Confederate Gray and Butternut

Mar 2019
19
Arizona
#12
Of course, it doesn't really matter if there was actually a shoe warehouse at Getysburg in 1863.

What matters is: Did the ANV believe there might be one, this explaining why the ANV blundered into the mighty Army of the Potomac holding the high ground at G'burg and crippling Confederate offensive operation in the east for the rest of the war.

The historical record demonstrates that the Confederates advanced on G'burg in search of shoes.

In Foote's dialogue, Heth was quick to take up A.P. Hill's suggestion about G'burg. "If there is no objection," he said, "I will take my division tomorrow and go to Gettysburg and get those shoes."
"None in the world," Hill responded.

Only a fool would dispute Shelby Foote.
 

Chlodio

Ad Honorem
Aug 2016
3,484
Dispargum
#13
If Heth was disingenuous about his motive to advance on Gettysburg, he did not wait until he wrote his memoirs. He mentioned going to Gettysburg for shoes as early as his after action report dated Sept 13, 1863.
Maj. Gen. Henry Heth's Official Report (OR) For The Battle Of Gettysburg

Lee backed him up in his own after action report written in January 1864. Lee didn't mention shoes specifically, but he repeated Heth about searching for supplies.
Furman: Lee's Gettysburg Campaign Report

However, it is also correct about Confederate troops previously passing through Gettysburg so there were unlikely to be any shoes or other supplies remaining on June 30 or July 1. Heth was either disingenuous about the claim of shoes, or more likely, did not know about the previous Confederate visit to Gettysburg.

The shoe story feels false because it only explains why Heth was poking around Gettysburg on June 30 and July 1. It does not explain why three other Confederate divisions were marching toward Gettysburg on July 1. Lee's report indicates that Lee ordered his army to concentrate in the Gettysburg-Cashtown area, but he left it to his subordinates and the enemy as to how his army would effect that concentration. By the evening of June 30 Lee must have known there was Union cavalry in Gettysburg. He must have known or should have known that both Hill and Ewell would be marching toward Gettysburg on the 1st. Claims that Lee did not intend to fight a battle at Gettysburg must acknowledge that he did little to prevent it. Apparently, once again, Lee's tendency to encourage initiative by giving his subordinates vague orders resulted in Lee having little control over his army.
 
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Viperlord

Ad Honorem
Aug 2010
8,096
VA
#14
Of course, it doesn't really matter if there was actually a shoe warehouse at Getysburg in 1863.

What matters is: Did the ANV believe there might be one, this explaining why the ANV blundered into the mighty Army of the Potomac holding the high ground at G'burg and crippling Confederate offensive operation in the east for the rest of the war.

The historical record demonstrates that the Confederates advanced on G'burg in search of shoes.

In Foote's dialogue, Heth was quick to take up A.P. Hill's suggestion about G'burg. "If there is no objection," he said, "I will take my division tomorrow and go to Gettysburg and get those shoes."
"None in the world," Hill responded.

Only a fool would dispute Shelby Foote.
Foote is not considered a particularly trustworthy academic source; he does not have a bibliography and relied heavily on secondary, anecdotal sources. This is a bad combo; it makes it virtually impossible to backtrace whatever research he did and verify it.

No well respected American civil war historian has ever even remotely disputed the Confederate Army's intention of seizing the shoe factory at Gettysburg.
I am deriving my views of Gettysburg from actually reading the "well respected" historians. You apparently have not, and are a posturing fraud, as your hyping of Foote indicates.

There is absolutely nothing about shoe factories in Coddington, the most comprehensive and academic account of the battle, still the standard, or Sears, the usual recommendation from licensed battlefield guides at Gettysburg. Sears seems to think that Heth believed there were shoes, but, according to him, after hearing Pettigrew's reports of Federals, Hill's intention was to discover whatever was in his front, per Hill's own words. Hill was the commander on the scene who authorized Heth's expedition, and Lee was aware and approved it because he intended to concentrate the army in that area anyway, having just told Ewell to move to the area.Coddington also very directly points to this being an overall reflection of Lee's intention to concentrate in Gettysburg because he knew battle was coming and was increasingly confident it would be somewhere in the area of the Gettysburg-Chambersburg Pike.

For more from Coddington, this is directly from him. Pg. 263.
In other words, he [Heth] used up the shoe leather of approximately 2,400 of his infantrymen on a foraging expedition which involved a round trip of sixteen miles or more in weather Lee felt was almost too ennervating for men on the move. General Heth should have realized that there was little likelihood of finding worthwhile supplies of any kind and shoes in particular in a town through which Early's men had swept four days earlier. Even if he did not know about Early, Heth's objectives hardly justified using so many men on a long, tiring march, especially as without a cavalry escort he took the added risk of sending them into a trap
Your claim appears to be that after this, Heth then used his entire division followed by the rest of Hill's corps purely to search for shoes, yet another miles-long trip. Hill moved his corps there with the intention of discovering what was in his front, and then likely staying if not ordered otherwise; he even ordered his rearmost element, Anderson, who would not be able to arrive until nightfall after a long march, to move for Gettysburg. This is all directly from Hill's report. Which does not mention shoes. It's also worth noting that if Heth did not know about Early's move through the town, Hill, a corps commander who was made aware of fellow corps commander Ewell's movements and knew the geography, almost certainly did.
A.P. Hill's Gettysburg OR

You have presented no evidence to support your claim. Thanks for playing.
 
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Viperlord

Ad Honorem
Aug 2010
8,096
VA
#15
If Heth was disingenuous about his motive to advance on Gettysburg, he did not wait until he wrote his memoirs. He mentioned going to Gettysburg for shoes as early as his after action report dated Sept 13, 1863.
Maj. Gen. Henry Heth's Official Report (OR) For The Battle Of Gettysburg

Lee backed him up in his own after action report written in January 1864. Lee didn't mention shoes specifically, but he repeated Heth about searching for supplies.
Furman: Lee's Gettysburg Campaign Report
.
Heth had as much motive to make it appear as though he was not looking for a fight in September of 1863 as he did later. In actuality, I think the overall explanation is fairly simple; Heth poked around Gettysburg in response to Lee's intention to concentrate in the area and yes, probably looking for supplies (though likely not just specifically shoes) before July 1. His subordinates encountered some Union forces there, militia or cavalry, and reported it. Hill and Heth saw an easy win by chasing out whatever was there, and it was completely within acceptable bounds for them to do so, given the army's pending concentration in the area. Heth didn't go storming back there with his full division, followed up by Hill's corps, to look for shoes; you'd burn up more shoe leather than you could possibly find in a town of that size marching that many troops.The disastrous aftermath of the battle gave everyone involved plenty of reason to downplay the combativeness of Confederate intentions on July 1. By the time he wrote his memoirs, Heth probably believed it himself.

Hill tends to get perhaps too much of a pass for questionable decisions and his corps' rather unspectacular performance at Gettysburg, but it's somewhat understandable, given that Lee was at his shoulder most of the time with the full ability to override any of those decisions he did not like.
 

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