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 Posted: Fri Jun 22nd, 2007 03:38 pm
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ole
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In the early (pun intended) Lost Cause Movement, a lot of effort went into deifying Lee--which required blaming others for the defeat at G'burg. Longstreet got the most of it with Ewell coming in a close second.

"Take the hill if practicable" gave Ewell the out he needed. Could he have taken it? Probably, but at considerable cost. The retreating Howard had significant numbers on the hill and, 'though disorganized and whupped, would have exacted a heavy price. Meanwhile, Ewell's troops had been fighting all day and were also considerably disorganized after having passed through town. From our 21st-century chairs, we can see that Ewell ought to have taken the hill. On July 1, 1863, it would have taken "We must have that hill." No "if practicable" about it.

Ole

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