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Re: Loring's Mysterious Disappearance From Champion Hill

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  • 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 1 of 14 , Jul 1, 2002
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      --- 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 2 of 14 , Jul 1, 2002
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        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 3 of 14 , Jul 1, 2002
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          --- 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 4 of 14 , Jul 2, 2002
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            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 5 of 14 , Jul 2, 2002
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              >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 6 of 14 , Jul 2, 2002
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                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 7 of 14 , Jul 2, 2002
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                  --- 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 8 of 14 , Jul 2, 2002
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                    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 9 of 14 , Jul 3, 2002
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                      --- 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 10 of 14 , Jul 3, 2002
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                        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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