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Retreat From Gettysburg (SPOILERS)
In Book Club
Jon Yuengling
Jun 03, 2021
I have read the book and it was an enjoyable and thought provoking read. Afterwards I started to rethink what was the turning point in the east during the civil war. Antietam was definitely the political turning point, France and England could not support the Confederacy after the Emancipation Proclamation. Militarily Chancellorsville/Gettysburg Campaign would only be a turning point if Lee could of won on the battlefield and he most certainly did not. For me the turning point was after the Battle of the Wilderness when Grant headed south and not north to refit. At that point Jeff Davis was done. As for the book it did bring up a new way of looking at victory. It can be argued that Lee was winning up until July 1st. Harrisburg and a river crossing into eastern Pennsylvania were both in danger. He had more supplies then he had wagons for. As long as his route was clear back to the Valley he could pump supplies south. All Lee needed to do was raid with one corps and hold the mountain passes with the rest. Once he was pulled into the fight at Gettysburg he was at a disadvantage. Behind a power curve and no chance to get ahead. Tactically the south lost the battle, operationally I find it a draw. Now the elephant in the room is Lee escapes and joins up with forces in the deep south. I would like to run a Kriegsspiel for this. Here are my concerns. First, who is in charge, Lee, Johnston or Davis? Second, How long can this army stay in the field without supplies. Will there be one big battle or will Grant starve them out. Lastly, why? There is no path to victory after the Overland Campaign started, none. So I hope not to of killed to many sacred cows. I look forward to hearing the responses.
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Jon Yuengling
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It is a great campaign to research
2
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