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Re: [TalkAntietam] Questions

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  • Tommy Schmitz
    Didn t Pinkerton have a role in providing intelligence reports to McClellan (AOP, Wool, Stanton and Lincoln), too? ...
    Message 1 of 11 , Mar 28, 2002
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      Didn't Pinkerton have a role in providing "intelligence" reports to
      McClellan (AOP, Wool, Stanton and Lincoln), too?


      >From: Tom Clemens <clemens@...>
      >Reply-To: TalkAntietam@yahoogroups.com
      >To: TalkAntietam@yahoogroups.com
      >Subject: Re: [TalkAntietam] Questions
      >Date: Wed, 27 Mar 2002 21:25:57 -0500
      >
      > > What was the source of the estimates of the ANV's numbers?
      >
      >Gen. Wool, Dept. commander told McClellan 75,000. Gov. Curtin of PA said
      >an
      >informed source in Hagerstown told him 200,000. Civilians, and avalry
      >recon
      >added estimates within this range so that McClellan decided 120,000 was
      >reasonable based on these various reports. Obviously over-inflated, but
      >this
      >is what he "knew".
      >
      > >
      > > Where did the idea that the creek could not be forded come from?
      >
      >Can't put my hands on the report or source right now, but I believe it was
      >Capt. James C. Duane who commanded the regular engineer detachment with the
      >AOP. He wrote "Manual for Engineer Troops" and his opinion was respected.
      >Of course he was correct also.
      >
      >Tom Clemens
      ><< clemens.vcf >>




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    • Tom Clemens
      In Virginia, yes, but in the Maryland Campaign Pinkerton had no operatives in Western MD and so provided no intelligence at all during the campaign.
      Message 2 of 11 , Mar 28, 2002
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        In Virginia, yes, but in the Maryland Campaign Pinkerton had no "operatives" in
        Western MD and so provided no intelligence at all during the campaign.
        Civilians and cavalry almost exclusively. Hence the "fog of war" dominated
        decision making


        Tommy Schmitz wrote:

        > Didn't Pinkerton have a role in providing "intelligence" reports to
        > McClellan (AOP, Wool, Stanton and Lincoln), too?
        >
        > >From: Tom Clemens <clemens@...>
        > >Reply-To: TalkAntietam@yahoogroups.com
        > >To: TalkAntietam@yahoogroups.com
        > >Subject: Re: [TalkAntietam] Questions
        > >Date: Wed, 27 Mar 2002 21:25:57 -0500
        > >
        > > > What was the source of the estimates of the ANV's numbers?
        > >
        > >Gen. Wool, Dept. commander told McClellan 75,000. Gov. Curtin of PA said
        > >an
        > >informed source in Hagerstown told him 200,000. Civilians, and avalry
        > >recon
        > >added estimates within this range so that McClellan decided 120,000 was
        > >reasonable based on these various reports. Obviously over-inflated, but
        > >this
        > >is what he "knew".
        > >
        > > >
        > > > Where did the idea that the creek could not be forded come from?
        > >
        > >Can't put my hands on the report or source right now, but I believe it was
        > >Capt. James C. Duane who commanded the regular engineer detachment with the
        > >AOP. He wrote "Manual for Engineer Troops" and his opinion was respected.
        > >Of course he was correct also.
        > >
        > >Tom Clemens
        > ><< clemens.vcf >>
        >
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      • james2044
        Tom, My understanding is the the creek could be forded in many places and was forded to flank Burnsides Bridge. It seems several books state that they could
        Message 3 of 11 , Mar 28, 2002
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          Tom,
          My understanding is the the creek could be forded in many places and
          was forded to flank "Burnsides" Bridge.

