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 Posted: Tue Sep 2nd, 2008 12:07 am
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Crazy Delawares
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Two points to ponder:

1) Lee (diarrhea) , Ewell (infected leg) and Hill (protatitis) were all feeling less than 100%.

2) The change in ordnance in the artillery of the Confederate Army. I believe the ordnance came from NC and the fuses, being made of a different material, took longer to burn, causing the "over shooting." The original fuses were manufactured in Richmond (the material to create the fuses was different from NC and burned quicker) but, due to an explosion in the Tredagar Works (I think it was Tredagar), the army had to get their ordnance from NC.



 Posted: Tue Sep 2nd, 2008 12:09 am
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Crazy Delawares
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Remember too that the Army of NVa had some chances to turn the tide of battle.



 Posted: Tue Sep 2nd, 2008 02:58 pm
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HankC
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The ANV had much in their dis-favor at Gettysburg:
1) They were on the tactical offensive with fewer troops then the AoP,
2) they had 'exterior' lines, making communication and movement difficult,
3) supply was tenuous and limited, and,
4) a new and untried command structure with Hill and Ewell not only leading new corps, but division and brigade commanders unfamiliar to them.

The real question concerning Gettysburg is not how well the Confederates performed (they always did until late 1864), but that Meade allowed them to escape after the battle.


HankC



 Posted: Thu Sep 4th, 2008 02:25 am
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Crazy Delawares
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Sometimes I wonder if the Meade's command structure wasn't in disarray due to his lack of time in putting "his people" in command positions AND due to battle deaths form Gettysburg.
Just some thoughts to go along with the others that have been put forth.



 Posted: Thu Sep 4th, 2008 07:02 am
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ole
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To look into the AoNV at Gettysburg, you must start with the losses at Chancellorsville -- Jackson wasn't the only ranking commander to be lost there.

The AoNV started for Pennsylvania with Corps, Division, Brigade and Regimental commanders who were unknown to their commanders and who were bumped up into commands with which they were unfamiliar. (HankC's point number 4.)

"Sometimes I wonder if the Meade's command structure wasn't in disarray due to his lack of time in putting "his people" in command positions AND due to battle deaths form Gettysburg. Just some thoughts to go along with the others that have been put forth."

Meade had his difficulties, but he had been in Brigade and Division command for quite some time. He knew or knew of most of the commanders who would serve under him at Gettysburg. Might we say that he was less uncomfortable with his command than was Lee?

ole



 Posted: Thu Sep 4th, 2008 09:49 am
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gettysburgerrn
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As Pickett said "I think the Yankees had something to do with it".  Other than that Lee could have comitted Andersons division on the night of July 1 but he didnt, he could have compelled Ewell's corps to move to the right and add more power and depth to the attack, but he didnt...But one cant wonder why the rebs lost at Gettysburg without wondering why the federals won...

 

ken



 Posted: Fri Sep 5th, 2008 01:51 am
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Crazy Delawares
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Ole,
Excellent point about Meade's comfort level as compared to Lee's. Would serving at a lower rank for a time actually have given Meade an advantage over Lee? Just trying to learn, not argue. Thanks!



 Posted: Fri Sep 5th, 2008 02:24 am
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44th VA INF
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this is turning into a good disscusion



 Posted: Fri Sep 5th, 2008 04:19 am
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ole
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Just a theory, Crazy, but he did work his way up through the officer ranks, so he ought to have been familiar with most of those he later commanded.

One thing wrong with the theory: he was notoriously bad tempered and was not much liked by anyone.

ole



 Posted: Fri Sep 5th, 2008 10:00 am
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gettysburgerrn
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HE wasn't necessarily liked, but he was respected by much of the AOP officer corps...
ken



 Posted: Fri Sep 5th, 2008 09:00 pm
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martymtg
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Yes, he was respected. Even Grant was careful not to step on his toes after he took over.

But, he was bad-tempered, rough on subordinates, and even rougher on the press, who tore him up every chance it got. Then, when Dan Sickles went back to Washington he told all his friends (and he had very influential friends) that Meade was basically a moron and that he, Sickles, deserved most of the credit.

Marty



 Posted: Sat Sep 6th, 2008 09:45 am
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gettysburgerrn
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Well that was kind of Danny boy's way of doing business. From a Gettysburg standpoint the subordinate who has the major gripe as far as I am concerned was Abner Doubleday..

Ken



 Posted: Sat Sep 6th, 2008 02:22 pm
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susansweet
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The same Doubleday that had problems with Anderson at Fort Sumter.  Hmmmm



 Posted: Sat Sep 6th, 2008 03:46 pm
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ole
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We seem to be straying from the topic. My bad. But I can't resist.

