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

This chat took place in the Civil War Home Chatroom on 05/24/09 and covered Chapters 11 & 12.

5/24/2009 9:03 pm (et) Susansweet: Welcome to a discussion on Perryville: This Grand Havoc of Battle by Kenneth Noe.  May 24 Please no pms during the discussion

5/24/2009 9:04 pm (et) Susansweet: Chapter 11 A Square, Stand-Up . . . Fight

5/24/2009 9:04 pm (et) Susansweet: Comments?

5/24/2009 9:05 pm (et) Susansweet: Don't everyone speak at once.

5/24/2009 9:05 pm (et) bluelady: I was confused reading it! It seemed those obliques were making them either run into each other or move away from each other

5/24/2009 9:05 pm (et) Babs: I found it very confusing, but I am blaming the combatants not Noe.

5/24/2009 9:05 pm (et) Susansweet: We start with another acoustic shadow . Do you think it really was one?

5/24/2009 9:06 pm (et) mobile_96: More confusion in the command, and no real work by the Cav.

5/24/2009 9:06 pm (et) mobile_96: Yes.

5/24/2009 9:06 pm (et) Babs: There was a lot of wheeling and not by Wheeler.

5/24/2009 9:06 pm (et) Susansweet: Yes you think there was one ?

5/24/2009 9:07 pm (et) Babs: There was at least a wind.

5/24/2009 9:07 pm (et) bluelady: Scientifically it is possible and it happened many times during the war.

5/24/2009 9:08 pm (et) mobile_96: Yes, Noe even told us in March he was lucky enough to encounter an acoustical shadow at Perryville.

5/24/2009 9:08 pm (et) Susansweet: I was amazed by the number of people that didn't get along with each other so ignored them.

5/24/2009 9:08 pm (et) Susansweet: Oh that's right.

5/24/2009 9:09 pm (et) Susansweet: I read a book on Acoustic shadows I got at Cold Harbor .

5/24/2009 9:09 pm (et) bluelady: In recent history acoustic shadows baffled the police in LA in 1969..Manson Murders.

5/24/2009 9:09 pm (et) Babs: Did he? How cool is that!

5/24/2009 9:09 pm (et) mobile_96: Conditions were exactly right that day.

5/24/2009 9:09 pm (et) Susansweet: I didn't know that and I live in L.A.

5/24/2009 9:10 pm (et) bluelady: Noe explained those conditions pretty good in the book...prevailing winds and hills and valleys.

5/24/2009 9:10 pm (et) Susansweet: I did something Cleburne Fan has told me about and it really helped me reading the maps. I colored them with my colored pencils.

5/24/2009 9:10 pm (et) Susansweet: Makes things stand out better.

5/24/2009 9:10 pm (et) bluelady: People living a mile away could hear the screams but not those closer...go figure.

5/24/2009 9:11 pm (et) bluelady: If this was my book I would be doing the same thing, but alas it is not my book. A purchase I intend to make at muster.

5/24/2009 9:12 pm (et) Pvt Miles: The acoustic shadow is often mentioned and it probably was a factor, but poor organizational staff work factored into the poor communication.

5/24/2009 9:12 pm (et) Susansweet: I am glad I am reading this now instead of a few years ago with all the technical terms for movement.

5/24/2009 9:12 pm (et) Babs: Today while I was at work, some reenactors were shooting a small cannon. I was working at the opposite end of the Village, but because we are on a lake it sounded as though it was coming from the other side of me. Weird.

5/24/2009 9:12 pm (et) Susansweet: So true Pvt.

5/24/2009 9:12 pm (et) bluelady: Miles that is true all of these factors add up to the total confusion of the day for both sides.

5/24/2009 9:13 pm (et) Susansweet: Noe has a great description of the battle on page 223. He calls it The tragi=comedy of errors .

5/24/2009 9:13 pm (et) mobile_96: I think the poor communication was also part of the not wanting to believe anyone but They, were right.

5/24/2009 9:15 pm (et) mobile_96: Buell had his mind set on a battle on the 9th, and didn't want to believe that the Confederates intended to upset His plans.

