GDG- Someone remind me

Margaret D. Blough mdblough1 at
Mon Jan 23 11:20:47 CST 2012

Tom- From what I have read, Pleasonton was a legend in his own mind, despised by his fellow officers as someone who advanced due to his extreme cozying up to the officers at HQ instead of ability 



----- Original Message -----
From: "Tom Ryan" <pennmardel at> 
To: "GDG" <gettysburg at> 
Sent: Monday, January 23, 2012 11:53:06 AM 
Subject: Re: GDG- Someone remind me 

Esteemed GDG Member Contributes: 
<<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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