View single post by HankC
 Posted: Tue Aug 14th, 2012 03:51 pm
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Joined: Tue Sep 6th, 2005
Posts: 517

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There are ‘turning points’ and there are ‘swerves’.

A swerve is a deviation or an acceleration and usually an ‘if only…’ element creeps into it.

Antietam is a swerve – Lincoln already had the EP written up, he was just looking for the right time. Pushing Lee back south was no more definitive than Lee pushing the Army of the Potomac north. If only Lee had won then – what exactly?

Gettysburg is a swerve – it had no more strategic, military effect than Chancellorsville or Stones River. If only Lee had won then – what?

A turning point is a total, irreversible and definitive change: an army is lost, a city is captured, an election is won, etc.

Vicksburg was such – an army was lost (totally) and a river was gained (the Mississippi).

Brown’s Ferry was another: a supply line was opened, an army was saved and a campaign was won.

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