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Re: [TalkAntietam] Re: ANVa Supply Trains

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  • Joseph Pierro
    Well, originally, the trains were ordered across because EVERYONE was being ordered across. Lee s first inclination after losing the So. Mtn. passes (as the
    Message 1 of 21 , Feb 1 4:51 PM
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      Well, originally, the trains were ordered across because EVERYONE was being ordered across. Lee's first inclination after losing the So. Mtn. passes (as the order to McLaws shows) was to break off the entire campaign and retreat to Md. (After all, in a withdrawal, you send the trains first and keep the infantry in the rear -- the closest proximity to the pursuing enemy -- to conduct a fighting retreat. Recall Lee's similar orders regarding Imboden on the withdrawal from Gettysburg the following year.)

      It was only when he realized that McClellan wasn't pressing the advantage, and when word arrived of the fall of Harper's Ferry, that he decided to hold position with his infantry on the east bank of the Potomac and accept battle.

      As for the rest, given the fact that Pendleton had nearly three days to rest and refit his command, you have to wonder how it was that he managed to contribute next to nothing (no offense to Watson's Battery intended) on the day of the battle.

      In fact, one is hard pressed to think of a single instance where Pendleton, as chief of artillery, ever HELPED anyone (other than the Army of the Potomac) on a battlefield.

      --jake
      ----- Original Message ----
      From: dean_essig <dean_essig@...>
      To: TalkAntietam@yahoogroups.com
      Sent: Friday, February 1, 2008 7:25:52 PM
      Subject: [TalkAntietam] Re: ANVa Supply Trains

      Thanks Jake!

      That fits well with what Tom and I have been thinking. The trains were ordered across to
      maintain freedom of action and then, when battle was in the offing, the ordinance trains
      (at least small arms) were brought back across from Shepherdstown.

      As for Pendleton's "exceptional" effort to provide reinforcements to the army, I have 2 Co,
      Richmond Va Howitzers (3 guns) under Watson arriving from Williamsport late on the
      17th. I assume this is the battery Carmen refers to.

      Dean

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    • dean_essig
      Excellent post Jake and I agree fully! Pendleton sure does have an interesting relationship with the good functioning of the ANVa. Amazing that Lee put up with
      Message 2 of 21 , Feb 1 5:26 PM
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        Excellent post Jake and I agree fully!

        Pendleton sure does have an interesting relationship with the good functioning of the
        ANVa. Amazing that Lee put up with it.

        --- In TalkAntietam@yahoogroups.com, Joseph Pierro <joseph_pierro@...> wrote:
        >
        > Well, originally, the trains were ordered across because EVERYONE was being ordered
        across. Lee's first inclination after losing the So. Mtn. passes (as the order to McLaws
        shows) was to break off the entire campaign and retreat to Md. (After all, in a withdrawal,
        you send the trains first and keep the infantry in the rear -- the closest proximity to the
        pursuing enemy -- to conduct a fighting retreat. Recall Lee's similar orders regarding
        Imboden on the withdrawal from Gettysburg the following year.)
        >
        > It was only when he realized that McClellan wasn't pressing the advantage, and when
        word arrived of the fall of Harper's Ferry, that he decided to hold position with his infantry
        on the east bank of the Potomac and accept battle.
        >
        > As for the rest, given the fact that Pendleton had nearly three days to rest and refit his
        command, you have to wonder how it was that he managed to contribute next to nothing
        (no offense to Watson's Battery intended) on the day of the battle.
        >
        > In fact, one is hard pressed to think of a single instance where Pendleton, as chief of
        artillery, ever HELPED anyone (other than the Army of the Potomac) on a battlefield.
        >
        > --jake
        > ----- Original Message ----
        > From: dean_essig <dean_essig@...>
        > To: TalkAntietam@yahoogroups.com
        > Sent: Friday, February 1, 2008 7:25:52 PM
        > Subject: [TalkAntietam] Re: ANVa Supply Trains
        >
        > Thanks Jake!
        >
        > That fits well with what Tom and I have been thinking. The trains were ordered across to
        > maintain freedom of action and then, when battle was in the offing, the ordinance trains
        > (at least small arms) were brought back across from Shepherdstown.
        >
        > As for Pendleton's "exceptional" effort to provide reinforcements to the army, I have 2
        Co,
        > Richmond Va Howitzers (3 guns) under Watson arriving from Williamsport late on the
        > 17th. I assume this is the battery Carmen refers to.
        >
        > Dean
        >
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      • G E Mayers
        Dear Jake; I have been working on a fictional novel telling the story of the First Maryland Campaign for reader possibly not as learned as we are in this
        Message 3 of 21 , Feb 1 5:54 PM
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          Dear Jake;

