MILITARY HISTORY ONLINE

User:    Password:

 
(1863) Battle of Gettysburg
Page 2 of 3 (Page:  1    2    3 )
Author
Message
morris crumley
Dunwoody
GA USA
Posts: 2254

Re: Goal of Picketts Charge
Posted on: 7/12/2019 2:31:50 PM

Larry, I would extend my compliments to you for the posts you share from period newspapers. I read and enjoy the information..though I don`t comment much. I should, if nothing else but to express how interesting and appreciated they are!

While discussing Lee at Gettysburg, another thing that strikes me is that Lee described his job as being "to get my people to where they need to be, and position them for the best effect...and the rest is up to my corps commanders." ( not an exact quote so I`m actually paraphrasing.) Yet, on 2, July, in the morning he rides to Ewell`s headquarters with Issac Trimble to survey the ground and discuss the possibility of shifting his corps to the right, and finds Ewell already out on his own reconnaissance . As he studies the ground he comments to Trimble " The enemy has the advantage of us in a short and compact line, while we are very much extended." So, Lee admits he does not feel his army has been brought to a position for best effect...yet he does not make any changes to reposition and shift Ewell to the right. In other words, he is prepared to hand the job over to his corps commanders knowing they are not in the most advantageous position. Again, this shows me that Lee is being caught up in the events, not directing them. This is just not like Lee.

Respects, Morris

[Edit] If I remember correctly, I think it was E. Porter Alexander, who admired Lee totally, none the less expressed his own belief that Lee should have shifted Ewell to the right and shortened his exterior line, that the main attack should have been more at the bend in the fish-hook Federal line so that Lee`s artillery could have done to the Federal line that which federal artillery did to Pickett, Pettigrew, and Trimble ( I assume a more triangulated artillery barrage), and, at the very least, he contends that when Lee later stated that the attack "had not been properly supported, though I do not understand why" he could only have been referring to Wilcox`s Brigade and Anderson`s division...five brigades of infantry from Hill`s corps that Alexander felt might have made a difference.
----------------------------------
"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: 832

Re: Goal of Picketts Charge
Posted on: 7/12/2019 2:47:13 PM

My question is, why did Lee do nothing when he knew Ewell's corps's was in a bad position? Did he leave it up to Ewell do make the best of a bad situation? Was he more concerned about hitting the AOP left flank? Certainly a bad move losing 1/3 of the offensive power of ANV for nothing.

Larry
----------------------------------
"My goal is to live forever. So far, so good.
morris crumley
Dunwoody
GA USA
Posts: 2254

Re: Goal of Picketts Charge
Posted on: 7/12/2019 2:59:42 PM

That is the question Larry...and I just don`t know the answer. Perhaps Ewell was able to talk him out of it...but Lee had no problem refusing Longstreet`s entreaties . And Ewell was the guy who first told Lee that he could not attack on his front on 2, July, that an attack would have to come from the right ....then, when Ewell got away from his division commanders and came to see Lee in person later that night, said that he could attack the next day. I would have thought that Lee would put a little more stock in Longstreets`s assessment than Ewell at that point.

I just don`t get it. I welcome anyone who thinks they do.

Respect, Morris
----------------------------------
"You are a $70, red-wool, pure quill military genius, or the biggest damn fool in northern Mexico."
john hayward
Allenstown
NH USA
Posts: 612

Re: Goal of Picketts Charge
Posted on: 7/12/2019 8:33:22 PM

Lee had shown in previous battles that he trusted his Corps commander and gave them a lot of room. Of course they were Jackson and Longstreet. At 2nd Bull Run, he asked not ordered Longstreet to go forward. Longstreet waited then hit Pope like a tidal wave. At Antietam he trusted both commanders to fight on their fronts. Again at Fredericksburg, worried about Marye's Height he talked with Longstreet who replied "When he opened fired, a chicken couldn't live on that field." I don't believe Lee even inspected Jackson's line. We all know the complete freedom he gave Jackson at Chancellorsville.
Fast forward to Gettysburg Lee is applying the same techniques only now its AP Hill and Ewell, not the same team, not the same results
----------------------------------
"When fascism comes to America it will be wrapped in the flag and carrying a cross."
morris crumley
Dunwoody
GA USA
Posts: 2254

Re: Goal of Picketts Charge
Posted on: 7/13/2019 8:56:55 AM

John, you are very much correct, at Gettysburg Lee had two men new to corps level command. He trusted them to do their duty with all due diligence. Lee had total devotion to the principle of doing one`s duty, and that the commanding general should respect the men he chooses to command a corps to make their own decisions about how to conduct the mission he assigned them.

