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Re: US Civil War Factbook

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  • Brian Downey
    Thanks for the link Marcus. You have a very clean, readable site there - nice introduction to the War between the States. To bring it back to the subject of
    Message 1 of 30 , Jun 6, 2001
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      Thanks for the link Marcus. You have a very clean, readable site
      there - nice introduction to the War between the States.

      To bring it back to the subject of _this_ group:

      On your 1862 timeline, you noted "17 Sep - Union forces defeat the
      Confederate forces at Antietam, Maryland."

      I would suggest the forces met on that date, but the matter of who
      was victorious is open to debate. Also, in the North, the battle was
      named for Antietam Creek. The battle actually occurred near the town
      of Sharpsburg, Maryland. Those in the South referred to the battle by
      the name of the town.

      Welcome aboard, I hope we'll hear more from you and your site.

      Brian

      --- In TalkAntietam@y..., "Marcus Wendel" <marcus_wendel@y...> wrote:
      > I have just published my site on the American Civil War:
      > The US Civil War Factbook - http://www.skalman.nu/uscivilwar/
      >
      > I am interested in hearing your comments on it, thanks.
      > Either post them here or (better) mail them to me at
      > marcus_wendel@y...
      >
      > btw. If you are interested in providing information for the site,
      > please let me know.
      >
      > /Marcus
      > http://www.skalman.nu
    • James Rose
      I like the site. However you are missing one name for the Civil War (an important one too). The War of the Rebellion which was the official name given by
      Message 2 of 30 , Jun 6, 2001
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        I like the site. However you are missing one name for the Civil War (an
        important one too). "The War of the Rebellion" which was the official
        name given by the U.S. War department.

        Jim Rose

        Marcus Wendel wrote:

        > I have just published my site on the American Civil War:
        > The US Civil War Factbook - http://www.skalman.nu/uscivilwar/
        >
        > I am interested in hearing your comments on it, thanks.
        > Either post them here or (better) mail them to me at
        > marcus_wendel@...
        >
        > btw. If you are interested in providing information for the site,
        > please let me know.
        >
        > /Marcus
        > http://www.skalman.nu
        >
        >
        >
        >
        >
        > Your use of Yahoo! Groups is subject to http://docs.yahoo.com/info/terms/
        >
        >
        >
        >
      • Jeff Beckner (PWC Magazine)
        I d have to say that although the victory wasn t all the North would have liked it to be, you d still have to give the boys in blue the nod. Something like
        Message 3 of 30 , Jun 7, 2001
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          I'd have to say that although the "victory" wasn't all the North would have
          liked it to be, you'd still have to give the boys in blue the nod. Something
          like "turned back the Confederate invasion" might be closer to the truth,
          even if it was only a raid.

          -----Original Message-----
          From: Brian Downey [mailto:brdowney@...]
          Sent: Wednesday, June 06, 2001 8:14 PM
          To: TalkAntietam@yahoogroups.com
          Subject: [TalkAntietam] Re: US Civil War Factbook


          Thanks for the link Marcus. You have a very clean, readable site
          there - nice introduction to the War between the States.

          To bring it back to the subject of _this_ group:

          On your 1862 timeline, you noted "17 Sep - Union forces defeat the
          Confederate forces at Antietam, Maryland."

          I would suggest the forces met on that date, but the matter of who
          was victorious is open to debate. Also, in the North, the battle was
          named for Antietam Creek. The battle actually occurred near the town
          of Sharpsburg, Maryland. Those in the South referred to the battle by
          the name of the town.

          Welcome aboard, I hope we'll hear more from you and your site.

          Brian

          --- In TalkAntietam@y..., "Marcus Wendel" <marcus_wendel@y...> wrote:
          > I have just published my site on the American Civil War:
          > The US Civil War Factbook - http://www.skalman.nu/uscivilwar/
          >
          > I am interested in hearing your comments on it, thanks.
          > Either post them here or (better) mail them to me at
          > marcus_wendel@y...
          >
          > btw. If you are interested in providing information for the site,
          > please let me know.
          >
          > /Marcus
          > http://www.skalman.nu





          Your use of Yahoo! Groups is subject to http://docs.yahoo.com/info/terms/
        • Jeff Beckner (PWC Magazine)
          It would for those who wish to read it that way, but by the contemporary yardstick, it you left first, you lose -- as at Stones River. Tactically you can
          Message 4 of 30 , Jun 7, 2001
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            It would for those who wish to read it that way, but by the contemporary
            yardstick, it you left first, you lose -- as at Stones River. Tactically you
            can easily call it a draw, but strategically, Lee was in Maryland, and then
            he wasn't. (And for those who would quibble, "left first" as in breaking off
            offensive efforts.)

            Needless to say, in terms of what _might_ have happened, if Jim Rose will
            allow me to get away with saying this, the battle was a failure of immense
            proportions on the Union side.

            -----Original Message-----
            From: Teej Smith [mailto:teej@...]
            Sent: Thursday, June 07, 2001 8:53 AM
            To: TalkAntietam@yahoogroups.com
            Subject: Re: [TalkAntietam] Re: US Civil War Factbook


            "Jeff Beckner (PWC Magazine)" wrote:
            >
            > I'd have to say that although the "victory" wasn't all the North would
            have
            > liked it to be, you'd still have to give the boys in blue the nod.
            Something
            > like "turned back the Confederate invasion" might be closer to the truth,
            > even if it was only a raid.

            Would the fact Lee stood the ground an extra day and Mac failed to
            pursue the ANV constitute the draw?

            Regards,
            Teej
            >




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          • Teej Smith
            ... Would the fact Lee stood the ground an extra day and Mac failed to pursue the ANV constitute the draw? Regards, Teej
            Message 5 of 30 , Jun 7, 2001
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              "Jeff Beckner (PWC Magazine)" wrote:
              >
              > I'd have to say that although the "victory" wasn't all the North would have
              > liked it to be, you'd still have to give the boys in blue the nod. Something
              > like "turned back the Confederate invasion" might be closer to the truth,
              > even if it was only a raid.

              Would the fact Lee stood the ground an extra day and Mac failed to
              pursue the ANV constitute the draw?

              Regards,
              Teej
              >
            • Anthony W. Turner
              Re: Who won? Who lost? For me, this raises a semantics question. Wouldn t it be right to call it a tactical draw and a strategic victory for the Union? Tony
              Message 6 of 30 , Jun 7, 2001
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                Re: Who won? Who lost?

                For me, this raises a semantics question. Wouldn't it be right to call
                it a tactical draw and a strategic victory for the Union?

                Tony Turner
              • James Rose
                ... I m trying to figure out how I can prevent you from saying that. :) Sure the battle could have gone better for the North. Such as if A.P. Hill had arrived
                Message 7 of 30 , Jun 7, 2001
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                  Jeff Beckner (PWC Magazine) wrote:

                  > It would for those who wish to read it that way, but by the contemporary
                  > yardstick, it you left first, you lose -- as at Stones River. Tactically you
                  > can easily call it a draw, but strategically, Lee was in Maryland, and then
                  > he wasn't. (And for those who would quibble, "left first" as in breaking off
                  > offensive efforts.)
                  >
                  > Needless to say, in terms of what _might_ have happened, if Jim Rose will
                  > allow me to get away with saying this, the battle was a failure of immense
                  > proportions on the Union side.

