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 (1861-1865) Civil War Battles (Eastern Theater)
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RichTO90
Bremerton WA USA
Posts: 689
Joined: 2004
Antietam : some reflections and comparisons
11/21/2022 1:18:37 AM
Quote:
Thanks for verifying my comment!
..and not what was transcribed by Heth.

Nice try though.

Cheers, NYGiant



Do you always suffer from such a lack of focus? Is it ADHD?

You actually made two comments, 1) "Lee was more proud of Chancellorsville" and 2) "Lee said of Chancellorsville that it was “another victory”".

1) You have provided no evidence for and 2) Lee said but in a completely different context than you suppose.

However, if you can cite evidence for 1} please do so. And if you can explain how he was so "proud" of "another victory" that left him "much depressed", in fact "more depressed than after Fredericksburg" I would be all ears.
NYGiant
home  USA
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Antietam : some reflections and comparisons
11/21/2022 6:57:15 AM
Do you understand the Civil War?

Context should be considered, don't you think regarding Lee's comments.

Cheers, NYGiant
RichTO90
Bremerton WA USA
Posts: 689
Joined: 2004
Antietam : some reflections and comparisons
11/21/2022 12:08:23 PM
Quote:
Do you understand the Civil War?


I think after nearly 60 years of reading, exploring family connections, education, professional study, and writing published military history I may have some tiny inkling of understanding the Civil War.

Quote:
Context should be considered, don't you think regarding Lee's comments.


Indeed, and the context of what Lee said demonstrates the inanity of opining he was "proud" of Chancellorsville and Sharpsburg. Depression is not a synonym for pride. However, you are welcome to cite where Lee did express pride of those battles.
NYGiant
home  USA
Posts: 715
Joined: 2021
Antietam : some reflections and comparisons
11/21/2022 12:50:21 PM
If you can believe that Heth transcribed what Lee said correctly.

I got you beat...65 years of not only reading, and study, and passing exams,, but also walking battlefields.
Phil Andrade
London  UK
Posts: 5837
Joined: 2004
Antietam : some reflections and comparisons
11/21/2022 4:19:29 PM
Rich,

Your answer to my question about the rival artilleries in the battle has helped: thanks.

It looks like the confederate ratio of rifled pieces was only half that of the federal, and the casualty rates suffered by the opposing gunners is suggestive : rebel artillery casualties were double those of the yankees, and is there a corollary here ?

Regards, Phil
----------------------------------
"Egad, sir, I do not know whether you will die on the gallows or of the pox!" "That will depend, my Lord, on whether I embrace your principles or your mistress." Earl of Sandwich and John Wilkes
RichTO90
Bremerton WA USA
Posts: 689
Joined: 2004
Antietam : some reflections and comparisons
11/21/2022 11:18:01 PM
Quote:
It looks like the confederate ratio of rifled pieces was only half that of the federal, and the casualty rates suffered by the opposing gunners is suggestive : rebel artillery casualties were double those of the yankees, and is there a corollary here ?


Quite probably. Much of the Union artillery fire from the batteries on the east side of Antietam Creek was counterbattery, while most of the Confederate artillery fire was in direct support of their infantry. There are exceptions of course, Stewart's Battery during the morning played a big role in repelling the two Confederate counterattacks - Lawton's and Hood's - along with other I and XI Corps batteries between the North and East Woods.
RichTO90
Bremerton WA USA
Posts: 689
Joined: 2004
Antietam : some reflections and comparisons
11/22/2022 12:49:50 AM
Quote:
I got you beat...65 years of not only reading, and study, and passing exams,, but also walking battlefields.


Oh, are we dick swinging now? I thought I was just answering your question regarding my competence vis a vis discussing the American Civil War.

Okay, you can read. Check. You have studied. What? You have passed exams. Do you want a cookie? And you can walk. Glad to hear you aren't physically enfeebled.

Can I read? Yes. Have I studied? Yes. Have I passed exams. Yes. Have I walked battlefields? Yes, probably most of the same ones you have and possibly some you haven't. The study of military history and operations research was also most of my adult working career. Before retiring, I had 28 years of experience specializing in academic and defense-related historical research and analysis, combat modeling and simulations, project management administration, book and report writing, editing and briefing reports in support of the Department of Defense, Defense Intelligence Agency, Central Intelligence Agency, National Guard, emergency planning, economic development agencies, and international defense and economic development companies. I am the author, co-author, and contributor to more than 50 articles, reports, and books on military history, combat modeling and simulations, irregular and asymmetrical warfare, urban warfare, landmines, and other defense-related issues. I am a recipient of the National Intelligence Meritorious Unit Citation for work done at DIA.

