Monday, December 16, 2013

December 16, 1863 – Joseph E. Johnston Takes Command

This day 150 years ago in Rebel Raiders’ History

-Dedicated to Civil War episodes, battles, people and ships that also appear in my game, GMT’s Rebel Raiders on the High Seas.

December 16, 1863 – Joseph E. Johnston Takes Command

Historical Event:  With Confederate armies reeling from the twin defeats of Lookout Mountain and Missionary Ridge outside Chattanooga, President Jefferson Davis finally removed his friend General Braxton Bragg from command of the Department of the Tennessee, replacing him with General Joseph E. Johnston.

 “The Gray Cunctator,” as he came to be known for his Fabian tactics, fought smartly and fought well. Over the next eight months, grudgingly falling back before overwhelming Union forces, he made his opponent, William Tecumseh Sherman  expend a great deal of time, resources and blood while “marching through Georgia.”  Unfortunately, as with the Roman general whose tactics against Hannibal he emulated, Johnston was forced to step down and replaced with a more aggressive commander – General John Bell Hood, who promptly threw away the army in a series of poorly managed and bloody battles around Atlanta.

Game Connection:   Although primarily a naval game, the land war is represented in Rebel Raiders on the High Seas, and Confederate General Joseph E. Johnston has his own counter and card (CSN Card 91).  So, too, is his nemesis, Sherman represented in the game (by USN Card 50).  Johnston’s defensive advantages can help offset the growing Union might (and the play of Union cards, including that of Sherman).  The headstrong Hood (CSN Card 89) and the hapless Bragg (USN Card 7 – entitled “A Lack of Brains”) are also represented in the game.

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