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Re: [civilwarwest] Re: Bragg's order to Stewart at Chickamauga September 19, ...

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  • DORR64OVI@aol.com
    In a message dated 12/3/02 9:29:03 AM Eastern Standard Time, ... I have always felt that given the disposition of Longstreets asssault columns, Woods gap
    Message 1 of 23 , Dec 3, 2002
      In a message dated 12/3/02 9:29:03 AM Eastern Standard Time, clarkc@... writes:


      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






      I have always felt that given the disposition of Longstreets asssault columns, Woods gap would've made little difference whether it was there or not.  The right wing of Rosecrans force wasn't strong enough to withstand what Old Pete had coming at them.  They werent well intrenched and they had little reserves.  By pulling Wood out of line, Rosecrans actually helps save Thomas later because thats where some of Woods division ends up.   If Tom Wood hadnt moved, he would've been crushed like the rest of the right wing.

      Kent Dorr
    • SDE80@aol.com
      In a message dated 12/3/2002 9:50:02 AM Eastern Standard Time, ... I d largely agree with this, although the front echelon of Longstreet s column would have
      Message 2 of 23 , Dec 3, 2002
        In a message dated 12/3/2002 9:50:02 AM Eastern Standard Time, DORR64OVI@... writes:

        I have always felt that given the disposition of Longstreets asssault columns, Woods gap would've made little difference whether it was there or not.  The right wing of Rosecrans force wasn't strong enough to withstand what Old Pete had coming at them.  They werent well intrenched and they had little reserves.  By pulling Wood out of line, Rosecrans actually helps save Thomas later because thats where some of Woods division ends up.   If Tom Wood hadnt moved, he would've been crushed like the rest of the right wing.


        I'd largely agree with this, although the front echelon of Longstreet's column would have necessarily incurred a higher casualty rate.

        Sam Elliott
      • LWhite64@aol.com
        I don t know about actually Saveing Thomas by this move, I think the Right Wing would have folded, but I think it might have been a lot slower and a little
        Message 3 of 23 , Dec 3, 2002
          I don't know about actually Saveing Thomas by this move, I think the Right Wing would have folded, but I think it might have been a lot slower and a little more orderly than it was.  It would certainly have given Sheridan's Divison time to deploy, and also for Mendenhall's guns to have had a better chance.

          Lee
        • Dave Smith
          I tried this once before, and it seems to have gone into never never land. An echelon attack is evidently the current attack favored by the Michigan Wolverines
          Message 4 of 23 , Dec 3, 2002
            I tried this once before, and it seems to have gone into never never
            land.

            An echelon attack is evidently the current attack favored by the
            Michigan Wolverines of late against the Ohio State Buckeyes. Like
            the attacks of Braxton Bragg, they don't seem to work well ...

            It might be easiest to explain the battle of Chickamauga, Bragg's
            classic en echelon attack.

            Both armies were aligned, north to south along the Lafayette Road (in
            general terms). Bragg's plan was to force Rosecrans army to the
            south, away from its base at Chattanooga, and into open ground where
            he could finish the opponent off.

            The trick, for Bragg, was to put enough firepower on the northern
            flank to disrupt Thomas. The northernmost Confederate division, that
            of Breckinridge, would slam into the northernmost Federal unit, and
            force them into disarray and push them towards the south, and into
            the next Federal units. Then the next Rebel division, to the south,
            would attack, with similar results. As that countering Federal unit
            retreated, they bounced into the next unit southward, who then were
            slammed by the next Confederate unit. As the retreat continued, and
            the Confederates attacked in sequence, the rout becomes greater and
            greater.

            The problem occurs is the initial attack fails, as did with
            Breckinridge. As the next Confederate unit goes in, they face fire
            from the front, as well as that unit to the north (which was supposed
            to be gone). They fall back, and to their south, the next
            Confederates go in.

            The whole thing reverts into a series of poorly timed, piecemeal
            attacks.

            Longstreet, of course, didn't have time for such foolishness, and
            massed his 10,000 plus wing, and battered a hole in the Federal front.

            Bragg tried a similar strategy at Perryville and at Stones River,
            with similar results.

