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RE: [TalkAntietam] Re: AoP Cavalry on Maryland Campaign

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  • Harry Smeltzer
    Three questions, Gerry. How did the US Signal Corps identify the force as Hill s? How did McClellan learn or indicate that what he was attempting to relieve at
    Message 1 of 16 , Jan 8, 2006
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      Three questions, Gerry.



      How did the US Signal Corps identify the force as Hill's?



      How did McClellan learn or indicate that what he was attempting to relieve
      at HF was a siege?



      To where were the telegraph lines from HF operating?



      Harry



      -----Original Message-----
      From: TalkAntietam@yahoogroups.com [mailto:TalkAntietam@yahoogroups.com] On
      Behalf Of G E Mayers
      Sent: Sunday, January 08, 2006 2:51 PM
      To: TalkAntietam@yahoogroups.com
      Subject: Re: [TalkAntietam] Re: AoP Cavalry on Maryland Campaign



      Dear Brian,

      re Mac and AP Hill......Burnside was warned by US Signal Corps that AP Hill
      would be soon engaging his left...but did nothing about it....... Cavalry
      would have run into Munford, IIRC, who was posted down towards Antietam
      Creek.

      As for Pleasant Valley, Franklin debouched into there from taking Crampton's

      Gap. Fox's Gap was the key to controlling Turner's Gap, but the stiff
      Confederate resistance made the Federal IX Corps not realize they had
      actually taken the Gap....until too late. Turner's Gap was attacked by the
      Federal I Corps and the very very stiff Confederate resistance there pretty
      much held off a Federal breakthrough on that front.

      I believe Mac knew something was up with HF because, again IIRC, he was
      supposed to signal with cannon when he approached close enough to HF to try
      to relieve the Siege there. Again, IIRC, the telegraph lines operating out
      from HF were still open until very late in the Siege.

      Very respectfully,
      G E "Gerry" Mayers

      "As an American citizen I prize the Union very highly
      and know of no personal sacrifice that I would not make
      to preserve it, save that of honour."
      --Robt. E. Lee, Letter to Rooney Lee, 3 December 1860










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    • G E Mayers
      Good questions Harry! 1. IIRC, Hill s force was ID d by the US Signals from their signal station closest to Burnside due to their having very high quality
      Message 2 of 16 , Jan 8, 2006
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        Good questions Harry!

        1. IIRC, Hill's force was ID'd by the US Signals from their signal station
        closest to Burnside due to their having very high quality optics and also, I
        would imagine they saw the column marching up the HF Ferry Road flying
        Virginia and Confederate flags. (Will have to check sources on that one!)

        2. Will have to check sources on this one, but IIRC, he was so informed by
        Halleck. (Maybe Tom Clemens can help with this one as well as Question 1.)

        3. Let me check sources including Harsh TATF on this. (Another good Tom
        Clemens question!)

        Very respectfully,
        G E "Gerry" Mayers

        "As an American citizen I prize the Union very highly
        and know of no personal sacrifice that I would not make
        to preserve it, save that of honour."
        --Robt. E. Lee, Letter to Rooney Lee, 3 December 1860

        ----- Original Message -----
        From: "Harry Smeltzer" <hjs21@...>
        To: <TalkAntietam@yahoogroups.com>
        Sent: Sunday, January 08, 2006 3:13 PM
        Subject: RE: [TalkAntietam] Re: AoP Cavalry on Maryland Campaign


