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Re: [TalkAntietam] Re: Questions

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  • 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 1 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 2 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 3 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?
          >
          >
          >
          >
          > ------------------------ 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 4 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 5 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
              Sponsor ---------------------~-->
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              > Check Email & Transfer files - Free Download
              > http://us.click.yahoo.com/NxtVhB/3XkDAA/_ZuFAA/GmiolB/TM
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              ------~->
              >
              >
              >
              >
              > 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 6 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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