GDG- ISusquehanna River

George Connell georgeconnell at mac.com
Tue Jan 24 18:27:41 CST 2012


Not to worry. I get a lot wrong and have much more to learn. This is the place for it.

Regards,

George
26ª11'56"N   81ª48'19W"

On Jan 24, 2012, at 7:13 PM, CWMHTours at aol.com wrote:

> Esteemed GDG Member Contributes:
> I wish I didn't hold you in such high respect and regard  George.  ;-{)
> 
> I wudda told Lee don't put the whole army into  Hrsbg.
> 
> I am starting to get afraid of you, sir.   ;-{)
> 
> I am in the GDG to learn, so thank you.
> 
> A  Loyal Neo-Anti Unionist,
> Peter  
> 
> 
> In a message dated 1/24/2012 5:41:21 P.M. Eastern Standard Time,  
> georgeconnell at mac.com writes:
> 
> Esteemed  GDG Member Contributes:
> Timing is obviously important, but the point I want  to make is that there 
> is a huge body of evidence (see my earlier post) that  Lee SAID he hoped to 
> cross the Susquehanna with at least two corps--Ewell's  and Hill's. I think 
> we should take that at face value.
> 
> As the most  audacious man on either side I can see Lee fighting the big 
> one east of the  Susquehanna. He would still have had all his ammunition and 
> was living off the  land just fine. Nothing like capturing the capital of 
> Pennsylvania and  destroying the east-west railroad to check the political box
> es and to make the  AoP come after him fast and recklessly. 
> 
> But the 'how' of all this is  not my point. Lee said he wanted to cross 
> that river with at least most of his  army and capture Harrisburg. That's a  
> fact!
> 
> Regards,
> 
> George
> 26ª11'56"N    81ª48'19W"
> 
> On Jan 24, 2012, at 5:26 PM, Tom Barrett wrote:
> 
>> 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.
>> 
>> Regards,
>> 
>> TB 
>> 
>> -----Original Message-----
>> From: gettysburg-bounces at arthes.com  
> [mailto:gettysburg-bounces at arthes.com]
>> On Behalf Of George  Connell
>> Sent: Tuesday, January 24, 2012 5:10 PM
>> To:  GDG
>> Subject: Re: GDG- ISusquehanna River
>> 
>> Esteemed GDG  Member Contributes:
>> Peter,
>> 
>> 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.
>> 204
>> 
>>    • "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.
>> 
>> 
>> Regards,
>> 
>> George
>> 26ª11'56"N   81ª48'19W"
>> 
>> On Jan 24, 2012, at 4:01  PM, CWMHTours at aol.com wrote:
>> 
>>> Esteemed GDG Member  Contributes:
>>> George....
>>> 
>>> I love you  Man....
>>> 
>>> But I DO doubt it......
>>> 
>>> Think of the consequences for Lee.
>>> 
>>> Before capturing a big city like Hrsbg he would have an intact   artmy. 
> He
>> 
>>> takes that army on the wrong side of  the  river.
>>> 
>>> Look at the Confederate occupation  of Frederick in the  CW.  Before 
> Ant. 
>>> they lost a lot  of men getting drunk in the town, not to  mention 
> Jackson 
>>> falling asleep during the sermon in the Presbytyrian  church.
>>> Occupying a city for ANY army is fraught with  danger.  You don't  just 
> go 
>>> in and parade around.  You risk losing  control  of yo0ur army.
>>> 
>>> Lee was in the N only to threaten the  N, not to capture a  city.
>>> 
>>> And, Sir, please tell  me what benefit Lee would gain fro being  on tne 
>>> wrong side  of the Sus R when his supply lines were in the  Cumberlaand? 
> 
>>> Politely, I would like to hear an argument for Lee going   into 
> Harrisburg.
>> To me 
>>> it makes no sense.
