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Richard Ewell

Richard Ewell

Criado en Virginia y entrenado en West Point, Richard Ewell renunció a sus Estados Unidos. Ese julio, fue ascendido a general de división en el Ejército Confederado y sirvió como subordinado de confianza de Thomas "Stonewall" Jackson durante la campaña de Shenandoah Valley de este último. Herido cerca de Manassas a mediados de 1862, se recuperó y luchó en Chancellorsville, después de lo cual se le dio el mando de un cuerpo en el Ejército del Norte de Virginia. Después de la derrota de la Confederación en la Batalla de Gettysburg, Ewell fue criticado por su vacilación en atacar las defensas de la Unión en Cemetery Hill en el primer día de lucha.

Richard Ewell: de West Point a Bull Run

Nacido en 1817 cerca de Washington, DC y criado en una granja en el condado de Prince William, Virginia, Richard Ewell se graduó de la Academia Militar de los Estados Unidos en 1840. Durante la Guerra Mexicana (1846-48), luchó con distinción en las batallas de Contreras y Churubusco y obtuvo un ascenso a capitán. Ewell renunció a su comisión del ejército de los EE. UU. En 1861, después de que Virginia se separó de la Unión. Después de servir en la Primera Batalla de Bull Run (Manassas) en julio, fue ascendido a mayor general y se convirtió en un subordinado de confianza del principal general confederado Thomas "Stonewall" Jackson durante la campaña de Jackson en Shenandoah Valley en 1862.

Ese verano, Ewell fue transferido junto con el resto de los hombres de Jackson para ayudar a defender Richmond contra el avance del general de la Unión George McClellan y el Ejército del Potomac en las Batallas de los Siete Días. Durante la segunda campaña de Manassas en agosto, tuvo un buen desempeño en Kettle Run, pero resultó gravemente herido en Groveton. Como resultado de la lesión, la pierna derecha de Ewell tuvo que ser amputada por encima de la rodilla.

Richard Ewell: comandante del cuerpo

Después de varios meses de recuperación, Ewell regresó al Ejército del Norte de Virginia (usando una prótesis de madera) a tiempo para servir en su gran victoria en la Batalla de Chancellorsville a fines de abril y principios de mayo de 1863. Durante esa batalla, Jackson recibió un disparo accidentalmente. por sus propias tropas y herido de muerte. El 23 de mayo, el general Robert E. Lee ascendió a Ewell a teniente general y lo puso al mando del antiguo cuerpo de Jackson. Cuando Lee lanzó su invasión del valle de Shenandoah en junio, el cuerpo de Ewell se desempeñó bien, capturando unas 3.500 tropas enemigas en las guarniciones de la Unión en Winchester y Martinsburg.

El 1 de julio, mientras las tropas de Lee avanzaban a través de Pensilvania, Ewell marchó con su 2. ° Cuerpo a la pequeña ciudad de Gettysburg. A última hora de la tarde, los confederados habían podido hacer retroceder a las tropas de la Unión a una posición defensiva en Cemetery Hill. Lee luego le dio órdenes discrecionales a Ewell de atacar la colina "si es posible"; Ewell decidió no enviar a sus tropas ese primer día. Esta controvertida decisión se señaló más tarde como uno de los factores de la eventual derrota confederada en Gettysburg. Ewell dirigió el 2º Cuerpo contra Cemetery Hill el 2 y 3 de julio, pero la demora había dado tiempo a las tropas de la Unión para fortalecer sus defensas, y el asalto fue revertido con grandes pérdidas confederadas.

Richard Ewell: fin de la guerra

Después de Gettysburg, Ewell dirigió bien a sus tropas durante la Batalla del desierto a principios de mayo de 1864. Sin embargo, durante la Batalla de Spotsylvania Court House más tarde ese mes, la vacilación de Ewell frustró a Lee, quien posteriormente relevó a Ewell de su mando y lo reemplazó con Jubal Early. . Con problemas de salud debido al estrés de la campaña, Ewell fue enviado para ayudar en la defensa confederada de Richmond.

Durante la retirada de las fuerzas de Lee de esa ciudad a principios de abril de 1865, las tropas de la Unión rodearon y capturaron a Ewell y sus hombres en Sailor's Creek. Ewell fue encarcelado en Fort Warren, en el puerto de Boston, durante el resto de la guerra, y fue liberado a principios de julio.

Después de la Guerra Civil, Ewell se estableció en Tennessee con su esposa (y prima hermana), Lizinka Campbell Brown, quien lo cuidó hasta que recuperó la salud después de Second Bull Run (Manassas) y con quien se casó en 1863. Ewell y su esposa murieron varios días. separados unos de otros en 1872.


Ewell, Richard Stoddert

Ewell, Richard Stoddert (1817 & # x20131872), general confederado, nacido en Georgetown, D.C., Ewell se crió en Virginia. En 1840, se graduó en West Point decimotercero en una clase de cuarenta y dos y sirvió en la caballería durante y después de la Guerra Mexicana. Se unió a la Confederación en abril de 1861 y fue ascendido a general de brigada. Como general de división en la Guerra Civil, Ewell comandó una división durante la campaña de Shenandoah Valley de & # x201CStonewall & # x201D Jackson y derrotó a las tropas de la Unión en Cross Keys en junio de 1862. Una herida grave en la rodilla durante la Batalla de Groveton en agosto resultó en la amputación de su pierna derecha, pero regresó al servicio como teniente general en mayo de 1863. Después de la muerte de Jackson, Ewell se hizo cargo de su II Cuerpo, pero su fracaso en atacar la posición de la Unión en Cemetery Hill durante el primer día de la Batalla de Gettysburg llevó a acusaciones de incompetencia. & # x201COld Bald Head & # x201D luchó posteriormente durante la Campaña Wilderness to Petersburg, pero la mala salud y los crecientes sentimientos unionistas de su esposa culminaron con su relevo del mando de campo en mayo de 1864. Él comandó las defensas de Richmond hasta que fue capturado en Sayler's Creek el 6 de abril de 1865. En libertad condicional en julio de 1865, Ewell se instaló en la finca de su esposa en Spring Hill, Tennessee, ambos murieron de neumonía en enero de 1872.

Percy Hamlin, viejo calvo, 1940.
Samuel J. Martin, El camino a la gloria: General confederado Richard S. Ewell, 1991.

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John Whiteclay Chambers II "Ewell, Richard Stoddert". El compañero de Oxford para la historia militar estadounidense. . Encyclopedia.com. 16 de junio de 2021 & lt https://www.encyclopedia.com & gt.

John Whiteclay Chambers II "Ewell, Richard Stoddert". El compañero de Oxford para la historia militar estadounidense. . Encyclopedia.com. (16 de junio de 2021). https://www.encyclopedia.com/history/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/ewell-richard-stoddert

John Whiteclay Chambers II "Ewell, Richard Stoddert". El compañero de Oxford para la historia militar estadounidense. . Obtenido el 16 de junio de 2021 de Encyclopedia.com: https://www.encyclopedia.com/history/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/ewell-richard-stoddert

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Guerra civil americana: teniente general Richard Ewell

Richard Stoddert Ewell, nieto del primer secretario de la Marina de los Estados Unidos, Benjamin Stoddert, nació en Georgetown, DC el 8 de febrero de 1817. Criado en la cercana Manassas, VA por sus padres, el Dr. Thomas y Elizabeth Ewell, recibió su inicial educación local antes de elegir embarcarse en una carrera militar. Al postularse para West Point, fue aceptado e ingresó a la academia en 1836. Ewell, un estudiante superior al promedio, se graduó en 1840 y ocupó el decimotercer lugar en una clase de cuarenta y dos. Comisionado como segundo teniente, recibió órdenes de unirse al 1. ° Dragón de Estados Unidos que operaba en la frontera. En este papel, Ewell ayudó a escoltar a los vagones de comerciantes y colonos en los senderos de Santa Fe y Oregon, mientras que también aprendió su oficio de luminarias como el coronel Stephen W. Kearny.

Richard Ewell - Guerra México-Estadounidense:

Ascendido a primer teniente en 1845, Ewell permaneció en la frontera hasta el estallido de la guerra entre México y Estados Unidos al año siguiente. Asignado al ejército del mayor general Winfield Scott en 1847, participó en la campaña contra la ciudad de México. Sirviendo en la compañía del 1er Dragón del Capitán Philip Kearny, Ewell participó en las operaciones contra Veracruz y Cerro Gordo. A fines de agosto, Ewell recibió un ascenso brevet a capitán por su heroico servicio durante las batallas de Contreras y Churubusco. Con el final de la guerra, regresó al norte y sirvió en Baltimore, MD. Ascendido al grado permanente de capitán en 1849, Ewell recibió órdenes para el Territorio de Nuevo México al año siguiente. Allí llevó a cabo operaciones contra los nativos americanos y exploró la recién adquirida compra de Gadsen. Más tarde, dado el mando de Fort Buchanan, Ewell solicitó una licencia por enfermedad a fines de 1860 y regresó al este en enero de 1861.

