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(1863) Battle of Gettysburg
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mickeyrhett
Angola
NY USA
Posts: 7

Goal of Picketts Charge
Posted on: 6/28/2019 9:40:59 AM

What did Lee hope to achieve with Picketts Charge? If he knew Ewell had already failed to take Culp's Hill, was the purpose of the Pickett, Pettigrew, Trimble assault simply to blow a hole in the Union line?
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Phil andrade
London
 UK
Posts: 4038

Re: Goal of Picketts Charge
Posted on: 6/28/2019 9:53:21 AM

In the center, they will break ! .

So said Lee in the movie.

That sums it up....both yankee flanks engaged, with clearly enormous damage inflicted on the southern sector of the field : time to exploit advantage and win a crushing victory.

Four years earlier, at Solferino, after hours of horrific and very costly fighting, the French troops had launched a massive attack on the Austrian center and won the day.

If Napoleon the Third’s boys could do it, Lee was sure his could, too.

Simply blowing a hole in the union centre was bound to be a dreadful fate for the AoP, provided the breach could be properly supported and exploited.

Regards, Phil
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"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
dick evick
Waco
TX USA
Posts: 292

Re: Goal of Picketts Charge
Posted on: 6/28/2019 10:00:03 AM

The action on the Union right started much earlier than Lee had planned, had this attack coincided with the PPT assault the AOP would have been fighting along a large front.

Focus and reinforcement would have been different for the AOP.

Dick.
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kp
Belle Vernon
PA USA
Posts: 15

Re: Goal of Picketts Charge
Posted on: 6/28/2019 10:35:40 AM

If the charge had been successful, Lee's troops could have turned left and charged up Cemetery Hill from the reverse side, possibly trapping AOP units there between units of ANV troops on at least three sides, crushing the Union center.
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With respect, KP
Phil andrade
London
 UK
Posts: 4038

Re: Goal of Picketts Charge
Posted on: 6/28/2019 2:25:18 PM


Quote:
The action on the Union right started much earlier than Lee had planned, had this attack coincided with the PPT assault the AOP would have been fighting along a large front.

Focus and reinforcement would have been different for the AOP.

Dick.
--dick evick


It was the yankees who started the fight there, in the early morning of Day 3, wasn’t it ?

A classic pre-emptive strike .

Regards, Phil
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"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
dick evick
Waco
TX USA
Posts: 292

Re: Goal of Picketts Charge
Posted on: 6/28/2019 2:30:24 PM

Phil, yeah the Yankees did start the fight there on Day 3.

Imagine Lee's thoughts as he heard the fighting increase.

Dick.
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Phil andrade
London
 UK
Posts: 4038

Re: Goal of Picketts Charge
Posted on: 6/28/2019 4:16:26 PM

You have to wonder, Dick, how much he knew about it.

Indeed, I get the impression that there was too much about this battle that Lee just didn’t know.

Too few staff officers trying to do too much, with exterior lines and that notorious lack of “ eyes and ears”.

On riding the lines of the PPT assault, Lee sees the bandaged and damaged condition of the men of Scales’s brigade, shot to bits on Day One.

These poor boys should be sent to the rear ! ....he hadn’t realised the extent of the casualties on that first day.

The reporting in AP Hill’s Corps had been appalling :a huge number of casualties not registered, and an army commander left woefully ignorant of things as he was faced with the fight of his life.

Indeed, his aspirations for the PPT assault are best appreciated if we take into account the degree to which he had been left in the dark, IMHO.

Regards, Phil

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"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
Larry Purtell
Little Meadows
PA USA
Posts: 855

Re: Goal of Picketts Charge
Posted on: 6/28/2019 6:50:01 PM

Lee's lack of effective staff is mentioned frequently. Has anyone ever researched why his staff was too small and what staff he had seems not real effective? Was it Lee's choice, or lack of qualified personnel?

Larry
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"My goal is to live forever. So far, so good.
Phil andrade
London
 UK
Posts: 4038

Re: Goal of Picketts Charge
Posted on: 6/29/2019 8:36:07 AM


Quote:
The action on the Union right started much earlier than Lee had planned,
--dick evick


The plan is the first casualty, someone wrote.

Of all battles, was there there ever one less amenable to any form of planning than Gettysburg ?

An encounter engagement, developing beyond the design and desire of the commanders.

