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Posted: 7/2/2003 9:52:57 PM EDT
...took place 140 years ago today! Damn! It seems to me as if it were only yesterday! Crap! If General Jackson had only been there! Had Gen. Jeb Stuart only kept to his main duty of gathering information on Meade's movements and keeping General Lee informed! Had Gen. Longstreet only paid close attention to General Lee's Order concerning an early morning attack on the Union Left on Day 2 of the battle! Had Gen. Pickett only brought his men up to the Yankee's picket line under the pre-dawn darkness and launched his attack on the Union Center at Cemetery Ridge at first light on Day 3 of the battle! Ah, but History permits no 'what if's'! The moving finger having writ, moves on.... What would our country be like today had the South seceded [u]and[/u] succeeded? Better or worse? No. Don't answer that! Eric The()Hun[>]:)]
Link Posted: 7/2/2003 9:57:01 PM EDT
Guns of the South got you stirred up ETH?
Link Posted: 7/2/2003 9:58:55 PM EDT
I see someone knows what happened 140 years ago down near the southern border of Pennsylvania 1-3 July. No mention of it in any papers. Nothing on the news. Just like no mention on the news about the historical significance of June 6. Bilster
Link Posted: 7/2/2003 10:00:21 PM EDT
Eric, we love ya man... But the South lost... DEAL WITH IT! Geez Katana16j, (the Damn Yankee)
Link Posted: 7/2/2003 10:00:59 PM EDT
Originally Posted By MAC-DADDY: Guns of the South got you stirred up ETH?
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Yes, Sir, I cannot deny [u]that[/u]! The thought still stirs me greatly. General Lee was at his greatest and at his weakest during these three days that sealed a nation's fate. Eric The(Lamenting)Hun[>]:)]
Link Posted: 7/2/2003 10:03:23 PM EDT
Originally Posted By Katana16j: Eric, we love ya man... But the South lost... DEAL WITH IT! Geez Katana16j, (the Damn Yankee)
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BFD! I would say that the South pretty much controls the nation today! Check out the President and leadership of both Chambers of Congress! [:D] Eric The(StarsAndBarsForever!)Hun[>]:)]
Link Posted: 7/2/2003 10:03:40 PM EDT
Lee could have won had he ordered picketts men to march WHILE shelling the Yankees insted of after as history shows us.
Link Posted: 7/2/2003 10:07:12 PM EDT
A tribute to the Confederate Soldiers that fell that last day. [b]On July 11, 1863, Lt. John T. James of the 11th Virginia Infantry, Confederate States of America, sat down to write a letter to his family telling them of his experiences at the Battle of Gettysburg. He explained that on July 3 his unit had been ordered to march about one mile over open, slightly undulating farmland toward a battle-hardened Union army that was defending its own northern soil. James and his comrades believed that the fate of the Confederacy hung on their efforts. But in less than an hour, one-half of the men who marched with him became casualties. The South lost the Battle of Gettysburg and never again, in a major action, was able to fight on Union soil. James must have wondered how he could possibly describe this enormous loss to his loved ones. His simple explanation told the story: "We gained nothing but glory, and lost our bravest men." [/b] Submitted with respect to all who fell. Bilster
Link Posted: 7/2/2003 10:18:41 PM EDT
Check out this first-hand report on the whole Pickett Charge! [url]http://www.bergen.org/civilwar/prosecut/theloss/pickchwi.html[/url] Here is the final exchange between Gen. Lomgstreet and Gen. Pickett before the attack: Pickett rode up to Longstreet for orders. The latter seemed greatly depressed and said: "I do not want to have your men sacrificed, Pickett, so I have sent a note to Alexander, telling him to watch carefully the effect of our fire upon the enemy, and that when it begins to tell he must take the responsibility and notify you himself when to make the attack. He has been directed to charge with you at the head of your line with a battery of nine eleven-pound howitzers, fresh horses and full caissons." Just as Longstreet finished this statement a courier rode up and handed Pickett a note from Alexander, which read: If you are coming, come at once or I cannot give you proper support, but the enemy's fire has not slackened at all. At least eighteen guns are still firing from the cemetery itself. After Pickett had read the note he handed it to Longstreet. "General Longstreet, shall I go forward?" he asked. Longstreet looked at him with an expression which seldom comes to any face. In that solemn silence memories of the long friendship may have flooded his soul. Possibly there came to his thought the time away back in history when he had fallen on the stormy slope of Chapultepec, and the boy lieutenant had taken his place and borne the battle-flag in triumph to the flame-crowned height. He held out his hand and bowed his head in assent. Not a word did he speak. "Then I shall lead my division forward, sir," said Pickett, and galloped off. He had gone only a few yards when he came back and took a letter from his pocket. On it he wrote in pencil, "If Old Peter's nod means death, good-by, and God bless you, little one!" He gave the letter to Longstreet and rode back. That letter reached its destination in safety and, with its faint penciled words, is now one of my most treasured possessions. It was transmitted with one from Longstreet: "Gettysburg, Penn., July 3rd. My Dear Lady: General Pickett has just entrusted to me the safe conveyance of the enclosed letter. If it should turn out to be his farewell the penciled note on the outside will show you that I could not speak the words which would send so gallant a soldier into the jaws of a useless death. As I watched him, gallant and fearless as any knight of old, riding to certain doom, I said a prayer for his safety and made a vow to the Holy Father that my friendship for him, poor as it is, should be your heritance. We shall meet. I am, dear lady, with great respect, Yours to command, JAMES LONGSTREET" Pickett gave orders to his brigade commanders and rode along down the line, his men springing to their feet with a shout of delight as he told them what was expected of them. He was sitting on his horse when Wilcox rode up. Taking a flask from his pocket, Wilcox said: "Pickett, take a drink with me. In an hour you'll be in hell or glory." Pickett declined to drink, saying: "I promised the little girl who is waiting and praying for me down in Virginia that I would keep fresh upon my lips until we should meet again the breath of the violets she gave me when we parted. Whatever my fate, Wilcox, I shall try to do my duty like a man, and I hope that, by that little girl's prayers, I shall to-day reach either defeat or glory." At a quarter past three on that bright afternoon the order "Forward!" rang along the lines. The supreme moment had come. As far as the eye could reach, up and down on each side, the gaze of thousands of men of both armies was riveted on a long line of soldiers moving with all the precision of a grand review. [b]The five thousand Virginians had begun their march to death.