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2696Re: "Siege" of Harpers Ferry?

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  • flagflop
    Feb 27, 2006
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      Ah, the frustration of remote conversation! It has been some time since
      I studied the order of march and the "speed," if that's a proper term.
      (What happened to "Foot cavalry"?) I recall once upon a time
      encountering a letter in McLaws Papers (SHC, Chapel Hill), commenting, I
      believe, on a draft lecture, and explaining that he simply could not get
      his column moving because of Longstreet blocking the way. Finally he
      elected the Jefferson-Burkittsville by-pass approach into Pleasant
      Valley.

      I have thought that, at Boonesboro, Jax was meditating, not on HF, but
      on his assigned objective, Martinsburg--whether White would remain or
      move, and, if the latter, in what direction. The direct route, via
      Shepherdstown and across the Potomac, would bring Jax in below
      Martinsburg, interposing himself between White and Miles, but allowing
      White to escape west or north; whereas, if Jax swung westward to
      Williamsport and came upon White from the NW, either he would simply
      overwhelm him or force him south to HF. (The latter occurred, and has
      been accepted as part of "the plan"--in retrospect.) His little
      counter-intelligence ploy was interesting, but I wonder who it fooled.

      Finally, I continue to be puzzled by the cavalry role in this adventure.
      The published material strikes me as inadequate documentation of what
      Stuart's men were doing where, when, and why. But for now I wanted
      simply to lay out some considerations from the signal communication
      side.

      Thanks to you and Gerry for the feedback.


      --- In TalkAntietam@yahoogroups.com, "Thomas Clemens" <clemenst@...>
      wrote:
      >
      > Flagflop
      > I think it is clear that Jackson was extemporizing long before that.
      > Notice his slow march on the 10th, only from Frederick to Boonsboro on
      a
      > 1st class road, and then the change in route to Williamsport and not
      > Shepherdstown. He decided to "Bag" harpers Ferry, and that was not
      > exactly what he was told to do, nor the route to approach to do it.
      > Interestingthought here - Jackson's stop at Boonsboro at mid afternoon
      > was done I think, to not disclose what road he would take the next
      day,
      > either to Shepherdstown or Williamsport. In other words to deny intell
      > to the enemy. Good thought. BUT, in stopping nobody behind him could
      > pass him so the whole army was jammed up on the same road. D.H. Hill's
      > division didn't leave Frederick because there was no open road for
      them.
      > Given the research by Tim Reese and Joe Harsh, it seems likely Hill's
      > copy of SO 191 was lost on the 10th or 11th, east of Frederick, and
      then
      > found on the 13th. IF Jackson had pursued the prescribed route and
      kept
      > marching, might Hill's men have left Frederick, and the order lost
      never
      > lost, or lost in another place, and maybe not found? Etc. Etc.
      > Now I am not pushing this to heap blame on Jackson, as I said, his
      ruse
      > was a good one, just adding this as an unponderable but interesting
      > possibility.
      >
      >
      >
      > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
      >
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