One of my undergraduate history mentors was Dr. Joseph Harsh, although Dr. Peter Henriques' classes were more fun (Henriques, although better known as a Georage Washington scholar was also a fan of George McClellan, which made for an interesting contrast to Harsh). Ed Bearss happily wrote the Foreword to Artillery Hell and was a wonderful gentleman. The late Charles MacDonald and Hugh Cole were acquaintances. and I interviewed Bruce Clarke shortly before he died.

My original interest in the Civil War was mostly sparked by family connections. One great-great grandfather was President of the Gettysburg Town Council, employed John Burns as a part-time constable for the town and as a cobbler in his shoe business (probably the supposed "shoe factory" Harry Heth used as his excuse on 1 July), and wrote the reply to Early's supply requisition. Another great-great grandfather enlisted in the 62d Pennsylvania in the fall 1861 (thereby accidentally changing the family name) and was wounded in action at Gaines' Mill and invalided out of service. Another relative commanded the 49th Pennsylvania at Gettysburg and as colonel of the regiment led it in Upton's Assault on the Mule Shoe on 10 May 1864 where he was killed.

Publications
Forced Changes of Combat Posture (contributor), 1988
New Engagement Data for the Breakpoints Data Base, 1988
Ardennes Campaign Simulation Data Base Final Report (with Brian L. Bader), 1990
Attrition: Forecasting Battle Casualties and Equipment Losses in Modern War (contributor), 1990
Encyclopedia of Military History (contributor): 4th Edition, 1992
Future Wars (contributor), 1992
Hitler's Last Gamble (with Trevor N. Dupuy and David L. Bongard), 1994
Artillery Hell (with Curt Johnson), 1994
The International TNDM Newsletter (contributing editor), 1995-2002
Soviet Barriers and Fortifications on the Southern Front, Battle of Kursk (author), 1996
Military Consequences of Landmine Restrictions (contributor), 1999
Military Consequences of a Complete Landmine Ban (with Christopher Lawrence), 2000
Enemy Prisoner of War Capture Rates (in four parts, with Chris Lawrence), 2000-2001
Historical Combat Effectiveness of Lighter-Weight Armored Forces, 2001
Soviet/Russian Influence on Chinese Military Doctrine, 2003
Measuring the Effects of Combat in Cities, three volumes, (with Chris Lawrence), 2003-2004)
Analysis of the Modern Insurgency Spreadsheets Project, ten volumes, (with Chris Lawrence, Curt Johnson, Gene Visco, et al), 2007
Cracking Hitler’s Atlantic Wall, 2009

So what are your competencies?

Phil Andrade
London  UK
Posts: 5837
Joined: 2004
Antietam : some reflections and comparisons
11/22/2022 2:42:51 AM
Quote:
Quote:
It looks like the confederate ratio of rifled pieces was only half that of the federal, and the casualty rates suffered by the opposing gunners is suggestive : rebel artillery casualties were double those of the yankees, and is there a corollary here ?


Quite probably. Much of the Union artillery fire from the batteries on the east side of Antietam Creek was counterbattery, while most of the Confederate artillery fire was in direct support of their infantry. There are exceptions of course, Stewart's Battery during the morning played a big role in repelling the two Confederate counterattacks - Lawton's and Hood's - along with other I and XI Corps batteries between the North and East Woods.


This is great, thanks, Rich.

I always wondered why there was this remarkable parity in the two sides’ casualty figures up until the final phase of the battle for the confederate right.

Without seeking exact figures, it seems that before that final phase started, federal casualties amounted to ten thousand, compared with nine thousand for the confederates. This despite the slaughter of Sedgwick’s division, which entailed 2,200 federal casualties and relatively light confederate loss in that action.

Is it true that the confederate response to this success was to press forward with an imprudent advance against a union gun line, which exposed the rebels to a deadly artillery fire ? Hence the resulting parity in the bloodshed suffered by the two armies, which was to be replicated in the Bloody Lane fighting where, again, an initial federal repulse was followed by a murderous enfilade of the defending confederates.

The role of the artillery in creating these terrible casualties is what I’m hoping to assess.

