View single post by CleburneFan
 Posted: Tue Jun 12th, 2007 01:55 am
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Joined: Mon Oct 30th, 2006
Location: Florida USA
Posts: 1021

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But what about the risk, Ole? Meade had just lost about a quarter of his army. Yes, Lee had lost even more. But Meade, fearing that Lee had headed to the mountains for the purpose of creating a stronghold and making a fierce stance, couldn't risk being on the low ground and losing to Lee.

Meade did send cavalry out. Kilpatrick attacked Hagerstown and Buford attacked Williamsport where Lee's wagon trains were jammed up waiting to cross the swelling Potomac River. That both Union cavalries lost their attempts and had to retreat shows how tired, hungry and unsupplied Meade's men and unfed, unshod horses were post-Gettysburg.

I'm just not sure how effective any strategy Meade might have employed would have been given his circumstances and, let's not forget, that torrential rain and knee-deep mud. Nobody was going anywhere very fast.

Maybe he could have sent out one or two corps to harass and slow Lee's progress, but first he needed to know what Lee was up to and not risk being lured into a deadly  trap. Plus Meade may only have been able to guess how badly torn up Lee's army was.

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