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4175Re: ANVa Supply Trains

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  • dean_essig
    Feb 1 4:25 PM
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      Thanks Jake!

      That fits well with what Tom and I have been thinking. The trains were ordered across to
      maintain freedom of action and then, when battle was in the offing, the ordinance trains
      (at least small arms) were brought back across from Shepherdstown.

      As for Pendleton's "exceptional" effort to provide reinforcements to the army, I have 2 Co,
      Richmond Va Howitzers (3 guns) under Watson arriving from Williamsport late on the
      17th. I assume this is the battery Carmen refers to.

      Dean

      --- In TalkAntietam@yahoogroups.com, "joseph_pierro" <joseph_pierro@...> wrote:
      >
      > Dean:
      >
      > Most of the trains and reserve artillery (one battalion excepted)
      > were ordered by Lee to cross over to the Virginia side at
      > Williamsport even before he decided to make his stand at Sharpsburg.
      >
      >
      > from Carman:
      >
      > "When Robert E. Lee, after nightfall of September 14, realized
      > that the action at Turner's Gap had gone against him, he abandoned
      > (temporarily, at least) his idea of a further invasion of the North
      > into Pennsylvania, or even of remaining in Maryland, and took
      > immediate measures to reunite with McLaws and recross the Potomac
      > into Virginia. Those who were with Lee say that he gave no sign of
      > disappointment and depression that his campaign had ended in failure,
      > but we can imagine it was with a swelling heart that, at 8:00 p.m.,
      > he sent this dispatch to McLaws:
      > "'The day has gone against us and this army will go by Sharpsburg
      > and cross the river. It is necessary for you to abandon
      > your position to-night. Send your trains not required on the road to
      > cross the river. Your troops you must have well in hand to unite with
      > this command, which will retire by Sharpsburg. Send forward officers
      > to explore the way, ascertain the best crossing of the Potomac, and
      > if you can find any between you and Shepherdstown leave Shepherdstown
      > Ford for this command. Send an officer to report to me on the
      > Sharpsburg road, where you are and what crossing you will take. You
      > will of course bring Anderson's division with you.'
      > "At about the same hour, he sent a dispatch to Jackson to march
      > up from Harper's Ferry and cover his passage of the Potomac at
      > Shepherdstown Ford. (These orders to McLaws and Jackson contemplated
      > the abandonment of operations against Harper's Ferry, but these had
      > so far progressed that the place was then, virtually, in the grasp of
      > Jackson and McLaws.) Longstreet and D. H. Hill were directed to push
      > such of their commands and trains as were at and near Hagerstown
      > across the Potomac at Williamsport. The three reserve artillery
      > battalions at Beaver Creek (four miles north of Boonsboro)
      > were ordered to move—two battalions by Williamsport into Virginia,
      > one battalion to Keedysville."
      >
      > It would appear that Lee then kept them on the Va shore afterwards
      > for so long because the operational and tactical situation remained
      > in such a state of flux for the next few days. (Would McClellan
      > attack on the 15th? The 16th? Would Jackson arrive on the 16th? Would
      > McLaws arrive on the 17th?) With only a single ford at his back, the
      > last thing Lee wanted if his lines broke was his trains and reserve
      > artillery clogging the only route of escape.
      >
      > Carman again:
      > "Late at night [of the 14th] the commander of the reserve
      > artillery, General Pendleton (who with three battalions had, late in
      > the afternoon, taken position on the heights of Beaver Creek, four
      > miles north of Boonsboro) was summoned to Lee's headquarters
      > and directed to send S. D. Lee's Battalion to Keedysville and to move
      > with the battalions of Brown and Nelson by the shortest route to
      > Williamsport and across the Potomac to guard the fords of the river.
      > Pendleton hastened back to his camp, moved promptly to the Boonsboro
      > and Williamsport Road, and by sunrise reached Jones's Cross-Roads,
      > where the Williamsport Road intersects the Hagerstown and Sharpsburg
      > Turnpike. Here he was informed that a large force of Union cavalry
      > was not far ahead of him, upon which he placed some guns in position
