Aldie-Host - Hello To All!
Aldie-Host - For more than one hundred years, America has been told a story of the battle of Gettysburg that has been widely accepted and virtually believed. We've all heard how the Army of Northern Virginia had arranged to have Lieutenant General James Longstreet's 1st Army Corps attack the Federal Left Flank at dawn on 2 July 1863, and we've heard that Longstreet was too slow and stubborn to carry those orders out. But what really did occur with the Army of Northern Virginia's concentration in and about Gettysburg, Pennsylvania in July 1863? And how did the string of events during this one twenty four hour period cause the Confederacy to come within a breath of complete and total victory to losing all hope of a successful northern invasion of Pennsylvania before the sun set that evening?
Aldie-Host - As late as 7:00 pm the evening of the 1st of July, Lieutenant Generals Longstreet and A.P. Hill had been with General Lee discussing options for the army the following the day. Both Longstreet and Hill were advocate to not allowing an all out concentration of the army at Gettysburg for both of them felt they knew not what lay beyond the town of Gettysburg. General Lee was undecided as to what he his plan for the attack the following day would be but seemed not of the mind to withdraw from the ground the were presently occupying.
Vickie - oh great Aldie Gettysburg my favorite subject
Aldie-Host - Throughout the night, the divisions of Lieutenant General Richard Ewell begin arriving on the field. As Ewell had pushed the Federals through the town earlier that day, he had taken up a line east of town and surrounding the ground of Culp's Hill. General Early had urged him to take Culp's Hill that evening, but his manpower was not sufficient to do. It wasn't until much later that Major General Edward Johnson's division arrived and was placed around the hill with preparatory orders to assault at first light.
Aldie-Host - Ewell already had a division on the field at Gettysburg. His division actually drove in the Union 11th Corps and back through town. However, Ewell did not want to waste his manpower strength on Culp's Hill because he had been roughly handled earlier in the day. Who's division was this?
Aldie-Host - Anybody want to tell me who Richard Ewell opened the Battle of Gettysburg with?
Aldie-Host - Ahh...Who is Robert Rodes for $500, Alex?
Aldie-Host - Major General John Bell Hood was a division commander under Longstreet and Jubal Early was one of Richard Ewell's division commanders, however was the second division coming onto the field that day.
Henry-Moderator - It was Rodes?
Aldie-Host - Major General Robert Rodes opened the battle for the 2nd Army Corps.
Aldie-Host - General Ewell had backed off from attacking Culp's Hill at all that night. His subordinates knew that with the first light the opportunity to take it would be gone and the Confederates spent the night listening to the various army corps not only approaching their positions on Culp's Hill and Cemetery Hill, but they heard them digging in for a brutal fight.
Aldie-Host - Major General Oliver O. Howard had made the defensive preparations on Cemetery Hill and although when Major General Winfield Hancock arrived with orders to take overall command of the field by General Meade, Howard would not recognize the authority and ignored it, until Major General Slocum arrived with the 12th Army Corps. At this point both Major General Howard and Winfield Hancock turned command of the field over to Slocum, the senior ranking Major General.
Aldie-Host - That's kinda funny actually. Howard was upset with the way his Corps was treated for Chancellorsville that he had a sense of redeeming himself here at Gettysburg. And....the 11th Army Corps did quite a nice job at doing that here.
Scarlet - That was not an inteeligent choice, I wouldnt' think aldie!
BaylorDan - Was Howard ever called on the carpet for refusing the order?
Elly-Moderator - Aldie, was Buford around for the whole 3 days at Gettysburg? We don't hear much about him after day one.
Aldie-Host - There was a battle of words utilizing the media for years after the battle between he and Hancock, yes. The issue was never resolved between these two major generals.
BaylorDan - But, did General Meade have words for Howard for disobeying his order?
Aldie-Host - Buford was responsible for drawing in Robert E. Lee's army. As a Cavalry Commander, he did an outstanding job of it too! Since the Army of the Potomac had no clue what Robert E. Lee was doing with JEB Stuart, they were afraid to commit their cavalry anywhere as well. After the first day he was dispatched to Westminster, Maryland to guard the supply trains.
