WDSC100-13 - Lessons from Gettysburg & Petersburg...

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Unformatted text preview: Lessons from Gettysburg & Petersburg 620,000 June 30, 1863 Army of Northern Virginia Robert E. Lee, commanding Approx. 70,000 men Army of the Potomac George G. Meade, commanding Approx. 93,000 men Gettysburg pop. Approx. 2,400 July 1 - 3, 1863 In three days of bloody fighting, an estimated 6,500 to 7,000 Americans would lose their lives Including those who would later die of wounds, the total may have been closer to 11,000 Questions about Gettysburg Why did Lee invade Pennsylvania? What was Lee's objective for his attacks of July 2? Why did Lee order Pickett's Charge on July 3? How might changes in the battlefield landscape obscured or altered our understanding of events? The Invasion of Pennsylvania Four theaters of war The southern coast Virginia East Tennessee Vicksburg, Mississippi A decisive Confederate victory on Northern soil might break the will of the North to continue the war Unraveling the Plan James Longstreet 1st Corps Stonewall Jackson 2nd Corps Unraveling the Plan James Longstreet 1st Corps Richard Ewell 2nd Corps A. P. Hill 3rd Corps Unraveling the Plan: Stuart's Raid J.E.B. Stuart Commander Cavalry Corps, ANV Unraveling the Plan: June 28 Joseph Hooker George Meade Commander, Army of the Potomac Gettysburg: July 1 The Brickyard Fight of the 154th NY July 2: Was Little Round Top the Key to the Battle? Joshua Lawrence Chamberlain Lee's Battle Plan: July 2 Objective: Cemetery Hill Simultaneous attack from three directions Based on faulty scouting by Lee's staff Location of Union III Corps Major General Dan Sickles Change of Plans Objective: Cemetery Hill Attack en echelon Longstreet's two Divisions to begin the attack Force Meade to draw reinforcements from his right, weakening the portion of the line on Ewell's front What really happened on Little Round Top? Brig. Gen. Evander M. Law What really happened on Little Round Top? Col. William Oates, 15th Alabama What really happened on Little Round Top? Col. Joshua Lawrence Chamberlain, 20th Maine July 3: Pickett's Charge Gen. George Pickett Why? Was the Copse of Trees (the Angle) Lee's Objective? Was the Copse of Trees Lee's Objective? Lee's battle reports: Cemetery Hill was the objective Verified by reports and articles by Longstreet and his Chief of Artillery, Col. Edward Porter Alexander Was the Copse of Trees Lee's Objective? Meeting of Col. Walter Harrison with John B. Bachelder in the late 1880s Zeigler's Grove (harvested in 1870s) on Cemetery Hill was likely Lee's objective The Copse of Trees would have been much smaller in 1863 and may not have been visible from Lee's vantage point on Seminary Ridge The Legacy of Gettysburg Battlefield preservation begun in July 1863 led by David McConaughy and David Willis National Cemetery dedicated November 19, 1863 First battlefield monument erected in 1865 with many more to follow Became a National Military Park in 1915 The Petersburg Campaign of June 1864 April 1865 Strategy, Transportation, Communication, and Supply The Strategic Situation: 1864 The Presidential election of 1864 "...it seems exceedingly probable that this administration will not be re-elected. Then it will be my duty to so co-operate with the President-elect as to save the Union between the election and the inauguration; as he will have secured his election on such ground that he cannot possibly save it afterwards." Abraham Lincoln, August 23, 1864 Lincoln finds a General "The art of war is simple enough. Find out where your enemy is. Get at him as soon as you can. Strike him as hard as you can, and keep moving on." U.S. Grant The Grand Strategist To win the war, Grant would put unrelenting pressure on every Confederate army in the field Sherman would move against Atlanta Meade and the Army of the Potomac would attack Robert E. Lee Overland Campaign of 1864 Lincoln's Re-election "Atlanta is ours and fairly won." William Tecumseh Sherman September 7, 1864 Grant's Overland Campaign of 1864 The Wilderness Spotsylvania Court House The North Anna Cold Harbor In one month, Grant lost 50,000 men but was at the gates of Richmond "Lee's position was now so near Richmond, and the intervening swamps of the Chickahominy so great an obstacle to the movement of troops in the face of the enemy, that I determined to make my next flank move carry the Army of the Potomac south of the James River." U.S. Grant, Personal Memoirs Pontoon bridge across the James Crossing the James Some units were ferried to City Point Pontoon bridge Wood boats Carried overland by wagon Wood stringers were nailed into the gunnels Planks were nailed onto the stringers "The logistics were highly involved to uproot an army of 100,000 men from immediate contact with an alert foe, perform a forty-mile flank march, cross a tidal river and arrive unmolested at a spot far behind the enemy's rear was exceedingly difficult but the headquarters staffs handled the details with smooth competence." Bruce Catton, Grant Takes Command The Siege of Petersburg Grant had Lee's army under siege in a 26-mile long line of entrenchments extending from east of Richmond to south of Petersburg. By November, Grant had struck westward four times, forcing Lee to extend his works an additional nine miles Logistics and Supply The 115,000-125,000 men under Grant's command had to be fed, clothed, sheltered, armed, and equipped. General Rufus Ingalls appointed Chief Quartermaster by Grant (a former regimental quartermaster) On June 18, Grant ordered creation of a supply depot at City Point, Virginia (now Hopewell) City Point Below the confluence of the Appomattox and James Navigable via the Chesapeake Bay Also Grant's headquarters City Point Wharf 8 wharves were constructed 150 200 ships were anchored off City Point at any time Food, except bread, was shipped from the north Gunboats like the double-turret Monitor, USS Onondaga, protected shipping, the wharf, and depot The Depot at City Point Built in less than 30 days More than 280 buildings 100,000 square feet of warehouses on the wharves Storage of provisions for 125,000 men and 65,000 horses & mules A bakery supplied 100,000 loaves of bread per day Military Hospitals 7 hospitals were built at City Point Could care for 10,000 patients 1,200 tents were later replaced by ninety 20 by 50 foot log buildings Civilians of the U.S. Sanitary Commission and the Christian Commission provided nurses & established relief stations for the soldiers Grant as an Innovator: Military Telegraph "Grant probably made more use of the telegraph during the war than did any other commander. He began using the telegraph for strategic troop deployment and to keep a rein on his subordinate commanders early in 1862, In 1864, Grant was in almost daily contact with Sherman's forces in Georgia as they combined with his forces in Virginia to choke off the Confederates." [Ross 2000] U.S. Military Railroad Extended 26 miles Moved 600,000 tons of supplies to the front 24 locomotives 900 personnel Reduced need for wagons by 50% U.S. Military Railroad Required a rail yard and repair shop, fueling depot, way stations, and numerous sidings The military railroad crews built 280 buildings of the depot at City Point The buildings were pre-cut and shipped by sea U.S. Military Railroad "There has been no army in the history of the United States where the duties of Quartermaster have been so well performed." U.S. Grant, Former Quartermaster, 4th Infantry Regiment, Mexican War Surrender at Appomattox: April 9, 1865 "...trapping a Civil War army was, as the historical record proves, almost impossibly difficult. Only one general ever succeeded in doing so. That was Grant, and he did it on three separate occasions." Steven E. Woodworth, Nothing but Victory ...
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