Root Beer Lover
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|No Mark, with the Army of the Potomac destroyed it would not have mattered what Lincoln would have wanted. Lee would have been free to turn on Washington. Yes he would have had to deal with the forts ringing the capital. But unlike Early Lee would have had a larger force. And that would have cuased enormous fear in the Congress following the defeat of what was the principle Federal army in the east on northern soil.
Lee wasn't looking as much for pro-Confederate individuals to swell his numbers during his second invasion, he was hoping the pro-peace movement would be so terrified as to what he would do next that they would be able to sue for peace. And had he won at Gettysburg Lincoln would either have absolutely no say in the matter or he would have been impeached and removed from office if he didn't bow to the wishes of the peace movement. The battles in the east up to Gettysburg had been more and more making it look like the Army of Northern Virginia could not be defeated, especially after Lee took command. And when it was defeated the Federal General in charge tended to not follow through their victory or to retreat from it. Lincoln was breathing a sigh of relief when Lee was defeated at Gettysburg.