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  - - (1863) Battle of Gettysburg - 101    
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Jim Cameron
North Bellmore, NY, USA
top 15
E-8 Master Sergeant


Posts: 682

Re: Picketts Charge
Posted on: 6/23/2017 7:15:00 PM
Calm down,Rick. All I was saying is that regardless of what Meade had told him he planned to do, Hancock doesn't seem to have had much in the way of personal knowledge of the 5th or 6th Corps. Otherwise, he would have known that a major counterattack just wasn't in the cards.
As, for that matter, should Meade, regardless of what preparations he said he had ordered.
---------------
Jim Cameron

Every time I go to Gettysburg, I learn two things. Something new, and, how much I still don't know.

anemone
DONCASTER S. YORKS, UK
top 5
E-9 Cmd Sgt Major


Posts: 6041
http:// 82.44.47.99
Re: Picketts Charge
Posted on: 6/24/2017 5:57:26 AM
Jim -I think this bears out what you say above


Quote:
Unbeknownst to the men of the Sixth Corps, units of the two armies had clashed that morning at Gettysburg, and the fight had quickly escalated into a pitched battle. By 4:30 that afternoon, Meade had concluded that Lee was committing his whole army to this fight, and accordingly sent orders to Sedgwick to march his corps to Gettysburg.

Darkness had fallen when Meade’s first messenger rode up the ridge to the Fort Hill School.
Within minutes, Sedgwick had issued orders to the commanders of the 36 regiments of infantry and eight batteries of artillery, telling them to form up quickly and move out down the road to Westminster.

Thus began an epic march, one of the most extraordinary of the war. By the shortest route, from Manchester south to Westminster, then west down the Baltimore Turnpike through Union Mills and Littlestown to Gettysburg, the corps would have to cover 38 miles. And they would have to be there by midday on Thursday


[Read More]

Regards

Jim
---------------
Pro Patria Saepe Pro Rege Semper

Phil Andrade
London, UK
top 5
E-9 Cmd Sgt Major
Moderator
Posts: 2549

Re: Picketts Charge
Posted on: 6/24/2017 6:30:59 AM
Porter Alexander, who played a prominent role in the battle and won the high esteem of Longstreet and Lee himself, gave a ringing endorsement of Meade's performance in the crisis following Sickles 's move, and rates it as one of the greatest exhibitions of command under pressure of the entire war.

Meade was no Wellington, but he was competent and steady....to quote the Iron Duke himself "...and that is something "...especially in a test as severe as Gettysburg.

Regards, Phil
---------------
"Egad, sir, I do not know whether you will die on the gallows or of the pox!"

"That will depend, my Lord, on whether I embrace your principles or your mistress."

Earl of Sandwich and John Wilkes

Rick Schaus
Capon Springs, WV, USA
top 15
E-8 Master Sergeant


Posts: 548

Re: Picketts Charge
Posted on: 6/24/2017 12:11:08 PM

Quote:
Porter Alexander, who played a prominent role in the battle and won the high esteem of Longstreet and Lee himself, gave a ringing endorsement of Meade's performance in the crisis following Sickles 's move, and rates it as one of the greatest exhibitions of command under pressure of the entire war.

Meade was no Wellington, but he was competent and steady....to quote the Iron Duke himself "...and that is something "...especially in a test as severe as Gettysburg.
Regards, Phil
--Phil Andrade

Phil,

Alexander did relate a rather significant criticism of Meade regarding our subject here:

”It must be ever held a colossal mistake that Meade did not organize a counter-stroke as soon as he discovered that the Confederate attack had been repulsed. He lost here an opportunity as great as McClellan lost at Sharpsburg. Our ammunition was so low, and our diminished forces were, at the moment, so widely dispersed along our unwisely extended line, that an advance by a single fresh corps, the 6th, for instance, could have cut us in two. Meade might at least have felt that he had nothing to lose and everything to gain by making the effort.”
(Alexander, Military Memoirs…, pp 432)

---------------
VR, Rick Schaus

"When things go wrong in your command, start searching for the reason in increasingly large circles around your own desk."
-- Gen. Bruce Clarke

Phil Andrade
London, UK
top 5
E-9 Cmd Sgt Major
Moderator
Posts: 2549

Re: Picketts Charge
Posted on: 6/24/2017 12:50:23 PM
Yes , indeed, Rick ...that was in my mind when I stated that Meade was no Wellington .

Full marks to you for pitching that in.

Does the Old Snapping Turtle get sufficient credit for holding things together at Gettysburg?

Regards, Phil
---------------
"Egad, sir, I do not know whether you will die on the gallows or of the pox!"

