The March To The Sea: An American Civil War Matrix Game – October 1864

Messages SentFrom: General Joseph E Johnston CSA (Army of Tennessee)

The Army of Tennessee will continue to strengthen the defences of Atlanta. This will result in the defeat (with heavy Yankee losses) of any Federal assault and will be made possible by:

  1. The high levels of motivation amongst the ranks of the Army of Tennessee.
  2. The low morale in the Yankee armies whose attacks have again been repulsed.
  3. The Yankee preparations will be disrupted by rather more enthusiastic Rebel cavalry attacks than the ineffective demonstrations which took place last month!

From: General William Tecumseh Sherman USA (US Army of the Tennessee)

In the month of October, the Armies under my command shall prosecute the siege of Atlanta such as to obtain the capture of the City. Whilst the combined cavalry will screen the operation and the Army of the Tennessee continues with a series of probing diversionary attacks, the Army of the Cumberland and the Army of the Ohio shall disengage from their present positions on the West and North of the City respectively and march in a clockwise direction behind the Army of Tennessee to take positions to the South of the City. As a result, the Army of the Ohio will be to the left of he Army of the Tennessee, and the Army of the Cumberland to the left of the Army of the Ohio. Every effort will be made to mask this movement so that the attack of the Army of the Cumberland, supported by the Army of the Ohio will be a surprise, coming from a totally new and unexpected direction with little or no defensive works. This will oblige the Rebel forces to fight in open battle against the Union Armies and be overwhelmed. Atlanta will fall. This will be achieved because:

  1. The Union Armies are all assembled and well supplied.
  2. Their morale is high thanks to recent successes against Rebel raiders and the manifest success of their leaders plans to date.
  3. The Rebel forces are dismayed by the constant failure of Southern Armies, uninterrupted retreat since March, and the lack of supplies in a city cut off since July.

From: General John M Schofield USA (US Army of the Ohio)

The Army of the Ohio will take orders directly from Major-General William T Sherman. The self-styled ‘President’ of the Confederacy, Jefferson Davis, will remove Joe Johnston from the command of the Rebel Army of Tennessee, and replace him with the aggressive John Bell Hood. This will result in the Rebel army falling into so much disarray that they will fight less effectively. This will occur for the following reasons:

  1. ‘President’ Davis has no confidence in General Johnston; Johnston has fought only once, in May. Since then he has run back to Atlanta, allowing three Union armies to invest the city and cut his railroad communications, unchallenged! In contrast to General Sherman, who regularly writes to the General-in-Chief, Johnston has failed to submit a single written report to Richmond that might have excused his performance.
  2. Much of Georgia has now been abandoned by the Rebel army. From these areas, the families of Rebel soldiers will have communicated their fears (of blacks, bushwackers, and Union foragers) to their kin. Many of the Rebels will therefore desert the colours to protect their homes.
  3. General Hood is a fighter! He opposes Johnston’s strategy and has been conspiring to gain command of his army. However, no doubt due in part to his crippling wounds and the use of morphine, Hood is a highly abrasive and disruptive officer. Few of the Rebels believe he can lead them to anything but a bloody disaster.

From: General John Hunt Morgan CSA (GOC Morgan’s Cavalry)

Morgan’s Cavalry will, in conjunction with Bedford’s Raiders, raid into Kenesaw Mountains and destroy the railroad track in numerous places with explosives, avalanches, and dismantling the track, with the effect that no more supplies will reach the three Union Armies around Atlanta. This will force them to divert considerable forces to the defence of their lines-of-communication, and reduce the effectiveness of the troops left in the trenches around Atlanta. We will be successful because:

  1. The Kenesaw Mountains are rich in tunnels, cuttings, bridges etc., which will be perfect targets for our operation.
  2. Destroying railroad tracks is our forté, having carried it out it on numerous occasions during our spectacular raids through Kentucky, Indiana, and Ohio earlier in the year.
  3. The Union troops will have difficulty living off the land at this time of year. Their supplies will rapidly dwindle, especially as they now have to feed the Black population of the area, who were forced to give over most of their own caches of hidden supplies by unscrupulous Yankee Quartermasters.

From: General Nathan Bedford Forrest CSA (GOC Bedford’s Raiders)

The Army of the Ohio will disengage its forces from Atlanta, with the result that General Joe Johnston will find a gap in the encircling Union forces. This will happen because:

  1. General John Schofield was severely wounded during the running skirmishes with Forrest’s Cavalry and Bedford’s Raiders last month.
  2. The loss of their Commander has produced a state of melancholia and inertia in the Army of the Ohio.
  3. The famous, brave boys of the South are in the rear of the Army of the Ohio and threaten the railroad link and supply lines to the Army of the Ohio.

