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 (1863) Battle of Gettysburg
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Larry Purtell
Little Meadows PA USA
Posts: 1479
Joined: 2004
7-22-2022
7/22/2022 7:43:43 AM
From the Raleigh Register. Raleigh North Carolina. July 22, 1863.
Sobering news indeed on the fate of the 26th NC infantry regiment.


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"My goal is to live forever. So far, so good.
Phil Andrade
London  UK
Posts: 5528
Joined: 2004
7-22-2022
7/22/2022 9:00:35 AM
The 26th North Carolina ! And this is just for F Company……

Good grief, it didn’t come any worse than this one, did it, Larry ?

From my trusted source, I recapitulate the following :

15 killed outright ; 16 died of wounds ( 9 of them in enemy hands) ; 66 surviving wounded ( 25 of them captured ) , and only one unwounded prisoner yielded to the enemy . Could it be that not a man from that Company escaped unscathed, except for that unwounded prisoner ?

Editing : On the subject of unwounded prisoners, Larry, I’m tempted to venture speculation about the performance of the troops from different states. Of course, the exigencies of battle were bound to result in some soldiers being trapped in a position where surrender was the only reasonable option. Yet I can’t escape the sense that there was a greater degree of martial ardour in some states that refused to yield unwounded prisoners to the enemy. Of all the rebel states that fought at Gettysburg , the only one that saw more of its soldiers surrender rather than bleed was Tennessee, with 459 casualties of whom 238 ( 52%) were unwounded prisoners.

On the other extreme we have South Carolina : no surprise here - these were the “ Fire Eaters” ! From a total of 1,322 casualties, only 45 - fewer than three and a half percent - were taken as unwounded prisoners. There was also Maryland, which, in marked contrast to Tennessee ( another state with divided loyalties ) , yielded only 11 unwounded prisoners from a total of 261 casualties, hardly more than four per cent. Could it be that the sectional turmoil in Maryland was especially bitter ? Baltimore Riots and John Wilkes Booth come to mind. More pertinently, isn’t there an anecdote about the Culp’s Hill fighting, which tells us that a badly wounded Marylander of Steuart’s Brigade was seen to blow his own brains out rather than be captured ? North Carolina yielded 1,179 unwounded prisoners from a total casualty figure of 6,708 ( 17.6%), Virginia 1,145 from 4,877 , or 23.5%. Only 15.2% of all Mississippian casualties were taken prisoner unscathed. Does this also attest secessionist fervour ? For the entire AoNV, Busey tells us that there were 4,882 unwounded prisoners from a casualty total of 24,096, or just over twenty per cent. Perhaps I’m pushing my rumination too far on this topic, but there’s no harm in a bit of speculative extrapolation, is there ?

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
Michigan Dave
Muskegon MI USA
Posts: 6986
Joined: 2006
7-22-2022
7/22/2022 1:13:10 PM
Larry, & Phil,

Good point on the South Carolinians who led the South Into the Civil War!?

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: 5528
Joined: 2004
7-22-2022
7/23/2022 3:41:51 AM
Quote:
Larry, & Phil,

Good point on the South Carolinians who led the South Into the Civil War!?

MD


Yes, Dave, it’s tempting to think of South Carolina as the “ Sparta “ of the South.

It had its own military academy - The Citadel - and it was the hotbed of Secession.

In terms of casualties for the entire war it sustained a loss in killed in action that was so disproportionate as to be grotesque . Note that I allude to combat deaths here : the loss from disease might have been relatively bearable. I think that this in itself might be an attribute of superior military discipline : units that suffered the highest rates of killed in action tended to be healthier; although I realise that the corollary is controversial and that circumspection is necessary.

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
scoucer
Berlin  Germany
Posts: 3004
Joined: 2010
7-22-2022
7/23/2022 5:20:36 AM
Quote:

In terms of casualties for the entire war it sustained a loss in killed in action that was so disproportionate as to be grotesque . Note that I allude to combat deaths here : the loss from disease might have been relatively bearable. I think that this in itself might be an attribute of superior military discipline : units that suffered the highest rates of killed in action tended to be healthier; although I realise that the corollary is controversial and that circumspection is necessary.

Regards, Phil


Nevertheless, an excellent Hypothesis !

Trevor

Edit. I´m reminded of a story during the siege of Chattanooga. Union and Confederate pickets had come to an informal agreement about not sniping at each other as picket duty was bad enough. The Union pickets, however, insisted that this did not include the South Carolinians as " they had started this whole mess"
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`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.
Phil Andrade
London  UK
Posts: 5528
Joined: 2004
7-22-2022
7/23/2022 6:34:05 AM
Thanks Trevor.

South Carolina regiments fighting in Georgia ?

I suppose that the detachment of Longstreet to that theatre brought some of his SC boys with him.

It would be interesting to find out how many of the South Carolina troops saw service in the Western theatre.

