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Re: [civilwarwest] Re: The Extent of the Surprise at Shiloh

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  • Dick Weeks
    Consider this subject hooked. I am, very respectfully, your obedient servant, Dick (a.k.a. Shotgun) http://www.civilwarhome.com ... From: Harry Smeltzer To:
    Message 1 of 72 , Mar 1, 2003
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      Consider this subject hooked. 
      I am, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
      Dick (a.k.a. Shotgun)
      ----- Original Message -----
      Sent: Friday, February 28, 2003 9:12 PM
      Subject: RE: [civilwarwest] Re: The Extent of the Surprise at Shiloh

      The detachment of Barlow's brigade (11th Corps largest brigade and only reserve) was made at Sickles's request and with Hooker's approval, and was done to assist in 3rd Corps pursuit of the fleeing enemy.  Hooker was convinced by Sickles's report that Lee was retreating, in part because he believed that retreat was one of only two options Lee had, the other being to give battle on ground of Hooker's choosing.
      So, Hooker tells Howard to fortify to the west, then not too long thereafter detaches Barlow (about 25% of 11th Corps) for purposes of pursuing the enemy.  Can you see why Howard may have thought preparing for a possible flank attack might no longer be a priority of his commanding general? 
      The reason for this discussion is that some feel that Sherman had plenty of good reasons not to expect an attack at Shiloh, but that Howard had to have been a complete moron for not anticipating the flank attack at Chancellorsville (an attack which many historians have termed audacious and against many of the prevailing rules of warfare). All I am trying to do is point out what reasons Howard could have had to not be concerned about an attack on his flank, and paramount were the actions of his superior in response to his perception of the intentions of the enemy.
      Waiting for Shotgun to pull the plug,
      -----Original Message-----
      From: mfitz4002000 <williams484@...> [mailto:williams484@...]
      Sent: Friday, February 28, 2003 8:50 PM
      To: civilwarwest@yahoogroups.com
      Subject: [civilwarwest] Re: The Extent of the Surprise at Shiloh

      Hooker (1)figured out what Lee was up to and instructed Howard to
      look to his flank, held by Devens' division, and (2)ordered Reynolds
      to bring his corps over from the north bank of the Rappahannock and
      fill the gap between Devens and the river.  Hooker may have also had
      some mission in mind for Averell's cavalry division, which was
      located well beyond the right flank, but I don't recall the details.

      Howard did nothing, unless you count sending Barlow's brigade off to
      help Sickles.  The orders to Reynolds were delayed in arriving and
      he reached the south bank well after Howard had been overwhelmed. 
      Hooker indeed did not follow up on his instructions, apparently
      never informed some of his staff officers of same, and also
      apparently reversed his opinion later in the day.

      Meanwhile, out on the right flank, both of Devens' brigade
      commanders were receiving reports of suspicious activity but were
      unable to convince Devens.

      And then there was Cedar Creek...

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    • 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
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        --- 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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