Aldie-Host - Howard got to Meade first, almost like a child would to his father. Meeting him at the Gate House on Cemetery Hill and generally going through dialogue with him such as: "General, did you see how I've placed these troops? What do you think of my artillery dispositions? I believe this to be very good ground sir, my corps did well today."
Aldie-Host - He was seeking fatherly approval from the commanding general. You must keep in mind that Oliver Howard was seriously hurt over what occurred with the 11th Corps at Chancellorsville.
Scarlet - LOL, that is a good analogy Aldie, I have often thought the actions of many of the so called leaders during the war were childesh!
Aldie-Host - About 4:00 am on the 2nd of July, Robert E. Lee summonsed his engineer, Captain Johnson to go out and reconnoiter the Union left flank. He took along with him Major John L. Clarke of General Longstreet's staff.
Aldie-Host - They had probably taken the road leading south along Willoughby Run, crossed back over near Pitzer's Schoolhouse and ascended the west side of the Seminary Ridge opposite the Peach Orchard. He reports not seeing any federal troops at this time, however, even at this time, there should have been many. When these two rode south and then swung east towards the Round Tops, riding all the way up Little Round Top, even there they saw nothing of the enemy.
Aldie-Host - If nothing had been seen, maybe this is understandable, but the 2nd Army Corps had been utilizing the Taneytown Road all night long. This road only sits a quarter mile behind Little Round Top. Certainly they must have heard the movement of troops! The only report of Federal sighting on this part of the field to Robert E. Lee's Headquarters that morning was four cavalrymen riding north up the Emmitsburg Road. This was spotted on Captain Johnson's return trip back to Seminary Ridge. According to Johnson and Clarke, the reconnaissance took about three hours. It's now 7:00 am.
ks-Moderator - Have any info noting the weather at that time, Aldie? Curious as to whether the weather could have been a factor. Whether the weather??
Scarlet - Aldie, I have often wondered ohow all those troops and supplies could move so silently, there are several times taht one army never detected the other till too late!
Xan - Aldie, not to interrupt, but you said earlier that the AoP did not know what the ANV was doing. "Secret War for the Union" indicates otherwise. Maybe I misread, if so my apologies and I will shut up.
Aldie-Host - I believe I was discussing the non use of Federal Cavalry in a combat situation Xan. Which would have been wise on Meade's part. Robert E. Lee had no idea where Stuart was, and the Army of the Potomac was scratching their head wondering why this reknown Confederate General would launch a northern invasion without his cavalry screening it.
Aldie-Host - Everyone Federal and Confederate were confused about the cavalry situation.
Aldie-Host - Longstreet wanted to hang JEB Stuart. His orders were to guard Longstreet's right flank while he was marching down the valley towards Maryland. He was being trying to redeem his hurt ego from getting knocked about at Brandy Station however.
Aldie-Host - Stuart was busy trying to redeem himself...that should read.
Aldie-Host - Can anyone name some of the generals that launched the Longstreet conspiracy about his attacking at dawn on the Second Day?
BaylorDan - Jubal Early.
Xan - Aldie, I forget who was first but it was a pack of hounds after Longsteet as soon as Lee died. Between the need for a scapegoat and Ol' Pete turning Republican....
Aldie-Host - That's one! And probably the chief instigator!!
Aldie-Host - Yes, it was conceived to save the military reputation of General Robert E. Lee.
Xan - Aldie, everything Stuart did was with Lee's authorization. Or so Lamar says. It was all a symptom of Lee going with the "best-case" scenario for everything on the whole GB campaign.
Aldie-Host - The conspiracy was launched around the year 1886 or 87. It may have been a few years earlier...but the chiefs happened to be: Jubal Early, Fitzhugh Lee, and William Pendleton.
newyawk - Aldie JEB Stuart was not trying to redeem himself.
Aldie-Host - When you are in charge of an invasion force, you do NOT issue discretionary orders to go riding around the country side.
Aldie-Host - Bad choice of words. He'd never gotten hurt by the Federal Cavalry before and set out on his 1862 Peninsula Campaign exploits.
Xan - Aldie, that's what I'm saying! That is EXACTLY what Lee did with Stuart! The fatal flaw was he just never imagined the AoP could get up and move as fast as it did.
newyawk - Stuart did not take a joyride. He was blocked by the II corps so he had to ride around parts of the AoP in order to avoid being cut off from the ANV.
