Civil War Interactive Discussion Board Home
Home Search search Menu menu Not logged in - Login | Register


The Battle of Cold Harbor - Battles and Campaigns - Civil War Talk - Civil War Interactive Discussion Board
 Moderated by: javal1 Page:  First Page Previous Page  1  2  3  4  5  6  7  8  9  Next Page Last Page  
 New Topic   Reply   Printer Friendly 
 Rating:  Rating
AuthorPost
 Posted: Fri Feb 8th, 2008 01:31 am
   PM  Quote  Reply 
61st Post
ole
Member


Joined: Sun Oct 22nd, 2006
Location:  
Posts: 2027
Status: 
Offline
Mana: 

  back to top

Agreed, Bama. You will note the nit-picking comment? The AotT was on an offensive campaign. ASJ pulled a march on him. It remains that the Federals were embarked on an offensive campaign to take the RR crossings at Corinth.

ole



 Posted: Fri Feb 8th, 2008 01:57 am
   PM  Quote  Reply 
62nd Post
Michael C. Hardy
Member
 

Joined: Tue Sep 25th, 2007
Location: North Carolina USA
Posts: 48
Status: 
Offline
Mana: 

  back to top

JoanieReb

Me too! Rhea really short-changes Lane’s brigade. Weisiger’s brigade gets lost in the woods and never comes up to support Lane in his attack. Lane captures three or flags in the attack, which Mahone (Weisiger’s commander) claims as his own. After Lane destroys the 17th Michigan and most of the 51st Pennsylvania, he is forced to retreat. Mahone rides up and wants to know why Lane is abandoning his Virginians. One officer of the Lane’s brigade comes up to Mahone, pistol in hand, and calls Mahone out, calling him a SOB and treating to shoot Mahone. Mahone rides away.

CWT has had that article for at least a year and I’ve not looked at it since they accepted it. Might need to pull it out and brush up on the “facts.”



PvtClewell

I have seen the play, and I saw it on PBS a month ago? I have some details here someplace, but I’ve probably not looked at them in 5 years. I’ll need to find them.



 Posted: Fri Feb 8th, 2008 02:36 am
   PM  Quote  Reply 
63rd Post
JoanieReb
Member
 

Joined: Wed Jan 24th, 2007
Location:  
Posts: 620
Status: 
Offline
Mana: 

  back to top

"Me too! Rhea really short-changes Lane’s brigade."

Oh, Thank the Lord!  I am SO glad to see you write this.

I should have found a "Spotsylvania" discussion board by now, but if one exists, I really don't hardly care; at this point, I like to explore it on my own, prefer going to the written word and records than the web debates.  Maybe when I am competent to do so, I will start my own Spotsylvania web-site.  But there is so much else to do with this particular story....

Please!  Let me know when your article comes out.  Thank You!

(Hey Private Clewell!  I appreciate your consideration about hijacking my thread from the bottom of my heart! Sincerely.  Now, (Bad Joanie!  No cookie!)  I've hijacked it twice myself!  But remember, Mr. Joe said, if you hijack a thread that you started yourself, it's OK...)

 

 

 



You have chosen to ignore Bama46. click Here to view this post


 Posted: Fri Feb 8th, 2008 06:44 am
   PM  Quote  Reply 
65th Post
ole
Member


Joined: Sun Oct 22nd, 2006
Location:  
Posts: 2027
Status: 
Offline
Mana: 

  back to top

Is what I meant by "nit-picking" Bama. We can argue it forever while neither of us much cares and there will be no conclusion. THE army, under Smith, Grant or Halleck was on an offensive drive (well, maybe drive is too strong) toward Corinth. In the end game, we can agree that Grant fought a defensive action, but it was a jink in an offensive action which did, ultimately, end in taking Corinth.

Maybe we ought to stick with Cold Harbor?

ole

Last edited on Fri Feb 8th, 2008 06:50 am by ole



 Posted: Fri Feb 8th, 2008 07:16 am
   PM  Quote  Reply 
66th Post
JoanieReb
Member
 

Joined: Wed Jan 24th, 2007
Location:  
Posts: 620
Status: 
Offline
Mana: 

  back to top

"Maybe we ought to stick with Cold Harbor?"

Yeppers - and that applies to me, too!

Too good a thread to dilute with a bunch of other topics - let's spawn a few offspring threads, instead.

