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

Bragg's order to Stewart at Chickamauga September 19, 1863

Expand Messages
  • genesispg
    Ladies & Gentlemen: My comment concern the order Bragg gave to Stewart that he must be governed by circumstances . Both Cozzens and Tucker ridicule the order
    Message 1 of 14 , Nov 30, 2002
    • 0 Attachment
      Ladies & Gentlemen:

      My comment concern the order Bragg gave to Stewart that he must
      be "governed by circumstances". Both Cozzens and Tucker ridicule the
      order (Cozzens says Bragg was cruelly disingeneous), yet the order
      (to me) makes perfect sense.

      As this was a meeting engagement, (neither side thought they would
      fight a battle where it ended up being fought), all Bragg wanted to
      do was to stabalize the action. Even Bragg realized that in this
      battle, orders given could be old, very dangerous orders by the time
      Stewart gets to the front lines. He is counting on Stewart's
      knowledge and expertise to do what is needed when he got to the
      battle line.

      Comments, please.

      Roger
    • FLYNSWEDE@AOL.COM
      In a message dated 11/30/2002 10:46:48 AM Eastern Standard Time, ... For a most accurate answer to you inquiry, may I suggest you contact SDE80@aol.com (Sam
      Message 2 of 14 , Nov 30, 2002
      • 0 Attachment
        In a message dated 11/30/2002 10:46:48 AM Eastern Standard Time, genesis@... writes:



        Ladies & Gentlemen:

        My comment concern the order Bragg gave to Stewart that he must
        be "governed by circumstances".  Both Cozzens and Tucker ridicule the
        order (Cozzens says Bragg was cruelly disingeneous), yet the order
        (to me) makes perfect sense.

        As this was a meeting engagement, (neither side thought they would
        fight a battle where it ended up being fought), all Bragg wanted to
        do was to stabalize the action.  Even Bragg realized that in this
        battle, orders given could be old, very dangerous orders by the time
        Stewart gets to the front lines.  He is counting on Stewart's
        knowledge and expertise to do what is needed when he got to the
        battle line.

        Comments, please.

        Roger


        For a most accurate answer to you inquiry, may I suggest you contact SDE80@... (Sam Elliot) who is the author of Soldier of Tennessee, Alexander P. Stewart.    He would be most happy to respond.

        Wayne
      • SDE80@aol.com
        In a message dated 11/30/02 10:46:52 AM Eastern Standard Time, ... It indeed worked because Stewart was a competent officer, and in fact used his division as
        Message 3 of 14 , Nov 30, 2002
        • 0 Attachment
          In a message dated 11/30/02 10:46:52 AM Eastern Standard Time, genesis@... writes:


          Even Bragg realized that in this
          battle, orders given could be old, very dangerous orders by the time
          Stewart gets to the front lines.  He is counting on Stewart's
          knowledge and expertise to do what is needed when he got to the
          battle line.



          It indeed worked because Stewart was a competent officer, and in fact used his division as well as any Confederate MG that day.   Note the contrast between Bragg's orders to Stewart, and Stewart's own command technique that day.  While Bragg gave Stewart free rein, Stewart rather closely supervised his officers, especially the relatively untried brigade of Henry D. Clayton.  Clayton, by the end of the war, was a very competent officer.

          Sam Elliott
        • SDE80@aol.com
          In a message dated 11/30/02 10:54:52 AM Eastern Standard Time, ... Thanks, Wayne, I did. Sam Elliott
          Message 4 of 14 , Nov 30, 2002
          • 0 Attachment
            In a message dated 11/30/02 10:54:52 AM Eastern Standard Time, FLYNSWEDE@... writes:


            For a most accurate answer to you inquiry, may I suggest you contact SDE80@... (Sam Elliot) who is the author of Soldier of Tennessee, Alexander P. Stewart.    He would be most happy to respond.



            Thanks, Wayne, I did.  

            Sam Elliott
          • Dave Smith
            I think Cozzens and Tucker correct in their ridicule. The second day at Chickamauga was far from a simple meeting engagement. Bragg set out his standard plan
            Message 5 of 14 , Nov 30, 2002
            • 0 Attachment
              I think Cozzens and Tucker correct in their ridicule.