[/b] Longstreet joined Alexander, and they stood together by the batteries when that magnificent column went by, the officers saluting as they passed. Pickett led, mounted on his spirited charger, gallant and graceful as a knight of chivalry riding to a tournament. His long dark, auburn-tinted hair floated backward in the wind like a soft veil as he went on down the slope of death. Then came Trimble, riding lightly as he might have ridden in the golden glow through the rose-scented air of some brilliant festal morning. It was no holiday work to which they went as they gracefully saluted in passing their commanding general, who acknowledged it in silent sadness. "Morituri, salutamus!" So they filed by, and went down into the heavy sea of smoke which hid them from view. As it lifted they were seen moving in solid ranks with steady step and with the harmonious rhythm of some grand symphony. The sun caught the gleam of their guns and flashed it back in myriads of sparkling rays. Behind them was a wall of light against which their dark forms were outlined in distinct silhouette. Pickett's Virginians were less than five thousand, but every one was a soldier in the fullest sense of the word. As they pressed onward in majestic order over the plain, like a moving wall of granite, the battle-flag of the South waved over them, its stars shining as if in promise of victory. Garnett was on the right; Armistead center. Garnett had been ill for many days, traveling in the ambulance, but no persuasion could keep him from the post of danger. Too weak to mount his horse, he had insisted upon being placed in the saddle that he might lead his brigade in the charge. The battle-smoke drifted away over the hills and into the clouds, where it arched itself above the field as if it would even yet spread a protecting mantle around those devoted men. The long Federal array with its double line of supports was revealed to view. As the advancing column came in sight Meade's guns opened upon it, but it neither paused nor faltered. Round shot, bounding along, tore through its ranks and ricocheted around it. Shells exploded, darting flashes before -- behind -- overhead. A long line of skirmishers, prostrate on the grass, suddenly arose within fifty yards, firing at them as they came within view, then running on ahead, turning and firing back as fast as they could reload. The column took no heed of them, but moved on at a quickstep, not returning their fire. Past the batteries and half-way over the field, amidst a terrific fire of shot and shell, Pickett gave the order, "Left oblique!" Coolly and beautifully the movement was made, changing the direction forty-five degrees from the front to the left. From Cemetery Hill burst the fire of forty cannon against the right flank. Pickett's men fell like grain before the sweep of the scythe. There was no pause. The survivors pressed on with a force which seemed to have grown stronger with the concentration of all the lives which had been freed from the fallen brave. - continued -
Link Posted: 7/2/2003 10:19:34 PM EDT
Presently came the command, "Front forward!" and the column resumed its direction, straight down upon the center of the enemy's position -- on, on it moved with iron nerve. One hundred Federal guns now concentrated their whole fury of shot and shell upon the advancing line. Every inch of air seemed to be filled with some death-dealing missile. The men and officers were fast being slaughtered. Kemper went down, mangled and bleeding, never again to lead his valiant Virginians in battle. Up and down the line of his brigade rode Garnett, calling out in his strong voice: "Faster, men, faster! Close up and step out, but don't double-quick!" A long blue line of infantry arose from behind the stone fence, and as the column advanced poured into it a heavy fire of musketry. At once a scattering fire was opened all along the line, when Garnett galloped up and called out: "Cease firing! Save your strength and ammunition!" Under such perfect discipline were these veterans that without slackening their pace they reloaded their guns, shouldered arms, and went on at a quickstep. The artillery made an effort to support the assault, but the ammunition was almost exhausted. The light pieces which were to have guarded the infantry had been removed to some other part of the field, and none could be found to take their place. La Salle Corbell Pickett, Pickett's Charge At Pettigrew was trying to reach the post of death and honor, but he was far away, and valor could not quite annihilate space. His troops had suffered severely in the battle of the day before and their commander, Heth, had been wounded. They were now led by an officer ardent and brave, but to them unknown. The four brigades of Archer, Pettigrew, Davis and Brockenbrough deployed from right to left on a single line, a line of battle very difficult to maintain. The left lagged a little; the right, following the gallant Trimble, made heroic efforts to join Pickett whose oblique movement had brought him nearer. Scales and Lane followed Pettigrew. Dauntlessly Pickett's men pressed forward, the grandest column of heroes that ever made a battlefield glorious. They reached the post-and-rail fence, upon the other side of which, and parallel to it, an ordinary dirt road ran straight through the field across which they were advancing. The fence was but a momentary obstruction. It was but the work of a few seconds to climb over it and into the road, while a hundred blazing cannon poured death-dealing missiles into their devoted ranks. Now and here was given to the world the grandest exhibition of discipline and endurance, of coolness and courage under a withering fire, ever recorded in military history; a scene which has made the story of Pickett's charge the glory of American arms. There