Thursday, August 8, 2013

The Great Militia Mobilization of June, 1863

(and Richard S. Ewell Ultramarathon)

“Separated from Hellas by more than a thousand miles, they had not even a guide to point the way.”
Xenophon, Anabasis

Thálatta! Thálatta! 
More than a year before the March to the Sea was a dirty thought in William Tecumseh Sherman’s mind, Robert E. Lee marched the Army of Virginia 200 miles to the banks of the Susquehanna River in central Pennsylvania.

Pennsylvania’s Cumberland Valley and the nearby land west of the Susquehanna River is one of the most bountiful regions in the United States, and in 1863 it was virtually undefended.    At the valley’s north end, no one guarded Harrisburg, the state capital, or the vital Susquehanna bridges, including the Rockville Bridge carrying the Pennsylvania Railroad to Ohio and Pittsburgh’s Allegheny Arsenal and Fort Pitt Foundry.

In the spring of 1863 the Confederacy was in crisis.    Despite a magnificent victory at Chancellorsville, Robert E. Lee’s army was starving and Lee’s soldiers were beginning to fall ill with the disease of malnutrition:  scurvy.  In the West, Ulysses Grant’s grand maneuver had placed the Confederacy’s last bastion on the Mississippi, Vicksburg, under siege.

The crisis at Vicksburg seemed to dictate that Lee send reinforcements from Virginia to break the siege and drive Grant back to Missouri.   But Pennsylvania beckoned.
“Carrying the war into the heart of the enemy’s country is the surest plan of making him share its burdens and foiling his plans.”
-- Dennis Hart Mahan, West Point Professor of Engineering and the Art of War

Perhaps it was at West Point, while superintendent in the 1850s, that Lee became a disciple of Napoleon and the dashing French tactics studied in Professor Dennis Hart Mahan’s Napoleon Club (seminar like meetings held for the base officers and some senior cadets).  Pennsylvania beckoned.   The Shenandoah Valley beckoned, the perfect avenue for the grand Napoleonic stroke:  the Manoeuvre Sur Les Derrieres.   The Sirens beckoned:  Ulm, Jena, Eylau, Wagram, Smolensk.  Lee argued that instead of reinforcing Vicksburg he could invade Pennsylvania, capture mountains of food for his army, destroy the strategic bridges on the Susquehanna, and lure the Union army into the open where he would destroy it.   Vicksburg was Grant’s Smolensk:  Lee would not be outdone.  Someone should have stuffed beeswax in Jefferson Davis’s ears, or at least reminded Lee and Davis that Smolensk and Napoleon’s other victories led to Moscow, death in the Russian winter, and Waterloo, on a battlefield remarkably similar to Gettysburg.  On June 3, 1863 the Army of Virginia began its march north.   The Blue Ridge and South Mountain on the eastern border of the Shenandoah and Cumberland valleys shielded Lee from detection and attack, but also blinded him to his enemy’s movements.   With hubris, the prideful arrogance of classical mythology, Lee’s 1863 tragedy began, his clear Napoleonic vision engulfed in the fog of war and miscalculation.   Pennsylvania began to buzz with defenders.

“You First My Dear Gaston!”  “After You My Dear Alphonse!”
It is hard to grasp today that the bickering between the Republican Secretary of War and the Republican governor of Pennsylvania over who would call out the Pennsylvania state militia would be the prequel to a 1900 comic strip about two bumbling, overly polite Frenchmen.
In late 1862, General Major Robert Schenck relieved General Wool as commander of the Middle Department, which was responsible for guarding the long frontier between Ohio and Delaware.  Schenck took command even though he’d been wounded at Second Bull Run and was permanently disabled.   The Middle Department held two key strong points in the Shenandoah Valley at Winchester and Harpers Ferry.   Whatever the good intentions of stationing troops in the Shenandoah, the practical effect of these Union garrisons was to supply the Confederate army with arms and ammunition.   When Winchester’s commander Robert Milroy ignored  Schenck’s order to withdraw to Harper’s Ferry (an order that neglected to mention the approaching Confederate tsunami), Lee steamrolled Milroy’s  hapless division and then bypassed Harper’s Ferry (June 12 to 15).