Hill was a complete zero at Gettysburg. Ewell, though he did show up, was indecisive, had little feel for the situation he faced, and gave confounding advice such as not being able to attack...but not being made to maneuver either.

Which comes to perhaps the baseline reason for what took place on the field at Gettysburg....Lee reorganized the army after the loss of Jackson into three corps..which meant there would be two men who had never commanded an army corps...yet Lee neglected to increase his own staff to a level where it could better co-ordinate and aide the new corps commanders. Besides my belief that he was driven more by the almost desperate need to win a victory on northern soil... and sparking anti-war sentiment, that would push the Union towards a negotiated end, instead of being open to tactical realities...he needed a higher level of control than he had exercised in the past-yet did not have the proper staff to carry that out.

While there is plenty of blame to go around, there is no question that on the second day and day three of battle, there was a nearly complete lack of support by Hill`s corps causing both assaults to break down when it got to his sector.

Respects, Morris
----------------------------------
"You are a $70, red-wool, pure quill military genius, or the biggest damn fool in northern Mexico."
Phil Andrade
London
 UK
Posts: 3998

Re: Goal of Picketts Charge
Posted on: 7/13/2019 3:21:21 PM

From my beloved Time-Life series of volumes on the Civil War, I cite this rather succinct and startling assessment of what happened as the big rebel attack developed on Day Two :

In the end, Hood simply ignored Longstreet. In clear disregard of his orders, he faced his division eastward and launched an attack in the direction of the Devil's Den and the Round Tops, hoping to outflank the Federal left .

Shelby Foot would have us believe that it was Hood's subordinate , Law, who took it upon himself to divert the attack of the division by moving on the Round Tops.


So it's not just Sickles, on the yankee side, who took a cavalier view of following orders, but divisional and brigade commanders on the other side.

Quite an anarchic battle, this one !


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: 612

Re: Goal of Picketts Charge
Posted on: 7/13/2019 8:38:14 PM

Hood was wounded very early in the attack on the 2nd Day. With his wounding the division command fell to Law. It seems that Law had very little knowledge of what was expected and Hood doesn't seem to have explained it to Law. Again the high ground beckoned.
Hill was ill at Gettysburg. Either it was real, a result of stress of command or both, Hill was not himself. Also his commanders were not honest w/ their losses on Day 1 so Lee had no clue what their strength actually was.
Finally I believe Lee wanted one last big battle a victory on Northern soil and he sensed he was close.
----------------------------------
"When fascism comes to America it will be wrapped in the flag and carrying a cross."
Phil Andrade
London
 UK
Posts: 3998

Re: Goal of Picketts Charge
Posted on: 7/14/2019 2:57:47 AM

More and more, I take the view that artillery was the denominator in this battle .

We’re made very aware that the big killer was the rifled musket, and that the cannonade , although spectacular, was a subsidiary element .

This doesn’t fit well with the narrative of Gettysburg.

I note that on Day Two, in the southern sectors of the field, the confederate artillery was plied to great effect.

Alexander gave testimony to his ability to exploit the advantage here ; and the best available reckoning on the casualty figures do show a remarkable excess of yankee killed and wounded over those of the rebels in this phase of the battle. The preponderance of the damage was still caused by rifle fire, but the execution done by artillery was, I believe , much greater than the norm for this war. The confederates themselves took great punishment from the yankee cannoneers - consider the fate of Kershaw’s men, for example. And, as you point out, John, Hood was himself severely wounded...... by a shell fragment . And what was it that smashed Sickles’ leg ? I suppose the panoramic aspect of Gettysburg gave the gunners on both sides the chance to ply their trade. Whatever the defects of Confederate ammunition, the conditions of the fighting in the Peach Orchard and Emmittsburg Road sectors gave ample chance for the southern gunners to exact a heavy toll of the fragile and wavering Federal deployment , and they exploited that chance to the full. Indeed, it was Sickles’ determination to deny the enemy a good artillery platform that, he insisted, motivated his move forward. He didn’t want another Hazel Grove on his watch.

