the flanking movement Longstreet desired...

Dred

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#1
I was thinking the other day on this. Longstreet did all he could to try and convince Lee not to attack the round tops, and instead try and flank the union right and get between the and DC. It always seemed to me that Lee acted very uncharacteristically in his insistence to attack, and unwillingness to be persuaded otherwise. It got me to thinking, did he just not trust Longstreet enough to pull it off? Jackson had talked him into making daring sweeping movements very similar to this, and with great success on numerous occasions. This is kind of a what if, but also a why not question. Do you think Jackson would have been able to convince Lee, having already had so much of his trust? Longstreet replaced Jackson as Lee's most trusted General, but did he really trust him as much as he did Jackson? I propose that he did not, and that Jackson would have been able to convince Lee, especially so soon after the success of his massive flanking attack at Chancellorsville.
 

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M E Wolf

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#2
Dear Dred,

In looking at the correspondences of General Robert E. Lee and the recollections of his son, to whom first served as a private in the artillery; Lee's son in a summary, mentioned that General Lee's favorite general was "John Bell Hood" aka "Sam." According to Lee's son -- Lee trusted Hood.

That said, these little 'tags' General Lee applied to various generals; General Jackson might have been his 'arm' or 'muscle' but, Stuart was his 'eyes' and "Longstreet" his support and carrier (My Old War Horse).
Being an equestrian--this term in our circles is the highest compliment of a horse--as they are steady, reliable, carry long hours, cool under fire, in the excitement of battle they're just involved yet, with horse sense--great caution for their safety and it is their rider's safety as well.

Each general had mistakes in their commands--nobody is perfect but, I think General Lee got too confident in his own mind and perhaps felt pressured to make choices without the 'eyes' of his army, the total impact of Jackson's absent from the field and or command, wasn't really felt or tested yet--so; he wasn't accustom to the new 'rank' and 'leadership' structure as to use it wisely. I think Jackson umbrella leadership hid the flaws of Early, AP Hill and Ewell. It wasn't important when Jackson was alive as he was so 'large' in a great many aspects of command--Jackson didn't rely on Ewell, Hill or Early--they depended on him. They weren't the caliber of a corps commander Jackson was--and Jackson didn't train them or share his battle plans. Jackson was sly in that regard--as not to be called on his mistakes as Jackson could excuse it on contingencies. Whereas, Longstreet seemingly, in his style--had the commanders be more responsible for their own brigades and regiments and their reports on their status, inspections and their own experiences--he drew from that and made his decisions and tactical plans based on what General Lee had planned. When General Longstreet was so seriously wounded in the neck, not that far from where Jackson was shot by his own men; Longstreet being shot by his own CSA forces--like Jackson had to be a 'flash back' for Lee. His two arms--Jackson and Longstreet--can loose one but two? Ouch --But, with Longstreet's commanders--they carried the fight without Longstreet and didn't digress in their performance; as they were not so dependent on the man-Longstreet--just Longstreet's training.

But, regardless of how Lee's men and supporters think of 'the General'--Lee admitted his error in judgment and perhaps that alone--taking responsibility like a man does--was more endearing to the common soldier than anything else; with a magical quality about him. Remember, in the beginning Lee was dubbed 'Old Granny.' I think Lee lived through Jackson--perhaps the flaw, when you personally and emotionally invest in someone and when they're dead or gone--it is hard to switch into a new 'body' to live through, especially when they have always been there from the start.

Now, that said -- I think General Longstreet had more affection than he may have manifested. Being close to Lee's camp; its my belief, supported by reading the official correspondences between them; verses Jackson's --
Longstreet seemed to have a 'son' relationship with Lee. I believe Lee was fatherly to Longstreet. Both were quiet like--few words but, when they did speak--it was volumes. Lee was the 'father' of the Confederate Army. The many recollections of Lee doing little 'touching' things--like putting his raincoat over a sleeping staff officer, asleep on his horse when, in truth--he should have been awake. He had a way of making soldiers and officers feel that they really mattered and he really cared--and I believe it was his nature to be so. I think nobody wanted to disappoint General Lee but, it had a flaw--and that is, often other generals would not tell the truth of how bad things were as to spare Lee's feelings--when Lee should have been told the truth as to have a honest assessment of his troop strength and the positions held at Gettysburg. General Lee is ultimately responsible. Just as Grant was, and all the ones who proceeded him in commanding the entire army. I am constantly reminded of the parallel to the affections of General Lee of both armies really, is as much of an impact on the affections of HRH Princess Diana "The People's Princess" -- that affection world wide; is the impact of the affections for General Lee--flaws overlooked but, it was the 'person' that was the power behind the admiration.