Richard Ewell - Comienza la guerra civil:

Ewell se estaba recuperando en Virginia cuando comenzó la Guerra Civil en abril de 1861. Con la secesión de Virginia, decidió dejar el ejército de los Estados Unidos y buscar empleo en el servicio del sur. Al dimitir formalmente el 7 de mayo, Ewell aceptó un nombramiento como coronel de caballería en el Ejército Provisional de Virginia. El 31 de mayo, resultó levemente herido durante una escaramuza con las fuerzas de la Unión cerca de Fairfax Court House. Recuperándose, Ewell aceptó una comisión como general de brigada en el ejército confederado el 17 de junio. Dada una brigada en el general de brigada P.G.T. Beauregard's Army of the Potomac, estuvo presente en la Primera Batalla de Bull Run el 21 de julio, pero vio poca acción ya que sus hombres tenían la tarea de proteger Union Mills Ford. Ascendido a general de división el 24 de enero de 1862, Ewell recibió órdenes más tarde esa primavera para tomar el mando de una división en el ejército del general de división Thomas "Stonewall" Jackson en el valle de Shenandoah.

Richard Ewell - Campaña en el Valle y la Península:

Junto a Jackson, Ewell desempeñó papeles clave en una serie de sorprendentes victorias sobre las fuerzas superiores de la Unión lideradas por los generales de división John C. Frémont, Nathaniel P. Banks y James Shields. En junio, Jackson y Ewell partieron del Valle con órdenes de unirse al ejército del general Robert E. Lee en la península para atacar al ejército del Potomac del general mayor George B. McClellan. Durante las resultantes Seven Days Battles, participó en los combates en Gaines 'Mill y Malvern Hill. Con McClellan contenido en la Península, Lee ordenó a Jackson que se trasladara al norte para lidiar con el recién formado Ejército de Virginia del Mayor General John Pope. Avanzando, Jackson y Ewell derrotaron a una fuerza liderada por Banks en Cedar Mountain el 9 de agosto. Más adelante en el mes, se enfrentaron a Pope en la Segunda Batalla de Manassas. Mientras la pelea se desataba el 29 de agosto, Ewell tenía su pierna izquierda destrozada por una bala cerca de Brawner's Farm. Sacada del campo, la pierna fue amputada por debajo de la rodilla.

Richard Ewell - Fracaso en Gettysburg:

Cuidado por su prima hermana, Lizinka Campbell Brown, Ewell tardó diez meses en recuperarse de la herida. Durante este tiempo, los dos desarrollaron una relación sentimental y se casaron a finales de mayo de 1863. Al reunirse con el ejército de Lee, que acababa de obtener una impresionante victoria en Chancellorsville, Ewell fue ascendido a teniente general el 23 de mayo. Como Jackson había resultado herido en los combates y posteriormente murió, su cuerpo se dividió en dos. Mientras Ewell recibió el mando del nuevo Segundo Cuerpo, el Teniente General A.P. Hill tomó el mando del Tercer Cuerpo recién creado. Cuando Lee comenzó a moverse hacia el norte, Ewell capturó la guarnición de la Unión en Winchester, VA antes de conducir hacia Pennsylvania. Los elementos principales de su cuerpo se estaban acercando a la capital del estado de Harrisburg cuando Lee le ordenó que se trasladara al sur para concentrarse en Gettysburg. Al acercarse a la ciudad desde el norte el 1 de julio, los hombres de Ewell abrumaron al XI Cuerpo del Mayor General Oliver O. Howard ya elementos del I Cuerpo del Mayor General Abner Doubleday.

Cuando las fuerzas de la Unión retrocedieron y se concentraron en Cemetery Hill, Lee envió órdenes a Ewell indicando que debía "llevar la colina ocupada por el enemigo, si lo encontraba factible, pero para evitar un enfrentamiento general hasta la llegada de las otras divisiones de El ejercito." Si bien Ewell había prosperado bajo el mando de Jackson a principios de la guerra, su éxito llegó cuando su superior emitió órdenes específicas y precisas. Este enfoque era contrario al estilo de Lee, ya que el comandante confederado generalmente emitía órdenes discrecionales y confiaba en sus subordinados para tomar la iniciativa. Esto había funcionado bien con el audaz Jackson y el comandante del Primer Cuerpo, el teniente general James Longstreet, pero dejó a Ewell en un dilema. Con sus hombres cansados ​​y sin espacio para reformarse, pidió refuerzos al cuerpo de Hill. Esta solicitud fue rechazada. Al recibir la noticia de que los refuerzos de la Unión estaban llegando en grandes cantidades por su flanco izquierdo, Ewell decidió no atacar. Fue apoyado en esta decisión por sus subordinados, incluido el mayor general Jubal Early.

Esta decisión, así como la incapacidad de Ewell de ocupar la cercana Colina de Culp, fueron luego severamente criticadas y acusadas de causar la derrota confederada. Después de la guerra, muchos argumentaron que Jackson no habría dudado y habría capturado ambas colinas. Durante los dos días siguientes, los hombres de Ewell lanzaron ataques contra Cemetery y Culp's Hill, pero sin éxito ya que las tropas de la Unión tuvieron tiempo de fortalecer sus posiciones. En los enfrentamientos del 3 de julio, recibió un golpe en la pierna de palo y resultó levemente herido. Cuando las fuerzas confederadas se retiraron al sur después de la derrota, Ewell fue herido nuevamente cerca de Kelly's Ford, VA. Aunque Ewell dirigió el Segundo Cuerpo durante la Campaña de Bristoe ese otoño, más tarde se enfermó y entregó el mando a Early para la siguiente Campaña Mine Run.

Richard Ewell - La campaña por tierra:

Con el comienzo de la campaña por tierra del teniente general Ulysses S. Grant en mayo de 1864, Ewell volvió a su mando y se enfrentó a las fuerzas de la Unión durante la Batalla del desierto. Con un buen desempeño, mantuvo la línea en el campo Saunders y más tarde en la batalla hizo que el general de brigada John B. Gordon montara un ataque de flanco exitoso contra el Cuerpo de la Unión VI. Las acciones de Ewell en el desierto se compensaron rápidamente varios días después cuando perdió la compostura durante la batalla de la corte de Spotsylvania. Encargado de defender el saliente Mule Shoe, su cuerpo fue invadido el 12 de mayo por un asalto masivo de la Unión. Golpeando a sus hombres en retirada con su espada, Ewell intentó desesperadamente que volvieran al frente. Al presenciar este comportamiento, Lee intercedió, reprendió a Ewell y tomó el control personal de la situación. Más tarde, Ewell reasumió su cargo y luchó contra un sangriento reconocimiento en vigor en Harris Farm el 19 de mayo.

Moviéndose hacia el sur hacia el norte de Anna, la actuación de Ewell siguió sufriendo. Creyendo que el comandante del Segundo Cuerpo estaba exhausto y sufría sus heridas anteriores, Lee relevó a Ewell poco después y le ordenó que asumiera la supervisión de las defensas de Richmond. Desde este puesto, apoyó las operaciones de Lee durante el Sitio de Petersburgo (9 de junio de 1864 al 2 de abril de 1865). Durante este período, las tropas de Ewell ocuparon los atrincheramientos de la ciudad y derrotaron los esfuerzos de distracción de la Unión, como los ataques a Deep Bottom y Chaffin's Farm. Con la caída de Petersburgo el 3 de abril, Ewell se vio obligado a abandonar Richmond y las fuerzas confederadas comenzaron a retirarse hacia el oeste. Comprometido en Sayler's Creek el 6 de abril por las fuerzas de la Unión lideradas por el mayor general Philip Sheridan, Ewell y sus hombres fueron derrotados y capturado.

Richard Ewell - Vida posterior:

Transportado a Fort Warren en el puerto de Boston, Ewell permaneció prisionero de la Unión hasta julio de 1865. En libertad condicional, se retiró a la granja de su esposa cerca de Spring Hill, TN. Un notable local, se desempeñó en las juntas directivas de varias organizaciones comunitarias y también administró una exitosa plantación de algodón en Mississippi. Al contraer neumonía en enero de 1872, Ewell y su esposa pronto enfermaron gravemente. Lizinka murió el 22 de enero y fue seguida por su esposo tres días después. Ambos fueron enterrados en el cementerio de la ciudad vieja de Nashville.


