Re: [civilwarwest] Re: Chickamauga
Re: [civilwarwest] Re: ChickamaugaDave - you are right, of course - just defending my boys!Laurie Schiller
In a message dated 9/25/2006 4:42:42 P.M. Central Standard Time, LDS307@... writes:
Greetings Nick - actually the Federal Cavalry performed quite well (and Wilder's mounted infantry). Minty at Reeds Bridge and Wilder at Alexanders (and then Long and Wilder later) did excellent work in holding up the right wing of Braggs attempt to flank Rosencrans on the 19th.
How well is the Union cav performing during the campaign? I don't ever really hear much about them. I would think that since Bragg nearly sprung a trap at McLemore's Cove they weren't doing a top notch job but its something I've never gone into much.
Actually, Laurie, the were a few more troopers in blue than just Minty and Wilder.:)
The performance is mixed, mostly due to Rosecrans' methods than for any failings by the Federal horsemen.
Rosecrans used his cavalry as a deception and maneuver element, and had a bad habit of leaving his main body unscreened. Partly this was because he was always shorthanded for mounted men, and conducting some of the most complex maneuvers of the war, but there is a bit of carelessness about this practice as well.
Stanley took the main body of the Cav corps, along with McCook's XX Corps, south on the far right flank of Rosey's operational framework towards Alpine, leaving only two brigades - Minty and Wilder - to do all other duties in the army. Then, to compound matters, Wilder and Minty were each assigned deception duties north of the Tennessee, opposite Chattanooga and up towards the Hiwassee (as if they were screening a joint move between Rosey and Burnsides) meaning that these roughly 3700 men were given more than 30 miles of front to cover.
then, after the Federals take Chattanooga, Minty/Wilder are moved across the river to support Crittenden and follow the Rebels towards Dalton via Ringgold, (along the RR) which is where Bragg thought they were headed.
No Union cav were tasked with screening Thomas' center column or screening the area between roughly Graysville/Ringgold and Alpine, some 40 miles apart. This is how Bragg was able to retreat into Lafayette and prepare the trap for Thomas in Mclemore's Cove.
Rosecrans over-committed mounted forces with McCook. at least one brigade should have been left with Thomas.
However, where they were engaged, Union mounted troops consistently bested and outperformed Reb horsemen all through this campaign. For the most part, Rosecrans had a far better intel picture of the Reb army than Bragg had concerning the Yankees.
--Dr. Laurence D. Schiller
- Hello Hank - as far as I know, they were not drilled as cavalry -
they did not practice the evolutions of cavalry and I have not seen
anywhere where they used their horses as anything but transport.
Dismounted cavalry and infantry skirmish lines are pretty much the
same, so Wilder's men fought in that fashion, although they had
originally been drilled as regular infantry.
>Any idea how similar, or not, Wilder's brigade drills were to--
>infantry and cavalry units?
>Did they learn the evolutions of the mounted arm, merely how to ride
>or something in between?
Dr. Laurence D. Schiller