On June 10th, after discovering the Confederates were on the move and realizing Schenck’s responsibilities were too broad, the War of Department established a Department of the Monongahela at Pittsburgh and a Department of the Susquehanna at Harrisburg, Major General Darius Couch commanding the later.   The War Department thought a big cavalry raid was headed for Pittsburgh and established Couch’s command to placate Pennsylvania’s Governor Andrew Curtain who thought Lee was headed for Harrisburg, the state capital.  Couch had virtually no troops and, although he was promised supplies from government depots and arsenals, he was told “Federal funds could not be used to pay militia that had not been mustered into the service of the United States.”  The Pennsylvania militia, like that of every other state except New York, existed only on paper so paying militia soldiers was the least of Couch and Curtain’s problems.

On June 12th Governor Curtain and General Couch conferred on how to raise troops.   With the grudging concurrence of Couch, Curtain telegraphed Washington and requested that recruiting for 3-year volunteer units be stopped and recruits diverted to Couch’s command.   Secretary of War Stanton immediately denied the request and in a separate telegram rebuked Couch.  Curtain then issued a proclamation “inviting” the attention of the people of Pennsylvania to Couch’s orders to enlist volunteers.   Volunteers would serve until the end of the war, promised pay when Congress got around to appropriating money for it.   Very few Pennsylvanians volunteered.   By the 13th Couch and Curtain were receiving reports that Winchester was under heavy attack.   Curtain wanted to call out the (nonexistent) state militia, but was on unpopular political ground and did not know if he had the authority since the tsunami hadn’t hit Pennsylvania, yet.  Curtain wired General-in-Chief Halleck asking if, under direction of the President, he should call out the militia.   Halleck wired back curtly for Curtain to go through military channels.   Curtain then wired Stanton:  “The President should authorize the Governor to call out the militia today.”  Stanton replied: “Has not the Governor the right, under your state laws and constitution to call out the militia of the State whenever he deems it necessary to do so? This Department has no objection to his doing so.”  By the 14th Stanton realized the invasion was headed for Harrisburg and so informed Couch and Curtain.  Stanton began to send Couch some experienced officers and a few volunteers started to appear, very few.

Curtain and his advisors were desperately looking for cover to call out the (nonexistent) Pennsylvania militia.   They sent Couch’s most trusted aide, Colonel Thomas Scott, to Washington to ask the President to order Curtain to call out the militia.   After proposing this to Stanton and the Solicitor General, Scott was told “that the plan was illegal; the law expressly forbade the President to issue such an order to any state. Lincoln could…request the governors of the several states to furnish men to serve for six months or more, in view of the threatened invasion.”  On June 15th, Lincoln issued a proclamation calling for 100,000 volunteers.  Curtain followed with his own proclamation for 50,000 volunteers to fill the Pennsylvania quota.   Still virtually no volunteers.
HARRISBURGH, Penn., June 16.
To the People of Philadelphia:
…Yesterday, under the Proclamation of the President, the militia were called out.  To-day a new and pressing invitation has been given to furnish men to repel the invasion.  Philadelphia has not responded; meanwhile, the enemy is six miles this side of Chambersburgh, and advancing rapidly….
-- A.G. CURTIN.  (reported in New York Times)

The six month commitment was a show stopper.  Curtain and Stanton continued to bicker over the term of service.   Finally on June 17th, Stanton gave in:  “Let them be called upon to muster under the President’s call.  If they refuse, then muster them whichever way you can… [however, Stanton] refused to issue anything [supplies and equipment] to any troops not Federalized.”  8,000 men from the cities, mines and farms of Pennsylvania began to take up arms for the duration of the emergency, headed for the railroad depots and the militia camps at Harrisburg.