in the road, with the deafening explosion of unnumbered shells filling the air, their ranks plowed through and through again and again by the fiery hail which the batteries from the heights beyond were pouring into them, amid all this terrific roar and the not less disconcerting cries of the wounded and dying, they heard the command of their company officers: "Halt, men! Form line! Fall in! Right dress!" Imagine, if you can, these heroes reforming and aligning their ranks while their comrades dropped in death -- agony about them, the shells bursting above their heads, and an iron storm beating them to the earth. Yet the line was formed, and coolly they awaited the command, "Forward!" At last it came: "Forward! Quick march!" With perfect precision, with all the grace and accuracy of the parade-ground instead of the bloodiest of battle-fields, Pickett's division took up its death-march, each man with "the red badge of courage" pinned over his heart. The like was never seen before, and the change in military tactics will prevent its ever being seen again. Friend and foe looked on in wondering awe. A thrill of admiration held the waiting enemy silent and motionless as they watched this grand and unsurpassable display of Virginia's valor. As they advanced toward Cemetery Hill there was seen in the open field to the right a long, dark line of men, half a mile distant and at right angles with their line. They were coming at double-quick upon that unprotected right flank, their muskets at right shoulder shift, their banners fluttering in the breeze, their burnished bayonets glistening in the sun. The enemy were strengthening their position, hurrying up reserves from right to left and from opposite directions doubling along the Confederate front. A heavy rain of shell and shrapnel poured down from the height. In the fiery storm the thin ranks became yet thinner. Not an instant's disorder prevailed, but under the withering fire they marched steadily forward. "Faster, men, faster! We are almost there!" cried Garnett's clarion voice above the roar of battle. Then he went down among the dead, with the faith of a little child in his hero heart. There was a muffled tread of armed men from behind, then a rush of trampling feet, and Armistead's brigade from the rear closed up behind the front line. Their gallant leader, with his hat on the point of his sword, took Garnett's place. The division was now four ranks deep. As often as the iron storm made gaps through it the cheer would come from private, corporal, sergeant, lieutenant and captain alike: "Close up! Close up!" and "Forward!" The lines shortened, but never wavered, never halted. Closer and closer they drew to the foe till there remained only a bleeding remnant. Now they broke forward into a double-quick, while canister and grape whirred and whizzed through the air. On, on, they rushed toward the stone wall where the Federal batteries were pouring forth their deadly missiles. A hundred yards away a flanking force came down on a run, halted suddenly, and fired into the line a deadly storm of musketry. Under this cross-fire they reeled and staggered between falling comrades and the right came pressing down upon the center, making the line at this point twenty to thirty deep. A few, unable to resist temptation, without orders, faced the enemy on their right, though the latter were sixty to one. The fighting was terrific. Muskets seemed to cross. Men fired to the right and to the front. The fighting was hand-to-hand. The firing was into the enemy's faces. The Federals in front fell behind their guns to let, them belch their grape and canister into the oncoming ranks, piling up the dead and wounded almost in touch of them. When within a few feet of the stone wall the artillery delivered their last fire from the guns shotted to the muzzle. The division was now in the shape of an inverted V with the point flattened. On it swept over the ground covered with the dead and dying. Armistead, sword in hand, sprang over the stone wall, crying: "Come on, boys, come on! We'll give them the cold steel! Come on! Who will follow me? Who will follow me?" He reached the battery, his hand touched one of Cushing's guns. Then he and Cushing fell together, and a crimson river washed the base of the copse of trees which marked the high tide of the Confederacy. Victory was within their grasp. Alas, where were the promised supports? Worn and exhausted by the tension of the bloody fighting of the day before, in which they had suffered terribly, their leaders dead or wounded, they had crumbled away under the deadly hail of the artillery fire. Back from the flaming crest fell only a remnant of the division which had performed such deeds of valor as made the whole world wonder. The flags which had floated over Cemetery Hill, lay on the ground among the prostrate forms of the men who had so bravely borne them to the very verge of victory. . . . Eric The(HeartInHisMouth)Hun[>]:)]
Link Posted: 7/2/2003 10:28:28 PM EDT
Nope - Meade had more than enough reserves available in the immediate vicinity to contain or repel the arrival of even significantly greater numbers of the Rebs. They didn't have enough force to permanently split the Union forces. 2/3 to 3/4 of Meades forces were south of the attack point and he could have pulled out to another defensive line that was extremely strong and could have held Lee in place for some time and still be between Lee and DC or Baltimore. And even if they did they wouldn't have had the strength to follow-up and successfully attack either Baltimore or Washington. Philly was on the wrong side of the Susquehanna. Lee would not have been able to force a crossing with a decimated Meade behind him. The river was not fordable, he would need to either seize a bridge or two, or build a bridge. Hmmn next to impossible. Now he could have subsisted on the local population but only if he could keep moving, stopped he couldn't. He didn't have a viable supply train. Going north or northwest he would be getting in the mountain country and unable to live off the land while Union forces would be concentrating behind him. East the river was in the way. At some point He still would have had to move west and then south to maintain his Army. The whole "Gettysburg" Campaign was a massive feint to try to draw off Grant or a lot of his forces from Vicksburg. Definitely the high water mark. After that week the South was unable to mount any significant offensive, the Mississippi was taken.
