Comparing Picketts Charge w/ Charge up Missionary Ridge and Longstreet at Chickamauga

edfranksphd

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Aug 30, 2019
I agree wholeheartely that the duties of a CinC are many. In most cases when a battle occurs it is a spontaneous thing and the general has to assume that his subordinates have done their basic duties. Lookout Mt is a very different scenario. The Confederate position had been in place for months. There is no way that Bragg would not have noticed his artillery misplacement in that amount of time.

Last month I went on extended vacation eventually going from Augusta Ga to San Francisco. The first part of my trip I meandered through Tenn, Ky, Mo and Miss. visiting battlefields. I believe that in every single battlefield I've visited where Bragg was in charge that I've come across some reference to his failure to properly use his artillery.
Your claim that the reb's had had their artillery in position on Missionary Ridge for months is at best hyperbolic. (And what's that to do with Lookout Mtn or Lookout Valley, which was 2 miles and 2 mountains away from Bragg's headquarters?!) At best the Reb guns were "in position," or "out of position" for 6 wks, and that's a maximum. More likely it had been a few weeks at best. This notion that Bragg, commander in chief of the western army for much of this period, was to blame for poor artillery placement in a whole series of battles over a 2 yrs period is simply astonishing. He's been flogged for everything conceivable for 150 yrs, but I've never heard of this chronic artillery deficiency, and his primary role in it's occurrence, till this forum. Pretty ironic for a guy made famous in the Mexican War by Gen Taylor's nickname of "Give 'em more grape, Mr. Bragg," which Taylor said as he admired the manner with which Bragg was mowing down the charging lines of Mexican troops?!
 
Joined
Jun 27, 2017
Your claim that the reb's had had their artillery in position on Missionary Ridge for months is at best hyperbolic. (And what's that to do with Lookout Mtn or Lookout Valley, which was 2 miles and 2 mountains away from Bragg's headquarters?!) At best the Reb guns were "in position," or "out of position" for 6 wks, and that's a maximum. More likely it had been a few weeks at best. This notion that Bragg, commander in chief of the western army for much of this period, was to blame for poor artillery placement in a whole series of battles over a 2 yrs period is simply astonishing. He's been flogged for everything conceivable for 150 yrs, but I've never heard of this chronic artillery deficiency, and his primary role in it's occurrence, till this forum. Pretty ironic for a guy made famous in the Mexican War by Gen Taylor's nickname of "Give 'em more grape, Mr. Bragg," which Taylor said as he admired the manner with which Bragg was mowing down the charging lines of Mexican troops?!
Will you admit that they were in fact out of position? If so 6 hrs or 6 mos, no difference. The simple fact is that Bragg had sufficient artillery in place that if properly sighted should have easily repelled ANY Union attack up the mt.

If he failed to inspect the position, he is derelict. If he fails to note the improper positioning, he is derelict. Given Scott's well known disregard for any officer less than himself. His assessment of Bragg's performance could not be repeated in a grammar school.
 

wausaubob

Colonel
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Apr 4, 2017
Location
Denver, CO
Burnside and Hooker were gone from the US army at Gettysburg by the time the battle occurred. George Meade was in command. Grant stuck with him, despite the ups and downs, through the rest of the war. Meade made very few mistakes from Gettysburg onward.
Burnside and Hooker were in subordinate positions in Tennessee. George Thomas was in charge and Grant was taking responsibility. So by the time of Gettysburg the trend was established, unless the US commander got caught in an error, such as at Chickamauga, the US army was likely to win.
 

wausaubob

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Apr 4, 2017
Location
Denver, CO
The Confederate army at Gettysburg was not large enough to find the flank of the US Army. Both flanks of the Army of the Potomac were stable by the third day. The opposite condition prevailed at Chattanooga. The three divisions under Hooker pulled apart the left flank of the Confederate army on the 24th of November. On the 25th, they had an enormous amount of room on the west end of Missionary Ridge to find a favorable point of attack. It set a pattern. Sherman did the same thing at the end of the Atlanta campaign. Sheridan did at Wincheter III. Thomas did at Nashville. Finally Sheridan and Griffin found a weak spot in the extended Confederate line at Five Forks.
 

wausaubob

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Apr 4, 2017
Location
Denver, CO
Confederate artillery was relatively ineffective at both Gettysburg and Chattanooga. In most Civil War battles, the range at which the artillery was engaged mattered. But the US normally had the advantage in caissons, and could fire a large number of rounds and still keep firing.
 

wausaubob

Colonel
Joined
Apr 4, 2017
Location
Denver, CO
The force of an attack most likely is dependent on its mass, and the square of its velocity. Both attacks had sufficient mass. But the Confederate attack at Gettysburg was losing mass and velocity to artillery casualties. At Chattanooga, the absence of artillery in the front line entrenchments, and the diminished fighting response of the Confederate infantry did little to slow down the speed of the US advance. The US attack on Chattanooga slowed down on the ridge and paused at the crest. But by that time the US probably had approximately 7 divisions involved. The linear component, shear numbers, was probably enough to collapse the Confederate line.
 
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