GDG- ISusquehanna River

cameron2 at optimum.net cameron2 at optimum.net
Wed Jan 25 08:36:13 CST 2012


<<   If Lee intended to move Ewell's Corps and Hill's Corps across the river (as he stated) it's a pretty safe bet he wasn't going to leave Longstreet's on the other side of a water barrier. I think it's not unreasonable to speculate that Lee, the most audacious commander of the war, might have been willing to fight the AoP east of the Susquehanna. There are some caveats, however. He would need all his cavalry with him; detailed information on the locations of the various Union corps; and the confidence that the AoP corps were exhausted, strung out by a rushed pursuit, and not in position to provide meaningful support to one another.  >>

Which is quite a few caveats, and a lot of stuff he didn't have, and wasn't likely to get.  And if he does cross the Susquehanna, getting back over now involves the far shore still being hostile territory, not VA.  
Still, I do think he intended to cross a major force, if possible.  I wonder, though, if his preference wouldn't have been to continue to maneuver, and maybe fight against any isolated Union force he might encounter, rather than risk a general engagement under such circumstances.  Although I can't say I've ever devoted much thought to the matter, since it never did happen.  
Just as a thought, while it wouldn't have been something he could have anticipated at the time, the post-battle rains which made crossing back into VA so difficult could have created an extremely critical situation for Lee if he need to recross the Susquehanna in a hurry after a reverse on the eastern side of the river and had no bridges available.  

Jim Cameron


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