Re: [TalkAntietam] Re: Lee's Reasons for Retreating to Sharpsburg (plus two quick questions)
Tom Clemens earned his Doctorate working on parts of the Carman MS, so
he would be the one to ask on this board.
However, if you have the Sid Meier game "Antietam", you might want to
check to see what part of the Carman MS on the game might mention the
information you seek.
You might also want to try a Google search for some Antietam related
websites and especially take a look at the AOtW website.
Thank you for your compliment but I am just a student like
yourself...trying to come to grips with the battle that was the
strategic turning point of the War. Even though Vicksburg basically
broke the Confederacy in half and Gettysburg blunted the offensive
power of the ANV, it was Sharpsburg which gave AL the impetus to
release the Preliminary Emancipation Proclamation...which put England
and France on notice that the US was finally going to do something
about slavery and also meant the Federal Govt. was going to see the
War through no matter what. What most people do not realize about the
EP is that it really did not free any slaves in the Loyal States or in
most of the South where the Union forces were in control.
Yr. Obt. Svt.
G E "Gerry" Mayers
"....the powers granted under the Constitution, being derived from the
people of the United States, may be resumed by them, whenever the same
shall be perverted to their injury or oppression;.."
Act of State of Virginia adopting the Federal Constitution, 26 June
----- Original Message -----
From: "philipkesaris" <philipkesaris@...>
Sent: Thursday, February 16, 2006 10:28 PM
Subject: [TalkAntietam] Re: Lee's Reasons for Retreating to Sharpsburg
(plus two quick questions)
> Gerry - Thanks! I've been to Antietam dozens of times and have
> recently tried to actually read all the tablets closely. The
> references to "Sumner's Bridge" had me scratching my head... As to
> #2, I think I know the house you are talking about - it is close to
> the road (Alt 40 going west, just before "Bolivar") and obviously
> very old. I'm sure Tom will correct me if it's not the house. The
> only reference I could find to "Marameade" on Google was a ghost
> story about a house in Middletown. As to my question about Lee's
> decision to retreat from SM, I'm inclined to credit Harsh too - TATF
> is an amazing tour de force; the level of detail awes me. Wonder if
> Carman addressed the subject? BTW, I've really enjoyed reading all
> of your insightful comments in this forum... Regards, - PK
> --- In TalkAntietam@yahoogroups.com, "NJ Rebel" <gerry1952@...>
>> Welcome. As to most of your questions, I will try addressing if
>> 1. Your mention is the first time I have heard the Upper Bridge
>> the Antietam, which btw is still being used as a road bridge to
>> day, referred as such!
>> 2. IIRC, there is a house which Mac and Burn used as HQ during the
>> advance between Middletown and South Mountain and again IIRC, it is
>> located on the left hand side of the road probably a few miles from
>> 3. It is possible Lee could have telescoped a few events together,
>> I would tend to go with Harsh, who was very meticulous in his
>> research. Tom Clemens is a student of Joe's and might be the best
>> person to address this particular question. It is also possible Lee
>> could have, as you state, simply decided to abandon the campaign
>> on the disaster at Turners/Fox's Passes rather than Cramptons.
>> Sharpsburg was initially meant as a rallying point for the "main
>> plus McLaws...but when Jackson reported Harpers Ferry would soon
>> Lee decided to make a stand at Sharpsburg and offer battle.
>> Hope this helps.....
>> Yr. Obt. Svt.
>> G E "Gerry" Mayers
>> "....the powers granted under the Constitution, being derived from
>> people of the United States, may be resumed by them, whenever the
>> shall be perverted to their injury or oppression;.."
>> Act of State of Virginia adopting the Federal Constitution, 26 June
>> ----- Original Message -----
>> From: "philipkesaris" <philipkesaris@...>
>> To: <TalkAntietam@yahoogroups.com>
>> Sent: Thursday, February 16, 2006 9:20 PM
>> Subject: [TalkAntietam] Lee's Reasons for Retreating to Sharpsburg
>> (plus two quick questions)
>> Folks: I recently joined this group and wanted to read every post
>> before contributing, as I didn't want to go over old ground. I've
>> read them all and learned a ton from all of you - fantastic group!
>> Two quick questions and then a comment I'd love to hear your
>> on. The two questions: (1) Was the Upper Bridge/Hitt Bridge also
>> known as the "Sumner Bridge"? I noted two War Department tablets
>> (about Meade's and Ricketts' divisions on 9/16) that refer to it as
>> such. Was this a mistake? I thought Sumner crossed the creek at
>> Pry Mill ford? Also, IIRC, wasn't there a bridge across the
>> Chickahominy called the "Sumner Bridge" that was used in the
>> Peninsula Campaign? (2) Where is "Marameade" located? I'm guessing
>> it's the name of a farm/house on the Nat'l Road between Middletown
>> and Turner's Gap where Mac and Burn stayed on the night of Sept.
>> but just where is it? My comment: I just finished Tim
> Reese's "High-
>> Water Mark" wherein he contends (pp. 52-53) that Lee retired to
>> Sharpsburg because of the Union breakthrough at Crampton's Gap.
