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|Cleburnefan-the fact that the South did not recieve european recognition is a direct result of Antietam. As for the length of the war following antietam? 2 or 3 years, take your pick (Gettysburg or Antietam). The time it took for the south to capitulate following Antietam is the one, greatest argument for it not being the most decisive battle it is true-but when drawn up in the 2 or 3 year manner it does not seem as significant. As for Gettysburg ending the offensive capabilities of the ANV, I honestly believe this is overstated. Remember, Lee had a larger force following Gettysburg (going into the overland campaign) with which to fight than he had when he invaded Maryland before Antietam. Rather than Gettysburg,it was Grant siezing the initiative and utilizing the vastly superior forces at his disposal to an extent no other Federal commander had done before.
PVTClewell-Not at all, your posts are always well-reasoned and interesting and often challenge me to think differently. As to the strength of the ANV, we will have to agreee to disagree. Of course there is no way to really measure this, I base my assertion that this was the height of the ANV power because of the quality of the officer corps at all levels, and the capabilities and quality of every fighting man in it-proven by the fact it survived the battle of Antietam at all.