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Sumner/Franklin conference

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  • Stephen Recker
    In preparing for a tour I m giving next week, I ve been reading Unfurl Those Colors, Chapter 10. Vince has an interesting take on the mediation of McClellan
    Message 1 of 6 , Nov 29, 2009
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      In preparing for a tour I'm giving next week, I've been reading Unfurl
      Those Colors, Chapter 10. Vince has an interesting take on the
      mediation of McClellan between Franklin and Sumner on whether or not to
      renew an attack against the Confederate left on the afternoon of the
      17th. Vince has Sumner a little more excited about an attack than I
      remember.

      Anyone have thoughts about this? Any recommendations for other versions
      of this. I plan to check out Franklin in Battles and Leaders, then
      McClellan's War, then Carman...after I have a turkey sandwich, of
      course.

      Stephen
    • G E Mayers
      Dear Stephen, Re Carman... I think maybe I can save you the trouble, as the following is from Carman s Battle History: Walker, in his History of the Second
      Message 2 of 6 , Nov 29, 2009
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        Dear Stephen,

        Re Carman... I think maybe I can save you the trouble, as the
        following is from Carman's Battle History:

        Walker, in his "History of the Second Army Corps" says: "It is
        easy to criticize Sumner's dispositions at Antietam--the
        dangerous massing of Sedgwick's brigades, the exposure of the
        flank of the charging column, the failure of the commander to
        supervise and direct, from some central point, all the operations
        of the corps; yet no one who saw him there, hat in hand, his
        white hair streaming in the wind, riding abreast of the field
        officers of the foremost line, close up against the rocky ledges
        bursting with the deadly flames of Jackson's volleys, could ever
        fail thereafter to understand the furious thrust with which a
        column of the Second Corps always struck the enemy, or the
        splendid intrepidity with which its brigade and division
        commanders were wont to ride through the thickest of the fight as
        callously as on parade." All this is conceded, yet the fact
        remains that these splendid troops of the Second Corps were much
        disorganized and many of them sadly demoralized when they fell
        back, and, unfortunately, that partial demoralization extended to
        their commanders. We again quote Walker: "If it is not a
        profanation to say such a thing about Edwin
        V. Sumner, he had lost courage; not the courage which would have
        borne him up a ravine swept by canister at the head of the old
        First Dragoons, but the courage which, in the crush and clamor of
        action, amid disaster and repulse, enables the commander to
        coolly calculate the chances of success or failure. He was
        heartbroken at the terrible fate of the splendid division on
        which he had so much relied, which he had deemed invincible, and
        his proximity to the disaster had been so close as to convey a
        shock from which he had not recovered." Nor had he recovered from
        this shock an hour or more later when Franklin came up. . . .

        Franklin, Slocum, and Smith were considering a charge upon the
        woods at the church. Newton's and Torbett's (i.e., Torbert's)
        brigades had come up and been formed beyond the woods and
        Bartlett's arrival was awaited to form a reserve, when it was
        found that Sumner had retained Bartlett to strengthen his own
        right, in place of Brooks', whom he had sent to Franklin. General
        Franklin says: "Immediately after its (Slocum's) arrival two of
        his brigades (Newton's and Torbert's) were formed in column, to
        carry the wood in the immediate vicinity of the white church. The
        other brigade (Bartlett's) had been ordered by General Sumner to
        keep near his right. As this brigade was to form the reserve for
        the column of attack, I waited until it came up. About the same
        time General
        Sumner arrived on the spot, and directed the attack to be
        postponed.... Shortly afterward the commanding general came to
        the position and decided that it would not be prudent to make the
        attack, our position on the right then being considerably in
        advance of what it had been in the morning."

