27931Re: Book Review - "Confusion Compounded: The Battle of Raymond"
- Jun 28, 2004--- In email@example.com, "b_schulte70"
> The "refraction" concept is very interesting, especially whenparallel
> considering hills and valleys could cause it as well if not
> to the line of march. I had heard it mentioned in other placesthat
> Grabau postulated that Union agents were working heavily in thearea
> and that Pemberton was "in the dark" much of the time while Grantwas
> unusually well-informed.Well, Grabau merely invokes Occam's Razor to insist that
the "wandering locals" who gave Grant such good information must have
been connected to the Union army (the informant who told him about
Bruinsburg Landing, the farmer picked up at Bruinsburg, the informant
who told Sherman that Jackson had been abandoned and the trenches
were manned by graybeard home guards, the "railroad workers" who were
so knowledgeable about Pemberton's troop strength, and the "farmer"
who directed Loring down a dead-end cow trail forcing him to abandon
his cannons and supply train.
However, there are so many primary sources that point to Unionist
underground activity in the area: the Jones County insurrection, the
Choctaw County insurrection, the Mississippi Delta Deserter
insurrection, and Rev. John Aughey's autobiographical description of
a Unionist underground in his "Iron Furnace" (a.k.a. "Tupelo"). In
this book he meets up with a secret society (complete with passwords,
handshakes, callsigns, secret symbols hanging in front of houses)
that helps him avoid execution at the hands of the Kosciusko
Vigilance Committee and evade NBF's cavalry screen as he escapes
bloodhounds, a pitched battle between Unionists and local militia,
military stockades, and CSA regulars. Given that Vicksburg was
surrounded by areas that were in open revolt against the CSA, I
cannot but imagine that these elements would have been in contact
with the Union army, providing them intel on local roads and
The Aughey book is certainly worth a read, I believe it's the only
first-hand account of the activities of the Unionist secret societies
in the area. The latest book on the Free State of Jones is very
informative, if a little matter-of-fact for such intriguing subject
matter. I believe she was attempting to avoid the emotionalism that
surrounded the subject in previous studies.
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