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1307Re: [TalkAntietam] Re: was burnside at fault for antietam???

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  • richard@rcroker.com
    Mar 31, 2004
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      Good comments TR! It's good to see someone refrain from the McClellan
      bashing that we all find so fun and easy. I just got an e-mail from someone
      who has just read "To Make Men Free" and who says I was "too kind" to Little
      Mac. I disagree, but nobody goes to work PLANNING to do a bad job -- even
      McClellan. Nobody considers HIMSELF incompetant -- even McClellan (with the
      possible exception of Burnside who knew full well he was incompetant).
      Nonetheless -- if we feel we must BLAME someone for the results (or lack of
      results) at Antietam, we can't stray too far from the Young Napoleon. I
      took just a few arguments out of the bag, and it's still half full.
      Can we talk about something else now?
      VERY respectfully,
      Richard Croker
      ----- Original Message -----
      From: "T.R. Livesey" <tlivesey@...>
      To: <TalkAntietam@yahoogroups.com>
      Sent: Wednesday, March 31, 2004 1:29 AM
      Subject: Re: [TalkAntietam] Re: was burnside at fault for antietam???


      > And exactly how would SO191 allow Mac to 'destroy' the ANV? By the time
      > Mac got the order, it was already out of date; the operation should have
      > wrapped
      > up around the 12th. Mac had reason to believe that Harper's Ferry had
      > not fallen,
      > so obviously reality had deviated from the plan. So what good was knowing
      an
      > out of date plan? As it was, the plan did not place Jackson in HF, nor
      > Hill on
      > South Mountain.
      >
      > Anyway, it is not reasonable that the AoP could have taken out Longstreet
      > and Jackson. Unless they both sat still (not something the ANV had a
      > reputation for), Mac would have had to divide his own force to go after
      > both of them. The only wing of Lee's army that was in real danger was
      > McLaws, who was quite isolated an somewhat trapped on Maryland Heights;
      > all the other wings had mountains and/or rivers to screen their movements.
      >
      > If any 'blame' were to be assigned, I'd say Franklin's Corps missed the 1
      > really big opportunity in forcing Crampton's Gap, trapping McLaws and
      > breaking up Lee's whole campaign. This would not, however, had
      > led to the 'destruction' of the ANV.
      >
      > There is no evidence that Lincoln believed that Mac had anterior designs.
      > Lincoln certainly believed in the need to squelch any appearance that
      > such designs would be tolerated, hence the prosecution of Major John Key.
      > Later in the war, Lincoln even jested about the possibility of a General
      > taking matters in his own hands in his letter appointing Hooker to
      > AoP command; this was not something Lincoln expressed great
      > concern over.
      >
      > As for the belief Mac feared defeat more than wanting victory, I agree
      > in general but it depends on how you define victory and defeat. The
      > Union could afford a battle in which Lee was sent scurrying back
      > south but not destroyed; it could not afford another 2nd Manassas.
      > Lee needed the big victory, so taking the big gamble made sense;
      > the South could not win a conservatively fought war. Mac had no
      > such needs. If the South could be ground down on each battle,
      > northern victory would eventually take root. Given the shock
      > of 2nd Manassas and the invasion by Lee's army, a cautious
      > approach was warranted. If Mac's overall objective was to
      > eject Lee and seriously wound him, while suffering no catastrophe
      > of his own, then he was 'victorious'.
      >
      > General comment about one ACW army destroying another: it wasn't
      > going to happen. ACW armies were too blunt and awkward instruments
      > to inflict a 'kill' on the enemy. Numerous opportunities presented
      > themselves:
      > Mac's retreat across Lee's front at the Seven days, Chancellorsville,
      > Chickamauga, etc. Not until close to the end of the war, when
      > Confederate resources were seriously worn down, did any army
      > really annihilate another. There was always an river to escape across, a
      > bold
      > last stand, limited daylight, bad weather and other factors that held
      > off destruction. It was just not reasonable for 1 army to beat and
      > surround or entrap the other in such a way to prevent escape.
      >
      > Regards,
      > TR Livesey
      > tlivesey@...
      >
      >
      > richard@... wrote:
      >
      > >I think that at the moment Mc was handed 191, it was a "reasonable
      > >expectation" that he might destroy the ANV in detail. Longstreet then
      > >Jackson. Or at least Longstreet (depending on how Jack responded).
      120,000
      > >men to 40,000 men = "reasonable expectation." But remember this...Many
      > >argue that it wasn't McClellan's plan to destroy the ANV -- it was his
      plan
      > >(according to some and believed by Lincoln) to fight the entire war to a
      > >draw and force a political resolution (leaving slavery intact -- at least
      > >for the moment). I don't necessarily adhere to this accusation, but
      > >"actions speak louder..." My personal belief is that Mc feared defeat
      more
      > >than he wanted victory. That's all. That's enough to give any man "the
      > >slows."
