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47308th Connecticut Monument

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  • Steve
    May 27, 2008
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      I spent a few hours yesterday hiking the Final Attack Trail with
      detail views of the Carmen-Cope maps for 4:20pm and 5:30pm. The
      trail itself is excellent, and with the aid of the map, I finally
      feel like I have a good grasp of the fighting in the 40 Acre
      Cornfield and vicinity.

      I also visited the monuments for the 9th NY and 8th CT regiments.
      The 8th's marker incription indicated it marks the advanced position
      of the unit. The Carmen-Cope maps suggest they advanced a bit
      farther, across the head of a draw immediately West of the monuments,
      and within about 100 yards of the Harpers Ferry Rd.

      Does anyone have any insight on this? Perhaps the regiment advanced
      farther, but consolidated its position a bit to the rear to conform
      to the position of Fairchild's Brigade? I am fairly confident I
      oriented the map and read the contours correctly.

      I have always been fascinated with the terrain in this area of the
      field and I learned more using the Carmen-Cope maps than I had on
      previous hikes. The role of the terrain in shaping the fighting and
      in the fracture of Harland's Brigade into separate elements is
      clear. The 16th CT and 4th RI deployed in the ravine at the eastern
      end of the cornfield, while the 8th CT deployed to the North of the
      corn. The advance of Fairchild's brigade was almost certainly
      visible to the 8th CT, but not to the other two regiments.

      I am continually working out my ideas on the action between AP Hill's
      men and the the IX Corps. As Harland's two regiments disintegrated,
      and with most of Ewing's Brigade deployed to plug the gap created by
      Harland's disjointed advance, it seems the IX Corps advance was
      doomed. The 12th OH, which remained in reserve, never advanced past
      Otto's Farm Lane, and had they done so, it might not have made any

      I think the real difference may lie with McLellan's decision not to
      commit the V Corps. As the IX Corps was drawn northward toward
      Sharpsburg, it's hard to visualize a scenario where their left would
      not have been vulnerable to Hill's slashing attack. Had the V Corps
      crossed the Middle Bridge and supported Burnside/Cox more effectively
      on the right, perhaps the IX's response to Hill's assault would have
      been more effective. With so many factors ifluencing the outcome,
      the only thing I am certain of is that I need to study it more.

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