            If you're Bragg, and you've seen this fail twice because you couldn't
            get on the flank, and units failed to attack when planned, *and* the
            whole attack hinges on the initial attack, where should your butt be
            at daylight on the 20th of September? With John C. Breckinridge?

            You betcha. Where wasn't Bragg? At the critical point.

            Dave

            --- In civilwarwest@y..., Jfepperson@a... wrote:
            > In a message dated 12/2/2002 7:36:53 PM Eastern Standard Time,
            > shotgun@c... writes:
            >
            > > Dave, you or someone else, might want to explain to some of our
            newer
            > > members what an "en echelon" attack really is.
            >
            > Oh, God, Shotgun, you don't know what you have asked for!
            >
            > (Just kidding; Dave is a great friend of mine.)
            >
            > JFE
            >
            > James F. Epperson
            > http://members.aol.com/jfepperson/causes.html
            > http://members.aol.com/siege1864
          • Dave Smith
            At the risk of rampant me-tooism, I agree with Sam and Kent. Dave ... asssault ... there or ... withstand ... and they had ... helps ... up. If ... the
            Message 5 of 23 , Dec 3, 2002
              At the risk of rampant "me-tooism," I agree with Sam and Kent.

              Dave

              --- In civilwarwest@y..., SDE80@a... wrote:
              > In a message dated 12/3/2002 9:50:02 AM Eastern Standard Time,
              > DORR64OVI@a... writes:
              >
              > > I have always felt that given the disposition of Longstreets
              asssault
              > > columns, Woods gap would've made little difference whether it was
              there or
              > > not. The right wing of Rosecrans force wasn't strong enough to
              withstand
              > > what Old Pete had coming at them. They werent well intrenched
              and they had
              > > little reserves. By pulling Wood out of line, Rosecrans actually
              helps
              > > save Thomas later because thats where some of Woods division ends
              up. If
              > > Tom Wood hadnt moved, he would've been crushed like the rest of
              the right
              > > wing.
              > >
              >
              > I'd largely agree with this, although the front echelon of
              Longstreet's
              > column would have necessarily incurred a higher casualty rate.
              >
              > Sam Elliott
            • Jfepperson@aol.com
              ... [details snipped] One aspect of an echelon attack is that it is supposed to create an opening by enticing the defender to shift troops to deal with the
              Message 6 of 23 , Dec 3, 2002
                In a message dated 12/3/2002 11:34:58 AM Eastern Standard Time, dmsmith001@... writes:

                > It might be easiest to explain the battle of Chickamauga,
                > Bragg's classic en echelon attack.

                [details snipped]

                One aspect of an echelon attack is that it is supposed to "create"
                an opening by enticing the defender to shift troops to deal with
                the earlier attacks. This won't work when the defender has a
                lot of reserves available (this is what happened at Gettysburg),
                or when the initial attacks are beaten off w/o the need for
                calling on other troops. This is essentially what happened at
                Chickamauga, although it must be said that the attacks on
                Thomas caused that officer to continually demand reinforcements,
                which did contribute to the faux pas which made Longstreet's
                attack so successful. However, I do agree that Bragg never
                understood that this is what had happened, and I do concede
                (partially) that moving Wood was not necessary to Longstreet's
                success.

                JFE
              • LWhite64@aol.com
                Well just to bring it up, but there is also a school of thought that believe that the stacking up of Brigades in Longstreet s Wing was an accident more than
                Message 7 of 23 , Dec 3, 2002
                  Well just to bring it up, but there is also a school of thought that believe that the stacking up of Brigades in Longstreet's Wing was an accident more than his planning.  The way the belief goes is that Longstreet was trying to place his ANV men in the front lines and was was trying to get them shifted around when the attack was started.  Part of the evidence for this is that Stewart's Divison did'nt have any back up nor did Hindman or Preston.  Also in this is that elements of Kershaw's Divison had been there just a short time, less than 30 Mins, when the attack was opened and elements were still arriveing as it went forward.  Just some fuel for the ole fire.