          I have been working on a fictional novel telling the story of the
          First Maryland Campaign for reader possibly not as learned as we
          are in this group, concentrating on the unit level with the
          Fourth NC (The Bloody Fourth) and then the larger command level
          with Longstreet and Army HQ.

          Where I've run into a little dilemma is knowing where Anderson's
          brigade was positioned _after_ it was on the Old Sharpsburg Road
          to do a grand wheel back UP South Mountain to take the Federals
          in the flank and later, when it was determined to abandon the
          mountain, which route or routes Anderson's Brigade retreated
          towards Sharpsburg.

          Can you search your Carman MS and, under separate email, provide
          whatever information he might have? (Or, post here, if not
          terribly, terribly long and lengthy!)

          Thank you!

          Yr. Obt. Svt.
          G E "Gerry" Mayers

          To Be A Virginian, either by birth, marriage, adoption, or even
          on one's mother's side, is an introduction to any state in the
          Union, a passport to any foreign country, and a benediction from
          the Almighty God. --Anonymous
          ----- Original Message -----
          From: "joseph_pierro" <joseph_pierro@...>
          To: <TalkAntietam@yahoogroups.com>
          Sent: Friday, February 01, 2008 7:09 PM
          Subject: [TalkAntietam] Re: ANVa Supply Trains


          Dean:

          Most of the trains and reserve artillery (one battalion excepted)
          were ordered by Lee to cross over to the Virginia side at
          Williamsport even before he decided to make his stand at
          Sharpsburg.


          from Carman:

          "When Robert E. Lee, after nightfall of September 14,
          realized
          that the action at Turner's Gap had gone against him, he
          abandoned
          (temporarily, at least) his idea of a further invasion of the
          North
          into Pennsylvania, or even of remaining in Maryland, and took
          immediate measures to reunite with McLaws and recross the Potomac
          into Virginia. Those who were with Lee say that he gave no sign
          of
          disappointment and depression that his campaign had ended in
          failure,
          but we can imagine it was with a swelling heart that, at 8:00
          p.m.,
          he sent this dispatch to McLaws:
          "'The day has gone against us and this army will go by
          Sharpsburg
          and cross the river. It is necessary for you to abandon
          your position to-night. Send your trains not required on the road
          to
          cross the river. Your troops you must have well in hand to unite
          with
          this command, which will retire by Sharpsburg. Send forward
          officers
          to explore the way, ascertain the best crossing of the Potomac,
          and
          if you can find any between you and Shepherdstown leave
          Shepherdstown
          Ford for this command. Send an officer to report to me on the
          Sharpsburg road, where you are and what crossing you will take.
          You
          will of course bring Anderson's division with you.'
          "At about the same hour, he sent a dispatch to Jackson to
          march
          up from Harper's Ferry and cover his passage of the Potomac at
          Shepherdstown Ford. (These orders to McLaws and Jackson
          contemplated
          the abandonment of operations against Harper's Ferry, but these
          had
          so far progressed that the place was then, virtually, in the
          grasp of
          Jackson and McLaws.) Longstreet and D. H. Hill were directed to
          push
          such of their commands and trains as were at and near Hagerstown
          across the Potomac at Williamsport. The three reserve artillery
          battalions at Beaver Creek (four miles north of Boonsboro)
          were ordered to move-two battalions by Williamsport into
          Virginia,
          one battalion to Keedysville."

          It would appear that Lee then kept them on the Va shore
          afterwards
          for so long because the operational and tactical situation
          remained
          in such a state of flux for the next few days. (Would McClellan
          attack on the 15th? The 16th? Would Jackson arrive on the 16th?
          Would
          McLaws arrive on the 17th?) With only a single ford at his back,
          the
          last thing Lee wanted if his lines broke was his trains and
          reserve
          artillery clogging the only route of escape.

