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Re: Loring's Mysterious Disappearance From Champion Hill

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  • wh_keene
    Mississippi was crisscrossed with anti-confederate population. a) slaves/contraband b) the Free State of Jones in the southeast portion of the state c) the
    Message 1 of 14 , Jul 1, 2002
      Mississippi was crisscrossed with anti-confederate population.
      a) slaves/contraband
      b) the 'Free State of Jones' in the southeast portion of the state
      c) the area around Natchez was apparently a pro-union area


      What is your opinion of "Tupelo"?

      --- In civilwarwest@y..., "slippymississippi"
      <slippymississippi@y...> wrote:
      > --- In civilwarwest@y..., "wh_keene" <wh_keene@y...> wrote:
      > > Loring's official report says something similar though the
      details
      > > don't seem exact (ie: Loring doens't mention the road dwindling
      > > into thickets).
      > > His repot suggestes that the routes to the Big Balck were no
      good
      > > because a) the enemy blocked the way thrugh Edward's or b) the
      > > creeks were flooding to the south.
      >
      > Grabau makes a fascinating suggestion: that the "contraband" who
      > suggested landing at Bruinsburg, the spy who handed over Johnston's
      > plans to Grant, the railroad workers who reported Pemberton's
      > location and strength, and the farmer who misdirected Loring were
      all
      > Union loyalists working in a vast Unionist network. After reading
      > parts of "Tupelo" by Aughey, I have to say that this sounds like
      the
      > most likely explanation of Grant's incredible luck in the Vicksburg
      > Campaign.
      >
      > In "Tupelo," the writer explains how suspected Union sympathizers,
      > and those simply opposed to slavery in principle, were hunted down
      > and killed with such tireless energy and inhuman cruelty that it
      > forced those with Union sympathies to go underground with their
      > sentiments. This secret Unionist society developed secret knocks,
      > passwords, and pre-arranged meeting places. In fact, it appears
      > there was even an incredible night skirmish fought between Unionist
      > and Secessionist civilians, near Corinth/Iuka. Incredible.
    • dmsmith001
      ... In a word, baloney. Loring easily could have reached the Port Gibson Road, and made his way to any of several of available crossings. I don t think he
      Message 2 of 14 , Jul 1, 2002
        --- In civilwarwest@y..., "wh_keene" <wh_keene@y...> wrote:
        > Loring's official report says something similar though the details
        > don't seem exact (ie: Loring doens't mention the road dwindling
        > into thickets).
        > His repot suggestes that the routes to the Big Balck were no good
        > because a) the enemy blocked the way thrugh Edward's or b) the
        > creeks were flooding to the south.

        In a word, baloney.

        Loring easily could have reached the Port Gibson Road, and made his
        way to any of several of available crossings.

        I don't think he wanted to rejoin Pemberton, to be honest.

        Dave

        Dave Smith
        Villa Hills, KY
      • dmsmith001
        Well, I started to answer this, but Yahoo ate it. :-) In a word, we ll never know exactly why Loring didn t rejoin Pemberton. But if I have to make a
        Message 3 of 14 , Jul 1, 2002
          Well, I started to answer this, but Yahoo ate it. :-)

          In a word, we'll never know exactly why Loring didn't rejoin
          Pemberton. But if I have to make a determination of whether or not
          Loring was "correct" in his movement away from his superior, I cannot
          side with Loring.

          He'd spent too much time in the vicinity of Big Black Bridge not to
          be aware of the roads in the vicinity.

          Since when does a division commander let one battery of artillery
          stop him dead in his tracks?

          Loring was on the record as being a disputatious commander, and
          argued with not only Pemberton regarding trivial items, but argued
          with others, including Stonewall Jackson, as well.

          Regardless of the status of the creeks to the south, he had to move
          either to the east or west. Available crossings were at Baldwin's,
          Hall's, Hankinson's, and the Warrenton Road crossings. He could have
          gotten back to Pemberton, if he had wished.

