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43561Re: Battle of Iuka

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  • bjer50010
    May 2 6:49 AM
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      --- In civilwarwest@yahoogroups.com, "Kevin & Judy Coy"
      <thecoys1976@...> wrote:
      >
      > Or why Grant or Ord did not send riders to ascertain why an attack was
      not being made, as expected, is a mystery to me. After all, Rosecrans
      was pitched into battle, whereas Grant and Ord were doing who knows what
      while waiting for a battle.
      >
      > Kevin S. Coy
      >

      Kevin,

      I think you make a valid point. Grant and Ord certainly could have done
      more to find out what was happening and probably deserve more criticism
      than they are given. But consider the cases below, in both of which a
      major battle was raging, with assistance within marching distance, and
      in neither case did the commander away from the scene make a serious
      effort to find out what was happening.

      The same question that you raised can also be asked about Lew Wallace at
      Shiloh, a question which I have raised in the past and not gotten a
      satisfactory answer for. Grant's critics love to blame Grant for the
      delays by Wallace but ISTM that Wallace never made an effort to contact
      Grant throughout the day. All message traffic went from Grant to
      Wallace none from Wallace to Grant. Yet there are posters here and
      elsewhere who do not cut Grant the same slack that you do for Rosecrans
      above.

      The same point can also be made about Buell at Perryville with regards
      to McCook. McCook has been criticised for not sending to Buell earlier
      for help and for not informing him earlier that there was a major attack
      going on. But ISTM that Buell could and should have sent someone to
      find out what was happening. This case is especially appropriate to the
      discussion of Iuka because in both instances one of the major problems
      was the role of acoustic shadow in muting the sounds of the battle. Was
      McCook unfairly criticised? After all he was in the middle of a major
      fight. Does that excuse his NOT sending a messenger to Buell earlier
      than he did? Does the onus not fall on Buell as you state it should
      fall on Grant? And what fault rests with the right wing of the army for
      not determining what was going on?

      ISTM that the question under investigation tends to be answered along
      partisan lines, ie. if you suuport Grant the blame falls on Rosecrans.
      Similarly in the above cases Grant gets criticised relentlessly by his
      critics for his dealings with Wallace and McCook gets the majority of
      the blame at Perryville. In both of the latter cases, these were the
      commanders who were involved in the fighting, yet they get blamed.

      Just some points to ponder.

      J Barry Jewell


      >
      > ----- Original Message -----
      > From: Tony Gunter
      > To: civilwarwest@yahoogroups.com
      > Sent: Tuesday, May 01, 2007 3:31 PM
      > Subject: [civilwarwest] Battle of Iuka
      >
      >
      > Not sure if anyone has noticed this, but I think there's a more
      > logical explanation for why Ord never attacked at Iuka.
      >
      > Ord was 4 miles north of Iuka, Rosecrans was 2 miles south. Ord
      > reported at some point during the day (PUSG) that he heard irregular
      > cannonading off to the south, but he did not seem to feel that it
      > indicated a general engagement. Rosecrans reported after the battle
      > that the terrain was very rough and at no point was he able to bring
      > his artillery to bear upon the enemy for any length of time.
      >
      > So Ord was waiting to hear the sounds of artillery booming in the
      > distance, but the musket fire that dominated the battle did not carry
      > the distance between Ord and Rosecrans.
      >
      > Why Rosecrans, who had been communicating via telegraph regularly
      > with Grant up to that point, did not send a rider back to the
      > telegraph line to let Grant know that the general engagement had
      > begun, is a mystery to me.
      >
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