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The American Civil War Timeline- 150th Anniversary

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My wife, while watching Gettysburg, said "they're going a little overboard with the beards, aren't they?"errr... no.

had this discussion elsewhere. Women don't get facial hair. IT is sad. Clerly the beard is like a peacock's feathers, it is a sign of manliness and women should swoon at it. Yet years of societal oppression has made them bury their raw sexual attraction to beards.
*Whew* This hairless German can still barely grow more than a scraggly, patchwork mess. I would have been a lowly boot-black in Civil War days.
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We now have an index of posts, thanks to BobbyLayne: The Mexican American War The Wilmot Proviso The Southern Perspective Northern perspectives The Compromise of 1850 The Fugitive Slave Act Uncle Tom'

I took a detour to the Battery after work yesterday and took some pictures for this thread. Fort Sumter pictures from the Battery

Yes, yes.....I'm sure this is the direction we're heading.

Major General John Pope (part 2)

Pope's instructions required him to operate so as to protect Washington from "danger or insult" and to "render the most effective aid to relieve General McClellan and capture Richmond." It was a large order, but Pope only laid down one condition: McClellan must be given peremptory orders to attack the minute he heard that Pope was engaged. This was necessary, Pope said, because of the known timidity and irresolution of his partner in the squeeze play.

For the present, however - as he learned all too soon - the stipulation was unnecessary. On the day the Army of Virginia came officially into being, McClellan no longer had any choice in the matter; the Seven Days had opened, and the Army of Potomac found itself engaged in a tremendous struggle for survival, trying first to fend off Lee's assault down the north bank of the Chickahominy and then to reach the sanctuary of the James River. When news of the attack reached Washington, Pope showed that there were elements of caution in his make-up after all.

He advised Lincoln not to let McClellan fall back southward, since this would unhinge the jaws the nutcracker, but to order him to retire in the direction of the York River. That way, Pope said, he could eventually go to his assistance - and vice versa, in case the Army of Virginia ran into similar trouble moving south. But their was nothing Lincoln could do about it, even if head wanted to; J.E.B. Stuart's cavalry had cut the telegraph wires and the Army of the Potomac was already in motion for the James. Pope began to see the handwriting on the wall. It warned him plainly that there was an excellent chance that he would be entirely on his own as moved down the road that led to Richmond.

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Freedom, Concluded (for now)

Most black spokesmen in the North ridiculedd Lincoln's proposal and denounced its author. "This is our country as much as yours," a Philadelphia Negro told the president, "and we will not leave it." Frederick Douglass accused Lincoln of "contempt for negroes". The president's remarks, said Douglass, would encourage "ignorant and base" white men "to commit all kinds of violence and outrage upon the coloredd people. Abolitionists opposed colonization as racist and inhumane. However, the fact remains that about 2/3rds of Republicans were favorable to the idea.

Lincoln's colonization efforts wre one part of his indirect effort to prepare the nation for what was coming. In a letter to Greeley which was published in the Tribune, he wrote:

My paramount object in this struggle is to save the Union, and is not either to save or destroy slavery. If I couldd save the Union without freeing any slave I would do it, and if I couldd save it by freeing all the slaves I would do it; and if I could save it by freeing some and leaving others alone, I woul also do that.

Here was something for all viewpoints: a reiteration that preservation of the Union remained the purpose of the war, but a hint that partial or even total emancipation might become necessary to accomplish that purpose. It was deliberately ambiguous. Military matters preoccupied Lincoln as he wrote this. For two months, events in both the western and eastern theaters had been deteriorating to the point where by mid-September three southern armies were on the march northward in a bold bid for victory. We need to now examine the battles that took place, the strategies and men involved with and behind them, and the results of these battles, all the way to Antietam, after which we'll be able to resume the topic of emancipation.

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BobbyLayne, if you want to continue with the eastern theater, that would be great; otherwise, I'll get to it after I tackle the west. I'm about to cover Halleck and his drive for Chattanooga.

I think you mean Buell (Halleck was in Washington City by then) and his crawl to Chattanooga. The only time the Army of Ohio ever did any serious hard marching was the race to Louisville when they were trying to catch up to Bragg.

Anyway...think we can post at the same time. I'm in late June and you're in early July. I have a lot to cover between where I am now and Groveton/Brawner's Farm. Plus I don't post everyday. So I think you can just continue on, we'll be on roughly the same tack...go ahead and venture out to the western theatre, and I will carry the thread back to old Virginny when I have time.

If my pace is too slow you can jump in with a summary if you want, but I want to give this important campaign a lengthy review. However, I am going to ensure that I keep my posts broken up into small digestible bite size portions.

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Pope's address to the troops (part 3)

Discouraging as this lack of prospective cooperation from McClellan was to the newly arrived commander, a look into the backgrounds of the three groups John Pope was expected to weld into an effective striking force proved equally discouraging, if not more so. Two of the three (Banks' and Sigel's) had a tradition of defeat, and the third (McDowell) had slogged all over northern Virginia, seemingly without profit to anyone, least of all to itself. Unquestionably, even in their own eyes, this was the second team, restricted to occasional scrimmage which served primarily to emphasize its lack of style, while the first team got the cheers and the glory on the Peninsula. For all his bluster, Pope saw one thing clearly. However second-rate his material might be in some respects, he had here the makings of a first-class disaster, unless he could somehow restore or establish confidence in the breasts of his downhearted charges. Accordingly, as a first step before he took the field, he issued an address "To the Officers and Soldiers of the Army of Virginia," giving them, along with much else in the way of advice, a chance to see what manner of man was about to lead them against the rebel force that had just finished mauling the first team and flinging it back from the goal-post gates of Richmond.

Let us understand each other. I have come to you from the West, where we have always seen the backs of our enemies, form an army whose business it has been to seek the adversary and to beat him when he was found; whose policy has been attack and not defense...I presume that I have been called here to pursue the same system and to lead you against the enemy. It is my purpose to do so, and that speedily...I desire you to dismiss from your minds certain phrases, which I am sorry to find so much in vogue amongst you. I hear constantly of 'taking strong positions and holding them', of 'lines of retreat,' and of 'base of supplies.' Let us discard such ideas. The strongest position a soldier should desire to occupy is one from which he can most easily advance against the enemy. Let us study the probably lines of retreat of our opponents, and leave our own to take care of themselves. Let us look before us, and not behind. Success and glory are in the advance, disaster and shame lurk in the rear.

The effect was something other than the one intended, particularly among the men the undersigned general addressed. They found the comparison odious, and they resented the boasting tone in which it was made. "Five Cent Pope," they dubbed their new commander, while the old-time regulars recalled a parody that made the rounds some years ago, when he issued oversanguine reports of success in boring for artesian water on the bone-dry plains of Texas:

Pope told a flattering tale

Which proved to be bravado

About the streams which would sprout like ale

on the Llano Estacado

McClellan's supporters of course resented him, too: Fitz-John Porter for example, who declared that Pope had "written himself down as what the military world had long known, an ###...If the theory he proclaims is practiced you may look for disaster."

Beyond the lines, where the address enjoyed wide circulation, the Confederate reaction combined contempt and amusement. Reports that this new spread-eagle opponent was heading his dispatches "Headquarters in the Saddle" prompted a revival of the old army jibe that he had his headquarters where his hindquarters ought to be.

ETA: typo correction

Edited by BobbyLayne
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The West, Summer 1862 Part One

While Lee was driving McClellan away from Richmond, prospects also began to turn sour for Union forces in the West. The conquest of the Mississippi bogged down before Vicksburg. Triumphs on land came to a halt at Corinth. Why did this happen? The usual answer is to blame Halleck for dispersing his army and missing a grand opportunity to cripple the rebellion in the Mississippi Valley. The true answer is more complex.

Four tasks faced Halleck after his army of 110,000 occupied Corinth at the end of May:

1. Push on south after the retreating rebels and try to capture Vicksburg from the rear.

2. Send a force against Chattanooga to "liberate" east Tennessee.

3. Repair and defend the network of railroads that supplied Federal armies in this theater.

4. Organize occupation forces to preserve order, administer the contraband camps where black refugees had gathered, protect unionists trying to reconstruct Tennessee under military governor Andrew Johnson whom Lincoln had sent to Nashville, and oversee the revival of trade with the North in occupied areas.

In the best of all possible worlds, Halleck would have done all four tasks simultaneously. But he did not have the resources to do so. Secretary of War Stanton and General Grant thought his first priority ought to be the catpure of Vicksburg. Halleck's decision to defer this effort in favor of the other three has been the subject of much critical appraisal. An all-out effort against Vicksburg, according to the critics, might have severed this Confederate artery and shortened the war.

This thesis overlooks some physical, logistical, and political realities. The disease problem for unacclimated northern soldiers has already been mentioned. An unusually wet spring had turned into a disastrously dry summer. The streams and springs that supplied water for men and horses were rapidly drying up in northern Mississippi. Several calvary and infantry brigades did pursue the Confederates 20 miles south of Corinth but could go no further by July for lack of water. Halleck's detachment of several brigades for railroad repair and guard duty was not so obtuse as it is sometimes portrayed, for as the rivers dropped below navigable stage the armies became wholly dependent on rail supply. Any overland campaign against Vicksburg would have been vunerable to rebel raids on railroads and supply depots, as Grant learned 6 months later when such raids compelled him to abandon his first campaign against Vicksburg. Other brigades had to be detached from combat forces for the politically necessary tasks of policing and administering occupied territory. Finally, Lincoln's cherished aim of restoring east Tennessee made this political goal into a top military priority.

Halleck therefore divided the Army of the Tennessee under Grant into several fragments for occupation and railroad-repaid duties, detached a division to reinforce Union troops confronting a new threat in Arkansas, and ordered the 40,000 men in the Army of Ohio under Buell to move against Chattanooga. As we shall see, Buell's campaign- the major Union effort in the West during the summer of 1862- turned out as badly as McClellan's drive against Richmond.

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The West, Summer 1862 Part Two

As old army friends, Buell and McClellan had much in common. Buell's idea of strategy was similar to McClellan's: "The object is," wrote Buell, "Not to fight great battles, and storm impregnable fortifications, but by demonstrations and manuevering to prevent the enemy from concentrating his scattered forces."

A political conservative, Buell also believed in limited war for limited goals. This slowed his drive toward Chattanooga along the railroad from Corinth through northern Alabama. Guerillas cut his supply lines frequently. "We are attacked nightly at bridges and outposts," reported one division commander. Buell's belief in a "soft" war precluded a ruthless treatment of the civilian population that sheltered guerillas or a levy upon this population for supplies. Buell therefore could move only as fast as repair crews could rebuild bridges and re-lay rails. Three weeks after leaving Corinth he had advanced only 90 miles and was still less than halfway to Chattanooga. On July 8, Halleck informed the harassed Buell: "The President telegraphs that your progress is not satisfactory and that you should move more rapidly."

By this time the Army of the Ohio was approaching Stevenson, Alabama, where it opened a new rail supply from Nashville. But Buell's troubles had barely begun. Just as the first trainload of supplies started south from Nashville on July 13, Nathan Bedford Forrest's calvary struck the Union garrison at Murfreesboro. Forrest captured the garrison, wrecked the railroad, and escaped eastward through the Cumberland Mountains before a division sent by Buell could catch him. When the repair crews finished mending the damage, Forrest struck again, destroying three bridges just south of Nashville and once more escaping the pursuing Federals. Forest's attacks stalled Buell's creeping advance for more than two weeks. From Washington came further word of "dissatisfaction". When Buell tried to explain, back came a threat of removal if he did not remedy his "apparent want of energy and activity."

As Buell finally prepared to cross the Tennessee River 20 miles from Chattanooga, disaster struck him again in the form of yet another calvary raid. This time the enemy commander was John Hunt Morgan, a 36 year old Kentuckian who style combined elements of Stuart's dash and Forrest;s ferocity. Soft-spoken, a fastidious dresser, Morgan had raised a brigade of lean and hard Kentucky horsemen who first achieved fame in July 1862 with a 1,000 mile raid through Kentucky and middle Tennessee that captured 1,200 prisoners and tons of supplies at the cost of fewer than 90 confederate casualties. In mid-August, Morgan's merry men suddenly reappeared in middle Tennesee and blocked the railroad north of Nashville by pushing flaming boxcars into an 800-foot tunnel, causing the timbers to burn and the tunnel to cave in. This exploit cut Buell off from his main supply base at Louisville.

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The West, Summer 1862 Part 3

The calvary raids by Forrest and Morgan illustrated the South's advantage in fighting on the defensive in their own territory. With 2,500 men Forrest and Morgan had immobilized an invading army of 40,000. Living off the friendly countryside and fading into the hills like guerillas, rebel horsemen could strike at times and places of their own choosing. To defend all the bridges, tunnels, and depots along hundreds of miles of railroad was virtually impossible, for guerillas and calvary could carry out hit-and-run raids against isolated garrisons or undefended stretches almost with impunity. The only effective counterforce would be Union calvary equally well mounted and led, with troopers who knew the country and could ride and shoot as well as the southerners. Such a force could track and intercept rebel cavalry, could fight on equal terms, and could carry out its own raids deep into the Confederate rear. Union commanders learned these things the hard way in 1862. The Yankees did not catch up with the rebels until 1863, when they finally began to give as good as they got in the war of calvary raids.

