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Re: [TalkAntietam] Re: "Unfurl those colors!"

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  • G E Mayers
    Dave, Some very good points and thanks for confirming my impression re Hancock as soon as he takes over as 1st Division commander, 2nd Corps. However, re
    Message 1 of 53 , May 11, 2008
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      Dave,

      Some very good points and thanks for confirming my impression re
      Hancock as soon as he takes over as 1st Division commander, 2nd
      Corps.

      However, re French... IIRC, he did not stop any Confederate
      counter-attack cold by advancing where he did but his orders to
      come in on the left of Sedgwick and seeing Greene, and making the
      presumption/assumption that Greene was 2nd Corps and not 12th
      Corps as he properly was, French veers south south west and runs
      into the Confederate center. You seem to forget that French's
      division was the first 2nd Corps division (of the two) to
      encounter the Confederate center. (I personally do not think a
      fight at the Confederate center was planned or contemplated, but
      "happened". IMHO, if Sumner had not been in such a hurry re
      Sedgwick advancing toward the West Woods and waited for French to
      bring his division alongside Sedgwick, the West Woods/Dunker
      Church area [the left flank of the ANV] would have been swept
      clean of Confederates, presenting Lee with a much graver crisis
      than what actually occurs at the Confederate center.)

      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: <DPowell334@...>
      To: <TalkAntietam@yahoogroups.com>
      Sent: Sunday, May 11, 2008 7:55 AM
      Subject: Re: [TalkAntietam] Re: "Unfurl those colors!"


      > You introduced the idea that to commit the reserves risked
      > Washington. That
      > was the false dichotomy I was referring to - and if that was
      > Mac's thinking
      > (which I suspect it was) then I don't think he was competent to
      > command. Even
      > without the AOP, Mac knows the capitol is heavily defended.
      > And, according to
      > his own seige warfare mentality, he knows that Lee would need
      > time, huge
      > numbers, and heavy artillery to take it: all of which the CSA
      > does not have.
      > Hence the false dichotomy.
      >
      > In that mindset, the 9th Corps wasn't risked, it was
      > sacrificed.
      >
      > From Mac's POV, he committed 1st Corps. It achieved some
      > success, but was
      > driven back on all points with heavy loss. So in goes 12
      > Corps - it also
      > suffers, but it reaches and holds the high ground of the Dunker
      > church/Modern VC.
      > Sedgwick goes in, gets flanked, and is routed back.Greene
      > advances, and is
      > driven back, but French stops that rebel counter-attack pretty
      > effectively.
      > Sumner's other two divisions take the Sunken Road/angle
      > position, and hold it,
      > however. No Rebel counter-attacks, and they do not retreat. But
      > they can't go
      > any farther alone, either.
      >
      > So, progressively, it took three corps working all day and
      > suffering heavy
      > losses to achieve partial success. They know the West Woods is
      > held strongly,
      > (there be dragons) but that the enemy does not respond in
      > similar strength to
      > the rupture of his center.
      >
      > Now Mac commits 9th corps, but decides (under your
      > interpretation) to wait
      > and see before committing Porter/Franklin - What does he expect
      > 9th Corps to
      > do? Because of geography, it will be out of immediate support
      > unless he also
      > advances a strong force on it's flank. Every time he has
      > advanced a force into
      > an area with exposed flanks, it has been mauled and driven
      > back. co-ordinated
      > attacks (such as French and Richardson) have met at least
      > partial success.
      > Who is going to protect the 9th Corps flank as it advances?
      >
      > Mac's thinking with regard to sending 9th Corps stinks, IMO. I
      > won't pretend
      > to know what he expected to accomplish (but I have pretty
      > cynical thoughts
      > about it) but it is a deeply flawed logic from a military
      > science POV.
      >
      > the Mahanian definition of Reserves is a poor one, but that is
      > not Mac's
      > only exposure to the idea, by far. His bios all extol his study
      > of the master -
      > Napoleon - in his reading and interpretation of the art of war.
      > Is Mac so weak
      > a mind that one semester and a few words of Mahanian
      > mis-teaching completely
      > trumps everything else? You may well be right, but if so,
      > that's a far
      > harsher indictment of Mac's capacity than any I have made.
      >
      > Mahan and Halleck pay lip service to the operational art of
      > war, but their
      > focus is really more on entrenchment than anything else. I
      > suspect that a
      > similar focus pervaded Mahan's classroom work.
      >
      > As for what they knew and when they knew it - none of the above
      > should have
      > been above Mac's perview. The rout was clear - and clearly
      > visible from many
      > points. The fact that no Rebel counter-attacks made any effort
      > to retake the
      > Sunken Road is also telling. Hancock later reported that the
      > 1st Division took
      > 9 enemy colors - that's not an indication of an orderly
      > disengagement I'm
      > not asking Mac to peek at Lee's strength returns, or read his
      > mind. I am asking
      > Mac to make the kinds of reasonable battlefield
      > interpretations that any
      > commander HAS to make. If he can't, get the hell out of the
      > game.
      >
      > As for Sumner's fears - how are they justified? Every time the
      > Rebels have
      > sallied out of the West Woods, they are ultimately stopped
      > cold. Hood in the
      > cornfield, the pursuit of Greene - How do any of these attacks
      > threaten the
      > Union positions in the North and East Woods? Show me a
      > corps-sized attack
      > threatening either 1st, 2nd, and/or 12th Corps and I could buy
      > into it. But it
      > doesn't exist. Instead we get 1-2 brigade lunges that end
      > impaled on Union arty
      > lines, with heavy loss. None of this information requires
      > anything but a cool
      > head to observe.
      >
      > Admittedly, this sort of battlefield interpretation isn't easy.
      > This is what
      > Clauswitz has in mind with his famous dicta. But it IS what
      > Corps and Army
      > commanders are expected to do - assess, coldly and
      > realistically, the situation
      > on their fronts. By now, Sumner, Porter, and Mac certainly have
      > the battle
      > experience to be doing this sort of thing. Franklin, less so,
      > given his combat
      > record, but oddly enough, he's the only one who wants to go in.
      >
      > Hooker and Mansfield are down, but in 12th Corps case, this
      > means that the
      > more experienced Williams is back in charge - a good thing, not
      > a drawback.
      >
      > In each of the items you have outlined below, you are
      > effectively
      > confirming, IMO, the main problem with Mac as a field
      > commander - he is planning for
      > his next defeat, not his next success.
      >
      > I am not unable to see Mac's good points, and I don't follow
      > the Sears line.
      > However, that doesn't mean I don't see real problems with Mac's
      > conduct of
      > the battle.
      >
      > Dave Powell
      >
    • G E Mayers
      Ok. Thanks.... 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
      Message 53 of 53 , May 30, 2008
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        Ok. Thanks....