      > commanding the road leading to Williamsport and the Hagerstown Pike
      > on either flank, sent to Toombs (who had passed down to Sharpsburg)
      > for a regiment or two of infantry, and set to work collecting a band
      > of armed stragglers to support his guns. Meanwhile, he had sent out
      > scouting parties. These soon returned with information that the road
      > was clear for some two miles, upon which (without waiting for
      > infantry from Toombs) he resumed the road to destroy the 'retiring
      > invaders' with his artillery and protect the large wagon train
      > proceeding by the Hagerstown Road through Williamsport. Colonel
      > Davis's cavalry had passed on the road and attacked Longstreet's
      > train, and Pendleton—without meeting an enemy or further delay—
      > reached Williamsport and crossed the Potomac by Light's Ford into
      > Virginia.
      > "Colonel Brown, with his battalion of five batteries, was ordered
      > to guard Light's Ford and a ford two miles below. Major Nelson's
      > battalion of five batteries went down the river road to
      > Shepherdstown, which he reached on the sixteenth, and took
      > position on the heights commanding Shepherdstown Ford a mile below
      > town."
      >
      > In typical Pendleton fashion, once the battle was joined and the
      > artillery needed, he failed to rise to the emergency. Carman yet
      > again:
      >
      > "About mid-day [of the 17th] Lee had sent this message to
      > Pendleton, commanding the reserve artillery at Shepherdstown Ford: 'If
      > you have fifteen or twenty guns, suitable for our purpose, which you
      > can spare, the general desires you to send them, with a sufficiency
      > of ammunition. You must not take them from the fords if essential to
      > their safety. Send up the stragglers. Take any cavalry about there
      > and send up at the point of the sword. We want ammunition, guns, and
      > provisions.' Pendleton could not collect the stragglers, he sent up
      > but little ammunition, and it was not until the engagement had closed
      > that one battery arrived at Sharpsburg."
      >
      > Hope some of that helps.
      >
      > --jake
      > --- In TalkAntietam@yahoogroups.com, "dean_essig" <dean_essig@>
      > wrote:
      > >
      > > Yes, I agree and have the infomation regarding the location of the
      > various artillery units.
      > >
      > > Not only was Lee still thinking about re-entering Md from the Va
      > side, but he hadn't ruled
      > > out an "attacking withdrawal" to the north, through the Union right
      > wing to Hagerstown.
      > >
      > > Trying to do that with the trains in tow would be impossible, but
      > allowing the trains to
      > > shadow the army on the Va side of the river makes a lot of sense.
      > >
      > > Given the situation, this kind of decision making is breathtakingly
      > fearless.
      > >
      > > --- In TalkAntietam@yahoogroups.com, "Thomas Clemens" <clemenst@>
      > wrote:
      > > >
      > > > I will look and see what else I can find. I think Lee was using
      > the river to protect his
      > > trains preparatory to re-entering Maryland at Williamsport. Even
      > after he retreated on the
      > > 18th/19th his intent was to re-cross the river there and move
      > towards Hagerstown.
      > > Giving the wagons a head start would open the roads for his
      > infantry to move quickly. As
      > > you know, he had artillery detached to guard Shepherdstown Ford and
      > Light's Ford, and
      > > Stuart did go to Williamsport on the 19th to lead the way.
      > > >
      > > >
      > > > Dr. Thomas G. Clemens
      > > > Professor of History
      > > > Hagerstown Community College
      > > >
      > > >
      > > >
      > > > >>> "dean_essig" <dean_essig@> 2/1/2008 2:24 PM >>>
      > > > Tom it is... glad to meet you, sir!
      > > >
      > > > Excellent information, that helps me spot the trains on the map.
      > > >
      > > > The artillery problem is an issue I'll need to resolve. I don't
      > recall Reilly (who at least
      > > > mentioned going back to look) or anyone else suggesting they had
      > to ford the Potomac
      > > to
      > > > get a re-supply of artillery ammunition. So, this indirectly
      > suggests that what stocks
      > > they
      > > > had available were in the Md side trains.
      > > >
      > > > Leaving me wondering what it was Lee was protecting across the
      > river.
      > > >
      > > > Do you know of any other battery commanders recollections about
      > the rather mundane
      > > > matters of ammunition resupply on that day?
      > > >
