View single post by sallieparker
 Posted: Tue Oct 1st, 2013 12:01 am
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sallieparker
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The supply chain was very much on Lee's mind as well as on Jeb Stuart's. That's one reason why Stuart was late to the Gettysburg party; he captured a vast number of supply wagons and brought them with him. But the idea had never been to get pinned down at Gettysburg. That was accidental. The plan was to cut the Pennsylvania Railroad by capturing Altoona, and maybe Harrisburg; knock out the Federals decisively; and if necessary move on towards Philadelphia and points south. If Lee had not lost touch with Stuart's cavalry, this is how the campaign would have played out.

It was a bold roll of the dice on Lee's part, but it was the only sensible choice he had. Lee knew that eventually the brute force of Federal arms and armies would eventually defeat him if he gave 'those people' sufficient time. Therefore it was imperative to wipe them out as soon as possible.

Again, not a mad idea. The Federals had been crushed in nearly every major land battle for the past year: Second Manassas, Fredericksburg, Chancellorsville. The one time they had a semi-win, Antietam, they were so hamstrung by nutso DC politics that they couldn't build upon the victory. Instead McClellan got fired, to be replaced by a string of unfortunates and blowhards. By June 1863 the Federals looked incompetent and crazy, and the Confederates had a clear edge. Lee needed just one more Chancellorsville, one decisive Cannae, to put the matter to bed. So that was Lee's game.

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