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 Post subject: Balancing The Battle of Gettysburg
PostPosted: Thu Apr 02, 2009 5:52 pm 
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This is a long post with many issues. Consider yourself warned.

I have long resented the confederate ammo shortage of the Battle of Gettysburg in both TalonSoft and HPS formats. I found that often I am running out of wagons and artillery ammo on the 2nd day with many units at low ammo and firing only on defensive phase, making the 3rd day a walkover for a competent yank.
It did not happen historically.

Accordingly, I have gone over several games' scenarios for supply considerations and decided that the confederates are grossly shortchanged, and so somewhat are the yankees.
One account has that doctrine infantry division trains should be able to resupply all units' small arms ammo twice. That means that every wagon unit should be able to carry 200% what their division's manpower would require should they run out, not just low. I regard that as a goal, not a law, and that battle conditions would vary considerably in actual supply. There were also corps and army supply wagons to replenish divisional trains which I decided to leave out portrayal for the time being.

Accordingly, I tallied up the manpower for both sides in HPS 007, The Battle of Gettysburg, 158 turns. The table is pasted below.
I like that scenario because of the large map which gives more maneuver room with fewer opportunities to anchor a flank against a map edge for units on defense.

I have been designing a modification that should considerably redress the ammo imbalance while also benefiting the union troops.
By counting the manpower available, you will see that the ANV is not only 23,000 fewer, but that it is a third lower in small arms ammunition for its lesser numbers. What a handicap!
On the table of the OOB, each unit has the scenario manpower with divisions divided by 10, rounding up, to define supply factors necessary to resupply all its units before casualties. ie
Under "supplies" you will find the game's wagon assigned supply factors (SFs).
"Short/1X resupply" defines how many SFs are short.
"Added Supply" shows where you may expect to find added 300 SFs wagons and in the vicinity of which division.

HPS 007 Battle of Gettysburg 3 days, 158 turns
ANV Robt E Lee 73,300 men Supplies Short/1X supply AddedSupply
I Corps- Longstreet 20,587 men
McLaws 7091/710 400 310 300
Pickett 5712/572 400 172 300
Hood 7744/775 400 375 300
II Corps- Ewell 20,523
Early 5716/572 400 172 300
Rodes 8241/825 400 425 300
Johnson 6566/657 400 257 300
III Corps- A. P. Hill 22,034
Heth 7765/777 400 377 300
Anderson 7392/740 400 340 300
Pender 6847/685 400 285 300
ANV Cav Div-Stuart9801/981 400 481 300
AoP Gordon B Meade 95,416
I Corps- Reynolds 12,078
Wadsworth 3925/393 300 093
Robinson- 3100/310 300 010
Doubleday 4975/498 300 198 300
II Corps- Hancock 12,474
Caldwell 3825/383 300 083
Gibbon 4200/420 300 120
Hays 4250/425 300 125 300
III Corps- Sickles 11,855
Birney 5975/598 300 298 300
Humphreys 5850/585 300 285 300
V Corps Sykes 11,825
Barnes 4250/425 300 125
Ayres 4575/458 300 158 300
Crawford 3125/313 300 013
VI Corps Sedgewick 13,346
Wright 4475/448 300 148
Howe 3750/375 300 075
Newton 5000/500 300 200 300
XI Corps Howard 9541
Barlow 2800/280 300 <020>
v. Steinwehr 3125/312 300 012
Schurz 3375/338 300 038
XII Corps Slocum 7995
Williams 3675/368 300 068
Geary 4150/415 300 115 300
Cavalry Corps Pleasanton 11,996
Buford 4425/443 300 143
Gregg 2977/298 300 <002>
Kilpatrick 3975/398 300 098
Provost Guard 1275/128 128

Well, the table did not paste well. If it does not post accordingly, I shall post my e-mail address that anyone can e-mail me and I will attach the table on the response. It looks as though with a minimal effort that you should be able to figure out the numbers against the column categories.

