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Was Rober E. Lee actually a great strategist???

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posted on Aug, 18 2017 @ 09:50 AM
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Gettysburg was an 'accidental' battle.
The only reason the Confederate army went through the town, was to raid a shoe factory to outfit the troops.

I believe it was Buford and Reynolds who made the decision to occupy the high ground to gain strategic advantage.
Lee had the choice, then, to either bypass and move on to capture Washington and sue for peace...or confront the Union army in Gettysburg, destroy it once and for all...and win the war.

Lee had no time to prepare a long-term battle plan, as Gettysburg was essentially an 'accidental' meeting of two armies in a small town with terrain and position favoring the North.




posted on Aug, 18 2017 @ 11:11 AM
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Please refrain from calling me a racist, Nazi, white supremacist for now defending Lee (or have at it if it makes anyone feel better about themselves)...but, according to how Lee formed strategy to take Gettysburg, given the numbers and terrain of his enemy...he actually should've eventually won. Lee WAS a great military strategist.

As I said, Lee's plan would've succeeded in Gettysburg...were it not for something completely unpredictable happening at Little Round top.
A Professor of Language at Bowdoin College in Maine, Colonel Joshua Lawrence Chamberlain, was given command of the relatively new and inexperienced 20th Maine regiment. The 20th. Maine was tasked with defending the "end of the line" of Union troops on Cemetery Ridge...at all costs.
Failure to do so, would result in the Union forces being flanked and defeated.

Under unceasing attacks by Alabama and Texas...Chamberlain had lost most of his men and was now out of ammunition.

With Texas/Alabama massing below for their final assault on his position, Chamberlain did something Lee (or any other brilliant General) could never have foreseen or predicted.

Chamberlain gave the order for his men to "Fix Bayonets!"...as he led a desperate charge 'down the hill' towards his vastly superior enemy.

Taken completely by surprise by Chamberlain's unexpected screaming downhill charge, the Confederate troops, still moving uphill, thought the entire Union army was attacking them...as they panicked and fell back upon themselves.

It was a bluff, born of desperation...but it worked.
Southern troops dropped their weapons and surrendered 'en mass' as they were pushed down the hill.

As the result of one relatively unknown colonel...doing something completely unexpected. The Union's southern position was secured, many Alabama and Texas troops were taken off the field...and the Union line was secured enough for men and material to then be focused to upon the center of the Union line, where Pickett's charge then ended in disaster for the Confederates.

I believe it was fate that defeated Lee's strategy.

One insignificant Union colonel...at precisely the right time and place, doing something completely unforeseeable, changed the course of the battle...and ultimately the war.

No General, no matter how brilliant, could have foreseen this, when planning an overall battle plan.

edit on 18-8-2017 by IAMTAT because: (no reason given)



posted on Aug, 18 2017 @ 12:18 PM
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a reply to: dragonridr

I don't know what books you've been reading but you might want to expand your library. Longstreet wanted to go around the Union flank and interpose the South's army between the Union's and Washington, D.C. Find good ground and let the Union attack them. Lee disagreed. Gettysburg was far from Longstreet's greatest hour but Lee deserves most of the blame. Longstreet's greatest mistakes were to dare to criticize the great Bobby Lee after the war and become a Republican. After Lee's death and push to sainthood began, the attacks on Longstreet began.
edit on 18-8-2017 by Regnor because: no reason



posted on Aug, 18 2017 @ 12:29 PM
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a reply to: JoshuaCox

I think Lee was a pretty good battlefield strategist, but as far as an overall war strategist, Grant bests him by a mile. Lee pretty much ignored the West, and concentrated on the East front.



posted on Aug, 18 2017 @ 02:41 PM
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originally posted by: JoshuaCox
a reply to: Phonixfromtheashes



CAn you name his most brilliant move??

People say he was brilliant but I've never heard aspecific story of his brilliance..



Just the fact he kept his army marching and fighting was brilliant in itself.

