Order of battle ANV

Kyle Kalasnik

Sergeant
Joined
Aug 3, 2014
Location
Potter County, PA
Good question and a tough question. I am very interested to see the responses to this question.

Hindsight being 20/20, and knowing the outcome of Gettysburg and the performances of Hill and Ewell, it makes you think.

What about DH Hill, as a Corps Commander, had he not been had some issues with Lee and Davis?

A great “what if” question.
 

Cavalier

First Sergeant
Joined
Jul 20, 2019
I believe the reorganization to three corps was overdue, leadership issues not withstanding.

I wonder what others may think of the staff's of the corps as they then existed also. They seem awfully small, especially considering the size of the two corps. I maybe incorrect but I believe the staff of a brigade commander in the French army of the Napoleonic era was larger than that of a corps commander in the ANV.

If I was Lee I would have been very reluctant to have anyone but Stuart as the head of my cavalry.

John
 

Saphroneth

Major
Joined
Feb 18, 2017
The understanding I have is that Lee wanted three corps, but not at the cost of DH Hill as a corps commander. Functionally in Northern Virginia that's what he had because the reinforcement column is a "third corps", and in Maryland McLaws and Anderson are effectively a "third corps" with DH Hill and Walker not part of any of them.
 

Ole Miss

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Lee could not and would not move Stuart from the cavalry. So if not Stuart who but A.P. Hill could have been the corps commander?
Regards
David
 

Saphroneth

Major
Joined
Feb 18, 2017
Lee could not and would not move Stuart from the cavalry. So if not Stuart who but A.P. Hill could have been the corps commander?
Regards
David
He could have had McLaws promoted.

It's important to consider the state balance in corps commanders.

Jackson was Virginian. (As was Ewell.)
Longstreet was South Carolinan.
McLaws was Georgian.
DH Hill was South Carolinan.
AP Hill was also Virginian.
 

Jamieva

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Feb 7, 2006
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Midlothian, VA
Mclaws performance at Salem Church took him out of any consideration to a promotion. Lee basically told Longstreet to babysit him after that and that finally ended at Knoxville.
Lee thought that a corps commander having 4 or 5 divisions under their command was just unwieldy in a battlefield scenario. the only other consideration was DH Hill but he had worn out his welcome by the end of 1862 and lee made no effort to keep him with the ANV.
 

JSylvester

Private
Joined
Jul 28, 2021
Maybe an outsider like Buckner or Breckinridge, or even Richard Taylor.

Promote Cleburne and the A of T will have an extra Corps commander.

Breckinridge would have been a solid choice. If Lee did not care for seniority, however, promoting Early would present him with an aggressive fighter, recently baptised in leading a larger body of troops (defence of Mary's Heights). Early and Longstreet would be able to continue the same offensive/defensive balance as before with Jackson.
 

Saphroneth

Major
Joined
Feb 18, 2017
I'm not sure to what extent it was actually Lee's choice in the first place.

So let's see... what are the dates of rank for the MGs in question...

Ewell

Major general
rank, conf: January 24, 1862
nom: January 17, 1862

AP Hill

Major general
rank, nom: May 26, 1862
conf: September 27, 1862

These two are the baseline.

Breckinridge:

Major general
rank: April 14, 1862
nom: April 16, 1862
conf: April 18, 1862

Junior to Ewell but senior to AP Hill. Would replace AP Hill.

Buckner

Major general
rank, nom: August 16, 1862
conf: September 27, 1862

Could not replace AP Hill unless seniority overridden.

Richard Taylor

Major general
rank, nom: July 28, 1862
conf: September 27, 1862

Could not replace AP Hill unless seniority overridden.



I think what this means is that to not have AP Hill, you'd need either:
- It's Breckinridge
or
- Lee decides AP Hill is not fit for corps command.

We know however that Lee actually had decided this already - AP Hill was fit for corps command and he asked for Longstreet/Jackson/AP Hill in late 1862.

To not have Ewell, you need Lee to decide Ewell is not fit for corps command. (I sort of wonder to what extent Jackson's corps was already partly doing well because of Ewell, though - Ewell seems to have been the practically minded sort...)
 

Nytram01

First Sergeant
Joined
Sep 13, 2007
Location
Portsmouth, Hampshire, England
Should Lee have kept the ANV a 2 Corp army instead of expanding to 3 Corp. Stuart could have replaced the fallen Jackson and IMBODEN could have replaced Stuart in command of cavalry.

Cavalry and Infantry are not the same kind of work. Earl Van Dorn is the example there. As a Cavalryman his instinct was to get at the enemy as quickly as possible and so he spared little thought for logistics, which brought disaster at Pea Ridge as his forces arrived exhaused from hard marching and without access to their supply lines having sacrificed their baggage train for speed.

As such it would be a risk to move Stuart from the Cavalry Corps to an Infantry Corps when he's no experiance commanding a large body of infantry to that point - he's also difficult to replace as commander of the Cavalry Corps as there is no obvious replacement to him, and Imboden was probably too far down the chain to be that replacement.

Of the other available officers, I've always thought D.H. Hill the most able but one of the more problematic for his forthright and tactless nature. Obviously Ewell and A.P. Hill did not enjoy enough confidence from Lee for either man to replace Jackson so got to command smaller Corps instead, with mixed reviews.

Part of the problem was with Jackson himself. He was not a good commander when it came to fostering and developing the officers underneath his direct command because he tended to keep his own council and wasn't that good at delegating. This meant that his death created a vaccum which could not easilly be filled because nobody else within the Corps had the first idea of how to run it.
 

