GDG- Lee - Harrisburg

Andy Mills amills at
Fri Jan 27 12:23:42 CST 2012

It makes perfect sense though if the real motivation was simply to keep his precious ANV together and not have part of it shipped off to Vicksburg.  Lee couldn't be straight with Davis about this and came up with the crop story as a sidebar to his real motivations.  When asked why troops shouldn't be sent to Vicksburg, Lee couldn't simply state "because I don't want to send them."  He had to present a valid case for keeping them assigned to his army.  

Just don't ask me to prove this, but this is my belief of the true reason he invaded the North - to keep the ANV intact, the army he had "nurtured and created" (yes, I am aware technically the army existed prior to his command, but no one in the Confederacy remembers an army pre June 1862).  


-----Original Message-----
From: gettysburg-bounces at [mailto:gettysburg-bounces at] On Behalf Of dherko at
Sent: Friday, January 27, 2012 1:00 PM
Subject: Re: GDG- Lee - Harrisburg

Esteemed GDG Member Contributes:

that is exactly the shortsidedness of Lee's strategy he convinced Davis to support.

Crops are planted in the Spring and harvested in the fall.  Lee could not possibly stay up North for that length of time.  He could not have possibly protected Virginia's corps for an enitre planitng season.

As for Vicksburg.  By late June, Vicksburg was gone.  Once Lee convince Davis of a course of action, the garrison's fate was sealed.  Had Lee won on July 3rd (before he really planned to fight Meade) Pemberton had surrendered, he was just trying to negotiate a better deal.

Until Grant came East, there was not a Northern General that could lace Lee's boots on the tactical battlefield.  Lee however, fought for Virginia and Vriginia alone.  He completely failed to understand the implications of losing Vicksburg.  He was resistant to send troops to the Carolina coast, did not want Longstreet to go to Chickamauga.  He was myopic on Strategy, he protected Virginia and Virginia was in the fight until the end.


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