Who Should Have Been Promoted But Wasn't?

JeffBrooks

Sergeant Major
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Aug 20, 2009
Location
Manor, TX
Here's a question I would be interested in hearing opinions on. . . which officers, Union and/or Confederate, do you think deserved promotion but didn't receive it? Why?

I, for one, think Jubal Early should have been promoted to command of the Second Corps after his performance in the Chancellorsville Campaign.
 
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Bruce Vail

1st Lieutenant
Joined
Jul 8, 2015
The number of guns captured by the allies at Sebastapol was 3,839. Of these 2,087 guns were mounted in the defences:

8-inch: 61 (i.e. 64 pdrs)
7-7.5": 87 (i.e. 48-56 pdrs)
6-6.5": 981 (32 pdrs)
5-5.5": 395 (24 pdrs)
smaller guns: 491
13" mortars: 18
10" mortars: 8
Brass Cohorn mortars (6-6.5"): 21
Brass field guns: 16
Wall pieces: 9

Another 112 brass field guns were captured, and the 1,640 guns were largely on the ships.

In April 1865 there were positions to mount 1,120 guns and mortars in the Washington defences, and 807 guns and 98 mortars were actually mounted (905 pieces). In December '62 643 guns and 75 mortars were mounted on a 37 mile front.

Washington in 1865 (the most armed the defences ever were) had 905 pieces on a 37 mile front, or 24.5 pieces per mile.

Sebastapol had 2,087 pieces on a frontage of ca. 4 miles, or ca. 522 guns per mile. That a firepower density more than 20 times Washington.




Absolutely not. Had Early attacked a day earlier he would to waltzed straight through the defences and captured Washington. Due to the long length of the defences, there were relatively large distances between the forts, and they were not mutually supporting. You simply had to overwhelm a single fort and you'd penetrated the defences. Due to a "crust" defence being adopted north of the river, there were no further points of resistance.

In June '64, Grant had stripped the defences. North of the Potomac were only 3 infantry regiments, 2 Veteran Reserve regiments and about 2 regts worth of artillerymen. On the 10th June, had Early known how weak the defences were he could have walked straight through them. Only the timely arrival of elements of the 6th and 19th Corps saved Washington, and it's a good thing Halleck overruled Grant and pulled them in.
I appreciate your thoughtful and well-educated reply.

Nevertheless, my estimate that Washington was impregnable in 1864 is based not only of the strength of its outer fortifications, but on the huge army that federals had positioned in close proximity that could easily be moved to the city's defense, and the iron political will in the Republican leadership to defend the city at all costs.
 

Saphroneth

Major
Joined
Feb 18, 2017
yeah, I'd say the only times I hear of troops in the war taking a well fortified position by storm, its very very late in the war (1865), and by Union troops (Fort Fisher; Final Battle of Petersburg).
Though we should also recognize those times when the commanders of a fortified position abandoned it owing to it being untenable to defend. I'd also like to point to Fort Pillow, which was taken by storm.

Some of the Washington forts were scalable not only by infantry but by cavalry, and if you throw a division at a scalable fort occupied by half a regiment then the chances of the place being captured are not negligible.
 

Saphroneth

Major
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Feb 18, 2017
Nevertheless, my estimate that Washington was impregnable in 1864 is based not only of the strength of its outer fortifications, but on the huge army that federals had positioned in close proximity that could easily be moved to the city's defense, and the iron political will in the Republican leadership to defend the city at all costs.
There was no huge army in close proximity on June 30 1864. Without that there's just "iron political will".

If one has to argue the impregnability of a fortification based on the huge army nearby, then the fortification is not impregnable - the covering force is simply large.
 

Saphroneth

Major
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Feb 18, 2017
True as there was no shortage of Major Generals in the AOP. Was thinking more of a independent command. Certainly would have been an improvement in the valley, over Sigel or Hunter.
There's only so many capable generals - put Hancock in charge in the Valley and you have an open corps slot in the Army of the Potomac. Who gets that one?

I believe historically they felt that despite Hancock's wounds they couldn't spare him from corps command.
 

Luke Freet

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There's only so many capable generals - put Hancock in charge in the Valley and you have an open corps slot in the Army of the Potomac. Who gets that one?