Having heard that Doubleday's account of the Gettysburg fracas was seriously flawed, I avoided what I've since discovered to be a most valuable series: "Campaigns of the Civil War." Each volume of the series was written by someone who was there. On the scene. Involved. One might expect some self-aggrandizement and some bias, but reading around that makes the series an excellent additon to one's library.

Abner Doubleday was a competent officer who tended to back-stab anyone who came within reach. I was going to compare him to Daniel Harvey Hill who was almost as quarrelsome as Braxton Bragg, but that's not quite fair: D.H. wasn't so sneaky. Understandably, however capable Abner was, Gettysburg seems to have been the apex of his career.

ole



 Posted: Sat Sep 6th, 2008 04:29 pm
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martymtg
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As far as supbordinates who had major beefs, how about Elon John Farnsworth?

His 300 cavlary was ordered against entrenched Confederate infantry on day 3.

He said to his commanding officer, "Are you out of your f'n mind?"

May not be an exact quote but I think that was the gist of it.

He led the charge under protest, his unit was butchered, and he didn't live to complain about it, but I'd say he had a bone to pick. Anyone who knows the name of the commanding officer please help me out here.

Ole,

A week or so ago, you explained that the logistics of Lee's being able to disengage after Day 2 and head to Washington, made such a move a lot easier said than done. So, given that, what do you think he should have done Day 3?

The Union flanks had been reinforced through out the night, so I don't know if it would make much sense to expend more manpower against them. If you can't roll the flanks, and you can't just pick up and march on Washington due to lagging supplies, etc.... what's left?

This almost makes it sound as if trying to break the Union center was maybe the best of very limited options, right? He can't very well head north for the same reasons that he can't march south. Should he have sent more than just the 12,000 or so that came so close to breaking thru?

Like to hear your thoughts on this.

 

Marty 



 Posted: Sat Sep 6th, 2008 10:12 pm
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ole
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Anyone who knows the name of the commanding officer please help me out here.

It was the much beloved Hugh Judson Kilpatrick.

This almost makes it sound as if trying to break the Union center was maybe the best of very limited options, right? He can't very well head north for the same reasons that he can't march south. Should he have sent more than just the 12,000 or so that came so close to breaking thru?


Long ago and far away, someone made a suggestion that made a good deal of sense. I don't know if it will work for you or not, but you might try it on. It goes like this:

Lee can't very well just go away on that third day, given that he has never retreated in the face of an enemy. And (here's the thoughty part) if he does go away, he has at least four Union Corps biting at his heels and higher dorsal parts. So he simply must give Meade some wounds to lick while he makes his getaway. This sounds logical.

Okay. Let's say he broke the center (he almost did). What does he do then? He has half the Union army on one of his flanks and the other half on the other flank. It's possible that both halves run like hell back to Washington, but it's not something an army commander would bet on heavily.

So, you see, I like the idea that he had to give Meade some wounds so he could get away.

That's probably a bit far-fetched, but hey, I'm still learning.

 



 Posted: Sat Sep 6th, 2008 10:29 pm
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ole
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Like to hear your thoughts on this.

Being a new guy on the block, you ought to be warned that you ought never -- ever -- ask me for my thoughts. I have lots of them and am more than happy to spill some over in your direction. Most folks on the boards just say, "Oh shoot, (euphemisim) Ole's awake. Is it time for lunch?"

ole



 Posted: Sun Sep 7th, 2008 04:25 pm
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martymtg
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That's OK, I wanted to see what you had to say. There are some very informed people on this site and you certainly know your stuff. And, believe me, being the new kid on the block hasn't held me back from voicing opinions, either, as you can see.

So if we follow these premises to their conclusion, Lee did the only thing he could logically do. He 'went up the middle.' Which leaves only the question of whether he should have committed more troops. Beings Pickett's men were the only 'rested' troops, and since they came THAT CLOSE to breaking the line, maybe the guy really did the only thing he could really do at that point. Think how brilliant the move would be considered today had it succeeded.

Marty

 



 Posted: Sun Sep 7th, 2008 05:54 pm
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pamc153PA
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And throw in what I mentioned before: what was Jeb Stuart supposed to do behind the Union lines? If this was a "hit and run" by Lee, and made to give Meade some last licks before heading back south, then Stuart's job was to . . . ? And if Lee really did think/hope that maybe he could break through, even if he felt he had no other options on Day 3, then was Stuart was there to be, like some believe, the one the Union ran into when it turned tail and ran?

Hmmm. . . Just thinking.

Pam



 Posted: Sun Sep 7th, 2008 06:20 pm
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ole
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And good thinking, pam. We do have to remember, however, that Stuart was sent into the unknown well before Lee's invasion made any headway. Lee couldn't have known, and Stuart most certainly couldn't tell him, that Meade was moving uncharacteristically rapidly to interecept him.

That Stuart was sent around the Union army to catch the fleeing Yanks makes an interesting theory, but it doesn't seem to have attracted many supporters.

ole



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