View single post by HankC
 Posted: Mon Aug 23rd, 2010 03:55 pm
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Joined: Tue Sep 6th, 2005
Posts: 517

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The nation celebrated the EP immediately. The importance of the GA took a while.

Antietam was the last battle in a fairly long campaign that started in June on the peninsula, moved northward through Cedar mountain and 2nd Manassas and finally across the potomac. In effect it was McClellan's thrust and Lee's counter-thrust which finally returned both sides to more-or-less their positions of the previous winter.

The battle of South Mountain allows Lee to hold the heights at Sharpsburg and to delay the Army of the Potomac until Jackson could arrive - the same thing Buford does at Gettysburg.

the 2 battles are almost carbon copies at the 'macro' level, except that the final attack at Gettysburg came in the center rather than on the defense's right:

first phase: active defense delays the attacker while better ground is held and all defensive units converge,

2nd phase: tremendous attack on the defensive left, to which every available unit is rushed. The line bends but does not break. Some areas change hands many times (corn field/Wheatfield).

defense of the right: uncoordinated attacks are costly but not decisive

battle for the center: tremendous slaughter in an attack on a well defended position (divergence here as the CSA retreated from their position but the AoP could not follow up)


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