THE CIVIL WAR BUFF
A debate I had and enjoyed with members of the Civil
War Buff on Saturday May 19th, regarding the Gettysburg Campaign
Was one of the reasons that Lee headed north to fight, was to relieve war ravished farms and to let farmers harvest their crops safely.
Pretty much . And if he was smart he should have just cleaned out Pennsylvania instead of attacking the Feds
He did clean out a good chunk of 2 major agricultural counties
in PA as well as several in Maryland. Guzelo's Gettysburg gives an excellent description of how he removed massive amounts of livestock, grain, fruit and draft animals. They also captured several dozen free African Americans and re-enslaved them
Shouldn't have let Stuart go through Rockville and
let Jubal Early match to York . Staying in the Appalachian region in Pa he could have foraged all he wanted. War department was bent on protecting Washington and wouldn't have let Meade pursue. Something like that might have won the war for the south
IMHO, they would have let him go to town as long as he said west of the Susquehanna and south of the Penn RR main line. I'm pretty sure his logistics chain wouldn't have let them do much more than that. IIRC, Sherman needed
200 K rounds SAA per day for the march to the sea plus 1-3k artillery rounds. Were the Confederate supply chain good enough to support this?
Foraging local supplies probably matched what was collected locally in the Shenandoah ... And even if the supply train is threatened back crossing the Potomac , further west
fording Near Cumberland and Frostburg was more than possible to maintain contact with Richmond . Could have been some continious wild goose chase with southerns eating healthy all the way . Is why the north might be compelled to give it up . Especially with
Fredricksburg and Chancellorsville defeats as recent failures
All the Union would have to do is leave a small enough force to give chase and keep Lee busy while slowly pushing him to the west as the main forces marched on a mostly unprotected Richmond. Lee could not afford to have his line of communications
and such pushed too far westward or he could not cover what was needed.
That's another angle worth looking at
I'll definitely give you it would have created panic in both
Philadelphia/Baltimore and Pittsburgh/Cleveland as well as some serious rioting in NYC.
Sacking Johnstown and Pittsburgh . Gads , can you imagine ??? A major industrial victory for Richmond
Meade understood Lee would never leave an exposed rear flank. He didnt have his Cav screen or a good understanding of the terrain. It was Meade's home state. Pittsburgh would have been big but difficult crossing the Allegenys.
However burning Harrisburg and Lancaster and busting up the Pennsy main line would have been a major blow
My biggest what ifs are like you said Early with a division running rampant in central PA and a disciplined
Stewart giving recon. Wow
The Allegheny isn't any worse than South Mtn ... lol It's fun imagining
campaign? Always thought that was at best a third reason. Wasn't as if the Union had an army in the valley doing what Sheridan did in '64-'65.
A scorched earth policy in Pa would have probably made the north more resilient to hunt down Lee
figured Lee had no idea how long he would be gone for, so to give farmlands a break to harvest and possiblly replenish with second season crops.
you're not saying you believe Lee could've stayed
above the Mason-Dixon from June thru Oct, are you?
Terry Bridge-Never said that, I have no idea how long he would have been gone for like I
said in the first post.
and to find shoes for his men
Funny thing . Some say the North marched to Gettysburg for shoes also
wouldnt dought it. i know lee was down troops that refused to leave virginia saying they didnt wanna go north they just wanted to defend there lands
David Changepurse, I read that as well, they didn't want any part of a Southern Aggression.
yeah southern folk just wanted to be left alone not taxed into oblivion
Really wouldn't have been a bad Idea , Dave . Lee could have foraged Pa with half the number . The other half would have no problem defending Richmond either i think . A handful
kept Grant out for 9 months
should of won at Gettysburg. I believe if Stonewall was there he would of pushed Lee to take the hight ground day 1 where Longstreet wasnt as forcefull to Lee.
If Lee had taken Gettysburg , he did take the town , the Feds would have retreated back to the "Pipe Creek Line" between Taneytown and Manchester
. Such a big deal made about holding Gettysburg at all costs . Wasn't actually such
The only hindrance in sacking Pittsburgh and producing steel for the south is the supply of ore from Lake Superior .. But could
have made plenty with the existing stockpile . Plenty of coke production locally also
The shoe myth is all-a myth. One of the corps had passed through Gettysburg on Tuesday 30th of June and there was no mention of shoes. Yet there was a vast supply of footwear in Gettysburg. Yes it was to relieve
the pursue on the war torn Virginia and also the Confederacy hoped to be able to conquer Washington from the north side where the defences would be less as it was in Union territory unlike the southern side which faced the Confederacy
Washington was fortified with more troops that on the battlefields. Washington was never going to be taken. Gettysburg was Lees way of giving up.
Bendy Mullis Giddens
And relieve some of the pressure on Vicksburg
Yes they were also considerations. Remember Selby tried to take Washington in 1864. And yes-Vicksburg was a thorn in the Confederacy at the time with 30 plus thousand men there. Actually Lee didn't want to
fight in Gettysburg or (and I could be wrong) anywhere in this campaign. As commented, it was a decoy action. It was Meade who decided to fight at Gettysburg
Bendy Mullis Giddens
And relieve some of the pressure on Vicksburg
Yes they were also considerations. Remember Selby tried to take Washington in 1864. And yes-Vicksburg was a thorn in the Confederacy at the time with 30 plus thousand men there. Actually Lee didn't want to fight in Gettysburg
or (and I could be wrong) anywhere in this campaign. As commented, it was a decoy action. It was Meade who decided to fight at Gettysburg
Vicksburg wasn't a thorn. It was holding up the entire tree. The fall of Vicksburg meant the Union now
controls the entire Mississippi River.
