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Re: Lew Wallace's Destination

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  • bjer50010
    ... My reading of the message from Lew to WHL is that of a mutual support, though IIRC there was more fear of an attack at Crump s Ldg. because it was
    Message 1 of 92 , Apr 1, 2003
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      --- In civilwarwest@yahoogroups.com, "Will" <wh_keene@y...> wrote:
      > --- In civilwarwest@yahoogroups.com, "bjer50010" <bjewell@i...> wrote:
      > > ...
      > > > A separate question is whether Wallace should have known
      > > better at
      > > > the time.
      > > >
      > >
      > > The answer is yes, he should have known it at the time. He and
      > > WHL Wallace had agreed to come to each other's aid. Since
      > > WHL's camps are close to the point at which Lew actually did
      > > arrive on the field, he should have known that was the closer
      > > route. In addition, the River Rd. bridge was repaired and the
      > > road partially cordouroyed in part by Lew Wallace's men. How
      > > could he not have known about the River Rd?
      >
      > As far as I recall, the arrangement with WHL Wallace was in order to
      > ensure reinforcements for Lew, not the other way around.

      My reading of the message from Lew to WHL is that of a mutual support,
      though IIRC there was more fear of an attack at Crump's Ldg. because it
      was relatively isolated and more poorly defended. Either way it
      doesn't much matter because, as you pointed out, the letter was dated
      the 4th and there wasn't much time to really prepare in detail.

      > So all Lew
      > needed to worry about was getting a message through and that WHL knew
      > where to find him. Also, this arrangement was being made on (IIRC)
      > the 4th, so it was a relatively new task. Could it have been done
      > better? Sure. I just don't take as critical view of Wallace as you.

      I'm sorry if I came across as bashing Wallace. I don't think he
      performed that badly. He made some mistakes once he was en route but
      overall he did a reasonable job.

      > Like the other commanders involved, Wallace was functioning under a
      > preconceived notion of how the campaign would unfold: they were on
      > the offense; the rebs were on defense. So he spent his time learning
      > the roads forward toward Purdy, instead of toward Pittsburg Landing.

      I agree that he was acting under a preconceived notion. That was my
      point in providing the evidence that the Shunpike was actually the
      longer, less direct route to Pittsburg Ldg. Since he believed it was
      the shorter route, however, that is what motivated his actions. But to
      blame Grant is way out of whack. Wallace made his decision before
      getting the orders from Grant, whatever those orders actually were. I
      have outlined my reasons for saying that previously and won't repeat
      them here.

      Given the misapprehension under which he was acting, his decision makes
      sense. What is fortunate for him, and Grant, is that Rowley ran into
      him when he did. Yet another of those odd coincidences which seemed to
      alternately plague and assist both sides.

      But as he later pointed out, it was the reports from his cavalry
      officers which gave him the wrong impression. But I'm unclear how his
      cavalry officer (Hayes?) made this big a blunder. 3-4 miles off is
      pretty substantial. Makes me wonder how complete his scouting mission
      was.

      JB Jewell

      >
      > ~Will
    • 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
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        --- 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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