Lee’s escape from Gettysburg, the Invasion of Pennsylvania success or failure?

damYankee

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#1
To some, probably most, the list of Lee’s greatest accomplishments would not include include Gettysburg, however, The Invasion of Pennsylvania was not a complete failure, history has focused on the events of July 1, 2, and 3.
But there was much more at play than those three terrible and destructive days. The following video, while long, rewards the viewers with another side, the weeks prior to the battle, and Lee’s amazing retreat, although it may better be called Lee’s escape.
The burning of barns, the theft of wagons, horses, pigs, cows, sheep, iron, horseshoes, flour tools, buggy’s, you name it, the Rebels took it.
I look forward to reading reviews and comments from viewers of the video.
 

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Northern Light

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#2
To some, probably most, the list of Lee’s greatest accomplishments would not include include Gettysburg, however, The Invasion of Pennsylvania was not a complete failure, history has focused on the events of July 1, 2, and 3.
But there was much more at play than those three terrible and destructive days. The following video, while long, rewards the viewers with another side, the weeks prior to the battle, and Lee’s amazing retreat, although it may better be called Lee’s escape.
The burning of barns, the theft of wagons, horses, pigs, cows, sheep, iron, horseshoes, flour tools, buggy’s, you name it, the Rebels took it.
I look forward to reading reviews and comments from viewers of the video.
I look forward to watching this video. My sister and I followed Lee's retreat last September, using Eric Wittenberg's book One Continuous Fight, with its excellent driving tours. It will be an interesting addition to our knowledge of the campaign.
 
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byron ed

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#3
Working my way through the vid. So far only seemingly minor overstatements: Posing that Lee's primary reason for invading Penn. was to resupply his army (haven't heard that before), that army wagons were the size of yellow buses (not the school buses most of us relate to, yes?!), and that part of the reason Meade didn't put his pursuit plan into action was that sundown was by 7:15pm (I'm thinking about an hour and a half later in early July, Yes?).
 

OpnCoronet

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#4
Lee's accomplishment, needs to be weighed in relation to what Meade was trying to accomplish.

If Lee was trying to escape back to Va., and Meade was intent on vigorously pursuing and defeating the ANV before it could recross the Potomac, The Lee's escape woulg have been a Miracle. If Meade was intent on making sure Lee retreated across the Potomac, back into the csa, then Lee, merely assisted Meade in his goal.
 
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#5
Working my way through the vid. So far only seemingly minor overstatements: Posing that Lee's primary reason for invading Penn. was to resupply his army (haven't heard that before), that army wagons were the size of yellow buses (not the school buses most of us relate to, yes?!), and that part of the reason Meade didn't put his pursuit plan into action was that sundown was by 7:15pm (I'm thinking about an hour and a half later in early July, Yes?).
I believe it was Heth's division that entered the town of Gettysburg because they heard rumors of there being 50,000 or so shoes in the town. By this time in the war almost half of the marching confederates didn't have proper footware. So this was actually a big deal for Heth and his men. If not for Heth needing shoes, the Army of the Northern Virginia likely wouldn't have concentrated in that area, and thus, would have likely avoided this confrontation all together. I believe this is what is being referred to when they entered the town for "resupply"
 
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#7
The whole "shoe theory" is not generally considered credible . Lee was concentrating his forces in the area before Heth started his approach to Gettysburg .
Where has this been disproved? Literally everything I've read on the topic still shows the first engagements happening because Heth ordered Pettigrew into town early against Lee's orders specially to retrieve said shoes/rations. You are correct, Lee was concentrating his troops there with the direct order to avoid entering the town until their entire force had gathered. I would genuinely enjoy reading the source, because I've been reading history wrong for 40 years if this is true.
 

byron ed

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#8
...If not for Heth needing shoes, the Army of the Northern Virginia likely wouldn't have concentrated in that area, and thus, would have likely avoided this confrontation all together. I believe this is what is being referred to when they entered the town for "resupply"
No, not that. Watch the video. In the second presenter's introduction to the group he went far beyond that shoe incident. He posed that Lee's primary reason to invade in the first place was to completely re-supply his army with all manner of goods: food, horses, wagons etc.(rather than the traditional reason we all know about, that Lee's primary purpose of invading Penn. was to affect the political will of the North to end the war).
 
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Kurt G

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#9
Morning at Willoughby Run by Richard Shue ."Henry Heth was anxious to get his division moving .Under orders from A.P. Hill to start for Gettysburg at 5:00 , he was making every effort to do so. The stated purpose of the march was reconnaissance , or , as Heth put it "feeling the enemy ." In a later report Heth mentioned the purpose was to obtain supplies , especially shoes . Perhaps he didn't know Early had been in Gettysburg a few days earlier .
 

gary

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#11
The campaign was an utter failure. While Lee argued it was to resupply his army, it was also to threaten Washington so as to force Grant to release his grip on Pemberton in Vicksburg. He accomplished neither but his retreat from Gettysburg was masterful.
 

E_just_E

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#12
t sundown was by 7:15pm (I'm thinking about an hour and a half later in early July, Yes?).
Here are the sunrise and sunset times in Gettysburg for July 4th 2018:

Sunrise 5:47:00 am Sunset 8:40:21 pm EDT

Since Daylight Savings Time was not around then, you have to subtract an hour from today's EDT. Sunrise was about 4:45 and sunset about 7:40. It is noted correctly in the video.
 
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Yankeedave

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#13
Pettigrew brought Lee info on the 28th that there were yank cav at Fairfield. Coupled with the spy Harrison info of Yanks in Gettysburg after that even if they went for shoes it should have been no surprise that it was more than militia in the town and in the area.
 

Carronade

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#14
The Confederacy in 1863 had bigger concerns than shoes or forage. They were losing the war. The stalemate Lee had achieved in the Virginia theater was the highlight. They had not won a major victory anywhere else. They had not regained any territory once lost to the Union except far-off Galveston. Grant was on the verge of capturing Vicksburg and a complete Confederate army.

The Confederates needed some decisive action to turn the tide of a war they were slowly but steadily losing. They considered options like sending some of Lee's troops to the west but settled on the offensive into Pennsylvania. Getting the armies out of Virginia and foraging in unspoiled northern lands was a valuable side benefit, but Lee knew that his country needed more than just that.
 

Northern Light

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#16
Here are the sunrise and sunset times in Gettysburg for July 4th 2018:

Sunrise 5:47:00 am Sunset 8:40:21 pm EDT

Since Daylight Savings Time was not around then, you have to subtract an hour from today's EDT. Sunrise was about 4:45 and sunset about 7:40. It is noted correctly in the video.
There was also a thunderstorm going on or at least rain, so loss of light would have occurred sooner.
 



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