I left the wagon supply factors at a 100%(+) resupply level because of the 1/24th probability of running low on ammo for a firing small arms unit. Cavalry divisions' SFs are halved(+), reflecting that they were not expected to engage in prolonged combat and their ammo supply was reduced. The modifications may be adequate for a reasonable approximation of the supply availability, while including the corps and army trains. I predict that the rebels' supplies will still run realistically low if a game goes 3 full days.

I have also modified victory points hexes on the HPS 007 map that if the yank adopts a fall back strategy, relinquishing Gettysburg and vicinity to wait for the 3rd day while amassing reinforcements to launch a grand offensive, then an aggressive rebel can drive east against Newark, or southward to menace Baltimore and Washington DC.

If the confederate commander can capture and hold York and vicinity, Littlestown, Taneytown, or Emmitsville and vicinity, to the end of the scenario, he will be able to abandon Gettysburg and Cashtown areas for more victory points than they provide and attain a higher degree of victory.
Had the ANV not piled up against Cemetery Ridge, the capture of Taneytown would have threatened Baltimore and Washington DC, with the option still available to go after Newark, and "mod" VPs are accordingly awarded. There is no good reason for the ANV to stand, fortify, and hold Gettysburg and Cemetery Ridge if the AoP has been badly wounded. The offensive should continue!
The modified scenario map with added supply units can also be attached for those interested.

Of course, all this needs playtesting. I will support anyone interested and appreciate feedback.

I have written a narrative that explains somewhat the reasoning on my modifications which I can attach. Basically, Washington DC is the most valuable prize and the menace of its loss by capture by the ANV is most valuable in VPs, by capture of Taneytown. This 3 day scenario does not afford enough time and map area to move close to the threatened cities.

BG Ross McDaniel
2nd Bde, 3rd Div, III Corps, AoG, CSA
rossmcdaniel@sbcglobal.net

“Any people anywhere, being inclined and having the power, have the right to rise up and shake off the existing government, and form a new one that suits them better. This is a most valuable, a most sacred right—a right which we hope and believe is to liberate the world. Nor is this right confined to cases in which the whole people of an existing government may choose to exercise it. Any portion of such people, that can, may revolutionize, and make their own of so much of the territory as they inhabit.â€


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PostPosted: Fri Apr 03, 2009 2:41 pm 
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I finally got a copy of Hess's "The Rifle Musket in Civil War Combat" which is the first thorough study I have seen on the weapon and it's effectiveness. I was also quite an eye openner.

First at ranges over 150 yards probably the safest place on the battlefield was where the average soldier was trying to aim at. They didn't understand the concept of trajectory and the problem it caused the Rifle Musket. The weapon had a pronounced curved trajectory due to it's low velocity. It pretty much duplicated the smooth bores flat trajectory for the first 100 yards but depending on how it was sighted it tended to overshoot anything beyond that. At longer ranges if properly sighted for the distance the fall angle was so steep as to make it difficult to hit anything unless the shooter was an expert at both estimating distances and aiming. Unless being fired by a marksman who understood the weapon it was useless to the average soldier for ranges greater than 150 yards.

His conclusions were that the Rifle Musket only had a slight improvement on the distance that fire fights took place. Even as late as WWI the typical fire fight occurred at less than 125 yards.

Ammo supply was the next surprise. His data showed that the average rounds fire per man during the entire battle was 33. This varied from as low as 6 to as high as 50. The rate of fire during an engagement average 1 round per 2.2 minutes. His conclusions were that except for the mostly heavily engaged units the 40 rounds a soldier carried into battle was sufficient for the whole battle.

The other surprise to this was there was no organized system to resupply the units if they did run out of ammo. Most regiments and brigades had to withdraw from the line if they ran out of ammo. There was no distribution system except adhoc.

The problem is how to apply this to our HPS games where units typically fire more hours than Civil War soldiers fired bullets during their battles.

