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 Posted: Sun Jan 23rd, 2011 08:27 pm
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Mark
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Sickles's III Corps identified the flanking column in the mid-morning of 2 May 1863, and Sickles claims he reported to Army HQ that, "the movement indicated either a retreat on Gordonsville or an attack on our right flank." (Hookers report says nothing about Sickles's report indicating a flank attack) Howard said that the "unvarying report," from his XI Corps skirmishers was, "the enemy is crossing the plank road moving toward Culpeper." In my opinion, based on those reports alone, a movement toward Culpeper could have easily been interpreted as a Confederate retreat to the west (in fact, that would have been the smart thing for Lee to do outnumbered as he was). Someone once told me that no one tries to fail... I think General Hooker made an educated guess on the Confederate movement based on the intel he had and he simply made the wrong call.

Mark

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