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Re: McPherson's Flanking Movement at Port Gibson

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  • William H Keene
    One of the things that upsets me greatly in most books about the Vicksburg campaign (for example see Smith s Champion Hill), is the way McPherson s role at
    Message 1 of 28 , Apr 10 12:05 PM
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      One of the things that upsets me greatly in most books about the
      Vicksburg campaign (for example see Smith's Champion Hill), is the
      way McPherson's role at Port Gibson is ignored.

      --- In civilwarwest@yahoogroups.com, "Tony Gunter" <tony_gunter@...>
      wrote:
      >
      >
      > FWIW ...
      >
      > Here's the ravine McPherson used to flank the federals at Port
      > Gibson. To have performed this, McPherson had to have made a mental
      > map of the creek beds that would be at the bottom of the ravines for
      > Lt. Colonel Richards of the 20th Illinois, then arranged for a
      > continuous roll of artillery to squelch the sound of 400 men
      stomping
      > through the canebreaks into the rear of the Confederate position.
      >
      > http://www.topozone.com/map.asp?lat=31.97012&lon=-
      > 91.04087&size=l&u=4&datum=nad27&layer=DRG
      >
      > or
      >
      > http://tinyurl.com/ytkbnw
      >
      > I tried this manuever five times this Saturday, and ended up popping
      > up right where I took off three out of five times, and ended up
      > coming up the wrong ravine once. Once you get under the canopy 100
      > feet below the ridge tops, it's almost impossible to tell where you
      > are. In my own defence, I was trying to do this without the
      > advantage of a topographical map, and the ridge tops are no longer
      > open so I didn't have the luxury of studying the way the ridges fell
      > off in folds.
      >
    • gnrljejohnston
      ... mental ... for ... popping ... you ... fell ... What many authors neglect is to recognize the excellent strategical and tactical knowledge and ability that
      Message 2 of 28 , Apr 10 2:43 PM
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        --- In civilwarwest@yahoogroups.com, "William H Keene" <wh_keene@...>
        wrote:
        >
        > One of the things that upsets me greatly in most books about the
        > Vicksburg campaign (for example see Smith's Champion Hill), is the
        > way McPherson's role at Port Gibson is ignored.
        >
        > --- In civilwarwest@yahoogroups.com, "Tony Gunter" <tony_gunter@>
        > wrote:
        > >
        > >
        > > FWIW ...
        > >
        > > Here's the ravine McPherson used to flank the federals at Port
        > > Gibson. To have performed this, McPherson had to have made a
        mental
        > > map of the creek beds that would be at the bottom of the ravines
        for
        > > Lt. Colonel Richards of the 20th Illinois, then arranged for a
        > > continuous roll of artillery to squelch the sound of 400 men
        > stomping
        > > through the canebreaks into the rear of the Confederate position.
        > >
        > > http://www.topozone.com/map.asp?lat=31.97012&lon=-
        > > 91.04087&size=l&u=4&datum=nad27&layer=DRG
        > >
        > > or
        > >
        > > http://tinyurl.com/ytkbnw
        > >
        > > I tried this manuever five times this Saturday, and ended up
        popping
        > > up right where I took off three out of five times, and ended up
        > > coming up the wrong ravine once. Once you get under the canopy 100
        > > feet below the ridge tops, it's almost impossible to tell where
        you
        > > are. In my own defence, I was trying to do this without the
        > > advantage of a topographical map, and the ridge tops are no longer
        > > open so I didn't have the luxury of studying the way the ridges
        fell
        > > off in folds.
        > >
        >
        What many authors neglect is to recognize the excellent strategical
        and tactical knowledge and ability that McPherson had. Halleck,
        Grant and Sherman all knew this. IMHO, his ability was greater than
        that of Sherman's when it came to tactical and strategical planning.
        But then, as one of our old buddies use to say, "and then too I could
        be wrong."

        JEJ
      • Carl Williams
        sorry to do this sort of thing, but I am sure i sent a post that has never been seen .... after a couple of days so this is a test
        Message 3 of 28 , Apr 12 12:24 PM
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          sorry to do this sort of thing, but I am sure i sent a post that has
          never been seen .... after a couple of days

          so this is a test
        • William H Keene
          I think you sent it to my email rather than posting it to the group.
          Message 4 of 28 , Apr 12 12:58 PM
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            I think you sent it to my email rather than posting it to the group.

            --- In civilwarwest@yahoogroups.com, "Carl Williams" <carlw4514@...>
            wrote:
            >
            > sorry to do this sort of thing, but I am sure i sent a post that has
            > never been seen .... after a couple of days
            >
            > so this is a test
            >
          • Carl Williams
            geez, how the heck did I do that? anyway, care to comment? My question was, what conceivable motive would there be to discredit McPherson? Is this a case of
            Message 5 of 28 , Apr 15 6:54 AM
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              geez, how the heck did I do that?

              anyway, care to comment? My question was, what conceivable motive
              would there be to discredit McPherson? Is this a case of Bearss'
              interpretation becoming gospel, and many other historians following in
              unquestioning lock-step?

