GDG- Gettysburg Digest, Vol 3, Issue 31

James Cameron cameron2 at
Mon Nov 1 13:25:03 CDT 2010

<< A clincher for me was to realize that when Lee made his early morning
reconnaissance with Longstreet and decided how the attack was to develop,
the so-called "shank" of the fishhook was not at all straight.  That there 
an exposed *"flank"* makes more sense when we appreciate Newton's
explanation that the Federal line from his left to LRT was nearly *"empty"* 
the start of the day, with Hunt's accounting that he spent the entire
morning filling that ground with artillery.   And the ANV map that
accompanied Lee's report showed the perceived Federal line there as bending
back *east* of Taneytown Road. >>

While the road net follows the Converse map of Adams County, the 
topographical details overlaid onto the base map are extremely distorted, 
the more so the further south one goes on the map. This means that while the 
road depiction is accurate, its relationship to the terrain features shown 
is not, and becomes more unreliable the further south on the map one goes. 
While the map does show part of the Union line as being east of the 
Taneytown Road, that cannot necessarily be taken as showing that the ANV was 
under a misconception that those troops were that much farther to the east 
than they really were.  The map could equally be read as showing that the 
ANV may have thought the Taneytown Road was a lot closer to the crest of the 
ridge, or more to the west of it's true location than it actually was, which 
may explain why part of the Union line is show as east of it.  After all, if 
so many other map features are wrong in relation to one another, why not the 
road as it relates to the ridge?  Neither it, nor the troop positions near 
it, can be assumed to be reliably accurate on a map where so much else is 

Also, Lee's report mentioned "maps" (plural) accompanying his report.  A 
footnote to the OR copy indicates "those found appear in Atlas".  How many 
maps were there, and of those, how many were found when the OR were being 
complied?  This map appears to concentrate largely on Hood's division's 
attack on the 2nd, however inaccurately.  Were there others we don't know 
of, perhaps better showing what the ANV thought was the situation the next 
day? Is this "the" map which accompanied Lee's report, or is it simply "a" 
map, and one which really doesn't have a whole lot to say about the 3rd day 
after all?

Jim Cameron

"They were Highlanders, and their way of fighting showed us that we were 
dealing with real men."  -  Ernst Junger, "Storm of Steel"

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