By late June 15th,  Ewell’s Corps was near the Potomac at the southern end of the Cumberland Valley and Ewell’s cavalry screen had captured Chambersburg in Pennsylvania, only 50 miles short of Harrisburg.   Confederate foraging parties looted the Cumberland’s bounty, grain, livestock, anything that moved, and marched it south.   They burned all the railroad equipment and bridges in their path.  In one of the war’s worst atrocities, African-Americans were rounded up and marched south along with the captured livestock, escaped slave or not.    At this point Ewell’s cavalry screen, Jenkins’ brigade, could have captured Harrisburg without a fight.   Instead, the inveterately timid Jenkins mistook a crowd of spectators for the Union army, panicked, evacuated Chambersburg and retreated back toward the safety of Ewell’s infantry.

McClellan is on the way with 40,000 Troops!
This was the tall tale farmer D.K. Appenzellar told the Confederates when they returned to Chambersburg later in June causing the ever timid Jenkins and Rodes’ division to deploy for combat when a small company of Union cavalry appeared on the horizon.  It was not, however, far from the truth.

Democratic Governor Horatio Seymour had spent the spring quarreling with the Lincoln administration over the draft and New York State’s quota, but he immediately said “YES” to Lincoln’s call for emergency volunteers.
The New York State militia unlike that of the other states was a real, functioning organization, not just a statute on paper.   It had generals, armories, weapons, uniforms and soldiers.  It’s famous “Silk Stocking” 7th Regiment and “Fighting Irish” 69th had been among the first units to arrive to defend Washington and Lincoln in 1861.   New York militia units commanded by William Tecumseh Sherman had fought at Bull Run.  Seymour put George McClellan a former railroad executive and until recently commander of the Army of the Potomac in charge of the mobilization.  Most of the New York State militia units were in New York City and Brooklyn.   Within two days of Lincoln’s call on June 15th, New York regiments were on their way by rail to Harrisburg and they would keep coming until over 12,000 had reached the city’s defenses.   In total New York State sent 27 regiments to the defense of Pennsylvania and Maryland.   20 of the regiments came from New York City and Brooklyn.  McClellan, however, never crossed the Hudson with them.

The noble response of the New-York State Militia of this City to the call for troops to meet the pressing emergency in Maryland and Pennsylvania, was exemplified yesterday by the departure of no less than three regiments -- the Thirty-seventh, Twenth-second, and Eleventh, making six regiments in two days.
– New York Times, June 19, 1863

Three more regiments left the City yesterday for the seat of war, making twelve in all, since the present emergency -- the Sixth and Sixty-ninth militia, and the One Hundred and Seventy-eighth Volunteers…. The men carry with them two days' rations, and from their soldier like appearance and determined looks, there is no doubt but when they attach themselves to the great army at Harrisburgh, and take the field to meet the foe, they will nobly sustain the Irish character for indomitable courage….."Are you Irishmen or Germans?" "Neither," was the noble response of the Captain of Company K, "we are all Americans."  
– New York Times, June 23, 1863

There were no departures of City military regiments yesterday. The Tenth and Fifty-fifth are rapidly filling up, and will leave soon. Recruiting for the volunteers is quite brisk, and many of the returned soldiers are reenlisting [two year volunteers whose enlistments had just expired]. 
– New York Times, June 24, 1863

Except for a small contingent from New Jersey, no other state sent militia to aid Pennsylvania.

“After you, Alphonse”  “No, Gaston, after you.” – Round Two
The first and probably only African American to die in combat during the Gettysburg campaign was decapitated by a Confederate artillery shell in the trenches defending the Wrightsville Bridge on the Susquehanna.  Predictably Curtain and Stanton bickered over who would take the blame for granting that tragic distinction to an unknown member of the 27th Pennsylvania Militia.
The most enthusiastic response to Governor Curtain’s call to arms came from Pennsylvania’s African Americans, but when offered African American units, Curtain demurred.  He issued a proclamation refusing to accept these units unless authorized by the War Department.   When Captain William Babe appeared, anyway, at Harrisburg with an African America company raised at Philadelphia they were ingloriously sent home by Couch.   The Confederates were closing in on Harrisburg.  “On the 18th, Stanton authorized Couch to receive any volunteer units, without regard to color [Stanton no doubt concluding it was now pointless to tell Curtain that Curtain was in command of the Pennsylvania militia].” 