I think the fire table factors for weapons should take a major decline at two hex range to both reflect the lack of accuracy and the doctrine to fire at 100 yards are less. They should be no more than nominal values for 3-5 hex range. As for supply I think the odds of it occuring should be drastically reduced. Out of ammo should be a rare event.



LG. Kennon Whitehead
Chatham Grays
1/1/III AoM (CSA)


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PostPosted: Fri Apr 03, 2009 9:26 pm 
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Gosh, Ken! It would seem that if Hess's book is accurate, that hardly anyone should have been hurt by small arms fire at Gettysburg. TalonSoft and HPS ACW games are completely off on the programming.

However, approximately 35,000 KIA and wounded casualties were inflicted over 3 days (after subtracting out the 10,000 prisoners). Perhaps the infantry waited until they were really close before they fired.

I am quite amenable to lowering 3->5 hex fire effectiveness... Also, artillery fire effectiveness at long range. Just because rifles could shoot a slug 10 football fields distant does not mean that masses of troops would fire volleys at even half that range. With only 40 rounds basic load, I am sure that their leaders would forbid such a waste of ammo.

We have discussed the horrendous casualties in our games for years but next to nothing has been done to remedy the situation. Most every thing suggested has been denied or pointed out to have exceptions.

I find it hard to believe that there was no organized SOP for resupplying units low on ammo.

Meanwhile, I intend to work with what we've got until a plausible fix appears.

BG Ross McDaniel
2nd Bde, 3rd Div, III Corps, AoG, CSA

“Any people anywhere, being inclined and having the power, have the right to rise up and shake off the existing government, and form a new one that suits them better. This is a most valuable, a most sacred right—a right which we hope and believe is to liberate the world. Nor is this right confined to cases in which the whole people of an existing government may choose to exercise it. Any portion of such people, that can, may revolutionize, and make their own of so much of the territory as they inhabit.â€


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PostPosted: Sat Apr 04, 2009 11:17 am 
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It's all relative.[:D] The hit percentage is about 5% which means for the numbers engaged it only required 5 rounds per man to be fired on average to achieve that casualty level.

LG. Kennon Whitehead
Chatham Grays
1/1/III AoM (CSA)


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PostPosted: Tue Apr 07, 2009 12:06 am 
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Bill,

As to the historical Gettysburg scenarios the supply wagons for 1st Corps will be fixed during the a.m. hours in the upcoming update. There also was a problem with Heth and Pender's wagons arriving in scenarios 1 and 1.1 which also has been corrected - errors on my part in translating the campaign scenario 007 to the "historical" scenarios.

11th Corps route is more problematic. I'm well aware of two divisions taking the Taneytown road - the issue is how they got from their encampment near Emmitsburg to the road and still make the necessary time to arrive when they should. I've altered that too so those two divisions are forced onto the Taneytown road in the two aforementioned scenarios. The problem is that the more extensive the maps, the more the freedom of action should expand. About the time you hit scenario 1 the map is large enough that it gets hard to shoehorn troops into a predetermined course of action and still allow their activation when they were historically cut loose.

As to ammo supply... Tons of variables at work. I understand the points made and they may very well be valid. Countervailing points include the insistance of players on ahistorically firing their units ad infinitum, keep them in combat past the time that would lead any real commander to be cashiered, resupplying when units go low ammo rather than waiting till they run out of ammo which automatically doubles the ammo depletion rate, and a host of others. Perhaps the easiest fix for those who find the ammo resupply to be an issue - which I will add I don't - is simply to dip into the PDT and change to likelihood of going low/out of ammo from - in CPG - .4 to .2. This should halve the rate at which units get depleted, thereby in essence doubling the avaiable ammo.

Ta all,

Doug


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PostPosted: Tue Apr 07, 2009 1:33 am 
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Bill,

Oh - forgot to cover this in my earlier post - I have corrected the release times for 1st Corps in scenarios 1 and 1.1. Again, an error in translation on my part from the campaign scenario 007 which I used as the master scenario for these two.

