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

This chat took place in the Civil War Home Chatroom on 05/03/09 and covered Chapters 5 & 6.  The author, Kenneth W. Noe, participated in this discussion.

5/3/2009 9:02 pm (et) Susansweet: Welcome to the discussion of Perryville: This Grand Havoc of Battle by Kenneth Noe. Sunday May 3,2009. Please no use of pms during the discussion .

5/3/2009 9:03 pm (et) Susansweet: chapter 5 A Babel of Confusion

5/3/2009 9:03 pm (et) Susansweet: Since we have the author with us I wonder if anyone has questions up to this and the next chapter to ask .

5/3/2009 9:03 pm (et) Ken Noe: More "fff" I'm afraid with chapter 5 ;-)

5/3/2009 9:03 pm (et) Susansweet: Is that okay with you Ken?

5/3/2009 9:04 pm (et) Ken Noe: Sure

5/3/2009 9:04 pm (et) Widow: Susan, yes, I have a question in chap. 5, page 82.

5/3/2009 9:04 pm (et) Cleburne Fan: I'd love to ask if Mr. Noe has a new book he is working on.

5/3/2009 9:04 pm (et) Lincoln Fan: The chapter is aptly named, that's for sure.

5/3/2009 9:04 pm (et) Susansweet: Please feel free to ask your questions

5/3/2009 9:05 pm (et) Cleburne Fan: I agree. The generals were so confused. True fog of war.

5/3/2009 9:05 pm (et) Ken Noe: Cleburne Fan, I have a book now in press at UNC. It's about Confederates who enlisted after 1861--I'm trying to look at the "why they fought" from a different angle

5/3/2009 9:05 pm (et) Widow: Ken, Wright was given command of everything NORTH of Kentucky. Does that mean he didn't have Kentucky?

5/3/2009 9:05 pm (et) bluelady: I am totally lost without a good map. Where would you suggest looking to get a good map of the general area and not just the battlefield?

5/3/2009 9:05 pm (et) Cleburne Fan: Keep us informed. Sounds like a great idea.

5/3/2009 9:06 pm (et) Susansweet: Two questions up .

5/3/2009 9:06 pm (et) Ken Noe: Wright commanded the department, Buell the army.

5/3/2009 9:07 pm (et) Babs: You must have read some of our back chats to be familiar with our term "FFF".

5/3/2009 9:07 pm (et) Ken Noe: Ah yes, the map question. Always comes up. I agree that the book needs more maps. It's a long story.

5/3/2009 9:07 pm (et) Susansweet: We are all real map people in this group Ken ,

5/3/2009 9:07 pm (et) bluelady: Mostly because the whole set up to this point is very confusing. Not knowing the area I have no way of knowing who is marching where and who may be backtracking

5/3/2009 9:07 pm (et) Widow: Please explain that, I'm confused. Did Wright's department include Kentucky?

5/3/2009 9:07 pm (et) Susansweet: I think all of us are addicted to maps.

5/3/2009 9:07 pm (et) Ken Noe: Yeah, I went back and looked at the two previous weeks.

5/3/2009 9:07 pm (et) bluelady: He has caught on to the local lingo..FFF

5/3/2009 9:07 pm (et) Lincoln Fan: Well, what is fff?

5/3/2009 9:07 pm (et) 20thMass: How about a Civil War Book of maps.

5/3/2009 9:08 pm (et) bluelady: Fan..it is fight, feint, and flank.

5/3/2009 9:08 pm (et) Ken Noe: It did include Kentucky, or at least the eastern two-thirds.

5/3/2009 9:08 pm (et) bluelady: Mass.. that would be great for sure.

5/3/2009 9:09 pm (et) Widow: Ken, thanks. If the generals were confused, no wonder I am too.

5/3/2009 9:09 pm (et) Ken Noe: Kurt Holman, John Walsh, and I have kicked around doing a Perryville map book, but so far we've haven't progressed beyond that.

5/3/2009 9:09 pm (et) Widow: Blue, for me, FFF means flight, faint, and fooey.

5/3/2009 9:09 pm (et) 20thMass: I should keep quiet and start work on it myself.

5/3/2009 9:09 pm (et) Susansweet: I think I know some people who would buy it.

5/3/2009 9:09 pm (et) mobile_96: I have been using the OR atlas, the book, the Blue and Gray mag, and a modern atlas to work my way thru.

5/3/2009 9:10 pm (et) Susansweet: There ya go Coly a job for you

5/3/2009 9:10 pm (et) Cleburne Fan: I looked at a Google map. Today there are two major roads, one named for Bragg and one for Buell!

5/3/2009 9:10 pm (et) Widow: Blue, I'm using a modern road map of Kentucky. It helps a little. At least it shows some of the roads and towns mentioned in the book.

5/3/2009 9:10 pm (et) Susansweet: I had the Blue and Gray and my modern atlas and some maps from the internet.

5/3/2009 9:10 pm (et) Cleburne Fan: I mean in Perryville. I think other people should be remembered too.

