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PostPosted: Mon Jul 26, 2010 2:02 pm 
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Joined: Wed Sep 30, 2009 12:48 am
Posts: 332
Location: Las Cruces, NM USA
I do know one thing-I played a scenario where the game started on June 30. The rebs got to Gettysburg early and kicked the stuffing out of my union army.

If Lee had concentrated one day early, it would been a whole different ball game.

Col. Elkin
Horse Artillery/3rd Div/(2nd Cav)/XVI Corps AotT

“I have come to you from the West, where we have always seen the backs of our enemies. . . . Let us study the probable lines of retreat of our opponents, and leave our own to take care of themselves. Let us look before us, and not behindâ€


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PostPosted: Mon Jul 26, 2010 2:27 pm 
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Lee did not want to fight at Gettysburg, but after the tactical victory of the first day, he did not want to deprive his men of a major victory. Remember, Lee was looking for a knockout blow, not little victories. He thought that he had gained the advantage.

BG Ken 'Muddy' Jones
5th Brig/3rd Cav Div/XVI Corps/Army of Tennessee
USA


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PostPosted: Tue Jul 27, 2010 4:41 am 
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Posts: 1637
Location: USA
My view is Meade couldn't lose. Maybe he could be forced of Cemetery Hill but that is a Hill not a strategic city. He enters the battle with 20,000 more effectives than the enemy. He has an additional 40,000 men he can draw in if Lee stands still long enough.

Lee on the other hand at the time didn't view it has a lost campaign. While he retreated he always knew he would have to eventually. The south lacked the capacity to take Washington or occupy Maryland. The campaign did releave Northern Virginia of occupation for the rest of the year and kept the Union north of the Rappahannock for almost a year. From the point of view of keeping the South in the war it was a success. Unfortunately not so in the West. If Lee had just not made Pickett's charge he probably could have claimed a tactical victory and marched home.

Lee always fought trying for the Holy Grail of a decisive victory. We now know looking back that the nature of the armies made this impossible but he didn't know that. Therefore, Pickett's charge was logical to him. But winning at Gettysburg would have exhausted the ANV supplies. Meade would pull back to Pipe Creek and Lee would have no choice but to go home.

As to alternate history my opinion is that two things doomed Lee's chances. The first was Davis's decision to not give him Ransom's large division for the campaign which would have even the odds. The second was Stuart's blinding the army so that it couldn't maneuver.

General Kennon Whitehead
Chatham Grays
1st Marine Btln AoM (CSA)


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PostPosted: Tue Jul 27, 2010 7:44 am 
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Joined: Wed Sep 30, 2009 12:48 am
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Location: Las Cruces, NM USA
For an excellent what if Lee had won Gettysburg series of novels, check out the alternate history trilogy by Newt Gingrich, and William R. Forstchen.

Here is a quick review of book 1 (but you need to read all 3)

From Publishers Weekly
This well-executed alternative history imagines a Confederate victory at Gettysburg. Former House speaker Gingrich (Contract with America) and historical fiction author Forstchen (Down to the Sea) create a plausible scenario: Robert E. Lee resolves to command, rather than merely coordinate, the efforts of that gaggle of prima donnas known as the high command of the Army of Northern Virginia. Thus, when he leads them into battle against the Army of the Potomac at Gettysburg, he does not commit his soldiers to a desperate head-butting on the ground chosen by the Union's General Meade. Instead, he maneuvers around the Union flank, placing his tightly run army between Meade and Washington, D.C., scooping up Union supplies and forcing Meade to launch desperate attacks with disastrous results for the Union cause. The authors show thorough knowledge of the people, weapons, tactics and ambience of the Civil War, though their portrayals of historical figures like Lee, Meade, James Longstreet and Richard Ewell betray a certain bias (the Confederate men are noble and wise, the Union leaders hot-tempered and vindictive). The novel has a narrative drive and vigor that makes the climactic battle scene a real masterpiece of its kind (it's not for the weak of stomach). The military minutiae probably makes the book inaccessible to anyone who's not a Civil War buff or military fiction fan, but those two sizable groups will find this a veritable feast.
Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information, Inc. --


Col. Elkin AotT

“I have come to you from the West, where we have always seen the backs of our enemies. . . . Let us study the probable lines of retreat of our opponents, and leave our own to take care of themselves. Let us look before us, and not behindâ€


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PostPosted: Wed Jul 28, 2010 4:03 am 
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Location: USA
Kennon, I disagree that Meade could not lose. He could have made some poor choices, lost his nerve, been wounded, etc. IMHO, the Union Corps and Division commanders, and many brigade commanders, for the most part were solid (Peach Orchard aside) and the AotP had some of its best leadership days after July 1. Hooker should have won Chancerlorsville. Mac should have won Antietam. Mac won almost every battle in the 7 days, etc...So it was possible.

