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Posted: 11/1/2004 2:25:39 PM EST
1. Why did General Lee, being so brilliant in other engagements, ignore the advice of his generals and make the disastrous decision to send his troops across an open field at Gettysburg?

2. Why didn't the Union army counter-attack after Lee's failed attack?

Link Posted: 11/1/2004 2:33:38 PM EST
[Last Edit: 11/1/2004 2:34:45 PM EST by raf]
Link Posted: 11/1/2004 2:35:45 PM EST

Originally Posted By raf:

Originally Posted By VICAP:
1. Why did General Lee, being so brilliant in other engagements, ignore the advice of his generals and make the disastrous decision to send his troops across an open field at Gettysburg?

Stonewall Jackson was dead, and no other Confederate commander had the stature to argue against the plan and make it stick.

2. Why didn't the Union army counter-attack after Lee's failed attack?

They were deployed in a defensive formation, not as for attack. Plus, they were worn from days of fighting, and had just seen, once again, the futility of massed head-on charges against a prepared foe. Most likely the Union rank-and-file was none too eager to repeat Lee's blunder.

Dood ... you are supposed to let him do his own homework.
Link Posted: 11/1/2004 2:36:06 PM EST
1. Lee was a risk taker he would divide his forces in the face of the enemy this tactic work several times.
Perhaps he was over confident because of previous victories and thought he coul win.who knows what Lee was thinking most likely though it was overconfidence and a bit of underestimating the union generals.

2. To many loses the Army was exhausted if the pressed Lee a victory could haveturned into a major disaster the CS forces would hav been desperate and would have fought damn hard to survive so it was best to let them withdraw this way the union Army could regroup. Gettysburg was the bloodiest battle in U.S. history i imagine they where worn out and another battle would have been an even hardier slugging match with the CS. trying to survive and the Union forces trying destory the CS.
Link Posted: 11/1/2004 2:42:24 PM EST
It was Bush's fault. Wrong war, wrong place, wrong time.
Link Posted: 11/1/2004 2:50:12 PM EST
[Last Edit: 11/1/2004 2:52:57 PM EST by BigButch301]
Finally a question on this board I think I can answer! Here goes. had
He was always better in the defensive position( as Longstreet wanted Gburg to be) but in an offensive fight he could become too agressive. Gettysburg was not the first sign of this but it cost him the most here.

He also came close to winning on both the first and second day of the fight. If Ewell had done his job on day one and two the Union would likely have lost. I am not going to go into the whole Stuart thing as that is a whole chapter by itself.

Also Lee faileed to truly understand the loss of control he had of the Army. With his loss of Jackson and the reorganization of the Army, he had no real control of the Army as he had in the past. Most of the field grade officers were in new positions and this hindered him greatly. He had only reoganized in June so it was too soon for him to realize the trouble this would cause. Everyone was just starting to build the relationships that are required in combat.

Fact is Lee saw his men as unstoppable, close fights on days one and two led him to believe that a truly co-ordinated assault would succeed and his dander was up too high to allow him to back down from the fight. With all of the other problems at hand the day ended in bitter disappointment.

2) Lee was still a dangerous foe. Hooker had been canned for failures in the field. Meade did not want to follow suit. The Union Army was given two orders: drive Lee back to Va and protect Washiignton and Baltimore. That done Meade stayed cautious rather than being rash. He had done the job he intednded. It is exactly like the US not going after Bagdad in Iraq part 1.

He was critisized for it and eventually did follow Lee to Williamsport Md. but he did not want to get tangled in a Lee defensive strick that could have ended in failure. Better the victory you have than the defeat you don't want.

Link Posted: 11/1/2004 2:56:48 PM EST
The man who made the most difference on all three days at the Battle of Gettysburg was General Winfield Scott Hancock. He formed the troops on Cemetary Ridge on July 1st. He stopped a breach of the center of the Union Line on July 2nd. ANd his Corps took the brunt of Pickett's Charge. He knew the field and the deployment of troops better than anyone.

As he was being taken from the field after being wounded during Pickett's Charge, he wrote a note emphatically advising General Meade to counterattack with the VI Corps which had not been engaged. He knew that most of Lee's artillary had been used for the cannonade.

If General Hancock believes they could have mounted a successful counterattack, I am inclined to believe him

Link Posted: 11/1/2004 3:00:02 PM EST
Lee should have fought a smarter, more sensitive war.
Link Posted: 11/1/2004 3:01:06 PM EST
After the loss, as the troops stumbled back towards the rear, General Lee sat upon his horse, Traveler, and told them as they passed, "Hold your heads up boys. The fault is not yours. It is mine."

Try to imagine a modern day General saying such a thing.

Link Posted: 11/1/2004 3:02:33 PM EST
I have to agree with you there. Ther was a general feeling that a counterattck was coming and most of the troops sought it. Hancock was not the only one who wanted such an attack. Kilpatrick actually ordered an ill fated cav. charge in the vain hopes of precipitating an attack.

I think Hancock was correct.
Link Posted: 11/1/2004 3:03:43 PM EST

Originally Posted By TWIRE:
Lee should have fought a smarter, more sensitive war.


And he should have made sure his 'plan' passed the global test.
Link Posted: 11/1/2004 3:04:34 PM EST
1) On the second day of the battle, Lee hammered at the Union flanks on Culp's Hill (right) and Little Round Top (left) without gaining much ground. Lee assumed that Meade strengthened his flanks at the cost of the center...so he attacked across a mile of open terrain to cut Meade in half.