          It seems several books state that they could but didn't try to. This
          is one of the things they damm Mac for.
        • Andy Mills
          I was always under the impression Burnside himself is credited with the blunder at the Rohrback bridge, not McClellan? Personally, I think McClellan deserves
          Message 4 of 11 , Mar 29, 2002
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            I was always under the impression Burnside himself is credited
            with the blunder at the Rohrback bridge, not McClellan?
            Personally, I think McClellan deserves the blame for not
            exploiting the break in the Confederate center along the Sunken
            Road. What was his logic for not exploiting this tremendous
            opportunity, other than the obvious: He thought Lee had 50,000
            reserve troops?

            Andy

            ---------- Original Message ----------------------------------

            James,
            This is a large topic, and I only have a few minutes, so I will be
            more succinct than usual.

            No, the creek was not crossable at many places, at least not in a
            military sense, and certainly not if opposed by the enemy. The
            reports of the engineers, mentioned by Hooker, among others, make
            it clear there were a few usable fords. The engineers improved
            one near the Pry house to make it usable. Read the first few
            pages of the Manual for Engineer Troops and you'll see why that is
            so. A big consideration is that first a ofrce must recon the
            creek. Hard to do when the enemy occupies the ground, so how do
            you go rushing full tilt into the creek when you don't know how
            the steep the banks, how deep the water, swift the current,
            condition of the bottom, sand, mud, rocky, etc. Of course we know
            that now, but how would the Union find that out?

            It is worth mentioning that the Confederate must have thought the
            same thing since they only put sizable forces opposite the bridges
            and skirmish lines everywhere else. If the creek were fordable
            anywhere, why would Lee choose it for a defense line? There is
            much more, but this is a start.

            As for damning McClellan, most people who do that either repeat
            old stories or don't look very deep when they research. The
            reality is much more complex. BTW, why damn McClellan, and not
            the engineers who advised him? See what I mean?
          • Tom Clemens
            James, This is a large topic, and I only have a few minutes, so I will be more succinct than usual. No, the creek was not crossable at many places, at least
            Message 5 of 11 , Mar 29, 2002
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              James,
              This is a large topic, and I only have a few minutes, so I will be more
              succinct than usual.

              No, the creek was not crossable at many places, at least not in a military
              sense, and certainly not if opposed by the enemy. The reports of the
              engineers, mentioned by Hooker, among others, make it clear there were a few
              usable fords. The engineers improved one near the Pry house to make it
              usable. Read the first few pages of the Manual for Engineer Troops and
              you'll see why that is so. A big consideration is that first a ofrce must
              recon the creek. Hard to do when the enemy occupies the ground, so how do
              you go rushing full tilt into the creek when you don't know how the steep the
              banks, how deep the water, swift the current, condition of the bottom, sand,
              mud, rocky, etc. Of course we know that now, but how would the Union find
              that out?

              It is worth mentioning that the Confederate must have thought the same thing
              since they only put sizable forces opposite the bridges and skirmish lines
              everywhere else. If the creek were fordable anywhere, why would Lee choose
              it for a defense line? There is much more, but this is a start.

              As for damning McClellan, most people who do that either repeat old stories
              or don't look very deep when they research. The reality is much more
              complex. BTW, why damn McClellan, and not the engineers who advised him?
              See what I mean?


              james2044 wrote:

              > Tom,
              > My understanding is the the creek could be forded in many places and
              > was forded to flank "Burnsides" Bridge.
              >
              > It seems several books state that they could but didn't try to. This
              > is one of the things they damm Mac for.
              >
              >
              >
              >
              > Your use of Yahoo! Groups is subject to http://docs.yahoo.com/info/terms/
            • NJ Rebel
              Andy: Much of the decision by Mac to not pursue the breakthrough at the Sunken Road can be laid at the feet of Sumner. Sumner was somewhat shell shocked by
              Message 6 of 11 , Mar 29, 2002
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                Andy:

                Much of the decision by Mac to not pursue the breakthrough at the
                Sunken Road can be laid at the feet of Sumner.

                Sumner was somewhat shell shocked by what had happened to one of
                his divisions in the West Woods earlier in the morning of
                September 17th and was Mac's most aggressive battle-field
                commander. So, when Sumner advised caution since the Confederates
                might have a reserve force that Mac did not know of, Mac had to
                listen!