                  Lee
                • SDE80@aol.com
                  In a message dated 12/3/02 7:45:32 PM Eastern Standard Time, LWhite64@aol.com ... Lee, who thinks that, and is the evidence of the circumstantial nature you
                  Message 8 of 23 , Dec 3, 2002
                    In a message dated 12/3/02 7:45:32 PM Eastern Standard Time, LWhite64@... writes:


                    Well just to bring it up, but there is also a school of thought that believe that the stacking up of Brigades in Longstreet's Wing was an accident more than his planning.  The way the belief goes is that Longstreet was trying to place his ANV men in the front lines and was was trying to get them shifted around when the attack was started.  Part of the evidence for this is that Stewart's Divison did'nt have any back up nor did Hindman or Preston.  Also in this is that elements of Kershaw's Divison had been there just a short time, less than 30 Mins, when the attack was opened and elements were still arriveing as it went forward.  Just some fuel for the ole fire.



                    Lee, who thinks that, and is the evidence of the circumstantial nature you mention, or is there some documentary back up?

                    Sam Elliott
                  • LWhite64@aol.com
                    Sam, Its an idea that I have heard from several military staff groups that have come through the park before and I believe that Dr. Glenn Roberston has some
                    Message 9 of 23 , Dec 3, 2002
                      Sam,
                              Its an idea that I have heard from several military staff groups that have come through the park before and I believe that Dr. Glenn Roberston has some version of it as well, Robertson is working on a treatment of the battle and is very guarded on his sources at this time, he also has evidence that helps exonerate T. Wood from the tale of his temper getting in the way of his judgement. 

                      Lee
                    • Dave Smith
                      Heck, Lee, given that he d been in the area of his command for what? several hours? how much planning could he have done? That he was able to organize an
                      Message 10 of 23 , Dec 4, 2002
                        Heck, Lee, given that he'd been in the area of his command for what?
                        several hours? how much "planning" could he have done?

                        That he was able to organize an attack and be ready, even by 9:00 or
                        so, says volumes.

                        I'm always amazed in reading accounts of Chickamauga how little
                        involvement Bragg's staff had with that wing of the army. You'd have
                        thought, that with a new commander, just arrived on the field, and
                        totally unfamiliar with the ground from the previous day's battle,
                        that he'd have had all sorts of "help" there.

                        Dave

                        --- In civilwarwest@y..., LWhite64@a... wrote:
                        > Well just to bring it up, but there is also a school of thought
                        that believe
                        > that the stacking up of Brigades in Longstreet's Wing was an
                        accident more
                        > than his planning. The way the belief goes is that Longstreet was
                        trying to
                        > place his ANV men in the front lines and was was trying to get them
                        shifted
                        > around when the attack was started. Part of the evidence for this
                        is that
                        > Stewart's Divison did'nt have any back up nor did Hindman or
                        Preston. Also
                        > in this is that elements of Kershaw's Divison had been there just a
                        short
                        > time, less than 30 Mins, when the attack was opened and elements
                        were still
                        > arriveing as it went forward. Just some fuel for the ole fire.
                        >
                        > Lee
                      • carlw4514
                        Do we really have to do higher math to figure this one out? It screams of professional jealousy, Bragg being concerned that Longstreet was going to come in and
                        Message 11 of 23 , Dec 4, 2002
                          Do we really have to do higher math to figure this one out? It screams
                          of professional jealousy, Bragg being concerned that Longstreet was
                          going to come in and steal the glory. Which, ironically, with no help
                          from Bragg, is exactly what he does. Bragg's behavior here, and after
                          the breakthrough, is exactly what it would be if you were writing a
                          script for a guy acting jealous at success and determined to ignore it
                          and grabb some of the glory for himself, the war effort be damned.
                          -My question is, was Longstreet that good, or was it the AoNV that was
                          "that good"?

