Jackson in the 7 Day Battle at Richmond

8thvacav

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Feb 20, 2005
What was Stonewall's problem in the 7 day battle around Richmond? I'm reading Porter Alexander auto bio and he thinks it was Jackson's religion. Johnson’s and Lee's battle plan would have crushed McClellan}’s army if his orders had been carried out but between Jackson and Longstreet his orders weren’t carried out. Jackson spent 7 days dragging his feet and Longstreet changed his marching orders on his own. This jammed the roads up and the other units could get in the line of battle. This wasn’t something new for Longstreet because he did this through out the War. As you can guess I’m not a Longstreet fan but Jackson had preformed brilliantly before the 7days and after. Harvey Hill said that Jackson depended on God to win the battles for him. Hill was Jackson’s brother inlaw. Your opinions ,please.
8thvacav
 

johan_steele

Regimental Armorer
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I think it may well have been physical & mental exhaustion, look to his actions and the hard marching of his men in the time period... There is ample evidence showing just how worn out his men were.

Fatigue played a critical role in several battles...
 

cash

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Right here.
"between Jackson and Longstreet his orders weren’t carried out. Jackson spent 7 days dragging his feet and Longstreet changed his marching orders on his own. This jammed the roads up and the other units could get in the line of battle."
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Sorry, but you're not describing Longstreet during the Seven Days. Jackson was physically exhausted, but Longstreet performed well during the Seven Days. I think you may have it confused with Seven Pines, which was not part of the Seven Days, where Longstreet clearly made an error in judgment.

Lee wrote the following in a dispatch to Davis: "Longstreet is a Capital soldier. His recommendations hitherto have been good, &amp; I have confidence in him." [Lee's Dispatches, p. 11] After the Seven Days were over, Lee said Longstreet was "the Staff of my right hand." [Thomas J. Goree to S. W. Goree, 21 Jul 1862] After the Seven Days, Lee got rid of four generals, G. W. Smith, Benjamin Huger, John B. Magruder, and Theophilus Holmes. He then reorganized the ANV and gave Longstreet responsbility for five divisions while giving Jackson responsibility for only three divisions. In his book about his trip to America, Arthur Fremantle wrote of Longstreet that "By the soldiers he is invariably spoken of as 'the best fighter in the whole army.' " [Arthur Fremantle, <u>Three Months in the Confederate States,</u> pp. 246-247]

Unfortunately, after Lee's death there was an organized campaign of character assassination against Longstreet that was orchestrated by Jubal Early, William Nelson Pendleton, and William Jones. This cabal went so far as to fabricate the charge that Lee had ordered a dawn attack on 2 July at Gettysburg which Longstreet failed to execute as ordered. Lee's staff officers, Walter Taylor and Charles Marshall, attested there was no such order ever given. The charge that Longstreet was always slow was also a fabrication of Early's.

Regards,
Cash
 

cash

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Right here.
"between Jackson and Longstreet his orders weren’t carried out. Jackson spent 7 days dragging his feet and Longstreet changed his marching orders on his own. This jammed the roads up and the other units could get in the line of battle."
------------
Sorry, but you're not describing Longstreet during the Seven Days. Jackson was physically exhausted, but Longstreet performed well during the Seven Days. I think you may have it confused with Seven Pines, which was not part of the Seven Days, where Longstreet clearly made an error in judgment.

Lee wrote the following in a dispatch to Davis: "Longstreet is a Capital soldier. His recommendations hitherto have been good, &amp; I have confidence in him." [<u>Lee's Dispatches,</u> p. 11] After the Seven Days were over, Lee said Longstreet was "the Staff of my right hand." [Thomas J. Goree to S. W. Goree, 21 Jul 1862] After the Seven Days, Lee got rid of four generals, G. W. Smith, Benjamin Huger, John B. Magruder, and Theophilus Holmes. He then reorganized the ANV and gave Longstreet responsbility for five divisions while giving Jackson responsibility for only three divisions. In his book about his trip to America, Arthur Fremantle wrote of Longstreet that "By the soldiers he is invariably spoken of as 'the best fighter in the whole army.' " [Arthur Fremantle, <u>Three Months in the Confederate States,</u> pp. 246-247]

Unfortunately, after Lee's death there was an organized campaign of character assassination against Longstreet that was orchestrated by Jubal Early, William Nelson Pendleton, and William Jones. This cabal went so far as to fabricate the charge that Lee had ordered a dawn attack on 2 July at Gettysburg which Longstreet failed to execute as ordered. Lee's staff officers, Walter Taylor and Charles Marshall, attested there was no such order ever given. The charge that Longstreet was always slow was also a fabrication of Early's.