          Carman again:
          "Late at night [of the 14th] the commander of the reserve
          artillery, General Pendleton (who with three battalions had, late
          in
          the afternoon, taken position on the heights of Beaver Creek,
          four
          miles north of Boonsboro) was summoned to Lee's headquarters
          and directed to send S. D. Lee's Battalion to Keedysville and to
          move
          with the battalions of Brown and Nelson by the shortest route to
          Williamsport and across the Potomac to guard the fords of the
          river.
          Pendleton hastened back to his camp, moved promptly to the
          Boonsboro
          and Williamsport Road, and by sunrise reached Jones's
          Cross-Roads,
          where the Williamsport Road intersects the Hagerstown and
          Sharpsburg
          Turnpike. Here he was informed that a large force of Union
          cavalry
          was not far ahead of him, upon which he placed some guns in
          position
          commanding the road leading to Williamsport and the Hagerstown
          Pike
          on either flank, sent to Toombs (who had passed down to
          Sharpsburg)
          for a regiment or two of infantry, and set to work collecting a
          band
          of armed stragglers to support his guns. Meanwhile, he had sent
          out
          scouting parties. These soon returned with information that the
          road
          was clear for some two miles, upon which (without waiting for
          infantry from Toombs) he resumed the road to destroy the
          'retiring
          invaders' with his artillery and protect the large wagon train
          proceeding by the Hagerstown Road through Williamsport. Colonel
          Davis's cavalry had passed on the road and attacked Longstreet's
          train, and Pendleton-without meeting an enemy or further delay-
          reached Williamsport and crossed the Potomac by Light's Ford into
          Virginia.
          "Colonel Brown, with his battalion of five batteries, was
          ordered
          to guard Light's Ford and a ford two miles below. Major Nelson's
          battalion of five batteries went down the river road to
          Shepherdstown, which he reached on the sixteenth, and took
          position on the heights commanding Shepherdstown Ford a mile
          below
          town."

          In typical Pendleton fashion, once the battle was joined and the
          artillery needed, he failed to rise to the emergency. Carman yet
          again:

          "About mid-day [of the 17th] Lee had sent this message to
          Pendleton, commanding the reserve artillery at Shepherdstown
          Ford: 'If
          you have fifteen or twenty guns, suitable for our purpose, which
          you
          can spare, the general desires you to send them, with a
          sufficiency
          of ammunition. You must not take them from the fords if essential
          to
          their safety. Send up the stragglers. Take any cavalry about
          there
          and send up at the point of the sword. We want ammunition, guns,
          and
          provisions.' Pendleton could not collect the stragglers, he sent
          up
          but little ammunition, and it was not until the engagement had
          closed
          that one battery arrived at Sharpsburg."

          Hope some of that helps.

