View single post by ole
 Posted: Thu Sep 4th, 2008 08:25 am
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Joined: Sun Oct 22nd, 2006
Posts: 2031

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"If practicable" was, if not expressed, understood. If the Army commander is standing behind your left shoulder and says, "I want that hill," there is no discretion allowed -- he knows the situation.

If, however, he is a mile or so away and says, "I want that hill," you may assume that he's expressing a tactical desire and that he might well be unaware that there's four batteries and three brigades up there. If he really, really wants that hill, he'd say, "Take that hill at all hazards."

Obviously, Lee wanted Cemetery Hill and perhaps Culp's Hill, but not so desperately as to order Ewell to effuse excessive blood.

Lee gave Ewell the discretion -- kinda gentlemanly, wouldn't you say? I doubt that Ewell could have taken the hill when the "wish" was issued. So then we have to figure how badly Lee wanted the hill(s). Perhaps he hadn't yet assayed its (thier) importance?

Just a thought.


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