Aldie-Host - During an invasion -- That's a No-No!
Paladin - additionally,Lee had other cavalry available.....
Aldie-Host - General Longstreet had been with General Lee at his headquarters since 5:15 am. It was about 7:30 or 8:00 am when the first of his divisions began arriving on the field from their long march down the Cashtown (Chambersburg) Road. When Lafayette McLaws arrived it was only but a short time before General Lee had called him over to converse with General Longstreet and himself.
Aldie-Host - Lee had John Imboden available. Did he use him, Paladin?
newyawk - Aldie it was completely Lee's fault that he did not have Stuart at Gettysburg. He gave orders telling Stuart to screen the ANV and if Stuart thought it fine to get supplies. The 150 or so wagons that Stuart got didn't hold his cav. up that much. What held him up was the AoP moving so quickly to get in between Stuart and the ANV. In order for Stuart to not be blocked by the AoP he basically had to ride around elements of the AoP in Hanover. He finally reached York and received word that the ANV was in Gettysburg.
Xan - Oh well, back to the important part of the story.....the 11th Corps and the fight at the Almshouse. We shall now discuss the term "cannon fodder".......
newyawk - Lee had William "Grumble" Jones and John Imboden within a days ride of Gettysburg. He had Albert Jenkins at Gettysburg. Lee had three brigades of cavalry at his use, but did not use them for reasons only known to him, probably stubborness.
Xan - NewYawk, the explanation I find most plausible for that is that Imboden and Jones had never functioned as anything but "corps" cavalry. The idea that they should serve the whole ANV was foreign to them.
Aldie-Host - Hmm...that's an angle I never considered.
Aldie-Host - General Lee had been seated on a log looking over a map, while General Longstreet appeared to be in a very agitated mood. When McLaws arrived, he was simply pacing back and forth impatiently. Lee had been looking at the Wheatfield and area along the Emmitsburg Road known as the Peach Orchard. He wanted to know if McLaws was able to place his division along the road in that vicinity?
Vickie - but at the time wouldnt any calvery been better than none to use?
newyawk - However Xan if Lee was in need of cavalry(as he was) he could have used all the three brigades. However he didn't need all three brigades. Jenkins brigade would have been enough to scout the routes, but Lee did not want to use them, because he thought that they wouldn't get the job done properly.
Xan - Agreed, NewYawk. Lee was just a couple bubbles off plumb during this whole campaign. Which is better, a job done poorly or one not done at all?
Saber - I agree with you newyawk but if that is the case why did Lee not designate to Stuart what brigade he should leave behind?
Scarlet - I my opinion, Lee, was not all together there at Gettysburg!
Aldie-Host - McLaws didn't seem to think anything could prevent him from doing this, but he asked to take a party out and take a look at the spot himself. Lee told him that Captain Johnson of his staff had already reconnoitered. McLaws misunderstood thinking that Johnson was NOW ready to go out there, asked if he could join Captain Johnson.
Aldie-Host - I agree with Scarlet. Lee was not feeling his normal self at Gettysburg.
Aldie-Host - 1,001 Excuses why JEB Stuart was absent from Gettysburg.
Coy - Lee wasn't feeling himself because he faced Meade...
Scarlet - LOL, and we will never ever know the truth of that reason Aldie!
Saber - Even Lee's plan to get the infantry into PA. was messed up by Ewell at Winchester.
Xan - Ah, the Great Mystery of GB! How could Johnston have possibly have gone where he said he did, and not see what he said he didn't see?
Aldie-Host - I agree with Longstreet. If hanging him wasn't good enough, use the rope to tie him to the back of his horse and fire a shot into the air.
Aldie-Host - Good Point Xan, we'll never know.
Xan - IMHO, Lee's whole life and war was based on a belief that "Providence" would decide the outcome. He launched the GB incursion based on that belief.
Aldie-Host - General Longstreet stopped his pacing, turned to McLaws and said: "No, sir. I do not wish you to leave your division." Longstreet pointed to a spot on the map and told McLaws, "I wish your division placed so." Lee interrupted, "No, I wish it placed just the opposite."