5/24/2009 9:15 pm (et) Babs: And silly Buell thought the rebels would wait until he was ready to fight.

5/24/2009 9:15 pm (et) mobile_96: Or even Would upset them.

5/24/2009 9:15 pm (et) Susansweet: And others ignoring orders such as Jones starting the battle after being told to stay put. I like how Noe tells us what happens to each of these men.

5/24/2009 9:15 pm (et) Babs: What Mobile said.

5/24/2009 9:15 pm (et) mobile_96: Guess that happened more than just a few times over the course of the war.

5/24/2009 9:16 pm (et) Susansweet: And Adams mistakes Union for Confederates.

5/24/2009 9:16 pm (et) mobile_96: Susan, ignoring orders, and ignoring opportunities, like Sheridan.

5/24/2009 9:17 pm (et) bluelady: I still have a hard time with all the guys getting away with NOT following orders and still being able to remain in the army..well in some cases elsewhere and with a definite demotion.

5/24/2009 9:17 pm (et) mobile_96: Then danged Blue uniforms.

5/24/2009 9:17 pm (et) bluelady: Susan that was easy to do this early in the war...many union stores were raided and the clothes worn.

5/24/2009 9:17 pm (et) Susansweet: I agree Blue I could not believe how they would be told to do something and then not do it and nothing really happened to them.

5/24/2009 9:18 pm (et) cwbksell: Hello everyone. I'm here. I just finished reading chapter 12, which means, for the first time in a month I am up to assignment. Finally the battle has started. I thought we were never going to get to it with all the moving around they did before hand.

5/24/2009 9:18 pm (et) mobile_96: Even later, it was easier for Rebs to get Union clothes, than to receive their own.

5/24/2009 9:18 pm (et) Susansweet: Then Adams deciding after fired on that "by God those are Yankees"

5/24/2009 9:19 pm (et) Susansweet: Bookseller we had a speaker that took so long talking about the prebattle he never got to the battle at our round table after an hour and a half they stopped him.

5/24/2009 9:19 pm (et) bluelady: I like how he said he would go see for himself.. I can imagine the other guy thinking ok go the D88d fool.

5/24/2009 9:20 pm (et) bluelady: Right mobile..steal them get them faster.

5/24/2009 9:20 pm (et) Susansweet: Oh the ones looking though spy glass and sees the enemy but when others look nothing is there .

5/24/2009 9:21 pm (et) mobile_96: Susan, another thing you will understand when you see the terrain up close.

5/24/2009 9:22 pm (et) Pvt Miles: Buell knew the Confederate army was in the vicinity. Why wasn't he at the front to see for himself what was going on? He had to have been aware of some deficiencies in his command structure and his cavalry was stationary.

5/24/2009 9:22 pm (et) Susansweet: I know I was amazed at the discussion of the two buildings that look like they are right next to each other and are really on two separate hills.

5/24/2009 9:22 pm (et) cwbksell: I got the impression one could not go a hundred yards without climbing some hill.

5/24/2009 9:23 pm (et) mobile_96: he had fallen off a horse and had trouble riding,

5/24/2009 9:23 pm (et) Susansweet: Oh right he was sore and having trouble staying on his horse.

5/24/2009 9:23 pm (et) Susansweet: Bob I think you are right.

5/24/2009 9:23 pm (et) mobile_96: And not small easy sloped hills.

5/24/2009 9:23 pm (et) Susansweet: Look at the maps that have the elevations everything is up and down.

5/24/2009 9:23 pm (et) Babs: Plus he was a twit.

5/24/2009 9:24 pm (et) mobile_96: LOL

5/24/2009 9:24 pm (et) Susansweet: Don't hold back Babs say what you mean.

5/24/2009 9:24 pm (et) Susansweet: lol

5/24/2009 9:24 pm (et) bluelady: Not to mention he was still convinced the rebs were elsewhere and those acoustic shadows playing games with him.

