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Re: Battle of Iuka

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  • James W. Durney
    Why is Grant always responsible to find out what is going on? Why isn t General So-n-so responsible to report to his Commanding Officer? James
    Message 1 of 14 , May 2, 2007
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      Why is Grant always responsible to find out what is going on? Why
      isn't General So-n-so responsible to report to his Commanding Officer?

      James
    • William H Keene
      ... I thought that the explanation you give is the same as the explanation I have heard it the past. ... carry ... I think the communication connection was not
      Message 2 of 14 , May 2, 2007
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        --- In civilwarwest@yahoogroups.com, "Tony Gunter" <tony_gunter@...>
        wrote:
        >
        > Not sure if anyone has noticed this, but I think there's a more
        > logical explanation for why Ord never attacked at Iuka.
        > ...

        I thought that the explanation you give is the same as the
        explanation I have heard it the past.



        > Ord was 4 miles north of Iuka, Rosecrans was 2 miles south. Ord
        > reported at some point during the day (PUSG) that he heard irregular
        > cannonading off to the south, but he did not seem to feel that it
        > indicated a general engagement. Rosecrans reported after the battle
        > that the terrain was very rough and at no point was he able to bring
        > his artillery to bear upon the enemy for any length of time.
        >
        > So Ord was waiting to hear the sounds of artillery booming in the
        > distance, but the musket fire that dominated the battle did not
        carry
        > the distance between Ord and Rosecrans.
        >
        > Why Rosecrans, who had been communicating via telegraph regularly
        > with Grant up to that point, did not send a rider back to the
        > telegraph line to let Grant know that the general engagement had
        > begun, is a mystery to me.

        I think the communication connection was not as good as you
        indicate. IIRC, Rosecrans did sent couriers, but the distance was
        long and the message did not get through.
      • Tony Gunter
        ... was not being made, as expected, is a mystery to me. After all, Rosecrans was pitched into battle, whereas Grant and Ord were doing who knows what while
        Message 3 of 14 , May 2, 2007
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          --- In civilwarwest@yahoogroups.com, "Kevin & Judy Coy"
          <thecoys1976@...> wrote:
          >
          > Or why Grant or Ord did not send riders to ascertain why an attack
          was not being made, as expected, is a mystery to me. After all,
          Rosecrans was pitched into battle, whereas Grant and Ord were doing
          who knows what while waiting for a battle.
          >
          > Kevin S. Coy


          Rosecrans telegraphed Grant on Sept. 18th to let him know that he
          hadn't made it as far as he wanted because his scouts had gotten
          lost. He was still 20 miles from Iuka, and the plan was to wake up a
          4:30 a.m. and reach Iuka by 1 or 2 p.m.

          Clearly, that plan was shaky ... it would be difficult to move a
          force half that size 20 miles in 9.5 hours.

          The original plan called for Ord to attack Price, and Rosecrans to
          sweep in on Price's flank. Grant informed Ord based on this
          telegraph that he should wait to hear the sounds of battle before
          moving.

          Rosecrans again telegraphed Grant on Sept. 19th at 6:00 a.m. to let
          him know he had moved two miles (!), but that he still planned to be
          at Iuka by 2 p.m. (18 miles in 8 hours). The telegraph was received
          at 9:00 a.m., so it was a three hour ordeal to get a telegraph to
          Grant.

          Rosecrans once again telegraphed Grant at 12:40 p.m. (IIRC) to let
          him know that he had hit the pickets and was sending out cavalry and
          infantry to the east to block Price's escape. No mention was made
          concerning how much of his force was up or when he might be ready for
          the attack. Given the 3 hour turn-around time, Grant would have
          received this message at 4:00 p.m. (!)

          Rosecrans had informed Grant that the ground to the south of Iuka
          would be completely open, while the ground over which Ord would
          attack would be very wooded. Given this intel, there's no reason
          Grant had to suspect that the general engagement wouldn't involve a
          great deal of cannon fire. However, Rosecran's final telegraph to
          Grant, sent at 10:30 p.m. (!), indicated that the Rosecrans' fight
          had been over very difficult terrain and that he had no opportunity
          to bring his cannons to bear.

