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Who gave the worst performance?

Discussion in 'Battle of Gettysburg' started by frontrank2, Sep 10, 2017.

  1. frontrank2

    frontrank2 1st Lieutenant Forum Host

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    Most everybody here is knowledgeable regarding the Battle of Gettysburg. Names like Buford, Chamberlain, Greene, Hancock, Longstreet, and Armistead are synonymous with skill and courage. But............ who in your opinion did not live up to their ability? Not limited to just generals; - officers, regiments, and brigades can be included.

    pickettscharge.jpeg
     

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  3. Jimklag

    Jimklag Captain Silver Patron

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    A. P. Hill and Mahone on the rebel side. Sickles and Kilpatrick on the Union side.
     
  4. nitrofd

    nitrofd Colonel Forum Host

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    I would vote for Kill Kalvary myself.
     
  5. dlavin

    dlavin First Sergeant

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    Iverson
     
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  6. rpkennedy

    rpkennedy Major

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    First Corps: From top to bottom, Longstreet's officer corps either performed well or were hit so early as to not really play much role (Hood, G.T. Anderson, and Semmes for example).

    Second Corps
    - Major General Robert Rodes: His attack on July 1st was poorly conducted and his actions were lackluster on the 2nd & 3rd.
    - Brigadier General Alfred Iverson, Jr.: The less said the better.
    - Colonel Edward O'Neal: His attack was poorly coordinated on July 1st. Lee himself had blocked his promotion.
    - Brigadier General William Smith: Those fences, man.

    Third Corps
    Lt. General A.P. Hill: Too sick to do much.
    Major General Richard Anderson: It takes some work trying to find something he did at Gettysburg.
    Brigadier General Carnot Posey: Got hung up by skirmishers and was content with taking the Bliss Farm.
    Colonel John Brockenbrough: There's a reason Lee relieved him of command at the Potomac.
    Brigadier General Joseph Davis: He displayed no control over his command.
    Brigadier General James Lane: His performance on July 1st left a lot to be desired. An uncharacteristic lack of aggressiveness.

    Ryan
     
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  7. rpkennedy

    rpkennedy Major

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    First Corps
    Brigadier General Thomas Rowley: Probably drunk and was arrested on Cemetery Hill by a lieutenant.

    Second Corps: From top to bottom, the corps generally performed very well.

    Third Corps
    Brigadier General Joseph Carr: Ask Lt. Colonel Porter Tripp of the 11th Massachusetts.

    Fifth Corps
    Brigadier General James Barnes: He was barely competent as a brigade commander, much less a division commander.
    Colonel William Tilton: His brigade didn't manage to do much in the Wheatfield before retreating and then retreated before Wofford even got into range.

    Sixth Corps: They simply just didn't do much fighting so it's tough to judge.

    Eleventh Corps
    Brigadier General Francis Barlow: His aggression got the better of him and put his division into a terrible position. Then said that his men ran without fighting.

    Twelfth Corps
    Major General Henry Slocum: As much as he's a sentimental favorite of mine, his stubbornness in acting as a wing commander gives all of his corps' credit to Alpheus Williams.

    Cavalry Corps
    Major General Alfred Pleasonton: He set in motion the events that led to Sickles moving forward. Besides, he was an arrogant jackass.
    Brigadier General Judson Kilpatrick: At least he had nice sideburns.

    Ryan
     
    Last edited: Sep 10, 2017
  8. frontrank2

    frontrank2 1st Lieutenant Forum Host

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    I think he is the " goat. "
     
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  9. frontrank2

    frontrank2 1st Lieutenant Forum Host

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    Very thoughtful and logical responses. :thumbsup:
     
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  10. E_just_E

    E_just_E 1st Lieutenant Forum Host

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    I'll limit myself to 5 from each side:

    Confederate:

    Robert E. Lee
    - after Day 1 he should have not attacked. Twice. Forming a defensive line at South Mountain and waiting for Meade, or even better, letting Ewell attack a defenseless Harrisburg as requested, and cross the Susquehanna with the whole ANV days ahead of the Federals, up there (and with the Wrightsville bridge burned) would have been the way to go.

    James J. Archer - Even Davis, with one less regiment bettered him in Day 1. Running, trying to hide and getting arrested in a thicket by a private, is not befit to a general. But he was a political general.