I believe historically they felt that despite Hancock's wounds they couldn't spare him from corps command.
Birney, maybe Gibbon. They both have stellar records thus far, both had commanded Corps at Gettysburg.
 

Bruce Vail

1st Lieutenant
Joined
Jul 8, 2015
There was no huge army in close proximity on June 30 1864. Without that there's just "iron political will".

If one has to argue the impregnability of a fortification based on the huge army nearby, then the fortification is not impregnable - the covering force is simply large.

Okay. My mistake.

Maybe we can agree the 'covering force' was large enough to preclude any meaningful Confederate victory at that time.
 

Saphroneth

Major
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Feb 18, 2017
Okay. My mistake.

Maybe we can agree the 'covering force' was large enough to preclude any meaningful Confederate victory at that time.
As of June 30 1864? It certainly wasn't; there's basically nothing there on that date. The closest things to a covering force were both defeated or pushed entirely out of the way by Early.

Note here that there are two categories. The "garrison" is the men inside the forts, who act to defend the position directly. The "covering force" is the mobile field force that can go out and attack or threaten an enemy who has settled down to attack the position directly, or block easier avenues of approach.



The steamers with reinforcements began to dock at noon on 11th July. This begins to reinforce the actual Washington defences; there is still no huge covering force, which is one reason Early is able to get back into the Shenandoah.
 

DanSBHawk

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Location
Wisconsin
Only the timely arrival of elements of the 6th and 19th Corps saved Washington, and it's a good thing Halleck overruled Grant and pulled them in.
No, Halleck initially dismissed the confederate presence as a minor raid. It was Lew Wallace who learned the size of the confederate force, and Grant immediately sent 6th corps on transports. Once 6th corps arrived in the Washington defenses, Early had no chance of taking Washington.
 
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Saphroneth

Major
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Feb 18, 2017
No, Halleck initially dismissed the confederate presence as a minor raid. It was Lew Wallace who learned the size of the confederate force, and Grant immediately sent 6th corps on transports. Once 6th corps arrived in the Washington defenses, Early had no chance of taking Washington.

Let's see...


3rd July, Halleck says there are reports that Early is moving down the Shenandoah (north).
Grant replies on the 3rd that "Early's corps is now here".

On the 4th, Grant states that a deserter reported that Ewell's corps was not present and was going after Washington. He warns that this report is only the report of a deserter.

Also on the 4th (possibly received by Grant before the above, it is unclear) there's a report of "10,000 to 20,000" and that they're moving towards Williamsport.

On the 5th, just after noon, Grant offers an army corps "if the enemy cross into Maryland or Pennsylvania" and asks for transportation if so.
Halleck replies to the effect that the line from the Monocacy to Harpers Ferry had been cut (i.e. the enemy was in Maryland) and Grant should send his dismounted cavalry immediately.
Grant tells Halleck in reply that he is sending the dismounted cavalry and one division of infantry.

Later that day (such that it doesn't arrive before Grant tells Halleck he's sending a division) Halleck tells Grant that all available water transport is already with him, and also states that Washington is not so severely threatened as to require Grant's aid. He does reiterate the request for the dismounted cavalry, though. (Halleck's confidence wanes over time, apparently as it becomes clear what a state the militia is in.)

Ricketts division embarks on the 6th/7th for Baltimore. No other infantry goes however until the rest of 6th Corps is ordered to Washington.


Halleck's message on the 8th (10:30 PM sent) is the one which says that "troops sent from the James River should come here" and that "very considerable re-enforcements should be sent directly to this place".

This appears to take place on Grant's end during the day of the 9th, having been ordered by 5:30 PM (according to the letter he sends Halleck) but the telegram to that effect goes to Meade at 6 PM and doesn't reach Meade until about 8 PM. At that point Meade reports that 6th Corps is off to embark.



It looks like the idea of sending the balance of 6th Corps on transports comes from Halleck, though Grant seems willing enough to do so. It's slightly hard to be certain of the timeline in many cases because the message travel time is unclear, but it was less than 16 hours so Grant appears to be complying with Halleck's 8th July 1030 when he sends the balance of 6th Corps.
 

DanSBHawk

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Location
Wisconsin
Let's see...


3rd July, Halleck says there are reports that Early is moving down the Shenandoah (north).
Grant replies on the 3rd that "Early's corps is now here".

