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(1863) Battle of Gettysburg
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Larry Purtell
Little Meadows
PA USA
Posts: 907
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Posted on: 5/5/2020 7:46:32 AM

With the failure and retreat of Joe Hooker at Chancellorsvilles VA the Gettysburg campaign is conceived.
From the Evening Courier and Republic. Buffalo NY May 5, 1863


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Dick Evick
Waco
TX USA
Posts: 330
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Posted on: 5/6/2020 10:07:57 AM

Thanks Larry I look forward to these posts each year.

Dick.
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littlepowell

SC USA
Posts: 587
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Posted on: 5/6/2020 10:37:41 AM

It's interesting how much the writer tries to sugar coat things. "We got whipped again" would have been enough.. Funny when comparing to modern journalism, not much has changed.
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Phil Andrade
London
 UK
Posts: 4463
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Posted on: 5/6/2020 11:34:52 AM

Sickles....and his gallant soldiers held the traitors in check..

What an exquisite turn of phrase !

You have to wonder, though, whether that kind of praise went to Sickles' head, and encouraged him to put it into the lion's jaws along the Emmitsburg Road a couple of months later.

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: 907
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Posted on: 5/6/2020 1:13:14 PM

Quote:
Sickles....and his gallant soldiers held the traitors in check..

What an exquisite turn of phrase !

You have to wonder, though, whether that kind of praise went to Sickles' head, and encouraged him to put it into the lion's jaws along the Emmitsburg Road a couple of months later.

Regards, Phil

Very possible. All I know is a lot good soldiers lost their lives needlessly on July-2 because of his judgement.

Larry


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mikecmaps
CAMARILLO
CA USA
Posts: 22
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Posted on: 5/6/2020 2:47:04 PM

Group,

Actually from the confederate side G-campaign began Mon., Feb 23rd ’63.
Hotchkiss dairy ; “I (Hotchkiss) got secret orders to from the General (Jackson) to prepare a map of the valley of Va. extended to Harrisburg, Pa., and then to Philadelphia; - wishing the preparation to be kept a profound secret. So I went to reducing a map of Cumberland Co. Pa.”
McDonald, Archie; Make me a Map of The Valley; p116
(But Valley in title refers to 1862 Shenandoah Valley)
Lee meant to go North again if he could get supplies and Longstreet back (in NO Car). And he did not consult Davis at that time. (see Woodworth, Davis & Lee, p. 221)
Lee and Jackson were already planning the Great Invasion.

Mike_C.
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john hayward
Allenstown
NH USA
Posts: 767
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Posted on: 5/8/2020 8:59:22 AM

Fellow posters
I believe there is a saying about a soldier is the most you can hope for is to die for your country and have your name spelled wrong in the newspaper. So it is here.
Hooker yells to the commander of his old Division...Its Gen. Hiram BERRY not Barry and Berry will be shot and killed the next morning.

Further down my great-great grandfather's unit the 7th NJ is mentioned. The Colonel is Louis Francine not Francis, Its Lt Col was Francis Price. They also captured 5 flags one is at the visitor center at Chancellorsville.
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Phil Andrade
London
 UK
Posts: 4463
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Posted on: 5/8/2020 2:34:46 PM

Chancellorsville might have been the South’s most brilliant victory ; but it roughed up the AoNV badly and, I suspect, had a traumatic impact on Lee himself, not only on account of Jackson’s death.

If the foray North had been planned as early as February , it’s understandable that Lee felt a sense of “ now or never” when he contemplated the cost of that victory.

There’s a lot of hyperbole about Sickles in that article that Larry’s posted ; but it does appear that his command gave a good account of itself, and meted out some terrific punishment .

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
littlepowell

SC USA
Posts: 587
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Posted on: 5/8/2020 2:49:21 PM

Quote:

If the foray North had been planned as early as February , it’s understandable that Lee felt a sense of “ now or never” when he contemplated the cost of that victory.


Certainly.. And I think Lee had that "now or never" attitude for all the battles he commanded.. The risks he took were incredible. Antietam with his back against the Potomac is another example that comes to mind.
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Larry Purtell
Little Meadows
PA USA
Posts: 907
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Posted on: 5/8/2020 5:18:33 PM

If Chancellortsville never happens does Lee march into Pennsylvania with two large veteran Corps commanded by Jackson and Longstreet ? The AOP will be out 15,000 men whose 9 month and two year enlistments are up. Chancellorville put two new ANV corps commanders and many brigade and regimental in positions new to them and then thrust into the largest battle of the war.

