- Jul 23, 2020
If you mean Couch should have been sent to go there by crossing the Burnside Bridge on the 18th, AP Hill is in the way; if you mean he should have been sent to go there by going along the south side of the Potomac on the 17th, AP Hill left Thomas' brigade to prevent any Union troops from crossing at Harpers Ferry.
If you mean something else please clarify.
And frankly at this point I'd barely trust Sears to tell me when the sun rose during the campaign - he's been caught outright fabricating information on more than one occasion. The 4,300 number is what McClellan gave his cavalry strength as, but it's PFD strength and includes some units which weren't at the battle itself; 67th has given effective strength.
A. P. Hill left HF on the 17th. Couch did not have to cross HF to get to Sharpsburg and he did reach Sharpsburg so I don't know what the problem is. Once he reached the battlefield he could just as easily gone to Botelers Ford as to where he ended up. Same thing for Pleasonton's cavalry. That's the scenario for bottling up Lee on the 18th.
I didn't the the OOB from Sears though. The source is included in the post.