LE Williams

Cuando el amanecer del 2 de julio llegó a Gettysburg, estaba claro que los planes de Lee habían salido mal. Una de sus últimas órdenes del día anterior había sido para el teniente general Richard Ewell, el hombre que había sido ascendido para reemplazar a Thomas “Stonewall” Jackson como comandante del Ejército del Norte de Virginia y el II Cuerpo. Debido a la vaguedad de la orden de Lee, Ewell no la cumplió, un error que creo que probablemente contribuyó en gran medida a los siguientes dos días de batalla.

“Si las palabras de mando no son claras y distintas, si las órdenes no se entienden completamente, el general tiene la culpa. Pero si sus órdenes son claras y los soldados, no obstante, desobedecen, entonces es culpa de sus oficiales ".
& # 8211 Sun Tzu, El arte de la guerra

Esa orden era que Ewell se enfrentara a las fuerzas de la Unión de Culp & # 8217s Hill y tomara la colina "si es posible". Esas dos últimas palabras marcaron la diferencia: Ewell, sus hombres cansados ​​de un día de lucha, no pensaba que tomar la colina fuera factible. En cambio, hizo que sus fuerzas tomaran posiciones frente a la colina, dejando el asalto para el día siguiente, una decisión que costaría muchas vidas.

Con las fuerzas de la Unión en la colina a salvo de un asalto por parte del cuerpo confederado más grande, pudieron levantar defensas en la noche, parte de lo que se convirtió en una línea de la Unión bien defendida que se extiende desde Culp & # 8217s Hill, a lo largo de Cemetery Hill y Ridge hasta las dos tapas redondas. La tregua en el asalto confederado permitió al Ejército del Potomac construir una red defensiva que se doblaría en varios lugares durante los dos días siguientes, pero que nunca se rompería.

Arriba, tengo una cita de Sun Tzu, no la más conocida de sus máximas, pero sí verdadera. Siguiendo las palabras del filósofo, la culpa por la falta de un asalto confederado recae principalmente (si no completamente) en Robert E. Lee. Sin embargo, lo que hace que este caso sea realmente extraño fue que tal comando, incluido el "si es posible" que probó detener el ataque, era típico de los comandos de Lee. Recuerde, Lee era un caballero sureño que hablaba con otros caballeros sureños; sintió que se lograría más con esa expresión, en lugar de una orden directa.

Además, estas órdenes discrecionales no eran desconocidas: los comandantes de cuerpo originales de Lee & # 8217, James Longstreet y el fallecido Jackson, pudieron tomar las órdenes de Lee & # 8217 y ejecutarlas con gran éxito. Visto desde esta perspectiva, es difícil no culpar a Ewell, y de hecho, muchos lo hacen. Visto desde esta perspectiva, la segunda parte de la máxima de Sun Tzu entraría en vigor aquí. Algunos se toman en serio la máxima de Sun Tzu, pero luego van aún más lejos y culpan de la derrota confederada en Gettysburg a las interpretaciones de la orden por parte de Ewell.

Es un debate interesante, en el que puedo ver a ambos lados. Creo que Lee podría haberlo hecho una orden directa, pero también sé que ese no era su estilo. Si Ewell no hubiera sido tan nuevo en este nivel de mando, podría haber comprendido mejor que tal orden era típica del estilo de mando de Lee y la habría ejecutado mejor.

Es una pregunta que se adapta bien a mis propias líneas de pensamiento. Si recuerdas, propuse un escenario en el que Jackson no fue asesinado en Chancellorsville unos meses antes de la campaña de Gettysburg. Como comandante del II Cuerpo, habría sido Stonewall Jackson quien obtuvo el mando de Lee, y entre los historiadores, hay muy pocas dudas de que Jackson lo habría encontrado factible.

¿Habría llevado la colina? Es difícil de decir. Las fuerzas de la Unión estaban ciertamente desmoralizadas - habían sido rechazadas todo el día - pero los confederados también estaban algo desorganizados, lo cual era parte del razonamiento de Ewell. Dicho esto, pude ver una alta probabilidad de que tal asalto tuviera éxito: el impulso confederado podría haberlos llevado fácilmente a Culp & # 8217s Hill.

Y con Jackson (o Ewell, para el caso) en Culp & # 8217s Hill, es muy posible que la posición de la Unión hubiera sido & # 8217 insostenible. Culp & # 8217s Hill era el punto de la llamada "Fishhook" - Meade & # 8217s línea de terreno elevado que resultó inexpugnable - y con los confederados en control de esas alturas, las posiciones de la Unión en Cemetery Hill y Cemetery Ridge ciertamente serían susceptibles de flanquear y ataques por la espalda. Recuerde, en este momento, todo el ejército del Potomac (incluido el general Meade) no estaba en el campo de batalla; hasta que cayó la noche del 1 de julio, los confederados tenían superioridad numérica. La Unión podría intentar mantener las alturas y esperar refuerzos, pero lo más probable es que se hubieran retirado y retrocedido. De hecho, una de las dos primeras órdenes de Meade al tomar el mando del Ejército del Potomac fue establecer una línea defensiva sola en Big Pipe Creek, lo que significa que ya tenían una posición de reserva establecida.

Dicho esto, las discusiones sobre lo que podría haber sucedido son, por supuesto, solo especulaciones. Jackson, por supuesto, fue asesinado en Chancellorsville, su reemplazo, Ewell, no consideró factible tomar Culp & # 8217s Hill, y dos días de asalto a las posiciones de la Unión finalmente no tuvieron éxito. ¿Quién tiene la culpa del fracaso? Esa es una decisión difícil. Algunos de los subordinados de Ewell y # 8217 (más notablemente Jubal Early, uno de los comandantes de división de Ewell & # 8217), culpan a su superior inmediato en lugar de a Lee, un argumento mucho más fácil de hacer en retrospectiva (especialmente porque Early fue uno que aconsejó a Ewell que no para intentar tomar Culp & # 8217s Hill). La niebla de la guerra recibe su nombre por una buena razón y, en este caso, logró cegar a Richard Ewell, en detrimento de su ejército y su causa.


Segunda batalla de Winchester: Richard Ewell toma el mando

El 14 de junio de 1863 fue un día nublado y caluroso en el norte de Virginia. Una ligera brisa parecía insinuar que había lluvia en el aire. Pero cualquiera que fuera la posibilidad de mal tiempo, las Parcas le habían dado una mano decididamente buena al recién nombrado teniente general de la Confederación, Richard Stoddert Ewell, una mano que, si se jugaba correctamente, podría empujar al general lisiado al centro de atención de la gloria sureña junto con su fallecido predecesor, el poderoso Stonewall Jackson.

Ese día, Ewell se paró en las afueras de la pequeña ciudad agrícola de Winchester, Virginia, observando las fortificaciones de una división federal bajo el mando del mayor general Robert Milroy y haciendo planes para un ataque al amanecer. La próxima batalla sería la primera prueba real de Ewell como comandante de todo un cuerpo de ejército, una prueba que & # 8216Old Bald Head & # 8217, como lo llamaban cariñosamente sus hombres, necesitaba pasar con gran éxito.

La inminente Segunda Batalla de Winchester no solo sería la inauguración de Ewell como comandante de cuerpo, sino que también marcaría el regreso personal del general de 46 años. La batalla sería la primera experiencia de combate de Ewell desde que sufrió una devastadora lesión en la pierna en Groveton, Virginia, el preludio de Second Manassas, nueve meses antes. En Groveton, una bala de Minié le había destrozado la rodilla derecha a Ewell mientras conducía a un regimiento a la acción. La pierna lesionada requirió amputación, dejando de lado a uno de los comandantes de división más capaces del Ejército Confederado durante casi un año.

Mucho había sucedido durante la prolongada recuperación de Ewell. El ejército de Virginia del Norte se había visto obligado a prescindir de sus servicios en Second Manassas, Antietam, Fredericksburg y Chancellorsville. En la última batalla, la notable victoria de Robert E. Lee sobre el ejército del Potomac le había costado caro al sur cuando el teniente general Thomas J. & # 8216Stonewall & # 8217 Jackson había sido derribado accidentalmente por sus propias tropas mientras regresaba de una misión de exploración. Jackson parecía estar en camino de la recuperación cuando empeoró y murió de neumonía el 10 de mayo de 1863, ocho días después de ser herido. La muerte de Jackson abrió un enorme agujero en la cadena de mando del Ejército del Norte de Virginia. Su muerte y los preparativos que se estaban realizando para la inminente invasión del Norte habían abierto la puerta de la oportunidad al ex teniente de Stonewall & # 8217, Richard Ewell.