Larry
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mikecmaps
CAMARILLO
CA USA
Posts: 22
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Posted on: 5/8/2020 8:20:09 PM


Larry,
Essentially, yes. Lee planned to move if he could get Longstreet back from NC and supplies. Feb map order was just the beginning. Hooker beat lee to the punch and stole a march on lee to turn lee’s left.


Phil & Littlepowell
Lee’s “now or never” was actually holding the initiative which he knew he had to do to counter superior numbers that he usually faced. There were few times that the rebels stood passively where they were not beaten. One reason Lee and Jackson worked well to together they both believed in moving first if they could and forcing the union reaction. When Jackson was gone and the cream in leaders and troops had been lost.(63) Lee lost much flexibility and mobility.

Mike_C
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Steve Clements
Toronto
ON Canada
Posts: 688
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Posted on: 5/9/2020 11:05:31 AM

Quote:
If Chancellortsville never happens does Lee march into Pennsylvania with two large veteran Corps commanded by Jackson and Longstreet ? The AOP will be out 15,000 men whose 9 month and two year enlistments are up. Chancellorville put two new ANV corps commanders and many brigade and regimental in positions new to them and then thrust into the largest battle of the war.

Larry


Larry,

Something that I had never thought about....Lee took disproportionate casualties at Chancellorsville....AND lost Jackson. And of course, the casualties that you take when you are doing the attacking are typically "the best and the brightest" i.e. the brave that lead pay the price.

Add the 13k casualties back to the ANV, and it would have been an even more formidable force in July of '63. And yes, the AoP took 17k casualties, but it could better afford the casualties...and a wild guess is that a quarter of those casualties might have had their enlistments 'expire' before Gettysburg ... so they would have been lost anyway...

But I suspect that your 15,000 figure is too low....Guelzo (The Last Invasion) uses a 30,000 figure. As an example (page 31) specifically mentions that Reynolds I Corps went from 16,000 men to 9,000 men. Interesting to speculate what the impact of a 16K I Corps might have had on Day One ....

Frankly, the fact that the AoP fought a number of battles with either too many green troops (Antietam, where I believe a quarter of the AoP were completely green) or too many men whose enlistments were about to expire, and were therefor reluctant to risk getting shot just before they were about to be sent home (The Wilderness comes to mind) does not get sufficient attention, IMO.

s.c.

EDIT: Coddington uses a figure of 23,000 men leaving the AoP between the end of April and the middle of June.
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John R. Price
Wilkes-Barre
PA USA
Posts: 1102
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Posted on: 5/9/2020 11:48:32 AM

Larry,

I think there is enough evidence that Lee is going to a three corps setup no matter what happens to Jackson so the question becomes is it AP Hill or Ewell commanding.
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john hayward
Allenstown
NH USA
Posts: 767
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Posted on: 5/10/2020 9:19:58 AM

John
In Lee's Lieutenants, the chapter right after Chancellorsville starts to address that very problem. The loss of officers and the lack of qualified leaders even down to the regimental level. Good officers led from the front and were being killed so moving a colonel to brigade command meant finding someone to take over the regiment and so on. It was becoming difficult to find the right man and the upcoming campaign was no place for on the job training. Even Lee was beginning to understand that his style of leadership would have to change.
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mikecmaps
CAMARILLO
CA USA
Posts: 22
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Posted on: 5/10/2020 11:21:47 AM

John_P & John_H,

Yes, I’d say you are both right & reference to chapter in L’sL’s is spot on.
In any case there would be one corps under untested commander and neither one performed well in the event. (Though Ewell seemed good in move north).
Important aspect is that Jackson was in on planning from day one (Feb) and move suited his ideas and talents well – Jackson would have been in full accord with Lee & not hesitant or balky (Longstreet), could have been a telling difference in the event?

Mike_C.
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Gregory C. White
Canton
GA USA
Posts: 264
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Posted on: 5/10/2020 12:51:49 PM

Quote:
Fellow posters
I believe there is a saying about a soldier is the most you can hope for is to die for your country and have your name spelled wrong in the newspaper. So it is here.
Hooker yells to the commander of his old Division...Its Gen. Hiram BERRY not Barry and Berry will be shot and killed the next morning.

