lAST UPDATED 9/8/95
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From: email@example.com (Benedict R Maryniak)
Subject: Greene & Chamberlain #1
They saved the day on July 2, 1863! On the right, it was Greene's brigade atop Culp's Hill; on the left, it was Chamberlain's 20th Maine on the southern spur of Little Round Top. Bruce Catton said it was a day that needed a lot of saving. Gettysburg, he went on, is almost infinitely interesting because there were constant possible turning points. But wait a minute. Hollywood's been good to Joshua Lawrence Chamberlain. Vincent has his portrait statue (though it had to be snuk by the prohibitive rulings of the monuments committee, rationalized as part of the 83rd PA's monument) where he made a difference. Vincent, then Weed, indeed confounded Confederate attempts to seize Little Round Top, but, even as their "nick of time" actions took place, the V and XII Corps were moving to back them up. Even if Oates held on to his "real high water mark," he was running on empty and had no supports. Let me read from the magic book.
"He heard Vincent say, 'Colonel?'
'Yes.' Chamberlain was busy.
Vincent said, 'You are the extreme left of the Union line. Do you understand that?'"
And further on in the magic book.
"The enormity of it, the weight of the line, was a mass too great to express. But he could see it as clearly as in a broad wide vision, a Biblical dream: If the line broke here, then the hill was gone, all these boys from Pennsylvania, New York, hit from behind, above. Good God! He could see troops running; he could see the blue flood, the bloody tide."It's thrilling reading and I still recommend Killer Angels as the book that will determine your potential as a Civil War addict BUT there were a whole lot of colonels and regiments at Gettysburg.
I gotta say something for George.
Greene's brigade arrived on the battlefield around 4 in the afternoon on July 1 with the nine thousand men of the XII Corps. Bivouacking at Power's Hill that night, Greene's regiments deployed on Culp's Hill, at approximately 6:30 the next morning. The bloodied First Corps division of Genl James S Wadsworth had been there since the previous evening. Both Geary's division and the division under Genl Thomas H Ruger were in line on Culp's Hill by noon. The entire line of the XII Corps lay in thick woods that covered both summits of Culp's Hill and its slopes, the timber extending down to Rock Creek and up the opposite hills. By noon, breastworks had been thrown up all along the XII Corps line. Greene's left rested on the higher of the Culp's Hill summits and it wasn't long before artillerymen perched a few guns nearby. Three 10-pounder Parrott rifles from Knap's Independent Pennsylvania Battery were soon being wrestled up the hill supervised by Lieutenant Edward R Geary. Greene certainly must have cussed his luck at having to keep track of five regiments plus his own boy Charlie and Genl Geary's son. Nearly twelve thousand Yankees were in position on and around Culp's Hill. A mile northeast, about four thousand Confederate troops of Genl Edward Johnson's division waited along the north side of Hanover Road. Johnson had arrived on the field during the evening of July 1 and gone into position on the extreme left of the Army of Northern Virginia. He reportedly said his division had just finished a forced march and the men, broken down, were in no condition to press the routed Yankees that night. Whatever contributed to the decision, Lieutenant General Richard Stoddert Ewell chose to hold up further movement by his corps until daylight July 2.
About 4 pm on July 2, a group of sixteen Confederate artillery pieces commenced to shell Culp's Hill and East Cemetery Hill directed by the "Boy Major," Joseph W Latimer. It was part of a plan that went wrong. Longstreet's corps was already moving against the Union left, and the Union right was to be assailed by three divisions - Johnson to Culp's Hill and those of Early & Rodes to Cemetery Hill. Ominously, Latimer's guns were blown off of Benner's Hill by Federal artillery and he was mortally wounded. It was around this time that Johnson's attack stepped off with three of his four brigades. The Stonewall Brigade remained behind to block the Hanover Road and thereby guard the left flank and rear of Lee's army. Colonel Jesse Williams led 1100 men in five Louisiana regiments, the six Virginia regiments in Genl John M Jones' brigade reported a strength of 1500, and Genl George Hume Steuart led the 1st Maryland Battalion, two North Carolina regiments, and three Virginia units which amounted to another 2000 attackers. Their advance was largely hidden from Yankee eyes, screened by rises and woods.