El ascenso de Ewell al comandante del II Cuerpo fue constante. Graduado de West Point, el nativo de Georgetown (Distrito de Columbia) había brillado en la Guerra Mexicana y ganado una capitanía. Después de esa guerra, fue trasladado a la frontera occidental, donde fue capitán del 1er Dragón y vio la acción como un luchador indio. Los hombres de Ewell llegaron a conocerlo como un luchador duro con un extraño sentido del humor y una inclinación por maldecir como un marinero. Renunció a su comisión del Ejército de los Estados Unidos al estallar la Guerra Civil para unirse a la Confederación, donde fue ascendido rápidamente al rango de teniente coronel.

Ewell hizo una extraña visión en el campo de batalla. Tenía una cabeza calva en forma de cúpula y una nariz larga. A menudo inclinaba la cabeza hacia un lado como un loro gigante. Hablaba con voz aguda con ceceo y solía balbucear cuando estaba emocionado o agitado. En muchos sentidos, rivalizaba con Jackson en excentricidades físicas, a menudo quejándose de dolores de cabeza crónicos, episodios de insomnio e indigestión, pero también era un excelente cocinero y disfrutaba de las trampas de la vida doméstica. (Durante la campaña de Cedar Mountain, convenció a varios niños para que jugaran con él durante horas en el porche de una casa). Ewell también era conocido como un buen soldado y sus superiores lo reconocieron como tal.

Jackson llegó a confiar en Ewell durante su atrevida campaña en Shenandoah Valley. Allí, Ewell asumió el papel de teniente de mayor confianza de Jackson, aunque Stonewall compartió muy poca información incluso con su subordinado más cercano. Las formas secretas de Jackson y las órdenes vagas frustraron a Ewell, lo que lo llevó a proclamar a su comandante & # 8216 como loco como una liebre de marzo & # 8217. Más tarde, impresionado por la destreza militar de Jackson, Ewell se retractó, declarando & # 8216 [Jackson] había un método para su locura. & # 8217 Ewell pasó a luchar bien en el Valle de Shenandoah bajo Jackson, luego durante la campaña de la Península en las batallas en Gaines & # 8217 Mill y Malvern Hill, dos de las Siete Días & # 8217 Batallas. Fue ascendido al rango de general de división en enero de 1862 por el papel que desempeñó en los Siete Días & # 8217 Batallas. Un año y medio después, dirigía el II Cuerpo recién reconstituido.

Tras la muerte de Jackson & # 8217 en la primavera de 1863, se tomó la decisión de convertir al Ejército de Virginia del Norte de una unidad de dos cuerpos en un grupo de tres cuerpos más manejable. El excelente desempeño de Ewell en la campaña del Valle y durante los Siete Días y las Batallas había captado la atención favorable de sus superiores. Su nombre pronto encabezó la lista de candidatos para ocupar los zapatos de Jackson & # 8217.

Ewell recibió su ascenso a teniente general el 23 de mayo de 1863. Asumió formalmente el mando de las antiguas divisiones de Jackson el 1 de junio. El general con una sola pierna encontró a sus tropas descansadas y listas para luchar, y aunque Ewell estaba tratando de llenar los zapatos de un gigante militar y una leyenda sureña, sus subordinados tenían la mayor confianza en sus habilidades. El comandante de artillería Sandy Pendleton escribió sobre su nuevo comandante: & # 8216 Espero grandes cosas de él, y me complace decir que nuestras tropas tienen para él una gran parte del mismo sentimiento que tenían hacia el general Jackson. & # 8217

Como comandante del II Cuerpo, Ewell tenía cerca de 22.000 soldados divididos en tres divisiones a su disposición. Jubal Early, un general de división popular y fogoso con una barba de sal y pimienta, estaba al mando de una división de unos 5.800 hombres. El general de división Edward & # 8216Allegheny & # 8217 Johnson lideró la segunda división con una fuerza de aproximadamente 6,900, mientras que el general de división Robert Rodes encabezó la división más grande del II Cuerpo con alrededor de 8500 efectivos.

Ewell estaba bajo una gran presión como sucesor de Jackson para desempeñarse bien contra el general Milroy en Winchester. De hecho, la neutralización de la división de Milroy, estacionada como estaba en la desembocadura del valle de Shenandoah, fue un paso crucial en el ambicioso plan de invasión de Lee para llevar la guerra directamente al norte.

Milroy & # 8217s division & # 8211 una fuerza de 9,000 hombres con 6,900 efectivos & # 8211 sostenía la ciudad estratégica de Winchester, con sus varias carreteras y rama del ferrocarril de Baltimore & amp Ohio. La propia Winchester, una pequeña comunidad agrícola de alrededor de 3500 habitantes, se encontraba directamente en el camino de la ruta de invasión propuesta por Lee & # 8217 hacia el norte. En Milroy, Ewell se enfrentó a un oponente arrogante y obstinado que estaba listo y dispuesto a resistir y luchar. Aunque sus superiores lo instaron a abandonar su puesto en Winchester, Milroy confiaba en que podría mantener a raya a la vanguardia confederada durante al menos cinco días, el tiempo suficiente para que llegara el alivio.

El II Cuerpo inició su marcha hacia el norte el 4 de junio. Nueve días después, las tropas llegaron a las cercanías de Winchester. Ewell envió la división Rodes & # 8217 a Berryville para ocuparse de una de las brigadas independientes de Milroy & # 8217, una fuerza de alrededor de 1.800. Al mismo tiempo, mantuvo la división Early & # 8217s y Johnson & # 8217s, con una fuerza combinada de casi 13.000, bajo su mando directo para el esperado enfrentamiento con Milroy.

En la mañana del 13 de junio, las unidades de caballería avanzada de Ewell comenzaron a pelear con los piquetes federales cerca del río Opequon, a cinco millas al sur de Winchester. Los jinetes confederados hicieron retroceder los piquetes, lo que permitió que la fuerza principal de Ewell reanudara su marcha. Las escaramuzas, los cañonazos y los disparos continuaron durante el resto del día mientras los confederados percibían la posición de Milroy. Ewell pasó el día reuniendo información sobre el enemigo y el terreno en preparación para un asalto matutino.

Milroy podría haber seguido el consejo de sus superiores después del anochecer y escapar con su división intacta el 13 de junio. Un corredor permanecía abierto hacia el norte como ruta de escape, pero Milroy estaba de humor para luchar. Su confianza provenía de juzgar precipitadamente el día y las escaramuzas del # 8217 como un intento total de Ewell de tomar su posición. Su división había resistido la tormenta del sur, razonó, y por lo tanto estaba preparado para contener a todo un ejército hasta que llegara la ayuda. Mientras los confederados trabajaban durante la noche apretando la soga alrededor de las posiciones de la Unión, Milroy les echó una mano generosamente al optar por mantener su posición. No había, informó alegremente a sus superiores, & # 8216 no había rastros de una acumulación de fuerzas rebeldes & # 8217 cerca de Winchester.

Esa noche, una violenta tormenta azotó el norte de Virginia. Milroy intentó telegrafiar a sus superiores durante la tormenta con un mensaje de su intención marcial: & # 8216 Puedo mantener este lugar cinco días si me pueden relevar en ese tiempo. Me rodearán, pero no pueden "tomar mi fortificación". Sin embargo, las líneas de telégrafo estaban caídas, cortadas por la tormenta o por el enemigo, y no se transmitió tal mensaje.

Al amanecer, Ewell se levantó y observó las cosas por sí mismo. No vio tropas federales, a excepción de una serie de fortificaciones al noroeste de la ciudad. Los confederados apodaron la primera de las posiciones de Milroy & # 8217s, una serie de fortificaciones que descansaban en Apple Pie Ridge, el & # 8216West Fort & # 8217. Posición federal. Al norte de Flag Fort estaba la tercera posición federal, apodada & # 8216Star Fort & # 8217 por su diseño geométrico. Ewell supuso que West Fort era la clave para la posición de Milroy. Si se toma, el terreno elevado del West Fort dominaría la posición de Milroy en el Flag Fort, lo que lo obligaría a retirarse.

Por esa época, Early se reunió con Ewell y le propuso ocupar discretamente el terreno elevado en las cercanías de Little North Mountain, al oeste de las defensas de Milroy & # 8217 en Apple Pie Ridge. Desde esa posición, Early podría hacer estallar la artillería federal en el Fuerte Oeste en silencio, luego tomar el fuerte con una ola de infantería. A Ewell le gustó el plan de Early & # 8217 e inmediatamente ordenó al mayor general que entrara en acción. The efficient planning between Ewell and Early marked a new era in the II Corps. When Jackson had been in charge, he rarely shared his plans and ideas with subordinates or asked their counsel. In conferring with Early, Ewell displayed an admirable strength undeveloped by his late commander.

