Appomattox Campaign, any real chance of Confederate success?

major bill

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#1
General Lee's had few other options, but did the Appomattox Campaign have a real chance of success? The Union Army did a good job of running down Lee's Army. Still could have Lee made it to North Carolina with most of his army intact? For example, I am not sure they had the horses and the feed for the horses to get all the artillery away. Once they left Richmond desertion could have reduced Lee's Army as it moved towards North Carolina. Just getting enough rations for his men would have been an issue. The Union Army would make foraging on the way very dangerous and trying to do so would slow the march to North Carolina.
 

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#2
I honestly think the attempt to 'regroup' with Johnson's Army was little more than a fool's errand. As @major bill pointed out, there would have been scant rations for artillery stock, let alone cavalry!

Furthermore, there was the Great Dismal Swamp, a stretch of desolate, soggy, almost impassable quagmire. Sure, Lee might have managed to stall the Federal advance through this region, but the condition of his Army would have made their own traverse of the swamp virtually impossible.

"No Virginia, there is no victory here."
 

Northern Light

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#3
Lee himself was aware that a siege atany point in the Overland campaign meant the end on the Confederate Army. After Petersburg, he was pretty sure tha his war was over, uless he could meet up with Johnston, but I think he was well aware that that was not going to happen. His army was so hungry and tired and desertion was getting worse by the day, so that it was unlike that he could do anything but surrender. He made sure that Davis et al had escaped from Richmond,and then stalled for terms, until he ran out of time. If Lee had been able to feed his army, things might have played out differently, at least for a while, with yet more death and destruction, but he knew that the writing was on the wall. Just my thoughts.
 

JeffBrooks

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#4
If the rations had arrived at Amelia Court House as planned, then there would have been a chance (albeit not a very good one) that Lee could have gotten down into North Carolina and linked up with Johnston. Even if he had done that, however, I don't think the war would have been lengthened for more than a few weeks. Lots of more men would have gotten killed, however, since we would likely have seen one last big battle on the 1863 or 1864 scales to knock Lee and Johnston out.
 

Irishtom29

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#5
If the rations had arrived at Amelia Court House as planned, then there would have been a chance (albeit not a very good one) that Lee could have gotten down into North Carolina and linked up with Johnston. Even if he had done that, however, I don't think the war would have been lengthened for more than a few weeks. Lots of more men would have gotten killed, however, since we would likely have seen one last big battle on the 1863 or 1864 scales to knock Lee and Johnston out.

This possibility has me wondering if in a great final battle the Federals would refuse to grant quarter and instead end the rebellion in a great slaughter. During the war between Caesar and Pompey in one battle Caesar’s men refused quarter to Pompeans they’d previously defeated and spared; Caesar’s men had determined to never fight those men again.
 

JeffBrooks

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#7
This possibility has me wondering if in a great final battle the Federals would refuse to grant quarter and instead end the rebellion in a great slaughter. During the war between Caesar and Pompey in one battle Caesar’s men refused quarter to Pompeans they’d previously defeated and spared; Caesar’s men had determined to never fight those men again.
Absolutely not. First of all, they showed no inclination to do that in any other battle, so why would they start now? Second, Grant and Sherman were in full agreement with Lincoln's views on how to bring the South back into the Union, which had been perfectly articulated to them at the conference on board the River Queen on March 28.
 

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