GDG- ISusquehanna River

Tom bunco973 at
Tue Jan 24 18:08:00 CST 2012

   Sorry, more specifically , re: your below posts on Harrisburg - the same 
link - but the article " Our Whole Force Was Directed ........... ". On Pg. 
103 - "Why Harrisburg" (scroll down in the PDF to Page 103._

Regards, Tom B.

-----Original Message----- 
From: Tom Barrett
Sent: Tuesday, January 24, 2012 5:26 PM
To: 'GDG'
Subject: Re: GDG- ISusquehanna River

Esteemed GDG Member Contributes:

When we discussed this in some detail a couple of months ago, I was left
with the impression that most everybody agreed that Lee, being in possession
of some common sense, and being able to read maps, was using Harrisburg the
way a matador uses a red cape. His real intent was to have the AOP rushing
wildly after him (like a bull) and to defeat it piecemeal.

Sending a force into Harrisburg was a good idea.  Preferably cavalry.  But
it made no sense for him to get a slow moving force trapped on the East side
of the Susquehanna until AFTER he'd sent the AOP home with its tail between
its legs. (Then he could move on to Boston, Buffalo, Syracuse or wherever.)

Of course, things never got that far, but I think he would have "sacked"
Harrisburg, wrecked the railroad, burned the warehouses, and waited for the
inevitable reaction- but waited on the West side of the river.



-----Original Message-----
From: gettysburg-bounces at [mailto:gettysburg-bounces at]
On Behalf Of George Connell
Sent: Tuesday, January 24, 2012 5:10 PM
Subject: Re: GDG- ISusquehanna River

Esteemed GDG Member Contributes:

Some relevant items from my Gettysburg notes:

• During the Antietam Campaign when General John Walker, just up
from Richmond with his two-brigade division, reported to Lee at Frederick,
he says Lee told him that the Army was going to Harrisburg, destroy the
Pennsylvania railroad bridge, and then go to Philadelphia, Baltimore, or
Washington. (B&L, vol. 3). See also R. E. Lee, Vol II, pp. 360-1 for on his
thoughts on operating east of the Susquehanna during this campaign.

• Dorsey Pender, June 28, 1863, June 28, 1863: "I hope we may be in
Harrisburg in three days..." Lee's Lieutenants, Vol III, pp.76-77.

•  Lee to Ewell:  “If Harrisburg comes within your means, capture
it.” O.R., 27, pt.3. p.914

• ..."orders were...issued to move upon Harrisburg. O.R., 27, pt. 2,
p.. 316.

• June 28: Ewell ordered Rhodes to cross the river and capture
Harrisburg. Rich Kohr, Gettysburg LBG, 8/6/6

•  Lee’s orders to Hill on June 28 were to follow in trace of Early,
cross the Susquehanna downstream from Harrisburg, and seize the railroad
between Harrisburg and Philadelphia. James Robertson, General A. P. Hill, p.

• "Then 'Jeb' started the entire column for Carlisle, vis Dillsburg.
He chose this objective because he reasoned that if the SOuthern infantry
had advanced to the Susquehanna and were not in the vicinity of York, they
must be around Carlisle or Harrisburg." Lee's Lieutenants, Vol III, p. 137.

• Lee: “To-morrow, gentlemen, we will not move to Harrisburg as
expected, but will go over to Gettysburg and see what General Meade is
after.” Gettysburg Nobody Knows, pp 110-111.

• Lee was going to Harrisburg. So say the document and spontaneous
utterances. He changed his mind because of a lack of cavalry to block the
passes. Tony Nicastro, LGB, in a lecture to the Gettysburg Licensed
Battlefield Guide class, 6/27/6

•  In Lee’s perfect world: he would dig in at Cashtown, block the
passes, wait for Stuart, and head for Harrisburg if possible. Tony Nicastro,
LGB, in a lecture to the Gettysburg Licensed Battlefield Guide class, 6/28/6

Now that's ten citations from eight respected sources; I have more but it
gets repetitious.

You can moan, you can grumble, and you can speculate, but what you cannot do
is doubt any longer. Lee was going to Harrisburg (and other points east of
the Susquehanna)--and he was taking a lot of infantry with him.


26ª11'56"N   81ª48'19W"

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