>>> 
>>> So I do doubt it.,
>>> 
>>> A  Loyal  Neo-Anti Unionist,
>>> Peter  
>>> 
>>> 
>>> In a message dated 1/24/2012 3:34:20 P.M. Eastern Standard  Time,  
>>> georgeconnell at mac.com writes:
>>> 
>>> Esteemed  GDG Member Contributes:
>>> Peter,
>>> 
>>> There is absolutely no doubt that Lee   intended to capture Harrisburg. 
> To 
>>> do that, he would have to move  infantry  east of the Susquehanna. How 
> long
>> 
>>> they  would stay is another question and very  much depends on how much
>> time he 
>>> had before the AoP would have been   close.
>>> 
>>> Regards,
>>> 
>>> George
>>> 26ª11'56"N    81ª48'19W"
>>> 
>>> On Jan 24, 2012, at 2:32 PM, Dave Gillespie  wrote:
>>> 
>>>> Esteemed GDG Member Contributes:
>>>> The  Susquehanna  River is extremely low once it gets past  Harrisburg,
>>>> where it is also  very low.  I have seen  a good deal of the
>>>> Susquehanna, both in  South Central PA  (I grew up in Carlisle, PA) and
>>>> in South Central New   York, where it is much deeper, yet narrower.  It
>>>> is a  fascinating  river.
>>>> 
>>>> Thanks,
>>>> Dave Gillespie
>>>> Parsippany,   NJ
>>>> 
>>>> On Tue, Jan 24, 2012 at 2:28  PM,   <CWMHTours at aol.com> wrote:
>>>>> Esteemed  GDG Member  Contributes:
>>>>> Jeff and Andy bring up some  good issues.
>>>>> 
>>>>> The Susq R is an amazing  river basin and the largest water   source 
> of 
>>> the
>>>>> Ches Bay.  Goes all the way up into  southern  NY  state.
>>>>> 
>>>>> Extremely wide.  Just north of  the state border with MD  there  is a
>> huge
>>>>> dam, the  Conowingo.  some  30-40 mi north of that is 3 Mile   Island.
>>>>> 
>>>>> Someone correct me but if I recall correctly  rocks  are  apparent in 
> low
>>>>> water on the R at   Wrightsville.
>>>>> 
>>>>> I cannot imagine any  sane Conf  commander putting any  significant 
>>> number  of
>>>>> infantry east of  the river during the  GTYSBG  campaign.  You might 
> as  
>>> well
>>>>> wave goodbye as  they marched off to   Johnson's  Island.
>>>>> 
>>>>> If I wuz  Ewell I'd put cavalry that could  move fast east of  the 
> river  
>>> but
>>>>> not infantry.
>>>>> 
>>>>> In magazines like American Heritage I have read stories  of   loggers 
>>> putting
>>>>> log rafts a  good mile long down the river from  NY.  Pretty  amazing  
>>> stories.
>>>>> 
>>>>> The   Susq  R is an earthquake fault.  Interesting on  the East   
> Coast.  
>>> The
>>>>> Hudson also is an earthquake  fault, oddly   enough.  If I lived in 
>>> Manhatten  I
>>>>> wouldn't be able to sleep  knowing that.  And  certainly in a high 
> rise.
>>>>> 
>>>>> If   you go online you can see that the southern half of the C  Bay is 
>  a
>>>>> crater from a meteor striking it millions of years   ago.
>>>>> 
>>>>> The Conowingo Dam basin is an  environmental  issue (No politix  
> here!).
>> 
>>> The
>>>>> overflow is full of  phosphates which are killing  the bay (I  need my
>>>>> crabs!).  And more  frighteningly the dam has pretty much silted up   
> to 
>>> water level
>>>>> with silt.  The silt is full of heavy  metals,  which scares  experts,
>> and
>>>>> costs me sleep at night worrying  about it.
>>>>> 
>>>>> Cadmium, lead, mercury, etc. It is  pretty   scary.
>>>>> 
>>>>> That's my story, along with  the  57mm's gun in Wrightsville and  I am
>>> 
>>>>> sticking to  it.
