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|I just joined this board last month. I think that Lee wanted to win a victory in a "strictly" northern abolitionist state. His experience in Maryland the previous fall did not make the statement he wanted it to. I have always felt that RE Lee's political acumen was as skillful as his military ability. A victory at Gettysburg would have made the fall of Vicksburg a few days later a mute point. Meade and his generals made the correct decisions for the most part but like the Army of the Potomac up to that point...failed to grasp the total terrain. Little and big round top empty of siginificant troops the second day? Lee was overly cautious the first day due to Stuart being gone, Ewell is not TJ Jackson(what do you mean his men were tired
? these guys fought two separate armies the same day in the valley campaign). Lee had to stay and win at Gettysburg. I believe he would have retired to Maryland and edged towards Washington. The publicity in Pennsylvania was that of general panic. He had brought the war to the north. The political ramifications would have been disastrous for Lincoln. IMO.