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View Diary: 150 years ago, the greatest July 4th of them all (117 comments)

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  •  Lee's invasion (9+ / 0-)

    was a propaganda maneuver for the reasons you mention. But, let's say Lee had narrowly won that battle. He would have been left wandering around Pennsylvania far from his supply lines with no way to replace the troops he lost in his dwindling army. His actions had no strategic way to bring the South victory other than it's psychological impact. But for all we know, his incursion north could just as likely have inspired more people to enlist in the U.S. army. And if he had won that battle, he may have lost the next pointless, non-strategic battle a week later with a smaller army.
    We can ascribe a lot of "what ifs" to Gettysburg. It has hypothetical significance. Vicksburg had a clear tangible impact that lead to the end of the war. Controlling Mississippi trade and opening the way for Sherman's march ended the South's ability to wage war.
    The story of how the north won the Civil War is learned by following Grant and Sherman in their series of victories from west to east.

    •  If he'd won Gettysburg (2+ / 0-)

      he probably still would have retreated back into Virginia. But had it gained recognition and formal support for the south it would have been a serious problem.

      Vicksburg, on the other hand, closed off not just the Mississippi but the west and boxed the south in thereby causing their eventual defeat.

      "Do what you can with what you have where you are." - Teddy Roosevelt

      by Andrew C White on Thu Jul 04, 2013 at 10:05:14 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

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