                  I'm trying to figure out how I can prevent you from saying that. :)
                  Sure the battle could have gone better for the North. Such as if A.P.
                  Hill had arrived either much earlier or latter in the battle, or if
                  Rodman hadn't been mortally wounded there are good reasons to believe
                  that Antietam would have been a complete victory.

                  If you are talking about the chance for the AotP to totally destroy the
                  ANV, I'm afraid I still don't see it. As far as I know there was only
                  one time (ONE) that an army was destroyed during the war. According to
                  Livermore the odds were worse for the Union at Antietam (1.45-1) than at
                  Nashville (2.14-1). Admittedly Livermore may not be the best, but using
                  Harsh's numbers the odds only up in the Union's favor a little bit at
                  Antietam (1.58-1). Quite simply the evidence from the war suggests that
                  one (of many) things needed for one army to destroy another is numerical
                  superiority of at least 2-1, and that is something that McClellan did
                  not have. If you can show me a single example of where an army in the
                  Civil War that had a 1.58-1 or less superiority in effectives destroyed
                  the other army I will change my opinion. Until that happens I will
                  maintain that McClellan did a very good job during the Maryland campaign.

                  Jim Rose
                • Jeff Beckner (PWC Magazine)
                  Not talking about wiping Lee out to a man; just doing even more damage than they did. An interesting comment along those lines comes from Porter Alexander, who
                  Message 8 of 30 , Jun 8, 2001
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                    Not talking about wiping Lee out to a man; just doing even more damage than
                    they did.

                    An interesting comment along those lines comes from Porter Alexander, who
                    while saying that Meade was entirely right not to attack at Falling Waters,
                    as they'd have waxed his tail for him all too happily, with the opportunity
                    to end the war in one afternoon, he should have tried anyway. (A good
                    example of talking out of both sides of your mouth but still making sense
                    anyway if there ever was one.)

                    That same theory, such as it is and so far as it goes, might have been
                    applied to McClellan on the 18th.

                    -----Original Message-----
                    From: James Rose [mailto:eodrose@...]
                    Sent: Thursday, June 07, 2001 7:17 PM
                    To: TalkAntietam@yahoogroups.com
                    Subject: Re: [TalkAntietam] Re: US Civil War Factbook




                    Jeff Beckner (PWC Magazine) wrote:

                    > It would for those who wish to read it that way, but by the contemporary
                    > yardstick, it you left first, you lose -- as at Stones River. Tactically
                    you
                    > can easily call it a draw, but strategically, Lee was in Maryland, and
                    then
                    > he wasn't. (And for those who would quibble, "left first" as in breaking
                    off
                    > offensive efforts.)
                    >
                    > Needless to say, in terms of what _might_ have happened, if Jim Rose will
                    > allow me to get away with saying this, the battle was a failure of immense
                    > proportions on the Union side.

                    I'm trying to figure out how I can prevent you from saying that. :)
                    Sure the battle could have gone better for the North. Such as if A.P.
                    Hill had arrived either much earlier or latter in the battle, or if
                    Rodman hadn't been mortally wounded there are good reasons to believe
                    that Antietam would have been a complete victory.

                    If you are talking about the chance for the AotP to totally destroy the
                    ANV, I'm afraid I still don't see it. As far as I know there was only
                    one time (ONE) that an army was destroyed during the war. According to
                    Livermore the odds were worse for the Union at Antietam (1.45-1) than at
                    Nashville (2.14-1). Admittedly Livermore may not be the best, but using
                    Harsh's numbers the odds only up in the Union's favor a little bit at
                    Antietam (1.58-1). Quite simply the evidence from the war suggests that
                    one (of many) things needed for one army to destroy another is numerical
                    superiority of at least 2-1, and that is something that McClellan did
                    not have. If you can show me a single example of where an army in the
                    Civil War that had a 1.58-1 or less superiority in effectives destroyed
                    the other army I will change my opinion. Until that happens I will
                    maintain that McClellan did a very good job during the Maryland campaign.

                    Jim Rose






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                  • James Rose
                    ... I understand the theory, but for the Union I don t accept its validity. What some people have trouble understanding is that sometimes the attacker loses
                    Message 9 of 30 , Jun 8, 2001
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                      Jeff Beckner (PWC Magazine) wrote:

                      > Not talking about wiping Lee out to a man; just doing even more damage than
                      > they did.
                      >
                      > An interesting comment along those lines comes from Porter Alexander, who
                      > while saying that Meade was entirely right not to attack at Falling Waters,
                      > as they'd have waxed his tail for him all too happily, with the opportunity
                      > to end the war in one afternoon, he should have tried anyway. (A good
                      > example of talking out of both sides of your mouth but still making sense
                      > anyway if there ever was one.)
                      >
                      > That same theory, such as it is and so far as it goes, might have been
                      > applied to McClellan on the 18th.

                      I understand the theory, but for the Union I don't accept its validity.
                      What some people have trouble understanding is that sometimes the
                      attacker loses the battle even when they outnumber their opponent.
                      Battles of the "win the war in one battle" (if such actually exist)
                      variety usually apply to both sides. In that case the person with the
                      upper hand (ie the one who will win in the end anyway) would be a fool
                      to give the underdog a chance at total victory.

                      Whether or not Lee and McClellan were right that a decisive Confederate
                      victory in Maryland would give the best chance to end the war in the
                      Confederacy's favor, they were both thinking in those terms.
                      McClellan's conduct during the campaign was to deny Lee that victory.

                      Jim Rose
                    • NJ Rebel
                      Tony-- After having been away all week in Chicago at a trade show, I am only now joining in again and am shortly off for the weekend to my family summer
                      Message 10 of 30 , Jun 8, 2001
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                        Tony--

                        After having been away all week in Chicago at a trade show, I am
                        only now joining in again and am shortly off for the weekend to
                        my family "summer house"....

                        Actually, IMHO, no one won the Civil War!

                        Your humble servant,
                        Gerry Mayers
                        Co. B, "Tom Green Rifles",
                        Fourth Regiment, Texas Volunteer Infantry

                        "I know of no fitter resting-place for a soldier than the field
                        on which he has nobly laid down his life." --General Robert
                        Edward Lee


                        ----- Original Message -----
                        From: "Anthony W. Turner" <awturner@...>
                        To: <TalkAntietam@yahoogroups.com>
                        Sent: Thursday, June 07, 2001 11:54 AM
                        Subject: [TalkAntietam] Re: US Civil War Factbook


                        > Re: Who won? Who lost?
                        >
                        > For me, this raises a semantics question. Wouldn't it be right
                        to call
                        > it a tactical draw and a strategic victory for the Union?
                        >
                        > Tony Turner
                        >
                        >
                        > Yahoo! Groups Sponsor
                        >
                        >
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                        >
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                        > Your use of Yahoo! Groups is subject to the Yahoo! Terms of
                        Service.
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                        >
                      • Anthony W. Turner
                        Off the top, I agree with you about no one winning the war, Gerry. It might be a worthy topic for discussion on a forum with a broader range, however. In how
                        Message 11 of 30 , Jun 8, 2001
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                          Off the top, I agree with you about no one winning the war, Gerry. It
                          might be a worthy topic for discussion on a forum with a broader range,
                          however. In how many contexts can we put the question, "Who won?"..???

