- Sep 19, 2014
The purpose of an army is to be used in a nation's service, not saved. Hard on the soldier.
There are 2 questions, did it win and was the cost acceptable.
IMO. During Overland, Lincoln believed yes to answer 1 because Grant did not retreat and he had confidence in Grant and undecided to answer 2; the 1864 election was pending.
Meade's predecessors were notorious for retreating after bloody engagements. This prolonged the war and the number of casualties before Grant came east. In Grant's defense, his continual battles may not have been full victories, but Lee was withdrawing towards Richmond and his army was dwindling. Lee of course was going to fight it out until the end.