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Re: [civilwarwest] Re: Sgt Hart Diary Missionary Ridge Part 4 Final Part

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  • FLYNSWEDE@AOL.COM
    (Troops are finally on the Southern Side of the Tennessee River) The troops then marched one and a half miles over wet, muddy, and slippery terrain, and
    Message 1 of 7 , Jun 1, 2002
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      (Troops are finally on the Southern Side of the Tennessee River)

      The troops then marched one and a half miles over wet, muddy,  and slippery terrain, and rested three hours, when they received orders to advance immediately and take the first hill of Mission Ridge at all hazards.

      The column moved forward with slight skirmishing, and gained the summit of the hill in the face of the enemy.  They were doubtless preparing,m and were probably advancing to take possession of the point we had gained, but the movement of our forces was a little too fast and unexpected, and the skirmishers of the advancing columns met on the summit of the hill; the enemy, however, quickly retired to a respectful distance, yet kept up a constant firing of musketry and artillery from the next ridge, doing us but little injury.  (
      Sgt Hart is probably talking about the first skirmishes of Tunnel Hill against Smith's Texans).    At once our artillery was drawn to the top of the hill by hand and returned the fire, which soon silenced the enemy's guns for the night.

      All rested quietly for the night;  early on the morning of the 25th, the Fortieth was sent forward as skirmishers from Gen. Corse's brigade, the general in person directing their operations. 

      Maj. Hall was sent forward with the five companies (all that were present), with orders, if possible, to drive the enemy from his position and take possession of his works.  Soon the roar of musketry and artillery gave notice of a sever engagement. 

      The Fortieth was ordered to charge the enemy, and did so, driving him from his position -  two companies scaling the enemies outer works.  This charge was made with heavy loss to the regiment.  wo of Company "A" fell inside their works - one instantly killed, and the other mortally wounded.  Maj. Hall called up for reserve reenfocement from the 6th Iowa and the 46th Ohio, but they failed to come forward to assist us.  It was the first time that any member of the regiment ever heard Maj. Hall swear.

      The enemy, rallying, compelled the little band, numbering only one hundred and thirty men, to quit its position and fall back a few rods down the hill, pouring a continuous fire into the enemy's ranks, which soon checked their pursuit.    The remainder of the brigade finally then brought up to support the skirmishers, and a second charge was ordered, Gen. Corse leading in person.  .  Again the enemy was driven, but, before reaching the works, the general fell severely wounded, and the column again fell back down the hill, but the Fortieth maintained their position and directed such a severe fire upon the enemy as to again check, and drive them back into their defenses.
      (Some authors say Corse was wounded in the head, others say he had a slight wound in the leg.  But in any case, he was carried from the battlefield and Col. Charles Walcutt of the 46th Ohio took over as brigade commander until the Grand Review in Washington)

      The Fortieth had suffered severely from showers of grape and canister, and musketry in each of theose charges, but every man was found willing to stand in his lot.    Though the enemy was posted and fortified on the summit of a hight hill, steep, muddy, and rugged to clumb, notwithstanding the difficulties and disadvantages under which we labored , at each command the charging colum went cheerfully forward, animated by the determination to conquer or die.  The regiment in this day's engagement, lost seven killed and forty-four wounded, nearly half their number.

      The Confederates did not win this battle, the terrain, weather conditions, fatique from over three weeks of continuous marching.  Sgt Hart was in Company E.  My wife's Great -Grandfather 1Lt  Charles A. Johnson was in Company A.  He was wounded in this charge, in both thighs and a nick on his scrotum.  He kept for years as a rememberance, the minie ball that wounded him. 

      It was the steepness of the terrain, in addition to being muddy and slippery from recent rains, that prevented other brigades from assisting  Corse's Brigade.  If you have ever been to the Sherman Reservation at Missionary Ridge,  you can see how narrow and how steep the slope was that the Fortieth had to charge up, in addition to the steepness of the slopes adjacent that other brigades were unable to ascend.  Much credit also should be given to the unheralded Swet's Mississippi Battery that prevented Union success, that also ended up being commanded by a Corporal by the end of the battle. 

      I SALUTE ALL THESE BRAVE SOULS  -  BOTH NORTH AND SOUTH
    • wh_keene
      Wayne, Thanks again for copying these diary entries. A few points to ponder: ...over wet, muddy, and slippery terrain... If 2 1/2 miles per hour is
      Message 2 of 7 , Jun 3, 2002
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        Wayne,

        Thanks again for copying these diary entries.

