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RE: [civilwarwest] Confederate Battle Plan for Shiloh 1862

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  • Tom Mix
    I have read a great deal on Shiloh and have studied Waterloo extensively. I too have read the repeated accounts of Shiloh s plans being based on Waterloo and I
    Message 1 of 31 , Nov 6, 2007

      I have read a great deal on Shiloh and have studied Waterloo extensively. I too have read the repeated accounts of Shiloh’s plans being based on Waterloo and I just don’t see it. Waterloo began with 2 corps, d’Erlon’s 1st Corps on the right/center and with Reille’s 2nd Corps on the left. The rest of the army was in reserve. Jerome’s division of Reille’s Corps attacked Hougoumont to lead off the battle but it was meant to only be a diversion but soon became a major engagement leading to some confusion across the battlefield as the major attack was supposed to begin in center and right by d’Erlon’s 1st Corps.  D’Erlon then finally got under way after some confusion was clarified, followed by Reille’s full corps on the left around Hougoumont.

       Napoleon meant for the real battle to begin with d’Erlon in the center and right after the diversion began by Jerome was supposed to distract Wellington. The French really did not now how much of bastion Hougoumont was until they got through the huge hedge rows and literally bumped into it.  This lead to quite a bit of confusion among Reille’s tactical plans as well.

       

      Jerome’s attack was scheduled to lead off but only as a diversion however it’s resulting confusion seems to be the only similarity between the two battles.

       

      In plans, perhaps the “in detail” approach to the attack is the comparison but it ends there. As for the results, only the “confusion” is similar and Napoleon got his straightened out while Johnston/Beauregard never did.

      Tom

       

      -----Original Message-----
      From: civilwarwest@yahoogroups.com [mailto:civilwarwest@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of Ronald black
      Sent: Tuesday, November 06, 2007 4:02 PM
      To: civilwarwest@yahoogroupscom
      Subject: Re: [civilwarwest] Confederate Battle Plan for Shiloh 1862

       

      Perry:

      I too have studied the battle and read all of the current Shiloh books.  The organization of the confederates for the battle long baffled me also.  I have read, as you probably have, that the arrangement of the corps was based on the battle plan of Napoleon for the battle of Waterloo.  I"m not quite certain of this but someday I may look into it further, someday.

      Actually, I believe the hurried events leading up to the battle was the reason.  General Albert S Johnston left the arrangements concerning the battle to General Beauregard.  He did this because he had just arrived on scene while Beauregard had been present forming the units into a army.  General Johnston was inclined to let the on-scene commander handle the affairs and this was one more example this tendenacy.  The army was busy organizing and forming units.  All of the leaders were rushed and Beauregard delegated the task of writing the orders for the army to Colonel Thomas Jordan.  Following a conference between Johnston and Beauregard, attended by Colonel Jordan, the details of the plan was given to Jordan for him to write it up.  He retired to his tent and wrote Special Orders #8 on April 3rd, 1862, using the only table available, General Beauregard's camp table.  This was the order that contained the formation of the battle lines and the route and order of the march.  In the route of march, the plan was much too complex for the untrained volunteers and the unusual battle formation, using waves, was a deterrent to the success of the confederates.  You can read the entire Special Order #8 in the Official Records of the Civil War in Volume 10, part 1, Book 10 on pages 392 to 395. 

      You might say that the confederates lost the battle of Shiloh before they left Corinth because of this special order. 

      Ron

       

      -- Original Message -----

      From: Perry Gray

      Sent: Tuesday, November 06, 2007 3:38 PM

      Subject: [civilwarwest] Confederate Battle Plan for Shiloh 1862

       

      List members,

      I am writing an article about the Battle of Shiloh and wanted to know
      if anyone can provide an explanation for the unique battle plan used
      by General PGT Beauregard. He deployed each corps in a single line
      rather than assigning sectors to them (left center, right, reserve).

      I would also be interested in any reference material explaining why he
      did this.

      I have read several accounts of the battle including "Shiloh: Bloody
      April" by Wiley Sword, articles by Stacey Allen (park historian),
      "Army of the Heartland" by TL Connelly and the booklet published by
      Eastern National for the battlefield park. None give any reasons for
      the strange deployment, although most indicate that it created serious
      problems for command, control and movement.

      Perry Gray
      Editor Saga Newsletter
      http://games. groups.yahoo. com/group/ SAGAWarfare/


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    • keeno2@aol.com
      In a message dated 12/11/2007 12:27:18 A.M. Central Standard Time, perryrgray@yahoo.ca writes: It is always good to know that there are so many helpful people
      Message 31 of 31 , Dec 10, 2007
        In a message dated 12/11/2007 12:27:18 A.M. Central Standard Time, perryrgray@... writes:
        It is always good to know that there are so many helpful people and what they can provide to help others better appreciate this conflict.
        Perry: I don't know of a single person in this community that won't jump in to help with whatever. We're all here because we are immersed obscenely in the study and want to draw you in, as well.
         
        ken



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