Buell's campaign also illustrated the strengths and weaknesses of railroad logistics. The iron horse could transport more men and supplies faster than horses. But they were, for the Union, as much curse as blessing. As Sherman noted, a single man with a match can destroy and cut off communications. Ultimately, Union generals would learn the lesson that Napoleon had put into practice over 50 years earlier: rather than live off a long supply line, armies needed to survive by living off the country they were invading like locusts. Buell, like McClellan, refused to fight this kind of war, and that led to his downfall. Braxton Bragg, the new commander of the Confederate Army of Mississippi (soon to be known as the Army of Tennessee), saw the opening created by Morgan's and Forrest's raids against Buell's supply lines. "Our calvary is paving the way for me in Middle Tennessee and Kentucky," he wrote in late July.

Bragg decided to leave 32,000 men in Mississippi under Van Dorn and Price to defend Vicksburg and central Mississippi. He planned to take the remaining 34,000 to Chattanooga,from where he would launch an invasion of Kentucky. Bragg hoped to repeat the Morgan and Forrest strategy on a larger scale. Buell would be forced to follow him and might present Bragg and opportunity to hit the Federals in the Flank. If Grant moved to Buell's aid, Van Dorn and Price could strike northward to recover western Tennessee. Forrest's and Morgan's calvary would continue to harrass the Union rear, while Bragg was also assured of cooperation from Edmund Kirby Smith's East Tennessee army of 18,000 men, who had been warily watching Buell's snail-paced advance toward Chattanooga. The Confederates believed Kentuckians to be chafing at the bit to join the southern cause. Bragg requisitioned 15,000 extra rifles to arm the men of the bluegrass he expected to join his army.

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The West, Summer 1862 Part 4

Since taking over from the dismissed Beauregard in June, Braxton Bragg had been reorganizing and disciplining the army for a new campaign. A sufferer from ulcers and migraine, the short-tempered and quarrelsome Bragg was a hard driver. He sent several soldiers before a firing squad for desertion, and he executed one private who had disobeyed orders and shot at a chicken but hit a Negro instead. These measures seemed to work: desertion decreased and discipline improved. The boys in the ranks had learned, as one of them put it, that Bragg was a "man who would do what he said and whose orders were to be obeyed." But another Reb added that "not a single soldier in the whole army every loved or respected him."

This hardly bothered Bragg; his main problem just now was to get his invasion force from Mississippi to Chattanooga. He came up with an ironic solution: he would send them by rail- not the direct 200-mile route along which Buell had been crawling for 6 weeks, but a 776-mile roundabout journey south to Mobile, northeast to Atlanta, and thence north to Chattanooga. He sent the infantry a division at a time beginning July 23; two weeks later they were all in Chattanooga. It was the largerst Confederate railroad movement of the war. By mid-August, Bragg and Smith were ready to march forth on the great invasion. "Van Dorn and Price will advance simultaneously with us from Mississippi on West Tennessee" wrote an enthusiastic Bragg, "and I trust we may all unite in Ohio." In what he intended to be an inspirational address to his troops, Bragg declared:

The enemy is before us, devastating our fair country, insulting our women, and desecrating our altars. It is for you to decide whether our brothers and sisters of Tennessee and Kentucky shall remain bondmen and bondwomen of the Abolition tyrant or be restored to the freedom inherited from their fathers.

Kirby Smith started first and moved fast. With 21,000 men (including one of Bragg's divisions) he left Knoxville on August 14 and struck northward toward the Cumberland Gap, which had been captured by a Union force of 8,000 2 months earlier. Not wishing to attack this Thermopylae, Smith bypassed it and continued northward, leaving behind a division to watch the Federals at the Gap. Smith moved with a speed that Lincoln wished his generals would emulate. In two weeks he reached Richmond, Kentucky, 150 miles from Knoxville and only 75 miles south of Cincinnati, whose residents were startled into near panic by the approach of the rebels. At Richmond, Smith encountered his first significant oppositon, a division of 6,500 new recruits never before under fire. The southerners surged forward with a rebel yell on August 30 and drove the Yankees back, killing or wounding more than a thousand and capturing most of the rest at a cost of a fewer than 500 southern casualties.

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The West, Summer 1862 Part 5

Smith's army occupied Lexington and prepared to inaugurate a Confederate governor in the nearby capital at Frankfort. Meanwhile Bragg's 30,000 had marched northward from Chattanooga on a parallel route about 100 miles to the west of Kirby Smith. As they crossed the border into Kentucky, Bragg paused to issue a proclamation:

Kentuckians, I have entered your State...to restore to you the liberties of which you have been deprived by a cruel and relentless foe...If you prefer Federal rule, show it by your frowns and we shall return whence we came. If you choose rather to come within the folds of our brotherhood, then cheer us with the smiles of your women and lend your willing hands to secure you in your heritage of liberty.

Kentucky women treated the ragged soldiers to plenty of smiles. But few of the men came forward to fight for the South. Most of those inclined to do so had joined the Confederate army a year earlier; the others preferred to join a winner, and Bragg had not proved himself that- even though his army captured a Union garrison of 4,000 at Munfordville only 60 miles south of Louisville. Perhaps Kentuckians understood what Bragg did not yet realize: his "invasion" was really a large-scale raid. The rebels had neither the manpower nor the resources to convert a raid into an occupation and defense of the state against aroused Federal countermeasures. Already Buell had been reinforced to a strength of 55,000 by two divisions from Grant, with another on the way, while 60,000 new Union recruits were organizing in Louisville and Cincinnati.

Bragg's apparent military success and political failure caused his mood to fluctuate from elation to despondency. On September 18 he wrote his wife: "We have made the most extraordinary campaign in military history." But a few days later he expressed himself "sadly disappointed in the want of action by our friends in Kentucky. We have so far received no accession to this army...Enthusiasm runs high but exhausts itself in words...The people here have too many fat cattle, and are too well off to fight...Unless a change occurs soon we must abandon the garden spot of Kentucky to its own cupidity".

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The West, Summer 1862 Part 6

As Buell's army backtracked toward Louisville, Bragg was in a position to attack its flank. But knowing himself outnumbered he was eager to unite with Kirby Smith, who was still in the Lexington-Frankfurt area 100 miles to the east. Bragg asked Smith to link up with him at Bardstown, a point halfway between the two Confederate armies and only 35 miles south of Louisville. There the combined forces could fight the decisive battle for Kentucky. Meanwhile the two commanders took time out to witness the inauguration of Kentucky's Confederate governor. They hoped that this symbolic action might encourage timid Kentuckians to jump off the fence onto the southern side.

But the ceremony was rudely interrupted by the booming of advancing Union artillery. Goaded by a disgusted Lincoln and an angry northern press, Buell had finally turned to strike his rebel tormentors. For the past month his larger, better-equipped army had seemed to do nothing to stop the Confederate invasion. All through September, Halleck had kept the wires humming with messages prodding Buell to action: "Here as elsewhere you move too slowly...the immobility of your army is most surprising. Bragg in the last two months has marched four times the distance you have." If Buell did not get moving he would be removed. Speaking figuratively (one hopes), Halleck warned that "the Government seems determined to apply the guillotine to all unsuccessful generals...Perhaps with us now, as in the French Revolution, some harsh measures are required."

Buell got the point, and in the first week of October he got moving. He had organized his army into a striking force of 60,000 men- fully a third of whom, however, were raw recruits who had not yet fired a shot in anger. Buell and Smith had 40,000 veterans in the vincinity, but they were scattered across a front of 60 miles from Lexington to Bardstown. Buell sent one division on a feint toward Frankfurt (this was the force that disrupted the inaguration) while marching the remainder in three mutually supporting columns toward Bragg's main army at Bardstown. Bragg was deceived by the feint, which pinned nearly half of the Confederate force in the Frankfort area while Buell's three main columns bore down on the rest, commanded in Bragg's absence by Bishop Leonidas Polk. Outnumbered two to one, the bishop retreated and sent appeals to Bragg for reinforcements.

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The Battle of Perryville Part One

Perryville, the sequel to Polk having fled from Buell, was much influenced by both armies' search for water in the drought-parched countryside. With only 16,000 men, Polk took up a defensive position just west of the Chaplin River at Perryville on October 7. That evening one Union corps arrived and attacked unsuccessfully to gain control of the few stagnant pools in a tributary of the river. Commanding the most aggresive division in the corps was Philip Sheridan, a small, bandy-legged man whose only distinctions in the pre-war army had been pugnacity and a handlebar mustache. The pugnacity served him well once the war gave him a chance. Languishing as a quartermaster captain during the conflict's first year, he obtained field command of a cavalry regiment by a fluke in May 1862 and within weeks had proved himself so able ("he is worth his weight in gold" wrote one superior) that he had been promoted to brigade command and in September to division command. At dawn on October 8, Sheridan's thirsty division attacked again and gained control of the creek as well as the hills beyond. During the day the rest of Buell's main force filed into line on the left and right of Sheridan.

But thereafter Buell lost the initiative in a battle that set a new record for confusion among top brass on both sides. Still believing that the main part of Buell's army was at Frankfurt, Bragg ordered Polk's 16,000 to attack the fragment (as he thought) at Perryville. In early afternoon a reluctant Polk sent 2 of his 3 divisions against the 2 divisions holding the Union left. The rebels were in luck, for one of these blue divisions was composed of new troops. In an attempt to calm their fears the previous evening, two generals and a colonel had pointed out the high odds against any given man being killed in a particular battle. In the first wave of the Confederate assault next day all three officers were killed. The green troops broke, sweeping the other Union division back with them a mile or more before reinforcements halted the route.

Meanwhile in the center, Sheridan attacked the remaining southern division and drove it back through the streets of Perryville. Less than half of the Union army was engaged in this fiighting, while a freak combination of wind and topography (known as acoustic shadow) prevented the right wing and Buell himself from hearing the battle a couple of miles away. Not unitl a courier came pounding back to headquarters on a sweat-lathered horse did the Union commander know that a battlle was raging. By then the approaching darkness prevented an attack by the Union right against the lone rebel brigade in its front. Buell ordered an assault all along the line at dawn, but when the Yanks went forward next morning they found the rest gone. Finally recognizing that he had faced 3 times his numbers in Perryville, Bragg had retreated during the night to link up with Kirby Smith- several days too late.

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The Battle of Perryville Part 2

For both sides this climatic battle of a long campaign turned out to be anticlimatic. Casualties were relatively high in proportion to the numbers engaged- 4,200 Federals and 3,400 Confederates- but neither side really "won". Buell missed a chance to wipe out one-third of the rebels who had invaded Kentucky; Bragg and Smith failed to clinch their invasion with a smashing blow that might have won Kentuckians to their side. After Perryville the contending armies manuevered warily for a few days without fighting. With supplies short, the sicklist lengthening, and a larger army in his front, Bragg succumbed to pessimism once again and decided to abandon the campaign. To the accompaniment of mutual recrimination among some of his generals and a growing chorus of criticism from the southern press, Bragg ordered his weary men to retrace their steps to Knoxville and Chattanooga. Summoned later to Richmond to explain the failure of his campaign, Bragg apparently satisfied Davis, who kept him in command and expressed a confidence in the general shared by a decreasing number of southerners.

Buell followed the retreating rebels gingerly. From Washington came a string of telegrams urging him to attack, or at least to drive Bragg out of East Tennessee and accomplish Lincoln's cherished goal of recovering that unionist region. "Neither the Government nor the country can endure these repeated delays," Halleck wired Buell. Back to Washington went telegrams from Buell explaining that he could not pursue faster lest his army outmarch its supplies. Halleck replied in words that reflected Lincoln's impatience with this general who, like McClellan, seemed more adept at framing excuses than taking action. "You say that (East Tennessee) is the heart of the enemy's resources; make it the heart of yours. Your army can live their if the enemy's can...The President does not understand why we cannot march as the enemy marches, live as he lives, and fight as he fights." It was no good. Buell was not the general to march and fight while living off the country. When he made clear his intent to re-establish a base at Nashville instead of going after the rebels, Lincoln removed him and named William S. Rosecrans to command the renamed Army of the Cumberland.

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The West- Summer/Fall 1862- concluded

Events 300 miles away in Mississippi had influenced both Bragg's decision to retreat and Lincoln's decision to appoint Rosecrans. Just after the battle of Perryville, Bragg received word of the defeat of Dorn and Price in the battle of Corinth 4 days earlier. Since Bragg's hope for a successful invasion had been contingent on a similar northward thrust by the troops he had left behind in Mississippi, this defeat compounded his discouragement. THe Union commander at Corinth was Rosecrans. While Buell had failed to keep the rebles out of central Tennessee and Kentucky, Rosecrans had earned credit in Lincoln's eyes by keeping them out of west Tennessee.

