Loading ...
Sorry, an error occurred while loading the content.
 

BLOODY HILL by William Riley Brooksher

Expand Messages
  • carlw4514@yahoo.com
    Just finished this book, which is not just about the battle of Wilson s Creek, but covers the events in Missouri prior to the battle as well. I would highly
    Message 1 of 7 , Aug 30, 2001
      Just finished this book, which is not just about the battle of
      Wilson's Creek, but covers the events in Missouri prior to the battle
      as well. I would highly recommend it to anyone.
      Some things I hadn't realized: 1) the Secesh troops outnumbered
      the Federals nearly 2 to 1 in the battle, yet in many ways it was a
      draw (the Union forces withdrew, however, an act which puts it in the
      defeat column for the Yanks). Why the Rebs could not turn their
      numbers advantage to greater effect seemed to be due to several
      factors: they were not as well armed or drilled, their leaders were
      feuding, the Union achieved a surprise attack, and the Union fairly
      early on broke off the attack successfully after Lyon was killed (the
      battle started around 8 AM and ended before noon). 2) Much of the
      source of the feuding between McCulloch, commanding bonified
      Confederate troops, and Price, commanding his state militia, came from
      the fact that McCulloch was not sure he was authorized to be in
      Missouri under the circumstances and kept threatening to leave. This
      also seemed to influence the lack of pursuit of the retreating
      Federals, which infuriated Price. Why was McCulloch so uncertain?
      well, in the background, Jeff Davis rears his ugly head yet again. It
      seems that Davis was not sure he wanted the Missourians anymore. He
      courted them in the early going, but when the Governor, Jackson, made
      statements about wanting to stay neutral, which were received by Lyon
      and Blair and anyone else with a brain as the insincere maneuverings
      of a closet Secessionist, Davis, the damn fool, got his feelings
      hurt. He refused any more support for Jackson or Price, who soon, as
      events unfolded, were begging the Confederacy for arms, and Davis told
      McCulloch to stay out of Missouri unless Union actions were overly
      threatening.
      The more I read about Jeff Davis, the more I wonder why he
      survived with any reputation whatsoever. I really think the guy got a
      free ride in the History books they had us reading in school. This may
      actually come from respect for the man after the war, as his admirable
      traits seemed to kick in once he was thrown into a Federal prison.
      The post-prison man also seemed to catch the admiration of many, and I
      really wonder if these two things now obscure his dismal war record.
      Carl
    • hartshje@aol.com
      ... Carl, In the several versions I have read about Wilson s Creek, the Rebs recover from their surprise, get their act together, force Lyon s men back, Lyon
      Message 2 of 7 , Aug 31, 2001
        --- In civilwarwest@y..., carlw4514@y... wrote:
        > Just finished this book, which is not just about the battle of
        > Wilson's Creek, but covers the events in Missouri prior to the
        > battle as well. I would highly recommend it to anyone.
        > Some things I hadn't realized: 1) the Secesh troops outnumbered
        > the Federals nearly 2 to 1 in the battle, yet in many ways it was a
        > draw (the Union forces withdrew, however, an act which puts it in
        > the defeat column for the Yanks). Why the Rebs could not turn
        > their numbers advantage to greater effect seemed to be due to
        > several factors: they were not as well armed or drilled, their
        > leaders were feuding, the Union achieved a surprise attack, and the
        > Union fairly early on broke off the attack successfully after Lyon
        > was killed . . .

        Carl,

        In the several versions I have read about Wilson's Creek, the Rebs
        recover from their surprise, get their act together, force Lyon's men
        back, Lyon is killed trying to rally them, and the line falls apart
        at that time and is basically routed. Sigel's flanking column hardly
        makes a showing at all, and then retreats when Lyon's force flees the
        scene. Do you know what changed the story? Or am I just remembering
        incorrectly? I visited the battlefield back in 1976. It was fairly
        pristine at that time. I don't know how much has changed since then.

        Joe H.
      • dmercado@worldnet.att.net
        ... Carl, What does the book say about Major John M. Schofield? He led the 1st Missouri Infantry there and much later (1892) was awarded the Medal of Honor for
        Message 3 of 7 , Aug 31, 2001
          --- In civilwarwest@y..., carlw4514@y... wrote:
          > Just finished this book, which is not just about the battle of
          >Wilson's Creek...