On the 4th, Grant states that a deserter reported that Ewell's corps was not present and was going after Washington. He warns that this report is only the report of a deserter.

Also on the 4th (possibly received by Grant before the above, it is unclear) there's a report of "10,000 to 20,000" and that they're moving towards Williamsport.

On the 5th, just after noon, Grant offers an army corps "if the enemy cross into Maryland or Pennsylvania" and asks for transportation if so.
Halleck replies to the effect that the line from the Monocacy to Harpers Ferry had been cut (i.e. the enemy was in Maryland) and Grant should send his dismounted cavalry immediately.
Grant tells Halleck in reply that he is sending the dismounted cavalry and one division of infantry.

Later that day (such that it doesn't arrive before Grant tells Halleck he's sending a division) Halleck tells Grant that all available water transport is already with him, and also states that Washington is not so severely threatened as to require Grant's aid. He does reiterate the request for the dismounted cavalry, though. (Halleck's confidence wanes over time, apparently as it becomes clear what a state the militia is in.)

Ricketts division embarks on the 6th/7th for Baltimore. No other infantry goes however until the rest of 6th Corps is ordered to Washington.


Halleck's message on the 8th (10:30 PM sent) is the one which says that "troops sent from the James River should come here" and that "very considerable re-enforcements should be sent directly to this place".

This appears to take place on Grant's end during the day of the 9th, having been ordered by 5:30 PM (according to the letter he sends Halleck) but the telegram to that effect goes to Meade at 6 PM and doesn't reach Meade until about 8 PM. At that point Meade reports that 6th Corps is off to embark.



It looks like the idea of sending the balance of 6th Corps on transports comes from Halleck, though Grant seems willing enough to do so. It's slightly hard to be certain of the timeline in many cases because the message travel time is unclear, but it was less than 16 hours so Grant appears to be complying with Halleck's 8th July 1030 when he sends the balance of 6th Corps.
Here are messages on the 5th and 6th. This is when Grant decided to send troops, and some were on their way by the 6th.

On the 5th, Grant writes this to Halleck:

City Point, Va., July 5, 1864—12.30 p. m.​
(Received 6.45 p. m.)​
Major-General Halleck,​
Washington, D. (7.:​
If the enemy cross into Maryland or Pennsylvania I can send an army corps from here to meet them or cut off their return south. If required, direct the quartermaster to send transportation.​
U. S. GRANT,​
Lieutenant-General​

City Point, Ya., July 5, 1864—11.50 p. m. Major-General Halleck,
Washington, D. C. :
Your dispatch of 12.30 [1] p. m. received. I have ordered to Washington the dismounted cavalry and one division of infantry, which will he followed by the balance of the corps, if necessary. We want now to crush out and destroy any force the enemy have sent north. Force enough can be spared from here to do it. I think now there is no doubt but Ewell’s corps is away from here.
U. S. GRANT,
Lieutenant- General.​

To Meade, on the same day:

GEO. G. MEADE,​
Major- General.​
City Point, Ya., July 5, 1864.​
Major-General Meade,​
Commanding, &c. :​
The enemy have got to the Baltimore and Ohio road and have destroyed the railroad bridges from Patterson’s Creek to Harper’s Ferry. Send in one good division of your troops and all the dismounted cavalry, to be forwarded at once. I will not send an army corps until there is greater necessity for it. I will order the quartermaster here to have transportation ready.​
U. S. GRANT,​
Lieutenant-General.​

City Point, Ya., July 5, 1864.​
Major-General Meade,​
Commanding, &c.:​
Sigel has fallen back to Maryland Heights, destroying the bridges at that point. Some of Hunter’s force have arrived at Patterson’s Creek, where they drove the enemy. Other dispatches are just coming through, which, when deciphered, I will inform you of, if they contain anything of importance. Among them I see the announcement of the sinking of the Alabama by our Navy. Semmes, however, escaped. Vessels will be ready for the troops ordered from here between now and 2 p. m. to-morrow. No artillery need be sent.​
U. S. GRANT,​
Lieutenant- General.​

On the 6th, Grant writes Halleck:

City Point, Va., July 6, 1864—3 p. m.​
(Received 7th.)​
Major-General Halleck,​
Washington, D. C.:​
A part of the force directed by me to go north is already off, and the whole of it will be in the course of an hour or two. It will probably be as well to let it go now, and return it as soon as you deem it perfectly safe to do so. I think there is no doubt but Early’s corps is near the Baltimore and Ohio road, and if it can be caught and broken up it will be highly desirable to do so. It is important to our success here that another raid should be made up the Shenandoah Valley, and stores destroyed and communications broken.​
U. S. GRANT,​
Lieutenant- General.​

So the decision has been made, by Grant, before the 6th.
 

