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5553Re: [TalkAntietam] re Rodes brigade at Sunken Road

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  • Dean Essig
    Mar 2, 2009
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      Gerry,

      See Rodes' OR Report, vol 19, part 1, pg 1037. Longstreet himself
      ordered Rodes to attack, his brigade and a part of Colquitt's.
      Initially, the 6 Alabama did not hear the command to attack, so Rodes
      went over to personally convey the order. He returned to the rest of
      the brigade after the attack had failed and was able to stop them
      from withdrawing further than the Sunken Road.

      On the ground, you can see where they would have gone to. About 100
      yards (or less) in front of the brigade's position is a small
      ridgeline. The Union had attacked from there and withdrew beyond its
      crest out of sight of the Confederates. The charge was designed to
      move from the Sunken Road to this position, so the Confederates could
      engage the Federals on the other side.

      Based on Rodes' description, they did not go anywhere near as far as
      Clip/Roulette before having to retire.

      Carmen notes these same events (pg 280-281) and adds that Cobb's
      brigade, too, was ordered by Longstreet to join the above attack and
      that afterward (while Rodes was rallying the left of the brigade
      after the attack failed), the 6 Alabama (by itself) attacked to
      capture the colors of the 5th Maryland, forcing them back "about 20
      yards" whereupon the 5th rallied and drove the Alabamians back into
      their original positions.

      Gordon's memoirs make no mention of this, all of it seems to have
      happened after he was wounded.

      Hope that helps.

      Dean

      On Mar 1, 2009, at 2:31 PM, G E Mayers wrote:

      > I have been re reading David Eicher's one volume military history
      > of the Civil War, titled "The Longest Night", recently. In his
      > section on Sharpsburg and the fight at the Sunken Road, he says
      > Rodes's brigade launched a counter attack that ultimately reached
      > the area of the Roulette and Clip Farms before being forced back.
      >
      > Is this so? I have always been under the apprehension that some
      > elements of George B Anderson's NC brigade, along with some
      > elements of Wright's Georgia brigade (which extended the
      > Confederate line in the lane to the right of Anderson), made a
      > counter attack on the left flank of French just before
      > Richardson brought the Irish Brigade forward.
      >
      > Your comments and discussion appreciated.



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