finishes what Donaldson and New Orleans started in just a little over 15 months. It's an amazing feat of the operational arts of war
Buford made Gettysburg happen. Meade wanted to entice Lee to attack the Pipe Creek Line . He sent Reynolds (1st Corp) to Help Buford. Reynolds was killed so Hancock was
sent with 2nd Corp put in charge over Howard(11th corp) on Cemetery Ridge and decided Gettysburg was the place. Meade didn't show up until evening
you're right, Burford engages the Confederates at Gettysburg on Wed. July 1st and then held till Reynolds arrived. Reynolds was killed. Meade
showed up at around midnight. Give a few minutes as I have the time line of Gettysburg. However there were skirmishes for a week before Gettysburg in the region including two the day before-Hangover Junction was one place
I'm enjoying talking about this subject to you-no one here is interested
On which side and where-ie-confederates lost Gettysburg but won Vicksburg or visa versa. Well a second-if the Confederates had won Vicksburg,
they would hav eheld the Mississippi River and traffic up and down the river. It would have been a major blow to Grant who might have stood down. If Lee had won Gettysburg, the north was open to the Confederacy as there would have been no army to defend it
and Washington would have been their target. I hope this answers your question as it is in my opinion of what could have happened. If Grant had been defeated and he left, the Union would have had no leader to command a she did in 1864. The war could have turned.
Both "what-if" victories by the CSA would not have changed the
road the war was going down. If victorious in TN, what did the South have to maintain that victory? With losses at Gettysburg, even with a win, what offensive operations could Lee have embarked on?
Lee would have been a more attacking leader than Meade. If Meade had followed up, he
could have caught the entire army of Northern Virginia at Gettysburg on July 4th as could have McCollum at Arnteium in 1862. Remember this region of the USA-the north east was their main industrial area-they could have shut that down. And as you stated-the
Union could still have won the war, but like WW2, if the Allies had lost at the Bulge or D-Day, they would have been set back but still could have won, just would have taken longer and more lives before their superior strength got the better of the enemy.
Did I start something here
Interesting counter-factual. What would have happened with a Gettysburg campaign defeat but a Vicksburg victory?
side and where-ie-confederates lost Gettysburg but won Vicksburg or visa versa. Well a second-if the Confederates had won Vicksburg, they would have held the Mississippi River and traffic up and down the river. It would have been a major blow
Tell me if I'm the only one whose ever thought this, Lee and the ANV only had enough ammo for 1 battle. No matter what after Gettysburg they would have had to return because they didn't have enough ammo. Thoughts or even better,
some docs as to ammo support and supply. Ammo was the one thing you couldn't scavenge.
What if the Confederate army had not lost some of their best Generals?
They could have kept the war going longer and possibly with the decent of the Northern
Civilians, manage to win by terms but in the long run, they didn't have th eman power (numbers) and by 1963-Europe Countries were no longer interested in the war. By now thye were getting cotton from Australia and South African Colonies.
we can speculate what could have been an dthis is why I like these groups as we can talk these things over. How about someone else helping-I know I opened my big, big, big mouth
good speculations . Had Lee been thrifty with ammo supply he could have hung out in Pa much longer . Grant would have been called in eventually so the window of opportunity would have closed in a few months anyway
That's true or managed to find a reliable source in the north to outfit his army, yes. With Grant called in then to help the Eastern Armies, the western armies would have been weakened. This is a good debate. Good to have this conversation with
I'm going out on a limb here but follow me. Lee had a limited area of central PA with which to work. No major cities and only 2 -3 major factories complexes. He has to create as much havoc as
possible because he can't cross the Sussqhanna to hit Philadelphia and he can't cross the Alleganies to hit Pittsburgh. He can't hit DC because it's too well defended.
Remember the one effort to capture a bridge across the
Susquehanna was repelled by a home guard unit led by a few veteran officers. And the mountain campaign in WVa led by Jackson was a tactical defeat
Still with you here . Early made it to Columbia bridge east
of York (Pa) , Rodes made it to Camp Hill Both didn't cross the susquehanna because they were recalled to Gettysburg . Gen . Couch might have been protecting Camp Hill . The rest of the Rebs stayed around Chambersburg . All I know without looking it up . I
still think Johnstown and Pittsburgh were possible targets
ok this Aussie's ready for more
A lot of ifs and butts lol
Anthony Bennett yes-no one knows what could have happened until it did and it played out
that week in favour of the Northern side
THE CIVIL WAR BUFF-20-05-2017
This is regarding the above comments that I engaged in on
Saturday May 19th with members of the ‘THE CIVIL WAR BUFFS’
Anthony, one question. You state that the Iron Brigade and the Bucktails were the first two
brigades to arrive, but I thought it was the Iron Brigade and Lysander Cutler;s brigade????
I better check it out-thanks for picking it up-I know Reynolds Iron Brigade was the first Infantry Brigade to arrive
to relieve Burford's Cavalry. I could be wrong to.
Thanks Bill-yes it is an error. PA Buck Tail was the 150 Pennsylvania Infantry regiment. It served in the 2nd Brigade, 3rd Division, First Corps. Its commander
was Colonel Langhorne Wister. The Brigade was under the command of Abner Doubleday whom took the command of the entire Corp after Reynolds was killed. They were known as Bucktails because of their hats they wore. Thanks Bill for the correction. I better put
it in my book
May 21st, 2017
Thanks Bill. An dthanks for correcting my error. I am still getting use to the US abbreviations. Its bad enough recalling Australia's states. I invite you to check out my web site if you like at www.jettena14.com
I recall seeing them in the movie Gettysburg, They had the big black hats. There were also some New York Zouavres in their red trousers present.