Doug


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PostPosted: Tue Apr 07, 2009 1:41 am 
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Bill,

Take a look at my version of the 007 scenario posted on the CSA War College site in shared area. I addressed a lot of the issues with the historic version. It is a rather well balanced scenario but still favoring the Union because they have 20,000 more troops if they use them properly. Ross and I played it out in a mirror match. Toward the end the Rebels did run low on ammo which is why he is pushing for more changes that direction. I am waiting for the next update to the engine so I can address some issues of artillery ammo and LOS using the newer rules.

Scenario starts much later in the day than the original 007 so I was able to put the XI Corps on the right roads. I also changed some other arrival times to correspond a little more closely to when the units arrived rather where they would be if they marched tirelessly. I also fatigued a lot divisions that arrived late after long marches. This in particular affects the cavalry and VI Corps which is where I got some of my rebalancing.

LG. Kennon Whitehead
Chatham Grays
1/1/III AoM (CSA)


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PostPosted: Tue Apr 07, 2009 4:59 am 
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Great feedback and information on what you guys think important!

I find that battlefield arrival time is not so important to me than... when did the units start marching and could they have reached a specific location? (Is the rate of march accurate?)

In HPS 007, the scenario starts at 0500 with Heth and Pender on the move towards Gettysburg, but Rodes and Early are not released until 1000, although they are deployed on the map area in column on the road.
If Buford moves forward to Herr Ridge, stays put along Seminary Ridge, or withdraws to fortify Cemetery Ridge, that will affect arrival times for battle deployment.

I much prefer to make my own mistakes and successes than to be locked into historical battle deployments. I am content to be deployed at 0500 with units located as was, but don't channel me into situations that Buford must stand fixed and fight, or Pickett must assault Cemetery Ridge on the third day. (Unless that's the 3rd day short scenario.) [:D]
That is why I like the big maps and longer scenarios with lots of units and freedom for possible strategies to take advantage of my opponent's lack of imagination and adaptability to changes. I want more opportunities to outthink my opponent! [}:)]
It's not that I'm right and others are wrong. It's what I want! [:p]

I am okay playing as Lee and being outnumbered 23,000 men and Union cannons up the wazoo, but running out/low on ammo during the 2nd day is not accurate, and I argue, not fair.
If we are fighting too much, with too high casualties and ammo expenditure, then heavily fatigued or disrupted units might not be allowed to advance into known enemy ZOCs, similar to routed units' restrictions, until they recover...or lower their fire effectiveness. [B)] But those need playtesting.

Ken and I have been tweaking HPS 007 Battle of Gettysburg. I believe that his idea on having troops arrive fatigued after a long march to the map area is a good and valid way to limit their aggressive use or accept the consequence that they may not recover overnight.

I find Doug's idea of doubling small arms supply by altering the pdt file from .4 to .2 more attractive than just increasing wagons.
Is there a possibility of deleting "low ammo," which would necessitate sometimes pulling units out of line or having them suffer ranged fire while being unable to reply? That seems to me more historical while probably doubling small arms ammo supply.
Does "out of ammo" happen on a 2nd .4 probability occurence, or is there a different percentage of it happening?
The variables of corps and army supply trains affecting play are probably best left abstract to avoid wagon overabundence. But I am willing to try it.
"From other games I've played that had detailed artillery ammo rules it appears the rebels usually had a reserve of about 130% while the union had a reserve of about 170%."-KM

Anyway, Bill and Doug, e-mail me your variants and a description of your changes, and I will peruse them for play, playtesting, and/or make suggestions. (Let me know ahead of time if you personally don't want any. [:D]) We guys who want more accuracy seem to be few and far between.
I recommend that you try out Ken Whitehead's mod on HPS 007. I have given him my opinions and suggestions after a 158 turn mirror match. The last turns were still determining victory levels on both games.