Before closing this report, justice compels me to make mention of the excellent conduct of the company of Negroes from Columbia.  After working industriously in the rifle-pits all day, when the fight commenced they took their guns and stood up to their work bravely.
- Colonel  Jacob Frick, after action report, defense of the Wrightsville Bridge (in Paradis)

The Horny-Handed Sons of Toil
Thousands of Pennsylvania and New York militia were crowding Harrisburg.   Some even knew how to load and fire a musket.   Couch was busy teaching the rest which end of a musket was which.  The missing ingredient was combat engineers, the people who build fortifications.  The War Department sent engineering officers from West Point to supervise construction, but the militia troops assigned to dig the rifle pits (entrenchments) and artillery platforms were soon blistered, bloodied and exhausted.
It’s odd to say that a great militia mobilization virtually ignored by Civil War historians (especially the prominent kind) had unsung heroes, but African Americans deserve the title.   The Pennsylvania railroads had a big stake in stopping Confederates bent on destroying bridges, locomotives and railroad stock.   The railroads were only too happy to volunteer their construction crews to fortify Harrisburg.   The construction crews, which were predominantly black, were delighted to be assigned the work.  Their delight turned to mirth when they reached the fortifications and discovered the foundering white militia trying to move earth.  Other African American just showed up and started to dig, notably at Wrightsville.  Calloused, experienced hands took over the work and up went the bastions of Fort Washington defending the Carlisle Road approach to Harrisburg, including gun emplacements for 25 howitzers Couch had managed to scavenge from War Department depots.  Downstream, African Americans helped throw up fortifications on the York Pike securing the approach to the Wrightsville Bridge where railroad cars and crowds of refugees and livestock were being frantically evacuated east of the Susquehanna.

Couch Takes on The Richard S. Ewell Ultramarathon
On June 19th General Lee approved Ewell’s plan for the attack on Harrisburg.   Ewell’s divisions would advance up the Cumberland Valley from their positions near the Potomac and then split up at Chambersburg for a two pronged attack on the Susquehanna defenses.   Ewell with Rodes and Johnson’s divisions would advance directly on Harrisburg through Carlisle.   Early’s division would advance to York from Gettyburg after crossing through the Cashtown Gap, destroy the Wrightville bridge on the Susquehanna and then swing north from York to join Ewell at Carlisle for assault on Harrisburg.   Rodes and Johnson had a 70 mile march from the Potomac to Carlisle and a 20+ mile march from there to Harrisburg.   Early would have to march over 150 miles to complete his mission at Wrightsville and then meet up with Ewell at Carlisle.  Marching at the rate of 15 miles a day,  Ewell’s corps would be concentrated in front of Harrisburg at the end of June and Lee would be able to celebrate Independence Day in command of Pennsylvania’s state capital, with the United States cut in half, and the armaments factories of Pennsylvania under his guns: Seyfert, McManus & Co., Fort Pitt Foundry, Allegheny Arsenal, and the Phoenix Iron Works, manufacturer of the 3-inch Ordnance Rifle, by 1863 arguably the Union’s most important artillery gun.