        > Three questions, Gerry.
        >
        >
        >
        > How did the US Signal Corps identify the force as Hill's?
        >
        >
        >
        > How did McClellan learn or indicate that what he was attempting to relieve
        > at HF was a siege?
        >
        >
        >
        > To where were the telegraph lines from HF operating?
        >
        >
        >
        > Harry
        >
        >
        >
        > -----Original Message-----
        > From: TalkAntietam@yahoogroups.com [mailto:TalkAntietam@yahoogroups.com]
        > On
        > Behalf Of G E Mayers
        > Sent: Sunday, January 08, 2006 2:51 PM
        > To: TalkAntietam@yahoogroups.com
        > Subject: Re: [TalkAntietam] Re: AoP Cavalry on Maryland Campaign
        >
        >
        >
        > Dear Brian,
        >
        > re Mac and AP Hill......Burnside was warned by US Signal Corps that AP
        > Hill
        > would be soon engaging his left...but did nothing about it....... Cavalry
        > would have run into Munford, IIRC, who was posted down towards Antietam
        > Creek.
        >
        > As for Pleasant Valley, Franklin debouched into there from taking
        > Crampton's
        >
        > Gap. Fox's Gap was the key to controlling Turner's Gap, but the stiff
        > Confederate resistance made the Federal IX Corps not realize they had
        > actually taken the Gap....until too late. Turner's Gap was attacked by the
        > Federal I Corps and the very very stiff Confederate resistance there
        > pretty
        > much held off a Federal breakthrough on that front.
        >
        > I believe Mac knew something was up with HF because, again IIRC, he was
        > supposed to signal with cannon when he approached close enough to HF to
        > try
        > to relieve the Siege there. Again, IIRC, the telegraph lines operating out
        > from HF were still open until very late in the Siege.
        >
        > Very respectfully,
        > G E "Gerry" Mayers
        >
        > "As an American citizen I prize the Union very highly
        > and know of no personal sacrifice that I would not make
        > to preserve it, save that of honour."
        > --Robt. E. Lee, Letter to Rooney Lee, 3 December 1860
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      • Thomas Clemens
        A dispatch rider from HF got to McClellan and notified him of the situation. I can look up the exact day & time if you need it, it is in Carman. Mac was
        Message 3 of 16 , Jan 8, 2006
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          A dispatch rider from HF got to McClellan and notified him of the
          situation. I can look up the exact day & time if you need it, it is in
          Carman. Mac was very much trying to break through and relieve the
          siege, and Halleck discussed it with him, adding it to his mission. The
          telegraph line to DC, and everywhere else, were cut by the 13th.

          The signal dispatch warning of Hill's approach is in the OR IIRC, but
          there is no evidence it reached Burnside in time to react to it. I
          don't think it mentions Hill by name, and the Viriginia flags is a myth,
          the only VA units in the light Division were in Field's brigade, and
          they were at the end of the column. Gregg's SC brigade was first, and
          the NC artillery officer who saw the flag with his telescope probably
          confused it for a VA flag.

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


          >>> hjs21@... 01/08/06 3:13 PM >>>
        • Teej Smith
          Tom Clemens wrote: Gregg s SC brigade was first, and ... Yeah, well you know how it is, all those Mountain of Conceit flags look pretty much the same to
          Message 4 of 16 , Jan 8, 2006
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            Tom Clemens wrote:

            <snip>

            Gregg's SC brigade was first, and
            > the NC artillery officer who saw the flag with his telescope probably
            > confused it for a VA flag.

            Yeah, well you know how it is, all those Mountain of Conceit flags look
            pretty much the same to North Carolinians. :-)

            Regards,
            Teej
          • Thomas Clemens
            Yes, many state had blue flags with a state seal or symbol that looked alike from a distance. Even Maryland had one like that, unlike the ugly flag we have
            Message 5 of 16 , Jan 8, 2006
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              Yes, many state had blue flags with a state seal or symbol that looked
              alike from a distance. Even Maryland had one like that, unlike the ugly
              flag we have now.

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


              >>> teej@... 01/08/06 6:29 PM >>>
            • flagflop
              Harry, In Ed Fishel s 1996 Secret War for the Union, (p. 234), Fishel wrestled with the basis for Mac s (erroneous) conclusion that Jackson had arrived on
              Message 6 of 16 , Jan 8, 2006
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                Harry,
                In Ed Fishel's 1996 "Secret War for the Union," (p. 234), Fishel
                wrestled with the basis for Mac's (erroneous) conclusion that
                Jackson had arrived on the field at Sharpsburg on 15 Sep. He
                suggested that it may have been due simply to Mac's hearing the
                cheers at Sharpsburg (over news of the fall of HF), mis-interpreting
                that as arrival of major reenforcement, asking himself (based on SO
                191) which force that would likely be, and assuming Jackson...for
                Jackson was not concerned with HF, but Martinsburg, and thus most
                likely to have finished his task and rejoined Lee. Fishel describes
                this as "Of all the erroneous conclusions about enemy movements and
                positions that McClellan made after acquiring Lee's order, this one
                was the most damaging." I tend to agree with that: in other words,
                Mac accepted that (per SO 191) the reduction of HF was the primary
                task of McLaws' guns on Md Hgts, with a modest assist from Walker to
                block down-stream exit. He was unaware of Jackson's arrival there to
                invest the post and the delay in SO 191's time-table.
                Dave Gaddy