Further down my great-great grandfather's unit the 7th NJ is mentioned. The Colonel is Louis Francine not Francis, Its Lt Col was Francis Price. They also captured 5 flags one is at the visitor center at Chancellorsville.


John,

When you referenced Colonel Francine of the 7th NJ the name grabbed my attention. I have in my files a story about a Georgia veteran from Wofford's Brigade that had Francine's sword, taken @ Gettysburg, in his possession in 1907.

Best Regards,

Greg C. White
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john hayward
Allenstown
NH USA
Posts: 767
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Posted on: 5/10/2020 7:21:24 PM

Greg
I have seen the story and unfortunately I have a very strong feeling that it is not true. There are facts alluded to that just dont add up. Col Francine was shot in the upper thigh while leading a counterattack at Gettysburg against the rebels of Barksdale's Brigade. The 7th NJ's monument marks the spot. Francine was carried from the field by 3 of his men, Sgt Major Joseph Johnson, Corp William Hooper and Priv William Kirby, Co A. Francine was taken to a field hospital at Michael Fissel's farm and later sent home to Philadelphia. He was on the road to recovery when on July 16 he died.
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Phil Andrade
London
 UK
Posts: 4463
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Posted on: 5/11/2020 4:26:15 AM

Hi Steve,

Your earlier comments about the potential of Lee’s army, and how it was compromised by the attrition of Chancellorsville, has got me thinking .....


If we look at the Chancellorsville fighting, and compare it with what happened on almost exactly the same site almost exactly one year later, it’s tempting to suggest that the Confederates had a greater qualitative edge over their opponents in May 1864 than they had enjoyed one year earlier.

I make this statement rather tentatively , because there are always nuances .....but, while there had been close parity in terms of bloodshed between the contending armies at Chancellorsville ( in absolute - not relative- terms, and excluding the thousands of yankee prisoners ), in the 1864 fighting, the rebels got by far the better of the exchange and appeared to have exhibited significantly greater skill. This was demonstrated in the way they attacked, as well as by the more frequently cited defensive role they played in the battle.

I find it hard to decide where I’m going with this ; but the feeling grows that Lee’s army was “ evolving” better than the AoP, despite - or maybe because of - the enormous casualties of Chancellorsville and, of course, Gettysburg.

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
Steve Clements
Toronto
ON Canada
Posts: 688
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Posted on: 5/11/2020 10:10:27 AM

Quote:
Most agree that Union casualties were from around 17,700 to 18,400, with around 2,250 killed, 10,200 wounded, and 2,900-3,400 captured or missing.

Confederate casualties are put as high as 11,400, with the most detailed estimates of around 1,500 killed, 8,000 wounded and 1,700 captured or missing.


Hi Phil,

There does appear to be a consensus around the figure used for Union casualties, i.e. the official number seems to be 17,666, though Rhea argues that Warren almost certainly under reported his casualties...

Estimates for Confederate casualties are all over the map...with older estimates often being under 8,000, and more modern writers pushing the numbers above 11,000. I have no estimated for 'why' this is the case....

The figures that I have posted above, when you only look at killed and wounded, do not seem horribly unequal, given that the AoP was generally on the offensive to a greater degree than was the ANV (and I doubt that Longstreet's effective flank attack cost him much in the way of casualties vs. some of the fruitless assaults undertaken by Warren etc.).

s.c.
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john hayward
Allenstown
NH USA
Posts: 767
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Posted on: 5/11/2020 10:41:36 AM

Phil
At the Wilderness some Union units were in a state of flux. New higher number regiments were on the field and some of the older one were in the middle of change due to enlistments running out. You also have the issue of the breaking up of the III Corps and a morale problem. Mott's Division broke twice at the Wilderness even though Longstreet's flank attack would have broke even the better divisions. It was the response after they broke that points out the problem. The men climbed over the works and took cover behind them. They refused to engage the enemy.
Then their action at Spotsylvania led Wright to utter that he didnt want Mott's Division on his right.
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Phil Andrade
London
 UK
Posts: 4463
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Posted on: 5/11/2020 12:49:55 PM

Quote:
Quote:
Most agree that Union casualties were from around 17,700 to 18,400, with around 2,250 killed, 10,200 wounded, and 2,900-3,400 captured or missing.

Confederate casualties are put as high as 11,400, with the most detailed estimates of around 1,500 killed, 8,000 wounded and 1,700 captured or missing.