          The plan for the attack was Rosecrans', the bulk of the attacking
          force was under the command of Rosecrans, the problem with the
          timetable was due to Rosecrans, Rosecrans was communicating to Grant
          throughout the day (except, or course, for the duration of the actual
          battle), and Grant had no reason to suspect that Ord would not hear
          continuous cannonading throughout the engagement.

          There's an undated message from Ord to Grant in PUSG in which Ord
          indicates that he could hear irregular cannonading off to the south.
          It makes much more sense to me that Ord simply couldn't hear the
          musketry of the engagement (six to eight miles over heavily wooded
          terrain), and was waiting to hear regular cannonading than the silly
          sounding "acoustic shadow." Yeah, there was an accoustic shadow ...
          it's called eight miles of thick woods.
        • theme_music
          If you are Rosecrans, and you know Ord is waiting to hear your guns before he begins his assault, wouldn t it make sense to unlimber a battery or two and start
          Message 4 of 14 , May 2, 2007
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            If you are Rosecrans, and you know Ord is waiting to hear your guns
            before he begins his assault, wouldn't it make sense to unlimber a
            battery or two and start firing, even if you really had nothing to
            shoot at? Doesn't that make a lot more sense as "communications" than
            sending riders back around the 3 hour minimum loop? Now I'm certainly
            not stating that I know of some precedence for this, in fact I don't,
            but my question would be, why not?

            Eric
          • Tony Gunter
            ... attack ... a ... be ... received ... and ... for ... Actually, I see this message in the O.R., and it does say that one division has moved forward
            Message 5 of 14 , May 2, 2007
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              --- In civilwarwest@yahoogroups.com, "Tony Gunter" <tony_gunter@...>
              wrote:
              >
              > --- In civilwarwest@yahoogroups.com, "Kevin & Judy Coy"
              > <thecoys1976@> wrote:
              > >
              > > Or why Grant or Ord did not send riders to ascertain why an
              attack
              > was not being made, as expected, is a mystery to me. After all,
              > Rosecrans was pitched into battle, whereas Grant and Ord were doing
              > who knows what while waiting for a battle.
              > >
              > > Kevin S. Coy
              >
              >
              > Rosecrans telegraphed Grant on Sept. 18th to let him know that he
              > hadn't made it as far as he wanted because his scouts had gotten
              > lost. He was still 20 miles from Iuka, and the plan was to wake up
              a
              > 4:30 a.m. and reach Iuka by 1 or 2 p.m.
              >
              > Clearly, that plan was shaky ... it would be difficult to move a
              > force half that size 20 miles in 9.5 hours.
              >
              > The original plan called for Ord to attack Price, and Rosecrans to
              > sweep in on Price's flank. Grant informed Ord based on this
              > telegraph that he should wait to hear the sounds of battle before
              > moving.
              >
              > Rosecrans again telegraphed Grant on Sept. 19th at 6:00 a.m. to let
              > him know he had moved two miles (!), but that he still planned to
              be
              > at Iuka by 2 p.m. (18 miles in 8 hours). The telegraph was
              received
              > at 9:00 a.m., so it was a three hour ordeal to get a telegraph to
              > Grant.
              >
              > Rosecrans once again telegraphed Grant at 12:40 p.m. (IIRC) to let
              > him know that he had hit the pickets and was sending out cavalry
              and
              > infantry to the east to block Price's escape. No mention was made
              > concerning how much of his force was up or when he might be ready
              for
              > the attack. Given the 3 hour turn-around time, Grant would have
              > received this message at 4:00 p.m. (!)