Ewell’s corps had already marched nearly 100 miles to reach Maryland.  On June 22nd Early’s division left the Potomac south of the old Antietam battlefield.    On the same day, Rodes’ division camped north of Antietam began its advance followed by Johnson’s.    As they marched into Pennsylvania, looting as they went, they began to encounter jeering woman, the Confederates merrily wisecracked in retort: “We have lots of experience storming Yankee breastworks.”
With fortifications going up at Harrisburg and Wrightsville and thousands of militia troops filling up his ranks, Couch went on the offensive, of sorts.  He moved a brigade under General Joseph Knipe out towards Chambersburg and Carlisle to cover the western approach to Harrisburg.  After Ewell reached Chambersburg, Couch also moved a regiment to Gettysburg to cover York and Wrightsville to the south.  The Carlisle brigade consisted of the 8th and 11th New York militia, both of which had fought at Bull Run, the Patapsco Guard (an invalid company) and Boyd’s 1st New York Cavalry, a company size force that had escaped Milroy’s Winchester disaster.   The Gettysburg regiment was the 26th Pennsylvania under Colonel William Jennings.   The 26th had two days of training and many of its soldiers were students from the Pennsylvania College at Gettysburg.
Couch did not expect his advance troops to outfight or outmarch Ewell’s veterans.  They are not exactly “rabbits,” either, non-competitive runners entered in long distance races by teams to dictate the pace.   Couch would advance and extract (if possible) them by railroad.  This active defense forced Ewell to expend time, ammunition and energy deploying to drive off the defenders.  More importantly, the advance troops kept Couch in contact with Ewell and along with civilian and railroad company “spies” provided Couch with excellent intelligence on the Confederates movements, which Couch relayed to the War Department and Meade.  In particular, Boyd’s 1st New York Cavalry remained in contact with Ewell throughout the crisis.  It was Boyd that panicked Jenkins, when the Confederate mistook the 1st New York’s 120 troopers for McClellan leading an army of 40,000.
Confederates Capture Gettysburg for the First Time
After capturing Chambersburg on the 23rd without a fight, Knipe evacuating to Carlisle, Ewell ordered Early to advance on Wrightsville via Gettysburg and York on the 26th.    Early had a 20 mile march to Gettysburg.  Early’s march passed right through the homestead of Radical Republican leader Thaddeus Steven at Caledonia in the Cashtown Gap, and EARLY BURNED EVERYTHING BELONGING TO STEVENS,  INCLUDING THE CALEDONIA IRON WORKS.   The next day Early discovered the 26th Pennsylvania defending Gettysburg.   The 26th tried to evacuate but was enveloped by Early and scattered after skirmishing just outside town.   175 of the 26th ‘s 750 troops were captured.   Early lined the young prisoners up and gave them a stern lecture before paroling them: “You boys ought to be home with your mothers and not out in the fields where it is dangerous and you might get hurt.”  The hapless Pennsylvanians marched to Carlisle where they are eventually captured, paroled and sent home again.

Early moved on York 20 miles to the east after disposing of the 26th.  He captured the town without a fight on the 28th, and immediately ordered Gordon to attack the Wrightsville bridge 12 miles east of York.  Early was toying with disobeying his orders, capturing the bridge instead of burning it, and taking Harrisburg from the rear.  Gordon arrived at the bridge and found it fortified by the entrenchments dug by the African Americans.  In the trenches were the 27th Pennsylvania militia, the 26th Pennsylvania’s Gettysburg survivors, the African American volunteers, and the Patapsco Guard, which was sent to York after evacuating Chambersburg.   This totaled 1,400 defenders so Gordon deployed his artillery, which included two 25-pounders captured from Milroy at Winchester,  and shelled the trenches to drive them out.   The Pennsylvanians’ commander Colonel Jacob Frick realized he could not stand up to the artillery bombardment and Gordon’s veterans and evacuated across the Susquehanna.   The demolition charges set to blow up a single span of the bridge didn’t do their job, and Frick burned the bridge to prevent its capture.  Early was disappointed, but not nearly as disappointed and embarrassed as he would have been if he’d been on the east bank of the Susquehanna half way to Harrisburg on July 1, 1863.

