Most and least effective generals at Gettysburg

Lefty

Corporal
Joined
Aug 9, 2007
Messages
351
#21
Jenkins was concussed by a Union shell fired from Cemetery Hill while Jenkins was on Barlow/Blocher's knoll doing a recon early on July 2.
He was knocked unconscious and taken back to the Major's house on the old Harrisburg Road. Jenkin's has a statue/bust outside of Harrisburg at the Rupp house in Oyster Point. Jenkins and Unionist John Robinson share the distinction of being the hairiest generals in their respective armies. Beards so long that they had to tuck them into their belts in order to sit down and eat supper.
 

Fewer ads. Lots of American Civil War content!
JOIN NOW: REGISTER HERE!

K Hale

Colonel
Civil War Photo Contest
Annual Winner
Joined
Aug 10, 2009
Messages
16,538
Location
Texas
#22
Well, so he was genuinely wounded then. But what was he doing hiding in the woods?
 

prroh

Captain
Honored Fallen Comrade
Joined
Oct 1, 2009
Messages
5,569
Location
Maryland
#23
Even non serious head wounds bleed a lot and look much worse than it is. I have never read that he was knocked unconscious. Anyway Jenkins did virtually nothing about relieving two infantry brigades who were Ewell's left flank guards. By not getting into position , as ordered, Jenkins actually caused harm to the cause.
 

Lefty

Corporal
Joined
Aug 9, 2007
Messages
351
#24
Even non serious head wounds bleed a lot and look much worse than it is. I have never read that he was knocked unconscious. Anyway Jenkins did virtually nothing about relieving two infantry brigades who were Ewell's left flank guards. By not getting into position , as ordered, Jenkins actually caused harm to the cause.

Prroh,
The secondary source regarding Jenkins being knocked "unconscious" can be found in GB Mag # 3 in the article pertaining to Jenkins' wounding by LBG Paul Shevchuk.
The primary source can be found in the SHSP, Vol. 24, p. 344. Bouldin to Daniels.
 

K Hale

Colonel
Civil War Photo Contest
Annual Winner
Joined
Aug 10, 2009
Messages
16,538
Location
Texas
#25
Were those two infantry brigades eventually relieved by part of Stuart's command?
 

Lefty

Corporal
Joined
Aug 9, 2007
Messages
351
#27
Were those two infantry brigades eventually relieved by part of Stuart's command?
K Hale,
Basically what happens is that the two infantry brigades (Smith's Virginians and Gordon's Georgians) were out on the York Pike about three miles from where Jenkins got popped in his noggin while in the act of receiving orders. Gordon is recalled late in the afternoon to provide support for the Hays/Avery assault if needed. Gordon was needed but was never utilized. Smith (only about 800 rifles) stayed put out along the York Pike and the Granite Hill railroad station, which was the first stop east of town. Smith also deployed a very thin skirmish line southwest towards the Hanover Road.

Smith's skirmish line ended about a mile short of the Hanover Road and perhaps a 1/2 mile short of Brinkerhoff's Ridge which runs perpendicular to the Hanover Road. Sometime around 6 PM some of Gregg's troopers show up on the Hanover Road on Johnson's divisions extreme left. Johnson deploys the Stonewall brigade into the gap near Brinkerhoff's Ridge. The 2nd VA becomes engaged with McIntosh's troopers which causes Johnson to leave the Stonewall brigade positioned east of Culp Hill that evening, thereby denying the Confederates the use of Walkers men during the early evening assualt on Culps Hill on 2 July.

Had Jenkins been in position on the York Pike as he was seemingly ordered it would have freed up at least two, and perhaps three CSA brigades for use on 2 July. Stuart had actually been personally present along with Ewell's step-son Cambell Brown, sans Stuart's brigades, on Brinkerhoff's Ridge, around the time McIntosh's trooper initially showed up. It was then that he noticed the suitable terrain for cavalry actions east of town and, in particular, in the environs surrounding Cress' Ridge.
 

