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2510Re: [TalkAntietam] Lee's Reasons for Retreating to Sharpsburg (plus two quick questions)

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  • NJ Rebel
    Feb 16, 2006
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      Phil,

      Welcome. As to most of your questions, I will try addressing if
      possible:

      1. Your mention is the first time I have heard the Upper Bridge across
      the Antietam, which btw is still being used as a road bridge to this
      day, referred as such!
      2. IIRC, there is a house which Mac and Burn used as HQ during the
      advance between Middletown and South Mountain and again IIRC, it is
      located on the left hand side of the road probably a few miles from
      Middletown.
      3. It is possible Lee could have telescoped a few events together, but
      I would tend to go with Harsh, who was very meticulous in his
      research. Tom Clemens is a student of Joe's and might be the best
      person to address this particular question. It is also possible Lee
      could have, as you state, simply decided to abandon the campaign based
      on the disaster at Turners/Fox's Passes rather than Cramptons.
      Sharpsburg was initially meant as a rallying point for the "main body"
      plus McLaws...but when Jackson reported Harpers Ferry would soon fall,
      Lee decided to make a stand at Sharpsburg and offer battle.

      Hope this helps.....

      Yr. Obt. Svt.
      G E "Gerry" Mayers

      "....the powers granted under the Constitution, being derived from the
      people of the United States, may be resumed by them, whenever the same
      shall be perverted to their injury or oppression;.."
      Act of State of Virginia adopting the Federal Constitution, 26 June
      1788

      ----- Original Message -----
      From: "philipkesaris" <philipkesaris@...>
      To: <TalkAntietam@yahoogroups.com>
      Sent: Thursday, February 16, 2006 9:20 PM
      Subject: [TalkAntietam] Lee's Reasons for Retreating to Sharpsburg
      (plus two quick questions)


      Folks: I recently joined this group and wanted to read every post
      before contributing, as I didn't want to go over old ground. I've
      read them all and learned a ton from all of you - fantastic group!
      Two quick questions and then a comment I'd love to hear your thoughts
      on. The two questions: (1) Was the Upper Bridge/Hitt Bridge also
      known as the "Sumner Bridge"? I noted two War Department tablets
      (about Meade's and Ricketts' divisions on 9/16) that refer to it as
      such. Was this a mistake? I thought Sumner crossed the creek at the
      Pry Mill ford? Also, IIRC, wasn't there a bridge across the
      Chickahominy called the "Sumner Bridge" that was used in the
      Peninsula Campaign? (2) Where is "Marameade" located? I'm guessing
      it's the name of a farm/house on the Nat'l Road between Middletown
      and Turner's Gap where Mac and Burn stayed on the night of Sept. 14,
      but just where is it? My comment: I just finished Tim Reese's "High-
      Water Mark" wherein he contends (pp. 52-53) that Lee retired to
      Sharpsburg because of the Union breakthrough at Crampton's Gap. Tim
      cites Lee's Sept. 16 message to Davis, his campaign report of
      8/19/63, and Wm. Allen's notes of his 1868 interview with Lee. Joe
      Harsh, in contrast, argues that Lee made the decision to retire from
      South Mountain at about 8 pm on the 14th (based only on the situation
      at Turner's Gap), which led to Lee's 8:15 pm message to McLaws
      (the "day has gone against us" message). According to Harsh, this
      was two hours before Lee learned of the loss of Crampton's Gap. See
      TATF p. 289 and Sounding the Shallows pp. 181-82. Was
      Lee "telescoping" events in his writings cited by Reese? Harsh
      relies on careful timelines to make his point, but Reese relies on
      Lee's own words. Any thoughts? - Phil Kesaris











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