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Re: Lew Wallace's Destination

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  • bjer50010
    ... Why don t you list the evidence that Wallace was directed to march to as opposed to position himself on the right of the army? ITSM that except for
    Message 1 of 92 , Apr 1, 2003
      --- In civilwarwest@yahoogroups.com, "bjer50010" <bjewell@i...> wrote:
      > --- In civilwarwest@yahoogroups.com, "Will" <wh_keene@y...>
      > wrote:
      > > --- In civilwarwest@yahoogroups.com, "josepharose"
      > <josepharose@y...>
      > > wrote:
      > > > ...
      > > > Do you, therefore, just dismiss Grant's statement regarding
      > > > distances? What did he mean by that?
      > >
      > > See what I wrote before:
      > > > > The reference to "right" which you have fixated on is in the
      > > > footnote
      > > > > where Grant provides a rationale for why Wallace did what
      > he
      > > did.
      > > > If
      > > > > the order was received as Wallace claimed (though not as
      > Grant
      > > > > intended) then, Grant suggests, the route of march made
      > some
      > > > sense.
      > >
      > >
      > >
      > > > Even though every major actor used the word "right," neither
      > you
      > > nor
      > > > Grant seem able to define exactly where Wallace was to go.
      > >
      > > Incorrect. Grant was clear on where he wanted Wallace to go:
      > up the
      > > River Road to Pittsburg Landing.
      > >
      > >
      > > > I trust that you are not stating that Wallace was given no more
      > > > explicit instructions than that. Please, tell me where Grant
      > > wanted
      > > > Wallace to go, and list the evidence which confirms that
      > opinion.
      > >

      Why don't you list the evidence that Wallace was directed to "march to"
      as opposed to "position himself on" the right of the army? ITSM that
      except for the depositions of his subordinates there is no evidence
      that Wallace received the orders which you claim. And those
      depositions came 6 yrs. after the fact.

      On Grant's side, the ORs by his subordinates confirm Mr. Keene's
      opinion. But more importantly, the actions of those subordinates, when
      ordered by Grant to locate Wallace indicate his intentions. Rawlins,
      Rowley and McPherson all moved out along the River Rd., not the Purdy
      Rd. to the Shunpike. Why would they do that if they did not expect to
      find Wallace along the River Rd?

      > > As stated above, Grant wished Wallace to march up the River
      > Road to
      > > Pittsburg Landing. This is the version given by all the actors at
      > > the sending end of the message: Grant, Rawlins, Rowley,
      > Baxter,
      > > McPherson.
      > >
      > >

      Exactly. And it is confirmed by their subsequent actions when trying
      to locate Wallace during the afternoon.

      Apparently Wallace was under two misapprehensions. One that the
      Shunpike was the most direct and shortest route. This is absolutely
      incorrect, as he later admitted. But he should have known that at the
      time. He was not even aware that the "right" to which he intended to
      march was a swamp, through which only a single cordouroyed road ran,
      and which made deployment into line of battle impossible. But he never
      got any closer than 3-4 miles from it, in any event. How did he not
      know the condition of the road at his intended destination? He had
      been at Crump's Ldg. for several weeks. His men had helped rebuild the
      bridges and road. He himself later said he had travelled the route
      with his cavalry officer (this was probably incorrect as he later
      admitted he was mislead by the report of his cavalry officer). ISTM
      that the cavalry officer in question wrongly identified Clear Creek as
      Owl Creek and Wallace accepted that interpretation without further

      He apparently based his entire understanding of the battlefield on this
      misinterpretation, leading him to believe that the Shunpike was the
      most direct route. It seems odd that he didn't know about the River
      Rd., as he later claimed (though he altered that to indicate it was the
      connecting road he knew nothing about), since his division helped
      rebuild the bridge and repair the road.

      It is also troubling that while he agreed to the mutual defense concept
      with WHL Wallace, he was unaware of where WHL's camps were. What
      exactly was his cavalry doing during this time? Wouldn't they have
      scouted all of the roads, to get an idea of the lay of the land? Grant
      has been bashed for making less egregious errors with regard to the
      nature of the ground, so why isn't Wallace held to the same standard?

      Plain and simple I think Wallace had decided to use the Shunpike
      because it was the only road he knew. The erroneous reports from his
      cavalry added to his mistaken view because they lead him to believe the
      Shunpike was the most direct route (and had Sherman's right been at
      Clear Creek which his cavalry reported as Owl Creek, he would have been
      correct). But since he claimed not to have known another route how
      could he have known it was the most direct? He apparently made no
      efforts to scout the River Rd. This entire incident is troubling.

      One more point. Wallace moved his 1st brigade from Crump's Ldg. to
      Stoney Lonesome AFTER talking to Grant on the morning of the 6th, but
      BEFORE receiving the orders to move to Pittsburg Ldg. IOW, he had
      already made his decision to move to the right of the army. Since he
      did this prior to Grant's orders being received how can Grant have been
      responsible for this mistake? He intended to use the Shunpike all
      along because he actually believed it to be the shorter route; as I
      have argued above. He required a guide to find the cross road,
      indicating that he had no intention of using that crossroad, since he
      did not know of it's existence; until after Rowley indicated he was
      moving the wrong direction. IMHO, the evidence suggests that Wallace
      made the decision to use the Shunpike prior to receiving orders from
      Grant. Therefore, the actual wording is irrelevant, as Wallace had
      already set the stage for his division to move out along the Shunpike.
      To try and turn this around and blame Grant is ridiculous.

      Grant's actions, and those of his subordinates indicate that they were
      fully aware of the River Rd., as the actual shortest and most direct
      route. Grant had the River Rd. bridge, at the junction of Owl and
      Snake Creeks, guarded, for the eventual arrival of Wallace. Grant's
      subordinates all moved out along the River Rd. when directed to find
      Wallace in the afternoon of the 6th. Why would Grant and his
      subordinates take these actions if they didn't expect Wallace on this

      In answer to Mr. Rose's assertions that Grant was somehow remiss
      because he only knew about the River Rd. and not the Shunpike, I would
      turn the question around. Why was Wallace so unaware of the River Rd.?
      If he could easily find out that Clear Creek was not Owl Creek in 1901,
      why didn't his cavalry know this in 1862? How could they misjudge the
      intended destination so badly? And how could Wallace not have caught
      this error? Lastly, given that Wallace had been on site for several
      weeks prior to the battle, why did he need a guide to direct him from
      the Shunpike to the River Rd.? Why didn't his cavalry scouts know
      about this road?

      The mistake was Wallace's, not Grant's. Wallace's misunderstanding of
      the distances involved and his lack of knowledge of the road system
      lead to his erroneous use of the longer, less direct route. This is
      true no matter what orders he received.

      JB Jewell
    • Will
      ... He was also a general in the war of 1812, Secretary of War under Jackson, Secretary of State under Buchanan [until he resigned during the secession crisis]
      Message 92 of 92 , Apr 11, 2003
        --- In civilwarwest@yahoogroups.com, GnrlJEJohnston@a... wrote:
        > ...Lewis Cass (first governor of
        > Michigan I believe)...

        He was also a general in the war of 1812, Secretary of War under
        Jackson, Secretary of State under Buchanan [until he resigned during
        the secession crisis] and the Democratic Party's Presidential
        Candidate in 1848 (lost to Taylor), in addition to a bunch of other
        sutff (amassador, congressman, senator)
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