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Re: [TalkAntietam] Hill as Corps Commander

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  • G E Mayers
    Bryn; 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
    Message 1 of 2 , Feb 7, 2009

      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@...>
      To: <TalkAntietam@yahoogroups.com>
      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
      to a
      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.
      He is
      absent from the council of war that night, for obvious reasons.

      5. Jackson's command crosses the Potomac on the 5th. His AAR
      states he
      opened up communications with Hill, but in neithers' AAR does it
      that Jackson assumed command of all forces north of the Potomac.
      I am
      now interested as to whether said "assumption of command" ever
      actually happened.

      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
      of a
      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
      more debate?


      * 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.
      It is
      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)
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