        In the "Battles and Leaders of the Civil War" (Vol.II, p. 597)
        Franklin writes: "While awaiting the arrival of Slocum, I went to
        the right, held by Sumner. I found him at the head of his troops,
        but much depressed. He told me that his whole corps was exhausted
        and could do nothing more that day.... About 300 yards in its
        front, across an open field, was a wood...strongly held by the
        enemy. The corps had been driven back from an attack on this wood
        with great loss. When General Slocum arrived I placed two
        brigades of his division on General Sumner's left and was
        awaiting the arrival of his third brigade, which was to be in
        reserve. With the two
        brigades I intended to make an attack on the woods referred to,
        and General Sumner was informed of my intention. The two brigades
        were ready to move. Just as the third brigade arrived, General
        Sumner rode up and directed me not to make the attack, giving as
        a reason for his order, that if I were defeated the right would
        be entirely routed, mine being the only troops left on the right
        that had any life in them. Major Hammerstein, of McClellan's
        staff, was near, and I requested him to inform General McClellan
        of the state of affairs, and that I thought the attack ought to
        be made. Shortly afterward McClellan rode up, and, after hearing
        the statements of Sumner and myself, decided that as the day had
        gone so well on the other parts of the line it would be unsafe to
        risk anything on the right. Of course, no advance was made by the
        division."

        Palfrey says: "Wisely or unwisely, Sumner paralyzed the action of
        Franklin's Corps, first detaching from Smith and then from
        Slocum." But the responsibility rested upon McClellan for staying
        Franklin's advance. There was yet time to make it when he came
        upon this part of the field. He says: "Toward the middle of the
        afternoon, proceeding to the right, I found that Sumner's,
        Hooker's and Mansfield's Corps had met with serious losses.
        Several general officers had been carried from the field severely
        wounded, and the aspect of affairs was anything but promising. At
        the risk of greatly exposing our center, I ordered two brigades
        from Porter's Corps to reinforce the right. General Sumner
        expressed the most decided opinion against another attempt during
        that day to assault the enemy's position in front, as portions of
        our troops were so scattered and demoralized. In view of these
        circumstances, after making changes in position of some of the
        troops, I directed the different commanders to hold their
        positions, and, being satisfied that this could be done without
        the assistance of the two brigades from the center, I
        countermanded the order, which was in course of execution."

        Yr. Obt. Svt.
        G E "Gerry" Mayers

        To Be A Virginian, either by birth, marriage, adoption, or even
        on one's mother's side, is an introduction to any state in the
        Union, a passport to any foreign country, and a benediction from
        the Almighty God. --Anonymous
        ----- Original Message -----
        From: "Stephen Recker" <recker@...>
        To: <TalkAntietam@yahoogroups.com>
        Sent: Sunday, November 29, 2009 10:59 AM
        Subject: [TalkAntietam] Sumner/Franklin conference


        > In preparing for a tour I'm giving next week, I've been reading
        > Unfurl
        > Those Colors, Chapter 10. Vince has an interesting take on the
        > mediation of McClellan between Franklin and Sumner on whether
        > or not to
        > renew an attack against the Confederate left on the afternoon
        > of the
        > 17th. Vince has Sumner a little more excited about an attack
        > than I
        > remember.
        >
        > Anyone have thoughts about this? Any recommendations for other
        > versions
        > of this. I plan to check out Franklin in Battles and Leaders,
        > then
        > McClellan's War, then Carman...after I have a turkey sandwich,
        > of
        > course.
        >
        > Stephen
        >
        >
      • Stephen Recker
        Thanks! Stephen ... [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
        Message 3 of 6 , Nov 29, 2009
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          Thanks!