      > > > --- In TalkAntietam@yahoogroups.com, "Thomas Clemens" <clemenst@>
      > wrote:
      > > > >
      > > > > Dean,
      > > > > I keep meaning to tell you, nobody calls me Thomas, Tom is just
      > fine. I think you have
      > > it
      > > > correctly stated. Location of the Artillery Reserve trains, such
      > as they were with the loss
      > > of
      > > > many near Williamsport, is likely across the river, however I
      > think some of it was
      > > forwarded
      > > > on the 18th as Lee called for gathering stragglers and ammo
      > resupply. Going from
      > > > memory, but in Lee's comments about his HQ tent he describes it
      > as 1 & 1/4 miles from
      > > > Cemetery Hill, (I think) making the two miles just about on Mt.
      > Airy, the Grove family
      > > farm.
      > > > That would also be logical for there was access to water and lots
      > of fields to park a
      > > wagon
      > > > train there.
      > > > >
      > > > >
      > > > > Dr. Thomas G. Clemens
      > > > > Professor of History
      > > > > Hagerstown Community College
      > > > >
      > > > >
      > > > >
      > > > > >>> "dean_essig" <dean_essig@> 2/1/2008 1:55 PM >>>
      > > > > Thomas,
      > > > >
      > > > > Reviewed the cited sections. All seems to be resolved but one
      > matter.
      > > > >
      > > > > What we know:
      > > > > 1) The non-Ammunition trains are in Shepherdstown. Getting
      > there at various dates.
      > > > > Hood's were escorted to his division so the Texans could get
      > some food.
      > > > >
      > > > > 2) Small arms ammuntion trains were ordered back into Md and
      > positioned "2 miles to
      > > > the
      > > > > rear" (that distance is mentioned in several places, but w/o a
      > reference as to rear of
      > > > what
      > > > > or who).
      > > > >
      > > > > The one thing (two parts) that we don't know is:
      > > > > 1a) Were the Army Reserve Ammunition trains still in Virgina?
      > Harsh believes so.
      > > > >
      > > > > 1b) Was there artillery ammunition in the trains that were sent
      > back into Md? This is
      > > > > interesting because it seems that Lee kept the Reserve Trains
      > across the river to avoid
      > > > > losing artillery ammunition.
      > > > >
      > > > > Am I off on any of the above and is there any answer to the
      > unknowns?
      > > > >
      > > > > Dean
      > > > >
      > > > >
      > > > > --- In TalkAntietam@yahoogroups.com, "Thomas Clemens"
      > <clemenst@> wrote:
      > > > > >
      > > > > > Dean,
      > > > > > The info on the trains is mentioned in Chapter 8 of Taken at
      > the Flood, pp. 338-9
      > > > > footnotes 34 & 37 and also in Sounding the Shallows, pp. 193-
      > 4. Let me know if you
      > > > do
      > > > > not have access to those books.
      > > > > >
      > > > > >
      > > > > > Thomas G. Clemens D.A.
      > > > > > Professor of History
      > > > > > Hagerstown Community College
      > > > > >
      > > > > >
      > > > > > >>> "dean_essig" <dean_essig@> 01/30/08 11:18 AM >>>
      > > > > > Excellent info, Thomas!
      > > > > >
      > > > > > That would bring all the loose ends together (no mean feat),
      > if I can impose (and
      > > > when
      > > > > you
      > > > > > get a chance) please dig out some sources on the "but ammo"
      > exception.
      > > > > >
      > > > > > You may not have earned a free game yet, but you will by the
      > time this project is
      > > done
      > > > > :-)
      > > > > >
      > > > > > Doesn't matter if you don't have time to play it, you'll want
      > a copy of a product that
      > > > has
      > > > > your
      > > > > > name in the research credits I would think. ;-)
      > > > > >
      > > > > > --- In TalkAntietam@yahoogroups.com, "Thomas Clemens"
      > <clemenst@> wrote:
      > > > > > >
      > > > > > > Dean,
      > > > > > > I am at work and away from sources, but it is my
      > understanding that all trains
      > > > except
      > > > > > ammo were sent across the river. Thus Hood, looking for
      > food, had to go find his
      > > and
      > > > > bring
      > > > > > them forward, while Reilly etc. looking for ammo found theirs
      > near Sharpsburg.
      > > > > Longstreet'
      > > > > > loss was the Reserve Artillery ammo for his command, not all
      > of his trains.
      > > > > > > Hope this helps. Do I get a free copy of the game? :-)
      > just kidding, I don't have
      > > > time
      > > > > to
      > > > > > play them.
      > > > > >
      > > > >
      > > >
      > >
      >
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