From: General George Thomas USA (US Army of the Cumberland)

During the month of October, the morale of the general population in the city of Atlanta will plunge into the very depths of despair, resulting in the effectiveness of any Rebel forces in the city being reduced. The reason’s that this shall happen are:

  1. The transparent failure of the Rebel cavalry to disrupt the Union advance on the city, despite the desperate promises of General Joseph E Johnston.
  2. News of the support provided to the Union forces by local Blacks invokes mistrust and suspicion of the local slaves on whom the administration of the city depends.
  3. Uncle Bill’s refusal to allow civilians to depart the city for the past two months has reduced the supplies and standard of living for the civilian population below bearable levels.

Campaign EventsThe siege of Atlanta continued during October, despite a major and complicated redeployment of the Union Armies around the City and an increase in number and ferocity of the attacks made upon the entrenchments thrown up by the Confederate forces commanded by General Johnston. The Union Army of the Cumberland were, in fact, able to break through the Confederate front-line trenches in several places, but spirited – though costly – counter-attacks prevented these breaches from being exploited.

One of the reasons why the Union assaults lacked success was, in part, due to the lack of ‘fire’ the Army of the Ohio exhibited during their attacks in support of the Army of the Cumberland. This may well have been due to the rumours within that Army’s ranks that General Schofield’s injuries, suffered during the skirmishes with Confederate cavalry in September, were more serious than at first thought.

News of unrest amongst the civil population in Atlanta filtered out to the besiegers, but this disquiet did not manifested itself in any form of action, save requests to President Davis to do something to aid the plight of those contained within the City. The President’s response was to order General Hood to Atlanta to take over command of the Confederate forces there. Unfortunately, the copy of this order that was sent to General Johnston was captured by a Union cavalry patrol, who brought it to Sherman’s Headquarters.

To: General Joseph E Johnston, Atlanta

General Johnston,

I have today ordered General Hood to Atlanta to take over command of the Army of Tennessee. You will, on his arrival, hand over command of your Army, and give him all assistance in ensuring that the siege of the City of Atlanta is raised forthwith. Upon the success of this operation, you will report to me in Richmond so that I may reassign you at my convenience.

I regret that I have had to take this action, but your inactivity in the face of the three Union armies that stain the soil of the Confederacy by their presence has forced my hand. I can always dispose of civilian complaints about you, if I can show that you are fighting, but since Vicksburg sieges are seen as a sure admission of defeat.

Further, your lack of communication with the Capital has made you many enemies here. Many do not understand why you are not fighting the Yankees in the open, and liken you to a timid rabbit, hiding in a burrow waiting to be dug out. Without dispatches, these views cannot be refuted.

I remain, Sir, your servant,

Jefferson Davis

Sherman’s glee at Johnston’s discomfort was, however, short-lived when he discovered that his own letter to General Grant had been captured by Forrest and Morgan – along with several supply trains – and had been copied, printed, and distributed throughout the South. Furthermore, the disruption of his supply lines seemed likely to force him to make an all-out assault upon Atlanta, a situation he had so far sought to avoid.

To: Lieutenant General U. S. Grant, Virginia

Dear Sam,

As you see, I am still outside Atlanta which pleases me not at all. Sieges do not suite my temper and I fret. However, everything else is working so well I should count my blessings. Joe Johnston is shut up in Atlanta short of everything except complaints from all and sundry. The local citizenry are irked about the ‘damage and inconvenience’ to their affairs, his so-called President is sending him nothing but advice – and plenty of that – and some of his officers are demanding that the Army be led out to attack us!

I trust you are receiving your due share of the Southern delicacies I have been sending back to supply the farmers to the North. Here the harvest has been got in by our ‘contrabands’ and the barns are full so I have used the empty wagons on the returning trains to ship out our surplus. We would have to bun it otherwise.

The country hereabouts has emptied over the past months – my cavalry patrols say they can ride for days now without seeing a white person. Some did not even wait to remove their livestock! Our black neighbours give us news of Forrest and Morgan’s movements so that when they tried a surprise us, we surprised them!

Atlanta has held out longer now than Vicksburg but it can’t last. I hope the Thanksgiving present I sent you will have a capital ‘A’ on it.

Yours in anticipation,

Bill Sherman

As to the ‘Southern delicacies’ that Sherman referred to, these were used by Forrest’s Raiders and Morgan’s Cavalry to replenish their own supplies, and their presence in the Kenesaw Mountains appeared to threaten the Union Armies’ lines-of-communication with the North.

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Troop Strengths

N.B.

  1. As from the beginning of July, The Army of the Cumberland will have a +1 increase in its Combat Effectiveness when it is in Nashville.
  2. Any unit whose Basic Combat Effectiveness falls to -3 has a 50% chance of surrendering to the enemy at the beginning of the next month.
  3. Any unit whose Basic Combat Effectiveness falls below -3 is destroyed

N.B.

  1. Any unit whose Basic Combat Effectiveness falls to -3 has a 50% chance of surrendering to the enemy at the beginning of the next month.
  2. Any unit whose Basic Combat Effectiveness falls below -3 is destroyed.