Saphroneth

Major
Joined
Feb 18, 2017
So the decision has been made, by Grant, before the 6th.
I was drawing a distinction between Ricketts (a division which went to Baltimore, and which was at the Battle of the Monocacy, and fell back towards Baltimore after the battle) and the rest of 6th Corps (which went to Washington directly and which helped defend Washington itself). This is:
1) because Grant sent Ricketts, then after that sent the rest of 6th Corps as a separate decision.
2) because you specified the units which arrived in the Washington defences, and that was the non-Ricketts units.
 

DanSBHawk

Captain
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Location
Wisconsin
I was drawing a distinction between Ricketts (a division which went to Baltimore, and which was at the Battle of the Monocacy, and fell back towards Baltimore after the battle) and the rest of 6th Corps (which went to Washington directly and which helped defend Washington itself). This is:
1) because Grant sent Ricketts, then after that sent the rest of 6th Corps as a separate decision.
2) because you specified the units which arrived in the Washington defences, and that was the non-Ricketts units.
But the decision was made on the 5th-6th to begin sending reinforcements and that would include the balance of 6th corps if necessary. It wasn't until the 9th, after learning that Hunter was not going to get there in time, that Grant allows for the movements of the corps.

City Point, Va., July 9, 1864.​
(Received 7.30 p. m.)​
Major-General Halleck,​
Washington, D. C.:​
If you think it necessary, order the Nineteenth Corps as it arrives at Fortress Monroe to Washington. About the 18th or 20th is the time I should like to have a large force here ; but if the rebel force now north can be captured or destroyed I would willingly postpone aggressive operations to destroy them, and could send in addition to the Nineteenth Corps, the balance of the Sixth Corps.​
U. S. GRANT, Lieutenant-General​
So while Grant is reacting to reports from Washington, it's Grant calling the shots, not Halleck.
 

67th Tigers

1st Lieutenant
Joined
Nov 10, 2006
No, Halleck initially dismissed the confederate presence as a minor raid. It was Lew Wallace who learned the size of the confederate force, and Grant immediately sent 6th corps on transports. Once 6th corps arrived in the Washington defenses, Early had no chance of taking Washington.
Hardly. Grant balked at losing more troops. He was in a huff already that Halleck had issued orders directly to part of the 19th Corps convoy to go directly to Washington, intercepting these troops at Fort Monroe. Grant initially denied that Early's Corps had left Richmond:

"Earlys corps is now here. There are no troops that can now be threatening Hunters Dept, except the remnant of the force W. E. Jones had and possibly Breckenridge." - Grant to Halleck, 3rd July 1864

It was the 6th before Grant's confidence that Early was still defending Richmond became less than absolute. He finally gives in to Halleck and sent Rickett's division and 1,500 dismounted cavalry to Washington. These troops offloaded on the 8th and ignored their orders to go to Sigel and instead went to Wallace and were instrumental in delaying Early on the Monocacy.

There is intelligence that Longstreet's Corps has also departed. Because he'd been proven to be so wrong about Early, Grant couldn't deny the possibility. In a series of messages on the 9th, Halleck plays Grant like a violin and forces him to send the balance of the 6th and 19th Corps against Grant's wishes. It is the 13th before Grant is able to get proof Longstreet hasn't left, and he writes:

"The 6th & 19th Corps should be got here without any delay so that they may be used before the return of the troops sent into the valley by the enemy." - Grant to Halleck, 14th July 1862

If left to Grant, no reinforcements would have been sent to Washington, and Washington would have fallen. Fortunately, Halleck was able to play Grant and get troops to Washington in time.
 

