GDG- Someone remind me

Tom Ryan pennmardel at
Mon Jan 23 10:53:06 CST 2012

<<Thanks Tom. Now a follow up question.
Buford was permitted to withdraw, but no other cavalry was asigned to the
area as relief? Oversight or incompetence? I'm going with oversight, because
whats the point of trying to asign blame at this late date. Unless, blame
has already been asigned?
do you think, in a "what if" vein, that if a relief unit had been asigned,
it would have had an impact on Sickles' movements? Would he still have
considered the Peach Orchard the more favorable posisiton and used the
confederate troop movements as reason to move, regardless of wether he know
how many troops were involved or not?


Belatedly, Pleasonton assigned a sincle regiment to replace Buford's two
brigades that departed; however, this was too little too late because
Longstreet's attack began before the regiment arrived in place.

The blame for allowing Buford to leave, given that neither one of the other
two cavalry divisions (Gregg and Kilpatrick) had arrived on the field as
yet, has got to laid on Pleasonton.  Meade and/or his staffers also deserve
some blame for not asking the right questions before approving Buford's
departure at Pleasonton's request.  (Should add that for Pleasonton this was
another in a series of blunders he had made since the campaign began in
early June.)

The "what if" about Sickles eventual decision to move to the ER regardless
of Berdan's reporting is impossible to answer.  Pinned to the wall, I would
venture to say yes he would have made the move, primarily because of his
lack of military discipline and strong ego that motivated his actions.

Regards, Tom

P.S.  An earlier blunder on Pleasonton's part while the armies were still
down on the Rappahannock likely was the straw that broke Hooker's back and
soon led to his resignation and immediate acceptance on the part of Lincoln.
That was P's failure to observe Ewell's corps' movement into the Shenandoah
Valley, and Ewell's eventual attack and capture of thousands of Union troops
at Winchester and Martinsburg.  While Hooker attempted to overlook this
blunder on Pleasonton's part, both Lincoln and General in Chief Halleck were
livid.  After this disaster in the Valley, it seems that the authorities in
Washington had made up their mind that a change of commanders was necessary.


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