View single post by PvtClewell
 Posted: Mon Sep 22nd, 2008 09:43 pm
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Joined: Wed Jun 13th, 2007
Location: North Carolina USA
Posts: 420

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The comparison and significance of Vicksburg and Gettysburg has almost always been intriguing to me. While I do tend to lean toward the fall of Vicksburg as being more significant for the Confederacy than its loss at Gettysburg, it's a tenuous bent for me. The twin losses came within hours of each other. So over the course of the war, how do we really know which was the most significant battle? If Lee had won at G-burg, for example, would the loss at Vicksburg still have ended the war any quicker than it did? I don't know. If Lee wins at Gettysburg, the political implications multiply for both sides, I think. McPherson, for one, suggests that while the Confederacy might not have won the war with a victory at G-burg, the Union certainly could have lost the war with a defeat there.

What I am prepared to guess is that the the victory at Gettysburg was the turning point of the war for the Army of the Potomac (as opposed to the Union Army, which is what I think you meant to say, Pam), and certainly, that was significant.

The Union victory at G-burg clearly added to Lincoln's political capital, for sure (maybe even his his politcal capitol as well :P)

About a year ago Joe said he's seen it argued that the Union victory at Forts Henry and Donelson were the real turning point in the war. I laughed at him then. But after reading a bit more about Grant, and thus the western theater, I'm not so sure Joe isn't correct. (double negative there, which means I'm trying to say that Joe was correct). Of course, saying that underlines the significance of the western theater.

Interesting stuff.

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