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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
    • 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 2 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 3 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 4 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 5 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 6 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 7 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 8 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 9 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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