Longstreet was a "defensive" General

Scott1967

First Sergeant
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Jul 11, 2016
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England
If Confederates try to get on Emmitsburg Road, they will be harrassed by cavalry while they do it and Meade will be able to get reinforcements there faster then they would. Also Meade has 6th corps coming up.
Either way if Lee moves then the Federal's have to move also , This was the plan from the start and not to attack entrenched troops , Meade/Hooker was there to boot Lee out of Pennsylvania if Lee had been patient for a little Longer the pressure on Meade to attack would have been to great from the Northern press and then Lee could have picked his ground imho.
 

WScott

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May 6, 2021
6th Corps was coming from Union Mills, along Taneytown Road and the Union cavalry was on the south end of Cemetery Ridge (until Sickles was assigned to that position) and then allowed to regroup and refit behind the lines. Kilpatrick didn't show up until July 3rd. Lee / Longstreet could have considered a shift to the right but you would still need to the get the rest of the Confederate army consolidated from the far left and get Stuart in from Carlisle / York.
 

Belfoured

2nd Lieutenant
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Aug 3, 2019
Either way if Lee moves then the Federal's have to move also , This was the plan from the start and not to attack entrenched troops , Meade/Hooker was there to boot Lee out of Pennsylvania if Lee had been patient for a little Longer the pressure on Meade to attack would have been to great from the Northern press and then Lee could have picked his ground imho.
Lee's "plan" - beyond the raiding aspects of the invasion, such as procuring supplies - was to aggressively defeat the Army of the Potomac, not to sit back, entrench, and await attack. Lee did "pick his ground" by calling in his scattered forces to Gettysburg. He then executed his plan - it just didn't work. The notion of sitting back and waiting for Meade to attack also ignores what was happening simultaneously in Vicksburg and Tullahoma.
 

Wizard of Cozz

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Aug 20, 2021
Lee's "plan" - beyond the raiding aspects of the invasion, such as procuring supplies - was to aggressively defeat the Army of the Potomac, not to sit back, entrench, and await attack. Lee did "pick his ground" by calling in his scattered forces to Gettysburg. He then executed his plan - it just didn't work. The notion of sitting back and waiting for Meade to attack also ignores what was happening simultaneously in Vicksburg and Tullahoma.
Lee wasn't against necessarily a tactical defensive battle, but if he was going to force that he would have had to get between Meade and Washington, his real hope was to force Meade to force march to him, while he was already concentrated, and to defeat Meade in detail. Unfortunately, he didn't know Meade was as close as he was, because he was expecting to hear from Stuart. I'm not going to rehash the Stuart issue. I recently read Wittenberg's book and it was very eye opening. You can equally blame Stuart, Lee, and Robertson. Though my takeaway from it is that Robertson bears the most blame, as he should have immediately told Lee that the AoP was on the move north when he saw it move. Stuart should probably have left Hampton in charge of that force honestly. Back to original point. Another factor is if Hill would have followed orders Lee would have concentrated his men at Cashtown, which is where they were supposed to concentrate, but Hill/Heth got dragged into a fight and Ewell marched to the sound of the guns.
 

Wizard of Cozz

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I don't know... Meade can let Lee just sit at Cashtown. He has to confront him at Gettysburg or beyond.
My point is that Lee would have concentrated before he moves on Meade, and the battle probably doesn't begin until July 2nd or 3rd with Lee moving with his whole force. Obviously Meade will be concentrated as well, but it would have made for a much different battle then the meeting engagement that it was. You also would have had Stuart show up on the 2nd.
 

Belfoured

2nd Lieutenant
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Aug 3, 2019
Lee wasn't against necessarily a tactical defensive battle, but if he was going to force that he would have had to get between Meade and Washington, his real hope was to force Meade to force march to him, while he was already concentrated, and to defeat Meade in detail. Unfortunately, he didn't know Meade was as close as he was, because he was expecting to hear from Stuart. I'm not going to rehash the Stuart issue. I recently read Wittenberg's book and it was very eye opening. You can equally blame Stuart, Lee, and Robertson. Though my takeaway from it is that Robertson bears the most blame, as he should have immediately told Lee that the AoP was on the move north when he saw it move. Stuart should probably have left Hampton in charge of that force honestly. Back to original point. Another factor is if Hill would have followed orders Lee would have concentrated his men at Cashtown, which is where they were supposed to concentrate, but Hill/Heth got dragged into a fight and Ewell marched to the sound of the guns.
True, but he knew by June 28 that his assumptions about the A of the P being still in N Virginia were outdated. As @dgfred points out. sitting at Cashtown would be unlikely to accomplish much. The Wittenberg/Petruzzi book is excellent.
 

Wizard of Cozz

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True, but he knew by June 28 that his assumptions about the A of the P being still in N Virginia were outdated. As @dgfred points out. sitting at Cashtown would be unlikely to accomplish much. The Wittenberg/Petruzzi book is excellent.
I think what I'm trying to say is him knowing they had moved and him knowing exactly how close they were, are two different things. He was under the assumption that Stuart or Robertson would let him know that the AoP was getting near. When he learned from Harrison how close and how fast they moved he was surprised, and then moved to consolidate his forces. Alot of his trepidation from day 1 was he didn't know what forces exactly were in front of him. I'm not saying he would sit at cashtown, just that his plan was to consolidate at Cashtown before making other moves. That got thrown out the window on July 1. Not saying it would have gained him alot one way or the other. I do think if he had moved towards gettysburg on July 2nd, he would not have split on both sides of the town, which would have taken away the AoP advantage of shorter lines of communication. Whether that means he would have one, I can't say that. The AoP fought very well July1-3, and the Confederates struggled to coordinate attacks. Stuart also would have been there for more of the battle, heck Lee may have moved SW before turning East and Meade may have fell back towards Pipe Creek it's all speculation, I'm just saying it would have been much different.
 

