs examines the nuts and bolts of Sherman’s logistics including the errors that were made in the process.
(Meeting details on the left side of this page.)
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 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 daily goals 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 the Confederates.
While his preparations were masterful and thorough, they were not without flaws. In the end, however, his supply line performed as expected, Atlanta was captured, and the stage was set for one of the war’s concluding chapters: Sherman’s march to the sea and beyond.