Link Posted: 7/2/2003 10:44:07 PM EDT
Good Grief Man! General Lee had a pretty solid history of defeating both Gen. Meade and Union Armies that were of greater numbers than his own! Say, did General Lee EVER face an opposing Federal army with a greater number of forces than the Feds had available? Nope. Never. That is sheer military genius. And even though his enemy was in utter defeat, Gen. Meade declined to pursue General Lee! Explain [u]that[/u]! Eric The(TheBurnedChildFearsTheFire!)Hun[>]:)]
Link Posted: 7/2/2003 10:48:51 PM EDT
[u]Forget[/u] any further invasion of the North, which was never General Lee's intention, anyway, but a Confederate Victory at Gettysburg, even if not exploited any further by General Lee, would have meant the recognition of the Confederacy by both Britain and France, and their direct military aid to the South. Right? Eric The(Obvious)Hun[>]:)]
Link Posted: 7/2/2003 10:59:01 PM EDT
Originally Posted By EricTheHun: seceded [u]and[/u] succeeded? Better or worse? No. Don't answer that! Eric The()Hun[>]:)]
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I'll answer. The differences would have eventually been ironed out, and we would have had the republic that the founding fathers intended, rather than the empire that Mr. Lincoln gave us. And the Constitution wold not be the butt wipe that you're now told to "deal with."
Link Posted: 7/2/2003 11:11:35 PM EDT
You are very likely correct, [b]JohnTheTexican![/b] The separation would have lasted but a few years! Then all would be forgiven. Especially if there had been no intervening civil war! Eric The(Optimistic)Hun[>]:)]
Link Posted: 7/2/2003 11:11:50 PM EDT
Originally Posted By EricTheHun: If General Jackson had only been there! Ah, but History permits no 'what if's'!
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I heard one time "If my aunt had nuts she'd be my uncle"... [;)]
Link Posted: 7/2/2003 11:27:49 PM EDT
The only reason Lee went North was to try to take the pressure off the Vicksburg Campaign and the campaign failed at that. It was not a campaign to win recognition. The fall of Vicksburg ended that hope. That Lee ended up at Gettysburg was pure chance. (He got into central PA because Hooker was a dork, and Halleck was incompetent. Halleck was only concerned with keeping the Army of the Potomac between Lee and Washington. Hooker tried to bluff Halleck and Lincoln and lost. Meade was almost immediately given the things they wouldn't give Hooker.) Once Lee got to central PA he had no where to go. And the Union Army between him and any objective. The Union forces were only going to get stronger. The South couldn't adequately support it's forces in the field then (or realistically any time in the war). Lee was going to have to fight his way South or take a chance at losing the only remaining large Southern Army. Why Meade didn't destroy him at the Potomac crossing is one of the great mysteries, as is the failure to move quickly into Petersburg. However, until the retreat from Petersburg nobody was ever really able to get the Army of the Potomac as fast as it could when it really needed to. Wishes and intentions are one thing but Great Britain was never going to recognize a slave Republic. There was no parliamentry desire to do so, the Queen was against it. There was no overweening economic reason to do so. The military was trying to recover from Crimea. They had no interest in trying to move forces across the Atlantic against Union Navy. Remember at the time, they had one ironclad, the Union had bunches and had plenty of experience in operations. The British really hadn't fought at sea for 40 years. Most of their "capital" ships were sail ships of the line, their secondary line ships were smaller than the Union ships almost all armed with much shorter range weapons. And the Irish would have rebelled. No reason to go against the US. The French were being French. They weren't going to act without the Brits.
Link Posted: 7/2/2003 11:30:01 PM EDT
Don't forget that Heth was more or less disobeying his orders to avoid a confrontation when he moved towards Gettysburg. Lee was trying to locate and concentrate his forces before Meade could concentrate his.
Link Posted: 7/2/2003 11:41:02 PM EDT
By the way, my real feeling is that if Beauregard had not let pride get the better of him and not fired on Sumter the war would not have happened. Lincoln and the North did not have the political will or support to fight until that fired up both sides. The prevailing view was to let them go. The North didn't need the South to survive economically. Most Northerners really felt no need to fight a war over slavery. And if the North didn't build up it's forces the South would have waited. Frankly the South had neither the overall economy or industry to prosecute the war. There was no reason for the South to move North, and early on they couldn't. And there was no great pressure on the North to move South until Sumter was fired on. So there would have gradually been a settling in to a two nation situation. With a gradual reconciliation. Even without the boll weevil a slavery based agricultural economy was not going to last too much longer.
Link Posted: 7/3/2003 1:03:01 AM EDT
Ah, nothing like revisionary history!
Link Posted: 7/3/2003 3:21:34 AM EDT
Many brave and good men on both sides. The determination of Joshua Chamberlain and the 20th Maine at Little Round Top likewise leaves me in awe. When informed of the depletion of the ammunition a lesser man may have withdrawn, but Chamberlain gave the order to fix bayonets and led the charge that saved the Federal left from collapse. Stunning.
