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Re: [TalkAntietam] Re: Col. Benjamin Davis near Sharpsburg on 9/14

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  • Thomas Clemens
    Larry, I don t claim expertise in this topic, but I think even at the time there was some friction, and certainly afterward when the assumption was the B.
    Message 1 of 16 , Jan 31, 2008
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      Larry,
      I don't claim expertise in this topic, but I think even at the time there was some friction, and certainly afterward when the assumption was the B. Davis was in charge.


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


      >>> "eighth_conn_inf" <eighth_conn_inf@...> 01/31/08 4:59 PM >>>
      Tom,

      You are certainly correct: Lt. Col. Hasbrouck Davis was the commander
      of the 12th Ill. Cavalry during the breakout. Col. Benjamin F.
      (Grimes) Davis was in command of the 8th NY Cavalry and Col. Arno
      Voss of the 12th Ill. was in overall command as senior colonel
      although he apparently rode with the 12th for a while. Looks like he
      and Grimes cooperated reluctantly?

      Larry F.

      --- In TalkAntietam@yahoogroups.com, "Thomas Clemens" <clemenst@...>
      wrote:
      >
      > Wasn't the 12th IL commanded by Hasbrouck Davis? Benjamin Davis
      commanded the 8th NY.
      >
      > Dr. Thomas G. Clemens
      > Professor of History
      > Hagerstown Community College
      >
      >
      >
      > >>> "cowie_steve" <cowie_steve@...> 1/30/2008 4:34 PM >>>
      > Hello, Forum.
      >
      > Murfin's GOB, page 153, describes Benjamin Davis's vanguard of
      escapees, the 12th Illinois,
      > as coming into contact with Confederate pickets near the edge of
      the Sharpsburg village
      > around 10:00 p.m. on the evening of 9/14. Murfin's source is
      William Luff of the 12th Illinois,
      > who claims to have been fired upon by CS artillery at this same
      time, as well.
      >
      > After giving Dr. Harsh's TAF a thorough read, I can find little
      evidence to support CS infantry,
      > cavalry or artillery from the day's mountain gap battles being near
      the edge of Sharpsburg at
      > 10:00 p.m. on 9/14.
      >
      > Could someone please shed some light on this matter?
      >
      > Thanks,
      >
      > Steve
      >
    • cowie_steve
      Brian, Thank you for referring me to Don Caughey s blog on the breakout. It s very well done, indeed, and the map is especially helpful. Steve
      Message 2 of 16 , Feb 1, 2008
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        Brian,

        Thank you for referring me to Don Caughey's blog on the breakout. It's very well done,
        indeed, and the map is especially helpful.

        Steve

        --- In TalkAntietam@yahoogroups.com, "Brian Downey" <bdowney@...> wrote:
        >
        > Hi Steve,
        >
        > I think Larry noted earlier that Don Caughey has posted exahastively
        > on the Breakout, participants and route - on his blog -- if you
        > haven't already seen that. I've linked to all 5 parts of his series,
        > added some photos from Tischler, and drafted a rough map of the route
        > on my own (http://behind.aotw.org/2007/09/23/exodus-from-harpers-ferry/).
        >
        > I've tried to mark (general) locations of both Federal and Confederate
        > troops on that map, as describned in Harsh's book, but not which units
        > they were. Another link from the blog will get you to a modern Google
        > map if you want to retrace the route by car.
        >
        > I'll try to dig into Chew's Battery's whereabouts a little later. All
        > I know just now is they were at Shepherdstown as late as 3pm on 17
        > September - something about repairing/refitting guns there. They may
        > have missed the whole thing ...
        >
      • eighth_conn_inf
        Steve, According to Carman there were pickets from Hampton s Brigade, Martin s regiment, the Jeff Davis Legion. Check out Carman (Pierro) pp. 124-5. Here is a
        Message 3 of 16 , Apr 2, 2008
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          Steve,

