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Re: Battle of Iuka

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  • 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 1 of 14 , May 2 11:05 AM
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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 2 of 14 , May 2 2:47 PM
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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 3 of 14 , May 2 2:58 PM
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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 4 of 14 , May 2 4:18 PM
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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 5 of 14 , May 2 8:02 PM
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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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