Regards, Phil
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"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 hayward
Allenstown
NH USA
Posts: 613

Re: Goal of Picketts Charge
Posted on: 6/29/2019 10:33:38 AM

Didn't the plan keep changing?
1st Longstreet continues to attack up the Emmittsburg Rd from the Peach Orchard
2nd Johnson attacks Culp's Hill
There is no mention of the timing
Lee expects Meade to sit still
Meade attacks first at Culp's Hill
Longstreet reports Hood's and McClaw's Divisions pretty shot up and he can't attack from PO
New plan
Attack center of Union lines using fresh Pickett's Division and those of Hill's Corps not involved heavily on Day 2. It seems Lee has no idea how Hill's Corps suffered on Day 1 and many of the units were in bad shape.
Stuart works way around to rear
Again Lee seems just will that the plan will work. Blame it on poor staff work, Lee not feeling well or over confidence
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"When fascism comes to America it will be wrapped in the flag and carrying a cross."
phil andrade
London
 UK
Posts: 4038

Re: Goal of Picketts Charge
Posted on: 6/29/2019 12:37:41 PM

At the risk of wheeling out that tired refrain ...Jackson was not there.

The fighting put up by the yankees came as a bit of a shock , especially that done by the 1st Corps .

If there is be a particular flaw in Lee’s deployment and expectations to be cited - note that I avoid use of the word “plan” - I would mention the inadequacy of the artillery work prior to the PPT attack : defective ammunition and lousy fuses compromised the whole affair, especially when countered by the professional expertise of Hunt.

If ever there was a Civil War battle that was defined by the quantity and quality of the rival artilleries , this was it.

Regards, Phil
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"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 hayward
Allenstown
NH USA
Posts: 613

Re: Goal of Picketts Charge
Posted on: 6/29/2019 2:30:56 PM

Even the best ammo could not have helped. The Conf artillery tore the reverse slope of Cem Ridge apart. Unfortunately the troops along the wall and crest suffered very little
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"When fascism comes to America it will be wrapped in the flag and carrying a cross."
phil andrade
London
 UK
Posts: 4038

Re: Goal of Picketts Charge
Posted on: 6/29/2019 4:08:14 PM

How are we to interpret the story of this rebel cannonade ?

What was it supposed to do ?

Did that duffer Pendleton overrule his more talented and younger junior , Porter Alexander ?

It has been suggested that the overshooting was a deliberate attempt to set up a box barrage , that would isolate the defending infantry and ordnance : not a view that has won overwhelming endorsement .

How much damage did it inflict ?

And what was the effect of Yankee retaliation ?

The impact on Kemper’s command was considerable: enough, I think, to demoralise it and render it more susceptible to the shock of enfilade than it otherwise would have been.

I attribute confederate failure at Gettysburg in large measure to the quantitative and qualitative deficiency of the artillery programme on that day.

Regards, Phil


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"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 hayward
Allenstown
NH USA
Posts: 613

Re: Goal of Picketts Charge
Posted on: 6/29/2019 7:04:49 PM

One overlooked point is Union artillery on LRT. Not a lot of guns but a great OP
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"When fascism comes to America it will be wrapped in the flag and carrying a cross."
Phil andrade
London
 UK
Posts: 4038

Re: Goal of Picketts Charge
Posted on: 6/30/2019 1:15:10 AM

Another significant occurrence that had major consequences was the explosion at the confederate munitions work near Richmond ( Tredegar?), that had deprived the AoNV of its source of fuses for artillery shells : the replacement fuses from elsewhere were defective, and this really compromised the effect of the bombardment.

Editing ....it was not the Tredegar factory, but the Brown’s Island Confederate Laboratory, that exploded in March 1863. Forty three of the staff were killed, mostly young Irish girls. This was the place that provided the AoNV with fuses, primers and percussion caps etc. Deprived of its normal supplier for these things, Lee’s army was at a disadvantage when it came to the performance of its artillery. The incident might account for the overshooting of the cannonade on 3 July.

Regards, Phil
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"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
dick evick
Waco
TX USA
Posts: 292

Re: Goal of Picketts Charge
Posted on: 7/1/2019 10:06:28 AM

I seems that a quantity of artillery ordinance would have been captured at Winchester.

Did artillery officers, knowing the fuse situation of their ordinance, make use of any Union ammo available? I haven't been able to find any info on the subject.

