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 Posted: Sat Aug 23rd, 2008 01:29 am
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Wrap10
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David White wrote: Perry:

I'll run with your analogy, Lee felt it was a bigger risk to run down that alley, because if Little Mac saw him panic, he might run after him and pin him in that dead end alley (Potomac River crossisng) and kill him with his real gun versus Lee's fake gun (although a better analogy would be to give Lee at least a .22 not a fake gun ;)).

Also, fighting at Sharpsburg was the smart thing to do in light of Little Mac's new found aggresivness.  To me Sharpsburg and Gettysburg are the same battles in reverse and show that the lessons of Antietam weren't necessarily learned by either side.  At Sharpsburg, Lee had a great position and interior lines that allowed him to survive, heck I'll even say it was a moral victory for him.  Yet, less than a year later he ends up attacking a similar postion against slightly superior numbers.  If his little outnumbered band could hold that sort of postion why didn't he think the Federals with bigger numbers couldn't?


Hi David,

Sorry for not replying sooner. For some reason I didn't notice the new replies here until this evening.

On the analogy, I think we're starting to have the makings of a pretty decent movie. But I still say Lee has to be armed with a toy gun. The audience is aware of this fact, and just as he steps out for the final dramatic confrontation...we cut to a commercial. The audience would probably respond like this - #%$# (I've been wanting to use that smiley, and this was my best chance.)

I guess we're going to have to agree to disagree about Lee's decision at Antietam. I think Mac's unexpected aggression was a good reason to wade the Potomac and live to fight another day. The very fact that he had shown this unexpected aggression, first at South Mountain and again on the 17th, was evidence that he would likely do so again. Plus, to risk a little point harping, his army had actually been broken at one point, and turned during another. He had done much to help save his own army during the battle, but it was McClellan who truly took his neck out of the noose.

That's a good question about Gettysburg. As to why Lee thought he could defeat Meade in such a strong position, my semi-educated guess would be that he was probably still blinded by his own supreme confidence, in himself and in his men. He just flat-out thought he could win, odds and situation be darned (danged?). That might be the true reason why he opted to stay and fight at Antietam, as well as why he kept acting like an attack dog at Gettysburg. We're here, the enemy is here, we're better than they are - let's get after it, and don't bother me with silly reasons why it won't work.

It took that disastrous charge, out in the open for all to see, to finally lift the veil from his eyes. I still think he was quite fortunate that he wasn't on the receiving end of a similar attack on the 18th at Antietam. But I'm stubborn that way. :)

Perry

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