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5374Re: [TalkAntietam] Re: The Orbats at Antietam

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  • Thomas Clemens
    Feb 6, 2009
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      As someone who worked very closely with Joe Harsh, (read the acknowledgements), I am very familiar with his ideas about D.H. Hill's status during the campaign. There is no doubt that as senior officer he commanded the column coming up from Richmond. As Joe used to phrase it, he saw Lee as "auditioning" Hill for a wing command during the campaign and evidently found him wanting because he did not act upon in October when he asked Congress for the 2 wings. He never assigned anyone else to report to Hill for anything other than perhaps a minor tactical assignment, and in fact Hill operated under Jackson in the early days of the campaign. How can he do that and be a wing commander, either de jure or de facto? Joe never calls Hill a wing commander during the battle and idea of Hill "in command" of the center is unprovable. Longstreet is there too, remember the Richardson's battery story? So how is Hill in command with Longstreet right there? In fact Hill HQ was at the Piper house asd while it is not as solid, there is suggestion Longstreet's HQ was there too. Or at least Longstreet was there for a time.

      As for Burnside becoming a "wing commander" again on the 15 by placing Sykes, that again is a supposition. McClellan never ordered it, and Sykes' corps commander was near by, oobviating the necessity of subordinating him to anyone else.

      If you want to "prove" these points start citing some documents, orders from the ORs, something solid. Supposition and conjecture are not proof.

      Thomas G. Clemens D.A.
      Professor of History
      Hagerstown Community College

      >>> "Bryn Monnery" <littlegreenmen.geo@...> 02/06/09 4:22 AM >>>
      The 3 wings are a known, and have been since Joseph Harsh published
      "Confederate Tide Rising" about a decade ago. The 3rd wing was
      Magruder's old Army of the Peninsula.

      McLaws was admonished on the 17th by Lee for accepting an order from
      Jackson, using his status as 2nd Major General, Lee making it clear
      that Jackson did not have the authority to command McLaws unless Lee
      said so (although perhaps there is an air of Lee's frustration at
      McLaws and Jackson in this). It is in this environment that DH Hill
      issues orders directly to McLaws' brigadiers.

      Such actions were only legal and binding if DH Hill was in the chain
      of command between Lee and McLaws. Simply being a more senior Maj Gen
      doesn't cut it.
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