Last edited on Fri Feb 8th, 2008 07:21 am by JoanieReb



 Posted: Fri Feb 8th, 2008 04:57 pm
   PM  Quote  Reply 
67th Post
Don
Member


Joined: Thu Nov 15th, 2007
Location: Colorado Springs, Colorado USA
Posts: 111
Status: 
Offline
Mana: 

  back to top

ole wrote: I believe McClellan got about as far as Grant did in the wilderness during the time-frame (up to Cold Harbor) we are discussing.  That was the AoP's second excursion into the wilderness.
Going off the top of my head here, Joanie, but someone will come along shortly who knows the territory:

The Wilderness runs roughly from Chancellorsville south. It is so named because it is recent, second-growth forest -- the first growth having been cut down to feed a fledgling iron industry in the area. That is, cut down the big trees and you get a thick growth of brush and saplings that you wouldn't find as an understory in an old forest.

McClellan's area of operation wasn't a walk in the park but, as I understand it, more closely resembled a swamp. I suspect that if you took out a map, you will find that Mac got closer to Richmond than did Grant, In the end, it was Grant that took it.

ole


Hmm, might have overdone the quote on that one....

Ole, I'll defer to the folks in the Spottsylvania area for specifics on the terrain, but the Wilderness was largely new terrain for Grant's army in 1864.  I believe the Union movements prior to Chancellorsville were several miles north of where the Wilderness fighting took place, but I've only been over the ground a couple of times.

McClellan's AO was different, though I'm not sure about more or less difficult.  I'm a lot more familair with the Peninsula, and the many rivers and (at the time) poor roads would have made his advance slow in any case.  Not as slow as he made it, but slow.  He did indeed get closer to Richmond than Grant did during the Overland Campaign (who named that, anyway?), but I personally think this was due to the nature of the terrain.  There just weren't many good places to have a big dust-up until you neared Richmond due to the terrain. 



 Posted: Fri Feb 8th, 2008 05:05 pm
   PM  Quote  Reply 
68th Post
Don
Member


Joined: Thu Nov 15th, 2007
Location: Colorado Springs, Colorado USA
Posts: 111
Status: 
Offline
Mana: 

  back to top

It would have helped if I'd finished my thought. I think that the terrain was one of the contributing factors to Grant pushing forward with the attack at Cold Harbor. He'd found a spot where he could mass troops and get at Lee (or had been told he had, someone already pointed out neither he nor meade had actually seen the ground), so he went for it.

Butcher or no butcher, in touch with his army or not, Grant did realize that every time the AotP let the pressure off the ANV, it slipped away and caused problems elsewhere. Cold Harbor was not a good decision, but keeping the pressure on Lee's army is what ultimately won the war. Previous Union leaders would have sent the AotP north when Early went up the Shanadoah.



 Posted: Fri Feb 8th, 2008 05:07 pm
   PM  Quote  Reply 
69th Post
Michael C. Hardy
Member
 

Joined: Tue Sep 25th, 2007
Location: North Carolina USA
Posts: 48
Status: 
Offline
Mana: 

  back to top

About two years ago, I made a serious visit to the Cold Harbor site. I had drive through the park once before, but since the regiment that I was then studying was not that involved during the battle, I had not paid much attention to the area. On my more recent visit, I was surprised at just how flat the area was. And maybe it had something to do with the tree cover that currently obscures the site, but I had always imaged the Confederate position to be more elevated that it appears to be.

Anyone else ever encountered this?



 Posted: Fri Feb 8th, 2008 06:10 pm
   PM  Quote  Reply 
70th Post
JoanieReb
Member
 

Joined: Wed Jan 24th, 2007
Location:  
Posts: 620
Status: 
Offline
Mana: 

  back to top

Ole wrote:

I suspect that if you took out a map, you will find that Mac got closer to Richmond than did Grant, In the end, it was Grant that took it.


Yes - I believe that was the point of Hank C's post above.  I cleverly ignored that point by taking evasive action and focusing on something else instead.You aren't gonna let me get away with that, are you?



