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 Posted: Wed Jun 11th, 2008 05:17 pm
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lifl2003
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Hi all!

My first post!! I will be at Gettysburg from Jun 20-22. This will be my second visit and I will be biking the battlefied with my 11 year old son and 9 year old daughter!!

Although I am a big fan of Chamberlain I do have to agree with you other posters about the importance of the Confederate inability to take Culp's Hill.  Of course I attribute this to the Lee's loss of Jackson.

That being said LRT will always have a special place in American history as the defense of LRT is a time where the "citizen soldiers" both attacked and defended for what the causes they believed in.

Wow 1st post done!!

Regards Mike



 Posted: Thu Jun 12th, 2008 06:52 am
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ole
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Welcome, lifl2003.

ole



 Posted: Thu Jun 12th, 2008 02:03 pm
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j harold 587
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Bama, My wife and I really enjoyed the Eisenhower farm also. Our guide said the pumps were purchased when the Citgo station closed in town and was purchased by another company. I also want to return at Christmas as it is decorated with original decorations using original phots for reference.



 Posted: Fri Jun 20th, 2008 11:39 am
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gettysburgerrn
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Welcome Mike  ...   Nice to have another long islander here....As far as blame for Culp's Hill..Lots of blame on that one Ewell could have pushed Johnson harder but Lee also could have pushed Ewell harder..

 

ken



 Posted: Sun Jun 22nd, 2008 01:24 am
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Johnny Huma
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Hi Gettysburgerrn,
Just a thought on Lee pushing Ewell..Lee should not have had to push Ewell at all..Ewell was a capable commander and Lee knew it..Although he had not yet commanded a Corps he was a good Division commander. Some will defend Ewell saying that Lee told Him to take Cemetery Hill if Practicable and that would have left it up to Ewells discretion. To understand this one must understand how these Southerners talked to each other in that period. Lee's use of the term "if practiable" was a courtosy given to all his commanders when he gave orders..It would be like your boss telling you to take a letter and mail it but not to get hit by any cars if practicable..You see that would not have stopped you from trying to mail the letter..You would have attempted to mail the letter..So Ewell could have never known if he could take the hill if he did not try to take it. Seems lower subordinates seen that the hill could have been taken and wonder why they stopped..The best explanation is that Ewell just had a big victory and may not have wanted to press his luck which stopped him in his tracks..Remember success has many friends but failure is a lonley bastard. Ewell still had troops who were not hard fought as Gordens Brigade could have moved on the hill with no problem..Once the halt had taken place and the discussions about taking the hill set in it was too late to try because Hancock did a great job in rallying those troops with that lull in the battle. Ewell knew Lees style of command and knew what that command meant and used it as a scapegoat..One must also understand Lees after battle reports actually clearing Ewell of what should have been insobordiation..Why? Because Lee needed his Generals and had just lost Jackson and really could not afford to throw Ewell to the Southern polititions to eat him up and spit him out..Ewell knew he screwed up and thats why he made the statement that there were many blunders committed at Gettysburg and he had his share of them...As far as Lee pushing him his orders to take the hill was pushing enough and should have been carried out. One other command that was in question was the command "but not to bring on a general engagement"..Now there was the excuse that Lee wrote in for Ewell and to give him his out" Lets face it, at that point of the battle do your really think that Lee or Ewell thought that a general engagement was not happening and that what had just happened was a mere skirmish...No...Those orders were infact given to all commanders the morning of the 1st..If Ewell thought that a major engagement was not being fought would he have attacked at all..He actually pushed his advantage when he saw he fell on the Union flank and therefore was doing what Lee expected of his commanders and that was to take advantage of a good situation..I think Ewell was hesitant to move on solely on the basis of Early convincing him they needed support from Penders Div or whoever Lee could send..Infact those boys were fought a lot harder than Ewells boys...I guess we will never know the real reason that Ewell stopped in his tracks when the momentem he had was all he needed to take the hill and I believe he would have had no problem taking it..Such is History...
Huma

Huma



 Posted: Tue Jun 24th, 2008 09:11 pm
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gettysburgerrn
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Great stuff..thanks...One of my big problems is not so much the aborted attempt to take cemetary hill...but rather the failure to push Johnson's men toward Culp's hill.  Granted it was dark or getting dark at the time but it was severly undermanned and that alone would have given the rebs a potential for success....

