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6816RE: [TalkAntietam] A/SM visit follow up

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  • Thomas G. Clemens
    Jun 2, 2012
      From: TalkAntietam@yahoogroups.com [TalkAntietam@yahoogroups.com] on behalf of MikeL49NYVI@... [MikeL49NYVI@...]
      Sent: Saturday, June 02, 2012 9:23 AM
      To: TalkAntietam@yahoogroups.com
      Subject: Re: [TalkAntietam] A/SM visit follow up

      See my comments below, I don't mind an interesting discussion, but it would be nice to do some research first.

      Just for the sake of an interesting discussion:

      True, McCellan did revitalize the army, however, the 2nd and the 6th
      Corps had not been beaten at 2nd Bull Run. In fact Mac's slowness in sending
      them to Pope (in defiance of orders) could have been taken as
      insubordination or even traitorous.

      Or extreme sanity in the face of panic. Sending the 6th Corps into without artillery or trains into an unknown situation was ludicrous and he said so.

      So, it was not the entire army that was beaten down.

      No, but those not beaten were demoralized at being withdrawn from 20 miles of Richmond in defiance of any logical strategy.

      He was given the opportunity of a lifetime when Lee's orders were
      discovered. Yet he moved at his own pace and allowed Harpers Ferry to be
      taken, and for Lee to concentrate at Sharpsburg. 70 miles in 13 days comes out
      to about 5-1/2 miles a day. They could not have been mistaken for Jackson's
      "Foot Cavalry" at that rate.

      Too little space to furnish all arguments, but when 191 was found his army was already in motion, no CS infantry closer than 12 miles at best, no evidence of the size of Lee's army, CS cavalry blocking Hagan's Gap until 2 p.m., and by the time 191 was verified as accurate, it was dark. He moved quickly the next day and drove Lee's forces from two gaps in the afternoon, one after dark, and making Lee's army retreat after dark.

      Once he got to Sharpsburg, he wasted an entire day, sitting there, and
      then telegraphed his punch by having the 1st and 12 corps move into
      position the night before the battle. Lee and Stonewall knew exactly where to
      concentrate their brigades.

      He didn't sit the whole day, and the facts are indisputable. He reconnoitered, placed artillery, formulated a plan and ordered Hooker across the creek by 1:00, even though he could not see across the creek until 9:00.

      He allowed Burnside to have a childish tantrum, which made for a very
      awkward chain of command, and a delay in getting orders acted upon.

      See OR 19, pt. 2, for his orders to Burnside. Firm, direct and to the point. And no, Burnside had no tantrum, but was reluctant.

      He never left the Pry House yard to see what was actually going on
      during the battle, and had the entire 5th corps and most of the 6th sit there,
      and do nothing when the fight hung in the balance.

      Again this is easliy and demonstrably disproven. For instance, he rode across the creek in early afternoon to East Woods, not returning until after 4. Have you really read anything on the battle? Sykes' division crossed Middle bridge and was engaged, suffered 109 casualties, while two of Morrell's brigades were sent to, and then recalled from, East Woods. Sixth Corps was sent to same place, lost 439 casualties, and was under bombardment on the 17th and 18th.

      And to be frank, he really didn't "drive" Lee off the battlefield.
      The Confederates sat there the next day, almost daring Mac to attack again.
      They then left that night, when they were good and ready to leave.

      Any casual study of the ANV will show they were shattered, and if they didn't leave until were good and ready to leave it begs the question, Why did they leave?

      From my humble perspective and that of many contemporaries, historians
      and authors I'd say these are issues that invite the need for a defense.

      If any professional historian wrote the inaccuracies you cite above they need to be drummed out of the profession. Read Joseph Harsh, Taken at the Flood, Ethan Rafuse, McClellan's War and either edition of Ezra Carman's manuscript of the campaign.

      Mike Lavis

      In a message dated 6/1/2012 1:27:18 P.M. Eastern Daylight Time,
      tgclemens@...<mailto:tgclemens%40hagerstowncc.edu> writes:

      McClellan took a a beaten, dispirited and demoralized force, in three days
      had it ready to take the field. From Sept. 6 to Sept. 19 he marched that
      army 70 miles, fought two battles where he drove Lee's army from the field,
      forcing him to retreat night from one of them. Why would he need
      defending????? Name me another commander who did that.
      Tom Clemens

      From: TalkAntietam@yahoogroups.com<mailto:TalkAntietam%40yahoogroups.com><mailto:TalkAntietam%40yahoogroups.com>
      On Behalf Of certainreasons
      Sent: Friday, June 01, 2012 12:41 AM
      To: TalkAntietam@yahoogroups.com<mailto:TalkAntietam%40yahoogroups.com><mailto:TalkAntietam%40yahoogroups.com>
      Subject: [TalkAntietam] A/SM visit follow up

      Hello All, Thanks for the helpful replies! Some scatter shot responses - I
      have some familiarity with the Maryland Campaign, having read several
      accounts of varying detail, most recently the Hoptak book on South Mountain.
      What do you folks think of his defense of McClellan? Is it controversial
      among buffs? The standard accounts always put the blame for not destroying
      Lee's Army on McC.The Priest book focusing on soldiers memoirs at Antietam is a
      favorite. Just received the Rafuse battlefield guide, have not looked at
      it yet. Not familiar with "Taken At the Flood" - is it a book? Has anyone
      used the Civil War Trails map to visit the historical markers? I was
      considering the AT for exploring South Mt., 45 min each way is no problem, a few
      hours to reach Crampton's Gap perhaps...is the South Mt. Inn in the same
      structure or the same site as the oft-mentioned Mountain House? If I hire a
      guide, how far in advance do I need to arrange it? What are the going rates?
      Am plan ning to v
      isit next Thursday & Friday and as a general approach plan to stay close
      to a chronological order if feasible. Again, thanks for the help, Chris

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