July 4th Action Impact On Decision Making

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OpnCoronet

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OpnCoronet,
Take a look at Halleck's message to Meade which accompanied Lincoln's order to take command, and you'll see for yourself who used the "invading forces of the rebels" language first.
You will also find in that message the edict mentioned by Eric Wittenberg to "cover the capital and also Baltimore". (OR Vol 27, Part I, pg. 61).
In addition to Eric's book, I would also highly recommend a piece by A. Wilson Greene, entitled "From Gettysburg to Falling Waters", which can be found in Gallagher's book The Third Day & Beyond, for details on Meade's pursuit.
Greene did a great job of summarizing the critiques of Meade in the historiography of the campaign, and then effectively dismantled them, one by one.





i think that if you study the dispatches between Meade and Halleck(and Lincoln) you will find that Halleck was, personally, perfectly satisfied with Meade's pursuit. It was Lincoln who was dissatisfied. The dispatches praising Meade's efforst, were usually Halleck himself; when calling for more speed and aggression, it was Halleck passing along Lincoln's instructions.

It is true, that until Grant, it seemed beyond the capacity of Union generals to wrap their minds around the concept of Protecting Washington(and.or Baltimore) by closing with the ANV and force Lee's attention on what the AoP might do to him and Richmond, do that, and the defense of Washington and Baltimore is moot. It certainly was beyond Meade's frame of reference, i.e., he seemed to believe he could only do one or the other and not both.

Early in my studies, i was always provoked by the study of Meade's pursuit, as I have studied it more, I have reached the conclusion, already expressed, that given the state of Meade's mind and temper and that of his senior commanders, little could be reasonably expected from his trying to attack the ANV and probably would have been distinctly unpleasant for the AoP.
 

Scott Brown

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Lincoln should have known from Halleck's message to Meade that I previously referenced that Halleck initiated the "expel the invaders" rhetoric, and it can be argued that Halleck set the tone with that.

We've also got Lincoln's response to Howard's post-Falling Waters note, which clearly expresses satisfaction with Meade.
 
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Andy Cardinal

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I tend to believe Halleck was like a chain weighing down whoever commanded the Army of the Potomac and the war in the east could not be won until someone was promoted who was able to disregard Halleck's directions -- which of course ended up being Grant. I find it interesting that, at least according to Meade, he and Grant held very similar strategic views -- which we know from Meade were counter to Halleck's views. Even in 1864 Halleck objected fairly strenuously to Grant's move across the James, for example. Fortunately Halleck had no authority to stop Grant.

I also find it interesting that Hooker operated for several months communicating directly with Lincoln and bypassing Halleck. I suspect Lincoln's restoration of the proper chain of command had a lot to do with Hooker's resignation.
 

Belfoured

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I tend to believe Halleck was like a chain weighing down whoever commanded the Army of the Potomac and the war in the east could not be won until someone was promoted who was able to disregard Halleck's directions -- which of course ended up being Grant. I find it interesting that, at least according to Meade, he and Grant held very similar strategic views -- which we know from Meade were counter to Halleck's views. Even in 1864 Halleck objected fairly strenuously to Grant's move across the James, for example. Fortunately Halleck had no authority to stop Grant.

I also find it interesting that Hooker operated for several months communicating directly with Lincoln and bypassing Halleck. I suspect Lincoln's restoration of the proper chain of command had a lot to do with Hooker's resignation.
Joe was not much for chains of command generally - at least in the upward direction.
 

OpnCoronet

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Lincoln should have known from Halleck's message to Meade that I previously referenced that Halleck initiated the "expel the invaders" rhetoric, and it can be argued that Halleck set the tone with that.
We've also got Lincoln's response to Howard's post-Falling Waters note, which clearly expresses satisfaction with Meade.


Meade more than once, I believe, rebuked Halleck for making unwanted advice, and give clear instruction instead. I guess he decided to take Meade's wishes to hear in this case.

Was Howard's message before or after the ANV's escape across the Potomac? After Lee's made it back to va., Lincoln certainly had to find what satisfaction he could, from Meade's 'half a Loaf'.
 
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OpnCoronet

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Grant certainly had first hand experience with what Halleck considered good and proper Generalship, as second in command of Halleck's glacial advance against Corinth.
 

Andy Cardinal

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Meade more than once, I believe, rebuked Halleck for making unwanted advice, and give clear instruction instead. I guess he decided to take Meade's wishes to hear in this case.

Was Howard's message before or after the ANV's escape across the Potomac? After Lee's made it back to va., Lincoln certainly had to find what satisfaction he could, from Meade's 'half a Loaf'.
After Lee crossed
 

OpnCoronet

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After Lee crossed


As I have already noted, a pragmatic Lincoln, making the best of Meade's half a loafg. Lincoln famous rebuke to Meade's faiure of pursit(although it is probably more a lament), remained unsent in the interest of the same pragmatism forced upon Lincoln by Meade's less than sterling performance after Gettysburg.

But, as to the OP, the significant aspect of Day 4, was not only the plans of each army commander for that day, but also the energy of their execution, i.e., Meade's pursuit was foreshadowed by what each army commander planned, and did, on that day.
 
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rpkennedy

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Meade more than once, I believe, rebuked Halleck for making unwanted advice, and give clear instruction instead. I guess he decided to take Meade's wishes to hear in this case.
Halleck notoriously refused to give orders or instruction. In the fall of 1863, Meade repeatedly asked for positive instruction and Halleck never answered to Meade's satisfaction.

Ryan
 

Andy Cardinal

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Halleck notoriously refused to give orders or instruction. In the fall of 1863, Meade repeatedly asked for positive instruction and Halleck never answered to Meade's satisfaction.

Ryan
As well as at least twice Halleck positively ordered Meade not to make a move he wanted to make.
 

OpnCoronet

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Halleck notoriously refused to give orders or instruction. In the fall of 1863, Meade repeatedly asked for positive instruction and Halleck never answered to Meade's satisfaction.
Ryan



Very true, some commanders are more comfortable obeying rather than commanding. Not unlike Lee's problem of issuing suggestions rather than clear orders to some of his freshly minted corps commanders and who were not really comfortable with that stle of command.

Hallecks's lack of decisiveness, could be seen as a restraint on initiative by some commanders and a free rein to it, by others.
 
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