BG Ross McDaniel
2nd Bde, 3rd Div, III Corps, AoG, CSA
rossmcdaniel@sbcglobal.net

“Any people anywhere, being inclined and having the power, have the right to rise up and shake off the existing government, and form a new one that suits them better. This is a most valuable, a most sacred right—a right which we hope and believe is to liberate the world. Nor is this right confined to cases in which the whole people of an existing government may choose to exercise it. Any portion of such people, that can, may revolutionize, and make their own of so much of the territory as they inhabit.â€


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PostPosted: Tue Apr 07, 2009 5:47 am 
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Ross,

There is only one percentage chance in the PDT for ammo depletion checks - it applies to both low and out of ammo checks. Low ammo and out of ammo are hard wired in the code, not contingent on the PDT, so there is no way to do away with low ammo, and keep just an out of ammo check absent a code change.

Doug


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PostPosted: Sat Apr 11, 2009 11:57 am 
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<blockquote id="quote"><font size="3" face="book antiqua" id="quote">quote:<hr height="1" noshade id="quote">I would much rather play an official scenario than one that was altered by us Tinkerers. -Col. Bill Peters <hr height="1" noshade id="quote"></blockquote id="quote"></font id="quote">
When I consider the thousands of variant scenarios that are available to us due to TalonSoft and HPS game designers for desktop computers, we are <u>soooo</u> fortunate!
I date back to the board games by Avalon Hill and various other companies starting about 1960 and was glad to see another game produced every few months.

However, there will always be flaws and other factors that are not addressed well or adequately in the original versions, in spite of play testing. We all have our ideas as to which factors are most/critically important.

The editor functions that come with these games were built in to help address those problems.

After playing Ken Whitehead's modification on HPS 007 3 day battle for Gettysburg, I won't really enjoy the original version until the game has been patched to address the ammo consumption problem. Meanwhile, adding supply wagons is a strategy that can work.

My variant mod also addresses possibilities such as, What if Robt E Lee had followed Longstreet's counsel and moved around the Union left flank on Cemetery Ridge to get between the AoP and Washington DC? (dialogue below) Longstreet was right and Lee made a disastrous mistake in not following his suggestion.
I have posted a challenge on our opponent finder forum and watching for a response.
http://www.wargame.ch/board/acw/topic.a ... C_ID=13492 Are You Suicidal, Yank? Sign up here.

Meanwhile, Doug and Bill, feel free to send me your variant scenarios.

BG Ross McDaniel
2nd Bde, 3rd Div, III Corps, AoG, CSA
rossmcdaniel@sbcglobal.net

Dialogue according to Shelby Foote between Longstreet and Lee late (after 1630) on the first day of Gettysburg:

Longstreet: If we could have chosen a point to meet our plans of operation, I do not think we could have found a better one than that upon which they are now concentrating.
All we have to do is throw our army around by their left, and we shall interpose between the Federal army and Washington. We can get a strong position and wait, and if they fail to attack us, we shall have everything in condition to move back tomorrow night in the direction of Washington, selecting a good position into which we can place our troops to receive battle next day.
Finding our object is Washington and that army, the Federals will be sure to attack us. When they attack, we shall beat them,as we proposed to do before we left Fredericksburg, and the probabilities are that the fruits of our success will be great.

Lee: No, the enemy is there (gesturing with his fist toward Cemetery Ridge) and I am going to attack him there.

Longstreet: If he is there, it is because he is anxious that we should attack him: a good reason in my judgment for not doing so.

Lee: No, they are there in position, and I am going to whip them or they are going to whip me.


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PostPosted: Sun Apr 12, 2009 3:26 am 
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Afraid I am not a Longstreet fan. If what he proposed was a move around Round Top to get on the flank it had some merits. But I think what he wanted to do was a wide swing around the Union left to position the army between AoP and Washington. This would require Lee to disengage from in front of a superior force and march by a single road from Cashtown through Fairfield to get on the pike to Emmittsburg and Taneytown. Basically race Meade to the Pipe Creek line with Meade having the better roads and pikes plus shorter distance. All this to be accomplished without cavalry which would be completely cut off from the ANV.

