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Civil War Commanders and Units
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John R. Price
Wilkes-Barre
PA USA
Posts: 1009

Whose wounding was more fatal to the Confederacy, Jackson, or Longstreet??
Posted on: 10/21/2019 1:53:37 PM

Morris,

Aren't you kinda sorta understating saying "a bit peeved at McLaws actions" at Chancellorsville? Didn't Longstreet have to do a lot of talking to keep him in division command in the ANVA? When I first started reading about the Civil War I had a very good opinion of McLaws but the more I read the more I've been drawn to the conclusion that he was more often as not a "empty jacket" carried by the superior efforts of the Brigade commanders and officers and men under him.
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A battle long forgotten by our country in a war never understood by our country. "to satisfy our endless needs and justify our bloody deeds, in the name of destiny and in the name of God"
Phil Andrade
London
 UK
Posts: 4114

Whose wounding was more fatal to the Confederacy, Jackson, or Longstreet??
Posted on: 10/21/2019 2:49:34 PM

John,

There’s a priceless comment by McClellan - you’ll know it, I’m sure - in which he attributes to Lee those very flaws that he himself was susceptible to...namely, indecisiveness and caution , and an aversion to getting “ stuck in “ ; a perfect example of what psychiatry would describe as “ projection”or “ transference”.

I wonder if McClaws was doing the same with Longstreet.

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
morris crumley
Dunwoody
GA USA
Posts: 2474

Whose wounding was more fatal to the Confederacy, Jackson, or Longstreet??
Posted on: 10/21/2019 3:31:56 PM

Yes John, quite a bit understating!

McLaws was the ranking Major General of the threesome of himself, Early, and Anderson, yet at Salem Church...given the position to seize the initiative..he did nothing..not even communicate. He awaited Early to open the attack, Early was waiting on McLaws....and McLaws would not take the bit. I believe that it is clear that , while Longstreet personally liked his friend, he knew from Chancellorsville on that Lee didn`t think much about him.

I think that Lee first got "a bit peeved' at McLaws the day of Jackson`s flank march. He had two divisions stand to hold in place Hooker`s entire army-minus Sedgwick, and when he ordered a demonstration, some of McLaws` men(Wofford`s brigade) damn near turned it into a full out assault ...a dangerous situation indeed for Lee`s outnumbered holding force.

McLaws was only a slightly better version of Pickett, he did fine enough if given a direct order of what to do, but with discretionary orders...it got a bit less certain.

Respects, Morris


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"You are a $70, red-wool, pure quill military genius, or the biggest damn fool in northern Mexico."
John R. Price
Wilkes-Barre
PA USA
Posts: 1009

Whose wounding was more fatal to the Confederacy, Jackson, or Longstreet??
Posted on: 10/21/2019 9:35:51 PM

Morris,

Didn't he basically demure to Wilcox as his troops came on the field? Wasn't it a counter-attack by Wilcox initially joined by a couple of GA regiments that actually opened the attack? Upton with his NY Reg(121st or 151st I think) attacks the 8thAL which breaks but the 9th AL refuses its flank and fires into the flank while the 10thAL which had been in reserve fires into the front breaking the charge and then the 10th along with 2 GA Regiments counterattack and it spreads down the line. I think the GA Regiments came from Semmes Brigade.(10th and 51st?)

Edit The day Wilcox shined and got in line for a division.
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A battle long forgotten by our country in a war never understood by our country. "to satisfy our endless needs and justify our bloody deeds, in the name of destiny and in the name of God"
John R. Price
Wilkes-Barre
PA USA
Posts: 1009

Whose wounding was more fatal to the Confederacy, Jackson, or Longstreet??
Posted on: 10/22/2019 12:40:03 AM

Phil,

I think McLaws had the "my crap don't stink" complex when it "stank" to high heaven. I think its still online at the U of North Carolina library but I may be wrong, anyway the McLaws Papers show he tried to claim he did no wrong at Knoxville, that it was all on Longstreet. But again this is all the "code." Reputation is to be built and protected at all cost and God help anybody who tries to slander it.
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A battle long forgotten by our country in a war never understood by our country. "to satisfy our endless needs and justify our bloody deeds, in the name of destiny and in the name of God"
morris crumley
Dunwoody
GA USA
Posts: 2474