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The March To The Sea: An American Civil War Matrix Game – September 1864

Messages SentFrom: General Nathan Bedford Forrest CSA (GOC Bedford’s Raiders)

My force will ambush the Union Army of the Ohio in Atlanta with the result that the Yankee advance will disintegrate We will be succeed because:

  1. The enemy will be on the move so will be unable to deploy to fight effectively.
  2. We will have the element of total surprise.
  3. We will be fighting to protect our kith and kin, and motivated to aid our brave brothers-in-arms defending our beloved Atlanta.

From: General Joseph E Johnston CSA (Army of Tennessee)

The Army of Tennessee will continue to strengthen the defences of Atlanta. This will result in the defeat of any Yankee assault and will be made possible by:

  1. The high levels of motivation amongst the ranks of the Army of Tennessee.
  2. The support of the population who are anxious that the city should not fall into the hands of the Federalist aggressors.
  3. The Yankee advance will be disrupted by Confederate cavalry attacks.

From: General William Tecumseh Sherman USA (US Army of the Tennessee)

The Army of the Tennessee will continue to follow the plan of campaign it commenced in March 1864. It will increase the pressure on the forces of General Johnston surrounded in Atlanta with a series of probing diversionary attacks that will oblige the General to array the bulk of his forces against us. This will divert his attention away from the main attack by the Army of the Cumberland from the western side of the city. Furthermore, attacks by the Army of the Ohio – in concert with this plan – will add to the demands on the defenders forces and obscure the real threat. This will occur because:

  1. The Army of the Tennessee is confident in its ability and in the ability of its leaders.
  2. The Army is strongly posted astride the supply lines of the Rebels, and is in possession of ample supplies of its own.
  3. The countryside constantly brings news of the approach of the other Union Armies.

From: General John M Schofield USA (US Army of the Ohio)

The Army of the Ohio will march from the Kenesaw Mountains to the city of Atlanta. We will leave the railroad to our right and extend our left to connect with the right flank of the Union Army of the Tennessee. At Atlanta, my forces will probe the enemy’s positions. This will divert the Rebels from the operations of the Union Armies of the Cumberland and the Tennessee, thus resulting in a decisive Union victory. My army will be able to accomplish this for the following reasons:

  1. The Army of the Ohio is rested and has a secure line of supply.
  2. The Rebels are bottled up in Atlanta without cavalry. My cavalry will co-operate with those of Major General Thomas’s army to screen its march, so that the enemy will be surprised when the Army of the Cumberland assails them.
  3. My army has high morale after it defeated the Rebel raiders, and forced their hasty retreat to Macon to lick their wounds.

From: General John Hunt Morgan CSA (GOC Morgan’s Cavalry)
Morgan’s Cavalry will move to Atlanta in conjunction with Bedford’s Raiders, and set an ambush for the Yankee Army of the Ohio as it moves to reinforce the siege of Atlanta. We will be successful because:

  1. We are completely rested and superbly motivated, having never suffered a defeat at the hands of the Blue-belly City Boys.
  2. The Yankees will be very vulnerable moving in our own home terrain, and will be unable to react quickly enough to defend themselves against the onrushing Legions of Avenging Southern Warriors.
  3. The Yankee Army of the Ohio has so far failed to accomplish anything in this campaign apart from resting. Therefore, lacking confidence in their martial ability, there will be mass desertions when faced with another savage mauling from the Feared Southern Horsemen.

From: General George Thomas USA (US Army of the Cumberland)/

I shall, during the month of September, advance along the railroad to take up positions outside Atlanta and ferment the local Blacks to provide information concerning the plans and movements of Bedford’s raiders, with the result that any actions that they take against the Union Forces in Georgia are made less effective. This reasons that I shall be able to do this are:

  1. The local Blacks in rural Georgia make up a large proportion of the population, so nothing shall escape them.
  2. The Blacks are inspired to help us because the Rebel yellow-bellied cowards ran away before the implacable advance of my forces.
  3. The General Forrest’s desperate attempt to restore their lagging morale by indulging in a little ‘cross-burning’ has served only to inspired the Blacks to turn against them.

Campaign EventsAfter a month of preparation, both sides embarked upon what they hoped would be the final battle of the campaign. Whilst Johnston’s troops hurriedly but effectively strengthened Atlanta’s defences, Generals Forrest and Morgan tried to defeat the advancing Union Armies. Unfortunately for the Confederate cavalry, the Union Armies of the Ohio and the Cumberland had switched their axes of advance, and were made aware of the presence of Bedford’s Raiders before the Rebels were able to attack. A brisk series of skirmishes between the Union and Confederate cavalry resulted, during which both sides suffered casualties. The advance of the Armies of the Ohio and the Cumberland was therefore delayed but not stopped, but valuable time was gained for the defenders of Atlanta.