                          My own "Who won? Who lost?" comment on TalkAntietam referred to the
                          battle, not the war. Apologies if I didn't make that clear.

                          Enjoy your weekend.

                          Tony Turner
                        • Curt
                          I would suggest: Mill Springs (A/D 1:1) Brice s Cross Roads (A/D 0.4/1.0) If you would like a contemporary European example, there is Sadowa (1866)(A/D
                          Message 12 of 30 , Jun 8, 2001
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                            I would suggest:

                            Mill Springs (A/D 1:1)

                            Brice's Cross Roads (A/D 0.4/1.0)

                            If you would like a contemporary European example, there is Sadowa
                            (1866)(A/D 1.0/0.98).

                            These were true battles of annihilation, as was Nashville, which I
                            assume is your unnamed example (benchmark?).

                            As I have attempted to demonstrate elsewhere, in discussion of the
                            purported 3-1 rule, there is no real correlation of raw numbers of
                            personnel to success in battle.

                            Curt Johnson
                            McLean, Va.


                            James Rose wrote:
                            If you can show me a single example of where an army in the
                            > Civil War that had a 1.58-1 or less superiority in effectives destroyed
                            > the other army I will change my opinion. Until that happens I will
                            > maintain that McClellan did a very good job during the Maryland campaign.
                            >
                            > Jim Rose
                            >
                          • James Rose
                            ... I don t have much information on those two battles, but what I do have does not equate to battles of annihilation . At Mills Springs the forces were US
                            Message 13 of 30 , Jun 9, 2001
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                              Curt wrote:

                              > I would suggest:
                              >
                              > Mill Springs (A/D 1:1)
                              >
                              > Brice's Cross Roads (A/D 0.4/1.0)

                              I don't have much information on those two battles, but what I do have
                              does not equate to "battles of annihilation".

                              At Mills Springs the forces were US 4,000 to CS 4,000. Casualties were
                              US 262 to CS 529. Crittenden abandoned most of his equipment in the
                              retreat. True it was a resounding victory for the US forces, but it
                              stops well short of annihilation. I would like to point out two extra
                              things about this battle. One, the scale of operations is significantly
                              much smaller than I was thinking about (when I say army I generally
                              refer to at least 20,000 men). Scale of operations does make a
                              difference. Two, if what I read about many of Crittenden's men having
                              weapons that didn't work is correct, then the odds change. A man cannot
                              be considered a fighting effective if his weapon doesn't work.

                              Brice's Cross Roads is a much better example (although the problem of
                              scale is still there). The forces were US 8,100 to CS 3,500
                              (interestingly at 2.3:1 this is close to the superiority that many
                              people believe McClellan had over Lee). Casualties were US 2,612 to CS
                              493. It was a rout, massive one sided victory (question are there any
                              victories that were more one sided during the war), and just an all
                              round good day for Forrest. However, Sturgis still made it to safety
                              with the bulk of his army. I would like to point out one thing about
                              this battle. The CS had Forrest. McClellan was many things, but a
                              tactical genius was not one of them.

                              I was looking up Nashville (yes it was the benchmark), and one
                              conclusion jumps out at me. The difference between being routed and
                              annihilation has a lot to do with the support structure of the army in
                              question. As near as I can tell the only reason why Hood's army was
                              "destroyed" was because the South could no longer recover from a massive
                              defeat. This was not the situation in 1862.

                              > As I have attempted to demonstrate elsewhere, in discussion of the
                              > purported 3-1 rule, there is no real correlation of raw numbers of
                              > personnel to success in battle.

                              If this is true (which in general I agree) then why do people
                              automatically assume that McClellan would defeat and destroy Lee? From
                              every account I have read and heard Lee is considered a much better
                              tactical commander than McClellan. I don't deny that McClellan might
                              have been able to destroy the ANV. What I deny is that it is a given
                              that had McClellan attacked on the 18th he would have destroyed the
                              ANV. If anything Brice's Cross Roads shows that it could have gone the
                              other way.

                              In the Maryland campaign McClellan had two things going for him: numbers
                              (which he was unaware of his advantage), and supply (his supply
                              situation was far better than Lee's). He had five things going against
                              him: strategic defense (i.e. he was reacting to Lee), tactical offense
                              (if 3-1 isn't an official axiom, it is still better to be in a strong
                              defensive position when fighting), morale (his army had just been
                              routed), combat veterans (13% had never been in combat, and many of
                              those who had been in only one major campaign got their experience at
                              2nd Manassas), and tactical command ( the Lee/Longstreet/Jackson team is
                              considered far better than the McClellan/Burnside/Porter team). The
                              situation was reversed for Lee except that it is even worse for
                              McClellan in the morale and combat veterans department. For morale the
                              ANV had come off of a summer of victories capped with routing the
                              federal army. For veterans, everyone in the ANV had been in at least
                              one major campaign (the highest percentage being in 3 major battles).

                              For the life of me I can't see what people base the assumption that it
                              is axiomatic that the AotP would destroy the ANV if McClellan had
                              attacked on the 18th. Possible, yes; probable, maybe (I thinks that's
                              pushing it); a given, no way.

                              Jim Rose
                            • Anthony W. Turner
                              Jim Rose wrote:
                              Message 14 of 30 , Jun 9, 2001
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                                Jim Rose wrote:
                                << In the Maryland campaign McClellan had two things going for him:
                                numbers (which he was unaware of his advantage), and supply (his supply
                                situation was far better than Lee's). He had five things going against
                                him: strategic defense (i.e. he was reacting to Lee), tactical offense
                                (if 3-1 isn't an official axiom, it is still better to be in a strong
                                defensive position when fighting), morale (his army had just been
                                routed), combat veterans (13% had never been in combat...) >>

                                Your 13% figure differs, Jim, from the "one quarter" (or 25%) D. Scott
                                Hartwig uses in his essay, "Who Would Not Be a Soldier?" within Gary
                                Gallagher's _The Antietam Campaign_. I'm not the scholar here, and not
                                about to dispute either figure, but feel two such disparate numbers
                                deserve further discussion.

                                Hartwig writes of the AoP: "The field army had an effective strength of
                                approximately 60,000 men. On September 6-7, McClellan assigned
                                twenty-four new regiments to his field army, distributing them equally
                                among his corps, with the Second, Ninth, and Twelfth recieving the
                                largest number. Only eighteen regiments, numbering about 15,000-16,000
                                men, actually accompanied the army, the others being unable to join
                                their assigned brigades before the army moved. In addition, several
                                thousand volunteers who had been recruited for veteran regiments joined
                                their assigned brigades before the army marched, raising the number of
                                recruits in the field to approximately 20,000. This meant nearly
                                one-quarter of McClellan's infantry had undergone little or no
                                training."

