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Gettysburg (Pennsylvania, United States) (search for this): chapter 4.54
General Hancock and the artillery at Gettysburg. I. By Francis A. Walker, Brevet Brigadier-General, U. S. V. General Hunt, in his article on The Third day at Gettysburg [see p. 375], criticises General Hancock's conduct of his artillery, on the ground that his directing the Second Corps batteries to continue firing throughGettysburg [see p. 375], criticises General Hancock's conduct of his artillery, on the ground that his directing the Second Corps batteries to continue firing throughout the Confederate cannonade was both an encroachment upon his own (General Hunt's) proper authority, as chief of artillery of the Army of the Potomac, and an act of bad policy. On the latter point he says: Had my instructions been followed here, as they were by McGilvery, I do not believe that Pickett's division would have temper of troops which should qualify him, equally with Hancock, to judge what was required to keep them in heart and courage under the Confederate cannonade at Gettysburg, and to bring them up to the final struggle, prepared in spirit to meet the fearful ordeal of Longstreet's charge. Hancock had full authority over that line of
Cemetery Ridge (Oregon, United States) (search for this): chapter 4.54
on his behalf. In the first place, two antagonistic theories of authority are advanced. General Hancock claimed that he commanded the line of battle along Cemetery Ridge. General Hunt, in substance, alleges that General Hancock commanded the infantry of that line, and that he himself commanded the artillery. Winfield S. Hancor-general of infantry, nor did he believe that a line of battle was to be ordered by military specialists. He knew that by both law and reason the defense of Cemetery Ridge was intrusted to him, subject to the actual, authentic orders of the commander of the Army of the Potomac, but not subject to the discretion of one of Generaly place me in a false position, I beg leave to explain. General Hancock's claim that he commanded all the troops of every description posted on his part of Cemetery Ridge is perfectly valid. It cannot be disputed, and I never questioned it; but all commands must be exercised subject to the established principles for the govern
John G. Hazard (search for this): chapter 4.54
red in spirit to meet the fearful ordeal of Longstreet's charge. Hancock had full authority over that line of battle; he used that authority according to his own best judgment, and he beat off the enemy. That is the substance of it. Boston, January 12th, 1887. Ii. Rejoinder by Henry J. Hunt, Brevet Major-General, U. S. A. General F. A. Walker, of General Hancock's staff, comments on my expressed belief that, had my instructions for the cannonade of July 3d been carried out by Captain Hazard, commander of the artillery of the Second Corps, the Confederate assault would not have reached our lines, and considers this a very severe impeachment of General Hancock's conduct of his artillery. I fully appreciate and honor the motive of General Walker's courteous criticism, and his very kind references to myself, but he writes under misapprehensions which are widespread and misleading, and which, as they place me in a false position, I beg leave to explain. General Hancock's cla
George E. Pickett (search for this): chapter 4.54
the Potomac, and an act of bad policy. On the latter point he says: Had my instructions been followed here, as they were by McGilvery, I do not believe that Pickett's division would have reached our line. We lost not only the fire of one-third of our guns, but the resulting cross-fire, which would have doubled its value. in a given emergency. Unquestionably it would have been a strong point for us if, other things being equal, the limber chests of the artillery had been full when Pickett's and Pettigrew's divisions began their great charge. But would other things have been equal? Would the advantage so obtained have compensated for the loss of mf it was driven back before reaching our position, and this would have given us our only chance for a successful counter-attack. As it was, the splendid valor of Pickett's division alone enabled the Confederates, although defeated, to preserve their morale intact. Had they been repulsed without coming into immediate contact with
Freeman McGilvery (search for this): chapter 4.54
. S. V. General Hunt, in his article on The Third day at Gettysburg [see p. 375], criticises General Hancock's conduct of his artillery, on the ground that his directing the Second Corps batteries to continue firing throughout the Confederate cannonade was both an encroachment upon his own (General Hunt's) proper authority, as chief of artillery of the Army of the Potomac, and an act of bad policy. On the latter point he says: Had my instructions been followed here, as they were by McGilvery, I do not believe that Pickett's division would have reached our line. We lost not only the fire of one-third of our guns, but the resulting cross-fire, which would have doubled its value. This, it will be seen, constitutes a very severe impeachment. I have had much correspondence and conversation with General Hancock on the subject; and, as the heroic leader of the Second Corps can no longer reply for himself, I beg leave to speak on his behalf. In the first place, two antagonist
Winfield S. Hancock (search for this): chapter 4.54
at he himself commanded the artillery. Winfield S. Hancock did not read his commission as constituwho was the better judge, General Hunt or General Hancock? Had Henry J. Hunt taken command of a brtroops which should qualify him, equally with Hancock, to judge what was required to keep them in ht the fearful ordeal of Longstreet's charge. Hancock had full authority over that line of battle; ral, U. S. A. General F. A. Walker, of General Hancock's staff, comments on my expressed belief nsiders this a very severe impeachment of General Hancock's conduct of his artillery. I fully appralse position, I beg leave to explain. General Hancock's claim that he commanded all the troops Who was the better judge, General Hunt or General Hancock? I may be permitted to reply, that a corjustified by the event, for the troops on General Hancock's line, where my instructions were not folowed, and those on General Newton's line (on Hancock's immediate left), where they were followed, [6 more...]
