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Iuka

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  • hank9174
    Iuka is a small battle demonstrating the difficulties of command and control in the days of written orders and mounted couriers. It is also a good example of
    Message 1 of 62 , Sep 13, 2006
      Iuka is a small battle demonstrating the difficulties of command and
      control in the days of written orders and mounted couriers. It is
      also a good example of small actions in support of a major operation
      elsewhere (note the chain in paragraph 2)...

      Here's the NPS description:

      Maj. Gen. Sterling Price's Army of the West main column marched into
      Iuka, Mississippi, on September 14.

      Price's superior, Gen. Braxton Bragg, the commander of the
      Confederate Army of the Mississippi, who was leading an offensive
      deep into Kentucky, ordered him to prevent Maj. Gen. William S.
      Rosecrans's Army of the Mississippi troops from moving into Middle
      Tennessee and reinforcing Brig. Gen. James Negley's division of Maj.
      Gen. Don Carlos Buell's Army of the Ohio, which was garrisoning
      Nashville.

      Price had about 14,000 men, and he was informed that, if necessary,
      he could request assistance from Maj. Gen. Earl Van Dorn, commanding
      the District of the Mississippi, headquartered at Holly Springs. Maj.
      Gen. Ulysses S. Grant, commanding the Army of the Tennessee, feared
      that Price intended to go north to join Bragg against Buell. Grant
      devised a plan for his left wing commander, Maj. Gen. E.O.C. Ord, and
      his men to advance on Iuka from the west; Rosecrans's forces were to
      march from the southwest, arrive at Iuka on the 18th, and make a
      coordinated attack the next day.

      Ord arrived on time and skirmishing ensued between his reconnaissance
      patrol and Confederate pickets, about six miles from Iuka, before
      nightfall. Rosecrans informed Grant that he would not arrive at Iuka
      on the 18th but would begin his march at 4:30 am, the next morning.
      On the 19th, Ord sent Price a message demanding that he surrender,
      but Price refused.

      At the same time, Price received dispatches from Van Dorn suggesting
      that their two armies rendezvous, as soon as possible, at Rienzi for
      attacks on the Federal forces in the area. Price informed Van Dorn
      that the military situation had changed so he could not evacuate Iuka
      immediately. He did, however, issue orders for his men to prepare for
      a march the next day, to rendezvous with Van Dorn.

      Rosecrans's army marched early on the 19th, but, instead of using two
      roads as directed, it followed the Jacinto (Bay Springs) Road. After
      considering the amount of time that Rosecrans required to reach Iuka,
      Grant determined that he probably would not arrive on the 19th, so he
      ordered Ord to await the sound of fighting between Rosecrans and
      Price before engaging the Confederates.

      As Rosecrans advanced, his men fought actions with Confederate troops
      at points along the way. About 4:00 pm, just after ascending a hill,
      the Union column halted because the Confederates were well-placed
      below in a ravine, filled with timber and underbrush.

      The Confederates launched attacks up the hill, capturing a six-gun
      Ohio battery, while the Federals counterattacked from the ridge.
      Fighting, which Price later stated he had "never seen surpassed,"
      continued until after dark; the Union troops camped for the night
      behind the ridge.

      Price had redeployed troops from Ord's front to fight against
      Rosecrans's people. Ord did nothing, later proclaiming that he never
      heard any fighting and, therefore, never engaged the enemy; Grant
      also remarked that he had heard no sounds of battle.

      Following the fighting on the 19th, Price determined to reengage the
      enemy the next day, but his subordinates convinced him, instead, to
      march to join Van Dorn, as earlier planned. At the same time,
      Rosecrans redeployed his men for fighting the next day.

      Price's army evacuated via the uncovered Fulton Road, protected its
      rear with a heavy rearguard and hooked up with Van Dorn five days
      later at Ripley.

      Although Rosecrans was supposed to traverse Fulton Road and cover it,
      he stated that he had not guarded the road because he feared dividing
      his force; Grant later approved this decision. Rosecrans's army
      occupied Iuka and then mounted a pursuit; the Confederate rearguard
      and overgrown terrain prevented the Union pursuit from accomplishing
      much.