Aldie-Host - Once the matter was settled, McLaws asked again, if he may accompany Captain Johnson on his reconnaissance. The second response, Longstreet absolutely forbade it. Looking at the two senior officers, McLaws felt Lee had nothing more to say, and Longstreet was too agitated to even talk to, so returned to his division now filing off the road.
Saber - Xan, there were a few other reasons and good ones, IMHO, why Lee decided on Pa.
newyawk - Aldie can you cite something for Lee saying that to McLaws? That was not the way that Lee acted with his subordinates.
Aldie-Host - Who can tell me what Robert E. Lee's true objective was for his Pennsylvania Invasion?
Xan - Saber, none of the other reasons seem to me to add up to much. And once he decided to go, why do it in such a haphazard manner?Taking so much for granted? Etc.
Scarlet - Good question Aldie, he had an objective? To kill off all his men at Pickett's Cahrge!?
Henry-Moderator - Shoes? I thought he first wanted to take a defensive until his troops were formed and ready.
Xan - ...ahem...squeeze into a post. Lee really set out figuring that if the Lord wanted him to win he would, and if not, not. Thus his inattention to details.
Saber - Aldie I believe it was two fold. First, to take the war out of Va. and reswuplly in Adams County and secondly to try and relieve pressure on Pemberton and Johnston.
Aldie-Host - That conversation was based on Lafyette McLaws' recollections after the war.
Aldie-Host - All of that is good and correct, by the way. I was thinking more simplistic I reckon. It's obvious that Lee was sucked into Gettysburg. Where did he really want to take his army?
Scarlet - Saber and Aldie, was lee trying to remove the Union forces from their wholsale living off the land policy that had been instituted
Coy - I agree with Saber....
Aldie-Host - McLaws wrote that he posted his division under some trees a short distance away. These trees must have been located along Herr Ridge about one and a half miles distant, because it was here that McLaws division spent the NEXT FEW HOURS.
Saber - The anthracite coal mines Aldie. Where else?
Xan - I heard an interesting theory one time that Lee's actual objective was Horseshoe Bend, where he could cut the entire E-W Union railroad system.
Coy - He also needed Virginia to be able to plant and harvest some crops....unfortunately he wasn't in PA long enough.
Henry-Moderator - Saber, Good point sir!
Saber - The anthrcite coal mines Aldie. where else?
Aldie-Host - Could that not have been a secondary purpose?
Xan - Saber, I keep telling you, you gotta make the drive from Allentown PA up to where those anthracite mines were. There were NO roads, that's why they built small-gague railroads and the Lehigh Canal.
Elly-Moderator - Aldie, he wanted the state government at Harrisburg?
Aldie-Host - He was marching on Harrisburg, and had the battle at Gettysburg held off just one more day, Richard Ewell would have captured the capitol of Pennsylvania. He had Harrisburg in his sight when the order came to him to march to Gettysburg at once.
Scarlet - Aldie was he trying to get the Union troops away from Richmond?
Xan - Elly, geez, if he wanted the governor of PA he coulda just asked! I would have handed Ridge over in a heartbeat. Oops, wrong governor. Never mind.
Coy - Shoulda gave 'em Harrisburg.... :)
Saber - Aldie, how was Ewell going to get across the river?
Aldie-Host - He wished to give the Virginia Farmers time to harvest their own provenda without warfare destroying it all, and if successful on northern soil, may or may not have relieved pressure on Vicksburg, Mississippi.
Aldie-Host - I personally feel that if going into Pennsylvania was going to relieve pressure on Vicksburg, he should have marched for it on May 6th.
Scarlet - Aldi, wouldnt' the Union trops have tried to take all they could from the local farmers?
Elly-Moderator - Why May 6th Aldie?
Aldie-Host - General Lee spent most of the early hours with Generals Longstreet and Hill, and must have known about the posting of their separate divisions. But by his actions it certainly was not this way with General Ewell.
