Re: [TalkAntietam] Hill as Corps Commander
As per Tom Clemens who knows Joe Harsh VERY well etc. and my own
comments, I heartily disagree with your statement in no. 1 about
3 Corps. The use of the word "corps" at any time by anybody in
the ANVa PRIOR to the ANVa reorganization and early November when
Lee announces the promotions to Lt General, is NOT to be
understood in the same way we now understand it. Again, as Tom
Clemens points out, the term most likely reflects ad hoc
organization at this point.
2. Anderson's brigade is detached from D H Hill and sent to a
point opposite Berlin, Md. to try to harass the B & O Railway and
also the C & O Canal, cause damage with artillery etc. and does
not rejoin the remainder of the division until September 7 or 8.
3. D H Hill's division minus Anderson's brigade is the advance
guard of the ANVa into Maryland as per Harsh in TATF. It goes
into Maryland at a time when Lee had not fully decided on moving
the entire army into Maryland but Lee does make the decision to
move his entire force within 24 hours.
5. As Tom Clemens just points out, the entire organization of the
ANVa during this campaign, as well as during the battle itself,
is EXTREMELY fluid.
Why don't you explain to us why you are so focused in on
constructing on OOB for this? Also, I do not believe you have
adequately answered my question to you about which brigadiers of
McLaws took "orders" from D H Hill at the Sunken Road? Just
because a junior officer reports to a senior one does not
necessarily mean the senior officers is in command of the
junior's command. (In most cases, yes, but there are always
exceptions to the general rules!)
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: "Bryn Monnery" <littlegreenmen.geo@...>
Sent: Saturday, February 07, 2009 5:29 AM
Subject: [TalkAntietam] Hill as Corps Commander
A summary of what is known:
1. Lee organised his army initially as 3 Corps (I'm going to use
term to disambiguate, despite it's technical incorrectness) and 2
Divisions. He Stellanbosched 3 of his commanders and settled down
3 Corps organisation.
2. Lee sent Jackson's Corps to face Pope, then reinforced with
Longstreet's, and brought Hill's forward, but they were still at
Fredericksburg during 2nd Bull Run.
3. Hill's Corps arrives at Chantilly on 2nd September. According
Harsh he did not immediately break them up, but simply reassigned
Corps cavalry brigade to Stuart*. Jackson's AAR (written 6 months
later) is explicit that Hill does not consitute part of his
4. Hill's Division is the first to cross the Potomac, doing so on
4th September in a cheveaux operation against the B&O Railroad.
absent from the council of war that night, for obvious reasons.
5. Jackson's command crosses the Potomac on the 5th. His AAR
opened up communications with Hill, but in neithers' AAR does it
that Jackson assumed command of all forces north of the Potomac.
now interested as to whether said "assumption of command" ever
6. Late on the 5th, Jackson falls from his horse. He sends a
to Hill to assume command of his [Jackson's] command as well as
own. Thus for a period DH Hill is in command of all forces north
the Potomac. (This is in Hill's AAR, and confirmed by Henry Kyd
Douglas. It is not in Jackson's AAR. I normally dislike to fall
on Douglas as he is a noted fantasist in parts, but it's usually
fetishisation of Jackson, which this certainly isn't)
7. The rest of the army crosses on the 6th, except Walker's
Longstreet's (Anderson's) and McLaws' Divisions maneuver together
the crossing. Walker's division and GB Anderson's Bde of Hill's
at Cheek's Ford on the 7th, following Hill's division. ***
8. Lee arrives at Frederick late on the 6th and calls another
of War. The attendees are Lee, Longstreet, Jackson, DH Hill and
Stuart. (see Harsh's Taken at the Flood).
9. On the 9th Lee issues SO191, the provisions of which are well
covered by Harsh. We enter the "fuzzy period" where the existence
3rd (or 4th) wing is unclear.
10. After recrossing the Potomac Lee recommend three officers in
army to be promoted Lt Gen; Longstreet, Jackson and AP Hill.
These are the "knowns". We're now debating the existence of a
3rd Corps during Sharpsburg itself, yes?
As I see it there are three viable options:
1. DH Hill is a Corps Commander, but his Corps is operating in a
dispersed manner during this period.
2. DH Hill's Corps has been divided to create 2 Corps. Perhaps
unreasonable given it is a much stronger body than the other two,
having suffered through 2nd Bull Run etc. (indeed, DH Hill's
*Division* alone has about the same number of effectives on the
than either Longstreet or Jackson's Corps on the 17th)****
3. The four divisions outside of Longstreet's and Jackson's Corps
independent, with no higher command.
There is a fourth, disproven option:
4. The Army of Northern Virginia has only two wings.
Can we accept the above 10 points as fact, or do they require
* As an aside, it does seem that each cavalry brigade in this
is aligned with a Corps; Longstreet has Robertson's, Jackson has
Lee's and Hill has Hampton's. This doesn't surprise me as it
Wellington in the Peninsula. In that situation there is a single
"Cavalry Division" (of, at one point, 11 brigades ISTR!) which is
effect a Corps HQ and only really consititutes the reserve
The 5 Corps/ Columns/ Wings or whatever of Wellington's army have
light cavalry force of 1-2 brigades directly attached.
** Hill's crossing on the 4th with 4 of his 5 bdes is
absent in most books on the campaign, despite being in the ORs.
however only a raiding force.
*** A concise summary of who crossed where is online at
**** Using Carman's figures, taken from Harsh's Sounding the
Longstreet (DR Jones' and Hood's): 5,331 bayonets
Jackson (Jackson's and Ewell's): 5,688 bayonets
DH Hill's Division: 5,449 bayonets
Longstreet's and McLaws' Divisions: 5,903 bayonets
Walker's: 3,764 bayonets
AP Hill's: 2,231 bayonets
Total: 28,366 bayonets, of which only 47% belong to the
Jackson command structure, the remaining 53% are the independent
divisions/ Hill's Corps (delete as appropriate)