              The second day at Chickamauga was far from a simple meeting
              engagement. Bragg set out his standard plan of attack - en echelon -
              and assumed in typical Bragg fashion that things would go as he
              planned, but they never did. He was oh for two before Chickamauga,
              and went oh for three afterwards.

              The order to Stewart was simply another example of Bragg having no
              control over the fluidity of changing battlefield conditions.

              Dave

              Dave Smith
              Villa Hills, KY

              --- In civilwarwest@y..., "genesispg" <genesis@m...> wrote:
              > Ladies & Gentlemen:
              >
              > My comment concern the order Bragg gave to Stewart that he must
              > be "governed by circumstances". Both Cozzens and Tucker ridicule
              the
              > order (Cozzens says Bragg was cruelly disingeneous), yet the order
              > (to me) makes perfect sense.
              >
              > As this was a meeting engagement, (neither side thought they would
              > fight a battle where it ended up being fought), all Bragg wanted to
              > do was to stabalize the action. Even Bragg realized that in this
              > battle, orders given could be old, very dangerous orders by the
              time
              > Stewart gets to the front lines. He is counting on Stewart's
              > knowledge and expertise to do what is needed when he got to the
              > battle line.
              >
              > Comments, please.
              >
              > Roger
            • genesispg
              Dave: I believe you are mistaken. I was referring to Stewart s orders on the first day of the battle when it was a meeting engagement, not on the 2nd day of
              Message 6 of 14 , Dec 1, 2002
              • 0 Attachment
                Dave:

                I believe you are mistaken. I was referring to Stewart's orders on
                the first day of the battle when it was a meeting engagement, not on
                the 2nd day of Chickamauga when the battle lines are joined.
                Actually, I do not blame Bragg for that en encheleon order. IMO,
                that was the only way he believed he could get any type of
                cooridination(sp) in the attack. I do not know how anybody working
                with Polk, Hindman, DH Hill, etc could ever achieve anything on the
                battlefield.

                Roger

                --- In civilwarwest@y..., "Dave Smith" <dmsmith001@y...> wrote:
                > I think Cozzens and Tucker correct in their ridicule.
                >
                > The second day at Chickamauga was far from a simple meeting
                > engagement. Bragg set out his standard plan of attack - en
                echelon -
                > and assumed in typical Bragg fashion that things would go as he
                > planned, but they never did. He was oh for two before Chickamauga,
                > and went oh for three afterwards.
                >
                > The order to Stewart was simply another example of Bragg having no
                > control over the fluidity of changing battlefield conditions.
                >
                > Dave
                >
                > Dave Smith
                > Villa Hills, KY
                >
                > --- In civilwarwest@y..., "genesispg" <genesis@m...> wrote:
                > > Ladies & Gentlemen:
                > >
                > > My comment concern the order Bragg gave to Stewart that he must
                > > be "governed by circumstances". Both Cozzens and Tucker ridicule
                > the
                > > order (Cozzens says Bragg was cruelly disingeneous), yet the
                order
                > > (to me) makes perfect sense.
                > >
                > > As this was a meeting engagement, (neither side thought they
                would
                > > fight a battle where it ended up being fought), all Bragg wanted
                to
                > > do was to stabalize the action. Even Bragg realized that in this
                > > battle, orders given could be old, very dangerous orders by the
                > time
                > > Stewart gets to the front lines. He is counting on Stewart's
                > > knowledge and expertise to do what is needed when he got to the
                > > battle line.
                > >
                > > Comments, please.
                > >
                > > Roger
              • Dave Smith
                Oops, my bad, then. As a first day discussion, I have no problem with the meeting engagement description. I ve described that first day as a division-sized
                Message 7 of 14 , Dec 2, 2002
                • 0 Attachment
                  Oops, my bad, then. As a first day discussion, I have no problem
                  with the "meeting engagement" description. I've described that first
                  day as a division-sized "up the ante" game of poker, myself.

                  My problem with the en echelon order was severalfold: 1) They were
                  awfully difficult to execute, on any given day with any army.
                  Witness the ANV's efforts on the second day of Gettysburg, and they
                  were a good army, 2) Success hinged on the efforts of the intial
                  attacking group, which meant that failure there literally doomed the
                  effort, and 3) Bragg had tried an en echelon attack at Stones River
                  and Perryville with this army, without success. Was he so
                  unimaginiative as an army commander that he couldn't try something
                  else.