        A few points to ponder:

        "...over wet, muddy, and slippery terrain..."
        If 2 1/2 miles per hour is considered standard march time on flat,
        dry road, then what sort of speed is possible under these conditions?


        "and rested three hours"
        This raises a question against Sherman: Why were they resting now?
        Was this while the bridge was being finished?


        "the movement of our forces was a little too fast and unexpected"
        Interesting--Hart sees his advance as fast.


        "our artillery was drawn to the top of the hill by hand"
        What a pain in the ass that must have been--pulling artillery by hand
        up a muddy slope.




        --- In civilwarwest@y..., FLYNSWEDE@A... wrote:
        > (Troops are finally on the Southern Side of the Tennessee River)
        >
        > The troops then marched one and a half miles over wet, muddy, and
        slippery
        > terrain, and rested three hours, when they received orders to
        advance
        > immediately and take the first hill of Mission Ridge at all
        hazards.
        >
        > The column moved forward with slight skirmishing, and gained the
        summit of
        > the hill in the face of the enemy. They were doubtless preparing,m
        and were
        > probably advancing to take possession of the point we had gained,
        but the
        > movement of our forces was a little too fast and unexpected, and
        the
        > skirmishers of the advancing columns met on the summit of the hill;
        the
        > enemy, however, quickly retired to a respectful distance, yet kept
        up a
        > constant firing of musketry and artillery from the next ridge,
        doing us but
        > little injury. (Sgt Hart is probably talking about the first
        skirmishes of
        > Tunnel Hill against Smith's Texans). At once our artillery was
        drawn to
        > the top of the hill by hand and returned the fire, which soon
        silenced the
        > enemy's guns for the night.
        >
        > All rested quietly for the night; early on the morning of the
        25th, the
        > Fortieth was sent forward as skirmishers from Gen. Corse's brigade,
        the
        > general in person directing their operations.
        >
        > Maj. Hall was sent forward with the five companies (all that were
        present),
        > with orders, if possible, to drive the enemy from his position and
        take
        > possession of his works. Soon the roar of musketry and artillery
        gave notice
        > of a sever engagement.
        >
        > The Fortieth was ordered to charge the enemy, and did so, driving
        him from
        > his position - two companies scaling the enemies outer works.
        This charge
        > was made with heavy loss to the regiment. wo of Company "A" fell
        inside
        > their works - one instantly killed, and the other mortally
        wounded. Maj.
        > Hall called up for reserve reenfocement from the 6th Iowa and the
        46th Ohio,
        > but they failed to come forward to assist us. It was the first
        time that any
        > member of the regiment ever heard Maj. Hall swear.
        >
        > The enemy, rallying, compelled the little band, numbering only one
        hundred
        > and thirty men, to quit its position and fall back a few rods down
        the hill,
        > pouring a continuous fire into the enemy's ranks, which soon
        checked their
        > pursuit. The remainder of the brigade finally then brought up to
        support
        > the skirmishers, and a second charge was ordered, Gen. Corse
        leading in
        > person. . Again the enemy was driven, but, before reaching the
        works, the
        > general fell severely wounded, and the column again fell back down
        the hill,
        > but the Fortieth maintained their position and directed such a
        severe fire
        > upon the enemy as to again check, and drive them back into their
        defenses.
        > (Some authors say Corse was wounded in the head, others say he had
        a slight
        > wound in the leg. But in any case, he was carried from the
        battlefield and
        > Col. Charles Walcutt of the 46th Ohio took over as brigade
        commander until
        > the Grand Review in Washington)
        >
        > The Fortieth had suffered severely from showers of grape and
        canister, and
        > musketry in each of theose charges, but every man was found willing
        to stand
        > in his lot. Though the enemy was posted and fortified on the
        summit of a
        > hight hill, steep, muddy, and rugged to clumb, notwithstanding the
        > difficulties and disadvantages under which we labored , at each
        command the
        > charging colum went cheerfully forward, animated by the
        determination to
        > conquer or die. The regiment in this day's engagement, lost seven
        killed and
        > forty-four wounded, nearly half their number.
        >
        > The Confederates did not win this battle, the terrain, weather
        conditions,
        > fatique from over three weeks of continuous marching. Sgt Hart was
        in
        > Company E. My wife's Great -Grandfather 1Lt Charles A. Johnson
        was in
        > Company A. He was wounded in this charge, in both thighs and a
        nick on his
        > scrotum. He kept for years as a rememberance, the minie ball that
        wounded
        > him.
        >
        > It was the steepness of the terrain, in addition to being muddy and
        slippery
        > from recent rains, that prevented other brigades from assisting
        Corse's
        > Brigade. If you have ever been to the Sherman Reservation at
        Missionary
        > Ridge, you can see how narrow and how steep the slope was that the
        Fortieth
        > had to charge up, in addition to the steepness of the slopes
        adjacent that
        > other brigades were unable to ascend. Much credit also should be
        given to
        > the unheralded Swet's Mississippi Battery that prevented Union
        success, that
        > also ended up being commanded by a Corporal by the end of the
        battle.
        >
        > I SALUTE ALL THESE BRAVE SOULS - BOTH NORTH AND SOUTH
      • FLYNSWEDE@AOL.COM
        Hello wh_keene@yahoo.com, In reference to your comment: è and rested three hours This raises a question against è Sherman:  Why were they resting now? 
        Message 3 of 7 , Jun 3, 2002
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          Hello wh_keene@...,

