Re: What constitutes a surprise?
- --- In firstname.lastname@example.org, "slippymississippi
<slippymississippi@y...>" <slippymississippi@y...> wrote:
> --- In email@example.com, "josepharose<josepharose@y...>"
> <josepharose@y...> wrote:the
> > Mr. Keene:
> > The common criteria of a surprise, just quickly, would be that
> > size, makeup, location, movement, and/or intentions of the enemyof
> > are not known with a corresponding lack of preparation to
> > adequately receive any potential attack.
> Generally speaking, if a "surprise" doesn't give you any tactical
> advantage, it's not a real surprise. Please feel free to enlighten
> us as to the advantages gained by attacking a superior gunboat-
> supported federal force directly on its line of supply, on grounds
> its choosing?The Shiloh surprise *did* give the Rebs a tactical advantage.
Without a surprise, their attack should have been hurled back with
severe casualties. Instead, they came all too close to destroying
Grant's army. Even failing to do that, they inflicted many more
> > At Shiloh, Grant did not know the enemy's size, movement, anddirect
> > location and he totally misread their intentions; he was,
> > consequently, almost completely unprepared for the ensuing attack.
> So you're saying that Sherman should have disobeyed Halleck's
> order and swept the roads with infantry to determine the strengthIf Grant had an army and thought that the enemy has less than a
> and/or intentions of the enemy?
brigade, I think that he--not Sherman--should have cleared his front
to discover what confronted him. Instead, he was surprised.
> > At Mill Springs, on the other hand, Thomas knew the enemy'sattack,
> > location the day before, and in preparation for a surprise
> > IIRC, had vedettes a long ways out, backed by pickets, which inGrant thought that the Rebel army was in Corinth. He should have had
> > turn were backed by an advance regiment.
> And how, pray tell, is Grant going to post these vedettes "a long
> ways out" when the federal cavalry, outclassed already by the
> superior confederate cavalry, was outnumbered almost 4 to 1?
vedettes out from the very beginning--not just on April 4th or 5th.
If the vedettes were driven in, he should have responded in such a
way as to either a) sweep away a small force of reconnaissance (as
Sherman apparently thought they were) or b) discover that you are
about to be attacked in strength (which is what really happened).
- --- In firstname.lastname@example.org, "slippymississippi"
> --- In email@example.com, "slippymississippi"The particular unit I'm thinking of was the 6th Mississippi Infantry
> <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%.
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?