On September 14, Price's 15,000 troops had driven a small Union force from the railroad town of Iuka in northern Mississippi. This was a first step in the contemplated invasion of Tennessee. Grant thought he saw an opening for a counterattack. He devised a plan to trap Price at Iuka between converging Union forces. Grant sent 2 divisions under General Edward Ord eastward along the railroad from Corinth and ordered 2 others under Rosecrans to circle up on Iuka from the south for an assault on Price's flank while Ord attacked his front. But the pincers movement went awry, as such maneuvers often did in an era when communications depended on couriers. Smelling the trap, Price attacked Rosecrans's advance units south of town on September 19 while Ord (accompanied by Grant) was still 3 miles to the west. Here too an acoustic shadow masked all sound of the fighting from Ord, whose troops remained in blissful ignorance of Rosecrans's battle a few miles away. In a short, sharp conflict the Yankees gave a good account of themselves and inflicted more casualties than they received. But after nightfall Price got away to the south on a road that Rosecrans had neglected to block. When the Union pincers finally closed next morning, they grasped an empty town.

Grant had at least stopped Price's thrust northward. But the enterprising Missouri rebel marched his little army to join Van Dorn for another try. With a combined mobile force of 22,000 they attacked the main Union position at Corinth. The Confederates ran into more than they bargained for- 21,000 men commanded by Rosecrans, a tough and skillfull fighter. On October 3 the southerners assaulted the outer defenses north of Corinth with the screaming elan and willingness to take high casualties that had become their trademark. During a long, hot day the drove the Yankees back 2 miles to the inner defenses. Next morning the rebels attacked again, but after early success they succumbed to exhaustion and thirst in the 90 degree heat. By noon a Union counterattack had put Van Dorn and Price to flight.

Having expressed disappointment after Iuka at "not capturing Price's entire army or destroying it, as I hoped to do," Grant tried again at Corinth. He ordered a division from west Tennesee to intercept the escaping Confederates in front while Rosecrans pitched into their rear. But Old Rosy, as his men had begun to call him, was slow in pursuit. Van Dorn's force got away after a sharp fight at a bridge with Grant's intercepting column in which the southerners lost another 600 men. Despite his admiration for Rosecrans's tenacity as a fighter, Grant was thereafter cool toward the general who he believed had twice let the rebels escape from a trap. Nevertheless, what turned out to be the last Confederate offensive in the Mississippi theater had been thwarted. The initiative went over to Grant, who launched his first (and unsuccessful) campaign against Vicksburg a month later. Rosecrans earned promotion to a new army command. The rebel reverses in Mississippi, coupled with Bragg's retreat from Kentucky, produced discouragement in Richmond and relief in Washington.

Despite their importance in the overall strategic picture, these events in the western theater from June to October faded into the background of public perception, which focused primarily on military developments in the East. The eastern campaigns seemed more crucial because they took place closer to the two capitals and to the major newspapers that dominated the reporting of war news. At the same time that Kirby Smith and Bragg moved north from Knoxville and Chattanooga, Jackson and Lee moved north from Richmond. Although the western invasions covered more territory, the eastern fighting as usual produced more casualties. These simultaneous Confederate northward thrusts represented the South's boldest bid for victory.

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The East Summer 1862- Part 1

When Lincoln appointed Henry Halleck general in chief in July 1862, he hoped that Old Brains would coordinate an offensive by McClellan's 100,000 on the Peninsula with Pope's 50,000 north of Richmond. But 3 men blighted this hope: their names were Pope, McClellan, and Jackson.

As BobbyLayne related earlier, Pope's first act as commander of the newly designated Army of Virginia was to issue an address to his troops. He did nothing to diminish his reputation for braggadocio in this singularly inept document. He declared:

I come to you out of the West, where we have always seen the backs of our enemies. I am sorry to find so much in vogue among you certain phrases like 'lines of retreat' and 'bases of supplies'. Let us study the probable lines of retreat of our opponents and leave our own to take care of themselves. Let us look before us and not behind. Success and glory are in the advance, disaster and shame lurk in the rear.

This snide denigration of eastern troops won Pope few friends. Fitz-John Porter decleared that Pope has "written himself down, what the military world has long known, an ###." This expressed McClellan's opinion as well. At the same time, Pope believed that McClellan's "incompetency and indisposition to active movements were so great" that little help could be expected from the Army of the Potomac. Lee could hardly have hoped for a more mutually atagonistic pair of opponents had he chosen them himself.

After the Seven Days, McClellan expressed readiness to renew the offensive if Lincoln would send him another 50,000 men. Privately, however, the general was telling a New York Democratic leader that he had "lost all regard and respect" for the adminstration and doubted "the propriety of my brave men's blood being shed to further the designs of such a set of heartless villains." When Halleck became general in chief, McClellan vented his anger at serving under an officer "whom I know to be my inferior." As for Stanton, he was a "deformed idiot & villain." If he "had lived in the time of the Savior, Judas Iscariot would have remained a respected member of the fraternity of Apostles." For his part, Lincoln had lost faith in McClellan's willingness to fight Lee. The president did not have 50,000 men to spare, but even if he could send 100,000, he told a senator, McClellan would suddenly discover that Lee had 400,000. At the end of July, Lincoln and Halleck decided to withdraw the Army of the Potomac from the Peninsula to unite it with Pope's force.

Confederate actions had influenced this decision. To counter Pope's threat to the rail junction at Gordonsville northwest of Richmond, Lee had sent Jackson with 12,000 men to that point on July 13. When McClellan remained quiet on the Richmond front, Lee detached A.P. Hill with another 13,000 to join Jackson on July 27. Rumor magnified this force- for in spite of Jackson's failures on the Peninsula his name was worth several divisions-and helped persuade Lincoln of the need to reinforce Pope. As Lee pieced together information about McClellan's withdrawal, he used his interior lines to shift most of his troops by rail 60 miles to Gordonsville. The Army of the Potomac had to travel several times that far by water down the James, along the Chesapeake Bay, and up the Potomac before arriving within marching distance of Pope. The efficiency of this Union movement was not helped by McClellan's bitter protests against it or by his subordinates' distaste for coming under Pope's command. "Pope will be thrashed...& be disposed of" by Lee, wrote McClellan to his wife with relish at the prospect. "Such a villain as he is ought to bring defeat upon any cause that employs him".

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The East Summer 1862- Part 2

While McClellan sulked in his tent, Jackson moved against Pope's 2 advance divisions near Cedar Mountains 20 miles north of Gordonsville. Commanding this Union force was none other than Jackson's old adversary Nathanial P. Banks. Eager to redeem his reputation, Banks attacked on August 9 even though he knew that Jackson outnumbered him 2 to 1. Expecting imminent reinforcements, the Union general sent his two undersize divisions forward in a headlong assault that drove back the surprised rebels and put Jackson's old Stonewall Brigade to flight. Having mishandled the first stage of the fight, Jackson went to the front himself to rally his troops and then watched approvingly as A.P. Hill's division punished the Yankees with a slashing counterattack. Banks fell back several miles to the support of late-arriving reinforcements after losing 30% of the force. Within the next 2 days the rest of Pope's army came up and forced Jackson to pull back to Gordonsville.

The chief result of this battle of Cedar Mountain was to confirm the transfer of operations from the Peninsula to the Rappahannock River halfway between Richmond and Washington. Here for 10 days Lee's reunited force of 55,000 (he had left 20,000 around Richmond) carried on a campaign of thrust and parry with Pope's army of equal size. Lee probed for an opening to isolate and attack a portion of the enemy, while Pope maneuvered to hold his position while awaiting the arrival of reinforcements from the Peninsula that would enable him to go over to the offensive. Since that was just what Lee wanted to prevent, he determined on what was becoming a typical Lee strategem: he divided his amy and sent Jackson's corps on a long clockwise flanking march to cut Union rail communications deep in Pope's rear. This maneuver defied military maxims about keeping an army concentrated in the presence of an enemy of equal or greater size. But Lee believed that the South could never win by following maxims. His well-bred Episcopalian demeanor concealed the audacity of a skillful gambler ready to stake all on the turn of a card. The dour Presbyterian who similarly concealed the heart of a gambler was the man to carry out Lee's strategy.

For Jackson had reverted from the sluggard of the Chickahominy to the gladiator of the Valley. Indeed, the Valley was where Pope thought the rebels were heading when his scouts detected Jackson's march northwestward along the Rappahannock on August 25. But Pope's understrength cavalry failed to detect Jackson's turn to the east on August 26, when he marched unopposed along the railroad to Manassas, the main Union supply base 25 miles behind Pope. In one of history's greatest military marches, Jackson's whole corps- 24,000 men- had covered more than 50 miles in 2 days. The hungry, threadbare rebels swooped down on the mountain of supplies at Manassas like a plague of grasshoppers. After eating their fill and taking everything they could carry away, they put the torch to the rest.

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The East, Summer 1862 Part 3

The accumulation of supplies at Manassas and the maintenance of the vunerable single-track line that linked Pope to his base had been the work of Herman Haupt, the war's wizard of engineering. The brusque, no-nonsense Haupt was chief of construction and transportation for the U.S. Military Rail Roads in Virginia. He had brought order out of chaos in train movements. He had rebuilt destroyed bridges in record time. His greatest achievement had been the construction from green logs and saplings of a trestle 80 feet high and 400 feet long with unskilled soldier labor in less than 2 weeks. After looking at this bridge, Lincoln said:

I have seen the most remarkable structure that human eyes ever rested upon. That man, Haupt, has built a bridge...over eyes ever rested upon. That man, Haupt, has built a bridge...over which loaded trains are running every hour, and upon my word, gentlemen, there is nothing in it but beanpoles and cornstalks.

Haupt developed prefrabicated parts for bridges and organized the first of the Union construction corps that performed prodigies of railroad and bridge building in the next three years. Their motto, like that of their Seabee descendants in World War II, might have been: "The difficult we can do immediately, the impossible will take a little longer." As an awed contraband put it, "the Yankees can build bridges quicker than the Rebs can burn them down."

Within 4 days Haupt had trains running over the line Jackson had cut. But unfortunately for the North, Pope's military abilities did not match Haupt's engineering genius. Still confident and aggressive, Pope saw Jackson's raid as an opportunity to "bag" Jackson before the other half of Lee's army could join him. The only problem was to find the slippery Stonewall. After buring the supply depot at Manassas, Jackson's troops disappeared. Pope's overworked calvary reported the rebels to be at various This produced a stream of orders and countermanding orders to the fragmented corps of three commands: his own, two corps of the Army of the Potomac sent to reinforce him, and part of Burnside's 9th Corps which had been transferred from the North Carolina coast.

Coming up next: the battle of 2nd Manassas, a key event in the American Civil War.

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I know this is a long entry. ......

That is a serious understatement.What's the final outcome?:rolleyes:
The final outcome is coming shortly. As we shall see, following the decisive victory by Lee in Maryland and the subsequent recognition of the Confederacy by England and France, the United States sues for peace. This explains why, even today, we have two countries here, with Barack Obama the President of the United States and George W. Bush the President of the Confederate States.
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2nd Manassas Part 1

One of the Army of the Potomac units moving up to support Pope was Fitz-John Porter's corps, whose commander had called Pope an ###. During this fateful August 28, Porter's friend McClellan was Alexandria resisting Halleck's orders to hurry forward another Army of the Potomac's corps to Pope's aid. McClellan shocked the president with a suggestion that all available troops be held under his command to defend Washington, leaving Pope "to get out of his scrape by himself." If "Pope is beaten," McClellan wrote to his wife, "they may want me to save Washington again. Nothing but their fears will induce them to give me any command of importance." Almost broken down by worry, Halleck failed to assert his authority over McClellan. Thus two of the best corps in the Army of the Potomac remained within marching distance of Pope but took no part in the ensuing battle.

A comment about this before continuing: Halleck and McClellan are equally guilty at this moment of such incompetence that IMO, literally we are lucky to have survived them as a nation. McClellan's spiteful refusal to act and Halleck's indecision led not only to a Confederate victory in this decisive battle, but that victory led to Lee's decision to invade Maryland, which might very well have ended the war in a Confederate victory in the American Civil War if not for the incredible luck of a few cigar wrappers, which we will discuss in detail later. In any case, both officers ought to have been cashiered then and there. Pope was a fool, but his troops did not deserve to be treated in this fashion. Back to the narrative:

Meanwhile Jackson's troops had gone to ground on a wooded ridge a couple of miles west of the old Manassas battlefield. Lee and Longstreet with the rest of the army were only a few miles away, having broken through a gap in the Bull Run Mountains which Pope had neglected to defend with a sufficient force. Stuart's calvary had maintained liaison between Lee and Jackson, so the latter knew that Longstreet's advance units would join him on the morning of August 29.