Regards, Phil
----------------------------------
"Egad, sir, I do not know whether you will die on the gallows or of the pox!" "That will depend, my Lord, on whether I embrace your principles or your mistress." Earl of Sandwich and John Wilkes
NYGiant
home  USA
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Antietam : some reflections and comparisons
11/22/2022 8:46:41 AM
Walking the land of Reel Ridge ( an extension of Hauser Ridge), where the Confederates established a line of artillery, was enough to dissuade McClellan from attacking. And that allowed Lee to retreat back into Virginia, leaving the battlefield first.
morris crumley
Dunwoody GA USA
Posts: 3080
Joined: 2007
Antietam : some reflections and comparisons
11/22/2022 9:01:29 AM
Finding a skeletal row of videttes would be enough to discourage McClellan from attacking. And failure to continue the fight at all is not winning a battle.
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"You are a $70, red-wool, pure quill military genius, or the biggest damn fool in northern Mexico."
NYGiant
home  USA
Posts: 715
Joined: 2021
Antietam : some reflections and comparisons
11/22/2022 9:13:45 AM
Quote:
Finding a skeletal row of videttes would be enough to discourage McClellan from attacking. And failure to continue the fight at all is not winning a battle.


That is rather a poor interpretation of McClellan.

Fact is, McClellan moved rather briskly towards the ANV to bring them to battle and to drive an invading foreign Army from American soil. I refer you to the book, "Too Useful To Sacrifice". In it, you can read the marches that each Corps took to advance, many marching miles . Also, you can read that the city of Frederick was a bottleneck, which was the cause of all delays..

Also, if you read "Taken At the Flood", you can read how Lee was not informed as to the quickness of the Union advance, a failure of JEB Stuart and Confederate cavalry.

If you ever walk the Antietam battlefield,( I can give you a tour), you can visit Reel Ridge. Lee put cannon on the high ground. Any Union attack would have been decimated, which could ave put Washington DC at risk if lee advanced.

Not even Stonewall Jackson would have attacked such an artillery position!!
morris crumley
Dunwoody GA USA
Posts: 3080
Joined: 2007
Antietam : some reflections and comparisons
11/22/2022 9:43:32 AM
No...it`s a rather accurate interpretation of Little Mac...not colored by sycophants. McClellan deserves credit for training that army and giving it some pride....but he was a "parade ground soldier."

Try reading and educating yourself about the march that Lee and his battalions made to establish that line at Sharpsburg. They were not just camping out and roasting smores before Mac got there . They were making hard forces marches...with underfed men, many sick, as my relatives in Cobb`s brigade would attest to..many of them sent back to Richmond with infirmities...also as my relatives could attest to.

The fact remains...had MacClellan not fumbled his tactical plan at Sharpsburg...he would have won a decisive victory....but the fact that he chose not to attack Lee`s position on the next day , regardless of his walking the line and finding.....artillery....does not give him a battlefield victory in my opinion...and the opinion of many historians.
----------------------------------
"You are a $70, red-wool, pure quill military genius, or the biggest damn fool in northern Mexico."
NYGiant
home  USA
Posts: 715
Joined: 2021
Antietam : some reflections and comparisons
11/22/2022 9:59:43 AM
Quote:
No...it`s a rather accurate interpretation of Little Mac...not colored by sycophants. McClellan deserves credit for training that army and giving it some pride....but he was a "parade ground soldier."

Try reading and educating yourself about the march that Lee and his battalions made to establish that line at Sharpsburg. They were not just camping out and roasting smores before Mac got there . They were making hard forces marches...with underfed men, many sick, as my relatives in Cobb`s brigade would attest to..many of them sent back to Richmond with infirmities...also as my relatives could attest to.

The fact remains...had MacClellan not fumbled his tactical plan at Sharpsburg...he would have won a decisive victory....but the fact that he chose not to attack Lee`s position on the next day , regardless of his walking the line and finding.....artillery....does not give him a battlefield victory in my opinion...and the opinion of many historians.



Actually your interpretation of McClellan during the Maryland Campaign is out of date.

1. I agree that McClellan's strength was gaining an army, organizing it, and using the Union strength of Engineering and Artillery.

2. Try reading and educating yourself on some of the new literature that I have mentioned.

3.Most of the men in the ANV who were ill had already been sent back to Virginia.

4. You fail to realize that McClellan's orders were the same as Meade's in 1863...that the AoP was the covering Army of Baltimore and Washington DC and that he had to protect both cities in addition to attacking and driving out the invading Confederate Army.

5. Bottom line, the invading Confederate Army was driven off of Union soil.

6. Union victory at Antietam allowed Lincoln to issue the Emancipation Proclamation from a position of strength.

7. Walking the battlefield and seeing the strength of Reel Ridge and the artillery placed there would change your mind as to the advisability of attacking that position.

8. Modern historians now acknowledge the strength of the Confederate position.

Visit Antietam, walk the battlefield as I have done.

Cheers,
NYGiant
NYGiant
home  USA
Posts: 715
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Antietam : some reflections and comparisons
11/22/2022 10:26:51 AM
Quote:
Quote:
I got you beat...65 years of not only reading, and study, and passing exams,, but also walking battlefields.



