Re: Grant's orders to Prentiss
- --- In civilwarwest@y..., Aurelie1999@a... wrote:
> In a message dated 6/2/02 12:50:13 AM Central Daylight Time,stated in
> josepharose@y... writes:
> << 1) If Prentiss was putting words in Grant's mouth when he
> his OR that Grant ordered him to "maintain that position at alland
> hazards," why didn't Grant make some--any--response? >>
> Grant had a significant talent that made his command style fluid
> successful. This talent stood out and was apparent throughout thewar.
> Simply put he knew how to pick and chose his fights and minimizeverbal
> spitting matches among his subordinates. I suggest he did not seesemantic
> points of contention as wheel grease for forward movements toachieve the end
> goal.Even if that may have been true during the war, it would not explain
why Grant mentioned nothing about this in the article or in his
memoirs. It seems to me that, in other areas where Grant disagreed
with the writings of his fellow generals, Grant would contest their
statements in his version of the historical happenings.
In the absence of any such refutation by Grant, Prentiss'
straightforward statement that Grant ordered him to maintain the
position at all hazards should be very hard to dismiss.
- This has been a most interesting discussion. Based on what Slippy
says, and the general chorus of agreement, am I correct in drawing
the conclusion that the pow-wow between Prentiss and Wallace was not
over whether to retreat, but whether to "shift left"? And how long,
approximately, were Prentiss's men out there on their own before they
--- In civilwarwest@y..., "bjer50010" <bjewell@i...> wrote:
> --- In civilwarwest@y..., "hartshje" <Hartshje@a...> wrote:
> > --- In civilwarwest@y..., "slippymississippi" wrote:
> > >
> > > Hurlbut only states that he notified Prentiss that he was
> > > left, not falling back. At the point that Hurlbut shifts to
> > > the attackers massing to his left , Prentiss speaks with
> > > and together they shift left to cover the position left by
> > > Hurlbut.
> > >
> > > Simultaneous to this, two massive assault columns are moving
> > > through the thickets towards Prentiss' left (Hurlbut) and right
> > > (Wallace). Soon after the shift was completed, Wallace was
> > > dead and his men routed. Hurlbut was thrown back in a near-
> > > At that point, troops were converging on roads *behind*
> > > position. Even if Prentiss had wanted to escape at the instant
> > > that Hurlbut began to withdraw, his path would have been
> > >
> > > The fact of the matter is that Prentiss did *indeed* attempt to
> > > flee the position after realizing his situation. However, the
> > > envelopment was complete and he was unable to cut his way out.
> > > I still maintain that the thickets and smoke prevented Prentiss
> > > from realizing both the urgency of Hurlbut's withdrawal and the
> > > extent to which Wallace's division had disintegrated. In fact,
> > > disintegration was probably more a result of the sudden and
> > > overwhelming artillery bombardment by the entire Confederate
> > > corps than the death of Wallace. At this point, the
> > > reports read that Prentiss' men attempted to fight their way
> > > but were finally overpowered.
> > >
> > > In light of Prentiss' self-serving claim to have saved the day,
> > > his belated attempt to abandon the position, I think his claim
> > > he was sacrificing his command in order to hold the position to
> > > bitter end is a bit overblown.
> > Slippy,
> > I think this is an excellent analysis of the events leading to
> > Prentiss' surrender. Thanks!! I think we should all just give
> > Prentiss credit for a courageous, hard-fought fight which,
> > incidentally, also helped save Grant's butt, whether or not
> > Prentiss' "sacrifice" was intentional.
> > Joe H.
> I completely agree with Joe H. Very interesting description of the
> final stages of Prentiss' stand. It does appear that once the
> gone there was almost no chance for Prentiss to get out. It also
> makes the issue of whether Grant issued orders to withdraw or not
> almost irrelevant. Prentiss and Wallace certainly deserve credit
> a courageous stand, but I do think Prentiss may have overstated his
> case somewhat.
> JB Jewell