Book Chat
The Grand Havoc of Battle"
Kenneth W. Noe

This chat took place in the Civil War Home Chatroom on 04/26/09 and covered Chapters 3 & 4.

4/26/2009 9:08 pm (et) Susansweet: Welcome to the April 26 book chat on Perryville: This Grand Havoc of Battle by Kenneth Noe. Please no pms during the discussion

4/26/2009 9:09 pm (et) Susansweet: Summer of 1862 and the Enemy is before you.

4/26/2009 9:09 pm (et) Susansweet: Bragg in Chattanooga.

4/26/2009 9:10 pm (et) Susansweet: Comments

4/26/2009 9:10 pm (et) Susansweet: chapter 3

4/26/2009 9:11 pm (et) Susansweet: Anyone else thirsty after reading about Buell's march ?

4/26/2009 9:11 pm (et) Babs: ewww the water with the wigglers

4/26/2009 9:11 pm (et) Susansweet: I know eww

4/26/2009 9:11 pm (et) Susansweet: and offal

4/26/2009 9:12 pm (et) ole: Strange that the whole thing started over water.

4/26/2009 9:12 pm (et) bluelady: It seems to me they did a lot of marching for nothing.

4/26/2009 9:12 pm (et) mobile_96: Water dirty enough to drink but not wash your face Ugg

4/26/2009 9:12 pm (et) Susansweet: And you have to have a score card to tell the McCooks.

4/26/2009 9:12 pm (et) bluelady: And bad water to boot.

4/26/2009 9:12 pm (et) ole: When you're really thirsty, wrigglers don't matter much.

4/26/2009 9:12 pm (et) bluelady: That picture was neat..all the McCooks that is.

4/26/2009 9:13 pm (et) bluelady: They give the water some flavor...hehe

4/26/2009 9:13 pm (et) ole: Note: Go-go dancers wiggle. Critters wriggle.

4/26/2009 9:13 pm (et) Susansweet: Yep . I got a book that we raffled off at the round table about the McCooks. I wish I had won it .

4/26/2009 9:14 pm (et) Susansweet: 17 Mccooks in the Civil War and several of them are in this book.

4/26/2009 9:14 pm (et) Susansweet: Add to that the Crittenden family and all their people on both sides.

4/26/2009 9:14 pm (et) Babs: Were the McCooks all on the same side?

4/26/2009 9:14 pm (et) bluelady: Buell is looking more and more like the martinet EH Rhodes says he was.

4/26/2009 9:15 pm (et) ole: The McCooks were an astounding clan.

4/26/2009 9:15 pm (et) Susansweet: Yes they were Babs.

4/26/2009 9:15 pm (et) Susansweet: The Crittendens were on both sides though.

4/26/2009 9:16 pm (et) bluelady: ok there is your answer.

4/26/2009 9:17 pm (et) Susansweet: They seemed to be Ole. They were everywhere.

4/26/2009 9:17 pm (et) Susansweet: Alexander McCook is one of the two division leaders here , along with Crittenden.

4/26/2009 9:20 pm (et) bluelady: I was totally confused by the movements of the armies here. Like I said earlier it seemed they were marching back and forth just to get overheated, tired and thirsty

4/26/2009 9:20 pm (et) ole: No one knew where anyone was.

4/26/2009 9:21 pm (et) Susansweet: I know I kept checking the map and thought are they ever going to be in the same place at the same time .

4/26/2009 9:21 pm (et) bluelady: It is a good lead up to what is coming.

4/26/2009 9:21 pm (et) bluelady: Thanks ole..that sums it up well.

4/26/2009 9:21 pm (et) Susansweet: And neither of the two Buell and Bragg could make up their mind what to do .

4/26/2009 9:21 pm (et) mobile_96: Lot more rumors than facts floating around.

4/26/2009 9:21 pm (et) ole: Perryville was like Gettysburg ... accidental.