Hi Phil,

There does appear to be a consensus around the figure used for Union casualties, i.e. the official number seems to be 17,666, though Rhea argues that Warren almost certainly under reported his casualties...

Estimates for Confederate casualties are all over the map...with older estimates often being under 8,000, and more modern writers pushing the numbers above 11,000. I have no estimated for 'why' this is the case....

The figures that I have posted above, when you only look at killed and wounded, do not seem horribly unequal, given that the AoP was generally on the offensive to a greater degree than was the ANV (and I doubt that Longstreet's effective flank attack cost him much in the way of casualties vs. some of the fruitless assaults undertaken by Warren etc.).

s.c.


Steve,

A recent epic of research by a retired journalist and scholar, Alfred Young, has provided a truly meticulous compilation of confederate casualties in the Overland. He tells us that Lee’s army suffered 11,000 casualties in the Wilderness, of whom 1,285 were killed outright and 700 died from wounds . About 2,000 were taken prisoner. The number of wounded who survived was about 7,000 : Lee reported at the time that his number of killed was low, but that he had lost many wounded, with a high proportion of slight cases, because artillery was not used much in the forested battlefield.

Ironically, the Union casualties have not been so well researched, and the official return of 17,666 included 2,246 posted as killed in action, and 12,027 wounded. It’s clear that the number of missing, 3,383, contained hundreds of dead. I’ve conducted my own research into the regimental muster rolls, and this indicates that the total killed and mortally wounded was well in excess of 4,000, perhaps even double the initial return of killed.

In terms of “ bloody losses” , then, the exchange rate was far more favourable to Lee than the Chancellorsville fighting . As for the fatalities, they were in excess of two to one in the South’s favour.

I have heard that Warren insisted that men who had been killed were ascribed to the missing, which might account for the disparity I discerned. The horrific fires on the battlefield also had something to do with it.


Editing for more precision, citing Appendix from Young’s book, Confederate casualties in the Wilderness, May 5-7 , 1864.

Killed : 1,267

Wounded : 8,076, of whom 669 died from wounds ( 210 of them within a day or two, 431 in hospital in the ensuing days/weeks , and 28 of them while in Union hands )

The missing - unwounded prisoners in this case - numbered 1,690.

Total casualties : 11,033, including 1,936 killed or died from wounds. Note that only 8.3% of the wounded died. This is low by the standards of that war, and attests Lee’s comments about the preponderance of slight wounds among his casualties. Lee’s loss in killed/ died of wounds at Chancellorsville had been about fifty per cent higher.
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
Steve Clements
Toronto
ON Canada
Posts: 688
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Posted on: 5/12/2020 7:48:46 AM

Great post Phil.

Makes sense that the Union missing almost certainly had to include a lot of lost bodies… Which tends to support, when you do the arithmetic, your argument that the Federals lost much more heavily (in terms of killed and wounded) than did the ANV.
s.c.
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Phil Andrade
London
 UK
Posts: 4463
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Posted on: 5/12/2020 9:30:23 AM

Thanks Steve,

More than the mere numbers, the question looms as to why the rebels were so much more successful in taking a lower rate of fatalities among those of their men that were hit. Better use of cover ; or better ability to rescue and tend the wounded ?

This is a very important facet of maintaining morale.

The federals had the numbers and the resources ; but were the confederates more adept at making use of what they had ?

I've read that Grant’s change of base increased the suffering and mortality of his wounded, while Lee’s men enjoyed the sense of being closer to their medical centres.

The fate of the yankees who were wounded and left dying between the lines at Cold Harbour was appalling.

This had also happened at Spotsylvania.

In thirty days of the most intense and relentless fighting between the Wilderness and Cold Harbor, Lee’s loss in killed barely exceeded what he had lost in three days at Gettysburg. Of his wounded in the Overland Campaign, only 867 were left in the hands of the enemy ; after Gettysburg, the number of wounded rebels left in Yankee hands was reported to be 6,802. Of the wounded Confederates left in Union care at Gettysburg, 1,461 died ; in the Overland, the figure was 160.

This aspect of the Overland merits more attention, I reckon,

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 R. Price
Wilkes-Barre
PA USA
Posts: 1102
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Posted on: 5/12/2020 9:24:42 PM

John Hayward,

From memory you are talking about the "crisis in command" and my take on what the author is saying is that Lee understood that there was a "crisis in command" from the day the war started. Lee understood that there always was going to be a shortage and if the South had any chance to win it had to be a short war.