In the northern sector of the battle, the confederate failure at Culp’s Hill - which was to have such an impact on the outcome of the battle - was, I reckon, largely predicated on the triumph of the federal artillery in the exchange of fire which resulted in the killing of the Gallant Latymer and the destruction of his guns and crews.
Thenceforward, the rebel infantry fought at a disadvantage and paid the price : this time, the casualty exchange was markedly in the North’s favour.

If the artillery performance played such a crucial role in the fighting here and to the south, then it was even more to the fore in determining the outcome of the PPT assault. Henry Hunt was the confederate Nemesis !

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: 612

Re: Goal of Picketts Charge
Posted on: 7/14/2019 6:19:14 AM

If Hancock stayed out of the way, Hunt believed he could have broken up the Charge before it crossed the Emmittsburg Rd
----------------------------------
"When fascism comes to America it will be wrapped in the flag and carrying a cross."
morris crumley
Dunwoody
GA USA
Posts: 2254

Re: Goal of Picketts Charge
Posted on: 7/14/2019 9:59:31 AM

Just to augment the point that John makes about Hancock staying out of the way, this according to general Hunt; "I had counted on an artillery cross-fire that would stop it [PP&T assault] before it reached our lines, but, except a few shots here and there, Hazard`s batteries were silent until the enemy came within canister range. They had, unfortunately, exhausted their long-range projectiles during the cannonade, under the orders of their corps commander, and it was too late to replace them."

According to the analysis of EP Alexander, the assault failed, in part, because Confederate artillery was left up to the Artillery chiefs of the various corps, was not truly brought into full cooperation , that Ewell`s artillery, in particular, contributed little...that because of this they failed to achieve the one true advantage of their extended lines-that of enfilading artillery fire upon the Federal main line of defense. That the Confederate artillery was not able to fully consider moving with the infantry because of the inconsistent quality of it`s munitions ( the fuses in particular) that infantry had warned them not to fire over the heads of the infantry...or they" might just turn around and return fire on their own red legs."

If one studies the various wins and losses, or draws, of Lee`s army, it seems that artillery was a constant presage of what would take place. At Malvern Hill...Lee`s men suffered grieviously....at Fredericksburg the roles were reversed and led to a major victory for Lee. When Hooker surrendered the offensive, and thus bound himself up inside the Wilderness, he eliminated the use of his artillery to any significant degree. ( this also occurred at Chickamagua.) Weeks later, in Pennsylvania, on day three, Federal artillery played hell with PP&T, while confederate artillery was not sufficiently utilized, nor did they have consistent ordinance.

Respects, Morris
----------------------------------
"You are a $70, red-wool, pure quill military genius, or the biggest damn fool in northern Mexico."
john hayward
Allenstown
NH USA
Posts: 612

Re: Goal of Picketts Charge
Posted on: 7/14/2019 10:20:49 AM

To defend Ewell, the Confederates had a very difficult time finding locations for the 2nd Corps artillery to support their attacks. The one position they did find was quickly pounded by Union counter-battery fire resulting in the wrecking of numerous batteries and the death of Latimer
----------------------------------
"When fascism comes to America it will be wrapped in the flag and carrying a cross."
morris crumley
Dunwoody
GA USA
Posts: 2254

Re: Goal of Picketts Charge
Posted on: 7/14/2019 12:15:48 PM

Was Latimer`s position Benner`s Hill?

----------------------------------
"You are a $70, red-wool, pure quill military genius, or the biggest damn fool in northern Mexico."
john hayward
Allenstown
NH USA
Posts: 612

Re: Goal of Picketts Charge
Posted on: 7/14/2019 2:57:44 PM

On July 2nd, 1863, several Confederate artillery batteries from Major Joseph W. Latimer’s and Lt. Colonel William Nelson’s Battalions of Ewell’s Second Corps tried to provide artillery support from here to the attack of Johnson’s Division on Cemetery Hill. It was not a good position, as Benner’s Hill is a long, narrow ridge running almost perpendicular to the Union lines, which forced the Confederate pieces to crowd together.

