View single post by The Iron Duke
 Posted: Wed Aug 6th, 2008 02:31 am
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The Iron Duke
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Perry that is an excellent post.

I think if Lee were crushed at Antietam history would view him as insanely foolish. I believe Lee did indeed prolong the Confederacy but I tend to view him as way too impulsive. Others generals like Washington, Wellington, and Thomas seemed to have understood when it's proper to attack and when it's proper to defend.

Lee's reaction to every situation was to attack if he was able to. After all the thousands that got butchered at Mechanicsville, Malvern Hill, and Fredericksburg it's absolutely mind boggling to me that he would attempt Pickett's Charge. An excellent example of his impulsiveness, IMO, is when Longstreet had to talk him out of attacking prematurely at Second Manassas.

I don't see what Lee had to gain at fighting at Antietam either. He lost 10,000 men and to what purpose? The Confederacy couldn't throw away men like they were plastic soldiers. They had to husband their resources and be more clever than their enemy. Like Longstreet said about Gettysburg, the Confederates tried to pit force against force in a head to head match-up and they lost. The Union could afford to rely on brute force; the Confederacy couldn't and I'm not sure if Lee ever understood this. Lee bled his army to death.

Last edited on Wed Aug 6th, 2008 02:34 am by The Iron Duke



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