GDG- ISusquehanna River

CWMHTours at CWMHTours at
Tue Jan 24 19:42:57 CST 2012

Dammit George!
Another excellent contribution.
I hate that from you.
You are much better than me.
But I still don't think Lee would have put the whole ANV in  Harrisburg,  
just the minimum possible.
As a heretic to your P.O.V would you still not share a pale  ale with me?  
We'll get John Grim.  He knows good chili.
A  Loyal Neo-Anti Unionist,

In a message dated 1/24/2012 8:35:55 P.M. Eastern Standard Time,  
georgeconnell at writes:

Esteemed  GDG Member Contributes:

I don't understand why so many  esteemed members of this group want to 
assume that Lee would have sent as  small a force as possible across the 
Susquehanna and then pulled it back as  soon as possible.

If Lee intended to move Ewell's Corps and Hill's  Corps across the river 
(as he stated) it's a pretty safe bet he wasn't going  to leave Longstreet's 
on the other side of a water barrier. I think it's not  unreasonable to 
speculate that Lee, the most audacious commander of the war,  might have been 
willing to fight the AoP east of the Susquehanna. There are  some caveats, 
however. He would need all his cavalry with him; detailed  information on the 
locations of the various Union corps; and the confidence  that the AoP corps 
were exhausted, strung out by a rushed pursuit, and not in  position to 
provide meaningful support to one another.

Risky? You bet.  But Lee was never afraid of risk. History has a number of 
audacious commanders  burning their boats and telling troops "We win or we  


26ª11'56"N    81ª48'19W"

On Jan 24, 2012, at 7:20 PM, Margaret D. Blough  wrote:

> Esteemed GDG Member Contributes:
> Tom-The Second  Corps was just across the river from Harrisburg and 
prepared to move when Lee  called it back after learning that the AOP was on the 
move and already north  of the Mason-Dixon line. I think Lee was quite 
serious about Harrisburg. I  don't believe he meant to occupy it for any 
significant length of time, just  long enough to score a PR coup (Andrew Curtin of 
PA was one of the leaders of  the "War Governors" supporting the President) 
and do damage to the rail hub in  Harrisburg. 
> Regards, 
>  Margaret 
> ----- Original Message -----
> From: "Tom"  <bunco973 at> 
> To: "GDG"  <gettysburg at> 
> Sent: Tuesday, January 24, 2012 7:08:00  PM 
> Subject: Re: GDG- ISusquehanna River 
> Esteemed  GDG Member Contributes: 
> Sorry, more specifically , re: your below  posts on Harrisburg - the same 
> link - but the article " Our Whole  Force Was Directed ........... ". On 
> 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 
>  of some common sense, and being able to read maps, was using Harrisburg 
> way a matador uses a red cape. His real intent was to have the AOP  
> 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 
> of the Susquehanna until AFTER he'd sent the  AOP home with its tail 
> its legs. (Then he could move on to  Boston, Buffalo, Syracuse or 
> Of course, things  never got that far, but I think he would have "sacked" 
> Harrisburg,  wrecked the railroad, burned the warehouses, and waited for 
>  inevitable reaction- but waited on the West side of the river. 
> Regards, 
> TB 
> -----Original  Message----- 
> From: gettysburg-bounces at  
[mailto:gettysburg-bounces at] 
> 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 
> 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 
>  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 
> had  advanced to the Susquehanna and were not in the vicinity of York, 
> must be around Carlisle or Harrisburg." Lee's Lieutenants, Vol III,  p. 
> • 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 
> 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 
> LGB, in a lecture to the Gettysburg Licensed Battlefield Guide class,  
> Now that's ten citations from eight respected  sources; I have more but 
> 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 
> the Susquehanna)--and he was taking a lot of infantry with  him. 
> Regards, 
> George 
>  26ª11'56"N 81ª48'19W" 
----------------  -to unsubscribe 
>  for Archives 
----------------  -to unsubscribe
> for  Archives

  -to unsubscribe for  Archives

More information about the Gettysburg mailing list