          Dave

          Dave Smith
          Villa Hills, KY


          --- In civilwarwest@y..., "slippymississippi"
          <slippymississippi@y...> wrote:
          > Grabau claims in 98 Days that Loring's lead regiment proceeded
          > towards Edwards across the lower bridge, only to run into a small
          > Union battery supported by infantry. This unit had moved over the
          > upper bridge on the Jackson road in pursuit of fleeing
          Confederates,
          > and was shelling fleeing units from a range of 1,000 yards. The
          > regiment pressed on, but noticed that some houses in Edwards had
          > caught fire. Assuming this meant that Edwards was in the hands of
          > Union troops, the unit returned to Bakers Creek and informed Loring
          > that Edwards had been lost. Loring then, on information from a
          > local, proceeded down a road that should have taken him towards
          > Auburn, where he could turn West and cross the Big Black at
          Baldwin's
          > Ferry. However, the "road" eventually turned from a farm road into
          a
          > footpath, into a cowpath through dense thickets. Loring had to
          > abandon his wagons and artillery. By the time he got his bearings,
          > he was in Crystal Springs, some 20 miles south of Jackson.
          >
          > Just wondering what you make of this (Dave?)?
        • hartshje
          ... Dave, Don t be too sure of that last sentence. For all his other faults (biases mostly), Buell in Warrior Generals made me realize one thing in
          Message 4 of 14 , Jul 1, 2002
            --- In civilwarwest@y..., "dmsmith001" <dmsmith001@y...> wrote:
            > In a word, we'll never know exactly why Loring didn't rejoin
            > Pemberton. But if I have to make a determination of whether or not
            > Loring was "correct" in his movement away from his superior, I
            > cannot side with Loring.
            >
            > He'd spent too much time in the vicinity of Big Black Bridge not to
            > be aware of the roads in the vicinity.

            Dave,

            Don't be too sure of that last sentence. For all his other faults
            (biases mostly), Buell in "Warrior Generals" made me realize one
            thing in particular. Many Civil War generals spent very little time
            familiarizing themselves with the surrounding countryside until some
            crises was at hand.

            Joe
          • dmsmith001
            Let me rephrase slightly, then, Joe. Loring and his divisional command had spent time in the Edwards area. Loring might not have known exactly where he was
            Message 5 of 14 , Jul 2, 2002
              Let me rephrase slightly, then, Joe.

              "Loring and his divisional command" had spent time in the Edwards
              area.

              Loring might not have known exactly where he was upon taking that
              farm lane, but he certainly did upon reaching the Port Gibson Road.
              At some point, he made a conscious decision to move east, not west.
              High water in creeks lay in both directions.

              Dave

              Dave Smith
              Villa Hills, KY


              --- In civilwarwest@y..., "hartshje" <Hartshje@a...> wrote:
              > --- In civilwarwest@y..., "dmsmith001" <dmsmith001@y...> wrote:
              > > In a word, we'll never know exactly why Loring didn't rejoin
              > > Pemberton. But if I have to make a determination of whether or
              not
              > > Loring was "correct" in his movement away from his superior, I
              > > cannot side with Loring.
              > >
              > > He'd spent too much time in the vicinity of Big Black Bridge not
              to
              > > be aware of the roads in the vicinity.
              >
              > Dave,
              >
              > Don't be too sure of that last sentence. For all his other faults
              > (biases mostly), Buell in "Warrior Generals" made me realize one
              > thing in particular. Many Civil War generals spent very little
              time
              > familiarizing themselves with the surrounding countryside until
              some
              > crises was at hand.
              >
              > Joe
            • Dan Cone
              ... Don t put off till tommorow, what you can put off till next week. :) Dan _________________________________________________________________ Join the
              Message 6 of 14 , Jul 2, 2002
                >Many Civil War generals spent very little time
                >familiarizing themselves with the surrounding countryside until some
                >crises was at hand.
                >

                "Don't put off 'till tommorow, what you can put off 'till next week." :)

                Dan

                _________________________________________________________________
                Join the world�s largest e-mail service with MSN Hotmail.
                http://www.hotmail.com
              • wh_keene
                Dave, I agree. And in the whole debate over whether Pemberton should have given up the city to save the army, did Loring get it right?? ... details ... good
                Message 7 of 14 , Jul 2, 2002
                  Dave,

                  I agree. And in the whole debate over whether Pemberton should have
                  given up the city to save the army, did Loring get it right??


