Near Capture of General Doles and His Circuitous Advance Toward Town on July 1

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Tom Elmore

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Brig. Gen. George Doles left an intriguing description of his brigade's movements on the late afternoon of July 1. After having defeated the flank attack by the 157th New York, he writes of heading toward the Theological Seminary to assist his division's efforts against the Union First Corps, which lay in a southwest direction from his position.

Fortunately we have a corroborating account from C. D. Grace of Bonham, Texas that appeared in Confederate Veteran magazine, vol. 5, p. 614. The author is, without doubt, Charles D. Grace, a Private in Company B, 4th Georgia. Grace said that his brigade front was changed sharply to the southwest owing to Brig. Gen. John B. Gordon's brigade having moved in front of his brigade. That is a plausible explanation, but in addition, Doles may have been eager to rejoin his division, from which he had been separated, and the impetus could have been a great volume of fire emanating from Seminary Ridge at that time, coinciding with the attack by the brigades of Scales and Perrin, which I judge to have been just minutes before 4 p.m.

But by the time Doles was about half-way to the Seminary, or nearly due west of the College, at about 4:10 p.m., it became clear that the Federals were in full retreat from right to left, in front of him, moving along the Chambersburg Pike and railroad bed. Doles then moved by the left flank, in a southeasterly direction, to try to head off the Federals, but they moved too quickly for him, by and large just escaping his grasp, as he closed in on the town from the northwest between the college and the railroad bed.

Had Doles simply moved forward (south) at the outset, guiding on the Carlisle Road, he could have joined the right of Hays' brigade as it swept in from the northeast, and handily beat the Union First Corps into town. Such is fate.

C. D. Grace also provides us with the location of his brigade's encounter with the 157th New York, which he thought was an entire brigade. He notes that Gordon had halted his brigade in a hollow (which I believe to be the creek bed just south of the Alms House buildings, running generally west-east). Grace writes that "a Federal brigade was discovered in the little valley made by the creek" (same creek), and at that moment his regiment was ordered to the right to meet them. All of this accords with information from other sources regarding the entire brigade's attention being devoted to the 157th New York.

Before any of this occurred, as Doles was driving back Kryzanowski's brigade, Grace described a ludicrous scene involving Gen. Doles that is recorded in no other account, so far as I know. "Gen. Doles was riding a very powerful sorrel horse, and before he could realize it the horse had seized the bit between his teeth and made straight for the Federal line as a bullet, and going at full speed. We thought the General was gone, but when in about fifty yards of the line he fell off in the wheat. The Federals, being in a wavering condition, did not seem to pay any attention to him. The horse ran up apparently to within ten or fifteen feet of the Federal line, wheeled, and came back around our brigade; and, strange to state, he had no sign of a wound about him."

Charles D. Grace died in Bonham, Texas in 1906:
http://www.mulberrytx.com/MulberryTX.com/Removing_Clouds.html
 
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James N.

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I remember the account of Doles' escape from the book Gettysburg - July 1.
 
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C. D. Grace also provides us with the location of his brigade's encounter with the 157th New York, which he thought was an entire brigade. He notes that Gordon had halted his brigade in a hollow (which I believe to be the creek bed just south of the Alms House buildings, running generally west-east). Grace writes that "a Federal brigade was discovered in the little valley made by the creek" (same creek), and at that moment his regiment was ordered to the right to meet them. All of this accords with information from other sources regarding the entire brigade's attention being devoted to the 157th New York.
How do you find all of these accounts? The level of understanding from some of you on this site is remarkable and so fascinating. Very well done.
 
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rpkennedy

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Brig. Gen. George Doles left an intriguing description of his brigade's movements on the late afternoon of July 1. After having defeated the flank attack by the 157th New York, he writes of heading toward the Theological Seminary to assist his division's efforts against the Union First Corps, which lay in a southwest direction from his position.