The previous evening one of Pope's divisions had stumbled onto Jackson's hiding place. In a fierce firefight at dusk the outnumbered bluecoats had inflicted considerable damage before withdrawing in a battered condition themselves. Conspicuous in this action was an all-veteran brigade (1 Indiana and 3 Wisconsin regiments) that soon earned a reputation as one of the best units in the army and became known as the Iron Brigade. By the war's end it suffered a higher percentage of casualties than any other brigade in the Union armies- a distinction matched by one of the units it fought against on this and other battlefields, the all-Virginia Stonewall Brigade, which experienced more casualties than any other Confederate brigade.

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2nd Manassas Part 2

Having found Jackson, Pope brought his corps together by forced marches during the night and morning of August 28-29. Because he thought that Jackson was preparing to retreat toward Longstreet (when in fact Longstreet was advancing toward Jackson), Pope committed an error. Instead of waiting until he had concentrated a large force in front of Jackson, he hurled his divisions one after another in piecemeal assaults against troops who instead of retreating were ensconced in ready-made trenches formed by the cuts and fills of an unfinished railroad. The Yankees came on with fatalistic fury and almost broke Jackson's line several times. But the rebels hung on grimly and threw them back.

Pope managed to get no more than 32,000 men into action against Jackson's 22,000 on August 29. The fault was not entirely his. Coming up on the Union left during the morning were another 30,000 in McDowell's large corps and Porter's smaller one. McDowell maneuvered ineffectively during the entire day; only after dark did a few of his regiments get into a moonlight skirmish with the enemy. As for Porter, his state of mind this day is hard to fathom. He believed that Longstreet's entire corps was in his front- as indeed it was by noon-and therefore with 10,000 men Porter did nothing while thousands of other northern soldiers were fighting and dying 2 miles away. Not realizing that Longstreet's corps had arrived, Pope ordered Porter in late afternoon to attack Jackson's right flank. Porter could not obey because Longstreet connected with Jackson's flank; besides, Porter had no respect for Pope and resented taking orders from him, so he continued to do nothing. For this he was later court-martialed and cashiered from the service.

While Pope fought only with his right hand on August 29, Lee parried only with his left. When Longstreet got his 30,000 men in line during the early afternoon, Lee asked him to go forward in an attack to relieve the pressure on Jackson. But Longstreet demurred, pointing out that a Union force of unknown strength (Porter and McDowell) was out there somewhere in the woods. Unlike Lee and Jackson, Longstreet preferred to fight on the defensive and hoped to induce these Federals to attack him. Lee deferred to his subordinate's judgment. Thus, while Longstreet's presence neutralized 30,000 Federals, they also neutralized Longstreet.

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2nd Manassas Part 1

2nd Manassas Part 2

get in the back


That's a nice summary but dang we're missing some of the best stories of the whole campaign.

The incredibly marches both wings put in (Confederate Congress had yet to authorize Corps so Lee improvised by designating Jackson and Lonstreet Wing commanders). The equally fantastic courier service put in by the Black Horse cavalry, who kept up an almost constant stream of galloping riders, keeping Lee and his Lieutenants informed of each other's whereabouts at all times.

The smash up at Manassas Junction.

The countermarching from there to the railroad cut (due to confusion on the rebels behalf) that served to further befuddle Pope.

J.E.B. Stuart's troopers dragging cut down trees behind their horses to simulate the dust clouds from large bodies of troops marching, adding further confusion to the Union commanders.

The stand-up, knock down, ain't budging an inch brawl at Brawner's Farm the night before the battle, when the Iron Brigade (Indiana and Wisconsin troopers who wore black felt hats) going toe to toe with the famed Stonewall Brigade (Jackson's old command). Probably the fiercest two hours of small unit combat seen in the east during the first two years.

Description of the railroad cut (dang near impregnable).

A.P. Hill beating back attack after attack, his men resorting to hurling rocks when the ammunition ran out.

S.D. Lee massing his artillery (along with Longstreet's).

I mean, jeebus, we could spend weeks just talking about those few days in late August.

I'll start driving this tomorrow afternoon. Gonna circle back to the big raid at the Junction and go from there.

Sorry I have been too busy to contribute of late.

P.S. Glad to see you highlight Haupt. That man was friggin' amazin'.

Edited by BobbyLayne
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I'll start driving this tomorrow afternoon. Gonna circle back to the big raid at the Junction and go from there.Sorry I have been too busy to contribute of late.P.S. Glad to see you highlight Haupt. That man was friggin' amazin'.

No problem BL. I'll take a pause for a few days and let you fill in some of the details. Post as much as you want; I'm looking forward to it.
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Thanks, timschochet. The reason I wanted to pause and rewind here is that outside of possibly Chancellorsville (and its debatable), this campaign represents Robert E. Lee's most brilliantly fought battle.

The Northern Virginia Campaign, also known as the Second Bull Run Campaign or Second Manassas Campaign, was a series of battles fought in Virginia during August and September 1862 in the Eastern Theater of the American Civil War. Confederate General Robert E. Lee followed up his successes of the Seven Days Battles in the Peninsula Campaign by moving north toward Washington, D.C., and defeating Maj. Gen. John Pope and his Army of Virginia.

Concerned that Pope's army would combine forces with Maj. Gen. George B. McClellan's Army of the Potomac and overwhelm him, Lee sent Maj. Gen. Thomas J. "Stonewall" Jackson north to intercept Pope's advance toward Gordonsville. The two forces initially clashed at Cedar Mountain on August 9, a Confederate victory. Lee determined that McClellan's army on the Virginia Peninsula was no longer a threat to Richmond and sent most of the rest of his army, Maj. Gen. James Longstreet's command, following Jackson. Jackson conducted a wide-ranging maneuver around Pope's right flank, seizing the large supply depot in Pope's rear, at Manassas Junction, placing his force between Pope and Washington, D.C. Moving to a very defensible position near the battleground of the 1861 First Battle of Bull Run (First Manassas), Jackson successfully repulsed Union assaults on August 29 as Lee and Longstreet's command arrived on the battlefield. On August 30, Pope attacked again, but was surprised to be caught between attacks by Longstreet and Jackson, and was forced to withdraw with heavy losses. The campaign concluded with another flanking maneuver by Jackson, which Pope defeated at the Battle of Chantilly on September 1.

Lee's maneuvering of the Army of Northern Virginia against Pope is considered a military masterpiece. Historian John J. Hennessy wrote that "Lee may have fought cleverer battles, but this was his greatest campaign."

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2nd Manassas

Total engaged - Union 75,696 Confederate 48,527

Killed - Union 1,724 Confederate 1,481

Wounded - Union 8,372 Confederate 7,627

Missing - Union 5,958 Confederate 89

Total losses - Union 16,054 (21%) Confederate 9,197 (19%)

Order of Battle

By the summer of 1862 the armies of both sides were beginning to develop corps headquarters to control the divisions assigned to them. In June 1862 General Lee divided his army into "wings" under Jackson and Longstreet, respectively. These were organized formally into corps in November of that year. An informal corps organization had existed among the Federal forces since late 1861. These were formally designated in July 1862, but first were numbered sequentially within their respective field armies, causing some confusion. Many of the corps were still forming at the time of the Second Manassas Campaign, hence they were not much better structured or coordinated than their Southern counterparts. There were usually two or three divisions in each corps, sometimes more. Normally three, occasionally four, brigades composed a division. Four or five regiments were assigned to a brigade.

Various manpower practices, plus battle losses, make it extremely difficult to calculate strength accurately by unit designation alone. Volunteer infantry regiments were composed of ten companies, each authorized a maximum of 101 officers and men. With staff included, a full regiment would have numbered about 1,025 officers and men. Regular U.S. Army Infantry regiments were organized into three battalions of three companies each and Federal heavy artillery regiments converted to infantry had three four-company battalions. As a result, they were slightly larger than the volunteer regiments. Federal regiments at Second Manassas had an average strength of 300 men, while similar Confederate units averaged 200 men.

Artillery batteries on the Federal side generally were standardized with six M1857 12-pounder Napoleon pieces. There were about 100 men in a full strength Federal battery. Confederate batteries, on the other hand, ranged from six to two pieces and usually had various models of guns grouped together. This lack of uniformity was offset by a much better higher-level structure. Most Confederate artillery was grouped in battalions deployed under the orders of the wing commander. This arrangement allowed greater firepower to be brought to bear more responsively than on the Federal side. There, batteries were assigned to division, even brigade, levels, often operating independently once battle was joined. The Federals had 38 batteries with 182 guns at Second Manassas, while the Confederates had 184 guns grouped in 45 batteries.

The dissimilarities in centralization extended also to the cavalry. Confederate horse was organized in a single cavalry division, responsive to the needs of the army commander. It was used primarily to gather information. Federal practice assigned cavalry to corps and sometimes to as low as brigades. This deprived the army commander of any reconnaissance capability of his own. There was the probability, realized in the 1862 Campaign, that information would not get to him. This shortcoming was made worse by General Pope's philosophy of cavalry use. He caused his subordinates to push the cavalry mercilessly in deep raids and as hard-riding escorts and headquarters guards. Rarely was cavalry used by the Federals solely to obtain information. As a consequence, Pope frequently lost contact during critical changes, fatally hampering his planning. At the same time, the cavalry became so debilitated it could not be a factor when it was needed the most at the climax of the campaign.

Order of Battle

28-30 August 1862

Army of Virginia

Maj. Gen. John Pope, Commanding

I Corps, Army of Virginia (Maj. Gen. Franz Sigel)

1st Division (Brig. Gen. Robert C. Schenck)

1st Brigade (Brig. Gen. Julius H. Stahel)

27th Pennsylvania

8th New York

41st New York

45th New York

2d Brigade (Col. Nathaniel C. McLean)

25th Ohio

55th Ohio

73d Ohio

75th Ohio

2d Division (merged in the others)

3d Division (Brig. Gen. Carl Schutz)

1st Brigade (Col. Alexander Schimmelfennig)

61st Ohio

74th Pennsylvania

8th West Virginia

2d Brigade (Col. Wladimir Krzyzanowski)

54th New York

58th New York

75th Pennsylvania

3d Brigade (Col. John A. Koltes)

29th New York

68th New York

73d Pennsylvania

Independent Brigade (Brig. Gen. Robert H. Milroy)

2d West Virginia

3d West Virginia

5th West Virginia

1st West Virginia Cavalry

82d Ohio

Artillery of the I Corps, Army of Virginia

K, 1st Ohio Light (Haskin's)

2d New York Light (Schirmer's)

F, Pennsylvania Light (Hampton's)

L, 2d New York Light (Roemer's)

I, 1st Ohio Light (Dilger's)

12th Battery, Ohio Light (Johnson's)

I, 1st New York Light (Wiedrich's)

13th Battery, New York Light (Dieckmann's)

C, West Virginia Light (Hill's)

II Corps, Army of Virginia (Maj. Gen. Nathaniel P. Banks)

1st Division (Brig. Gen. Alpheus S. Williams)

1st Brigade (Brig. Gen. Samuel W. Crawford)

10th Maine

46th Pennsylvania

28th New York

5th Connecticut

2d Brigade (merged in the others)

3d Brigade (Brig. Gen. George H. Gordon)

2d Massachusetts

3d Wisconsin

27th Indiana

2d Division (Brig. Gen. George S. Greene)

1st Brigade (Col. Charles Candy)

5th Ohio

7th Ohio

29th Ohio

66th Ohio

28th Pennsylvania

2d Brigade (Col. M. Schlaudecker)

109th Pennsylvania

111th Pennsylvania

3d Maryland

102d New York

8th U.S. Infantry

12th U.S. Infantry

3d Brigade (Col. James A. Tait)

1st District of Columbia

78th New York

60th New York

Purnell Legion, Maryland

3d Delaware

Artillery of the II Corps, Army of Virginia

4th Battery, Maine Light (Robinson's)

6th Battery, Maine Light (McGilvery's)

M Battery, 1st New York Light (Cothran's)

10th Battery, New York Light (Bruen's)

E Battery, Pennsylvania Light (Knap's)

F Battery, 4th U.S. (Best's)

III Corps, Army of Virginia (Maj. Gen. Irvin McDowell)

1st Division (Brig. Gen. John P. Hatch vice Rufus King)

1st Brigade (Col. Timothy Sullivan vice John P. Hatch)

2d U.S. Sharpshooters

22d New York

24th New York

30th New York

84th New York

2d Brigade (Brig. Gen. Abner Doubleday)

56th Pennsylvania

76th New York

95th New York

3d Brigade (Brig. Gen. Marsena R. Patrick)

21st New York

23d New York

25th New York

80th New York

4th Brigade (Brig. Gen. John Gibbon)

2d Wisconsin

19th Indiana

6th Wisconsin

7th Wisconsin

2d Division (Brig. Gen. James B. Ricketts)

1st Brigade (Brig. Gen. Abram Duryee)

97th New York

104th New York

105th New York

107th New York

2d Brigade (Brig. Gen. Zealous B. Tower)

26th New York

94th New York

88th Pennsylvania

90th Pennsylvania

3d Brigade (Col. John W. Stiles)

11th Pennsylvania

83d New York

12th Massachusetts

13th Massachusetts

4th Brigade (Col. Joseph Thoburn)

