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The fragility of the Confederacy illuminated by Gettysburg

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The fragility of the Confederacy illuminated by Gettysburg

Post by MarkManRed on Wed Feb 11, 2015 11:17 am

Everyone always talks about Gettysburg. "The high water mark of the Confederacy," "Lee's great gamble," "The Souths last great opportunity." Furthermore, Picketts Charge is always spoken of as being Lee's greatest and most costly mistake; losing many men that the South could "not afford to lose."

But every time I read about these things, I can't help but think about how fragile the Confederate cause was during the war. It's true, if you take a good hard look at Pickett's Charge, it truly was a costly attack. But how many equivalents did the Union have? Fredricksburg and Cold Harbor being the most famous, were extremely one sided victories for the Confederacy. Almost every move made by Grant was a "Pickett's Charge." Waves of Northern troops were time and time again heaved against superior defensive works that chewed them up like a meat grinder. And yet, Lee makes one such mistake that dooms the Confederacy? Yes I know there were many political factors that played in the South's defeat and so forth, but the fact that Lee could only afford one such blunder that was repeated time after time by the Union truly illustrates how fragile the Confederacy was. On the battle field, the South had to play a PERFECT game in order to win, with no room for any sort of error, whereas the North simply had to play. Had the war continued, the North could have afforded many more "Pickett's Charge" like attacks. Everyone knows the North had an advantage, but sometimes I think we forget just how incredible that advantage was. The fact that Lee actually came close to winning the war is nothing short of fantastic and amazing. Just imagine if Lee would have had Grants resources.


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Re: The fragility of the Confederacy illuminated by Gettysburg

Post by RebYell on Tue Feb 17, 2015 4:38 pm

It is true. The South, though, had to fight more of a defensive war, which is where they were strongest. It seems as though their downfall came once they tried to move up North, point noted: Gettysburg.

Just take the Battle of Kennesaw Mountain. Decisive Confederate victory, and the Union troops where mowed down, but yet they still pushed into Marietta, and subsequently, Atlanta.

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Re: The fragility of the Confederacy illuminated by Gettysburg

Post by MarkManRed on Wed Feb 18, 2015 4:55 pm

Kennesaw Mountain illustrates perfectly just how unrealistic a Confederate Military victory was. Even if Lee had not moved North and Gettysburg never happened, a Southern victory would still have had to be a political one. If Lee had stayed South, I personally believe the rest of the war would have been an amplified version of the Overland Campaign. The South's only hope would have been Lincoln losing to McClellan in 1864, which very well may have happened had Lee stayed in Virginia and continue to chew up Northern troops.

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Re: The fragility of the Confederacy illuminated by Gettysburg

Post by RebYell on Wed Feb 25, 2015 11:33 pm

Yeah, I think the Northern invasion was a bit of a overstep in the CS Army.

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