5/3/2009 9:10 pm (et) Babs: Try to get that book of maps published by mid June, would ya?

5/3/2009 9:11 pm (et) Ken Noe: Here's the story...the press was pretty clear about how many maps they wanted. I had just fought to keep the last chapter in the book, so I didn't fight for maps like I should have.

5/3/2009 9:11 pm (et) Lincoln Fan: Widow, I'm going to second that. Couldn't figure out why I was so confused for the last couple of chapters. It wasn;t me and it wasn't Ken's writing. Bragg and Buell must have driven their division commanders absolutely nuts - every day was another change in plans.

5/3/2009 9:11 pm (et) bluelady: Yeah.. I guess that would help...my atlas is kind of big to carry around all the time though.

5/3/2009 9:11 pm (et) mobile_96: One thing interesting in this chapter, is the amount of bickering among Governors, started to look like some of the southern states.

5/3/2009 9:11 pm (et) Cleburne Fan: Sorry folks. I cannot type worth a darn.

5/3/2009 9:11 pm (et) Susansweet: Hang in the Fan it 's okay.

5/3/2009 9:11 pm (et) bluelady: That seems to usually be the way.. the publisher wants only so many pages.

5/3/2009 9:11 pm (et) Widow: LF, yes, and without believing the intelligence reports sent in.

5/3/2009 9:12 pm (et) bluelady: And maps are the first to go.

5/3/2009 9:12 pm (et) Cleburne Fan: Mr Noe, publishers just don't appreciate how valuable maps are to students of any battle.

5/3/2009 9:12 pm (et) Susansweet: One day I think they should publish map supplements to books.

5/3/2009 9:12 pm (et) Ken Noe: Well, if I ever do another battle....

5/3/2009 9:12 pm (et) Babs: Seems like some other author who visited us here said that for some reason maps are quite pricey.

5/3/2009 9:13 pm (et) bluelady: CF..they are looking at only one thing $$$

5/3/2009 9:13 pm (et) mobile_96: What about the possiblity of putting maps on cd-roms. I've seen at least 1 book published that way.

5/3/2009 9:13 pm (et) Susansweet: I remember Ted Savas said as much as he loves maps they are so expensive.

5/3/2009 9:13 pm (et) Ken Noe: It was a cost question, they are expensive to put in books for whatever reason.

5/3/2009 9:13 pm (et) Susansweet: I like that idea mobile .

5/3/2009 9:13 pm (et) Widow: Ken, I wish your mapmaker had not used black arrows to show the routes of both sides. At least they all looked black to me.

5/3/2009 9:14 pm (et) bluelady: Special kind of type set must be used.

5/3/2009 9:14 pm (et) mobile_96: Ken, how much material on Perryville came to light during, or after the publication of your book

5/3/2009 9:14 pm (et) Cleburne Fan: Was Bragg really as depressed as most Widow, I colored each side with red and dark blue pencil to make it easier.

5/3/2009 9:14 pm (et) Ken Noe: They're photographed more or less, like illustrations.

5/3/2009 9:14 pm (et) Susansweet: Does anyone have comments are questions about the chapter ?

5/3/2009 9:14 pm (et) Widow: CF, great idea!

5/3/2009 9:15 pm (et) Widow: The chapter title was perfect. As usual, Lincoln hit it right on the head.

5/3/2009 9:15 pm (et) Ken Noe: Mobile, I still get about one account a year from someone who's read it, and I found one or two in archives. Nothing earth-shattering, but clearly material is still out there.

5/3/2009 9:15 pm (et) Susansweet: Good question Mobile

5/3/2009 9:15 pm (et) Lincoln Fan: Ken, what is your personal opinion of Bragg? The book started out putting him in a fairly positive light, now we are seeing more of the Bragg we've come to know.

5/3/2009 9:16 pm (et) Cleburne Fan: Was Buell really a closet sympathizer of the Confederates?

5/3/2009 9:16 pm (et) mobile_96: Is there any way you might revise your book, or make the newer material available?

5/3/2009 9:16 pm (et) Susansweet: Three questions up

5/3/2009 9:17 pm (et) Ken Noe: Like most folks, I went in expecting to dislike Bragg. I came out more sympathetic. he had his strengths, and I think that he did better under the circumstances than many would have, especially if he really was dealing with a personality disorder, as my shrink suggested.

5/3/2009 9:18 pm (et) Susansweet: The personality disorder should sounds reasonable considering how he acted at times.

5/3/2009 9:18 pm (et) Ken Noe: Buell, later in the war, suggested that secession had been legal and justified, and seemed to blame the war on the Republicans. But I think that made him a Democrat, not a Confederate sympathizer.

5/3/2009 9:18 pm (et) Babs: I started paying more attention with the Davis/Nelson incident.

5/3/2009 9:18 pm (et) Ken Noe: I don't plan to revise it a lot, but if/when it comes out in paperback I might fix a few things here and there.

5/3/2009 9:19 pm (et) Cleburne Fan: Why didn't Davis ever suffer more punishment for the murder?