                --- In TalkAntietam@yahoogroups.com, "Harry Smeltzer" <hjs21@c...>
                wrote:
                >
                > Dave,
                >
                >
                >
                > This leads me to ask a question to which I have never received an
                adequate
                > response:
                >
                >
                >
                > Given that SO 191 placed Jackson's command at Martinsburg and
                under no
                > circumstance directed him to Harper's Ferry, and given the lack of
                > communication between HF and McClellan as you have described, what
                was the
                > earliest McClellan could have been aware of Jackson's - not
                McLaws', not
                > Walker's, but Jackson's - presence at HF, and how did he receive
                that
                > information?
                >
                >
                >
                > Harry
                >
                >
                >
                > -----Original Message-----
                > From: TalkAntietam@yahoogroups.com
                [mailto:TalkAntietam@yahoogroups.com] On
                > Behalf Of flagflop
                > Sent: Saturday, January 07, 2006 8:51 PM
                > To: TalkAntietam@yahoogroups.com
                > Subject: [TalkAntietam] Re: AoP Cavalry on Maryland Campaign
                >
                >
                >
                > Mac had no telegraphic communication with HF, and the small signal
                unit
                > posted on Md Hgts withdrew ("on their own"), effectively denying
                visual
                > signal communication to the east at the very time its was most
                needed. (I've
                > found no indication that signal communication was attempted
                between McLaws
                > and D.H. Hill, Longstreet, or GHQ either.)
                >
                > Maybe I should save this for "Harpers Ferry on the Web"!
                >
                > Dave Gaddy
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              • Harry Smeltzer
                An erroneous conclusion to be sure, but also understandable given the contents of SO 191. ... From: TalkAntietam@yahoogroups.com
                Message 7 of 16 , Jan 8, 2006
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                  An erroneous conclusion to be sure, but also understandable given the
                  contents of SO 191.



                  -----Original Message-----
                  From: TalkAntietam@yahoogroups.com [mailto:TalkAntietam@yahoogroups.com] On
                  Behalf Of flagflop
                  Sent: Sunday, January 08, 2006 11:09 PM
                  To: TalkAntietam@yahoogroups.com
                  Subject: [TalkAntietam] Re: AoP Cavalry on Maryland Campaign



                  Harry,
                  In Ed Fishel's 1996 "Secret War for the Union," (p. 234), Fishel
                  wrestled with the basis for Mac's (erroneous) conclusion that
                  Jackson had arrived on the field at Sharpsburg on 15 Sep. He
                  suggested that it may have been due simply to Mac's hearing the
                  cheers at Sharpsburg (over news of the fall of HF), mis-interpreting
                  that as arrival of major reenforcement, asking himself (based on SO
                  191) which force that would likely be, and assuming Jackson...for
                  Jackson was not concerned with HF, but Martinsburg, and thus most
                  likely to have finished his task and rejoined Lee. Fishel describes
                  this as "Of all the erroneous conclusions about enemy movements and
                  positions that McClellan made after acquiring Lee's order, this one
                  was the most damaging." I tend to agree with that: in other words,
                  Mac accepted that (per SO 191) the reduction of HF was the primary
                  task of McLaws' guns on Md Hgts, with a modest assist from Walker to
                  block down-stream exit. He was unaware of Jackson's arrival there to
                  invest the post and the delay in SO 191's time-table.
                  Dave Gaddy


                  --- In TalkAntietam@yahoogroups.com, "Harry Smeltzer" <hjs21@c...>
                  wrote:
                  >
                  > Dave,
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  > This leads me to ask a question to which I have never received an
                  adequate
                  > response:
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  > Given that SO 191 placed Jackson's command at Martinsburg and
                  under no
                  > circumstance directed him to Harper's Ferry, and given the lack of
                  > communication between HF and McClellan as you have described, what
                  was the
                  > earliest McClellan could have been aware of Jackson's - not
                  McLaws', not
                  > Walker's, but Jackson's - presence at HF, and how did he receive
                  that
                  > information?
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  > Harry
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  > -----Original Message-----
                  > From: TalkAntietam@yahoogroups.com
                  [mailto:TalkAntietam@yahoogroups.com] On
                  > Behalf Of flagflop
                  > Sent: Saturday, January 07, 2006 8:51 PM
                  > To: TalkAntietam@yahoogroups.com
                  > Subject: [TalkAntietam] Re: AoP Cavalry on Maryland Campaign
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  > Mac had no telegraphic communication with HF, and the small signal
                  unit
                  > posted on Md Hgts withdrew ("on their own"), effectively denying
                  visual
                  > signal communication to the east at the very time its was most
                  needed. (I've
                  > found no indication that signal communication was attempted
                  between McLaws
                  > and D.H. Hill, Longstreet, or GHQ either.)
                  >
                  > Maybe I should save this for "Harpers Ferry on the Web"!
                  >
                  > Dave Gaddy
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  >
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