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Re: Three factors in the repulse of the CSA on 4/6

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  • bjer50010
    ... troops, ... by ... does not ... the ... in ... whole ... from ... which was ... continued ... elements ... He says artillery protected by infantry , but
    Message 1 of 5 , May 24, 2006
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      --- In civilwarwest@yahoogroups.com, "josepharose"
      <josepharose@...> wrote:
      >
      > --- In civilwarwest@yahoogroups.com, "bjer50010"
      <barry.jewell@> wrote:
      > >
      > > --- In civilwarwest@yahoogroups.com, "josepharose"
      > > <josepharose@> wrote:
      >
      > [snip]
      >
      > > > Nelson's men were important.
      > >
      > > In Buell's mind definitely. As a morale raiser for Grant's
      troops,
      > > probably. As a factor in the repulses they are not mentioned
      by
      > > the Confederates. Both Jackson (who wasn't anywhere near
      > > where Ammen was put in line) and Chalmers, mention
      > > gunboats and artillery as the major factors in the repulses.
      >
      > Chalmers, who is led the attack which Ammen helped repulse,
      does not
      > make the distinction which you claim.
      >
      > Instead, his OR reads: "My brigade, together with that of
      > Brigadier-General Jackson, filed to the right and formed facing
      the
      > river and endeavored to press forward to the water's edge, but
      in
      > attempting to mount the last ridge we were met by a fire from a
      whole
      > line of batteries protected by infantry and assisted by shells
      from
      > the gunboats. Our men struggled vainly to ascend the hill,
      which was
      > very steep, making charge after charge without success, but
      continued
      > to fight until night closed hostilities on both sides."
      >
      > You can't interpret this in the way that you want; all three
      elements
      > (artillery, infantry, gunboats) are mentioned,

      He says artillery "protected by infantry", but does not specify
      which artillery, nor what infantry, nor even the strength of the
      infantry support. That hardly proves your assertion that Nelson's
      single regiment was a major factor. He also mentions how
      steep the slope was, so obviously that was a factor as well. Yet
      you have consistently failed to recognize how difficult a position it
      was to attack, despite the fact that it has been described ad
      nauseum. Not only by quoted material but by personal
      observation. Note the following from Chalmers' OR: "Our men
      struggled vainly to ascend the hill, which was very steep, making
      charge after charge, ... without success..." Note the "struggled
      vainly to ascend the hill, ... without success." There is no
      mention of turning a battery, overrunning it or flanking it. There is
      simply no corroboration for Nelson's claim that the enemy had
      turned a battery.

      Furthermore, you miss the point of Ammen's OR in which he
      says his regiment was going into line just minutes before the
      attack started. Hard to believe they played a major role if they
      had just gotten into line. You also fail to acknowledge that,
      according to Ammen, it was Grant who directed him to the battery
      he was to support.

      > and the lack of a
      > specific mention of musket-fire does not mean that it wasn't a
      major
      > factor.
      >

      That's the extent of your argument? This is the problem with your
      entire argument. It is open to interpretation and therefore
      inconclusive. I do not accept your interpretation of Chalmers'
      OR. He mentions infantry in a support role, not as a major factor
      in the failure of the attacks. But he also mentions artillery,
      gunboats and the nature of the ravine as factors. But nowhere
      does he claim he turned a battery;in fact, his OR makes it clear
      that they never really got to the top of the ravine.

      > > You also overlook the fact that Ammen claimed it was Grant,
      not
      > > Buell, who ordered his 36th IN to support the artillery. In fact
      > > Nelson outright lied in his OR, stating that the Confederates
      had
      > > turned a battery on the Union left flank that had to be rescued
      by
      > > Ammen. Ammen states that his troops came up, being
      directed
      > > by Grant, as the attack was starting. That doesn't sound like
      the
      > > battery had been overrun and the Confederates don't
      mention
      > > overrunning any batteries.
      >
      > Your argument confuses being flanked with being overrun.

      Nelson said the battery was turned. In order to be turned the
      battery either had to be outflanked or overrun; and I refuse to get
      into another counterproductive semantic argument. The fact is
      that noone, except Nelson, claimed that a battery was turned; so
      Nelson's account appears to be just bluster on his part. In fact
      Ammen's OR contradicts Nelson: "Reaching the top of the bank
      with the 36th IN, General Grant directed me to send that
      regiment to support a battery less than a quarter of a mile from
      the landing. The 36th marched promptly, and had been placed
      in position but a few minutes when the enemy attacked the
      battery and was repulsed." Strange that Ammen, the
      commanding officer of the brigade fails to mention that the
      battery had been turned, flanked, overrun or whatever. Ammen
      clearly stated that the battery was attacked and the enemy
      repulsed within minutes of his arrival. Doesn't sound like the
      battery was turned to me.

      > Being
      > flanked merely means that you have an enemy to your side so
      that your
      > force is vulnerable.
      >

      Nelson claimed the battery was turned, not that there were
      enemy troops on it's flank. In fact, in order to flank the battery that
      Ammen was directed to support the enemy would have to have
      broken the Union line. In order to turn the battery the
      Confederates would have to outflank it. They never did so. In
      fact, according to the unit markers on the Trailhead Graphics
      Map they never got close to the Union line; and all of them
      remained in front of the Union line. Difficult to turn a battery if you
      don't get within 0.25 miles of it (that's the distance on the
      Trailhead Graphics map for farthest point reached by Chalmers).
      Furthermore, according to the map in Daniel (and also that in the
      regimental history of the 50th IL), the infantry support mentioned
      by Chalmers could just as likely have been the 50th IL. The 50th
      IL was in support of Stone's battery, which was near the junction
      of Jackson and Chalmers brigades. Yet you have claimed there
      was no infantry support in this part of the field.

      And finally, the Confederates certainly never claimed that they
      had the kind of success that Nelson claims for them. Certainly
      Jackson doesn't even claim his men attacked several times.
      And Chalmers makes no mention of turning a battery, only that
      he encountered heavy fire from artillery supported by infantry and
      by gunboat fire. None of this is conclusive evidence of the
      involvement of Nelson's men in the fighting. In fact, Chalmers'
      account is rather short on detail. But certainly they never got near
      enough to the Union line to turn a battery, as Nelson claimed.

      > [snip]
      >
      > You offer no meaningful argument to all of the individuals'
      comments.
      >

      On the contrary, you have offered no meaningful argument that
      the quoted comments were accurate. Certainly the
      Confederates never mentioned the sort of successes you have
      claimed for them. Both Jackson and Chalmers reported being
      held below the crest of the slope (Jackson) or to repeatedly
      failing to reach to top of the slope (Chalmers). That hardly
      sounds like the kind of success you have claimed.

      > Joseph
      >

      JB Jewell
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