Re: ANVa Supply Trains
- 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.
> ----- 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
> Richmond Va Howitzers (3 guns) under Watson arriving from Williamsport late on the
> 17th. I assume this is the battery Carmen refers to.
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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
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!)
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@...>
Sent: Friday, February 01, 2008 7:09 PM
Subject: [TalkAntietam] Re: ANVa Supply Trains
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
"When Robert E. Lee, after nightfall of September 14,
that the action at Turner's Gap had gone against him, he
(temporarily, at least) his idea of a further invasion of the
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
disappointment and depression that his campaign had ended in
but we can imagine it was with a swelling heart that, at 8:00
he sent this dispatch to McLaws:
"'The day has gone against us and this army will go by
and cross the river. It is necessary for you to abandon
your position to-night. Send your trains not required on the road
cross the river. Your troops you must have well in hand to unite
this command, which will retire by Sharpsburg. Send forward
to explore the way, ascertain the best crossing of the Potomac,
if you can find any between you and Shepherdstown leave
Ford for this command. Send an officer to report to me on the
Sharpsburg road, where you are and what crossing you will take.
will of course bring Anderson's division with you.'
"At about the same hour, he sent a dispatch to Jackson to
up from Harper's Ferry and cover his passage of the Potomac at
Shepherdstown Ford. (These orders to McLaws and Jackson
the abandonment of operations against Harper's Ferry, but these
so far progressed that the place was then, virtually, in the
Jackson and McLaws.) Longstreet and D. H. Hill were directed to
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
one battalion to Keedysville."
It would appear that Lee then kept them on the Va shore
for so long because the operational and tactical situation
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?
McLaws arrive on the 17th?) With only a single ford at his back,
last thing Lee wanted if his lines broke was his trains and
artillery clogging the only route of escape.
"Late at night [of the 14th] the commander of the reserve
artillery, General Pendleton (who with three battalions had, late
the afternoon, taken position on the heights of Beaver Creek,
miles north of Boonsboro) was summoned to Lee's headquarters
and directed to send S. D. Lee's Battalion to Keedysville and to
with the battalions of Brown and Nelson by the shortest route to
Williamsport and across the Potomac to guard the fords of the
Pendleton hastened back to his camp, moved promptly to the
and Williamsport Road, and by sunrise reached Jones's
where the Williamsport Road intersects the Hagerstown and
Turnpike. Here he was informed that a large force of Union
was not far ahead of him, upon which he placed some guns in
commanding the road leading to Williamsport and the Hagerstown
on either flank, sent to Toombs (who had passed down to
for a regiment or two of infantry, and set to work collecting a
of armed stragglers to support his guns. Meanwhile, he had sent
scouting parties. These soon returned with information that the
was clear for some two miles, upon which (without waiting for
infantry from Toombs) he resumed the road to destroy the
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
"Colonel Brown, with his battalion of five batteries, was
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
In typical Pendleton fashion, once the battle was joined and the
artillery needed, he failed to rise to the emergency. Carman yet
"About mid-day [of the 17th] Lee had sent this message to
Pendleton, commanding the reserve artillery at Shepherdstown
you have fifteen or twenty guns, suitable for our purpose, which
can spare, the general desires you to send them, with a
of ammunition. You must not take them from the fords if essential
their safety. Send up the stragglers. Take any cavalry about
and send up at the point of the sword. We want ammunition, guns,
provisions.' Pendleton could not collect the stragglers, he sent
but little ammunition, and it was not until the engagement had
that one battery arrived at Sharpsburg."
Hope some of that helps.
--- In TalkAntietam@yahoogroups.com, "dean_essig"
> Yes, I agree and have the infomation regarding the location of
various artillery units.
> Not only was Lee still thinking about re-entering Md from the
side, but he hadn't ruled
> out an "attacking withdrawal" to the north, through the Union
wing to Hagerstown.
> Trying to do that with the trains in tow would be impossible,
allowing the trains to
> shadow the army on the Va side of the river makes a lot of
> Given the situation, this kind of decision making is
> --- In TalkAntietam@yahoogroups.com, "Thomas Clemens"
> > 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.
after he retreated on the
> 18th/19th his intent was to re-cross the river there and move
> 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
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
> > get a re-supply of artillery ammunition. So, this indirectly
suggests that what stocks
> > had available were in the Md side trains.
> > Leaving me wondering what it was Lee was protecting across
> > the
> > 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@>
> > >
> > > Dean,
> > > I keep meaning to tell you, nobody calls me Thomas, Tom is
> > > just
fine. I think you have
> > correctly stated. Location of the Artillery Reserve trains,
> > such
as they were with the loss
> > many near Williamsport, is likely across the river, however I
think some of it was
> > 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
> > That would also be logical for there was access to water and
> > lots
of fields to park a
> > 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
> > >
> > > 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
> > >
> > > 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
> > >
> > > Dean
> > >
> > >
> > > --- In TalkAntietam@yahoogroups.com, "Thomas Clemens"
> > > >
> > > > 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"
> > > >
> > > > You may not have earned a free game yet, but you will by
> > > > the
time this project is
> > > :-)
> > > >
> > > > 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"
> > > > >
> > > > > 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
> > > bring
> > > > them forward, while Reilly etc. looking for ammo found
> > > > theirs
> > > 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.
> > > >
> > >
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?
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
--- Thomas Clemens <clemenst@...> wrote:
> 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?
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