Howard's pickets at Chancellorsville?

MikeyB

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Sep 13, 2018
Did the XI corps have any pickets posted? Or because they were "in the rear" so to speak away from the action, this wouldn't have been necessary? If pickets were posted, typically how far outside the lines would they be? Did they provide any warning whatsoever to the main body?
 

James N.

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Simply stated, yes, but they weren't out far enough to do much good. However, many soldiers and even officers heard the Confederates in their march or as they deployed. At least one battery commander, Capt. Hubert Dilger, took it upon himself to scout in his own front and when he attempted to report what he'd seen he was brushed off by some of Howard's aides at corps headquarters. A problem was that prim and proper New England Yankee Howard was totally unsuited to his new command, largely consisting of recent German immigrants like Dilger, whose English left a deal to be desired. They were on the whole good soldiers who had performed well under Fremont and Sigel but were looked down on by their own commander and his staff.
 

bayonet

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Simply stated, yes, but they weren't out far enough to do much good. However, many soldiers and even officers heard the Confederates in their march or as they deployed. At least one battery commander, Capt. Hubert Dilger, took it upon himself to scout in his own front and when he attempted to report what he'd seen he was brushed off by some of Howard's aides at corps headquarters. A problem was that prim and proper New England Yankee Howard was totally unsuited to his new command, largely consisting of recent German immigrants like Dilger, whose English left a deal to be desired. They were on the whole good soldiers who had performed well under Fremont and Sigel but were looked down on by their own commander and his staff.
Guess Hooker and his Staff were too busy with the Ladies that got named after him to include their profession to pay attention to what Stonewall Jackson was doing.:bounce::bounce::bounce::bounce:
 

James N.

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Guess Hooker and his Staff were too busy with the Ladies that got named after him to include their profession to pay attention to what Stonewall Jackson was doing.:bounce::bounce::bounce::bounce:
To the contrary - Hooker made a tour of his lines that morning and specifically told Howard to watch out for his front and flank. When he received word from Sickles commanding the Third Corps that a Confederate column was crossing his front, Hooker correctly decided "He's trying to flank me", allowing Sickles to push forward to Catherine Furnace to interdict the column. Unfortunately that actually put Hooker in a more compromised situation because Sickles swung south and east, thereby separating from Howard who was then isolated in the rear of the army - he even took Barlow's brigade with him, further weakening the Eleventh Corps. Sickles' report back on how he'd captured most of a Confederate brigade changed Hooker's mind into believing Lee was retreating. In the meantime, Howard ignored Hooker's order and did absolutely nothing to prepare for contingences.
 

bayonet

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Lately it seems this business comes up whenever Hooker is mentioned. Which is...tiresome.
Interesting, not to beat a dead horse but where did the term Hooker come from then? Read that their were so many they called them Hookers Division. Also the term may relate to a location in NYC. Their not called Grants or Custers or Scotts. Or is this another attempt to whitewash history. If not correct still the antics within his Army Camp didn't help disprove it.
 

JeffFromSyracuse

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Interesting, not to beat a dead horse but where did the term Hooker come from then? Read that their were so many they called them Hookers Division. Also the term may relate to a location in NYC. Their not called Grants or Custers or Scotts. Or is this another attempt to whitewash history. If not correct still the antics within his Army Camp didn't help disprove it.
Lots of debate about the origins, but it's likely just a coincidence that Hooker had the same last name. It is likely that Hooker hired prostitutes (he was a bachelor), but at least according to Sears, there's no evidence Hooker was distracted or drunk during the Chancellorsville campaign. In fact, he seemed all business.
 

bayonet

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Lots of debate about the origins, but it's likely just a coincidence that Hooker had the same last name. It is likely that Hooker hired prostitutes (he was a bachelor), but at least according to Sears, there's no evidence Hooker was distracted or drunk during the Chancellorsville campaign. In fact, he seemed all business.
History gives several examples of why something is what it is but which one is true? Example: my Family Tree has the name Cunningham in it. The Scottish Family crest/badge has the logo "Over Fork Over" but history gives 3 examples of how that was attributed. Which one is correct? Who knows.
 

JeffFromSyracuse

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History gives several examples of why something is what it is but which one is true? Example: my Family Tree has the name Cunningham in it. The Scottish Family crest/badge has the logo "Over Fork Over" but history gives 3 examples of how that was attributed. Which one is correct? Who knows.
Well, there’s been pinpointed uses of the word “Hooker” before the Civil War. He wasn’t famous enough before the war to have the name stick.
 

Belfoured

2nd Lieutenant
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Aug 3, 2019
Simply stated, yes, but they weren't out far enough to do much good. However, many soldiers and even officers heard the Confederates in their march or as they deployed. At least one battery commander, Capt. Hubert Dilger, took it upon himself to scout in his own front and when he attempted to report what he'd seen he was brushed off by some of Howard's aides at corps headquarters. A problem was that prim and proper New England Yankee Howard was totally unsuited to his new command, largely consisting of recent German immigrants like Dilger, whose English left a deal to be desired. They were on the whole good soldiers who had performed well under Fremont and Sigel but were looked down on by their own commander and his staff.
Add equally-biased division commander Charles Devens. There were plenty of reports that filtered back and should have been acted on.
 

Belfoured

2nd Lieutenant
Joined
Aug 3, 2019
To the contrary - Hooker made a tour of his lines that morning and specifically told Howard to watch out for his front and flank. When he received word from Sickles commanding the Third Corps that a Confederate column was crossing his front, Hooker correctly decided "He's trying to flank me", allowing Sickles to push forward to Catherine Furnace to interdict the column. Unfortunately that actually put Hooker in a more compromised situation because Sickles swung south and east, thereby separating from Howard who was then isolated in the rear of the army - he even took Barlow's brigade with him, further weakening the Eleventh Corps. Sickles' report back on how he'd captured most of a Confederate brigade changed Hooker's mind into believing Lee was retreating. In the meantime, Howard ignored Hooker's order and did absolutely nothing to prepare for contingences.
Hooker had also issued an order to Reynolds to bring his I Corps up in support but the courier/message got somehow delayed for many critical hours.
 

James N.

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Add equally-biased division commander Charles Devens. There were plenty of reports that filtered back and should have been acted on.
Devins must've been truly worthless - he was also the one who got needlessly involved in what quickly degenerated into the debacle at Ball's Bluff.
 
Joined
Jun 24, 2020
I think it was not a matter of pickets, but a matter of no cavalry being placed on the flank that “was in the air.” The blame lies in army headquarter. Having sent away all the cavalry except Pleasanton‘s brigade, no horsemen were out watching the flank. Pickets would have only been far enough out to provide the slimmest of warning. Cavalry could have provided a more timely warning.
 

Saint Jude

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A problem was that prim and proper New England Yankee Howard was totally unsuited to his new command, largely consisting of recent German immigrants...
It's a myth that Howard was totally unsuited for command of the Eleventh Corps, as his later successes with the German component prove. Howard's biggest problem was Carl Schurz, who was doing everything he could to undermine Howard so he could get command of the Eleventh Corps for himself, something he blatantly lied about in his memoirs.
 
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