I do believe General Lee was very aware about General Longstreet's loss of hearing but, it wasn't until the death of Longstreet's children and the need for General Pickett, to bury his children as he, Longstreet was required to be with Lee. Perhaps Lee felt guilty, sorrowful and--maybe shared a common misery of loosing dearones--bonded them. The loss of able commanders I'm sure cause Lee concern--he cared about people and those under him cared about Lee. The Union Army didn't have a wide swatch of admiration for any one General, other than their division, corps, regiment and or battalion commanders; as there were so many chiefs and not enough consistancy.

In addition, I proffer this -- General T. Jackson was not in the position of great failures as he was assigned to the eastern theater for the most part and in Virginia. Should "Stonewall" have been in other theaters, I am not so sure he would have had the many successes. But, that is a 'what if.'

Longstreet, despite Bragg--was successful which to me; gives me thoughts that no matter who was chief in the army; Longstreet could survive and thrive off of Lee's coat tails. It was Lee who summoned Longstreet back. Perhaps this break was much needed--to see clearly without the shadow of Longstreet's command/fighting abilities to see how wretched his commanders were. Although the relationships were strained after Gettysburg; the reports reflect that Lee valued Longstreet that much more.

Once General Grant understood, the threat wasn't the CSA, Jeff Davis and such--it was General Lee the man, who was the power/force behind the life of the CSA army; then everything developed into what took place. I'm sure the CSA recognized that for the Union, the power/force behind it was Lincoln--not so much because he was a President--it was the 'man' that touched lives and made them feel that they mattered.

Just some thoughts.

Respectfully submitted for consideration,
M. E. Wolf
 

Dred

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#3
M.E. Wolf,

Great post, as usual! I had to mull it over a bit to dissect the info but I get what you are after now. It wasn't a trust thing. If anything Lee seems to have trusted Longstreet more, if not equally. Different command styles does not make him less of a general than Jackson. If Longstreet couldn't have convinced him, Jackson probably couldn't have either. Thanks for the input!

Dred
 
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#4
I have often wondered about Longstreet's desire to go around the flank fo the Union army at Gettysburg. It always seemed to me easier said than done. It was one thing for Jackson, in his home country and with only a portion of the army, to move around Hooker's flank at Chancellorsville. It would have been quite another for Lee, with the entire AoNV to move around Meade's flank at Gettysburg, in enemy territory, with his cavalry not recovered from its disastrous ride around the Union army and with a long train of wagons. If Lee tried to move around the Union flank as Longstreet suggested, could it have been done? Would he not be exposing his trains to attack by Union cavalry or infantry? Meade was no Hooker. He does not seem to be one to freeze in the face of the enemy and passively allow Lee to march around his flank. All in all, it seems to me an attempt to march around the flank would have been a very risky affair and could only have been done if Lee could have successfully fooled Meade into staying in place while Lee stole the march on him.
 

ole

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#5
Another re-opening of the flanking movement?

You vets, feel free to correct my speculation here. I don't think such a movement would be undertaken by a corps. Too risky! A division, maybe.

A lightning sweep, if successful, would cause enough consternation to enable other divisions to follow. But the sweep, as discussed, wouldn't be aimed at Washington or Baltimore -- with seven Federal Corps on the ground, stretching the supply line so far would have been everso rash.

But a sweep around Big Round Top might have affected the battle itself. Maybe. Maybe not. We do have to remember that it was not McClellan in charge.

ole
 
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#6
Very true ole. Not sure on this, but I think a division is what Longstreet wanted to send around the Round Tops. I thought he had wanted to send Hood around to flank the hills. I could be wrong on that, but I think that that would have worked. Not a 100% sure fire bet, but it could have. Lee still doesn't have the cavalry to screen such a manuever and the Yanks have cavalry a plenty. There is also one whole corps on the Union side not engaged at all in the battle that could be brought to bear on any such maneuver.

