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 (1861-1865) Civil War Battles (Eastern Theater)    
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tom ryan
Bethany Beach, DE, USA
top 40
E-4 Corporal
Author


Posts: 108
http://www.tomryan-civilwar.com
Chancellorsville campaign
Posted on: 4/26/2017 6:55:12 PM
Does anyone have information about when and if it was learned publicly that the Union strength was about twice the size of the Rebels at Chancellorsville (roughly 120,000 to 60,000)? For example, figures reported in a newspaper article.

If so, I need a source for that information.

Thanks, Tom

John R. Price
Wilkes-Barre, PA, USA
top 15
E-8 Master Sergeant
Posts: 553

Re: Chancellorsville campaign
Posted on: 4/26/2017 9:25:04 PM
Tom,

I think there might be a difference in "publically learned" and "publically accepted as fact" but I believe that I saw it first put out there as a 2 to 1 ratio by the Richmond Examiner shortly after the battle. The problem is I believe that their numbers were wrong if memory serves. The second problem is are Northern papers going to run that ration and the Examiners numbers?
---------------
A battle long forgotten by our country in a war never understood by our country.
"to satisfy our endless needs and justify our bloody deeds, in the name of destiny and in the name of God"


tom ryan
Bethany Beach, DE, USA
top 40
E-4 Corporal
Author


Posts: 108
http://www.tomryan-civilwar.com
Re: Chancellorsville campaign
Posted on: 4/27/2017 7:53:53 PM
Thanks, John. I will check it out on the Library of Congress website for the Richmond Examiner. You don't happen to know the date by any chance?

John R. Price
Wilkes-Barre, PA, USA
top 15
E-8 Master Sergeant
Posts: 553

Re: Chancellorsville campaign
Posted on: 4/27/2017 10:59:20 PM
Tom,

No Tom my best guess would be a week/10 days after the battle. I see if I can find something myself tomorrow.
---------------
A battle long forgotten by our country in a war never understood by our country.
"to satisfy our endless needs and justify our bloody deeds, in the name of destiny and in the name of God"


Phil andrade
London, UK
top 5
E-9 Cmd Sgt Major
Moderator
Posts: 2597

Re: Chancellorsville campaign
Posted on: 5/2/2017 3:46:43 AM
Lincoln commented on the disparity almost as soon as he heard the news.

Citing from memory here, so forgive inacccuracies, but

one hundred and thirty thousand men defeated by sixty thousand half starved ragamuffins..My God ! What will the country say ?

Maybe I've used dramatic licence there, but I'm pretty confident that he knew about the numbers ; and this would have been in the days immediately after the battle.

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


Posts: 6101
http:// 82.44.47.99
Re: Chancellorsville campaign
Posted on: 5/2/2017 8:22:14 AM

Quote:
My God! It is horrible—horrible; and to think of it, 130,000 magnificent soldiers so cut to pieces by less than 60,000 half-starved ragamuffins!


Horace Greeley, New York Tribune

Regard

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

Phil andrade
London, UK
top 5
E-9 Cmd Sgt Major
Moderator
Posts: 2597

Re: Chancellorsville campaign
Posted on: 5/2/2017 9:17:35 AM
Well done, Jim... thanks !

Do you have the date of that NYT article by Greeley ?

That would give us a clue as to how soon after the event the powers that be were aware of the numbers.

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


Posts: 6101
http:// 82.44.47.99
Re: Chancellorsville campaign
Posted on: 5/2/2017 10:02:39 AM
I am afraid not Phil- but the link indicates where it came from



[Read More]


Facts relating to this battle

[Read More]



Regards

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

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


Posts: 2960

Re: Chancellorsville campaign
Posted on: 5/2/2017 12:06:43 PM
The battle of the most famous end run since NFL Football,

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

littlepowell
SC, USA
top 25
E-6 Staff Sergeant


Posts: 406
http://www.scourgeofwar.com/
Re: Chancellorsville campaign
Posted on: 5/2/2017 1:54:39 PM
Two of the coolest experiences of my life as a student of the Civil War:

