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O.O. Howard and July 1 - Battle of Gettysburg - Civil War Talk - Civil War Interactive Discussion Board
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 Posted: Tue Jul 6th, 2010 01:44 pm
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HankC
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There are a few flaws in your analysis:

1) the 6th corps is nowhere near Gettysburg on the evening of July 1,

2) 'What exactly is the 'lucky' part in Howards's deployment? that he leaves a reserve at all, that he chooses Cemetery Hill from the dozens of other positions, or something else? There are no good defensive positions in the plain north of Gettysburg, but a force must be pushed there to prevent the envelopment of the 1st corps.

3) if the 11th corps does not protect the right and rear of the 1st corps, that enire corps is lost. Buford is to blame for failing to understand the numbers being assembled by both sides and the superiority of the Confederate positions.


Cheers,
HankC



 Posted: Wed Jul 7th, 2010 06:12 am
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CameronsHighlander
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I go based off Ewell's (Early's) fear of a large body that appeared on his left flank by Johnson's Division (all other troops under Ewell's command had been engaged some of which were completely used up from the Battle.) I always believed the troops on his flank to be Sedgewick's leading edge I am wrong and I apologize for that. Sedgewick was trying to figure out where Gettysburg was. Whats interesting the commander of the Brigade at Cemetary Hill was Adelbert Ames (The guy who was Colonel of the 20th Maine befor Chamberlain) who, was new to the command of the Brigade, and performed better then anyone to that point in Battle manning the defences of Cemetary Hill, helping Hunt and Hancock repulse the full attack of a Corps after keeping the order of the entire division due to Francis Barlows pushing the division to far foward (Barlows Knoll) He held for two days.

The Lucky part is that the right person was in the right place at the right time.

All Buford could do was what he did perform a delaying action and wait for Reynolds and the right wing to show up and hope that Lee didn't send everything in at once  

  

Last edited on Wed Jul 7th, 2010 06:16 am by CameronsHighlander



 Posted: Wed Jul 7th, 2010 07:33 pm
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HankC
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Praise for Buford's role at Gettysburg has always confused me.

In the face of Meade's plan (the Pipe Creek circular), a cavalry division commander decides to 'hold at all costs' a position that permanently wrecks one army corps and almost another?

Hunt was with Meade all day. They arrived at Cemetery Hill together about midnight. He was not involved in the fighting on the first. In fact, there was no significant fighting after Hancock arrived, much less the repulse of a corps on Cemetery Hill.


Cheers,
HankC



 Posted: Thu Jul 8th, 2010 03:45 am
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CameronsHighlander
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I think the Buford praise comes from him not doing the Typical Union Cavalry thing to this point. See Infantry and Run not maintain good ground long enough to confuse Confederate Command. The Ridge to Ridge Fall back the Stacking up of Heath's Division. Granted this was a 100% failure in the terms of the Battle of the 1st day. The Confederates took the Town but in the sence of the Battle as a whole the 1st day at Gettysburg set the tone of the next two days and more or less gave the rest of the Union Army the Really good ground of Cemetary Ridge and Cemetary Hill and eventually Little Round Top



 Posted: Wed Jul 21st, 2010 05:45 pm
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Whyme Two
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I agree that Howard did everything possible to make Doubleday look bad. From Doubledays writings he never met Howard until he reached Cemetery Hill.

Reynolds made a huge mistake exposing himself and the AOP suffered greatly for it.

Had Meade had a choice the 11th Corps would have been no where near Gettysburg on one day.

 

 



 Posted: Thu Jul 22nd, 2010 05:32 pm
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CameronsHighlander
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I think Meade would have had Howard back in Maine



 Posted: Fri Jul 23rd, 2010 03:14 pm
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Old North State
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Why did you say that Howard was the "worst commander in the Union Army."?  I note that Sherman had faith in Joward, making him the commander of the Army of the Tennessee after the Battle of Atlanta.  I also note that Howard's wise placement of his troops, as they swung to the west of Atlanta, put him in good position to fight Ezra Church.  Although Sherman's and Howard's personal styles of leadership were different, it seems to me that Sherman valued Howard as a fellow commander.



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 Posted: Wed Jul 28th, 2010 01:31 am
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Old Blu
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CameronsHighlander wrote: that and John Sedgewick and the 6th Corps appearing on Ewells left Flank.. I think had Sedgewick not been there Ewell would have gone in knowing it was the 11th Corps but Ewell listend to Early and Early was a coward. I do give Credit to Howard it was kinda dumb luck credit and his late war performance was exemplery compared to his performance from May - July 1863. Which seems to actually be a trend with Eastern theater officers who go west they dont fight in the east but do really good in the west eg. Hooker, Burnside, and Howard.

How did you determine Early was a coward?



 Posted: Thu Jul 29th, 2010 01:14 am
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Barlow
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You may have stepped in something by labelling any general a coward.  Early almost let a successful assault on Wash. DC in July of 1864, except for General Lew Wallace's delaying action at Monacacy.  Early performed well at Gettysburg and was Lee's front man in alot of actions.  He finally fell out of favor late in 1865.  But, if you asked Longstreet whether he enjoyed tangeling with Early and he would vote :no.

 
As for Howard, "worst" does just not fit.  Superlatives never work in sports or Civil War Generals.  Maybe they do in describing Corps, however, because the 11th was the worst...They were the Tampa Bay Bucs of the 70's.