As for the relationship between Lee and Longstreet, I think during Gettysburg, it was a bit strained. Lee had just lost Jackson, arguably his most aggressive corps commander and a man he trusted highly. Jackson was very offensive minded; strike hard and strike fast. Longstreet, on the other hand, was very defensive minded, which was the right mindset to have if you were the south. He understood they didn't have the manpower to continually slug it out in epic battles. They were the yin and yang for General Lee, and losing Jackson threw that contrast off big time. But Lee trusted Longstreet, but he knew what he wanted, and that was a victory on Northern soil, and I don't think he was willing to wait another day for it. And it ended up costing him.
 
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#7
I can see sending a division around the southern union flank, but it was my understanding this was not what Longstreet wanted. He wanted to swing the whole army around the Union flank, take up a blocking position between the AoP and Washington and wait for attack on ground of his own choosing.

It seems as if we are talking about two different flanking movements, here. One where Longstreet wanted to take the whole army around the flank, and another where he wanted to send a portion of his force around the flank as part of the attack up the Emmetsburg Pike. Is is possible this was a cause of confusion at Gettysburg? Longstreet wanted, as part of his offensive/defensive strategy not to attack the Federals but to interpose the army between Meade and Washington and wait for attack. He argues this to Lee - "the way is open, let's go around the flank" - who rejects it.

Lee orders Longstreet to attack up the Emmetsburg Pike. Hood argues that as part of that attack, his division should sweep around the flank. Longstreet, stung by Lee's refusal to follow his advice, refuses permission for any movement around the flank even as part of the attack Lee actually ordered even though Lee did not mean that a move by a part of Longstreet's command around the immediate Union flank as opposed to a grand swing by the army far around the Union flank, was impermissable.

Or am I reading this wrong? I know part of Longstreet's denial to Hood was that it was getting late he did not have time to send Hood around the flanks. The attack had to go in.
 

larry_cockerham

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#8
Sweeping the entire Conferate army around the Round Top would have taken considerable on site logistics, something of which I question if these guys were capable. Lee was focused on attacking the middle of the line, breaking it in half. Timing, concentration of men, and some luck with the cannons might have brought that about with a loss of lives even greater than the tragic reality. Not doing so, in Lee's mind, probably would have been seen as backing away from a challenge, a concept alien to his nature. Hood rejected the same or similar advice at Franklin a year and a half later, with much the same result.
 

Dred

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#9
Another re-opening of the flanking movement?

Well it kind of took on a life of its own, which I figured it would, but I only needed one question answered lol. I wasn't so much concerned with the flanking movement itself, but rather with the question was there any general that could have convinced Lee to do it.
 

trice

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#10
I was thinking the other day on this. Longstreet did all he could to try and convince Lee not to attack the round tops, and instead try and flank the union right and get between the and DC. It always seemed to me that Lee acted very uncharacteristically in his insistence to attack, and unwillingness to be persuaded otherwise. It got me to thinking, did he just not trust Longstreet enough to pull it off? Jackson had talked him into making daring sweeping movements very similar to this, and with great success on numerous occasions. This is kind of a what if, but also a why not question. Do you think Jackson would have been able to convince Lee, having already had so much of his trust? Longstreet replaced Jackson as Lee's most trusted General, but did he really trust him as much as he did Jackson? I propose that he did not, and that Jackson would have been able to convince Lee, especially so soon after the success of his massive flanking attack at Chancellorsville.
Personal opinion: nope.

Longstreet's July 2 proposal is to do nothing on July 2 and fight the battle, if any, on some other day. The attack that did take place started late in the afternoon; any attempt to get around the Round Tops to the South would have used up all the daylight. Lee, having already been disappointed by Ewell and Hill, was in no mood to see more delay. He thought he needed to strike the AoP before they were all up.

In addition, he had somehow received a report from a staff officer recon that the Union flank did not extend anywhere near as far as the Round Tops. No one has ever figured that one out; the area the staff recon supposedly went through was filled with Union troops when they went. Still, it was the information Lee had at the time.

So Lee was already frustrated with the non-responsiveness and excuses of his officers when he turned to Longstreet, determined to make something happen that day (not tomorrow) and had bad information about the Union position. Whether we talk about Longstreet or Jackson, they would have needed something definite to offer to convince Lee to let that day pass without taking action. Longstreet didn't have it (for good reason, his troops were just arriving and he had no different info than Lee did). If Jackson had been alive, he might have been more active in determining what was what on July 1-2 than Hill and Ewell were -- but that's a stretch.

So, IMHO, no difference unless somebody can produce better data for Lee.