                We know now that Lee had no such reserve force but Mad did not!
                Look at the battle this way: If you were Mac and you had had all
                your attacks blunted every time by Confederate counter-attacks,
                would you think "My God, how many men does Bobby Lee have if he
                can successfully beat off attacks by those under my command?"

                It did not help that Mac thought Lee had more men at Antietam
                than he did either.

                Your humble servant,
                Gerry Mayers
                Co. B, "Tom Green Rifles",
                Fourth Regiment, Texas Volunteer Infantry

                A Proud American by Birth, Southern by Choice!

                "I know of no fitter resting-place for a soldier than the field
                on which he has nobly laid down his life." --General Robert
                Edward Lee


                ----- Original Message -----
                From: "Andy Mills" <kamills@...>
                To: <TalkAntietam@yahoogroups.com>
                Sent: Friday, March 29, 2002 11:18 AM
                Subject: Re: [TalkAntietam] Re: Questions


                > I was always under the impression Burnside himself is credited
                > with the blunder at the Rohrback bridge, not McClellan?
                > Personally, I think McClellan deserves the blame for not
                > exploiting the break in the Confederate center along the Sunken
                > Road. What was his logic for not exploiting this tremendous
                > opportunity, other than the obvious: He thought Lee had 50,000
                > reserve troops?
                >
                > Andy
                >
                > ---------- Original Message ----------------------------------
                >
                > James,
                > This is a large topic, and I only have a few minutes, so I will
                be
                > more succinct than usual.
                >
                > No, the creek was not crossable at many places, at least not in
                a
                > military sense, and certainly not if opposed by the enemy. The
                > reports of the engineers, mentioned by Hooker, among others,
                make
                > it clear there were a few usable fords. The engineers improved
                > one near the Pry house to make it usable. Read the first few
                > pages of the Manual for Engineer Troops and you'll see why that
                is
                > so. A big consideration is that first a ofrce must recon the
                > creek. Hard to do when the enemy occupies the ground, so how
                do
                > you go rushing full tilt into the creek when you don't know how
                > the steep the banks, how deep the water, swift the current,
                > condition of the bottom, sand, mud, rocky, etc. Of course we
                know
                > that now, but how would the Union find that out?
                >
                > It is worth mentioning that the Confederate must have thought
                the
                > same thing since they only put sizable forces opposite the
                bridges
                > and skirmish lines everywhere else. If the creek were fordable
                > anywhere, why would Lee choose it for a defense line? There is
                > much more, but this is a start.
                >
                > As for damning McClellan, most people who do that either repeat
                > old stories or don't look very deep when they research. The
                > reality is much more complex. BTW, why damn McClellan, and not
                > the engineers who advised him? See what I mean?
                >
                >
                >
                >
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                >
                >
                >
              • Andy & Kim Mills
                Gerry I understand what you are saying: but the sunken road happened long before Burnside was blunted by Hill and Mac had plenty of reserves as well. I think
                Message 7 of 11 , Mar 29, 2002
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                  Gerry

                  I understand what you are saying: but the sunken road happened long before
                  Burnside was blunted by Hill and Mac had plenty of reserves as well. I
                  think it would have been different if he had attacked with everything he
                  had, but he didn't.

                  Andy

                  -----Original Message-----

                  Andy:

                  Much of the decision by Mac to not pursue the breakthrough at the
                  Sunken Road can be laid at the feet of Sumner.

                  Sumner was somewhat shell shocked by what had happened to one of
                  his divisions in the West Woods earlier in the morning of
                  September 17th and was Mac's most aggressive battle-field
                  commander. So, when Sumner advised caution since the Confederates
                  might have a reserve force that Mac did not know of, Mac had to
                  listen!

