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Gettysburg effects? - Battle of Gettysburg - Civil War Talk - Civil War Interactive Discussion Board
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 Posted: Wed May 9th, 2012 09:23 pm
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Insecurity
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I would like a general idea of the immediate and direct effects of Gettysburg on Confederate war efforts. Any help, guys? My history teacher asked me a question on it and I went blank.

Any help would be wonderful!

Love,

   ~Insecurity



 Posted: Thu May 10th, 2012 02:00 am
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CleburneFan
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The most immediate impact on the Army of Northern Virginia is that Lee had to find a way to get his entire army back over the Potomac and back to Virginia without being routed by a hotly pursuing Meade and his Army of the Potomic. Plus Lee hoped to also take fully intact, all the food and supplies his army had gathered in Pennsylvania during this campaign.

Thing of it is, Meade didn't mount an immediate hot pursuit with the devastating results that Lee feared. Meade did his level best given the condition of his own army and the heavy downpours that turned roads to muck and mire, but it wasn't enough to prevent Lee from making his escape to the consternation of Lincoln.

Also keep in mind that the Confederacy suffered a simultaneous setback in Vicksburg,MS. Both these battles created heavy loss of personnel the Confederacy could ill afford and a temporary drop in morale. That the Confederacy was able to recover and even that same year have a substantial victory at Chickamauga,GA is quite remarkable and demonstrates dedication, resiliance and determination.

Last edited on Thu May 10th, 2012 02:04 am by CleburneFan



 Posted: Thu May 10th, 2012 02:00 am
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CleburneFan
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Sorry, double post..

Last edited on Thu May 10th, 2012 02:02 am by CleburneFan



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 Posted: Thu May 10th, 2012 02:10 pm
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Old Blu
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Savez wrote: I would have to say the most immediate and direct effect would be the loss of irreplacable manpower. 

General Lee held up pretty good concerning man power.

Wilderness total engaged 61,000
total casualties 11,000

Spotsylvania total engaged 52,000
total casualties 13,421

North Anna total engaged 53,000
total casualties 2,517

Cold Harbor total engaged 59,000
total casualties 4,595

Lee's army ends up with practically the same number of combatants as he did at the beginning of the overland campaign.

Also keep in mind that Grant had to call on help from the defenses of Washington

Then from there everything went to *ell in a handbasket!



 Posted: Thu May 10th, 2012 03:52 pm
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Mark
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It's always amazed me how well the Confederates were able to fill their military manpower requirements!

Mark



 Posted: Thu May 10th, 2012 04:41 pm
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HankC
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latest estimates have the ANV still with 50,000 men all the way up to Five Forks.

of course, the replacements were no longer new recruits but were drawn from other areas (along with their commanders), leaving skeleton forces behind.

Hence the Virginia theatre had a plethora of high-ranking generals (Beauregard and Breckenridge to name a couple) by the end of the war.

through the war the south were able to keep the ranks filled while their perimeter was ever-shrinking.

The US had the opposite problem - more and more territory and coastline to occupy while working with fewer and fewer veteran troops.

there are interesting parallels to world war 2 - veteran units were almost completely filled with replacements by the end of the war...



 Posted: Thu May 10th, 2012 06:28 pm
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Gettysburger
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You have to give credit to the increasing muster roles to the 3 Confederate Conscription Acts that eventually drafted able bodied men from 18-50 and began in April 1862.

By 1864, nearly 1/3 of all Confederate soldiers were draftees.

Without those men forced into service, I doubt the confederate armies would have been able to continue as well as they did as long as they did.



 Posted: Thu May 10th, 2012 06:38 pm
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The CS has the trouble in a great swath of the 'white-belt' that oppose the war and, obviously, conscription. Not only are these soldiers unmotivatedbut but they require precious resources just to get them in the ranks.

The US also has an advantage of a large number of highly motiviated volunteers: the United States Colored Troops...



 Posted: Thu May 10th, 2012 06:46 pm
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Gettysburger
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 HankC, I totally agree, the 185,000 negro troops were a big asset to the unions strategy even though they were a major problem to many white soldiers and commanders.



 Posted: Fri May 11th, 2012 08:56 am
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The most damaging thing to CSA war efforts resulting from Gettysburg was Lincoln realizing Meade wasn't the guy he wanted. WHen Meade allowed Lee to slip back into Virginia it was a repeat of the Antietam mistake. The Union had Lee where they wanted him but yet let him escape. Lincoln wanted a general that would go for the kill and not be satisfied with just a victory over Lee. Grant was his guy and it was only a matter of time after that.



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 Posted: Tue May 15th, 2012 05:38 pm
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Insecurity
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Thanks guys! My thought process was Loss of manpower> Loss of weapons> Loss of morale.
Wouldn't the loss of weapons/ammunition be enough to put them in a position where the confederacy was losing? Even if they didn't lose the amount of men they did?

~Insecurity



 Posted: Wed May 16th, 2012 12:39 am
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CleburneFan
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Lee's army retreated from Gettysburg with much of his artillery and enough ordnance to fight off potential Union attackers. In fact his retreat was a study in logistics because of the impressive amount of war materiel the ANV managed to salvage including a wagon train of food and supplies and a wagon train of wounded officers and rank-and-file.

All this was achieved in spite of Union cavalry and even infantry snapping at Confederate heels all along the way. In fact, Lee even retreated with a considerable number of Union prisoners in tow.

What Lee left behind were primarily his dead, his most severely wounded men and some of his surgeons to help out.

I spoke of artillery and related equipment such as caissons, but even sidearms were replenished by rescuing guns from both fallen Confederate and fallen Union soldiers right on the battlefield.

There are two excellent books that deal with the topic of Lee's retreat from Gettysburg. One has more of an emphasis on logistics and one deals more with the skirmishes and battles that took place.

1. "Retreat from Gettysburg: Lee, Logistics and the Pennsylvania Campaign" by Kent Masterson Brown

2. "One Continuous Fight: The Retreat from Gettysburg and The Pursuit of Lee's Army of Northern Virginia, July 4-14, 1863" by Wittenburg, Petruzzi and Nugent

Last edited on Wed May 16th, 2012 12:50 am by CleburneFan



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