Tim
 
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#11
the flanking movement Longstreet desired ....

Lee is very conscious of being in enemy territory and is concerned with his Wagon Trains and keeping his Line of Communications open and secure. If the ANV is defeated or even has to halt its movements for any length of time, retreat is almost inevitable. Lee and south cannot afford to Lose the Army of Northern Va.
At the same time, Lee, for whatever reasons(and they are many and varied) has invaded the North and cannot be seen retreating without battle.
IMO, Lee is basically looking for a fight. He knows that to realistically, accomplish any of his major goals of the Pa. Campaign, he will have to meet and defeat the AoP in a relatively short time (he cannot remain in Pa. indefinitely Pa. and yet at the same time he cannot be seen to retreat without some kind of trial of strength, with Union forces.
The first concrete news of the presence of Union forces near Gettysburg, cause Lee to immediately call his advance forces to fall back on their LOC and concentrate with him at Cashtown (His first concern is his line of retreat to the Valley and Va).
It is during this fall back (retreat) that a major battle at Gettysburg is precipitated.
Without cavalry, Lee probably assumes that the AoP will move as slow as it always has before and if it is then maybe, he can concentrate his Army quickly enough. which, in fact. he is already in the process of accomplishing, it may be possible that the AoP can be defeated in detail before it can unite.
The fact that Lee, apparently, gave no real thought to the RT's in his plan for the 2d day's battle and his line of attack all seem to indicate, he did not know the Union left extended as far South as it actually did. Indicating, to me, that Lee did not think he was facing the entire AoP (which was basically true until late afternoon of trhe 2d day, but probably was still more than Lee anticipated).
Lee almost always favored a flanking maneuver when on the offensive so moving Longstreet to flank the Union Left, was characteristic of Lee.
Longstreet's plan, as already pointed out by others, was moving the entire ANV around the entire AoP and lure the Union forces to attack at a disadvantage. Lee, on the other hand, was executing athequick destruction of a portion of the AoP before it could be joined by the rest of it's army (probably the first of a series of short, sharp battles as the ANV defeated the AoP in detail.
Lee made a faulty command decision, based on faulty assumption, aggravated by a, almost, total lack of reliable intelligence gathering.



P.S. Longstreet's proposed maneuver, would have been extremely dangerous, where the chances of many things going wrong strongly outnumbered those going right.
If Lee's plan was based on faulty assumptions, so was Longstreets, except, Lee's mistakes resulted in a retreat, a failure of Longstreets plan could easily have resulted in the loss of the ANV.
 

M E Wolf

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#12
Dear OpnDownfall,

I agree with your latest post in regard to Lee and Longstreet; but the "Post Script;" has my thoughts about Longstreet's spy "Harrison" to whom Longstreet deployed as to get the facts and look at all the tactical advantages for attack as well as defense.

I have also been under the impression, that Longstreet used scouts as well as pickets, vanguards and 'Grand Guards'--who would have, I would think--probed from all directions--especially the 'flankers' who's duty is to scout and report back.

I personally don't think that just Lee and Longstreet were dealing with faulty information but, the entire Confederate Army in Gettysburg and vicinity were; as JEB Stuart was late in his arrival with current information which was more northern as he was ahead of the turn and not at Lee's flank or in the rear. Infantry cannot extend itself as 'flankers, scouts and grand guards,' to which cavalry can do much better--more mobile and higher in the saddle can see further.

The best analogy I may have; is a trucker's blind spot in the passenger side mirror--where a car can be there and even looking in the mirror; its not able to pick up a car in this blind area. Lee's army on the higher elevations perhaps, unable to see Meade's Army in the blind spot on his right--aided by another series of lower ridges from the mountains. The cavalry 'if' they were on the flank might have been able to pick this up.

Now, that said--General Stuart being out and about--I am wondering if there were detached brigades of cavalry at Lee's disposal--why didn't he use them if he did have them.

The 1862 Army Officer's Pocket Companion--A Manual for Staff Officers in the Field; usually deploys cavalry when on a marches, to have them in several key spots, front, rear, sides and middle of the armies-- The idea is to have cavalry be the 'feelers' as they march -- Stuart took several however, its troubling to think some brigades of cavalry wasn't at Lee's disposal. The way the 'manual' has illustrated they're positioned around the army and some within it. For an analogy- a way exagerated and extended mini-van- at the two front fenders, back fenders, door post on a 4 door; rear and front center and cavalry sitting in the front seat and the back seat of a 3 seated mini-van.