"That will depend, my Lord, on whether I embrace your principles or your mistress."

Earl of Sandwich and John Wilkes

Rick Schaus
Capon Springs, WV, USA
top 15
E-8 Master Sergeant


Posts: 548

Re: Picketts Charge
Posted on: 6/24/2017 1:13:44 PM

Quote:
Yes , indeed, Rick ...that was in my mind when I stated that Meade was no Wellington .
Full marks to you for pitching that in.

Does the Old Snapping Turtle get sufficient credit for holding things together at Gettysburg?

Regards, Phil
--Phil Andrade

Phil,

I really don't think you want to hear my answer to your question.
---------------
VR, Rick Schaus

"When things go wrong in your command, start searching for the reason in increasingly large circles around your own desk."
-- Gen. Bruce Clarke

Jim Cameron
North Bellmore, NY, USA
top 15
E-8 Master Sergeant


Posts: 682

Re: Picketts Charge
Posted on: 6/24/2017 1:24:42 PM

Quote:
Jim -I think this bears out what you say above


Quote:
Unbeknownst to the men of the Sixth Corps, units of the two armies had clashed that morning at Gettysburg, and the fight had quickly escalated into a pitched battle. By 4:30 that afternoon, Meade had concluded that Lee was committing his whole army to this fight, and accordingly sent orders to Sedgwick to march his corps to Gettysburg.

Darkness had fallen when Meade’s first messenger rode up the ridge to the Fort Hill School.
Within minutes, Sedgwick had issued orders to the commanders of the 36 regiments of infantry and eight batteries of artillery, telling them to form up quickly and move out down the road to Westminster.

Thus began an epic march, one of the most extraordinary of the war. By the shortest route, from Manchester south to Westminster, then west down the Baltimore Turnpike through Union Mills and Littlestown to Gettysburg, the corps would have to cover 38 miles. And they would have to be there by midday on Thursday


[Read More]

Regards

Jim

--anemone


Honestly, Jim, aside from this being yet another copy and paste article, this says nothing about the situation on July 3.
---------------
Jim Cameron

Every time I go to Gettysburg, I learn two things. Something new, and, how much I still don't know.

Rick Schaus
Capon Springs, WV, USA
top 15
E-8 Master Sergeant


Posts: 548

Re: Picketts Charge
Posted on: 6/24/2017 1:27:34 PM

Quote:
Calm down,Rick. All I was saying is that regardless of what Meade had told him he planned to do, Hancock doesn't seem to have had much in the way of personal knowledge of the 5th or 6th Corps. Otherwise, he would have known that a major counterattack just wasn't in the cards.
As, for that matter, should Meade, regardless of what preparations he said he had ordered.
--Jim Cameron

Jim,

I simply don’t understand why Hancock was supposed to (required to?) keep track of the status of the 5th and 6th Corps.

In your 22 June response to my post you expressed only criticism of Hancock as if Meade had no part in the issue.
Even in your last post, you criticized Hancock first, and then Meade, almost as a footnote with:”as for that matter”.
Your implication is that Hancock was primarily at fault.
As I recall Meade, not Hancock, was the CG, and, it was his plan.

Hancock had enough to be concerned about considering what event would trigger Meade’s counterattack:
”that if the enemy attacked me he intended to put the 5th and 6th corps on the enemy's flank;
He would be occupied with his own preparations of his position, his troops, and the movements of the enemy opposite him.
His not so minor role was to prevent an attack on his position from succeeding.

Hancock would have expected Meade to know the location and status of the 5th and 6th Corps, and that he had issued Sedgwick instructions regarding the attack.

If Hancock was at fault it was for trusting Meade.
Caldwell could have paid a heavy price for that mistake.


Also note that, according to Hancock, Meade stated that he would counterattack ”if the enemy attacked me he intended to put the 5th and 6th corps on the enemy's flank; , not when the attack was repulsed, but to counterattack when Hancock was attacked.

Meade didn’t appear at Hancock’s position until after the repulse, long after Sedgwick should have been attacking.

Seven months later Meade related that it was after the attack had been repulsed that he decided to order a counterattack on the nonspecific ”enemy’s lines”
Even if Meade’s version was correct, knowing the status of the 5th and 6th Corps (we assume), he should have known before he headed for LRT that there was no way that any counterattack could happen before night fell.

There is a distinct disconnect between Hancock’s and Meade’s accounts, and, frankly, I believe Hancock.

Either way, if Meade actually intended to make some form of counterattack, he failed to proactively issue, the appropriate instructions to his subordinates, to include keeping Hancock informed of any changes in his plan he had informed him of to him that morning.

