View single post by Zod
 Posted: Wed Dec 13th, 2006 02:49 pm
 PM  Quote  Reply  Full Topic 

Joined: Mon Dec 11th, 2006
Posts: 7

  back to top

HankC wrote: Calling Pickett's charge an attack 'en echelon' is inaccurate.

En echelon attacks are wave-like. Each succeeding unit waits for the unit on theiir flank (echelon) to engage.

All 3 divisions in Pickett's charge stepped off simultaneously. Neither Johnson nor Stuart were ordered to engage at the 'sound of the guns' or any other synchronization. In fact, Johnson's attack on Culp's Hill had begun at 5 am and ended by noon...



Although the Trimble-Pickett-Pettigrew did not mimic Lee's "en echelon" attack on July 2nd (with it's wavelike attack up the Union line), and although the Divisions stepped off of Seminary Ridge at the same time, the order of the Divisions was en echelon, meaning parallel lines, overlapping, supportive, with the ultimate flexibility to seek out weak points and envelop the defending lines with supporting Brigades (in Pickett's case, the Brigades of Wilcox and Lang with Armistead in direct support of the shock Brigades of Kemper and Garnett).

One of the main points asserted by Carhart in "Lost Triumph" is that Lee was particularly studious of Napolean's infantry tactics.  En echelon was the order of the day.  My main earlier point was to recognize the idea that the Army of the Potomac on Cemetery Ridge may have had something to do with the whole affair, rather than pin the ultimate point of failure on East Calvary Field, some three miles away.  When it comes down to it, no soldier, regardless of temperament, could withstand Stannard's flank fire. 

Some evidence asserted by Carhart to support the development of Lee's calvary attack into the rear of the Union line in concert with the Pickett-Trimble-Pettigrew attack:
  • Stuart's signal cannonade at about 11:00am
  • The addition of Jenkin's Brigade to Stuart (numbering in total some 6,000 riders).
  • The absence of Confederate calvary on the right flank.


 Close Window