Loading ...
Sorry, an error occurred while loading the content.

[civilwarwest] [Fwd: Western Theater Discussion Group/Order of Battle]

Expand Messages
  • Dick Weeks
    I have forwarded this on in total because it is most definitely on topic. I can t answer the questions (especially about the Order of Battle) because I am away
    Message 1 of 4 , Oct 5, 1999
    • 0 Attachment
      I have forwarded this on in total because it is most definitely on
      topic.
      I can't answer the questions (especially about the Order of Battle)
      because I am away from my library. However, if I remember correctly the
      armies in that area of the war at the time were set up in wings and did
      not have Corps as they would later have. For instance, a quick glance at
      the ORs shows the Army of The Mississippi (yep, in this case "The" is
      proper)at Perryville divided into two wings with the Righ Wing having
      the First Division and the Left Wing having the Second and Third
      Divisions. By looking at the Casualty Returns report I can break these
      down to the Brigade and Regiment level. However, since the data is said
      to be incomplete I would be reluctant to post a further break down
      unless requested to do so.

      As far as a discussion on Fort Donelson goes, this is as good a place as
      any to start one. I'm sure you will get a lot of responses in the this
      area.

      I am, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
      Dick (a.k.a. Shotgun)
      http://www.civilwarhome.com
    • Dick Weeks
      I have forwarded this on in total because it is most definitely on topic. I can t answer the questions (especially about the Order of Battle) because I am away
      Message 2 of 4 , Oct 5, 1999
      • 0 Attachment
        I have forwarded this on in total because it is most definitely on
        topic.
        I can't answer the questions (especially about the Order of Battle)
        because I am away from my library. However, if I remember correctly the
        armies in that area of the war at the time were set up in wings and did
        not have Corps as they would later have. For instance, a quick glance at
        the ORs shows the Army of The Mississippi (yep, in this case "The" is
        proper)at Perryville divided into two wings with the Righ Wing having
        the First Division and the Left Wing having the Second and Third
        Divisions. By looking at the Casualty Returns report I can break these
        down to the Brigade and Regiment level. However, since the data is said
        to be incomplete I would be reluctant to post a further break down
        unless requested to do so.

        As far as a discussion on Fort Donelson goes, this is as good a place as
        any to start one. I'm sure you will get a lot of responses in the this
        area.

        I am, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
        Dick (a.k.a. Shotgun)
        http://www.civilwarhome.com
      • pedinkler@frontier.net
        ... deal with the What If of the Fort Donelson Fiasco . What If the Fort had held out longer, allowing an orderly retreat from Nashville, or yet still
        Message 3 of 4 , Oct 7, 1999
        • 0 Attachment
          > 2) Are there any sites, discussions, case studies etc., that
          deal with the "What If" of the "Fort Donelson Fiasco". "What If" the
          Fort had held out longer, allowing an orderly retreat from Nashville,
          or yet still held out altogether and saved Nashville for the time
          being? Where would the next battles have occurred? Would Halleck have
          allowed Grant to continue with his "expedition" if he would have been
          beaten again the next day? I fully realize I'm no General, soldier
          either for that matter...., but I've been to Ft. Donelson, and can't
          understand the reasons given for the "Surrender" of 16,000 effectives.
          Although C.F. Smith may have taken SB Buckner's forward rifle pits, and
          did control some of the "high ground" around Hickman Creek, I can't
          imagine that AS Johnston sent the re-inforcements to Donelson to be
          surrendered. As NB Forest said " I did not come out for the purpose of
          surrendering my command.....".
          >
          > Thanks in advance for any help or advice you may provide or offer.
          >
          > My name is Don Myers, I'm from (live in) Michigan, although prior to
          my mid-1950's birth, my family hailed from Tennessee, (Reelfoot Lake
          Area, Obion Co.), and Kentucky, (Mayfield-Graves Co.).
          >
          > My e-mail is "forlife@...", (I have a teenaged son who is a
          "Pro" wrestling fanatic and the address was picked without my input, as
          at the time I was "computer illiterate". Still just learning if you
          can't tell.
          >
          > Thanks again, Don.


          This is Waldemar Winkler responding (e-mail: pedinkler@...):

          Please take the following comments in perspective, as I have yet to get
          a firm grasp on what happened, let alone entertain "what if".
          Nonetheless, Mr. Weeks, a.k.a. "shotgun" , excellent website provides
          reports from generals Wallace, Buckner, Floyd, and Pillow regarding Ft.
          Donelson which may shed some light on your "what if" scenario. Reading
          them all helped me gain some insight.

          I am basing my following comments on what I think are four critical
          situations. First, this is early in the war. Second, defection of
          officers to the south in the US Army left some significant voids.
          Third, even with a few years of thoughtful preparation from the
          sidelines, the Confederate Military organization had to be built from
          scratch, and quickly. Fourth, the logistics of successful military
          organization in the Western theatre were nightmarish as best.

          In my case, I discovered that Gen. Pillow mentions that Col. Davidson
          (cmdr of the 23d Miss. Inf. Rgmt.) did not bring his troops on line
          according to the battle plan. This was the attempt to make a line of
          escape through the Federal line.
          The problem was that Col. Davidson was ill (he later died of dysentery
          in POW camp), and (I surmise) no one else on his staff was willing to
          take the responsibility to move the regiment into position. That was
          about 960 personnel who did not get the opportunity to "make a
          difference".