5/24/2009 9:25 pm (et) bluelady: And what babs said.

5/24/2009 9:25 pm (et) Susansweet: What a revolting development the whole thing was.

5/24/2009 9:25 pm (et) bluelady: How dare those rebs spoil my plan!!! gees

5/24/2009 9:25 pm (et) Susansweet: And because they were in farm land not only hills but stone and wooden fences everywhere.

5/24/2009 9:25 pm (et) mobile_96: still again, his Cav didn't do him much good, although it was one thing Wheeler did well, keeping anyone from getting round the Rebs left.

5/24/2009 9:26 pm (et) bluelady: Golly..sounds like PA.

5/24/2009 9:26 pm (et) Susansweet: Should does

5/24/2009 9:26 pm (et) Pvt Miles: I believe a "truth commission" was held afterwards to answer questions about the conduct of the battle.

5/24/2009 9:26 pm (et) Susansweet: And it says in the book that Wheeler did blow his horn about that.

5/24/2009 9:27 pm (et) Susansweet: I think you are right Pvt.

5/24/2009 9:27 pm (et) Susansweet: They were also fighting between houses like in Franklin too.

5/24/2009 9:27 pm (et) mobile_96: Wheeler would blow his own horn just if he got up on his horse well

5/24/2009 9:27 pm (et) Susansweet: LOL

5/24/2009 9:28 pm (et) mobile_96: well, fighting around a house or 2, and a couple barns and outbuilding, but nothing like Franklin, IMHO

5/24/2009 9:28 pm (et) bluelady: One of many the committee on the conduct of the war conducted. The biggest problem I see with that is that many of the major participants were either dead by that time or enough time had passed that those left living could use hindsight to vindicate their involvement or lack thereof.

5/24/2009 9:29 pm (et) Susansweet: I have a question do we run into Lytle in another battle ? His name sounds familiar and I can't place it.

5/24/2009 9:29 pm (et) Susansweet: Right just that it was around house and barns.

5/24/2009 9:29 pm (et) bluelady: Chickamauga Susan. IIRC he was killed there.

5/24/2009 9:29 pm (et) Susansweet: Except different in that one of the barns was on fire.

5/24/2009 9:29 pm (et) Susansweet: Oh okay.

5/24/2009 9:30 pm (et) Babs: Pretty much exploded.

5/24/2009 9:31 pm (et) Pvt Miles: Pity the poor souls trapped in that barn.

5/24/2009 9:31 pm (et) Susansweet: There is one sentence in this chapter that made me laugh in a way. Brown's men found waiting for their first combat to be maddening , an emotional combination of fear and excitement , stimulated by a plethora of stimuli.

5/24/2009 9:32 pm (et) Susansweet: The stimulated by a plethora of stimuli is what got to me.

5/24/2009 9:32 pm (et) cwbksell: Not much different than the Wilderness where wounded could not move to avoid the fire around them.

5/24/2009 9:32 pm (et) Susansweet: Right all the ammunition and hay in the barn plus the wounded soldiers. Really a sad part of the battle.

5/24/2009 9:32 pm (et) bluelady: I wonder what the results of the plethora of stimuli might be! :P

5/24/2009 9:32 pm (et) Susansweet: True Bob.

5/24/2009 9:33 pm (et) Susansweet: More stimulated maybe?

5/24/2009 9:33 pm (et) Susansweet: Did you notice the comments about the African Americans in the battle ?

5/24/2009 9:34 pm (et) Susansweet: Oct 8 , 1862

5/24/2009 9:34 pm (et) Susansweet: First time.

5/24/2009 9:34 pm (et) mobile_96: The stimuli might have been the firing of the cannon, the screams and yells and the smell of gunpowder.

5/24/2009 9:34 pm (et) bluelady: Yeah and how the union didn't mention them in their reports but the rebs did.

5/24/2009 9:34 pm (et) cwbksell: Did anyone think of the poor farmer who worked all summer and fall to save fodder for his livestock to see it gone due to one cannon ball?

5/24/2009 9:35 pm (et) Susansweet: Do you think they did for one minute ?