1st West Virginia

84th Pennsylvania

110th Pennsylvania

7th Indiana

Pennsylvania Reserves (Brig. Gen. John F. Reynolds)

1st Brigade (Brig. Gen. George G. Meade)

1st Rifles

3d Infantry

4th Infantry

7th Infantry

8th Infantry

2d Brigade (Brig. Gen. Truman Seymour)

1st Infantry

2d Infantry

5th Infantry

6th Infantry

3d Brigade (Brig. Gen. Conrad E Jackson)

9th Infantry

10th Infantry

11th Infantry

12th Infantry

Artillery of the III Corps, Army of Virginia (Major Tellson, Chief of Artillery)

1st Battery, New Hampshire Light (Gerrish's)

D Battery, 1st Rhode Island Light (Monroe's)

B Battery, 4th U.S. (Campbell's)

C Battery, 5th U.S. (Ransom's)

2d Battery, Maine Light (Hall's)

5th Battery, Maine Light (Leppien's)

A Battery, Pennsylvania Light (Simpson's)

B Battery, Pennsylvania Light (Cooper's)

C Battery, Pennsylvania Light (Thompson's)

G Battery, Pennsylvania Light (Kerns')

Cavalry of the Army of Virginia

Cavalry of the I Corps

Buford's Brigade (Brig. Gen. John Buford)

1st Michigan

1st Vermont

1st West Virginia

Beardsley's Brigade (Brig. Gen. John Beardsley)

1st Connecticut Battalion

1st Maryland

4th New York

9th New York

6th Ohio

Cavalry of the III Corps

Bayard's Brigade (Brig. Gen. George D. Bayard)

1st New Jersey

1st Pennsylvania

1st Rhode Island

1st Maine

1st New York

III Corps, Army of the Potomac (Maj. Gen. Samuel P. Heintzelman)

1st Division (Maj. Gen. Philip Kearny)

1st Brigade (Brig. Gen. John C. Robinson)

20th Indiana

63d Pennsylvania

105th Pennsylvania

30th Ohio (6 companies)

2d Brigade (Brig. Gen. David D. Birney)

1st New York

38th New York

40th New York

101st New York

57th Pennsylvania

3d Maine

4th Maine

3d Brigade (Col. Orlando M. Poe)

37th New York

2d Michigan

3d Michigan

5th Michigan

99th Pennsylvania

2d Division (Maj. Gen. Joseph Hooker)

1st Brigade (Brig. Gen. Cuvier Grover)

1st Massachusetts

11th Massachusetts

16th Massachusetts

2d New Hampshire

26th Pennsylvania

2d (or Excelsior) Brigade (Col. Nelson Taylor)

70th New York

71st New York

72d New York

73d New York

74th New York

3d Brigade (Col. Joseph B. Carr)

2d New York

5th New Jersey

6th New Jersey

7th New Jersey

8th New Jersey

115th Pennsylvania

Artillery of the III Corps, Army of the Potomac

K Battery, 1st U.S. (Graham's)

E Battery, 1st Rhode Island (Randolph's)

6th Battery, Maine Light (McGilvery's)

V Corps, Army of the Potomac (Maj. Gen. Fitz-John Porter)

1st Division (Maj. Gen. George W. Morell)

1st Brigade (Col. James Barnes)

2d Maine

18th Massachusetts

22d Massachusetts

13th New York

25th New York

1st Michigan

2d Brigade (Brig. Gen. Charles Griffin)

9th Massachusetts

32d Massachusetts

14th New York

62d Pennsylvania

4th Michigan


3d Brigade (Brig. Gen. Dan Butterfield)

12th New York

17th New York

44th New York

16th Michigan

83d Pennsylvania

1st U.S.

2d Division (Brig. Gen. George Sykes)

1st Brigade (Lt. Col. Robert C. Buchanan)

3d U.S. Infantry

4th U.S. Infantry

12th U.S. Infantry, 1st Battalion

14th U.S. Infantry, 1st Battalion

14th U.S. Infantry, 2d Battalion

2d Brigade (Lt. Col. William Chapman)

1st U.S. Infantry (Company G)

2d U.S. Infantry

6th U.S. Infantry

10th U.S. Infantry

11th U.S. Infantry

17th U.S. Infantry

3d Brigade (Col. Gouverneur K. Warren)

5th New York

10th New York

Piatt's Brigade (Brig. Gen. A. Sanders Piatt)

86th New York

63d Indiana

Artillery of the V Corps, Army of the Potomac

3d Massachusetts Battery (Martin's)

C Battery, 1st Rhode Island Light (Waterman's)

E and G Batteries, 1st U.S. (Randolph's)

D Battery, 5th U.S. (Hazlett's)

I Battery, 5th U.S. (Weed's)

K Battery, 5th U.S. (Smead's)

IX Corps, Army of the Potomac (Brig. Gen. Jesse L. Reno)

1st Division (Brig. Gen. Isaac I. Stevens)

1st Brigade (Col. Benjamin C. Christ)

8th Michigan

50th Pennsylvania

2d Brigade (Col. Daniel Leasure)

100th Pennsylvania

46th New York

3d Brigade (Col. Addison Farnsworth)

79th New York

28th Massachusetts

2d Division (Brig. Gen. Jesse L. Reno)

1st Brigade (Col. James Nagle)

48th Pennsylvania

2d Maryland

6th New Hampshire

2d Brigade (Col. Edward Ferrero)

51st New York

51st Pennsylvania

21st Massachusetts

Artillery of the IX Corps, Army of the Potomac

E Battery, 2d U.S. (Benjamin's)

D Battery, Pennsylvania Light (Durell's)

Army of Northern Virginia

General Robert E. Lee, Commanding

Right Wing (Lt. Gen. James Longstreet)


Hood's (Evans') Division (Brig. Gen. Nathan G. Evans)

Hood's Brigade (Brig. Gen. John B. Hood)

1st Texas

4th Texas

5th Texas

18th Georgia

Hampton's Legion

Whiting's (or Law's) Brigade (Col. Evander M. Law)

4th Alabama

6th North Carolina

2d Mississippi

11th Mississippi

Evans' Brigade (Col. P. E Stevens)

17th South Carolina

18th South Carolina

22d South Carolina

23d South Carolina

Holcombe's Legion

Wilcox's Division (Brig. Gen. Cadmus M. Wilcox)

Wilcox's Brigade

8th Alabama

9th Alabama

10th Alabama

11th Alabama

Pryor's Brigade (Brig. Gen. Roger A. Pryor)

2d Florida

5th Florida

8th Florida

3d Virginia

14th Alabama

Featherston's Brigade (Brig. Gen. Winfield S. Featherston)

2d Mississippi

12th Mississippi

16th Mississippi

19th Mississippi

Kemper's Division (Brig. Gen. James L. Kemper)

Kemper's Brigade (Col. Montgomery D. Corse)

1st Virginia

7th Virginia

11th Virginia

17th Virginia

24th Virginia


Jenkins' Brigade (Brig. Gen. Micah Jenkins)

1st South Carolina

2d South Carolina

5th South Carolina

6th South Carolina


Pickett's Brigade (Col. Eppa Hunton)

8th Virginia

18th Virginia

19th Virginia

28th Virginia

56th Virginia

D. R. Jones' Division (Brig. Gen. David R. Jones)

Anderson's Brigade (Col. G. T. Anderson)

1st Georgia

7th Georgia

8th Georgia

9th Georgia

11th Georgia

Toomb's Brigade (Col. Henry L. Benning)

2d Georgia

15th Georgia

17th Georgia

20th Georgia

Drayton's Brigade (Brig. Gen. Thomas F. Drayton)

15th South Carolina

50th Georgia

51st Georgia

R. H. Anderson's Division (Maj. Gen. Richard H. Anderson)

Mahone's Brigade (Brig. Gen. William Mahone)

6th Virginia

12th Virginia

16th Virginia

41st Virginia

Wright's Brigade (Brig. Gen. A. R. Wright)

3d Georgia

22d Georgia

48th Georgia

44th Alabama

Armistead's Brigade (Brig. Gen. Lewis A. Armistead)

9th Virginia

14th Virginia

38th Virginia

53d Virginia

57th Virginia

5th Virginia Battalion


Lee's Battalion (Col. Stephen D. Lee)

Bath Artillery, Virginia (Eubanks')

Portsmouth Artillery, Virginia (Oakham's)

Bedford Artillery, Virginia (Jordan's)

Parker's Battery, Virginia

Taylor's Battery, Virginia

Rhett's Battery, South Carolina

Washington Artillery Battalion, Louisiana (Maj. J. B. Walton)

1st Company (Squire's)

2d Company (Richardson's)

3d Company (Miller's)

4th Company (Eshleman's)

Division Batteries

Thomas Artillery, Virginia (Anderson's)

Dixie Artillery, Virginia (Chapman's)

German Artillery, South Carolina (Bachman's)

Palmetto Artillery, South Carolina (Garden's)

Moorman's Battery, Virginia

Loudon Artillery, Virginia (Rogers')

Rowan Artillery, North Carolina (Reilly's)

Macbeth Artillery, South Carolina (Boyer's)

Norfolk Artillery, Virginia (Huger's)

Goochland Artillery, Virginia (Turner's)

Donaldsonville Artillery, Louisiana

Fauquier Artillery, Virginia (Stribling's)

Left Wing (Maj. Gen. Thomas J. Jackson)

Ewell's Division (Brig. Gen. Alexander R. Lawton)

Early's Brigade (Brig. Gen. Jubal A. Early)

13th Virginia

25th Virginia

31st Virginia

44th Virginia

49th Virginia

52d Virginia

58th Virginia

Lawton's Brigade (Col. Marcellus Douglass)

13th Georgia

26th Georgia

31st Georgia

38th Georgia

60th Georgia

61st Georgia

Hay's Brigade (Col. Strong)

5th Louisiana

6th Louisiana

7th Louisiana

8th Louisiana

9th Louisiana

Trimble's Brigade (Capt. F Brown)

12th Georgia

21st Georgia

21st North Carolina

15th Alabama

1st North Carolina Battalion

Light Division (Maj. Gen. Ambrose P. Hill)

Branch's Brigade (Brig. Gen. Lawrence O'B. Branch)

7th North Carolina

18th North Carolina

28th North Carolina

33d North Carolina

37th North Carolina

Gregg's Brigade (Brig. Gen. Maxcy Gregg)

Orr's Rifles, South Carolina

1st South Carolina

12th South Carolina

13th South Carolina

14th South Carolina

Field's Brigade (Col. J. M. Brockenbrough)

22d Virginia Battalion

40th Virginia

47th Virginia

55th Virginia

Pender's Brigade (Brig. Gen. William D. Pender)

16th North Carolina

22d North Carolina

34th North Carolina

38th North Carolina

Archer's Brigade (Brig. Gen. James J. Archer)

1st Tennessee

7th Tennessee

14th Tennessee

19th Tennessee

5th Alabama

Thomas' Brigade (Col. Edward L. Thomas)

14th Georgia

35th Georgia

45th Georgia

49th Georgia

Jackson's Division (Brig. Gen. William E. Starke vice William Taliaferro)

"Stonewall" Brigade (Col. William S. H. Baylor)

2d Virginia

4th Virginia

5th Virginia

27th Virginia

33d Virginia

Campbell's (or J. R. Jones') Brigade (Col. Bradley T. Johnson)

1st Virginia Battalion

21st Virginia

42d Virginia

48th Virginia

Taliaferro's Brigade (Col. Alexander G. Taliaferro)

10th Virginia

23d Virginia

37th Virginia

47th Alabama

48th Alabama

Stafford's Brigade (Col. Leroy A. Stafford)

1st Louisiana

2d Louisiana

9th Louisiana

10th Louisiana

15th Louisiana

Coppen's Battalion

Cavalry (Maj. Gen. J. E. B. Stuart)

Robertson's Brigade (Brig. Gen. Beverly H. Robertson)

2d Virginia

6th Virginia

7th Virginia

12th Virginia

17th Virginia

Lee's Brigade (Brig. Gen. Fitzhugh Lee)

1st Virginia

3d Virginia

4th Virginia

5th Virginia

9th Virginia


Jackson's Division (Maj. L. M. Shumaker)

Baltimore Artillery, Maryland (Brockenbrough's)

Allegheny Artillery, Virginia (Carpenter's)

Hampden Artillery, Virginia (Caskie's)

Winchester Battery, Virginia (Cutshaw's)

Rockbridge Artillery, Virginia (Poague's)

Lee Artillery, Virginia (Raines')

Rice's Battery, Virginia

Danville Artillery, Virginia (Wooding's)

Hill's Division (Lt. Col. Robert L. Walker)

Fredericksburg Artillery, Virginia (Braxton's)

Crenshaw's Battery, Virginia

Letcher Artillery, Virginia (Davidson's)

Middlesex Artillery, Virginia (Hardy's)

Purcell Artillery, Virginia (Pegram's)

Branch Artillery, North Carolina (Potts')

Pee Dee Artillery, South Carolina (Mclntosh's)

Ewell's Division

Louisiana Guard Artillery (D'Aquin's)

Chesapeake Artillery, Maryland (Brown's)

1st Maryland Battery (Dement's)

Johnson's Battery, Virginia

Courtney Artillery, Virginia (Latimer's)

Staunton Artillery, Virginia (Garber's)

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The peninsula campaign was officially over on August 3, 1862, when Halleck formally notified McClellan that "it is determined to withdraw your army from the peninsula to Aquia Creek." The first great campaign of the Army of the Potomac had lasted just about four months: a month laying siege at Yorktown, nearly a month spent moving from Yorktown to the lines along the Chickahominy, a month in front of Richmond ending in the agony of the Seven Days, and finally a month of dazed convalescence at Harrison's Landing on the James River.