                  --- In civilwarwest@y..., "dmsmith001" <dmsmith001@y...> wrote:
                  > --- In civilwarwest@y..., "wh_keene" <wh_keene@y...> wrote:
                  > > Loring's official report says something similar though the
                  details
                  > > don't seem exact (ie: Loring doens't mention the road dwindling
                  > > into thickets).
                  > > His repot suggestes that the routes to the Big Balck were no
                  good
                  > > because a) the enemy blocked the way thrugh Edward's or b) the
                  > > creeks were flooding to the south.
                  >
                  > In a word, baloney.
                  >
                  > Loring easily could have reached the Port Gibson Road, and made his
                  > way to any of several of available crossings.
                  >
                  > I don't think he wanted to rejoin Pemberton, to be honest.
                  >
                  > Dave
                  >
                  > Dave Smith
                  > Villa Hills, KY
                • slippymississippi
                  ... Actually, if any of the key players had done a little bit more listening to Pemberton, things would have worked out a lot better for the Confederacy.
                  Message 8 of 14 , Jul 2, 2002
                    --- In civilwarwest@y..., "wh_keene" <wh_keene@y...> wrote:
                    > Dave,
                    >
                    > I agree. And in the whole debate over whether Pemberton
                    > should have given up the city to save the army, did Loring
                    > get it right??

                    Actually, if any of the key players had done a little bit more
                    listening to Pemberton, things would have worked out a lot better for
                    the Confederacy. Pemberton warned Johnston that his command was too
                    stripped of cavalry to adequately scout and screen in the face of an
                    advancing Union army. Johnston ignored him. Pemberton wired
                    Johnston that Grierson's raid signalled an impending move by the
                    Union army, and warned Johnston that he could not protect the river
                    landings and the interior of the state simultaneously. Sure enough,
                    at the critical moment, Wirt Adams cavalry was withdrawn from the
                    Bruinsburg area to chase Grierson. Additionally, Loring was drawn
                    eastward to protect the rail, preventing him from participating in
                    the Battle of Port Gibson.

                    Strangely, without notifying Pemberton of his decision, Loring
                    withdrew from the unfordable Big Black River with 17,000 men into the
                    defenses at Warrenton, allowing Grant plenty of room to build his
                    bridgehead and plan his next move. Precisely as Pemberton had
                    warned, he lacked sufficient cavalry to determine the intent of the
                    federal army as it moved north along the Big Black. He could only
                    assume its intent was to cross the Big Black River as soon as
                    possible. To this end, Gregg's (overstrength) Brigade was chewed up
                    as it attempted to harass what was assumed to be the federal rear,
                    but what was actually McPherson's entire corps en route to Jackson.

                    Pemberton, at this point, was still in a good position to defeat
                    Grant's army deep within Mississippi. With luck, the river crossings
                    could be guarded with small vedettes, and a mobile strike force
                    stationed at the Big Black Bridge could launch a last-ditch assault
                    on any federal force attempting to force a crossing. However,
                    Johnston ordered Pemberton to strike the federal rear at Clinton, an
                    order which made no sense at face value, and one which Johnston did
                    not appear willing, by his actions, to support should Pemberton
                    follow through. Pemberton attempted to strike what he thought was
                    the *actual* federal rear near Raymond (McClernand's forces, which
                    had executed a withdrawal from Pemberton's forces just a few days
                    prior), and sent Johnston a report of his decision. Johnston then
                    sent Pemberton *preremptory* orders demanding that Pemberton attack
                    the federal rear in Clinton. Pemberton realized that this second
                    order was more foolish that the first. Jackson had fallen. If
                    anything, the federal rear was bound to be in Jackson, with Grant
                    faced westwards towards the larger force. So Pemberton did the only
                    logical thing: he attempted to turn his army and march for
                    Brownsville to the north. Because his command had been stripped of
                    cavalry, he had insufficient forces to scout the roads to the east.
                    Pemberton didn't realize he was facing the Union vanguard until an
                    entire division of Union soldiers poured over Champion Hill.

                    At this point, he ordered both Bowen and Loring to attack north.
                    McClernand's pickets had inexplicably stopped several hundred yards
                    away, yet Bowing and Loring refused obey Pemberton's orders. Had the
                    entire Confederate force struck McPherson while McClernand sat
                    twiddling his thumbs with the sounds of battle raging less than a
                    half-mile away, Grant's army would have been stopped cold.