              --- In civilwarwest@yahoogroups.com, "William H Keene" <wh_keene@...>
              wrote:
              >
              > I think you sent it to my email rather than posting it to the group.
              >
            • Tony Gunter
              ... I think Bearss just shoots from the hip, and sometimes he hits his target and sometimes he misses wildly. McPherson s role in the Vicksburg Campaign is
              Message 6 of 28 , Apr 15 8:30 AM
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                --- In civilwarwest@yahoogroups.com, "Carl Williams" <carlw4514@...>
                wrote:
                >
                > geez, how the heck did I do that?
                >
                > anyway, care to comment? My question was, what conceivable motive
                > would there be to discredit McPherson? Is this a case of Bearss'
                > interpretation becoming gospel, and many other historians following in
                > unquestioning lock-step?

                I think Bearss just shoots from the hip, and sometimes he hits his
                target and sometimes he misses wildly. McPherson's role in the
                Vicksburg Campaign is just one of those things that he missed wildly.
                Exacerbating the problem is that Bearss leans heavily on the O.R., and
                McPherson doesn't show up in the O.R. often, because he already has the
                confidence of Grant and doesn't feel compelled to explain himself or
                puff himself up. All of the O.R. reports from people reporting to
                McPherson, of course, do not reference McPherson because they assume
                McPherson knows what he did. So if you really want to find what
                McPherson was doing, you have to derive it by inference or find
                references to his activity in obscure sources. Bearss for instance
                places McPherson back on the ridge, watching from 1/2 away at the
                Battle of Raymond, but if you stare hard enough at a battlefield sketch
                by Theodore Davis, you notice that McPherson is sitting on his horse in
                the field of battle, talking to a courier or staff member.

                As far as other historians go, I think the Battles of Port Gibson and
                Raymond are both so understudied that most people writing on the
                campaign simply prefer to reference the secondary resources. For all
                intents, that is Bearss. Other recent authors on the Vicksburg
                Campaign include Terry Winschel and Grabau. Terry Winschel basically
                has followed Bearss' storyline for 30 years, so his version deviates
                almost not at all from Bearss, and Grabua is a close friend of Bearss
                and appears to have made only superficial modifications to the
                traditional Bearss storyline.
              • William H Keene
                I really dont fully understand the motives of many writers. In this case there seems to me to be some scholarly laziness and also a habit of embracing a
                Message 7 of 28 , Apr 15 9:40 AM
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                  I really dont fully understand the motives of many writers. In this
                  case there seems to me to be some scholarly laziness and also a habit
                  of embracing a previous author's narrative without question.

                  In the case of the way Tim Smith describes Port Gibson in his book on
                  Champion Hill, I would not call it an effort to discredit McPherson but
                  rather a lack of effort to fully describe and understand the battle.
                  The description of Port Gibson in Ballard's book on the Vicksburg
                  campaign is much better.


                  --- In civilwarwest@yahoogroups.com, "Carl Williams" <carlw4514@...>
                  wrote:
                  >
                  > geez, how the heck did I do that?
                  >
                  > anyway, care to comment? My question was, what conceivable motive
                  > would there be to discredit McPherson? Is this a case of Bearss'
                  > interpretation becoming gospel, and many other historians following in
                  > unquestioning lock-step?
                  >
                • James W. Durney
                  ... The conceivable motive is very simple, you find something that you do not like in their work. What is is matters little, the important thing is you
                  Message 8 of 28 , Apr 15 10:55 AM
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                    --- In civilwarwest@yahoogroups.com, "Carl Williams" <carlw4514@...>
                    wrote:
                    >
                    > geez, how the heck did I do that?
                    >
                    > anyway, care to comment? My question was, what conceivable motive
                    > would there be to discredit McPherson? Is this a case of Bearss'
                    > interpretation becoming gospel, and many other historians following in
                    > unquestioning lock-step?
                    >


                    The "conceivable motive" is very simple, you find something that you do
                    not like in their work. What is is matters little, the important thing
                    is you want/need them to be wrong about this. Since Bearss & McPherson
                    have excellent credentials copule with an impressive body of work the
                    only option is to attack them. To make you idea sound better, you need
                    to do this at every opportunity and as often as possible. This works
                    best on the idea that if you throw enough, mud some of it might stick.
                    While I agree that no one is right 100% of the time, this type of
                    insessant personal attack is silly. In addition, none of these so-
                    called "errors" are more than small details that have little or no
                    impact on history. However, to the attacker, this so-call "error"
                    invalidate some very impressive work becuse they just know they
                    are "right".