K Hale

Colonel
Civil War Photo Contest
Annual Winner
Joined
Aug 10, 2009
Messages
16,538
Location
Texas
#28
Thank you, Lefty. Was this well into the evening or was it still light?
 

Lefty

Corporal
Joined
Aug 9, 2007
Messages
351
#29
K Hale,

It was still light, a few hours before dusk. The clash on B-hoff Ridge ended, however, just past dusk.
If you stand on B-Hoff ridge today (on Hoffman, as opposed to Hanover Road) you can see East Cav field and the Michigan Brigade monument quite clearly. Being that the area was signifigantly less wooded in 1863, it's probably safe to assume that JEB could see even further. Unfortuneately, the stone wall bordering Hoffman Road which was the point of contention between the 2nd VA and McIntosh's crew was removed last year by the landowner.
 
Joined
Jun 3, 2010
Messages
164
Location
Mullingar, Ireland
#30
The worst has several contenders, most of which on the Confederate side, I'd have to side with Stuart closely followed by Heth for causing this in the first place. Stuart's negligance of leaving the ANV without it's eyes and ears was unforgivable and for me was the forebearer of all the mistakes that would follow.

The best I'd go for Meade, he was exactly what was required, a steady pair of hands, his conservation of energy and ammo on the last day as well as his decision not to attack Lee's position was most admirable, I often think Meade is one of the forgotten men of Gettysburg despite the fact he was in command.
 

K Hale

Colonel
Civil War Photo Contest
Annual Winner
Joined
Aug 10, 2009
Messages
16,538
Location
Texas
#31
The worst has several contenders, most of which on the Confederate side, I'd have to side with Stuart closely followed by Heth for causing this in the first place. Stuart's negligance of leaving the ANV without it's eyes and ears was unforgivable and for me was the forebearer of all the mistakes that would follow.
I'll have to ask you where you gained this impression and hope you tell me something other than The Killer Angels. Please read Stuart's orders, then tell me how he was "negligent" in carrying them out. Most people who say things like this have never read his orders and are influenced by fictional accounts and post-war finger-pointing. A slight effort at research will correct this misimpression.

Here are the orders.

HEADQUARTERS, 22d June 1863. MAJOR-GENERAL J. E. B. STUART, Commanding Cavalry. GENERAL: I have just received your note of 7:45 this morning to General Longstreet. I judge the effort of the enemy yesterday were to arrest our progress and ascertain our where-abouts. Perhaps he is satisfied. Do you know where he is and what he is doing? I fear he will steal a march on us and get across the Potomac before we are aware.

If you find that he is moving northward, and that two brigades can guard the Blue Ridge and take care of your rear, you can move with the other three into Maryland and take position on General Ewell's right, place yourself in communication with him, guard his flank and keep him informed of the enemy's movements, and collect all the supplies you can for the use of the army. One column of General Ewell's army will probably move toward the Susquehanna by the Emmitsburg route, an- other the Chambersburg. Accounts from him last night state that there was no enemy west of Fredericktown. A cavalry force (about one hundred) guarded the Monocacy bridge, which was barricaded. You will, of course, take charge of Jenkin's brigade and give him necessary instructions. All supplies taken in Maryland must be by authorized staff-officers for their respective departments, by no one else. They will be paid for or receipts for the same given to the owners. I will send you a general order on this subject, which I wish you to see is strictly complied with. I am, very respectfully, your obedient servant, R. E. LEE, General."
"HEADQUARTERS, ARMY OF NORTHERN VIRGINIA, June 23d, 1863, 5 P. M. MAJOR- GENERAL J. E. B. STUART, Commanding Cavalry. GENERAL: Your notes of 9 and 10:30 A. M. to-day have just been received . . . If General Hooker's army remains inactive you can leave two brigades to watch him and withdrew with the three others, but should he not appear to the moving northward, I think you had better withdraw this side of the mountain to-morrow night, cross at Shepherdstown next day, and move over to Fredericktown. You will, however, be able to judge whether you can pass around their army without hindrance, doing them all the damage you can, and cross the river east of the mountains. In either case, after crossing the river, you most move on and feel the right of Ewell's troops, collecting information, provisions, etc. Give instructions to the commander of the brigades left behind to watch the flank and rear of the army and (in event of the enemy leaving their front) retire from the mountains west of the Shenandoah, leaving sufficient pickets to guard the passes, and bringing everything clean along the valley, closing upon the rear of the army. As regards the movements of the two brigades of the enemy moving toward Warrenton, the commander of the brigades to be left in the mountains must do what he can to counteract them; but I think the sooner you cross into Maryland, after to-morrow, the better. The movements of Ewell's corps are as stated in my former letter. Hill's first division will reach the Potomac to-day and Longstreet will follow to-morrow. Be watchful and circumspect in all your movements. I am very respectfully and truly yours, R. E. LEE, General."
Longstreet's orders.