                          --- In civilwarwest@y..., "Dave Smith" <dmsmith001@y...> wrote:
                          [...]
                          > I'm always amazed in reading accounts of Chickamauga how little
                          > involvement Bragg's staff had with that wing of the army. You'd have
                          > thought, that with a new commander, just arrived on the field, and
                          > totally unfamiliar with the ground from the previous day's battle,
                          > that he'd have had all sorts of "help" there.
                          >
                          > Dave
                          >
                        • Dave Smith
                          Carl, At least insofar as the setup of the second day of Chickamauga goes, I don t think there were elements of professional jealousy present, vis-a-vis Bragg
                          Message 12 of 23 , Dec 4, 2002
                            Carl,

                            At least insofar as the setup of the second day of Chickamauga goes,
                            I don't think there were elements of professional jealousy present,
                            vis-a-vis Bragg and Longstreet. They simply would not have known
                            each other well enough to have any such feelings.

                            In terms of Bragg, I simply think that we're dealing with someone who
                            had a fundamental problem with attention to detail. How else can one
                            even fathom how - in spite of the fact that there was a battle the
                            day before - no one was sent by Bragg to Catoosa Station to shepherd
                            Bragg back to the front?

                            How could Bragg assign half of the army to a general not even on the
                            field, supposed to lead a daylight attack?

                            I wonder, at times, which was the more prevalent flaw of Bragg's in
                            terms of his military capability - inattention to details, or
                            inability to adapt to changing conditions? Perhaps each ought to be
                            weighed equally, all things considered.

                            If I were Bragg, I think I'd have had at least one trusted staff
                            officer on each end of the battlefield; on the northern end, to
                            ensure that the attack came off as planned, and on Longstreet's end,
                            to provide assistance and help with the new guy. To the best of my
                            knowledge, neither was done.

                            Dave

                            --- In civilwarwest@y..., "carlw4514" <carlw4514@y...> wrote:
                            > Do we really have to do higher math to figure this one out? It
                            screams
                            > of professional jealousy, Bragg being concerned that Longstreet was
                            > going to come in and steal the glory. Which, ironically, with no
                            help
                            > from Bragg, is exactly what he does. Bragg's behavior here, and
                            after
                            > the breakthrough, is exactly what it would be if you were writing a
                            > script for a guy acting jealous at success and determined to ignore
                            it
                            > and grabb some of the glory for himself, the war effort be damned.
                            > -My question is, was Longstreet that good, or was it the AoNV that
                            was
                            > "that good"?
                            >
                            > --- In civilwarwest@y..., "Dave Smith" <dmsmith001@y...> wrote:
                            > [...]
                            > > I'm always amazed in reading accounts of Chickamauga how little
                            > > involvement Bragg's staff had with that wing of the army. You'd
                            have
                            > > thought, that with a new commander, just arrived on the field,
                            and
                            > > totally unfamiliar with the ground from the previous day's
                            battle,
                            > > that he'd have had all sorts of "help" there.
                            > >
                            > > Dave
                            > >
                          • SDE80@aol.com
                            In a message dated 12/3/02 9:57:34 PM Eastern Standard Time, LWhite64@aol.com ... Lee, where does Jim Ogden weigh in on this theory? Sam
                            Message 13 of 23 , Dec 4, 2002
                              In a message dated 12/3/02 9:57:34 PM Eastern Standard Time, LWhite64@... writes:


                              Its an idea that I have heard from several military staff groups that have come through the park before and I believe that Dr. Glenn Roberston has some version of it as well, Robertson is working on a treatment of the battle and is very guarded on his sources at this time, he also has evidence that helps exonerate T. Wood from the tale of his temper getting in the way of his judgement


                              Lee, where does Jim Ogden weigh in on this theory?