The Confederacy’s High Tide
A.P. Hill’s corps arrived at Chambersburg on the 6/26.  This freed Ewell to move on Harrisburg by way of Carlisle.   He had a 33 miles march to Carlisle and 22 more after that to Harrisburg.   As they marched the Confederates continued to loot supplies from the countryside.   Knipe evacuated Carlisle after some light skirmishing taking with him 250 troops from the Carlisle Barracks garrison, but leaving behind large quantities of grain and other supplies.   On the 28th, Ewell celebrated the capture of his old army post by holding Sunday services in the morning and a flag raising ceremony in the afternoon.   Jenkins was sent forward to reconnoiter the Harrisburg defenses and exchanged artillery fire with Knipe and the other New York militia brigades at Oyster Point, a road junction just west of the Harrisburg fortifications.   The next morning Jenkins renewed the artillery exchange and attacked with two companies of cavalry, which were driven off with light casualties.   This was a diversion for Jenkins’ to reconnoiter Harrisburg from a hill to the south and forward of Oyster Point.   Rode’s division would assault Harrisburg on the morning of the 30th.    Fatefully,  Ewell’s cavalry screen under Jenkins was now 12 miles west of Carlisle where Ewell was still encamped with Rodes and Johnson’s divisions.
At 3 pm on the 29th, Ewell received a message from Lee ordering Ewell back to Chambersburg.   The Army of the Potomac had been discovered at Frederick, Maryland.   Fatefully, Ewell immediately started Johnson’s division back to Chambersburg.   At 7 pm with Johnson already on the move, Ewell received a second message from Lee ordering Ewell to the vicinity of Cashtown and Gettysburg.   It was too late to recall Johnson.   Ewell sent an order to Early to rendezvous with Rodes at Heidlersburg on the 30th about 10 miles north of Gettysburg.    On July 1st Ewell had Rodes and Early moving west to Cashtown when he discovered A.P. Hill was engaged with the Army of the Potomac and in trouble.   Johnson was still on the other side of South Mountain in the Cumberland Valley.   Jenkins, completely out of position through no fault of his own, was covering Ewell’s rear.  On the afternoon of the 30th Jenkins was skirmishing at Sporting Hill with the New York militia Couch moved forward when he learned the Confederates were evacuating Carlisle.   Very late on the night of the 30th Jenkins was observed moving through Carlisle 30 miles north of Gettysburg.

NUTS!   The Second Battle of Carlisle
“Baldy” Smith may not have actually said “NUTS,” going down in history as the first embattled American general to say that when asked to surrender, but his sentiment wasn’t far from it.
 J.E.B. Stuart was a day late reaching Carlisle, but he had fulfilled his mission.   He was supposed to stay close to Ewell’s flank.  However,  because Ewell moved north on the west side of the mountains bordering the Shenandoah and Cumberland valleys ,  it was impossible for Stuart to cover Ewell until both reached Carlisle at the north end of the Cumberland Valley.    The problem on July 1 was that Stuart’s lead brigade under Fitz Hugh Lee found General Smith with a New York militia brigade there instead of Ewell.   Instead of sensing danger and immediately backing off, Fitz Lee engaged Smith and  demanded his surrender.   Smith said come and get me.   The Confederates unlimbered their artillery and shelled Carlisle, setting the town on fire, but failed to drive off the New York militia.   Stuart was at a loss, wondering what to do next.

It seems inexcusable that Stuart missed the first two days of Gettysburg.    Blame Stuart for being late and not making contact with Ewell.   Blame Lee’s arrogant and overly ambitious plan.  Blame Ewell and Early for failing to find and alert Stuart once they’d been ordered to concentrate near Gettysburg with the Army of the Potomac nearby.   Blame fate.  It was the most impossible of coincidences that Early and Stuart missed each other at York.   Give some credit, though, to Couch and Smith for their active defense at Carlisle which kept Stuart looking in the wrong direction.
The Corps d’Armee Trap
In the French system, armies were organized into self-sufficient corps consisting of divisions with their own artillery and cavalry.   This arrangement gave the army flexibility of movement.  Corps commanders could take advantage of opportunities to attack and destroy portions of an opponent’s army piecemeal (in detail), and had the capability to attack a numerically superior opponent and hold on until help arrived if bringing on an escalating battle of attrition was advantageous.
Fate played a role in Lee’s defeat at Gettysburg.   Hooker’s dismissal put Meade in charge of the Army and Meade placed his trusted friend General John Reynolds in charge of the Army of the Potomac’s left wing.  Reynolds was an aggressive professional.   He and Meade were livid when Hooker withdrew from Chancellorsville, Reynolds and Meade’s corps still unbloodied.   While Commandant of Cadets at West Point (1860-61), Reynolds got a double dose of Mahan, teaching the tactics course with Mahan’s texts and participating in the Napoleon Club.   Moreover, Reynolds was not McClellan and would attack Lee at the first opportunity.