The Confederates moved quickly. At 7:30 a.m., Early ordered two of his four brigades, under Brig. Gens. John B. Gordon and Harry T. Hays, to occupy Bower’s Hill southwest of Winchester and to provide a distraction for the remainder of the divisions’ march west. Hays and Gordon immediately got their troops underway and had the hill in their possession by 9 a.m. Two hours later, Gordon began feigning attacks north as Early withdrew Hays’ troops and began his march north by way of Cedar Creek Road.

Early’s attack column consisted of three brigades (Hays’, Brig. Gen. William Smith’s and Colonel Isaac Avery’s) for an estimated strength of 3,600 men. Twenty pieces of artillery under the command of Lt. Col. H.P. Jones provided additional support. Early used a local guide, James C. Baker, to help pick a path for the eight-mile-march.

While Early prepared to march, Milroy was busy himself. The Union commander was paranoid about a possible Confederate encore performance of the successful flanking tactics employed at Chancellorsville, and kept scanning his flanks through a pair of field glasses for any sign of a surprise attack. About 10 a.m., Milroy sent a scouting party under the command of Captain Charles B. Morgan to snoop around the high ground near Little North Mountain and locate any hidden Confederate troops. Morgan reached the area and found nothing. He returned to Milroy about 2 p.m. and gave a report of all clear. Morgan’s failure to detect Early’s approaching column may have been due to his failure to deploy flankers during his reconnaissance. Whatever its cause, the scouting failure gave Milroy a dangerously misguided sense of security.

By 4 p.m., Early’s force had reached its position without a hitch. His three brigades and artillery sat hidden behind a ridge within 1,000 yards of the West Fort. Early allowed his men an hour’s rest to catch their breath before making his presence known. A las 5 pm. he ordered Jones to move his batteries into position and open fire. Jones rolled his pieces forward, positioning 12 guns in an orchard and eight in a nearby cornfield, and began dropping shells on the shocked Federal troops occupying the West Fort. The surprise was total. From the commanding general on down, Union troops scrambled for cover from the unexpected barrage.

On the receiving end of Jones’ attack were Company C of the 116th Ohio Infantry, under Captain Frederick Arkenroe Battery L of the 5th U.S. Artillery and the 110th Ohio Infantry, under Colonel J. Warren Keifer. Jones bombarded the West Fort for 45 minutes, effectively silencing Battery L’s guns. Fifteen minutes later, Early had Hays’ 1,500 Louisianians form battle lines, while holding Smith and Avery in reserve. Early gave the order and Hays’ brigade swept forward for the assault. Hays reached the Union breastworks and stormed them in a matter of minutes. The Ohio troops managed to fire three volleys at close quarters before retreating across the fields to the safety of the Flag Fort. The Confederates quickly took the West Fort and Battery L’s cannons, and shot down Captain Arkenroe in the process. Early ordered his reserves forward to help secure the position.

In the meantime, Ewell was observing Early’s assault from his position to the south through a pair of field glasses. The corps commander watched intently as Hays’ Cajun troops swept forward and mounted the West Fort parapets. Caught up in the excitement of the moment, Ewell thought he recognized Early leading the charge and began shouting encouragement. ‘Hurrah for the Louisiana boys!’ Ewell bellowed. ‘There’s Early. I hope the old fellow won’t be hurt.’

At that instant, Ewell’s aides heard a sickening thud as the general windmilled his arms to catch his balance. He had been hit square in the chest by a stray bullet. However, this time fortune smiled on Ewell–the bullet, fired from a distance, was too spent to penetrate the skin, giving him nothing more than a nasty bruise.

Back at the West Fort, Early finished securing the position and made the command decision that there was not enough daylight left for an assault on Milroy’s main defenses. Instead, Early ordered his troops to dig in and counted his relatively light losses󈞻 men killed or missing.

The loss of the West Fort placed Milroy in a precarious position. With the Confederates threatening the remainder of his defenses from the high ground of Apple Pie Ridge, Milroy suddenly changed his tune. He called a council of war around 10 p.m. and decided that Winchester could not be held 24 more hours, let alone four more days, as he had bragged earlier. He ordered his troops to evacuate to Martinsburg via the Martinsburg Turnpike. Wagons and artillery would be destroyed to prevent capture, while soldiers too wounded to walk would be left behind at the mercy of Ewell. The move was scheduled to get underway at 1 a.m.

Unknown to Milroy, his opponent had already divined Milroy’s exact plan of escape. About 8 p.m., Ewell finished studying his maps and reports and surmised that the only logical means of escape for Milroy would be to march to Stephenson’s Depot on the Martinsburg Turnpike. Once at the depot, the enemy had the option of heading on to Martinsburg or else proceeding to Harpers Ferry. Once again the rookie corps commander acted decisively. Ewell sent three brigades under Johnson, bolstered by two batteries of artillery, on a cross-country march to Stephenson’s Depot with orders to cut off Milroy. If Milroy didn’t retreat overnight and chose instead to make a stand at Winchester, Johnson would be within supporting distance of a second attack by Early.

Unfortunately for the Confederates, Johnson had difficulty organizing his troops in the darkness for a night march. In the resulting confusion, the Stonewall Brigade with its 1,400 men under Brig. Gen. James Walker was left behind. Thus, Johnson marched with the strength of two brigades (3,500) to stop a cornered enemy division from escaping.

Johnson headed his column for a bridge crossing the tracks of the Baltimore & Ohio Railroad a half mile east of Stephenson’s Depot. The tracks ran parallel to the Martinsburg Turnpike and offered a strong position for battle. The two Confederate brigades and accompanying artillery reached the bridge at 3:30 a.m. on the morning of June 15. Johnson and his staff immediately rode forward to reconnoiter.

At approximately 4 a.m., Johnson’s party ran into Milroy’s advance guard, the 12th Pennsylvania Cavalry, at the intersection of the Martinsburg Turnpike and Charlestown Road near the depot. Small-arms fire was exchanged as Johnson beat a hasty retreat back to the main column to position his waiting troops. Johnson worked quickly, placing Brig. Gen. George Steuart’s brigade on the right of the Charlestown Road and part of Brig. Gen. F.T. Nicholls’ brigade (under the command of Colonel J. Williams) on the left. Johnson designated the remainder of Nicholls’ troops as his reserves. Two guns of Captain William Dement’s battery were placed directly on the bridge that crossed the railroad bed, while the rest of the guns were placed in the cover of a wooded area to the left of the road.

Milroy soon arrived on the scene and took charge of coordinating an assault on Johnson’s position. He ordered an immediate attack, which Steuart repulsed quite handily with volleys of rifle fire and little loss to his own men. Milroy ordered a second assault that too was easily driven back.

Growing desperate, Milroy attacked a third time, trying to envelop Johnson’s line. Milroy’s horse was shot out from under him during the repulse. The Federals’ last chance to escape intact as a division slipped away as Walker’s missing brigade arrived on the field at the most opportune moment. Johnson immediately threw the Stonewall Brigade and his reserves into a counterattack. Milroy’s troops broke and began surrendering en masse, their commander managing to escape with a few hundred cavalry. As the fight near Stephenson’s Depot drew to a close, Ewell sent a message to Rodes in Berryville to attempt to intercept Milroy’s fleeing troops, but to no avail.

Ewell’s victorious troops spent the remainder of June 15 reorganizing and counting their spoils. The Confederates had captured 3,358 prisoners, four 20-pounder Parrott guns, 17 3-inch guns and two 24-pounder howitzers. The 23 guns were Milroy’s entire cache of artillery. Ewell lost no more than 269 men (47 killed, 219 wounded and three missing in action) for his efforts. The II Corps completed its refitting and was ready to march on the morning of June 16.

In a Jacksonesque statement, Ewell called on his troops to ‘unite in returning thanks to our Heavenly Father for the signal success which has crowned the valor of this command.’ Chaplains were directed to hold religious services, ‘in acknowledgement of Divine Favor at such times as may be most convenient.’

In a salute to their late commander, the II Corps officially raised the Confederate flag over Milroy’s main defenses outside of Winchester and christened them Fort Jackson. As for their new commander, the rousing victory cemented Ewell’s place as a dependable and aggressive battlefield leader. In one efficient blow, Ewell had eliminated all Federal opposition in the Shenandoah Valley, cleared the path for Lee’s invasion and destroyed Milroy’s division as an effective fighting force for the remainder of the war. More than that, Ewell’s impressive victory gave hope to the South that Stonewall Jackson could be adequately replaced. A new star blazed in the Confederate sky.

This article was written by Dean M. Wells and published in the March 1997 issue of America’s Civil War revista.

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Did Ewell Win the Day?

Ewell later sought to justify his decision, or lack of one, during the last few hours of daylight on July 1. “The enemy had fallen back to a commanding position known as Cemetery Hill, south of Gettysburg, and quickly showed a formidable front there. On entering the town, I received a message from the commanding general to attack this hill, if I could do so to advantage,” Ewell wrote. “I could not bring artillery to bear on it, and all the troops with me were jaded by twelve hours’ marching and fighting.”