 Posted: Fri Feb 8th, 2008 07:11 pm
   PM  Quote  Reply 
71st Post
ole
Member


Joined: Sun Oct 22nd, 2006
Location:  
Posts: 2027
Status: 
Offline
Mana: 

  back to top

Nope.

ole



 Posted: Fri Feb 8th, 2008 07:30 pm
   PM  Quote  Reply 
72nd Post
PvtClewell
Member


Joined: Wed Jun 13th, 2007
Location: North Carolina USA
Posts: 420
Status: 
Offline
Mana: 

  back to top

Michael,

Here I go again:

I do think that truces were more common than we think, but only when the lines are opposing each other. When one side controls the field at the end of the day, then that side is responsible for the care of the wounded and burial of the dead.

This sounds about right to me, now that you've brought it to my attention. At the very least, I feel like I might have heard this was the custom of the era. It feels familiar.

Which brings me to this: If that truly was the custom, and if Lee could claim victory after the battle of Cold Harbor, then wouldn't it be incumbent upon Lee within that custom to be the one to care for the wounded and the burial of the dead? I suspect it's a little more complex than that — both lines remained static after the battle, Lee may have felt like the victor but Grant never gave ground and certainly didn't feel vanquished, and he's still got that nagging 'truce' clause to deal with. I reckon custom simply went out the window here.

...And maybe it had something to do with the tree cover that currently obscures the site, but I had always imagined the Confederate position to be more elevated than it appears to be.

Been there several times but not recently. I was always disappointed by the trees that forested the area and tried to imagine the present-day battlefield without them. I never had a sense of elevation, though, and certainly not like you do at Malvern Hill.

The Cold Harbor front was seven miles long, but I've only been to the tiny area the NPS opens to the general public. Do you know if the rest of the battlefield is accessible? Seems to me I encountered NPS signs telling me 'Do not go beyond this point.' Maybe it's private property, I don't know.

And there sure is a ton of development going on encroaching on all the Richmond battlefields. Scary.



 Posted: Fri Feb 8th, 2008 10:54 pm
   PM  Quote  Reply 
73rd Post
Michael C. Hardy
Member
 

Joined: Tue Sep 25th, 2007
Location: North Carolina USA
Posts: 48
Status: 
Offline
Mana: 

  back to top

If that truly was the custom, and if Lee could claim victory after the battle of Cold Harbor, then wouldn't it be incumbent upon Lee within that custom to be the one to care for the wounded and the burial of the dead?

There was a protocol that had to be followed and Lee was a stickler for the details. Had the Federals abandoned the field, then yes, Lee would have been responsible for the care of the wounded. But the Federals were right there

Plus, and I think someone posted this earlier, Lee was fighting a war to wear down the resolve of the North. Grant’s refusing to ask for a truce, thereby leaving his wounded to die horrible deaths, fit into Lee strategy for winning the war. Even if all of the wounded were to die on the field because of Grant’s stubbornest, the Federal survivors wrote home about how bad a man Grant was for not taking care of his men. Those letters, those words got passed around back at home and damaged the Northern war effort.

That’s not to say that Lee was not human, that he did not detest the cries of the wounded in front of the Confederate lines. Lee just had the resolve to stick to his game plan for winning the war. And that game plan was to wear down the North’s resolve for fighting.

 

Grant never gave ground and certainly didn't feel vanquished,

Do you think that at this point, Grant may be saying to himself, Hmm, this is not working? Lee had beat Grant four times in a thirty-day period of time. Killed, wounded, and captured in the AofP at this time amount to 51,000 men. I wonder when those numbers showed up on Lincoln’s desk if Lincoln was not asking himself if he had made a mistake? Yes, Grant goes on to lay siege to Petersburg, and after nine months, drive Lee out of the Petersburg/Richmond fortifications. But at the end of the day on June 4, 1864, Grant is not as close to Richmond as McClellan got two years earlier, and has lost 51,000 men.

 

The Cold Harbor front was seven miles long, but I've only been to the tiny area the NPS opens to the general public. Do you know if the rest of the battlefield is accessible?

There is a new park just a little down the road from the Cold Harbor park that has some excellent Federal breastworks. This property is owned by Hanover County. Most of the land is still private. I was chased off trying to photograph Lane’s position.



 Posted: Fri Feb 8th, 2008 11:23 pm
   PM  Quote  Reply 
74th Post
JoanieReb
Member
 

Joined: Wed Jan 24th, 2007
Location:  
Posts: 620
Status: 
Offline
Mana: 

  back to top

"Which brings me to this: If that truly was the custom, and if Lee could claim victory after the battle of Cold Harbor, then wouldn't it be incumbent upon Lee within that custom to be the one to care for the wounded and the burial of the dead? I suspect it's a little more complex than that — both lines remained static after the battle, Lee may have felt like the victor but Grant never gave ground and certainly didn't feel vanquished, and he's still got that nagging 'truce' clause to deal with."