                  I'll state the problem for Bragg, at 6:30 a.m. on September 20 as
                  succinctly as I can.

                  Why wasn't his butt parked on that flank - regardless of where he
                  technically belonged as an army commander - if those guys - Hill,
                  Hindman and Polk, were so inept? Not his staff's collective hind
                  ends - his?

                  Lee could go where he was needed, in spite of where the technical
                  situtation suggested. Bragg could not, apparently, see such a
                  distinction.

                  Dave

                  Dave Smith
                  Villa Hills, KY


                  --- In civilwarwest@y..., "genesispg" <genesis@m...> wrote:
                  > Dave:
                  >
                  > I believe you are mistaken. I was referring to Stewart's orders on
                  > the first day of the battle when it was a meeting engagement, not
                  on
                  > the 2nd day of Chickamauga when the battle lines are joined.
                  > Actually, I do not blame Bragg for that en encheleon order. IMO,
                  > that was the only way he believed he could get any type of
                  > cooridination(sp) in the attack. I do not know how anybody working
                  > with Polk, Hindman, DH Hill, etc could ever achieve anything on the
                  > battlefield.
                  >
                  > Roger
                  >
                  > --- In civilwarwest@y..., "Dave Smith" <dmsmith001@y...> wrote:
                  > > I think Cozzens and Tucker correct in their ridicule.
                  > >
                  > > The second day at Chickamauga was far from a simple meeting
                  > > engagement. Bragg set out his standard plan of attack - en
                  > echelon -
                  > > and assumed in typical Bragg fashion that things would go as he
                  > > planned, but they never did. He was oh for two before
                  Chickamauga,
                  > > and went oh for three afterwards.
                  > >
                  > > The order to Stewart was simply another example of Bragg having
                  no
                  > > control over the fluidity of changing battlefield conditions.
                  > >
                  > > Dave
                  > >
                  > > Dave Smith
                  > > Villa Hills, KY
                  > >
                  > > --- In civilwarwest@y..., "genesispg" <genesis@m...> wrote:
                  > > > Ladies & Gentlemen:
                  > > >
                  > > > My comment concern the order Bragg gave to Stewart that he must
                  > > > be "governed by circumstances". Both Cozzens and Tucker
                  ridicule
                  > > the
                  > > > order (Cozzens says Bragg was cruelly disingeneous), yet the
                  > order
                  > > > (to me) makes perfect sense.
                  > > >
                  > > > As this was a meeting engagement, (neither side thought they
                  > would
                  > > > fight a battle where it ended up being fought), all Bragg
                  wanted
                  > to
                  > > > do was to stabalize the action. Even Bragg realized that in
                  this
                  > > > battle, orders given could be old, very dangerous orders by the
                  > > time
                  > > > Stewart gets to the front lines. He is counting on Stewart's
                  > > > knowledge and expertise to do what is needed when he got to the
                  > > > battle line.
                  > > >
                  > > > Comments, please.
                  > > >
                  > > > Roger
                • Dick Weeks
                  Dave, you or someone else, might want to explain to some of our newer members what an en echelon attack really is. I know, but not being a reenactor or even
                  Message 8 of 14 , Dec 2, 2002
                  • 0 Attachment
                    Dave, you or someone else, might want to explain to some of our newer
                    members what an "en echelon" attack really is. I know, but not being a
                    reenactor or even well versed in this area, I can't really explain it by
                    writing it. I can show you on the field what it looks like. I know that
                    whether you are dealing with a regiment "en echelon" or a brigade "en
                    echelon" both are a terribly difficult maneuver to execute. I can't imagine
                    a "division" attacking in this formation and it being successful. I know it
                    was done quite frequently but what I don't know is how often it was
                    successful.

