Gettysburg..did the War really need to continue ?

Sweetbriar

Cadet
Joined
Jun 22, 2020
Location
Montana
personally I think not
outmanned & out resourced
gettysburg on , a waste .. Lee said God's Will
and in the hands of God.. then finally surrendered,
surrounded, troops starving..
realises after its too late, the greatest Generals
the War produced were his, Forrest & Cleburne
~SB
 

GwilymT

First Sergeant
Joined
Aug 20, 2018
Location
Pittsburgh
personally I think not
outmanned & out resourced
gettysburg on , a waste .. Lee said God's Will
and in the hands of God.. then finally surrendered,
surrounded, troops starving..
realises after its too late, the greatest Generals
the War produced were his, Forrest & Cleburne
~SB
Throughout the war the CSA was losing on every front with the exception of the eastern theater in VA. There was still hope for the CSA up until the 1864 elections. Once those went in favor of Lincoln and continuing the war the argument can be made that any further resistance by the south was futile. With this goes the implication that after this point, southern leaders were being irresponsible and wasting lives.
 

Rhea Cole

1st Lieutenant
Joined
Nov 2, 2019
Location
Murfreesboro, Tennessee
On an 8 1/2 X 11” map of the Western Theater the entire operations of the Army of the Potomac & Army of Northern Virginia is the size of a postage stamp. A meeting engagement 40 miles north of the Potomac in Nowhere PA was a sideshow in 1863. The loss of Vicksburg, Chattanooga & Knoxville were blows that CSA could not survive. Defending a few counties in Virginia pales into insignificance compared with millions of square miles that were lost to Union control.
 
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JeffBrooks

Sergeant Major
Joined
Aug 20, 2009
Location
Manor, TX
The understanding of the Battle of Gettysburg as the turning point of the war is deeply flawed. The Confederacy NEVER had a chance to win the war in a purely military sense, so in that sense it was futile the instant the first shot was fired at Fort Sumter. They did have the chance of winning the war via a collapse of political will in the North to continue the conflict, and that did not change until the Fall of Atlanta.
 

Pete Longstreet

First Sergeant
Forum Host
Joined
Mar 3, 2020
Location
Hartford, CT
Many say Gettysburg was the highpoint of the war... but the window for victory had already closed on the Confederacy prior to Gettysburg. The loss of Vicksburg was irreplaceable. Even the losses of Forts Henry and Donelson were huge blows to the south, not only in terms of defeat, but also the emergence of U.S Grant. Shiloh was a desperate attempt to stop the northern machine. By the summer of 1863, Lee understood that the south needed foreign intervention to win. As far as the war continuing after Gettysburg... the south still hoped for foreign aide, and needed to fight on. Plus, the AnV scored a solid victory in Chancellorsville shortly before Gettysburg, even though the west had faced setback after setback. You also have to look at the human will to fight... which is why Lee fought until his army was about starved and surrounded. Unfortunately for Lee though, the northern will to fight held out longer than the Confederacy could afford in men and material.
 

John S. Carter

Sergeant Major
Joined
Mar 15, 2017
The understanding of the Battle of Gettysburg as the turning point of the war is deeply flawed. The Confederacy NEVER had a chance to win the war in a purely military sense, so in that sense it was futile the instant the first shot was fired at Fort Sumter. They did have the chance of winning the war via a collapse of political will in the North to continue the conflict, and that did not change until the Fall of Atlanta.
I like your response . Gettysburg was just that a battle, it was a costly battle just as all battles which involve large armies. It was not even the "turning point" in the war. I do agree that Sherman's march thought the lower South ,the taking of Atlanta ,then the scourge of Georgia to Savannah follow by the jog to Charlotte was more effective on the people of the South than any battle up to then, It damaged the economics of the South but more it demonstrated that the army could not protect its civilians, Sherman had brought the horror of war to the Southern home front. As for Grant he did just as Lincoln told him to , latch on to Lee's army and do not let go. Grant did not defeat Lee, he just endured whatever was required to break Lee's will and ability to continue. In the end Lee demonstrated the greatest of who the man he was,, He allowed his generals and army one last chance of honor. Lee knew that to continue would be sacrificial .Davis would have possibly wanted him to continue .
 

Rhea Cole

1st Lieutenant
Joined
Nov 2, 2019
Location
Murfreesboro, Tennessee
It was Jubal Early & the Southern Historical Society that declared Gettysburg the high point of the Confederacy. The decades long deification of Lee occurred after he died. The General himself would not have put up with it. In the Early/SHS rewrite of Civil War history, the only battles worth fighting were in a few counties in Virginia & a town in nowhere Pennsylvania. Right up until the centennial, the counter-factual Nobel Lee-Jackson-Gettysburg was the high water of the CSA held sway in the popular imagination. Since then, the fact based narrative of what actually happened has replaced that fantasy.
 

Pete Longstreet

First Sergeant
Forum Host
Joined
Mar 3, 2020
Location
Hartford, CT
It was Jubal Early & the Southern Historical Society that declared Gettysburg the high point of the Confederacy. The decades long deification of Lee occurred after he died. The General himself would not have put up with it. In the Early/SHS rewrite of Civil War history, the only battles worth fighting were in a few counties in Virginia & a town in nowhere Pennsylvania. Right up until the centennial, the counter-factual Nobel Lee-Jackson-Gettysburg was the high water of the CSA held sway in the popular imagination. Since then, the fact based narrative of what actually happened has replaced that fantasy.
If Lee had lived longer and wrote his memoirs... history would most likely have a different story to tell.
 

atlantis

Sergeant Major
Joined
Nov 12, 2016
After Gettysburg the Army of Tennessee was still in the field and the ANV was far from beaten. The last half of 63 offered opportunity to put the confederate house in order. The defeats at both Gettysburg and Vicksburg put to rest the false hope of foreign help.
 

Rhea Cole

1st Lieutenant
Joined
Nov 2, 2019
Location
Murfreesboro, Tennessee
After Gettysburg the Army of Tennessee was still in the field and the ANV was far from beaten. The last half of 63 offered opportunity to put the confederate house in order. The defeats at both Gettysburg and Vicksburg put to rest the false hope of foreign help.
That is just grand if you ignore the Tullahoma Campaign & the capture of Knoxville.
 
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