2) He didn't counter attack because he was intimidated by Lee and was happy enough just to stop Lee's march northward.
Link Posted: 11/1/2004 3:06:18 PM EST
He was tired and wanted it over that day and went for it all.

Damn Ewell, should have taken that HILL. General Jackson wouldn't have stopped.
Link Posted: 11/1/2004 3:13:50 PM EST
Link Posted: 11/1/2004 3:36:10 PM EST
Read "Lee's Real Plan at Gettysburg" by Troy D. Harman, a National Park Ranger at Gettysburg. Basically Longstreet was against Lee's plan and failed to follow orders on several occasions. Longstreet was supposed to execute a flank movement several times but held back. One instance was during Pickett's Charge. Had Longstreet fulfilled his orders, Gettysburg would probably have turned out different.
Link Posted: 11/1/2004 3:38:08 PM EST
Don't forget Sherman, who had his men gut a bunch of veterans for protesting their past due military severance. Or Clinton who had the ATF murder 200 women and children over a $200 tax dispute, or butcher Randy Weaver's wife and infant child over $15 in fines.

Long live the Democrats, champions of murder! What proud members of our democracy are being re-elected tomorrow. TFO.
Link Posted: 11/1/2004 3:44:41 PM EST

Originally Posted By CAMPYBOB:
Damn Ewell, should have taken that HILL.

what regiments did ewell face?

I believe the 20th Maine, was it not?
Link Posted: 11/1/2004 3:54:55 PM EST
Actually I believe the Hill was CLEAR of troops and he just stopped because he wasn't sure of the enemy forces. Anyway that is what I remember in books I read. A few hours later Union forces occupied the hill and dug in.
Link Posted: 11/1/2004 4:00:42 PM EST
the main reason was the fact that jackson was dead at the time.

longstreet didn't agree with lee and procrastinated in carrying out his orders.

a few other generals failed to seize opportunities like was mentioned before.

i'm not saying that had jackson been there that lee would've come out on top at g-burg, but it's highly probable.
Link Posted: 11/1/2004 4:06:43 PM EST
If Lee could have deployed his airborne troops in time......
Link Posted: 11/1/2004 4:07:10 PM EST

Originally Posted By VICAP:
1. Why did General Lee, being so brilliant in other engagements, ignore the advice of his generals and make the disastrous decision to send his troops across an open field at Gettysburg?

2. Why didn't the Union army counter-attack after Lee's failed attack?

1)AS stated by others, he came close on the first and second days. He felt one last big push would break the Union lines. After recent defeats in the south, Lee thought the Army of the Potomac might collapse. An overwhelming victory at Gettysburg might have forced the Union to sue for terms, as the entire north would be open to invasion. He also did not know the strength of the Union Army`s reinforcement. Lee believed, IIRC, that most of the union army was strung out halfway to Virginia. He felt he was facing tired, outnumbered troops.

2) The Union Army was dog tired, as was the Army of Northern Virginia. Meade, much to Lincoln`s fury, kept only in close contact. Lee couldn`t do much. His troops were tired underfed, undersupplied, and demoralized. The Union Army, tired as it was, knew it had beaten the enemy. The confidence of the troops and commanders was at an all time high. Had Lee tried to attack any Union City, Meade would have come up from behind Lee and destroyed the Confederates and obtained the victory Lee was seeking.
Link Posted: 11/1/2004 4:16:48 PM EST
Link Posted: 11/1/2004 4:38:25 PM EST
Longstreet either dallied (generous interpretation) or disobeyed (my interpretation). If Longstreet performed, maybe Lee wins, maybe not. Without Longstreet's expeditious best effort, Lee loses. Pickett's charge - epic, fruitless, tragic - was a costly afterthought.
Link Posted: 11/1/2004 5:08:40 PM EST
Ewell faced a largely unoccupied Culp's Hill late in the day on day 1. The remnants of the 11th corps and Reynold's corps were up on Cemetary ridge. Any army any where could have held that position by the beginning of the 2nd day. The only chance of victory was late in the day on day 1 and Ewell was not up to it. I have walked the battlefield and I would not have ordered an attack on the 3rd day.
Link Posted: 11/1/2004 5:11:35 PM EST

Originally Posted By CAMPYBOB:
I believe the 20th Maine, was it not?


i'm still trying to recall that portion of the battle.

was that, then, when the maine boys withstood the three charges? dang? i gotta go back and re-read that battle. it is definitely one of the most interesting engagement of any war to analyze.

Maine gets the headlines but Pennsylvania and New York were on Little Round Top as well.
Link Posted: 11/1/2004 5:21:53 PM EST
Little Round Top was not the focus of Lee's attacks. Cemetary Ridge was the focal point. That is why he directed all attacks at Cemetary Ridge, not Little Round Top. If he occupied C.R. he would control the major roads, split the Army of Northern Aggression, completely disrupt their supply lines, and win the battle. Longstreet was to bypass LRT by going completely around it. If he had, LRT would have been isolated and insignificant to the battle. The battle was lost due to Longstreet's no following orders.
Link Posted: 11/1/2004 5:35:23 PM EST

Originally Posted By alaman:
The battle was lost due to Longstreet's no following orders.

The battle was won because the Yankees kicked their barefoot rebal asses.
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