Whilst these minor battles were being fought to the north of Atlanta, Sherman’s forces made several minor attacks upon Atlanta’s defensive perimeter. They were, however, to little avail as the Army of the Cumberland was not in position early enough to exploit the weakening in numbers of the defenders facing its section of the siege lines. September therefore ended without the expected mighty clash between the Armies having taken place, but with the Union ever tightening its grip upon Atlanta.

As usual, General Sherman wrote to General Grant about events in the South.

To: Lieutenant General U. S. Grant, Virginia

Dear Sam,

Things are coming to the boil nicely here in the South. George has joined John in the Kenesaw Mountains and trains are running all the way back to Nashville.

Johnston’s holed up in Atlanta with no chance of relief – even those jayhawkers Forrest and Morgan have scuttled off into the backwoods to the southwest. Our friends in the countryside tell us that they are played out, and have nothing but sick horses and miserable, tired men.

Deserters are coming in daily with a similar tale. It seems that many of the locals are blaming Johnston and saying that he will not fight us. You remember him as I do, and I do not under-estimate him. However, if the Devil himself had offered me the present position back in March when I set out, I dare say I would have taken up the offer and be damned!

Yours in high spirits,

Bill Sherman

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Troop Strengths

N.B.

  1. As from the beginning of July, The Army of the Cumberland will have a +1 increase in its Combat Effectiveness when it is in Nashville.

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The March To The Sea: An American Civil War Matrix Game – August 1864

Messages SentFrom: General John M Schofield USA (US Army of the Ohio)

The Army of the Ohio will remain in the Kenesaw Mountains. We will ambush any Rebels that attack the line of the railroad, thus successfully defending it. We will obtain sufficient supplies from our trains and the locale. If the Rebels do not dare to attack us, the forces under my command will rest. My army will be able to accomplish this for the following reasons:

  1. All Northern armies have men expert in the repairing and running of railroads and the telegraph. Thus we will be able to keep the railroad running, and use trains to move troops to threatened parts of the line.
  2. The presence of a Union army frees the black populace from slavery, and they will eagerly give information about Rebel forces, supplies of food, and other material.
  3. The Rebel cavalry’s fighting strength will be poor, since they are lightly armed and will be exhausted after three months of continuous campaigning.

From: General William Tecumseh Sherman USA (US Army of the Tennessee)

The Army of the Tennessee will continue to follow the plan of campaign in accordance with the wishes of the General of the Armies, Lt. General U. S. Grant. It will call upon the city of Atlanta to surrender to the lawfully constituted powers of its sovereign government. Failing the unconditional surrender of the city, the Army will proceed to commence a bombardment with its heavy guns. The Army shall stand in a defensive posture, heavily entrenched, with the cavalry screening its flanks and rear No civilians will be allowed to pass our lines without my express permission. Soldiers wishing to surrender will be accommodated as usual; all civilians will be returned to the city. Contraband will be confiscated and put to use. This will be carried out because:

  1. The Army of the Tennessee is in great heart, having out-manouvered the Rebels, trapping them in the city of Atlanta.
  2. The Army is located in a rich and fruitful land, formerly untouched by war. Our Quartermasters are daily aided to uncover caches of supplies hidden by Rebels, by the former slaves who had been obliged to hide them.
  3. The Army has seen little fighting of late, is strongly posted, and the country constantly brings us news of Rebel forces.

From: General Nathan Bedford Forrest CSA (GOC Bedford’s Raiders)

Bedford’s Raiders, working in conjunction with John Morgan’s forces, will rest and recuperate in Macon, with the result that our brave boys – and heroes of the South, each and every one of them, and more than a match for the Blue-belly cavalry – will restore and revive the strength of both themselves and their mounts. We will be successful because:

  1. We are utilising reserves laid up in advance in preparation for this day.
  2. The location is unknown to the Union – who do not have sufficient forces to scour the land.
  3. We will be cross burning – as my boys’ spirits are wondrously raised by the ceremony.

From: General George Thomas USA (US Army of the Cumberland)

I shall, during the month of August, force a passage along the railroad to the relief of the Army of the Ohio, with the result that their combat effectiveness shall be improved. This reasons that I shall be able to do this are:

  1. After the sensible preparations of the preceding months, and the successful restoration of rail links, my forces are full of confidence and supplies.
  2. My rapid advance along the railway shall enable my fresh troops to brush aside any of the lightly equipped Rebel raiders, who will be tired after their forced march.
  3. My men will be inspired by the knowledge that they are setting out to help their fellow countrymen, who are sorely pressed, and that we are marching on Atlanta!

From: General John Hunt Morgan CSA (GOC Morgan’s Cavalry)

Morgan’s Cavalry will, in company with Bedford’s Raiders, rest, regroup, and replenish our forces in Macon, with the result that our glorious and intrepid adventurers (and not a bandit or jayhawker amongst them) will be revitalised and refreshed. We will succeed because:

  1. We are utilising reserve stores laid up for such a day.
  2. The Union forces are commencing the encirclement of Atlanta and consider us of no strategic or tactical importance.
  3. The only troops possibly capable of locating us are the Blue-belly mule-riders, but being timid by nature and in awe of our fighting prowess, they wouldn’t report seeing us even if we rode over them.