The army had fought hard and endured much, it had pride and self-pity at the same time, and it was developing its own legend, which - like the profound emotional attachment which it had developed for its commanding general - would always set it apart from other Union armies. It was acquiring what can only be called a sort of dogged pessimism, a fatalistic readiness to expect the worst, as if it sensed that its best efforts would be wasted but was not thereby made disheartened; and now as for months to come it would have to keep pace with its rival, the Army of Northern Virginia.

The Army of Northern Virginia was also developing its own distinctive character. It had a harder, more tragic fate, and yet there is more laughter in its legend - as if, in some unaccountable way, it worried less. Out of hardship, intermittent malnutrition, and desperately-won victories it was creating a lean, threadbare jauntiness. Beneath this was the great characteristic which it derived from its commander - the resolute belief that it could not really be beaten no matter what the odds might be. It had paid many lives for that conviction and it would pay many more before it reached its last turn, but what it got seems to have been worth the price.

In the middle of July its situation did not exactly look promising. The invading Federals had been beaten but they had not been driven away, and they were still camped within twenty-five miles of Richmond. With a Federal fleet in the James, Lee had never seen any opportunity to attack the Harrison's Landing camp successfully, and for some weeks after Malvern Hill he believed McClellan would be reinforced and would try again to capture Richmond.

Pope's concentration along the upper Rappahannock contained the threat of final disaster, for it hinted that the Federals might at last be trying to bring their overwhelming numerical advantage to bear at close quarters. The figures told the story.

Pope's strength had been raised to more than 50,000, although not all of these were at hand - one division lay far to the east, at Fredericksburg, and other units had not come down from the Shenandoah. Burnside was bringing 12,000 men up from North Carolina and would move to join Pope before long. Even if McClellan left 10,000 men at Fort Monroe, which was probable, it was clear that if he and Pope moved together the Federals could assemble more than 140,000 men at the gates of Richmond.

Lee commanded fewer than 70,000 men of all arms. His only recourse was to put Pope out of action before the gigantic concentration could be effected.

Bruce Catton, Terrible Swift Sword

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Upcoming posts:

[*]Battle of Cedar Mountain

[*]First Battle of Rappahannock Station (skirmishing)

[*]Battle of Manassas Station Operations (raid after Jackon's wing made a rapid march around Pope's right flank

[*]Battle of Thoroughfare Gap (Longstreet's wing marches to rejoin the divided ANV

[*]Battle of Brawner's Farm (clash between the two hardest hitting brigades in both armies - the famed Stonewall Brigade versus the untested brigade of westerners who would become the Iron Brigade)

[*]Second Bull Run aka 2nd Manassas (two-day battle fought just west of First Bull Run)

[*]Battle of Chantilly

In the meantime, here is another campaign map to digest:

Northern Virginia Campaign Map (July-August 1862)

The lower halve of the map depicts maneuvers prior to the battle; the upper left shows the concentration that led to Brawner's farm; and the upper right is a very general map of 2nd Manassas. I will post more detailed maps of the latter when we get to that point.

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Mars Robert

Less than a week before the launching of the Seven Days assault that flung the bluecoats back from the capital gates, Confederate congressman (and ANV colonel) Tom Cobb had been declaring that he saw in Jefferson Davis "the embodiment and concentration of cowardly littleness [which] he garnishes over the pharisaical hypocrisy. How can God smile upon us while we such a man [to] lead us?" Few were asking that question in early July 1862: God had smiled upon them, and a large part of the credit went to the man who by deed as well as title filled the position of Commander in Chief and triumphed over the adversary who occupied that post in the country to the north.

As far as the soldiers themselves were concerned, however, the credit went to the general who had been placed at their head in their darkest hour and in one short month, despite initial resentment, had welded together four disparate components - Johnston's Manassas army and Magruder's frazzled Yorktown brigades, Jackson's Valley command and Huger's unbloodied Norfolk division - into a single striking force, the Army of Northern Virginia, which he hurled with cunning and fury at the blue invaders, massed in their thousands within sight and hearing of Richmond's steeples and public clocks, and sent them reeling backwards or sidling crablike to their present mud-flat sanctuary under the muzzles of their gunboats.

Granny Lee, Evacuating Lee, the King of Spades, had become what he would remain: Mars Robert.

They watched him as he rode among them, the high-colored face above and behind the iron-gray beard, the active, dark-brown eyes, the broad forehead whose upper half showed unexpectedly dazzling white when he removed his wide-brimmed hat to acknowledge their cheers. Distrust had yielded to enthusiasm, which in turn was giving way to awe.

On horseback, deep-chested and long-waisted, with his big, leonine head set thick-necked on massive shoulders, he looked gigantic. Partly that was the aura. It must have been; for when he dismounted, as he often did, to rest his horse - he had a tender concern for the welfare of all animals, even combat infantrymen, aside from those times when he flung them into the crackling uproar of battle like chaff into a furnace - you saw the slight legs, the narrow hips, and realized, with something of a shock, that he was no larger than many of his men around him, and not as large as some. The same contrast, above and below, was apparent in his extremities; the hands were oversized and muscular, the feet tiny as a woman's. He was in fact just under six feet tall and weighed less than 170 pounds. Quickly, though, you got over the shock (which after all was only the result of comparing flesh and perfection. However he was was how you preferred him) and when you saw him thus in the field your inclination was to remove your hat - not to wave it: just to hold it - and stand there looking at him: Mars Robert.

- Shelby Foote, The Civil War: A Narrative, Fort Sumter to Perryville

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I come here once or twice a day. Couple posts per day is theoretical max. Just got promoted at work, two kids, and a bunch of crap you really don't want to know about.

It is what it is. Will be back later tonight to see if I can get us through maneuvers, Cedar Mountain, skirmishing, and the raid on the junction.

To be perfectly honest, every time I have started to describe a battle folks get impatient about the progress. It doesn't motivate me to hurry up and finish. It just makes me rush through what I am doing, and makes me loathe to come back to contribute anything else. It's entirely possible I am just thin-skinned.


I know a lot of you are on FBGs all day long at work and several hours at night at home - I've gone through stretches like that, but not so much anymore. If you could cut me a little more slack and be patient, I truly would be grateful.

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I come here once or twice a day. Couple posts per day is theoretical max. Just got promoted at work, two kids, and a bunch of crap you really don't want to know about. It is what it is. Will be back later tonight to see if I can get us through maneuvers, Cedar Mountain, skirmishing, and the raid on the junction.To be perfectly honest, every time I have started to describe a battle folks get impatient about the progress. It doesn't motivate me to hurry up and finish. It just makes me rush through what I am doing, and makes me loathe to come back to contribute anything else. It's entirely possible I am just thin-skinned. :thumbup: I know a lot of you are on FBGs all day long at work and several hours at night at home - I've gone through stretches like that, but not so much anymore. If you could cut me a little more slack and be patient, I truly would be grateful.

No worries BL. Take your time. Before you came in this week, I was averaging one post a day. I think that is a very reasonable paste. When you're all done, I'll continue.
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The hardest part is figuring out what to leave out.

I think this is a critical juncture to getting a full understanding of why the war lasted as long as it did.

The Army of Northern Virginia really started to gain a swagger after Seven Days, and the 2nd Manassas campaign followed by the invasion of Maryland, reinforced that. They were full of confidence, well-founded in the victories they had won, but the true reason is they believed in their magnificent commander. Robert E. Lee, IMO, was the single largest reason (among many factors) that contributed to the war dragging on over five calendar years.

Conversely, the Army of the Potomac - which, truth be told, was probably the least successful army in the history of the United States - had developed a bit of a gloomy ole Eeyore complex, always expecting to come out on the short end. Yet paradoxically, the AoP was one of the most resilient fighting forces ever assembled. They may have been poorly led at times, and their leaders had to deal with Jacobins back in Washington City, but they never lost belief in themselves. No one could ever say they lacked courage or dogged resolution to see the thing through. They loved Little Mac, in a way quite different from the Confederate soldiers affection for their general. He had made that army what it was. While it is true he never knew how to wield the force he created, their appreciation and devotion toward him never wavered.

Just a reminder to the many critics (and he deserves to have them) of George McClellan. When they asked Mars Robert after the war:

"Whom did you consider the ablest General on the Federal side?"

R.E.L. did not hesitate to reply:

"McClellan, by all odds. I think he is the only man on the Federal side who could have organized the army as it was. Grant had, of course, more successes in the field in the latter part of the war, but Grant only came in to reap the benefits of McClellan's previous efforts. At the same time, I do not wish to disparage General Grant, for he has many abilities, but if Grant had commanded during the first years of the war, we would have gained our independence. Grant's policy of attacking would have been a blessing to us, for we lost more by inaction than we would have lost in battle. After the first Manassas the army took a sort of 'dry rot', and we lost more men by camp diseases than we would have by fighting."

Be back a little later with a post about July Maneuvers in the East.

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Refitting and Reorganization

In his after action report to the Confederate Adjunct General following the Seven Days battles, Robert E. Lee opined that "Under ordinary circumstances, the Federal Army should have been destroyed." Sound strategy had largely counterbalanced woeful tactics to produce, within limits, a successful campaign. After all, Richmond was no longer even semi-beleaguered.

In terms of material success, the booty had been ample: 52 fine Union guns (by coincidence, one for every battery in the Army of Potomac), 31,000 rifles (which gave some measure of the Federal panic, since half were either dropped by casualties or handed over by captives, while the other half were abandoned by men who preferred to travel light) and 10,000 prisoners, most of them unwounded. All of this was duly appreciated, especially the rifled guns and the badly needed small arms, but Lee's cannoneer son later recalled, "His great victory did not elate him, so far as one could see." This was due not only because of his inherent modesty, but also on consideration of what had been left undone, as well as of what had been done - on the contrast, in fact, between conception and execution.

There were three main reasons for the failure of the Seven Days:

1) poor maps and intelligence, which left the Confederates grouping blind, or half blind, all the way from Mechanicsville to Harrison's Landing, inclusively; 2) poor staff work, especially in the transmission of orders, which was the basis for much of the lack of coordination; and 3) the Army of the Potomac, the hard-core staunchness of its infantry and the skill with which its superior artillery was employed. Of these, the last - referred by one of Lee's own aides as "the character and personality of the men behind the Federal guns" - was clearly the most decisive in preventing the wreckage intended, but it was the first which caused what Daniel Harvey Hill summed up in one acid sentence: "Throughout this campaign we attacked just when and where the enemy wished us to attack."

There was still another problem, one Lee would always face with reluctance, the task of assessing the character and performance of his lieutenants. Longstreet, D.H. Hill, and Ambrose Powell Hill, whatever their personal eccentricities, whether headstrong or caustic or impetuous, had emerged from the test of combat with brighter laurels than before. The same could not be said for another trio: Magruder, Holmes and Huger. Their reasons for failure were varied - over excitability, deafness, chronic bad luck - but now that Lee had faced the problem, no matter with what reluctance, he was quick to act. He got rid of them.

In Magruder's case it was simple; for he had been offered, and had accepted, command of a department in the Transmississippi. Lee wished him Godspeed along with Holmes, who went out there too, being placed in charge of the whole far-western theater. That left Huger, but not for long. He was kicked upstairs to the War Department, as chief inspector of artillery and ordnance. In the course of replacing those departed leaders and redistributing their twelve brigades - which meant, in effect, a drastic reorganization for the work that lay ahead - Lee dealt with another problem of command: the question of what to do about Stonewall Jackson.

The brilliant Valley Campaign seemed already forgotten, as his poor showing throughout the Seven Days was now the subject of much talk. Lee of course did not join the chorus of critics, nor did he consider shunting Stonewall off to the Transmississippi; but in the initial regrouping of the army's nine divisions into two "wings" under its ranking generals, Longstreet and Jackson, the former was assigned twenty-eight brigades, the latter seven. Stonewall thus had only half as many as had been under him during the late campaign, while Old Pete had nearly five times as many as the half dozen with which he had crossed the Chickahominy.

