By 1864 the Confederate armies were slowing becoming disheveled and slowing losing their ability to fight. If you look at it by Dec. 1864 both the confederate armies had lost their ability to function well and put up a fight. By the end of the Summer 1864 the union armies had passed the confederate armies in all area in which an army are graded on. Leadership the union armies were now led by competent men at all levels while the confederate army leadership was lacking throughout the command chain. Union army had superior weapons and more of it and the list goes on.
If Lee had walk into the command of the AoNV march of 1864 instead of in 1862, the army was in no shape to he give him any daring victories. The army was lucky to hold its own using dirt walls and breastworks. Lee would only be remembered for the surrender of the army and no more..He lucky he had two years before to make a name for himself..
Lee's army in 1864 was well equipped and had around 60,000 men. That's not much lower than in previous campaigns and it's still higher than what he had available during the Antietam Campaign. These were battle hardened veterans and not the raw recruits of 1861-62. Morale was still very high.
His army's attacks at the Wilderness, Spotsylvania, and in the Valley show that his army had plenty of punch left. Heck, look at how Mahone's lone division routed the entire II Corps of the Army of the Potomac at Jerusalem Plank Road during the siege of Petersburg.
No I think Gettysburg's impact on the effectiveness of Lee's Army has been vastly overblown.
"Lee's army had a punch left in it until he used it up at the Wilderness from then on the punch was gone. Lee fought off his back foot for the rest of the war."
Lee detached Ewell's Corps under Early and managed to get to the outskirts of Washington. That was a very audacious move on Lee's part and it shows that his army had plenty of punch left.
"Jerusalem Plank Road was nice victory but all it did was turn the union left but at the end of the day the position of the two armies had not change much, nothing achieved."
I'm not saying it did. What I'm saying is that Jerusalem Plank Road shows that even at that late date in 1864 Lee's army was still effective enough to rout an entire corps. That's a far cry from the paper tooth tiger that Lee's 1864 army is typically portrayed as and I blame this mostly on the Gettysburg myth.
"The point I was making is that Lee's army was becoming unable to preform daring or audacious moves by 1864 because it was becoming a shadow of it once glorious self."
Yes because of Grant's actions. Not because of Gettysburg which typically gets all the credit.
____________________ "Cleburne is here!" meant that all was well. -Daniel Harvey Hill
Early moves on Washington did not seem to excite Grant much and once to sent Sheridan. Early's days were numbered...If I remember right Early was extorting money from a town or two not a good image that makes but history forgets the bad things the south did.
Jerusalem Plank Road shows the punch of the AoNV was not a knock out punch anymore...
I will give you that Grant suck the life out of Lee's army. He suck it's soul dry...
I see we have lost sight of Lee being audacious or not...
Rumbling up my thoughts...
Last edited on Mon Aug 25th, 2008 03:00 pm by 5fish