Saphroneth

Major
Joined
Feb 18, 2017
Of the other available officers, I've always thought D.H. Hill the most able but one of the more problematic for his forthright and tactless nature. Obviously Ewell and A.P. Hill did not enjoy enough confidence from Lee for either man to replace Jackson so got to command smaller Corps instead, with mixed reviews.
I've been under the impression that what Lee wanted was:

- DH Hill not to get a corps
- 3 Corps if none of them is DH Hill

The situation post-Northern-Virginia campaign is practically tailor made for a Longstreet/Jackson/DH Hill division, but Lee doesn't take it up.
 

Bruce Vail

1st Lieutenant
Joined
Jul 8, 2015
He could have had McLaws promoted.

It's important to consider the state balance in corps commanders.

Jackson was Virginian. (As was Ewell.)
Longstreet was South Carolinan.
McLaws was Georgian.
DH Hill was South Carolinan.
AP Hill was also Virginian.

FYI - DH Hill ws born in South Carolina but considered himself more a North Carolinian. He relocated to NC in 1854 and lived there for most of the rest of his life. His first commission in the Confederate army was with the 1st NC Volunteers ("Bethel Regiment") and his career was championed mostly by NC political figures, some of whom were relatives of his North Carolinian wife.
 

Saphroneth

Major
Joined
Feb 18, 2017
FYI - DH Hill ws born in South Carolina but considered himself more a North Carolinian. He relocated to NC in 1854 and lived there for most of the rest of his life. His first commission in the Confederate army was with the 1st NC Volunteers ("Bethel Regiment") and his career was championed mostly by NC political figures, some of whom were relatives of his North Carolinian wife.
In which case he'd count as North Carolinan, then. Thanks for the clarification!
 

Nytram01

First Sergeant
Joined
Sep 13, 2007
Location
Portsmouth, Hampshire, England
I've been under the impression that what Lee wanted was:

- DH Hill not to get a corps
- 3 Corps if none of them is DH Hill

The situation post-Northern-Virginia campaign is practically tailor made for a Longstreet/Jackson/DH Hill division, but Lee doesn't take it up.

Well, I think Lee saw D.H. Hill as more trouble than he was worth. That he might have been an good general with potential to command at a higher level but he was a disruptive influence who needed to be carefully managed, and Lee would rather be rid of him for command cohesion sake than put the extra effort in to control him.

I not sure whether D.H. Hill ever really recovered his respect for Lee after Malvern Hill - of which Hill said "it was not war - it was murder" - so that wouldn't have helped their relationship either.
 

Saphroneth

Major
Joined
Feb 18, 2017
I not sure whether D.H. Hill ever really recovered his respect for Lee after Malvern Hill - of which Hill said "it was not war - it was murder" - so that wouldn't have helped their relationship either.
Oddly that one's one Lee doesn't really deserve blame for! Lee never launched the Confederate troops at Malvern Hill, it was a SNAFU.
 
Joined
Aug 7, 2019
Location
Orléans, France
Lee had actually much more choices after Chancellorsville. D.S. Freeman (Lee's biographer) exposed the situation below : Lee was going to automatically choose an infantry officer from the ANV.

- Ewell was the senior MG, he was Jackson's to-subordinate in 1862 and received praise for his tactical abilities.

- D.H. Hill was serving in North Carolina and couldn't get along with Bobby Lee, despite his leadership skills.

- McLaws was a good executioner but he disappointed Lee at Chancellorsville.

- A.P. Hill was agressive and led the largest division of the ANV, he almost saved the army at Sharpsburg.

- R.H. Anderson was too junior in rank, despite having commanded a division in Peninsula / Northern Virginia / Maryland / Fredericksburg / Chancellorsville.

- Hood was too junior in rank and needed more experience as a division commander.

- Pickett was too junior in rank and had nearly zero experience as division commander.

- Early was too junior in rank and needed more experience as a division commander.
 

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Wizard of Cozz

Private
Joined
Aug 20, 2021
I believe the reorganization to three corps was overdue, leadership issues not withstanding.

I wonder what others may think of the staff's of the corps as they then existed also. They seem awfully small, especially considering the size of the two corps. I maybe incorrect but I believe the staff of a brigade commander in the French army of the Napoleonic era was larger than that of a corps commander in the ANV.

If I was Lee I would have been very reluctant to have anyone but Stuart as the head of my cavalry.

John
I don't understand why you think this. The Cavalry Corp probably had a number of abled men to lead it. Wade Hampton was arguably as good a cavalry officer as Stuart, and that is no knock on Stuart. If you move Stuart over to Jackson's Corps and Hampton up to Cavalry command, you now keep Hill in division command and don't have to promote as many officers who aren't ready yet. I've long thought this would have been a better solution, but in hindsight is 50/50, Lee had long wanted to promote Hill to corps command and there was no reason to believe he wouldn't do a good job, he was already handling the largest division in the army.
 

Cavalier

First Sergeant
Joined
Jul 20, 2019
@Wizard of Cozz It has been my impression that Lee did not want amateurs to command formations higher than a brigade if it could be avoided, for one thing. And I believe he came to depended on Stuart in the role of cavalry commander of the Army of Northern Virginia to a very great extent, Gettysburg being an example of that. If I was Lee I would have retained Stuart in his position myself. He knew what he had in Stuart whereas anyone else was a gamble. Ewell and A.P. Hill are examples, in my opinion anyway, of guys who showed promise but didn't work out as well as it seemed they might, based on past performance.

I believe Stuart himself resented the fact he was not made a corps commander.I

John
 
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