          In reading the reports of Generals Wallace, Buckner, Floyd, and Pillow
          I am forced to ask, Why did Gen. Johnston send Pillow and Floyd to Ft.
          Donelson in the first place? I don't ink he had a lot to choose from.
          From what I've been able to tell, these officers were the worst. Even
          Grant is reputed to have said they were more valuable to him on active
          duty in the CSA than as prisoners.

          In my message (#117) I suggest General Johnston was subjected to (and
          fell for) an elaborate deception prior to the Ft. Henry/Donelson
          attack. Because the Confederate command expected the Federals to follow
          their well known plan of securing control of the Mississippi River, and
          Gen. Grant and Commodore Foote reinforced that idea in their movements
          in Jan. of 1862, no one really expected any threat to the Tennessee and
          Cumberland Rivers. In consequence, I believe Forts Henry and Donelson
          were give a low priority in regards to developing defenses. I think
          Johnston was caught in total surprise. He threw a large number of
          reinforcements into the area in hopes he could stall an unexpected
          disaster.

          Hindsignt being 20-20 vision, if I had been Johnston, I would have left
          Buckner in command.
        • pedinkler@frontier.net
          ... deal with the What If of the Fort Donelson Fiasco . What If the Fort had held out longer, allowing an orderly retreat from Nashville, or yet still
          Message 4 of 4 , Oct 7, 1999
          • 0 Attachment
            > 2) Are there any sites, discussions, case studies etc., that
            deal with the "What If" of the "Fort Donelson Fiasco". "What If" the
            Fort had held out longer, allowing an orderly retreat from Nashville,
            or yet still held out altogether and saved Nashville for the time
            being? Where would the next battles have occurred? Would Halleck have
            allowed Grant to continue with his "expedition" if he would have been
            beaten again the next day? I fully realize I'm no General, soldier
            either for that matter...., but I've been to Ft. Donelson, and can't
            understand the reasons given for the "Surrender" of 16,000 effectives.
            Although C.F. Smith may have taken SB Buckner's forward rifle pits, and
            did control some of the "high ground" around Hickman Creek, I can't
            imagine that AS Johnston sent the re-inforcements to Donelson to be
            surrendered. As NB Forest said " I did not come out for the purpose of
            surrendering my command.....".
            >
            > Thanks in advance for any help or advice you may provide or offer.
            >
            > My name is Don Myers, I'm from (live in) Michigan, although prior to
            my mid-1950's birth, my family hailed from Tennessee, (Reelfoot Lake
            Area, Obion Co.), and Kentucky, (Mayfield-Graves Co.).
            >
            > My e-mail is "forlife@...", (I have a teenaged son who is a
            "Pro" wrestling fanatic and the address was picked without my input, as
            at the time I was "computer illiterate". Still just learning if you
            can't tell.
            >
            > Thanks again, Don.


            This is Waldemar Winkler responding (e-mail: pedinkler@...):

            Please take the following comments in perspective, as I have yet to get
            a firm grasp on what happened, let alone entertain "what if".
            Nonetheless, Mr. Weeks, a.k.a. "shotgun" , excellent website provides
            reports from generals Wallace, Buckner, Floyd, and Pillow regarding Ft.
            Donelson which may shed some light on your "what if" scenario. Reading
            them all helped me gain some insight.

            I am basing my following comments on what I think are four critical
            situations. First, this is early in the war. Second, defection of
            officers to the south in the US Army left some significant voids.
            Third, even with a few years of thoughtful preparation from the
            sidelines, the Confederate Military organization had to be built from
            scratch, and quickly. Fourth, the logistics of successful military
            organization in the Western theatre were nightmarish as best.

            In my case, I discovered that Gen. Pillow mentions that Col. Davidson
            (cmdr of the 23d Miss. Inf. Rgmt.) did not bring his troops on line
            according to the battle plan. This was the attempt to make a line of
            escape through the Federal line.
            The problem was that Col. Davidson was ill (he later died of dysentery
            in POW camp), and (I surmise) no one else on his staff was willing to
            take the responsibility to move the regiment into position. That was
            about 960 personnel who did not get the opportunity to "make a
            difference".

            In reading the reports of Generals Wallace, Buckner, Floyd, and Pillow
            I am forced to ask, Why did Gen. Johnston send Pillow and Floyd to Ft.
            Donelson in the first place? I don't ink he had a lot to choose from.
            From what I've been able to tell, these officers were the worst. Even
            Grant is reputed to have said they were more valuable to him on active
            duty in the CSA than as prisoners.

            In my message (#117) I suggest General Johnston was subjected to (and
            fell for) an elaborate deception prior to the Ft. Henry/Donelson
            attack. Because the Confederate command expected the Federals to follow
            their well known plan of securing control of the Mississippi River, and
            Gen. Grant and Commodore Foote reinforced that idea in their movements
            in Jan. of 1862, no one really expected any threat to the Tennessee and
            Cumberland Rivers. In consequence, I believe Forts Henry and Donelson
            were give a low priority in regards to developing defenses. I think
            Johnston was caught in total surprise. He threw a large number of
            reinforcements into the area in hopes he could stall an unexpected
            disaster.

            Hindsignt being 20-20 vision, if I had been Johnston, I would have left
            Buckner in command.
          Your message has been successfully submitted and would be delivered to recipients shortly.