          --jake
          --- In TalkAntietam@yahoogroups.com, "dean_essig"
          <dean_essig@...>
          wrote:
          >
          > Yes, I agree and have the infomation regarding the location of
          > the
          various artillery units.
          >
          > Not only was Lee still thinking about re-entering Md from the
          > Va
          side, but he hadn't ruled
          > out an "attacking withdrawal" to the north, through the Union
          > right
          wing to Hagerstown.
          >
          > Trying to do that with the trains in tow would be impossible,
          > but
          allowing the trains to
          > shadow the army on the Va side of the river makes a lot of
          > sense.
          >
          > Given the situation, this kind of decision making is
          > breathtakingly
          fearless.
          >
          > --- In TalkAntietam@yahoogroups.com, "Thomas Clemens"
          > <clemenst@>
          wrote:
          > >
          > > I will look and see what else I can find. I think Lee was
          > > using
          the river to protect his
          > trains preparatory to re-entering Maryland at Williamsport.
          > Even
          after he retreated on the
          > 18th/19th his intent was to re-cross the river there and move
          towards Hagerstown.
          > Giving the wagons a head start would open the roads for his
          infantry to move quickly. As
          > you know, he had artillery detached to guard Shepherdstown Ford
          > and
          Light's Ford, and
          > Stuart did go to Williamsport on the 19th to lead the way.
          > >
          > >
          > > Dr. Thomas G. Clemens
          > > Professor of History
          > > Hagerstown Community College
          > >
          > >
          > >
          > > >>> "dean_essig" <dean_essig@> 2/1/2008 2:24 PM >>>
          > > Tom it is... glad to meet you, sir!
          > >
          > > Excellent information, that helps me spot the trains on the
          > > map.
          > >
          > > The artillery problem is an issue I'll need to resolve. I
          > > don't
          recall Reilly (who at least
          > > mentioned going back to look) or anyone else suggesting they
          > > had
          to ford the Potomac
          > to
          > > get a re-supply of artillery ammunition. So, this indirectly
          suggests that what stocks
          > they
          > > had available were in the Md side trains.
          > >
          > > Leaving me wondering what it was Lee was protecting across
          > > the
          river.
          > >
          > > Do you know of any other battery commanders recollections
          > > about
          the rather mundane
          > > matters of ammunition resupply on that day?
          > >
          > > --- In TalkAntietam@yahoogroups.com, "Thomas Clemens"
          > > <clemenst@>
          wrote:
          > > >
          > > > Dean,
          > > > I keep meaning to tell you, nobody calls me Thomas, Tom is
          > > > just
          fine. I think you have
          > it
          > > correctly stated. Location of the Artillery Reserve trains,
          > > such
          as they were with the loss
          > of
          > > many near Williamsport, is likely across the river, however I
          think some of it was
          > forwarded
          > > on the 18th as Lee called for gathering stragglers and ammo
          resupply. Going from
          > > memory, but in Lee's comments about his HQ tent he describes
          > > it
          as 1 & 1/4 miles from
          > > Cemetery Hill, (I think) making the two miles just about on
          > > Mt.
          Airy, the Grove family
          > farm.
          > > That would also be logical for there was access to water and
          > > lots
          of fields to park a
          > wagon
          > > train there.
          > > >
          > > >
          > > > Dr. Thomas G. Clemens
          > > > Professor of History
          > > > Hagerstown Community College
          > > >
          > > >
          > > >
          > > > >>> "dean_essig" <dean_essig@> 2/1/2008 1:55 PM >>>
          > > > Thomas,
          > > >
          > > > Reviewed the cited sections. All seems to be resolved but
          > > > one
          matter.
          > > >
          > > > What we know:
          > > > 1) The non-Ammunition trains are in Shepherdstown. Getting
          there at various dates.
          > > > Hood's were escorted to his division so the Texans could
          > > > get
          some food.
          > > >
          > > > 2) Small arms ammuntion trains were ordered back into Md
          > > > and
          positioned "2 miles to
          > > the
          > > > rear" (that distance is mentioned in several places, but
          > > > w/o a
          reference as to rear of
          > > what
          > > > or who).
          > > >
          > > > The one thing (two parts) that we don't know is:
          > > > 1a) Were the Army Reserve Ammunition trains still in
          > > > Virgina?
          Harsh believes so.
          > > >
          > > > 1b) Was there artillery ammunition in the trains that were
          > > > sent
          back into Md? This is
          > > > interesting because it seems that Lee kept the Reserve
          > > > Trains
          across the river to avoid
          > > > losing artillery ammunition.
          > > >
          > > > Am I off on any of the above and is there any answer to the
          unknowns?
          > > >
          > > > Dean
          > > >
          > > >
          > > > --- In TalkAntietam@yahoogroups.com, "Thomas Clemens"
          <clemenst@> wrote:
          > > > >
          > > > > Dean,
          > > > > The info on the trains is mentioned in Chapter 8 of Taken
          > > > > at
          the Flood, pp. 338-9
          > > > footnotes 34 & 37 and also in Sounding the Shallows, pp.
          > > > 193-
          4. Let me know if you
          > > do
          > > > not have access to those books.
          > > > >
          > > > >
          > > > > Thomas G. Clemens D.A.
          > > > > Professor of History
          > > > > Hagerstown Community College
          > > > >
          > > > >
          > > > > >>> "dean_essig" <dean_essig@> 01/30/08 11:18 AM >>>
          > > > > Excellent info, Thomas!
          > > > >
          > > > > That would bring all the loose ends together (no mean
          > > > > feat),
          if I can impose (and
          > > when
          > > > you
          > > > > get a chance) please dig out some sources on the "but
          > > > > ammo"
          exception.
          > > > >
          > > > > You may not have earned a free game yet, but you will by
          > > > > the
          time this project is
          > done
          > > > :-)
          > > > >
          > > > > Doesn't matter if you don't have time to play it, you'll
          > > > > want
          a copy of a product that
          > > has
          > > > your
          > > > > name in the research credits I would think. ;-)
          > > > >
          > > > > --- In TalkAntietam@yahoogroups.com, "Thomas Clemens"
          <clemenst@> wrote:
          > > > > >
          > > > > > Dean,
          > > > > > I am at work and away from sources, but it is my
          understanding that all trains
          > > except
          > > > > ammo were sent across the river. Thus Hood, looking for
          food, had to go find his
          > and
          > > > bring
          > > > > them forward, while Reilly etc. looking for ammo found
          > > > > theirs
          near Sharpsburg.
          > > > Longstreet'
          > > > > loss was the Reserve Artillery ammo for his command, not
          > > > > all
          of his trains.
          > > > > > Hope this helps. Do I get a free copy of the game?
          > > > > > :-)
          just kidding, I don't have
          > > time
          > > > to
          > > > > play them.
          > > > >
          > > >
          > >
          >
        • Thomas Clemens
          Dean, A quick check of CS artillery memoirs, etc does not definitely show any location of the ammunition reserve trains. sorry. Thomas G. Clemens D.A.
          Message 4 of 21 , Feb 2 3:01 PM
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            Dean,
            A quick check of CS artillery memoirs, etc does not definitely show any location of the ammunition reserve trains. sorry.