Elly-Moderator - Xan, LOL
Saber - Even if Lee had taken Harrisburg or anything else in Pa. How was he going to keep it. IMHO the G'burg Campaign was a raid and Lee knew it. He needed to buy time for the crops in Va.
newyawk - Scarlet they did take what they wanted, however they payed for it in Confederate script
Coy - If he wanted to relieve pressure on Vicksburg he should've marched toward Vicksburg...or at least have Joe Johnston marched towards Vicksburg. IMHO
Scarlet - Gee that was a fair trade, NOT! LOL
Aldie-Host - May 6th: The Chancellorsville Campaign was winding down, and two months prior to Vicksburg's fall would have given the Confederates more options for a defense down there. I really don't feel a Pennsylvania Invasion in July would have been timely in drawing troops off of that front.
Saber - You have a point Xan. Bush doesn't want him either.
Elly-Moderator - That DOES make sense Aldie. I understand that.
Aldie-Host - About 9:00 am, this is the hour between 8 and 10:00 am, now, he began wondering about Major Venable's whereabouts as that he had sent him over to General Ewell's headquarters about Culp's Hill some time ago and he hadn't returned yet. General Lee mounts and rides through town and over to Culp's Hill to find Venable himself.
Xan - Aldie, let us remember that there was no way to know on May 6 what was going to be needed half a continent away a month later!
newyawk - Lee should have sent Longstreet to Vicksburg. Then Grant would have faced swamps, Vicksburg, and Longstreet all at the same time.IMHO
Aldie-Host - I was going to say that, Xan. We have been blessed with 20/20 hind sight. They were not.
Scarlet - Well if that had happened newawk, maybe someone might have won, Lee certainly wasn' t disposed to listening to wisdom from Longstreet at gettysburg!
Saber - Aldie, don't forget the political. If Lee had won a victory in Pa. the Union's paranoia with protecting Washington would have drawn troops. No victory, no troops.
Aldie-Host - But if he had, we'd all be whistling Dixie.
Xan - Oh, okay, sorry Aldie! Very hard to study any history and not spend half your time yelling at the participants "Don't go there! Don't you see what will happen?!?"
Aldie-Host - Alot of factors involved. Good Point, Saber.
Scarlet - Aldie, my other half just showed me some quotes dealing with Lee wanting to go to Pa long before this point, but Davis would not allow it!
John R - I knew i've joined late, have we discussed the changing of Lee's origional plan for Longstreet's attack or where Lee was around 4Pm on the second?
Aldie-Host - Davis was a goof. I really feel sorry, for the south because he had let them down on many occassions himself.
Aldie-Host - Another episode to listen to Longstreet on. GET RID OF BRAXTON BRAGG!!
Scarlet - LOL< yep, another situation of hind site Aldie!
Coy - Aldie, have to disagree with you analysis of Jeff. Davis....but that will be for another discussion.
Aldie-Host - It's been said that the South: Had the Military Commanders, but lacked the Politicians. The North: Had the Politicians but lacked the Military Commanders.
Coy - .....let alone the analysis of Bragg.....
Aldie-Host - It turns out that after meeting General Trimble at Ewell's empty headquarters, he learns that the Lieutenant General has taken Major Venable for a personal tour of his placements in and around Culp's Hill. It did not appear the Ewell was enthusiastic about attacking on this quarter, as was recalled by Venable many years later as well.
Saber - No discussion of the 2nd Day is complete without the assistance that Mr. Sickles gave Longstreet. I would like to know What Hancock "really" said when he was the 3rd. Corps marching out to the Emittsburg Pike.
John R - Looking back through the posts I see there hasn't been anything said about Lee's where-abouts on the second. I have Lee with Longstreet around 3:30 PM. I think Lee was the one who changed the attack plans and wound up watching the action fron the southeastern edge of Pitzer's woods. Any other opinions?
Aldie-Host - Instead, Lee listens to Ewell's effort not provide the main thrust on Culp's Hill and decides to use him as a diversionary attack in support of Longstreet on the Confederate Right.
Saber - That's for sure Coy. He must have been livid.
Aldie-Host - I humbly apologize for calling Mr. Davis a goof earlier. Coy had brought up some good points on his behalf in a private message, and I personally believe no one man can be entire devoid of competency or one hundred brilliant his entire life, save one, and He doesn't play into this portion of world history.
Xan - Culp's Hill would have been semi-worthless even if Early had managed to take it without horrendous losses. Like LRT, it's just too small to do much with.