4/26/2009 9:21 pm (et) bluelady: And that didn't help at all.

4/26/2009 9:21 pm (et) Susansweet: No rations , and told not to forage.

4/26/2009 9:22 pm (et) bluelady: I thought about that as well as I was reading ole.

4/26/2009 9:22 pm (et) Susansweet: Exactly Ole. good comparison.

4/26/2009 9:22 pm (et) Boomer: They had dirty spyglasses.

4/26/2009 9:23 pm (et) Susansweet: I was also thinking we hear about Sherman's march being bad but these guys in 1862 were really helping themselves looting.

4/26/2009 9:23 pm (et) ole: Whatever.

4/26/2009 9:23 pm (et) ole: All armies take whatever is close and what suits them.

4/26/2009 9:24 pm (et) Susansweet: Turchin and his sack of Athens was something.

4/26/2009 9:25 pm (et) ole: Turchin?

4/26/2009 9:26 pm (et) Boomer: Sack of what?

4/26/2009 9:26 pm (et) mobile_96: Athens Tn.

4/26/2009 9:27 pm (et) Susansweet: Col John Basil Turchin a Russian emigrant and former Tsar guard.

4/26/2009 9:27 pm (et) Susansweet: lets his men sack and burn the city of Athens Alabama.

4/26/2009 9:28 pm (et) calcav: Turchin supposedly said "I close mine eyes for one hour". When his troops did not pillage and burn to the extent he wanted he said, "I close mine eyes for another hour."

4/26/2009 9:28 pm (et) Susansweet: The author said it had been acceptable behavior in Russia but not to Buells department.

4/26/2009 9:29 pm (et) Susansweet: That sounds like what he might have said Calcav.

4/26/2009 9:29 pm (et) Boomer: They took him out of service after that didn't they?

4/26/2009 9:29 pm (et) ole: I thought we were talking about the Kentucky campaign.

4/26/2009 9:29 pm (et) Boomer: After the trial.

4/26/2009 9:29 pm (et) Susansweet: Buell had him court martialed.

4/26/2009 9:30 pm (et) calcav: He was courtmartialed and relieved of duty, but reinstated by Lincoln.

4/26/2009 9:30 pm (et) mobile_96: There is a gentleman in Chicago that portrays Turchin at various re-enactments, still tries to prove he was 'misunderstood' at Athens.

4/26/2009 9:30 pm (et) Susansweet: Interesting the author doesn't say that . Just that he had supporters.

4/26/2009 9:30 pm (et) Susansweet: I bet he is an interesting reenactor .

4/26/2009 9:31 pm (et) Boomer: Does he speak dutch?

4/26/2009 9:31 pm (et) ole: The book?

4/26/2009 9:31 pm (et) Babs: or Russian?

4/26/2009 9:31 pm (et) calcav: Don't suppose he ever comes to Athens to say Turchin was "misunderstood."

4/26/2009 9:31 pm (et) Susansweet: All this is the back story to Kentucky.

4/26/2009 9:32 pm (et) mobile_96: I'm surprised Bragg didn't get migraines from the continuous change in travel routes.

4/26/2009 9:32 pm (et) Susansweet: The book? Perryville the Grand havoc of War.

4/26/2009 9:32 pm (et) ole: He couldn't be that stupid, Tom. Or could he?

4/26/2009 9:33 pm (et) calcav: I'd go to see him if he came down south.

4/26/2009 9:34 pm (et) ole: Turchin might be background, but it doesn't have all that much to do with Perryville. Proceed.

4/26/2009 9:34 pm (et) Susansweet: Mobile everyone seems to show up in this book and they are always going somewhere but seems like not toward each other.

4/26/2009 9:34 pm (et) Susansweet: Moving on

4/26/2009 9:35 pm (et) Susansweet: Buell decides to leave Alabama and head to Tennessee.