Just some thoughts.

Respectfully submitted for consideration,
M. E. Wolf
 

trice

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#13
Now, that said--General Stuart being out and about--I am wondering if there were detached brigades of cavalry at Lee's disposal--why didn't he use them if he did have them.
Lee had seven brigades of cavalry for the Gettysburg Campaign.

Stuart only took three of them on his ride.
One was with Ewell, up near Harrisburg.
One was out to the west of Lee's main force to forage and protect that flank.
Beverly Robertson had two, assigned to protect the rear and flank of Longstreet and A. P. Hill as they marched north.

The problem in many ways is Robertson he was either totally unsuited for a cavalry command or inept in a dangerous way. His performance at 2nd Bull Run caused Lee and Stuart to decide it was imperative that he be assigned to a training command in NC before they crossed the Potomac on the way to Antietam. They tried like crazy to keep him there, but D. H. Hill played the "Old Army Game" so well they couldn't get the reinforcing cavalry from NC without also taking Robertson.

However, he was the senior of the cavalry brigade commanders except for Hampton. Stuart either had to remain behind, or leave Hampton behind, or to bring Robertson with him to keep him from assuming command in his absence. This has led to much criticism. Longstreet said he assumed Hampton would be left and was surprised when he was not.

Unfortunately, Stuart couldn't get along with Jones and wanted three good brigades for his mission. He left Robertson behind with Jones, and Robertson was in command. Stuart wrote extremely detailed orders on what Robertson was to do. This was not Stuart's practice, so it looks like he was trying to make it impossible for Robertson to mess it up. Unfortunately, Robertson did, waiting way too long to move north. Had he followed the written orders, Robertson and Jones with two brigades would have been up where Lee could have used them about July 1.

Tim
 
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#14
I was thinking the other day on this. Longstreet did all he could to try and convince Lee not to attack the round tops, and instead try and flank the union right and get between the and DC. It always seemed to me that Lee acted very uncharacteristically in his insistence to attack, and unwillingness to be persuaded otherwise. It got me to thinking, did he just not trust Longstreet enough to pull it off? Jackson had talked him into making daring sweeping movements very similar to this, and with great success on numerous occasions. This is kind of a what if, but also a why not question. Do you think Jackson would have been able to convince Lee, having already had so much of his trust? Longstreet replaced Jackson as Lee's most trusted General, but did he really trust him as much as he did Jackson? I propose that he did not, and that Jackson would have been able to convince Lee, especially so soon after the success of his massive flanking attack at Chancellorsville.
Please do not succomb to the Conventional Wisdom surrounding General Longstreet. His is much maligned by history. The myth makers don't like to talk about him because of what it does to their darlings.

Gen. Lee called him "his old war hosrse" for good reason.

I was looking at the "What If" section of the forum the other day and noticed a rather interesting proposition.

What if Gen. Longstreet had gone West in the Spring of 1863?

Did you know that Gen. Longstreet was not in favor of the invasion in the first place? It is true. He advocated a much more conservative course.

Why had the ANV ought to invade the North? The South was not trying to conqurer the North. They were just trying to seperate themselves from the North. Why did they have to push the issue?
 

M E Wolf

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#15
Dear Blue_Raider,

It appears through the main objective of General Lee was to take his army, as to draw the Union forces out of the battle weary Virginia territory, to which the Union forces would be drawn away 'en masse' in pursuit. In looking into these Civil War manuals about 'tactics on marches,' the one who causes another to react; controls the defensive posture of the other.

Since General Lee aimed to 'destroy' in detail the Union Army, to which President Jefferson Davis had a letter prepared to be put into Lincoln's hands 'when/if' the Union Army was destroyed--and continue with the winning modus operandi of the Confederate Army, under General Lee --
I believe it wasn't entirely an movement to 'just' invade the North --it had purpose as to destroy the Northern Army on their own soil--a mental and or emotional destruction/humiliation on their home ground; which would affect civilian and civilian governmental behavior.

Having so many battles on Virginia's soil -- it was so battle weary the land could not support Lee's army or any other armies there--Where, Union had good flow of support, e.g. food, feed for horses, supplies, munitions, etc., Virginia did not have that as there were 'infightings' going on-especially within the states with the Confederate Government. This is why the railroads and waterways were hotly defended yet, the Union was able to harass these to which delayed the supplies. In these regulations I purchased--its evident that the 'intent' is that the army controls the supplies and not vice versa, by having supplies delayed as to force their army idle until they are 'refitted' and able to move.