5/3/2009 9:19 pm (et) Susansweet: I had forgotten about the Jefferson Davis fight .

5/3/2009 9:19 pm (et) Widow: Babs, I got a kick about the rumor that Jefferson Davis in Richmond, VA, had been assassinated!

5/3/2009 9:19 pm (et) bluelady: My comment on the chapter is that I feel as far as the Confederate army goes, you could be talking about a battle a year later for all the cooperation Bragg got from his subordinates...sounds like Chickamauga.

5/3/2009 9:19 pm (et) Ken Noe: Peopel have criticized me for "dimestore psychology," but in truth I really did take Bragg to a psychologist. It was useful, I thought. I had to deal with his obvious mood swings and odd decisions that followed them.

5/3/2009 9:20 pm (et) mobile_96: one thing interesting in this chapter, is the amount of bickering among Governors, started to look like some of the southern states.

5/3/2009 9:20 pm (et) Lincoln Fan: That incident was amazing. Murder is murder, I don't care how much the deceased in disliked.

5/3/2009 9:20 pm (et) Widow: Blue, same guy, same problems.

5/3/2009 9:20 pm (et) bluelady: I also can't believe that Bishop Polk stayed in command of his corp all the way until his death

5/3/2009 9:20 pm (et) Ken Noe: Davis had a powerful sponsor in Indiana's governor, and most of the army was with him as well. The army already was seething in regard to Buell and his guys.

5/3/2009 9:21 pm (et) Widow: Blue, Polk had political friends.

5/3/2009 9:21 pm (et) mobile_96: Personally, thought the Bragg to a psychologist idea a good one.

5/3/2009 9:21 pm (et) Cleburne Fan: Davis loved Bishop Polk and protected him. I don't know why.

5/3/2009 9:21 pm (et) Ken Noe: Well, Polk had a powerful friend as well, Bragg couldn't touch him as long as he had Davis.

5/3/2009 9:21 pm (et) bluelady: I don't think you can discuss Bragg without taking him to the psychiatrist

5/3/2009 9:21 pm (et) calcav: Lincoln Fan, you forget that in Kentucky "He needed killing" is still an acceptable reason for murder.

5/3/2009 9:22 pm (et) Widow: Ken, I think you did a masterful job avoiding dimestore psychology, at the same time you described possible disorders.

5/3/2009 9:22 pm (et) Ken Noe: They went back to West Point--if you were Davis's pal at the point, he took care of you later.

5/3/2009 9:22 pm (et) Susansweet: Good one Calcav must be Tom talking.

5/3/2009 9:22 pm (et) Ken Noe: "he needed killing"--how many times did I hear my KY-born grandfather say that!

5/3/2009 9:22 pm (et) calcav: Sue, is it that obvious ;)

5/3/2009 9:23 pm (et) bluelady: That is true about Polk...but Bragg benefited from that same friendship with Davis...hence a reason he was in command for so long.

5/3/2009 9:23 pm (et) Susansweet: Ken I do have to throw in I loved the story bout the two soldiers quoting Shakespeare to each other.

5/3/2009 9:23 pm (et) Susansweet: Don't think that happens too often today.

5/3/2009 9:23 pm (et) Babs: Ken, Is that why you had an interest in this particular battle? family roots?

5/3/2009 9:23 pm (et) Susansweet: On that one yes, Tom.

5/3/2009 9:23 pm (et) Cleburne Fan: I never cease to be amazed at how poor communications hampered virtually every campaign and battle, as is shown in Babel of Confusion.

5/3/2009 9:23 pm (et) Ken Noe: I liked the Shakespeare too. As for Bragg, he was not Davis's friend until the war started.

5/3/2009 9:24 pm (et) Ken Noe: My wife first took me to Perryville in 1982, until then, if it wasn't in the east, I generally didn't care.

5/3/2009 9:24 pm (et) Widow: CF, and then even when orders were issued or reports delivered, people didn't act on them.

5/3/2009 9:24 pm (et) Cleburne Fan: Mr Noe, I loved the way you added the funny stories and sad stories in with the strategy and tactics.

5/3/2009 9:25 pm (et) Susansweet: Ken I liked that story in the introduction about you being taken to Perryville.

5/3/2009 9:25 pm (et) Ken Noe: Poor use of cavalry too, I wish I had hit that note harder. Both sides used the cavalry essentially as mounted infantry.

5/3/2009 9:25 pm (et) Lincoln Fan: I was surprised at the lack of the control the officers had over their men (and, I guess, the lack of control the commanders had over their officers.)

5/3/2009 9:25 pm (et) bluelady: I thought the Bragg friendship started in the Mexican war...didn't he save Davis's life or something like that? or and I thinking of the wrong story?

5/3/2009 9:25 pm (et) Widow: Yes, LF. I kept wanting to scream "Who's in charge here?"