Some still believe Ewell might have won the battle on the first day. Decades of analysis have shown that it was by no means a sure thing, particularly once the Union troops had rallied on Cemetery Hill. The best scenario might have been for Ewell to attack Cemetery Hill with just Rodes’ and Early’s divisions, and Ewell simply did not keep the offensive momentum going after the rout of the XI Corps.


Richard Stoddert Ewell, Confederate General

July 5, 1863. As the Army of Northern Virginia retreated south from its defeat at Gettysburg, Lieutenant General Richard Ewell was conferring with Robert E. Lee and James Longstreet when enemy artillery rounds began wreaking havoc with the slowly moving column. Enraged, Ewell begged his superior for permission to wheel his corps around and strike the Federal pursuers. Lee refused, however, insisting that now was not the time. And though he didn&rsquot voice it, there must have been another thought going through Lee&rsquos head at the moment: a wish that Ewell had felt this aggressive four days earlier, when it really mattered.

Such inconsistencies had once been unheard of in Dick Ewell. In the Shenandoah Valley, he had been Thomas &ldquoStonewall&rdquo Jackson&rsquos sturdy right hand, and he had gone on to inherit the Second Corps when Jackson fell. But that was the problem: Who could fill Stonewall&rsquos shoes? Someone had to do it, and Ewell was as good a choice as any. But it wasn&rsquot long before the inevitable comparisons began to be drawn&mdashnot least at Gettysburg, where many Southern men found themselves wondering aloud, &ldquoIf only Jackson were here &hellip&rdquo

Born in Washington, D.C., Ewell grew up in Virginia. His family was poor and his father was drunk, then dead. Ewell never really knew him. After his older brothers went off to make something of themselves, Ewell helped to run his mother&rsquos denuded household, becoming precisely the sort of honest, industrious fellow that had &ldquoWest Point bound&rdquo blazoned across his seamless brow. He graduated from the academy in 1840, a good student&mdashthough rough-hewn&mdashwho drew snickers with his lisp but impressed everyone with his unmistakable potential. What followed was a long, arduous affair with America&rsquos colorful Southwest, replete with Indian strife, otherworldly boredom, and intermittent droughts. During the Mexican War, he caught malaria and lost a brother to enemy fire. He was awarded a brevet to captain for his troubles. Life on the frontier suited him he earned respect from soldiers and fellow officers alike for his brusque, can-do manner and supplemented his income with shrewd speculations in cattle and silver mining. He was smart, mindful of the ladies, tough when he needed to be, and incorruptible. Such qualities made military careers in those days, and Ewell&rsquos was no exception.

With his bulging eyes, beaklike nose, and a habit of cocking his head to one side, it&rsquos no wonder so many people compared Richard Ewell&rsquos appearance to that of a bird.

Siding with his native Old Dominion at the outbreak of civil war, &ldquoOld Baldy,&rdquo as he quickly became known, was a Confederate asset&mdashan officer of dragoons with combat experience and plaudits from some of the most important soldiers in the country (the great Winfield Scott had commended Captain Ewell&rsquos ability during the Mexican War). Material like this was not lost on Southern authorities, but Ewell became the butt of war&rsquos bad joke at First Bull Run, where a confusion in orders rendered him and his brigade on the right flank while matters came to a decisive head on the left. It was a bad start, to be sure, and one for which poor Ewell drew no small amount of press attention.

But what do the papers know? It wasn&rsquot long before General Jackson was being sent west to the Shenandoah Valley, and Ewell went with him. There Ewell learned several things: first, that the nickname &ldquoStonewall&rdquo may have had more to do with Jackson&rsquos penchant for withholding information from those around him than any gift for standing firm against assault second, that this could be profoundly frustrating and third, that Jackson was either a genius or a lunatic. Ewell proved his worth by keeping up with Jackson&rsquos lightning pace, providing a tough, reliable counter to the latter&rsquos shamanistic excesses. Jackson was in charge, though, and that suited Ewell just fine with precise orders (when they were forthcoming), Ewell was in his element, comforted by the assurance that the greater course of things was somebody else&rsquos problem.

Ewell handled his division ably during the Seven Days&rsquo Battles, during which so many other Confederate leaders bungled, foundered, or&mdashin Jackson&rsquos case&mdashslept. The next campaign, however, witnessed the defining tragedy of his life. At the beginning of theSecond Battle of Bull Run, on August 28, 1862, Ewell was gravely wounded in his left leg during a hot fight near Groveton, Virginia. Rushed to a house several miles from the battlefield, the general was put under the saw the following day. The amputee&rsquos survival was in doubt for some time, as Ewell&rsquos health had never been very good since his malarial days before the war. But ensconced at Dunblane, the home of his cousin Jesse Ewell, Dick made a gradual and impressive comeback.

The question was: a comeback to what? Jubal Early had taken over his division and would probably retain the post. Besides, Early was a friend, and Ewell didn&rsquot cherish the prospect of testing their relationship. That some sort of place would be found for him, however, was not in doubt. Ewell was more than just one of the highest-ranking major generals in the Confederate army he also had a solid record as a dependable, assertive leader. He executed orders with flair and enthusiasm, and he fought with imagination. Indeed, he had come to be regarded as brilliant by many&mdashparticularly those who had witnessed firsthand his mental celerity on the battlefield, his mouth straining through a litany of profanities to clearly elucidate the visionary plans hatching beneath his shining pate. Old Baldy was colorful, popular, and deeply respected. Jackson himself, in a letter to Lee, admitted that he would gladly follow Ewell in a descent on Washington. That&rsquos no ordinary compliment.

Jackson&rsquos greatest effort on behalf of his old protégé, however, was a bit graver&mdashliterally. His death from wounds incurred at Chancellorsville inspired Lee to shake up the command structure of the Army of Northern Virginia. And to Dick Ewell went the vaunted Second Corps. This was natural after all, Ewell had been a central part of the Confederate martyr&rsquos most successful accomplishments. The decision was largely cheered by the officers and men. But was Ewell, scarred by such a savage battle wound, up to it?

Those who wondered had their answer soon enough. Nine months after receiving his wound, Old Baldy was back in action. And though he had lost a limb, he&rsquod gained a wife. Lizinka Campbell Brown was Ewell&rsquos first cousin, a widow whose first match had made her one of the wealthiest women in the South. A longtime recipient of Ewell&rsquos affections, Lizinka was a prize&mdasha prize, as he would eventually learn, that came with a price. But in the spring of 1863, exciting things were in the air. Fortified by the love of a good woman, General Ewell strapped on his wooden leg and headed out in search of his destiny. It was a propitious time to do so: The Army of Northern Virginia was ambling for Pennsylvania in the second of Lee&rsquos attempts to take the war to the enemy. And Ewell&rsquos Second Corps was slated to lead the way.

To many observers, the new corps commander looked sickly, frail, or worse. He mounted his horse with difficulty (one can hardly fault him) and the color always seemed absent from his face. The old flame remained, however, as Ewell proved soon enough. Charged with clearing the Federals out of northern Virginia to make way for Lee&rsquos invasion plans, Dick orchestrated a truly brilliant descent on Winchester, a Union stronghold, capturing well over three thousand of the enemy and routing the rest. It was a Federal disaster and Ewell&rsquos finest hour&mdashan elegantly simple plan that was cunningly conceived and thoroughly executed. The whole affair had been swift, neat, and merciless. From the privates in his corps to the newspapers in Richmond, everyone sang Ewell&rsquos praises.

Thus ensured of immortality, the general was on to Pennsylvania, the vanguard of an invading army in high spirits and encouraged by the real possibility of dealing a blow that could precipitate the war&rsquos conclusion. Ewell would find himself at a crossroads in history. And he would take the wrong road.

The Battle of Gettysburg was an accidental fracas that evolved, rather quickly, into a scramble for high ground. The first round went to Ewell&rsquos Confederates, who&mdashworking in concert with elements of A. P. Hill&rsquos corps&mdashfound the enemy, trounced him, and took the town (along with a horde of prisoners). But the beaten Federals weren&rsquot simply flying to the four winds instead, they made a fighting retreat south to the high ground that dominated Gettysburg and its environs. The prominence in question was Cemetery Hill, where the bluecoats commenced preparations to receive an assault that they were sure was coming fast.