Once there for some reason Longstreet thought Meade would do another Fredericksburg. The actual situation would be the Washington fortifications with some 60,000 men in them in his rear. Meade cutting off the armies lines through South Mountain and their supply sources. The floaded Potomac to his south. All Meade would have to do is sit and wait for starvation to force Lee's army to make a run for it.

I agree more with Harman's "Lee's Real Plan at Gettysburg". His planned morning attack was intended to bring the two spread out flanks of his army back together in a concentrated attack. If executed at dawn Longstreet's part would have struck the Union flank. Longstreet's obstructionism turned it into a sure failure although it is doubtful Lee's plan would have worked anyway since the Union was concentrating much faster than he new.

As for Lee's objection to Longstreet's plan, Harman says "For instance, Lee's hard dismissal of Longstreet's desire to march around Meade's left may have stemmed from Jomini's belief that the success of taking "detours" around an enemy's flank was usually doubtful, "since it dependes upon such an accurate execution of carefully arranged plans as is rarely seen.""

Any serious attempt to flank or reposition the army around Meade's left flank required cavalry and the energy of a Jackson.

LG. Kennon Whitehead
Chatham Grays
1/1/III AoM (CSA)


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PostPosted: Sun Apr 12, 2009 6:15 am 
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<font color="orange"> My responses:</font id="orange">
<blockquote id="quote"><font size="3" face="book antiqua" id="quote">quote:<hr height="1" noshade id="quote">Afraid I am not a Longstreet fan. If what he proposed was a move around Round Top to get on the flank it had some merits. But I think what he wanted to do was a wide swing around the Union left to position the army between AoP and Washington.
<font color="orange">The latter is what Longstreet wanted to do, hoping to provoke a Union attack. Lee had had great success as a "counter puncher."</font id="orange">
This would require Lee to disengage from in front of a superior force and march by a single road from Cashtown through Fairfield to get on the pike to Emmittsburg and Taneytown. Basically race Meade to the Pipe Creek line with Meade having the better roads and pikes plus shorter distance. All this to be accomplished without cavalry which would be completely cut off from the ANV...
<font color="orange">Keeping in mind that this conversation was during the evening of the first day:
Such a march was done without a cavalry screen by Stuart at Chancellorsville to clobber the Union XI Corps under Hooker.
McClellan had been fired by Lincoln because he had repeatedly allowed Lee's ANV to march around him and beat him to an objective in spite of going the longer distance against the AoP's interior lines.
Ewell's Corps had earlier in the day failed to occupy Culp's Hill unopposed when it was unoccupied, and then Ewell did not attempt to take it after Union troops occupied it because Lee's order to do so was discretionary. On the second day, Ewell's assault failed to take Culp's Hill. Not a confidence building performance...</font id="orange">
...Any serious attempt to flank or reposition the army around Meade's left flank required cavalry and the energy of a Jackson. --LG. Kennon Whitehead
<font color="orange">After the failures of Ewell to take Culp's Hill and Longstreet to take Little Round Top on the second day, I find it hard to understand why Lee tried to do a similar effort again on the 3rd day with JEB Stuart's cavalry division against a superior force of Union cavalry protecting the Union rear and a flanks supported Pickett's division in a frontal attack against a superior force on Cemetery Ridge well prepared and supported after two days. [B)][8]
Lee should have followed Longstreet's advice from the first day.
On the 3rd day, Lee did have cavalry support to recon and mask his movements.
After the disastrous 3rd day of "Pickett's Charge," Lee disengaged from a considerably larger intact force, taking his time over two days, and escaped back to Virginia, much to Lincoln's chagrin and dissatisfaction with Meade. But alas, Lee no longer had an intact force to plausibly threaten Washington or elsewhere. </font id="orange"> <hr height="1" noshade id="quote"></blockquote id="quote"></font id="quote">Hindsight is 100%, and in retrospect, Lee made wrong decisions on the 2nd and 3rd days.
We will never know how it would have worked out had Lee followed Longstreet's advice, but there is considerable evidence that it would have had better results than what did result.
I doubt that Lee could have captured Washington DC even had the AoP been crippled, but it might have led to foreign recognition and Northern war weariness to cease their war against Southern freedom and independence.