Though the planned Rebel assaults upon Cemetery Hill proved to be fragmented in execution and hotly resisted by the Federals, Johnson did get one break. Just as his three brigades moved to the assault on Culp's Hill, all but Greene's brigade of the XII Corps filed out of their positions and went to help Dan Sickles. Ignoring Wadsworth's north-facing line because it sat atop the steepest slope, and not perceiving the empty works to Greene's right, Johnson's 4500 ran head-on into Greene's "1240 muskets and 70 swords." A number of accounts held that four separate attacks were made during the next hour, before the Johnnies discovered the abandoned US right.
Once Johnson's attack came, Greene's greatest accomplishment was actually his success in keeping his 1200 men in hand while attacked by three times their number. Ordered to "stretch right" and fill the empty works, a few companies of the 137th NYV had barely done so when they were struck by enemy fire from three sides. The Confederates had finally discovered Greene's unguarded right flank. The 137th NY repositioned so as to meet the Rebel flank attacks, and they were reinforced by units sent by Wadsworth - the 6th Wisconsin, 82nd NYV, and 147th NYV. The fighting was brief but vicious -- the 147th reported each member fired 200 rounds. Frontal assaults continued upon Greene, as well, and his ammunition would have been expended had there not been other regiments that came up and defended his works -- the 82nd Illinois, 61st Ohio, 45th NYV, and 157th NYV of the XI Corps. The 71st Pennsylvania also reached the fighting on Greene's right but withdrew almost as they arrived.
Greene could not fill the gap left by two divisions and this left the army's Baltimore Pike supply line wide open to the Rebels. Darkness made it impossible for Johnson's men to continue their drive, and, ironically, a few regimental commanders had slowed their advance because it seemed like a trick due to the lack of resistance. It was too easy. Dawn revealed the Confederates were facing a reinforced Greene and the returned XII Corps. Like Grant at Shiloh, Greene had weathered the worst of the storm without losing his ability to react if conditions improved.
George was old. The oldest field commander in the Army of the Potomac At Gettysburg, Greene was 61 when he accepted the colonelcy of the 60th NYV on 1-18-62. Most descriptions of Greene makr mention of his sons. Lieutenant Samuel Dana Greene, a graduate of the US Naval Academy, was assigned to the ironclad Monitor for her brief career. Charles Thurston Greene joined the 22nd NY State Militia in 1862 and served as a first lieutenant in the 60th NYV at Gettysburg. Francis Vinton Greene was too young for soldiering during the Civil War; he graduated from West Point during 1870. In "New York At Gettysburg," Greene's profile aptly concludes that his "puritan ancestors' sturdy qualities of brain and body were evidently transmitted to the General." He graduated from West Point during 1823, ranked second of 35 classmates in general achievement. Commissioned in the Third US Artillery, he spent the next 13 years as a West Point instructor in the areas of mathematics and engineering. Teacher Greene soon became known to cadets for the character traits later displayed by General Greene. A taskmaster who saw discipline as the key to proficiency, he was ruled by a rigorous internal sense of justice and was not one to let things slip by. Greene was said to exhibit a "harsh manner," a "poker face," and, when angry, could hurl oaths through a 5" board.
At 35, Greene resigned his commission to pursue a career in civil engineering and was employed by a number of railroads. He took a position with New York City's Water Department during 1856 and probably would have remained in that comfortable niche had it not been for the war. He was building the Croton Reservoir in NY City's Central Park when he reentered the army as Colonel of the 60th NYV. He was assigned to Nathaniel Banks' command during April and in command of a brigade in the Army of the Shenandoah by May 27 following a laudable performance at Winchester. After leading a brigade at Cedar Mountain and a division at Antietam, 9-18-62 found Genl Greene in command of the 3rd brigade, 2nd division, in the Army of the Potomac's XII Corps. Comprised of five New York regiments -- the 60th, 78th, 102nd, 137th, & 149th Volunteers -- he would lead this brigade to war's end.
Transferred to the Army of the Cumberland during September of 1863, Greene's brigade took part in the night battle at Wauhatchie where he was shot in the face. Surviving "difficult surgery" during May of '64, he recovered while serving on court-martial duty in Washington. He returned to the field as Sherman moved through the Carolinas, commanding a XIV Corps brigade until June 1865. Still bothered by his jaw, he served on more courts-martial and resigned 4-30-66.
Regardless of his injury and age, Greene went back to work in NY City. In addition to a number of engineering accomplishments, he served as President of the American Society Of Civil Engineers 1875-77 as well as holding the same executive position in the New York Genealogical & Biographical Society. Greene was appointed to West Point's Board of Visitors in 1881. He relished visiting Gettysburg, and could always be counted on to attend veteran's reunions and monument dedications. When he died, a two-ton boulder was moved to Warwick from the Culp's Hill battlefield and placed over his grave, fulfilling a request he had made.