4/26/2009 9:35 pm (et) Susansweet: Bragg crosses the Tennessee River

4/26/2009 9:36 pm (et) mobile_96: 1st Bragg is going to take Nashville and then.........leave it behind. Could he have held it if he took it over after Buell headed north??

4/26/2009 9:36 pm (et) Susansweet: So now they are in Tennessee and still no fighting.

4/26/2009 9:36 pm (et) mobile_96: Or was he too far north by now to take Nashville.

4/26/2009 9:37 pm (et) Susansweet: Bragg thought from the beginning he would fail the author says.

4/26/2009 9:37 pm (et) ole: I've seen it said that Nashville, in a bowl, was indefensible.

4/26/2009 9:39 pm (et) Susansweet: They march back and forth , they throw away their napsacks, and tents They retreat , they forage but nothing is really happening.

4/26/2009 9:41 pm (et) Susansweet: And finally Buell and his Division commanders aren't getting along.

4/26/2009 9:42 pm (et) cwbksell: Both sides seemed to be moving around wasting time and using up there men who had to eventually forage for themselves due to the fact there were no supplies (food) for the men.

4/26/2009 9:42 pm (et) mobile_96: So we see where, with much of Buells cav on parole, he had no real eyes to help figure out a definite plan of action.

4/26/2009 9:42 pm (et) Susansweet: Good thought Mobile.

4/26/2009 9:42 pm (et) Susansweet: And Bksell.

4/26/2009 9:43 pm (et) Babs: Doesn't matter. Buell won't believe reports anyway.

4/26/2009 9:43 pm (et) ole: And there was little to scant water to be found anywhere.

4/26/2009 9:43 pm (et) Susansweet: He believes the rumors and retreated from rumors.

4/26/2009 9:44 pm (et) ole: And Thomas is offered command but declines.

4/26/2009 9:44 pm (et) mobile_96: Still, with some kind of reports from outside the "captured Rebs', he might have some outside information to consider.

4/26/2009 9:45 pm (et) Susansweet: Now we have Bragg doing all kinds of marching back and forth too. Join Kirby Smith or not join up with Kirby Smith.

4/26/2009 9:46 pm (et) Susansweet: Bragg divides his army into two divisions . Hardee who he likes and Polk who he doesn't.

4/26/2009 9:46 pm (et) ole: I thought it was the other way around. Smith was to join Bragg and reneged.

4/26/2009 9:46 pm (et) Susansweet: and Polk has Frank Cheatham as an added addition who Bragg really doesn't like.

4/26/2009 9:47 pm (et) mobile_96: It was originally Ole.

4/26/2009 9:47 pm (et) Susansweet: And Hardee has Simon Bolivar Buckner a Kentuckian.

4/26/2009 9:47 pm (et) Susansweet: First Smith was to join Bragg then Bragg was to join Smith.

4/26/2009 9:48 pm (et) Susansweet: Does any of the two army's subordinates agree with the leaders?

4/26/2009 9:49 pm (et) Susansweet: Or rather do the leaders listen to any of their men ?

4/26/2009 9:50 pm (et) Susansweet: Anything ????

4/26/2009 9:50 pm (et) Susansweet: Moving on to next chapter Chapter 4 The Great Foot Race.

4/26/2009 9:51 pm (et) Babs: More thirsty, hungry marching.

4/26/2009 9:51 pm (et) mobile_96: great foot race, with lots of halts and back steps.

4/26/2009 9:51 pm (et) Susansweet: And major punishments of men.

4/26/2009 9:52 pm (et) Susansweet: Bragg stringent disciplinarian.

4/26/2009 9:53 pm (et) ole: Is true, but not worse than many others.

4/26/2009 9:53 pm (et) Susansweet: So what do you all make of this halts and back steps and move here then move there ?

4/26/2009 9:53 pm (et) cwbksell: I don't understand any of what they are doing here. This was to be a war. In war you are supposed to find and fight the enemy. Not play "do-see-do". Grant said one should "Find the enemy, Then hit him hard and often.

