View single post by martymtg
 Posted: Sun Aug 31st, 2008 03:13 pm
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martymtg
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No doubt that Meade allowed the AoNV to escape when he possibly could have ended the war right there. Give him credit for the victory, despite the fact that he didn't get there and take command until Day 1 was already in the books. But among all these 'what ifs' it must be mentioned that he was in a position to cut off the retreat of a stunned army and didn't act.

This didn't sit well with Lincoln, nor did Meade's commment that "We have pushed the invaders from our country," to which Lincoln responded, "ITs ALL our country!" (or words to that affect)

I still don't see Lee ever straying that far from Virginia and leaving Richmond exposed to aid Vicksburg, tho, or Davis ever giving that order. After all, there are two huge armies within proximity of each other's capitol. And, again, Lee wanted that big victory on Northern soil, he wanted the north to 'feel' the war. He probably didn't believe that a long, drawn out, defensive war could be won in the end, in the face of the North's greater resources. If he marches to support Vicksburg he's probably giving up any chance of ever fighting on Yankee soil. And everything he'd done boldly to that point had pretty much worked. For my money, even Antietam was really a confederate victory, altho at too great a cost. He's well aware of the indecision and incompetence of the AoP's command, northern anti-war sentiment, and he decides to go for the jugular, which leads to Gettysburg.

That doesn't mean you're not correct that supporting the defense of Vicksburg may have been the best course of action. I just don't think it was a serious consideration. As far as how vital (and far gone) Vicksburg was at that point, I'll leave that one for you and Ole to hash out.

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