---------------
VR, Rick Schaus

"When things go wrong in your command, start searching for the reason in increasingly large circles around your own desk."
-- Gen. Bruce Clarke

Jim Cameron
North Bellmore, NY, USA
top 15
E-8 Master Sergeant


Posts: 682

Re: Picketts Charge
Posted on: 6/24/2017 1:43:39 PM

Quote:

Quote:
Porter Alexander, who played a prominent role in the battle and won the high esteem of Longstreet and Lee himself, gave a ringing endorsement of Meade's performance in the crisis following Sickles 's move, and rates it as one of the greatest exhibitions of command under pressure of the entire war.

Meade was no Wellington, but he was competent and steady....to quote the Iron Duke himself "...and that is something "...especially in a test as severe as Gettysburg.
Regards, Phil
--Phil Andrade

Phil,

Alexander did relate a rather significant criticism of Meade regarding our subject here:

”It must be ever held a colossal mistake that Meade did not organize a counter-stroke as soon as he discovered that the Confederate attack had been repulsed. He lost here an opportunity as great as McClellan lost at Sharpsburg. Our ammunition was so low, and our diminished forces were, at the moment, so widely dispersed along our unwisely extended line, that an advance by a single fresh corps, the 6th, for instance, could have cut us in two. Meade might at least have felt that he had nothing to lose and everything to gain by making the effort.”
(Alexander, Military Memoirs…, pp 432)


--Rick Schaus


Of course, Alexander didn't know about the 6th Corp's dispositions or availability either.
---------------
Jim Cameron

Every time I go to Gettysburg, I learn two things. Something new, and, how much I still don't know.

Jim Cameron
North Bellmore, NY, USA
top 15
E-8 Master Sergeant


Posts: 682

Re: Picketts Charge
Posted on: 6/24/2017 1:59:09 PM
Rick, again, calm down. I never said that Hancock should have kept himself posted as to the 5th and 6th Corps. Simply that if he was expecting Meade to put them in on his left, as he'd been told, than he didn't seem to have a clear idea of their situation and availability. Honestly, nothing surprising about that. He had his own Corps to tend to.
Now, if Meade expected to be able to do so, than perhaps he himself was engaging in some wishful thinking. Because neither Corps was in any position to be ordered to counterattack on short notice. Especially late in the day. Nor was the rest of the AOP in any state to exploit any success.

---------------
Jim Cameron

Every time I go to Gettysburg, I learn two things. Something new, and, how much I still don't know.

Rick Schaus
Capon Springs, WV, USA
top 15
E-8 Master Sergeant


Posts: 548

Re: Picketts Charge
Posted on: 6/25/2017 1:09:22 PM

Quote:
Rick, again, calm down. I never said that Hancock should have kept himself posted as to the 5th and 6th Corps.

My question is why, exactly, did you make your observation about Hancock?

Hancock’s knowledge of the status of the 5th & 6th Corps was irrelevant.

A very relevant observation would have been to wonder how much Meade knew about the status and disposition of the 5th & 6th Corps when he informed Hancock that he planned to counterattack.

Quote:
Simply that if he was expecting Meade to put them in on his left, as he'd been told, than he didn't seem to have a clear idea of their situation and availability. Honestly, nothing surprising about that. He had his own Corps to tend to.

There was no “if”.

Hancock thought that Meade’s counterattack was very much ‘in the cards’.
”I was very confident that the advance would be made.”

If he had any doubts he would not have given instructions to Caldwell to attack.

Considering that Meade did not know when Hancock might be attacked, Hancock would probably have expected that Meade had issued instructions to Sedgwick regarding the counterattack.

Whether or not Hancock was aware of the status of those two corps is irrelevant. It was not his responsibility to second guess his commanding officer.
And, regardless of what he knew or didn’t know, until Meade informed him otherwise, Hancock’s duty was to expect the counterattack to happen.


Quote:
Now, if Meade expected to be able to do so, than perhaps he himself was engaging in some wishful thinking. Because neither Corps was in any position to be ordered to counterattack on short notice. Especially late in the day. Nor was the rest of the AOP in any state to exploit any success.
--Jim Cameron

That is truly an understatement.

Is there really any question that Meade knew there was not enough time to execute a counterattack?
In his report Meade made no mention of ordering a counterattack.

However, he later used it to his advantage.
In his JCCW testimony he stated that he did order a counterattack, but the troops moved too slowly.
Their fault, not his.

---------------
VR, Rick Schaus

"When things go wrong in your command, start searching for the reason in increasingly large circles around your own desk."
-- Gen. Bruce Clarke

Phil Andrade
London, UK
top 5
E-9 Cmd Sgt Major
Moderator
Posts: 2549

Re: Picketts Charge
Posted on: 6/25/2017 3:16:01 PM

Quote:

Quote:
Yes , indeed, Rick ...that was in my mind when I stated that Meade was no Wellington .
Full marks to you for pitching that in.