5/24/2009 9:35 pm (et) Susansweet: That was interesting that no union reports of the soldiers .

5/24/2009 9:36 pm (et) bluelady: I though of all the landowners who had to pick up the pieces once the armies left!

5/24/2009 9:36 pm (et) Susansweet: They sure would have had a mess to clean up .

5/24/2009 9:38 pm (et) Susansweet: Then there is Gilbert with his signal flags to Sheridan who was getting more and more annoyed

5/24/2009 9:38 pm (et) mobile_96: Confederate Cemetery (mass grave) located just in front of the CW there.

5/24/2009 9:38 pm (et) mobile_96: Pics on my site.

5/24/2009 9:39 pm (et) bluelady: And Sheridan had already lost some of the fight in him by then anyway.

5/24/2009 9:39 pm (et) Babs: Gilbert didn' really have to worry about Sheridan going anywhere.

5/24/2009 9:39 pm (et) cwbksell: "What do you do with all those dead bodies and dad horses?" James Stewart in the movie Shenandoah.

5/24/2009 9:39 pm (et) Susansweet: Will have to look. I am thinking I will bring the book with me to use.

5/24/2009 9:39 pm (et) mobile_96: Plus his ongoing feud.

5/24/2009 9:39 pm (et) Susansweet: Good one Bob.

5/24/2009 9:40 pm (et) bluelady: Bury them before they stink up the place.

5/24/2009 9:40 pm (et) Susansweet: Good idea.

5/24/2009 9:40 pm (et) Susansweet: I notice when the Confederacy needs a good hand they call up Cleburne and his men.

5/24/2009 9:41 pm (et) Susansweet: The Confederate Nutcracker . I love the description of the nutcracker in the next chapter. Shall we move on to that next chapter?

5/24/2009 9:41 pm (et) mobile_96: Don't think the number of dead horses was that high, most of the cav was off to the side, and the wagons were also all away from the battle area.

5/24/2009 9:42 pm (et) Susansweet: Chapter12 Up the Hill Came the Rebels.

5/24/2009 9:42 pm (et) bluelady: IMHO better than any of the others...including is 2 commanders POLK and BRAGG.

5/24/2009 9:42 pm (et) mobile_96: Although, wouldn't take that many to smell up that small field.

5/24/2009 9:42 pm (et) bluelady: Sure

5/24/2009 9:43 pm (et) Susansweet: Cleburne you mean?

5/24/2009 9:43 pm (et) cwbksell: My impression was that Cheatham was the most aggressive and McCook the most persistent on the field.

5/24/2009 9:43 pm (et) bluelady: Yes

5/24/2009 9:43 pm (et) Susansweet: Always like Cheatham in a fight.

5/24/2009 9:43 pm (et) Susansweet: And of course I had Patrick as the picture on my old cell phone . lol

5/24/2009 9:44 pm (et) Susansweet: Rock solid soldier.

5/24/2009 9:44 pm (et) Pvt Miles: McCook certainly had his hands full.

5/24/2009 9:44 pm (et) mobile_96: Think McCook was persistent because he was watching his Corps get chewed up.

5/24/2009 9:44 pm (et) bluelady: But sometimes that can get you in trouble...look at McCook...he got himself in a bind that no one would help him get out at one point.

5/24/2009 9:45 pm (et) mobile_96: His Corps and career.

5/24/2009 9:45 pm (et) Susansweet: McCook did have his hands full and worried about his brother too.

5/24/2009 9:45 pm (et) Susansweet: There is a book on the Fighting McCooks I got for round table from the authors. I really want to get my own copy.

5/24/2009 9:46 pm (et) Susansweet: Alexander Stewart was at Franklin too wasn't he ?

5/24/2009 9:47 pm (et) cwbksell: Sheridan and McCook were not on good terms since West Point days. One could not expect Sheridan to help McCook.

5/24/2009 9:47 pm (et) Susansweet: Oh that's right they were in a fight weren't they ?