Fortunately we have a corroborating account from C. D. Grace of Bonham, Texas that appeared in Confederate Veteran magazine, vol. 5, p. 614. The author is, without doubt, Charles D. Grace, a Private in Company B, 4th Georgia. Grace said that his brigade front was changed sharply to the southwest owing to Brig. Gen. John B. Gordon's brigade having moved in front of his brigade. That is a plausible explanation, but in addition, Doles may have been eager to rejoin his division, from which he had been separated, and the impetus could have been a great volume of fire emanating from Seminary Ridge at that time, coinciding with the attack by the brigades of Scales and Perrin, which I judge to have been just minutes before 4 p.m.

But by the time Doles was about half-way to the Seminary, or nearly due west of the College, at about 4:10 p.m., it became clear that the Federals were in full retreat from right to left, in front of him, moving along the Chambersburg Pike and railroad bed. Doles then moved by the left flank, in a southeasterly direction, to try to head off the Federals, but they moved too quickly for him, by and large just escaping his grasp, as he closed in on the town from the northwest between the college and the railroad bed.

Had Doles simply moved forward (south) at the outset, guiding on the Carlisle Road, he could have joined the right of Hays' brigade as it swept in from the northeast, and handily beat the Union First Corps into town. Such is fate.

C. D. Grace also provides us with the location of his brigade's encounter with the 157th New York, which he thought was an entire brigade. He notes that Gordon had halted his brigade in a hollow (which I believe to be the creek bed just south of the Alms House buildings, running generally west-east). Grace writes that "a Federal brigade was discovered in the little valley made by the creek" (same creek), and at that moment his regiment was ordered to the right to meet them. All of this accords with information from other sources regarding the entire brigade's attention being devoted to the 157th New York.

Before any of this occurred, as Doles was driving back Kryzanowski's brigade, Grace described a ludicrous scene involving Gen. Doles that is recorded in no other account, so far as I know. "Gen. Doles was riding a very powerful sorrel horse, and before he could realize it the horse had seized the bit between his teeth and made straight for the Federal line as a bullet, and going at full speed. We thought the General was gone, but when in about fifty yards of the line he fell off in the wheat. The Federals, being in a wavering condition, did not seem to pay any attention to him. The horse ran up apparently to within ten or fifteen feet of the Federal line, wheeled, and came back around our brigade; and, strange to state, he had no sign of a wound about him."

Charles D. Grace died in Bonham, Texas in 1906:
http://www.mulberrytx.com/MulberryTX.com/Removing_Clouds.html
Other historians may interpret the creek as Blocher's Run but I agree with you that the 157th hit them nearer the Almshouse. It just makes the most sense based on the evidence.

Ryan
 

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How do you find all of these accounts? The level of understanding from some of you on this site is remarkable and so fascinating. Very well done.
I also stand amazed at the amount of knowledge these members have been able to acquire.
The Official Records are one information source, and any author that has written early on about Gettysburg offers a Bibliography at the close of the book, showing his reference material. This is not enough though, to make one intelligent!
Good meticulous note-taking on times, units, order of battle, movements, terrain features, on the ground survey and study, map layout with movable pieces representing units; etc. And with al this, it is still not enough to tell it as a story that makes sense.
There once was a board game for adults 'Gettysburg' by a corporation toy enterprise, Parker Brothers' or 3 M? It helps.
I have tried the dream approach, and can honestly say it does not work!
Lubliner.
 

James N.

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I also stand amazed at the amount of knowledge these members have been able to acquire.
The Official Records are one information source, and any author that has written early on about Gettysburg offers a Bibliography at the close of the book, showing his reference material. This is not enough though, to make one intelligent!
Good meticulous note-taking on times, units, order of battle, movements, terrain features, on the ground survey and study, map layout with movable pieces representing units; etc. And with al this, it is still not enough to tell it as a story that makes sense.
There once was a board game for adults 'Gettysburg' by a corporation toy enterprise, Parker Brothers' or 3 M? It helps.
I have tried the dream approach, and can honestly say it does not work!
Lubliner.
AMEN! The game (several versions of it over the years, actually) was by Avalon-Hill and my friend @mkyzzzrdet and I spent many hours on Saturday evenings pouring over it. I owned the original 1958 version, and spent so much time studying the very accurate map that is still how I remember where everything is on the battlefield to this day, following maybe a dozen visits there.
 
