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42936Re: Battle of Raymond Walking Trail Completed, Interpretive Markers Installed

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  • jay1997us
    Jan 21, 2007
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      --- In civilwarwest@yahoogroups.com, "Tony Gunter" <tony_gunter@...>
      wrote:
      >
      > --- In civilwarwest@yahoogroups.com, "hank9174" <clarkc@> wrote:
      > >
      > > --- In civilwarwest@yahoogroups.com, "Tony Gunter" <tony_gunter@>
      > > wrote:
      > > >
      > > > I haven't dropped by since the markers have been added, but I
      did
      > > > notice on this website that one of the stops is titled "A
      Soldier's
      > > > Battle," a description with which I very much disagree.
      > > >
      > >
      > > Why do you disagree?
      >
      > This description is based on the Ed Bearss assertion that the
      battle
      > lines broke down into individual companies scrambling around in the
      > woods, and that each soldier's world collapsed into a 10 ft radius
      > circle of visibility, inside of which each soldier waged his own
      > battle.
      >
      > There were some gaps in command and control during the battle, most
      > notably:
      >
      > 1) The Confederate left wing and right wing were out of supporting
      > distance of each other for two hours and consequently were each
      > defeated in detail.
      >
      > 2) Col. Manning Force of the 20th Ohio panicked, and ordered his
      men to
      > charge into the creek bed from which they could neither advance nor
      > retreat. This left him exposed 100 yards in front of the Union
      battle
      > line, and required great sacrifice on the part of the 20th Ill. to
      > reconnect the battle line.
      >
      > 3) Gen. John Stevenson, commanding the reserve, over-pursued the
      > Confederate left wing with his two remaining regiments. This
      exposed
      > the 7th MO to a route by the 10/30th TN as they attempted to
      reorganize
      > after emerging from the woods.
      >
      > Interestingly enough, Bearss likes to use Raymond as a case study
      in
      > the dangers of a Corps commander being overly hesitant, when really
      all
      > of the serious gaffes in the battle resulted when regimental and
      > brigade commanders became overly aggressive.

      Tony

      You make excellent points. I've studied the Vicksburg campaign for
      years, and have read and re-read Bearss many times. I wonder if his
      point about McPherson being overly hesitant means that McPherson
      didn't exercise much control over his corps during the fight. It
      does seem that the lower-level commanders exercised the initiative
      without much guidance from above. Just a thought. Bearss' trilogy
      is impressive and loaded with detail, but like most books it's not
      infallible. Plus, they were written more than 20 years ago. The
      scholarship on Raymond has evolved since then, I think. Anyway, good
      points!
      >
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