      > >
      > >Richard Croker
      > >----- Original Message -----
      > >From: "T.R. Livesey" <tlivesey@...>
      > >To: <TalkAntietam@yahoogroups.com>
      > >Sent: Tuesday, March 30, 2004 10:33 PM
      > >Subject: Re: [TalkAntietam] Re: was burnside at fault for antietam???
      > >
      > >
      > >
      > >
      > >>I fully agree that the Federal army could have accomplished more, that a
      > >>more decisive victory might have been won...this is true of just about
      > >>any battle. The question is: what is a reasonable expectation?
      > >>If Antietam was a huge political victory for the north, what reasonable
      > >>additional outcome eluded Mac/Burnside?
      > >>
      > >>TR Livesey
      > >>tlivesey@...
      > >>
      > >>david lutton wrote:
      > >>
      > >>
      > >>
      > >>>True, Antietam was a huge Political victory for the north and can I
      > >>>
      > >>>
      > >believe
      > >
      > >
      > >>>be argued to be the major turning point of the war.
      > >>>However from a military standpoint, I think Mac was found wanting in
      this
      > >>>battle for a variety of reasons. I agree with the assessment made
      about
      > >>>
      > >>>
      > >him
      > >
      > >
      > >>>by a railroad exc. during the campaign of '64. I think it went
      something
      > >>>like this, " Mac built great bridges for our railroad, he was however a
      > >>>little hesitant about sending over the first train!" If my memory
      > >>>
      > >>>
      > >servce
      > >
      > >
      > >>>me correctly this paraphase came from Long's book on the campaign of
      64,
      > >>>Jewel of Liberty.
      > >>>
      > >>>Glad to see a little life in the group lately!!!
      > >>>
      > >>>David Lutton
      > >>>Hollidaysburg Pa
      > >>>----- Original Message -----
      > >>>From: <tlivesey@...>
      > >>>To: <TalkAntietam@yahoogroups.com>
      > >>>Sent: Monday, March 29, 2004 10:02 AM
      > >>>Subject: Re: [TalkAntietam] Re: was burnside at fault for antietam???
      > >>>
      > >>>
      > >>>
      > >>>
      > >>>
      > >>>
      > >>>>Hmmm...seems to me that before one tries to assign 'fault', one
      > >>>>must identify failure. Antietam was a huge victory for the North,
      > >>>>and a serious blow to the South. Where is the failure in that?
      > >>>>
      > >>>>Regards,
      > >>>> T.R. Livesey
      > >>>> tlivesey@...
      > >>>>
      > >>>>Quoting richard@...:
      > >>>>
      > >>>>
      > >>>>
      > >>>>
      > >>>>
      > >>>>>Alright -- let's put a stop to this. McClallan was at fault at
      > >>>>>
      > >>>>>
      > >>>>>
      > >>>>>
      > >>>Antietam.
      > >>>
      > >>>
      > >>>
      > >>>
      > >>>>>For failure to respond quickly to 191 and for failure to follow up
      > >>>>>Richardson's breech at the Bloody Lane.
      > >>>>>
      > >>>>>Period.
      > >>>>>
      > >>>>>----- Original Message -----
      > >>>>>From: "justin_heinzen10" <justin_heinzen10@...>
      > >>>>>To: <TalkAntietam@yahoogroups.com>
      > >>>>>Sent: Monday, March 29, 2004 12:37 AM
      > >>>>>Subject: [TalkAntietam] Re: was burnside at fault for antietam???
      > >>>>>
      > >>>>>
      > >>>>>
      > >>>>>
      > >>>>>
      > >>>>>
      > >>>>>>mcclellan wrote: "..but i think his [burnside] weak mind was
      > >>>>>>turned;that he was confused in action; and that subsequently he
      > >>>>>>really did not know what had occured."
      > >>>>>>mcclellans bias against burnside was also evident after he was
      > >>>>>>removed from commander of army of potomac when he stated he gave the
      > >>>>>>order for burnside to attack at 8 am instead of 10 am which he had
      > >>>>>>previously stated. rodmans presense and walkers march to the middle
      > >>>>>>of lee's line makes this a bit of a stretch but it is clear that he
      > >>>>>>is trying to shift some of the blame.
      > >>>>>>a few political cartoons or army sketches from that time also convey
      > >>>>>>burnside as the "bungling blunder" for his actions at antietam.
      > >>>>>>it also seems more and more today that mcclellans faulty battle plan
      > >>>>>>and misuse of his troops are overlooked and more blame is but on
      > >>>>>>burnside. well, you know my views...does that clear my question up?
      > >>>>>>
      > >>>>>>
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      > >>>>----------------------------------------------------------------
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