                                Comments, Jim and others?

                                Tony Turner
                              • James Rose
                                I don t think that our numbers are really very different. It just takes some explaining. You might call my research the quick and dirty kind. Hartwig was
                                Message 15 of 30 , Jun 9, 2001
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                                  I don't think that our numbers are really very different. It just takes
                                  some explaining. You might call my research the quick and dirty kind.
                                  Hartwig was talking about the men, while I was simply talking about
                                  regiments without reference to how many men were present for duty from
                                  each regiment. It stands to reason that the unblooded regiments will
                                  have more men present than the veteran units. I would not be surprised
                                  if a full 25% of the men at Antietam were under one month service. The
                                  following is how I came up with my numbers.

                                  I had to do the research on this by myself. Harsh did a good job with
                                  the ANV, but he has yet to do the AotP. So I did my research using the
                                  criteria in "Sounding the Shallows" for what constitutes major battles.
                                  What I did was use the table in "Gleam of Bayonets" for my list of what
                                  regiments were in the AotP at the time (from what I understand it is not
                                  a perfect list, but it was the best I had). Then using that list I went
                                  through Dyer's and created a spreadsheet of the 217 infantry regiments
                                  (that is what I was concerned with at the time). The tables were:
                                  branch (all infantry), state, regiment #, muster in date, terms of
                                  service, corps assign, division assign, brigade assign, previous combat
                                  (I included skirmishes for this), and major battles (using Harsh's
                                  definitions). It took a really long time to put all this information
                                  together, so I wouldn't be surprised if I made any mistakes.

                                  Of the 217 regiments in the AotP at this time there were 23 absent from
                                  Antietam (Forth corps and Humphrey's division). Of the 194 remaining,
                                  17 were mustered in less than one month before (8.8%); 26 had no
                                  previous combat experience (13.4%); 40 had never fought a major battle
                                  (20.6%); 35 had fought one major battle (18%); 92 had fought two major
                                  battles (47.4%); 25 had fought three major battles (12.9%); and 2 had
                                  fought 4 major battles (1%).

                                  Note that I did not put numbers of men to each regiment. That was
                                  beyond the scope of the research I was doing at the time (not to mention
                                  that would probably take a year, and I only had a few days). I will say
                                  that the absolute most that the new men could make up would be about 22%
                                  of the total men in the army in the "effectives" group. It was probably
                                  fairly close to this percentage.

                                  Jim Rose

                                  Anthony W. Turner wrote:

                                  >
                                  > Your 13% figure differs, Jim, from the "one quarter" (or 25%) D. Scott
                                  > Hartwig uses in his essay, "Who Would Not Be a Soldier?" within Gary
                                  > Gallagher's _The Antietam Campaign_. I'm not the scholar here, and not
                                  > about to dispute either figure, but feel two such disparate numbers
                                  > deserve further discussion.
                                  >
                                  > Hartwig writes of the AoP: "The field army had an effective strength of
                                  > approximately 60,000 men. On September 6-7, McClellan assigned
                                  > twenty-four new regiments to his field army, distributing them equally
                                  > among his corps, with the Second, Ninth, and Twelfth recieving the
                                  > largest number. Only eighteen regiments, numbering about 15,000-16,000
                                  > men, actually accompanied the army, the others being unable to join
                                  > their assigned brigades before the army moved. In addition, several
                                  > thousand volunteers who had been recruited for veteran regiments joined
                                  > their assigned brigades before the army marched, raising the number of
                                  > recruits in the field to approximately 20,000. This meant nearly
                                  > one-quarter of McClellan's infantry had undergone little or no
                                  > training."
                                  >
                                  > Comments, Jim and others?
                                  >
                                  > Tony Turner
                                  >
                                  >
                                • Marcus Wendel
                                  ... Thanks, but I actually have that name on my list. /Marcus http://www.skalman.nu
                                  Message 16 of 30 , Jun 10, 2001
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                                    --- In TalkAntietam@y..., James Rose <eodrose@e...> wrote:
                                    > I like the site. However you are missing one name for the Civil
                                    > War (an important one too). "The War of the Rebellion" which was
                                    > the official name given by the U.S. War department.

                                    Thanks, but I actually have that name on my list.

                                    /Marcus
                                    http://www.skalman.nu
                                  • Marcus Wendel
                                    ... Thanks, I am glad you like it. ... Good point, I will try to rephrase that. /Marcus http://www.skalman.nu
                                    Message 17 of 30 , Jun 10, 2001
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                                      --- In TalkAntietam@y..., "Brian Downey" <brdowney@m...> wrote:
                                      > Thanks for the link Marcus. You have a very clean, readable site
                                      > there - nice introduction to the War between the States.

                                      Thanks, I am glad you like it.

                                      > On your 1862 timeline, you noted "17 Sep - Union forces defeat the
                                      > Confederate forces at Antietam, Maryland."
                                      > I would suggest the forces met on that date, but the matter of who
                                      > was victorious is open to debate. Also, in the North, the battle
                                      > was named for Antietam Creek. The battle actually occurred near
                                      > the town of Sharpsburg, Maryland. Those in the South referred to
                                      > the battle by the name of the town.

                                      Good point, I will try to rephrase that.

                                      /Marcus
                                      http://www.skalman.nu
                                    • Pa128th@aol.com
                                      In a message dated 6/9/01 8:54:47 PM Eastern Daylight Time, awturner@midtel.net writes:
                                      Message 18 of 30 , Jun 10, 2001
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                                        In a message dated 6/9/01 8:54:47 PM Eastern Daylight Time,
                                        awturner@... writes:

                                        << Hartwig writes of the AoP: "The field army had an effective strength of
                                        approximately 60,000 men. On September 6-7, McClellan assigned
                                        twenty-four new regiments to his field army, distributing them equally
                                        among his corps, with the Second, Ninth, and Twelfth recieving the
                                        largest number. Only eighteen regiments, numbering about 15,000-16,000
                                        men, actually accompanied the army, the others being unable to join
                                        their assigned brigades before the army moved. In addition, several
                                        thousand volunteers who had been recruited for veteran regiments joined
                                        their assigned brigades before the army marched, raising the number of
                                        recruits in the field to approximately 20,000. This meant nearly
                                        one-quarter of McClellan's infantry had undergone little or no
                                        training."
                                        >>
                                        Just to give you an example, one brigade of Alpheus Williams division in the
                                        the X!! corps had 6 regiments, The 124th, the 125th and the 128th Pa were
                                        just about full strength but were green troops and never in combat, the XII
                                        corps missed South Mt, arriving there the night of the 14th. The other 3
                                        regiments, the 10th Ct, 46th Pa and 28th NY were veterans, but had strengths
                                        of about company size, if that.