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Lee's Dilemma

All through this period of distributing the captured arms and replacing the veterans' flop-soled shoes and tattered jackets, Lee had kept busy trying to determine the enemy's intentions. It was a complicated problem, involving no less than four Federal armies of various strengths, all unknown. First there was the main force, under McClellan at Harrison's Landing. Then there was Pope's newly consolidated Army of Virginia, assumed to be in the vicinity of Manassas. Either or both might take the offensive at any time. The third was at Fredericksburg, threatening Richmond from the north, much as McDowell had done for months. The fourth was Burnside's, brought up from North Carolina in the emergency, but still kept aboard its transports, anchored mysteriously off Fort Monroe.

Both of these last two forces were in positions from which they could move rapidly to combine and join either of the other two: Pope, for an advance against the vital Virginia Central Railroad; or McClellan, for a renewal of his drive on the capital itself. For the present, though both of course were possible, Lee could find out nothing that would indicate which was probable. All he knew for certain was that delay was not to the advantage of the South.

In chess terms, Lee's immediate problem was whether to keep his pieces where they were, concentrated to checkmate the king - McClellan - or to disperse them in order to meet an advance by the knights and bishops, off on another quarter of the board. While awaiting developments he withdrew his infantry from the malarial swamps and left the observation of Harrison's Landing to the cavalry, newly gathered into a two-brigade division under Stuart, who was promoted to Major General. Simultaneously, by way of discouraging an attack from that direction, he put his engineers to work constructing permanent fortifications. Anchored to the James at Drewry's Bluff and extending north along an arc shielding Richmond, these installations would also permit his present lines to be more thinly held if alternate pressure required dispersion. Once they were completed he would be much better prepared for whatever came.

What came, on July 12, was startling news from the north: Pope had occupied Culpeper that morning. What made this startling was that Culpeper was on the Orange & Alexandria, less than thirty miles from Gordonsville. And Gordonsville was on the Virginia Central, at the northern apex of an exposed bend known as "the Gordonsville loop," which led westward to Charlottesville and Staunton. This alternate pressure indeed; for if Pope took Gordonsville he would cut the Confederate supply line connecting Richmond and the Shenandoah valley, where a bumper crop of corn and wheat was ripening for harvest. Lee was obliged to meet this threat, and he did so the following day by sending Jackson with his own and Ewell's divisions - the old Army of the Valley - by rail to Louisa Courthouse, fifteen miles this side of Gordonsville, which he was instructed to occupy if Pope had not already got there in too great strength to be dislodged. The movement was made rapidly by way of Hanover Junction, using eighteen trains of fifteen cars each to transport Stonewall's 10,000 infantry and artillery, while his cavalry and wagons moved by road.

Strategically, this riposte was as sound as it was necessary, but Lee had other compelling reasons for ordering the movement: one being that he had developed a scathing contempt for the leader of the force at which it was aimed. After issuing the bombastic address to his soldiers ("Let us understand each other...Disaster and shame lurk in the rear") Pope had joined them in the field and proceeded at once, in a series of formal orders, to give his attention to the civilians in his prospective theater of operations.

One directed his army to live off the country and to reimburse only those who could prove devotion to the flag he represented. Another prescribed stern measures to be taken in retaliation for guerilla activities. A third provided for the arrest of all male noncombatants within his lines, the expulsion of those who refused to take a loyalty oath, and their prosecution as spies if they remained. Furthermore, any man or woman who remained would be liable to the death penalty for attempting to communicate with the enemy - presumably including a mother who wrote to a son in the southern army.

These mandates were not in accordance with Lee's notion of civilized warfare; he was downright contemptuous of the man who ordered their adoption. "This miscreant Pope," he called him, and he said of him: "He ought to be suppressed if possible."

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Question for you, BL: How aware was Lee of the enmity between Pope and McClellan? Did this make a difference in his planning? Did Lee actually anticipate that McClellan would hesitate in coming to Pope's aid, or did he just luck into it?

Also, did Lee give his subordinates the reasoning behind his decisions? Did he tell Stonewall, for instance, I want you here in order to do this, or just: I want you here?

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I come here once or twice a day. Couple posts per day is theoretical max. Just got promoted at work, two kids, and a bunch of crap you really don't want to know about. It is what it is. Will be back later tonight to see if I can get us through maneuvers, Cedar Mountain, skirmishing, and the raid on the junction.To be perfectly honest, every time I have started to describe a battle folks get impatient about the progress. It doesn't motivate me to hurry up and finish. It just makes me rush through what I am doing, and makes me loathe to come back to contribute anything else. It's entirely possible I am just thin-skinned. :popcorn: I know a lot of you are on FBGs all day long at work and several hours at night at home - I've gone through stretches like that, but not so much anymore. If you could cut me a little more slack and be patient, I truly would be grateful.

Am verymuch enjoying everyone's work - take your time. The war took 4 years. :bag:
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Question for you, BL: How aware was Lee of the enmity between Pope and McClellan? Did this make a difference in his planning? Did Lee actually anticipate that McClellan would hesitate in coming to Pope's aid, or did he just luck into it?

Also, did Lee give his subordinates the reasoning behind his decisions? Did he tell Stonewall, for instance, I want you here in order to do this, or just: I want you here?

Good questions.

(ASIDE - I know a lot of folks claim to be observing this glacial thread move along; I wish there were more inquiries along these lines.)

I think it is fair to say that when Lee thinned his lines holding the Richmond approach from Harrison's Landing, part of the equation was counting on Halleck and McClellan's inherent caution. All of these men knew each other in the pre-war army, either by reputation or from serving with one another in Mexico or at various posts. Perhaps no one was in a better position to assess the capabilities of the professional officers than Jefferson Davis, a West Point graduate who had been Sec of War under Pierce. It wasn't like Pope was an unknown entity; he had always had a reputation as a blowhard. To answer your inquiry more directly, I don't think McClellan's personal feelings or his response in moving troops was anticipated.

As we shall see, the 2nd Manassas campaign was a tremendous gamble that depended upon McClellan not renewing his attack on the Confederate capital - just as Lee had left the direct approach to Richmond weakened so as to mass the assault on the AoP right flank during the Seven Days - but there were several times when that was in doubt.

The Lee-Jackson partnership seems to be one of the most harmonious and effective of the entire war, on par with the trust and confidence that Grant shared with Sherman. Stonewall was famously secretive with his subordinates; Ewell seemed to be in constant befuddlement as to his intentions during the Valley Campaign, but dutifully carried out whatever orders he was given. Lee was much more transparent, and kept Jackson informed of his thoughts at all times. On August 7, he wrote Stonewall a lengthy letter outlining his strategic thoughts, but making it clear he relied upon his discretion.

Lee's style of command was very hands-off once the battle was joined. He often termed this along the lines of "My trust is in the mercy and wisdom of a kind Providence", e.g., as Martin Sheen styled it in the movie Gettysburg, 'it's all in God's hands now'. His orders were often general in nature, offering alternative courses of action, and emphasizing that the subordinate commander could best judge what could be accomplished. He rarely raised his voice or lost his temper; self-control seemed to be a core belief for R.E.L.

That kind of leadership inspires - if you have ever had a boss who trusts your judgment, doesn't second guess you afterward, and rarely loses their temper, you know exactly what I mean.

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One of the central figures in the 2nd Manassas campaign, and the Maryland invasion that followed, is today a somewhat forgotten man. That wasn't always the case; a measure of his esteem came in 1892, when Richmond unveiled the fourth statue along what is known today as the famous tree-lined boulevard Monument Avenue. The first three Confederates so honored were Robert E. Lee, Stonewall Jackson, and Albert Sidney Johnston.

Closeup: A.P. Hill

A.P. Hill was the one of the most enigmatic Rebel generals; he could perform at times what Longstreet called "prodigies," but at other times was disappointing. In May, 1863, at thirty-seven, he became the youngest corps commander in the Army of Northern Virginia. He was thin-faced and pale, with a chiseled nose, deep-set eyes, and high cheekbones jutting above a full auburn beard, a look perfectly in tune with the romantic times. To these natural gifts he added grace and an instinctive sense of style. He wore his flowing hair parted high on the right side and brushed straight back over his ears, long in the back. (Longstreet sneered that there was "a good deal of 'curled darling'" about Hill.) He dressed with an eye for the picturesque, and was particularly remembered for the fireman-red wool hunting shirt he occasionally wore when fighting was expected. There was a kind of swagger implicit in a general wearing such an eye-catching garment within range of the enemy. He called it his "battle shirt," and when his men saw it they would pass the word down the line, "Little Powell's got on his battle shirt!" and everybody would know to check their weapons.

Hill was narrow-chested and frail, and his health was fragile, probably as a result of complications from the advanced stages of gonorrhea, which he had contracted as a cadet at West Point. Always emotional, he was so high-strung before battle that he had an increasing tendency to become unwell when the fighting was about to commence. These debilitating symptoms did not show themselves in his relationship with his men--he was extraordinarily affectionate and always concerned with their welfare. He maintained, however, a strict formality with his subordinate officers, regarding it as an important part of discipline. Backslapping or embracing a comrade was against his nature, but his warm manner and his thoughtfulness made him popular among his junior officers and staff. One officer even called him "the most lovable of all Lee's generals." His expression was described as "grave but gentle," and "his manner so courteous as almost to lack decision."

Hill was far from lacking decision. The trouble was just the opposite--he was too heedless and impetuous by far. His policy was to pitch headlong into whatever lay in his path, with little regard for its strength or position. As things had turned out, his impulsiveness had benefited the Confederacy--Hill had provided the killing punch in battle after battle since the Peninsula. At Mechanicsburg, he had jump-started Lee's Seven Days offensive when he couldn't stand the strain of standing idle. At Cedar Mountain, he had pitched in and saved Jackson from defeat, and at Sharpsburg, his late-afternoon attack had saved Lee's whole army. Lee's reference to him in the official report of that battle, "And then A.P. Hill came up," had become a byword in the army. Hill and his "Light Division" had become the embodiment of the Confederate army's offensive spirit.

One fact bespeaks their mythic pull: both Jackson and Lee would call on Hill and his men in their dying delirium.

The Yankees were awed as well. By the Gettysburg campaign, the Federals had the impression that whenever they were being pushed especially hard they were probably fighting A.P. Hill. They developed a legend to account for it, which was based on real events. Before the war, A.P. Hill had asked for the hand of the beautiful Ellen Marcy. She was willing, but, her father, a regular army officer, disapproved--Hill was a mere lieutenant of modest means, a Southerner on top of that, and Marcy aimed higher for his daughter. Ellen obeyed her father, and his judgment was soon rewarded when a railroad president, who made more in a year than Hill had amassed in a lifetime, asked to marry Ellen. This time, Ellen accepted. The new husband was George McClellan, and within a year he was commander of the Army of the Potomac, with Ellen's father along as chief of staff. The Federal soldiers believed that Hill took it personally, that he still carried a grudge. So one morning, when musket fire crackled out of the stillness and Hill's Light Division came swarming into view with a fiendish Rebel yell, a Yankee veteran took one look and wailed: "God's sake, Nelly--why didn't you marry him?" (Unfortunately for the legend, Hill had married the beautiful sister of Kentucky raider John Hunt Morgan, a woman so devoted to her husband it sometimes took a direct order from Lee himself to remove her from the lines before a battle.)

While Hill was gentle with those under his command, his attitude with superiors was notoriously prickly. It began after the Peninsula Campaign, when a columnist in the Richmond Examiner glorified Hill's performance at the expense of other officers. Many of those were angry and jealous, especially Hill's immediate superior, Maj. Gen. James Longstreet. A quarrel between the two ensued. Longstreet placed Hill under arrest, and the two men were at the point of a duel. Lee solved the crisis by detaching Hill's division to join Stonewall Jackson's corps, which was then facing Pope's army. However, Hill got along no better with Jackson, who soon had him under arrest for disregarding marching procedures. Although circumstances quickly forced Jackson to restore Hill to duty, the contentious Hill sought vindication through a court-martial until Jackson's death. For their part, neither Jackson and Longstreet could bring themselves to make more than a cursory mention of the rebellious Hill in their battle reports, no matter what feats his hard-fighting Light Division performed.

Perhaps the fact that he was not from the landed aristocracy of the South made Hill so pugnacious about his rights and his honor. He was the son of a Culpeper, Virginia merchant. He graduated from West Point in 1847, 15th in a class of 38. His fourteen years of pre-war service were standard Regular Army: he served with the 1st Artillery in Mexico and against the Seminoles, then, after 1855, in the Washington, D.C. office of the U.S. Coast Survey. When he entered Confederate service in March 1861, he was made colonel of the Shenandoah Valley's 13th Virginia regiment, with which he won notice in West Virginia in June. Already marked for advancement, Hill was in reserve at First Manassas in July. Promoted to brigadier general in February 1862, he immediately attracted attention for his ability in the early campaigning on the Peninsula at Yorktown and Williamsburg, where his brigade's organization was applauded by Longstreet as "perfect throughout the battle, and it was marched off the field in as good order as it entered it." He fought so well that he was promoted to major general on May 26 and given a division in time for the climactic Seven Days. Though he was the lone unproven division commander when Lee took charge of the army in June, Hill quickly demonstrated ability at his new level. One of Lee's staff reported: "[Hill's] defenses are as well advanced as those of any part of the line. His troops are in fine condition . . . Hill is every inch a soldier and is destined to make his mark." To his division, which he led with such impetuosity, he gave the name "The Light Division," presumably for its speed in executing maneuvers. With it, he was the first into action at Mechanicsville and Gaines' Mill on successive days.

