Daily Archives: August 6, 2014

“A Spirit of Unbelief”: A.P. Hill, Harry Heth and the Prelude to the Battle of Gettysburg

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It has been a long, but good day at work, unfortunately I had a tire blow out and thus no time to post the newest on Stuart’s Ride. So since I am heading up to Gettysburg here is a chapter of my text dealing with the events of June 30th 1863 as A.P. Hill and Harry Heth decided to move towards Gettysburg.
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Hill.28135413_stdLieutenant General A.P. Hill

Note: One of the most important things to understand about the Battle of Gettysburg or for that matter any battle or campaign is leadership as well as organizational structure and climate of command. The study of A.P. Hill’s Third Corps is important to understanding how the battle unfolds and what happens at Gettysburg particularly on July 1st. In our understanding “Successful mission command demands that subordinate leaders at all echelons exercise disciplined initiative, acting aggressively and independently to accomplish the mission. Essential to mission command is the thorough knowledge and understanding of the commander’s intent at every level of command.”

While the leaders at Gettysburg on both sides would be unaware of our present definition they certainly would have been acquainted with the maxims of Napoleon, who many studied under Dennis Hart Mahan at the West Point. Napoleon noted: “What are the conditions that…

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