          According to Carman there were pickets from Hampton's Brigade,
          Martin's regiment, the Jeff Davis Legion. Check out Carman (Pierro)
          pp. 124-5. Here is a brief summary:

          The Union column missed a more dangerous encounter with Rebel cavalry
          that morning. When Hampton's Brigade rode from Burkittsville near
          Crampton's Gap on the morning of 14 September, some of it went along
          the east foot of South Mountain to picket roads leading from
          Frederick and Berlin, while two regiments crossed into Pleasant
          Valley to the western side of South Mountain. One of these was the
          Jeff Davis Legion with six guns of Hart's Battery which took up a
          position at Solomon's Gap in Elk Ridge to the north of Harpers Ferry.
          Some of its pickets were those encountered by the Union column at the
          mouth of Antietam Creek near the Potomac about 10 pm that night. Col.
          Martin commanding the regiment decided to retreat to Hagerstown
          believing the McClellan's troops were between Harpers Ferry and
          points north and west. As he retreated, his scouts reported the Union
          column on a roughly parallel track but closer to the Potomac.
          Learning of the identity of the column he began pursuit seeing the
          smoke from the burning wagons in the Unionist's wake. Finding that he
          could not catch them, he turned and crossed into Williamsport. This
          was fortunate for Martin as his 300 troopers would not have been much
          of a match for the Union column.

          Larry

          --- In TalkAntietam@yahoogroups.com, "cowie_steve" <cowie_steve@...>
          wrote:
          >
          > Hello, Forum.
          >
          > Murfin's GOB, page 153, describes Benjamin Davis's vanguard of
          escapees, the 12th Illinois,
          > as coming into contact with Confederate pickets near the edge of
          the Sharpsburg village
          > around 10:00 p.m. on the evening of 9/14. Murfin's source is
          William Luff of the 12th Illinois,
          > who claims to have been fired upon by CS artillery at this same
          time, as well.
          >
          > After giving Dr. Harsh's TAF a thorough read, I can find little
          evidence to support CS infantry,
          > cavalry or artillery from the day's mountain gap battles being near
          the edge of Sharpsburg at
          > 10:00 p.m. on 9/14.
          >
          > Could someone please shed some light on this matter?
          >
          > Thanks,
          >
          > Steve
          >
        • cowie_steve
          Larry, Thanks so much for clarifying. To refresh, Murfin s GOB, page 153, placed the 10:00 p.m. contact between the escaping Federal cavalry column and
          Message 4 of 16 , Apr 2, 2008
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            Larry,

            Thanks so much for clarifying.

            To refresh, Murfin's GOB, page 153, placed the 10:00 p.m. contact between the escaping
            Federal cavalry column and Confederate pickets "near the edge of Sharpsburg." Carmen's
            placement "at the mouth of Antietam Creek near the Potomac" makes much more sense to
            me.