Also I'm sorry but all this about Lee's style of command? If you don't attack when the opportunity is presented you are going to have to retreat or lose the army and the ground just look at Petersburg or Atlanta. Plus I have to add that the plan devised by Lee and the execution were two different things in most of the battles the assumptions about Lee's style of command are based on. DH Hill was right it was stupid to charge batteries frontally but doing so wasn't the plan by Lee but the execution by Jackson, Longstreet and the division commanders like him. Early's attack at Cold Harbor and Gordon's at Petersburg were the right command call and it wasn't the crisis in command that stopped them.
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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
Posts: 4463
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Posted on: 5/13/2020 6:37:03 AM

For the South, the cost of the Chancellorsville fighting was such as to impair their chances of victory in Pa two months later.....I wonder if I’m right to state this.

The bloodiness of 3 May, especially, was a factor here. There were frontal assaults against strong positions.
I reckon that the fighting that day cost the rebels as much blood as the first day of Shiloh, Gaines’ Mill, or, perhaps, any of the three days at Gettysburg.

Alexander makes cogent comments about this. He goes further and states that Stuart’s leadership of Jackson’s command, after the fatal wounding the evening before, was inspired, bold and energetic. I wonder if DH Hill would have disagreed !

Alexander opines that, if Lee had been present to see how Stuart performed, he might have promoted him - instead of Ewell - to fill Jackson’s shoes......thereby securing a better outcome in Pa a couple of months later.

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: 767
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Posted on: 5/13/2020 6:47:26 AM

John
By style of command what I meant was IMHO Lee's style was to make clear to Jackson and Longstreet what he wanted done and then let his two trusted officers excute it. I look at Longstreet's attack at 2nd Bull Run as an example. During the Gettysburg campaign this "style" didn't work as well. Ewell in the Valley leading to the invasion seemed to do this but at Gettysburg not so well. AP Hill whether he was ill or what needed his hand held. By "A crisis in command" the loss of qualified officers up and down the command chain led to men being placed in important positions that was above their ability
Also the size of Lee's staff was too small to handle the increased work load.
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John R. Price
Wilkes-Barre
PA USA
Posts: 1102
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Posted on: 5/13/2020 8:55:37 AM

John Hayward,

Your description of Lee's style of command didn't really work well because Jackson never was where he was supposed to be when he was supposed to be during the Seven Days.

Longstreet's attack at 2nd Bull Run is a example of the senior taking advice from the junior instead of being Bragg like and ordering his idea be carried out at once no matter the situation or who has the better idea.

What happened to Prince John, Holmes, Whiting and Huger after the Seven Days? Should Jackson have joined them because he had a off week? Wasn't the Union in the same boat at least early in the war? Looking at the Crater in 64 for a example one could say the entire war.

Where is that sweet spot the detractors seem to be looking for and exactly how is Lee supposed to change his style of command and tactics to find it and take advantage of it?

Ewell was getting his "hand held" the problem was it was by Early. AP Hill needed his "hand held" at Mechanicsvillie and Boatswin Swamp too.

Based on out standards and understanding every staff in every army on both sides was too small for the work load.
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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"
gettysburgerrn
massapequa
NY USA
Posts: 152
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Posted on: 5/13/2020 1:47:15 PM

me too I enjoy them immensely

Ken
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Phil Andrade
London
 UK
Posts: 4463
The campaign begins
Posted on: 5/14/2020 5:39:31 AM

John,

DH Hill was right it was stupid to charge batteries frontally....

That brings to mind one of the most striking quotes from the Civil War

We were lavish of blood in those days , and it was thought to be a great thing to charge a battery of artillery or an earth-work lined with infantry......The attacks were all grand, but of exactly the kind of grandeur which the South could not afford.

When DH Hill wrote in those days, in an account of the Seven Days Battle, do you think he was alluding to the earlier part of the war or to the southern conduct throughout ?

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 R. Price
Wilkes-Barre
PA USA
Posts: 1102
The campaign begins
Posted on: 5/14/2020 1:03:05 PM

Phil,

I think DH Hill knew how to turn a phrase and pant himself in the best light. Can you think of any line that didn't have artillery on it or many that didn't use some type of works? If you are going to attack a line you are going to face arty and works of some kind filled with inf. Batteries can change position quickly and so can inf. He was speaking of the Seven Days. If Jackson followed his orders in a timely fashion those frontal attacks wouldn't have happened during the Seven Days. Now under who's command did DH Hill serve during all but one day of those battles?