And yes, attacking on Day 3 was a mistake for Lee, but it had worked for him at Chancerlorsville, 7 Days, and 2nd Bull Run.

As far as "winning the campaign" without a major victory. That question is beyond me. But "if" the AotP had been sent reeling back from Gettysburg to Philly or Baltimore who knows what could have happened next...Even with all of those reinforcements retreating armies can do wierd things.Sure, DC would not have fallen, but it changes a lot...


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PostPosted: Wed Jul 28, 2010 4:49 am 
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Posts: 134
Location: USA
[quote]<i>Originally posted by Bill Peters</i>


"I really do not think that a battle could be avoided because it does sap the men's morale to just march around and not come to grips with the enemy."

I agree and to that they were in enemy territory being viewed as the invader.


"Does anyone here think that if Lee had won at Gettysburg that they could have taken Washington? And what effect would the victory have had on foreign recognition?"

If and I did say if he would have won he would have to contend with the garrison around DC and with less troops as well as ammo. Also the weather after Gettysburg was horrible and would have cost him more time to march to there. Bringing up the idea that Lincoln could have had troops shipped from other areas to also stop Lee any further.
Foriegn recognition would have been impossible in my view. Considering British were totally against slavery and France was dealing with Mexico and losing. There was no help coming.

"I like the idea of a Maryland/Pennsylvania campaign. I just wonder if Lee could have won it and Gettysburg is a good case of a battle where you can win the day but still pay the piper. Lee, after a WIN, still probably would have suffered grave losses."

I agree

"Would be interesting to wonder if the CSA had cut the RR lines to the east, then transferred a Corps from the West for the rest of the campaign how it would have turned out."

This is very good idea and one I wonder if Lee had not considered at one point but was afraid of his command. Maybe with Jackson he would not have given it a second thought but with what he had at this time was not sure he could pull it off. I read a trilogy based on what if that included this scenario

"Once the series is ended and the OBs unlocked perhaps we can added in some alternate history to the HPS Gettysburg game."

BG series has one or two like this. Suart actually arrives before the army and meets the Union cav. Units arrive at varied times. I have played it once as a manuever. Very interesting.



Col. Charles Babb
COLD STEEL!
6th Brigade(Cav. Artillery),3rd Division
XV Corps
Army of the Tennesse
"It's a dog eat dog world out there and I am wearing Milk Bone underwear." Norm from Cheers


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PostPosted: Wed Jul 28, 2010 9:20 am 
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Location: USA
<blockquote id="quote"><font size="3" face="book antiqua" id="quote">quote:<hr height="1" noshade id="quote"><i>Originally posted by Jim Pfleck</i>
<br />Kennon, I disagree that Meade could not lose. He could have made some poor choices, lost his nerve, been wounded, etc. IMHO, the Union Corps and Division commanders, and many brigade commanders, for the most part were solid (Peach Orchard aside) and the AotP had some of its best leadership days after July 1. Hooker should have won Chancerlorsville. Mac should have won Antietam. Mac won almost every battle in the 7 days, etc...So it was possible.

And yes, attacking on Day 3 was a mistake for Lee, but it had worked for him at Chancerlorsville, 7 Days, and 2nd Bull Run.

As far as "winning the campaign" without a major victory. That question is beyond me. But "if" the AotP had been sent reeling back from Gettysburg to Philly or Baltimore who knows what could have happened next...Even with all of those reinforcements retreating armies can do wierd things.Sure, DC would not have fallen, but it changes a lot...
<hr height="1" noshade id="quote"></blockquote id="quote"></font id="quote">

Yes, anything can happen but most things aren't likely. Meade was not going to take any risks. As long as he stayed on defense Lee was not in the position to deliver a decisive result. What little chance he had on day one disappeared as he failed to take Cemetery Hill. After that there was a lot of fighting but little chance of success. Meade had a uncommitted reserve as large as one Lee's three Corps. He could lose only by losing his nerve like Hooker and retreating. Meade wasn't Hooker.

As to Lee achieving anything even if he won, no army during the Civil War (until Lee and Hood at the end) collapsed so badly that it could not reform a defensive line and withdraw. Battles had tactical results but were not decisive. The Napoleonic decisive result simply didn't happen in the Civil War for various reasons.

If Lee had defeated Meade and somehow got around the AoP to get to Washington they would have still found an army there equal to what they had left in Fortress positions. Lee didn't have sufficient artillery ammo to fight Gettysburg he hardly could have reduced the Washington fortifications. The facts are that winning a battle in the Civil War usually reduced the winner and loser to impotence.