Regards,
Cash
 

gary

Captain
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Feb 20, 2005
Jackson was exhausted (and his men weren't much better off). Douglas Freeman addresses it in Vol. 1 of Lee's Lieutenants.
 

8thvacav

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Feb 20, 2005
Hi,
What I'm going by on Longstreet is what Porter Alexander said in his auto bio. Thanks for your opinions.
Martin
 

cash

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Which version of Alexander's memoirs are you using? There are two versions, _Military Memoirs of a Confederate_ and _Fighting for the Confederacy._ The two versions have some differences. Alexander wrote what became _Fighting for the Confederacy_ without looking to publish it. He intended it only for his family, so his viewpoints of the various personalities is more candid and more personal. He had intended to publish _Military Memoirs of a Confederate_ from the beginning, so he was writing with an eye toward who would read it and who might feel offended.

This is from _Fighting for the Confederacy:_ "Gen. Longstreet entirely misconceived his orders, &amp; instead of marching straight down the Nine Mile Road &amp; massing in front of G. W. Smith, he crosses over to the Williamsburg Road, to get behind D. H. Hill. Of course he would not have done it had he not conceived himself ordered to do it. And, in crossing over, his troops met &amp; blocked the road of Huger's troops en route for the Charles City Road, where they were to open the ball. It is said that when they met Huger asked Longstreet which of them was the older &amp; ranking maj. genl., &amp; entitled to take precedence; &amp; that Longstreet said that he knew himself to be the senior, on which H. surrendered the road to him. It afterward turned out that Huger was the senior." [Edward Porter Alexander, _Fighting for the Confederacy: The Personal Recollections of General Edward Porter Alexander,_ p. 85] This portion is not discussing the Seven Days, but rather is concerning Fair Oaks/Seven Pines. Longstreet doesn't seem to come under any criticism at all from Alexander for his role in the Seven Days.


"Thanks for your opinions."
-----------
Actually, I gave you General Lee's opinions about Longstreet.

Regards,
Cash
 

8thvacav

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Feb 20, 2005
Hi Cash,
I didn’t realize there were two books till last night. The one I’m reading now is “Fighting for the Confederacy”. Your right, it was 7 Pines where Longstreet took the wrong route. Maybe I’m wrong about Longstreet but I just can’t like the guy. There are so many negative things I’ve read about him that makes me feel this way. Like Gettysburg and when he was out West and 7 Pines. Back to Jackson. Alexander didn’t think being tired was a valid reason for Jackson’s troops being late getting into the battles. Alexander said that Jackson didn’t want to fight on Sunday so he let his troops rest. I’m not downing Jackson because I think he was one of the best generals ever but being late was so out of tune for him and it never happened again up till the time of his death. It’s still is a mystery to me. Thanks for helping me out on this topic.
Regards, Martin
 

cash

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Right here.
Martin,

Jackson fought several times on Sunday. Alexander really wasn't in a position to know what Jackson's problems were. James I. Robertson goes over Jackson's situation in his biography, <u>Stonewall Jackson: The Man, the Soldier, the Legend.</u> Jackson had just come through the Valley Campaign and rushed ahead of his troops to meet with Lee and Longstreet. He then rushed back to his troops and basically had no sleep at all for days. With another general it wouldn't have been so bad, but Jackson kept all his plans to himself, and if he wasn't directing things they didn't get done. When he basically collapsed physically from exhaustion, there was nobody else who could tell his men where to go and what to do.

Much of the bad press Longstreet got concerning Gettysburg had to do with the campaign of character assassination launched against him by Jubal Early.