Also Hill was outspoken during the war in favor of the Joe Johnston strategy and ended the war as a vol aide on Johnston's staff. Plus the quote wasn't made during the war but years after as part of the war of dueling accounts of the war.
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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
Posts: 4463
The campaign begins
Posted on: 5/14/2020 2:28:04 PM

Quote:
Phil,

I think DH Hill knew how to turn a phrase and pant himself in the best light. Can you think of any line that didn't have artillery on it or many that didn't use some type of works? If you are going to attack a line you are going to face arty and works of some kind filled with inf. Batteries can change position quickly and so can inf. He was speaking of the Seven Days. If Jackson followed his orders in a timely fashion those frontal attacks wouldn't have happened during the Seven Days. Now under who's command did DH Hill serve during all but one day of those battles?

Also Hill was outspoken during the war in favor of the Joe Johnston strategy and ended the war as a vol aide on Johnston's staff. Plus the quote wasn't made during the war but years after as part of the war of dueling accounts of the war.



John,

Thank you : a good answer.

As you say, the man had a catchy style with his words...remember his legendary refusal to detail an infantryman to bandsman’s duties.... request denied ; we need shooters, not tooters ! ?

He did land a good punch in his reference to the prodigality of Chickamauga : the elan of the southern soldier was not seen again after that battle...thereafter he fought bravely, but with the sullenness of despair. That’s from memory, so forgive errors in the words.

He’s looking at the history of the war and discerning moments when the attacking spirit of the rebel soldier had been bled out. The fatal grandeur...Seven Days. Malvern Hill, Gettysburg and Chickamauga . He was there, and knew whereof he spoke, and I’m an armchair enthusiast more than a century and a half later ....but weren’t there still moments of Dixie Dash later in the war : Gregg’s Texans in the Wilderness, and, dare I mention it, Franklin ?

Chancellorsville certainly fits the bill.

Regards, Phil

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 R. Price
Wilkes-Barre
PA USA
Posts: 1102
The campaign begins
Posted on: 5/14/2020 3:36:26 PM

Phil,

Rhodes took over DH Hill's Division before Chancellorsville as Hill went to the Dept of North Carolina and had his name submitted to the Senate for Lt Gen stars. He didn't see Gettysburg.

When they were young officers Hill and Bragg were friends mainly because there wasn't a argument either thought they couldn't win. But Hill was a better fighter and leader he just couldn't keep his mouth shut. He was what they called a "croaker." He'd bitch about everything and anything and always have a better idea or plan.

Chancellorsville was before Chickamauga and Hill wasn't there. But he isn't saying the old elan wasn't there just that they did it even though they knew they were going to lose the war. He makes the point in one article that I've read that the inability to follow up the victory of Chickamauga ripped the sole out of the fight. But the problem is all along he is basically saying that military victory is a political settlement of outlasting the Republicans and the election is still a year away. He's contradicting himself.
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Phil Andrade
London
 UK
Posts: 4463
The campaign begins
Posted on: 5/15/2020 6:27:49 AM

John,

These are very interesting vignettes about the personalities and backgrounds of the high profile generals.
I’m impressed by the depth and extent of your knowledge .

DH Hill was naturally pugnacious, as, I suppose, all soldiers ought to be.....but he must have crossed some kind of line, otherwise Lee wouldn’t have eased him away as he did. That was cited by Gary Gallagher as a masterpiece of leadership by Lee : he effectively removed a contentious individual without allowing a furore to develop. Imagine what would have happened out West !

It was all the more remarkable given that DH Hill was Jackson’s brother in law and a first rate fighter. His combat performance was remarkable : am I right that, in the crisis that developed at Sharpsburg as the Bloody Lane position was falling apart, he picked up a rifle and led a counter attack personally ? If I’m right, Longstreet put his shoulder to the wheel of a cannon and helped to hold things together at the same time. These episodes intrigue me : were they more prevalent in the Southern high command than they were in their Northern counterparts ? I’m reminded that Reynolds died at Gettysburg performing what some have said was a Colonel’s job, instead of a corps commander’s. Might the same be said of AS Johnston at Shiloh ?

Lee himself abandoned restraint at the Widow Tapp Farm in the Wilderness, and, again, at Spotsylvania .

High command , by modern standards, required that personal risk be avoided....in that war, sometimes, it might have been a necessity.

