(1863) Battle of Gettysburg
Posts: 214
Joined: 2020
10/2/2023 3:19:29 PM


In Davis and Lee at War by Steven Woodworth we find:
"Lee's talk of going north, however, had been no idle suggestion. Six weeks earlier he had ordered Jedediah Hotchkiss, Jackson's redoubtable topographic engineer, to produce a map of the Shenandoah Valley that would be "extended to Harrisburg, Pa., and then on to Philadelphia." That telling item of preparation was "kept a profound secret" to the extent, that Lee did not even apprise Davis of it. To anyone of military knowledge, the import of such an action would have been obvious." (p.220-221)

Woodworth apparently took this information from Coddington's Gettysburg Campaign, an acknowledged authority. (p.370 note 89) The quotations in Woodworth are cited from Coddington. Coddington in turn cites the, at that time, unpublished Hotchkiss papers that included his war time journal, and cites the Feb. 23, 1863 entry specifically. (The Gettysburg Campaign, p.8-9, 370) In 1973 the portion of Hotchkiss' extensive papers containing the war diary were published as edited by Archie McDonald. Hotchkiss' entry is as follows:

"Monday, Feb. 23rd. It cleared off last night; the snow is quite deep in places, averaging one foot.
The cars did not get up to Guinea's today.
I got secret orders from the General to prepare a map of the Valley of Va. extended to
Harrisburg, Pa., and then on to Philadelphia; - wishing the preparation to be kept a profound secret.
So I went to reducing a map of Cumberland Co., Pa.
The day was quite pleasant. Boswell was sick and in bed most of the day." (McDonald, Make Me a Map of the Valley, p.116)

Woodworth states that Lee ordered Hotchkiss to make the map but the diary simply says the "General" gave the order. Coddington says "the two men had gone so far in their thinking to direct Jedediah Hotchkiss" to make the map. Here Coddington is referring to the early stages of the long range planning for the spring campaign season. Further reading of the diary makes clear that Hotckiss' reference to "the General" or "the Gen." is actually intended to mean General Jackson and not General Lee. Within but a few pages of the Feb. 23 entry we find many references to "the General" or "the Gen." that make it clear that Hotchkiss is identifying Jackson by this reference. The February 19th entry is just one obvious example. "Had quite a visit with Col. Faulkner and the Gen. at night." (p115) The importance is, as stated by Woodworth, obvious and significant. It was in fact General Jackson and not Lee that gave the order for the map to be made. Coddington's narrative makes it plain that Lee and Jackson were considering the possibly of an invasion of Pennsylvania well before the end of February. Certainly, Jackson was closely involved in the planning from the earliest stages. Apparently, secrecy limited participation to Lee and Jackson themselves and virtually no others. All through February and March, though Davis and Lee had engaged in many exchanges on the situation in Virginia, it was not until April that the option of invasion or sending troops west became a specific topic. (Woodworth p.214-219)

What is the significance that Jackson and not Lee ordered the map? It is not clear if Jackson ordered the map on his own initiative or at Lee's direction. Probability is that it was his own initiative. That is because Lee rarely tried to give detail instructions to subordinates. We also know that Jackson gave Hotchkiss very similar direction just days after the battle of Kernstown as an unmistakable prelude to his striking Valley Campaign in spring 1862. Clearly, Jackson's military planning process recognized the value of a reliable map. (McDonald p.10) It is also likely that it was Jackson's idea to extend the map to the Susquehanna River. The map as reproduced in the Official Records Atlas (plate CXVI) only extends as far as the Susquehanna. The copy in Official Records Atlas states clearly that it was made on order by Jackson. Apparently, the actual campaign unfolded before Hotchkiss could complete the map to Philadelphia, as Jackson wanted. (Official Record Atlas plate CXVI, 2)

As stated by Woodworth the order was "telling" and the "import obvious." Jackson's own concept was at least as far advanced as to envision the scope of operations extending beyond Maryland and well into Pennsylvania. Clearly, the scope was aimed at something truly decisive. Woodworth also shows that Lee's overall strategic vision was directed to create important political results, results that might be realized from operations penetrating deep into Pennsylvania as show on Hotchkiss' map. (Davis and Lee, p.214-215; Jefferson Davis and His Generals, p.213) Jackson's own concept appears to be in concert with Lee. (Robertson, Stonewall Jackson, p. 670) The statement by Hotchkiss that the map, and thereby the plan, be secret is vintage Jackson. There is little question that a true partnership existed between Lee and Jackson at this stage of the war.
This is an example of Jackson's own strategic vision keeping pace with that of Lee.

Yours, Mike_C
Phil Andrade
London  UK
Posts: 6379
Joined: 2004
10/3/2023 9:01:51 AM

The Great Partnership: Lee, Jackson, and the fate of the Confederacy, by Christian Keller.

This is a talk scheduled to be zoomed to a British audience at seven o’clock in the evening on Saturday, London time, for the benefit of the American Civil War Round Table, U.K. branch. I’ve subscribed to it, but I must attend a wedding so I’ll miss it and hope to catch up with it online several weeks later.

What you’re alluding to will certainly intrigue any audience.

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

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