From: General Joseph E Johnston CSA (Army of Tennessee)

The Army of Tennessee will defend Atlanta, resulting in a serious decline in motivation amongst the Army of the Tennessee. This will occur because:

  1. The Yankees are already sore at having been beaten to Atlanta.
  2. Yankee supply lines have been severed by the heroic efforts of Confederate cavalry.
  3. Blue-belly reinforcements will not arrive due to the intervention of the aforementioned horse-borne Rebel heroes.


Campaign EventsAugust was a month of little fighting, but much preparation. Both sides sought to draw upon what reserves they had before the climactic battle for Atlanta began. Despite General Sherman’s call for surrender, the people of Atlanta and the Army of Tennessee were not yet prepared to throw open the city to the feared Northern invader, and the resulting bombardment did much to strengthen their resolve.

During August, General Sherman yet again wrote to General Grant about the events in his area of operations.

To: Lieutenant General U. S. Grant, Virginia

Dear Sam,

Well here we are in the heart of the South. As I write, I can hear the sound of our siege guns, and looking up I can see the spires of those churches in Atlanta that still have spires! Joe Johnston is bottled up in Atlanta and must be getting madder every day.

Those Jayhawkers Morgan and Bedford jumped on the back of John Schofield, which let Johnston slip into Atlanta, but did not stop me cutting him off! We are living like lords on the fat of the land. It seems that some pessimistic citizens in the city decided the dust clouds in the west were ‘blue’ and started burning stores and depots. Trains were loaded with all sorts of machinery and equipment – including artillery – and run east – straight into us!

The citizens hereabouts are much less argumentative these days – deserters are coming over in greater numbers and the Contrabands are beginning to be an embarrassment, but they are well meaning to us and have their uses. A party of prominent burgers of the city attended me recently, asking for passage through our lines for non-combatants. I replied that all may pass once the city had surrendered on Donelson Terms!

At present our forces look like a club sandwich, but I look forward to having all three Armies parading down Main Street by Thanksgiving.

Yours in high spirits,

Bill Sherman

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Troop Strengths

N.B.

  1. As from the beginning of July, The Army of the Cumberland will have a +1 increase in its Combat Effectiveness when it is in Nashville.

N.B.

  1. As from the beginning of September, Morgan’s Cavalry will have a +1 increase in its Combat Effectiveness (in addition to any alterations in Combat Effectiveness shown above).
  2. As from the beginning of September, Bedford’s Raiders will have a +1 increase in its Combat Effectiveness (in addition to any alterations in Combat Effectiveness shown above).

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The March To The Sea: An American Civil War Matrix Game – July 1864

Messages SentFrom: General Joseph E Johnston CSA (Army of Tennessee)

The Army of Tennessee will withdraw to Atlanta, resulting in the consolidation of that city’s defences. This will be facilitated by:

  1. The superior ability of the South’s heroes to skirmish.
  2. The support of the local populace.
  3. Our secure supply lines.

From: General John Hunt Morgan CSA (GOC Morgan’s Cavalry)

I will force march through Cassville and into the Kenesaw Mountains with Bedford’s Cavalry, with the result that we will engage and defeat the Army of the Ohio with a surprise attack from their rear area. This will succeed because:

  1. The friendly local populace will direct us to the enemy and reveal their dispositions.
  2. The Blue-bellies fighting power is sorely reduced after sustained combat and the need to provide large foraging parties to compensate for their drastically reduced baggage train.
  3. The Yankee city-born mule-riders can’t tell one end of a horse from the other, and their lack of ability is legendary, so their outriders will fail to give warning of our onslaught.

From: General Nathan Bedford Forrest CSA (GOC Bedford’s Raiders)

Bedford’s Raiders will force march into the Kenesaw Mountains via Lafayette with the result that the Union Army of the Ohio will be taken in the rear and smitten. This will be successful because:

  1. We are a mobile force operating in conjunction with Morgan’s Cavalry in areas well known to use both.
  2. The local populace are supporting us due to our well publicised success in Nashville.
  3. We are motivated by the need to protect Atlanta, and to assist our brothers-in-arms in the Army of Tennessee.

From: General John M Schofield USA (US Army of the Ohio)

The Army of the Ohio will maintain contact with the Rebels and continually skirmish with them. This will prevent the Rebel army from moving, or slow it sufficiently so that Sherman’s Army of the Tennessee will capture Atlanta before Johnston’s force can reach there. My army will be able to accomplish this for the following reasons:

  1. The Army of the Ohio is already in contact with the Rebel army.
  2. My army is now experienced and successful at engaging Johnston’s troops in this type of operation.
  3. My force is a smaller formation than Johnston’s, and we possess cavalry which he does not, so that we are able to out manoeuvre the Rebels.