          Stephen

          On Sunday, November 29, 2009, at 01:39 PM, G E Mayers wrote:

          > �
          > Dear Stephen,
          >
          > Re Carman... I think maybe I can save you the trouble, as the
          > following is from Carman's Battle History:
          >
          > Walker, in his "History of the Second Army Corps" says: "It is
          > easy to criticize Sumner's dispositions at Antietam--the
          > dangerous massing of Sedgwick's brigades, the exposure of the
          > flank of the charging column, the failure of the commander to
          > supervise and direct, from some central point, all the operations
          > of the corps; yet no one who saw him there, hat in hand, his
          > white hair streaming in the wind, riding abreast of the field
          > officers of the foremost line, close up against the rocky ledges
          > bursting with the deadly flames of Jackson's volleys, could ever
          > fail thereafter to understand the furious thrust with which a
          > column of the Second Corps always struck the enemy, or the
          > splendid intrepidity with which its brigade and division
          > commanders were wont to ride through the thickest of the fight as
          > callously as on parade." All this is conceded, yet the fact
          > remains that these splendid troops of the Second Corps were much
          > disorganized and many of them sadly demoralized when they fell
          > back, and, unfortunately, that partial demoralization extended to
          > their commanders. We again quote Walker: "If it is not a
          > profanation to say such a thing about Edwin
          > V. Sumner, he had lost courage; not the courage which would have
          > borne him up a ravine swept by canister at the head of the old
          > First Dragoons, but the courage which, in the crush and clamor of
          > action, amid disaster and repulse, enables the commander to
          > coolly calculate the chances of success or failure. He was
          > heartbroken at the terrible fate of the splendid division on
          > which he had so much relied, which he had deemed invincible, and
          > his proximity to the disaster had been so close as to convey a
          > shock from which he had not recovered." Nor had he recovered from
          > this shock an hour or more later when Franklin came up. . . .
          >
          > Franklin, Slocum, and Smith were considering a charge upon the
          > woods at the church. Newton's and Torbett's (i.e., Torbert's)
          > brigades had come up and been formed beyond the woods and
          > Bartlett's arrival was awaited to form a reserve, when it was
          > found that Sumner had retained Bartlett to strengthen his own
          > right, in place of Brooks', whom he had sent to Franklin. General
          > Franklin says: "Immediately after its (Slocum's) arrival two of
          > his brigades (Newton's and Torbert's) were formed in column, to
          > carry the wood in the immediate vicinity of the white church. The
          > other brigade (Bartlett's) had been ordered by General Sumner to
          > keep near his right. As this brigade was to form the reserve for
          > the column of attack, I waited until it came up. About the same
          > time General
          > Sumner arrived on the spot, and directed the attack to be
          > postponed.... Shortly afterward the commanding general came to
          > the position and decided that it would not be prudent to make the
          > attack, our position on the right then being considerably in
          > advance of what it had been in the morning."
          >
          > In the "Battles and Leaders of the Civil War" (Vol.II, p. 597)
          > Franklin writes: "While awaiting the arrival of Slocum, I went to
          > the right, held by Sumner. I found him at the head of his troops,
          > but much depressed. He told me that his whole corps was exhausted
          > and could do nothing more that day.... About 300 yards in its
          > front, across an open field, was a wood...strongly held by the
          > enemy. The corps had been driven back from an attack on this wood
          > with great loss. When General Slocum arrived I placed two
          > brigades of his division on General Sumner's left and was
          > awaiting the arrival of his third brigade, which was to be in
          > reserve. With the two
          > brigades I intended to make an attack on the woods referred to,
          > and General Sumner was informed of my intention. The two brigades
          > were ready to move. Just as the third brigade arrived, General
          > Sumner rode up and directed me not to make the attack, giving as
          > a reason for his order, that if I were defeated the right would
          > be entirely routed, mine being the only troops left on the right
          > that had any life in them. Major Hammerstein, of McClellan's
          > staff, was near, and I requested him to inform General McClellan
          > of the state of affairs, and that I thought the attack ought to
          > be made. Shortly afterward McClellan rode up, and, after hearing
          > the statements of Sumner and myself, decided that as the day had
          > gone so well on the other parts of the line it would be unsafe to
          > risk anything on the right. Of course, no advance was made by the
          > division."
          >
          > Palfrey says: "Wisely or unwisely, Sumner paralyzed the action of
          > Franklin's Corps, first detaching from Smith and then from
          > Slocum." But the responsibility rested upon McClellan for staying
          > Franklin's advance. There was yet time to make it when he came
          > upon this part of the field. He says: "Toward the middle of the
          > afternoon, proceeding to the right, I found that Sumner's,
          > Hooker's and Mansfield's Corps had met with serious losses.
          > Several general officers had been carried from the field severely
          > wounded, and the aspect of affairs was anything but promising. At
          > the risk of greatly exposing our center, I ordered two brigades
          > from Porter's Corps to reinforce the right. General Sumner
          > expressed the most decided opinion against another attempt during
          > that day to assault the enemy's position in front, as portions of
          > our troops were so scattered and demoralized. In view of these
          > circumstances, after making changes in position of some of the
          > troops, I directed the different commanders to hold their
          > positions, and, being satisfied that this could be done without
          > the assistance of the two brigades from the center, I
          > countermanded the order, which was in course of execution."
          >
          > Yr. Obt. Svt.
          > G E "Gerry" Mayers
          >
          > To Be A Virginian, either by birth, marriage, adoption, or even
          > on one's mother's side, is an introduction to any state in the
          > Union, a passport to any foreign country, and a benediction from
          > the Almighty God. --Anonymous
          > ----- Original Message -----
          > From: "Stephen Recker" <recker@...>
          > To: <TalkAntietam@yahoogroups.com>
          > Sent: Sunday, November 29, 2009 10:59 AM
          > Subject: [TalkAntietam] Sumner/Franklin conference
          >
          > > In preparing for a tour I'm giving next week, I've been reading
          > > Unfurl
          > > Those Colors, Chapter 10. Vince has an interesting take on the
          > > mediation of McClellan between Franklin and Sumner on whether
          > > or not to
          > > renew an attack against the Confederate left on the afternoon
          > > of the
          > > 17th. Vince has Sumner a little more excited about an attack
          > > than I
          > > remember.
          > >
          > > Anyone have thoughts about this? Any recommendations for other
          > > versions
          > > of this. I plan to check out Franklin in Battles and Leaders,
          > > then
          > > McClellan's War, then Carman...after I have a turkey sandwich,
          > > of
          > > course.
          > >
          > > Stephen
          > >
          > >
          >
          >


