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Re: [TalkAntietam] Questions

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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 1 of 11 , Mar 28, 2002
      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 2 of 11 , Mar 28, 2002
        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 3 of 11 , Mar 29, 2002
          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 4 of 11 , Mar 29, 2002
            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 5 of 11 , Mar 29, 2002
              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 6 of 11 , Mar 29, 2002
                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 7 of 11 , Mar 30, 2002
                  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
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                  >
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                  >
                  >
                  >
                • 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 8 of 11 , Apr 23, 2002
                    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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