Link Posted: 7/3/2003 4:25:47 AM EDT
Link Posted: 7/3/2003 4:27:33 AM EDT
We live about an hour's drive from the battlefield. I have stood on Cemetery Ridge, the Copse of Trees, and walked the course of Pickett's Charge. It brings tears to my eyes every time, I stand there and cry like a little child. George Pickett was a cousin to my grandmother's family. May the brave men of that day find a shady spot in Paradise, in the place of the honored dead. Ops
Link Posted: 7/3/2003 4:32:32 AM EDT
Post from PanDaby -
The only reason Lee went North was to try to take the pressure off the Vicksburg Campaign and the campaign failed at that.
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Where did you come up with that nonsense??!!
It was not a campaign to win recognition.
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Never said it was. But that would have been the natural result of a Confederate victory on Northern soil! The Brits and the French were itching to come into the War as benefactors of the Confederacy. A humbled United States would have been much to their liking!
The fall of Vicksburg ended that hope.
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Ended what hope? Of relieving Vicksburg, or of gaining foreign recognition?
Why Meade didn't destroy him at the Potomac crossing is one of the great mysteries, as is the failure to move quickly into Petersburg.
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Even a beaten General Lee was more than a match for Gen. Meade and I think the latter realized this.
Wishes and intentions are one thing but Great Britain was never going to recognize a slave Republic.
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Pshaw! Remember the Trent Affair? The British ruling classes were natural allies of the Southern planter aristocracy, and were actively doing all they could to support the South. James M. Mason and John Slidell, on their way to England in November 1861, were 'kidnapped' by a Federal gunboat off the British mail packet Trent and the British lion reared up and roared! 11,000 troops were immediately dispatched to reinforce the Canadian border and an embargo was slapped on all goods bound for the North, including some tons of saltpeter, sorely needed for gunpowder. Lord Palmerston, the aged yet highly astute British Prime Minister, remonstrated with his cabinet, 'You may stand for this, but damned if I will!' An ultimatum was fired off, giving Washington seven days to liberate the emissaries and apologize, or else.... On January 1st, 1862 Mason and Slidell were surreptitiously slipped aboard the British frigate Rinaldo and the early hope of the South for recognition had past.
There was no parliamentry desire to do so, the Queen was against it. There was no overweening economic reason to do so.
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Yeah, right. With the death of Prince Albert in December, 1861, Queen Victoria went into seclusion for mourning and lost all daily contact with her ministers. She played a very small role in her nation's foreign policies during this period.
The military was trying to recover from Crimea. They had no interest in trying to move forces across the Atlantic against Union Navy. Remember at the time, they had one ironclad, the Union had bunches and had plenty of experience in operations. The British really hadn't fought at sea for 40 years. Most of their "capital" ships were sail ships of the line, their secondary line ships were smaller than the Union ships almost all armed with much shorter range weapons. And the Irish would have rebelled. No reason to go against the US. The French were being French. They weren't going to act without the Brits.
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Whew! What an alternative history that you posit! No one here said that the British were going to jump into the fray with their own troops! They didn't need to! The South had all that it needed to win the war except war material! They would have happily supplied us with all of our material wants! The rest the Boys in Gray and Butternut would have accomplished. The British workers of Laird’s Birkenhead shipyard or the Enfield small arms factory north of London had little reason to wish the American conflict over, and would have gladly had their nation do even more! By July, 1862, the British government considered the parties irreconcilable and desired to stop the bloodshed. They advocated mediation by the Europeans and things started to look promising. On September 24, 1862, the Prime Minister tentatively agreed upon, 'some early representation of a friendly kind to America, if we can get France and Russia to join.' A few days later, knowing of Gladstone’s proposed tour of the North of England, Palmerston added that if both sides should accept, an armistice would follow, and negotiations on the basis of separation. If both should decline, then Lord Palmerston assumed that the Europeans would acknowledge the independence of the South. Off went Gladstone on his whirlwind tour, where, in Newcastle, he let fall his famous bombshell. [b]'...Jefferson Davis and other leaders of the South have made an army; they are making, it appears, a navy; and they have made what is more than either, they have made a nation.'[/b] It was a little premature, but the Confederacy was again rolling down recognition road! News of the Battle of Antietem, however, caused Lord Palmerston to, '...come back to our original view that we must continue merely to be lookers-on until the war shall have taken a more decided turn.' What 'more decided turn' could have occurred, than a Southern Victory on Northern soil? Like Gettysburg??!! But that was not to be... Eric The(AndTheRestIs...History)Hun[>]:)]
Link Posted: 7/3/2003 5:01:46 AM EDT
Originally Posted By Katana16j: ...the South lost... DEAL WITH IT!
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It wasn't just the South that lost. The entire nation lost.
