GDG- ISusquehanna River

Jack Lawrence jlawrence at
Tue Jan 24 20:27:15 CST 2012

----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Tom Barrett" <tbarrett21 at>
To: "'GDG'" <gettysburg at>
Sent: Tuesday, January 24, 2012 4:26 PM
Subject: Re: GDG- ISusquehanna River

Esteemed GDG Member Contributes:

When we discussed this in some detail a couple of months ago, I was left
with the impression that most everybody agreed that Lee, being in possession
of some common sense, and being able to read maps, was using Harrisburg the
way a matador uses a red cape. His real intent was to have the AOP rushing
wildly after him (like a bull) and to defeat it piecemeal.

Sending a force into Harrisburg was a good idea.  Preferably cavalry.  But
it made no sense for him to get a slow moving force trapped on the East side
of the Susquehanna until AFTER he'd sent the AOP home with its tail between
its legs. (Then he could move on to Boston, Buffalo, Syracuse or wherever.)

Of course, things never got that far, but I think he would have "sacked"
Harrisburg, wrecked the railroad, burned the warehouses, and waited for the
inevitable reaction- but waited on the West side of the river.




You are correct, we have discussed this before. But no issues are settled on 
the GDG.

There is a certain innate Faulkner in many Lee admirers that grandiosize Lee 
to an unsubstainable level.

Thus, the Lee as doomslayer. (I feel the same way about Lincoln the Great 
Emancipator, even though that is an unrealistic perception and I know it.)

There was never any intent, nor was there ever any means, to occupy 
Harrisburg. But, as you point out, it was a good idea (and it worked).



BTW: Haupt thought that Lee's goal WAS to wreck the rail lines.

I have cut the thread as the length was getting onerous.

More information about the Gettysburg mailing list