          [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
        • G E Mayers
          Dear Stephen, Not sure if it answered your question viz Armstrong, but hope it did help! Yr. Obt. Svt. G E Gerry Mayers To Be A Virginian, either by birth,
          Message 4 of 6 , Nov 29, 2009
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            Dear Stephen,

            Not sure if it answered your question viz Armstrong, but hope it
            did help!

            Yr. Obt. Svt.
            G E "Gerry" Mayers

            To Be A Virginian, either by birth, marriage, adoption, or even
            on one's mother's side, is an introduction to any state in the
            Union, a passport to any foreign country, and a benediction from
            the Almighty God. --Anonymous
            ----- Original Message -----
            From: "Stephen Recker" <recker@...>
            To: <TalkAntietam@yahoogroups.com>
            Sent: Sunday, November 29, 2009 8:32 PM
            Subject: Re: [TalkAntietam] Sumner/Franklin conference


            Thanks!

            Stephen
          • Tom
            Subject: Happy Thanksgiving Happy Thanksgiving to you Antietam ers and your Family on this great American Holiday !! May your stuffing be tasty May your turkey
            Message 5 of 6 , Nov 22, 2012
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              Subject: Happy Thanksgiving





              Happy Thanksgiving to you Antietam ers and your Family on this great American Holiday !!


              May your stuffing be tasty
              May your turkey plump,
              May your potatoes and gravy
              Have never a lump.
              May your yams be delicious
              And your pies take the prize,
              And may your Thanksgiving dinner
              Stay off your thighs!


              [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
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