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Was Rosecrans a retreat or a route from Chickamauga.

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  • Was Rosecrans a retreat or a route from Chickamauga.

    Wow. This is so much up in the air I wouldn't begin to know where to start.
    So y'all others probably have some good answers as it seems getting opinions
    is not a problem.

    I was there in April at the battlefield but didn't get into a great deal of discussion which way it was. And didn't know enough about the battle to ask the questions.

    Which book covers the retreat the best?

    Marshall
    In all my perplexities and distresses, the Bible has never failed to give me light and strength.
    Robert E. Lee

  • #2
    As to the op question - it's a mix. Many troops from the Union right were routed after the the major attack of the Confederate left wing under Longstreet. Rosecrans, McCook, and Crittenden were swept up in this initial panic. However, several troops on the right, such as Wilder's brigade, and those troops who could rally on Horseshoe ridge or in the confines of Kelly Field remained. These troops, along with Thomas's, held on until nightfall and managed an organized retreat.

    As for a book covering the retreat the best, I'd have to say Dave Powell's map book.
    "Hit hard when you start, but don't start until you have everything ready." - Lt. Gen. James Longstreet

    Pyrrhus Travels West:
    Hanno the Infamous, General of Carthage, Rb Mhnt of Sicily

    Comment


    • #3
      Originally posted by semperpietas View Post
      As to the op question - it's a mix. Many troops from the Union right were routed after the the major attack of the Confederate left wing under Longstreet. Rosecrans, McCook, and Crittenden were swept up in this initial panic. However, several troops on the right, such as Wilder's brigade, and those troops who could rally on Horseshoe ridge or in the confines of Kelly Field remained. These troops, along with Thomas's, held on until nightfall and managed an organized retreat.

      As for a book covering the retreat the best, I'd have to say Dave Powell's map book.
      Did Rosecrans have a legitimate reason for going to Chattanooga and leaving the fight?
      In all my perplexities and distresses, the Bible has never failed to give me light and strength.
      Robert E. Lee

      Comment


      • #4
        I think Rosey's perception was that he was cut off from Thomas, so he withdrew and hoped for the best.
        Wilder could have turned left (North) and made life miserable for Rebs, he would be catching some in the rear and others by the flank. He was ordered (lawfully or not he didn't know) to retreat and make way for the trains and head for Chatt.
        After the hills were taken, Thomas had no other choice but to retreat, the Regulars were the last ones standing after all others retreated and were pretty much wiped out.
        I really take McCook and Sheridan for their withdrawal without orders and not looping around to aid Thomas.
        I'm sure Grant wouldn't have been so magnanimous if any commander had left the field without orders- they were lucky they were not part of Thomas' command.
        The fight had gone out of old Rosey, by that time.

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by B7B Southern View Post
          Did Rosecrans have a legitimate reason for going to Chattanooga and leaving the fight?
          I think Rosecrans may have been under the initial impression that the entire army was routed or about to be, especially when his efforts to rally McCook's broken command failed, at least until he reached Chattanooga and was informed that Thomas was in still in the fight. He then made efforts to ride back to the field, but was talked out of it by his chief of staff Garfield, who rode back to the field instead.
          "Hit hard when you start, but don't start until you have everything ready." - Lt. Gen. James Longstreet

          Pyrrhus Travels West:
          Hanno the Infamous, General of Carthage, Rb Mhnt of Sicily

          Comment


          • #6
            There were a few things that made the whole battle tough for Rosey-
            What to do about Longstreet bringing reinforcements (didn't Halleck promise Burnside would be there?)
            When they did retreat , their only course was to hole up in Chatt. until men and supplies came. (men came 11th and 12th Corps) but without supplies, they couldn't be useful.
            Halleck wavered until after the elections who to send to Rosey. (so Burnside wouldn't be of any help at all!)
            Grant was pretty smug about making the "cracker line' happen, but he had Sherman there as well, who could have been sent before the battle of Chick. to help Rosey, but that didn't happen.

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            • #7
              but he had Sherman there as well, who could have been sent before the battle of Chick. to help Rosey, but that didn't happen.
              Because nobody, not just Grant, thought it necessary or expedient at the time. Attempting to shift blame to Grant for Rosey losing Chickamauga is pure silliness. There are a myriad of reasons that Rosey lost the battle that aren't necessarily his fault, but Grant really is not one of them.
              "Liberty and Union, now and for ever, one and inseparable!" -Daniel Webster

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              • #8
                Burnside's lack of movement during the Chickamauga is puzzling. The withdrawal of Buckner's corps to Bragg's army practically removed all opposition to his front. There was nothing from stopping the 9th Corps and 23rd Corps from reinforcing Rosecrans in bulk. I realize Lincoln placed a great deal on having a Federal presence in Knoxville, but I don't think two corps were required to hold the place.
                "Hit hard when you start, but don't start until you have everything ready." - Lt. Gen. James Longstreet