                    James
                  • Tony Gunter
                    ... following in ... you do ... thing ... McPherson ... the ... need ... works ... stick. ... James has caught me. I actually have no interest in history in
                    Message 9 of 28 , Apr 15 3:46 PM
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                      --- In civilwarwest@yahoogroups.com, "James W. Durney" <JWD2044@...>
                      wrote:
                      >
                      > --- In civilwarwest@yahoogroups.com, "Carl Williams" <carlw4514@>
                      > wrote:
                      > >
                      > > geez, how the heck did I do that?
                      > >
                      > > anyway, care to comment? My question was, what conceivable motive
                      > > would there be to discredit McPherson? Is this a case of Bearss'
                      > > interpretation becoming gospel, and many other historians
                      following in
                      > > unquestioning lock-step?
                      > >
                      >
                      >
                      > The "conceivable motive" is very simple, you find something that
                      you do
                      > not like in their work. What is is matters little, the important
                      thing
                      > is you want/need them to be wrong about this. Since Bearss &
                      McPherson
                      > have excellent credentials copule with an impressive body of work
                      the
                      > only option is to attack them. To make you idea sound better, you
                      need
                      > to do this at every opportunity and as often as possible. This
                      works
                      > best on the idea that if you throw enough, mud some of it might
                      stick.
                      > While I agree that no one is right 100% of the time, this type of
                      > insessant personal attack is silly. In addition, none of these so-
                      > called "errors" are more than small details that have little or no
                      > impact on history. However, to the attacker, this so-call "error"
                      > invalidate some very impressive work becuse they just know they
                      > are "right".
                      >
                      > James

                      James has caught me. I actually have no interest in history in
                      general, or the Battle of Raymond in particular. I have no neurotic
                      obsession with figuring out the battle history of Raymond, but have
                      spent these last five years reading late into the night and digesting
                      every minute detail of the battle in order to achieve my evil agenda
                      of destroying Ed Bearss and all his minions.

                      :)

                      The only way to thwart me is to make hefty donations to the Friends
                      of Raymond, who are the only force capable of opposing me. Hurry!
                      If I come up with the money to buy the 95 acres of the battlefield
                      currently up for sale, the rights of historical interpretation will
                      be mine alone!
                    • Tony Gunter
                      While I m busy trying to take down beloved elderly historians, I may as well get my blows in on one who s disabled ... What do you think about the Ballard
                      Message 10 of 28 , Apr 15 4:07 PM
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                        While I'm busy trying to take down beloved elderly historians, I may as
                        well get my blows in on one who's disabled ...

                        What do you think about the Ballard account of the campaign? Being
                        mostly interested in the Battle of Raymond, I turned directly to the
                        Raymond section, and it struck me as awfully derivative of Bearss. In
                        fact, there may have been some plagiarism involved IIRC. Didn't he use
                        the phrase "McClernand was always at the point of greatest danger"
                        verbatim without attribution?
                      • William H Keene
                        So James, are these authors who you idolize infallible becuase of their alleged credentials? Frankly I think the impact of poorly written and researched books
                        Message 11 of 28 , Apr 15 5:35 PM
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                          So James, are these authors who you idolize infallible becuase of
                          their alleged credentials? Frankly I think the impact of poorly
                          written and researched books on the study history is huge.


                          --- In civilwarwest@yahoogroups.com, "James W. Durney" <JWD2044@...>
                          wrote:
                          > ...
                          > --- In civilwarwest@yahoogroups.com, "Carl Williams" <carlw4514@>
                          > wrote:
                          > >
                          > > geez, how the heck did I do that?
                          > >
                          > > anyway, care to comment? My question was, what conceivable motive
                          > > would there be to discredit McPherson? Is this a case of Bearss'
                          > > interpretation becoming gospel, and many other historians
                          following in
                          > > unquestioning lock-step?
                          > >
                          >
                          >
                          > The "conceivable motive" is very simple, you find something that
                          you do
                          > not like in their work. What is is matters little, the important
                          thing
                          > is you want/need them to be wrong about this. Since Bearss &
                          McPherson
                          > have excellent credentials copule with an impressive body of work
                          the
                          > only option is to attack them. To make you idea sound better, you
                          need
                          > to do this at every opportunity and as often as possible. This
                          works
                          > best on the idea that if you throw enough, mud some of it might
                          stick.
                          > While I agree that no one is right 100% of the time, this type of
                          > insessant personal attack is silly. In addition, none of these so-
                          > called "errors" are more than small details that have little or no
                          > impact on history. However, to the attacker, this so-call "error"
                          > invalidate some very impressive work becuse they just know they
                          > are "right".
                          >
                          > James
                          >
                        • Carl Williams
                          James, also, although you are correct that Bearss is getting some [rare?] criticism, I think you may not have realized that the McPherson being referred to is
                          Message 12 of 28 , Apr 16 3:51 AM
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                            James, also, although you are correct that Bearss is getting some
                            [rare?] criticism, I think you may not have realized that the
                            McPherson being referred to is the Civil War General, not the historian.

                            Personally, I think the most interesting aspect of what has come out
                            of this whole review of Raymond, etc, has been that McPherson's
                            performance has been understated at best... it's possible to say
                            discredited, I think... and that 'just maybe' this started because
                            Bearss was inclined to diminish that General's performance, rightly or
                            wrongly. Some later historians seem to have failed to question what
                            many here view as at least debatable.

                            I'm going to try to see if I can find an old post where the publisher
                            Savas wound up getting irritated that he had to defend an author over
                            the matter. There just seems to be a "Vicksburg National Park" version
                            of McPherson in the Vicksburg Campaign that is a bit entrenched,
                            possibly incorrect, and certainly debatable.

                            Carl
                          • Steve Saultz
                            Hi Mr. Keene I am in agreement with you here.... William H Keene wrote: Frankly I think the impact of poorly written and researched books on the study
                            Message 13 of 28 , Apr 16 7:17 AM
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                                             Hi Mr. Keene
                                                      I am in agreement with you here....
                               
