Longstreet commanded I Corps. The only division participating that belonged to him was Pickett.
Pettigrew was commanding Heth's Division of Hill's III Corps
Trimble was commanding Pender's Division also of III Corps
Anderson's Division was a III Corps division.
Rodes belonged to Ewell's II Corps
In fact having only one division involved Longstreet asked Lee if it would not be better if Hill commanded. Legend has it, and it may be true, that Lee just glared at him and did not answer.
Yes they are all brigades subordinate to the respective divisions.
The other two divisions that "belonged" to Longstreet, those of McLaws and Hood, were so torn up on the second day they could not participate. Longstreet knew just what awaited him across that mile of open field, for he had done something similar the day before, and wanted no part of that attack. That was the basis of his critical comments about Lee that I mentioned earlier today.
Last Edit: Apr 9, 2014 18:07:08 GMT -5 by quincannon
Yes Chuck and I cannot blame Longstreet for any bitterness, I remember talking to you about the size and scale of some of these units and it reminded me about the German Divisions at the back end of WW2, they were a lot smaller and weaker than the norm, but on paper it still had a symbol for a Division, I would guess that all of those Brigades would be understrength even before the battle, though I can recall there being between two and five Regiments to a Brigade.
Ian: If you get down into the internals of these brigades most started the war on both sides with two, three or four regiments. By late 62 most of the brigades contained five six or seven, and in most instances amounted to what would be nothing more than a reinforced full up regiment of between a thousand and fifteen hundred. The First U S Infantry at the end of the war in 65 has forty three men all ranks.
All this precipitated by battlefield or non-combat loss that could not be made up. The two armies tried to solve this in different ways, but neither method was effective and the problem not only endured, but got worse.
Last Edit: Apr 9, 2014 18:25:28 GMT -5 by quincannon
My take on the Wilderness, is that after the heavy losses of 1863, Lee knew that with the lower caliber of his Army in 1864, that he would have just one punch left. He threw everything he had at Grant for two days. On the third day both sides remained quiet. The stress took a heavy toll on Grant as several mention him breaking down. Grants aide Horace Porter wrote " "he had smoked that day about twenty (cigars) .. he never afterward equalled that record". Grant "entered his tent, and threw himself downupon his camp-bed." Union General James H Wilson wrote " the tremendous strain of this hectic day was more than Grant could handle. His nerves shattered, Grant went into his tent, threw himself on his cot and broke down." Captain from Meade's staff, Charles F. Adams Jr. wrote "I never saw a man so agitated in my life." "he fell face downwards on his cot and cried like a baby" The next morning when he comes out, everyone expects him to do what every other general has done in the Union army, which is retreat. Grant doesn't--but moves on, and Lee never is able to strike an offensive blow again during the Campaign.
Hey Larry. I knew Ian creating this thread would bring you out of the bushes.
Grant despite his momentary breakdown, which I have heard reports of before, changed not only the course of war that following day, but the entire way that this country makes war. You see glimpses of it at Vicksburg, but his taking the road to Spotsylvania was an all time game changer in the way we think about the subject as a whole.
QC, Oh I agree! Grant was the man! I guess I have to ask, Was it worth it for Lee? Had he waited a bit later, say at the North Anna (when he had the chance to destroy a wing of Grants army) to unleash an attack, perhaps it would have been best. Who knows. I just think he lost too many men and ranking officers for what he gained at the Wilderness.
I agree. Lee attacking in the Wilderness was I think ill advised. He extended his chin out to far, and it was that extension that allowed Grant the opening he took advantage of the next day. I think he underestimated Grant, and I don't know why because he had his (Grant's) best friend next to him to advise him on his personality traits. Meade would have turned tail left to his own devices, and I think that is why Grant traveled with Meade to stiffen Meade's spine.
We discussed that officer question a day or so ago. I looked up the O/B for the ANV at Gettysburg researching an answer for Ian, and was amazed at the brigade and division commanders they lost in those three days.
Speaking of that do you have any brigade and division strength figures for mid 63 you could share with Ian?
Last Edit: Apr 9, 2014 23:23:43 GMT -5 by quincannon
Yes, I can get the regimental,brigade,and divisional strength, for both forces at Gettysburg. May take me a few days. The best book on the 3rd day at Gettysburg is "Pickett's Charge" by George R. Stewart. You will read it over and over!
I have it, and I have. I say I have it, but my son borrowed it five or six years ago. It still has my bookmark in the flyleaf though, which reminds me to get it back when I see him in June for my grand daughters high school graduation.
Hello guys, a break down would be fine Lew, and thanks for asking Chuck.
If was Lee, I would have fought a purely defensive action against Grant. Terrain like that does not favour the attacker, for one you movement is limited and two your artillery fire would be restricted by poor line of sight. So it would be a battle of attrition culminating in one side (Grant attacking) butting up against the other side (Lee defending).
Grant did the right move by sending Hancock on that flanking move, Lee may have been quicker to the punch by getting to Spotsylvania first but that looks like the move that broke the stalemate.
Last Edit: Apr 10, 2014 9:41:46 GMT -5 by Yan Taylor
That is what an envelopment is meant to do Ian. Lee beat Grant to those crossroads down at Spotsylvania Court House by a whisker. Very. very close.
The problem as I see it and I don't know if Larry will agree or not, is that the politics of giving up Virginia land were more in play then matters operational.
As you come south from Washington the first defensible line is that of the Rappahannock-Rapidan line. It is about 50 miles south of DC. South of that is the North Anna, but it is very close to Richmond. No one in the Davis administration would be happy if Lee drew Grant further into Virginia as a pre-planned movement. I think that this political factor provides the reason for what Lee was almost forced to do in my opinion. What Grant' envelopment did was force Lee to displace and insert himself between Grant and Richmond. It is a darn good thing for Lee that the envelopment was fairly shallow or Lee may not have been able to block the move as quickly and effectively as he did. If the Wilderness was bad for the Union I think Spotsylvania might have been a tad worse is tearing up elements of the Union Army. But as been pointed out before Grant was in a position to restore and replace, and Lee was forced to watch the gas in his tank to be constantly going down with no filling station in sight.
Last Edit: Apr 10, 2014 9:34:11 GMT -5 by quincannon
Oh absolutely Chuck, the north could replace their losses much quicker than the south, I was surprized to find that Indians fought for both sides, The South; Choctaw, Chickasaw, Cherokee, Cree and Seminole, the North; Cherokee, Cree and Seminole, these were organised into Regiments (3.500 South & 3000 North). The 53rd New York had a Company of Tuscarora and a Company from the Senecas tribe also fought for a NY Regiment. They seemed to be commanded by white officers.
Last Edit: Apr 10, 2014 9:57:57 GMT -5 by Yan Taylor