|There is another aspect of RE Lees mind: his previous experience as commandant at West Point years earlier. Many if not most of his opponents were predictable and he could "get into their heads" I think. There is a mentality in the army of the Potomac that Grant picked up on when he arrived in the east in 1864...everyone was trying too hard not to lose instead of win. The soldiers cheered Grant after the Wilderness campaign and his first battle against Lee because he just simply(and immediately) moved south. No three month reprieve for Lee to re-group and recover. Lee even commented to a staff member that (in so many words) their new commander has finally figured it out and only a war of attrition to inflict high casualties could even remotely snatch a victory for the south. There were draft riots in the north. Getting back to Gettysburg, Lee gambled and this time he lost. I must also say that overall George Meade did pretty good for a guy who just got the command of the army days before the battle. The lines of march and methods of concentrating the army, though not flawless, was a masterpiece under the circumstances.
Last edited on Thu Jul 9th, 2009 03:48 pm by MsgRet