>>>>> 
>>>>> 
>>>>> A  Loyal Neo-Anti   Unionist,
>>>>> Peter
>>>>> 
>>>>> 
>>>>> In a message  dated 1/24/2012 1:50:30 P.M. Eastern  Standard Time,
>>>>> amills at jplcreative.com  writes:
>>>>> 
>>>>> Esteemed  GDG   Member Contributes:
>>>>> Jeff:
>>>>> 
>>>>> Out of  curiosity:  is the dam in  which  you refer, the one just 
> below  
>>> City
>>>>> Island across from the city?
>>>>> 
>>>>> Thanks,
>>>>> 
>>>>> -----Original  Message-----
>>>>> From:   gettysburg-bounces at arthes.com  
>>> [mailto:gettysburg-bounces at arthes.com]
>>>>> On Behalf  Of  Jeff  Burk
>>>>> Sent: Tuesday, January 24, 2012 1:42  PM
>>>>> To:  GDG
>>>>> Subject:  Re:  GDG- Inevitable defeat
>>>>> 
>>>>> Esteemed GDG  Member Contributes:
>>>>> Your  point  about the river  being shallow is true today.  However 
> that 
>>> is
>>>>> because the river has been dammed upstream.   during the  war  the  
> river
>>>>> flowed  free.
>>>>> 
>>>>> 
>>>>> Namaste
>>>>> 
>>>>> Jeff   Burk
>>>>> 
>>>>> 
>>>>>> ________________________________
>>>>>> From:    "CWMHTours at aol.com" <CWMHTours at aol.com>
>>>>>> To:   gettysburg at arthes.com
>>>>>> Sent: Tuesday,  January 24, 2012  1:14  PM
>>>>>> Subject: Re: GDG-  Inevitable  defeat
>>>>>> 
>>>>>> Esteemed GDG  Member  Contributes:
>>>>>> The river  at that point is frequently shallow  in  summer  droughts  
> but
>>>>>> very wide and quite an  obstacle. Very   rocky.
>>>>>> 
>>>>>> A smart and   careful commander would not want to put more  than    an
>>>>>> expeditionary force that could have been  sacrificed  on  the east 
> side 
>>> of
>>>>> the  river.
>>>>>> Harrisburg was no significant   military goal other than being a   
> state
>>>>>> capital and RR  center.
>>>>>> 
>>>>>> Thre are 2 57mm guns sitting on the west side of the   river   there.
>>>>>> 
>>>>>> A  Loyal   Neo-Anti  Unionist,
>>>>>> Peter
>>>>>> 
>>>>>> 
>>>>>> In a message dated  1/24/2012  2:22:49  A.M. Eastern Standard  Time,
>>>>>> mdblough1 at comcast.net    writes:
>>>>>> 
>>>>>> Esteemed  GDG  Member  Contributes:
>>>>>> Tom-The  militia  destroyed it in order to  keep the  Confederates 
> using
>> 
>>> it
>>>>> to
>>>>>> cross  over  the the eastern shore of the Susquehanna.  Harrisburg   
> is  
>>> on
>>>>> the
>>>>>> east  and this would have enabled the  Confederates to   attack the  
> city
>>>>> from
>>>>>> both sides. While Lee  initially ordered the  bridge's  destruction,  
>>> the
>>>>> ANV
>>>>>> generals on the scene saw  the   advantages to saving it and  tried 
> to 
>>> save
>>>>> it.
>>>>>> The Susquehanna is   not one of the wildest rivers in  the  world but
>>>>> bridges
>>>>>> were  needed to  cross it and with  that bridge out there  wasn't
>> another
>>>>> until
>>>>>> Harrisburg. The hope was to destroy sections so  it  could  be  
> rebuilt
>>>>> later
>>>>>> but, in the  days before dynamite, that  sort of  precision  wasn't  
>>> easily
>>>>>> obtained. The Columbia-Wrightsville   bridge was a  wood &  stone
>> covered
>>>>> bridge
>>>>>> believed to  be the  longest such  bridge in the world at  the time 
> and
>> 
>>> the
>>>>> flames
>>>>>> that  destroyed  the wood, leaving  only the granite   supports.