The epitaph reads:
This stone, taken from near Culp's Hill, on the battlefield of Gettysburg, where with one small brigade on the night of 2 July 1863, he occupied the trenches of the entire 12th Army Corps, and successfully resisted an attack by greatly superior forces directed against our right flank, but for his gallantry and skill would have caused the fefeat of the Union Army, marks the grave of George Sears Greene, son of Caleb Greene, and seventh in descent from John Greene who founded this town of Warwick in 1639. Born at Apponaug RI 6 May 1801. Educated at the US Military Academy at West Point 1819-23, and served as an officer of artillery until 1836. Civil Engineer in charge of railroad construction in various states, and of the Croton Water Works in New York, until 1862, and afterwards from 1866 to 1880. Re-entered the army during the Civil War as colonel of the 60th Regiment of New York Volunteers and promoted to the grades of Brigadier General and Major General by brevet. Engaged in numerous minor actions and in the battles of Cedar Mountain, Antietam, Chancellorsville, Gettysburg and Wauhatchie where he was severely wounded. Died at Morristown NJ 28 January 1899. A faithful soldier, A true Christian, a noble and lovable man.
TWELFTH ARMY CORPS - BG Alpheus Starkey Williams, 53, Yale grad, Detroit politician, post-war congressman.
HQ ESCORT - 10th Me Btn - 170 - Capt John D Beardsley
1/XII - BG Thomas H Ruger, 30, born in Lima N.Y., USMA, led 3rd Wisc, Antietam wd, brevet for Franklin, an army "lifer." 5256(96-406-31)
1/1/XII - Col Archibald L McDougall, 45, mw at Dallas Ga. in 1864, led 123rd NY 1835(12-60-8)
5th Ct - 221(7) - Col Warren W Packer
20th Ct - 321(28) - Lt Col Wm B Wooster
3rd Md - 290(8) - Col Joseph M Sudsburg
123rd NY - 495(14) - Lt Col James C Rogers, vet of 43rd US Inf, Capt Adolphus H Tanner, 28, eventual Lt Col of unit
145th NY - 245(10) - Col E Livingston Price, Chancellorsville wound, dismissed 12/1863,
46th Pa - 262(13) - Col. Jas. L. Selfridge
Independent Command/XII Corps - BG Henry Hayes Lockwood 1818(35-121-18)
1st Md Potomac Home Brigade 674(5-18-2) Col Wm P Maulsby
1st Md Eastern Shore 532(23-80-1) Col Jas Wallace
150th NY 609(7-23-15) Col John H Ketcham age 31
3/1/XII - Col Silas Colgrove 1598 (49-225-5)
27th Ind - 339(23-86-1) Lt Col John R Fesler (Colgrove's regt)
2nd MVI - 316(23-109-4) Lt Col Chas R Mudge (k), Major Chas F Morse
13th NJ - 347(1-20-0) Col Ezra A Carman (w)
107th NY - 319(0-2-0) Col Nimron M Crane
3rd Wisc - 250(2-8-0) Col Wm Hawley, Lt Col Martin Flood
2/XII - BG General John White Geary
provost guard - 41 men from 28th Pa
1/2/XII - Col Charles Candy 1798 (18-119-2)
5th OVI - 310(18) Col John H Patrick
7th OVI - 290(18) Col Wm R Creighton
29th OVI - 320(38) Capt Wilbur F Stevens (w) Capt Edward Hayes
66th OVI - 310(17) Lt Col Eugene Powell (Candy's regt)
28th Pa - 303(28) Capt John Flynn
147th Pa - 298(20) Lt Col Ario Pardee Jr
2/2/XII - BG Thos Leiper Kane/Col Geo A Cobham Jr
29th Pa - 400(66) Col Wm Rickards Jr
109th Pa - 149(10) Capt Frederick L Gimber
111th Pa - 200 (22) Col Geo A Cobham Jr
3/2/XII - BG George Sears Greene
1424 (67-212-24) armed largely with Enfield rifles.p
60th NY - 273(11-41-0) Col Abel Godard age 28 - raised in Ogdensburg by Col
Brundage & Hayward
78th NY - 198(6-21-3) Col Herbert Von Hammerstein raised in NY City, Buffalo, Canada, & Michigan
102nd NY - 230(4-17-8) Col Jas C Lane (age 39, wounded) Capt Lewis R Stegman (age 23, wounded) - 78th's "sister unit" - mostly NYC area - made from Col Thos B Van Buren's recruiting, Col Shannon's Von Beck Rifles, Col Levy's McClellan Infantry, a 12th NYSM co, and two cos of 78th NYV Cameron Highlanders
137th NY - 423(40-87-10) (unusually high number of killed) Col David Ireland formerly Captain in 15th US (wded Resaca, died 9/64 in Atlanta) - raised by Ireland in Binghamton area
149th NY - 297(6-46-3) Col Henry A Barnum Lt Col Chas Bertrand Randall (wounded) raised by Barnum in Syracuse - Barnum recd the Medal of Honor for Nov 1863 bravery at Chattanooga - was Major 12th NYV & NYS brevet BG
JOHNSON'S DIVISION - 6433 engaged and over 1936 lost - led by Maj Genl Edward "Club" Johnson, age 47, West Point 1838, POW after Spotsylvania, post-war farmer. (also called "Old Allegheny"). His HQ was comprised of 9 men.