                    As it was, Pemberton was forced to attack McPherson in piecemeal
                    fashion, which of course led to defeat of Stevenson's and Bowen's
                    divisions in detail and the retreat to Bovina. Again, Loring decided
                    to ignore Pemberton, and retreated away from Bovina. Loring's
                    absence from the Bovina defenses spelled defeat: with the exception
                    of a handful of regiments, his troops were the only ones that had not
                    been crushed at Champion Hill. Additionally, Pemberton now had no
                    reserve force with which to plug any holes punched in the Bovina
                    defenses, nor prevent a crossing at Bridgeport by Sherman. Had
                    Loring retreated to Bovina, he probably would have bought the Army of
                    Vicksburg a day or two to decide what to do. As it was, when
                    Pemberton was thrown back across the Big Black in disarray, he really
                    had no choice: Sherman already was marching towards Snyder's Bluff.
                    Any column escaping up the Mechanicsburg Corridor would be hit in the
                    middle by Sherman. Any column escaping towards Halls Ferry would
                    risk envelopment at the Big Black (and possible bombardment by Union
                    tinclads, some of which were of shallow enough draft to navigate the
                    Big Black).
                  • wh_keene
                    Well put. In other words, Pemberton was not such a bad general as is usually claimed. Add to this Pemberton s management of his command during Grant s
                    Message 9 of 14 , Jul 2, 2002
                      Well put.

                      In other words, Pemberton was not such a bad general as is usually
                      claimed.

                      Add to this Pemberton's management of his command during Grant's
                      November-December advance overland through Mississippi, including the
                      defense of the bluffs against Sherman and the unleashing of Van Dorn
                      agaunst Grant's supply lines.

                      I think Pemberton starts to come off as not so bad. Certainly not a
                      great general, but not a terrbile one either.

                      --- In civilwarwest@y..., "slippymississippi"
                      <slippymississippi@y...> wrote:
                      > --- In civilwarwest@y..., "wh_keene" <wh_keene@y...> wrote:
                      > > Dave,
                      > >
                      > > I agree. And in the whole debate over whether Pemberton
                      > > should have given up the city to save the army, did Loring
                      > > get it right??
                      >
                      > Actually, if any of the key players had done a little bit more
                      > listening to Pemberton, things would have worked out a lot better
                      for
                      > the Confederacy. Pemberton warned Johnston that his command was
                      too
                      > stripped of cavalry to adequately scout and screen in the face of
                      an
                      > advancing Union army. Johnston ignored him. Pemberton wired
                      > Johnston that Grierson's raid signalled an impending move by the
                      > Union army, and warned Johnston that he could not protect the river
                      > landings and the interior of the state simultaneously. Sure
                      enough,
                      > at the critical moment, Wirt Adams cavalry was withdrawn from the
                      > Bruinsburg area to chase Grierson. Additionally, Loring was drawn
                      > eastward to protect the rail, preventing him from participating in
                      > the Battle of Port Gibson.
                      >
                      > Strangely, without notifying Pemberton of his decision, Loring
                      > withdrew from the unfordable Big Black River with 17,000 men into
                      the
                      > defenses at Warrenton, allowing Grant plenty of room to build his
                      > bridgehead and plan his next move. Precisely as Pemberton had
                      > warned, he lacked sufficient cavalry to determine the intent of the
                      > federal army as it moved north along the Big Black. He could only
                      > assume its intent was to cross the Big Black River as soon as
                      > possible. To this end, Gregg's (overstrength) Brigade was chewed
                      up
                      > as it attempted to harass what was assumed to be the federal rear,
                      > but what was actually McPherson's entire corps en route to Jackson.
                      >
                      > Pemberton, at this point, was still in a good position to defeat
                      > Grant's army deep within Mississippi. With luck, the river
                      crossings
                      > could be guarded with small vedettes, and a mobile strike force
                      > stationed at the Big Black Bridge could launch a last-ditch assault
                      > on any federal force attempting to force a crossing. However,
                      > Johnston ordered Pemberton to strike the federal rear at Clinton,
                      an
                      > order which made no sense at face value, and one which Johnston did
                      > not appear willing, by his actions, to support should Pemberton
                      > follow through. Pemberton attempted to strike what he thought was
                      > the *actual* federal rear near Raymond (McClernand's forces, which
                      > had executed a withdrawal from Pemberton's forces just a few days
                      > prior), and sent Johnston a report of his decision. Johnston then
                      > sent Pemberton *preremptory* orders demanding that Pemberton attack
                      > the federal rear in Clinton. Pemberton realized that this second
                      > order was more foolish that the first. Jackson had fallen. If
                      > anything, the federal rear was bound to be in Jackson, with Grant
                      > faced westwards towards the larger force. So Pemberton did the
                      only
                      > logical thing: he attempted to turn his army and march for
                      > Brownsville to the north. Because his command had been stripped of
                      > cavalry, he had insufficient forces to scout the roads to the
                      east.
                      > Pemberton didn't realize he was facing the Union vanguard until an
                      > entire division of Union soldiers poured over Champion Hill.
                      >
                      > At this point, he ordered both Bowen and Loring to attack north.
                      > McClernand's pickets had inexplicably stopped several hundred yards
                      > away, yet Bowing and Loring refused obey Pemberton's orders. Had
                      the
                      > entire Confederate force struck McPherson while McClernand sat
                      > twiddling his thumbs with the sounds of battle raging less than a
                      > half-mile away, Grant's army would have been stopped cold.
                      >
                      > As it was, Pemberton was forced to attack McPherson in piecemeal
                      > fashion, which of course led to defeat of Stevenson's and Bowen's
                      > divisions in detail and the retreat to Bovina. Again, Loring
                      decided
                      > to ignore Pemberton, and retreated away from Bovina. Loring's
                      > absence from the Bovina defenses spelled defeat: with the exception
                      > of a handful of regiments, his troops were the only ones that had
                      not
                      > been crushed at Champion Hill. Additionally, Pemberton now had no
                      > reserve force with which to plug any holes punched in the Bovina
                      > defenses, nor prevent a crossing at Bridgeport by Sherman. Had
                      > Loring retreated to Bovina, he probably would have bought the Army
                      of
                      > Vicksburg a day or two to decide what to do. As it was, when
                      > Pemberton was thrown back across the Big Black in disarray, he
                      really
                      > had no choice: Sherman already was marching towards Snyder's
                      Bluff.
                      > Any column escaping up the Mechanicsburg Corridor would be hit in
                      the
                      > middle by Sherman. Any column escaping towards Halls Ferry would
                      > risk envelopment at the Big Black (and possible bombardment by
                      Union
                      > tinclads, some of which were of shallow enough draft to navigate
                      the
                      > Big Black).
                    • dmsmith001
                      ... Get it right in what way, Will? In going the Johnston route, rather than the Davis / Pemberton route? I just keep coming back to the timeless, and
                      Message 10 of 14 , Jul 3, 2002
                        --- In civilwarwest@y..., "wh_keene" <wh_keene@y...> wrote:
                        > Dave,
                        >
                        > I agree. And in the whole debate over whether Pemberton should
                        > have given up the city to save the army, did Loring get it right??