                                        Paula
                                      • John Priest
                                        I ascertained that 27 of the Federal regiments at Antietam were green - being in the service less than six weeks. Regiments like the 8th Ohio, had been in
                                        Message 19 of 30 , Jun 10, 2001
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                                          I ascertained that 27 of the Federal regiments at Antietam were "green" -
                                          being in the service less than six weeks. Regiments like the 8th Ohio, had
                                          been in actions of some sort but not on the scale of Antietam. Antietam was
                                          the first real battle of a large portion of the A of P. It was a very
                                          terrible taste of on the job training.

                                          Mike Priest


                                          -----Original Message-----
                                          From: James Rose <eodrose@...>
                                          To: TalkAntietam@yahoogroups.com <TalkAntietam@yahoogroups.com>
                                          Date: Saturday, June 09, 2001 10:29 PM
                                          Subject: Re: [TalkAntietam] Re: US Civil War Factbook


                                          >I don't think that our numbers are really very different. It just takes
                                          >some explaining. You might call my research the quick and dirty kind.
                                          >Hartwig was talking about the men, while I was simply talking about
                                          >regiments without reference to how many men were present for duty from
                                          >each regiment. It stands to reason that the unblooded regiments will
                                          >have more men present than the veteran units. I would not be surprised
                                          >if a full 25% of the men at Antietam were under one month service. The
                                          >following is how I came up with my numbers.
                                          >
                                          >I had to do the research on this by myself. Harsh did a good job with
                                          >the ANV, but he has yet to do the AotP. So I did my research using the
                                          >criteria in "Sounding the Shallows" for what constitutes major battles.
                                          >What I did was use the table in "Gleam of Bayonets" for my list of what
                                          >regiments were in the AotP at the time (from what I understand it is not
                                          >a perfect list, but it was the best I had). Then using that list I went
                                          >through Dyer's and created a spreadsheet of the 217 infantry regiments
                                          >(that is what I was concerned with at the time). The tables were:
                                          >branch (all infantry), state, regiment #, muster in date, terms of
                                          >service, corps assign, division assign, brigade assign, previous combat
                                          >(I included skirmishes for this), and major battles (using Harsh's
                                          >definitions). It took a really long time to put all this information
                                          >together, so I wouldn't be surprised if I made any mistakes.
                                          >
                                          >Of the 217 regiments in the AotP at this time there were 23 absent from
                                          >Antietam (Forth corps and Humphrey's division). Of the 194 remaining,
                                          >17 were mustered in less than one month before (8.8%); 26 had no
                                          >previous combat experience (13.4%); 40 had never fought a major battle
                                          >(20.6%); 35 had fought one major battle (18%); 92 had fought two major
                                          >battles (47.4%); 25 had fought three major battles (12.9%); and 2 had
                                          >fought 4 major battles (1%).
                                          >
                                          >Note that I did not put numbers of men to each regiment. That was
                                          >beyond the scope of the research I was doing at the time (not to mention
                                          >that would probably take a year, and I only had a few days). I will say
                                          >that the absolute most that the new men could make up would be about 22%
                                          >of the total men in the army in the "effectives" group. It was probably
                                          >fairly close to this percentage.
                                          >
                                          >Jim Rose
                                          >
                                          >Anthony W. Turner wrote:
                                          >
                                          >>
                                          >> Your 13% figure differs, Jim, from the "one quarter" (or 25%) D. Scott
                                          >> Hartwig uses in his essay, "Who Would Not Be a Soldier?" within Gary
                                          >> Gallagher's _The Antietam Campaign_. I'm not the scholar here, and not
                                          >> about to dispute either figure, but feel two such disparate numbers
                                          >> deserve further discussion.
                                          >>
                                          >> Hartwig writes of the AoP: "The field army had an effective strength of
                                          >> approximately 60,000 men. On September 6-7, McClellan assigned
                                          >> twenty-four new regiments to his field army, distributing them equally
                                          >> among his corps, with the Second, Ninth, and Twelfth recieving the
                                          >> largest number. Only eighteen regiments, numbering about 15,000-16,000
                                          >> men, actually accompanied the army, the others being unable to join
                                          >> their assigned brigades before the army moved. In addition, several
                                          >> thousand volunteers who had been recruited for veteran regiments joined
                                          >> their assigned brigades before the army marched, raising the number of
                                          >> recruits in the field to approximately 20,000. This meant nearly
                                          >> one-quarter of McClellan's infantry had undergone little or no
                                          >> training."
                                          >>
                                          >> Comments, Jim and others?
                                          >>
                                          >> Tony Turner
                                          >>
                                          >>
                                          >
                                          >
                                          >
                                          >
                                          >
                                          >Your use of Yahoo! Groups is subject to http://docs.yahoo.com/info/terms/
                                          >
                                          >
                                          >
                                        • James Rose
                                          ... If you count Humphrey s division and Forth corps the number of Green regiments jumps to 27 on my table. I didn t count them because they were not at
                                          Message 20 of 30 , Jun 10, 2001
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                                            John Priest wrote:

                                            > I ascertained that 27 of the Federal regiments at Antietam were "green" -
                                            > being in the service less than six weeks. Regiments like the 8th Ohio, had
                                            > been in actions of some sort but not on the scale of Antietam. Antietam was
                                            > the first real battle of a large portion of the A of P. It was a very
                                            > terrible taste of on the job training.


                                            If you count Humphrey's division and Forth corps the number of "Green"
                                            regiments jumps to 27 on my table. I didn't count them because they
                                            were not at Antietam on the 17th.

                                            Jim Rose
                                          • Jeff Beckner (PWC Magazine)
                                            I don t think everyone believes McClellan would automatically destroy Lee. But with an advantage in manpower, and facing an opponent that had been whacked
                                            Message 21 of 30 , Jun 11, 2001
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                                              I don't think everyone believes McClellan would "automatically" destroy Lee.
                                              But with an advantage in manpower, and facing an opponent that had been
                                              whacked pretty good the day before (and Mac should know this, since _he_ was
                                              whacked pretty thoroughly too), and with his back against a river and
                                              nothing but catastrophe awaiting him should the day go against him, was it
                                              _at least_ worth a try?

                                              I would think even you would have to consider that as a valid choice.

                                              -----Original Message-----
                                              From: James Rose [mailto:eodrose@...]
                                              Sent: Saturday, June 09, 2001 9:10 AM
                                              To: TalkAntietam@yahoogroups.com
                                              Subject: Re: [TalkAntietam] Re: US Civil War Factbook




                                              Curt wrote:

                                              > I would suggest:
                                              >
                                              > Mill Springs (A/D 1:1)
                                              >
                                              > Brice's Cross Roads (A/D 0.4/1.0)

                                              I don't have much information on those two battles, but what I do have
                                              does not equate to "battles of annihilation".

                                              At Mills Springs the forces were US 4,000 to CS 4,000. Casualties were
                                              US 262 to CS 529. Crittenden abandoned most of his equipment in the
                                              retreat. True it was a resounding victory for the US forces, but it
                                              stops well short of annihilation. I would like to point out two extra
                                              things about this battle. One, the scale of operations is significantly
                                              much smaller than I was thinking about (when I say army I generally
                                              refer to at least 20,000 men). Scale of operations does make a
                                              difference. Two, if what I read about many of Crittenden's men having
                                              weapons that didn't work is correct, then the odds change. A man cannot
                                              be considered a fighting effective if his weapon doesn't work.