            Best,

            Steve



            --- In TalkAntietam@yahoogroups.com, "eighth_conn_inf" <eighth_conn_inf@...> wrote:
            >
            > Steve,
            >
            > According to Carman there were pickets from Hampton's Brigade,
            > Martin's regiment, the Jeff Davis Legion. Check out Carman (Pierro)
            > pp. 124-5. Here is a brief summary:
            >
            > The Union column missed a more dangerous encounter with Rebel cavalry
            > that morning. When Hampton's Brigade rode from Burkittsville near
            > Crampton's Gap on the morning of 14 September, some of it went along
            > the east foot of South Mountain to picket roads leading from
            > Frederick and Berlin, while two regiments crossed into Pleasant
            > Valley to the western side of South Mountain. One of these was the
            > Jeff Davis Legion with six guns of Hart's Battery which took up a
            > position at Solomon's Gap in Elk Ridge to the north of Harpers Ferry.
            > Some of its pickets were those encountered by the Union column at the
            > mouth of Antietam Creek near the Potomac about 10 pm that night. Col.
            > Martin commanding the regiment decided to retreat to Hagerstown
            > believing the McClellan's troops were between Harpers Ferry and
            > points north and west. As he retreated, his scouts reported the Union
            > column on a roughly parallel track but closer to the Potomac.
            > Learning of the identity of the column he began pursuit seeing the
            > smoke from the burning wagons in the Unionist's wake. Finding that he
            > could not catch them, he turned and crossed into Williamsport. This
            > was fortunate for Martin as his 300 troopers would not have been much
            > of a match for the Union column.
            >
            > Larry
            >
            > --- In TalkAntietam@yahoogroups.com, "cowie_steve" <cowie_steve@>
            > wrote:
            > >
            > > Hello, Forum.
            > >
            > > Murfin's GOB, page 153, describes Benjamin Davis's vanguard of
            > escapees, the 12th Illinois,
            > > as coming into contact with Confederate pickets near the edge of
            > the Sharpsburg village
            > > around 10:00 p.m. on the evening of 9/14. Murfin's source is
            > William Luff of the 12th Illinois,
            > > who claims to have been fired upon by CS artillery at this same
            > time, as well.
            > >
            > > After giving Dr. Harsh's TAF a thorough read, I can find little
            > evidence to support CS infantry,
            > > cavalry or artillery from the day's mountain gap battles being near
            > the edge of Sharpsburg at
            > > 10:00 p.m. on 9/14.
            > >
            > > Could someone please shed some light on this matter?
            > >
            > > Thanks,
            > >
            > > Steve
            > >
            >
          • Thomas Clemens
            I am familiar with Carman s account and the letters, reports, etc. he used to write that passage. Murfin used Carman as his source on this. I am also
            Message 5 of 16 , Apr 2, 2008
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              I am familiar with Carman's account and the letters, reports, etc. he used to write that passage. Murfin used Carman as his source on this. I am also familiar with how far it is from Solomon's Gap to What is essentially today Sample's Manor and that is a hell of a distance to picket with 300 men. Given the reductions for picket reserves, those supporting Hart's guns and the signal detachment on Elk Ridge, it doesn't leave a lot of guys to stretch that distance. Dennis Frye, who knows the MD Campaign quite well and grew up in Pleasant Valley, finds this passage hard to accept. Yet Carman's sources say it happened, and he takes that as gospel. This passage really illustrates the difficulty and ambiguity of dealing with Carman.


              Dr. Thomas G. Clemens
              Professor of History
              Hagerstown Community College




              >>> "eighth_conn_inf" <eighth_conn_inf@...> 4/2/2008 2:39 PM >>>

              Steve,

              According to Carman there were pickets from Hampton's Brigade,
              Martin's regiment, the Jeff Davis Legion. Check out Carman (Pierro)
              pp. 124-5. Here is a brief summary:

              The Union column missed a more dangerous encounter with Rebel cavalry
              that morning. When Hampton's Brigade rode from Burkittsville near
              Crampton's Gap on the morning of 14 September, some of it went along
              the east foot of South Mountain to picket roads leading from
              Frederick and Berlin, while two regiments crossed into Pleasant
              Valley to the western side of South Mountain. One of these was the
              Jeff Davis Legion with six guns of Hart's Battery which took up a
              position at Solomon's Gap in Elk Ridge to the north of Harpers Ferry.
              Some of its pickets were those encountered by the Union column at the
              mouth of Antietam Creek near the Potomac about 10 pm that night. Col.
              Martin commanding the regiment decided to retreat to Hagerstown
              believing the McClellan's troops were between Harpers Ferry and
              points north and west. As he retreated, his scouts reported the Union
              column on a roughly parallel track but closer to the Potomac.
              Learning of the identity of the column he began pursuit seeing the
              smoke from the burning wagons in the Unionist's wake. Finding that he
              could not catch them, he turned and crossed into Williamsport. This
              was fortunate for Martin as his 300 troopers would not have been much
              of a match for the Union column.