As for General Longstreet not in favor of going into the North; that is a fact. But, regardless of Longstreet's personal feelings -- like all good soldiers--you follow the orders as completely as if one agreed to them fully. In addition, it is also well known that Longstreet was 'the master' of the 'defensive' -- to which his creative mind and vision of tactical defenses would no doubt be demanded upon if there was opposition, to which I like to believe General Lee would want Longstreet near him as his truthfulness-- regardless, would be honest and not to make Lee 'feel' better. [Say things to humor Lee instead of giving real numbers, real facts, real battle concerns, e.g. Longstreet's concerns about flanks before the 'infamous' charge of Pickett's. Lee agreed with Longstreet and made changes then and there.] Longstreet from the first 'spat' at Gettysburg wanted to 're-deploy.' Lee saw it as 'giving up the field' which he had never done--old habits not willing to change to new situations and forcing himself to fight on bad ground.'

As for Longstreet being under 'character' assassination-- General Early and a few others were the ring-leaders; to which distracted everybody from his own screw ups but; it was proven that Early was involved in the corruption of the lottery he was in charge of and died before Longstreet.
And, though I can understand loving General Lee so much, that he is seen as unflawed and a saint; it is fact that General Lee took the blame for the failure at Gettysburg. He had every opportunity to 'fry' those who failed him. I think what I love most about Lee--as a leader, he didn't blame others when he screwed up--he took responsibilities for his command style, orders and effects. Up to Grant's placement in 'Chief of all Union Armies'--every one of them made excuses or blamed others.

General Early couldn't even attack Washington City (Washington, DC) right--he had every opportunity to invade Washington but, his troops got so drunk that they couldn't even walk with a stagger, thus delayed him a full day as to sleep it off--giving the city time to mount a very strong defense at Fort Stevens. The 'Home Guard' of Washington, wasn't all that strong if they had not delayed. However, they got re-enforced by the Alexandria, Arlington and Fairfax infantry and cavalry.

I also offer for consideration -- that the Army under Meade really wasn't changed due to Meade, with his new orders and the like--he had his new position only three days. But --the Army had changed by time Gettysburg came about. It was growing up and tossing the political appointed 'generals' to whom couldn't fight themselves out of a wet paper bag. This change, for me-- is just as important as the lack of change by the Confederates, which Lee was comfortable in using--as he had no need to change prior to Gettysburg.

Just some thoughts.

Respectfully submitted for consideration,
M. E. Wolf
 
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#16
The flanking movement, desired by Longstreet....

It is my understanding that, in general, Lee was no great believer in the veracity or reliability of spies and tended to heavily discount their reports.
Longstreet's corps was not in position on Seminary Ridge until well after dark on the evening of the 1st. So it would seem that Longstreet did not have time to really implement any of his usual scouting schemes, whatever they were.
Although Longstreet did send out scouts during that first night and early morning, it is not clear whether he was scouting to find where Union forces were located, for a later attack or where they were not, for a path around the Union Army, to implement his proposed march around the AoP. In the event, I believe Longstreet used his scouts reports in attempting to convince Lee to try his, Longstreet's, flaniking maneuver. So I am assuming his scouts found where the AoP was not, rather than detailing where it actually was.
To Lee, Time was gold; it was precious and had to be used wisely to get the most out of what was available.
 

M E Wolf

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#17
Dear OpnDownfall,

The fact that General Lee had other Generals at his disposal and I would think, if they had been using similar Army regulations, to which most were familiar with in the US Army prior to the 'rebellion,' -- The Regulations are rather clear about having flankers, guards, vedettes, scouts and constantly feeding their commanders with information, to which bumps it back up to General Lee.

Now, I do realize this thread was focused on General Longstreet. His Corps as you well stated was not brought up yet--what about the other Generals at General Lee's disposal? What about the use of his cavalry?