But it was the best position available, and at around 4 p.m. fourteen Confederate guns opened fire on Cemetery Hill. For an hour and a half they dueled twenty-four Union guns on Cemetery Hill, Culp’s Hill and Stevens’ Knoll. The unequal hour and a half contest ended with Major Latimer mortally wounded and the badly battered Confederate batteries withdrawn before the Confederate infantry attack could begin.
----------------------------------
"When fascism comes to America it will be wrapped in the flag and carrying a cross."
morris crumley
Dunwoody
GA USA
Posts: 2254

Re: Goal of Picketts Charge
Posted on: 7/14/2019 3:23:45 PM

Thanks John.

The argument that EP Alexander (EPA) makes in his narrative is that while Ewell`s artillerists suffered from counter-battery fire from positions they deemed "suitable" the opportunity for enfilade fire on the federal position was such that Ewell`s battalions could have placed their guns in gullies and ditches, and low terrain that would have obscured their exact positioning from the Federal batteries. That all one needed to place effective fire on the federal lines would be direction and range, without need for direct- sight firing...and that their fire would have had strong effect..."you couldn`t keep from hitting something."

I have no way of knowing if EPA actually surveyed the terrain in person, at some time after war, or if he bases his argument on maps. You know as well as I that terrain on a map looks one way...and then completely different in a battlefield walk. One thing I will say is that EPA is a very knowledgeable man...a kind of renaissance soldier. From being key to establishing the Confederate Signal Corps, to his belief in observation balloons, an expert cryptologist and code breaker, the guy who figured out that the Federals were tunneling under the works at Petersburg, and an expert artillerist ( the elevated skids he had constructed at Knoxville that turned his field-pieces into mortar guns ..the man is a formidable student) it is interesting to consider his opinion...and I am sure good debate is warranted by those who don`t agree with him.

Respects, Morris
----------------------------------
"You are a $70, red-wool, pure quill military genius, or the biggest damn fool in northern Mexico."
Bob Hall
Gettysburg
PA USA
Posts: 117

Re: Goal of Picketts Charge
Posted on: 7/14/2019 5:39:35 PM

Just out of new found curiosity (related to my moving from one part of Gettysburg to another part of Gettysburg close to the park boundary) what role did the AOP Artillery Reserve under Brig. Gen. Tyler play during the PPT charge?
----------------------------------
morris crumley
Dunwoody
GA USA
Posts: 2254

Re: Goal of Picketts Charge
Posted on: 7/15/2019 9:22:49 AM

A rather important role Bob. As Hunt stated later, he felt that Hancock had made a mistake by keeping up his fire during the cannonade, when Hunt had planned on conserving munition supplies for use in decimating the rebels before they reached the Union lines. At the height of the fighting Hunt had gone back to summon up his reserve artillery, found that rebel battery fire had compelled them to relocate..Hunt describes seeing a number of burning caissons and mangled horse teams, dead and wounded from the reserve units. He locates and then orders the reserve batteries forward, and units such as K Battery, 1st New York, A battery, 1st New Jersey...C battery 5th US Artillery...and 1st New York Independent Battery filled the gaps in the fire that was the result of Hancock`s consumption of ammunition, and the damaged batteries that had been effectively silenced..these reserve gunners even fighting in hand to hand exchanges with the Confederates who were overrunning them.

Respects, Morris
----------------------------------
"You are a $70, red-wool, pure quill military genius, or the biggest damn fool in northern Mexico."
john hayward
Allenstown
NH USA
Posts: 612

Re: Goal of Picketts Charge
Posted on: 7/15/2019 8:20:39 PM

The book "Double Canister at 10 Yards" does a fine job is covering the Union artillery on Day 3 and its role in the repulse of PPT
----------------------------------
"When fascism comes to America it will be wrapped in the flag and carrying a cross."
Bob Hall
Gettysburg
PA USA
Posts: 117

Re: Goal of Picketts Charge
Posted on: 7/15/2019 11:06:13 PM

Quote:
The book "Double Canister at 10 Yards" does a fine job is covering the Union artillery on Day 3 and its role in the repulse of PPT


Thanks. I'm trying to determine if a certain property/farm/residence on the Taneytown Road was used to park the Reserve and as Tyler's headquarters. This particular residence parcel was quite larger at the time of the battle and I know the grounds were used as a Third Corps hospital. Currently the parcel the house (added on quite a bit) is on is only an acre left.
----------------------------------
morris crumley
Dunwoody
GA USA
Posts: 2254