>>>>>> 
>>>>>> 
>>>>>> Regards,
>>>>>> 
>>>>>> 
>>>>>> Margaret
>>>>>> 
>>>>>> ----- Original   Message  -----
>>>>>> From: "Tom"    <bunco973 at optonline.net>
>>>>>> To: "GDG"     <gettysburg at arthes.com>
>>>>>> Sent: Monday, January  23, 2012  10:38:11  PM
>>>>>> Subject: Re: GDG-  Inevitable  defeat
>>>>>> 
>>>>>> Esteemed  GDG Member    Contributes:
>>>>>>>>> And
>>>>>> in fact, if  you  think about it, the damn  thing IS still made  of  
> big
>>>>>> granite  blocks. Now just how are  you going to   knock the darn 
> thing 
>>> over
>>>>>> without a
>>>>>> whole lot   of valuable time and  trouble?  <<< It was destroyed,  by 
> 
>>> fire
>>>>>> (not the granite  supports   of course), by  Union  militia.
>>>>>> Regards, Tom B.
>>>>>> 
>>>>>> 
>>>>>> 
>>>>>> 
>>>>>> 
>>>>>> -----Original  Message-----
>>>>>> From:   CWMHTours at aol.com
>>>>>> Sent: Monday, January 23, 2012   9:28  PM
>>>>>> To:  gettysburg at arthes.com
>>>>>> Subject: Re:  GDG-   Inevitable defeat
>>>>>> 
>>>>>> Esteemed  GDG  Member  Contributes:
>>>>>> Dave,
>>>>>> 
>>>>>> Respectfully  Sir,
>>>>>> 
>>>>>> I think  we   disagree,  sir.
>>>>>> 
>>>>>> Where is  it  written that Lee disagreed  with Jackson about
>> destroying
>>>>>> infrastructure in the North? I  think  Lee was  just about as  
>>> aggressive  as
>>>>>> Jackson was in   bringing the war to your  opponent. for  example, 
>>> Antietam,
>>>>> 
>>>>>> Gtysbg,
>>>>>> &  Monocacy.
>>>>>> 
>>>>>> I am not   dispersing  you personally. I just see  Lee & Jackson as  
>>> being a
>>>>>> balanced    combination.
>>>>>> 
>>>>>> By the time of  2nd Man Lee   could see the Hammer and the   Anvil.
>>>>>> 
>>>>>> The  Hammer  was  Jackson.
>>>>>> 
>>>>>> The Anvil  was the  wonderful  James Peter  Longstreet, the Old   
>>> Warhorse.
>>>>>> 
>>>>>> Also,  just curious, I   don't  recall reference to Lee being  
> concerned
>>>>> about
>>>>>> destroying   the RR bridge  over the Susq. R.  being a big concern of 
> 
>>> his.
>>>>> And
>>>>>> in fact, if  you  think  about it, the damn thing IS still made of    
> big
>>>>>> granite blocks. Now just how  are you going  to knock  the darn  
> thing 
>>> over
>>>>>> without a
>>>>>> whole lot  of  valuable time  and  trouble?
>>>>>> 
>>>>>> Lee's 3  raids up north where just that.  Raids.  Move overwhelming   
>>> forces
>>>>>> up north and attack piecemeal  in    overwhelming force.
>>>>>> 
>>>>>> The purpose of going  north for Lee was   to  de-stabilizing the 
> North.
>>>>>> Everything else was  a subset.
>>>>>> 
>>>>>> A Loyal    Neo-Anti Unionist,
>>>>>> Peter
>>>>>> 
>>>>>> 
>>>>>> 
>>>>>> 
>>>>>> 
>>>>>> 
>>> 
>> 
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