5/3/2009 9:26 pm (et) Ken Noe: I've met several folks over the years who first met at Perryville--I keep telling Kurt, there's got to be a way to advertise the park to singles ;-)

5/3/2009 9:26 pm (et) bluelady: LF..there were a lot of raw fresh troops who have not had the training you the discipline yet.

5/3/2009 9:26 pm (et) mobile_96: About how many troopers did each side have, Bragg and Buell, discounting Smith.

5/3/2009 9:27 pm (et) Ken Noe: Someone last weeks, uh, suggested that I wrote too much about the march up to Louisville. But I thought it was vital to explain how the command structure increasingly came unglued during the campaign.

5/3/2009 9:27 pm (et) bluelady: The is kind of early in the war still. I think both sides were starting to figure out how tho best use the cavalry.. the south got it first thought.

5/3/2009 9:27 pm (et) mobile_96: Or did I miss that in the book.

5/3/2009 9:27 pm (et) Pvt Miles: I was impressed with the fact that the lack of water plagued both armies especially when on a hard march. I can appreciate the straggling under the circumstances.

5/3/2009 9:27 pm (et) Ken Noe: Bragg and Davis were at odds in the 50s while Davis was at War--the relationship wasn't much until the war.

5/3/2009 9:28 pm (et) Cleburne Fan: The march was brutal on the men. I cannot get over how the men endured strenuous marches with little food, water and rest.

5/3/2009 9:28 pm (et) Susansweet: I was just going to say the descriptions of the marches were something . The dust ankle deep .

5/3/2009 9:28 pm (et) Lincoln Fan: I was wondering that, also, Ken, but as we approach the battle, I see that the background of the march is going to be very helpful.

5/3/2009 9:28 pm (et) Ken Noe: Numbers are in the appendix--I'd count but I'm struggling to keep up!

5/3/2009 9:28 pm (et) mobile_96: And the full march does go a lot toward that, IMHO.

5/3/2009 9:28 pm (et) bluelady: Ken, I thought it was important for us to know about the command structure so I appreciated that you started us almost a year before the battle.

5/3/2009 9:29 pm (et) mobile_96: That's ok, will dig it out myself later, thanks anyway.

5/3/2009 9:29 pm (et) Susansweet: Thanks for doing it Ken we are having a great time I can tell.

5/3/2009 9:29 pm (et) Ken Noe: Another theme I wish I'd done more with was the effect of no or bad water--physically it must have taken its toll.

5/3/2009 9:29 pm (et) bluelady: ah ok..thanks ..(Bragg and Davis)

5/3/2009 9:29 pm (et) mobile_96: Would think that a considerable number on both sides were down and out because of the water.

5/3/2009 9:30 pm (et) Susansweet: I think it was in the next chapter I was amazed at the adjutant that rode his horse into the water where the soldiers were getting water to drink .

5/3/2009 9:30 pm (et) Widow: Ken, I can't imagine how the livestock survived. They need LOTS more water than people do.

5/3/2009 9:30 pm (et) Lincoln Fan: I can't believe that more men weren't ill from bad water.

5/3/2009 9:30 pm (et) Cleburne Fan: Why didn't generals pay more attention to the physical needs of men and horses?

5/3/2009 9:30 pm (et) mobile_96: Hard to march or fight, when you can't get off the john.

5/3/2009 9:30 pm (et) bluelady: I don't think you needed to do much more on the water...just the description of what they had was enough for us to know it had a definitive effect on the armies.

5/3/2009 9:30 pm (et) Widow: Susan, yes. That guy needed killing.

5/3/2009 9:30 pm (et) Ken Noe: Didn't help when you were wounded later, either.

5/3/2009 9:31 pm (et) Babs: I think the hazing got out of hand, but I do see how the vets could resent guys enlisting only after there was a bounty.

5/3/2009 9:31 pm (et) Susansweet: Weather played a big part in this story I would say .

5/3/2009 9:31 pm (et) Cleburne Fan: Why was it so hot in October in KY.?

5/3/2009 9:32 pm (et) mobile_96: Widow, men were probably too tired to do what was necessary.

5/3/2009 9:32 pm (et) Widow: CF, um, global warming?

5/3/2009 9:33 pm (et) calcav: Amazed with the Charles Gilbert story - captain to acting major general, staff flunky to corps commander in the stroke of a pen. Nice to be from the class of 1846.

5/3/2009 9:33 pm (et) Susansweet: When Bragg starts to breakdown I couldn't believe he blames Breckinridge who isn't even in the state.

5/3/2009 9:33 pm (et) Ken Noe: Weather, to me, is the big Civil war story we never talk about (Krick's new book aside). Think of the campaigns affected earlier by flood, and then the summer drought. Which in turn led to less food, which increased dissatisfaction in the Confederacy....

5/3/2009 9:33 pm (et) 4eyes: How were the men armed?

5/3/2009 9:33 pm (et) bluelady: I read somewhere the world was at the end of an "ice age" hence the very cold winters and very hot summers.

5/3/2009 9:34 pm (et) Cleburne Fan: Plus pickets froze to death in winter...they say.