So what are your competencies?




Well, I have read more, studied more , passed more exams and have toured many more battlefields than you have.

You may have more writing experience. However, my specialty in English was public speaking, and not writing. And I am able to communicate to the student the meat of any battlefield walk. I bring a "hard science" to any battlefield discussion, which elevates my tours above just a battlefield walk.

Alan Nolan was my friend and companion on tours.

Nice try!

Cheers, NYGiant



Phil Andrade
London  UK
Posts: 5837
Joined: 2004
Antietam : some reflections and comparisons
11/22/2022 10:28:55 AM
Does any one here know how many rounds of artillery fire were expended by the two armies in the battle ?

An approximate number, or even an informed guess, would do.

I’ve read that at Gettysburg the North fired fifty per cent more artillery rounds than the South.

I’ll take a look at Porter Alexander’s account and see if I can find anything.

Regards, Phil

----------------------------------
"Egad, sir, I do not know whether you will die on the gallows or of the pox!" "That will depend, my Lord, on whether I embrace your principles or your mistress." Earl of Sandwich and John Wilkes
RichTO90
Bremerton WA USA
Posts: 689
Joined: 2004
Antietam : some reflections and comparisons
11/22/2022 2:57:11 PM
Quote:
Does any one here know how many rounds of artillery fire were expended by the two armies in the battle ?

An approximate number, or even an informed guess, would do.


I don't believe it was recorded by either side. In December, Hunt did complain that batteries were averaging 300 rounds expended per engagement and the battery reports show anything from 75 rounds in 48 minutes to 300 to 400 rounds for the battle for a battery. A total of about 50,000 rounds is estimated for both sides.

Quote:
I’ve read that at Gettysburg the North fired fifty per cent more artillery rounds than the South.

I’ll take a look at Porter Alexander’s account and see if I can find anything.


Alexander wasn't there.
RichTO90
Bremerton WA USA
Posts: 689
Joined: 2004
Antietam : some reflections and comparisons
11/22/2022 3:06:02 PM
Quote:
Well, I have read more, studied more , passed more exams and have toured many more battlefields than you have.


Um, how do you know?

Quote:
You may have more writing experience. However, my specialty in English was public speaking, and not writing. And I am able to communicate to the student the meat of any battlefield walk. I bring a "hard science" to any battlefield discussion, which elevates my tours above just a battlefield walk.


If you are incapable of doing research, citing sources to back up your opinions with facts, applying logic and critical thinking to a question, or even focusing on a question, then your skills at public speaking aren't useful. If you are so evidently incapable of following an argument and supporting your own with relevant citations you aren't bring "hard science" to anything; you're bringing bluster and rudeness, which has been amply displayed in your various replies to other posters on this site.

And, yeah, I've done "public speaking" as well, presenting analytical studies to corporate and government clients, lecturing military and civilian government employees, and teaching critical thinking and structured analysis.

Quote:
Alan Nolan was my friend and companion on tours.


Gee aren't you special.
NYGiant
home  USA
Posts: 715
Joined: 2021
Antietam : some reflections and comparisons
11/22/2022 3:12:33 PM
Quote:
Quote:
Well, I have read more, studied more , passed more exams and have toured many more battlefields than you have.


Um, how do you know?



Quote:
You may have more writing experience. However, my specialty in English was public speaking, and not writing. And I am able to communicate to the student the meat of any battlefield walk. I bring a "hard science" to any battlefield discussion, which elevates my tours above just a battlefield walk.


If you are incapable of doing research, citing sources to back up your opinions with facts, applying logic and critical thinking to a question, or even focusing on a question, then your skills at public speaking aren't useful. If you are so evidently incapable of following an argument and supporting your own with relevant citations you aren't bring "hard science" to anything; you're bringing bluster and rudeness, which has been amply displayed in your various replies to other posters on this site.



And, yeah, I've done "public speaking" as well, presenting analytical studies to corporate and government clients, lecturing military and civilian government employees, and teaching critical thinking and structured analysis.

So?



Quote:
Alan Nolan was my friend and companion on tours.
Quote:


Gee aren't you special.





Once sarcasm enters the debate, I know I have won.
Phil Andrade
London  UK
Posts: 5837
Joined: 2004
Antietam : some reflections and comparisons
11/22/2022 3:16:47 PM
Quote:
Quote:
Does any one here know how many rounds of artillery fire were expended by the two armies in the battle ?

An approximate number, or even an informed guess, would do.


I don't believe it was recorded by either side. In December, Hunt did complain that batteries were averaging 300 rounds expended per engagement and the battery reports show anything from 75 rounds in 48 minutes to 300 to 400 rounds for the battle for a battery. A total of about 50,000 rounds is estimated for both sides.

