GDG- A little clarification please.

Tom Barrett tbarrett21 at
Thu Jan 26 21:52:50 CST 2012

>From a military standpoint, I think he wanted to draw the AoP far enough so
that they were separated from their supply and support bases and far enough
that they would be tired, scattered, and not able to concentrate
effectively.  Drawing them toward Harrisburg was a good plan, but spreading
them out would have been even better, so the AoP Corps couldn't quickly
support one another.

I think he figured that his forces would be more rested and better
concentrated than the AoP, and that he'd pick off and defeat the Union units
as they came north.  

As it turned out, Gettysburg wasn't far enough, and the AoP was well
organized, well supplied, and was able to concentrate effectively.  For
whatever reason, Lee chose to attack anyway.



-----Original Message-----
From: gettysburg-bounces at [mailto:gettysburg-bounces at]
On Behalf Of keith mackenzie
Sent: Thursday, January 26, 2012 10:03 PM
Subject: Re: GDG- A little clarification please.

Esteemed GDG Member Contributes:
It seems that everyone agrees that if Lee had gone to Harrisburg, he would
not have tried to stay there any longer than necessary. So then, the
contentious issue is wether he really planned on going there at all? 
 (This is a "Just Occurred to Me" question): If his goal was to draw the AoP
north, how far north was far enough? 

>> Esteemed GDG Member Contributes:
>> I tend to favor the notion that Harrisburg was a decoy to draw Union
forces out into the open. I absolutely believe that Lee would have  sent
forces into the city, primarily to destroy railroad  infrastructure, damage
manufacturing operations, capture supplies, and  generally create further
panic in the north, but holding the city was  never an option. I believe
there was a relatively small window of  opportunity for the ANV to operate
in Pennsylvania.
>> On Jan 26, 2012, at 2:13 PM, keith mackenzie wrote:
>>> Esteemed GDG Member Contributes:
>>> I've read a couple of posts where the esteemed member insisted that  Lee
did not intend to hold Harrisburg if he did in fact assault and  take it.
>>> I don't know if it was more than one poster or only one several times.
>>> My
>>> question is, does anyone think he would have attempted to hold it? I
don't think anyone has put forward that POV, but I might have missed  it.
>>> thanks
>>> K.
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