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Old July 29, 2012, 05:39 PM   #29
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Join Date: September 13, 2005
Posts: 3,893
Interesting how we went from a discussion of Why No Black Powder semi-or full auto firearms to a discussion of Lee at Gettyburg.
I have read that Lee had some serious health problems at the time, heart disease or something similar. Following Jackson's death the Army of Northern Virginia was reorganized into three corps with the inevitable reshuffling and breaking up of established relationships and the promoting of people who probably were promoted beyond their level of competence-Richard Ewell and A. P. Hill. I have read that Lee fought Gettyburg the way the Union generals had fought their battles-piecemeal attacks, vague orders from above-IIRC on the evening of July 1 Lee told Ewell to attack Culp's Hill "if practicable"-Ewell didn't. Then there was some serious wrangling between Lee and Longstreet.
Upon seeing the Union position Longstreet said "If General Meade is there we had better leave him alone." I read that after Fredericksburg Longstreet became a firm believer in the Tactical Defensive-find a strong position and let your enemy attack you. One of the Great Lessons of the Civil War that took a long time to learn was that the Defense had outrun the Attack-the great range of the rifled musket made the old Napoleonic tactics of massed charges ineffective and the old 18th Century practice of maneuvering till your enemy was in a bad position then striking at his exposed flank as Frederick II often did was more effective.
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