4176Re: [TalkAntietam] Re: ANVa Supply Trains
- Feb 1, 2008Well, originally, the trains were ordered across because EVERYONE was being ordered across. Lee's first inclination after losing the So. Mtn. passes (as the order to McLaws shows) was to break off the entire campaign and retreat to Md. (After all, in a withdrawal, you send the trains first and keep the infantry in the rear -- the closest proximity to the pursuing enemy -- to conduct a fighting retreat. Recall Lee's similar orders regarding Imboden on the withdrawal from Gettysburg the following year.)
It was only when he realized that McClellan wasn't pressing the advantage, and when word arrived of the fall of Harper's Ferry, that he decided to hold position with his infantry on the east bank of the Potomac and accept battle.
As for the rest, given the fact that Pendleton had nearly three days to rest and refit his command, you have to wonder how it was that he managed to contribute next to nothing (no offense to Watson's Battery intended) on the day of the battle.
In fact, one is hard pressed to think of a single instance where Pendleton, as chief of artillery, ever HELPED anyone (other than the Army of the Potomac) on a battlefield.
----- Original Message ----
From: dean_essig <dean_essig@...>
Sent: Friday, February 1, 2008 7:25:52 PM
Subject: [TalkAntietam] Re: ANVa Supply Trains
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.
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