View single post by PvtClewell
 Posted: Sun Jul 15th, 2007 01:36 am
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Joined: Wed Jun 13th, 2007
Location: North Carolina USA
Posts: 420

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Hmm. Nice points, Joanie.

I wish I could remember where I read it, but after the war, Lee thought if he could have won at Gettysburg, the south could have won the war. That comes from the man hisownself and it might have in it a few grains of reason and not just sour grapes. Hell, he's the one who lived it. Granted, both sides pummeled each other for four years without a decisive war-ending battle, but that doesn't mean a decisive battle couldn't have happened.

If Lee breaks the Union center at Gettysburg (which nearly happened on July 2), he now has an opportunity to roll up both shattered Union remnants and defeat them in detail, the military version of Nirvana. Although Lee is far from home and his supply base (which I want to say is in Winchester, not sure), the Union suffers yet another devastating defeat, this one far worse than Fredericksburg and this one with dire consequences. The Feds are now winless against Lee on every eastern field for 13 consecutive months. This victory possibly leads to European recognition, which then makes Vicksburg and anything in the west a moot point, because recognition gives the Confederacy legitimacy. Lincoln consequently has no chance in hell of re-election. He almost didn't anyway in 1864, despite the victory at Gettysburg. Wasn't legitimacy always the Confederate's holy grail?

I suspect even a depleted ANV after Gettysburg, even without a decisive victory but still in command of the field and with momentum, still opens up most of the above possibilities. If there's another battle, it's probably the battle of war-weary Washington DC, in which I think the dispirited Federals fold like last week's dirty underwear. The war's over.

Jeez, I hate being contrary. Here I am stuck in another counterfactual argument about something that never happened. When will I learn? :?

Sickles' move to the Peach Orchard, of course, makes all of the above counterfactual (the Private makes a nice segue back to the original thread).

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