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 (1863) Battle of Gettysburg
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Larry Purtell
Little Meadows PA USA
Posts: 1439
Joined: 2004
July 14, 1863
7/14/2021 3:36:46 PM




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"My goal is to live forever. So far, so good.
Phil Andrade
London  UK
Posts: 5455
Joined: 2004
July 14, 1863
7/14/2021 4:37:56 PM
Larry,
Surgeon General Hammond goes to Frederick this evening in anticipation of a final battle between Lee and Meade.

Doesn’t that speak volumes ?

If ever there was a pithy statement to add to the controversy regarding Meade’s pursuit of Lee after the battle , this was it.

Regards, Phil
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"Egad, sir, I do not know whether you will die on the gallows or of the pox!" "That will depend, my Lord, on whether I embrace your principles or your mistress." Earl of Sandwich and John Wilkes
Larry Purtell
Little Meadows PA USA
Posts: 1439
Joined: 2004
July 14, 1863
7/14/2021 9:01:47 PM
Quote:
Larry,
Surgeon General Hammond goes to Frederick this evening in anticipation of a final battle between Lee and Meade.

Doesn’t that speak volumes ?

If ever there was a pithy statement to add to the controversy regarding Meade’s pursuit of Lee after the battle , this was it.

Regards, Phil

Hi Phil. I think many inside and out of the AOP expected a final and crushing battle that finished Lee and the ANV. In July 1863 no one had any clue what it would take to finish the war.

Best regards, larry
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"My goal is to live forever. So far, so good.
Phil Andrade
London  UK
Posts: 5455
Joined: 2004
July 14, 1863
7/15/2021 5:50:43 AM
Quote:
Quote:
Larry,
Surgeon General Hammond goes to Frederick this evening in anticipation of a final battle between Lee and Meade.

Doesn’t that speak volumes ?

If ever there was a pithy statement to add to the controversy regarding Meade’s pursuit of Lee after the battle , this was it.

Regards, Phil

Hi Phil. I think many inside and out of the AOP expected a final and crushing battle that finished Lee and the ANV. In July 1863 no one had any clue what it would take to finish the war.

Best regards, larry


Larry,

It really makes you think, doesn't it ?

Do you think that both sides made the mistake of under-estimating the enemy ?

Grant himself is supposed to have said, after Shiloh, that he realised the war required the complete subjugation of the South. Such a thing was bound to be a nightmare, as Shiloh itself demonstrated all too bloodily.

More than a year later, after an even bigger bloodbath, it's remarkable that people were still hankering after the knock out blow.

OTOH, of course, how could folks be blamed for seeking a finish as soon as possible ?

You only had to stretch out your hand and finish the job ! Not quite Lincoln's exact words, I know, but a good indication of how exasperated he was that Lee was allowed to escape after such a desperate and intense battle.

I wonder if he might have envisaged that, in thirty days of battle from the Wilderness to Cold Harbor, the Union forces stretched out their hands and suffered nearly three times as many casualties as they took at Gettysburg, and that Lee's army was still up and ready for more.

Perhaps he did envisage that ; and his dismay reflected his awareness of what lay ahead.

I would be interested to see how the Northern press reported the outcome of the Overland Campaign ; the slaughter of the Union troops was so preponderant in that fighting, and I wonder how far this was understood at the time, and acknowledged.

Regards, Phil
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"Egad, sir, I do not know whether you will die on the gallows or of the pox!" "That will depend, my Lord, on whether I embrace your principles or your mistress." Earl of Sandwich and John Wilkes
Steve Clements
Toronto ON Canada
Posts: 838
Joined: 2004
July 14, 1863
7/15/2021 1:19:27 PM
Quote:
You only had to stretch out your hand and finish the job !


Hi Phil,

My own bias is that Lincoln's assessment of the situation was very unfair.

Big chunks of the AoP were mauled during the first two days of the battle. And I seem to remember reading (stand to be corrected) somewhere that Meade's first take on casualties (based on reports given to him) was that the AoP may have lost more than 30k men. Of course, this number was inflated, as the mixing of units, especially on Day Two, had resulted in many men being separated from their units etc.

And the AoP had gone into Gettysburg with 40k fewer men that it brought to Chancellorsville (between expiring two year enlistments and 17k plus casualties), vs. the ANV having nine divisions of infantry at Gettysburg instead of the six they had at Chancellorsville.

In his pursuit of Lee, IMO, Meade did not have the freedom that large numbers of fresh troops gave Hooker at Chancellorsville, or Mac at Antietam. He could not afford to make a serious error, the small size of his pursuing army had to make him cautious.

s.c.
Phil Andrade
London  UK
Posts: 5455
Joined: 2004
July 14, 1863
7/15/2021 3:04:31 PM
Quote:
Quote:
You only had to stretch out your hand and finish the job !


Hi Phil,

My own bias is that Lincoln's assessment of the situation was very unfair.

Big chunks of the AoP were mauled during the first two days of the battle. And I seem to remember reading (stand to be corrected) somewhere that Meade's first take on casualties (based on reports given to him) was that the AoP may have lost more than 30k men. Of course, this number was inflated, as the mixing of units, especially on Day Two, had resulted in many men being separated from their units etc.

And the AoP had gone into Gettysburg with 40k fewer men that it brought to Chancellorsville (between expiring two year enlistments and 17k plus casualties), vs. the ANV having nine divisions of infantry at Gettysburg instead of the six they had at Chancellorsville.

In his pursuit of Lee, IMO, Meade did not have the freedom that large numbers of fresh troops gave Hooker at Chancellorsville, or Mac at Antietam. He could not afford to make a serious error, the small size of his pursuing army had to make him cautious.

s.c.


Steve,

All your points meet with my wholehearted agreement.

Compared with most Civil War battles, the arithmetic of Gettysburg was pretty frightening for the North, all the more so for being on home soil.

Regards, Phil
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"Egad, sir, I do not know whether you will die on the gallows or of the pox!" "That will depend, my Lord, on whether I embrace your principles or your mistress." Earl of Sandwich and John Wilkes

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