                                                     William H Keene   wrote:  Frankly I think the impact of poorly
                              written and researched books on the study history is huge.
                               
                                                        Not to try to advertise or act as phishing... But I am a member of another history group dealing with Bloody Bill Anderson.... I use him as an example... For years it has been accepted as common knowledge he was killed in 1864 in Missouri. Within little less than year of digging in geneoligical, (sp??), state files, ect., this group has pretty much proved that this was not the case... Mr. Anderson, went on to live an old life in southwest Texas....
                                    This is one of the many "individuals" , like some of the battles that you guys speak of, that are taking or written as gospel... 
                                     Why is this?   Are we, or, are historians getting "lazier" with time?? Or have "they" reached a point where "they" think all or enough facts have been gathered, that it's irrelevent to study more..?? 
                                    Thios is probably a goofy question & I haven't worded correctly... But I'm curious never-the-less...??
                                     Thankyou for time & consideration...
                                     Respectfully your Humble Servant,
                                      Capt. McCracken.........


                              William H Keene <wh_keene@...> wrote:
                              So James, are these authors who you idolize infallible becuase of
                              their alleged credentials? Frankly I think the impact of poorly
                              written and researched books on the study history is huge.

                              --- In civilwarwest@ yahoogroups. com, "James W. Durney" <JWD2044@... >
                              wrote:
                              > ...
                              > --- In civilwarwest@ yahoogroups. com, "Carl Williams" <carlw4514@>
                              > wrote:
                              > >
                              > > geez, how the heck did I do that?
                              > >
                              > > anyway, care to comment? My question was, what conceivable motive
                              > > would there be to discredit McPherson? Is this a case of Bearss'
                              > > interpretation becoming gospel, and many other historians
                              following in
                              > > unquestioning lock-step?
                              > >
                              >
                              >
                              > The "conceivable motive" is very simple, you find something that
                              you do
                              > not like in their work. What is is matters little, the important
                              thing
                              > is you want/need them to be wrong about this. Since Bearss &
                              McPherson
                              > have excellent credentials copule with an impressive body of work
                              the
                              > only option is to attack them. To make you idea sound better, you
                              need
                              > to do this at every opportunity and as often as possible. This
                              works
                              > best on the idea that if you throw enough, mud some of it might
                              stick.
                              > While I agree that no one is right 100% of the time, this type of
                              > insessant personal attack is silly. In addition, none of these so-
                              > called "errors" are more than small details that have little or no
                              > impact on history. However, to the attacker, this so-call "error"
                              > invalidate some very impressive work becuse they just know they
                              > are "right".
                              >
                              > James
                              >


                            • James W. Durney
                              Carl, You are correct; I confused the two in my post. The problem is these attacks are becoming so incessant that it is hard to tell who is being attacked and
                              Message 14 of 28 , Apr 16 10:52 AM
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                                Carl,

                                You are correct; I confused the two in my post. The problem is these
                                attacks are becoming so incessant that it is hard to tell who is being
                                attacked and who isn't. Every person with an agenda founds a group
                                that starts chanting, "Comrade Napoleon is always right!"

                                James
                              • Dave Smith
                                I ll try to stay out of discussions about attacks on various venerable historians, but would like to put my two cents worth in on the Vicksburg campaign in
                                Message 15 of 28 , Apr 16 11:11 AM
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                                  I'll try to stay out of discussions about attacks on
                                  various "venerable" historians, but would like to put my two cents
                                  worth in on the Vicksburg campaign in general.

                                  It is, in many ways, an odd campaign from the way history has
                                  portrayed it. In general terms, it starts on the western bank of the
                                  Mississippi with Grant and ends under that famous tree with Grant,
                                  with a bunch of historical occasions we know about.

                                  By and large, Grant runs rings around Pemberton, befuddles and beats
                                  him at every turn, wherein Pemberton falls into the trenches, and
                                  surrenders to Grant.

                                  We know about the crossing at Bruinsburg, we know about the battles
                                  of Port Gibson, Raymond, Jackson, Champion Hill, Big Black Bridge, et
                                  al, and we know what the results were. And we know about the siege,
                                  about the attacks, about the surrender.

                                  We know about the Union strategy, or at least we think we do, because
                                  it pretty much starts and ends with Grant. The Confederates,
                                  however, were horribly misinformed, strategically short-sighted,
                                  inept, etc. etc. etc. who were befuddled by Grant, without a clue.
                                  Most accounts pick a culprit, like Pemberton, and literally construct
                                  enough of a story to fit it around Grant.

                                  And that's part of *my* dislike with the history of the campaign,
                                  because I think that most historians have significantly short-changed
                                  the Confederate story (which, God willing and the crick don't rise, I
                                  finish some day).

                                  But to bring all this back to the topic at hand (and it does!), I
                                  think that for the early writers of Vicksburg (Bearss, Carter et al),
                                  the story wasn't in the details, but in the outcomes - what Port
                                  Gibson, Raymond, Champion Hill, etc. meant to the telling of the
                                  story. No matter who went up which ravine and when, Bowen's
                                  outnumbered forces still retreat and burn the bridge over the bayou.
                                  No matter where McPherson's horse might have been at Raymond, Gregg's
                                  forces are still outnumbered and have to retreat.