Regards,
Cash
 

jac

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Feb 20, 2005
As general background, we should remember that, until 1861, the US Army was very small. No one dreamed that armies as large as the AOP or the ANV would ever exist in America. Consequently, no one was ever trained in how to handle, supply, or fight an army of the size each side had at the 7 Days.
Even an able and experienced US soldier as R. E. Lee had never commanded a body larger than a battalion, I don't believe, before the war.
Most of the better generals were graduates of West Point; but even West Point never trained the students to deal with such large armies. Consequently, particularly early in the war, you can see a lot of SNAFU's taking place.
 

ben_ross

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Feb 20, 2005
<u>Beaver Dam Creek</u>
Jackson was not suppose to engage at all. It was a march of Manuever, not attack. He was suppose to bare well to the left and march to Cold Harbor..which one was not specified, but it can be assumed it was New Cold Harbor. Lee is to be blamed for changing his orders. When Lee met with his high command, they talked about what he wanted done. Jackson took notes. But when jackson got his orders, there were a few changes...leading to possible confusion. Yes, Jackson was late, but look at the circumstances.

Gaines's Mill}

Jackson was led astray by a guide, but he still go his men to the field to do some darn good fighting. Hood's men are credited with the intial break through in a classic bayonet Charge.

<u>Savage's Station</u>

Many Many people blame Jackson for not moving here. But they often over look the order he recieved from Chilton of Lee's staff. This poorly drafted order gave Jackson the impression that he was not suppose to cross the river, but he was to remain on the north side and protect the upper fords.

<u>Glendale</u>

This was probably his worst battle ever. It seems that Jackson was suppose to hold Franklin in his front while Lee attacked in Franklines rear and towards Malvern Hill. Jackson started doing this with his artillery barrage, but he could have followed it up with infantry demonstrations, but he did not. Then there is the issue of the fords. Stephan Sears states that moving to these would have been using to much discretion in Lee's orders to pursue the enemy and cross White Oak swamp at the bridge. Any attack at the bridge would have been a bloody repulse too...just keep that in mind.

<u>Malvern Hill</u>

Jackson wanted to flank them I believe, but Lee decided on the plan he and Longstreet came up with and it was a bloody mess.
 

tjjackson

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Feb 20, 2005
I tend to weigh in with the group that attributes Stonewall's performance during the 7 days to exhaustion, but i also add his and his men's unfamiliarity with the terrain. In the Valley he had Hotchkiss's excellent maps, and most his men were valley men and knew the valley intimately. Once they arrived around Richmond, the entered swamps and other land that they had no clue about and how to handle it aggressively.

Also Jackson was showing signs of his exhaustion towards the end of his valley campaign. His plans and preps at Port Republic were not up to his best efforts, and i attribute this to exhaustion as well. Robert Tanner's excellent book "Stonewall in the Valley" helps explain this much better than my poor attempt here.
 

gary

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Feb 20, 2005
Kind of hard to blame Jackson when he had neither decent guides or decent maps to speak of. Jackson didn't know the Peninsula like he knew the Valley (or had willing guides like those in the Valley). So, when Jackson got lost, who was to blame? Jackson or Lee? Clearly Lee as Lee didn't provide guides or maps to an army that was to turn the Peninsula campaign in his favor. Furthermore, the Confederates had over a year to learn the area but dithered and did no cartography. That would hurt later when columns became lost and had to retrace their steps.
 
A

aphillbilly

Guest
But then why did Jackson assure them he'd be there? Doubt was expressed that he could achieve the timetable, could but he steadfastly maintained he'd be there. Lee asked him when could he get in place. Not told him to. Jackson should have known better. It was his responsibility.
 

ben_ross

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Where did you want him to be...just wondering?

Yes Jackson was running behind, but alot of that was out of his hands. Also his orders were confusing and unclear.
 

ben_ross

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Feb 20, 2005
Thats somewhat over simplifying things Casey. Jackson had somewhere b/w 25-30 artillery pieces in action throughout the day. Jackson's mission that day was to hold the Feds. in place. He could have succedded in doing this with active demonstrations, but he did not, and yes, troops were able to be sent to Glendale.
 

ole

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Most certainly he and his troops were exhausted; however, being Lee's right arm, he should have been savvy enough to leave himself some wriggle room. A top general will take into consideration such factors as troop exhaustion, unfamiliar terrain, availability of competent guides, lack of maps, et al.

Exhaustion cuts him a bit more slack than he deserves in this particular situation. When you factor in confusing orders he comes out looking better, but still carrying fault.

Ole
 
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