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Gettysburg Question re: Doubleday - General Civil War Talk - Civil War Talk - Civil War Interactive Discussion Board
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 Posted: Fri Jul 31st, 2009 12:58 am
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Barlow
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Question:  Why did Meade have it in for Doubleday and unceremoniously dump General Doubleday for Ames late on July 1st?  I know that Howard did not like Doubleday but Howard's 11th Corp had more issues than Doubleday and the 1st Corps.  Did Hancock not like Doubleday and Hancock have Meade's ear?



 Posted: Fri Jul 31st, 2009 05:49 pm
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pamc153PA
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I've always thought Doubleday got the bum's rush at Gettysburg, but I think there were a few things that led to Meade's decision to do that, right or wrong, as we look back in hindsight.

Meade, coming onto the field late on the first day, July 1, didn't have the luxury of rumination about who he was going to choose to replace Reynolds. I'm sure Howard put his two cents' worth in about who it should be. Really, Meade had only four generals to realistically choose from: Doubleday, David Birney, Carl Schurz (too much the political appointee for Meade's liking), and John Newton.

Doubleday had done a terrific job at taking over command of the First Corps after Reynolds had been killed, which I'm sure Meade could admit, but unfortunately Doubleday also had a reputation for command indecision otherwise that was just, well, okay-- hence the nickname "Forty-Eight Hours." Meade knew that, too, and had little confidence in him. Maj. General John Newton had no experience leading a corps, and he wasn't considered particularly brilliant, but of the two, Meade preferred Newton.

Doubleday, of course, considered this a snub (which it was), and when his formal request to receive command of the I Corps several days later (after he was wounded in the neck on Day 2 of the battle, and received a brevet to colonel in the regular army for his service) was rebuffed, it only added insult to injury--literally. He left for Washington on July 7, where he assumed administrative duties. The men of the First Corps also felt this was an insult--they had seen Doubleday's command on the field July 1--and they felt Newton was not a "First Corps man."

Newton retained command of the First Corps until the Army of the Potomac was reorganized in 1864 for the Overland Campaign, and then he was sent to the Army of the Cumberland.

Regards,

Pam

 



 Posted: Mon Aug 3rd, 2009 05:35 pm
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BaylorDan
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Another plumb puzzlement for me is Howard's refusal to turn over command to Hancock on that perilous first day even though Meade had commanded it. Was Howard ever reprimanded for that? I have never seen that he was.



 Posted: Mon Aug 3rd, 2009 11:45 pm
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Doc C
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BaylorDan

Just a quick question off topic regarding your moniker. Are you a Baylor grad?

Doc C



 Posted: Mon Aug 3rd, 2009 11:57 pm
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BaylorDan
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Doc, longtime fan but don't know where the library is.



 Posted: Tue Aug 4th, 2009 08:54 pm
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BaylorDan
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Doc, why the interest in Baylor?



 Posted: Tue Aug 4th, 2009 11:44 pm
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Doc C
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Graduated from Jerusalem on the Brazos in 1975 and did my fellowship training at Baylor Med in Houston. I'm a bear fan but over the years not to much to root for. Went to med school at LSU and grew up in LA thus have much more to cheer for in terms of sports.

Doc C



 Posted: Wed Aug 5th, 2009 02:25 pm
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HankC
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pamc153PA wrote: Meade, coming onto the field late on the first day, July 1, didn't have the luxury of rumination about who he was going to choose to replace Reynolds. I'm sure Howard put his two cents' worth in about who it should be. Really, Meade had only four generals to realistically choose from: Doubleday, David Birney, Carl Schurz (too much the political appointee for Meade's liking), and John Newton.

Doubleday had done a terrific job at taking over command of the First Corps after Reynolds had been killed... 


Good points and more apparent 146 years later than on July 1, 1863.
 
Of course, the men on the ground are making quick decisions in the fog of war.
 
All Meade *may* have known is that Doubleday lost the ground on which Reynolds was killed and most of the corps as well. At the end of 7/1, the 1st corps was the ½ corps.
 
 
HankC



 Posted: Wed Aug 5th, 2009 03:07 pm
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BaylorDan
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I guess Hank don't no nothing about Howard vs. Hancock and Meade's attitude toward it.



 Posted: Wed Aug 5th, 2009 04:13 pm
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fedreb
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The best telling of Hancocks encounter with Howard that I have read is in David G Martins' excellent "Gettysburg July 1" (pages 483-487) where he explores several conflicting accounts of what was said on Hancocks arrival at Cemetery Hill.



 Posted: Wed Aug 5th, 2009 05:45 pm
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BaylorDan
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But I want to know what Meade said about the situation.  Apparently nothing.



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