GDG- Lee & Harrisburg

CWMHTours at aol.com CWMHTours at aol.com
Tue Jan 24 18:31:53 CST 2012


George!
 
There's still dirt down here! 
 
I have to get it out!
 
I have to.
 
I am making proigress,  I can't stop now. 
 
I just have to keep digging deeper and then everything will be  OK
 
A  Loyal Neo-Anti Unionist,
Peter  

 
In a message dated 1/24/2012 7:26:29 P.M. Eastern Standard Time,  
georgeconnell at mac.com writes:

Esteemed  GDG Member Contributes:
Peter,

You start off OK, but before you know  you're back in that hole again, 
digging, digging, and digging. Put down the  shovel and accept that Lee hoped to 
have at least two of his corps east of the  Susquehanna. He said so! We 
don't know for how long or what would come next,  but's a fact.

Regards,

George
26ª11'56"N    81ª48'19W"

On Jan 24, 2012, at 7:08 PM, CWMHTours at aol.com  wrote:

> Esteemed GDG Member Contributes:
> Well,  George-
> 
> As usual with your excellent refutation you blast my  little  battleship 
out 
> of the water  (Oh the  humanity!).
> 
> I CAN see Lee sending over a div and cav across  the Susq  R.  It's 
> completely plausible.
> 
>  But I can't see Lee sittin down W of the Rap R sin June ending  
>  correspondence with Ol' Jeff going "Gee I'd really like to capture   
Harrisburg".
> 
> I can't see him being fixated on it.
>  
> Some people in the GDG play the board game of Risk.  When   you advance 
to 
> take a "country" on the board you lose peices.   There is an  attrition 
level 
> associated with any advancement  going on.  Then you may  just have to 
have a 
> battle to get  into your goal.  So you lose more  pieces.  Then your 
enemy  
> counter-attacks and you have a big battle and then  you lose  more 
pieces.  
> And if you don't have enough pieces after  that  battle you lose the 
whole 
> thing and there goes your  advance and all the pieces  you invested in 
the 
> assault.   Look at the Mule Shoe at Spotsylvania.   An issue of 
overwhelming  force 
> and neither side had it so they chewed each other  up.  
> 
> Do you play the game?  It is fabulous and if I ran  West  Point or some 
> other miltary academy I would  require   the  cadets to play the game all 
four 
>  years.  It is so instructive.
> 
> I don't think Lee was  sitting around itching to get  Hrsbg.  I see the 
Old 
>  Gambler as moving N to get the devastation out of the  S and maybe have  
an 
> advantageous battle with the AoP.  Two maxims of   battle:  overwhelming 
force 
> and balance.
> 
> By  threatening Harrisburg Lee would have the initiative and   advantage. 
 He 
> could knock the N off balance by threatening  the  town.  As the Great 
Poker 
> Player Lee's best asset was  his focus on  manueverablity.
> 
> What happens when that  manueverability goes away?  That's  his best card.
> 
>  Picture the whole ANV in Hrsbg.  Half of his army is  either   drunk in 
the 
> saloons or lost in the brothels of town, which  with  the location of 
Camp 
> Curtain  there must have had  a  bustling business.  The AoP occupations 
of 
> Frederick MD  render interesting  witness to that.  Coddington goes into 
the  
> problem a bit.
> 
> And let's say Lee does take Hrsbg-  and clearly that could have  been 
done 
> in June easily then the  AoP comes up and renders siege. THEN other  
forces 
> are brought  in from around the country.  Part of Rosecrans's army  could 
have  
> been sent by rail in a few days.  There were 30k men in DC  and  5k in 
Balt.  
> Throw those in and Lee would be  surrounded, cut off from  forage, and 
ammo 
> would be running  low.
> 
> And for what?   Harrisburg?
> 
>  It was a RR town and junction.  Miltary value.  A  supply  base.  
Military 
> value.  I think the Penn Central 4-track  stone  arch bridge, N of town, 
was 
> built by then.  Camp  Curtain- a military  target.
> 
> But risk losing your army-  ONLY army of the Conf in the east  protecting 
> Richmond?
>  
> Lee's supply lines were to the Cumberland.  If he takes   his whole army 
> across that massive river he's screwed.  
>  
> I can see him telling Ewell to send in a Div or 2 to  take the  town...
> 
> He wanted to scare the beejeezus out of Andrew  Curtian,  Darius Couch, 
> Stanton and Lincoln.  He wanted to  get the AoP out in the  open and 
destroy it 
> "The enemy is there  and we shall attack".
> 
> I think he would have bordered the  town, scared the Yanks out  and sent 
in 
> enough troops to destroy  anything of military value and maybe  collect a 
> ransom.   But,  think about it George, his army starts falling apart in 
town and  
> eventually he is going to be  surrounded by the Yanks with no  way to 
cross 
> the Susq R and get back to the  Cumberland.
>  
> I'd like to see a good argument or position put forth that  lays  the 
risk 
> of Lee capturing the town versus being trapped and  surrounded in a  
Northern 
> city with no communications to the  South.
> 
> Can you give an argument or case stating how risking  the  destruction of 
> his army was worth the occupation of some  little dinky capital  city 
with mud 
> streets full of  yokels?
> 
> Like playing the game of Risk there is a cost to  every  movement.  
> 
> FOOTNOTE:  The RR bridge  over the Susq R is just massive  as all hell  ( 
> Sorry  Margaret  ;-{)).  4 tracks.  I think it  was in place  pre-Civil 
War.  
> RE: the destruction of masonry bridges it  is  very difficult.  Read 
Walker's 
> efforts to destroy the  C&O viaduct over  the Monocacy pre-Antietam.  
I've 
> been  on it a 1000 times and can see  why.  I have sat-mapped the bridge 
a  
> number of times tracing the RR lines  being a train nut.   It's worth a 
look.
> 
> FOOTNOTE:  I still think Jeff Davis  had flies in  his eyes.
> 
> George-  do you like my new  sign-off?
> 
> A  Loyal Neo-Anti Unionist,
>  Peter  
> 
> 
> In a message dated 1/24/2012 5:11:19  P.M. Eastern Standard Time,  
> georgeconnell at mac.com  writes:
> 
> 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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