View single post by Captain Crow
 Posted: Sun Aug 31st, 2008 03:20 am
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Captain Crow
Proud Southerner

Joined: Sun Jul 13th, 2008
Location: Oklahoma City, Oklahoma USA
Posts: 542

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I suspect the mere threat of attacking Washington would have prompted a speedy response from Meade thus negating the need to "sit and wait". At that point Lee was essentially living off the land and out of his wagons anyway. I doubt there was a massive flow of supplies coming from the Shenandoah considering one of the stated reasons for going north was to facilitate that region's renewal.
Also I must heartily dispute the assertion that Vicksburg did not have a major controlling influence in flow of manpower and supplies west to east and vice versa. After the fall of that city the trans-Mississippi pretty much withered on the vine from lack of military goods that were mostly manufactured east of the Mississippi. And it definitely deprived the Eastern theater of a source of manpower and foodstuffs by closing off Texas as well as Louisiana and Arkansas.

In addition, when I earlier stated that Vicksburg should have been relieved rather than beginning this northern folly I meant relief should have been sent via rail long before the time of the Gettysburg campaigns inception. Imagine what a corps of infantry along with perhaps Lee himself taking overall command as well as uniting with and organizing Johnston's scattered forces could have accomplished. Imagine this is done in early may before Champion hill but after Grant crosses the river. Imagine a single voice of unquestioned authority such as Lee's orchestrating the strategy and it's not hard to imagine U.S. Grant getting a much hotter reception than he historically did. also keep in mind that before the blitzkrieg of the Port Gibson, Raymond, Jackson, Champion Hill, and Big Black river victories Grant held only a slim advantage in overall numbers. Personally I would put my money on Lee when fighting a defensive campaign while possessing at least a numerical parity with his opponent.

And as for the Eastern theater, I suspect Longstreet with 2 corps of infantry along with Stuart's cavalry (not to mention the various scattered units at his disposal in Virginia and North Carolina) would have been more than enough to handle whatever feeble offensive George Meade could have mustered. Remember after all that Meade is the guy who essentially sat on his hands while the much depleted AoNV escaped across the Potomac after Gettysburg. an offensive juggernaut he was not.
Of course I realize that the probability of getting Lee to come east is pretty much nil. But hey we're dealing with "what ifs" here so we might as well go all out eh?

Last edited on Sun Aug 31st, 2008 03:21 am by Captain Crow

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