Loading ...
Sorry, an error occurred while loading the content.

Re: [TalkAntietam] Re: ANVa Supply Trains

Expand Messages
  • 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 1 of 21 , Feb 1 5:54 PM
    • 0 Attachment
      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 2 of 21 , Feb 2 3:01 PM
      • 0 Attachment
        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 3 of 21 , Feb 2 4:20 PM
        • 0 Attachment
          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
          >
          >
          >
          >
          >



          ____________________________________________________________________________________
          Never miss a thing. Make Yahoo your home page.
          http://www.yahoo.com/r/hs
        Your message has been successfully submitted and would be delivered to recipients shortly.