Quote:
I’ve read that at Gettysburg the North fired fifty per cent more artillery rounds than the South.

I’ll take a look at Porter Alexander’s account and see if I can find anything.


Alexander wasn't there.


Alexander not at Sharpsburg ? I tend to refer to his memoir, there’s something transcendental in his narrative, and I made the mistake of assuming that he was always there when things counted ! There’s a big chapter on Antietam in his volume, so I confess to being rather embarrassed at my mistake.

Fifty thousand is a very big number for a single day : I would venture a guess and reckon on four to five thousand killed or wounded by artillery fire at Antietam. The battlefield was one of the most panoramic of the war, which gave the gunners a decent chance to ply their trade.

Regards, Phil
----------------------------------
"Egad, sir, I do not know whether you will die on the gallows or of the pox!" "That will depend, my Lord, on whether I embrace your principles or your mistress." Earl of Sandwich and John Wilkes
RichTO90
Bremerton WA USA
Posts: 689
Joined: 2004
Antietam : some reflections and comparisons
11/22/2022 3:54:14 PM
Quote:
Once sarcasm enters the debate, I know I have won.


Be happy in your victory. I tend to resort to sarcasm when I realize I'm debating with a crackpot and will never get a thoughtful response.
NYGiant
home  USA
Posts: 715
Joined: 2021
Antietam : some reflections and comparisons
11/22/2022 3:56:37 PM
Quote:
Quote:
Once sarcasm enters the debate, I know I have won.


Be happy in your victory. I tend to resort to sarcasm when I realize I'm debating with a crackpot and will never get a thoughtful response.


Whoops...I forgot that name calling is another sign that one has lost the debate.



RichTO90
Bremerton WA USA
Posts: 689
Joined: 2004
Antietam : some reflections and comparisons
11/22/2022 4:06:45 PM
Quote:
Alexander not at Sharpsburg ? I tend to refer to his memoir, there’s something transcendental in his narrative, and I made the mistake of assuming that he was always there when things counted ! There’s a big chapter on Antietam in his volume, so I confess to being rather embarrassed at my mistake.


No he wasn't. He was at Harper's Ferry. It was later when he relieved S.D. Lee that he asked Lee what Sharpsburg was like and received Lee's famous response "It was Artillery Hell!"

Quote:
Fifty thousand is a very big number for a single day : I would venture a guess and reckon on four to five thousand killed or wounded by artillery fire at Antietam. The battlefield was one of the most panoramic of the war, which gave the gunners a decent chance to ply their trade.


That is for both sides and may be slightly inflated. You could go through the extant battery records in OR and derive an estimate based on that but it would remain a WAG. On average in the ACW its been calculated that possibly only 10 percent of casualties were due to artillery fire.
RichTO90
Bremerton WA USA
Posts: 689
Joined: 2004
Antietam : some reflections and comparisons
11/22/2022 4:07:47 PM
Quote:
Whoops...I forgot that name calling is another sign that one has lost the debate.


I'm happy to see you continue to prove my point.
NYGiant
home  USA
Posts: 715
Joined: 2021
Antietam : some reflections and comparisons
11/22/2022 4:10:25 PM
Quote:
Quote:
Whoops...I forgot that name calling is another sign that one has lost the debate.


I'm happy to see you continue to prove my point.



I figured you would continue to prove my point.
Phil Andrade
London  UK
Posts: 5837
Joined: 2004
Antietam : some reflections and comparisons
11/23/2022 2:26:37 AM
Quote:
Quote:
Alexander not at Sharpsburg ? I tend to refer to his memoir, there’s something transcendental in his narrative, and I made the mistake of assuming that he was always there when things counted ! There’s a big chapter on Antietam in his volume, so I confess to being rather embarrassed at my mistake.


No he wasn't. He was at Harper's Ferry. It was later when he relieved S.D. Lee that he asked Lee what Sharpsburg was like and received Lee's famous response "It was Artillery Hell!"

Quote:
Fifty thousand is a very big number for a single day : I would venture a guess and reckon on four to five thousand killed or wounded by artillery fire at Antietam. The battlefield was one of the most panoramic of the war, which gave the gunners a decent chance to ply their trade.


That is for both sides and may be slightly inflated. You could go through the extant battery records in OR and derive an estimate based on that but it would remain a WAG. On average in the ACW its been calculated that possibly only 10 percent of casualties were due to artillery fire.


This is helpful. Thanks.

It’s that last sentence that’s getting me agitated.

