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Posted By: on: 07/20/2000 10:21:42 EDT
Subject: RE: Stuart's Ride

Message Detail:
(This is actually a continuation of the thread started by NewYawk under "Thank You Henry")

Did Stuart disobey his orders?
Simple answer: NO.
Lee discussed the possibility of Stuart riding around the AOP then making contact with Ewell after he crossed the river (the Potomac). Lee's orders were open to interpretation by Stuart. Stuart went around the AOP as permitted, but once east of the AOP he found the force to be larger/more spread out than he realized and had to travel considerably further than anticipated to get around it to cross the river. By the time he did cross the river Ewell was already headed BACK to Gettysburg and Stuart had some trouble finding him. By the time they reached Gettysburg, Stuart's men and horses were pretty well spent from their journey.

Should Lee have used other Cavalry?
Yes
During the advance into PA. the only cavalry available was Jenkins Brigade which was with Ewell. Jenkins couldn't/wasn't expected to scout for the whole Army, he was too far in front. Lee should have made provision for some Cavalry to stay WITH the main Army while Stuart was further out (actually cut-off) in the field.
After Ewell arrived in Gettysburg, Lee could have used Jenkins brigade for scouting missions (such as the LRT scouting on July 2) but instead he used staff officers who apparently were not very good scouts.
Bill N-T


All of which just seems so confusing and out of character for Lee. This northern invasion was vastly important, but was the biggest example of the mis-use (or non-use) of the cavalry for the ANV. Seems like such an anomaly. In the last year of the war against Grant, Lee was outnumbered and often-times outmaneuvered, yet he was able to beat or hold off Grant many times. Gettysburg presented such an opportunity for Lee. We know that Lee expected a different result from Stuart, and Frank's article expertly shows why it could not be accomplished, but it seems like Lee didn't adjust. Just seems so out of character for Lee, and then the problem got worse... like Day 2, as you pointed out. Recon was inadequate and misleading. When studying the battle, this is one of the things about Lee, and overall resulting performance of the ANV that throws a "wrench" into things and makes it quite different from most any other battle.

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