I'm really surprised that this is causing so much controversy.  I know that I have read numerous accounts of truces to collect the dead and wounded.  I like to read first-hand accounts from soldiers, maybe that is why, as I'm not remembering any specific accounts; but I do remember that I've read accounts of how the soldiers of both sides would intermingle during such times.  Perhaps, as someone suggested, truces were often called at a lower lever than by the generals. 

But I am cetain that, when both sides remained present, it was customary for a truce to be called, with each side responsible for it's own men.  And that, as with G-Burg, the "victors" were responsible for the dead and wounded only after the opposing army physically vacated the premises.

At this point, I really can't accept that Lee had any blame for Grant's men being left to die - Grant knew what needed to be done and he wouldn't do it.

Last edited on Fri Feb 8th, 2008 11:24 pm by JoanieReb



 Posted: Sat Feb 9th, 2008 01:22 am
   PM  Quote  Reply 
75th Post
JoanieReb
Member
 

Joined: Wed Jan 24th, 2007
Location:  
Posts: 620
Status: 
Offline
Mana: 

  back to top

"There was a protocol that had to be followed and Lee was a stickler for the details."

Excellent point, Michael, Thank You!

Let me repeat these words:  "and Lee was a stickler for the details."

I feel like saying, "and there you have it in a nut-shell", but fear the reprocussions=+++!



 Posted: Sat Feb 9th, 2008 01:25 am
   PM  Quote  Reply 
76th Post
Michael C. Hardy
Member
 

Joined: Tue Sep 25th, 2007
Location: North Carolina USA
Posts: 48
Status: 
Offline
Mana: 

  back to top

I agree. Grant attacked Lee’s fortified line (repeatedly) at Cold Harbor. Grant failed to carry that line. It is Grant’s responsibility to ask for terms to take care of his dead and wounded.

What surprises me is that Grant did not leave, to supervise the James River crossings, and turn this chore over to Meade.

I think, and please fell free to disagree, that we often times fail to see Grant’s failures. We see Grant forcing Lee out of the Petersburg entrenchments and ending the war. That’s true, he did. But how many times did Grant attack Lee and fail to accomplish his objective in that 11-month period?



 Posted: Sat Feb 9th, 2008 01:34 am
   PM  Quote  Reply 
77th Post
JoanieReb
Member
 

Joined: Wed Jan 24th, 2007
Location:  
Posts: 620
Status: 
Offline
Mana: 

  back to top

"I agree. Grant attacked Lee’s fortified line (repeatedly) at Cold Harbor. Grant failed to carry that line. It is Grant’s responsibility to ask for terms to take care of his dead and wounded."

Amen.  And now, I can feel truly confident in saying, "and there you have it in a nutshell".

"What surprises me is that Grant did not leave, to supervise the James River crossings, and turn this chore over to Meade.

I think, and please fell free to disagree, that we often times fail to see Grant’s failures. We see Grant forcing Lee out of the Petersburg entrenchments and ending the war. That’s true, he did. But how many times did Grant attack Lee and fail to accomplish his objective in that 11-month period?"


It is a very good thing that you are an author, Michael.  People who can think for themselves like this should be writing, pushing things forward.



 



 Posted: Sat Feb 9th, 2008 02:05 am
   PM  Quote  Reply 
78th Post
PvtClewell
Member


Joined: Wed Jun 13th, 2007
Location: North Carolina USA
Posts: 420
Status: 
Offline
Mana: 

  back to top

Thud. Thud. Thud. Thud. Thud. Thud.

That's the sound of me banging my head against the wall.

There was a protocol that had to be followed and Lee was a stickler for the details.

I guess he was. On June 5, Grant DID ask Lee if he could recover his dead and dying. Lee rebuffed him twice until he could get Grant to ask for a truce, wording which implied that Grant had lost the field. By the time Lee gave his permission, it was the fourth day after the battle. It's all right there in Foote's Vol. III, pp. 295-96. I don't know which one is being the more obstinate, Grant, Lee, you or me. ;)

I will withdraw the question of my previous post, though. I was more or less exploring the protocol procedure for recovering the casualties on the field. I know as well as anyone that Lee was not responsible for recovering Grant's casualties. But I will suggest that Cold Harbor might be a rare situation in that neither side retired from the field, the opposing lines being less than the length of a football field (that would be 100 yards, Joanie. More like the straightaway at Martinsville, if that helps you any). A prickly situation for sure.

