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Re: [TalkAntietam] re Rodes brigade at Sunken Road

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  • 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 1 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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