I know of no authority for Pryor to offer such a truce, and knowing Pryor, as a politician, not a professional soldier, he may have acted in ignorance. At that time he was the senior officer in Anderson's Division and had assumed command, but if he had any authority for his act, it is not, to the best of my knowledge, published. I have never heard of read of Lee seeking or authorizing, or even desiring a truce.
Dr. Thomas G. Clemens
Professor of History
Hagerstown Community College
>>> Dave <gewehr@...> 10/7/2008 3:12 PM >>>
But Tom, Hancock wrote that the ANV attempted what sounds like a fairly
organized truce attempt:
> General Pryor had previously stated that he had no doubt a
> communication from us to the commanding general of the enemy's forces
> would result in a satisfactory arrangement. General Pryor stating that
> he had no authority to send such communication as indicated, on my
> part the conference closed. Subsequently it was reported to me that
> another flag had appeared. Again General Meagher was sent to meet the
> bearer, who proved to be a lieutenant- colonel in the rebel service,
> who stated that the flag was intended to cover the operations of
> collecting the wounded and burying the dead, it being supposed that a
> truce existed by an arrangement which had been made on our night. The
> officer was notified that it was an error, and in a few minutes
> hostilities recommenced. (XIX/1: 281-282)
I am assuming someone higher up sent Genl. Pryor to meet with the AOP?
Or would this still be considered a local, unauthorized action? Or was
he just testing the waters? Captain Cowan of the 1st NY battery also
states in the OR that a "...flag of truce prevented further action."
Maybe the unofficial truces were more widespread than some think?
Thomas Clemens wrote:
> No offical truces. To ask for one would be seen as an admission of
> being beaten. Lee didn't want to do that. Same thing ahppened with
> Grant after the debacle at Cold Harbor.
> Thomas G. Clemens D.A.
> Professor of History
> Hagerstown Community College
> >>> Dave <gewehr@... <mailto:gewehr%40cinci.rr.com>> 10/06/08
> 5:08 PM >>>
> Thanks for all the responses to my questions about tactical movements.
> I will get Carman and just keep studying the maps.
> Thanks also to Brian for the Shepherdstown ford pictures and research.
> Excellent work.
> On the topic of O. Norton, I was reading one of his letters home where
> he said the truce of the 18th allowed the ANV time to pack up and
> prepare to escape. I also read this charge in another letter
> (soldierstudies.org). Harsh states that there was no official truce.
> Hancock writes in the OR that there was an unofficial truce made between
> the pickets that allowed some retrieval (presumably on both sides) and
> that Hancock had himself rejected a truce flag, and had even fired on
> and captured some ANV under a truce flag.
> Why would a truce be rejected? Were there any official truces at all on
> any parts of the field?
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