Re: Goal of Picketts Charge
Posted on: 7/16/2019 10:43:05 AM

[Read More] Bob, this is an interesting thesis on artillery operation during the battle of Gettysburg. Not much help though for your question of that particular property.
In Larry`s period newspaper post of July 14, there is an article that makes mention of Union casualties of the Reserve artillery...and says the Reserve Artillery Hospital was "four miles from Gettysburg town." Since this was some 10 days after the battle, it may be that the Reserve Artillery Hospital was moved a bit away from it`s original position during the battle...or could it be that wounded were evacuated to that 4 mile location?

Respects, Morris
----------------------------------
"You are a $70, red-wool, pure quill military genius, or the biggest damn fool in northern Mexico."
Phil Andrade
London
 UK
Posts: 3998

Re: Goal of Picketts Charge
Posted on: 7/17/2019 1:38:48 AM

Quote:
If Hancock stayed out of the way, Hunt believed he could have broken up the Charge before it crossed the Emmittsburg Rd


A tall claim by Hunt : but one that I think merits serious consideration .

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: 612

Re: Goal of Picketts Charge
Posted on: 7/17/2019 6:47:46 AM

Of the 3 combat arms in the AoP the artillery was the most professional, organized, and effective. I think at the beginning of the war a decision was made to brigade one regular battery with 2/3 volunteer ones. This surely helped. Hunt was an outstanding and underrated commander when left along knew his job. Hooker at Chancellorsville thought he knew more than Hunt and reorganized the AoP artillery. Not a good idea but at least Hooker realized his mistake (too late) and returned Hunt to combat command.
Generals Gibbon and Griffin were former artillery men and were helluva fighters
----------------------------------
"When fascism comes to America it will be wrapped in the flag and carrying a cross."
morris crumley
Dunwoody
GA USA
Posts: 2254

Re: Goal of Picketts Charge
Posted on: 7/17/2019 8:56:43 AM

Absolutely right on statement John.

Artillery is the one constant in determining the outcome of most battles in that war, and Federal artillery, when properly given the chance was a difference maker.

Confederate artillery carried the day at Fredericksburg.
At Chancellorsville, Hooker abandoned the offensive...then gave up the only really perfect artillery platform in that area of the Wilderness, exposing his forces to plunging artillery fire, the ghost of which would carry into Sickles actions at Gettysburg. Likewise, at Chickamagua, artillery was muted..aided in a confederate victory.
Gettysburg was another Malvern Hill...artillery hell for assaulting rebel forces.

Hunt was outstanding.

Respects, Morris


----------------------------------
"You are a $70, red-wool, pure quill military genius, or the biggest damn fool in northern Mexico."
Steve Clements
Toronto
ON Canada
Posts: 593

Re: Goal of Picketts Charge
Posted on: 7/17/2019 9:34:43 AM

Quote:
Shelby Foot would have us believe that it was Hood's subordinate , Law, who took it upon himself to divert the attack of the division by moving on the Round Tops


I seem to recall that Law's brigade ran into some of Berdan's sharpshooters...who retreated back towards Big Round Top. Law was understandably not eager to have an unknown force either behind him or on his flank (which would have been the case if he attacked 'up the Emmittsburg Road'), so he ended up chasing Berdan's men up and over Big Round Top.

s.c.
----------------------------------
morris crumley
Dunwoody
GA USA
Posts: 2254

Re: Goal of Picketts Charge
Posted on: 7/17/2019 10:31:42 AM

Isn`t flank protection the constant worry during that assault? Longstreet, who refused to allow Hood to flank the Federals, because that was not his orders, wound up having to redirect Wofford into the Wheatfield to cover the right flank for Barksdale`s attack up the Emmitsburg Road. As he pivots North, he throws out the 21st Miss as flank protection...but that is not sufficient in the face of Kershaw`s battered force.

Right flank protection seems a major concern for everyone making that attack "up the Emmitsburg Road" except Lee. I know that conditions had changed from the time of the recon ordered by Lee...but look at a map, move Sickle`s corps back to it`s first position..and then imagine that the recon is accurate and there are no Federal forces south of Cemetery Ridge......what prevents the Federals from being able to rapidly "get on the flank" of Hood, if they attack up the Emmitsburg Road? This was Longstreet`s concern about that Federal position from the start. A compact line along a ridge with a good road that runs along behind the entire length of it.

