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|I really haven't come "down on any side" yet David. That is why I am anxious to see JD and Eric's findings. They are the experts. I myself have struggled with the entire battle as so many things (at least to me - appear totally illogical and "out of character" for RE Lee.) This includes the ANV's deployments, lack of initiative in regards to the high ground, Pickett's Charge (of course) among others. Historically, Stuart has been blamed as leaving the ANV blind - and in many regards he is guilty - but WHY was he absent? is the question that has IMO, plagued his legacy for decades.
I have been to Gettysburg several times and at the risk of insulting someone, (which is NOT my intent as BOTH sides deserve equal respect), I have come away with a feeling that the Confederates "lost that fight" - more than the Union "won it." The laundry list of poor judgments that were made (on so many levels) is astounding and I think the CSA made it easier (for lack of a better word) for the Federals to capitalize on their mistakes. Although... hind-site is 20-20 and it is easy for me to "Monday morning quarterback" 143 years later... I'm hoping that JD and Eric will shed some light on the subject for the rest of us.