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 Posted: Mon Apr 16th, 2012 05:51 pm
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Savez
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I decided to start a new thread for discussion. I didn't want to use the one about Vicksburg because I didn't want to limit this thread. As an epic battle Gettysburg was not overrated. I also believe the loss of irreplaceable men by the South did have an impact on the Confederacy's war effort after Gettysburg. But to me it was not a turning point or a "high water mark". I'm a western theatre guy and Texas Defender said it better than I could...

For almost 150 years, the Battle of Gettysburg has been described by some as: "The turning point of the war," or:"The Decisive battle of the war," or: "The high water mark of the Confederacy," etc., etc.

  Some of us on this board believe that its importance in that regard is over-rated, and that it wasn't the decisive defeat that doomed the Confederacy to lose the war. The eastern front remained pretty much a stalemate until the southerners ran out of resources and the Confederacy became a hollow shell.

  Some of us believe that the war was won and lost in the west, and that the loss of Vicksburg (in conjunction with New Orleans the year before) was a more profound loss for the cause of the Confederacy.

  Some of us do not believe that the Confederacy was doomed by the loss at Gettysburg, or by any battle prior to that. We would argue that there was still hope that the CSA might somehow survive until Mr. Lincoln was re-elected in November of 1864. That event made it clear that the northern people were determined to pay whatever the price was to achieve a military victory.

 

The re-election of Lincoln was the turning point. By mid 1864 the great victory of Gettysburg was overshadowed by Union setbacks and an ever growing casualty list. Confederate commerce raiders were wreaking havoc on Northern shipping. The attempts to take Texas and Florida back into the Union were crushed especially at Sabine Pass. The Red River campaign was a disaster. Sherman was bogged down in front of Atlanta and Grant was bogged down above Richmond. I think late 63 to late summer 64 was the Confederarcy's best chance of victory if they ever had one.

I also saw on the other thread where the blockade was mentioned. I may be one of the few that believe that the blockade has been overrated also. I realize it was effective to some extent but I think historians have given too much credit to the Union blockade as a key to victory, but I guess that is for another thread ! haha.

Last edited on Mon Apr 16th, 2012 05:57 pm by

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