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Re: [TalkAntietam] Lee's Left

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  • NJ Rebel
    Ron, I would suggest you read Taken at the Flood for some understanding of the Confederate dispositions and why Lee arranged his forces as they were on the
    Message 1 of 3 , Jul 15, 2002
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      Ron,

      I would suggest you read Taken at the Flood for some
      understanding of the Confederate dispositions and why Lee
      arranged his forces as they were on the early morning of
      September 17.

      I would also invite you to avail yourself of any opportunity to
      take the ranger led battlefield anniversary hikes which take you
      almost straight down the First Corps axis of advance, into the
      Cornfield and then down along the Pike to the Dunker Church.

      The church marked the western edge of the plateau, traversed
      along the same western area by the Sharpsburg to Hagerstown Pike,
      of the Sharpsburg Ridge. It was the Sharpsburg Ridge which the
      Union Army was aiming for, specifically the plateau where S D Lee
      had his artillery battalion and where the present day Visitor
      Center stands. As the church was whitewashed against the backdrop
      of the woods, it made a most convenient and easy to find aiming
      point.

      I do not think that the church itself held any important tactical
      point. Gibbon and his men moved down the western edge of the Pike
      (heading toward Sharpsburg) while Doubleday and his men moved
      down the eastern edge (again down towards Sharpsburg) of the same
      road.

      I hope this helps.

      PS: Todd, if you can illustrate with some of your excellent maps
      from the terrain studies website you have crafted, that would be
      most helpful.

      Your humble servant,
      Gerry Mayers
      Pvt., CS Signals,
      Longstreet's Corps

      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: "Ron Church" <rchurch@...>
      To: <TalkAntietam@yahoogroups.com>
      Sent: Monday, July 15, 2002 11:25 PM
      Subject: [TalkAntietam] Lee's Left


      >
      > ----- Original Message -----
      > From: "NJ Rebel" <gerry1952@...>
      > To: <TalkAntietam@yahoogroups.com>
      > Sent: Sunday, July 14, 2002 11:31 PM
      > Subject: Re: [TalkAntietam] Mansfield's route
      >
      >
      > > Ron:
      > >
      > > IIRC, once Hooker's units reached the area of The Cornfield,
      the
      > > orchestrated "plan" that Mac wanted Hooker to perform on the
      left
      > > flank of the Confedere line went to pieces. The battle
      started to
      > > take on a life of its own.......
      > >
      > > Your humble servant,
      > > Gerry Mayers
      > > Pvt., CS Signals,
      > > Longstreet's Corps
      >
      >
      > Gerry,
      >
      > Yes, I agree it did take on it's own life, most major
      engagements do once
      > the fighting becomes general. But you raise an interesting
      question, one
      > that I've wondered about for some time. We know that Lee had
      artillery
      > posted a quarter of a mile or so to the west of the Hagerstown
      Pike, on
      > Nicodemus Heights. But when the opening attack was made,
      Gibbon et al were
      > aiming at the Dunker Church which means that they are
      essentially guiding
      > their right along the Pike. So while the original attack was
      made on Lee's
      > left, it was not made against his left flank.
      >
      > What I'd like to know is whether or not Hooker actually scouted
      to find out
      > where Lee's left flank really was? If anyone would care to
      speculate what
      > they think might have happened if he had, I'd be interested.
      >
      > Ron Church
      > Manchester MD
      >
      >
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    • TR Livesey
      If I can interject my own theory, Hooker was, strictly speaking, not aimed on Lee s left, nor was it aligned with the Hagerstown Turnpike. Instead, Hooker s
      Message 2 of 3 , Jul 15, 2002
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        If I can interject my own theory, Hooker was, strictly speaking,
        not aimed on Lee's left, nor was it aligned with the Hagerstown
        Turnpike. Instead, Hooker's attack was aligned with the
        natural crestline that straddled the Antietam and Potomac
        watersheds. In other words, Hooker's plans were formulated
        more with respect to the battlefield terrain (knowable to Hooker),
        less on Lee's location (generally unknown to Hooker).

        Full details can be found under

        http://www.westwoodgalleries.com/antietam/topo_study/wsdivide.html

        In addition to the terrain study cited above, Hooker's report
        alludes to the same plan:

        "Our direction was nearly perpendicular to the river we had crossed,
        my object being to gain the high ground or divide between the
        Potomac and Antietam Rivers, and then incline to the left, following
        the elevation toward the left of the rebel army." (OR Vol 1, part 1, p217).

        The Dunker Church happens to lay on this crestline, and made a convenient
        target to aim towards.

        The soundness of Hooker's deployment at Antietam, with regards as to it being
        too far east or west, has been discussed at length in this forum and others.
        My only point here is that from a terrain/tactical sense, the alignment chosen
        makes good sense.

        Regards,
        TR Livesey
        tlivesey@...
        http://www.westwoodgalleries.com/antietam

        Ron Church wrote:
        >
        > ----- Original Message -----
        > From: "NJ Rebel" <gerry1952@...>
        > To: <TalkAntietam@yahoogroups.com>
        > Sent: Sunday, July 14, 2002 11:31 PM
        > Subject: Re: [TalkAntietam] Mansfield's route
        >
        > > Ron:
        > >
        > > IIRC, once Hooker's units reached the area of The Cornfield, the
        > > orchestrated "plan" that Mac wanted Hooker to perform on the left
        > > flank of the Confedere line went to pieces. The battle started to
        > > take on a life of its own.......
        > >
        > > Your humble servant,
        > > Gerry Mayers
        > > Pvt., CS Signals,
        > > Longstreet's Corps
        >
        > Gerry,
        >
        > Yes, I agree it did take on it's own life, most major engagements do once
        > the fighting becomes general. But you raise an interesting question, one
        > that I've wondered about for some time. We know that Lee had artillery
        > posted a quarter of a mile or so to the west of the Hagerstown Pike, on
        > Nicodemus Heights. But when the opening attack was made, Gibbon et al were
        > aiming at the Dunker Church which means that they are essentially guiding
        > their right along the Pike. So while the original attack was made on Lee's
        > left, it was not made against his left flank.
        >
        > What I'd like to know is whether or not Hooker actually scouted to find out
        > where Lee's left flank really was? If anyone would care to speculate what
        > they think might have happened if he had, I'd be interested.
        >
        > Ron Church
        > Manchester MD
        >
        >
        >
        >
        > Your use of Yahoo! Groups is subject to http://docs.yahoo.com/info/terms/
      • Ron Church
        TR, Gerry, Thank you. I appreciate the help. Ron Church Manchester MD
        Message 3 of 3 , Jul 15, 2002
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          TR, Gerry,

          Thank you. I appreciate the help.

          Ron Church
          Manchester MD
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