43563Re: Battle of Iuka
- May 2, 2007--- In email@example.com, "Kevin & Judy Coy"
>was not being made, as expected, is a mystery to me. After all,
> Or why Grant or Ord did not send riders to ascertain why an attack
Rosecrans was pitched into battle, whereas Grant and Ord were doing
who knows what while waiting for a battle.
>Rosecrans telegraphed Grant on Sept. 18th to let him know that he
> Kevin S. Coy
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
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
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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