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HTST 489 (27)

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HTST 489
John Ferris

HTST489 Nov 27 Northern commanders in the Washington area become highly cautious. Commander McLelland uses intel service based around the Pinkerton detective agency. Pinkerton reported estimates of Southern strength are vastly overstated, around twice their strength. McLelland is reporting to Lincoln that Union forces in the east are outnumber and thus he should be cautious in his use of forces. Both McLelland and Pinkerton are wrong – how much is the PinkertonAgency influencing McLelland's views, and how much is it telling him what he wants to hear? Regarding Northern forces in the eastern united states, how much is an intel failure and how much is policy failure? If we believe that Pinkerton agency is one cog in an intellectual process that stems from McLelland's own views, then it becomes a failure of command. Northern commanders are extremely cautious, uncertain, which causes them to act ineffectively, and even the best of them are caught by surprise. Best are Grant and Sherman, nonetheless, at the Battle of Shilough. First 18 months of the war, southern edge from traditional intel sources – better scouting, cavalry, commanders who take risks.Around end of 1862-3, things start to change, including intelligence. Northern commanders getting more confident, weeding out the unskilled, Lincoln finds competent and confident commanders in the east. Union forces are improving – confederate forces start out with clear advantages as far as units, rural background helps them conduct military operations. The North starts to gain from investments in new forms of intelligence. Northern Commanders from early stages of the war til 1963 are starting to do things with intel that no one's ever done before – payoff in 1863. Union Secretary of State – Seward – ensures all telegraphs sent in the union pass through his office. Not censoring, just reading, material sent by own citizens, understanding attitudes and info across the Union – read mostly by Lincoln. Reading the messages of private citizens, providing situational awareness. In early 1863, Union forces in the east create the Bureau of Military Knowledge, started by commander named Hooker.Adopted by all Union commanders thereafter – all intel sources report to this burea. BMI becomes first bureaucratized and centralized intelligence body in history - first modern assessing agency. Trying to gather all the information they can on all aspects of the war. Not involved with foreign policy or diplomacy, looking at the south. Providing well processed body off facts about the enemy. Lincoln is rather autocratic – american federal government during the war adopts pattern of behaviour that might've astonished the founding fathers. Highly authoritarian government at a strategic level has a clear picture of the enemy's capabilities. North is finally on a competent level of military effectiveness. Gettysburg Campaign of June/July 1863 Launched strategically by General Lee in effort to win the war. Lee is aware by 1963 that the south is not doing particularly well – won a number of battlefield victories, but the south had hoped the north wouldn't be able to continue on as long as they had. Lee is more or less given the autonomy to fight as he chooses, has the strongest army under his control. Launches an invasion of the north into Pennsylvania before circling back into Maryland. Political objectives: convince Europeans that the south has a chance to survive. French and English are neutral, French trying to occupy Mexico. Lee hopes they will recognize the south and provide them with assistance – rather unlikely. English gov is so anti-slavery that they would likely never consider this. Palmerston of England would love
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