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re Rodes brigade at Sunken Road

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  • G E Mayers
    Gang, I have been re reading David Eicher s one volume military history of the Civil War, titled The Longest Night , recently. In his section on Sharpsburg
    Message 1 of 9 , Mar 1, 2009
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      Gang,

      I have been re reading David Eicher's one volume military history
      of the Civil War, titled "The Longest Night", recently. In his
      section on Sharpsburg and the fight at the Sunken Road, he says
      Rodes's brigade launched a counter attack that ultimately reached
      the area of the Roulette and Clip Farms before being forced back.

      Is this so? I have always been under the apprehension that some
      elements of George B Anderson's NC brigade, along with some
      elements of Wright's Georgia brigade (which extended the
      Confederate line in the lane to the right of Anderson), made a
      counter attack on the left flank of French just before
      Richardson brought the Irish Brigade forward.

      Your comments and discussion appreciated.

      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
    • Dean Essig
      Gerry, See Rodes OR Report, vol 19, part 1, pg 1037. Longstreet himself ordered Rodes to attack, his brigade and a part of Colquitt s. Initially, the 6
      Message 2 of 9 , Mar 2, 2009
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        Gerry,

        See Rodes' OR Report, vol 19, part 1, pg 1037. Longstreet himself
        ordered Rodes to attack, his brigade and a part of Colquitt's.
        Initially, the 6 Alabama did not hear the command to attack, so Rodes
        went over to personally convey the order. He returned to the rest of
        the brigade after the attack had failed and was able to stop them
        from withdrawing further than the Sunken Road.

        On the ground, you can see where they would have gone to. About 100
        yards (or less) in front of the brigade's position is a small
        ridgeline. The Union had attacked from there and withdrew beyond its
        crest out of sight of the Confederates. The charge was designed to
        move from the Sunken Road to this position, so the Confederates could
        engage the Federals on the other side.

        Based on Rodes' description, they did not go anywhere near as far as
        Clip/Roulette before having to retire.

        Carmen notes these same events (pg 280-281) and adds that Cobb's
        brigade, too, was ordered by Longstreet to join the above attack and
        that afterward (while Rodes was rallying the left of the brigade
        after the attack failed), the 6 Alabama (by itself) attacked to
        capture the colors of the 5th Maryland, forcing them back "about 20
        yards" whereupon the 5th rallied and drove the Alabamians back into
        their original positions.

        Gordon's memoirs make no mention of this, all of it seems to have
        happened after he was wounded.

        Hope that helps.

        Dean

        On Mar 1, 2009, at 2:31 PM, G E Mayers wrote:

        > I have been re reading David Eicher's one volume military history
        > of the Civil War, titled "The Longest Night", recently. In his
        > section on Sharpsburg and the fight at the Sunken Road, he says
        > Rodes's brigade launched a counter attack that ultimately reached
        > the area of the Roulette and Clip Farms before being forced back.
        >
        > Is this so? I have always been under the apprehension that some
        > elements of George B Anderson's NC brigade, along with some
        > elements of Wright's Georgia brigade (which extended the
        > Confederate line in the lane to the right of Anderson), made a
        > counter attack on the left flank of French just before
        > Richardson brought the Irish Brigade forward.
        >
        > Your comments and discussion appreciated.



        [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
      • G E Mayers
        Dean, This does! Thanks! I think the ridgeline is probably the one where the CT regiment marker is? Yr. Obt. Svt. G E Gerry Mayers To Be A Virginian, either
        Message 3 of 9 , Mar 2, 2009
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          Dean,

          This does! Thanks! I think the ridgeline is probably the one
          where the CT regiment marker is?

          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: "Dean Essig" <d.essig@...>
          To: <TalkAntietam@yahoogroups.com>
          Sent: Monday, March 02, 2009 10:49 AM
          Subject: Re: [TalkAntietam] re Rodes brigade at Sunken Road