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 MI USA
Posts: 6986
Joined: 2006
7-22-2022
7/23/2022 8:45:50 AM
Guys,

Talking about casualties during Pickett's Charge! Was this strategy implemented by " Marse Robert", actually Napoleonic in nature?? In other words Lee was using outdated tactics in this attack!? What say you?? It's also interesting that General Lee will use WWI type strategy of "Trench Warfare", after this? Holding on for quite a long time?

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: 5528
Joined: 2004
7-22-2022
7/23/2022 12:22:55 PM
Pals,

Lee was doing what had worked before.

He’d done it at Gaines’s Mill, and his boys had done it at Chancellorsville, which, despite its tactical mystique, boiled down to a head on bit of bludgeoning.

The French had cracked the Austrian centre at Solferino but four years earlier.

Marse Robert had won on Day One, and had inflicted huge damage on Day Two.

He was mistaken on Day Three .

Not the foolish display of obsolete tactics that many would have us believe, IMHO.

More a story of a commander who didn’t receive the information he needed.

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
scoucer
Berlin  Germany
Posts: 3004
Joined: 2010
7-22-2022
7/23/2022 3:15:35 PM
Quote:
Thanks Trevor.

South Carolina regiments fighting in Georgia ?

I suppose that the detachment of Longstreet to that theatre brought some of his SC boys with him.

It would be interesting to find out how many of the South Carolina troops saw service in the Western theatre.

Regards, Phil


Manigault's South Carolina Brigade fought both in the Army of the Missisippi and the Army of the Tennessee.

Trevor
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`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.
Phil Andrade
London  UK
Posts: 5528
Joined: 2004
7-22-2022
7/24/2022 3:18:03 AM
Quote:
Quote:
Thanks Trevor.

South Carolina regiments fighting in Georgia ?

I suppose that the detachment of Longstreet to that theatre brought some of his SC boys with him.

It would be interesting to find out how many of the South Carolina troops saw service in the Western theatre.

Regards, Phil


Manigault's South Carolina Brigade fought both in the Army of the Missisippi and the Army of the Tennessee.

Trevor



Thanks for that , Trevor.

Manigault is a name of French Huguenot provenance : as is Pettigrew ( Pettigru ) : although Pettigrew himself was born in North Carolina, and his brigade contained NC regiments, his family was also highly prominent in Charleston, South Carolina. Manigault was Charleston, SC, born and bred.

The French influence in the American military was strong in the Civil War : the Zouave regiments , for example.

The tradition of Buonaparte was inspirational, and the more recent forays of the nephew ( ?) Louis Napoleon - Crimea, Italy and even Mexico - added some impetus to the military appeal of the Second Empire. The French culture was apparent in the architecture of Charleston SC, and with those Huguenot names, I’m wondering if we might attribute the fervour and discipline of the soldiers to that tradition.

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
mikecmaps
CAMARILLO CA USA
Posts: 150
Joined: 2020
7-22-2022
7/24/2022 5:11:11 PM

Group
Dave,
“Napoleonic in nature?? In other words Lee was using outdated tactics in this attack!?”
“General Lee will use WWI type strategy of "Trench Warfare"”
Phil,
“Not the foolish display of obsolete tactics that many would have us believe, IMHO”
“The French had cracked the Austrian centre at Solferino but four years earlier”

There was actually a very gradual evolution in tactics from about 1800-1900, with “new modern” not appearing until 1915-17.
Lee’s tactics were exactly in line with mid-19th century practice not outdated and not “WW1type.”
Hasty field entrenchments as in Overland campaign a common and important feature of
Europe tactics from the mid-17th century. This roughly matching the development of both infantry arms
and field artillery in that period. Mid 1850s saw French and Austrians both adopt rifled musket close to
ACW Springfield.

As Phil states 1859 French-Austrian war was mainly “Napoleonic” tactically. The “furia-francese” was Napoleonic
French frontal attacks in column that repeatedly forced back Austrian columns,
yes with very heavy loss. The state of “modern” formal professional armies in 1859- not outdated.
Austrian artillery still smooth bores, French had just brought on rifled artillery.
From 1800 to 1860 the most successful tactical posture was the attack and in
Mexico 1846 US troops successfully attacked most often.
Any professional soldier in 1860 would see attacking a very reasonable option.

Edit; the French continued the “L’offensive à outrance” - "cult of the offensive" – a direct legacy from Napoleon, right up to 1914.

Thanks Mike_C.

mikecmaps
Phil Andrade
London  UK
Posts: 5528
Joined: 2004
7-22-2022
7/25/2022 2:23:33 AM
Mike,

Too often overlooked, in my reckoning, is the stunning victory achieved by the Japanese over the Russians in the war of 1904-5.

Really aggressive Japanese tactics allowed attacking infantry to overcome strong Russian defences, despite the toll taken by modern firepower.

Lee’s men at Gettysburg proved themselves willing and able to press home their attacks on Day Two - against the Union right and centre-, and, in the process, inflict heavier casualties than they suffered themselves.

I wonder if this feature of the battle has been given sufficient prominence in the history books.

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

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