STEUART'S BRIGADE - 2121 engaged and over 725 lost - led by Brig Genl George Hume "Maryland" Steuart, age 34, West Point 1848, POW after Spotsylvania but ret'd for Petersburg, post-war farmer & active w Vet Assoc. His HQ comprised of 5.
1st Md Btn - 400(189)..............Lt Col Jas R Herbert, 30, wounded
leg-arm-abdomen & POW, Major Wm Worthington Goldsborough, 32, wounded, Capt Jas Parren Crane, 25
1st NC - 377(151)....................Lt Col Hamilton Allen Brown, 26
3rd NC - 548(218)...................Major Wm Murdoch Parsley, 23
10th VA - 276(77).....................Col Edward Tiffin Harrison Warren, 34
23rd VA - 251(36).....................Col Simeon Taylor Walton, 38
37th VA - 264(54).....................Major Henry Clinton Wood, 27
STONEWALL BRIGADE - 1323 enaged and 338 lost - Brig Genl James Alexander Walker, age 31, fought a duel with "Stonewall" at VMI, wounded at Antietam, past Colonel of 13th Virginia. His HQ comprised of 4.
2nd VA - 333(25).....................Col John Quincy Adams Nadenbousch
(Pvt Wm. Culp's unit)
4th VA - 257(137)....................Major Wm Terry, 39 (107 were POWs)
5th VA - 345(58)......................Col John Henry Stover Funk, 26, a physician.
27th VA - 148(48).....................Lt Col Daniel M. Shriver, 27
33rd VA - 236(55).....................Capt Jacob Burner Golladay, 25
NICHOLLS' BRIGADE - 1104 engaged and 389 lost - led by Col Jesse Milton Williams, age 32, Colonel of 2nd Louisiana. His HQ comprised of 3.
1st LA - 172(39?)....................Capt Edward D Willett, 28
2nd LA - 236(62?)...................Lt Col Ross E Burke, wounded & captd
10th LA - 226(110)...................Major Thos N Powell, 33
14th LA - 281(65?)...................Lt Col David Zable, 31
15th LA - 186(38?)...................Major Andrew Brady
JONES' BRIGADE - 1520 engaged and 433 lost - led by Brig Genl John Marshall Jones, age 43, West Point 1841, USMA prof, with Jackson from the start, killed at Wilderness while leading Stonewall Brigade, badly wounded at Gburg. Succeeded by Lt Col Robert H. Dungan, age 29, of the 48th Virginia Reg't.
21st VA - 236(50)....................Capt Wm Perkins Moseley, 22, VMI
25th VA - 280(70)....................Col John Carlton Higginbotham, 21, WD'D Lt Col JA Robinson
42nd VA - 265(80)....................Lt Col Rob't Woodson Withers, 28, WD'D Capt Samuel Hyde Saunders, 33
44th VA - 227(56).....................Major Norvell Cobb, WD'D Capt Thos Roy Buckner, 27
48th VA - 265(76).....................Lt Col Rob't H. Dungan, Major Oscar White
50th VA - 240(99).....................Lt Col Logan Henry Salyer, 28, captd at Ft Donelson in 1862!
JOHNSON'S ARTY BTN - 356 engaged and 51 lost - led by Joseph White Latimer, age 19, VMI, mortally wounded.