Dick.
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Michigan Dave
Muskegon, Michigan
MI USA
Posts: 5411

Goal of Picketts Charge
Posted on: 7/4/2019 8:30:37 AM

It seems Lee for what eve reasons makes more mistakes, and over sites at Gettysburg than any other battle!

What say you?
MD,
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"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
Posts: 4038

Goal of Picketts Charge
Posted on: 7/4/2019 12:24:57 PM

Dave,

How far did the apple fall from the tree ? This was the son of " Light Horse Harry" Lee, that notorious gambler.

I'm not suggesting that R.E. Lee was a gambler - he always calculated - but he did take enormous risks and he pushed his luck that bit too far.

In a sense, he committed appalling mistakes at Sharpsburg in so far as he deployed in the most hazardous manner against enormous odds, and offered battle on the following day when he had come within an inch of destruction.. Likewise, at Chancellorsville, he broke the rules by splitting his force in the face of an enemy of much greater numerical strength. By rights, he had done outrageous things in those battles ; and let's not forget that he pushed his men into the meat grinder with profligacy in the Seven Days.

Things worked out well for him again and again, and this most conventional of gentlemen succeeded by doing things in a most unconventional way.

Ironically, at Gettysburg his risk taking paled beside that of earlier battles he had fought. His numerical strength was far closer to parity than on any other field except the Seven Days. Perhaps his mistakes were no worse than they had been elsewhere, but he just didn't get away with it this time !


A contrarian view, I know...….a worker of miracles one day, a blunderer the next. I wonder how much Lee's defeat at Gettysburg was more a result of Meade's qualities than it was of Marse Robert's culpability.


Regards, Phil
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"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
Michigan Dave
Muskegon, Michigan
MI USA
Posts: 5411

Goal of Picketts Charge
Posted on: 7/5/2019 11:10:59 AM

Hi Phil,

Good point, as they say, “fortune smiles on the aggressor”, but eventually as they also say, “he who lives by the sword, dies by the sword”! Don’t you hate those stupid sayings??

Regards,
MD
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"The brave men, living and dead, who struggled here, have consecrated it, far above our poor power to add or detract."
Michigan Dave
Muskegon, Michigan
MI USA
Posts: 5411

Goal of Picketts Charge
Posted on: 7/8/2019 8:20:55 PM

Gentlemen,

A nice synopsis of Picket's Charge!

[Read More]

Comments?
MD
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"The brave men, living and dead, who struggled here, have consecrated it, far above our poor power to add or detract."
john hayward
Allenstown
NH USA
Posts: 613

Goal of Picketts Charge
Posted on: 7/8/2019 10:25:30 PM

Lee was not served well by his Corps commanders at Gettysburg. Longstreet was balking at every move. Hill was sick and not truthful on his casualties suffered on the 1st Day. Ewell was not comfortable with Lee's way as he was with Jackson's. Both Hill and Ewell were fairly new to their expanded responsibilities and of little help. Stuart wasn't there. Lee's staff was too small for the work load. And Lee was ill, either too many green apples or heart problems. Whatever the reasons, not the ANV finest hours despite the valor and bravery of men.
Plus those boys in blue may have added somewhat to the problems
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"When fascism comes to America it will be wrapped in the flag and carrying a cross."
KP
Belle Vernon
PA USA
Posts: 15

Goal of Picketts Charge
Posted on: 7/9/2019 6:40:14 PM

I also believe Lee was suffering from heart problems after what may have been a "heart attack" in early May. He was not the same man who took the measure of such union commanders as Little Mack. And he no longer had Stonewall Jackson.
In short, long years of campaigning may have taken more of a toll than we might expect, looking down the years.
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With respect, KP
Mike Edwards
Wind Gap
PA USA
Posts: 1

Goal of Picketts Charge
Posted on: 7/10/2019 11:40:13 AM

Desperation and confidence

Down 3 runs with 2 outs in the bottom of 9th the bases were loaded and he had worked a full count. No one left in the bullpen so extra innings are not an option. Lee was looking fastball down the middle and swinging for the fences. Meade threw him a change up.....

Go big or go home...