And they weren&rsquot the only ones who had made this assumption. Indeed, an assault on the demoralized defenders of Cemetery Hill was taken as a virtual fact by men and officers on both sides. Ewell, however, wasn&rsquot so sure. To begin with, he had arrived in the area of Gettysburg with the standing injunction from Lee not to bring on a general engagement until the rest of the army had joined him. That had not yet happened. While Ewell was chewing this over, he received further instructions from Lee that seemed to give him permission to take the position if he thought it was prudent to do so (Lee made it clear that Ewell&rsquos corps would not receive any support in the action). But did Ewell have enough fresh men on hand? He wasn&rsquot at all sure. Nor was he sure whether the position on Cemetery Hill was being reinforced with fresh enemy troops (it was&mdasheventually). And while all this back-and-forthing was going on inside Ewell&rsquos head, his officers were gritting their teeth at the realization that every lost moment gave the blue bellies on the hill more time to improve their defensive works.

All of which is to say that Ewell was displaying a degree of caution that, though controversial, wasn&rsquot necessarily inappropriate. But there was another overriding factor at work: Jackson would have gone up that hill immediately. Of this there can be no doubt. And Ewell, already viewed as Stonewall&rsquos de facto successor, had stepped into a moment that served most keenly to highlight their differences&mdasha moment pregnant with significance.

The high ground south of Gettysburg would stay in Union hands, despite two more days of battle. And while Ewell hadn&rsquot lost the battle all by himself, many thought he&rsquod done his share. For Robert E. Lee, the lieutenant generals that commanded his three corps were the primary weapons in his arsenal&mdashthe men whose expertise and character were called upon to transfer Lee&rsquos discretionary orders to the needs of the moment. As such, they had to exhibit a large degree of independence. Ewell had some trouble with this. Though he had made an invaluable division commander, his performance at Gettysburg seemed to lack the assertive dynamism that Lee required in a corps-level leader.

It wasn&rsquot enough to get him sacked, of course. But Lee had his eye on him and began to develop doubts. Ewell led the Second Corps ably right up through the Battle of the Wilderness in May 1864. But that same month, in the carnage of Spotsylvania, his bad judgment harvested a frightful crop of corpses and essentially gutted one of his divisions. Evidence suggests that this was the final straw for Lee, whose gentlemanly sense of protocol required an excuse to ease the blow. A searing bout of diarrhea came to the rescue, crippling Old Baldy and compelling Lee to put Jubal Early, whose fighting abilities he increasingly admired, at the head of the Second Corps. Ewell did everything short of riding a bucking bronco to prove his recovery, but to no avail. Lee had lost his faith in the gallant hero of Winchester.

So what had happened? Was it the stump? Some contemporaries blamed Ewell&rsquos erratic performance on the severe wound he received at Groveton. But those closest to the general blamed his wife. Since his return to duty after the loss of his leg, Lizinka had assumed an increasingly important role in Ewell&rsquos life&mdashtoo important, according to some observers. In fact, Dick openly conferred with her over military decisions, especially crucial personnel choices such as promotions. &ldquoPetticoat government,&rdquo his staff called it. And whether or not they were exaggerating, one thing&rsquos for sure: Ewell himself failed to hit the issue head-on, allowing it to fester and create divisions that would otherwise not have been there.

At any rate, the Second Corps was no longer his. Jubal Early shared Dick&rsquos love of drink, cynicism, and profanity, and had long been a friend to whom he turned for advice. Now &ldquoOld Jubilee&rdquo had taken his unit, souring the relationship and leaving Ewell without a job. Or at least a job he could be proud of. In June the one-legged warrior was put in charge of the defenses of Richmond, a post that&mdashto a man who had raced along the Shenandoah Valley with Stonewall&rsquos &ldquofoot cavalry&rdquo and stormed the forts around Winchester&mdashwas more like a punch in the kidney than a transfer of responsibility. Nevertheless, Ewell was still one of the most valuable military leaders in the Confederacy, and the capital at Richmond was no backwater. Here was a defensive effort worthy of a man with Dick&rsquos talents.

But that was not Ewell&rsquos legacy in Richmond. When Ulysses Grant&rsquos final offensive came crashing toward the Rebel capital, Ewell was given an order by the secretary of war that he was loath to carry out: burn Richmond&rsquos vast warehouses full of cotton and tobacco. Though he fought the idea and was only obeying orders, Ewell was blamed by antagonists from the North and South for much of the destruction that left Richmond a smoking wreck. He led his troops westward in Lee&rsquos general retreat and was captured at Sayler&rsquos Creek along with nearly all the men under his command.

Ultimately, Dick Ewell died as a man keen on growing things rather than killing them. After spending time in a Boston Harbor prison following the war, he returned to his wife and commenced devoting his time to something that had fascinated him since his days in the Southwest: agriculture. Spring Hill, Lizinka&rsquos principal property in Tennessee, was developed into an extraordinarily successful stock farm. Ewell also managed properties in Mississippi. When he died in 1872 from a frightful wave of pneumonia that also claimed his wife, he had done his best to become a loyal citizen of the nation whose government he had once fought against&mdashand to put behind him the nightmarish war that had done its damnedest to kill him.

SEE DICK CUSS. CUSS, DICK, CUSS.

Early in the war, during the Battle of Fairfax Courthouse, Ewell&mdashstill a colonel&mdashtook a bullet in the shoulder. When a nearby soldier inquired after his health, the colonel spat back that it was none of his damned business and to get back in the ranks. It was vintage Dick Ewell: irascible and vulgar. According to one man who knew him in the old army, Ewell could &ldquoswear the scalp off an Apache.&rdquo A soldier who fought under the general during the Civil War called him &ldquothe most violently and elaborately profane man I ever knew&rdquo whose oaths &ldquoseemed the result of careful study and long practice.&rdquo Old Baldy himself is believed to have remarked that, with his swearing and Jackson&rsquos praying, the pair could whip the devil himself.

Interestingly enough, it was Stonewall&rsquos piety that inspired Ewell to take a more religious course in his personal affairs, which meant taking the profanity down a notch or two. But that was easier said than done&mdashparticularly at such moments when an expletive seemed all but irresistible. At Spotsylvania, Ewell taunted his routed soldiers by screaming, &ldquoRun, goddamn you, run!&rdquo and beating them with the flat of his sword. Lee saw the display, which played a role in the commanding general&rsquos decision to bump Ewell permanently from the Second Corps.

THE SINCEREST FORM OF FLATTERY

In May 1862, Stonewall Jackson sent Ewell a message that &ldquowith the help of divine Providence,&rdquo he had captured much of Union general Robert Milroy&rsquos wagon train. An exasperated Ewell shouted, &ldquoWhat has Providence to do with Milroy&rsquos wagon train?!&rdquo It was an excellent reminder of the gulf that divided Ewell, earthy and indelicate, from his churchy comrade-in-arms. They were an odd pair, to be sure, and their success in the Shenandoah Valley belied a vast difference in temperament. But in time Ewell came to view the old VMI professor as an uncanny virtuoso and stopped his practice of asking fellow officers if they had considered the possibility that Jackson was actually insane. A longtime lightweight in spiritual matters, Ewell is said to have witnessed the spectacle of Jackson praying one night alone in his tent and walked away with a newfound eagerness to embrace the faith.

Ewell never did make a very believable pilgrim. But he did share some other curious characteristics with Jackson&mdashstomach troubles, for one. Dyspepsia was a constant irritant for Ewell, and he adopted a diet that Jackson would&rsquove appreciated: bland oatmeal gruel, bread, tea, fruit. Breakfast often consisted of lettuce and cucumbers washed down with coffee. He even adopted some of Jackson&rsquos curatives, including cold water for neuralgia and avoiding pepper because it was theoretically so bad for the legs. When it came to alcohol, however, Ewell couldn&rsquot have been more different from Stonewall. Ewell loved the stuff, especially Madeira wine, which he credited with playing a major role in helping him recover from his amputation.

Dick Ewell was never accused of being a good-looking man. With bulging eyes, a beaklike nose, and a habit of cocking his head to one side, he seemed like some hapless avian spy who remained unaware that his shoddy human costume was giving him away. In fact, so many witnesses compared him to a woodcock that one suspects they had all gathered at some point and come to a consensus on the description. Capping his fowl physiognomy was Ewell&rsquos most distinguishing physical characteristic: a gloriously hairless head as smooth as a magpie&rsquos crown. Unburdened by functioning follicles almost since its owner&rsquos West Point days, Ewell&rsquos dome made him stand out at a considerable distance, even through the chaos of a battlefield. When he grew a full beard as if to compensate, someone asked him about the contrast. He replied that the condition resulted from the fact that he used his head more than he did his jaws.

WOODEN YA KNOW?

