Ruggles, a mcClellan staff member, and dated September 17, 1862, 9:10. M., it reads: General Franklins command is within one mile and a half of here. General McClellan desires you to open your attack. As soon as you shall have uncovered the upper Lower Stone bridge you will be supported, and, if necessary, on your line of attack. So far all is going well.34. Some have argued that it is obvious from the content that this was the original order. In reality, the content contains some intriguing discrepancies.
When Cox saw French engage the enemy in the the vicinity of the roulette house. . Certainly, it could not have been much past 9:00. M., while this contest was going on, when one undergraduate of McClellans staff rode up with an order to burnside. . How long afterward is impossible to pinpoint but sometime between 9:00 and 9:15. Would, given the evidence, be very reasonable. . This time frame would also conform more closely with the oft-stated "about 9 oclock."31 That there was no delay in commencing the attack following receipt of that order is made clear in Coxs official report when he writes, Immediately the Eleventh Connecticut Infantry. Was detailed from Rodmans division to deploy as skirmishers and drive the enemy from the head of the bridge.32 "The story of the 8 oclock order is an instance of the way in which an erroneous memory is based upon the desire to make the. That Cox suffered from an erroneous memory, however, is certain and once all of "the facts" are considered, it becomes quite evident that they are in overwhelming discordwith his own theory regarding a. Order, some historians have characterized McClellans later allusion to an. Order as a coverup or corruption of the facts, basing their charges on what at first glance appears to be a very compelling piece of evidence—a written order to burnside. Signed by colonel george.
"27, according to sawyers and several other accounts, the action on this front lasted from four to four and a half hours and ended at about 1:00. M.28 Elementary arithmetic would therefore dictate that it must have been somewhere in the area of 9:00. When the opening shots were fired in the roulette farm/Bloody lane area. Lastly, it was 8:30. Richardsons division (Sumners corps) was sent to Frenchs aid.29 The consensus, among Richardsons subordinates, is essay that the division reached French at about. M.30 by then, French had already been fighting it out for nearly one hour. Based on this and the preceding mound of evidence, it stands to reason that it must have been nearer to.
The official map settles this. . no lines of our troops were engaged in the direction of Bloody lane the sunken road and business the roulette farm-house, and between the latter and our station on the hill, till Frenchs division made its attack. . The incident of their advance and the explosion of the caisson was illustrated by the pencil of the artist, forbes, on the spot, and placed by him at the time Franklins head of column was approaching from Rohrersville which was about 10 oclock."24 It would. Official Records bears this out. The issue surrounding the time at which Franklins head of column was approaching is settled later in this article. . Suffice it to say that it was in the area of. As for French, his division left the staging area at about 7:30. M.25 and formed into line of battle on the west side of the Antietam shortly after. M.26 According to colonel Franklin Sawyer, commanding the 8th Ohio (Kimballs brigade his regiment subsequently took position in the roulette farm/Sunken road area where, in connection with the other regiments of your brigade and Frenchs division, we maintained, from 9 oclock.
This he does in his. Battles and leaders article when he writes, ". As the morning wore on we saw lines of troops advancing from our right. And engaging the enemy. Our long-range guns were immediately turned in that direction. One of our shells blew up a caisson close to the confederate line. . This contest was going. When one of McClellans staff rode up with an order to burnside. . The latter turned to me, saying we were ordered to make our attack." Cox continues, "If then we can determine whose troops we saw engaged, we shall know something of the time of day.
SparkNotes: a, view from the, bridge : Act
This single aspect should be conclusive in proving that stationary it could not possibly have been. When the ix corps made its initial advance on the rohrbach bridge but rather, resume at closer to. As for the matter surrounding McClellans preliminary report, it was while recounting the battle that he wrote burnsides corpswas entrusted with the difficult task of carrying the bridgeand assaulting the enemys right, the order having been communicated delivered to him at 10 oclock. M.22 As far as Cox was concerned, This exact agreement with General Burnside would ordinarily be conclusive in itself.23. A key question remains, however: Where did McClellan get such a precise notion of an occurrence that had taken place two miles distant from his headquarters? Typically, a commander prepared his own report, particularly a preliminary report, based in large part on those of his subordinates. It would stand to reason that McClellan, while gleaning information from what must have been a multitude of reports, inadvertently accepted Burnsides incorrectly stated time.
How else could he have been privy to such an obscure detail as the time that Burnside received an order? McClellan either completely missed or did not see fit to correct the misinformation. Coxs theory, it is Jacob. Cox who, in attempting to prove that the order was received at 10:00. M., unintentionally provides one of the most compelling pieces of evidence supporting a.
Edward Ferrero, commanding the 2nd Brigade of the 2nd division, stated, at about 9 oclock.15. The confederates across the creek also noted the time. Lewis commanded a company in the 2nd georgia, one of the regiments from toombs Brigade that defended the bridge, and said the Union attack began at 9 oclock.16 His temporary brigade commander, colonel Henry. Benning, placed it, at about nine oclock.17 Brigadier General Robert toombs, temporarily in command of a division, said, At between 9 and 10 oclock.18 Although toombs reckoning may not be as definitive as the preceding six, one cannot help but notice that he does not. Only one of these reports—Burnsides—points to a 10 oclock jump-off. All the others fix it at or about.