Does the Old Snapping Turtle get sufficient credit for holding things together at Gettysburg?

Regards, Phil
--Phil Andrade

Phil,

I really don't think you want to hear my answer to your question.

--Rick Schaus


You'd be surprised, Rick.

Perhaps I need to be shaken up a bit ; and if anyone has to do that, I'd want it to be you !

Regards, Phil
---------------
"Egad, sir, I do not know whether you will die on the gallows or of the pox!"

"That will depend, my Lord, on whether I embrace your principles or your mistress."

Earl of Sandwich and John Wilkes

Rick Schaus
Capon Springs, WV, USA
top 15
E-8 Master Sergeant


Posts: 548

Re: Picketts Charge
Posted on: 6/26/2017 6:29:05 AM

Quote:

You'd be surprised, Rick.
Perhaps I need to be shaken up a bit ; and if anyone has to do that, I'd want it to be you !
Regards, Phil
--Phil Andrade

I doubt that you need to be shaken up, Phil, but I will answer your question.

In my opinion Old Snapping Turtle received and continues to receive more credit than he deserves for the Federal victory at Gettysburg.

---------------
VR, Rick Schaus

"When things go wrong in your command, start searching for the reason in increasingly large circles around your own desk."
-- Gen. Bruce Clarke

Michigan Dave
Muskegon, Michigan, MI, USA
top 5
E-9 Cmd Sgt Major


Posts: 2883

Re: Picketts Charge
Posted on: 6/26/2017 8:21:09 AM
Hi Rick,

From looking in from the outside on your discussion with Phil,

If Meade got to much credit at Gettysburg. Who then deserves the credit for this Union victory?? And if that "Old Googling Eyed Snapping Turtle", actually got to much credit, why did he lose his command to Grant??

BTW good discussion,
MD
---------------
"The brave men, living and dead, who struggled here, have consecrated it, far above our poor power to add or detract."

Steve Clements
Toronto, ON, Canada
top 20
E-7 Sgt First Class
Moderator
Posts: 415

Re: Picketts Charge
Posted on: 6/26/2017 9:18:40 AM

Quote:
In my opinion Old Snapping Turtle received and continues to receive more credit than he deserves for the Federal victory at Gettysburg.


Rick,

Do you care to elaborate? If we play our cards right, we might get an interesting thread out of this -:)

I would note that you were quite specific .... i.e. "more credit than he deserves for the Federal victory at Gettysburg." So I am assuming that you are not referring to Meade's pursuit of the ANV...which is really a different topic.

s.c.

Phil andrade
London, UK
top 5
E-9 Cmd Sgt Major
Moderator
Posts: 2549

Re: Picketts Charge
Posted on: 6/26/2017 9:35:00 AM
Thanks for replying to me, Rick.

I tend to take a rather " broad brush " approach to my study of the Civil War's battles : apart from the analysis of the casualty statistics - which does excercise me - I tend to be content to accept widely held views of the big battles ....I still enjoy reading through the different accounts in the old Battles & Leaders volumes that I cherish.

I suspect that I'm too susceptible to the school of thought that endorses Meade as a competent general who was dropped in at the deep end - with scarcely a day's notice - and made a good account of himself.

McClellan, Meade, Hood and even Bragg....for some reason, I 'm always determined to see them as historiographical underdogs who deserve rehabilitation.

I hope this attests ignorance on my part, rather than arrogance !

Editing ....how could I have forgotten to mention Burnside in my array of maligned generals ?

Regards , Phil



---------------
"Egad, sir, I do not know whether you will die on the gallows or of the pox!"

"That will depend, my Lord, on whether I embrace your principles or your mistress."

Earl of Sandwich and John Wilkes

Rick Schaus
Capon Springs, WV, USA
top 15
E-8 Master Sergeant


Posts: 548

Re: Picketts Charge
Posted on: 6/27/2017 5:19:01 PM

Quote:

Quote:
In my opinion Old Snapping Turtle received and continues to receive more credit than he deserves for the Federal victory at Gettysburg.

Rick,
Do you care to elaborate? If we play our cards right, we might get an interesting thread out of this -:)
I would note that you were quite specific .... i.e. "more credit than he deserves for the Federal victory at Gettysburg." So I am assuming that you are not referring to Meade's pursuit of the ANV...which is really a different topic.
s.c.
--Steve Clements

OK, Steve,

Identify a specific event in which you feel that Meade displayed exceptional leadership, judgment, etc. (not based on a vote of his subordinates, or their advice), which had a significant impact on the Federal success at Gettysburg.

