Sunday, August 27, 2017

Cold Harbor

What Abraham Lincoln deemed his emancipated were good for

As another Lame Cherry exclusive in matter anti matter.

For all the mistakes of leaders in the American Civil War, it was never the politicians nor generals who paid. It was always the civilians and the troops who were devoured by a madness at times which only satan could comprehend.

Cold Habor or the ground of Gaine's Mills from the 7 Days Battle of 1862 AD in the year of our Lord, was one of arrogance on the Union side, as much as the Confederates hot bloodedness at Gettysburg under General Lee.

Cold Harbor was a long engagement of almost 2 weeks, but one telling day in the armies led by Grant and Lee. General Lee was without his best in General James Longstreet who had been wounded, but had begun trench warfare as Lee had, had enough of 5 Yankees against 1 Confederate for odds, and began a 7 mile long works to hold Grant's army at bay.

It was an issue where the sound judgment of Gettysburg in General Meade, was trusted by General Grant who was in command, to strike in concentration on the Confederate lines at Cold Harbor. Where Meade chose was the place the Confederate gunners had chosen for effect and they were waiting.
Into this Grant had ordered Meade observation of his commanders to pick the best route of attack, but in the end with Meade in command of the assault, Grant had not checked on Meade, Meade had not supervised his commanders, and his commanders failed to scout the proper attack, what was the result was Gettysburg for the Union, in June 3rd was the most dereliction of duty of the war.

I have always regretted that the last assault at Cold Harbor was ever made. I might say the same thing of the assault of the 22d of May, 1863, at Vicksburg. At Cold Harbor no advantage whatever was gained to compensate for the heavy loss we sustained. Indeed, the advantages other than those of relative losses, were on the Confederate side. Before that, the Army of Northern Virginia seemed to have acquired a wholesome regard for the courage, endurance, and soldierly qualities generally of the Army of the Potomac. They no longer wanted to fight them "one Confederate to five Yanks." Indeed, they seemed to have given up any idea of gaining any advantage of their antagonist in the open field. They had come to much prefer breastworks in their front to the Army of the Potomac. This charge seemed to revive their hopes temporarily; but it was of short duration. The effect upon the Army of the Potomac was the reverse. When we reached the James River, however, all effects of the battle of Cold Harbor seemed to have disappeared.
— Ulysses S. Grant

By June 4th and to June 12th, a prelude to World War I trench warfare was unleashed at Cold Harbor with even more horrific casualties. What followed in this exchange was something that General Grant should have been relieved of command and Abraham Lincoln impeached over, as this was the scene of the battlefield.

Every corpse I saw was as black as coal. It was not possible to remove them. They were buried where they fell. ... I saw no live man lying on this ground. The wounded must have suffered horribly before death relieved them, lying there exposed to the blazing southern sun o' days, and being eaten alive by beetles o' nights.
Union artillery officer, Frank Wilkeson

And what was the cause of this? General Grant did not want to ask for a truce to care for the wounded, as doing so would admit to General Lee that the Army of the Potomac had lost the battle. Instead wounded Americans lay dying for days in the no man's land as snipers shot across them and shells screamed over them.

The trenches were hot, dusty, and miserable, but conditions were worse between the lines, where thousands of wounded Federal soldiers suffered horribly without food, water, or medical assistance. Grant was reluctant to ask for a formal truce that would allow him to recover his wounded because that would be an acknowledgment he had lost the battle. He and Lee traded notes across the lines from June 5 to 7 without coming to an agreement, and when Grant formally requested a two-hour cessation of hostilities, it was too late for most of the unfortunate wounded, who were now bloated corpses. Grant was widely criticized in the Northern press for this lapse of judgment

This lapse of judgment was deliberate. General Grant did not remove General Meade, who is still a celebrated hero with places named after him, and General Grant weighed not admitting to General Lee what Lee already understood in Grant was whipped at Cold Harbor, was worth the murderous torture of leaving Soldiers to suffer and rot on a battlefield.

The final result of Cold Harbor was Grant unable to check General Lee, had to resort to other pressures and diversions on other fields to force General Lee to thin his ranks and send reinforcements to other theaters of war.
That is the historical reality of the Battles of Cold Harbor. General Grant did not defeat General Lee at any time. General Grant instead weakened General Lee by pressuring other Confederate commanders who either failed outright in Jubal Early, the racist apologist for northern brutality or checked General Johnston to not assist General Lee.