4/26/2009 9:54 pm (et) Susansweet: I kept flipping back to the map to find where the armies were.

4/26/2009 9:54 pm (et) Susansweet: Nobody seemed to want to fight.

4/26/2009 9:55 pm (et) ole: Sounds like something Forrest might have said. But this was early and none of these guys knew what they were doing.

4/26/2009 9:55 pm (et) Babs: Note: Lee surrendered to Grant at Appomattox, not Buell.

4/26/2009 9:55 pm (et) mobile_96: One of the few things Bragg did right on the march to Bardstown was to abandon Munfordville.

4/26/2009 9:55 pm (et) Susansweet: They all seem to be strung out for hundreds of miles too.

4/26/2009 9:56 pm (et) calcav: Bragg is so wishy-washy in this "foot race". Hard to win a race when you don't have a real goal. He is kinda heading for Louisville, kinda heading for a meeting with Kirby-Smith, kinda heading for the Ohio River, Kinda looking for good ground to fight Buell, Kinda looking for recruits. Kinda wishy-washy.

4/26/2009 9:56 pm (et) ole: At that time, Grant might not have performed better than Buell. It was early and he was learning.

4/26/2009 9:56 pm (et) Susansweet: Good comment .

4/26/2009 9:57 pm (et) Susansweet: I was kinda getting lost all over the map trying to find where they were.

4/26/2009 9:57 pm (et) bluelady: Like I said...confusing.

4/26/2009 9:57 pm (et) Susansweet: Wondered where you were , we are in the next chapter having a footrace.

4/26/2009 9:57 pm (et) ole: Keep Hafendorfer beside you while reading Noe.

4/26/2009 9:58 pm (et) Susansweet: Will do that from now on.

4/26/2009 9:58 pm (et) mobile_96: Thats why my comment earlier about Bragg getting migraines from all the changes in marching orders.

4/26/2009 9:58 pm (et) bluelady: Like the chapter said...a babel of confusion.

4/26/2009 9:58 pm (et) Susansweet: Is the Wilder in this story that inspects the confederate troops before he decides to surrender the same Wilder as the Lightening brigade ?

4/26/2009 9:59 pm (et) cwbksell: Grant was a fast learner. He was afraid of the enemy at Belmont, his first battle, but then he realized the enemy was affraid of him as well and so from then on Grant was never afraid again.

4/26/2009 9:59 pm (et) mobile_96: The 2 authors have different opinions on a number of issues, but Hafs maps help a whole lot in following the movement.

4/26/2009 10:00 pm (et) Susansweet: I borrowed it from the Drum will put it with this one to read.

4/26/2009 10:00 pm (et) bluelady: Not sure.

4/26/2009 10:00 pm (et) Babs: I should know the answer to the Wilder question, but I don't.

4/26/2009 10:01 pm (et) calcav: Yes, same Wilder.

4/26/2009 10:01 pm (et) bluelady: I just googled it...he is

4/26/2009 10:01 pm (et) Susansweet: I thought it was pretty bold to ask to inspect the troops before you surrender .

4/26/2009 10:01 pm (et) Susansweet: Thanks Tom

4/26/2009 10:01 pm (et) bluelady: :)

4/26/2009 10:01 pm (et) Susansweet: And Blue.

4/26/2009 10:01 pm (et) Susansweet: I forgot to goggle it the other night.

4/26/2009 10:02 pm (et) ole: It may be the same Wilder, but it was before the Lightning Brigade.

4/26/2009 10:02 pm (et) Susansweet: Thanks Ole

4/26/2009 10:02 pm (et) bluelady: With all the confusion.. I would forget too.

4/26/2009 10:02 pm (et) bluelady: Goggle would be the description of Meade.

4/26/2009 10:02 pm (et) Babs: I think it was formed in 1863.

4/26/2009 10:04 pm (et) bluelady: You are right babs.