Wilderness and Chickamauga exemplified battles where heavy woods rendered artillery useless for most of the fighting. Lee recorded that the preponderance of slight wounds among his casualties at the Wilderness was attributable to the lack of artillery fire there, and at Chickamauga, too, you will see that wounded outnumbered killed by a higher margin than, say, Gettysburg, where artillery held sway.

That ten percent figure is based on solid information, but I would have thought that at Antietam it was nearer to twenty than to ten per cent.

Editing : here's something from Alexander's military memoirs page 434 , regarding Gettysburg

Hunt reports an expenditure of 32,781 rounds, an average of 106 per gun for 310 guns, excluding the cavalry. Ewell's corps reports 5851 rounds expended, and Hill's corps 7112.........Longstreet's 83 guns doubtless averaged as much as Hill's, which would make about 9000 for the battle. This gives an aggregate for the army of about 22,000, or 103 per gun for 213 guns engaged, excluding cavalry.

A very thorough and meticulous re-assessment by Mark Adkin in his THE GETTYSBURG COMPANION (2008) pages 170 to 171 cites 37,754 artillery rounds fired by the Union at Gettysburg, compared with his estimate of 31,395 for the confederates.

If Antietam entailed - in one day - anything approaching fifty thousand artillery rounds being fired, then the implications for the intensity of the combat are striking, bearing in mind that fewer than seventy thousand were fired in three days at Gettysburg.

Regards, Phil
----------------------------------
"Egad, sir, I do not know whether you will die on the gallows or of the pox!" "That will depend, my Lord, on whether I embrace your principles or your mistress." Earl of Sandwich and John Wilkes
RichTO90
Bremerton WA USA
Posts: 689
Joined: 2004
Antietam : some reflections and comparisons
11/23/2022 12:09:18 PM
Quote:

If Antietam entailed - in one day - anything approaching fifty thousand artillery rounds being fired, then the implications for the intensity of the combat are striking, bearing in mind that fewer than seventy thousand were fired in three days at Gettysburg.

Regards, Phil


I agree and wondered the same. Hunt's complaint that batteries were expending 300 rounds per campaign may be true but also suffer from impreciseness in what timeframe constituted a campaign for him. Given that the average battery allotment was about 270 rounds (in the battery limber and caisson chests and in the reserve trains) 300 rounds seemed very high...but then some batteries did expend a lot of ammunition. For example, Reed's Battery K, 5th US expended 400 rounds from its four Napoleons, while Tidball's Battery A, 2d US, fired an extraordinary 1,200 rounds from its six 3-inch Ordnance rifles, albeit fired on 16, 17, 18, and 19 September. Then there are others that didn't fire at all or that fired only a few rounds. So in the absence of complete reports as at Gettysburg its impossible to tell for sure.
Phil Andrade
London  UK
Posts: 5837
Joined: 2004
Antietam : some reflections and comparisons
11/23/2022 2:17:56 PM
Rich,

The discussion we’re having about the artillery fire at Antietam really gets to the heart of how difficult it is to calibrate just how far the fighting on 17 September 1862 transcended other battles in that war.

Shelby Foote opined, in an interview, that the second day at Chickamauga might have been the bloodiest day of the war.

That’s a stretch and a half, IMHO, but one has to acknowledge how that array of terrible battles can confound our best attempts to rank them in terms of their intensity and bloodshed.

Regards, Phil
----------------------------------
"Egad, sir, I do not know whether you will die on the gallows or of the pox!" "That will depend, my Lord, on whether I embrace your principles or your mistress." Earl of Sandwich and John Wilkes
mikecmaps
CAMARILLO CA USA
Posts: 181
Joined: 2020
Antietam : some reflections and comparisons
11/25/2022 4:02:25 PM
Artillery Noisy – not deadly or dangerous

Rich & Phil & group,

In 100 Great Battles of the Rebellion by Wesley P Kremer 1906
Page 306
Table

Artillery Noisy – not deadly or dangerous

Says Gettysburg July, 1-4 artillery rounds fired 32,781 (both sides)
Stones River, Dec 30 1862; 20,000 rounds

Does not give specific source but his sources mainly Official Records and Adjutant General reports

Says estimate of 1 casualty for 500 rounds fired from guns.
seems way low if 10% losses from guns??
B P Hughes, Firepower p167 estimates 1-2 wounded per round artillery shot ( over all average for all types rounds)

This work (Kremer) mainly tables of casualties for Civil War battles
Thanks, Mike_C.
mikecmaps
Phil Andrade
London  UK
Posts: 5837
Joined: 2004
Antietam : some reflections and comparisons
11/25/2022 5:08:00 PM
Quote:
Artillery Noisy – not deadly or dangerous