Lee just had the resolve to stick to his game plan for winning the war.
So did Grant.

Do you think that at this point, Grant may be saying to himself, Hmm, this is not working?

No, I don't. Rhea writes: 'Although Grant and his subordinates were frustrated at their inability to pierce Lee's lines at Cold Harbor, they did not consider the reverse any more serious than Lee's previous rebuffs. Reviewing the week's operations, Grant and Meade thought they had done rather well, having turned Lee out of his North Anna line, maneuvered him nearly 20 miles closer to the Confederate capital, and cornered him against Richmond. The attempt to punch through Lee's works at Cold Harbor had failed, but the campaign still had fair prospects for ultimate success.' (p. 387)

Lee had beat Grant four times in a thirty-day period of time. Killed, wounded, and captured in the AofP at this time amount to 51,000 men.

And Lee, behind defensive entrenchments, had lost almost 30,000 men, nearly 50 percent of his army since the opening of the Overland campaign. Wonder what Davis must have been thinking when those numbers crossed his desk. In fact, by the time Grant crosses the James, Lee's losses are over 33,000 men — more than 50 percent of his army.

...the Federal survivors wrote home about how bad a man Grant was for not taking care of his men. Those letters, those words got passed around back at home and damaged the Northern war effort.

Damaged how? The army was still in the field, no mass desertions, Lincoln still gets reelected in the fall (with huge support from the AofP, the very army that is suffering all these casualties). And despite MTL's advice, Grant is still in command.

But at the end of the day on June 4, 1864, Grant is not as close to Richmond as McClellan got two years earlier, and has lost 51,000 men.

Are you suggesting Mac was the better field commander because he takes fewer losses? Grant is operating in a different theater than the peninsula and he's not facing Johnston, he's facing the superior Lee 100 percent of the time. Much different circumstances. Mac gets no closer to Richmond than he does in 1862 because he's facing Lee when the Seven Days begins. To me, this a red herring comparison.

Yes, Grant goes on to lay siege to Petersburg, and after nine months, drive Lee out of the Petersburg/Richmond fortifications.

Ta-da.


Hmm. Private Clewell going up against the Michael and Joanie double team. Two to one odds, Now I do know how Lee must have felt.

Last edited on Sat Feb 9th, 2008 11:43 am by PvtClewell



 Posted: Sat Feb 9th, 2008 02:13 am
   PM  Quote  Reply 
79th Post
JoanieReb
Member
 

Joined: Wed Jan 24th, 2007
Location:  
Posts: 620
Status: 
Offline
Mana: 

  back to top

"Hmm. Private Clewell going up against the Michael and Joanie double team. Two to one odds, Now I do know how Lee must have felt."

Just glossing over your reply before reading it in detail, General Clewell, when this caught my eye...

....hey, how do you think I felt going up against You and Ole?

The nice thing is, we are all civil. 

Michael may decide he doesn't want to be on the same team as me - he IS an independent thinker.  But if we reinforce each other for awhile, you'll have your reinforcement when Ole comes back on.

Sigh.  What we need here to shake us all up is 39th Miss. Walker.

Where I come from, we had Walker coon hounds.  Once they made up their minds, they'd never come back when called.  Think I'm seeing a parallel here....



 Posted: Sat Feb 9th, 2008 03:02 am
   PM  Quote  Reply 
80th Post
JoanieReb
Member
 

Joined: Wed Jan 24th, 2007
Location:  
Posts: 620
Status: 
Offline
Mana: 

  back to top

"I don't know which one is being the more obstinate, Grant, Lee, you or me. ;)"

Well, according to the exam score sheet, the answer is:  a.) and d.)

=+++ =+++ =+++ =+++ =+++ =+++ 


 

 



 Current time is 01:59 amPage:  First Page Previous Page  1  2  3  4  5  6  7  8  9  Next Page Last Page  
Top




UltraBB 1.17 Copyright © 2007-2008 Data 1 Systems
Page processed in 0.2204 seconds (13% database + 87% PHP). 28 queries executed.