              Actually, I see this message in the O.R., and it does say that one
              division has moved forward skirmishing with pickets for one mile, and
              the at head of the second division had arrived. It doesn't
              necessarily say how long it will take Rosecrans to deploy for the
              attack, and the message was sent by courier, not by telegraph. The
              courier apparently didn't reach Grant until late that night, however,
              after the engagement had ended.
            • Tony Gunter
              ... I ve never heard this explained without invoking the acoustic shadow, which sounds like so much magic to me. I don t think sporadic heavy musketry could
              Message 6 of 14 , May 2, 2007
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                --- In civilwarwest@yahoogroups.com, "William H Keene" <wh_keene@...>
                wrote:
                >
                > --- In civilwarwest@yahoogroups.com, "Tony Gunter" <tony_gunter@>
                > wrote:
                > >
                > > Not sure if anyone has noticed this, but I think there's a more
                > > logical explanation for why Ord never attacked at Iuka.
                > > ...
                >
                > I thought that the explanation you give is the same as the
                > explanation I have heard it the past.

                I've never heard this explained without invoking the "acoustic
                shadow," which sounds like so much magic to me. I don't think
                sporadic heavy musketry could be heard through thick woods at eight
                miles.


                >
                > I think the communication connection was not as good as you
                > indicate. IIRC, Rosecrans did sent couriers, but the distance was
                > long and the message did not get through.

                From going back to the O.R., it appears that the 12:40 p.m. message
                took ~10 hours to reach Grant through the woods. I think if
                Rosecrans had sent it back to the telegraph line, it would have
                gotten there in less than half that time. But that's hindsight.
              • James W. Durney
                ... I think Cozzen s covers this problem in his book on these battles. ISTM they got lost along the way too. James
                Message 7 of 14 , May 2, 2007
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                  --- In civilwarwest@yahoogroups.com, "William H Keene" <wh_keene@...>
                  wrote:
                  >
                  >
                  > I think the communication connection was not as good as you
                  > indicate. IIRC, Rosecrans did sent couriers, but the distance was
                  > long and the message did not get through.
                  >

                  I think Cozzen's covers this problem in his book on these battles.
                  ISTM they got lost along the way too.

                  James
                • James W. Durney
                  ... than ... certainly ... My understanding is that Rosecrans thought the sound of his guns was going to be heard. This is one of those sound problems that
                  Message 8 of 14 , May 2, 2007
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                    --- In civilwarwest@yahoogroups.com, "theme_music" <theme_music@...>
                    wrote:
                    >
                    >
                    > If you are Rosecrans, and you know Ord is waiting to hear your guns
                    > before he begins his assault, wouldn't it make sense to unlimber a
                    > battery or two and start firing, even if you really had nothing to
                    > shoot at? Doesn't that make a lot more sense as "communications"
                    than
                    > sending riders back around the 3 hour minimum loop? Now I'm
                    certainly
                    > not stating that I know of some precedence for this, in fact I don't,
                    > but my question would be, why not?
                    >

                    My understanding is that Rosecrans thought the sound of his guns was
                    going to be heard. This is one of those sound problems that pop up
                    from time to time. Neither side is fully to blame and neither is free
                    of guilt. However, Rosecrans was responsible to keep Grant informed
                    and should have done more to make sure his message was received.

                    James
                  • Kevin & Judy Coy
                    Tony, I think I agree with everything you have written. :) Rosecrans told them of the delay. Told them of the problems he was having. ISTM that if Grant and
                    Message 9 of 14 , May 2, 2007
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                      Tony,
                      I think I agree with everything you have written. :)  Rosecrans told them of the delay.  Told them of the problems he was having.  ISTM that if Grant and Ord were expecting a battle...and one had not started, a scouting party could have been dispatched to find out why.  Hell, for all Grant and Ord knew, Rosecrans could have been completely surrounded and had to surrender.  You would think they would be a little curious about what was happening and not wait until after the battle and ....
                       
