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Re: The Extent of the Surprise at Shiloh

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  • Will <wh_keene@yahoo.com>
    ... These battles exhibited similar levels of suprise based on your expressed criteria-- a solid front line, supported by sufficient artillery and by nearby
    Message 1 of 72 , Feb 28, 2003
      --- In civilwarwest@yahoogroups.com, "josepharose <josepharose@y...>"
      <josepharose@y...> wrote:
      > ...
      > None of these battles exhibited the level of surprise at Shiloh.

      These battles exhibited similar levels of suprise based on your
      expressed criteria--"a solid front line, supported by sufficient
      artillery and by nearby reserves, the whole led by its commander" as
      well as the your comments about tents, etc.


      > At Mills Springs, the Rebels' overnight march ran into the Federals
      > vedettes which were stationed out far enough to prevent any
      > significant surprise. This was not at all similar to Shiloh.

      Why not? There was not a solid front line, the tents were still up
      in the camp, the commanding general had to be fetched from the camp,
      etc.


      > At Stone's River, the extent of surprise probably came closest to
      > Shiloh's, but the troops engaged were face-to-face with the enemy
      > and knew that there would be fighting the next day. The
      > Confederates achieved a good deal of surprise by concentrating
      units
      > on their left and extending past the Federal flank early in the
      > morning.

      Yes, and thereby there was not a solid front line to meet that enemy
      advance. Thus by your criteria, there was significant tactical
      suprise.


      > At Chickamauga, there would be a certain amount of surprise any
      time
      > troops came charging out of the forest. Again, however, the two
      > armies were facing each other and knew that fighting was imminent.
      > The big problem wasn't any surprise per se, but the positioning of
      > troops along the line.

      Isn't that your argument abotu Shiloh too?
      When Thomas sent a detachment out on Sept 19 at Chicka maugua, he was
      poorly informed as to the presence of the enemy. When the enemy
      attacked, it was not meet with a solid front line with reserves
      nearby and artillery in place.

      Your explanation for why you claimed Shiloh was such a tactical
      suprise seems applicable to all these other battles.

      Will
    • slippymississippi
      ... The particular unit I m thinking of was the 6th Mississippi Infantry Regiment under Cleburne. The unit charged Sherman s lines several times, suffering
      Message 72 of 72 , Mar 6, 2003
        --- In civilwarwest@yahoogroups.com, "slippymississippi"
        <slippymississippi@y...> wrote:
        > --- In civilwarwest@yahoogroups.com, "slippymississippi"
        > <slippymississippi@y...> wrote:
        > >
        > > Try looking at it this way: some CSA regiments suffered almost a
        > > 90% casualty rate in killed and wounded, suggesting high unit
        > > cohesion.
        >
        > That should read 70%.

        The particular unit I'm thinking of was the 6th Mississippi Infantry
        Regiment under Cleburne. The unit charged Sherman's lines several
        times, suffering 70% killed and wounded before retiring in disorder.
        Half of the remaining men would reform and fight for the remainder of
        the first day.

        This was the first time this unit had seen the elephant, yet these
        numbers suggest a veteran level unit cohesion. Does anyone have
        numbers on how other Confederate units and federal units fared?
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