                    I am, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
                    Dick (a.k.a. Shotgun)
                    http://www.civilwarhome.com

                    ----- Original Message -----
                    From: "Dave Smith" <dmsmith001@...>
                    To: <civilwarwest@yahoogroups.com>
                    Sent: Monday, December 02, 2002 4:08 PM
                    Subject: [civilwarwest] Re: Bragg's order to Stewart at Chickamauga
                    September 19, 1863


                    > Oops, my bad, then. As a first day discussion, I have no problem
                    > with the "meeting engagement" description. I've described that first
                    > day as a division-sized "up the ante" game of poker, myself.
                    >
                    > My problem with the en echelon order was severalfold: 1) They were
                    > awfully difficult to execute, on any given day with any army.
                    > Witness the ANV's efforts on the second day of Gettysburg, and they
                    > were a good army, 2) Success hinged on the efforts of the intial
                    > attacking group, which meant that failure there literally doomed the
                    > effort, and 3) Bragg had tried an en echelon attack at Stones River
                    > and Perryville with this army, without success. Was he so
                    > unimaginiative as an army commander that he couldn't try something
                    > else.
                    >
                    > I'll state the problem for Bragg, at 6:30 a.m. on September 20 as
                    > succinctly as I can.
                    >
                    > Why wasn't his butt parked on that flank - regardless of where he
                    > technically belonged as an army commander - if those guys - Hill,
                    > Hindman and Polk, were so inept? Not his staff's collective hind
                    > ends - his?
                    >
                    > Lee could go where he was needed, in spite of where the technical
                    > situtation suggested. Bragg could not, apparently, see such a
                    > distinction.
                    >
                    > Dave
                    >
                    > Dave Smith
                    > Villa Hills, KY
                    >
                    >
                    > --- In civilwarwest@y..., "genesispg" <genesis@m...> wrote:
                    > > Dave:
                    > >
                    > > I believe you are mistaken. I was referring to Stewart's orders on
                    > > the first day of the battle when it was a meeting engagement, not
                    > on
                    > > the 2nd day of Chickamauga when the battle lines are joined.
                    > > Actually, I do not blame Bragg for that en encheleon order. IMO,
                    > > that was the only way he believed he could get any type of
                    > > cooridination(sp) in the attack. I do not know how anybody working
                    > > with Polk, Hindman, DH Hill, etc could ever achieve anything on the
                    > > battlefield.
                    > >
                    > > Roger
                    > >
                    > > --- In civilwarwest@y..., "Dave Smith" <dmsmith001@y...> wrote:
                    > > > I think Cozzens and Tucker correct in their ridicule.
                    > > >
                    > > > The second day at Chickamauga was far from a simple meeting
                    > > > engagement. Bragg set out his standard plan of attack - en
                    > > echelon -
                    > > > and assumed in typical Bragg fashion that things would go as he
                    > > > planned, but they never did. He was oh for two before
                    > Chickamauga,
                    > > > and went oh for three afterwards.
                    > > >
                    > > > The order to Stewart was simply another example of Bragg having
                    > no
                    > > > control over the fluidity of changing battlefield conditions.
                    > > >
                    > > > Dave
                    > > >
                    > > > Dave Smith
                    > > > Villa Hills, KY
                    > > >
                    > > > --- In civilwarwest@y..., "genesispg" <genesis@m...> wrote:
                    > > > > Ladies & Gentlemen:
                    > > > >
                    > > > > My comment concern the order Bragg gave to Stewart that he must
                    > > > > be "governed by circumstances". Both Cozzens and Tucker
                    > ridicule
                    > > > the
                    > > > > order (Cozzens says Bragg was cruelly disingeneous), yet the
                    > > order
                    > > > > (to me) makes perfect sense.
                    > > > >
                    > > > > As this was a meeting engagement, (neither side thought they
                    > > would
                    > > > > fight a battle where it ended up being fought), all Bragg
                    > wanted
                    > > to
                    > > > > do was to stabalize the action. Even Bragg realized that in
                    > this
                    > > > > battle, orders given could be old, very dangerous orders by the
                    > > > time
                    > > > > Stewart gets to the front lines. He is counting on Stewart's
                    > > > > knowledge and expertise to do what is needed when he got to the
                    > > > > battle line.
                    > > > >
                    > > > > Comments, please.
                    > > > >
                    > > > > Roger
                    >
                    >
                    >
                    >
                    > Your use of Yahoo! Groups is subject to http://docs.yahoo.com/info/terms/
                    >
                    >
                    >
                  • hank9174
                    ... first ... But didn t the attack succeed? Rosecrans confusedly shifted Wood s division to the left and left a hole that Longstreet exploited. En echelon
                    Message 9 of 14 , Dec 3, 2002
                    • 0 Attachment
                      --- In civilwarwest@y..., "Dave Smith" <dmsmith001@y...> wrote:
                      > Oops, my bad, then. As a first day discussion, I have no problem
                      > with the "meeting engagement" description. I've described that
                      first
                      > day as a division-sized "up the ante" game of poker, myself.
                      >
                      > My problem with the en echelon order was severalfold: 1) They were
                      > awfully difficult to execute, on any given day with any army.
                      > Witness the ANV's efforts on the second day of Gettysburg, and they
                      > were a good army, 2) Success hinged on the efforts of the intial
                      > attacking group, which meant that failure there literally doomed the
                      > effort, and 3) Bragg had tried an en echelon attack at Stones River
                      > and Perryville with this army, without success. Was he so
                      > unimaginiative as an army commander that he couldn't try something
                      > else.
                      >

