GDG- Lee - Harrisburg

John Grim jgrim1941 at gmail.com
Sat Jan 28 09:17:45 CST 2012


Esteemed Members

Why did Lee not want to send troops west after his victory at
Chancellorsville??  I know I'm being very simplistic but sometimes simple
can be the answer.  Lee was the commander of the ANV not the overall
Confederate commander.  Why would he want to diminish his own army and get
mixed up with what was going on west of him???  Lee probably had a decent
idea of what reinforcements might be available to him along the east coast
and how competent some of those generals might be.  Also, he had lost
Jackson and that was a problem.

On Sat, Jan 28, 2012 at 10:10 AM, George Connell <georgeconnell at mac.com>wrote:

> Esteemed GDG Member Contributes:
> Because it wasn't a good plan. Davis, a man from the West, no fool, and
> quite capable of making his own decisions, saw this. I wish you could too!
>
> I will convince you--someday, someday, someday....
>
> George
> 26ª11'56"N   81ª48'19W"
>
> On Jan 27, 2012, at 4:41 PM, John Lawrence wrote:
>
> > Esteemed GDG Member Contributes:
> > Of course this was after Lee shot down the initial plan to reinforce the
> west.
> > Regards,
> > Jack
> >
> > George Connell <georgeconnell at mac.com> wrote:
> >
> >> Esteemed GDG Member Contributes:
> >> It's a fact that Lee spent two days in Richmond (I think it was two;
> I'm on a trip and away from my books) with Davis going over options. It's
> also a fact that Davis and his entire cabinet (with one vote against--that
> being Reagan, the postmaster general and a pretty smart guy) voted in favor
> of the move into Pennsylvania. These were not shy men, nor men of limited
> intelligence, but rather men of considerable experience, some of whom had
> vested interests in the West. I don't think Lee pulled a fast one.
> >>
> >> When you consider the options carefully, sending troops west was not a
> good idea. I have explained why before and would be happy to do so again
> after this trip. Sending Lee and troops that way would have been a lot
> better, but then who would replace Lee. I think the fundamental problem at
> that point in the war was that the Confederacy lacked sufficient competent
> top-level commanders. This was less a troop-strength problem than a
> find-a-good-aggressive-commander problem.
> >>
> >> Regards,
> >>
> >> George
> >> 26ª11'56"N   81ª48'19W"
> >>
> >> On Jan 27, 2012, at 12:33 PM, John Grim wrote:
> >>
> >>> Esteemed GDG Member Contributes:
> >>> Esteemed Members
> >>>
> >>> Most of us know the usual facts of Lee's advance in June towards
> >>> Harrisburg.  I subscribe to the side that believes Lee went north to
> take
> >>> the war away from Virginia so crops could be harvested and replanted
> and
> >>> that troops might be drawn away from Grant and that there might be
> >>> political advantage to be gained.  I cannot picture Lee being
> successful
> >>> east of Harrisburg with the river at his back and having to contend
> with
> >>> Philadelphia, Baltimore, Washington and its forts as well as the
> various
> >>> units of the Union army gathering around him.  Yes, militia units were
> not
> >>> regulars but they can picket railroads, bridges, guard POW's and
> generally
> >>> get in the way.  Lee's communications and supply lines would be
> extended
> >>> further and further and he would be further away from the protection
> of the
> >>> mountains and their passes.  As it was it took him 10 days to get back
> to
> >>> Virginia from Gettysburg.  He may have been able to live off the land
> near
> >>> Harrisburg but where would his munitions and replacements come from??
>  How
> >>> long could he stay away from Richmond with only Corse and Jenkins
> covering
> >>> that area?  I just don't see it but I am willing to consider other
> >>> opinions.  Lee's operation was not a go for broke.  He had limited
> goals
> >>> and limited expectations.   Getting his wounded back to Virginia would
> >>> probably have been impossible from east of Harrisburg and he probably
> would
> >>> not have gotten his Gettysburg wounded back.
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