Day 2: Lafayette McLaws on the Counter-march

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OpnCoronet

Lt. Colonel
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Feb 23, 2010
Longstreet wanted McLaws line formed slightly different than Lee wanted it positioned. Longstreet believed the Union line stretched all the way to LRT. Lee believed it did not. Longstreet was correct. Giving a subordinate office direct orders in front of his commanding officer is not considered usurping anyone’s authority. Lee simply wanted his position occupied.


Was Longstreet's proposed change to Lee instructions to Mc Lawsonly slightly different? Surely attacking up Emmitsbuurg Road is very different from attacking accross it and why did Longsteet think Lee was wrong in his estimate of the location of the Union flank?.

From Mc Laws report, Longstreet was impatient(if not agitated) as he watched Lee give direct instructions to one of his subordinates, even as he watched(and seconds later having his orders countermanded by Lee, also in the presence of McLaws), was noted by McLaws, even as he diplomatically refrained from admitting why this might be so.
 

W117Monte

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Hamburg
These posts are tremendous!
I would say even if McLaws objected to going from first to last he should know that time is critical and he should do whatever is best FOR THE ARMY, and not for him(or his ego?).
 

War Horse

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Was Longstreet's proposed change to Lee instructions to Mc Lawsonly slightly different? Surely attacking up Emmitsbuurg Road is very different from attacking accross it and why did Longsteet think Lee was wrong in his estimate of the location of the Union flank?.

From Mc Laws report, Longstreet was impatient(if not agitated) as he watched Lee give direct instructions to one of his subordinates, even as he watched(and seconds later having his orders countermanded by Lee, also in the presence of McLaws), was noted by McLaws, even as he diplomatically refrained from admitting why this might be so.
I can’t answer that. None of us can. We do know that up the Emmitsburg Rd was the wrong call. The left flank of the Union army was across the Emmitsburg rd.
 
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OpnCoronet

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Feb 23, 2010
I can’t answer that. None of us can. We do know that up the Emmitsburg Rd was the wrong call. The left flank of the Union army was across the Emmitsburg rd.


That was the case before Sickles' movement to thhe Peach Orchard in the afternoo of Day 2, but, was it early in the morning of that same day and, most importantly to me, is why was Longstreet, apparently, unaware of this.

According to McLaws,there seems to have been a large discripancy between what Lee knew of the Unionb dispositions and Longstreets, that seems nevery adequately cleared up even when both were involved in the planning of the attack, i.e., From McLaws report, the discrepancy bertween Longstreets and Lees plans of battle, seems to have been noted(or should have been) by Lee, Longsgtreet and McLaws, yet from McLaws report, there seems to have been discussion of this fact by any of them.

I wonder did any one on the Confederate side, note and report on !!! Corps advance from Cemetary Ridge on the Afternoon of
Day 2 ?
 
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Tom Elmore

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Two comments/observations:

[Little] "Round Top Mountain Signal Station, July 2, 1:30 p.m.; General Butterfield: A heavy column of enemy's infantry, about 10,000 strong, is moving opposite our extreme left toward our right. Hall, Captain, Signal Officer" [Official Reports]. This note seems to have recorded part of the counter-march, but at face value it indicates an entire Confederate division was moving away from the Union left. If the Union high command paid any attention to it, they must have ignored its implications, which this time worked to their advantage. It reinforces a common theme in the history of intelligence, namely that acting upon a single piece of information may do more harm than good if not supported by additional sources.

The other involves the disconnect in coordination between units of the same command, and by that I mean the shortcut found by Alexander to avoid the Union signal station on LRT was not communicated to Longstreet, Hood or McLaws. It would have reduced the infantry march by at least 2 miles according to the map, which translates to 50 minutes at a minimum. Blame might rest on poor staff work or the lack of reconnaissance support. The latter was typically a cavalry function, but at Gettysburg it was assigned to disjointed ad hoc groups (led by Johnston, Pendleton and Black) to perform on the far Confederate right, resulting in enormous negative consequences as it turned out.
 

FZ11

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Aug 4, 2011
Location
Dallas
Was Longstreet's proposed change to Lee instructions to Mc Lawsonly slightly different? Surely attacking up Emmitsbuurg Road is very different from attacking accross it and why did Longsteet think Lee was wrong in his estimate of the location of the Union flank?.

From Mc Laws report, Longstreet was impatient(if not agitated) as he watched Lee give direct instructions to one of his subordinates, even as he watched(and seconds later having his orders countermanded by Lee, also in the presence of McLaws), was noted by McLaws, even as he diplomatically refrained from admitting why this might be so.
Longstreet doesn't think the Day 2 attack can succeed, so he is frustrated with Lee. Hood also doesn't think that he can take Little Round Top in a frontal attack. Check out the July 1863 photos of LRT. Do you think you (as Hood) could take LRT? I think Longstreet and Hood were correct. Lee is too "Hands off" during this entire battle, not seeming to carefully examine the ground and obstacles his troops will face in these attacks.
 

OpnCoronet

Lt. Colonel
Joined
Feb 23, 2010
Longstreet doesn't think the Day 2 attack can succeed, so he is frustrated with Lee. Hood also doesn't think that he can take Little Round Top in a frontal attack. Check out the July 1863 photos of LRT. Do you think you (as Hood) could take LRT? I think Longstreet and Hood were correct. Lee is too "Hands off" during this entire battle, not seeming to carefully examine the ground and obstacles his troops will face in these attacks.


Although I agree with you about Lee's hands off style of command, but I do not think Longstreet, on this day, would agree with us(he would probably say Lee was too hands on).

Again, to me, the chronology of events(especially the what did they know, and when did they know it) seems conflicted.

It is my understanding, that Hood only became concerned with LRT when he found his division facing Union Troops in line of battle, where there was supposed to be none. Hood probably assumed the Union defenses extended to LRT and militarily, it is axiomatic that taking higher gound in the face of a prepared enemy is very difficult, moving around LRT would be advisable. In the end Hood's division kept edging to the West trying to find the Union Flank, despite Longstreet's orders.
 
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