Re: A different perspective
- --- In email@example.com, "Martin Williams" <
> More from the Naval ORs:This is irrelevant because it predates the Dec. 18 orders placing
> On November 24th, Porter wrote Sherman, saying that he had received instructions from the Department the previous day, "informing me that General McClernand would be ready to join me for an attack on Vicksburg in three weeks." If the November 23rd item is in there, it does not mention McClernand by name. Sherman left Memphis on the 24th with his three divisions to join Grant, so if he received on the same day he would have been well aware of McClernand's status.
McClernand in charge of the expedition, under Grant's authority.
Porter seemed to continue in his allusions to McClernand's expedition,
and didn't realize (even as late as his OR) that positive orders
placing McClernand in charge were not issued until Dec. 18.
> On December 5th, Porter told Gustavus Fox that he had heard nothing from McClernand and that "Grant is pushing on, trying to get to Jackson."See above reply.
> On December 1th, Fox wrote to Porter, mainly to discuss personnel, but also asking, "Did you get the confidential order about cooperation with McClernand?"If Porter got confidential orders to cooperate with McClernand then it
is proof that Halleck and Grant were cut out of the loop; and speaks
more to McClernand's duplicity than Grant's. Halleck short circuited
that by his actions, ie. ordering Grant to organize an expedition with
Sherman in charge and to use all troops being sent to his department.
But this may explain why Porter persisted in referring to McClernand's
command. I don't see that this materially changes my argument however,
as confidential orders, by definition would have been withheld from
Halleck (probably) and Grant (certainly).
> On December 12th, Porter, about to sail for Vicksburg himself, wrote Gideon Welles, stating "General McClernand is not heard of at all.He.has never communicated with me in any manner. I shall be ready also to cooperate with him when he comes." Porter mentions Grant's progress and the effect of the force from Helena and says that Sherman will leave Memphis by the 20th.Again, this doesn't prove anything about Grant being informed of
McClernand being placed in independent command. All it does is
indicate why Porter persists in referring to McClernand's command,
which had not yet received postive orders.
> On December 26th, Alexander M. Pennock, commanding the Naval Station at Cairo, reported that McClernand had stopped there long enough to request additional guns be mounted on his transport.This is the first message which was sent after McClernand was issued
positive orders by Halleck. The fact is he probably hadn't received
his copy yet, for reasons which I and others have reiterated several
times, ie. the faulty communications between Grant and the rest of his
department, caused by the Confederate attacks.
> On December 27th, Porter is in the Yazoo and reporting to Welles, "This expedition has been a complete surprise to the rebels. They have been expecting General McClernand, and their spies have kept them informed that he has been raising no men, hence they were doing nothing of importance in this quarter."I believe, that he is still referring to McClernand out of his own
misinterpretations. This doesn't prove anything about whether
McClernand was meant to be in charge, because he would not receive his
orders to take charge until a couple of days later (IIRC).
Unfortunately all this message traffic only indicates that Porter,
based on his information from McClernand, believed the latter was to
lead an independent expedition. But since Grant was not privy to that
information (not officially, which is the only type of orders which he
was bound to follow) his behaviour was perfectly acceptable. There is
also a message in the naval ORs describing the conditions at Chickasaw
Bayou during Sherman's unsuccessful attack (which, if you will recall
was meant to be coordinated with Grant's overland movement) which
questions where Grant was, as they had had no communications for over a
week, but expected him to be moving on Vicksburg from the east. IOW,
the same communications snafu which delayed McClernand's reception of
his Dec. 18 orders, also prevented Sherman from receiving the same
orders until after his unsuccessful attack and prevented both Sherman
and Porter from receiving the messages from Grant indicating that his
portion of the campaign had been halted by the attack on Holly Springs.
Hardly evidence of his duplicity or any other wrong doing, it merely
indicates how fragile his LOC were.
- Thanks Dave.
Good points to ponder.
--- In firstname.lastname@example.org, Dave Gorski <bigg@m...> wrote:
> >Good points. I was thinking that long-term encampments would have
> >better sanitary and shelter arrangements and the men would be
> >rested than encampents of men campaigning.
> Secretary Olmsted of the Sanitary Commission issued a
> "Circular to the Colonels of the Army," in which he stated
> that "It is well known that when a considerable body of men
> have been living together in camp a few weeks a peculiar
> subtle poison is generated..."
> Another factor was that many soldiers were from rural areas
> where they had not had exposure to common illnesses, and had
> not built up any immunities. Groups in garrison were exposed to
> and often died of childhood diseases.
> Often soldiers who were hospitalized for wounds, died of some
> disease that they had been exposed to while in the hospital,
> especially typhoid.
> Yet, another point is that a soldier on the move was likely to
> have had occasion to have fresh fruits and vegetables than the
> soldier stuck in camp for weeks on end. A better diet made
> for a healthier soldier.
> Regards, Dave Gorski