          > Gerry,
          >
          > See Rodes' OR Report, vol 19, part 1, pg 1037. Longstreet
          > himself
          > ordered Rodes to attack, his brigade and a part of Colquitt's.
          > Initially, the 6 Alabama did not hear the command to attack, so
          > Rodes
          > went over to personally convey the order. He returned to the
          > rest of
          > the brigade after the attack had failed and was able to stop
          > them
          > from withdrawing further than the Sunken Road.
          >
          > On the ground, you can see where they would have gone to. About
          > 100
          > yards (or less) in front of the brigade's position is a small
          > ridgeline. The Union had attacked from there and withdrew
          > beyond its
          > crest out of sight of the Confederates. The charge was designed
          > to
          > move from the Sunken Road to this position, so the Confederates
          > could
          > engage the Federals on the other side.
          >
          > Based on Rodes' description, they did not go anywhere near as
          > far as
          > Clip/Roulette before having to retire.
          >
          > Carmen notes these same events (pg 280-281) and adds that
          > Cobb's
          > brigade, too, was ordered by Longstreet to join the above
          > attack and
          > that afterward (while Rodes was rallying the left of the
          > brigade
          > after the attack failed), the 6 Alabama (by itself) attacked to
          > capture the colors of the 5th Maryland, forcing them back
          > "about 20
          > yards" whereupon the 5th rallied and drove the Alabamians back
          > into
          > their original positions.
          >
          > Gordon's memoirs make no mention of this, all of it seems to
          > have
          > happened after he was wounded.
          >
          > Hope that helps.
          >
          > Dean
          >
          > On Mar 1, 2009, at 2:31 PM, G E Mayers wrote:
          >
          >> I have been re reading David Eicher's one volume military
          >> history
          >> of the Civil War, titled "The Longest Night", recently. In his
          >> section on Sharpsburg and the fight at the Sunken Road, he
          >> says
          >> Rodes's brigade launched a counter attack that ultimately
          >> reached
          >> the area of the Roulette and Clip Farms before being forced
          >> back.
          >>
          >> Is this so? I have always been under the apprehension that
          >> some
          >> elements of George B Anderson's NC brigade, along with some
          >> elements of Wright's Georgia brigade (which extended the
          >> Confederate line in the lane to the right of Anderson), made a
          >> counter attack on the left flank of French just before
          >> Richardson brought the Irish Brigade forward.
          >>
          >> Your comments and discussion appreciated.
          >
          >
          >
          > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
          >
          >
        • Dean Essig
          Based on the Battlefield America map, I think so. Also Carmen makes a point that the attack was into the 14 CT and that Tompkins Battery (on the Visitor
          Message 4 of 9 , Mar 2, 2009
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            Based on the Battlefield America map, I think so. Also Carmen makes a
            point that the attack was into the 14 CT and that Tompkins' Battery
            (on the Visitor Center hill) was in a great position to rake it.


            On Mar 2, 2009, at 9:55 AM, G E Mayers wrote:

            > Dean,
            >
            > This does! Thanks! I think the ridgeline is probably the one
            > where the CT regiment marker is?
          • G E Mayers
            Dear Dean, Thank you again. So why did Longstreet order the attack by Rodes? Was this before the unfortunate incident with Col Lightfoot of the Sixth Alabama?
            Message 5 of 9 , Mar 2, 2009
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              Dear Dean,

              Thank you again. So why did Longstreet order the attack by Rodes?
              Was this before the unfortunate incident with Col Lightfoot of
              the Sixth Alabama? or after it? Also, was this before the Irish
              Brigade attack?

              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: "Dean Essig" <d.essig@...>
              To: <TalkAntietam@yahoogroups.com>
              Sent: Monday, March 02, 2009 11:01 AM
              Subject: Re: [TalkAntietam] re Rodes brigade at Sunken Road


              > Based on the Battlefield America map, I think so. Also Carmen
              > makes a
              > point that the attack was into the 14 CT and that Tompkins'
              > Battery
              > (on the Visitor Center hill) was in a great position to rake
              > it.
              >
              >
              > On Mar 2, 2009, at 9:55 AM, G E Mayers wrote:
              >
              >> Dean,
              >>
              >> This does! Thanks! I think the ridgeline is probably the one
              >> where the CT regiment marker is?
              >
            • Dean Essig
              ... I can find nothing that explains Longstreet s thinking here (neither his report or memoirs mention the event at all). The presumption would be that the
              Message 6 of 9 , Mar 2, 2009
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                On Mar 2, 2009, at 11:18 AM, G E Mayers wrote:

                > So why did Longstreet order the attack by Rodes?

                I can find nothing that explains Longstreet's thinking here (neither
                his report or memoirs mention the event at all). The presumption
                would be that the ridge the Union was fighting from looks to be
                better for the defense that the rather flat low area of the Sunken
                Road on that left flank.

                > Was this before the unfortunate incident with Col Lightfoot of
                > the Sixth Alabama? or after it?

                All of this must have happened before that.

                > Also, was this before the Irish
                > Brigade attack?

                Based on the maps in Unfurl those Colors, by the time the Irish had
                formed and were beginning their attack, the 14 CT had backed off and
                disengaged (10:30 am), my my guess is this occured before the Irish
                Brigade was involved.

                Also, that book does mention the assorted attacks out of the Sunken
                Road, but only in general terms and does not go into detail about the
                Confederates involved.

                Dean

                [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
              • G E Mayers
                Dean; You have given me much to think about here and this is a great help for my book manuscript..... I checked Harsh this evening and he says nothing about
                Message 7 of 9 , Mar 2, 2009
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                  Dean;

                  You have given me much to think about here and this is a great
                  help for my book manuscript.....

                  I checked Harsh this evening and he says nothing about Longstreet
                  exercising any major tactical control but he does say something
                  interesting in TATF about Lee basically leaving the northern part
                  of the field to Jackson, Longstreet and D H Hill from about noon
                  or onwards and concentrating on the problems manifesting
                  themselves down on the Lower Bridge (the Confederate right).