BG Ross McDaniel
2nd Bde, 3rd Div, III Corps, AoG, CSA

Dialogue according to Shelby Foote between Longstreet and Lee late (after 1630) on the first day of Gettysburg:

Longstreet: If we could have chosen a point to meet our plans of operation, I do not think we could have found a better one than that upon which they are now concentrating.
All we have to do is throw our army around by their left, and we shall interpose between the Federal army and Washington. We can get a strong position and wait, and if they fail to attack us, we shall have everything in condition to move back tomorrow night in the direction of Washington, selecting a good position into which we can place our troops to receive battle next day.
Finding our object is Washington and that army, the Federals will be sure to attack us. When they attack, we shall beat them,as we proposed to do before we left Fredericksburg, and the probabilities are that the fruits of our success will be great.

Lee: No, the enemy is there (gesturing with his fist toward Cemetery Ridge) and I am going to attack him there.

Longstreet: If he is there, it is because he is anxious that we should attack him: a good reason in my judgment for not doing so.

Lee: No, they are there in position, and I am going to whip them or they are going to whip me.


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PostPosted: Sun Apr 12, 2009 9:43 am 
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Unfortunately for Lee the AoP was functioning with unusual efficiency in almost every area that the ANV was failing at. Meade new where every division in Lee's army was located on the night of June 30th. Meade's Corps and Division commanders were acting decisively with little need of micromanagement. Lee's command structure was falling appart and failing on every level.

Jackson made a relatively short march around Hooker's flank with almost no cavalry or pickets to give the alarm. Longstreet wanted to move the entire army over 20 miles to get on the Union flank through enemy territory with at least one cavalry divisions covering that flank. Since this would have occurred mostly on June 2 it would have left Stuart isolated and separated from the army for another day or two. It would have required a lot of Union mistakes to pull off and the Union didn't seem to be making any.

In the case of McClellan he wasn't surprised by the flank attack. He knew about for some time he just responded as only McClellan could which was to retreat and save his army.

Pickett's charge is one of those things that makes you wonder what Lee was thinking about. But then we are not in a battle seeing only what some field glasses will show us. He made a desparate gamble and lost. In past battles he had made similar gambles and won. To quote Gen. Lee regarding his decision after the second day to continue: "These partial successes determined me to continue the assault the next day." ... "The general plan was unchanged."

LG. Kennon Whitehead
Chatham Grays
1/1/III AoM (CSA)


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PostPosted: Sun Apr 12, 2009 11:23 am 
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Location: USA
Ross,
your point about Lee's past feets of manouver ring true. However, I seem to remember a series of quoutes from Lee about having taken the measure of his opponents and based his actions upon those observations. McClellen and Pope always did what Lee expected. Similarly, he felt he had the measure of Meade, and while he disdained Pope as an idiot and a blowhard, and knew Little Mac to be too conservative, he had a healthy respect for Meade.

I has been my impression that this was once reason he was wary of trying fancy footwork, especially, as Kennon commented, it was not going as well as expected during the last stage of the campaign...

I think Kennon's comments about the Union command were on display on the field. The union soldiers fouht very well, perhaps their best showing since the Peninsula in the East.

Entering into the realm of amatuer psychology, I also wonder if Lee took more risks close to his capitol than he did far away....


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PostPosted: Mon Apr 13, 2009 2:21 pm 
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Joined: Mon Dec 17, 2001 6:59 am
Posts: 266
Location: USA
Ross,
an alternative to the current supply system would be to get rid of supply for infantry units, and let the fatigue, which is "combat fatigue," simulate supply levels. Not perfect, but increased fatigue coudl carry heavier fire penalties...


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