DanSBHawk

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Hardly. Grant balked at losing more troops. He was in a huff already that Halleck had issued orders directly to part of the 19th Corps convoy to go directly to Washington, intercepting these troops at Fort Monroe. Grant initially denied that Early's Corps had left Richmond:

"Earlys corps is now here. There are no troops that can now be threatening Hunters Dept, except the remnant of the force W. E. Jones had and possibly Breckenridge." - Grant to Halleck, 3rd July 1864

It was the 6th before Grant's confidence that Early was still defending Richmond became less than absolute. He finally gives in to Halleck and sent Rickett's division and 1,500 dismounted cavalry to Washington. These troops offloaded on the 8th and ignored their orders to go to Sigel and instead went to Wallace and were instrumental in delaying Early on the Monocacy.

There is intelligence that Longstreet's Corps has also departed. Because he'd been proven to be so wrong about Early, Grant couldn't deny the possibility. In a series of messages on the 9th, Halleck plays Grant like a violin and forces him to send the balance of the 6th and 19th Corps against Grant's wishes. It is the 13th before Grant is able to get proof Longstreet hasn't left, and he writes:

"The 6th & 19th Corps should be got here without any delay so that they may be used before the return of the troops sent into the valley by the enemy." - Grant to Halleck, 14th July 1862

If left to Grant, no reinforcements would have been sent to Washington, and Washington would have fallen. Fortunately, Halleck was able to play Grant and get troops to Washington in time.
It was the 5th when Grant laid out exactly what would happen: An initial force of about 9000 reinforcements, followed by the rest of 6th corps as necessary. Grant believed Hunter would arrive to assist. Your characterization is wrong in that Grant was repeatedly eager to send troops if it was followed up by the destruction of Early's force. He mentions over and over again about getting south of Early and destroying him.

Halleck's involvement was as a subordinate reporting the unfolding events to Grant. And even on the 10th, Halleck advised Lincoln that he believed that the Washington defenses were manned enough to be safe. Grants order with the movement of the two corps was to destroy Early, not merely defend Washington and Baltimore.

The notion that Halleck was calling the shots, and "overriding" Grant is ridiculous.
 

Saphroneth

Major
Joined
Feb 18, 2017
But the decision was made on the 5th-6th to begin sending reinforcements and that would include the balance of 6th corps if necessary. It wasn't until the 9th, after learning that Hunter was not going to get there in time, that Grant allows for the movements of the corps.
Your statement was:


No, Halleck initially dismissed the confederate presence as a minor raid. It was Lew Wallace who learned the size of the confederate force, and Grant immediately sent 6th corps on transports. Once 6th corps arrived in the Washington defenses, Early had no chance of taking Washington.
Now, the word "immediately" in that sentence seemed to indicate to me that you meant it was:

- Lew Wallace learns size of Confederate force
- based on this Grant immediately sends 6th Corps on transports.
- to Washington.

If so, then Halleck was directly in that chain of discussion. His message to Grant about reinforcements reached Grant before Grant made the decision to send 6th Corps; indeed, 6th Corps don't board ship until around 8PM.
 

DanSBHawk

Captain
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Location
Wisconsin
Your statement was:



Now, the word "immediately" in that sentence seemed to indicate to me that you meant it was:

- Lew Wallace learns size of Confederate force
- based on this Grant immediately sends 6th Corps on transports.
- to Washington.

If so, then Halleck was directly in that chain of discussion. His message to Grant about reinforcements reached Grant before Grant made the decision to send 6th Corps; indeed, 6th Corps don't board ship until around 8PM.
Perhaps I should have wrote, Grant immediately sent reinforcements from 6th corps. I've read somewhere that Wallace sent a message directly to Grant at City Point, but did not find that message in the OR.
 

Lubliner

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There's only so many capable generals - put Hancock in charge in the Valley and you have an open corps slot in the Army of the Potomac. Who gets that one?

I believe historically they felt that despite Hancock's wounds they couldn't spare him from corps command.
Hancock was put in charge in the valley, wasn't he? He was commanding the Invalid Corps also up around Winchester or Harper's Ferry is memory serves me right. (late 1864).
Lubliner.
 

Saphroneth

Major
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Feb 18, 2017
Hancock was put in charge in the valley, wasn't he? He was commanding the Invalid Corps also up around Winchester or Harper's Ferry is memory serves me right. (late 1864).
Lubliner.
Which is after the main campaigning phase in the summer. My understanding is that to be a promotion that didn't happen (and to be an improvement over "Sigel or Hunter") he'd have to get the position earlier.
 
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