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 Post subject: Union XI Corps
PostPosted: Tue Oct 02, 2012 7:44 am 
...continuation of XI Corps thread started in "The best western movie ever made" topic

Blake wrote:
Union XI Corps... Last we saw them they were waving white flags and running for the rear

imiller wrote:
So who did run away from Jackson at Chancellorsville?


So who ran away from Thomas at Missionary Ridge? :mrgreen:
Argghhh.... :x once again the Southern myth of cowardly Yankees running away from brave Confederates rears its ugly head. The XI CORPS DID NOT RUN AWAY from Jackson at Chancelorsville!! Look at the casualty figures.
General Howard commanded the corps at Chancellorsville, May 1–3 1863, at which time it numbered 12,169 effectives, and was composed of the divisions of Generals Charles Devens, von Steinwehr, and Schurz. It contained 27 regiments of infantry, of which 13 were German regiments. The men of the XI Corps were good soldiers, for the most part tried and veteran troops, but their leadership let them down. On May 1, Robert E. Lee and his subordinate, "Stonewall" Jackson, came up with a risky, but daring, plan of attack. They would split their 40,000-man force at Chancellorsville, with Jackson taking his Second Corps of 28,000 men around to attack the Union right flank. On May 2, Jackson flawlessly executed his stealthy flanking march, whose target happened to be the unlucky XI Corps. The right flank of the Union line was not anchored to any geographic barrier, such as a river or mountain; the flank was "in the air". Although General Howard had been warned of Confederate movement across his front, he took no steps to prepare his command against Jackson's attack. When Jackson's corps struck at about 6 p.m., the XI Corps was completely unprepared, many of the men engaged in eating supper. The attack was a complete success and the high point of Jackson's military career, but it was an utter disaster for the XI Corps. Some of the brigades were able to change front to meet the attack, and made a gallant resistance for over an hour, seriously retarding the enemy's onset, after which they retired slowly and in good order. The loss of the corps at Chancellorsville was 217 killed, 1,218 wounded, and 972 captured or missing; total, 2,407.

In the Battle of Chancellorsville, Leopold Von Gilsa's brigade was on the right flank of the army on May 2, 1863, when Stonewall Jackson made his march to outflank the Union army. Von Gilsa warned the division commander, Charles Devens, that Confederate troops had been detected in the woods near his line. Devens and Oliver Otis Howard, the corps commander, ignored his warnings. The Confederates were thus able to attack von Gilsa's un-prepared brigade. Von Gilsa and other Germans were blamed by Howard and other Yankees for the misfortunes of XI Corps, a display of xenophobia (i.e., a dislike or fear of people from other countries or of that which is foreign) that was protested by German Americans at the time. Von Gilsa was noted for the use of profanity in his native German. During the retreat from Chancellorsville, Von Gilsa and Howard crossed paths and Von Gilsa poured out a stream oaths in German with such vehemence and in such profusion that Howard thought he had gone insane.


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