                Pyrrhus Travels West:
                Hanno the Infamous, General of Carthage, Rb Mhnt of Sicily

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by semperpietas View Post
                  I think Rosecrans may have been under the initial impression that the entire army was routed or about to be, especially when his efforts to rally McCook's broken command failed, at least until he reached Chattanooga and was informed that Thomas was in still in the fight. He then made efforts to ride back to the field, but was talked out of it by his chief of staff Garfield, who rode back to the field instead.
                  Was that a setup to help get rid of 'Rosie'?
                  In all my perplexities and distresses, the Bible has never failed to give me light and strength.
                  Robert E. Lee

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by B7B Southern View Post
                    Was that a setup to help get rid of 'Rosie'?
                    This sounds like the conspiracy theory stuff out of Varney's book. I have to say no.
                    The muffled drums sad roll has beat the soldier's last tatoo. No more on life's parade shall meet that brave and fallen few.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by hellboy30 View Post
                      This sounds like the conspiracy theory stuff out of Varney's book. I have to say no.
                      Agree. And the more I read of Varney's book, the more I believe that he came to his 'conclusion' before he began the book.

                      Rosecrans was the author of his own misfortune and he was badly defeated at Chickamauga and his relief was because of the loss and subsequent retreat to Chattanooga.

                      The poor state of the army at Chattanooga was a great contributor to his relief. The bottom line is that Rosecrans left the field at Chickamauga before the army was defeated. That is an almost unforgiveable offense by an army commander, or any commander when a part of his command is still viable and engaged.

                      And if Rosecrans didn't realize that Thomas was still fighting, and doing well, then he should have found out.

                      Sincerely,
                      M
                      We are not now that strength which in old days
                      Moved earth and heaven; that which we are we are; One equal temper of heroic hearts
                      Made weak by time and fate but strong in will
                      To strive to seek to find and not to yield.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Massena View Post
                        Agree. And the more I read of Varney's book, the more I believe that he came to his 'conclusion' before he began the book.

                        Rosecrans was the author of his own misfortune and he was badly defeated at Chickamauga and his relief was because of the loss and subsequent retreat to Chattanooga.

                        The poor state of the army at Chattanooga was a great contributor to his relief. The bottom line is that Rosecrans left the field at Chickamauga before the army was defeated. That is an almost unforgiveable offense by an army commander, or any commander when a part of his command is still viable and engaged.

                        And if Rosecrans didn't realize that Thomas was still fighting, and doing well, then he should have found out.

                        Sincerely,
                        M
                        It is possible to come to a conclusion through years of research and then decide to write a book based on your conclusion.
                        I do not wish to have the slave emancipated because I love him, but because I hate his master."
                        --Salmon P. Chase

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Savez View Post
                          It is possible to come to a conclusion through years of research and then decide to write a book based on your conclusion.
                          Hell, I might as well quit reading any books at all. They are either no good or a conspiracy theory!!

                          When one writes a book don't he have some idea what the dickens he is going to write about?
                          Come on, now!!! I guess I haven't been reading about the CW long enough to get 'properly orientated'!!
                          In all my perplexities and distresses, the Bible has never failed to give me light and strength.
                          Robert E. Lee

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by B7B Southern View Post
                            Hell, I might as well quit reading any books at all. They are either no good or a conspiracy theory!!

                            When one writes a book don't he have some idea what the dickens he is going to write about?
                            Come on, now!!! I guess I haven't been reading about the CW long enough to get 'properly orientated'!!
                            Scholarly works are supposed to follow a certain methodology. Here is a simple version of that method.

                            http://stage-productions.ednet.ns.ca...cal_method.htm

                            I for one am not of fan of coming up with a "thesis" in the sense that you are trying to "prove" something. I like to just present the facts and let everyone else come up with their own thesis. For example I am studying the 58th Alabama and the CSS Spray. As of right now, if I write an article or book on either one I don't have any type of "conclusion" or theories about them. I would just present the facts. I guess this could change but I just want to tell the history of the men of the 58th and the men of the Spray. I think works like Varney's are important because they pose questions which is the point of coming up with a thesis, but I am usually not a big fan of those type of works. Almost all Civil War books I have read seem to interject opinions among the facts. I am not a fan of speculation although sometimes it is a necessary evil. I guess my articles or books would just be boring.
                            I do not wish to have the slave emancipated because I love him, but because I hate his master."
                            --Salmon P. Chase

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              I shouldn't say I'm not a fan of those kind of books, I am depending on the subject, I just wouldn't write one.
                              I do not wish to have the slave emancipated because I love him, but because I hate his master."
                              --Salmon P. Chase

                              Comment

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