Link Posted: 7/3/2003 5:11:09 AM EDT
We'd have been much much MUCH better off if those days had gone differently. [v] Scott
Link Posted: 7/3/2003 5:19:04 AM EDT
Originally Posted By EricTheHun: ...took place 140 years ago today! Damn! It seems to me as if it were only yesterday! Crap! If General Jackson had only been there! Had Gen. Jeb Stuart only kept to his main duty of gathering information on Meade's movements and keeping General Lee informed! Had Gen. Longstreet only paid close attention to General Lee's Order concerning an early morning attack on the Union Left on Day 2 of the battle! Had Gen. Pickett only brought his men up to the Yankee's picket line under the pre-dawn darkness and launched his attack on the Union Center at Cemetery Ridge at first light on Day 3 of the battle! Ah, but History permits no 'what if's'! The moving finger having writ, moves on.... What would our country be like today had the South seceded [u]and[/u] succeeded? Better or worse? No. Don't answer that! Eric The()Hun[>]:)]
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Dont blame the others, Gettysburg was Lee's mistake. One of his few. He did something he told his subordinates not to do, he got tied up with the enemy. He ordered several bad attacks. (the two you mention were bad attacks) He sent Jeb out to range behind the Union and to rejoin him, but due to several factors Jeb was delayed, it wasnt entirely Jeb's fault. He failed to listen to advice from his subordinates. If he had listened to Longstreet (and flanked the Union left), we wouldnt remember Gettysburg, it would have been a minor skirmish on July 1st, the real battle would have been a few days later and several miles to the south, and would have probably resulted in a humiliating Union defeat. Letting the Union set up in such an easily defensible position, and then proceeding to repeatedly and stubbornly attack it, was Lee's mistake, not his subordinates. Lee was a great general, but he was not the 'best' General of the Civil War. Dont let your worship of Lee cloud your judgement. As to European recognition, It probably wouldnt have come with a Gettysburg victory, the Europeans probably would have seen Vicksburg/Gettysburg as a 'push'. But a Gettysburg victory, with a AotP reteat into southern Marland, and a Confederate Army begining to envelope Washington certainly would have helped.
Link Posted: 7/3/2003 5:31:36 AM EDT
Although I'm "Southern" in most every way I'm sure as hell glad the Union won! [shock] Despite all the Liberal Bovine Scatology that has sprung forward in the last several decades The United States of America would NOT be in existence today as the most powerful country on earth. Food for though.
Link Posted: 7/3/2003 5:33:03 AM EDT
Link Posted: 7/3/2003 5:37:19 AM EDT
Post from Silence -
Lee was a great general, but he was not the 'best' General of the Civil War. Dont let your worship of Lee cloud your judgement.
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Nonsense! My judgments are not clouded by my 'worship' of General Lee! He was, however, the very best General of the War. And by being the best General, he allowed his subordinates to have a very wide latitude in discharging his orders. That 'wide latitude' came back to haunt him at Gettysburg! When Gen. Stuart was given orders to scout the Federals and report, only he knew how far such a ride would take him. And it was [u]his[/u] duty to see that the critical information was given to his commander at the earliest possible moment. But, the General, being the best General of the War, could not bring himself to chastise Gen. Stuart for his tardiness in giving his reports. Just a quip that has forever served as a reminder that Stuart was merely human. No. General Lee made great mistakes in many different areas during the Battle of Gettysburg. Gettysburg was called the price that the South paid for having General Robert E. Lee as its commander, by historian Shelby Foote. And yet, the South was NOT broken by Gettysburg, at all. The Army of Northern Virginia lived on, of course, and in no small measure due to the high regard in which the men of his command honored their hero-general! And after the War, his status became sainthood! Eric The(Well,ForMostOfUs!)Hun[>]:)]
Link Posted: 7/3/2003 5:40:05 AM EDT
Originally Posted By Silence:
Originally Posted By EricTheHun: ...took place 140 years ago today! If General Jackson had only been there! Had Gen. Jeb Stuart only kept to his main duty of gathering information on Meade's movements and keeping General Lee informed! Had Gen. Longstreet only paid close attention to General Lee's Order concerning an early morning attack on the Union Left on Day 2 of the battle! Had Gen. Pickett only brought his men up to the Yankee's picket line under the pre-dawn darkness and launched his attack on the Union Center at Cemetery Ridge at first light on Day 3 of the battle! Eric The()Hun[>]:)]
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Dont blame the others, Gettysburg was Lee's mistake. One of his few. He did something he told his subordinates not to do, he got tied up with the enemy. He ordered several bad attacks. (the two you mention were bad attacks) He sent Jeb out to range behind the Union and to rejoin him, but due to several factors Jeb was delayed, it wasnt entirely Jeb's fault. He failed to listen to advice from his subordinates. If he had listened to Longstreet (and flanked the Union left), we wouldnt remember Gettysburg, it would have been a minor skirmish on July 1st, the real battle would have been a few days later and several miles to the south, and would have probably resulted in a humiliating Union defeat. Letting the Union set up in such an easily defensible position, and then proceeding to repeatedly and stubbornly attack it, was Lee's mistake, not his subordinates.
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Silence, I basicly agree with your position. After the battle rightly or wrongly was joined, Ewell failed to push through to take the high ground. This is when Lee should have issued orders to flank Meade. Just as Longstreet suggested. Any and all events that unfolded afterward are the direct responsibility of Marse Robert. There are plenty of what if's and possible mistakes by sunbordinate Generals, but there should not have been a chance for them to be made on this occaision as Gettysburg should have been a 1 day prelude to another action on ground better suited to the Confederate Army.
Link Posted: 7/3/2003 5:43:59 AM EDT
Post from PONY_DRIVER -
Although I'm "Southern" in most every way I'm sure as hell glad the Union won!
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There are more important things than being the biggest kid on the block! But do not worry, for if the South had succeeded in their endeavors, the country would still have reunited within twenty years or less! We weren't merely cousins, as the Europeans were fond of saying, we were Brothers! But it was the Will of God that the South was to lose its war for independence. And His Will cannot be denied! Eric The(NorShouldItBe)Hun[>]:)]
Link Posted: 7/3/2003 5:57:27 AM EDT
Originally Posted By EricTheHun: Post from PONY_DRIVER -
Although I'm "Southern" in most every way I'm sure as hell glad the Union won!