                      But didn't the attack succeed?

                      Rosecrans confusedly shifted Wood's division to the left and left a
                      hole that Longstreet exploited.

                      En echelon attacks are successful when you find a breach in the
                      defense before running out of attacking forces. Lee at Gettysburg
                      found a hole, but with his last brigade. Bragg at Chickamauga, found a
                      gap and had an entire corps to pour through.

                      HankC
                    • Dave Smith
                      *Bragg* didn t find anything at Chickamauga, hole or otherwise. Longstreet found it and exploited it, contrary to Bragg s orders. As a matter of fact, Bragg
                      Message 10 of 14 , Dec 3, 2002
                      • 0 Attachment
                        *Bragg* didn't find anything at Chickamauga, hole or otherwise.

                        Longstreet found it and exploited it, contrary to Bragg's orders. As
                        a matter of fact, Bragg was extremely pissed because the battle
                        turned from north to south to south to north - contrary to
                        his "expectations."

                        If Longstreet had followed Bragg's order to the letter of the attack
                        plan, he'd have fared no better than Polk did.

                        Dave

                        --- In civilwarwest@y..., "hank9174" <clarkc@m...> wrote:
                        > --- In civilwarwest@y..., "Dave Smith" <dmsmith001@y...> wrote:
                        > > Oops, my bad, then. As a first day discussion, I have no problem
                        > > with the "meeting engagement" description. I've described that
                        > first
                        > > day as a division-sized "up the ante" game of poker, myself.
                        > >
                        > > My problem with the en echelon order was severalfold: 1) They
                        were
                        > > awfully difficult to execute, on any given day with any army.
                        > > Witness the ANV's efforts on the second day of Gettysburg, and
                        they
                        > > were a good army, 2) Success hinged on the efforts of the intial
                        > > attacking group, which meant that failure there literally doomed
                        the
                        > > effort, and 3) Bragg had tried an en echelon attack at Stones
                        River
                        > > and Perryville with this army, without success. Was he so
                        > > unimaginiative as an army commander that he couldn't try
                        something
                        > > else.
                        > >
                        >
                        > But didn't the attack succeed?
                        >
                        > Rosecrans confusedly shifted Wood's division to the left and left a
                        > hole that Longstreet exploited.
                        >
                        > En echelon attacks are successful when you find a breach in the
                        > defense before running out of attacking forces. Lee at Gettysburg
                        > found a hole, but with his last brigade. Bragg at Chickamauga,
                        found a
                        > gap and had an entire corps to pour through.
                        >
                        > HankC
                      • hank9174
                        ... As ... So Longstreet s attack was separate from the initial effort and after it had *peter*ed out? One of the features of an en echelon attack is it s
                        Message 11 of 14 , Dec 3, 2002
                        • 0 Attachment
                          --- In civilwarwest@y..., "Dave Smith" <dmsmith001@y...> wrote:
                          > *Bragg* didn't find anything at Chickamauga, hole or otherwise.
                          >
                          > Longstreet found it and exploited it, contrary to Bragg's orders.
                          As
                          > a matter of fact, Bragg was extremely pissed because the battle
                          > turned from north to south to south to north - contrary to
                          > his "expectations."
                          >
                          > If Longstreet had followed Bragg's order to the letter of the attack
                          > plan, he'd have fared no better than Polk did.