                              Sam
                            • carlw4514
                              Inasmuch as I really get the feeling that jealousy was possibly at least a sub-theme, I ll have to accept that everyone has shot that idea down. -What about
                              Message 14 of 23 , Dec 4, 2002
                                Inasmuch as I really get the feeling that jealousy was possibly at
                                least a sub-theme, I'll have to accept that everyone has shot that
                                idea down.
                                -What about the fact these troops were AoNV? Is it possibly the case
                                that a similar sized AoT contingent just wasnt going to pull this off,
                                had they been the ones lined up to do so, an equal of Longstreet
                                commanding?
                                [setting aside the issue of whether such a general existed]
                                Carl
                                --- In civilwarwest@y..., "Dave Smith" <dmsmith001@y...> wrote:
                                > Carl,
                                >
                                > At least insofar as the setup of the second day of Chickamauga goes,
                                > I don't think there were elements of professional jealousy present,
                                > vis-a-vis Bragg and Longstreet. They simply would not have known
                                > each other well enough to have any such feelings.
                                >
                                [...]
                              • aot1952
                                Gentlemen I got to thank you all- I had started to get discouraged that people were just not very interested in ever again discussing civil war military
                                Message 15 of 23 , Dec 4, 2002
                                  Gentlemen I got to thank you all-
                                  I had started to get discouraged that people were just not very
                                  interested in ever again discussing civil war 'military' history on
                                  the internet! Wow I have certainly missed out on a wonderfully
                                  interesting discussion but I have thoughly enjoyed reviewing these
                                  thought provoking postings.
                                  After I give it some thought I might weigh in with some of my 'crack
                                  pot' ideas about the Battle of Chickamauga, beyond the established
                                  fact that the Palace Donut shoppe is far superior to Krespy Kreme
                                  donuts!
                                  Thanks again folks and please keep them coming sorry I have been awol-
                                  - and please no more of this Army of Northern Virginia superiority
                                  crap ok? LOL
                                  Wakefield

                                  --- In civilwarwest@y..., "carlw4514" <carlw4514@y...> wrote:
                                  > Inasmuch as I really get the feeling that jealousy was possibly at
                                  > least a sub-theme, I'll have to accept that everyone has shot that
                                  > idea down.
                                  > -What about the fact these troops were AoNV? Is it possibly the case
                                  > that a similar sized AoT contingent just wasnt going to pull this
                                  off,
                                  > had they been the ones lined up to do so, an equal of Longstreet
                                  > commanding?
                                  > [setting aside the issue of whether such a general existed]
                                  > Carl
                                  > --- In civilwarwest@y..., "Dave Smith" <dmsmith001@y...> wrote:
                                  > > Carl,
                                  > >
                                  > > At least insofar as the setup of the second day of Chickamauga
                                  goes,
                                  > > I don't think there were elements of professional jealousy
                                  present,
                                  > > vis-a-vis Bragg and Longstreet. They simply would not have known
                                  > > each other well enough to have any such feelings.
                                  > >
                                  > [...]
                                • aot1952
                                  Mr. Smith wrote- If I were Bragg, I think I d have had at least one trusted staff officer on each end of the battlefield; on the northern end, to ensure that
                                  Message 16 of 23 , Dec 4, 2002
                                    Mr. Smith wrote-
                                    "If I were Bragg, I think I'd have had at least one trusted staff
                                    officer on each end of the battlefield; on the northern end, to
                                    ensure that the attack came off as planned, and on Longstreet's end,
                                    to provide assistance and help with the new guy. To the best of my
                                    knowledge, neither was done."
                                    Sadly by this time Bragg did not even have any staff officers that
                                    Bragg trusted or that trusted Bragg.
                                    Wakefield
                                  • LWhite64@aol.com
                                    Sam, Just had a discussion with Ogden about the formation of Longstreet s Corps and he is of the opinion that it was accidental. Also to add to this is that
                                    Message 17 of 23 , Dec 5, 2002
                                      Sam,
                                      Just had a discussion with Ogden about the formation of Longstreet's Corps and he is of the opinion that it was accidental. Also to add to this is that there isnt any edvidence that McLaw's Divison(Kershaw and Humphrey) was even in line behind Hood.

                                      Lee
                                    • Dave Smith
                                      ... end, ... Cue Slim Pickens, slapping his ten-gallon hat on his thigh: Well, don t that beat all ... Subordinates he didn t trust, and staffers he didn t
                                      Message 18 of 23 , Dec 5, 2002
                                        --- In civilwarwest@y..., "aot1952" <aot1952@y...> wrote:
                                        > Mr. Smith wrote-
                                        > "If I were Bragg, I think I'd have had at least one trusted staff
                                        > officer on each end of the battlefield; on the northern end, to
                                        > ensure that the attack came off as planned, and on Longstreet's
                                        end,
                                        > to provide assistance and help with the new guy. To the best of my
                                        > knowledge, neither was done."
                                        > Sadly by this time Bragg did not even have any staff officers that
                                        > Bragg trusted or that trusted Bragg.
                                        > Wakefield

                                        Cue Slim Pickens, slapping his ten-gallon hat on his thigh: "Well,
                                        don't that beat all ..."