Whose wounding was more fatal to the Confederacy, Jackson, or Longstreet??
Posted on: 10/22/2019 9:57:06 AM

John...you are right, Wilcox deserves credit for brilliant actions at Salem Church. He was stationed in position to cover Bank`s Ford, but when he realized Sedgewick had broken through at Fredericksburg, he raced his brigade ahead, on his own initiative, and deployed to block the advance of the vanguard. It was for all intents and purpose, one brigade, with some eventual supports, holding off two divisions. I think you are right about Semmes, and I also think that Mahomes was put into line. After they fell back from Salem Church, McLaws arrived...and Sedgwick`s men were driven back.

Lee, absolutely determined that Sedgewick be hit before he could link with Hooker, or get across the river to his back, wanted an immediate attack. McLaws had requested Anderson`s division to take part, and Early had come by circuitous route from having been driven off at Fredericksburg. McLaws was the ranking Major general of those three divisions, and the plan was for Anderson to form and attack from the south, Early from the east, and McLaws from the west. But McLaws did not do the prep work, and Lee became furious when he realized that no one had bothered to determine the actual placement of Sedgwick`s line. ( The kind of prep Longstreet would have done, but he wasn`t there.)They knew where his right was, anchored on the river, but where was his left? No one knew. The route of attack had not been thoroughly scouted out, and many of McLaws men would wind up wandering in cedar thickets.

EP Alexander recalled that this was the first of two times in the war that he found Lee to be mad as a hatter( the other time was Oct. 1864) I think it was Dorsey Pender who would inform Lee that Sedgwick was gone the next day, and Lee, still fuming, said something to the effect of " this is what you young officers do, you don`t make the preparations to carry out orders, and the thing goes undone."

Alexander also had little praise for Sedgwick. Sedgwick, having broken the skeletal line of Early`s at Mayre`s Hill, halted his men before beginning the march to Lee`s rear, which purchased the time for Wilcox to get his brigade into position to block on the plank rd. Alexander said that Sedgwick, at Salem Church, did less with 25,000 than could have been done.

But, Wilcox delivered that day at Salem Church.

Respects, Morris
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"You are a $70, red-wool, pure quill military genius, or the biggest damn fool in northern Mexico."
John R. Price
Wilkes-Barre
PA USA
Posts: 1009

Whose wounding was more fatal to the Confederacy, Jackson, or Longstreet??
Posted on: 10/22/2019 12:33:17 PM

Morris,

Initiative is exactly what I mean. McLaws didn't show any. You are right in saying that he'd carry out a direct order, defend a fixed point or attack at a designated position in a designated way but if the situation changed and called for a bit of initiative forget it. In a lot of ways he's similar to Bragg, he was unable to react to the changing situations of battle. Then go after anybody who didn't agree that he did his duty the best anyone could.

Edit Pender informed Lee that Hooker and the main force had slipped back across the river. I think that was two days after the battle at Salem Church. Our problem is we are talking two different fights. Wilcox stand and the next day Early's and Anderson's attacks. McLaws minus Barksdale and plus Mahomes cane to support Wilcox on the first day.

https://leefamilyarchive.org/9-family-papers/336-battle-report-of-the-chancellorsville-campaign-1863-september-23

Above is link to the reports on Chancellorsville. Seems I had the Alabama regiments a little out of order.
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A battle long forgotten by our country in a war never understood by our country. "to satisfy our endless needs and justify our bloody deeds, in the name of destiny and in the name of God"
morris crumley
Dunwoody
GA USA
Posts: 2474

Whose wounding was more fatal to the Confederacy, Jackson, or Longstreet??
Posted on: 10/22/2019 9:16:55 PM

John, spot on about Bragg being like McLaws and not being able to react to the changing situations of battle. You said you were researching the brigades and regiments at Chickamauga , been there many times..still a hard battle to feel like you understand everything that occurred. I know Longstreet was absolutely stunned to realize that a major victory was achieved...yet Bragg couldn`t see it because his original plan was not what took place ...and therefore, to Bragg it was calamity. Unbelievable!

Respects, Morris
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"You are a $70, red-wool, pure quill military genius, or the biggest damn fool in northern Mexico."
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