Pickett's Charge

Armed conflicts in the history of humanity from the ancient times to the 20th Century.
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Karl Heidenreich
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Pickett's Charge

Post by Karl Heidenreich » Sat Jul 03, 2010 4:51 pm

It is the anniversary of that valiant charge. I still think the flanking manouver Longstreet advised would have render better results.
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Re: Pickett's Charge

Post by tommy303 » Sat Jul 03, 2010 10:56 pm

I believe you are probably correct.

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Re: Pickett's Charge

Post by RF » Tue Jul 06, 2010 1:18 pm

But would it have altered the final outcome?
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Re: Pickett's Charge

Post by Karl Heidenreich » Tue Jul 06, 2010 2:58 pm

Maybe... the political climate in Washngton was such that anything could have been an influence. Many in Washington didn't want the war, the people in the states were argumenting of sending their sons to die and things like that.
I have always felt that a major defeat from Lee to Meade, somewhere nearby Washington could not necesarily be military definitive but maybe political.
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Re: Pickett's Charge

Post by RF » Tue Jul 06, 2010 5:35 pm

Would President Lincoln have caved in? Can't see that happening...... the North had a vast superiority, albeit on paper at that time, all that was needed was the will to fight on and realise that potential....which they did anyway.
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Re: Pickett's Charge

Post by Karl Heidenreich » Tue Jul 06, 2010 6:42 pm

The general perception previous to the defeat at Gettysburg was that the Union was losing. Remember that the burden of victory was on the Union side whilst the South only had to resist. Prior to the summer of 1863 the Union was kicked hardly everywhere, specially at Fredricksburg and Chancerlorsville: Lee was the commander with the aura and Meade was just a substitute of McLellan, Burnside and Hooker which was releived anyway after Gettysburg. Sam Grant was in the Missisippi and the general consencus was that the Union only had morons as CiC. Of course that changed after Grant got appointed and got himself extracted of Washington and kicked out the Secretary of War from field activities.

But...

but... in summer 1863 still the idea was that the Confederacy was good at fighting and the Union was ISAF (I suck at fighting) and were prone to get kicked. A Confederate victory nearby Washington could also have produced an impeachment at the Congress and settling a peace. Lee carried a letter from Jefferson Davis to Lincoln. I think it plausible.
An appeaser is one who feeds a crocodile, hoping it will eat him last.
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Re: Pickett's Charge

Post by Bgile » Tue Jul 06, 2010 7:48 pm

Karl Heidenreich wrote:The general perception previous to the defeat at Gettysburg was that the Union was losing. Remember that the burden of victory was on the Union side whilst the South only had to resist. Prior to the summer of 1863 the Union was kicked hardly everywhere, specially at Fredricksburg and Chancerlorsville: Lee was the commander with the aura and Meade was just a substitute of McLellan, Burnside and Hooker which was releived anyway after Gettysburg. Sam Grant was in the Missisippi and the general consencus was that the Union only had morons as CiC. Of course that changed after Grant got appointed and got himself extracted of Washington and kicked out the Secretary of War from field activities.

But...

but... in summer 1863 still the idea was that the Confederacy was good at fighting and the Union was ISAF (I suck at fighting) and were prone to get kicked. A Confederate victory nearby Washington could also have produced an impeachment at the Congress and settling a peace. Lee carried a letter from Jefferson Davis to Lincoln. I think it plausible.
Karl,

You seem to be ignoring what Grant was doing while all this was going on. His victories in the west wouldn't have disappeared if Lee defeated Meade. The South was in real trouble before Gettysburg. Wasn't it? Maybe I have my dates wrong.

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Re: Pickett's Charge

Post by Karl Heidenreich » Tue Jul 06, 2010 8:00 pm

Steve,

As i said before I don't think that the Union would be defeated. militarily, with a Conferedate triumph at Gettysburg. Also I am well aware of Sam Grant's achievements. I'm not accesing a military situation but a political one.

I don't want to fall into an absurd but the situation could be compared with Vietnam: the US was wining (or at least not losing) on the field but that didn't impede that a social perception and political weakness won for North Vietnam. At Gettysburg (an alternative) if Longstreet got his way then the Confederates could have broken the political will of the Washington paper pushers to fight. I don;t think that the Pittsburg steel barons would like to have Lee feeding Traveler outside their mansions.
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Re: Pickett's Charge

Post by RF » Wed Jul 07, 2010 7:37 am

Which might have strengthened their resolve for a more vigorous prosecution of the war instead.
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Re: Pickett's Charge

Post by Karl Heidenreich » Wed Jul 07, 2010 12:03 pm

RF:

Aside from political power I don't see anybody losing a lot from a Confederate victory. The northern industrial complex will still sell goods to the South and some 300 thousand Americans will not die from 1863 to 1865. Never the capitalists have been a measure of resolve or warrior virtues, specially if the war is at their own back yards, they are the first one to compromise.
The Civil war had many enemies in the North, many that do not believe it was worth fighting, which is a common US characteristic.
An appeaser is one who feeds a crocodile, hoping it will eat him last.
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Re: Pickett's Charge

Post by Bgile » Wed Jul 07, 2010 2:45 pm

Karl, Germany was and is a capitalist country. Somehow I don't expect you would describe Germany in the same terms.

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Re: Pickett's Charge

Post by Karl Heidenreich » Wed Jul 07, 2010 9:41 pm

They were trapped, they had to fight. The Union doesn't, they will exist even if they lost. And with time they would have prevailed.
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Re: Pickett's Charge

Post by tommy303 » Thu Jul 08, 2010 12:39 am

I know the South hoped that a major Union defeat on its own soil might bring about Northern acceptance of Southern independence, but it all depends on if Davis correctly predicted the Northern will to fight. A Northern defeat at Gettysburg might have had the opposite effect.

Their shoulders held the sky suspended;
They stood and Earth's foundations stay;
What God abandoned these defended;
And saved the sum of things for pay.

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Re: Pickett's Charge

Post by RF » Thu Jul 08, 2010 7:18 am

Karl Heidenreich wrote:
The Civil war had many enemies in the North, many that do not believe it was worth fighting, which is a common US characteristic.
Then more's the pity that the South started the war - by attacking Fort Sumter.......
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Re: Pickett's Charge

Post by RF » Thu Jul 08, 2010 7:21 am

tommy303 wrote:I know the South hoped that a major Union defeat on its own soil might bring about Northern acceptance of Southern independence, but it all depends on if Davis correctly predicted the Northern will to fight. A Northern defeat at Gettysburg might have had the opposite effect.
Gettysburg came too late. Their only real chance was at the very start of the war, and they fluffed it.
''Give me a Ping and one Ping only'' - Sean Connery.

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