His army should have been borken and destroyed from the outset.



posted on Aug, 18 2017 @ 02:46 PM
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a reply to: IAMTAT

I thought chamberlains move was textbook..

Not to downplay him or the move.. but I've just heard it referred to as that specifically.

It been said on here mutiple times that was lees problem was tunnel vision..



He came up with these grand strategies when one variable being off sinks the whole thing.

Sure if everything goes according to plan lee wins.. who doesn't..

But lee made the decision to charge little round top AFTER the situation had changed..

He was still doing plan A when it was tie to go to plan B.



posted on Aug, 18 2017 @ 03:27 PM
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a reply to: Phonixfromtheashes

That's what is known as a cop out lol..

He seemed to be excellent at the logistical stuff, but that's not a strategic genius..

That's kinda my point..

Every book refers to him as a brilliant strategist, but I can't name an example of that either..



posted on Aug, 18 2017 @ 03:28 PM
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a reply to: JoshuaCox

Interesting story:
Years after the war, Chamberlain received a letter from a sharpshooter who was with the Alabama regiment at Little Round Top.
He wrote to JLC that he had Chamberlain in his sites..."Dead To Rights" while Chamberlain was commanding atop the hill before the charge.
He said he was about to pull the trigger, but his gun jammed.

Minutes later, he said he had him in his sites again...and as he was about to fire...he stopped...saying something prevented him from taking JLC down.

He said he couldn't explain it, but that he knew he could not bring himself to kill this man, that he had every earthly reason and duty to kill.



posted on Aug, 18 2017 @ 03:29 PM
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originally posted by: dragonridr
a reply to: ketsuko

That's not true the North had some great generals. If they didnt they would have lost gettysburg. Keep in mind the north was severely outnumbered. This is why they set up defensive positions and allowed the battle to come to them. John buford saved the north that day.


I didn't they didn't have some great generals, but the ones you see talked about the most were not in command in those early years.



posted on Aug, 18 2017 @ 03:30 PM
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a reply to: JoshuaCox

In his actions Lee didn't follow the Art of War so he wasn't good at all, militarily speaking.



posted on Aug, 18 2017 @ 03:34 PM
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a reply to: Tardacus

We betrayed England , England didn't betray us..

That isn't hard to understand..

Treason is ALWAYS POV...


The fair analogy is if British had statues of washigton in their capital building..

Ps: They do not...



edit on 18-8-2017 by JoshuaCox because: (no reason given)



posted on Aug, 18 2017 @ 03:38 PM
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a reply to: Singswithchickens

That was a great documentary, and where I got the "and he was right.. it was all his fault" lol



posted on Aug, 18 2017 @ 06:46 PM
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originally posted by: Regnor
a reply to: dragonridr

I don't know what books you've been reading but you might want to expand your library. Longstreet wanted to go around the Union flank and interpose the South's army between the Union's and Washington, D.C. Find good ground and let the Union attack them. Lee disagreed. Gettysburg was far from Longstreet's greatest hour but Lee deserves most of the blame. Longstreet's greatest mistakes were to dare to criticize the great Bobby Lee after the war and become a Republican. After Lee's death and push to sainthood began, the attacks on Longstreet began.


Longstreet didn't want to fight the battle and it was obvious with his failure to follow ordersThe first mistake was on July 1, 1863 when General Robert E. Lee oriented General Ewell to take Culp’s Hill, then to move on to Cemetery Ridge “if practicable,” after which General Longstreet was to focus the main body of the Confederate force to deliver the major blow. Ewell was used to receiving explicit orders from General Jackson instead of using his own judgment. After taking Culp’s Hill, he did not go on to Cemetery Hill as ordered while Longstreet delayed and never attacked. This plan did not succeed because of Lee’s vague orders to Ewell and Longstreet’s stubborn refusal to attack because he disagreed with Lee’s decision.