The opportunity came when Ewell advanced to the Susquehanna.   Meade and Reynolds had excellent intelligence on the whereabouts of Lee’s army.   It was dangerously, for the Confederates, spread out across Pennsylvania.    Moreover, while providing Meade with news about Lee’s movements, Couch’s active defense clouded the vision of all the Confederate generals, who continued to assume their enemy was too slow to spoil their plans.  They were looking in the wrong direction.   Too often during the Gettysburg campaign, they were embarrassed by mistaking militia for regular army troops.   Henry Heth wasn’t about to make the same embarrassing mistakes as Jenkins and let militia keep him from finding shoes at Gettysburg.   But when Heth arrived at Gettysburg the militia didn’t run back to the dormitories at Pennsylvania College.   Instead of shoes, Heth found Bufford’s cavalry and hot lead.    When A.P. Hill came to Heth’s rescue with reinforcements, he found the Iron Brigade, the tip of John Reynolds’ spear marching right at him.

Only Ewell’s quick movement to Heidleberg on the 30th saved Hill, but that came at a price.   Ewell left Johnson’s division and Jenkins’ cavalry behind.   His cavalry screen would have detected Buford before Heth got into trouble, but instead it was far to the rear tied up with the New York militia outside Carlisle.   Ewell never effected his hookup with Stuart who also fell into the trap of skirmishing with Couch’s New York militia.    Johnson and Jenkins would not arrive at Gettyburg until darkness had set in and the first day of battle had ended.   Alone, Rodes and Early’s divisions of Ewell’s corps weren’t strong enough to finish off the Army of the Potomac’s vanguard, especially after having marched 200 miles to the Susquehanna and part of the way back.  Reynolds hadn’t destroyed A.P. Hill in detail or trapped Early in Pennsylvania, but he got something as good or even better.  He had lured Lee into an escalating battle of attrition on the most advantageous terrain the Union army had ever held.    Fate, Lee’s miscalculation and arrogance, helped Reynolds and Meade bring Robert E. Lee low:   and The Great Militia Mobilization of June, 1863.

He who pretends to carry his point by force hath need of many associates; but the man who can persuade knows that he is himself sufficient for the purpose.


July 13, 1863
Hon. E.M. Stanton,
Secretary of War:
Sir: The national draft has been resisted in this city to-day.   A riot has ensued.  It threatens to be serious.  A block of buildings has been burned, including a provost-marshal’s office.  We have but little military force to suppress it.
       --        Geo. Opdyke, Mayor

Washington, July 14, 1863—2.37 p.m.

Governor Seymour,
New York

Sir: The Secretary of War requests that you will call out sufficient militia to quell the riot and enforce the laws in the city.  Please confer with General Wool, who will co-operate with you. 
If absolutely necessary, troops will be sent from Maryland, but this should be avoided as long as possible.  Please telegraph if you deem them necessary to assist in maintaining order.
--               Henry Halleck, General-in-Chief