              Larry

              --- In TalkAntietam@yahoogroups.com, "cowie_steve" <cowie_steve@...>
              wrote:
              >
              > Hello, Forum.
              >
              > Murfin's GOB, page 153, describes Benjamin Davis's vanguard of
              escapees, the 12th Illinois,
              > as coming into contact with Confederate pickets near the edge of
              the Sharpsburg village
              > around 10:00 p.m. on the evening of 9/14. Murfin's source is
              William Luff of the 12th Illinois,
              > who claims to have been fired upon by CS artillery at this same
              time, as well.
              >
              > After giving Dr. Harsh's TAF a thorough read, I can find little
              evidence to support CS infantry,
              > cavalry or artillery from the day's mountain gap battles being near
              the edge of Sharpsburg at
              > 10:00 p.m. on 9/14.
              >
              > Could someone please shed some light on this matter?
              >
              > Thanks,
              >
              > Steve
              >




              [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
            • joseph_pierro
              Tom is correct regarding the distances involved in Carman s version of the event. It does give one pause. On the other hand, I ve yet to find any contemporary
              Message 6 of 16 , Apr 4, 2008
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                Tom is correct regarding the distances involved in Carman's version
                of the event. It does give one pause. On the other hand, I've yet to
                find any contemporary evidence to contradict the claim.

                Also, the purpose of picketing, after all, is simply to give notice
                of an enemy's approach, not to attempt any appreciable resistance.
                And we're talking about picketing during the operational stage of a
                campaign (as opposed to the tactical phase, when the bulk of both
                armies are in close proximity, in their main battle lines). Given the
                distances over which the ANV was scattered at the time, the vast
                expanse of mileage over which potential threats could come, and the
                number of different avenues of approach from which the ANV had to
                guard against being attacked in detail, a distance as great as Carman
                records for those pickets is not entirely out of the realm of either
                possibility or military soundness.

                On the larger issue, one good thing to keep in mind whenever dealing
                with the Carman mss. is that the focus of his research overall was in
                furtherance of his official task: to mark the battlefield of Sept.
                17. That's where the bulk of his energies were directed -- on
                Antietam. Much of his focus on other aspects of the campaign -- South
                Mountain, for instance -- was undertaken primarily with regard to
                what the unit strengths would have been by the time they reached the
                field at Antietam. 9/17 was always uppermost.

                Of course, his manuscript covers the entire campaign, however. I
                don;t mean to suggest that it isn't of tremendous value OUTSIDE of
                9/17, but the area of Carman's greatest expertise was on the battle
                of Antietam. (Or, to put it more generously, he was on even FIRMER
                ground when discussing Antietam than he was on other aspects of the
                campaign.)

                I noticed in my work that, as he moves away from the battle itself,
                he tends to defer a bit more to his sources and is less willing to
                second-guess them.

                --jake

                --- In TalkAntietam@yahoogroups.com, "Thomas Clemens" <clemenst@...>
                wrote:
                >
                > I am familiar with Carman's account and the letters, reports, etc.
                he used to write that passage. Murfin used Carman as his source on
                this. I am also familiar with how far it is from Solomon's Gap to
                What is essentially today Sample's Manor and that is a hell of a
                distance to picket with 300 men. Given the reductions for picket
                reserves, those supporting Hart's guns and the signal detachment on
                Elk Ridge, it doesn't leave a lot of guys to stretch that distance.
                Dennis Frye, who knows the MD Campaign quite well and grew up in
                Pleasant Valley, finds this passage hard to accept. Yet Carman's
                sources say it happened, and he takes that as gospel. This passage
                really illustrates the difficulty and ambiguity of dealing with
                Carman.
                >
                >
                > Dr. Thomas G. Clemens
                > Professor of History
                > Hagerstown Community College
                >
                >
                >
                >
                >
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