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46946Re: [civilwarwest] Re: Envelopment

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  • Sam Elliott
    Jan 23, 2011
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      Stewart's retreat was caused by several factors.  These include the fact that his division was moved on to the ridge out of Chattanooga Valley the night of Nov. 24/25 without much of a chance to dig in.  Once there, elements of the division were shifted back and forth on top of the ridge. At Braggs direction, Strahls Brigade had to occupy a three tiered defensive line at the bottom, middle and top of the ridge.  Because Stewart did not have enough men to cover the line from Braggs HQ to Rossville Gap, his line on top of the ridge was in a single rank and extended only about a mile, leaving the force at Rossville Gap ( 2 regiments and a battery ) a mile away from the rest of the division. 

        Seeing Hookers's column advancing across Chattanooga Valley, Bragg and Beckinridge decided Breckinridge would take Claytons Brigade to assist the force at Rossville. By the time they got there, hooker had forced it to retreat, leaving the brigade to take on elements of three divisions and eventually Carlins Brigade of a fourth.  On the main line, when Thomas's assault started, Bragg noticed the line in front of his HQ was unoccupied and directed Adams's Brigade to move over and occupy the gap. A penetration occurred in the area vacated by Adams's Brigade which Stewart unsuccessfully tried to cover with artillery and then the survivors of the 7 th Florida which had retreated from the bottom of the ridge. That penetration forced the division off the ridge, ironically a good thing because Hookers force was a threat to get into Stewarts rear. 

      Sam Elliott
        

      On Jan 22, 2011, at 7:28 PM, "william" <banbruner@...> wrote:

       

      It is my understanding that a successful flank attack would overlap the enemy's line and thus put troops in his rear if he doesn't fall back quickly enough. There is at least one school of thought that believes that Hooker's move from Rossville threatening the confederate left flank (and rear) coupled with Thomas' frontal assault is what caused Stewart's precipitous retreat along with the rest of Bragg's army.

      --- In civilwarwest@yahoogroups.com, Patricia Swan <pbswan@...> wrote:
      >
      > All:
      > I thought that "envelopment" meant going around the flank(s) to get
      > behind the enemy, not just attacking on the flank(s). If this is a
      > correct definition, then Grant's plans at Chattanooga would seem to be
      > flank attacks, not envelopments. Sherman was to get up on Missionary
      > Ridge at the north end and "roll up" Bragg's army from that point.
      > Hooker was to do likewise at the south end. Thomas was to hold the
      > middle. As it turned out, Thomas' troops broke through the middle,
      > aided by a somewhat late attack on the Confederate left flank by
      > Hooker. Sherman was stopped by Cleburne's troops and did not "roll up"
      > Bragg's army from his right flank. Thus, Grant's plans for attacks on
      > Bragg's flanks were not very successful, while Thomas's troops did more
      > than their planned part. It seems, therefore, that this battle was not
      > a good example of attacks on the flank(s) and certainly not an envelopment.
      >

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