--- In firstname.lastname@example.org
, "Laurence D. Schiller"
> Dear Tony:
> If I were in charge, I would have stopped the line and sent a few
> companies as skirmishers across the creek at the gaps. Then with
> front protected, move each company by the flank across the gaps and
> reform the line on the other side. This, of course, assumes that I
> was aware that danger potentially lay ahead, which I presume they
> or they wouldn't be marching in line.
Here's how the battle unfolded:
Gregg was laying in wait on the other side of this creek with 1.5
brigades and a battery of artillery. The Union forces arrived on the
field and began taking skirmish/artillery fire. A skirmish line was
thrown forward to drive the Confederate skirmishers across the
creek. However, once the Confederates are across the creek, I can
see where it would have become problematic to push the skirmishers
any further without a full-scale assault. I think this was part of
Gregg's plan, he would let the skirmish line hold the federals in
place near the road, and as the rest of the federal line crossed the
creek south of the skirmish line, the 7th Texas would hit them as
they reorganized with their backs to the creek, and the remainder of
the Confederate force would sweep into the federal rear from the
woods, closing the door on their escape.
Fortunately for the federals (and unfortunately for the 23rd
Indiana), the 23rd Indiana appears to have crossed the creek much
more proficiently than the other units and was the only unit caught
in the trap. The only thing that saved the 23 IN was that the Texans
had yet to be issued bayonets, and after the initial volley, the
fighting turned into a cudgel melee with soldiers using their rifles
as clubs. When the 23rd IN broke and ran, the 7th Texas and 3rd TN
attempted to sweep across the creek in pursuit and ended up caught in
the same trap initially planned for the federals.