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rpkennedy

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AMEN! The game (several versions of it over the years, actually) was by Avalon-Hill and my friend @mkyzzzrdet and I spent many hours on Saturday evenings pouring over it. I owned the original 1958 version, and spent so much time studying the very accurate map that is still how I remember where everything is on the battlefield to this day, following maybe a dozen visits there.
I spent a ton of time playing Terrible Swift Sword and A Gleam of Bayonets throughout my teenage years. John Tiller's Campaign series on the PC is the next best thing nowadays since I don't have to have a huge amount of room to recreate Civil War battles.

Ryan
 

James N.

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I spent a ton of time playing Terrible Swift Sword and A Gleam of Bayonets throughout my teenage years. John Tiller's Campaign series on the PC is the next best thing nowadays since I don't have to have a huge amount of room to recreate Civil War battles.

Ryan
Those were a bit more complicated than I liked, so only played the Gettysburg one once or twice. My preference was for the A-H and early S&T games that could be played entirely in 2 - 4 hours. Mike gravitated on to tabletop wargaming using 15mm figures and scenery.
 

rpkennedy

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Those were a bit more complicated than I liked, so only played the Gettysburg one once or twice. My preference was for the A-H and early S&T games that could be played entirely in 2 - 4 hours. Mike gravitated on to tabletop wargaming using 15mm figures and scenery.
I tinkered with the miniatures (I can't recall the rule set that I was using but it was brigade-level) but they never really stuck with me. I preferred the pieces and the flat maps. I enjoy the nitty-gritty detail which is why I enjoy the Tiller series. It's regimental level and batteries are broken into gun types if the battery has multiple kinds of guns.

Ryan
 
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James N.

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I tinkered with the miniatures (I can't recall the rule set that I was using but it was brigade-level) but they never really stuck with me. I preferred the pieces and the flat maps. I enjoy the nitty-gritty detail which is why I enjoy the Tiller series. It's regimental level and batteries are broken into gun types if the battery has multiple kinds of guns.

Ryan
Too much detail and too many rules - when it takes several times longer trying to understand and remember the rules than it does to play the game - with endless referrals back to them - it's simply no fun anymore. I'll take reenacting!
 

Lubliner

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Too much detail and too many rules - when it takes several times longer trying to understand and remember the rules than it does to play the game - with endless referrals back to them - it's simply no fun anymore. I'll take reenacting!
I had been meaning to find a PC game that wasn't too complicated. When I had a Windows 7, there was a good XP game but I had no platform; they did not mesh. I had a Hearts of Iron WWII game way too complicated for me to play, but I understood how battle arrangement and troop alignment could be a good resource study. Is there one PC series recommended for its realism and authenticity to actual events, perchance? I would love to invest in one for a Windows 10 Desktop. Thanks,
Lubliner.
 

rpkennedy

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I had been meaning to find a PC game that wasn't too complicated. When I had a Windows 7, there was a good XP game but I had no platform; they did not mesh. I had a Hearts of Iron WWII game way too complicated for me to play, but I understood how battle arrangement and troop alignment could be a good resource study. Is there one PC series recommended for its realism and authenticity to actual events, perchance? I would love to invest in one for a Windows 10 Desktop. Thanks,
Lubliner.
For detailed battles, I recommend John Tiller's Campaign series. Definitely consider them before buying them because they get expensive. Right now, I have all the major battles of the Eastern Theater from Bull Run to Appomattox and have invested some serious scratch on the games. But i do love them.

Ryan
 
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Lubliner

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For detailed battles, I recommend John Tiller's Campaign series. Definitely consider them before buying them because they get expensive. Right now, I have all the major battles of the Eastern Theater from Bull Run to Appomattox and have invested some serious scratch on the games. But i do love them.

Ryan
I don't find 40 dollars terribly offensive. Reading '20-minute turn oriented' can I assume a pause will allow time-out for study; plus the relevance of playing solo off-line instead of matching wits with competition from a higher level experience rating, at first, is necessary. Will this provide these options? (I am looking at Chickamauga).
Thanks,
Lubliner.
 
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