                  We know now that Lee had no such reserve force but Mad did not!
                  Look at the battle this way: If you were Mac and you had had all
                  your attacks blunted every time by Confederate counter-attacks,
                  would you think "My God, how many men does Bobby Lee have if he
                  can successfully beat off attacks by those under my command?"

                  It did not help that Mac thought Lee had more men at Antietam
                  than he did either.

                  Your humble servant,
                  Gerry Mayers
                  Co. B, "Tom Green Rifles",
                  Fourth Regiment, Texas Volunteer Infantry
                • NJ Rebel
                  Andy: Most people would agree. However, Burnside s initial orders were to only make a demonstration against the Rohrback or Lower Bridge rather than a full
                  Message 8 of 11 , Mar 30, 2002
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                    Andy:

                    Most people would agree. However, Burnside's initial orders were
                    to only make a "demonstration" against the Rohrback or Lower
                    Bridge rather than a full scale attack.

                    When the orders were changed, notice came via courier rather than
                    Mac himself riding down to Burnside to explain the change in
                    plans.

                    Also, Burn was somewhat miffed that the Wing structure of the AoP
                    which had worked so well during the initial phases of the
                    campaign was abolished right before the battle.

                    Your humble servant,
                    Gerry Mayers
                    Co. B, "Tom Green Rifles",
                    Fourth Regiment, Texas Volunteer Infantry

                    A Proud American by Birth, Southern by Choice!

                    "I know of no fitter resting-place for a soldier than the field
                    on which he has nobly laid down his life." --General Robert
                    Edward Lee


                    ----- Original Message -----
                    From: "Andy & Kim Mills" <kamills@...>
                    To: <TalkAntietam@yahoogroups.com>
                    Sent: Friday, March 29, 2002 7:04 PM
                    Subject: RE: [TalkAntietam] Re: Questions


                    > Gerry
                    >
                    > I understand what you are saying: but the sunken road happened
                    long before
                    > Burnside was blunted by Hill and Mac had plenty of reserves as
                    well. I
                    > think it would have been different if he had attacked with
                    everything he
                    > had, but he didn't.
                    >
                    > Andy
                    >
                    > -----Original Message-----
                    >
                    > Andy:
                    >
                    > Much of the decision by Mac to not pursue the breakthrough at
                    the
                    > Sunken Road can be laid at the feet of Sumner.
                    >
                    > Sumner was somewhat shell shocked by what had happened to one
                    of
                    > his divisions in the West Woods earlier in the morning of
                    > September 17th and was Mac's most aggressive battle-field
                    > commander. So, when Sumner advised caution since the
                    Confederates
                    > might have a reserve force that Mac did not know of, Mac had to
                    > listen!
                    >
                    > We know now that Lee had no such reserve force but Mad did not!
                    > Look at the battle this way: If you were Mac and you had had
                    all
                    > your attacks blunted every time by Confederate counter-attacks,
                    > would you think "My God, how many men does Bobby Lee have if he
                    > can successfully beat off attacks by those under my command?"
                    >
                    > It did not help that Mac thought Lee had more men at Antietam
                    > than he did either.
                    >
                    > Your humble servant,
                    > Gerry Mayers
                    > Co. B, "Tom Green Rifles",
                    > Fourth Regiment, Texas Volunteer Infantry
                    >
                    >
                    > ------------------------ Yahoo! Groups
                    Sponsor ---------------------~-->
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                    >
                    >
                    >
                    >
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                    http://docs.yahoo.com/info/terms/
                    >
                    >
                    >
                  • james2044
                    Wanted to get your thoughts on some items. First, do how do you feel about Sumner s performance on the field? Do you feel his age was a problem? Second, how do
                    Message 9 of 11 , Apr 23, 2002
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                      Wanted to get your thoughts on some items.

                      First, do how do you feel about Sumner's performance on the field?
                      Do you feel his age was a problem?

                      Second, how do you feel about the author and the book?

                      Stephen W. Sears

                      Joseph L. Harsh

                      Last, what do you think went wrong with the AOP's battle plan(s) and
                      who was at fault?
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