5/24/2009 9:48 pm (et) Susansweet: I kept getting lost in all the names.

5/24/2009 9:48 pm (et) bluelady: Took over for Polk after the bishop was killed in GA.

5/24/2009 9:48 pm (et) Susansweet: Thanks.

5/24/2009 9:48 pm (et) cwbksell: Yes Sue, Alexander Stewart was at Franklin. There is a Bio of him.

5/24/2009 9:49 pm (et) Susansweet: Noe has such a way with saying things , he talks about Harris discovering a regiment was not where he stationed them. "Only their knapsacks remained in position"

5/24/2009 9:50 pm (et) Susansweet: Thanks Bob, think I have it on my list .

5/24/2009 9:50 pm (et) bluelady: lol they must have wanted to leave in a hurry! hehe

5/24/2009 9:51 pm (et) Susansweet: Or saving their spot for later.

5/24/2009 9:52 pm (et) mobile_96: Some of these units had just come up, and hadn't set up a camp yet, so still had their knapsacks on their back

5/24/2009 9:52 pm (et) bluelady: ROTFL!

5/24/2009 9:53 pm (et) Susansweet: Or the other one Rousseau's posting of his regiment theein the first place stood and cried out a commonsense but unmilitary order tha William Hardee never thought to include in his tactics manual. " break and rally"

5/24/2009 9:54 pm (et) Pvt Miles: I liked that, Susan.

5/24/2009 9:54 pm (et) Susansweet: Kind of like the order Lincoln gave his men in the Black Hawk war when he came to a fence.

5/24/2009 9:55 pm (et) bluelady: I think that would translate as being a "orderly retreat".

5/24/2009 9:55 pm (et) Susansweet: Right.

5/24/2009 9:56 pm (et) Pvt Miles: Terrill was once again pre-occupied with his artillery when he went down.

5/24/2009 9:56 pm (et) Susansweet: He sure was single minded with his artillery

5/24/2009 9:57 pm (et) bluelady: So much for his statement to his buddies earlier...the chances of all 4 of them dying is slim...well the battle got 3 of the 4 of them.

5/24/2009 9:58 pm (et) Susansweet: I know I was counting who had died when I got to that statement.

5/24/2009 9:58 pm (et) Susansweet: Kind of like others who didn't believe they would be hit in other battles.

5/24/2009 9:58 pm (et) mobile_96: Like the Couldn't hit an elephant at this rang.....!

5/24/2009 9:58 pm (et) bluelady: Yeah.

5/24/2009 9:58 pm (et) Susansweet: Then there is the confusion over the Polk Flag.

5/24/2009 9:59 pm (et) Susansweet: Black flag and then it is captured

5/24/2009 10:00 pm (et) cwbksell: Sue, Are you referring to the Black Flag?

5/24/2009 10:00 pm (et) Susansweet: Right.

5/24/2009 10:00 pm (et) Susansweet: 1st Tennessee Infantry.

5/24/2009 10:00 pm (et) Pvt Miles: The note concerning the Polk flag is interesting.

5/24/2009 10:01 pm (et) bluelady: much for Sedgewick.

5/24/2009 10:01 pm (et) Pvt Miles: p.428

5/24/2009 10:01 pm (et) cwbksell: Shortly after that there was mention of the Blue flag with the single star. Was that the flag thought to be the black flag?

5/24/2009 10:02 pm (et) mobile_96: Correct cwbk.

5/24/2009 10:02 pm (et) Susansweet: I was trying to figure out who would have been carrying a bonnie blue flag but that wasn't carried then.

5/24/2009 10:03 pm (et) Susansweet: I also noticed a Colonel Sweet but no relation that I know of . lol

5/24/2009 10:04 pm (et) mobile_96: 1st thing I wondered Susan.

5/24/2009 10:04 pm (et) cwbksell: Thought the black flag was only used in guerrilla warfare on the western border. There is a book about Black Flag by Goodrich.