The New York State militia, including 20 regiments from New York City, of course was still in Pennsylvania and Maryland. 
*  *  *  *  * 
The emergencies of June and July, 1863 highlight some of the problems the Lincoln administration faced trying to coordinate a national response to a new nation’s problems.  Seyfert, McManus & Co., however, remained intact to cast mammoth Dahlgren guns for the Union navy. 
African Americans And The Gettysburg Campaign – James M. Paradis
The Campaigns of Napoleon – David G. Chandler
Compendium of the Civil War -- Frederick Dyer
Here Come the Rebels! – Wilbur Sturtevant Nye
Mahan at West Point, “Gallic Bias,”and the “Old Army”: The Subconscious of Leadership at
New York in the War of Rebellion -- Frederick Phisterer
New York Times – June, 1863
Official Records of the Civil War – U.S. War Department
General John Fulton Reynolds: His Biography, Words and Relations – Lawrence Knorr

New York Militia Regiments activated during Gettysburg emergency - June-July, 1863 

4th Regiment National Guard Heavy Artillery, 6/20 to 7/24, NYC, mustered at Harrisburg, PA
4th Regiment National Guard Infantry, 6/18 to 7/24, NYC, assigned to Dept. of Susquehanna
5th Regiment National Guard Infantry, 6/20 to 7/22, NYC, assigned to Dept. of Susquehanna
6th Regiment National Guard Infantry, 6/22 to 7/22, NYC, assigned to Middle Dept
7th Regiment State Militia Infantry, 6/16 to 7/20, NYC, assigned to 8th and 3rd Corps
8th Regiment State Militia, 7/63, NYC, Pennsylvania
11th Regiment National Guard Infantry, 6/18 to 7/20, NYC, assigned to Dept. of Susquehanna
12th Regiment National Guard Infantry, 6/18 to 7/20, NYC, assigned to Dept. of Susquehanna
13th Regiment National Guard Infantry, 6/20 to 7/20, Brooklyn, assigned to Dept. of Susquehanna
17th Regiment National Guard Infantry, 7/3 to 8/13, Westchester County,  assigned to Middle Dept
18th Regiment National Guard Infantry, 7/3 to 8/15, Westchester County, assigned to Middle Dept.
21st Regiment National Guard Infantry, 6/22 to 8/6, Duchess County, mustered at Harrisburg
22nd Regiment National Guard Infantry, 6/18 to 7/24, NYC, 6th Corps, Potomac
23rd Regiment National Guard Infantry, 6/16 to 7/22, Brooklyn, assigned to Dept. of Susquehanna
28th Regiment National Guard Infantry, 6/20 to 7/23, Brooklyn, assigned to Dept. of Susquehanna
37th Regiment National Guard Infantry, 6/18 to 7/22, NYC, assigned to Dept. of Susquehanna
47th Regiment National Guard Infantry, 6/17 to 7/23, NYC, assigned to 22nd Corps
52nd Regiment National Guard Infantry, 6/19 to 7/15, Brooklyn, assigned to Dept. of Susquehanna
55th Regiment National Guard Infantry, 6/24 to 7/27,  NYC, assigned to Middle Dept.
56th Regiment National Guard Infantry, 6/18 to 7/24, Brooklyn, assigned to Dept. of Susquehanna
65th Regiment National Guard Infantry, 6/19 to 7/30, Buffalo, assigned to Dept. of Susquehanna
67th Regiment National Guard Infantry, 6/25 to 8/3, Erie, assigned to Dept. of Susquehanna
68th Regiment National Guard Infantry, 6/22 to 7/25, Chautaqua, assigned to Dept. of Susquehanna
69th Regiment National Guard Infantry, 6/22 to 7/25, NYC, assigned to Middle Dept.
71st Regiment National Guard Infantry, 6/17 to 7/22, NYC, assigned to Dept. of Susquehanna
74th Regiment National Guard Infantry, 6/18 to 8/3, Buffalo, assigned to Dept. of Susquehanna
84th Regiment National Guard Infantry, 7/3 to 8/4, NYC, assigned to Middle Dept. 

Twenty-seven regiments;   NYC (15),  Brooklyn (5), and counties surrounding NYC (3)