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Jubal Early's pre battle military objectives - Wheatland question

Discussion in 'Battle of Gettysburg' started by Wallyfish, May 16, 2017.

  1. Wallyfish

    Wallyfish First Sergeant Trivia Game Winner

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    In late June, Jubal E. Early had military objectives to cross the Susquehanna at Wrightsville, capture Lancaster, cut the railroad line into Philadelphia, and then attack Harrisburg from the east. Major General Robert E. Rodes’s division would attack the city’s front simultaneously. However three fateful days in Gettysburg changed forever those objectives.

    I have never heard of any Confederate military objective to capture James Buchanan's Lancaster home during Lee's invasion. While capturing Harrishurg, burning bridges and cutting railroad lines would offer a significant military win, I would think that capturing a prior US President's home would be an easy and significant "political" win for Lee. Is there any documentation where Lee or his Generals ever discussed Wheatland as a military objective?

    FYI- Tours are offered at Wheatland. It takes just over an hour for the tour and is an excellent stop for those heading east to see Lancaster and Amish country.
     
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  3. Tom Elmore

    Tom Elmore Sergeant Major

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    Never heard of Buchanan's home mentioned as an objective. But I can't see why capturing the home of a president who thought that slavery was an issue for the states and territories to decide, and that the federal government had no right to prevent states from seceding, would interest the Confederates from a political standpoint.
     
  4. infomanpa

    infomanpa First Sergeant

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    I have to agree with Tom on this one. I don't see how capturing Buchanan's home would be a significant political win. By the way, I did the Wheatland tour and found it more interesting than I thought it would be. I should have visited John Reynolds' tomb nearby, but oh well.
     
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  5. Wallyfish

    Wallyfish First Sergeant Trivia Game Winner

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    Thanks for the comments. I have never heard of Wheatland or Buchanan being a Confederate target as well. But regardless of Buchanan's succession and slavery views, I would think that the simple act of the Confederates forcibly taking over a former US President's home would be a political victory in itself. Heck, maybe the Confederates had no idea he lived in Lancaster.
     
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  6. 8thFlorida

    8thFlorida Sergeant

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    Just did the Buchanan tour today and I agree it was interesting. I posted pictures as well. The thing to remember about Buchanan is that he was obviously playing both sides of the fence as well. One side of Wheatland was designed like a Southern plantation while the back entrance was designed for his Northern counterparts.
     
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  7. 8thFlorida

    8thFlorida Sergeant

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    Buchanan actually befriended a woman who became a Confederate spy and she took some Federal secrets with her.
     
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  8. infomanpa

    infomanpa First Sergeant

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    Interesting! He should have reversed his building sides. The "southern" side is facing the North and vice-versa.
     
  9. 8thFlorida

    8thFlorida Sergeant

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    496F2C36-C75E-4963-8A03-CC8054EF13AA.jpeg
    This is the Southern side. Ha ha well I’m Southern so I can’t help it.
     
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  10. infomanpa

    infomanpa First Sergeant

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    Nope. Sorry...your picture is not of the south side of the building. To be technically accurate, it's facing the northeast. If you go to the satellite view of Google Maps, you can verify it yourself.
     
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  11. 8thFlorida

    8thFlorida Sergeant

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    I was wondering. Thanks for the fact check.
    I would still enter from the Plantation side then I guess. Ha
     
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  12. jackt62

    jackt62 Sergeant Major

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    I am also skeptical that James Buchanan's Lancaster home would be a confederate military objective. In fact, Early did burn Congressman Thaddeus Stevens ironworks in York, PA during the Gettysburg raid, which made sense given that Stevens, a radical Republican, represented some of the confederacy's strongest enemies in the north.
     

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