You make it clear that Bragg refused to change a method, even if it was obviously failing. Some kind of manic inflexibility prevailed in his mind, it seems. Another profoundly antagonistic commander in another war - Montgomery - managed to overcome this syndrome at El Alamein when he realised his plan wasn’t working. He adapted and changed the plan ; effectively demonstrating success at the moment of failure.

I’m fascinated by the way the social codes of the South impinged on the behaviour of officers and enlisted men.

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
morris crumley
Dunwoody
GA USA
Posts: 2667
The campaign begins
Posted on: 5/15/2020 10:04:53 AM

Wasn`t one of the most important criticisms of DH Hill, and that he was not chosen for corps command in that army.....was that he was not a Virginian?

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 R. Price
Wilkes-Barre
PA USA
Posts: 1102
The campaign begins
Posted on: 5/15/2020 10:40:10 AM

Morris,

Your Devil went down to Georgia is showing. Longstreet, Dick Anderson, Gordon and Hampton weren't from Virginia. Besides if I'm not mistaken there is more than a little evidence that he lobbied Vance to get himself transferred to get the extra star. That he wanted out of the ANVA and either command in NC or a corps under Joe Johnston out west.
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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
Posts: 1102
The campaign begins
Posted on: 5/15/2020 11:10:55 AM

Phil,

Hancock getting wounded at Gettysburg said to the effect that sometimes its our job to put a target on our chest. I recently reread a couple of books on the Seven Days and was struck by the multiple reports of Lee under fire from different sources. Hell there are multiple reports of Jefferson Davis under fire. The men in the ranks saw that and talked about it. The idea that your commander is sharing the dangers with you goes a long way.

Again using the Seven Days the regiment was the main maneuver element and coordination between multiple regiments the key to success so no I don't agree about Reynolds and AS Johnston. Sometimes the jjob of a corps commander or army commander is to do the job of a regimental commander.
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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
Posts: 4463
The campaign begins
Posted on: 5/15/2020 3:19:40 PM

John,

Yes...what better quote to back up what you say than Hancock’s immortal There are times when the life of a corps commander does not count ?

And yet, does memory serve me when I cite another anecdote about Gettysburg : Longstreet was reconnoitring the field, in the company of one or two high ranking officers, and his men took exception to this, because they interpreted this as a statement that they needed inspiration, when they were soldiers enough to do the job without this condescension ?

I wish I could cite the source : it’ll be somewhere up on my shelves.

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 R. Price
Wilkes-Barre
PA USA
Posts: 1102
The campaign begins
Posted on: 5/15/2020 5:14:31 PM

Phil,

AP Hill basically ordered Davis and Lee off the field at one point during the Seven Days how you are saying? But the thing is I don't think they were staged acts for the most part. Lee is trying to see what's happening so he can better influence the outcome and that sounds like the situation your describing. And ensuring the placement of a regiment or to the path to be taken in a attack are totally different things than both situations above. It seems to me like your looking for a single answer to multiple situations.
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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
Posts: 4463
The campaign begins
Posted on: 5/16/2020 4:55:39 AM

Quote:
Phil,

AP Hill basically ordered Davis and Lee off the field at one point during the Seven Days how you are saying? But the thing is I don't think they were staged acts for the most part. Lee is trying to see what's happening so he can better influence the outcome and that sounds like the situation your describing. And ensuring the placement of a regiment or to the path to be taken in a attack are totally different things than both situations above. It seems to me like your looking for a single answer to multiple situations.


John,

Yes, it’s something I’m susceptible to....citing an anecdote and trying to attribute general significance to it.

Re the Seven Days episode you mention, wasn’t it Lee who remonstrated to Davis when he turned up with his entourage ? Something like Mr President, what is this army of people doing here ? They are most certainly NOT my army, and this is no place for it !

IIRC this was the day of the first big battle at Mechanicsville .

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 R. Price
Wilkes-Barre
PA USA
Posts: 1102
The campaign begins
Posted on: 5/16/2020 9:06:22 AM

Phil,

Davis was hovering around the battlefield most of those days and there are more than one encounter with Lee. But yes Lee told Davis he shouldn't be there and Davis then told Lee he shouldn't be there and it happened more than once. On one of those meetings AP Hill said both of you shouldn't be here so leave and let me do my job. It might be the incident you brought up from memory thinking it was Longstreet and Gettysburg.
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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"
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