                                  And so on, and so forth.

                                  That said, it is important to me to come to a fuller understanding of
                                  the role of John McClernand, to understand the command dysfunction of
                                  Pemberton and Johnston, and to have a sense of what really happened
                                  throughout the campaign.

                                  Ed Bearss told me that were he to re-write his three volume work, he
                                  would have had serious work on the Confederate command dysfunction,
                                  and that he knows today that his maps need significant update. But
                                  it's a lot like looking at Freeman's "Lee's Lieutenants," and
                                  understanding the context in which the volumes were written.

                                  I too, have found points of disappointment with the works on
                                  Vicksburg written since Bearss. That campaign, along with the Seven
                                  Days / Peninsula campaign, remains (IMO) the most under-written
                                  campaigns of the Civil War.

                                  Dave

                                  --- In civilwarwest@yahoogroups.com, "Carl Williams" <carlw4514@...>
                                  wrote:
                                  >
                                  > James, also, although you are correct that Bearss is getting some
                                  > [rare?] criticism, I think you may not have realized that the
                                  > McPherson being referred to is the Civil War General, not the
                                  historian.
                                  >
                                  > Personally, I think the most interesting aspect of what has come out
                                  > of this whole review of Raymond, etc, has been that McPherson's
                                  > performance has been understated at best... it's possible to say
                                  > discredited, I think... and that 'just maybe' this started because
                                  > Bearss was inclined to diminish that General's performance, rightly
                                  or
                                  > wrongly. Some later historians seem to have failed to question what
                                  > many here view as at least debatable.
                                  >
                                  > I'm going to try to see if I can find an old post where the
                                  publisher
                                  > Savas wound up getting irritated that he had to defend an author
                                  over
                                  > the matter. There just seems to be a "Vicksburg National Park"
                                  version
                                  > of McPherson in the Vicksburg Campaign that is a bit entrenched,
                                  > possibly incorrect, and certainly debatable.
                                  >
                                  > Carl
                                  >
                                • Tony Gunter
                                  ... I think there is a LOT of nuance to the Battle of Raymond that you re missing.
                                  Message 16 of 28 , Apr 16 1:29 PM
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                                    --- In civilwarwest@yahoogroups.com, "Dave Smith" <dmsmith001@...>
                                    wrote:
                                    >
                                    > But to bring all this back to the topic at hand (and it does!), I
                                    > think that for the early writers of Vicksburg (Bearss, Carter et al),
                                    > the story wasn't in the details, but in the outcomes - what Port
                                    > Gibson, Raymond, Champion Hill, etc. meant to the telling of the
                                    > story. No matter who went up which ravine and when, Bowen's
                                    > outnumbered forces still retreat and burn the bridge over the bayou.
                                    > No matter where McPherson's horse might have been at Raymond, Gregg's
                                    > forces are still outnumbered and have to retreat.

                                    I think there is a LOT of nuance to the Battle of Raymond that you're
                                    missing.
                                  • Dave Smith
                                    You missed my point then. It wasn t whether there was a little or a lot of nuance missed at the Battle of Raymond. The nuances weren t considered important in
                                    Message 17 of 28 , Apr 16 1:57 PM
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                                      You missed my point then.

                                      It wasn't whether there was a little or a lot of nuance missed at the
                                      Battle of Raymond.

                                      The nuances weren't considered important in the overall context in
                                      earlier versions of the history of the campaign.

                                      Gregg still retreats, Jackson still falls, and it's still "on to
                                      Vicksburg" for Grant.

                                      Dave

                                      --- In civilwarwest@yahoogroups.com, "Tony Gunter" <tony_gunter@...>
                                      wrote:
                                      >
                                      > --- In civilwarwest@yahoogroups.com, "Dave Smith" <dmsmith001@>
                                      > wrote:
                                      > >
                                      > > But to bring all this back to the topic at hand (and it does!), I
                                      > > think that for the early writers of Vicksburg (Bearss, Carter et
                                      al),
                                      > > the story wasn't in the details, but in the outcomes - what Port
                                      > > Gibson, Raymond, Champion Hill, etc. meant to the telling of the
                                      > > story. No matter who went up which ravine and when, Bowen's
                                      > > outnumbered forces still retreat and burn the bridge over the
                                      bayou.
                                      > > No matter where McPherson's horse might have been at Raymond,
                                      Gregg's
                                      > > forces are still outnumbered and have to retreat.
                                      >
                                      > I think there is a LOT of nuance to the Battle of Raymond that
                                      you're
                                      > missing.
                                      >
                                    • Tony Gunter
                                      ... Gregg had an excellent opportunity to deal McPherson a heavy blow as he attempted to cross Fourteen Mile Creek. Alternately, he could have fought a
                                      Message 18 of 28 , Apr 17 11:10 AM
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                                        --- In civilwarwest@yahoogroups.com, "Dave Smith" <dmsmith001@...>
                                        wrote:
                                        >
                                        > You missed my point then.
                                        >
                                        > It wasn't whether there was a little or a lot of nuance missed at the
                                        > Battle of Raymond.
                                        >
                                        > The nuances weren't considered important in the overall context in
                                        > earlier versions of the history of the campaign.
                                        >
                                        > Gregg still retreats, Jackson still falls, and it's still "on to
                                        > Vicksburg" for Grant.