From: General William Tecumseh Sherman USA (US Army of the Tennessee)

The Army of the Tennessee will continue with its part of the plan to return the Rebellious States to the Union. Acting in concert with the Army of the Ohio, we shall march on Atlanta to capture the city before General Johnston’s force can reach it. Should the Rebel Army reach Atlanta in sufficient force to hold it, we shall manoeuvre around the South and East to cut the Macon & Western Railroad and the Georgia Railroad. This can be achieved because:

  1. My Army is in great spirits. With its recent successes against the Rebels, it is carrying out work which it understand and for a purpose it approves.
  2. The Army of the Ohio is constantly at grips with the rebels impeding their movements which are further hampered by our preponderance of cavalry.
  3. The Army of the Tennessee is stripped like a whiplash, and is able to move and fight swiftly with only the minimum of baggage in an area which I know better than many Georgians.

From: General George Thomas USA (US Army of the Cumberland)

I shall, during the month of July, move the Army of the Cumberland along the path of the railroad to Chattanooga, with the result that the rail communications between Nashville and Chattanooga shall be restored. The reasons that I shall be able to do this are:

  1. I have a secure and reinforced base to my rear in Nashville, so I shall not want for supplies or equipment to effect any repairs.
  2. During the past two months of preparations, my men have learned valuable lessons from reports of the Rebel raids two years previously (through Kentucky and Tennessee in 1862) and from my victorious experiences at the Battle of Chickamauga last year, so their confidence in ‘seeing off’ the Rebel scum is improved.
  3. The enemy are lightly equipped raiding forces who have so far failed to inflict any damage to my forces, whereas my mixed force of Infantry and Cavalry – backed by railroad support – is better balanced to force a way through to Chattanooga.

Campaign EventsDuring July, General Sherman wrote again to General Grant about the events in his area of operations.

To: Lieutenant General U. S. Grant, Virginia

Dear Sam,

Not much time to write as we are marching pretty smartly to get to Atlanta before Joe Johnston. John Schofield is going to hang on to his coat-tails as best he can, but Johnston has little choice but to hightail it back to Atlanta with us situated as we are.

This will suit us fine; the country hereabouts is rich and plentiful, and has never felt the savagery of war. West of us a crow could starve. How those Jayhawkers Forrest and Morgan are keeping going beats me; they must have lost half their horses at least and are getting precious little from us. George Thomas saw to that at Nashville, and Chattanooga was practically empty when they arrived.

I am entrusting George with the job of scrubbing those bandits out and tidying up our lines-of-communication, but with Atlanta soon to be in our hands, the problem of maintaining supplies will be avoided.

Kind regards,

Bill Sherman

Despite Sherman’s hopes for a quick victory, for the first time in this campaign the Confederate forces seemed to act with speed and in unison, with the result that they were able to seize the initiative. When Johnston ordered the Army of Tennessee to fall back to Atlanta, Schofield’s Army of the Ohio was preparing to prevent such a move. The unexpected attacks by Morgan’s Cavalry and Bedford’s Raiders in the rear of the Army of the Ohio surprised Schofield – whose cavalry had been keeping a close watch on the Army of Tennessee – and he was diverted from his planned course of action in order to deal with this threat.

Having broken contact with Schofield’s Army of the Ohio, Johnston’s Army of Tennessee was able to occupy Atlanta ahead of Sherman’s Army of the Tennessee. Sherman’s troops, having been forestalled in their intention to capture Atlanta, swung round the city to the East and South, and took up positions astride the only railroad link out of Atlanta to the rest of Rebel-held territory.

In the meantime, Thomas’s Army of the Cumberland advanced on Chattanooga, and repaired the damage done to railroad between Nashville and Chattanooga.

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Troops Strengths

N.B.

  1. As from the beginning of July, The Army of the Cumberland will have a +1 increase in its Combat Effectiveness when it is in Nashville.

N.B.

  1. As from the beginning of August, Morgan’s Cavalry will have a -1 decrease in its Combat Effectiveness (in addition to any alterations in Combat Effectiveness shown above) unless or until it rests for a month.
  2. As from the beginning of August, Bedford’s Raiders will have a -1 decrease in its Combat Effectiveness (in addition to any alterations in Combat Effectiveness shown above) unless or until it rests for a month.

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The March To The Sea: An American Civil War Matrix Game – June 1864

Messages SentFrom: General William Tecumseh Sherman USA (US Army of the Tennessee)

The Army of the Tennessee will continue its operations in support of the Army of the Ohio. Whilst the Army of the Ohio maintains close contact with General Johnston’s Army and constantly engages it, we shall envelop its flank and cut off its lines of supply. Should the Rebels attempt to extricate themselves from their precarious position, we shall frustrate their moves by moving into the Kenesaw Mountains. This will be achieved because:

  1. The Army of the Tennessee is in good heart and is pleased to be taking part in important work which it well understands.
  2. There are ample supplies, with the forward depots now containing sufficient stores for a six month campaign. The Army of the Tennessee is reducing its establishment of baggage etc. to improve its capacity for mobile operations.
  3. Johnston has no cavalry units with his Army. Union cavalry can screen our movements whilst providing ample warning of Rebel activity.