1. Standing at Fairview looking toward Hazel Grove and imagining the incredible artillery dual that took place.
2. Standing at the area of Jackson's flank attack and imagining the mile wide line of Rebels emerging from the woods.
---------------
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: Chancellorsville campaign
Posted on: 5/7/2017 2:34:34 PM

Quote:
Well done, Jim... thanks !
Do you have the date of that NYT article by Greeley ?
That would give us a clue as to how soon after the event the powers that be were aware of the numbers.
Regards , Phil
--Phil andrade

Phil,


The following is from Personal Recollections of Abraham Lincoln and the Civil War, by James Roberts Gilmore, 1899.

”On the afternoon succeeding the last day's fight, I was seated in Mr. Gay's private room at the Tribune office, when Mr. Greeley entered it, having in his hand the latest telegram from the front, which he had taken from the despatch-box in the outer editorial room. His face was pallid, his step almost tottering, and his lip trembled as he exclaimed, " My God! it is horrible — horrible; and to think of it, 130,000 magnificent soldiers so cut to pieces by less than 60,000 half-starved ragamuffins!"

No response being made to this remark, he sank into a chair and finished the reading of the telegram. Then, his lip still trembling, he said to me, " I have your letters all ready, — can't you go at once? I will give you my word that if you find Rosecrans the man that is needed, I will go personally to Lincoln and force him to resign. Hamlin will give Rosecrans command of the armies, and there'll be a chance of saving the country."”

(pp 103)
---------------
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

John R. Price
Wilkes-Barre, PA, USA
top 15
E-8 Master Sergeant
Posts: 553

Re: Chancellorsville campaign
Posted on: 5/7/2017 10:45:48 PM
Rick,

You can't trust the first half of that quote. At least it doesn't jive with the "dispatches" and reports from the army and battlefield printed by the Tribune in the days after the battle. One reports states the capture of 6,000 Rebels and another DH Hill badly wounded with a third that Pickett's Division heavily engaged. There is a report from a "our man in the AOP" that they were winning the battle printed the day after Greely supposedly makes the quote.

Honestly I can't find when the quote was actually printed in a editorial by Greely but if this is the basis of where its coming from I don't trust it at all.
---------------
A battle long forgotten by our country in a war never understood by our country.
"to satisfy our endless needs and justify our bloody deeds, in the name of destiny and in the name of God"


John R. Price
Wilkes-Barre, PA, USA
top 15
E-8 Master Sergeant
Posts: 553

Re: Chancellorsville campaign
Posted on: 5/7/2017 10:55:09 PM
Jim & Phil,

The quote doesn't add up at least for the Confederate numbers to what stories on the battle are being printed in the days following the battle are saying. Plus I've got to add Union Army official estimates of Confederate strength are just about always high so how is Greely going to be just about exact the day after the battle when the stories he's printing at least imply larger Confederate numbers?

---------------
A battle long forgotten by our country in a war never understood by our country.
"to satisfy our endless needs and justify our bloody deeds, in the name of destiny and in the name of God"


Phil andrade
London, UK
top 5
E-9 Cmd Sgt Major
Moderator
Posts: 2597

Re: Chancellorsville campaign
Posted on: 5/8/2017 2:05:31 AM
Rick,

Thanks for giving us the provenance of that quote that I wrongly attributed to Lincoln himself.

John,

I take your point....it does seem odd that people working in the Union press and administration should have been so clued up as to the actual numbers of Lee's command at the very time ; as you say, they were constantly weaned onto a diet of exaggerated rebel numbers.

The date of the Gilmore memoir ( 1899) implies the long term retrospective view, when the facts had become known and people writing thirty odd years later were able to apply hindsight and modify their recollections.