                                        Subordinates he didn't trust, and staffers he didn't trust. It's a
                                        wonder Bragg got anything done ... :-)

                                        Dave
                                      • Dave Smith
                                        Lee, Accidental in what way? That given the time constraints, and what he found upon reaching his wing, that s what he ended up with? Or accidental insofar as
                                        Message 19 of 23 , Dec 5, 2002
                                          Lee,

                                          Accidental in what way? That given the time constraints, and what he
                                          found upon reaching his wing, that's what he ended up with?

                                          Or accidental insofar as he started with this formation, but didn't
                                          have time, or didn't take time (depending on how you interpret
                                          events) to get his units deployed to carry out the en echelon attack?

                                          In order to conform to Bragg's orders, divisions needed to be strung
                                          out from north to south - by definition of the en echelon attack.

                                          Dave

                                          --- In civilwarwest@y..., LWhite64@a... wrote:
                                          > Sam,
                                          > Just had a discussion with Ogden about the formation of
                                          Longstreet's Corps and he is of the opinion that it was accidental.
                                          Also to add to this is that there isnt any edvidence that McLaw's
                                          Divison(Kershaw and Humphrey) was even in line behind Hood.
                                          >
                                          > Lee
                                        • LWhite64@aol.com
                                          Accidental in that Longstreet did not plan and form the column, this isnt to be critical of Longstreet on this point, but its also not correct to give him
                                          Message 20 of 23 , Dec 5, 2002
                                            Accidental in that Longstreet did not plan and form the column, this isnt to be critical of Longstreet on this point, but its also not correct to give him credit for it either.

                                            Lee
                                          • hank9174
                                            ... isnt to be critical of Longstreet on this point, but its also not correct to give him credit for it either. Longstreet did a good job to shift Stewart to
                                            Message 21 of 23 , Dec 5, 2002
                                              --- In civilwarwest@y..., LWhite64@a... wrote:
                                              > Accidental in that Longstreet did not plan and form the column, this
                                              isnt to be critical of Longstreet on this point, but its also not
                                              correct to give him credit for it either.

                                              Longstreet did a good job to shift Stewart to the right to firm the
                                              connection to the right wing, move Hood up from the 2nd line into that
                                              position in the front and draw Preston back from the extreme left to
                                              reserve position behind Hindman.

                                              Thus the line was firmly attached to Polk on the right, had an
                                              excellent division of shock troops in a key position and a strong left
                                              flank.


                                              HankC
                                            • LWhite64@aol.com
                                              In a message dated 12/5/02 5:56:37 PM Eastern Standard Time, ... But the key thing is, is that these positions were largely there when Pete arrived, I would
                                              Message 22 of 23 , Dec 5, 2002
                                                In a message dated 12/5/02 5:56:37 PM Eastern Standard Time, clarkc@... writes:

                                                Longstreet did a good job to shift Stewart to the right to firm the
                                                connection to the right wing, move Hood up from the 2nd line into that
                                                position in the front and draw Preston back from the extreme left to
                                                reserve position behind Hindman.

                                                Thus the line was firmly attached to Polk on the right, had an
                                                excellent division of shock troops in a key position and a strong left
                                                flank.



                                                But the key thing is, is that these positions were largely there when Pete arrived, I would venture that Hood and Buckner had more to do with it than Longstreet, once again no fault to him as he arrived during the night and had no idea of his troops dispositions, etc.  What you see on the CS left, is basically Divisons with a two brigade front and one being held back, this was also true on the 19th on the left and with Cheatham in the center.  Jim Ogden, the Chickamauga-Chattanooga NMP Historian, also brought up the fact that if the Confederates had tried to present a solid front their lines would have extended down to Lee and Gordon's Mill, the formation had to deal with the confines of the land north and west of the Chickamauga.

                                                Lee
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