5/3/2009 9:34 pm (et) Susansweet: Gilbert's story is an interesting rise.

5/3/2009 9:34 pm (et) calcav: Battle of Corinth, October 3 & 4 was in hundred degree weather.

5/3/2009 9:34 pm (et) Lincoln Fan: One thing that interested me was the reaction of the citizens. They cheered both armies as they came in to town. Also, they were told that if they didn't want the troops there, the troops would leave (but conscription was being enacted). Mixed messaged from both military and civilians.

5/3/2009 9:34 pm (et) Widow: Calcav, Gilbert shoulda been kept a captain.

5/3/2009 9:34 pm (et) bluelady: Oh yeah...he was a part of that famous class.

5/3/2009 9:34 pm (et) Cleburne Fan: But Corinth is Mississippi, at least.

5/3/2009 9:34 pm (et) Ken Noe: Federals largely had rifles, but I think a majority of Johnnies had muskets. remember, they spent much of the night of the eighth exchanging their muskets for abandoned Federal rifles.

5/3/2009 9:35 pm (et) Susansweet: Forgot about that ,Now have to go back and look at Class of 46 again

5/3/2009 9:35 pm (et) calcav: At about the same time as Gilbert, Sheridan goes from staff flunky to division commander. Took him five months to do it though.

5/3/2009 9:36 pm (et) Cleburne Fan: Wasn't Bragg foolish to insist on installing a Conf governor in KY with three Federal corps pressing?.

5/3/2009 9:36 pm (et) Widow: Calcav, yeah, Little Phil wasn't always so slow, though.

5/3/2009 9:36 pm (et) 4eyes: They would have to have the right ammo, instead of buck and ball they needed .58 cal

5/3/2009 9:36 pm (et) bluelady: CF.. he didn't think they WERE coming..

5/3/2009 9:36 pm (et) Ken Noe: Kentuckians were very careful in expressing their real loyalties, whatever they were. And yes, I've argued that the side trip to Frankfort could have waited a few days.

5/3/2009 9:37 pm (et) Lincoln Fan: Gilbert graduated 21st in Class of '46.

5/3/2009 9:37 pm (et) Widow: Ken, yes, it was a border state, mixed feeling all over.

5/3/2009 9:37 pm (et) mobile_96: Bragg was in a hurry to start conscripting new troops.

5/3/2009 9:37 pm (et) Susansweet: Chapter 6 Blissful Ignorance

5/3/2009 9:38 pm (et) Susansweet: Just throwing in the next chapter to keep the flow going .

5/3/2009 9:38 pm (et) bluelady: I think Bragg was very hopeful when he first got to KY ..then when he was there and saw how many wouldn't join them...I think he want ed to get out of there but knew he couldn't without putting up a fight.

5/3/2009 9:38 pm (et) Ken Noe: Welcome to Perryville.

5/3/2009 9:38 pm (et) Widow: I'm sure the Kentuckians were dismayed by the shifting opinions, as if they couldn't know who was loyal or who wasn't.

5/3/2009 9:38 pm (et) Cleburne Fan: I was blissfully ignorant that Perryville is named for Oliver Hazard Perry!

5/3/2009 9:38 pm (et) calcav: Conscription was okay, Bragg himself said "The people themselves assure me they prefer it."

5/3/2009 9:38 pm (et) Ken Noe: One day he wanted to retreat, the next he wanted to fight. Again, the lack of a clear operational plan.

5/3/2009 9:39 pm (et) Susansweet: I was interested in that too,

5/3/2009 9:39 pm (et) Cleburne Fan: And his subordinates weren't helping clarify the picture either.

5/3/2009 9:39 pm (et) 4eyes: Maybe he suffered from lead poisoning.

5/3/2009 9:39 pm (et) bluelady: That was Bragg the whole war...indecisive.

5/3/2009 9:39 pm (et) bluelady: CF as they never did

5/3/2009 9:40 pm (et) Ken Noe: Mercury poisoning according to Judith Halleck.

5/3/2009 9:40 pm (et) mobile_96: Maybe he was bi-polar.

5/3/2009 9:40 pm (et) Cleburne Fan: I can't get over the poor writing skills generals had. None could understand what they meant.

5/3/2009 9:40 pm (et) Widow: Ken, you gave the strong impression that even if Bragg had had a clear plan, his subordinates couldn't or wouldn't have carried it out.

5/3/2009 9:40 pm (et) bluelady: Where would he get the mercury from?

5/3/2009 9:40 pm (et) Ken Noe: The obtuse nature of those communications truly astounded me.

5/3/2009 9:40 pm (et) 4eyes: mercury was used to treat syphilis.

5/3/2009 9:40 pm (et) Lincoln Fan: Again, can't imagine being an officer under Bragg. Never know where you'll be going tomorrow or even if it's an offensive or defensive plan.

5/3/2009 9:41 pm (et) Ken Noe: Mercury from calomel, a medicine he supposedly took a lot for his stomach ailments (again according to Halleck).