Respects, Morris
----------------------------------
"You are a $70, red-wool, pure quill military genius, or the biggest damn fool in northern Mexico."
john hayward
Allenstown
NH USA
Posts: 612

Re: Goal of Picketts Charge
Posted on: 7/17/2019 11:47:57 AM

The Mexican War was a great proving ground for US artillery. In both Taylor's and Scott's Army the artillery either successfully supported US attacks or turned the tide. Ringgold's Flying Battery at the Battle of Palo Alto was especially good.
General Taylor’s report noted, “The fire of artillery was now most destructive; openings were constantly made through the enemy’s ranks by our fire,
----------------------------------
"When fascism comes to America it will be wrapped in the flag and carrying a cross."
Phil Andrade
London
 UK
Posts: 3998

Re: Goal of Picketts Charge
Posted on: 7/17/2019 1:35:58 PM

Quote:
The Mexican War was a great proving ground for US artillery. In both Taylor's and Scott's Army the artillery either successfully supported US attacks or turned the tide. Ringgold's Flying Battery at the Battle of Palo Alto was especially good.
General Taylor’s report noted, “The fire of artillery was now most destructive; openings were constantly made through the enemy’s ranks by our fire,


Mexican War and US artillery ? Guess who comes to mind.....Braxton Bragg !

Didn't he save Jefferson Davis by dint of brave and skilful gunnery ?


It would be interesting to find out what Bragg opined about Gettysburg. Did he ever go on record in this respect ?


As a gunner, he might have ventured some interesting commentary about the way things developed regarding the rival artilleries.


Chickamauga must have been a very different experience from Gettysburg for the men of Longstreet's command.....they experienced them both within a couple of months or so. The cannonade at Chickamauga was feeble compared with what had been unleashed at Gettysburg ; although the bloodshed caused by musketry was every bit as bad. Now I'm thinking....was Hood's Chickamauga wound, that cost him a leg, caused by an artillery projectile ?


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: 612

Re: Goal of Picketts Charge
Posted on: 7/17/2019 4:02:18 PM

At Gettysburg,on July 2, 1862, as the Texan Brigade marched off to battle, fragments from an artillery shell struck Hood in his left arm. The shell permanently mangled his limb, leaving it intact but rendering it useless for the rest of his life. Hood quickly recovered in Richmond, Virginia and rejoined the Confederate army just in time for the battle at Chickamauga, Georgia in mid-September, 1863. As Hood rode along the lines commanding his men, his arm still in a sling, a minié ball smashed through his right femur, ending Hood’s command. He underwent an amputation four inches from his hip, an operation that normally had an eighty percent mortality rate.
----------------------------------
"When fascism comes to America it will be wrapped in the flag and carrying a cross."
Larry Purtell
Little Meadows
PA USA
Posts: 832

Re: Goal of Picketts Charge
Posted on: 7/17/2019 4:20:47 PM

Quote:
At Gettysburg,on July 2, 1862, as the Texan Brigade marched off to battle, fragments from an artillery shell struck Hood in his left arm. The shell permanently mangled his limb, leaving it intact but rendering it useless for the rest of his life. Hood quickly recovered in Richmond, Virginia and rejoined the Confederate army just in time for the battle at Chickamauga, Georgia in mid-September, 1863. As Hood rode along the lines commanding his men, his arm still in a sling, a minié ball smashed through his right femur, ending Hood’s command. He underwent an amputation four inches from his hip, an operation that normally had an eighty percent mortality rate.

Given his physical condition he had no business commanding an army.
Larry
----------------------------------
"My goal is to live forever. So far, so good.
littlepowell

SC USA
Posts: 528

Re: Goal of Picketts Charge
Posted on: 7/17/2019 5:03:15 PM

Quote:
Quote:
At Gettysburg,on July 2, 1862, as the Texan Brigade marched off to battle, fragments from an artillery shell struck Hood in his left arm. The shell permanently mangled his limb, leaving it intact but rendering it useless for the rest of his life. Hood quickly recovered in Richmond, Virginia and rejoined the Confederate army just in time for the battle at Chickamauga, Georgia in mid-September, 1863. As Hood rode along the lines commanding his men, his arm still in a sling, a minié ball smashed through his right femur, ending Hood’s command. He underwent an amputation four inches from his hip, an operation that normally had an eighty percent mortality rate.