Then, we’ll take it from there.

PS, Happy Canada Day in advance.

---------------
VR, Rick Schaus

"When things go wrong in your command, start searching for the reason in increasingly large circles around your own desk."
-- Gen. Bruce Clarke

Phil andrade
London, UK
top 5
E-9 Cmd Sgt Major
Moderator
Posts: 2549

Re: Picketts Charge
Posted on: 6/27/2017 5:41:32 PM
Might we attribute to his generalship at Gettysburg a workmanlike and competent performance, rather than exceptional qualities ?

Or do you think that he doesn't even merit that ?

Regards, Phil
---------------
"Egad, sir, I do not know whether you will die on the gallows or of the pox!"

"That will depend, my Lord, on whether I embrace your principles or your mistress."

Earl of Sandwich and John Wilkes

Jim Cameron
North Bellmore, NY, USA
top 15
E-8 Master Sergeant


Posts: 682

Re: Picketts Charge
Posted on: 6/27/2017 8:07:41 PM

Quote:
Might we attribute to his generalship at Gettysburg a workmanlike and competent performance, rather than exceptional qualities ?

Or do you think that he doesn't even merit that ?

Regards, Phil
--Phil andrade


Couldn't agree more.
And Lee's performance at Gettysburg was workmanlike, at best. If anything, he did a better job during the retreat.

Point to ponder: If Meade's performance was indeed workmanlike, rather than exceptional, did the AOP's more mature staff and command structure give him more margin for error, as compared to Lee and his more "mom & pop store" ANV?
---------------
Jim Cameron

Every time I go to Gettysburg, I learn two things. Something new, and, how much I still don't know.

littlepowell
SC, USA
top 25
E-6 Staff Sergeant


Posts: 399
http://www.scourgeofwar.com/
Re: Picketts Charge
Posted on: 6/28/2017 8:28:45 AM
If only Jackson had been there..

This discussion is giving me some great ideas for "what if" gaming scenarios. What if the Federals had counter-attacked following Pickett's Charge? What if Stuart had broken through? Couldn't have caused much damage, but would have made life that much more difficult for the Federals on Cemetery Ridge.
---------------
http://www.scourgeofwar.com/ - Historical tactical combat games for PC.

Steve Clements
Toronto, ON, Canada
top 20
E-7 Sgt First Class
Moderator
Posts: 415

Re: Picketts Charge
Posted on: 6/28/2017 8:59:55 AM
Rick,


Quote:
Identify a specific event in which you feel that Meade displayed exceptional leadership, judgment, etc. (not based on a vote of his subordinates, or their advice), which had a significant impact on the Federal success at Gettysburg.


What Phil said....

Frankly, if you are intent at setting the bar at "exceptional leadership, judgment, etc.", few, if any, battles (from a Union perspective) would qualify.

Maybe Nashville. Maybe Grant's Vicksburg campaign (altho I know that John P. would take issue with that...).

Not Seven Days, not Second Bull Run, not Antietam, not Chancellorsville, not Fredericksburg, not the Overland Campaign, certainly not the initial attacks on Petersburg, not Shiloh, not Halleck's Mississippi campaign, not Stone's River or Perryville, not Chickamauga, certainly not Chattanooga, not the Atlanta campaign ....

s.c.

Michigan Dave
Muskegon, Michigan, MI, USA
top 5
E-9 Cmd Sgt Major


Posts: 2883

Re: Picketts Charge
Posted on: 6/28/2017 9:20:48 AM
Good point Steve,

When you think about it exceptional leadership, and Union Commanders are 2 mutually exclusive terms at this time!?

MD
---------------
"The brave men, living and dead, who struggled here, have consecrated it, far above our poor power to add or detract."

Phil andrade
London, UK
top 5
E-9 Cmd Sgt Major
Moderator
Posts: 2549

Re: Picketts Charge
Posted on: 6/28/2017 11:30:03 AM
Legend has it that, at the Battle of Salamanca, Wellington was observing the panoramic battlefield from a high vantage point, and was munching on a chicken leg whilst observing the French deployment. He saw a blunder made by the enemy, and is supposed to have yelled out That'll do ! , tossed the chicken bone over his shoulder, and ordered an immediate attack by a major part of his army to exploit the French error.

Forty thousand Frenchmen defeated in forty minutes....a textbook classic.

How many times - if ever - did such an opportunity occur in the American Civil War ; and, if it did, was the repulse of the PPT charge one of them ?

Regards , Phil
---------------
"Egad, sir, I do not know whether you will die on the gallows or of the pox!"