                                              Brice's Cross Roads is a much better example (although the problem of
                                              scale is still there). The forces were US 8,100 to CS 3,500
                                              (interestingly at 2.3:1 this is close to the superiority that many
                                              people believe McClellan had over Lee). Casualties were US 2,612 to CS
                                              493. It was a rout, massive one sided victory (question are there any
                                              victories that were more one sided during the war), and just an all
                                              round good day for Forrest. However, Sturgis still made it to safety
                                              with the bulk of his army. I would like to point out one thing about
                                              this battle. The CS had Forrest. McClellan was many things, but a
                                              tactical genius was not one of them.

                                              I was looking up Nashville (yes it was the benchmark), and one
                                              conclusion jumps out at me. The difference between being routed and
                                              annihilation has a lot to do with the support structure of the army in
                                              question. As near as I can tell the only reason why Hood's army was
                                              "destroyed" was because the South could no longer recover from a massive
                                              defeat. This was not the situation in 1862.

                                              > As I have attempted to demonstrate elsewhere, in discussion of the
                                              > purported 3-1 rule, there is no real correlation of raw numbers of
                                              > personnel to success in battle.

                                              If this is true (which in general I agree) then why do people
                                              automatically assume that McClellan would defeat and destroy Lee? From
                                              every account I have read and heard Lee is considered a much better
                                              tactical commander than McClellan. I don't deny that McClellan might
                                              have been able to destroy the ANV. What I deny is that it is a given
                                              that had McClellan attacked on the 18th he would have destroyed the
                                              ANV. If anything Brice's Cross Roads shows that it could have gone the
                                              other way.

                                              In the Maryland campaign McClellan had two things going for him: numbers
                                              (which he was unaware of his advantage), and supply (his supply
                                              situation was far better than Lee's). He had five things going against
                                              him: strategic defense (i.e. he was reacting to Lee), tactical offense
                                              (if 3-1 isn't an official axiom, it is still better to be in a strong
                                              defensive position when fighting), morale (his army had just been
                                              routed), combat veterans (13% had never been in combat, and many of
                                              those who had been in only one major campaign got their experience at
                                              2nd Manassas), and tactical command ( the Lee/Longstreet/Jackson team is
                                              considered far better than the McClellan/Burnside/Porter team). The
                                              situation was reversed for Lee except that it is even worse for
                                              McClellan in the morale and combat veterans department. For morale the
                                              ANV had come off of a summer of victories capped with routing the
                                              federal army. For veterans, everyone in the ANV had been in at least
                                              one major campaign (the highest percentage being in 3 major battles).

                                              For the life of me I can't see what people base the assumption that it
                                              is axiomatic that the AotP would destroy the ANV if McClellan had
                                              attacked on the 18th. Possible, yes; probable, maybe (I thinks that's
                                              pushing it); a given, no way.

                                              Jim Rose






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                                            • James Rose
                                              Perhaps saying everyone was a bit strong, but overall that is my impression of how most people judge McClellan s actions during the Maryland campaign. The
                                              Message 22 of 30 , Jun 11, 2001
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                                                Perhaps saying "everyone" was a bit strong, but overall that is my
                                                impression of how most people judge McClellan's actions during the
                                                Maryland campaign. The seize on their vision of what might have been,
                                                and lose sight of what McClellan did accomplish.

                                                As to the specifics of your question (which was phrased quite
                                                differently than I normally see it), I agree that it would have been
                                                worth a try. That is speaking from the position of hindsight, and
                                                knowing what I know, attacking on the 18th probably would have been a
                                                good idea. While admitting that attacking might have been the best
                                                course of action, that does not mean that I believe what McClellan did
                                                do was wrong. I think that Harsh goes into the best detail of how the
                                                situation looked to McClellan after the battle in TATF (Murfin does
                                                little more than try to show that McClellan was little more than a
                                                whinny boy, and Sears is not much better).

                                                Looking at the situation on the evening of the 17th as it appeared to
                                                McClellan his decision is not unreasonable. In the first place
                                                McClellan did intend to attack on the 18th, but circumstances delayed it
                                                for 24 hours. McClellan was unaware of his advantage in manpower. All
                                                of the intelligence reports put the ANV at having a 25% advantage in
                                                men, and nothing that happened during the 17th could have changed that
                                                opinion downward. The AotP was repulsed at every point with 25-33%
                                                losses (it was worse among the green troops). The ANV's line was never
                                                broken fully open anywhere. The ANV was "wacked", but so was the AotP.
                                                Any attack on the 18th could only be done with the Fifth and Sixth
                                                corps'. The other corps' were unable to conduct offensive operations
                                                (at least that is what the corps' commanders told McClellan). Of those
                                                two corps' around 25% of the men had less than one month in service.
                                                Then there is the ammo situation. Small arms ammo was critically short,
                                                and the AotP was completely out of Parrot ammo. Because of the
                                                destruction of the B&O bridge the AotP would not be resupplied until the
                                                evening of the 18th. Finally any attack would again give Lee the
                                                advantage of defense. At best I don't see how McClellan could have
                                                believed that any attack on the 18th would be more than a toss up as to
                                                who would win.

                                                So the question becomes: should McClellan have taken that gamble and
                                                attacked on the 18th? Considering what McClellan believe his duty to be
                                                I would say that he was unjustified in taking the gamble that it
                                                appeared to be. McClellan's first duty was the protection of
                                                Washington, and the second was to end the invasion of Maryland (down
                                                around the end of the list is the destruction of the ANV). By standing
                                                fast on the 18th, and preparing to attack on the 19th McClellan served
                                                both those duties. Lee had three options. He could attack, stand, or
                                                leave. McClellan was ready for any counterattack, he would attack on
                                                the 19th if Lee stood, and the only place for Lee to go was back to
                                                Virginia. On the other hand if McClellan had attacked and lost, then
                                                Lee might have been able to revive his invasion (unlikely in hindsight
                                                no matter the outcome of the battle). That would mean a failure of both
                                                the primary and secondary missions. Quite simply if McClellan had
                                                attacked on the 18th he would have risked everything for the possibility
                                                of gaining relatively little.

                                                Jim Rose

                                                Jeff Beckner (PWC Magazine) wrote:

                                                > I don't think everyone believes McClellan would "automatically" destroy Lee.
                                                > But with an advantage in manpower, and facing an opponent that had been
                                                > whacked pretty good the day before (and Mac should know this, since _he_ was
                                                > whacked pretty thoroughly too), and with his back against a river and
                                                > nothing but catastrophe awaiting him should the day go against him, was it
                                                > _at least_ worth a try?
                                                >
                                                > I would think even you would have to consider that as a valid choice.
                                              • Jeff Beckner (PWC Magazine)
                                                Not to entirely rehash this ever-so-familiar topic, but a couple of points: 1. You carefully explain all the reasons Mac had for not attacking on the 18th, yet
                                                Message 23 of 30 , Jun 11, 2001
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                                                  Not to entirely rehash this ever-so-familiar topic, but a couple of points:

                                                  1. You carefully explain all the reasons Mac had for not attacking on the
                                                  18th, yet state that he intended on attacking anyway. Huh?