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

Steve Clements
Toronto, ON, Canada
top 20
E-7 Sgt First Class
Moderator
Posts: 423

Re: Chancellorsville campaign
Posted on: 5/8/2017 9:51:51 AM

Quote:

Quote:
Well done, Jim... thanks !
Do you have the date of that NYT article by Greeley ?
That would give us a clue as to how soon after the event the powers that be were aware of the numbers.
Regards , Phil
--Phil andrade

Phil,


The following is from Personal Recollections of Abraham Lincoln and the Civil War, by James Roberts Gilmore, 1899.

”On the afternoon succeeding the last day's fight, I was seated in Mr. Gay's private room at the Tribune office, when Mr. Greeley entered it, having in his hand the latest telegram from the front, which he had taken from the despatch-box in the outer editorial room. His face was pallid, his step almost tottering, and his lip trembled as he exclaimed, " My God! it is horrible — horrible; and to think of it, 130,000 magnificent soldiers so cut to pieces by less than 60,000 half-starved ragamuffins!"

No response being made to this remark, he sank into a chair and finished the reading of the telegram. Then, his lip still trembling, he said to me, " I have your letters all ready, — can't you go at once? I will give you my word that if you find Rosecrans the man that is needed, I will go personally to Lincoln and force him to resign. Hamlin will give Rosecrans command of the armies, and there'll be a chance of saving the country."”

(pp 103)

--Rick Schaus


I found the reference to giving Rosecrans command of the armies quite interesting.

I have not read the one available biography on "Rosy", but maybe it should be on my Xmas list. The more I learn about Rosy, the more I am beginning to suspect that history (not to mention Grant...) may have dealt with him quite unfairly.

As an aside, to anyone interested in the Rosecrans/Grant relationship/the '63 Chattanooga campaign etc., I would recommend an article by Evan Jones: "A Malignant Vindictiveness - The two decade rivalry between Ulysses S. Grant and William S Rosecrans".

As a second aside, the more that I learn about Grant, and his relationship to other generals not named Sherman or Sheridan, the less I like the man.

Grant successfully sidetracked/railroaded/pushed aside at least three Union major generals - McClernand, Thomas and Rosecrans. That this does not appear to have received greater attention is, IMO, somewhat surprising.

s.c.

John R. Price
Wilkes-Barre, PA, USA
top 15
E-8 Master Sergeant
Posts: 553

Re: Chancellorsville campaign
Posted on: 5/8/2017 1:43:21 PM
Dem dar is fightin words Mr Steve! How dare you besmirch the reputation of US Grant! They all had it coming Grant is the closest thing to a saint this side of Lincoln. You don't tug on Superman's cape, you don't spit into the wind, you don't pull off the mask of the old Lone Ranger and ya don't mess around with US Grant.
---------------
A battle long forgotten by our country in a war never understood by our country.
"to satisfy our endless needs and justify our bloody deeds, in the name of destiny and in the name of God"


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


Posts: 548

Re: Chancellorsville campaign
Posted on: 5/8/2017 1:57:13 PM

Quote:
Rick,
You can't trust the first half of that quote. At least it doesn't jive with the "dispatches" and reports from the army and battlefield printed by the Tribune in the days after the battle. One reports states the capture of 6,000 Rebels and another DH Hill badly wounded with a third that Pickett's Division heavily engaged. There is a report from a "our man in the AOP" that they were winning the battle printed the day after Greely supposedly makes the quote.

Honestly I can't find when the quote was actually printed in a editorial by Greely but if this is the basis of where its coming from I don't trust it at all.
--John R. Price

Trust in that account had nothing to do with my post, John.
My skepticism meter goes into the red zone when I read lengthy, detailed word for word quotes related over thirty years after the event, not to even mention your stated concerns.

I was just posting what I believe to be the source of the statement Phil recalled.

I don’t think the Greely quote was printed in the Tribune.

---------------
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: Chancellorsville campaign
Posted on: 5/8/2017 1:59:07 PM

Quote:
Jim & Phil,
The quote doesn't add up at least for the Confederate numbers to what stories on the battle are being printed in the days following the battle are saying. Plus I've got to add Union Army official estimates of Confederate strength are just about always high so how is Greely going to be just about exact the day after the battle when the stories he's printing at least imply larger Confederate numbers?
--John R. Price

John,
A number of sources relate a figure of around 60K ANV infantry at Chancellorsville.

