|View single post by JoanieReb|
|Posted: Thu Jul 12th, 2007 08:21 pm||
|Wow - great stuff here. So many excellent points.
I do think that the whole ranksacking, creating havoc, and destruction of property as general stradegy would have been utterly against the moral charater of Lee's army at that time.
I Very Much appreciated David's post:
As to the Pipe Creek Line, flanking Meade might not have been the right choice, you get in his rear means he's in yours too (sounds bad doesn't it ;-)). Meade's ability to change supply sources would be easier than it might be for Lee caught between Meade and the Washington garrison. Meade would have had the political pressure of having to drive Lee out of Pennsylvania and Maryland. So if I'm Lee, I spread my troops out as he did in ‘62 to allow them to live off the land and create havoc and despair in the North by sacking Harrisburg and moving on Baltimore and Philadelphia. Basically I would spend my summer vacation in Pennsylvania touring and scaring the locals ;-). Politically Meade could not just sit there while that was happening.
I think that had Thomas Jackson been there, such a stradegy may have been considered, if the circumstances so evolved.
But, at this point, supposedly, The ANV was going into the North expressly for the purposes on "fattening up" and then engaging in a major, hopefully definitive, battle. Lee gave express orders against the wanton destruction of property, he did not want a campaign of terror; he asked his army to create as good as relations with the citizens as possible. He wanted to win the war in such a way that resentments would not disallow an easy peace afterwards.
The ANV was, in general, a very religious army, and many members felt it was wrong to take the war into the North, and that God would turn His back on them if they did so! Thomas Jackson knew how to combine God and Chrisianity in an aggressive way, prehaps he could have rallied all to a different strategy, however....
I have to leave until Friday night in about 2 minutes; am punching this out as fast as I can; hope it makes sense found some of the maps I was looking for...
Thanks for the great maps, Joe.