                                                  2. Why did the reasons for not attacking on the 18th not apply to the 17th
                                                  as well?

                                                  -----Original Message-----
                                                  From: James Rose [mailto:eodrose@...]
                                                  Sent: Monday, June 11, 2001 2:19 PM
                                                  To: TalkAntietam@yahoogroups.com
                                                  Subject: Re: [TalkAntietam] Re: US Civil War Factbook


                                                  Perhaps saying "everyone" was a bit strong, but overall that is my
                                                  impression of how most people judge McClellan's actions during the
                                                  Maryland campaign. The seize on their vision of what might have been,
                                                  and lose sight of what McClellan did accomplish.

                                                  As to the specifics of your question (which was phrased quite
                                                  differently than I normally see it), I agree that it would have been
                                                  worth a try. That is speaking from the position of hindsight, and
                                                  knowing what I know, attacking on the 18th probably would have been a
                                                  good idea. While admitting that attacking might have been the best
                                                  course of action, that does not mean that I believe what McClellan did
                                                  do was wrong. I think that Harsh goes into the best detail of how the
                                                  situation looked to McClellan after the battle in TATF (Murfin does
                                                  little more than try to show that McClellan was little more than a
                                                  whinny boy, and Sears is not much better).

                                                  Looking at the situation on the evening of the 17th as it appeared to
                                                  McClellan his decision is not unreasonable. In the first place
                                                  McClellan did intend to attack on the 18th, but circumstances delayed it
                                                  for 24 hours. McClellan was unaware of his advantage in manpower. All
                                                  of the intelligence reports put the ANV at having a 25% advantage in
                                                  men, and nothing that happened during the 17th could have changed that
                                                  opinion downward. The AotP was repulsed at every point with 25-33%
                                                  losses (it was worse among the green troops). The ANV's line was never
                                                  broken fully open anywhere. The ANV was "wacked", but so was the AotP.
                                                  Any attack on the 18th could only be done with the Fifth and Sixth
                                                  corps'. The other corps' were unable to conduct offensive operations
                                                  (at least that is what the corps' commanders told McClellan). Of those
                                                  two corps' around 25% of the men had less than one month in service.
                                                  Then there is the ammo situation. Small arms ammo was critically short,
                                                  and the AotP was completely out of Parrot ammo. Because of the
                                                  destruction of the B&O bridge the AotP would not be resupplied until the
                                                  evening of the 18th. Finally any attack would again give Lee the
                                                  advantage of defense. At best I don't see how McClellan could have
                                                  believed that any attack on the 18th would be more than a toss up as to
                                                  who would win.

                                                  So the question becomes: should McClellan have taken that gamble and
                                                  attacked on the 18th? Considering what McClellan believe his duty to be
                                                  I would say that he was unjustified in taking the gamble that it
                                                  appeared to be. McClellan's first duty was the protection of
                                                  Washington, and the second was to end the invasion of Maryland (down
                                                  around the end of the list is the destruction of the ANV). By standing
                                                  fast on the 18th, and preparing to attack on the 19th McClellan served
                                                  both those duties. Lee had three options. He could attack, stand, or
                                                  leave. McClellan was ready for any counterattack, he would attack on
                                                  the 19th if Lee stood, and the only place for Lee to go was back to
                                                  Virginia. On the other hand if McClellan had attacked and lost, then
                                                  Lee might have been able to revive his invasion (unlikely in hindsight
                                                  no matter the outcome of the battle). That would mean a failure of both
                                                  the primary and secondary missions. Quite simply if McClellan had
                                                  attacked on the 18th he would have risked everything for the possibility
                                                  of gaining relatively little.

                                                  Jim Rose

                                                  Jeff Beckner (PWC Magazine) wrote:

                                                  > I don't think everyone believes McClellan would "automatically" destroy
                                                  Lee.
                                                  > But with an advantage in manpower, and facing an opponent that had been
                                                  > whacked pretty good the day before (and Mac should know this, since _he_
                                                  was
                                                  > whacked pretty thoroughly too), and with his back against a river and
                                                  > nothing but catastrophe awaiting him should the day go against him, was it
                                                  > _at least_ worth a try?
                                                  >
                                                  > I would think even you would have to consider that as a valid choice.






                                                  Your use of Yahoo! Groups is subject to http://docs.yahoo.com/info/terms/
                                                • James Rose
                                                  ... Is there a problem with there being a disparity between what McClellan wanted to do and what he felt he was capable of doing? During the evening of the
                                                  Message 24 of 30 , Jun 11, 2001
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                                                    Jeff Beckner (PWC Magazine) wrote:

                                                    > Not to entirely rehash this ever-so-familiar topic, but a couple of points:
                                                    >
                                                    > 1. You carefully explain all the reasons Mac had for not attacking on the
                                                    > 18th, yet state that he intended on attacking anyway. Huh?

                                                    Is there a problem with there being a disparity between what McClellan
                                                    wanted to do and what he felt he was capable of doing? During the
                                                    evening of the 17th McClellan had determined to attack the following
                                                    day. The decision not to attack was an evolution of thinking that came
                                                    with the information he had. The situation didn't change, but
                                                    McClellan's understanding of it did. After thinking it through he
                                                    determined to postpone the attack until the 19th. Its called "changing
                                                    your mind", and people do it from time to time.

                                                    >
                                                    > 2. Why did the reasons for not attacking on the 18th not apply to the 17th
                                                    > as well?

                                                    I would imagine that two important things looked different on the
                                                    morning of the 18th then they did on the evening of the 17th. First, I
                                                    don't think that McClellan was aware that the ammunition would be
                                                    delayed until the morning of the 18th. Second, McClellan probably
                                                    thought that after marching all night Humphrey's and Couch's men would
                                                    not be in very good condition to conduct an offensive. Since they
                                                    constituted close to half of McClellan's available force for the attack,
                                                    the thought of using them right then may have looked a bit different
                                                    than in the abstract.

                                                    Jim Rose
                                                  • Jeff Beckner (PWC Magazine)
                                                    ... Well, yeah. On the face of it, you give very good reasons for not pursuing offensive actions -- in fact, with the lack of ammo, staying put might not even
                                                    Message 25 of 30 , Jun 11, 2001
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                                                      >Is there a problem with there being a disparity between what McClellan
                                                      >wanted to do and what he felt he was capable of doing?

                                                      Well, yeah. On the face of it, you give very good reasons for not pursuing
                                                      offensive actions -- in fact, with the lack of ammo, staying put might not
                                                      even have been such a good idea. With said reasons, he shouldn't even have
                                                      been considering it under any circumstances. But he was, and it comes
                                                      closely to sounding like you want to play it both ways: He doesn't fight,
                                                      but deserves credit for at least thinking about it.

                                                      >I would imagine that two important things looked different on the
                                                      >morning of the 18th then they did on the evening of the 17th.