"That will depend, my Lord, on whether I embrace your principles or your mistress."

Earl of Sandwich and John Wilkes

Rick Schaus
Capon Springs, WV, USA
top 15
E-8 Master Sergeant


Posts: 548

Re: Picketts Charge
Posted on: 6/28/2017 12:21:07 PM
OK, I’ll lower the bar.
Meade did nothing exceptional at Gettysburg.
His performance was ‘workmanlike’ and ‘competent’.

It seems to me that most if not all of the AoP’s corps commanders could be described at least as component.
Even Sickles was component.


In effect you’re saying that Sedgwick, Slocum, or Howard, for example, could/would have attained the same results as Meade did at Gettysburg.

Give me a specific example of Meade’s competent leadership, something specific that he did that significantly contributed to the victory.
A specific workmanlike decision?
He must have contributed something significant to the victory.


Let’s not divert the focus of this discussion by bringing Lee into it.
That should be saved for another thread.
---------------
VR, Rick Schaus

"When things go wrong in your command, start searching for the reason in increasingly large circles around your own desk."
-- Gen. Bruce Clarke

Phil andrade
London, UK
top 5
E-9 Cmd Sgt Major
Moderator
Posts: 2549

Re: Picketts Charge
Posted on: 6/28/2017 2:25:10 PM
Rick,

He must have contributed something significant to the victory .

Will you help us here ?

I feel intimidated.

Regards , Phil
---------------
"Egad, sir, I do not know whether you will die on the gallows or of the pox!"

"That will depend, my Lord, on whether I embrace your principles or your mistress."

Earl of Sandwich and John Wilkes

littlepowell
SC, USA
top 25
E-6 Staff Sergeant


Posts: 399
http://www.scourgeofwar.com/
Re: Picketts Charge
Posted on: 6/28/2017 2:32:35 PM
Wasn't it his his final call to stay and fight instead of running away with his tale between his legs after getting manhandled on the first day? I'd say that's significant..
---------------
http://www.scourgeofwar.com/ - Historical tactical combat games for PC.

Rick Schaus
Capon Springs, WV, USA
top 15
E-8 Master Sergeant


Posts: 548

Re: Picketts Charge
Posted on: 6/28/2017 3:10:15 PM

Quote:
Wasn't it his his final call to stay and fight instead of running away with his tale between his legs after getting manhandled on the first day? I'd say that's significant..
--littlepowell

Meade sent Hancock to Gettysburg to make that decision.

”HEADQUARTERS ARMY OF THE POTOMAC, July 1, 1863-1. 10 p. m.
Major- General HANCOCK,
Commanding Second Corps:
GENERAL: The major- general commanding has just been informed that General Reynolds has been killed or badly wounded. He directs that you turn over the command of your corps to General Gibbon; that you proceed to the front, and, by virtue of this order, in case of the truth of General Reynolds' death, you assume command of the corps there assembled, viz, the Eleventh, First, and Third, at Emmitsburg. If you think the ground and position there a better one to fight a battle under existing circumstances, you will so advise the general, and he will order all the troops up. You know the general's views, and General Warren, who is fully aware of them, has gone out to see General Reynolds. LATER-1. 15 p. m. Reynolds has possession of Gettysburg, and the enemy are reported as falling back from the front of Gettysburg. Hold your column ready to move. Very respectfully, &c.,
DANL, BUTTERFIELD,
Major-General, Chief of Staff. (Copy to Major-General Howard.)"

(OR, Pt 3, pp 461, emphasis mine))

---------------
VR, Rick Schaus

"When things go wrong in your command, start searching for the reason in increasingly large circles around your own desk."
-- Gen. Bruce Clarke

littlepowell
SC, USA
top 25
E-6 Staff Sergeant


Posts: 399
http://www.scourgeofwar.com/
Re: Picketts Charge
Posted on: 6/28/2017 3:25:03 PM

Quote:

Meade sent Hancock to Gettysburg to make that decision.


Understood, thanks for the OR quote. But still, wasn't Hancock just acting upon orders from Meade? Instead of panicking, especially after losing possibly his most able general in Reynolds, Meade is giving Hancock the discretion to stay and fight if the ground was desirable (and anyone with a pulse knew it was strong ground.)
---------------
http://www.scourgeofwar.com/ - Historical tactical combat games for PC.

Rick Schaus
Capon Springs, WV, USA
top 15
E-8 Master Sergeant


Posts: 548

Re: Picketts Charge
Posted on: 6/28/2017 4:58:45 PM

Quote:
Rick,
He must have contributed something significant to the victory .
Will you help us here ?
I feel intimidated.
Regards , Phil
--Phil andrade

Phil,

Not sure what kind of help you want from me.