4/26/2009 10:04 pm (et) Babs: My highest ranking CW ancestor was in Wilder's Brigade. He was a corporal.

4/26/2009 10:04 pm (et) Susansweet: This whole March is a big confusion and the two men have similar names Bragg and Buell .

4/26/2009 10:04 pm (et) Susansweet: And then there is Buckner.

4/26/2009 10:04 pm (et) bluelady: Susan...what is HW for this week? I might have to go tomorrow.

4/26/2009 10:04 pm (et) ole: And they're often misspelled.

4/26/2009 10:05 pm (et) Susansweet: Then we get to the Munfordville Myth.

4/26/2009 10:05 pm (et) Babs: Yes, too many similar names. A couple of Morgans.

4/26/2009 10:05 pm (et) Susansweet: Chapter 5 and 6 .

4/26/2009 10:05 pm (et) bluelady: ok thanks

4/26/2009 10:06 pm (et) Susansweet: I know that was confusing me too. A union Morgan and not related to me that I know and of course John Hunt Morgan

4/26/2009 10:06 pm (et) bluelady: I'm still ahead of the game then

4/26/2009 10:06 pm (et) Susansweet: So Mobile explain the Myth?

4/26/2009 10:06 pm (et) Susansweet: Ole ?

4/26/2009 10:06 pm (et) ole: Need to catch up. Read the book about five years ago, but can't remember which chapter discussed what.

4/26/2009 10:06 pm (et) Susansweet: Good , Blue it is two chapters each week .

4/26/2009 10:06 pm (et) Babs: I hope the pace picks up soon. So far this book is not very exciting.

4/26/2009 10:07 pm (et) bluelady: One thing I found myself doing was trying to place all that was happening here with all that was happening elsewhere in the country.

4/26/2009 10:07 pm (et) Susansweet: Not exciting in battle but I like the way the author writes.

4/26/2009 10:07 pm (et) ole: Right. Not exciting, but pertinent to the upcoming muster.

4/26/2009 10:07 pm (et) ole: It's hard to get excited about Perryville.

4/26/2009 10:08 pm (et) bluelady: And finding that when I get to points I am familiar with, things they do make more sense.

4/26/2009 10:08 pm (et) bluelady: well babs..this is one of those FFF books.

4/26/2009 10:08 pm (et) mobile_96: Bragg could have stayed at Mumfordville and fought Buell

4/26/2009 10:08 pm (et) Susansweet: Right all the books we have read about Tennessee and the Nashville campaign help.

4/26/2009 10:08 pm (et) ole: Could've, should've.

4/26/2009 10:08 pm (et) Susansweet: FFF?

4/26/2009 10:09 pm (et) Susansweet: The Mumfordville Myth the Gospel of the Lost Cause according to the author.

4/26/2009 10:10 pm (et) Babs: So far it is just a prelude to an FFF book.

4/26/2009 10:10 pm (et) bluelady: Fight , Flank and Feint...a term our dear departed friend Connie put on to books like this that tell about who what and where of a battle.

4/26/2009 10:10 pm (et) ole: This discussion appears to be over. Think I'll go pass out now.

4/26/2009 10:10 pm (et) Susansweet: Thanks I thought I had heard it before.

4/26/2009 10:10 pm (et) bluelady: It's still who what and where.

4/26/2009 10:11 pm (et) Susansweet: I was going to say we have flogged these two chapters for an hour. Come back next week to do it again

4/26/2009 10:11 pm (et) bluelady: I have no more to add

4/26/2009 10:11 pm (et) mobile_96: Buell could have locked Bragg in and starved him out, or, just bypass him and head on to Louisville.

4/26/2009 10:11 pm (et) bluelady: Thanks again Susan.

4/26/2009 10:11 pm (et) Susansweet: A Babel of Confusion is Chapter 5 and Blissful Ignorance is Chapter 6 for next week.