Saber - That is about where I put him John R.
jj - Sadly talk of reinforcing Vicksburg or the Gettysburg Campaign fail to take note that by May 10th Grant was thoughly well established on the east side of the Mississippi River . While Lee was fighting his brillant Chancellorsville Campaign ..Grant crossed the River and had completed the isolation of Vicksburg garrison by May 13 th.
Aldie-Host - Lee with his staff officer, Major Venable returned to headquarters about 10:00 am. It was during this period that is widely debated as to what Lee's intentions for Longstreet were. Most of his staff officers knew that Lee wanted to attack early but have confirmed that it was not to be at sunrise as General Early, Pendleton, and others have gotten away with for many years. The historical record would invite an attack as early as practicable.
Xan - "As early as practicable" Augie, ALONG with "while not being observed by Union forces." Thus forcing on Longstreet the Countermarch.
jj - The suggestion that Lee should have reinforced Vicksburg instead of Invading Pennsylvania, can only be made by folks who ignore the logistics and the actual relevant time frames.
Saber - I agree with you Aldie that Lee expected and ordered Longstreet to attack at dawn is a misconception perpatrated by Early and his crowd after the war.
Aldie-Host - Xan: I'll be getting to the march and counter march soon.
Xan - Right on, JJ! "Amateurs study tactics, professionals study logistics." Or so I have been told.
Aldie-Host - Where does that leave me?
Xan - Sorry Aldie, we were talking the Dawn Attack myth and I thought that was relevant. I will go sit in the corner now. :)
John R - As we all know Longstreet always took the heat for aspects of Gettysburg> But on the second day the two confederate generals IMHO who played a huge part in the attack ultimately not beinfg successful are Richard Anderson and his corps commander A.P. Hill.Their decisions in aligning their commands and their inabilty to communicate with were a big cause for the confederate failure
Aldie-Host - It's 10:00 am - 2 July 1863 and Longstreet's divisions aren't even entirely on the field, let alone on the right flank.
jj - interestingly I have always understood that Lee himself felt the untimely wounding of Pender was critical to the failure of the second day
John R - What I was trying to write was their inabilty to communicate with their brigades were a huge part of the confederate failure on the 2nd.
Aldie-Host - ok, John. Granted. Let's not forget either that 2 July happened to be the only day of the three days at Gettysburg where the entire Federal Front was under attack.
Saber - John R, I agree. Mahone always maintained that he had no orders to move forward. There was confusion something that Lee should have made sure did not occur. IMHO Wright's cresting the ridge was the best chance Lee had of splitting Meade.
Aldie-Host - Longstreet's statement to Hood about not liking to go into combat without Pickett, because it's like going in with one boot on. Seemed to obviously been made after Captain Johnson's return from the Federal Left. It's expected that it was made after Lee's return from Culp's Hill however. This would make sense, in that Longstreet's attack would be bringing on committed warfare at Gettysburg and his entire army corps had not yet concentrated on the field of battle.
Xan - Aldie, with the utmost possible respect, nobody for 135 years has been able to figure out the who-was-where-when of the CS command that day. I fear we are not going to do it tonight either.
John R - Saber, to expand on your post if I may. It has always troubled me tha Anderson had his division in a lousey tactical position. Unlike Longstreet who had a two brigade deep front, Anderson had his division spread out over to wide an area. With only a one brigade front and no support. Hill must have know of this alignment and must therefore share in the blame in the bad positioning. Why didn't Hill take it upon himself and slide to his right, compact his line for more fire power and support and attack in this manner. I don't see any reason why he couldn't have done this.
Aldie-Host - According to Longstreet, Lee returned from seeing General Ewell and announced that it wasn't prudent for Ewell to open the attack from the right and then informed Longstreet of his decision to attack from the Confederate Right. He placed this decision at 11:00 am that morning. And with all that it took to come to this conclusion, 11:00 am sounds like an appropriate hour for it actually to have been ordered.
Scarlet - John R maybe for the same reason that many of the leaders chose not to help each other, the word ego come s to mind!
Aldie-Host - Ewell....attacking from the left, pardon me.
Saber - John R, Anerson's Division was positioned by Hill that morning directly opposite Cemetery Hill. It is my understanding that Anderson was ordered to mvoe to his right spreading hi division out. Remember Longstreet's Corps was shifting to the right. If there was a huge gap easily visible to the Yanks they would have known something was up mucgh eariler than they did.