          Carl,
          What does the book say about Major John M. Schofield? He led the 1st
          Missouri Infantry there and much later (1892) was awarded the Medal
          of Honor for his action at Wilson Creek on August 10th. The fact that
          he was the commanding general of the army from 1888 to 1895 makes it
          a little fishy, but I'd like to see what your book says about him.
          Best regards, Dave
        • carlw4514@yahoo.com
          Actually, Joe, it is Sigel who gets routed while the main body of Union troops makes a firm stand. Some officers argued that they should continue to hold
          Message 4 of 7 , Sep 1, 2001
            Actually, Joe, it is Sigel who gets routed while the main body
            of Union troops makes a firm stand. Some officers argued that they
            should continue to hold Bloody Hill rather than retreat, since the
            Rebs hadn't succeeded in pushing them off. I think retreat was a wise
            move as casualties were about even and continued fighting would have
            meant, at an even rate of casualties, the 2 to 1 advantage the Secesh
            troops had would have meant the battle would have come to a point
            where all of a sudden the Yank resistance would have crumbled, IMHO
            (the author does not give himself up to such speculation). It is
            possible that the next move by the Rebs would have been to regroup as
            both sides were low on ammunition, leaving the hill to the Federals,
            but seems to me this would have been a temporary respite.
            As for Sigel, he insisted on the plan to divide the army and
            have his 1200 troops make a surprise attack in the rear of the
            Southerners. Against the advice of all other officers, Lyon agreed to
            the plan, apparently figuring this was the only way to get this
            difficult man to cooperate at all. It turns out that Sigel gets to
            answer the question: "What happens if you cut the supply line of your
            opponent in his rear with a force that is very small?" The answer:
            your outraged foe makes you a top priority and cleans your clock. This
            is what happened, Sigel is routed early on after succeeding with his
            surprise initially; early war confusion about uniforms allowed the
            Rebs to approach within a few paces before opening fire on Sigel,
            rapidly reversing fortunes.
            This is where the Southern troops "get their act together,"
            turning away from the disappearing "Dutch" troops to concentrate on
            Lyon. The whereabouts of Sigel becomes a mystery to the Yanks, causing
            a lot of their problems. Lyon's plan really was to surprise his enemy
            with a smash to send them reeling, then retreat to Rolla, Missouri. He
            totally blamed Freemont's lack of support for his untenable position,
            correctly I think. There was great concern that the withdrawal would
            have been ugly without this attack; it succeeded in this respect, but
            probably only because of the feuding between Price and McCulloch, not
            because the blow was really severe enough to prevent subsequent
            harassment; the Reb cavalry was unused, for example. (Again that's in
            my humble opinion, certainly it was one heck of a fight.)
            Carl


            --- In civilwarwest@y..., hartshje@a... wrote:

            > Carl,
            >
            > In the several versions I have read about Wilson's Creek, the Rebs
            > recover from their surprise, get their act together, force Lyon's
            men
            > back, Lyon is killed trying to rally them, and the line falls apart
            > at that time and is basically routed. Sigel's flanking column
            hardly
            > makes a showing at all, and then retreats when Lyon's force flees
            the
            > scene. Do you know what changed the story? Or am I just
            remembering
            > incorrectly? I visited the battlefield back in 1976. It was fairly
            > pristine at that time. I don't know how much has changed since
            then.
            >
            > Joe H.
          • carlw4514@yahoo.com
            Dave, as I remember, Schofield is present and appreciated as an experienced officer. He dissented on some of Lyon s moves, IIRC, but let me get back to you,
            Message 5 of 7 , Sep 1, 2001
              Dave, as I remember, Schofield is present and appreciated as an
              experienced officer. He dissented on some of Lyon's moves, IIRC, but
              let me get back to you, some officer was at the point of
              insubordination in his dissent, but I don't think it was Schofield. I
              can look it up pretty quickly, but don't have the book with me at the
              moment. I'm sure you know the medal of honor was given out fairly
              freely in the CW, BTW.
              Carl