If I thought that Meade made significant contributions to the Federal victory at Gettysburg I would not have answered your earlier question as I did.

---------------
VR, Rick Schaus

"When things go wrong in your command, start searching for the reason in increasingly large circles around your own desk."
-- Gen. Bruce Clarke

Rick Schaus
Capon Springs, WV, USA
top 15
E-8 Master Sergeant


Posts: 548

Re: Picketts Charge
Posted on: 6/28/2017 8:17:21 PM

Quote:

Quote:

Meade sent Hancock to Gettysburg to make that decision.

Understood, thanks for the OR quote. But still, wasn't Hancock just acting upon orders from Meade? Instead of panicking, especially after losing possibly his most able general in Reynolds, Meade is giving Hancock the discretion to stay and fight if the ground was desirable (and anyone with a pulse knew it was strong ground.)
--littlepowell

Orders from Meade that Hancock should never have received.

Meade should be given credit for not panicking.
In a rather imaginative, if desperate, defense of Meade, one could, I suppose, see it that way.

However, I do not consider a decision by Meade to withdraw the AoP to Pipe Creek as panicking.

As I see it Meade was sending Hancock, a brand spanking new corps commander, to make a decision that was Meade’s responsibility to make, where the army should fight.

That discretion was based on Meade’s indecisiveness (not a good trait in a commander) on what to do and so he passed the buck to Hancock, who, by the way didn’t accept it and passed it right back to Meade.

---------------
VR, Rick Schaus

"When things go wrong in your command, start searching for the reason in increasingly large circles around your own desk."
-- Gen. Bruce Clarke

Phil andrade
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Re: Picketts Charge
Posted on: 6/29/2017 4:17:02 AM
Meade should be given credit for not panicking .... And that is something , to paraphrase the Iron Duke !

There was quite a lot to panick about.

Regards, Phil

---------------
"Egad, sir, I do not know whether you will die on the gallows or of the pox!"

"That will depend, my Lord, on whether I embrace your principles or your mistress."

Earl of Sandwich and John Wilkes

anemone
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Re: Picketts Charge
Posted on: 6/29/2017 4:46:41 AM
The infantry assault on Cemetery Ridge known as Pickett's Charge was preceded by a massive artillery bombardment at 1 p.m. that was meant to soften up the Union defence and silence its artillery, but it was largely ineffective.

Approximately 12,500 men from nine infantry brigades "advanced over open fields for three quarters of a mile under heavy Union artillery and rifle fire".

Although some Confederates were able to breach the low stone wall that shielded many of the Union defenders, they could not maintain their hold; and were repulsed with over 60% casualties.

Panic-where was the panic Phil- other than in the Confederate assault force ??? Not in least surprised that Meade did not panic-not only did he not panic-he did nothing AT THAT TIME to pursue a routed Confederate Army.

Regards

Jim
---------------
Pro Patria Saepe Pro Rege Semper

Phil andrade
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Re: Picketts Charge
Posted on: 6/29/2017 5:57:00 AM
Jim,

The PPT action ( aka Pickett's Charge ) was the culminating crisis of a three day battle.

You ask me about the whys and wherefores of panic....implying that there was no reason for Meade to do so.

Pickett's Charge was not the entire Battle of Gettysburg .

There was enough to induce panic in the first two days of that three day battle.

The First Day saw Meade's most esteeemd corps commander killed, the defeat and rout of two corps, and more than nine thousand of the Yankees killed, wounded or captured.

The Second Day saw the Union Left and Centre imperilled by the imprudent deployment of the Third Corps, with the consequential loss of even more men than that suffered the day before.

This was a crisis, being fought out on home soil, under the command of a man appointed to command barely a day or two previously.

Not panicking in such circumstances is indeed something.

Regards, Phil



---------------
"Egad, sir, I do not know whether you will die on the gallows or of the pox!"

"That will depend, my Lord, on whether I embrace your principles or your mistress."

Earl of Sandwich and John Wilkes

anemone
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Re: Picketts Charge
Posted on: 6/29/2017 6:11:50 AM
Phil-I would politely remind you that the thread relates to Pickett's Charge; and therefore I would expect all remarks to relate to that incident-however as you have chosen to widen the topic to the full Battle of Gettysburg-I perhaps would have viewed your opinion vis a vis "panic" differently- had you said originally- what you describe above.


Best Regards

Jim
---------------
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Phil andrade
London, UK
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Re: Picketts Charge
Posted on: 6/29/2017 7:10:11 AM
Jim ,

Your polite reminder gratefully acknowledged....and may I remind you that you chose to expand the original topic by alluding to criticism of Meade for failure to exploit ?