5/3/2009 9:41 pm (et) Cleburne Fan: That's why Bragg's officers eventually turned on him.

5/3/2009 9:41 pm (et) bluelady: I think when a civil war general wrote out orders he was thinking about how they would read years later..not remembering thay had to be understood to follow them now

5/3/2009 9:41 pm (et) bluelady: ak ok thanks

5/3/2009 9:41 pm (et) Ken Noe: Bragg steadily lost his subordinates on the march--every few days there was another "uh oh" moment.

5/3/2009 9:42 pm (et) Lincoln Fan: Ken thank you for the background on Perryville also - a wonderful history of the town.

5/3/2009 9:42 pm (et) Susansweet: What about Buell , He seems to have his own major problems

5/3/2009 9:42 pm (et) Cleburne Fan: Ken, your book has made me much more interested in reading a book on Bragg.

5/3/2009 9:42 pm (et) Susansweet: I did like the back ground on the town of Perryville

5/3/2009 9:43 pm (et) Ken Noe: Buell was a perfectionist by nature, and then he nearly lost his command in Louisville to Thomas. The end result was to have him plot every move like a would-be chess master, all the while following the rules of war as he understood them.

5/3/2009 9:43 pm (et) Cleburne Fan: Was Cheatham as bad a drunk as has been reported?

5/3/2009 9:44 pm (et) bluelady: It sounds to me that Perryville battle started kind of like Gettysburg. Would that be a valid statement?

5/3/2009 9:44 pm (et) Ken Noe: So often we read about battles but really know nothing about the location--it was something that always annoyed me. So I tried to set the stage with some detail.

5/3/2009 9:44 pm (et) Susansweet: That was an interesting challenge for Thomas to take or not take the command

5/3/2009 9:44 pm (et) Lincoln Fan: I was going to say that it was beginning to sound like a chess game. I got the feeling that both said they wanted to attack, but that neither one really wanted to.

5/3/2009 9:45 pm (et) Ken Noe: It certainly was an encounter engagement, but Polk was looking for a fight there--just a smaller one than he anticipated.

5/3/2009 9:45 pm (et) Susansweet: Made sense when I read about the crossroads and the water at Perryville.

5/3/2009 9:45 pm (et) Babs: I thought the same thing, Blue. Water in Perryville was like the phantom shoes of GB.

5/3/2009 9:45 pm (et) Susansweet: Good one Babs

5/3/2009 9:45 pm (et) Ken Noe: Cheatham, I'm not sure, there's no evidence he was drunk at Perryville although maybe that's what Liddell drives at later in the book.

5/3/2009 9:45 pm (et) bluelady: ok but once it was started both side hurried up their support...right?

5/3/2009 9:45 pm (et) Lincoln Fan: Babs, that's what I thought of also - shoes at Gettysburg.

5/3/2009 9:46 pm (et) Cleburne Fan: What about that mutinous meeting when officers tried to have Buell removed?

5/3/2009 9:46 pm (et) Ken Noe: It started to pull in more and more units, but then Polk backed away. Bragg's arrival reopened the process.

5/3/2009 9:46 pm (et) Pvt Miles: It seemed that it was an ill advised time to remove Buell from command.

5/3/2009 9:46 pm (et) mobile_96: The Thomas issue is really interesting, especially after Hallack told him the order for command was sent without his ok, and he had tried to have the order stopped before reaching Thomas.

5/3/2009 9:47 pm (et) bluelady: Ah...then it may be like 1st Manassas...in a way.

5/3/2009 9:47 pm (et) Ken Noe: yeah, nice way to behave on the eve of battle, let's write a letter and get the general fired. But in context, I can almost understand why. That army was in bad shape by October 7.

5/3/2009 9:48 pm (et) bluelady: That was a what were they thinking moment for sure.

5/3/2009 9:48 pm (et) Cleburne Fan: The Federal army was like a soap opera with intrigues, enemies, alliances, betrayals...all that.

5/3/2009 9:48 pm (et) Susansweet: Need a family tree to keep all the McCooks straight.

5/3/2009 9:48 pm (et) mobile_96: I had to pull out the ORs to Start to the Thomas refusal.

5/3/2009 9:48 pm (et) Ken Noe: Halleck certainly played his role in the soap opera too.

5/3/2009 9:48 pm (et) Lincoln Fan: In bad shape is almost an understatement - it was becoming totally undone.

5/3/2009 9:48 pm (et) bluelady: CF..so was the reb army..both had bitter infighting going on.

5/3/2009 9:49 pm (et) Cleburne Fan: There should be an entire book about the McCooks.

5/3/2009 9:49 pm (et) Susansweet: Cleburne Fan I think it was the same on both sides. Of course Bragg and his generals are later after this battle.

5/3/2009 9:49 pm (et) Susansweet: There is one Cleburne Fan.

5/3/2009 9:49 pm (et) Ken Noe: And I guess my point is, now that you see the problems in both command structures, the events of October 8 make more sense. At least that was my intention.