There are no other reports extant in the. Official Records that even remotely support Burnsides claim. If anything there are several that, with some reasoning, help to further establish a. It is difficult to understand why burnside arbitrarily specified. Without consulting with Cox, whose report so drastically conflicted with his own. Surely, such a major discrepancy should have warranted some form of discussion between the two commanders.20. Cox eventually became convinced that Burnside believed he knew the time at which the order came to him upon the hilltopand that his accuracy in giving the hour was greater than my own.21 Had Cox carefully sifted through the. Official Records, he would have realized that his original report was corroborated by no less than five other reports—Union and Confederate—and refuted by none except Burnsides.
A, view from the, bridge
What is known for certain is that Cox and Burnside stood on the knoll together until an order to advance arrived.8 In his September 23, 1862 report, cox writes, About 9 oclock the order was received to cross the stream.9 More than 25 years later. Battles and leaders article, cox would change his mind, insisting, facts within my own recollection strongly sustain the view that the hour was. M.10 to help justify this radical reviews modification of the facts, he added: The judgment of the hour, 9 oclockwas merely my impression from passing events, for I hastened at the once to my own duties without thinking to look at my watch, while the cumulative evidence. Receipt the cumulative evidence should be considered. Excluding McClellans preliminary and official accounts, there are 31 battle reports in the. Official Records discussing the attack on the bridge.12 Of these, however, only seven specify a time at which the ix corps is supposed to have gone into action. As noted, burnside wrote at 10 oclock while cox said about 9 oclock.13 Other ix corps officers concurred with Cox. Lieutenant Colonel Joseph Gerhardt, commanding the 46th New York regiment, wrote at 9 oclock.14 Brig.
Some experts essay argue that the historical record settles the matter and that the order could not have reached Burnside any earlier than. M.5 In truth, the record overwhelmingly proves that the order which prompted Burnside to advance reached him closer to. M., as he stated. Moreover, there is good reason to believe that McClellans claim of having issued an. Order might not be as far-fetched as some have argued. The historical Record, all parties agree on one point at least: At about. On the 17th, burnside received an order from McClellan to advance the ix corps to a ridge overlooking Antietam Creek and hold it there in readiness to make the assault.6 Brigadier General Jacob. Cox, in temporary command of the ix corps, attended to the disposition of the troops. Having completed these arrangements, cox joined Burnside on a knoll northeast of the bridge.7 At this point, the accounts begin to differ.
the time at which he is supposed to have received his orders from the armys commanding general, maj. McClellan, to carry the bridge, then to gain possession of the heights beyond.1 In his report dated September 30, 1862, burnside stated that he received the order to begin his attack at. M.2 McClellan, in his official report written the following August, was emphatic that he had sent the order to burnside at. M.—thereby implying that Burnside should have received it much earlier.3 That critical two-hour time span has been hotly debated ever since. Some historians maintain that by claiming an order was issued at. M., McClellan had hoped to add to the five hours it supposedly had taken Burnside to launch his offensive.4 (After finally taking the bridge at about. M., the ix corps came to an abrupt halt on the opposite side of the creek and did not begin its attack on the heights beyond until. The five hours in question are those spanning the period. The theory is that, in doing so, mcClellan was attempting to transfer the blame for the failure to defeat the rebel army that day onto burnsides shoulders.
Sites that embody battle-changing moments during that bloody fight dot the summary battlefield near Sharpsburg,.: The cornfield, dunker Church, Bloody lane. None, however, has sparked a more enduring controversy than what we, today, know as Burnside Bridge. Spanning Antietam Creek on the southern portion of the battlefield, the 12-foot-wide by 125-foot-long granite and limestone structure was known at the time as either the rohrbach or Lower Bridge. It was here that 400 georgians held the Union ix corps at bay for several critical hours—hours that quite possibly altered the outcome of the battle. Having crossed the bridge the ix corps, after yet another lengthy delay, finally seemed ready to turn the Army of Northern Virginias right flank. . This effort to get behind lees army and cut off the latters line of retreat — a potential death blow — was, however, blunted by the opportune arrival of Maj. Hills division from Harpers Ferry. Major General Ambrose.
Past, papers, of Home papacambridge
Type or paste a, dOI name into the text box. Your browser will take you to a web page (URL) associated with that doi name. Send questions or comments. Further documentation is available here. By moe daoust, this article by moe daoust originally appeared. Civil War Times, september 2007. When shrouded in a fog of contemporary sentiment, partisanship and the passage of time, history does not always reveal itself so easily. Out of this haze, historical myths can emerge, often leading to controversy about precisely what happened, why it happened, and what the impact would have been had it happened differently. The battle of Antietam, fought on September 17, 1862 and considered by some historians as the most important conflict of the civil War, is a prime example of this phenomenon.presentation