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There are more important things than being the biggest kid on the block! But do not worry, for if the South had succeeded in their endeavors, the country would still have reunited within twenty years or less! We weren't merely cousins, as the Europeans were fond of saying, we were Brothers! But it was the Will of God that the South was to lose its war for independence. And His Will cannot be denied! Eric The(NorShouldItBe)Hun[>]:)]
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True ETH, but I have a little different perspective on this than most. I grew up in MD so I'm "Southern" according to the geography of the land. However, I was raised to think "They lost the war" and having the way some people do things here in VA it's no damn wonder the South lost the war! I am southern in most of my ways and the way I think/see the world, but I "being Southern" doesn't cloud my judgement too much in the way I operate. People from VA tend to think people from MD are "Yankees" which shows their ignorance of the Mason-Dixon line! Anyone who flew any type of confederate flag was seen as an inbred redneck (99.9999% of them were). Also the whole "The South will rise again" thing... WTF is that supposed to mean? What the hell are you going to rise against? "States Rights" don't mean shit anymore, and they sure don't mean the same thing today that they did 140 years ago! I'm all for making America stronger, but the "Southern Cause" seems a bit childish and like sour grapes to me. Additionally I believe that taking pride in your history is fine, celebrate it, revel in it! And don't take shit from the racist groups (NAACP, RB Coalition et al! Now It's 10:00 a.m. and time for me to eat....Moonpie and RC cola it is! Yummy.
Link Posted: 7/3/2003 6:02:34 AM EDT
Well, that was a good cry.... Does anyone know why the Confederacy chose gray and butternut for their colors???
Link Posted: 7/3/2003 6:05:35 AM EDT
I may be a Yankee, but I'm a "Southern Yankee," if there ever was such a thing. ETH, if there is any single item that we can agree on, it is this one. The South was right. Oh, and BTW, the combination of Lee and Jackson represented perhaps the greatest tandem of military field leaders this country, or the world, for that matter, has ever witnessed.
Link Posted: 7/3/2003 6:11:05 AM EDT
Thank God Almighty the North won at Gettysburg and the Union was preserved!
Link Posted: 7/3/2003 6:16:45 AM EDT
Originally Posted By EricTheHun: Post from Silence -
Lee was a great general, but he was not the 'best' General of the Civil War. Dont let your worship of Lee cloud your judgement.
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Nonsense! My judgments are not clouded by my 'worship' of General Lee!
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After I posted I thought that would be be taken wrongly. It was meant in a very general way. Almost even edited my post to make sure that was clearly understood, guess I should have. Alot of people get the idea that 'General Lee was a infallible General, nobody was better' etc. That is incorrect.
He was, however, the very best General of the War.
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nope, Forrest was a better General. I would even venture Longstreet was a better General. Lee was the best General of Generals though.
And by being the best General, he allowed his subordinates to have a very wide latitude in discharging his orders. That 'wide latitude' came back to haunt him at Gettysburg! When Gen. Stuart was given orders to scout the Federals and report, only he knew how far such a ride would take him. And it was [u]his[/u] duty to see that the critical information was given to his commander at the earliest possible moment.
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But Jeb had little information to report, Lee sent him off and told him to meet him later. It just so happens that Lee found the Union Army before Jeb did. Stuart had several orders, scouting was simply one of them. Another was to slip through the lines and rendevous behind the Union line, another was to gather supplies for the Army. The core issue though is that Lee is the one that sent Jeb off instead of keeping him close and using him as the immediate scouts for the army, instead of using infantry units like he ended up doing.
But, the General, being the best General of the War, could not bring himself to chastise Gen. Stuart for his tardiness in giving his reports. Just a quip that has forever served as a reminder that Stuart was merely human. No. General Lee made great mistakes in many different areas during the Battle of Gettysburg. Gettysburg was called the price that the South paid for having General Robert E. Lee as its commander, by historian Shelby Foote.
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A good man Mr Foote, I have met him. The epitomy of a 'Southern Gentleman', same as Lee.
And yet, the South was NOT broken by Gettysburg, at all. The Army of Northern Virginia lived on, of course, and in no small measure due to the high regard in which the men of his command honored their hero-general! And after the War, his status became sainthood! Eric The(Well,ForMostOfUs!)Hun[>]:)]
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Dont get me wrong, I am not bad mouthing Lee. Without him the Conferacy would probably have crumbled in the first year, and without him at Appomattox the war and its aftermath could have turned really nasty, much worse that what happened. I am just realistic about what happened.
Link Posted: 7/3/2003 6:35:49 AM EDT
Originally Posted By LWilde: Thank God Almighty the North won at Gettysburg and the Union was preserved!
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Yeah, we're all just tickled pink over it! Eric The(Pink,ITellYou,Pink)Hun[>]:)]
Link Posted: 7/3/2003 6:43:50 AM EDT
[b]Silence[/b], I agree with you and most others that Gen. Nathan Bedford Forrest was the very best tactical commander that the War produced! The fact that Gen. Forrest had no formal military training was a crippling disaster for the South! Had Forrest been a graduate of West Point, he would have been given a Corps to command, and only the Lord knows what he could have done with it! The man was never defeated, and was the only General on either side who personally killed enemy soldiers (30!) during the War! His only possible defeat, at the Battle of Selma, late in the War, has been described as a tactical withdrawal ably performed with youngsters, invalids, and old men, as his main troops! I believe that he is also the only man who began the War as a private and ended it as a General! But others claim that distinction, as well. Eric The(ALargeOilPortraitOfForrestHangingInHisBed­room)Hun[>]:)]
Link Posted: 7/3/2003 7:00:53 AM EDT
Link Posted: 7/3/2003 7:05:13 AM EDT
Originally Posted By Wobblin-Goblin: I may be a Yankee, but I'm a "Southern Yankee," if there ever was such a thing.