 Posted: Thu Jul 29th, 2010 04:51 am
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CameronsHighlander
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I can give Early Credit in 1864 but he is the Reason Ewell didn't move in Gettysburg. And After the War Early discreditied Longstreet instead of taking resposibility for his own actions or Lack of it.  Maybe Early needed to hit with a Plate again to bad Armistead died Im sure he'd of done it again



 Posted: Thu Jul 29th, 2010 11:19 am
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Old Blu
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CameronsHighlander wrote: I can give Early Credit in 1864 but he is the Reason Ewell didn't move in Gettysburg. And After the War Early discreditied Longstreet instead of taking resposibility for his own actions or Lack of it.  Maybe Early needed to hit with a Plate again to bad Armistead died Im sure he'd of done it again

Once again-

How did you determine Early was a coward?



 Posted: Thu Jul 29th, 2010 01:02 pm
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CameronsHighlander
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in my opinion hes a coward. Failing to attack when instructed to do so or even suggesting not attacking would strike as a bit of fear



 Posted: Thu Jul 29th, 2010 03:17 pm
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Mark
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There is a not so fine line between prudence and cowardice... Remember that no one on the Confederate side had any idea what force was on Cemetery Hill and it was getting dark. During the ACW a night attack against an unknown enemy was usually a recipe for disaster. It is anachronistic to assume that generals had the birds eye view of the battlefield on a perfect map that we have in the history books.

Mark

Last edited on Thu Jul 29th, 2010 11:20 pm by Mark



 Posted: Thu Jul 29th, 2010 04:42 pm
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Old Blu
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CameronsHighlander wrote: in my opinion hes a coward. Failing to attack when instructed to do so or even suggesting not attacking would strike as a bit of fear

Well I think is is good to have an opinion but what brought you to that opinion?  I am in Early's book and haven't reached the part where you think he was a coward.  So far, there is nothing I have read that indicates General Early was historically a coward.  I would hope you would supply what led you to believe that instead of just saying 'he was a coward' in your opinion.

Oh, and who gave those instructions to Early ?

Last edited on Fri Jul 30th, 2010 10:31 am by Old Blu



 Posted: Thu Jul 29th, 2010 10:36 pm
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Doc C
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A tangential comment - just watched Gettysburg on the history channel this afternoon. What a crock.
1) led viewers to believe the battle was initiated by a couple of companies of csa/union skirmishers rather than by Davis/Archers brigades and Bufords calvary division
2) Ewell is standing on 2 legs
3) no mention of the the other 2 csa divisions involved in the P-P-T charge July 3rd
4) thought for sure there would be mentioned Little Round Top but alas no (thank goodness) but nothing about the other aspects of the 2nd day,
Numerous other mistakes. I do give them credit when they did discuss the Culp Hill engagements on the 2nd and 3rd.

Doc C



 Posted: Fri Jul 30th, 2010 11:04 am
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Old Blu
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While reviewing this thread, I see nothing here that says General Early was a coward. He arrived on the battle field as directed, won his section, (day 1) and was ordered by Ewell not to attack any further.

Even during the rest of the battle, General  Early does not show any proof of being a coward.



 Posted: Wed Aug 25th, 2010 07:43 am
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Hellcat
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Weighing in on Pam's original post I think it's fairly safe to say that there were those officers who got into their positions because of who they knew, whether or not they had the skills to be in those positions, and there were those officers who had such skills but didn't have friends in high places so they may not have been put into the right position. I'm not saying Howard was a political appointment, but if he had friends in high places that could well explain why he got the Thanks of Congress despite the fact that once again his corps was routed and were forced to retreat back to his reserves.



 Posted: Wed Aug 25th, 2010 01:26 pm
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Barlow
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If Meade was appointed in late June and had several days to look at his commanders, AND, knowing what he knew about Sickles, then why didn't he remove Sickles immediately?  I could never understand why Meade did what he did to Doubleday and nothing to Sickles...knowing what we know now about what Sickles did with the 3rd Corps.  He should have put Gibbons or Newton in command of the 3rd corps immediately upon appointment.  In fact, Sickles and Meade got into confrontations before Gettysburg and Meade had cause to relieve Sickles in late June.  He relieved Doubleday based on Howard's false report and for political reasons, yet he fought well on July 1st and July 2nd on Cemetery Hill.

Source:   The Meade-Sickles Controversy by Richard Sauers

                Chancellorsville and Gettysburg by Abner Doubleday



 Posted: Wed Aug 25th, 2010 05:55 pm
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HankC
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What did Meade know about Sickles  at the end of June?
 
I suspect Meade had enough to do without cleaning house at the top of his corps commands...
 
 
HankC



 Posted: Thu Aug 26th, 2010 02:00 pm
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Barlow
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June 30th:

"...For Sickles, the march to Gettysburg was the culmination of three frustrating days under Meade's command.  In addition to being reprimanded because his trains blocked the progress of the 12th Corps on June 29th, Sickes received yet another rebuke from Meade on the 30th:  

"The commanding general notices with regret the very slow movement of your corps yesterday.  etc. (chewing Sickles out)...

[from Saauers, the Meade-Sickles Controversy]

Then came the confusion about where Sickles should post his troops.  Many of the stern messages and rebukes were delivered by Meade's son, a Capt., who was Meade's messenger.  Apparently, Sickles was getting conflicting orders from Reynolds, Howard and Meade.  The bottom line is, the two were sparring on the 29th until the 30th, then really got into it on July 2nd, where the famous line, "I'm afraid Longstreet wont let you retreat....here they come." was stated.  Meade liked Humphreys and could have put him in command of the 3rd Corp.

 



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