Longstreet's Corps at Chickamauga: Lessons in Inter-Theater Deployment.
ARMY COMMAND AND GENERAL STAFF COLL FORT LEAVENWORTH KS
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In September 1863 the Confederate States of America reinforced their Western Theater of Operations by conducting a 950 mile, inter-theater rail movement of two infantry divisions. Within 24 hours of their arrival, almost one-half of these troops found themselves actively engaged in the Battle of Chickamauga. This study is an analysis of the planning and execution of that operation and the role of those troops in the battle, with lessons learned examined in relation to modern contingency missions. Numerous similarities exist between the 1863 opeation and modern deployment missions. Fighting outnumbered and with limited transport capability, such factors as surprise, security, logistics and enemy maneuver can easily affect such an operation. Discussion includes the importance of obtaining timely decisions from the National Command Authority and the tremendous need for flexibility in planning and excecution. The study concludes that time and technology have not changed basic troop movement procedures as much as one might think. The most important lesson from the 1863 operation is the simple fact that in spite of recent, major defeats, the Confederacy was still able and willing to seize the strategic initiative. Although that initiative was subseqently thrown away by failure to pursue the Federals, that does not reduce the importance of the lessons learned.
- Military Operations, Strategy and Tactics