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So am I, and I believe Samuel Clemts was too...
Link Posted: 7/3/2003 7:06:11 AM EDT
Good topic. I don't believe that Gettysburg was the high-water of the Confederacy. Although the South suffered heavy casualties in that engagement, they were far from being an ineffective fighting force. In fact they, not the same army with the exception of Longstreet's group, went on to route Rosecrans and they Army of the Cumberland a short time later. General Lee was probably the greatest general this county has ever had. As mentioned earlier, if it wasn't for him being in charge at the end of the war, the post war period would have been very different. It is my opinion that Lee's importance to this country is only second to George Washington. He doesn't get the credit he deserves because he was on the losing side.
Link Posted: 7/3/2003 7:24:04 AM EDT
Link Posted: 7/3/2003 7:26:35 AM EDT
I guess I could be considered a southern yankee as well. Just a reminder: Arizona was a Confederate Territory first; A union territory later. [img]http://myweb.cableone.net/azcop/images/azconfederate_flag.gif[/img] Jay
Link Posted: 7/3/2003 7:52:07 AM EDT
if "if's" and "but's" were candy and nuts, every day would be christmas.
Link Posted: 7/3/2003 7:52:47 AM EDT
Silence said: Lee was a great general, but he was not the 'best' General of the Civil War. Dont let your worship of Lee cloud your judgement.
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You are so wrong. Lee was unlike most generals before or since. He was a devout Christian and understood his role on the battlefield. Upon their defeat, the Confederates were slogging back from the battlefield with heads down. Lee sat upon his horse, Traveler, and told them, "Hold your heads up lads. The fault is all mine." We'll never see his equal again.
Link Posted: 7/3/2003 8:13:17 AM EDT
I was born and reaised in Pennsylvania, and have live in the South for the past 21 years. Having learned the "other side" of events, I've taken to calling myself a [b]Reconstructed Yankee[/b]. Lincoln would probably have thrown me in prison for the things I've said about him over the past few years.
Link Posted: 7/3/2003 8:26:59 AM EDT
ETH, If you need to feel the experience firsthand, then you need to come to PA on August 8 and see the anniversary reenactment. [url]http://www.gettysburgreenactment.com/[/url] Prior to the postponement, they were expecting at least 15,000 reenactors to participate. The die has been cast on history, but I would speculate that the Federal government would be more faithful to the Constitution if the threat of secession was still on the table.
Link Posted: 7/3/2003 8:42:12 AM EDT
At least once a year I make a trip ouyt to Gettysburg, walk through the Wheatfield, Cemetary Ridge, Devil's Den, Little Round Top and marvel at the honor and courage of the fighting men in both blue and grey. Wandering off the beaten path you'll find the monuments built by both siddes after the war, many of them no longer maintained by the states that funded their building; forgotten by the relatives of those who died there. I read the names off the plinths, silently to myself, remembering the dead who died for what they believed in and hoping that a bit a remembrence can sooth their spirits. I rarely encouter anyone else unless its at one of the big memorials on the main roads of the park, and that's a shame. "Those who forget their history are doomed to repeat it." And there are few who appreciate their history, even among those who remember it.
Link Posted: 7/3/2003 9:08:32 AM EDT
Originally Posted By raf: The greatest General of the Civil War wasn't Lee. No, according to none other than Lee himself, [b]GRANT[/b] had no equal as a general in all of history.
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Modesty is so becoming in a great man, such as our General Lee! Grant flattered himself that his foe remembered him when the two met at Appomattox, from their service in the Mexican War! Grant certainly remembered the tall Virginian who so distinquished himself in that War. General Lee remarked to his aide that he didn't remember Grant in the least! But General Lee never wrote that, or said that in public, so gracious a man was he! I have a lot of respect for Gen. Grant, but not for his wholesale slaughter of his own men during the War, but for his kindnesses and his conduct following the War! The scandals of his Presidency were the fault of the lesser men with whom he surrounded himself! He struggled mightily to finish his memoirs in order that his family have something when he died. That story alone is worthy of admiration for the dying man. Eric The(AndHeHasMyAdmirationIndeed!)Hun[>]:)]
Link Posted: 7/3/2003 9:10:19 AM EDT
Now me, I've always thought that Sherman was probably the best general of the Civil War. In no small part due to the fact that the Loathings rode with him as he tore the guts out of the south and averted a much longer war. The thing I admire most about a general is vision. The ability to look at and understand the big picture. In the opening months of the war. when everybody on the union side (and many on the Confederate as well) thought that the war was going to be over in two or three months, Sherman was the only officer there that understood the horrible truth of the dirty job ahead and had the will to do what must be done to break the South. Grant himself was reluctant to approve the march to the sea, fearing that Sherman was to bold in proposing that he just pick up an army, leave his supply lines and live of the wrecked land he was about to invade. Shermans March is one of the great acts of manuver warfare in all of military history and was far broader in scope and stratigic goal than anything Lee ever attempted. Uncle Billy understood what had to be done and he did it. Civil war threads are hell.
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