View single post by Hellcat
 Posted: Mon Jun 11th, 2012 06:36 am
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Hellcat
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Joined: Tue Nov 15th, 2005
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As I pointed out, the war woulds have turned to the Western Theatern if the Army of Northern Virginia was destroyed and Lee and his Corps commanders captured. There were units in the Eastern Theater besides the Army of Northern Virginia, but were they enough to keep the Army of the Potomac from being sent west? Washington would have had to be defended, but without the threat of the Army of Northern Virginia there would have been a demand to send the bulk of the army to the Western Theater and probably maintain a corps or two to defend the capital.

Actually the call would have been first to take Richmond and then send the army west Something that McClellan had failed to achieve even before Lee took command thanks to his slow advancing and over estimating his opponent's fighting abilities. Let's not forget that he had a habit of inflating the fighting strength of the Confederate forces he faced, which at times was aided by clever deceptions on the side of the Confederates (like the use of Quaker guns and marching in circles with the changing regimental flags while out of sight to make your defense appear larger).

But if McClellan actually managed to destroy the Army of Northern Virginia and marched on Richmond, let's not say Davis simply would have stayed and mounted a defense of Richmond without considering a possible fall. Davis wouldn't have been stupid, he would have relocated the seat of government. The capture of the capital city would have been a major blow to the Confederacy, but the capture of the government would have been a bigger blow. If Davis could relocate the government then, even if he were to fall mounting a defense of the city in the hopes of being able to return the government to Richmond, he would have been likely to ensure the Confederacy could continue for a while longer. Forcing the Federal government to once more target another Confederate capital.

The only real way I can see of having a chance of ending the war two years earlier is as I stated in my first post. Utterly defea the Army of Northern Virginia, capturing Lee and his Corps commanders then turning to the Western Theater and defeating the major forces there.

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