                                                      I was talking about the morning of the 17th -- if it was a good time to
                                                      attack then, what changed overnight other than slightly delayed ammo? If
                                                      there were reasons not to attack on the 18th, I would think they'd apply to
                                                      the 17th even more.
                                                    • NJ Rebel
                                                      Jim-- I cut your most excellent post to shorten the bandwith for this message but, in essence, I am in agreement with you on your statements. However, I
                                                      Message 26 of 30 , Jun 11, 2001
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                                                        Jim--

                                                        I cut your most excellent post to shorten the bandwith for this
                                                        message but, in essence, I am in agreement with you on your
                                                        statements.

                                                        However, I believe there is one very valuable thing that Mac did
                                                        with respects to Lee that most historians either overlook or
                                                        simply did not take the time to consider. Harsh goes over this
                                                        from the viewpoint of what Lee could or could not have done on
                                                        September 18th in TATF. Essentially, by remaining "in place"
                                                        where he was on September 18th, Mac effectively shut the door for
                                                        Lee to continue his Maryland campaign. Hence a large part of the
                                                        reason for the ANV retreat to Shepherdstown.

                                                        I wonder, too, if Carman says anything about Mac not attacking on
                                                        September 18th vis Lee and any plans Lee might have had. IIRC,
                                                        Lee was all for attacking on September 18th, but his main
                                                        subordinate commanders were unanimously against it.

                                                        Hope this helps.

                                                        Your humble servant,
                                                        Gerry Mayers
                                                        Co. B, "Tom Green Rifles",
                                                        Fourth Regiment, Texas Volunteer Infantry

                                                        "I know of no fitter resting-place for a soldier than the field
                                                        on which he has nobly laid down his life." --General Robert
                                                        Edward Lee
                                                      • James Rose
                                                        ... McClellan had to stay put. It was absolutely imperative that Lee not be allowed to revive the campaign. As for the ammo situation, if I understand it
                                                        Message 27 of 30 , Jun 11, 2001
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                                                          Jeff Beckner (PWC Magazine) wrote:

                                                          >
                                                          > Well, yeah. On the face of it, you give very good reasons for not pursuing
                                                          > offensive actions -- in fact, with the lack of ammo, staying put might not
                                                          > even have been such a good idea. With said reasons, he shouldn't even have
                                                          > been considering it under any circumstances. But he was, and it comes
                                                          > closely to sounding like you want to play it both ways: He doesn't fight,
                                                          > but deserves credit for at least thinking about it.

                                                          McClellan had to stay put. It was absolutely imperative that Lee not be
                                                          allowed to revive the campaign. As for the ammo situation, if I
                                                          understand it correctly McClellan thought (on the 17th) that he would be
                                                          resupplied in time for the attack on the 18th. That didn't happen, and
                                                          the shipment was delayed until the evening. If you don't want to give
                                                          McClellan credit for intending to attack on the 18th that's fine. It
                                                          doesn't actually matter to me. I personally think that McClellan
                                                          answered the questions about moral cowardice, timidity, and
                                                          unwillingness to fight on the 17th. The fact that McClellan thought
                                                          about attacking on the 18th and then changed his mind doesn't mean
                                                          anything other than he changed his mind.

                                                          >
                                                          > I was talking about the morning of the 17th -- if it was a good time to
                                                          > attack then, what changed overnight other than slightly delayed ammo? If
                                                          > there were reasons not to attack on the 18th, I would think they'd apply to
                                                          > the 17th even more.
                                                          >
                                                          Let me see. What changed during the day of the 17th. Let's start with
                                                          10,000 casualties and go from there. On the morning of the 17th the
                                                          AotP had 6 intact corps' that were capable of offensive operations. By
                                                          evening McClellan was reduced to two corps' capable of offensive
                                                          operations. In the morning there was a full load-out of ammo. By
                                                          evening there were critical shortages (heavy fighting tends to use up ammo).

                                                          There were many reasons not to attack on the 17th. I can think of
                                                          several with straining myself. However, not fighting Lee was out of the
                                                          question. If McClellan did not bring Lee to battle in Maryland it would
                                                          have been as damaging, or even more so, than actually losing the AotP.
                                                          McClellan had to fight Lee at some point, and thanks in part to S.O. 191
                                                          McClellan thought that the ANV was still separated (at least somewhat).
                                                          That means that on the 17th McClellan thought that the odds were
                                                          probably as good as they were going to get. Therefore, he attacked.
                                                          There were many reasons not to attack, but more overriding ones to
                                                          attack on the 17th. By evening those overriding reasons had been muted
                                                          by the battle (i.e. a bloodied ANV leaving Maryland is very different
                                                          than an unscratched ANV leaving Maryland).

                                                          Jim Rose
                                                        • Jeff Beckner (PWC Magazine)
                                                          ... Let me see. I guess all the Yankee bullets missed their marks. Where was this paralyzing lack of ammo in all of our other discussions? Has Dr. Harsh
                                                          Message 28 of 30 , Jun 12, 2001
                                                          • 0 Attachment
                                                            >Let me see. What changed during the day of the 17th. Let's start with
                                                            >10,000 casualties and go from there.

                                                            Let me see. I guess all the Yankee bullets missed their marks.

                                                            Where was this paralyzing lack of ammo in all of our other discussions? Has
                                                            Dr. Harsh written another book?
                                                          • James Rose
                                                            ... You do realize that McClellan had no real idea of how badly the Confederates were hurt during the battle. He could make an educated guess, but that is it.
                                                            Message 29 of 30 , Jun 12, 2001
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                                                              Jeff Beckner (PWC Magazine) wrote:
                                                              Let me see.  What changed during the day of the 17th.  Let's start with
                                                              10,000 casualties and go from there.

                                                              Let me see. I guess all the Yankee bullets missed their marks.
                                                              You do realize that McClellan had no real idea of how badly the Confederates were hurt during the battle.  He could make an educated guess, but that is it.  Basically what you are saying sounds like a paraphrase from a famous politician that goes something like this "Yes your troops are hurt, but so are they.  You are all hurt together."  McClellan understood something that apparently a lot of people miss.  It is easier to defend than it is to attack.  So on the 18th McClellan would only be able to attack with part of his army, but Lee would be able to defend with his entire army.


                                                              Where was this paralyzing lack of ammo in all of our other discussions? Has
                                                              Dr. Harsh written another book?

                                                              Have you read "Taken at the Flood" yet?  As for our other discussions, this is the first time I've been on these groups that I have joined in on a discussion of why McClellan didn't attack on the 18th.  That is why I've never mentioned it.  I've also never said that the ammo situation was "paralyzing".  That word has connotations that do not fit in this instance.  I said that he was critically short of ammo.  Sears acknowledges that lack of Parrot rounds even as he dismisses it as meaningless.  I think that the loss of the 20lb Parrots is far from meaningless.  They represented over 10% of the artillery pieces, and as the largest caliber they probably represented a higher percentage in actual combat power.  Considering that artillery is the one branch that McClellan knows is superior in all respects to the Confederates, such a loss is far from trivial.

                                                              Jim Rose


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