1st Md Batt - 90(5) - Capt Wm F Dement - 4 Napoleons
Alleghany (VA) Arty - 91(24) - Capt John C Carpenter - 2 Napoleons, 2 Rifles
Chesapeake (MD)Arty - 76(17) - Capt Wm D Brown - 4 Parrotts
Lee (VA) Batt - 90(4) - Capt Chas I Raine, Lt Wm W Hardwicke - 2 20-lb Parrott, 1 10-lb Parrott, 1 Napoleon phr
A few years ago, licensed battlefield guide Chas C Fennell Jr made a presentation regarding "The Attack & Defense of Culp's Hill." I don't agree with all of it, but I offer it here as another point of view on General Greene.
If the Confederates had been able to seize and hold Culp's Hill, they would have won the Battle of Gettysburg by forcing a Union withdrawal from the field. Culp's Hill guarded the AoP's right flank. Culp's Hill was in the rear of the Union battle line on Cemetery Ridge. Culp's Hill commanded Cemetery Hill, which was the key to the Union line. Culp's Hill commanded both of the Union lines of communication and retreat along the Baltimore Pike & Taneytown Road.
Why Greene's part in the Union victory and the fighting on Culp's Hill have been overlooked:
Culp's Hill facts:
- The fighting on July 2 occurred, for the most part, after darkness had settled over the field.
- Culp's Hill was heavily wooded, making it impossible to view the action from a distance.
- General Meade ignored the fighting in his first official report on the battle.
- The casualities were low, for Gettysburg.
- Greene's Brigade produced no flamboyant leader.
- Greene's Brigade did not have a catchy nickname like "Iron Brigade."
- American historians are more attracted by the heroic fight against impossible odds which ultimately ends in defeat - Pickett's Charge, Custer's Last Stand, the Alamo. Greene's Brigade was brutally successful, inflicting a maximum number of casualties while suffering minimal loss.
- Men who slaughter their opponents from the relative security of field fortifications do not inspire the imagination.
- The fighting on July 3 started at 4 am and ended at 11 am, resulting in the longest sustained fighting at Gettysburg.
- The first Union regimental monument at Gettysburg was relevant to Culp's Hill - to the 2nd Massachusetts (overlooking Spangler meadow).
- First Confederate monument placed on field is on Culp's Hill - 2nd Maryland Vols, dedicated 1886.
- Oldest generals of both armies were involved in the fighting - Greene and CSA Extra Billy Smith, age 65.
- No Medals of Honor were issued to any participants in the Culp's Hill fighting.
- Culp's Hill was the scene of the only major planned Union offensive (July 3) of the battle.
- The early morning July 3 "barrage" by US artillery was one of the earliest instances of indirect artillery fire with forward observers.
- A notable premeditated use of interlocking fields of fire.
- The Confederate High Water Mark was actually reached by Johnson's men at the end of fighting on July 2.
I forgot to send this reading list earlier. It includes a few more than the bibliography for my "Famous Long Ago" article (specifically, articles from Morningside's Gettysburg Magazine & Blue-Gray Magazine).
Bachelder, John B. Position of Troops, Second Day's Battle. New York, Office
of the Chief of Engineers, US Army, 1879.
Blue & Gray Magazine's "Gettysburg - The Third Day" issue. Volume V, Issue 6.
Brady, Jas P. Hurrah for the Artillery - Knap's Independent Battery "E", Pennsylvania Light Artillery. Thomas Publications, 1992.
Busey, John W. Regimental Strengths and Losses at Gettysburg. Longstreet House, 1986.
Frampton, Roy E. Inscriptions & Locations of the Gettysburg Battlefield Memorials. 1987.
Gordon, EC. "Controversy About Gettysburg," in Confederate Veteran Magazine for 1912, page 465.
Greene, George S & Jones, Jesse H. "The Breastworks at Culp's Hill," in Battles and Leaders of the Civil War, edited by Robert U Johnson and Clarence C Buel.
Jorgensen, Jay. "Joseph W Latimer, The Boy Major, at Gettysburg" in Gettysburg Magazine. Morningside. January 1994, pp 28-35.
Ladd, DL & AJ (editors). The Bachelder Papers - Gettysburg in Their Own Words. Morningside, 1994.
Loyd, WG. "Second Louisiana at Gettysburg," in Confederate Veteran Magazine for 1898, page 417.
Motts, Wayne E. "To Gain A Second Star: The Forgotten George S Greene" in Gettysburg Magazine. Morningside. July 1990, pp 65-76.
