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Re: BLOODY HILL / discussions

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  • 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 1 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.
      --- 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,
      > > (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
      > > 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
      > > 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,
      > 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
      > > 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
      > > 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.
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