5/24/2009 10:04 pm (et) Pvt Miles: I was waiting for you to mention him. :0)

5/24/2009 10:04 pm (et) Susansweet: What was most interesting was the comment about the High water mark of the Confederacy in the western theatre and being no less important than the Angle at Gettysburg . and wondering where is the monument at Perryville to the high water mark as it is at Gettysburg.

5/24/2009 10:05 pm (et) Susansweet: I have read that one Bob it is a good one. Black flag means no quarter always. Was used at the Alamo too.

5/24/2009 10:05 pm (et) Susansweet: Also there was discussion about Lincoln after the Dalgren afraid had waved the "black flag"

5/24/2009 10:06 pm (et) Susansweet: But the flag turned out to be dark blue

5/24/2009 10:06 pm (et) cwbksell: I believe that is what the authors of these Perryville books are trying to do, just as the vets of Perryville did before they died.

5/24/2009 10:06 pm (et) Susansweet: Has a red cross with white stars.

5/24/2009 10:06 pm (et) mobile_96: Not one, Starkweathers final line is still on private property (last I heard).

5/24/2009 10:07 pm (et) Susansweet: Should be a big monument just like the one at Gettysburg .

5/24/2009 10:07 pm (et) bluelady: That might be the reason why there is no mark there.

5/24/2009 10:07 pm (et) Susansweet: Oops my southern roots just showed.

5/24/2009 10:08 pm (et) mobile_96: And the land up to the crossroads was only recently obtained by the park IIRC

5/24/2009 10:08 pm (et) Susansweet: Good story about Cleburne on page 264

5/24/2009 10:09 pm (et) Susansweet: Guess I should ask at the visitors center when I am there if there are plans.

5/24/2009 10:10 pm (et) Susansweet: Also there appears to have been at least one woman fighting alongside her husband.

5/24/2009 10:11 pm (et) mobile_96: Suspect that Holman will be giving the tour.

5/24/2009 10:11 pm (et) bluelady: About Frazer as he witnessed Cleburne's men wearing the blue.. I guess I better find a white hankey.

5/24/2009 10:11 pm (et) Susansweet: I have another question I though the Louisiana Tigers were Wheat's Louisiana tigers .Noe refers to them as Avegno Zouaves.

5/24/2009 10:12 pm (et) mobile_96: Also, note, the VC there is Very small, don't think all of us can fit in the 'store' at the same time.

5/24/2009 10:12 pm (et) Susansweet: Another one of those good zingers.

5/24/2009 10:12 pm (et) Susansweet: Oh no a feeding frenzy will occur.

5/24/2009 10:12 pm (et) cwbksell: Sue, one of the best books about women fighting with (or without) their husband is They Fought Like Demons by Blanton.

5/24/2009 10:13 pm (et) Susansweet: I have read that one.

5/24/2009 10:13 pm (et) bluelady: Kind of like at Prairie Grove and Pea Ridge.

5/24/2009 10:13 pm (et) Susansweet: Have it in my library.

5/24/2009 10:14 pm (et) mobile_96: And last time I was there, the book selection was Very Small.

5/24/2009 10:14 pm (et) Susansweet: Any more comments tonight ?

5/24/2009 10:14 pm (et) mobile_96: That is a good book.

5/24/2009 10:14 pm (et) Susansweet: Any one know about the Louisiana Tigers ? or do I have to wait til next week end and talk to them personally ?

5/24/2009 10:15 pm (et) cwbksell: Sue is very selective. I might also mention the books I have recommended so far are all in her collection.

5/24/2009 10:15 pm (et) Pvt Miles: I believe more that more that one unit adopted the moniker.

5/24/2009 10:16 pm (et) Susansweet: Homework :May 31 Chapter 13 I Want No More Night Fighting and 14 Scenes of Blood and Suffering 49 pages

5/24/2009 10:16 pm (et) Susansweet: Bob I have never met a bookstore I didn't like.

5/24/2009 10:17 pm (et) bluelady: I will find out more about the tigers for next week

5/24/2009 10:17 pm (et) Susansweet: Any other comments on the book or shall we call an end to the discussion for tonight. Good one all.