                  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: "Dean Essig" <d.essig@...>
                  To: <TalkAntietam@yahoogroups.com>
                  Sent: Monday, March 02, 2009 2:23 PM
                  Subject: Re: [TalkAntietam] re Rodes brigade at Sunken Road


                  >
                  > On Mar 2, 2009, at 11:18 AM, G E Mayers wrote:
                  >
                  >> So why did Longstreet order the attack by Rodes?
                  >
                  > I can find nothing that explains Longstreet's thinking here
                  > (neither
                  > his report or memoirs mention the event at all). The
                  > presumption
                  > would be that the ridge the Union was fighting from looks to be
                  > better for the defense that the rather flat low area of the
                  > Sunken
                  > Road on that left flank.
                  >
                  >> Was this before the unfortunate incident with Col Lightfoot of
                  >> the Sixth Alabama? or after it?
                  >
                  > All of this must have happened before that.
                  >
                  >> Also, was this before the Irish
                  >> Brigade attack?
                  >
                  > Based on the maps in Unfurl those Colors, by the time the Irish
                  > had
                  > formed and were beginning their attack, the 14 CT had backed
                  > off and
                  > disengaged (10:30 am), my my guess is this occured before the
                  > Irish
                  > Brigade was involved.
                  >
                  > Also, that book does mention the assorted attacks out of the
                  > Sunken
                  > Road, but only in general terms and does not go into detail
                  > about the
                  > Confederates involved.
                  >
                  > Dean
                  >
                  > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                  >
                  >
                • G E Mayers
                  Dean, Again, this is great information! So Longstreet s ordering of Rodes to advance his brigade is an attempt to turn the right flank of French s division?
                  Message 8 of 9 , Mar 3, 2009
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                    Dean,

                    Again, this is great information! So Longstreet's ordering of
                    Rodes to advance his brigade is an attempt to turn the right
                    flank of French's division?

                    Also, does "Unfurl those Colors" give any indication of when
                    Gordon was wounded for the final time? When you read Gordon's
                    memoir, he does not seem to indicate about how long after the
                    fighting began in the sunken road his wounds occurred.
                    Interestingly enough, though, he does state that Tew received his
                    mortal wounding fairly early on...which would seem to
                    indicate....if true... that G B Anderson also receives his mortal
                    wound in the ankle very early in the action...perhaps right after
                    returning from going to D H Hill to ask for reinforcements,
                    spurring the latter office to go to Lee and Longstreet and
                    thereby sparking the famous horse incident?

                    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: "Dean Essig" <d.essig@...>
                    To: <TalkAntietam@yahoogroups.com>
                    Sent: Monday, March 02, 2009 2:23 PM
                    Subject: Re: [TalkAntietam] re Rodes brigade at Sunken Road


                    <snip>
                  • Dean Essig
                    ... I don t think the intent was that grand. Rather a tactical adjustment of the firing line in that area, pushing forward so the Confederates control the
                    Message 9 of 9 , Mar 3, 2009
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                      On Mar 3, 2009, at 7:43 AM, G E Mayers wrote:

                      > Again, this is great information! So Longstreet's ordering of
                      > Rodes to advance his brigade is an attempt to turn the right
                      > flank of French's division?

                      I don't think the intent was that grand.

                      Rather a tactical adjustment of the firing line in that area, pushing
                      forward so the Confederates control the local terrain feature rather
                      than allowing the Federals to use it as a firing berm.

                      >
                      > Also, does "Unfurl those Colors" give any indication of when
                      > Gordon was wounded for the final time? When you read Gordon's
                      > memoir, he does not seem to indicate about how long after the
                      > fighting began in the sunken road his wounds occurred.

                      Neither. The timing is my inference from the fact that Rodes went
                      personally to the 6 Ala to order them to attack and Gordon makes no
                      mention of him, the orders, or the belated attack in his account. He
                      does, however, describe the fighting (from the road) and goes into
                      detail about his wounding and being carried off on a stretcher. I
                      think he would have noted the attack if he was still there when that
                      happened.

                      Furthermore, it makes good sense that the 6 Ala would become less
                      responsive in the time after the wounding (especially if it had just
                      happened) and that fits into the narrative of events very well. But
                      is conjecture.

                      > Interestingly enough, though, he does state that Tew received his
                      > mortal wounding fairly early on...which would seem to
                      > indicate....if true... that G B Anderson also receives his mortal
                      > wound in the ankle very early in the action...perhaps right after
                      > returning from going to D H Hill to ask for reinforcements,
                      > spurring the latter office to go to Lee and Longstreet and
                      > thereby sparking the famous horse incident?

                      I'm thinking the "horse" thing happened earlier, as part of the tour
                      Lee and Longstreet made of the road position right before the attack
                      hit (the one that ended with Gordon announcing he would hold the
                      position until the sun went down). I'd wager it happened just before
                      the two of them made it to the division, Hill would have ridden back
                      to the Hagerstown Pike to greet the approaching army command just
                      south of the position... and all of that seemed reasonably relaxed,
                      which would not be the case if Hill rode back to Lee frantically
                      looking for reinforcements as would be the case after the attack began.

                      Dean



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