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Re: Questions

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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 1 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 2 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 3 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 4 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?
            >
            >
            >
            >
            > ------------------------ Yahoo! Groups
            Sponsor ---------------------~-->
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            ------~->
            >
            >
            >
            >
            > Your use of Yahoo! Groups is subject to
            http://docs.yahoo.com/info/terms/
            >
            >
            >
          • 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 5 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 6 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 ---------------------~-->
                > Access Your PC from Anywhere
                > Check Email & Transfer files - Free Download
                > http://us.click.yahoo.com/NxtVhB/3XkDAA/_ZuFAA/GmiolB/TM
                > ---------------------------------------------------------------
                ------~->
                >
                >
                >
                >
                > Your use of Yahoo! Groups is subject to
                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 7 of 11 , Apr 23 5:42 PM
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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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