Rich & Phil & group,

In 100 Great Battles of the Rebellion by Wesley P Kremer 1906
Page 306
Table

Artillery Noisy – not deadly or dangerous

Says Gettysburg July, 1-4 artillery rounds fired 32,781 (both sides)
Stones River, Dec 30 1862; 20,000 rounds

Does not give specific source but his sources mainly Official Records and Adjutant General reports

Says estimate of 1 casualty for 500 rounds fired from guns.
seems way low if 10% losses from guns??
B P Hughes, Firepower p167 estimates 1-2 wounded per round artillery shot ( over all average for all types rounds)

This work (Kremer) mainly tables of casualties for Civil War battles
Thanks, Mike_C.
mikecmaps


Do you feel confident in that assessment ?

Malvern Hill - widely known as the battle in which more than half of the confederate casualties were caused by artillery fire.

Fredericksburg : by Longstreet’s account, in the Marye’s Heights sector alone, two thousand yankees cut down by the rebel batteries.

Gettysburg…. well, there must have been thousands of artillery victims there.

Just the anecdotal histories of soldiers in many battles describe the shocking effects of shells and round shot, and as for canister, the impact was appalling.

At Antietam, there was a very significant role for artillery.

Noisy, demoralising, deadly and effective.

The nature of the wounds from artillery fire was something else : in a little known action at Spotsylvania, 18 May 1864, the Union attack was easily repulsed before it got to close quarters, with rebel artillery doing the work. Yankee doctors described the wounds as the worst they’d seen.

Civil War artillery was not very dangerous to men under cover in earthworks , but against infantry in the open it was lethal and a defining factor in the outcome of battle.

Regards, Phil
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"Egad, sir, I do not know whether you will die on the gallows or of the pox!" "That will depend, my Lord, on whether I embrace your principles or your mistress." Earl of Sandwich and John Wilkes
Phil Andrade
London  UK
Posts: 5837
Joined: 2004
Antietam : some reflections and comparisons
11/26/2022 4:26:04 PM
Mike_C ,

Those figure cited by Kremer for Gettysburg and Stones River are for union artillery only. Certainly not for both sides.

Regards, Phil
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"Egad, sir, I do not know whether you will die on the gallows or of the pox!" "That will depend, my Lord, on whether I embrace your principles or your mistress." Earl of Sandwich and John Wilkes
mikecmaps
CAMARILLO CA USA
Posts: 181
Joined: 2020
Antietam : some reflections and comparisons
11/27/2022 2:54:43 PM

Phil
I stand corrected. For 362 union guns its about 90 rounds overall average for 3 days.
One unit of rebel guns – 10 – fired 657 in the 105 min cannonade before pickett’s attack.
About 65 per gun and one shot each 1-1/2 min.

Each gun carried 224 rounds as base supply
Times 362 that’s over 81k base supply & the 32k number about 40%

Each gun carried 84 shot, 84 spherical case, 24 shell, 24 canister that’s for 12 pdr.
6 pdrs and 10 pds rifles had more IIUC.

For the about 22k k & w rebels and at 10%, 2200 by artillery;
its 15 rounds fired for each wounded or killed by cannon rounds
10% for artillery wounds is from memory cant find good source right now, sorry.

Your, Mike_C
Mikecmaps
Ps I am no expert.
Phil Andrade
London  UK
Posts: 5837
Joined: 2004
Antietam : some reflections and comparisons
11/27/2022 2:58:43 PM
Forgive me for getting a bit agitated by that tabulation you cited, Mike_C : I can’t let it go .

If artillery was so ineffective, then how could places like Hazel Grove at Chancellorsville, or the Peach Orchard at Gettysburg, have exercised the influence they did in their respective battlefields ?

At Antietam, the plateau by the Dunker Church, and the heights around the Nicodemus Farm, afforded the confederates gun platforms from which they could sweep the field.

The damage meted out by artillery was such as to make its contribution vital to the outcome of battle.

What would Henry Hunt have made of Kremer’s assertion ?

He claimed that his gunners had the destructive power to have repulsed the PPT advance at Gettysburg, even if left to themselves . That might be a stretch, but who knows ? Reputable historical research attributes fifteen hundred rebel killed and wounded to artillery alone, just in that culminating action . Hunt’s recorded expenditure of 32,000 rounds in the whole battle suggests a toll of more than three thousand confederate killed and wounded thereby at Gettysburg , one in six of all the rebels who were hit there.

I hope I’ve made a convincing refutation of that statement. I’ll stop ranting now.

