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 Posted: Thu Sep 18th, 2008 11:16 pm
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Captain Crow
Proud Southerner


Joined: Sun Jul 13th, 2008
Location: Oklahoma City, Oklahoma USA
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Southern Son wrote: Wait, i thought we were still talkin about antietam???

By the way, lil mac thought he had driven lee from the battlefield, he was wasting cannonballs on lee's "retreating" army. Lee's army was just moving on. Antietam was a draw for both sides
That's technically true but in the thinking of the times withdrawing from the engagement or "leaving the field to the enemy" was usually claimed as a victory by the opposing side. And in the case of Antietam Lee's strategic objectives were not achieved, his troops were fought to the breaking point, and in the end he was forced to return to relative safety across the Potomac. Or should I say he was allowed to return by LIL Mac. I still contend that in the realm of "what if" there was ample opportunity(and the means at hand) to put Lee away for good. Would this have ended the war? No probably not. But the loss of it's principle fighting component in the eastern theater, as well as possibly three of it's best field commanders would definitely have severely shaken the confidence of the Confedrate government and dealt a crippling blow to civilian as well as military morale.
MacClellan had yet another chance to live up to the hype surrounding himself and his abilities as a commander and as always...totally blew it.
Was this on purpose as Ole suspects? Who knows? He did have a massive ego and definite political ambitions coupled with a well documented disdain for Lincoln's abilities as commander in chief so I think it's not to be discounted entirely as a reason for letting Lee off the hook.

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