                        Get it right in what way, Will?

                        In going the Johnston route, rather than the Davis / Pemberton route?

                        I just keep coming back to the timeless, and unanswerable question:
                        So through a miracle Pemberton gets most of his stuff out, joins
                        Johnston, and meekly turns over Vicksurg to Grant.

                        What then? And what effect on the attempt for southern independence?

                        Dave

                        Dave Smith
                        Villa Hills, KY
                      • Aurelie1999@aol.com
                        In a message dated 7/3/02 7:26:30 AM Central Daylight Time, dmsmith001@yahoo.com writes:
                        Message 11 of 14 , Jul 3, 2002
                          In a message dated 7/3/02 7:26:30 AM Central Daylight Time,
                          dmsmith001@... writes:

                          << I just keep coming back to the timeless, and unanswerable question:
                          So through a miracle Pemberton gets most of his stuff out, joins
                          Johnston, and meekly turns over Vicksurg to Grant.

                          What then? And what effect on the attempt for southern independence?

                          Dave

                          Dave Smith >>

                          IMHO there were also international political considerations at play. The CSA
                          believed that they needed to prove their viability to the community of
                          nations by protecting their "borders" and thereby establishing their right to
                          claim nation status.

                          And don't forget this was Jeff Davis' territory, his state, his "state
                          rights." In addition, by losing VB, the south was losing it's battle to
                          assure slavery into "perpetuity," Slaves were either freed or ran off
                          wherever the Union took over. How do you put the genie back in the bottle?

                          The CSA was being ripped asunder on all levels - internationally,
                          domestically, perceptually, and militarily. A loss at VB was an exclamation
                          point if nothing else.
                          Connie
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