          In reference to your comment:

          è "and rested three hours" This raises a question against
          è Sherman:  Why were they resting now?   Was this
          è while the bridge was being finished?

          Not sure if it was while the bridge was being finished.  I do know that marching in wet and muddy conditions does fatigue one extremely.  Could it also be that they rested to allow those that had to drop out as a result of the difficult time marching, to catch up and rejoin the regiment.

          Wayne
        • FLYNSWEDE@AOL.COM
          Hello wh_keene@yahoo.com, In reference to your comment: è our artillery was drawn to the top of the hill by hand è What a pain in the ass that must have
          Message 4 of 7 , Jun 3, 2002
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            Hello wh_keene@...,

            In reference to your comment:

            è "our artillery was drawn to the top of the hill by hand"
            è What a pain in the ass that must have been--pulling
            è artillery by hand  up a muddy slope.

            If memory serves me correct, JEJ had over 100 men per cannon to pull two cannon up Little Kennesaw Mountain, and that took quite a bit of time.

            Wayne
          • wh_keene
            ... Could it ... result of ... Wayne, Cold also be to allow the rear untis to catch up with the front. A large sized force advancing like that would get
            Message 5 of 7 , Jun 3, 2002
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              --- In civilwarwest@y..., FLYNSWEDE@A... wrote:
              Could it
              > also be that they rested to allow those that had to drop out as a
              result of
              > the difficult time marching, to catch up and rejoin the regiment.





              Wayne,

              Cold also be to allow the rear untis to catch up with the front. A
              large sized force advancing like that would get strung out and need
              to be brought back together somewhat.

              Will
            • FLYNSWEDE@AOL.COM
              Hello wh_keene@yahoo.com, In reference to your comment: è Cold also be to allow the rear untis to catch up with the è front.  A large sized force advancing
              Message 6 of 7 , Jun 3, 2002
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                Hello wh_keene@...,

                In reference to your comment:

                è Cold also be to allow the rear untis to catch up with the
                è front.  A  large sized force advancing like that would get
                è strung out and need  to be brought back together
                è somewhat.  Will

                A strong possibility.  My main concern however is that several historians have chided Sherman for being slow.   If I recall correctly,  Sherman started moving troops from Memphis and other parts West by railroads, but ran into not only a logistics problem, but also problems in having the trains get through.  [ rails torn up, bridges burnt, etc ]
                He then disembarked all troops that were on the trains and had them start marching towards Chattanooga.  Those that had not ridden on trains, started marching immediately for Chattanooga.  All in all, considering the terrain, the roads, the weather conditions, IMHO they did one hellava job and do not need criticism from latter day arm chair generals.

                Wayne
              • wh_keene
                ... All in all, considering the terrain, the roads, the weather conditions... Don t forget the 2 enemy cavalry forces (Chalmers(?)and SD Lee) that had to be
                Message 7 of 7 , Jun 3, 2002
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                  --- In civilwarwest@y..., FLYNSWEDE@A... wrote:
                  "All in all, considering the terrain, the roads, the weather
                  conditions..."

                  Don't forget the 2 enemy cavalry forces (Chalmers(?)and SD Lee) that
                  had to be defeated along the way...
                  plus once close to Chatanooga, Ewing had to make a feint to Trenton...
                  plus when they were done at Chattanooga, they marched on to
                  Knoxville.
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