Motts, Wayne E. "To Gain a Second Star - The Forgotten George S Greene" in Gettysburg. Morningside House Inc, Issue #3, July, 1990.
New York Monuments Commission for the Battlefields of Gettysburg and Chattanooga. New York at Gettysburg. JB Lyon Co, Printers, 1900.
Nicholson, John P. Pennsylvania at Gettysburg. 1904.
Pfanz, Harry W. Gettysburg - Culp's Hill & Cemetery Hill. University of North Carolina Press, 1993.
Smart, Jas G. A Radical View - The "Agate" Dispatches of Whitelaw Reid 1861-1865. Memphis State University Press,1976.
US Army. Engineer Dept. Map of the Battlefield of Gettysburg, Surveyed and drawn under the direction of Bvt Major General GK Warren.
I'll post a longer commentary when time allows, but at this point, I'd just like to throw in a supplementary question: Why was Johnson's division (note: on July 3, it had been reinforced and constituted about half of Ewell's corps) allowed to withdraw unmolested on the afternoon of July 3rd, after the failure of the Pickett-Pettigrew-Trimble charge against the center. Even if one believes that Meade was prudent in not ordering an advance against the Seminary Ridge line, there's still the fact that Johnson, badly cut up and presumably disorganized, was isolated from the rest of Lee's line and might easily have been cut off and, in military terms, anihilated by an advance of Slocum's XII Corps supported, say, by VI Corps. Was this even considered by the Federal commanders, or were they so pre-occupied by Lee's main line that the vulnerable situation of Johnson was ignored. Of course, Lee rapidly withdrew Ewell back to the west of the town, with Johnson falling back all the way to Oak Hill on the night of July 3-4. Comments solicited.
Personally, I think that the battle for Culp's Hill was won only out of pure luck by the Federals.
First, you weren't dealing with Stonewall Jackson. You were fighting an inexperienced commander who, in my opinion, should not have been given command of the II Corps...LG Richard Ewell.
Ewell was incompetent. He could not follow Lee's orders on the first day. When Trimble explained what happened to General Lee on the first day's night, I would have got rid of Ewell and immediately put Trimble in his place. Trimble knew what was happening, and what was going to happen, but could not convince the "ignorant" Ewell to follow his advice. It is possible that Culp's Hill would have been taken by the Confederates had Ewell not been in command of the II Corps.
However, I don't totally blame Ewell. At the end of the war, he admitted to his mistakes and did not blame anyone else. But his subordinate, MG Jubal Early, was a different case. Everything that happened that went wrong, was always blamed on Longstreet. What did Longstreet do wrong? The only thing he did wrong was not getting angry with Early. Early deserved much criticism, and does anybody remember in the Killer Angels, when BG Lewis Armistead was said to hit Early over the head with a plate at West Point? I think Early was an aggressive and great commander, who was a sore loser, and blamed the wrongs of the Confederacy on other soldiers and officers. I understand that he was very good as an officer, but, he is not the kind of person that you would want to deal with every day.
Does anybody think that Ewell and Early were the primary reasons for the Confederate attempts and defeats on Culp's Hill?
JLC was undeniably a good looking guy. So is Jeff Daniels. Much of JLC's popularity rests upon his good loks and those of the Hollywood actor who portrayed him. It seems to me that Greene's good looks are overloked.
I know, if you have gazed at the Greene statue on Culp's Hill all you see is a grizzled veteran's visage (p. 102 in Men and Monuments if you have it handy). Nothing to compare with JLC's angelic image. But the statue does an injustice. Below is a first person account proving Grene was at least as good looking as JLC. I hope this will do a lot to lift him to the matinee idol status of JLC. :-)
The occassion was New York Day at Gettysburg, July 3, 1893. The speaker was Dan Sickles! Greene is sitting on the platform with other honorees, a well preserved 92 years old.
"Governor Flowers says he hopes you would each live to be as old as General Greene. I move an amendment - that you be as good as he is, and as handsome. But you will have to hurry up for the rest of your lives or you won't succeed."
New York @ GBRG p. 266.
The speaker was Dan Sickles. Now would he lie about George's beauty??