                          So Longstreet's attack was separate from the initial effort and after
                          it had *peter*ed out?

                          One of the 'features' of an en echelon attack is it's
                          unpredictability. Not knowing where, or if, a breakthrough occurs it's
                          necessary to have the reserves and mobility to exploit any gap at any
                          spot in the attack. Hence, an en echelon attack succeeds if a greater
                          force is brought to bear along the line of attack.

                          I certainly agree that Bragg should have moved en echelon himself,
                          from right to left as the fight developed...


                          HankC
                        • Dave Smith
                          ... Nice play on words. :-) It s not so much that it was separte, but that it wasn t certainly en echelon. Some had to do with more correctly understanding
                          Message 12 of 14 , Dec 3, 2002
                          • 0 Attachment
                            --- In civilwarwest@y..., "hank9174" <clarkc@m...> wrote:
                            > --- In civilwarwest@y..., "Dave Smith" <dmsmith001@y...> wrote:
                            >
                            > So Longstreet's attack was separate from the initial effort and
                            > after it had *peter*ed out?

                            Nice play on words. :-)

                            It's not so much that it was separte, but that it wasn't
                            certainly "en echelon." Some had to do with more correctly
                            understanding the situation, and some had to do with not enough time
                            given by Bragg to order such a rascal.

                            Dave
                          • hank9174
                            ... The disposition of old Peter s troops certainly indicate he was neither contemplating nor prepared for an attack en echelon. His wing was 2 divisions deep,
                            Message 13 of 14 , Dec 3, 2002
                            • 0 Attachment
                              --- In civilwarwest@y..., "Dave Smith" <dmsmith001@y...> wrote:
                              > --- In civilwarwest@y..., "hank9174" <clarkc@m...> wrote:
                              > > --- In civilwarwest@y..., "Dave Smith" <dmsmith001@y...> wrote:
                              > >
                              > > So Longstreet's attack was separate from the initial effort and
                              > > after it had *peter*ed out?
                              >
                              > Nice play on words. :-)
                              >
                              > It's not so much that it was separte, but that it wasn't
                              > certainly "en echelon." Some had to do with more correctly
                              > understanding the situation, and some had to do with not enough time
                              > given by Bragg to order such a rascal.

                              The disposition of old Peter's troops certainly indicate he was
                              neither contemplating nor prepared for an attack en echelon. His wing
                              was 2 divisions deep, maybe 3?

                              So what was he thinking? Pickett's Charge with depth? Did he know the
                              weakness of the blue line on his front prior to initial contact? Why
                              do I have the feeling these answers and more can be found in the group
                              archives?


                              HankC
                            • Dave Smith
                              ... snips ... My simple question is, given the fact that Longstreet arrived on the field sometime around midnight, met with Bragg (actually woke him up),
                              Message 14 of 14 , Dec 3, 2002
                              • 0 Attachment
                                --- In civilwarwest@y..., "hank9174" <clarkc@m...> wrote:
                                snips

                                > The disposition of old Peter's troops certainly indicate he was
                                > neither contemplating nor prepared for an attack en echelon. His
                                > wing was 2 divisions deep, maybe 3?

                                My simple question is, given the fact that Longstreet arrived on the
                                field sometime around midnight, met with Bragg (actually woke him
                                up), learned of the plans, and had, perhaps five or six hours
                                (without sleep) to find, locate, arrange, and organize a complicated
                                attack - what should anyone expect of him?

                                That he took a complicated situation, simplified it, and achieved a
                                breakthrough, seems to speak volumes to me.
                                >
                                > So what was he thinking? Pickett's Charge with depth? Did he know
                                > the weakness of the blue line on his front prior to initial
                                > contact? Why do I have the feeling these answers and more can be
                                > found in the group archives?

                                Doubtless, given the charter of this group, this issue has been
                                argued before, perhaps ad nauseum. If so, I apologize - but I'm not
                                changing my interpretation of a complicated battle.

                                What was Old Pete thinking? Hard to say, other than what he wrote 30
                                years after the war, when under attack from all sides.

                                Did he understand, somehow, that covering 150 yards from the woods to
                                the far side of the Brotherton Cabin was best served as an attack in
                                depth? Makes good sense to me.

                                Dave
                              Your message has been successfully submitted and would be delivered to recipients shortly.