      The Federals should have destroyed or captured Price's army, but
      instead the Rebels joined Van Dorn and assaulted Corinth in October.
    • hank9174
      Iuka is a small battle demonstrating the difficulties of command and control in the days of written orders and mounted couriers. It is also a good example of
      Message 62 of 62 , Sep 13, 2006
        Iuka is a small battle demonstrating the difficulties of command and
        control in the days of written orders and mounted couriers. It is
        also a good example of small actions in support of a major operation
        elsewhere (note the chain in paragraph 2)...

        Here's the NPS description:

        Maj. Gen. Sterling Price's Army of the West main column marched into
        Iuka, Mississippi, on September 14.

        Price's superior, Gen. Braxton Bragg, the commander of the
        Confederate Army of the Mississippi, who was leading an offensive
        deep into Kentucky, ordered him to prevent Maj. Gen. William S.
        Rosecrans's Army of the Mississippi troops from moving into Middle
        Tennessee and reinforcing Brig. Gen. James Negley's division of Maj.
        Gen. Don Carlos Buell's Army of the Ohio, which was garrisoning
        Nashville.

        Price had about 14,000 men, and he was informed that, if necessary,
        he could request assistance from Maj. Gen. Earl Van Dorn, commanding
        the District of the Mississippi, headquartered at Holly Springs. Maj.
        Gen. Ulysses S. Grant, commanding the Army of the Tennessee, feared
        that Price intended to go north to join Bragg against Buell. Grant
        devised a plan for his left wing commander, Maj. Gen. E.O.C. Ord, and
        his men to advance on Iuka from the west; Rosecrans's forces were to
        march from the southwest, arrive at Iuka on the 18th, and make a
        coordinated attack the next day.

        Ord arrived on time and skirmishing ensued between his reconnaissance
        patrol and Confederate pickets, about six miles from Iuka, before
        nightfall. Rosecrans informed Grant that he would not arrive at Iuka
        on the 18th but would begin his march at 4:30 am, the next morning.
        On the 19th, Ord sent Price a message demanding that he surrender,
        but Price refused.

        At the same time, Price received dispatches from Van Dorn suggesting
        that their two armies rendezvous, as soon as possible, at Rienzi for
        attacks on the Federal forces in the area. Price informed Van Dorn
        that the military situation had changed so he could not evacuate Iuka
        immediately. He did, however, issue orders for his men to prepare for
        a march the next day, to rendezvous with Van Dorn.

        Rosecrans's army marched early on the 19th, but, instead of using two
        roads as directed, it followed the Jacinto (Bay Springs) Road. After
        considering the amount of time that Rosecrans required to reach Iuka,
        Grant determined that he probably would not arrive on the 19th, so he
        ordered Ord to await the sound of fighting between Rosecrans and
        Price before engaging the Confederates.

        As Rosecrans advanced, his men fought actions with Confederate troops
        at points along the way. About 4:00 pm, just after ascending a hill,
        the Union column halted because the Confederates were well-placed
        below in a ravine, filled with timber and underbrush.

        The Confederates launched attacks up the hill, capturing a six-gun
        Ohio battery, while the Federals counterattacked from the ridge.
        Fighting, which Price later stated he had "never seen surpassed,"
        continued until after dark; the Union troops camped for the night
        behind the ridge.

        Price had redeployed troops from Ord's front to fight against
        Rosecrans's people. Ord did nothing, later proclaiming that he never
        heard any fighting and, therefore, never engaged the enemy; Grant
        also remarked that he had heard no sounds of battle.

        Following the fighting on the 19th, Price determined to reengage the
        enemy the next day, but his subordinates convinced him, instead, to
        march to join Van Dorn, as earlier planned. At the same time,
        Rosecrans redeployed his men for fighting the next day.

        Price's army evacuated via the uncovered Fulton Road, protected its
        rear with a heavy rearguard and hooked up with Van Dorn five days
        later at Ripley.

        Although Rosecrans was supposed to traverse Fulton Road and cover it,
        he stated that he had not guarded the road because he feared dividing
        his force; Grant later approved this decision. Rosecrans's army
        occupied Iuka and then mounted a pursuit; the Confederate rearguard
        and overgrown terrain prevented the Union pursuit from accomplishing
        much.

        The Federals should have destroyed or captured Price's army, but
        instead the Rebels joined Van Dorn and assaulted Corinth in October.
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