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The Longstreet-Gettysburg Controversy

Discussion in 'Civil War History - General Discussion' started by Rebforever, Jan 6, 2017.

  1. War Horse

    War Horse Captain Forum Host Silver Patron Trivia Game Winner Regtl. Quartermaster Gettysburg 2017 Member of the Year

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    Well thank you also. One could make a life long study of this battle and something I am convinced of. No one has all the answers. :smile:
     

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  3. leftyhunter

    leftyhunter Major

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    Do you think the AnV had enough food to stay put in Gettysburg for a few days even assuming that they had enough troops to encircle the AoP . Of course they did not have the required troops to do so.
    My polite argument with @RebelHeart is that the AnV can't afford to slug it out more then a few days with a large foe due to a basic lack of logistics. If the AnV is going to burn down a large Union City or defeat the AoP it has to move fast and win fast. What say ye?
    Leftyhunter
     
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  4. RebelHeart

    RebelHeart Corporal

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    Agreed 100%. There is no disputing the emboldened words. Maybe that's what makes discussing it so much more interesting. Without these types of dialogue we have nothing but our own learning.
     
  5. leftyhunter

    leftyhunter Major

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    Good point. If man and beast can not access fresh clean water then not good.
    That's why neither army can afford to stay in one place to long . Unless their is another way ?
    Leftyhunter
     
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  6. War Horse

    War Horse Captain Forum Host Silver Patron Trivia Game Winner Regtl. Quartermaster Gettysburg 2017 Member of the Year

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    He was there for a reason and he had no intentions of leaving until he had no choice. It was close, closer than many of us want to believe. There were two great Generals facing off. In the past the Union Generals proved to choke at the critical moment. In this case Meade did not.
     
  7. RebelHeart

    RebelHeart Corporal

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    And I am in agreement with you on this point to a certain degree. My belief is that Lee should've chosen to either:
    A) Hold his ground, shell the hills, and try to lure the Union forces out of the hills, or;
    B) Withdraw and get back on the move toward Harrisburg, which (hopefully) would've provided foraged provisions and drawn the Union forces into a situation that Lee had a better chance of winning.

    If Lee was going to spend two days in Gettysburg, my contention is that attempting two frontal assaults was NOT the way to spend them.
     
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  8. War Horse

    War Horse Captain Forum Host Silver Patron Trivia Game Winner Regtl. Quartermaster Gettysburg 2017 Member of the Year

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    Don't forget. Lee had limited resources as far as reinforcements were concerned. With straggling and casualties not to mention flat out desertion. Moving the army after it's been engaged would not favor the rebel cause.
     
  9. War Horse

    War Horse Captain Forum Host Silver Patron Trivia Game Winner Regtl. Quartermaster Gettysburg 2017 Member of the Year

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    Agreed. Time was the true enemy!
     
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  10. Drew

    Drew Captain

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    Feeding off of Pennsylvania was a good plan - there was plenty there to have, no problem.

    Don't focus on the town of Gettysburg - that was a gigantic accident of circumstance and there are many posters here who will have fits over it. It wasn't planned by Meade or Lee, let alone Abraham Lincoln, sitting in the White House.

    Many wish to believe it was pre-ordained and inevitable, but that's really not true.
     
  11. RebelHeart

    RebelHeart Corporal

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    Apparently staying didn't help much either. :wink:

    I'll maintain that the second frontal assault was the critical error. I'd love to have been sitting at Longstreet's campfire to hear what ideas he had right at that moment.
     
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  12. RebelHeart

    RebelHeart Corporal

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    I know that Gettysburg wasn't where either Commanding General wanted to fight. It was just where it started and stayed. I just can't escape the sensation that Lee should've known better and tried something - anything - different on Day Three. He was too smart of a strategist to think in earnest that a second frontal assault would've produced better results.

    I can understand the first one. I wouldn't have gone for it, but I get why he did. His army's morale was high and he was counting on the Union's spirit being bruised or broken from being driven-back. It wasn't the worst gamble of the war, and it nearly worked. If Chamberlain hadn't been the leader that he was we probably would be talking about a different outcome.
     
  13. Drew

    Drew Captain

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    I was about to 'like' your post, until this. The Battle of Gettysburg was in no way decided by Joshua Chamberlain. That's just bunk.
     
  14. leftyhunter

    leftyhunter Major

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    We have had least one thread on whether or not Chamberlain is a bit overhyped. Although in his defense he did not claim to be a one man band that defeated Lee.
    Leftyhunter
     
  15. leftyhunter

    leftyhunter Major

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    First off we have to thank @Rebforever for starting this fun thread. Yes we have already 10k plus Gettysburg threads but one more won't hurt.
    Even if the AnV forced out the AoP at Gettysburg it would have to defeat the AoP in detail. Otherwise the AoP and local militia could shadow the AnV and pick off forgaging parties and the AoP could if not totally defeated could mount anothe counteroffensive. Not an impossible task but not easy.
    Leftyhunter
     
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  16. RebelHeart

    RebelHeart Corporal

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    A lot of things factored into the outcome of Gettysburg and Chamberlain's decision was one of them. His actions, IMO, were one of many deciding factors. I'm not saying that JLC "decided the outcome" of Gettysburg, but he did influence the outcome of Day Two. There's no telling how much, but it could've been catastrophic for the Union position if he had failed. That's a discussion for another thread though.
     
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  17. Bee

    Bee 1st Lieutenant Asst. Regtl. Quartermaster Gettysburg 2017

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    I would offer that if Sears did not hold Culp's Hill, after having to forfeit most of the troops to support LRT, the consequences would have been higher. source
     
  18. Rebforever

    Rebforever Captain

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    You mean Longstreet talked about going West, right
     
  19. Rebforever

    Rebforever Captain

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    Really? You know those men you say loved him tried to hang him one time!
     
  20. rpkennedy

    rpkennedy Major

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    Lee's initial plan was to do what he had tried to do the previous day. He wanted Ewell to again assault Culp's Hill and Longstreet to advance against the Union left. The Twelfth Corps had other plans and attacked Ewell at first light, stabilizing the line with Ewell retreating after several hours of fighting. Longstreet wasn't in position and ready to attack (Pickett wasn't ready to go and Hood and McLaws Divisions were pretty shot up) and so Lee scrapped his first idea. Instead, he decided to try his luck against the center of the line.

    Chamberlain's actions are somewhat overrated. He did an outstanding job but it simply wasn't critical. Even if he had given way, the Pennsylvania Reserves and elements of the Sixth Corps were either present or on the way. Even though LRT wasn't as important to the Confederates as some argue, it wasn't going to be held even if it had been taken.

    Ryan
     
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  21. rpkennedy

    rpkennedy Major

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    He was certainly politicking for that move but it had been discussed prior to that.

    Ryan
     
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