From: General John M Schofield USA (US Army of the Ohio)

The Army of the Ohio will engage the Rebel Army, with the result that it will be pinned in position at Cassville, thus allowing Sherman’s Army of the Tennessee to strike it in the flank or rear. My Army will be able to accomplish this for the following reasons:

  1. The Army of the Ohio is already in contact with the Rebel Army.
  2. After fighting in May, the Rebels will be too fatigued to march away from my Army.
  3. Johnston’s Army has no cavalry but mine does, thus enabling me to gain a tactical advantage.

From: General Joseph E Johnston CSA (Army of Tennessee)

The Army of Tennessee will march into the Kenesaw Mountains. This will lead to significant losses among the pursuing Yankee scum due to:

  1. The adverse terrain they will have to move through.
  2. The Yankees’ fear of the recently victorious Southern forces.
  3. The difficulties of controlling a large formation in a mountainous area.

From: General Nathan Bedford Forrest CSA (GOC Bedford’s Raiders)

Bedford’s Raiders will destroy the railroad line linking Nashville and Chattanooga at the Cumberland Gap, with the result that the Union Armies of the Tennessee and the Ohio will be forced to withdraw towards Chattanooga to re-instate their lines-of-communication. We will be successful because:

  1. We are a mobile force operating in an area well known to us.
  2. The local populace is supporting us due to our well publicised success in Nashville.
  3. The Cumberland Gap area is totally devoid of Union Troops.

From: General John Hunt Morgan CSA (GOC Morgan’s Cavalry)

I will raid into Chattanooga and destroy the Army of the Tennessee’s forward supply depots, with the result that, starved of supplies and reinforcements, the Union Armies of the Tennessee and the Ohio will suffer loss of morale and fighting effectiveness. I will succeed because:

  1. The aforementioned Yankee Armies are heavily engaged with our own heroic Army of Tennessee.
  2. No reinforcement will come from Nashville because Forrest is operating on their lines-of-communication.
  3. My men are inspired by the chance to emulate their famous raids through Kentucky and Tennessee in 1862 which paralysed Buell’s Army of 40,000 Blue-bellies.

From: General George Thomas USA (US Army of the Cumberland)

I shall, during the month of June, prepare my defences in the area of Nashville, in accordance with Uncle Billy’s wishes, with the result that if my forces are attacked there, their combat effectiveness will be improved. The reasons that I am able to do this are as follows:

  1. My forces were already concentrated in this area in preparation for the training they were about to undertake.
  2. The enemy forces are light raiding forces, ill prepared to assault prepared defences.
  3. Although my force is largely infantry, I possess sufficient cavalry to obtain early warning of any attacks.

Campaign EventsEarly in June, General Sherman wrote to General Grant – then located in Virginia overseeing the operations of the Army of the Potomac – about the recent events in his area of operations.

To: Lieutenant General U. S. Grant, Virginia

Dear Sam,

As you will have heard via CNN (the Cincinnati National Navigator), we have opened accounts with Joe Johnston. Things have happened as well as we might have expected; John Schofield got a bloody nose, but is none the worse for that. Johnston now has to face both of us, and he is a long way from help.

George Thomas has handed out a pretty smart lesson to those bandits Forrest and Morgan and saved our depots and trains. There was talk in the press that I considered going to his aid. That’s a damn lie. I never doubted but that George would see off those Jayhawkers without my assistance, and he would have been pretty hurt if I had offered any.

The country hereabouts is very thick, all hills and woods, and the Rebels have the entire country digging trenches for them. Nevertheless, we can handle them, John and I, and George too when he arrives.

Best wishes,

Bill Sherman

Sherman’s concerns about trenches proved unfounded, but it did lead to a certain hesitancy on his part during the early weeks of June. In the meantime, Johnston was able to maintain the initiative, and the Army of Tennessee fell back in good order into the Kenesaw Mountains, closely pursued by Schofield’s Army of the Ohio.

Sherman’s Army of the Tennessee continued to put pressure on Johnston’s troops, and threatened to turn his flanks, with the result that the Army of Tennessee was bested in several of the skirmishes that took place.

The continued Union advance was possible despite the success of Forrest’s raid to cut the railroad between Nashville and Chattanooga, and Morgan’s raid on the Union’s forward supply depots in Chattanooga. This was due to the fact that Sherman and Schofield had already reduced their baggage trains to the minimum in order to set themselves free from such a potential threat to their rear.

In the meantime, Thomas’s Army of the Cumberland continued with its preparations in the Nashville area.

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Troop Strengths

N.B.

  1. As from the beginning of July, The Army of the Cumberland will have a +1 increase in its Combat Effectiveness as long as it remains in Nashville.
  2. As from the beginning of September, the Armies of the Tennessee and the Ohio will have a -1 decrease in their Combat Effectiveness unless or until the railroad between Nashville and Chattanooga is repaired.