        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: "eighth_conn_inf" <eighth_conn_inf@...>
        To: <TalkAntietam@yahoogroups.com>
        Sent: Friday, May 30, 2008 1:17 PM
        Subject: [TalkAntietam] Re: Beaver Creek


        Gerry,

        From the map I have, it looks like Beaver Creek starts on South
        Mountain near RT 64 about 10 miles NE of Boonsboro and then heads
        SW
        roughly following RT 66. Then NW of Boonsboro just south of the
        Old
        National Pike it joins with Little Beaver Creek and heads SW to
        join
        Antietam Creek at RT 68. Beaver Creek is not west of Boonsboro
        but
        rather to the north.

        Larry F.


        --- In TalkAntietam@yahoogroups.com, "G E Mayers" <gerry1952@...>
        wrote:
        >
        > Dear Tom,
        >
        > Thanks! This is new information for me?!?!? Perhaps I missed an
        > earlier post as I was unaware of Beaver Creek being north of
        > Boonsboro.
        >
        > 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: "RoteBaron" <RoteBaron@...>
        > To: <TalkAntietam@yahoogroups.com>
        > Sent: Monday, May 26, 2008 7:53 PM
        > Subject: Re: [TalkAntietam] Beaver Creek
        >
        >
        > > Gerry,
        > > Stephen likely is referring to Beaver Creek that runs north
        > > of
        > > Boonsboro and empties into Antietam Creek. Rebels considered
        > > it
        > > as a potential defensive position once Mac began moving upon
        > > Turner's Gap. Ol' Pete would have crossed it en route from
        > > Boonsboro to Hagerstown, then re-crossed it in hurrying to
        > > the
        > > defense of South Mtn.
        > >
        > > Tom Shay
        > >
        > >
        > > ----- Original Message -----
        > > From: G E Mayers
        > > To: TalkAntietam@yahoogroups.com
        > > Sent: Monday, May 26, 2008 7:15 PM
        > > Subject: Re: [TalkAntietam] Beaver Creek
        > >
        > >
        > > Stephen,
        > >
        > > Do you mean Beaver Dam Creek? Seven Days Battles? A time
        > > frame
        > > would be helpful?
        > >
        > > 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: "Stephen Recker" <recker@...>
        > > To: <TalkAntietam@yahoogroups.com>
        > > Sent: Sunday, May 25, 2008 9:35 PM
        > > Subject: [TalkAntietam] Beaver Creek
        > >
        > > > Where did Longstreet cross Beaver Creek? Is there a
        > > historical
        > > > marker
        > > > or landmark? Thanks.
        > > >
        > > > Stephen
        > > >
        > > >
        > >
        > >
        > >
        > >
        > >
        > > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
        > >
        > >
        >
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