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33173Re: Burnside and Chickamauga

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  • josepharose
    Aug 11, 2005
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      --- In civilwarwest@yahoogroups.com, DPowell334@A... wrote:
      > Sorry, sent the message on without fully replying:
      >
      > >
      > > This is confirmed by the quote: "Your orders before leaving Kentucky,
      > > and frequently repeated since, were to connect your right with General
      > > Rosecrans' left, so that, if the enemy concentrated on one, the other
      > > would be able to assist." Did Burnside assist Rosecrans in light of
      > > the concentration against the latter? No.
      >
      >
      > Dude, you just got through chastizing me, stating, "Stop accusing me
      that I'm
      > asserting that 'Burnside did nothing to help Rosecrans.' That is
      just plain
      > wrong of you."
      >
      > Now, in this paragraph, you are saying that Burnside did not assist
      > Rosecrans. I know that consistancy is the hobgoblin of little minds,
      but I it seems to
      > me you just contradicted own post.


      Dave (I'll call you that, if you'll call me "dude"),

      Burnside made some movements toward Rosecrans.

      His movements, in my opinion, were clearly inadequate in light of his
      orders and the situation.

      His movements, furthermore, were so limited that he did not "assist"
      Rosecrans. I cannot think of any action which he took which ended up
      helping Rosecrans or hurting Bragg to any appreciable degree (even if
      he had followed orders completely, he may not have assisted Rosecrans
      depending upon the circumstances). In reality, his movements to
      assist were so little and so late that they did not amount to
      "assistance."

      "Assistance" is not congruous with a "movement to assist."

      > In fact, Rosecrans and Burnside's flanks were connected, and they
      were in
      > contact with each other from September 12th on. Burnside fulfilled
      those orders.

      Those were just the orders, if I understand you correctly, to at least
      connect with the cavalry.

      He never fulfilled the later orders to move to Rosecrans with all
      available force.

      > He was also trying to fulfill Halleck's OTHER orders, the ones
      telling him to
      > secure the VA State line and the North Carolina passes. I note that
      you have
      > not commented on those yet.

      Those orders, IIRC, came before the orders to move to Rosecrans' support.

      > More seriously, I suspect the problem you are having here is the
      fact that
      > Rosecrans changed the objective in midstream, and thus left Burnside
      out of
      > position. Originally, when Burnside and Rosecrans discussed this
      operation in
      > June, the objective was Chattanooga. After taking Chattanooga and
      East Tennessee,
      > Rosecrans intended to pause and build up supplies like he did after
      Tullahoma.
      > Once across the Tennessee, however, Rosecrans became convinced that
      Bragg was
      > headed for Rome (another 50 miles south of Chattanooga, and
      completely beyond
      > any support Burnside could project) and entered a pursuit immediately.
      > Crittenden informed Burnside of this move on Sept 13 or so, which
      freed Burnside to
      > concentrate on closing what the Federals all regarded as the rear
      door, i.e.
      > the VA-TN RR connection.

      That's fine and dandy until he got orders which clearly told him to
      support Rosecrans (forgetting for now that Burnside allowed Buckner to
      join Bragg without Burnside doing anything about it).

      > This was a real concern. In fact, Burnside was receiving reports all
      through
      > september that Lee was either sending Ewell's Corps or leading it to
      SW Va to
      > attack Burnside, recapture ETENN, and strike at Rosecrans; rear. In
      fact, Lee
      > himself lamented after the fact that if he had known that Burnside
      was going
      > to occupy East Tenn in strength, he would have sent Longstreet to
      Bristol
      > instead of Chattanooga.

      That's fine and dandy until he got his new orders. His available
      forces included those in the northeast. Instead of putting some of
      them in a defensive posture and moving with the rest to support
      Rosecrans as his orders mandated, he and many of his troops stayed in
      the northeast trying to deal with that enemy.

      > To return to the basic point, however, Rosecrans fundamental
      alteration of
      > the strategic objective also rendered Burnside moot as far as mutual
      support
      > went.

      No. Rosecrans' alteration should have had no effect on Burnsides'
      orders. They were to move all available force to Rosey's support, and
      Burnside didn't do that.

      > > You have yet to respond to my charge that Buckner's leaving East
      > > Tennessee to join Bragg should have caused Burnside to balance that
      > > fact. Burnside didn't and Chattanooga resulted (although many other
      > > blunders were also made).
      >
      > I am not sure what you mean by this. In fact, Buckner's retreat is
      exactly w
      > hat Burnside and Rosey hoped for when they discussed operations in
      June.
      > Conversely, Buckner and Bragg most feared the idea that Burnside
      would not join with
      > Rosey, but instead occupy East Tennesse. Burnside's move into East
      Tennessee
      > helped Rosecrans in his most important goal, the unimpeded crossing
      of the
      > Tennessee, which proved such a devastating surprise for Bragg by
      Sept 3 or so.
      >
      > However, Buckner moved south to the Athens -Cleveland area, and Hill
      moved
      > north towards the Hiwassee specifically to meet a crossing threat above
      > Chattanooga. The unification that you suggest here is exactly what
      Bragg was hoping
      > for, so he could defeat the Federal thrust as it crossed above
      Chattanooga, and
      > while the Federals were still entrapped in crossing the river. Hill and
      > Forrest actually discussed offensive plans along the north bank on
      September 2-3,
      > since Rosecrans did not seem inclined to cross above on his own part.
      >
      > Buckner's retreat created exactly the strategic vacuum Rosey and
      Burnside
      > counted on, and I think they took advantage of it.

      Once Buckner moved away from Burnside's front and joined Bragg,
      Burnside should have realized that Rosecrans would need that much more
      support. If Buckner, instead, stayed in front of Burnside, then
      Burnside would have been responsible for helping Rosecrans counter
      him. Think about this analogy: if Buell knew that the forces which
      just evacuated Nashville moved to Corinth in order to gang up on
      Grant, it was then his responsibility to support Grant.

      > I am curious, however, what you think Burn should have done. Please be
      > specific, in terms of troops, crossings, etc. Random speculation is
      fun, but not
      > really very useful from an operational planning basis.

      As suggestions (but these depend on a number of factors):
      Once Burnside received his emphatic orders, he should have followed
      them. He should have had much of his northeastern forces immediately
      move south by march and rail to Loudon; the remainder should have
      obstructed roads and taken a defensive posture to counter any CSA
      advance; Burnside himself should have been in the South; he should
      have had his engineers immediately obtain boats or bridging for
      crossing around Loudon; he should have stripped much of the garrisons
      in the middle part of E Tenn. and the gap and had the incoming 9th
      Corps take over for them. Once the troops were concentrated in the
      south and a means of crossing obtained, he should have moved quickly
      as ordered.

      Instead he had troops in the northeast move away from the destination
      listed in his orders; troops from Knoxville were ordered further east
      (until countermanded the next day, IIRC), engineers worked on
      fortifications at Knoxville, and his force as a whole did not move
      towards Rosecrans in any great strength or any great hurry.

      Joseph

      > Dave Powell
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