View single post by David White
 Posted: Thu Aug 7th, 2008 06:43 pm
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David White

Joined: Tue Sep 6th, 2005
Location: Texas USA
Posts: 909

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My point can be made by an historic conversation between Lee and Longstreet at Gettysburg:

“But the enemy is there,” said Lee, gesturing towards the ridge across the valley, “And if he is there tomorrow I will attack him.” “If he is there tomorrow” replied Longstreet, “it will be because he wants you to attack him; in my mind a good reason not to do so.”

Ultimately by staying Lee scared McClellan away from attacking, so the next night and morning he could slip away unmolested. If Lee had retreated immediately, even McClellan might have smelled blood in the water and attacked promptly (okay maybe not). By staying put, Lee puts doubts in McClellan's mind and ensures his ability to slip away unmolested. A brilliant move on Lee's part.

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