General Ewell had the opportunity, to which General Gordon and Tremble were most upset for not taking the opportunity to at least--scout it and collect information, what was General AP Hill or Early doing? What about these General's -generals in charge of the divisions under them--

Hind-sight, is wonderful - to which General Heth's Corps made contact with General Buford's Cavalry in his probing the area. General Hill dismissed Heth, giving an excuse that Heth was 'amplifying' the facts--yet, if General Hill would have ridden and seen for himself; he may have changed his tune. And, what about all the brigade commanders, company commanders that were available for detached assignment to scout-probe; and from my understanding of the Army Regulations of 1861; there are pioneers who charged with moving obstructions out of the way from the main body--and the advanced guard is to be up with them. All for the purposes of recon--

The added concerns that General Hood expressed; about his assignment as well as what his scouts had provided him; concerning the area of Devil's Den and the Round Tops; yet-- no matter how Longstreet offered Hood's assessments--Lee remained fixed and unmovable; to which Hood under protest went on and got stuck in Devils Den and loss the use of his arm and his boys took a lot of hits.

I am just not comfortable to blame Longstreet in full detail for any and all failures that he was not capable of management himself; or being over ridden by the Commanding General. Generals can warn, caution and the like but, it boils down to the Commanding General being the one responsible. But, there were many out and about to which, I would think--could have provided reconnoissance for Lee.

Those on night guard/picket/vedette duty should have been able to report on fires, smoke and or noises.

I am awaiting for Trice/Tim to respond about that CSA officer that General Stuart had to micro-manage (CSA Cavalry); I think his future comments would be very worthwhile and add to the thread.

Just some thoughts.

Respectfully submitted for consideration,
M. E. Wolf
 

cw1865

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#18
Changing Battlefield

The problem is that considering the results of Day 1, Lee's plan is fine, he's going to strike the Union left with Longstreet the following day. The problem is that Longstreet is slow getting it off, Sickles is interposing his corps, Lee is unyielding, and yet Hood is still feeling for the Federal extremity (essentially disregarding the orders).
 
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#19
The flanking movement Longstreet desired....

Lee's original plan for the 2d day was a major effort by Ewell to take Culp's Hill and Cemetary Hill. It was only after being informed by Ewell's Div. Commanders (with Ewell's concurrence) that Gen. Lee's plan was unacceptable and must be changed, did Lee (reluctantly) change the Center of Gravity of his offensive to Longstreet's Corps.
Lee was displeased at the time already wasted trying to get his commanders to obey his orders and IMO Longstreet's obdurance and further foot dragging did not bode well for another last minute change of plan that necessarily, would have further delayed his (Lee's)determined intention to engage the AoP at the earliest possible time.
It is interesting, I think, that Lee seemed malleable as clay in the hands of his subordinates, Except his determination to attack as Soon as possible.



P.S. Longstreet was no more responsible for the debacle at Gettysburg than the other confederate corps and div. commanders (including those of the cavalry and artillery) most of whom had decided that they knew better than Lee, how the battle was to be fought and Lee, for whatever reason(s), allowed them, to a large extent, to have their way.
 

M E Wolf

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#20
Dear List Members,

I do wonder (outloud in text form), if the infamous "Pickett's Charge" under the direction of General A. P. Hill would have been different; as two of his Divisions were connected to one Division- Pickett's.

I would think if Lee saw Longstreet's lack of fire in this charge to the center of the Union forces on Day 3; I ponder if A. P. Hill would be a better choice and yet -- Lee knowing all the qualities of his Corps Commanders; must assume based on Lee's successes--he put the best where it was needed the most.

Now, as far as your post-script OpnDownfall -- I don't know anybody who doesn't feel like they know better than their parents/supervisors/officials - [Huge Grin-its natural!] That said, if Lee allowed himself to be puddy and allowed his command have their way --then it is his fault in allowing discipline to faulter so badly. But, I can understand that having nobody to fill the slots of commanding officers --Lee did his best to make out of his many lemons--lemonaide. I am sure Lee's silent struggle with his health didn't help either.

However, the loss may have come as a wake up call for Lee to cinch up the discipline or re-evaluate his commanders.

But, I do notice when Longstreet did seperate from Lee a short time; going to Tennessee, Longstreet remained very successful. To me this is a 'diagnostic' of the commander - does he win no matter who is his superior. In recalling Longstreet to Lee's call for assistance -- I do believe he recognized the strengths and weaknesses that would help him (Lee) to accomplish his quest. The real failure of the Confederacy wasn't the soldiers and leaders -- it was the lack of support, e.g. food, grain, clothing.


Just some thoughts.

Respectfully submitted for consideration,
M. E. Wolf
 



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