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43563Re: Battle of Iuka

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  • Tony Gunter
    May 2, 2007
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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


      Rosecrans telegraphed Grant on Sept. 18th to let him know that he
      hadn't made it as far as he wanted because his scouts had gotten
      lost. He was still 20 miles from Iuka, and the plan was to wake up a
      4:30 a.m. and reach Iuka by 1 or 2 p.m.

      Clearly, that plan was shaky ... it would be difficult to move a
      force half that size 20 miles in 9.5 hours.

      The original plan called for Ord to attack Price, and Rosecrans to
      sweep in on Price's flank. Grant informed Ord based on this
      telegraph that he should wait to hear the sounds of battle before
      moving.

      Rosecrans again telegraphed Grant on Sept. 19th at 6:00 a.m. to let
      him know he had moved two miles (!), but that he still planned to be
      at Iuka by 2 p.m. (18 miles in 8 hours). The telegraph was received
      at 9:00 a.m., so it was a three hour ordeal to get a telegraph to
      Grant.

      Rosecrans once again telegraphed Grant at 12:40 p.m. (IIRC) to let
      him know that he had hit the pickets and was sending out cavalry and
      infantry to the east to block Price's escape. No mention was made
      concerning how much of his force was up or when he might be ready for
      the attack. Given the 3 hour turn-around time, Grant would have
      received this message at 4:00 p.m. (!)

      Rosecrans had informed Grant that the ground to the south of Iuka
      would be completely open, while the ground over which Ord would
      attack would be very wooded. Given this intel, there's no reason
      Grant had to suspect that the general engagement wouldn't involve a
      great deal of cannon fire. However, Rosecran's final telegraph to
      Grant, sent at 10:30 p.m. (!), indicated that the Rosecrans' fight
      had been over very difficult terrain and that he had no opportunity
      to bring his cannons to bear.

      The plan for the attack was Rosecrans', the bulk of the attacking
      force was under the command of Rosecrans, the problem with the
      timetable was due to Rosecrans, Rosecrans was communicating to Grant
      throughout the day (except, or course, for the duration of the actual
      battle), and Grant had no reason to suspect that Ord would not hear
      continuous cannonading throughout the engagement.

      There's an undated message from Ord to Grant in PUSG in which Ord
      indicates that he could hear irregular cannonading off to the south.
      It makes much more sense to me that Ord simply couldn't hear the
      musketry of the engagement (six to eight miles over heavily wooded
      terrain), and was waiting to hear regular cannonading than the silly
      sounding "acoustic shadow." Yeah, there was an accoustic shadow ...
      it's called eight miles of thick woods.
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