              --- In civilwarwest@y..., dmercado@w... wrote:
              > --- In civilwarwest@y..., carlw4514@y... wrote:
              > > Just finished this book, which is not just about the battle of
              > >Wilson's Creek...
              >
              > Carl,
              > What does the book say about Major John M. Schofield? He led the 1st
              > Missouri Infantry there and much later (1892) was awarded the Medal
              > of Honor for his action at Wilson Creek on August 10th. The fact
              that
              > he was the commanding general of the army from 1888 to 1895 makes it
              > a little fishy, but I'd like to see what your book says about him.
              > Best regards, Dave
            • hartshje@aol.com
              Wow! You burned me on that one Carl. Actually I guess I burned myself. It s been too long since I read about Wilson s Creek. I guess I better get this book
              Message 6 of 7 , Sep 2, 2001
                Wow! You burned me on that one Carl. Actually I guess I burned
                myself. It's been too long since I read about Wilson's Creek. I
                guess I better get this book you recommended. Anyway, thanks for
                straightening me out.

                Best Regards,
                Joe

                --- In civilwarwest@y..., carlw4514@y... wrote:
                > Actually, Joe, it is Sigel who gets routed while the main
                body
                > of Union troops makes a firm stand. Some officers argued that they
                > should continue to hold Bloody Hill rather than retreat, since the
                > Rebs hadn't succeeded in pushing them off. I think retreat was a
                wise
                > move as casualties were about even and continued fighting would
                have
                > meant, at an even rate of casualties, the 2 to 1 advantage the
                Secesh
                > troops had would have meant the battle would have come to a point
                > where all of a sudden the Yank resistance would have crumbled, IMHO
                > (the author does not give himself up to such speculation). It is
                > possible that the next move by the Rebs would have been to regroup
                as
                > both sides were low on ammunition, leaving the hill to the
                Federals,
                > but seems to me this would have been a temporary respite.
                > As for Sigel, he insisted on the plan to divide the army and
                > have his 1200 troops make a surprise attack in the rear of the
                > Southerners. Against the advice of all other officers, Lyon agreed
                to
                > the plan, apparently figuring this was the only way to get this
                > difficult man to cooperate at all. It turns out that Sigel gets to
                > answer the question: "What happens if you cut the supply line of
                your
                > opponent in his rear with a force that is very small?" The answer:
                > your outraged foe makes you a top priority and cleans your clock.
                This
                > is what happened, Sigel is routed early on after succeeding with
                his
                > surprise initially; early war confusion about uniforms allowed the
                > Rebs to approach within a few paces before opening fire on Sigel,
                > rapidly reversing fortunes.
                > This is where the Southern troops "get their act together,"
                > turning away from the disappearing "Dutch" troops to concentrate on
                > Lyon. The whereabouts of Sigel becomes a mystery to the Yanks,
                causing
                > a lot of their problems. Lyon's plan really was to surprise his
                enemy
                > with a smash to send them reeling, then retreat to Rolla, Missouri.
                He
                > totally blamed Freemont's lack of support for his untenable
                position,
                > correctly I think. There was great concern that the withdrawal
                would
                > have been ugly without this attack; it succeeded in this respect,
                but
                > probably only because of the feuding between Price and McCulloch,
                not
                > because the blow was really severe enough to prevent subsequent
                > harassment; the Reb cavalry was unused, for example. (Again that's
                in
                > my humble opinion, certainly it was one heck of a fight.)
                > Carl
                >
                >
                > --- In civilwarwest@y..., hartshje@a... wrote:
                >
                > > Carl,
                > >
                > > In the several versions I have read about Wilson's Creek, the
                Rebs
                > > recover from their surprise, get their act together, force Lyon's
                > men
                > > back, Lyon is killed trying to rally them, and the line falls
                apart
                > > at that time and is basically routed. Sigel's flanking column
                > hardly
                > > makes a showing at all, and then retreats when Lyon's force flees
                > the
                > > scene. Do you know what changed the story? Or am I just
                > remembering
                > > incorrectly? I visited the battlefield back in 1976. It was
                fairly
                > > pristine at that time. I don't know how much has changed since
                > then.
                > >
                > > Joe H.
              • carlw4514@yahoo.com
                Wasn t trying to burn anybody, Joe, and I m just glad you took the time to fire off some questions. You know, you read the book, and some of it doesn t hit
                Message 7 of 7 , Sep 3, 2001
                  Wasn't trying to burn anybody, Joe, and I'm just glad you took the
