GDG- A little clarification please. (TR)

John Lawrence jlawrence at
Fri Jan 27 07:24:07 CST 2012

IMHO. Gettysburg was about as far out of the valley as Lee cared to go.
Should he (unlikely) have dislodged the AoP any pursuit could only ended IP as a disaster for the ANV


keith mackenzie <bluzdad at> wrote:

>Esteemed GDG Member Contributes:
>Tom R:  If this is the lengthy response to which you are referring, which I did read entirely, and then again, and to be sure, yet again, I can't find any mention of how far north Lee was prepared to go, in a physical, geographical sense. 
> You answered my original question in the first paragraph. So it's very likely that my AADD kicked in shortly after reading it. (OOOH LOOK! A PUPPY!)
>Never mind though, TB's  response  came close.
>("As it turned out, Gettysburg wasn't far enough...")
>From: Tom Ryan <pennmardel at>
>To: GDG <gettysburg at> 
>Sent: Thursday, January 26, 2012 4:19 PM
>Subject: Re: GDG- A little clarification please.
>Esteemed GDG Member Contributes:
>My understanding of Lee's intent regarding the invasion was to capture an
>important town or city.  The capture would be sufficient to embarrass the
>Federal government, and impress potential foreign allies such as Britain and
>France.  There was no need to hold the captured location for any length of
>time in order to accomplish these goals.
>One of Lee's objectives was to motivate the Northern population to press
>Washington to bring about a peace settlement, and the capture of a major
>city or town would fit the bill nicely along those lines.
>It should also be noted that Lee wanted to lead the Peace Democrats
>(Copperheads) and others who favored a settlement with the South to believe
>the South was serious about ending the war and reuniting with the North.  As
>he mentioned to President Davis in his proposal along these lines, there
>would be no intent to actually rejoin the Union once a ceasefire/settlement
>was reached.
>It appears that Lee was being more than a bit devious in this respect.
>In a lengthy and revealing message to President Davis on June 10, 1863 (as
>the invasion was about to get underway), Lee made a number of observations
>of how the war could be won by other than debilitating military means.  The
>following excerpt sums up Lee's approach:
>"Should the belief [in the North] that peace will bring back the Union
>become general, the war would no longer be supported....  When peace is
>proposed to is not the part of prudence to spurn the
>proposition...[to] those who wish to...believe...that it will result in
>bringing us back to the Union.  We entertain no such aspirations...the
>desire of our people for a distinct and independent national existence will
>prove as steadfast under the influence of peaceful measures as it has shown
>itself in the midst of war."  See OR, 27, III, pp. 880-82.
>Suggest you read this entire lengthily message.  It is one of the most frank
>and revealing missives that Lee wrote during the Gettysburg Campaign, and
>perhaps during the entire war.
>Regards, Tom Ryan
>-----Original Message-----
>From: gettysburg-bounces at
>[mailto:gettysburg-bounces at]On Behalf Of keith mackenzie
>Sent: Thursday, January 26, 2012 2:13 PM
>To: GDG
>Subject: GDG- A little clarification please.
>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.
>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.
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