Aldie-Host - Xan: I'm not saying this is gospel...such and such happen right at this spot kinda thing. With the time factors involved in all this what is reported actually makes the best sense. Making the best sense is only finding information that is logically believable.
Bill NT - Evening Elly & all, I'm just sitting here trying to get a handle on the discussion
Scarlet - It has been a good one tonight BillNT
Xan - Aldie, I am not sure logic was entirely in control at GB. IMHO the reason it is so interesting is that we are in "truth is stranger than fiction" territory there.
Aldie-Host - For all these years, the South has been calling Longstreet a liar over his part in this battle and in reality, when he states 11:00 am, if you add all the other factors going on about the field...his divisions arrivals, Lee going over to Culp's Hill, returning....11:00 am makes sense as Longstreet has stated.
John R - Saber, That's my point I'm trying to make neither Hill nor Anderson changed to fit the tactical situation that confronted them around 5:30 when Andersons division finally
Scarlet - Xan does twilight zone music nee dto enter about now? LOL
Aldie-Host - Longstreet found himself about to launch a mass attack on the Federal Left minus his one boot. He had ordered Brigadier General Evander Law to march from his position at New Guilford, Pennsylvania some twenty miles away, the night before. Law had gotten his brigade of Alabamians on the line of march at 3:00 am and was known to be approaching the field. Longstreet asked General Lee to await his arrival, and Lee granted the request. It was just before Noon when Law arrived, and the march to the Federal Left did not begin long after this.
John R - off. Anderson's brigader's were calling for support as soo as they started driving back Humphrey'd s division. Unfortunately there was no support to come. I a larege part because of their bad alignment.
Aldie-Host - It's now 12:00 noon on 2 July 1863. How long is it going to take to move 25,000 men five miles to the right before sunrise seven hours ago?
Saber - John R, my understanding is that Anderson'
Aldie-Host - Amazingly enough, this movement of Longstreet's was never applied to paper in any form of a written order, at least none that have survived. It's simply told by the officers of Longstreet's Corps as certain portions of it had pertained to their own commands.
Jlc723 - Thank you. Had to step out for a moment.
Saber - John R, sorry. My understanding is that Anderson's Division was ordered to make make like they were Longstreeet's Corps. It would be hard from that spread to change alignment. But you are correct that Anderson and Hill must take some responsibility. It was happening right in front of their eyes.
Aldie-Host - The game plan was simple: Longstreet was to deploy on the left flank of the Federals and drive them inward. A.P. Hill was to tie down the Federals all along Cemetery Hill to prevent them from shifting support to the left. In the meantime, Richard Ewell was to bring the Federal Right on Culp's Hill to battle to prevent it from shifting support to the left as well. On 2 July 1863 the entire front of the Federal Army of the Potomac would be ablaze in combat. The entire front.
Aldie-Host - You're the first report we've had all night!
Aldie-Host - Who's President now?
John R - Aldie, I think I would beg to differ with you regarding Ewell. He was told by Lee to make a demonstration and convert it into a real att
Basecat - Aldie...Thing that has always bothered e...Why did Longstreet's preparations on the second have to be done in
 secrecy....Not like the Union forces did not know what was out there????
Aldie-Host - If it had been done in Pastel colors do you think he would have succeeded?
John R - Sorry got cut off again. As I was saying about Ewell that he was to turn his demonstration into a real attack if the opportunity arose. I think Ewell gets kind of a bum rap over-all for his part on the second. I truely feel he was lookinf for some tangible evidence that Longstreet was making headway before he committed to a "real" attack.
Basecat - Aldie....OK...then why was secrecy not used on the 3rd??? I don't buy it..and never will...Longstreet delayed as long as he could...
Aldie-Host - They knew the Confederates were concentrating on the north and west side of town. Early in the morning of July 2nd the Federal Left only went as far as maybe the Hummelbaugh farm. Not much further. They were not expecting the Confederates to pop up on the portion of the field.
Aldie-Host - Longstreet's divisions weren't even on the field in the area of the Cashtown Road at 9:00 am. They were still marching in from beyond the mountains basecat!