Belfoured

2nd Lieutenant
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Aug 3, 2019
I think what I'm trying to say is him knowing they had moved and him knowing exactly how close they were, are two different things. He was under the assumption that Stuart or Robertson would let him know that the AoP was getting near. When he learned from Harrison how close and how fast they moved he was surprised, and then moved to consolidate his forces. Alot of his trepidation from day 1 was he didn't know what forces exactly were in front of him. I'm not saying he would sit at cashtown, just that his plan was to consolidate at Cashtown before making other moves. That got thrown out the window on July 1. Not saying it would have gained him alot one way or the other. I do think if he had moved towards gettysburg on July 2nd, he would not have split on both sides of the town, which would have taken away the AoP advantage of shorter lines of communication. Whether that means he would have one, I can't say that. The AoP fought very well July1-3, and the Confederates struggled to coordinate attacks. Stuart also would have been there for more of the battle, heck Lee may have moved SW before turning East and Meade may have fell back towards Pipe Creek it's all speculation, I'm just saying it would have been much different.
As you state, there's a whole lot of speculation there. My point about when he learned about the A of the P is based on Harrison's information arriving, so we're working with the same date. If you look at the map and where his forces were as of June 29/30, Gettysburg makes more sense than Cashtown given Gettysburg's road network - which Ewell used to approach from the N and NW. The issue wasn't where he concentrated - it was that the Federals beat him there (Buford) and held on sufficiently long to secure the line they took. For every added minute you give Lee to concentrate, you also give it to Meade to do the same. Whether that means Pipe Creek or somewhere else, who knows.
 

edfranksphd

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Aug 30, 2019
Bragg failed in his primary objective , He lost over 2.5k more men and expended resources for no gain , Yes he held the field but at what cost not only to his army but also to the already strained relationships to his high ranking officers and himself.

But granted I take note people will view the battle of Chickamauga differently.
I made a mistake, it seems. Bragg's victory at Chicka wasn't the 2nd largest Rebel victory of the war, it was the largest, greatest, most profound victory of the war, by ANY definition. To dismiss this claim, or to diminish Bragg's contribution here, is to make it clear that you have no intention of even trying to give an unbiased assessment of this battle, or of poor Mr Bragg. We are done.
 

Scott1967

First Sergeant
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Jul 11, 2016
Location
England
I made a mistake, it seems. Bragg's victory at Chicka wasn't the 2nd largest Rebel victory of the war, it was the largest, greatest, most profound victory of the war, by ANY definition. To dismiss this claim, or to diminish Bragg's contribution here, is to make it clear that you have no intention of even trying to give an unbiased assessment of this battle, or of poor Mr Bragg. We are done.

D H Hill called the Battle of Chickamauga "A Barren Victory" Weeks later Bragg had a mutiny on his hands he was despised by his troops and his subordinates and then smashed by Grant all within a matter of 8 weeks after the Battle.

Just being left the field of battle is not enough to suggest this was a great rebel victory as you put it , It was in fact a very costly victory but did nothing from a strategic standpoint , Bragg failed to cut off the retreat to Chattanooga and failed to destroy a large portion of Rosecrans army on several occasions.

You could of course blame Polk , Hindman and numerous other commanders but in truth it seems nobody really wanted to work under Bragg he had out stayed his welcome in the AoT and the total jubilation when Johnson took over sort of says it all really.

This is what Longstreet said about Bragg.

Quote:

"was incompetent to manage an army or put men into a fight" and that he "knew nothing of the business"

Longstreet

Poor Bragg indeed.
 

edfranksphd

Private
Joined
Aug 30, 2019
D H Hill called the Battle of Chickamauga "A Barren Victory" Weeks later Bragg had a mutiny on his hands he was despised by his troops and his subordinates and then smashed by Grant all within a matter of 8 weeks after the Battle.

Just being left the field of battle is not enough to suggest this was a great rebel victory as you put it , It was in fact a very costly victory but did nothing from a strategic standpoint , Bragg failed to cut off the retreat to Chattanooga and failed to destroy a large portion of Rosecrans army on several occasions.

You could of course blame Polk , Hindman and numerous other commanders but in truth it seems nobody really wanted to work under Bragg he had out stayed his welcome in the AoT and the total jubilation when Johnson took over sort of says it all really.

This is what Longstreet said about Bragg.

Quote:

"was incompetent to manage an army or put men into a fight" and that he "knew nothing of the business"

Longstreet

Poor Bragg indeed.
Bollocks, to all of your claims. And, btw, nobody, North or South, cared what DH Hill thought before, during or after the war about anything, Bragg included?!
 

Belfoured

2nd Lieutenant
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Aug 3, 2019
Bollocks, to all of your claims. And, btw, nobody, North or South, cared what DH Hill thought before, during or after the war about anything, Bragg included?!
Sounds like a straw man argument. What were the strategic results of Chickamauga and how did Bragg take advantage of the victory?
 

edfranksphd

Private
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Aug 30, 2019
Sounds like a straw man argument. What were the strategic results of Chickamauga and how did Bragg take advantage of the victory?
Ur interest in the consequences post-Chicka notwithstanding, Chicka remains the single largest Rebel victory of the entire Civil War, period. Do the math any way u like, for the battle per se. This claim is a fact. As for whether the import post-Chicka was sufficiently profound, that is, indeed, a classic straw man or red herring. And DH Hill's assessment, which you brought up, not me, I doubt anyone, N or S, would find persuasive.
 
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