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


            >>> "dean_essig" <dean_essig@...> 02/01/08 2:24 PM >>>
            Tom it is... glad to meet you, sir!

            Excellent information, that helps me spot the trains on the map.

            The artillery problem is an issue I'll need to resolve. I don't recall Reilly (who at least
            mentioned going back to look) or anyone else suggesting they had to ford the Potomac to
            get a re-supply of artillery ammunition. So, this indirectly suggests that what stocks they
            had available were in the Md side trains.

            Leaving me wondering what it was Lee was protecting across the river.

            Do you know of any other battery commanders recollections about the rather mundane
            matters of ammunition resupply on that day?
          • Dean Essig
            Tom, Thanks for looking. It looks like the issue might be moot for me anyway, Mt Airy is off my map area (very similar to the Carmen-Cope maps) to the SW, so
            Message 5 of 21 , Feb 2 4:20 PM
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              Tom,

              Thanks for looking. It looks like the issue might be
              moot for me anyway, Mt Airy is off my map area (very
              similar to the Carmen-Cope maps) to the SW, so guns
              looking to reload will have to shoot off the map there
              (with an explanation of when they come back). Since
              they are already going off the map, whether the trains
              are at Mt Airy, Shepherdstown, or Boetler's matters
              little... it will be a while in real time before they
              come back.

              Dean

              --- Thomas Clemens <clemenst@...> wrote:

              > Dean,
              > A quick check of CS artillery memoirs, etc does not
              > definitely show any location of the ammunition
              > reserve trains. sorry.
              >
              > Thomas G. Clemens D.A.
              > Professor of History
              > Hagerstown Community College
              >
              >
              > >>> "dean_essig" <dean_essig@...> 02/01/08
              > 2:24 PM >>>
              > Tom it is... glad to meet you, sir!
              >
              > Excellent information, that helps me spot the trains
              > on the map.
              >
              > The artillery problem is an issue I'll need to
              > resolve. I don't recall Reilly (who at least
              > mentioned going back to look) or anyone else
              > suggesting they had to ford the Potomac to
              > get a re-supply of artillery ammunition. So, this
              > indirectly suggests that what stocks they
              > had available were in the Md side trains.
              >
              > Leaving me wondering what it was Lee was protecting
              > across the river.
              >
              > Do you know of any other battery commanders
              > recollections about the rather mundane
              > matters of ammunition resupply on that day?
              >
              >
              >
              >
              >
              >
              > Yahoo! Groups Links
              >
              >
              >
              >
              >



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