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The Battle of the Wilderness

Discussion in 'The Eastern Theater' started by major bill, Jan 11, 2017.

  1. Jamieva

    Jamieva 2nd Lieutenant Forum Host

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    Grant is directly giving orders to Burnside because Burnside actually outranked Meade in terms of seniority as a Major General, and the IX corps was not officially part of the AotP.

    The AotP takes the brunt over the IX corps because the pecking order of which Grant/meade trusted the corps commanders, and Burnside was at the bottom of the list.
     

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  3. Yankeedave

    Yankeedave 1st Lieutenant

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    The aop took the brunt because they could fight. A comparison with them and the burnside might be antietam where the aop bears the brunt while the ninth corps screws up.
    Burnside and Meade functioned as branches of grant. Same as sheridan. But it's meade's aop that allows grant the ability to move south.
     
  4. Yankeedave

    Yankeedave 1st Lieutenant

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    And no. If the only reason for seperate commands between meade and burnside was seniority then the only troops commanded by grant would be the ninth corps. Sheridan, usct, and heavies would be under meade. They are not. The arrangement is convenient if nothing else. And awkward.
     
  5. zburkett

    zburkett Sergeant

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    Grant crossed the Rapidan looking for a fight but it does seem to have gotten started a little before he was ready. Then we think of several different battles when actually Wilderness, Spotsylvania Court House, Cold Harbor all the way to Petersburg were actually one big battle with a lot of moving for position. Grant knew that the only way to beat Lee was to keep him fighting and not give him time to rest or resupply.
     
  6. BillO

    BillO Captain

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    "We will fight on this line if it takes all summer."
     
  7. Carronade

    Carronade 2nd Lieutenant

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    Sheridan's command was the Cavalry Corps, Army of the Potomac. It was an argument between him and his commander Meade which led Grant to allow Sheridan to take the army's cavalry off on his private expedition to "whip Jeb Stuart".

    Ferraro's USCT were the 4th Division, IX Corps.

    At the outset of the campaign, a brigade comprising the 6th and 15th New York Heavy Artillery (operating in an infantry role) was included in the AofP Artillery Reserve. It was later assigned to the 5th Corps, AofP.

    The three battalions of the 4th New York Heavy were attached to the artillery brigades of the three AofP corps, presumably in an infantry/train guard role.

    By the time of Spotsylvania, a "division" comprising five heavy artillery regiments reported for infantry duty and was assigned to the 2nd Corps. Several more heavy regiments were attached to infantry brigades of the AofP; for example the 1st Vemont Heavy joined the Vermont Brigade in 6th Corps.
     
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  8. zburkett

    zburkett Sergeant

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    It is my understanding that by the time they crossed the Rapidan at Germanna Ford Grant was in command and everyone knew it. They also knew he was intolerant of petty bickering and hiding behind the chain of command. To put it simplistically Mead's command were the lead combat troops and Burnside's were supply and support. Everyone was under Grant's effective command.
     
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  9. Jamieva

    Jamieva 2nd Lieutenant Forum Host

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    Grant commanded all of them. he was the general in chief.

    the heavies didn't show up to the AotP until after the Wilderness, and they were there as replacements for the casualties.
     
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  10. Yankeedave

    Yankeedave 1st Lieutenant

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    Well said.
     
  11. J. Horace

    J. Horace Private

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    From newspaper article on Mrs. Phiney Tapp and the Wilderness Battlefield:

    wilderness.jpg wilderness2.jpg
     
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  12. zburkett

    zburkett Sergeant

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    Thanks for that post Horace.
     
  13. Yankeedave

    Yankeedave 1st Lieutenant

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    This is how small the clearing is on a map.
    Wilderness_May6_1100.png
    The map doesn't show Burnside's 9th coming in from a northerly direction. Lee has committed his right to a flank attack. It is desperate times for the South there.
    The pics look across the east to a little north of east. The second pic shows the wood line blocked by the military crest in the first.
    TAPP.jpg
    5975898214_4780d8665e_b.jpg
    Burnside is in on the left off screen. The woods to the front are full of yankees.
     
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  14. J. Horace

    J. Horace Private

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    A letter written to Cpt. J. P. Smith's son from the Wilderness Park:

    wildernessletter.jpg
     
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  15. Yankeedave

    Yankeedave 1st Lieutenant

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    Seems be a letter looking for info on certain aspects of Battle of Chancellorsville i.e. Pennock Huey's (Pleasanton) wild cav charge on the night of Jackson's flank attack.
    Neat letter!
     
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  16. J. Horace

    J. Horace Private

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  17. Yankeedave

    Yankeedave 1st Lieutenant

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    It says in the letter he can be found at the jackson. monument. This would roughly be the terminus of Pleasanton's Cav. Charge. The lane used was a trail from Hazel Grove that intersected The plank road. A small school house sat there. The Hazel Grove lane then crossed the pike turning in to Bullock Road. On the night of jackson's attack, Pleasanton, in trying to evacuate Hazel Grove, charged down the road running smack in Jackson's troops. The Cav comnand shattered, each man picking his way east to friendly lines. Pleasonton would make the claim that this attack(?) killed Jackson.
     
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  18. J. Horace

    J. Horace Private

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    Very interesting indeed.
     
  19. Yankeedave

    Yankeedave 1st Lieutenant

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    Of this night fight at Chancelloresville Bruce Catton in "Glory Road" writes:
    "Far back in the rear, by Ely's Ford...Yankee cavalrymen on a hilltop looked off through the night, and one described what he saw.
    "A scene like a picture of hell lies below us. As far as the horizen is visable are inumerable fires from burning woods, volumes of black smoke covering the sky, cannon belching in continuous and monotonous roar; and the harsh quick rattling of infantry is nearer at hand. It is the Army of the Potomac...engaged at night in a burning forest..."
     
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  20. Bruce Vail

    Bruce Vail Sergeant Major

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    Yes, I think that is the right way to look at the Overland Campaign -- as one battle that started at The Wilderness in 1864 and ended at Appomatox Court House in in 1865.

    Has any historian ever analyzed the casualty statistics for both sides using this formulation? The numbers must be staggering....
     
  21. jackt62

    jackt62 First Sergeant

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    Agreed. Among other reasons, going west would have precluded the AOTP from acting as a buffer between the ANV and Washington City.
     
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