And I think that you were fully justified in doing so.

The original post dealt with the notion of how Lee chose to follow up if he had been successful ; we do well to countenance the other side of the coin, and reflect on how Meade conducted himself in the moment of Lee's discomfiture....perhaps too gentle a word to describe the predicament that the ANV was in at that point.

Incidentally, it's worth noting that, of the twenty three thousand Union casualties at Gettysburg, only about ten per cent were attributable to the action popularly known as Pickett's Charge : and that includes losses in the preliminary bombardment and skirmishing.

In contrast, forty per cent of the yankee casualties of the entire battle resulted from the desperate fighting pursuant to Sickles's move forward on Day Two : this was - in terms of slaughter - the worst part of the whole affair for the Union, and Meade did himself no credit whatsoever by insisting that this struggle accounted - not for forty - but for sixty six per cent of his Gettysburg casualty list.

Such exaggeration is hard to excuse, and I have to reflect on the reasons for it.

Regards , Phil

---------------
"Egad, sir, I do not know whether you will die on the gallows or of the pox!"

"That will depend, my Lord, on whether I embrace your principles or your mistress."

Earl of Sandwich and John Wilkes

anemone
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Re: Picketts Charge
Posted on: 6/29/2017 7:38:55 AM

Quote:
Casualty figures for the second day of Gettysburg are difficult to assess because both armies reported by unit after the full battle, not by day.

One estimate is that the Confederates lost approximately 6,000 killed, missing, or wounded from Hood's, McLaws's, and Anderson's divisions, amounting to 30–40% casualties.

Union casualties in these actions probably exceeded 9,000. An estimate for the day's total (including the Culp's and Cemetery Hill actions) by historian Noah Trudeau is 10,000 Union, 6,800 Confederate.


NB.Sickle's disobedience on the day- oddly enough- proved he made the right move-stupidity paid off.


Regards

Jim
---------------
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Jim Cameron
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Re: Picketts Charge
Posted on: 6/29/2017 9:12:47 AM

Quote:
Phil-I would politely remind you that the thread relates to Pickett's Charge; and therefore I would expect all remarks to relate to that incident-however as you have chosen to widen the topic to the full Battle of Gettysburg-I perhaps would have viewed your opinion vis a vis "panic" differently- had you said originally- what you describe above.


Best Regards

Jim
--anemone


This thread is a year old, and threads routinely go off in different directions.
---------------
Jim Cameron

Every time I go to Gettysburg, I learn two things. Something new, and, how much I still don't know.

Jim Cameron
North Bellmore, NY, USA
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Posts: 682

Re: Picketts Charge
Posted on: 6/29/2017 9:14:46 AM

Quote:


NB.Sickle's disobedience on the day- oddly enough- proved he made the right move-stupidity paid off.


Regards

Jim
--anemone


It proved no such thing.
---------------
Jim Cameron

Every time I go to Gettysburg, I learn two things. Something new, and, how much I still don't know.

anemone
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Re: Picketts Charge
Posted on: 6/29/2017 9:33:24 AM
Jim-I am not responsible for this thread going awry. So what did Sickles do/not do; and if I may politely ask- what did Sickles move prove/ not prove ????

Regards

jim
---------------
Pro Patria Saepe Pro Rege Semper

Rick Schaus
Capon Springs, WV, USA
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Posts: 548

Re: Picketts Charge
Posted on: 6/29/2017 11:15:51 AM

Quote:
Meade should be given credit for not panicking .... And that is something , to paraphrase the Iron Duke !
There was quite a lot to panick about.
Regards, Phil
--Phil andrade

Meade had no reason to panic.
He was not certain that Reynolds had been killed.
Even if Reynolds was out of action he still had three two stars at or near Gettysburg.

And, he passed the buck to Hancock.
If anyone had the right to panic it was Hancock who was given the responsibility to select the ground on which to concentrate the army.

Since we’re on the topic of Meade not panicking:
CPT Stephen Weld was on Reynolds’ staff.
In the morning of 1 July Weld carried a message from Reynolds at Gettysburg to Meade at Taneytown.

According to Weld:

”I delivered the message to General Meade at 11.20, having been an hour and twenty minutes on my way. He seemed quite anxious about the matter, and said, "Good God! if the enemy get Gettysburg, I am lost."
(Weld, War diary and letters of Stephen Minot Weld, 1861-1865, pp 230)

I am not familiar with the medical definition of ‘panic’ but the above sounds like it could qualify.

---------------
VR, Rick Schaus

"When things go wrong in your command, start searching for the reason in increasingly large circles around your own desk."
-- Gen. Bruce Clarke

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