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Re: [civilwarwest] Re: Well I'll be!

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  • keeno2@aol.com
    In a message dated 2/28/2007 3:58:51 AM Central Standard Time, tony_gunter@yahoo.com writes: Our brigade had the advance and opened the fight, the 68th Ohio
    Message 1 of 137 , Mar 2, 2007
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      In a message dated 2/28/2007 3:58:51 AM Central Standard Time, tony_gunter@... writes:
      "Our brigade had the advance and opened the fight, the 68th Ohio on the extreme left of the line.  Col. Scott, however, upon examination of the ground, ascertained that by throwing the left of his regiment forward so as to form an acute angle with the balance of the line, he could place his men under cover of a creek bank and get an enfilading fire on the rebel position.  This was scarecly done when the battle opened up on the right and centre with terrible vigor."

      - 2nd Lt. Samuel Adams of the 68th Ohio, written on June 17th 1863 to the "Toledo Commercial"
      Now I'm confused. Lt. Adams has the 68th on the left of the line. If this account is accurate -- and I see no serious reason to question it -- then every other account is wrong.
      1.    Having the protection of the creek bank would also explain the low casualties.
      2.    If the 68th was on the left, then it was the 20th Ill that should have been on the 20th OH right.
      Why did Ed believe the 68th was on the right? That seems to be the basis. If the 68th was on the right and, when the battle commenced it wasn't, add to that a low casualtie rate and Logan's having to turn back a skedaddle, it would be easy to believe the 68th Ohio decamped rather more quickly than orderly. It remains thin evidence on which to base a declaration "ran."

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    • Nick KURTZ
      Yes in hindsight it would have been far better for the Confederates to attack in columns of corps instead of lines of corps. I think the order to go where the
      Message 137 of 137 , Mar 4, 2007
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        Yes in hindsight it would have been far better for the Confederates to attack in columns of corps instead of lines of corps. 
        I think the order to go where the sound of the heaviest firing was, was an effort to just have troops always in combat.  Basically if you get lost or orders have gone awry go where you can do some good.  In the thick woods around Shiloh it would have been difficult to find spots to hit and then order troops there.  This would have provided better opportunities, if it could have been pulled off, to destroy Grant's army than just going to the sound of battle did.  In many respects Confederate command/control did very poorly at Shiloh.  There are things they could have done better but I doubt they could have won the battle.
        Why?  It boils down to the fact that after the wasted time on the march from Corinth they were left with one day before Buell's army arrived.  They didn't realize it but they had one day to destroy Grant's army and even if most things went their way this was a very difficult proposition.  Once Buell's army arrives the odds are stacked against them.  I don't think Buell saved Grant's army in the sense that they were a big factor in the final assault failing, but in the sense that Johnston/Beauregard do not have the men to deal with 40,000 more troops.  If Buell arrives a week later than April 7th would have been a much more pivotal day.
        ----- Original Message -----
        Ronald black <rblack0981@wowway. com> wrote:
        Hello everyone:
        As Mentioned in my post of February 28th, Special Orders #8 had two major defects.  The first being the start time and the order of march of the corps to Pittsburg Landing.  The second defect was the organization of the army into waves instead of Corps abreast in column of Divisions (or brigades).  The first was discussed in the February 28th post, now lets talk about the waves arrangement.  I really don't know where this thought came from.  I'm not aware Napoleon used this arrangement at Waterloo and I think it was a creation of Colonel Thomas Jordan.  It was never used before that I'm aware of  which alone speaks volumes of the practicality of this formation.  The results are know to all of us, the waves bunching up into each other, units intermingled, troops separated from their commanders and most important, the break down of the army command structure.  The command issued most often was "Move to the sound of the heaviest firing" clearly indicates the leaders did not know what was happening.  They didn't know who was where, how the battle was going and where their opportunities were.  The results were a disaster for the home team.  The only reason the confederates did as well as they did was that they had the initiative and they were willing to accept large losses.  
        Wonderful hindsight suggests that Hardee should have commanded his three brigades and Breckinridge' s three brigades, each with two abreast and one behind, side by side up the Western Corinth road.  This would have established a three corps army instead of the unbalanced structure they used.  Breckinridge could have crossed the western branch of the Shiloh Branch ravine where Pond did cross while Hardee moved up the road and into the Seay field, as Cleburne did.  Two corps abreast would have put four brigades in the front lines immediately.  Polk moves up the Eastern Corinth road with four brigades.  One division with their right flank on the road and the other division extending the line to the west into the woods and Peabody's brigade.  This would put four brigades in the center and really, this is too many so one of the divisions is free to move towards the Davis Wheat field.   Bragg moves up on the right flank with six brigades east of the Eastern Corinth road moving northeast towards Sarah Bell cotton field.  If Bragg arrives in the cotton field about 9:30 am, he beats Hurlbut from taking a position in the vicinity of the peach orchard and so, good bye the federal position in the sunken road.  Stuart's isolated brigade at the McCuller field can be contained by one brigade with the help of the cavalry, after all there was about 2,000 confederate cavalry roaming about on the eastern side of the battlefield.  Why not use them?  Maney's temporary unit on right flank guard on the Lick Creek can also be brought forward to fight Stuart's brigade.  
        Now, you see how neat that was?  Hindsight makes us great military leaders while foresight makes us losers.  Have fun with this and you are welcome to chop up my great battle plan with your comments.  Have at it.      

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