True to form, Ewell proved difficult to rescue in the frantic moment after his grievous wounding at Groveton. Hoisted by Alabama soldiers hoping to carry the wounded general to safety, he demanded that they put him down, pay him no more attention than any other wounded soldier, and get back to killing enemy troops. He was no more accommodating to the surgeon whose saw had an appointment with his leg the following day. &ldquoTell the #@%$ doctor that I&rsquoll be #@%$ if it shall be cut off, and that these are the last words of Ewell,&rdquo growled the distressed patient. But the wooden leg that ended up replacing his amputated one proved more than adequate. At the Battle of Gettysburg, a sniper&rsquos round struck Ewell in his prosthesis. He later instructed a fellow officer on the merits of going into battle with a fake limb. &ldquoYou see how much better fixed for a fight I am than you are.&rdquo He would use the peg years later on his Spring Hill farm when challenged by an especially aggressive Angora billy goat. After being knocked to the ground by the animal, Ewell fended off further attacks with his prosthesis until help arrived.

Though Ewell suffered three wounds during the war, including the one that cost him his leg, his mounts fared much worse. Ewell had five horses shot from under him by the end of the conflict.


Teniente. General Richard S. Ewell

Army of Northern Virginia
2nd Corps Headquarters
Teniente. General
Richard S. Ewell
———
Divisions
Major Genl. Jubal A. Early
Major Genl. Edward Johnson
Major Genl. R.E. Rodes
July 1,2,3,4,5, 1863

Erected 1920 by Gettysburg National Military Park Commission.

Temas. Este marcador histórico se incluye en esta lista de temas: Guerra, Civil de EE. UU. A significant historical month for this entry is July 1932.

Localización. 39° 49.867′ N, 77° 13.178′ W. Marker is in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, in Adams County. Marker is at the intersection of Hanover Road (State Highway 116) and 6th Street on Hanover Road. Located in Gettysburg National Military Park. Toque para ver el mapa. Marker is in this post office area: Gettysburg PA 17325, United States of America. Toque para obtener instrucciones.

Otros marcadores cercanos. Al menos otros 8 marcadores se encuentran a poca distancia de este marcador. Henry Culp Farm (approx. mile away) Manor of Maske (approx. 0.3 miles away) Graham's Battery - Dance's Battalion (approx. 0.4 miles away) Milledge's Battery - Nelson's Battalion (approx. 0.4 miles away) Nelson's Battalion (approx. 0.4 miles away) Brown's Battery - Latimer's Battalion (approx. 0.4 miles away) Kirkpatrick's Battery - Nelson's Battalion (approx. 0.4 miles away) Hoke's Brigade (approx. 0.4 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Gettysburg.

Más sobre este marcador. Monument has a Confederate 12 Pounder Napoleon embedded breech down.


Richard Ewell: First African-American to Win a National Title in Both Pair Skating and Single Skating

Richard Ewell was the first African-American to win a national title in both pair skating and single skating. He would also later win the National Junior Men in 1970, and in 1972, he won the National Junior Pair skating title with African-American skater Michelle McCladdie.
Ewell was born in Los Angeles, where he also grew up. He began skating in 1963. However, during this time, not too many African-American were seen in the sport. Before going to the rink, Ewell’s mother worried that the rink might not allow blacks, so she called ahead to avoid conflict when they arrived.

On that particular day the Ewell’s showed up at the rink, Mabel Fairbanks, who became a legend in her right, was there also. Ewell’s mother approached Fairbanks and asked her about lessons. Soon the whole Ewell family were taking skating lessons under Fairbanks. The first arena at which the Ewell family skated, The Polar Palace, burned down in April of 1963. After the rink had burned, the Ewell family looked for another location. They decided to try a skating rink in Culver City, California. When they arrived at the rink, Fairbanks was already there giving lessons.

Fairbanks recognized the talent in Ewell, especially at jumping. He was so good at it that many people thought he would become the first person to ever land a quadruple jump.

Too much amazement, Ewell passed all the figure skating tests quite quickly. In those days, to enter qualifying events, a skater had to pass a series of compulsory figure tests, which was quite a task for Ewell, since his talent was in jumping and not in the compulsory figures. He passed and was accepted into the All Year Figure Skating Club.

He won the novice men’s event at his first regionals. A couple of years later, in 1969, he qualified for nationals in the junior men’s division. No one, including Ewell, expected him to win the junior division at the 1970 U.S Championships, but he surpassed expectations. He placed sixth in figures and then performed the free skate of his life.

Ewell was teamed up with Michelle McCladdie, another African-American in 1968. The team won the novice pairs event at the Southwest Pacific regionals and at the Pacific Coast Sectionals in 1969. In 1970, they moved up to the junior level and placed second at the Southwest Pacific regionals but came in fourth in the Pacific Coast sectionals, falling short of qualifying for nationals.


Richard Ewell - HISTORY

My favorite scene in the movie Gettysburg comes when a fiery Isaac Trimble, taught as an over-coiled spring, appears before Robert E. Lee to recount the events of July 1. Frustrated by Richard Ewell’s inaction in front of Cemetery Hill late in the day, Trimble pleads for another assignment rather than be forced to continue to serve under Ewell.

It is a short but masterful performance by William Morgan Sheppard, who mixes fury, frustration, and a jigger full of heartbreak into a mix. It’s easy to drink Trimble’s Kool-Aid when it’s served up that well. I love the scene so much that it’s hard for me to be frustrated by it—yet frustrated I am.

I have been writing about Richard Ewell lately as part of Fight Like the Devil, the book I’m co-authoring with Dan Davis about the first day at Gettysburg. Ewell’s decision not to attack Cemetery Hill on July 1 still remains, after more than 151 years, one of the most controversial aspects of the entire battle—indeed, of the entire war. (For a full run-down, see the cover story that Kris White and I wrote for the August 2010 issue of Tiempos de guerra civil.)

I can never think about Ewell on July 1, though, without thinking of Trimble’s exchange with Lee and, in particular, Sheppard’s performance.

The scene comes from Michael Shaara’s Pulitzer Prize-winning novel The Killer Angels, later adapted into Gettysburg.

In the novel, Lee, trying to assess the accuracy of several confusing reports about the July 1 battle, comes to the conclusion that Ewell missed a vital opportunity. He had ordered second corps commander to attack Cemetery Hill if practicable, but Ewell—according to Trimble—just stood there.

Trimble is an immediately likeable character, “a marvelous old man,” as Shaara describes him. His impotent rage is nearly palpable, and so it gives his perspective tremendous weight. Readers sympathize with him they querer to believe his character.

So does Lee, whose character seems to endorse Trimble’s conclusion: “[Lee] sensed, among the anger, the bitter breath of truth.”

The scene is as powerfully written in the novel as it’s acted in the movie. Shaara uses it to ratchet up the stakes for Lee. Should the commanding general stay and fight or should he listen to the advice of his top lieutenant, James Longstreet, and seek more favorable ground? By coming so close to victory on July 1, it’s easier for Lee to stay and try again. From a dramatic point of view, it’s not so suspenseful if there isn’t much question about the outcome.

But therein lies the rub: Shaara is writing fiction, not history.

He needs to create tension and suspense. As a result, he completely excludes Ewell’s side of the story from the novel, just as director Ron Maxwell, drunk with Lost Cause-ism, excludes it from the movie. (I’ve discussed Shaara’s approach as an artist in more detail here and here.)

The truth is, Lee spent considerable time with Ewell on the late afternoon and evening of July 1—a fact that gets glossed over in the novel and skipped entirely in the movie. As a result, Ewell never gets the opportunity to respond to Trimble’s accusations. Instead, Shaara contrives to have Ewell practically corroborate it. “I think I was too slow today, sir,” Ewell says to Lee. “I regret that very much. I was trying to be . . . . careful. I may have been too careful.” [ellipses in the original]

That’s a convenient interpretation of events from the novelist’s point of view, but it’s problematic from a historical point of view. Ewell had plenty of good reasons to decide it wasn’t “practicable” to attack Cemetery Hill, so he made the prudent military decision not to attack. However, his reasons have largely been dismissed wholesale, first in the postwar years by Jubal Early—who had reason to divert blame from himself for a lack of activity on July 1—and in modern times because of Shaara’s novel and Maxwell’s film (which Old Jube couldn’t have scripted better).

As an artist, Shaara’s choice makes complete sense. To explore Ewell’s perspective in any depth would have killed the momentum of his novel at that point and diffused the building tension. Shaara has to exclude Ewell’s side of the story in order to make stronger art. The strength of that art comes to its fullest culmination in Sheppard’s wonderful onscreen performance.

The frustration is that so many people continue to accept that art as history.

But I can’t be también frustrated. I admire the writing too much, for many reasons, and I admire the performance too much, too. In the end, I can only repeat Lee’s words from the novel, astounded as I am by the ferocity of Trimble’s outburst: “Thank you, General. You will be of great service, thank you.”


Ver el vídeo: Richard S. Ewell (Noviembre 2021).