Mike
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Michigan Dave
Muskegon, Michigan
MI USA
Posts: 5411

Re: Goal of Picketts Charge
Posted on: 7/10/2019 6:18:44 PM

Quote:
Even the best ammo could not have helped. The Conf artillery tore the reverse slope of Cem Ridge apart. Unfortunately the troops along the wall and crest suffered very little


Quote from John Haywood: Hi John,

In the movie wasn't Joshua Chamberlain told, it was, "the safest part of the battlefield! Here is the sound track from the movie Gettysburg, listen as you read the posts on the battle! It adds something to it!?

[Read More]

Great music!
MD
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"The brave men, living and dead, who struggled here, have consecrated it, far above our poor power to add or detract."
morris crumley
Dunwoody
GA USA
Posts: 2297

Re: Goal of Picketts Charge
Posted on: 7/10/2019 7:33:04 PM

I have always believed that , at Gettysburg, Lee was blinded to tactical realities by his strategic desires and goals.

Longstreet tried to make him see those tactical realities.

Respects, Morris
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"You are a $70, red-wool, pure quill military genius, or the biggest damn fool in northern Mexico."
john hayward
Allenstown
NH USA
Posts: 613

Re: Goal of Picketts Charge
Posted on: 7/10/2019 9:27:53 PM

What other options did Lee have? Longstreet told him that an attack from the PO was not possible. Ewell could have continued his fight on Culp's Hill but with what result? If Ewell attempted to slide to left, to take the Baltimore Pike, I believe Williams and the XII Corps had closed that route. Not many options left
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"When fascism comes to America it will be wrapped in the flag and carrying a cross."
Phil Andrade
London
 UK
Posts: 4038

Re: Goal of Picketts Charge
Posted on: 7/11/2019 2:59:23 AM

John,

You ask what other options were available to Lee.

Could - indeed, should - he have disengaged and taken his army back home with a significant success under his belt ?

I allude to significant success because it’s my belief that by close of Day Two his army had inflicted forty to fifty per cent more casualties than it received, on account mainly of five thousand yankee prisoners.

I wonder if he could cope with such a move : more especially , would Meade let him ?

Editing : answering my own question... if Meade failed to pursue and exploit after the repulse of Lee on day three, then he was hardly going to surge after him on the strength of the outcome of day two, was he ?

Editing again : a brief inventory, for what it’s worth, showing the exchange in casualties by the end of the second day : Union , 2,500 killed, 12,000 wounded and 5,250 prisoners, a total of 19,750 from an effective strength of 88,000

Confederate, 2,000 killed, 9,500 wounded and 2,000 prisoners, for a total of 13,500 out of 75,000 effectives.

A significant edge for the South , wouldn’t you say, in proportionate tens as well as in absolute numbers ?



Regards, Phil
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"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 hayward
Allenstown
NH USA
Posts: 613

Re: Goal of Picketts Charge
Posted on: 7/11/2019 6:46:49 AM

Attack or go home
Day 1- a Confederate victory. Destroyed 2 Union Corps drove Union forces off the field
Day 2- A tactical victory for Lee. Destroyed the Union III Corps. By day's end an edge in total casualties inflicted
Day 3- Lee can't stay put. Lack of supplies, ammo, and no fresh reinforcement available limit his options. Attack or go home
I believe Lee wanted to end it here. Fredericksburg and Chancellorsville were victories but could not be exploited. This campaign was meant to be more than a big raid. He had the initiative and he meant to keep it. One more push!
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"When fascism comes to America it will be wrapped in the flag and carrying a cross."
Phil Andrade
London
 UK
Posts: 4038

Re: Goal of Picketts Charge
Posted on: 7/11/2019 8:36:26 AM

You’re right, I think, John.

Was Lee psychologically unable to withdraw ?

A man of that combative zeal is trapped by his own nature as much as by anything else.

I wonder if his battlefield instincts were flawed at this crucial moment.

“ It was close today, I could feel them breaking “ says Lee in the big film.

“ It wasn’t that close “ , Old Pete retorts.

Who had the better sense of the combat ?

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
Phil Andrade
London
 UK
Posts: 4038

Re: Goal of Picketts Charge
Posted on: 7/11/2019 8:36:27 AM

You’re right, I think, John.

Was Lee psychologically unable to withdraw ?

A man of that combative zeal is trapped by his own nature as much as by anything else.

I wonder if his battlefield instincts were flawed at this crucial moment.

“ It was close today, I could feel them breaking “ says Lee in the big film.

“ It wasn’t that close “ , Old Pete retorts.

Who had the better sense of the combat ?

