View single post by PvtClewell
 Posted: Tue Aug 14th, 2007 04:30 am
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Joined: Wed Jun 13th, 2007
Location: North Carolina USA
Posts: 420

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Could be the ANV survived Antietam because the quality of the Union officer command at the time was so bad. The winning combination of Union officers didn't click until...umm, let me think now...ummm...Gettysburg!

Also, Lee may have had a larger army for the Overland Campaign (about 65,000 according to author Gordon Rhea) than he did at Antietam (about 40,000), but the Federals were also considerably larger (about 122,000) going into the Wilderness than at Antietam (75,000).

An army can be either offensive or defensive. If it's offensive, it usually has momentum and can choose its ground. If it's defensive, it most likely lost its mobility (or is less mobile, anyway). If it's defensive it's because it's protecting something and by definition loses its capability to be a threat. Lee's army was never the same after Gettysburg and that is significant.

Lee subsequently became a defensive wizard. Had to. And that put the onus on Grant to attack. Most offensive armies prefer to attack at odds of at least 3 to 1 (at the point of contact) to guarantee success, which is why the Overland Campaign became such a battle of attrition — one that Lee could not win.

I love this concept of agreeing to disagree. My wife invented it, you know.

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