BG Patrick, in his diary, catching up of events on 6 May, related for 5 May,
“…the Troops being in the best of Spirits & double the enemy in number.”
(pp 242)

Halleck to Stanton, 8 May 1863:
“He [Hooker] also said(l that, not-withstanding the losses of the battle of Chancellorsville and the discharge of troops whose services were about expiring, he would have left about 100,000 men, which was all he could employ to advantage.
It is proper to remark in this place that General Hooker has never estimated General Lee’s forces over 70,000 men. Others, who have had opportunities of observation, do not think they have exceeded 60,000. Nevertheless they have defeated very superior numbers on our side.”
(OR Vol 25, Pt 2, pp 505-6)

From Hooker’s JCCW testimony:
“Lee's army, at Fredericksburg, numbering 60,000, not including the artillery, cavalry, and the forces stationed up the river, occupying the posts of Gordonsville and Culpeper. I think my information on this point was reliable, as I had made use of unusual means to ascertain.”
(pp 148, “General Hooker”)

---------------
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: Chancellorsville campaign
Posted on: 5/8/2017 2:02:27 PM
Phil,

This may be the quote you recall from Lincoln:

”In an hour or so, while the doctor and I sat talking, say about three o'clock in the afternoon, the door opened, and Lincoln came into the room. I shall never forget that picture of despair. He held a telegram in his hand, and as he closed the door and came toward us I mechanically noticed that his face, usually sallow, was ashen in hue. The paper on the wall behind him was of the tint known as "French gray," and even in that moment of sorrow and dread expectation I vaguely took in the thought that the complexion of the anguished President's visage was almost exactly like that of the wall. He gave me the telegram, and in a voice trembling with emotion, said, "Read it—news from the army." The despatch was from General Butterfield, Hooker's chief of staff, addressed to the War Department, and was to the effect that the army had been withdrawn from the south side of the Rappahannock, and was then "safely encamped" in its former position. The appearance of the President, as I read aloud these fateful words, was piteous. Never, as long as I knew him, did he seem to be so broken, so dispirited, and so ghostlike. Clasping his hands behind his back, he walked up and down the room, saying, "My God! my God! What will the country say! What will the country say!"
(emphasis mine)

(Noah Brooks, Washington in Lincoln’s Time, pp 57)
---------------
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: 2597

Re: Chancellorsville campaign
Posted on: 5/8/2017 2:07:02 PM
Thanks, Rick : well, there you have it, then....those guys were clued up as to the numerical advantage they enjoyed, even at the time.

Strange, isn't it ? A general we associate with one of the most calamitous defeats was one of the most realistic when it came to a proper reckoning as to the preponderance he enjoyed.

Perhaps ignorance confers a certain advantage !

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

John R. Price
Wilkes-Barre, PA, USA
top 15
E-8 Master Sergeant
Posts: 553

Re: Chancellorsville campaign
Posted on: 5/8/2017 3:08:24 PM
Rick,

Isn't 60,000 infantry a overestimate? Hooker does say "not including the artillery, cavalry" 6 Infantry division with 28 brigades averaging about 1,800 men in each brigade. There were 12 bats of artillery with the infantry and 2 brigades of cavalry with a bat of horse artillery that has to number at least 10,000.

Plus the estimates get thrown out the window because once the flanking movement starts there are numerous Union reports of Longstreet reinforcing or about to reinforce. There is always that caveat that Longstreet with 20-25,000 is within supporting distance. They all know that Longstreet with part of his corps is detached and at some point will return.

Edit I had brain freeze or something, wanted to put 1,800 per brigade but put 2,100. getting old
---------------
A battle long forgotten by our country in a war never understood by our country.
"to satisfy our endless needs and justify our bloody deeds, in the name of destiny and in the name of God"


 (1861-1865) Civil War Battles (Eastern Theater)    
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