Regards, Phil

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"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 hayward
Allenstown
NH USA
Posts: 613

Re: Goal of Picketts Charge
Posted on: 7/11/2019 9:04:48 AM

I believe Lee was very aggressive, not only in strategy but in tactics. I think battles like Antietam and Fredericksburg were not his cup of tea. Napoleon said something about the results of defensive warfare. Lee also wanted freedom of movement and knew in the Overland Campaign of 1864 what would happen if he got pinned against Richmond.
Longstreet was a counter puncher, 2nd Bull Run, Chickamauga. When he was ready he hit and hard
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"When fascism comes to America it will be wrapped in the flag and carrying a cross."
Phil Andrade
London
 UK
Posts: 4038

Re: Goal of Picketts Charge
Posted on: 7/11/2019 1:49:49 PM

Quote:
I believe Lee was very aggressive, not only in strategy but in tactics. I think battles like Antietam and Fredericksburg were not his cup of tea. Napoleon said something about the results of defensive warfare. Lee also wanted freedom of movement and knew in the Overland Campaign of 1864 what would happen if he got pinned against Richmond.
Longstreet was a counter puncher, 2nd Bull Run, Chickamauga. When he was ready he hit and hard


John,

When it came to counter punching, surely Old Pete's finest hour was in the Wilderness, on May 6 1864.

What an extraordinary contrast with his predicament at Gettysburg !

In the Wilderness, he came up as Lee's line was falling apart ; he pitched in and fought with reflexive skill, deploying and engaging in an emergency without time to get ducks lined up. As soon as circumstances allowed, he reconnoitred and organised a follow up blow, only to be felled by friendly fire : just as Jackson had been , in almost exactly the same place, almost exactly one year earlier.

Astonishing, surreal coincidences abound in the story of this war.

How does this performance compare with Day Two at Gettysburg ?

There and then he had time to deploy, and took hours and hours to get things underway. A lot of controversy about the whys and wherefores ; but it's striking that Longstreet suggested that Lee had lost equanimity - his " blood was up ". One wonders what had got into Old Pete : the unspeakable personal grief over the deaths of his children, I imagine.


The two divisions of his corps suffered about 4,700 casualties that afternoon and early evening : more than one third of all the infantry engaged in three hours. Severe indeed....but not unique, not even exceptional for fighting of that intensity; and, to labour the point, they inflicted casualties that were fifty per cent heavier than those they had suffered. The best three hours of fighting ever done by any troops on any battlefield....no idle boast, 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
john hayward
Allenstown
NH USA
Posts: 613

Re: Goal of Picketts Charge
Posted on: 7/11/2019 2:10:15 PM

Totally forgot about The Wilderness. Another great example
Longstreet was not 100% behind the invasion of PA and he also a different idea of how fight a battle if any resulted from said invasion.
Hate using "The Movie" as a reference but Buford seemed to sum up what may have been in Longstreet's mind. The high ground and charging gloriously
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"When fascism comes to America it will be wrapped in the flag and carrying a cross."
Phil Andrade
London
 UK
Posts: 4038

Re: Goal of Picketts Charge
Posted on: 7/12/2019 3:19:51 AM

High ground and charging gloriously : yes, that’s the image of the battle as defined by Pickett’s Charge in the folklore.

How far might we apply that to Day Two ?

Hood clearly saw his advance in those terms, and baulked at his task.....strange how the man who stormed the yankee breastworks at Gaines’ Mill, and who was to order a notoriously fatal direct frontal attack at Franklin, was so reluctant to execute his orders at Gettysburg.

Another irony - and this defined the biggest of all the fights at Gettysburg - was that the lure of that high ground was to induce Sickles to move forward into that imprudent deployment as he sought to secure the elevated plateau of the Peach Orchard.