    Alfred Iverson Jr. - Too drunk to fight? Who knows. But a brigadier General does not let his brigade to go to battle alone, even a political one.

    John M. Brockenbrough - Too sad to fight? He lost his brother at day 1 and during Pickett's charge he let his (Heth's) brigade go on without him. No wonder they went only half way before they ran back. Heth's Brigade, thus, (Col. Robert Murphy Mayo of the 47th VA commanding,)makes the list as well... Another political general adverse to fighting. Must be a theme here.

    Union:

    Alexander Schimmelfennig - Spending the whole battle in someone's outhouse is not good generalship. Esp. for someone who was supposedly a seasoned Prussian soldier.

    Francis C. Barlow - No idea how they named a hill after him or why he even got to command a Division. First General going to battle exposing his own flank. Another Lawyer made general.

    O O Howard - Probably made the second biggest mistake in the Battle (after Lee,) which he was lucky not to have any consequences: He kept sending troops from the 11th Corps up North, until there was a single brigade left in support of Cemetery Hill. Saved by the clock, Slocum's arrival, and the fact that when Pender's Confederates turned the Iron Brigade around at the Seminary Ridge, they decided to follow them through town, instead of going to the High Ground.

    I Corps and XI Corps. That was not quite textbook retreat. Makes Heth's Brigade who went half way look like soldiers...
     
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  11. frontrank2

    frontrank2 1st Lieutenant Forum Host

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    :whistling:
     
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  12. General Butterfield

    General Butterfield Corporal

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    Great list thus far, I'll add William N. Pendleton for his mismanagement of the artillery on 1st and 3rd day.
     
  13. Jimklag

    Jimklag Captain Silver Patron

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    I forgot about Pendleton. Good call.
     
  14. mofederal

    mofederal First Sergeant

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    O.O. Howard turned in his usual performance leading the 11th Corps. even laying blame of his own faulty battlefield judgements on Doubleday. His whole Corps mostly sucked on day 1.

    Schimmelfennig 11th Corps brigade commander, his men retreated or ran, and his is wounded and retreating through town, when his horse was killed. He hid in a drainage ditch cover, and then after dark between a wood pile and a Hog swill barrel behind a house in Gettysburg.

    Barlow an 11th Corps division commander. .

    Sickles, in moving his line forward, but it could be argued either way.

    Slocum, a 12 corps commander, who did not act like it.

    Judson Kilpatrick, enough said.
     
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  15. dlavin

    dlavin First Sergeant

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    Haha forgot about Schimmelfennig. Or maybe I just didnt want to spell his name.
     
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  16. E_just_E

    E_just_E 1st Lieutenant Forum Host

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    Re: Kilpartick: I don't quite get what he did wrong at Gettysburg: a. the actions of his subordinates at ECF were if anything successful, but most non-consequential (unless one believes that Stuart was about to attack the copse of trees, making them heroic :wink: ) and b. IIRC Meade was the one who ordered the attack at the retreating confederates after Pickett's charge, so he did as ordered, and that one should be on Meade.

    He did a lot of questionable things during the ACW, but not at Gettysburg (and Hanover.)
     
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  17. Billy Yank

    Billy Yank First Sergeant

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    Good synopsis.
     
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  18. Billy Yank

    Billy Yank First Sergeant

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    I have to agree w/1Lt. E-just-E, Gen'l. Lee turned in a sub-par performance, displaying zero brilliance.
     
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  19. mofederal

    mofederal First Sergeant

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    Farnsworth's Charge was not the idea of a tactical genius. Kilpatrick had no regard for those men and animals serving under him. If he was so brave he should have led the charge himself, and he did not lead the charge as he was ordered. Kilpatrick was not that brave. He got good men killed for no reason or gain. He knew that attack could not succeed over the ground, everyone could see it. He did something similar with Dahlgren's raid. Another of his so called genius plans, a disastrous fiasco which made him no longer welcome in the Eastern Theater.
     
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  20. bankerpapaw

    bankerpapaw 2nd Lieutenant

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    I agree!!!
     
  21. Bruce Vail

    Bruce Vail Sergeant Major

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    I've read that several Confederates criticized Gen. Richard Ewell for screwing up, particularly on July 2, when the opportunity existed to break through the Union line at Culp's Hill, but was not exploited properly.

    Anybody out there agree with that?
     
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