                      Oh never mind, so many aphids in my rose garden. LOL
                       
                      Kevin  
                      ----- Original Message -----
                      Sent: Wednesday, May 02, 2007 12:56 PM
                      Subject: [civilwarwest] Re: Battle of Iuka

                      --- In civilwarwest@ yahoogroups. com, "Kevin & Judy Coy"
                      <thecoys1976@ ...> wrote:
                      >
                      > Or why Grant or Ord did not send riders to ascertain why an attack
                      was not being made, as expected, is a mystery to me. After all,
                      Rosecrans was pitched into battle, whereas Grant and Ord were doing
                      who knows what while waiting for a battle.
                      >
                      > Kevin S. Coy

                      Rosecrans telegraphed Grant on Sept. 18th to let him know that he
                      hadn't made it as far as he wanted because his scouts had gotten
                      lost. He was still 20 miles from Iuka, and the plan was to wake up a
                      4:30 a.m. and reach Iuka by 1 or 2 p.m.

                      Clearly, that plan was shaky ... it would be difficult to move a
                      force half that size 20 miles in 9.5 hours.

                      The original plan called for Ord to attack Price, and Rosecrans to
                      sweep in on Price's flank. Grant informed Ord based on this
                      telegraph that he should wait to hear the sounds of battle before
                      moving.

                      Rosecrans again telegraphed Grant on Sept. 19th at 6:00 a.m. to let
                      him know he had moved two miles (!), but that he still planned to be
                      at Iuka by 2 p.m. (18 miles in 8 hours). The telegraph was received
                      at 9:00 a.m., so it was a three hour ordeal to get a telegraph to
                      Grant.

                      Rosecrans once again telegraphed Grant at 12:40 p.m. (IIRC) to let
                      him know that he had hit the pickets and was sending out cavalry and
                      infantry to the east to block Price's escape. No mention was made
                      concerning how much of his force was up or when he might be ready for
                      the attack. Given the 3 hour turn-around time, Grant would have
                      received this message at 4:00 p.m. (!)

                      Rosecrans had informed Grant that the ground to the south of Iuka
                      would be completely open, while the ground over which Ord would
                      attack would be very wooded. Given this intel, there's no reason
                      Grant had to suspect that the general engagement wouldn't involve a
                      great deal of cannon fire. However, Rosecran's final telegraph to
                      Grant, sent at 10:30 p.m. (!), indicated that the Rosecrans' fight
                      had been over very difficult terrain and that he had no opportunity
                      to bring his cannons to bear.

                      The plan for the attack was Rosecrans', the bulk of the attacking
                      force was under the command of Rosecrans, the problem with the
                      timetable was due to Rosecrans, Rosecrans was communicating to Grant
                      throughout the day (except, or course, for the duration of the actual
                      battle), and Grant had no reason to suspect that Ord would not hear
                      continuous cannonading throughout the engagement.

                      There's an undated message from Ord to Grant in PUSG in which Ord
                      indicates that he could hear irregular cannonading off to the south.
                      It makes much more sense to me that Ord simply couldn't hear the
                      musketry of the engagement (six to eight miles over heavily wooded
                      terrain), and was waiting to hear regular cannonading than the silly
                      sounding "acoustic shadow." Yeah, there was an accoustic shadow ...
                      it's called eight miles of thick woods.

                    • Tony Gunter
                      ... Grant did send out two staffers to ride to Rosecrans and see what was going on. They also tried to make the return trip across country and got so lost
                      Message 10 of 14 , May 2, 2007
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                        --- In civilwarwest@yahoogroups.com, "Kevin & Judy Coy"
                        <thecoys1976@...> wrote:
                        >
                        > Tony,
                        > I think I agree with everything you have written. :)
                        > Rosecrans told them of the delay. Told them of the
                        > problems he was having. ISTM that if Grant and Ord
                        > were expecting a battle...and one had not started, a
                        > scouting party could have been dispatched to find out
                        > why. Hell, for all Grant and Ord knew, Rosecrans
                        > could have been completely surrounded and had to
                        > surrender. You would think they would be a little
                        > curious about what was happening and not wait until
                        > after the battle and ....
                        >
                        > Oh never mind, so many aphids in my rose garden. LOL

                        Grant did send out two staffers to ride to Rosecrans and see what was
                        going on. They also tried to make the return trip across country and
                        got so lost that they didn't show up until the next morning.

                        :)
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