Given his physical condition he had no business commanding an army.
Larry

Hood had no business commanding an army period. Brilliant division commander--he was a tactical wizard.. But lacked the strategic skills to command a whole army.
----------------------------------
http://www.scourgeofwar.com/ - Historical tactical combat games for PC.
Phil Andrade
London
 UK
Posts: 3998

Re: Goal of Picketts Charge
Posted on: 7/18/2019 3:35:34 AM

Quote:
Quote:
Quote:
At Gettysburg,on July 2, 1862, as the Texan Brigade marched off to battle, fragments from an artillery shell struck Hood in his left arm. The shell permanently mangled his limb, leaving it intact but rendering it useless for the rest of his life. Hood quickly recovered in Richmond, Virginia and rejoined the Confederate army just in time for the battle at Chickamauga, Georgia in mid-September, 1863. As Hood rode along the lines commanding his men, his arm still in a sling, a minié ball smashed through his right femur, ending Hood’s command. He underwent an amputation four inches from his hip, an operation that normally had an eighty percent mortality rate.

Given his physical condition he had no business commanding an army.
Larry

Hood had no business commanding an army period. Brilliant division commander--he was a tactical wizard.. But lacked the strategic skills to command a whole army.



Divisional command in that war entailed daunting responsibility : at Gettysburg, there were in excess of seven thousand men in Hood’s - and some other - confederate divisions. I’m stating the bleeding obvious, I know, but the scale of things becomes apparent when we think that the entire US army equated to two such divisions in the immediate ante bellum period.

That interesting notion of the ceiling of individual ability....Longstreet, Corps commander par excellence...not so hot in independent command, was he ?

Think Knoxville and Fort Sanders.

I suppose it’s not so much a question of scale : more one of complexities and equanimity.

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: 612

Re: Goal of Picketts Charge
Posted on: 7/22/2019 7:35:40 AM

Phil
Earlier you commented on Conf artillery and the quality of its gunpowder. Just returned from there and have 2 examples that might support you. On the Chambersburg road leading into town near the Lutheran Sem there is a house with an unexploded shell lodged just under the eaves. It is as plain as day to see.
During the battle a shell struck the Jennie Wade house located near Cem. Hill. The shell struck the roof line, entered the house, passed thru an interior brick wall and lodged in the baseboard of an upstairs bedroom. it too did not explode
Both appear to be Parrott shells.
----------------------------------
"When fascism comes to America it will be wrapped in the flag and carrying a cross."
Michigan Dave
Muskegon, Michigan
MI USA
Posts: 5339

Re: Goal of Picketts Charge
Posted on: 7/22/2019 8:53:36 AM

Hi John,

It would be of great interest if you, (or anyone) could post some pics of unexploded ordinance at Gettysburg!
Isn't it dangerous for it to just being left??

[Read More]

Thanks,
MD
----------------------------------
"The brave men, living and dead, who struggled here, have consecrated it, far above our poor power to add or detract."
Stainless Banners
Huntsville
AL USA
Posts: 1

Goal of Picketts Charge
Posted on: 8/1/2019 11:21:34 AM

I believe Lee suffered some type of identity crisis at Gettysburg rendering him unable to make the proper decisions. This seems to be the consensus of many others in this thread.

It also might be possible that Lee blamed his failure on his subordinates.

Thoughts?
----------------------------------
Phil Andrade
London
 UK
Posts: 3998

Goal of Picketts Charge
Posted on: 8/1/2019 11:38:22 AM

First thought is to welcome you to MHO !

The loss of Jackson, I reckon, rendered Lee vulnerable psychologically .

I’ve just commented about this on another section here, concerning Commanders and Units, in a discussion about Longstreet and Jackson.

Lee was unwell physically ; he had been distraught at Jackson’s death.

All too understandable that he might have been suffering from a form of identity crisis.

I think you’re onto something.

Lee was not at his best ; he was without a sufficient staff ; he had to deal with an encounter battle which he had not desired or designed ; and he was bereft of the therapeutic support of Jackson. Longstreet’s demeanour compounded these difficulties. Longstreet himself was in profound grief at the death of his children.