Xan - JohnR, have you ever walked Culp's Hill? I am not (for once) being rude, just don't know how familiar you are with walking the field there.
Basecat - I still don't buy it....and even if the plan was secrecy....was still observed....
Aldie-Host - If you were a Corps Commander, Basecat would you want to launch your corps against an army your uncertain of its strength knowing...KNOWING that one third of you're strength is fifteen miles OFF the battlefield?
John R - Xan, Yes fortunately I get to Gettysburg quite often.
Aldie-Host - I have Xan.
Xan - Ah, okay JohnR! I have been surprised many times to think I 'know' a battle from looking at maps, then go there and see the ground. Culp's Hill was one of those times.
Aldie-Host - Being completely uncertain of what you are attacking, would cause me to want everyone that falls under my command ready to march on those attack orders.
John R - Xan, I'm not quite sure I follow you. Are you talking about Ewell and his performance on the second?
Basecat - Aldie....But he had 2/3rds of his corps there...and had been told there was nothing but a phantom force on the Union left....Even you said Meade was ot expectig an attack on his left.....My whole point....he waited too long....
Aldie-Host - Basecat, I realize you got here late during the discussion. Are you familiar with the faulty reconnaissance that was made at 4:00 am that morning?
Xan - JohnR, both the First and the Second Days. Any attack on Culp's Hill from the east was going to be horrid. Remember the night of the 2nd? That was bad enough and half the trenches were empty.
Aldie-Host - The ANV did not know precisely how many federals were up there. And without that information it's suicide to go in on 2/3 strength.
Aldie-Host - However, (comma), Robert E. Lee did go into Gettysburg thinking his army could do anything he wanted them to do. I believe Longstreet knew better.
Basecat - Yes I am....but you mean that their was no recon after 4AM...I find that hard to believe....
Aldie-Host - Enlighten me, please. Who was out there past 4 to 7:00 am that morning?
John R - Xan, I agree waht you're saying. But are you referring to Ewell's attack? Is your opinion he should have moved sooner or that he had valid reasons in waiting to attack when he did and has as I believe been unfairly critisized about this?
Saber - Well, it was great to se you all. Please have a good night. I enjoyed the discussion. Great job Aldie. G'nite all and as a friend of mine would say, "keep you powder dry".c
mobile_96 - hello dameron and 11th
Xan - Hmm, JohnR, neither one really. I agree Ewell is unfairly criticized but that is because I think he was handed an impossible job. Culp's Hill, if defended, could not be taken. If taken it was not worth having.
Basecat - Aldie...There in lies the answer....Attack did not start until 12 hours after the last recon...Here Longstreet failed miserably...should have someone out there the whole time before the attack...
Aldie-Host - Who's responsibility was it to have staff officers out there Basecat? Longstreet or Lee?
Basecat - Aldie ....'ll go even one better...Longstreet gets killed...but Lee is the one who gets off easy
Aldie-Host - 2 July 1863 is a good study in how an army commander can lose command and control of his own forces. I'll continue next week with the flank march, it's counter march and coming online before the Federal Left Flank.
Basecat - Aldie...and Hill gets off easy as wel...I have the utmost respect
newyawk - Great job Aldie!! Very interesting!
Henry-Moderator - Aldie-Host, Great job sir and thank you!
Scarlet - Thanks Aldie, terrific job! Great response!
Basecat - Utmost respect for Pete...but IMHO... GB was his worst days as a General...and yet...the man almost won....Did not mean to turn this into me against you sir....great discussion though...
Aldie-Host - Thank you.
Xan - Amen, Aldie! Great job, I have never seen this bunch stay so on topic before. Damn fine work there!
Elly-Moderator - Aldie, thank you for a great chat tonight! We're all looking forward to the finale of this discussion next week.
Scarlet - Amen to Xan, this was a first in a long time for this group, lol, even the asides were funny! and in keeping with the topic, lol
Basecat - Aldie...LOL...Looking forward to it...
Aldie-Host - Time for me to depart folks. I've got Naval Reserves in the morning.
ks-Moderator - Night Aldie. Pleasant dreams to you.
Jlc723 - See you later Aldie.
Scarlet - LOL, now you tell us these things Aldie, anchors away! LOL
Aldie-Host - Has Left The Camp.