                  time to fire off some questions. You know, you read the book, and
                  some of it doesn't hit you till later. I was double-checking the deal
                  on Schofield and started to realize that the circumstances of the
                  retreat really were extraordinary; you know that really was a mutiny
                  of sorts that took place, a fiasco that we don't know much about
                  mainly because the Yanks dodged the bullet -- no one was pursuing.
                  That's what I like about this group, discussion makes you get more out
                  of your reading etc.
                  carl
                  --- In civilwarwest@y..., hartshje@a... wrote:
                  > Wow! You burned me on that one Carl. Actually I guess I burned
                  > myself. It's been too long since I read about Wilson's Creek. I
                  > guess I better get this book you recommended. Anyway, thanks for
                  > straightening me out.
                  >
                  > Best Regards,
                  > Joe
                  >
                  > --- In civilwarwest@y..., carlw4514@y... wrote:
                  > > Actually, Joe, it is Sigel who gets routed while the main
                  > body
                  > > of Union troops makes a firm stand. Some officers argued that they
                  > > should continue to hold Bloody Hill rather than retreat, since the
                  > > Rebs hadn't succeeded in pushing them off. I think retreat was a
                  > wise
                  > > move as casualties were about even and continued fighting would
                  > have
                  > > meant, at an even rate of casualties, the 2 to 1 advantage the
                  > Secesh
                  > > troops had would have meant the battle would have come to a point
                  > > where all of a sudden the Yank resistance would have crumbled,
                  IMHO
                  > > (the author does not give himself up to such speculation). It is
                  > > possible that the next move by the Rebs would have been to regroup
                  > as
                  > > both sides were low on ammunition, leaving the hill to the
                  > Federals,
                  > > but seems to me this would have been a temporary respite.
                  > > As for Sigel, he insisted on the plan to divide the army and
                  > > have his 1200 troops make a surprise attack in the rear of the
                  > > Southerners. Against the advice of all other officers, Lyon agreed
                  > to
                  > > the plan, apparently figuring this was the only way to get this
                  > > difficult man to cooperate at all. It turns out that Sigel gets to
                  > > answer the question: "What happens if you cut the supply line of
                  > your
                  > > opponent in his rear with a force that is very small?" The answer:
                  > > your outraged foe makes you a top priority and cleans your clock.
                  > This
                  > > is what happened, Sigel is routed early on after succeeding with
                  > his
                  > > surprise initially; early war confusion about uniforms allowed
                  the
                  > > Rebs to approach within a few paces before opening fire on Sigel,
                  > > rapidly reversing fortunes.
                  > > This is where the Southern troops "get their act together,"
                  > > turning away from the disappearing "Dutch" troops to concentrate
                  on
                  > > Lyon. The whereabouts of Sigel becomes a mystery to the Yanks,
                  > causing
                  > > a lot of their problems. Lyon's plan really was to surprise his
                  > enemy
                  > > with a smash to send them reeling, then retreat to Rolla,
                  Missouri.
                  > He
                  > > totally blamed Freemont's lack of support for his untenable
                  > position,
                  > > correctly I think. There was great concern that the withdrawal
                  > would
                  > > have been ugly without this attack; it succeeded in this respect,
                  > but
                  > > probably only because of the feuding between Price and McCulloch,
                  > not
                  > > because the blow was really severe enough to prevent subsequent
                  > > harassment; the Reb cavalry was unused, for example. (Again that's
                  > in
                  > > my humble opinion, certainly it was one heck of a fight.)
                  > > Carl
                  > >
                  > >
                  > > --- In civilwarwest@y..., hartshje@a... wrote:
                  > >
                  > > > Carl,
                  > > >
                  > > > In the several versions I have read about Wilson's Creek, the
                  > Rebs
                  > > > recover from their surprise, get their act together, force
                  Lyon's
                  > > men
                  > > > back, Lyon is killed trying to rally them, and the line falls
                  > apart
                  > > > at that time and is basically routed. Sigel's flanking column
                  > > hardly
                  > > > makes a showing at all, and then retreats when Lyon's force
                  flees
                  > > the
                  > > > scene. Do you know what changed the story? Or am I just
                  > > remembering
                  > > > incorrectly? I visited the battlefield back in 1976. It was
                  > fairly
                  > > > pristine at that time. I don't know how much has changed since
                  > > then.
                  > > >
                  > > > Joe H.
                Your message has been successfully submitted and would be delivered to recipients shortly.