General Kennon Whitehead
Chatham Grays
1st Marine Btln AoM (CSA)


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PostPosted: Wed Jul 28, 2010 1:24 pm 
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Joined: Mon Dec 23, 2002 8:16 am
Posts: 328
Location: Canada
I know that Lee's attack on day 3 was a mistake but what about day 2 when he declined Longstreet's attack plan to go around the Union left instead of up the hill's?



<center>Image
General John Corbin
VIII Corps
2nd Division
5th Brigade
Army of The Shenandoah
USA</center>


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PostPosted: Thu Jul 29, 2010 1:55 am 
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Joined: Thu Sep 11, 2003 4:32 am
Posts: 1637
Location: USA
<blockquote id="quote"><font size="3" face="book antiqua" id="quote">quote:<hr height="1" noshade id="quote"><i>Originally posted by John Corbin</i>
<br />I know that Lee's attack on day 3 was a mistake but what about day 2 when he declined Longstreet's attack plan to go around the Union left instead of up the hill's?

General John Corbin
VIII Corps
2nd Division
5th Brigade
Army of The Shenandoah
USA[/center]
<hr height="1" noshade id="quote"></blockquote id="quote"></font id="quote">

Longstreet is full of s**t. I don't know why the current revisionist view so strongly favors him. It wasn't until late on the second day that Lee had cavalry to screen such a move. Without cavalry any move around the flank would be easily countered by Meade whose cavalry was operating extremely effectively. There were no major pikes like the Baltimore Pike to aide such a move. To send a large protion or all of the army that direction would have been a day plus march in enemy territory with enemy cavalry delaying the column at every choke point. Take a look at the 007 scenario map. See if you can find a way around the Union left that would lead to an even worse position? Longstreet wasn't proposing a short move around say Big Round Top. He want to swing much wider which would have put Lee's army on the wrong side of the Moncacy River. The AoP had good roads and supply bases to shift and block such a move.

And, it wouldn't have been a move done in secrecy. Meade was well served by his cavalry and intel staff. On June 30th Meade had the position, and they were the correct positions, of every division in Lee's army. There was no posibility of Lee sneaking around anything. If Lee had tried to move around the left he would have found himself facing Meade in the mountains behind Pipe Creek. If he tried to move further around this position he would have place himself with the Washington Fortifications on his right, AoP in his front, the Potomac at his back, and a very long line of communications to South Mountain that the Union cavalry would probably easily cut.

What Lee could do in Virginia where the local population was friendly he couldn't attempt in hostile territory where every farmer was a potential scout for the Union army. If Stuart hadn't have crippled the cavalry arm Lee would have had more options when it was still possible to do them. But it didn't have those choices.

General Kennon Whitehead
Chatham Grays
1st Marine Btln AoM (CSA)


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PostPosted: Thu Jul 29, 2010 8:19 am 
The other thing about the attack on the 3rd day is the fact that had Stuart gotten in the rear and gotten into the Yankee Artillery as he was apparently supposed to do....well, what would have happened then?
I definatly think Custer was the hero of the battle for the Yanks.

I agree with Kenon though, that in the end, Lee had to retreat....It was just a giant raid after all.....

BG Hank Smith
Army of Georgia
Smith's Corp Commanding


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PostPosted: Fri Jul 30, 2010 2:55 am 
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Joined: Thu Sep 11, 2003 4:32 am
Posts: 1637
Location: USA
<blockquote id="quote"><font size="3" face="book antiqua" id="quote">quote:<hr height="1" noshade id="quote"><i>Originally posted by Jefferson H. Davis</i>
<br />The other thing about the attack on the 3rd day is the fact that had Stuart gotten in the rear and gotten into the Yankee Artillery as he was apparently supposed to do....well, what would have happened then?
I definatly think Custer was the hero of the battle for the Yanks.

I agree with Kenon though, that in the end, Lee had to retreat....It was just a giant raid after all.....

BG Hank Smith
Army of Georgia
Smith's Corp Commanding

<hr height="1" noshade id="quote"></blockquote id="quote"></font id="quote">

He would have run into the XII Corps just north of the Baltimore Pike and idle, II Corps reserves behind Cemetery Hill, III Corps now in reserve between Powers Hill and Cemetery Ridge, and two divisions of cavalry supporting. Probably would have been wiped out to the last man. [:D]

Instead two brigades of Union cavalry easily stopped him which shows what condition Stuart had reduced his cavalry to by his raid.

General Kennon Whitehead
Chatham Grays
1st Marine Btln AoM (CSA)


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