                                        Gregg had an excellent opportunity to deal McPherson a heavy blow as he
                                        attempted to cross Fourteen Mile Creek. Alternately, he could have
                                        fought a delaying action all the way back to Jackson.

                                        McPherson moved forward with an effective cavalry screen, even without
                                        the 6th MO cavalry, which he sent on a two-day raid to break the
                                        railroad to New Orleans. This raid prevented Maxey's 3300 men from
                                        arriving in time to participate in the campaign.

                                        Arriving on Fourteen Mile Creek without warning, he then hid his
                                        deployment from Gregg. There was some risk involved in this: for an
                                        hour, Gregg actually outnumbered the federals 2-1, and for another hour
                                        the two forces were equivalent. By the time McPherson ordered his men
                                        forward, he had only a 5200-to-3000 infantry advantage, not especially
                                        daunting for a veteran force on ground of its choosing. McPherson's
                                        deployment included a refused flank and a strong reserve, which
                                        prevented the flanking attack that Gregg had planned.

                                        The end result is that McPherson sucker-punches Gregg and mauls his
                                        force, eliminating Gregg as a fighting force for the rest of the
                                        campaign. Gregg's casualty report was taken immediately after his
                                        units had regrouped on the Gallatin Road, but an additional 300-400 men
                                        would disappear from the roster due to McPherson's pursuit with
                                        artillery and cavalry.

                                        All of this had a HUGE effect on the campaign. If Gregg had withdrawn
                                        in an orderly fashion, Grant would have continued with his original
                                        plan to detach McPherson to deal with Jackson independently. Gregg
                                        would have withdrawn into Jackson with 3000 fresh veterans to join an
                                        additional 3000 fresh veterans arriving from the east and Maxey's 3300
                                        veterans from Port Hudson.

                                        For me, the Battle of Raymond, "overblown skirmish" that it has been
                                        called, may be the turning point of the entire war. To describe it
                                        essentially as "McPherson feeds his troops in piecemeal, Gregg is
                                        overwhelmed by numbers, Gregg retreats into Jackson, Jackson falls,
                                        then it's on to Vicksburg" is a huge failure both to correctly
                                        represent one of the key players in Grant's success and to adequately
                                        describe the campaign in general.
                                      • Tony Gunter
                                        ... Bearss: McPherson ran into the 6th MO Cavalry (US) after it made a raid on the railroad to New Orleans. No mention made of effect this raid had on
                                        Message 19 of 28 , Apr 29 1:16 PM
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                                          --- In civilwarwest@yahoogroups.com, "James W. Durney" <JWD2044@...>
                                          wrote:
                                          >
                                          >
                                          > In addition, none of these so-
                                          > called "errors" are more than small details that have little or no
                                          > impact on history. However, to the attacker, this so-call "error"
                                          > invalidate some very impressive work becuse they just know they
                                          > are "right".


                                          Bearss: McPherson "ran into" the 6th MO Cavalry (US) after it made a
                                          raid on the railroad to New Orleans. No mention made of effect this
                                          raid had on Maxey's arrival.

                                          Reality: McPherson ordered 6th MO Cavalry to raid the railroad, a move
                                          not without risk since the 6th MO was McPherson's only full regiment of
                                          cavalry and Grant had plans to detach McPherson to operate
                                          independently against Jackson. This raid prevented Maxey's 3300 men
                                          from reaching the Raymond/Jackson area until after Grant was on the
                                          doorstep of Vicksburg.


                                          Bearss: McPherson fed his troops in piecemeal.

                                          Reality: McPherson posted Dennis' Brigade in front and used DeGolyer's
                                          battery to clear the 35 man picket on the bridge. He used the hilltop
                                          1/2 mile behind Dennis to hide the deployment of Logan's remaining two
                                          brigades. Only after he had refused his flank and posted a strong
                                          reserve did he order his men forward. This unconventional deployment
                                          would lure Gregg into attacking a force nearly double his size.


                                          Bearss: The federal line wavered and broke in places.

                                          Reality: The federal line was ordered out of the thick tangles and back
                                          to the fence, leading Col. Walker of the 3rd TN to believe he had
                                          pushed the line out of the woods. Members of the 20th OH reported
                                          hearing Logan "turn [the 20th Illinois] back to their place in line,"
                                          but Logan was actually trying to correct for the error made by Manning
                                          Force in charging forward into the creekbed. The 68th OH, which Bearss
                                          claims to have fled the field of battle, actually was moved by the left
                                          flank to the federal extreme left and saw almost no action for the
                                          duration of the battle.


                                          Bearss: The federal artillery was posted 1/2 mile back on the ridge-top
                                          and carried on a long-range artillery duel for the duration of the
                                          battle.