John Newton (search for this): chapter 4.54
while the batteries would be the direct object of the enemy's fire, their men must stand idle at the guns and bear its full fury, while the infantry, lying on the reverse slope of the ridge and out of the enemy's sight, would be partly sheltered from it. Yet I felt no misgiving as to the fortitude of my cannoneers, and no doubt as to that of the infantry. I think I was justified by the event, for the troops on General Hancock's line, where my instructions were not followed, and those on General Newton's line (on Hancock's immediate left), where they were followed, were equal in heart and courage for the fearful ordeal of Longstreet's charge. The object of my orders, however, was to spare them this ordeal altogether by breaking up the charge before it reached our lines. Had m y orders been fully carried out, I think their whole line would have been — as half of it was driven back before reaching our position, and this would have given us our only chance for a successful counter-attac
George G. Meade (search for this): chapter 4.54
by military specialists. He knew that by both law and reason the defense of Cemetery Ridge was intrusted to him, subject to the actual, authentic orders of the commander of the Army of the Potomac, but not subject to the discretion of one of General Meade's staff-officers. General Meade could, under the President's order, have placed a junior at the head of the Second Corps, but whomsoever he did place over the corps became thereby invested with the whole undiminished substance, and with all General Meade could, under the President's order, have placed a junior at the head of the Second Corps, but whomsoever he did place over the corps became thereby invested with the whole undiminished substance, and with all the proper and ordinary incidents of command. So much for the question of authority. On the question of policy there is only to be said that a difference of opinion appears between two highly meritorious officers--one, the best artillerist of the army, the other, one of the best, if not the best, commander of troops in the army — as to what was most expedient in a given emergency. Unquestionably it would have been a strong point for us if, other things being equal, the limber chests of the
John S. Scott (search for this): chapter 4.54
be exercised subject to the established principles for the government of armies. Under these, commanders of special arms issue their own orders direct to their subordinates serving with army corps, who must submit them to the corps commanders with whom they serve. The latter, being supreme on their own lines, can modify or countermand these orders, but by doing so they make themselves responsible for the result. Thus all conflicts or theories as to authority are avoided. Our Regulations (Scott's), adopted in 1821, read: The superior officer of the corps of engineers, or of the artillery, serving with one of the army corps . . . will receive the orders of the commandant thereof, to whom the said superior officer of engineers or of artillery will communicate any orders he may receive from his own particular commandant-in-chief, attached to general headquarters. Separate paragraphs provided rules for the military staff and administration,--the latter including the supply depa
J. Johnston Pettigrew (search for this): chapter 4.54
So much for the question of authority. On the question of policy there is only to be said that a difference of opinion appears between two highly meritorious officers--one, the best artillerist of the army, the other, one of the best, if not the best, commander of troops in the army — as to what was most expedient in a given emergency. Unquestionably it would have been a strong point for us if, other things being equal, the limber chests of the artillery had been full when Pickett's and Pettigrew's divisions began their great charge. But would other things have been equal? Would the advantage so obtained have compensated for the loss of morale in the infantry which might have resulted from allowing them to be scourged, at will, by the hostile artillery? Every soldier. knows how trying and often how demoralizing it is to endure artillery fire without reply. Now, on the question thus raised, who was the better judge, General Hunt or General Hancock? Had Henry J. Hunt taken co
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