High command entails an awful burden at the best of times : the circumstances confronting Lee at that juncture made this burden especially hard to bear.

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
Michigan Dave
Muskegon, Michigan
MI USA
Posts: 5339

Goal of Picketts Charge
Posted on: 8/3/2019 8:24:05 PM

Quote:
I believe Lee suffered some type of identity crisis at Gettysburg rendering him unable to make the proper decisions. This seems to be the consensus of many others in this thread.

It also might be possible that Lee blamed his failure on his subordinates.

Thoughts?


Here is what John Bell Hood himself had to say about day 2 in his own words!

[Read More]

Just what one of Lee's subordinates Hood did,
interesting perspective,

Also here is an eye witness account of Pickets Charge, from the same historian.

[Read More]

Comments?
MD

BTW Did Lee really chew out JEB Stuart, or was that just the movie?

[Read More]
----------------------------------
"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: 3998

Goal of Picketts Charge
Posted on: 8/5/2019 4:46:31 AM

Dave,

That first vignette convinces me.

I found it haunting, especially the musical score that accompanied.

There are things that we remember clearly.

Out of chaos, there are faces, words and encounters that simply impose themselves on our memory.

Words especially.....my own experiences have planted the things people said to me indelibly : I might forget the details of location and time ; but the words stay.

In this respect, I would place trust in what Hood recollected in that letter : the almost defiant unwillingness of Longstreet to entertain any different interpretation of Lee’s order, and the virtual biblical thrice denial.

Looking forward to more discussions about this,

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
Michigan Dave
Muskegon, Michigan
MI USA
Posts: 5339

Goal of Picketts Charge
Posted on: 8/5/2019 9:01:29 AM

Hi Phil,

Here's what the American Battlefield Trust Guides, had to say about Hood's charge at Gettysburg on day 2!?

[Read More]

As you watch this, "talk about bad ground" !? (also continue with the next video the Confederate experience at Devils Den)!?

Regards,
Dave
----------------------------------
"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: 3998

Goal of Picketts Charge
Posted on: 8/5/2019 1:45:10 PM

Hi Dave,

This is great stuff !

What I love is the follow on from the YouTube shows, with lectures being presented : I’ve seen one on the life of Hood, and will enjoy it when I get the chance.

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: 3998

Goal of Picketts Charge
Posted on: 8/5/2019 1:57:59 PM

Dave,

Listened with interest to the eye witness account of the officer in the 1st Virginia, who described Pickett’s Charge.

The thing that I want to comment about is his depiction of the artillery fire that struck his men in the prolonged artillery exchange before the charge. This was a regiment in Kemper’s brigade, and, of the three brigades in Pickett’s command, it was Kemper’s that suffered the most from this cannonade. I honestly think that the guts were knocked out of it before the brigade jumped off : the officer alluded to the line of dead, wounded and thoroughly demoralised men .....those last being a significant testimony to the way that artillery could damage the resolve of the bravest troops, even if they were not physically hit. And those that were hit suffered ghastly wounds, sometimes being dismembered in a manner that further shocked and demoralised their brothers in arms who bore witness to their fate. Of the three brigades, Kemper’s suffered the lowest casualties : the reason being, IMHO, that they were too badly shaken to press home the attack with the same resolve that Garnett’s and Armistead’s exhibited.....they didn’t get to the same close quarters, and disintegrated quickly under the flanking fire from Stannard’s Vermonters. With this in mind, I’m bound to reiterate my opinion that Hunt, the yankee prize gunner general, was right to claim that he could have broken that attack by artillery fire alone, had he been allowed to.

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
scoucer
Berlin
 Germany
Posts: 2553

Goal of Picketts Charge
Posted on: 8/5/2019 7:51:30 PM

Phil,

A report from the 24th Virginia in Kemper´s Brigade.

[Read More]

Trevor
----------------------------------
`Hey don´t the wars come easy and don´t the peace come hard`- Buffy Sainte-Marie Some swim with the stream. Some swim against the stream. Me - I´m stuck somewhere in the woods and can´t even find the stupid stream.
Page 2 of 3 (Page:  1    2    3 )

© 2019 - MilitaryHistoryOnline.com LLC