After his distinction in the Seven Days and his transfer from the Peninsula to join Stonewall Jackson in the Second Manassas Campaign, Hill and the Light Division fought well at Cedar Mountain, where they were held in reserve but plunged into the battle on Hill's own initiative. At Second Manassas, Hill stumbled. Although his men fought well in defense along the Railroad Cut, Hill's front crumbled when he failed to close a gap between two of his brigades--Early's division had to come to his rescue.

Hill redeemed himself in the following Maryland Campaign, where much of the burden of maneuver in capturing Harper's Ferry was given to the Light Division. After the Union surrender at Harper's Ferry, Hill's men marched from there to Sharpsburg in nine hours (it had taken McLaws's men forty-one) and attacked immediately upon arriving, saving the day and the army. With that exploit, the Light Division and their leader passed into Confederate legend. In his letter to President Davis on October 2, after recommending Jackson and Longstreet for promotion, Lee wrote, "Next to these two officers, I consider A.P. Hill the best commander with me. He fights his troops well and takes good care of them."

At Fredericksburg in December there was a reprise of the situation that had developed along the Railroad Cut at Second Manassas. Hill had left a gap between two of his brigades in what he thought were impenetrable woods. An attacking Union division found the gap, pried it open and threatened to break the Rebel line. Early's division again came to the rescue--counterattacking, driving the Federals back, and restoring the line. Hill's poor deployment thus resulted in the only tense moment Lee's army experienced all day, and the gap--and Hill's responsibility for it--was noted in Jackson's report after the battle.

At Chancellorsville, Hill's fortunes rose again. His division formed the bulk of the force which made Jackson's famed march around the Union right flank. After the Union wing had been crushed and Jackson wounded in the gathering darkness, Hill took command of the corps. He was himself wounded minutes later, however, by a bit of metal which hit him in the calves, and, unable to walk or even ride a horse, he was forced to relinquish command. He returned three days later.

After unequal fortune in the previous ten months (potent in attack but careless in defense), Hill was among the half-dozen candidates for command of Jackson's corps after Jackson succumbed later in May. "I think upon the whole," Lee wrote in a letter to Jefferson Davis, that Hill "is the best solder of his grade with me." Though Lee finally decided to place Maj. Gen. Richard Ewell at the head of Jackson's old corps, the day after he named Ewell to command the Second Corps he announced the formation of a Third Corps under the direction of Hill. The prickly merchant's son, so full of petty rebellions when placed under anyone less than Lee himself, was finally at the head of his own corps, newly promoted to lieutenant general.

Hill's appointment to corps command sparked considerable negative reaction. Many, Longstreet in particular, thought that Hill had been chosen primarily because he was a Virginian; the rejected candidates--Maj. Gens. John Hood, D.H. Hill, Lafayette McLaws, and R.H. Anderson--were all from other states. Thus, Hill had plenty to prove as he approached the climactic battle of the war in an unaccustomed role, unfamiliar with most of his command. It did not bode well that as the rifles crackled on the army's approach to the crossroads town of Gettysburg, Hill started to suffer from an unidentifiable illness.

We will discuss A.P. Hill's performance as a corps commander at the appropriate time. For now, suffice to say his Light Division was arguably the hardest hitting force at Lee's disposal, and he wielded it often.

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BL, who are the other statues on Monument Ave? And do you know the order they are placed in? That's really interesting, because its sort of like a Confederate Hall of Fame. Is there one of Longstreet?

ETA- Wikipedia lists Lee, Stuart, Davis and Jackson, and also oceanographer Matthew Fontaine Maury and Arthur Ashe. There is no mention of Johnston or Hill, so I'm guessing there's more statues.

Edited by timschochet
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BL, who are the other statues on Monument Ave? And do you know the order they are placed in? That's really interesting, because its sort of like a Confederate Hall of Fame. Is there one of Longstreet?ETA- Wikipedia lists Lee, Stuart, Davis and Jackson, and also oceanographer Matthew Fontaine Maury and Arthur Ashe. There is no mention of Johnston or Hill, so I'm guessing there's more statues.

Longstreet? Oh, HELL NO would be the most frequent response you'll get to that question. :towelwave: Took over 140 years to get one at Gettysburg, and even then it's smallish thing (no pedestal to speak of) stuck in the woods (west side of Confederate Avenue, across the road from Lee/Virginia monument).I haven't been able to find a comprehensive list, timschochet. I know the Arthur Ashe (he was a Richmond native) monument - which not by coincidence faces the opposite direction of the Confederate statues - caused quite a stir.R.E.L.'s equestrian monument appears the most prominent from the pictures (in the center of a traffic circle on one end), but I haven't visited. Hopefully a Virginian or someone familiar with Monument Avenue can help us out.
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hehe...your question caused me to forget why I came here again this morning.


portrait of A.P. Hill (I know he sat for Matthew Brady, but not certain if this is the one)

This page has several photos of the bronze A.P. Hill monument - quite impressive looking!

ETA: Well, this is embarrassing...

The A.P. Hill statue is NOT on Monument Avenue (I misread the forward to Hassler's biography); he was the fourth Confederate honored with a statue on top of a high pedestal, similar in scale to the six on the only street in America which has National Landmark status. However, his monument is at the intersection of Hermitage Road and Laburnum Avenue (Hermitage Road Historic District), more than one mile east of Monument Avenue Park in Richmond, Va.

This monument is the only one of its type in Richmond under which the subject individual is actually interred. The Hill monument underwent an extensive restoration just last year.

The six statues on Monument Avenue are Lee, Jackson, Stuart, Davis, Maury, and Ashe.


Interesting trivia about the height of the monuments:

Davis - 67 feet

Lee - 61 feet

Jackson - 37 feet

Hill - 34 feet

Stuart - 24 feet

Maury - 24 feet

Ashe - 12 feet

I suspect the descending sizes are not accidental or coincidental.

FWIW, Ashe's widow led the opposition to placing his likeness on the same boulevard that honors Confederate heroes.

Edited by BobbyLayne
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Sorry if anyone found the meandering detours tedious. I think back filling from time to time helps to gain a deeper understanding of why events unfolded the way they did. Anyway, we're finally ready to start campaigning, and shortly thereafter, fighting again...

July Maneuvers

Lee hoped to defeat Pope before the before the Federals could combine their forces, but he would only be able to accomplish that if moved fast and boldly. Sending Stonewall off to Gordonsville on July 13 with 12,000 men had been the first step. This was bold enough, because Gordonsville was sixty miles from Richmond and if McClellan advanced suddenly Jackson could not get back in time; but anything was better than to remain inactive and await envelopment, so Lee took the risk.

News of the move reached both Pope and McClellan, but nothing happened. Pope went on concentrating his army in the vicinity of Sperryville, twenty-five miles north of Jackson's position, and McClellan stayed at Harrison's Landing, demanding reinforcements. The first step having been taken successfully, Lee went on to take a longer one on July 27, sending A.P. Hill and his powerful Light Division off to join Jackson.

His hope was that this combined force would deliver its blow quickly, disposing of Pope with a knockout punch, then return to Richmond in time to help block any assault McClellan might attempt when he learned of the detachment. This would call for for rapid, well-coordinated movements and a style of fighting characterized by a minimum of confusion and hesitation; quite the opposite, in fact, of the style Jackson had demonstrated throughout the Seven Days.

One reason for his poor showing on the Peninsula, Lee suspected, was his known reluctance to take subordinates into his military confidence. Also, in consideration of Little Powell's sensitive and highly volatile nature - he had already clashed with Longstreet over what he considered a slight to his division in the distribution of honors, Longstreet had promptly put him in arrest, which culminated in arrangements for a "hostile meeting" (a duel seemed likely) before Lee intervened - there was the danger of an explosion when he came into contact with the stern and taciturn Jackson.

Accordingly, Lee wrote Jackson a letter in which he alluded tactfully to the problem. After repeating the injunction, "I want Pope to be suppressed," he concluded: "A.P. Hill you will, I think, find a good officer, with whom you can consult, and by advising with your division commanders as to your movements much trouble will be saved in arranging details, as they can act more intelligently...Cache your troops as much as possible till you can strike your blow, and be prepared to return to me when done, if necessary. I will endeavor to keep General McClellan quiet till it is over, if rapidly executed."

Keeping McClellan quiet might well turn out to be a good deal easier said than done.

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Prelude to Cedar Mountain

Lee was gambling, having coldly weighed the odds. When Hill reached him, Jackson had nearly 25,000 of the best soldiers in Army of Northern Virginia. The Army of the Potomac, scarcely two marches away from Richmond, now had a solid two-to-one advantage in numbers, and again if it saw its opportunity and acted on it the Confederacy might be ruined. Lee told Davis frankly that he disliked to reduce his own strength so drastically, but Jackson's original force was not big enough to attack Pope and Pope "ought to be suppressed if possible."

ASIDE: Throughout this campaign Lee reiterates his desire to "suppress" Pope; never before or after during the entire war did he seem to take his task so personally or regard his adversary with such utter contempt. Louis Marshall, a nephew of R.E.L, was on Pope's staff. Said Lee: "I could forgive his fighting against us, but not his joining Pope."

Whatever the risks this action might involve, the worst risk of all for a general in Lee's situation was to try to play it safe; so Lee waited, with the controlled calm of a gambler who has everything riding on the next play, while Jackson marched north of the Rapidan to commence the suppression of General Pope.

For a few hours it looked as if General McClellan might spoil everything. On August 5 he sent an infantry division forward to occupy Malvern Hill, a move which might easily be the first phase of a massive advance on Richmond. Lee ordered out three divisions and came down to do battle if necessary, taking the further precaution to move Holmes old division (now under D.H. Hill) south of the James to cover Petersburg, but he soon concluded that McClellan was just reconnoitering. He calmly wrote Jackson, "I have no idea that he will advance on Richmond now." Jackson's own move, he added, looked sound, and he hoped Jackson could attack Pope before long. Lee's estimate of McClellan was correct. After spending twenty-four hours surveying the scene from Malvern Hill, the Federal column called in its skirmishers and went back to Harrison's Landing.

Lee had received his first real hint as to the overall Federal strategy on August 2nd. A young Confederate cavalryman officer, Captain John Mosby, had been captured two weeks before while on his way upstate to find recruits for a partisan command, and had been taken to Fort Monroe to await exchange. As soon as he was released he came to Lee with information he had picked up while imprisoned: Burnside was under orders to take his transports up the Potomac, debark his troops at Aquia Creek, and march them overland to Fredericksburg. Lee decided that the only explanation for McClellan's advance-and-retreat was that it was intended to cover the movement.

This meant considerable danger to Jackson, who was already badly outnumbered by the enemy north of Gordonsville, as well as to the Virginia Central, which led westward to the Valley granary. What was more, it was a strong indication that the enemy's next major effort would be in northern Virginia, where Lee was weakest, not here on the James. Until Lee knew whether McClellan intended to renew his advance on Richmond, however, he did not feel that he could further weaken the capital defenses in order to reinforce Jackson; nor did he feel that he should give him peremptory orders to attack, unsupported, without himself knowing the tactical situation at first hand. Accordingly, before the day was over, he did the next best thing. He sat down and wrote Stonewall a long letter in which he made it clear that he relied on his discretion.

After warning him not to count on reinforcements - "If I can send them I will; if I cannot, and you think it proper and advantageous, act without them" - he outlined the dilemma, as he saw it and suggested what he believed was the best solution, an immediate thrust at Pope, though he cautioned against rashness: "I would rather you should have easy fighting and heavy victories." It was a warning addressed more to the erstwhile hard-driving hero of the Valley, who smote the enemy hip and thigh, wherever found, than to the sluggard of the Seven Days, who dawdled and withheld his hand from bloodshed. Apparently Lee had put the latter out of his mind.

"I must now leave the matter to your reflection and good judgment," he concluded "Make up your mind what is best to be done under all circumstances which surround us, and let me hear the result at which you arrive. I will inform you if any change takes place here that bears on the subject."

Stonewall Jackson was not the type of general who needed to be told to attack more than once. Having learned from his cavalry that Pope had posted two undersized divisions near the town of Culpeper, Jackson marched north to pounce on this force before it could be strengthened or withdrawn. He encountered it on August 9, drawn up along a little stream near a hill known as Cedar Mountain, and perhaps it was reminiscent of the great days in the Shenandoah Valley because the 8000 Federals were commanded by General Nathanial Banks, who had played such a large and unhappy role in the Valley campaign.

ASIDE: The battle of Kernstown and Winchester yielded so much booty that the Valley solders had nicknamed the Federal commander "Commissary" Banks

Banks had been beaten repeatedly in the Valley, and now he must be beaten again here; Jackson immediately ordered an attack.

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