Regards, Phil
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"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 hayward
Allenstown
NH USA
Posts: 613

Re: Goal of Picketts Charge
Posted on: 7/12/2019 6:52:18 AM

Not sure if Hood baulked at the attack or the terrain the attack was to cover. Houck's Ridge, Devil's Den and the Round Tops is pretty rough going.
Ah Dan Sickles...The high ground of the Peach Orchard. Whether you are pro- or anti- Sickles, my feelings are that moving the smallest Union Corps out to cover the vast line he created was a mistake. Too much ground, too few men, only one small brigade in reserve. Taking the high ground to his front may have been correct but not with the numbers he had
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"When fascism comes to America it will be wrapped in the flag and carrying a cross."
morris crumley
Dunwoody
GA USA
Posts: 2297

Re: Goal of Picketts Charge
Posted on: 7/12/2019 9:28:42 AM

No question that Hood had no compunction about attacking defensive works...or attacking anything for that matter. He did not like the ground...that is true. But I think Hood`s main objection was not as much the ground...as not knowing what was beyond the ground to his right. I have never understood the plan of attack Lee laid out for attacking up the Emmitsburg road. Longstreet didn`t like it..in fact, openly unhappy at having the commanding general break protocol and deliver those instructions to Longstreet`s subordinate, proclaimed "no sir, I want you to position your men perpendicular to that."

An attack centered upon the Emmitsburg road, would indeed put the lines astride Cemetery Ridge as it diagonals up towards the hill with the cemetery...but what the heck keeps the Federals from taking the advancing column in it`s flank. That is what most concerned Hood, and I know it concerned Longstreet as well.

Major Sheibert, the Prussian observer, related that Lee at Gettysburg was very much different from the Lee he observed at Chancellorsville. Nervous, anxious...agitated at Gettysburg...calm and collected at Chancellorsville..though he took much longer chances and risks back in the wilderness in May. While his ill health may have been a factor..I still believe that Lee himself was uncertain of the ability to succeed...more wishful in thinking and driven by a desperation that, though things had gone well initially...events were spiraling against him...and also driven by his knowledge that all the eggs were in this basket. He was not taking risks in a country where he could call on a local farmer to show him a "road to those people`s right" or rely on making masked movements and any hope for coordination.

Respects, Morris
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"You are a $70, red-wool, pure quill military genius, or the biggest damn fool in northern Mexico."
Larry Purtell
Little Meadows
PA USA
Posts: 855

Re: Goal of Picketts Charge
Posted on: 7/12/2019 9:55:05 AM

Morris, I think your summation of Lee's character and decisions is probably the most accurate I have seen.

Best regards, Larry
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"My goal is to live forever. So far, so good.
littlepowell

SC USA
Posts: 540

Re: Goal of Picketts Charge
Posted on: 7/12/2019 11:52:18 AM

Quote:
Morris, I think your summation of Lee's character and decisions is probably the most accurate I have seen.

Best regards, Larry

+1. I have never imaged Lee as agitated, anxious. I suppose he was only human, after all.
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http://www.scourgeofwar.com/ - Historical tactical combat games for PC.
Phil Andrade
London
 UK
Posts: 4038

Re: Goal of Picketts Charge
Posted on: 7/12/2019 12:59:15 PM

Quote:
Not sure if Hood baulked at the attack or the terrain the attack was to cover. Houck's Ridge, Devil's Den and the Round Tops is pretty rough going.


John,

Your comment gives me pause. Strange that such a combative soldier as Hood, who’s plunged into the maelstrom at Gaines’ Mill, Second Mannassas, Sharpsburg and ,of course, will do so later at Chickamauga and consummate his impulse at Franklin, is so disconcerted by what he contemplates at Gettysburg. Is the ground to cover so obviously fatal, being exposed to enfilade, that his sense of terrain overwhelms his combat zeal ? Has Longstreet been defiantly obtuse in his insistence on following Lee’s orders ? I seek clarification : did Hood’s comments about the commanding position of the Round Tops occur before he advanced ; or was his surge in that direction a result of having to deal with Sickles’ deployment which threw the envisaged advance out of kilter ? I ought to know this , and feel a little bashful about asking questions that expose my ignorance about such a fundamental part of the battle’s story.

Regards , Phil
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"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 hayward
Allenstown
NH USA
Posts: 613

Re: Goal of Picketts Charge
Posted on: 7/12/2019 1:35:46 PM

Like I said before not sure about Hood's feelings. Agree that in all the examples you gave, Hood was a heads down overly aggressive combat soldier. His wounding early in the attack on the 2nd day was a key moment.
Lee was deep in enemy territory w/o a clear picture of what was going on with AoP. He sought to gather up the many parts of his Army at Cashtown or Gettysburg and regroup there. The 1st Day battle caught him off guard and he told Hill and the others he didn't want a general engagement. Again not a clear picture
It seems that for the first two days of fighting, Lee never had that luxury and any commanding general might feel anxious
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