Regards, Phil
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"Egad, sir, I do not know whether you will die on the gallows or of the pox!" "That will depend, my Lord, on whether I embrace your principles or your mistress." Earl of Sandwich and John Wilkes
mikecmaps
CAMARILLO CA USA
Posts: 181
Joined: 2020
Antietam : some reflections and comparisons
11/27/2022 9:22:16 PM

Phil,
yes 1:500 certainly way off.

So found a good table in MEDICAL AND SURGICAL HISTORY OF THE WAR OF THE REBELLION part iii vol 2 1883
P20
wounds of lower extremity only being about 31% of all wounds.
And for 1864-65 Union troops various commands

2649 wounds artillery; “large projectiles, cannon shot, shell, bomb fragments, grape and canister”
27960 “small projectiles, musket, carbine, rifle, pistol balls,
and small missiles from shrapnel and canister”
2649 large projectiles = 9% of 30609 total but many gun wounds included in 31k as small missiles from shrapnel and canister, so still not really clear number.

Unquestionably in many situations artillery was especially deadly and effective.

Haven’t made through reading of 1200 pages but first table gives some data.

If I guesstimate 10% (wild guess) of small missiles from guns, the overall per cent goes from 10% to ~20% (18%) an important difference.

“Another probable cause why proportion of wounds of limbs was smaller in the field hospital returns, is that a large number of rapidly mortal wounds of head and trunk appear on the field casualty lists, representing patients who never reached the base hospitals.”

Sorry all this is pretty fragmentary but gives a little intro into to some of the data.
Google books retrieved 11272022
For your consideration,
Yours, Mike_C.
mikecmaps
Phil Andrade
London  UK
Posts: 5837
Joined: 2004
Antietam : some reflections and comparisons
11/28/2022 4:43:07 AM
Quote:

Phil,
yes 1:500 certainly way off.

So found a good table in MEDICAL AND SURGICAL HISTORY OF THE WAR OF THE REBELLION part iii vol 2 1883
P20
wounds of lower extremity only being about 31% of all wounds.
And for 1864-65 Union troops various commands

2649 wounds artillery; “large projectiles, cannon shot, shell, bomb fragments, grape and canister”
27960 “small projectiles, musket, carbine, rifle, pistol balls,
and small missiles from shrapnel and canister”
2649 large projectiles = 9% of 30609 total but many gun wounds included in 31k as small missiles from shrapnel and canister, so still not really clear number.

Unquestionably in many situations artillery was especially deadly and effective.

Haven’t made through reading of 1200 pages but first table gives some data.

If I guesstimate 10% (wild guess) of small missiles from guns, the overall per cent goes from 10% to ~20% (18%) an important difference.

“Another probable cause why proportion of wounds of limbs was smaller in the field hospital returns, is that a large number of rapidly mortal wounds of head and trunk appear on the field casualty lists, representing patients who never reached the base hospitals.”

Sorry all this is pretty fragmentary but gives a little intro into to some of the data.
Google books retrieved 11272022
For your consideration,
Yours, Mike_C.
mikecmaps


Thanks so much, Mike_C.

You’ve done some heavy lifting here, and the outcome has reassured me, because I was reeling a bit from that preposterous 1:500, and the attendant suggestion that artillery was all bark and no bite.

Looking at Gettysburg - and I feel that Gettysburg and Antietam shared aspects of terrain and the open field - I feel reasonably confident that for every ten rounds fired by the guns, one man was hit. For small arms fire, I reckon that the rate was in the order of one hit for every 200 rounds : that’s my “ wild guess”.

Regards, Phil
----------------------------------
"Egad, sir, I do not know whether you will die on the gallows or of the pox!" "That will depend, my Lord, on whether I embrace your principles or your mistress." Earl of Sandwich and John Wilkes
Phil Andrade
London  UK
Posts: 5837
Joined: 2004
Antietam : some reflections and comparisons
11/29/2022 8:38:43 AM
“ Late in the evening a terrific fire of artillery was concentrated against the hill occupied by this regiment, and many were killed and wounded, some losing their heads and others so horribly mutilated and mangled that their identity could scarcely be established …..”.

This is the account of Lieut. Col. P.A. Work, First Texas Infantry , describing the fighting in the Devil’s Den and LRT sector on Day Two at Gettysburg.

The regiment suffered a loss of 25 killed and 62 wounded, of whom 6 died of their wounds.

Thirty one of the eighty seven who were hit were fatally struck.

How would the regimental commander react to the statement that artillery was noisy, but not deadly or dangerous ?

Regards, Phil
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"Egad, sir, I do not know whether you will die on the gallows or of the pox!" "That will depend, my Lord, on whether I embrace your principles or your mistress." Earl of Sandwich and John Wilkes
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