HEADQUARTERS, MILLWOOD, June 22d, 1863, 7 P. M. MAJOR-GENERAL J. E. B. STUART, Commanding Cavalry, GENERAL: General Lee has inclosed to me this letter for you to be forwarded to you provided you can be spared from my front, and provided I think you can move across the Potomac without disclosing our plans. He speaks of your leaving via Hopewell Gap and passing by the rear of the enemy. If you can get through by that route, I think that you will be less likely to indicate what our plans are than if you should cross by passing to our rear. I forward the letter of instructions with these suggestions. Please advise me of the condition of affairs before you leave, and order General Hampton-whom I suppose you will leave here in command-to report to me at Millwood either by letter or in person, as may be most agreeable to him. Most respectfully, J. LONGSTREET, Lieutenant-General.-N. B. I think that your passage of the Potomac by our rear at the present moment will in a measure disclose our plans. You had better not leave us, therefore, unless you can take the proposed route in rear of the enemy. J. LONGSTREET, Lieutenant-General.
Some more helpful reading:

Mosby paper
Plenty of Blame to Go Around

HTH.
 
Joined
Jun 7, 2010
Messages
5
Location
Elgin, Illinois
#33
Being new here I'm taken back by the number of replies to the questions posed. I think it's great but I'm at a loss to even think I could add anything. So I think I'll just jump in here and cast my vote for most effective to Gen. Greene; least effective to Gen. Stuart. I'll also add I think Gen. John Geary deserves honorable mention in the least effective column for getting lost at a critical time.
 
Joined
May 14, 2008
Messages
14,790
Location
California
#34
I don't know how I missed this before K.

See? I always knew you were one of my favorite people here!

I couldn't agree more. And don't forget about Gouverneur K. Warren.
Who?

Oh, right. The engineer. :laugh1:

Sorry, couldn't resist. Warren did splendidly at Gettysburg.

His best day of the war, in my opinion.
 
Joined
May 14, 2008
Messages
14,790
Location
California
#36
Chamberlain ought to count for something, even if his feats were exageratted.

He still did a good job with a largely inexperienced (in battle) regiment.
 
Joined
May 14, 2008
Messages
14,790
Location
California
#38
Something in particular about Schimmelfenning?

Not saying you're wrong, but better him than Sickles, in my opinion. Or Barlow.

Iverson...well, let's just say he's on my list of generals whose afterlife should be filled by hearing the cries of the widows and orphans, so no argument there.
 
Joined
Jan 6, 2010
Messages
1,703
Location
UK
#39
Something in particular about Schimmelfenning?

Not saying you're wrong, but better him than Sickles, in my opinion. Or Barlow.

Iverson...well, let's just say he's on my list of generals whose afterlife should be filled by hearing the cries of the widows and orphans, so no argument there.
Schimmelfennig simply because being holed up in a back garden woodpile for most of the battle is not the most effective way of being a General Officer
 
Joined
May 14, 2008
Messages
14,790
Location
California
#40
Schimmelfennig simply because being holed up in a back garden woodpile for most of the battle is not the most effective way of being a General Officer
True, but unlike Iverson (to use your other nomination) he didn't get the better part of his command slaughtered.

Can't have helped morale for him to be inexplicably missing, though.
 



Fewer ads. Lots of American Civil War content!
JOIN NOW: REGISTER HERE!
Top