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Posted By: on: 08/30/2000 08:30:58 EDT
Subject: RE: Gettysburg and should Meade have persued Lee?

Message Detail:
Sure, Aarogon,

Abe did agree with you. I'm not necessarily disagreeing, but rather just stating an opinion. The only person who will really know why Meade didn't push his army to pursue and attack more than it did is Meade himself.

There is a lot of speculation and validity in both points, but I just get miffed at the idea that the AoP sat back and did nothing, while the ANV sat along the banks of the Potomac, having a picnic and waiting for the water level to drop, which is what most people are led to believe. Lots of factors come into play in such a situation, many of which we probably are unaware, as we know the facts and the outcome and can make our decisions based on this.

Abe was in Washington, while Meade was in the field, noting firsthand the brutality of the fighting and actually seeing the condition of his men. Who then is a better judge of the condition of the army and its ability to do anything?

The 5000 casualties suffered by the ANV during the retreat are firtshand testimony that some pursuit and engagement did occur.


I had a long winded reply to your last all typed last night, then we had a power problem and 'poof' it was gone. Anyway, JR has pretty much coverd it. I just want to add: Lee's fortifications at the Potomac were pretty formidable with guns dug in on high ground, clear fields of fire, and a marshy area in front. Better than Fredericksburg. Meade hesatated to attack, but he did attack, only by then the AOP found the ANV had slipped away during the night and was almost completely across the river. The AOP did manage to catch up and skirmish with Lee's rear guard before they crossed.
Like JR, I don't think inflicting 10% casualties on your enemy is "letting him get away".
Bill N-T

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