GDG- ISusquehanna River

CWMHTours at aol.com CWMHTours at aol.com
Wed Jan 25 16:47:53 CST 2012


Jim-
 
You make good points.
 
I have problems tho with the idea of Lee moving his whole army  into 
Harrisburg and sitting there.
 
Granted there was some military value to the state capital but  Lee's ace 
was manueverabilty which he would lose if he occupies a town and then  has to 
defend it.  I can see him sending in a detachment to destroy any  military 
goods but Harrisburg was pretty much a pipsqueak town back  then.
 
Plus I can't see him putting the bulk of his army on the wrong  side of the 
river.
 
I think all the talk about Harrisburg was just that, talk put  out t 
distract people.
 
I can't see him taking Baltimore either.  What are you  going to do with it 
once you got it?
 
A  Loyal Neo-Anti Unionist,
Peter  

 
In a message dated 1/25/2012 9:37:30 A.M. Eastern Standard Time,  
cameron2 at optimum.net writes:

Esteemed  GDG Member Contributes:
<<   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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