5/3/2009 9:49 pm (et) Susansweet: I will send you the title I got a copy to give away at the Round table last month.

5/3/2009 9:50 pm (et) Widow: Which is worse? To keep a bad commander or to change commanders at a bad time?

5/3/2009 9:50 pm (et) bluelady: Thomas always had my support...this is a guy who gave up everything to stay with the Union...and though he wasn't a brilliant general.. I think he was one you could count on.

5/3/2009 9:50 pm (et) Susansweet: Does Help Ken.

5/3/2009 9:50 pm (et) Widow: That surely must have crossed the minds of several subordinates in both armies.

5/3/2009 9:50 pm (et) 20thMass: Keep a bad commander is worse.

5/3/2009 9:50 pm (et) Susansweet: I agree Blue , Thomas is a general you can depend on .

5/3/2009 9:50 pm (et) Ken Noe: Another Cleburne fan here--one of my favorite moments in the process was sitting at the Bottom House with Wiley Sword talking about Cleburne's attack up the road. Just brilliant, and almost worked.

5/3/2009 9:51 pm (et) Lincoln Fan: Since this is a new battle for me, it's going to be interesting to see how the new troops fight with the veterans. Also think putting so many new troops under Gilbert may have been a mistake, but I haven't read ahead.

5/3/2009 9:51 pm (et) Susansweet: Ken there are several of us Cleburne Fans here .

5/3/2009 9:51 pm (et) Cleburne Fan: But to change COs on the very eve of battle!

5/3/2009 9:51 pm (et) Ken Noe: There were times that Thomas disappointed me at Perryville, but I think anyone who's ever worked for a bad boss can understand his attitude toward Buell.

5/3/2009 9:52 pm (et) Widow: CF, like Meade and Hooker?

5/3/2009 9:52 pm (et) Babs: Like Meade before Gettysburg

5/3/2009 9:52 pm (et) bluelady: CF...that would be a mistake...like I said ..what were they thinking.

5/3/2009 9:52 pm (et) Ken Noe: LF, look for the new troops in I Corps on the Open Knob.

5/3/2009 9:52 pm (et) 20thMass: A bad commander is a bad commander.

5/3/2009 9:52 pm (et) Susansweet: Any more comments or questions to our Author

5/3/2009 9:52 pm (et) bluelady: Babs...Meade did have 3 days.

5/3/2009 9:53 pm (et) Cleburne Fan: I read that today. What an amazing description you wrote of that part of the battle!

5/3/2009 9:53 pm (et) Cleburne Fan: I am referring to the I Corps.

5/3/2009 9:53 pm (et) Widow: Blue, nobody knew when that meeting engagement in PA was going to start.

5/3/2009 9:53 pm (et) bluelady: None her...it is great to have the author with us. Thank you for coming and also to whoever found you...thanks.

5/3/2009 9:53 pm (et) Susansweet: Next week's discussion will be May 10 Chapter 7 To Strike a Blow and 8 Enough Boys for This Morning 35 pages.

5/3/2009 9:53 pm (et) Lincoln Fan: Ken, are you going to be able to join us again. This is really great.

5/3/2009 9:54 pm (et) Susansweet: I would hope you will join us again Ken ,and thanks to Mobile for inviting you .

5/3/2009 9:54 pm (et) Ken Noe: No, it was fun. I'll try to drop in again in a couple or three weeks. My son graduates from college next weekend, so You'll have to start the battle without me.

5/3/2009 9:54 pm (et) Cleburne Fan: Thank you so much. Mr. Noe, for being here for us.

5/3/2009 9:54 pm (et) Susansweet: Always fun to have the source with us to ask the questions of .

5/3/2009 9:55 pm (et) Susansweet: Thanks so much for coming and please do come back . You have the Schedule right?

5/3/2009 9:55 pm (et) Widow: Ken, I like your writing style. It's more informal than some books, and yet conveys the same details and broad sketches. A good, fun read.

5/3/2009 9:55 pm (et) Lincoln Fan: Thank you so much for coming.

5/3/2009 9:55 pm (et) 4eyes: Pretty cool.

5/3/2009 9:55 pm (et) bluelady: Congrats to your son!

5/3/2009 9:55 pm (et) Susansweet: If no more questions we can end the formal book discussion now and those that want to continue can do so .

5/3/2009 9:55 pm (et) Ken Noe: I appreciate all the kind words, thanks. It's flattering to write something and actually have people who want to read it.

5/3/2009 9:56 pm (et) Susansweet: Many of us will be in Perryville in June.

5/3/2009 9:56 pm (et) mobile_96: To me, the book is an important addition to the Civil War studies.

5/3/2009 9:56 pm (et) 20thMass: Thanks for coming Ken

5/3/2009 9:56 pm (et) Lincoln Fan: The book will be our Bible when we visit Perryville in June.

5/3/2009 9:56 pm (et) Ken Noe: I wondered how many of you had been down there. If you haven't, you're in for a treat.