>about half of Ewell's corps) allowed to withdraw unmolested on the
>afternoon of July 3rd, after the failure of the
>Pickett-Pettigrew-Trimble charge against the center. Was
>this even considered by the Federal commanders, or were they so
>pre-occupied by Lee's main line that the vulnerable situation of
>Johnson was ignored. Of course, Lee rapidly withdrew Ewell back to
>the west of the town,
I agree with your conclusion that the Federals were preoccupied with the center and the rest of the line was ignored. A couple of extensions on that are offered below:
There was general problem of communication caused by Meade occupying such an extended line. Even with interior lines it would be difficult to know the exact situation across such a front. On July 3, Union cavalry was engaged at the southern end of the field and also five miles west of it. The Federals had repelled and pushed back Johnson in the A.M. and withstood a charge on the center. None of this was coordinated or proactive. Except for Killcavalry's suicidal charge by BRT, the Union line seemed to be content to hold their position.
NO pursuit whatsoever on any part of the field fits with Meade's overall defensive strategy; that is, all he hoped to accomplish was to weather the storm of the invasion and "drive the invader from our soil." Looked at in this light, the failure to pursue was consistent with Meade's plans from Pipe Creek to Falling Waters. And, IMHO, it was the smartest thing to do.
The larger question is then, should Greene have left the snugness of the works and pursued the fleeing Confederates on his own? Was that action left to his discretion?
Meade was running back and forth between Power's Hill and the center and he was in no position to adust the Union reactions to the fight or followup - especially on the right. Could any coordinated effort be accomplished amidst the confusion of the third day, or would Greene find himself cut off and hacked to pieces?
Norm Levitt's question about why no one pounced on Johnson is a good one. There seems to be no answer in the Official Records or any other Gburg works.
With dawn of July 3, Williams had the XII Corps back at Culp's Hill and Johnson was finished long before the Pickett-Pettigrew charge. It would've been Williams' call or, as Norm suggested, the VI Corps could have moved on him.
If I might set aside my stack of tax returns and enter the Greene/Chameberlin discussion for a moment I would like to thorw out for the groups consideration the aspect of geography. If Chamberlin falls and Little Round Top is taken the Confederates have a clear shot to cemetery hill, and a awesome artillery postition for bombarding the center of the Union line. with only a mild slope between their position and Cemetery hill (and ignoring the VI Corp which my sainted brother from the North is sure to point out) it appears there is little impediment(geographically speaking) for Oates et al to roll up the Union Flank. By contrast what happens if Greene folds? To roll the flank the Confederates must still scale the not inconsiderable Northern slope of Cemetery hill and contend with artillery that has a clear field of fire. As to my sainted brother from the Norths claim that Culps Hill offered a good platform for artillery to bombard cemetery hill I have but one word in reply-trees!
Bryan Meyer has made a few comments re Culp's Hill that need a reply.
He's right that Meade wasn't fighting Stonewall Jackson, but then neither was Ewell fighting Joe Hooker. So to that extent, luck had much to do with the battle.
As for Ewell being incompetent and not following Lee's orders, we should ask "what orders". Lee did not perform well at Gettysburg, for all sorts of reasons - lack of intelligence (thanks to Stuart), indifferent health, and inexperienced corps commanders, as well as Longstreet's poor cooperation.
But any commander should realise (as should any manager) that newly promoted subordinates (Hill and Ewell) cannot be expected to operate with the same latitude as someone like Jackson with whom Lee had a good rapport and whose discretion Lee could rely on. That I believe was Lee's greatest handicap at Gettysburg - he did not appreciate that his new corps commanders would require a different sort of management.
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Brother Bob wrote:
> I would like to throw out for the
>groups consideration the aspect of geography. If Chamberalin falls and Little
>Round Top is taken the Confederates have a clear shot to Cemetery Hill, and
>a awesome artillery postition for bombarding the center of the Union line.
>with only a mild slope between their position and Cemetery hill (and
>ignoring the VI Corp which my sainted brother from the North is sure to
>point out) it appears there is little impediment(geographically speaking)
>for Oates et al to roll up the Union Flank.
What my little brother forgets in his post is that Oates was unsupported. There was nobody coming behind him. Having walked and crawled this route over BRT himself, Bob should realize that these exhausted and isolated Confederates were no threat to roll up the Northern line. If Bob wants to discount the VI Corps sitting back there licking its chops, he has forgotten how the V Corps itself arived at the last second to plug the gap created by Sickles the Unwary. Even if Oates had exploited some opening, it is doubtful any Confederate attack on that end would be as decisive as the taking of Culp's Hill.
>By contrast what happens if
>Greene folds? To roll the flank the Confederates must still scale the not
>inconsiderable Northern slope of Cemetery hill and contend with artillery
>that has a clear field of fire. As to my sainted brother from the Norths
>claim that Culps Hill offered a good platform for artillery to bombard
>Cemetery hill I have but one word in reply-trees!