 

ken



 Posted: Tue Jun 24th, 2008 10:22 pm
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lifl2003
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Thanks for the welcome Ken, Go Pequa!!! 

Huma, great points on Lee and Ewell. 

You know the ghost of Jackson was standing there astonished that Ewell did not take Cemetery Hill on July 1. 

Had he been there you know it would have been full steam ahead up that hill. No hesitation.

I will always consider Jacksons death as the true turning point of the war.

Mike



 Posted: Thu Jun 26th, 2008 11:37 am
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gettysburgerrn
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Unless of course you had the Jackson of the 7 days campaign.....:)   What units would have been available for such an attack if one was attempted?  Especially with Ewell having to watch the left, Johnson wasnt there yet and Rodes' brigades were manhandled...Leaving elements of Early's division ......Lee's failure to censure Ewell speaks volumes ...

 

ken



 Posted: Thu Jun 26th, 2008 12:51 pm
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j harold 587
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You are 100% right Ken. No one wants to remember the Jackson of seven days. It is much easier to credit the tactics genius, the foot calvary and other glorious exploits. I do not wish to detract from the reputation of Jackson. Let's just look for a moment at the physical condition of the available troops. They had fought hard all day and marched about 20 + miles. Not that the boys in blue had a walk in the park, but retreating through a urban area is MUCH easier physically and mentally than pursuing a fleeing foe. If you have not done it trust me I would rather dig ditches all day than do two hours of urban pursuit.

Example of high state of emotion for southern troops would be the fatal shooting of a Union chaplain on the steps of the Lutheran church in town.  This is an example of having your blood up, but that is just a 19th century term for a highly emotional state.

Then once you clear the village those heigths have a lot of artillary on them and alot of troops. Your intell does not know if they are fresh troops or the Dutchmen who ran from the field. It is getting dark. Ewell made a decision. It is now history. I think he made the right choice. Apparantly General Lee agreed.



 Posted: Sat Jun 28th, 2008 11:58 pm
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PvtClewell
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I tend to agree with j harold.

One of the few things that Howard did right when he reached the field was to put Von Steinwehr's division on Cemetery Hill in reserve. There were also more than 40 artillery pieces there. It was not an undefended position, nor was it lightly defended.

Keep in mind that Lee's order not to bring on a general engagement was still in effect late in the day despite the fact that obviously a general engagement was in progress. Heck, Lee isn't even on the battlefield until around 2 p.m. His orders, if anything, are discretionary to Ewell and Hill, who are both brand-new corps commanders. Hill tells Lee he cannot support Ewell in an attack on Cemetery Hill (which will require a major effort, including reforming the lines), and neither will Early. What, really, are Ewell's options at that point?

I don't see any insubordination on Ewell's part.

Could Jackson have taken the hill? Who knows? My guess is that he might have made an attempt but after a hard day of marching, fighting and pursuit but the chances for success are probably marginal at best.

On top of that, Slocum's 12th Corps is perhaps less than an hour away

But Jackson isn't there and it's unfair to put Ewell in Jackson's boots. They are not the same person. The real question, I think, is what could have happened if Gordon and Early don't pursue the 11th Corps through town, but rather bypass the town on the east and head straight to Culp's Hill? What then? Now you've got something to debate.

Sometimes it's tough to cut through the fog of war.



 Posted: Sun Jul 27th, 2008 11:54 am
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gettysburgerrn
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You had to mention Slocum...didn't you  :-)  one of my pet peeves of the battle was his bizarro conduct on that first day.  It seems that he didn't want to get his hands dirty with someone else's fight (especially a losing one) so he just hung 1st and 11th corps out to dry.  Say what you want about Dan Sickles, but he marched his 3rd corps to the fighting when he knew what was going on...

 

ken 



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