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 Posted: Fri Sep 5th, 2008 04:18 pm
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ole
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Excellent examples, pam, but assigning too much error to Hooker in that Lee would likely have sent Jackson on that end run in any event. Question: did Lee know that Hooker's right would not be prepared for the flanking movement?

My vote is for McClellan's series of blunders at Antietam/Sharpsburg.

First: He knew that Lee was sending Jackson south and Longstreet north with a minor force in the middle. Although he acted with uncharacteristic speed, he still piddled away enough time for Lee to eventually concentrate.

Second: He fed his troops against Lee piecemeal in three separate thrusts, allowing Lee to use his interior lines to reinforce each in turn. Had that fracas been one battle instead of three, Lee would certainly have been overwhelmed.

Third: His large, unused reserve was kept out as insurance that he wouldn't lose the battle.(Note: not win, but not lose -- a philosopical blunder in that his war aim was to bring the Confederacy to a negotiating table rather than deal a crushing defeat.)

Fourth: Not attacking again on the 18th but contenting himself with Lee's all but liesurely withdrawal across the Potomac.

There may not have been a Chancellorsville if Mac had thumped Lee there; hence, important missed opportunity.

This will be a good thread with the potential for lots of input. (As good as any "pivotal point" thread.)

ole

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