                                          Reality: In Napoleonic style, McPherson used a massed artillery battery
                                          very close to the front line to refuse his left flank ... eventually
                                          employing all but 4 of his 22 cannon in this fashion. The Confederates
                                          never seriously threatened his left flank, but the 1st TN Battalion
                                          suffered 15% casualties executing a feint in this sector late in the
                                          battle.


                                          Bearss: McPherson failed to pursue the retreating Confederates in any
                                          way.

                                          Reality: McPherson pushed DeGolyer's battery across Fourteen Mile
                                          Creek, and unlimbered it within 700 yards of the road along which
                                          Gregg's men were retreating. Confederate casaulty figures reported
                                          about 500 men killed, wounded, and missing, but these numbers were
                                          taken immediately after the initial fight. McPherson's final report of
                                          Confederate casualties appears to include an additional 300 men who
                                          simply refused to run this 1/2 mile artillery gauntlet, or were
                                          snatched up in the cavalry pursuit. After Gregg's men had withdrawn
                                          into Raymond, they were joined by an ad-hoc brigade of cavalry that
                                          fought the rearguard. McPherson's single battalion of cavalry fought
                                          these troopers for two miles before retiring shortly after dark.


                                          Bearss: McPherson reported that he had faced two batteries and 5000 -
                                          6000 men who were withdrawing back to Jackson. This indicates that
                                          McPherson was embarassed that he had allowed a vastly inferior force
                                          keep him at bay for six hours.

                                          Reality: McPherson's report would have been based on prisoners picked
                                          up from the field, beginning with Captain Hall's state troops
                                          encountered several miles south of Raymond (50 men), Gregg's Brigade
                                          encountered 2 miles south of Raymond (3000 men and one battery), Wirt
                                          Adams Cavalry and a regiment of Mississippi Mounted Infantry (1250 men)
                                          encountered between Raymond and Mississippi Springs, and WHT Walker's
                                          Brigade (1000 men and one battery), elements of which fought in the
                                          rearguard action. This totals to 5300 men and two batteries.
                                          Concerning the duration of the battle, McPherson did not order his men
                                          forward until noon, and the Confederate retreat began around four.



                                          All of these points are major problems with Bearss' interpretation of
                                          the battle, all of these points can be proven in the primary resources,
                                          and the totality of the differences between what Bearss states and what
                                          the primary resources show is a 180 degree change in who proved himself
                                          the tactical master and who proved himself unable to measure up to the
                                          task at hand.
                                        • William H Keene
                                          In addition to what you mentioned, vastly inferior is only the case if one considers all of McPherson s command, but Crocker s division only arrived as the
                                          Message 20 of 28 , Apr 29 4:32 PM
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                                            In addition to what you mentioned, 'vastly inferior' is only the case
                                            if one considers all of McPherson's command, but Crocker's division
                                            only arrived as the battle was ending thus they were not kept at bay
                                            at all. I think it is instructive to measure the relative force
                                            levels at the scene as a function of time.

                                            --- In civilwarwest@yahoogroups.com, "Tony Gunter" <tony_gunter@...>
                                            wrote:
                                            > ...
                                            > Bearss: McPherson reported that he had faced two batteries and
                                            5000 -
                                            > 6000 men who were withdrawing back to Jackson. This indicates that
                                            > McPherson was embarassed that he had allowed a vastly inferior
                                            force
                                            > keep him at bay for six hours.
                                            >
                                            > Reality: McPherson's report would have been based on prisoners
                                            picked
                                            > up from the field, beginning with Captain Hall's state troops
                                            > encountered several miles south of Raymond (50 men), Gregg's
                                            Brigade
                                            > encountered 2 miles south of Raymond (3000 men and one battery),
                                            Wirt
                                            > Adams Cavalry and a regiment of Mississippi Mounted Infantry (1250
                                            men)
                                            > encountered between Raymond and Mississippi Springs, and WHT
                                            Walker's
                                            > Brigade (1000 men and one battery), elements of which fought in the
                                            > rearguard action. This totals to 5300 men and two batteries.
                                            > Concerning the duration of the battle, McPherson did not order his
                                            men
                                            > forward until noon, and the Confederate retreat began around four.
                                          • James W. Durney
                                            Tony, Next time you dig up something that is weeks old by me, would you please include the date? You are using a message I posted on April 15th to reopen your
                                            Message 21 of 28 , Apr 29 4:44 PM
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                                              Tony,

                                              Next time you dig up something that is weeks old by me, would you
                                              please include the date? You are using a message I posted on April
                                              15th to reopen your attacks on Bearss. Doing this, makes it seem that
                                              you are replying to a current statement of mine, which is not the case.

                                              I'm assuming that you use my message sine your last couple of post were
                                              largely ignored.

                                              James
                                            • Tony Gunter
                                              ... Why? I would assume most readers check the messages using the internet, and the thread hierarchy is ... right down there :) ... /
                                              Message 22 of 28 , Apr 29 5:51 PM
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                                                --- In civilwarwest@yahoogroups.com, "James W. Durney" <JWD2044@...>
                                                wrote:
                                                >
                                                > Tony,
                                                >
                                                > Next time you dig up something that is weeks old by me, would you
                                                > please include the date?

                                                Why? I would assume most readers check the messages using the
                                                internet, and the thread hierarchy is ...