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The March To The Sea: An American Civil War Matrix Game – May 1864

Messages SentFrom: General George Thomas USA (US Army of the Cumberland)

I shall, during the month of May, train and prepare my forces, with the result that their effectiveness against the enemy shall be improved. The reasons that I am able to do this are as follows:

  1. I am currently located at a major railhead, so I shall not want for supplies.
  2. I was the saviour of the Union Army at the Battle of Chickamauga, last year, so my valuable experience will improve the effectiveness of their training.
  3. They are inspired by the fact that, after 3 years, the tide has turned and they are finally bringing the war to the heart of the enemy.

From: General Nathan Bedford Forrest CSA (GOC Bedford’s Raiders)

My forces will raid into Nashville with the result that the Union forces will be drawn from Chattanooga to reinforce Nashville. We will be successful because:

  1. We are a mobile force supported by General Morgan and his forces.
  2. We have the element of surprise.
  3. There ain’t no Northern boys who can hold a candle to the South’s cavalry.

From: General William Tecumseh Sherman USA (US Army of the Tennessee)

The Army will march to Cassville in support of the Army of the Ohio, which will engage General Johnston’s army whilst we envelop its flank. This will be accomplished because:

  1. The Army is well rested and in good heart, having already defeated the rebels at Lookout Mountain and Missionary Ridge.
  2. There are ample supplies in the forward depots, sufficient for three months campaign at least.
  3. We outnumber the rebels and the operations of the Army of the Potomac under General Meade will ensure that no reinforcements will be despatched to their aid.

From: General John Hunt Morgan CSA (GOC Morgan’s Cavalry)

My forces will raid into Nashville in support of General Forrest, with the result that Union forces will be drawn from Chattanooga to reinforce Nashville. We will be successful because:

  1. We are a mutually supporting mobile force.
  2. We are very experienced in this type of operation, having been doing it for 3 years.
  3. We usually raid with impunity so the Yankees will have to divert large forces to protect their supply lines, communications, captured booty, etc.

From: General John M Schofield USA (US Army of the Ohio)

The Army of the Ohio will march from Chattanooga to Cassville, where I will attack the Rebel army. My army will be able to accomplish this for the following reasons:

  1. The Army of the Tennessee will be supporting this advance.
  2. My army is inspired by the appointment of Grant as Lieutenant General and General-in-Chief of the US Army. Our offensive is the major thrust in his new, overall strategy, which will win the war.
  3. The morale of the Rebels has decreased following their ignominious defeat at Missionary Ridge and the removal of Braxton Bragg.

From: General Joseph E Johnston CSA (Army of Tennessee)

The Army of Tennessee will ambush the Yankee aggressors, resulting in the shame of the Federals! This will succeed because of:

  1. The superior motivation of the heroes of the South.
  2. My secure supply lines from Atlanta.
  3. The anger of the aforesaid heroes at the violation of the sacred territory of the Confederacy by the n****r-loving bluebellies.

Campaign EventsThe Confederate raids into Nashville disrupted the training and preparations being undertake by the Army of the Cumberland, and for a time it looked as if Sherman would have to move the Army of the Tennessee into Nashville to support Thomas’s command. This was not necessary, and they were able to advance into Cassville on the flank of the Army of the Ohio. However, Johnston’s Army of Tennessee was laying in wait for such a move, and was able to ambush the Army of the Ohio before Sherman’s troops were in place to outflank such a move. In a series of short, sharp actions, Johnston’s troops inflicted casualties upon several of Schofield’s units.

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Troop Strengths

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The March To The Sea: An American Civil War Matrix Game – Personal Briefings

UnionGeneral William Tecumseh Sherman
Your personal goals are:

  • Avoid all frontal assaults
  • Burn Georgia from Atlanta to the sea
  • Make comments about how war is hell!

General John Schofield
Your personal goals are:

  • Make at least one frontal assault
  • Keep your supply lines open
  • Support General Sherman wherever possible

General George Thomas
Your personal goals are:

  • Never retreat in the face of the enemy
  • Repeatedly refer to your exploits at the Battle of Chickamauga last year, where you claim to have saved the day for the Union
  • Refer to General Sherman as ‘Uncle Billy’

ConfederacyGeneral Joseph E. Johnston
Your personal goals are:

  • Fight a delaying action
  • Force the Yankees to make frontal assault on your position
  • Blame somebody else if the Yankees take Atlanta

General Nathan Bedford Forrest
Your personal goals are:

  • Raid into Nashville (Tennessee) at least twice
  • Maintain your army as a fighting force
  • Make comments about the poor quality of Yankee cavalry

General John Hunt Morgan
Your personal goals are:

  • Raid into Chattanooga at least once
  • Brag about your exploits in raiding Kentucky, Indiana, and Ohio earlier in the war
  • Make comments about the poor quality of Yankee cavalry