My little brother has stood on Culp's Hill many times; to his credit he has noticed the trees there, but he also should have noted that Culp's Hill is considerably higher than Cemetery Hil and Steven's Knoll between the two. It would be no feat for a pioneer unit to clear any trees remaining on the crest - remember, the Union had cleared many already - and the Southern artillery would pulverize the Union position on Steven's Knoll and Cemetery Hill.
Remember what happened to the boy Major on Brenner's Hill, brother. The Confederates, desperate for an artillery position sent Latimer to his death seeking to neutralize Union artillery before an attack by infantry. Had they instead been able to use the much better platform of Culp's Hill, there is a god chance the Union would have to abandon its artillery placements on both Stevems and Cemetery Hill.
With Cemetery Hill open, a Confederate assault there would have achieved Lee's objective of pressuring the entire line at once, and Meade would have been fighting Indians in Minnesota within the month.
The great missed chance for the Confederates came in the gloom of the second day attack when they gained flank position on Culp's Hill, not in the bright sunlight of a charging Maine unit on a group of isolated Confederates.
Brother Dennis wrote:
> What my little brother forgets in his post is that Oates was >unsupported. There was nobody coming behind him. Having walked and crawled >this route over BRT himself, Bob should realize that these exhausted and >isolated Confederates were no threat to roll up the Northern line. Bob wants >to discount the VI Corps sitting back there licking its chops, he has >forgotten how the V Corps itself arived at the last second to plug the gap >created by Sickles the Unwary. Even if Oates had exploited some opening, it >is doubtful any Confederate attack on that end would be as decisive as the >taking of Culp's Hill.
If I might amswer two brothers at once-of course Oates men were tired-of course the VI corps was behind cemetery ridge(kind of exhasuted themselves after a forced march to get there wouldn't you think? The point is that Oates and his men had all night to rest up and secure their position. Hving been all over Little Round Top yourselves I am sure you have noticed that the east Slope(the direction from which the VI corp would have come is rather steep-harldy the type of terain one would assault at night-wouldn't you agree. Remember the experiecne of the "La Tigers" experience attacking a similar(Cemetery Hill) steep slope at night?
> Remember what happened to the boy Major on Brenner's Hill, brother. >The Confederates, desperate for an artillery position sent Latimer to his >death seeking to neutralize Union artillery before an attack by infantry. >Had they instead been able to use the much better platform of Culp's Hill, >there is a good chance the Union would have to abandon its artillery >placements on both Stevens Knoll and Cemetery Hill.
They would have had to abandon Stephens knoll undoubtedly but cemetery hill is another matter. I would like to see you pioneers chopping down trees while under the artillery barrage from the artillery massed on cemetery hill.
>With Cemetery Hill open, a Confederate assault there would have >achieved Lee's objective of pressuring the entire line at once, and Meade >would have been fighting Indians in Minnesota within the month. If Culps fall the Union army stays. If Little Round Top falls they move to Pipe creek. If you think massed artileery would have driven the Union off cemetery hill on day 2 why didn't it work on day 3?
From: email@example.com (Robert W Lawrence)
Subject: Re: Culps Hill
Kerry Webb wrote
>As for Ewell being incompetent and not following Lee's orders, we should
>ask "what orders". Lee did not perform well at Gettysburg, for all sorts of
>reasons - lack of intelligence (thanks to Stuart), indifferent health, and
>inexperienced corps commanders, as well as Longstreet's poor
> >But any commander should realise (as should any manager) that newly
>promoted subordinates (Hill and Ewell) cannot be expected to operate
>with the same latitude as someone like Jackson with whom Lee had a
>good rapport and whose discretion Lee could rely on. That I believe was
>Lee's greatest handicap at Gettysburg - he did not appreciate that his
>new corps commanders would require a different sort of management.
I totally agree with this. If Lee had wanted Ewell to take Cemetery Hill on day 1 he should have ordered him to do so.(I also doubt it would have been as easy as most people think-Pfanz points out in"Gettysburg-Culps Hill & Cemetery Hill' the difficulties in lauching a coordinated attack from a town.) It is often contended that Jackson would have assumed "take if practical" meant to take the hill. The point is Jackson was not in charge-it was(as you point out) Lees responsibility to know his commanders and Lees responsiblity to order the Hill taken if that is what he wants.