5/3/2009 9:57 pm (et) bluelady: Yeah and this is just the ticket to get us prepared for looking at the field as more than just a place they fought.

5/3/2009 9:57 pm (et) mobile_96: I've been 3 times already.

5/3/2009 9:57 pm (et) Susansweet: I have not and can't wait to get there.

5/3/2009 9:57 pm (et) Babs: Mobile will be the veteran hazing the fresh fish.

5/3/2009 9:57 pm (et) Lincoln Fan: We're going as a group.

5/3/2009 9:57 pm (et) Widow: I've never been in KY, but will be there with the gang in June, "Grand Havoc" at the ready. :=))

5/3/2009 9:58 pm (et) mobile_96: One of my favorite fields, and the rest of you will see why I feel that way, when you see it yourselves.

5/3/2009 9:58 pm (et) bluelady: I've never been to KY..it is just one of the states east of the Mississippi that I never even drove through yet.

5/3/2009 9:58 pm (et) Susansweet: I have been in parts of it but never this area.

5/3/2009 9:58 pm (et) 20thMass: I have traveled a lot of places between Alaska and Italy but have never been to Kentucky. Will have to go someday.

5/3/2009 9:58 pm (et) Lincoln Fan: Mobile, don't get any hazing ideas out of the book.

5/3/2009 9:58 pm (et) Cleburne Fan: KY is beautiful.

5/3/2009 9:59 pm (et) Ken Noe: Last time I led a tour there, we wandered into an unexpected sheepdog trial. If this happens to you, for heaven's sake, don't tick off the shepherdess. They get testy.

5/3/2009 9:59 pm (et) mobile_96: hahaha, Hmmmm

5/3/2009 9:59 pm (et) bluelady: hmmmm..

5/3/2009 10:00 pm (et) Cleburne Fan: Sheepdog trial! Say what?

5/3/2009 10:00 pm (et) Susansweet: By the way in two weeks Mobile will be leading the chat as I will be in Arizona at a service some what like the Hunley funeral. They are going to rebury some California Column soldiers who were found in an abandoned cemetery in Tucson. Since they were orginally Drum Barracks soldiers a group of us are going in period clothing for the ceremony.

5/3/2009 10:00 pm (et) Babs: Kentucky is very pretty. It's on the way to lots of places if you start in Michigan.

5/3/2009 10:00 pm (et) mobile_96: Ken, can I ask something........was this evening what you expected??

5/3/2009 10:00 pm (et) Susansweet: I will also be stopping at the furtherest west battle of the civil war.

5/3/2009 10:00 pm (et) Lincoln Fan: Are there a lot of trails?

5/3/2009 10:00 pm (et) Ken Noe: It went a lot faster than I expected...I can't believe that the hour is over.

5/3/2009 10:01 pm (et) bluelady: Wow take pictures if appropriate Susan.

5/3/2009 10:01 pm (et) mobile_96: Well, sometimes we can go on for 2.

5/3/2009 10:01 pm (et) Babs: You should meet us in person. We talk faster than we type.

5/3/2009 10:01 pm (et) Ken Noe: There's a good battlefield trail now, plus you can go into Merchant's Row in town, and also drive down to see II Corps country on the Lebanon road.

5/3/2009 10:01 pm (et) bluelady: Time flies when you are having fun..

5/3/2009 10:02 pm (et) Lincoln Fan: We feel that way every week, Ken. If we have a good book, the time flies. You kept up with the questions.

5/3/2009 10:02 pm (et) mobile_96: Have they got the merchants row living history going yet??

5/3/2009 10:02 pm (et) Susansweet: I will have tons of pictures of course.

5/3/2009 10:02 pm (et) bluelady: Maybe you can take a trek to the field on the 19th of June...you might see some of us.

5/3/2009 10:02 pm (et) mobile_96: I think Ken got a lot more questions than at our symposium in March.

5/3/2009 10:02 pm (et) Lincoln Fan: I can now vouch for that, Susan.

5/3/2009 10:03 pm (et) Ken Noe: No, last I heard anyway, no living history yet in town. Still worth the trip in. You can even see the cave from the Shawnee attack of the 1780s.

5/3/2009 10:03 pm (et) Lincoln Fan: Sorry, it was Babs that said we talk faster then we type. BTW, missed you.

5/3/2009 10:03 pm (et) mobile_96: Think I have pics of the cave entrance on my website.

5/3/2009 10:04 pm (et) Susansweet: We are a group that can have fun in a parking lot.

5/3/2009 10:04 pm (et) Babs: Fan, I'm glad you had a good time. I made the right choice in not going. I am still pretty sick though I am a little better today.

5/3/2009 10:04 pm (et) mobile_96: ahhh, I knew the living history was intended, thought by now it would be up and running.

5/3/2009 10:04 pm (et) Susansweet: Have pictures to prove it.

5/3/2009 10:04 pm (et) Ken Noe: Well, good night all, I'll be sure to drop in again.

5/3/2009 10:05 pm (et) Susansweet: Night Ken thank you again so much .

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