                                                right

                                                down

                                                there :)

                                                ||
                                                ||
                                                ||
                                                \/
                                              • William H Keene
                                                ... that ... case. Why does it matter?
                                                Message 23 of 28 , Apr 29 6:01 PM
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                                                  --- In civilwarwest@yahoogroups.com, "James W. Durney" <JWD2044@...>
                                                  wrote:
                                                  >
                                                  > Tony,
                                                  >
                                                  > Next time you dig up something that is weeks old by me, would you
                                                  > please include the date? You are using a message I posted on April
                                                  > 15th to reopen your attacks on Bearss. Doing this, makes it seem
                                                  that
                                                  > you are replying to a current statement of mine, which is not the
                                                  case.

                                                  Why does it matter?
                                                • Tony Gunter
                                                  ... I understand that he mistakes my neurotic and probably irritating obsession with the Battle of Raymond for anger at Bearss, and I apologize if I am goring
                                                  Message 24 of 28 , Apr 29 6:22 PM
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                                                    --- In civilwarwest@yahoogroups.com, "William H Keene" <wh_keene@...>
                                                    wrote:
                                                    >
                                                    > --- In civilwarwest@yahoogroups.com, "James W. Durney" <JWD2044@>
                                                    > wrote:
                                                    > >
                                                    > > Tony,
                                                    > >
                                                    > > Next time you dig up something that is weeks old by me, would you
                                                    > > please include the date? You are using a message I posted on April
                                                    > > 15th to reopen your attacks on Bearss. Doing this, makes it seem
                                                    > that
                                                    > > you are replying to a current statement of mine, which is not the
                                                    > case.
                                                    >
                                                    > Why does it matter?

                                                    I understand that he mistakes my neurotic and probably irritating
                                                    obsession with the Battle of Raymond for anger at Bearss, and I
                                                    apologize if I am goring anyone's sacred cow.

                                                    The recent disagreements over Bloody Bill simply brought me back to
                                                    this post, and I just wanted to point out that these were no minor
                                                    errors, but major shifts in the story with deep ramifications for the
                                                    final outcome.
                                                  • William H Keene
                                                    ... I meant, why does the DATE matter?
                                                    Message 25 of 28 , Apr 29 6:48 PM
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                                                      --- In civilwarwest@yahoogroups.com, "Tony Gunter" <tony_gunter@...>
                                                      wrote:
                                                      > ...
                                                      > > Why does it matter?
                                                      >
                                                      > I understand that he mistakes my neurotic and probably irritating
                                                      > obsession with the Battle of Raymond for anger at Bearss, and I
                                                      > apologize if I am goring anyone's sacred cow.
                                                      >
                                                      > The recent disagreements over Bloody Bill simply brought me back to
                                                      > this post, and I just wanted to point out that these were no minor
                                                      > errors, but major shifts in the story with deep ramifications for the
                                                      > final outcome.

                                                      I meant, why does the DATE matter?
                                                    • Carl Williams
                                                      some of us pay attention to the subject field wasnt all this last with Bearss and McPherson and Gregg and so on about the battle of Raymond? the subject field
                                                      Message 26 of 28 , Apr 30 5:01 AM
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                                                        some of us pay attention to the subject field
                                                        wasnt all this last with Bearss and McPherson and Gregg and so on
                                                        about the battle of Raymond? the subject field suggested it was port
                                                        gibson.

                                                        I can understand not wanting to start a new topic, or forgetting to,
                                                        but I appreciate paying attention to the subject field

                                                        thanks in advance!

                                                        BTW, Tony, I believe it was you who said you authored the BO Raymond
                                                        at Wikipedia. Has anyone challenged anything you said there? And I'd
                                                        say that is some pretty impressive stuff there.
                                                        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battle_of_Raymond


                                                        > > ...
                                                        > > > Why does it matter?
                                                        > >
                                                      • Tony Gunter
                                                        ... That was my first pass through the history based strictly on the O.R. ... I have since stumbled on a few things that would require revisions to the page,
                                                        Message 27 of 28 , Apr 30 12:34 PM
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                                                          --- In civilwarwest@yahoogroups.com, "Carl Williams" <carlw4514@...>
                                                          wrote:
                                                          >
                                                          > some of us pay attention to the subject field
                                                          > wasnt all this last with Bearss and McPherson and Gregg and so on
                                                          > about the battle of Raymond? the subject field suggested it was port
                                                          > gibson.
                                                          >
                                                          > I can understand not wanting to start a new topic, or forgetting to,
                                                          > but I appreciate paying attention to the subject field
                                                          >
                                                          > thanks in advance!
                                                          >
                                                          > BTW, Tony, I believe it was you who said you authored the BO Raymond
                                                          > at Wikipedia. Has anyone challenged anything you said there? And I'd
                                                          > say that is some pretty impressive stuff there.
                                                          > http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battle_of_Raymond

                                                          That was my first pass through the history based strictly on the
                                                          O.R. ... I have since stumbled on a few things that would require
                                                          revisions to the page, but I haven't been motivated to update wiki
                                                          due to the fact that it was all ruled "original research" and
                                                          therefore not worthy of anything more than a B rating.
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