>> cites Lee's Sept. 16 message to Davis, his campaign report of
>> 8/19/63, and Wm. Allen's notes of his 1868 interview with Lee. Joe
>> Harsh, in contrast, argues that Lee made the decision to retire
>> South Mountain at about 8 pm on the 14th (based only on the
>> at Turner's Gap), which led to Lee's 8:15 pm message to McLaws
>> (the "day has gone against us" message). According to Harsh, this
>> was two hours before Lee learned of the loss of Crampton's Gap.
>> TATF p. 289 and Sounding the Shallows pp. 181-82. Was
>> Lee "telescoping" events in his writings cited by Reese? Harsh
>> relies on careful timelines to make his point, but Reese relies on
>> Lee's own words. Any thoughts? - Phil Kesaris
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> a.. Visit your group "TalkAntietam" on the web.
> b.. To unsubscribe from this group, send an email to:
> c.. Your use of Yahoo! Groups is subject to the Yahoo! Terms of
- In Blue and Grey Magazine, Holiday 2004, the Iron Brigade, they include
Marameade as part of the driving tour:
"Leaving Middletown by staying on Alt. US 40 West, in about a mile
cross Catoctin Creek and take an odometer reading, as the next site can
be easily missed. Beyond the creek,1.4 miles is a large white house on
the left known as "Marameade". It was Maj. Gen. George B. McClellan's
HQ during the Battle of South Mountain, and on the grounds of the
estate was placed the heavier artillery of the army to support the
On Thursday, February 16, 2006, at 09:20 PM, philipkesaris wrote:
> (2) Where is "Marameade" located?
- Hi Philip,
I've not seen the Upper Bridge called "Sumner's" anywhere else either.
The tablets you found are #14:
http://aotw.org/tablet.php?tablet_id=140 and #15:
http://aotw.org/tablet.php?tablet_id=150 (Stephen's got 'em pictured
and they talk about I Corps units. You're quite right about Sumner's
troops crossing at the Pry Ford.
Carman only uses this name on those two tablets, as far as I can tell,
and he refers to it as the "Upper Bridge" on at least 4 others (1, 48,
118, 119). On the maps in the Battlefield Board's Atlas it's the
It's possible this refers to Gen Sumner's role as Wing Commander on
This is an entertaining question. I hope someone has time to dig in
General Carman's notes (!).
--- In TalkAntietam@yahoogroups.com, "philipkesaris"
> (1) Was the Upper Bridge/Hitt Bridge also
> known as the "Sumner Bridge"? I noted two War Department tablets
> (about Meade's and Ricketts' divisions on 9/16) that refer to it as
> such. Was this a mistake? I thought Sumner crossed the creek at the
> Pry Mill ford? Also, IIRC, wasn't there a bridge across the
> Chickahominy called the "Sumner Bridge" that was used in the
> Peninsula Campaign?
- This is from Carman. No mention of the bridge:
On the evening of September 16th, when McClellan directed Sumner to
send the Twelfth Corps across the Antietam that night, Sumner correctly
requested that the Second Corps should go, also, but McClellan would
not consent; he gave orders to hold the corps in readiness to march an
hour before daybreak, to support Hooker, but not to move until further
orders. In anticipation of going that night Sumner had already sent
some of his batteries across the Antietam. Sumner's men had all
breakfasted before daybreak, filled their canteens and rolled their
blankets; they were ready to march but no orders came, and a little
after 6 o'clock Sumner, with his son, Captain S.S. Sumner, of his
staff, went to headquarters, but a few yards distant, for orders and
personal instructions. McClellan had not yet awakened from sleep and
none of his staff seemed disposed to disturb him, though the roar of
the battle was sounding in their ears. Sumner waited, walking to and
fro on the veranda of the Pry house, or sitting on the steps, the roar
of battle increasing and the detonation of the heavy guns shaking the
panes and shivering the sash of the windows, which let into McClellan's
room the full sunlight, but McClellan did not make his appearance.
Members of the staff were watching Hooker's struggle, which was in full
view, yet McClellan could not be seen and one of his staff members
remarked that Hooker's fight was only a rearguard affair, as "Uncle
Bobby Lee" was too much of a soldier to fight in that position with a
river at his back. And the opinion was expressed to McClellan, also,
that morning, whether he shared it or not we do not know.
Finally, at 7:20 a.m., after waiting more than an hour, Sumner received
his orders to cross the Antietam with two divisions, Richardson to
follow when relieved by Morell's' Division of the Fifth Corps. He put
Sedgwick in motion immediately, French following, went down the hill in
rear of McClellan's headquarters and crossed the Antietam at Pry's
Ford, where Doubleday had crossed the evening before, and when across
ascended a gentle slope for about a quarter of a mile, halted and
formed his lines.
On Friday, February 17, 2006, at 09:25 AM, Brian Downey wrote:
> This is an entertaining question. I hope someone has time to dig in
> General Carman's notes (!).
- Brian Downey wrote:
> Hi Philip,
> I've not seen the Upper Bridge called "Sumner's" anywhere else
The only reference to a "Sumner's Bridge" that I could find is that
it is an alternate name for Grapevine Bridge on the Chickahominy.
- It is called Sumner's Bridge infrequently in Antietam literature, and
also, alternatively, Hooker's or Doubleday's Bridge.
Thomas G. Clemens D.A.
Professor of History
Hagerstown Community College
>>> teej@... 02/17/06 6:53 PM >>>