Re: Col Breckinridge's account of Snake CreekGap/Resaca
- "And as virtually all sources agree, he was right about two brigades
Do theyplease indicate which sources are these?
Do these sources say Resaca was defended only by the specific
brigades of Grisby and Cantey?
How big was Cantey's brigade? Connolley, just as an example, says
1,500. Do you believe him?
You earlier said Grisby had less than 500. Are you standing by that?
You have earlier said that Resaca was held by 4,000. Do you stand by
"First, you wondered whether Breckinridge had underestimated CSA
strength at Resaca."
First, I originally wondered whether Breckinridge had underestimated
the CSA strength in a qualitative manner. You quoted Breckinridge
stating that one attack from McPherson would capture Resaca. I
questioned whether this was an overestimation. At that point I
hadn't even considered the idea that Breckinridge might have
underestimated numberically. I was purely interested in whether
Breckinridge underestimated the defensive ability of the force.
Since you then asked "Is there anything at all in his account which
would lead you to believe he underestimated Confederate strength" and
at the same time you provided additional information as to what
Breckinridge said, I then saw that he did not fully identify the
units defending Resaca.
" or considered by Breckinridge to be part of Cantey's brigade."
Oh, I see. In order to make Breckinridge work for you, he has to be
unable to tell the difference between what is Cantey's brigade and
what is not Cantey's brigade. Fine, so maybe Breckinridge does get
the amount of men in Resaca right. We return to my original point
does he underestimate the strength of this force to defend Resaca?
"As for McPherson overestimating the enemy, it's a logical deduction."
First, not my question at all. If you are going to get all excited
about estimation of numbers, then where are your numbers. To echo
you, my question still stands. Nor is yours a logical deduction.
Breckinridge describes the position as formidable and defended with
spirit. Amazingly, your only reaction to that was "So?" Does
Breckinridge loose credibility when he says something that agrees
"All told, McPherson outnumbered the defenders at Resaca something
like four- or five-to-one."
So we are back to the question of how many men McPherson had with
which to attack Resaca on the afternoon of the 9th. To repeat myself
from several previous messages, did McPherson have all his men in
front of Resaca at that time? If you insist on including numbers not
actually present in front of Resaca, then why don't we count other
men under McPherson's command like Blair's Division and men left from
Vicksburg to Decatur. Then McPherson outnumbered Resca by a good
"But one of the reasons he gave for withdrawing was that
they "displayed considerable force." This is
consistent with the notion that he overestimated enemy strength."
Not so. 4,000 men in prepared positions can display considerable
force. See Breckinridge's account.
"And yet, Johnston says he did not learn of it until after noon."
Where does he say this? Why does this matter? Johnston has the
information and is able to respond prior to McPherson being able to
"...the information, though prompt, was too late for him to have
stopped the Federal column."
Johnston sought to protect the railway and particularly the bridge at
Resaca. In this he suceeded.
>This description of the strength of position and spirited defense"It does not, in the slightest, negate the idea that McPherson
>supports McPherson's qualitative assessment of Resaca.
overestimated enemy strength."
Since you have been unable to show what McPherson's quantitative
estimate of enemy strength was, we only have his qualitative estimate
to go on. Lo and behold, McPherson and Breckinridge describe
(qualitatively) the defense of Resaca in the same way.
"Sherman's record as a tactical commander was probably his greatest
shortcoming as a general. It's not something McPherson should have
wanted to emulate. In any event, such a compliment from Breckinridge
does nothing to further your argument, does it?"
In what way did I or Breckinridge say that McPherson was, or wanted,
to emulate Sherman's tactical record? I brought this point up
because it was one of several point that Breckinridge made with which
I agree and with which you do not.
"Sending one man and his staff on a train was not the kind of
reinforcement likely to stop five veteran infantry divisions."
Did I say it was? I used it as an idication of the speed in which
Johnston takes some action with respect to McPherson.
"When Hood got there, it was all over but the shouting."
Not according to Breckinridge. He says that Hood arrived while
skirmishing was going on and that Hood said to him "We must hold
"The three divisions he was to command there had not yet arrived, and
Hood halted their movement toward Resaca."
Agreed. I did not say otherwise.
- At 8:54 PM +0000 4/2/02, wh_keene wrote:
>--Like Breckinridge, he claims that on the 8th information wasI will have to have a look at these Century articles before
>received as to McPherson's location.
responding. In Johnston's memoirs, he speaks of receiving a report
from Cantey on the evening of the 9th, informing him that Cantey had
been fighting McPherson till dark. If he expected this might happen,
one would expect him to dispatch three divisions of infantry to the
crisis point before rather than after the fact.