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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 7:59 AM
      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
      ... 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 2 of 14 , May 2 11:05 AM
        --- 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 3 of 14 , May 2 2:47 PM
          --- 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 4 of 14 , May 2 2:58 PM
            --- 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 5 of 14 , May 2 4:18 PM
              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 6 of 14 , May 2 8:02 PM
                --- 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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