Re: The Orbats at Antietam
- --- In TalkAntietam@yahoogroups.com, "Thomas Clemens" <clemenst@...>
>commanders is unfounded and unprovable. No doubt D.H. Hill exercised
> The idea of the ANV at Antietam divided into three wings with senior
his seniority to issue orders to other commanders, but it is a mistake
to confuse that with creating "wings." McLaws and Anderson arrived
just at dawn and were placed and ordered into the batle directly by
Lee. There is no extant order placing D.H. Hill in authority over
either of these two commanders. Lee's Order of Battle, and I must
admit it took me a while to figure out that is what you mean by
"orbat," was a very fluid and loose structure. Attempts to prove
otherwise will, I fear, prove futile. Also I'd beware of imposing a
modern conception of tight command structures upon an era of poor
communication and loose battlefield control. My contention is that
the structure was deliberately vague, and senior commanders, despite
any presumed structure, exercised a fair amount of control over any
troops in their immediate tactical area.
> My two cents worth.The 3 wings are a known, and have been since Joseph Harsh published
"Confederate Tide Rising" about a decade ago. The 3rd wing was
Magruder's old Army of the Peninsula.
McLaws was admonished on the 17th by Lee for accepting an order from
Jackson, using his status as 2nd Major General, Lee making it clear
that Jackson did not have the authority to command McLaws unless Lee
said so (although perhaps there is an air of Lee's frustration at
McLaws and Jackson in this). It is in this environment that DH Hill
issues orders directly to McLaws' brigadiers.
Such actions were only legal and binding if DH Hill was in the chain
of command between Lee and McLaws. Simply being a more senior Maj Gen
doesn't cut it.
- Jackson has some real problems as a tactical commander, and he keeps making
the same mistakes, which suggests that he wasn't very introspective about
developing those skills. None of his battles really display a flair for tactics,
even Chancellorsville, where his choices of divisions in line instead of
column greatly complicated his own attack.
That said, he was quite effective at what we today would call the
In a message dated 2/11/2009 3:21:43 P.M. Central Standard Time,
Gary Echelbarger is also a great source on the Valley Campaign of
1862. Mildly said, Jackson got very lucky in the Valley in 1862..
the only Federal commander to beat him, and do so pretty soundly,
was James Shields. (Even there, actual field commander was Nathan
Kimball.) That said, Jackson had, after Shields, mediocre Federal
commanders to contend with....
Yr. Obt. Svt.
G E "Gerry" Mayers
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