On July 2nd he makes another mistake that costs them the battle.Scouts had found a weak point in the line known as the Devils den. Longstreet was told to get his men there to exploit the weakness and flank the union army.When the attack was made it was a failure because Longstreet was negligent in getting his troops into position to take advantage of the vulnerability of the Union line while it existed. His unwillingness to attack led to him not being were Lee thought he was and an opera unity was missed. Instead of finding unoccupied ground once they cleared Seminary Ridge, the Confederates found the Union III Corps stretched from Little Round Top to the Peach Orchard and northward along Emmitsburg Road. Adjustments in the attack formation were needed, and Hood argued for a movement around the Round Tops, a request Longstreet refused. This was his final mistake had he didnt listened to Hood he would have still been in position to take out northern artillary.

Lee's frustration with him leads to pickets charge. Because when he found out they were not in position he points and says the enemy is there. I doubt Lee would have done that charge if he didn't think Longstreet was negligent in his comand. But even if we give him a pass and just say Lee lost it his two other failures could have easily won the battle.
edit on 8/18/17 by dragonridr because: (no reason given)



posted on Aug, 18 2017 @ 08:58 PM
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a reply to: dragonridr

He disagreed maybe because it was a bad decision lol???

Do you unnecessarily make a suicidal charge you can't win???

Some do.. but...

If Ewelle doesn't charge, does long street have any chance of succeeding??



posted on Aug, 18 2017 @ 08:58 PM
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a reply to: dragonridr

Oh and a suicidal charge out of frustrated spite is the definition of a bad commander.. o



posted on Aug, 18 2017 @ 09:20 PM
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a reply to: IAMTAT

He also took a ball to the belt buckle that didn't penetrate..

Appearently, and I say appearently because I always doubt these awesome battlefield quotes, but chamberlain said something like..

"Only once a 100 years do so few men have the chance to be so influential.."


edit on 18-8-2017 by JoshuaCox because: (no reason given)



posted on Aug, 19 2017 @ 12:51 AM
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a reply to: dragonridr There were no orders for Longstreet to do anything on July 1st other than get his corps to Gettysburg.



posted on Aug, 19 2017 @ 01:31 AM
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originally posted by: JoshuaCox
a reply to: dragonridr

Oh and a suicidal charge out of frustrated spite is the definition of a bad commander.. o


He was asked to be in position to flank the line he was not told to charge. As I said that falls on Lee it I do think his failure to follow orders made Lee desperate on the third day. Had longstreet done what he was told they would have routed the Union army. Or as I said the Pryor day if he would have pushed the attack like he was supposed to. Instead he took the hill stopped and started preparing a defensive line. Huge mistake because he gave them time to do the same. He had superior forces and outnumbered his oponent. He was just dragging his feet because he didn't want to fight this battle. He later writes that he regrets the decisions made at gettysburg. Mostly because it became common knowledge that he lost the fight in the first two days.

Funny part is even general Meade admitted Longstreet not pressing his victory cost the south their victory. I suspect he had PTSD before anyone knew what that was. And was shocked at the cost of victory.
edit on 8/19/17 by dragonridr because: (no reason given)



posted on Aug, 19 2017 @ 02:06 AM
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originally posted by: Regnor
a reply to: dragonridr There were no orders for Longstreet to do anything on July 1st other than get his corps to Gettysburg.


The first mistake was on July 1, 1863 when General Robert E. Lee oriented General Ewell to take Culp’s Hill, then to move on to Cemetery Ridge “if practicable,” after which General Longstreet was to focus the main body of the Confederate force to deliver the major blow. Ewell was used to receiving explicit orders from General Jackson instead of using his own judgment. After taking Culp’s Hill, he did not go on to Cemetery Hill as ordered while Longstreet delayed and never attacked. This plan did not succeed because of Lee’s vague orders to Ewell and Longstreet’s stubborn refusal to attack 



posted on Aug, 19 2017 @ 12:35 PM
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a reply to: Phonixfromtheashes

Aka I cannot name a specific example. Lol



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