While sitting on Barlow's Knoll Saturday by myself, I begain thinking about Vicksburg and Gettysburg. Amid my numerous random thoughts, I begain contemplating the military and political aspects of these 2 important occurences. Just for discussion purposes and input from my more knowlegable colleques, I put forth the idea that perhaps Vicksburg was more important militarily than Gettysburg while Gettysburg was more important politically. In no way do I discount any of the lives lost during these 2 battles/campaigns. Again one of my many observations.
There can be no doubt in my mind which battle was more significant, strategically Vicksburg split the CS in half. Materially it armed the US Army in the West w/ tens of thousands of first rate English arms to replace obsolete arms. It also disarmed an entire CS Army and gutted Cs morale west of the Appalacians. It was one more nail in the coffin of the CS in the West.
Gettysburg? Well it was a victory for the AoP w/ plenty of press coverage, it gained the AoP a measure of confidence that some say was sorely lacking and it showed R.E. Lee to be considerably less than invincible. Was it decisive? Well the ANV never again made a serious attempt to invade the North and never again undertook a serious offensive campaign.
I'm afraid that I lean with the Golden Gopher, DocC. Gettysburg was decisive and offered a great boost to Union morale. Then again, I have insisted that the CSA was divided before Vicksburg was taken. So I'll waffle.
I tend to agree with all of the above that the Vicksburg Campaign was much more significant militarily than GB. Even though the AoNV never mounted a similar offensive effort it was able to counter any move the AoP made until Petersburg and still able to hold them in check for nearly a year. All said and done, Vicksburg led much more to the down fall of the southern forces than GB.
Isn't the fact that an opponent can't hold on to its own territory part of what wars and particular battles are about?
What, I wonder, would have happened if Gettysburg was lost by the AoP and Vicksburg alone was carried by Grant and Sherman? Would it not have been more important to split the Confederacy - or to have good press in the local papers?
Wait a sec..... we actually had BOTH!!
The South was spread far too thin with fighting in the West. Supply problems abounded. The rail system was a joke. The Confederacy desperately needed assistance, which could have been provided by certain European countries IF the Confederate Army had shown itself capable at Antietam.