Beyond the town of Gettysburg

Wow, it doesn't really feel like a Confederate defeat. The best move Lee could make is like in Gingrich's Gettysburg, I think, but then we'd just be reading Gingrich's Gettysburg, and we already have a Gingrich's Gettysburg.
After being repelled and due to the fact that he is a cautious commander who got the job only days ago, I think Meade will go find good, defensive terrain and entrench. The fishhook position at Gettysburg seems not feasible to hold with about 50,000 infantry because you have to occupy both Culps Hill and Little Round Top or Devils Den. For the AotP it will be important to link up at least with the Harpers Ferry garrison as OTL after Gettysburg. I know where he will go and you will know soon as well...
 
Excellent job with the TL so far. The Battle of Cashtown was epic and very well written! I eagerly await the upcoming chapters. At this point, it might just be best for Lee to pull back into Virginia and attempt to seek reinforcements and reconstruction, considering how weakened he was in both casualties and commanders.
 
Excellent job with the TL so far. The Battle of Cashtown was epic and very well written! I eagerly await the upcoming chapters. At this point, it might just be best for Lee to pull back into Virginia and attempt to seek reinforcements and reconstruction, considering how weakened he was in both casualties and commanders.
The thing is, the longer he can hang around in Pennsylvania, the better it is for the CSA, because it promotes its case on the international scene as well as allowing Virginia a break from the task of supporting two armies foraging in it, which it desperately needed.
 
Gingrich’s Gettysburg!
I really liked the first novel, to be honest, in my eyes the only non-asb method to achieve destroying the AotP.

While the political impact and all in Grant Comes East were certainly intriguing and well conceived, I think the battles were poorly constructed. After having been bloodied at Cemetery Hill on July 1, prompting the change in attitude in the first place and after taking heavy casualties at Taneytown and Union Mills, I just can not imagine Lee throwing his men against the strongest fortifications in the world after having already achieved the largest victory of the war. Sickles was the obvious villain and although he was very self-assured I do not believe he would attack a reinforced Lee with 50,000 men out of whom nearly one half were green and not combat-probed. The defeat was sloppy written and Lee destroying two armies one after another just feels to be overkill.

From a narrative point of view, the third book was really good and I even got emotionally messed up when McPherson died with his newly wed wife at his side as well as when the final charge was obliterated but from a historical-accurate viewpoint? After Gunpowder River Lee should have immediately made a run for Virginia. Maryland produced not many volunteers already in 1862 and Baltimore was just not defendable under the premise that Washington could not be carried by force of arms. Nevertheless, not too bad for a politician...
 
I really liked the first novel, to be honest, in my eyes the only non-asb method to achieve destroying the AotP.

While the political impact and all in Grant Comes East were certainly intriguing and well conceived, I think the battles were poorly constructed. After having been bloodied at Cemetery Hill on July 1, prompting the change in attitude in the first place and after taking heavy casualties at Taneytown and Union Mills, I just can not imagine Lee throwing his men against the strongest fortifications in the world after having already achieved the largest victory of the war. Sickles was the obvious villain and although he was very self-assured I do not believe he would attack a reinforced Lee with 50,000 men out of whom nearly one half were green and not combat-probed. The defeat was sloppy written and Lee destroying two armies one after another just feels to be overkill.

From a narrative point of view, the third book was really good and I even got emotionally messed up when McPherson died with his newly wed wife at his side as well as when the final charge was obliterated but from a historical-accurate viewpoint? After Gunpowder River Lee should have immediately made a run for Virginia. Maryland produced not many volunteers already in 1862 and Baltimore was just not defendable under the premise that Washington could not be carried by force of arms. Nevertheless, not too bad for a politician...
I've always thought he always wanted the South to lose, but he made Union Mills too big a victory he spent the next two books course-correcting until the North could win.
 
27 - Meade's Course of Action
Meade's Course of Action

The meeting between George Meade and his corps commanders just before midnight on 4 July took place around a campfire near Gettysburg Cemetery. The record since taking over his command was openly discussed and, characteristically, Meade did not spare self-criticism, although he was willing to dish it out in his inimitable style. The most silent and reserved participant in the meeting was, uncharacteristically, Daniel Sickles, who had merely rushed northeast with a cavalry escort. He had admitted the highest losses of any command at the beginning, although he tried to put this into perspective by claiming that when his troops marched out that evening he had left many slightly wounded who could not have kept up with the marching column.

The remaining corps commanders agreed that the campaign had not yet taken a clear course. Near Harrisburg, elements of Ewell's Corps and Jenkins' Cavalry Brigade had been stopped by Couch's militias, ending the rebels' northward movement on 30 June. The battle at Gettysburg on July 1 had also ensured that Lee's army not only failed to advance further east before the Army of the Potomac had consolidated, but had effectively forced the Confederates back several miles. The fact that Stuart was now also no longer behind the Union Army was also a success, particularly in terms of civilian morale. Lee's range of movement had been limited to the southwest corner of Pennsylvania by the engagements at Harrisburg and Gettysburg, but this did not hide the fact that this was still the most northerly rebel incursion to date and that he was in excellent terrain.

It was agreed that the attempt to cut off the supply lines had been a good approach, whatever the reasons for its later failure. The attack on the Cashtown line was not a mistake per se and Meade, unlike Hooker, had proved that he could keep his nerve while under pressure. Sedgwick and Reynolds received well-deserved praise for their dedicated attacks, which had almost broken Lee's army. All along the front, however, men and officers had done their duty and in the end no individual could be held responsible for the ultimate failure. Hood's Elite Division had been finished for all purposes and with the Texas Brigade its heart had literally been torn out. Pickett's Division had been decimated and everywhere the rebels had been taught to take heavy losses.

Nothing but a battery from Slocum's corps had been lost for equipment and ammunition supplies were secured via the Westminster route. After all of Lee's divisions except the cavalry had fought, the Union commanders expected the rebels to have enough ammunition for another major battle, but not much more.

Finally, the discussion focused on the question of future troop movements. Meade argued that Gettysburg was a road junction, but otherwise of no military significance whatsoever. Hancock, in particular, expressed concern that the army, in its reduced state, was not adequately able to secure its position behind the city without diluting the lines too much. Furthermore, the close presence of the Confederate Army made it difficult for those present to bring reinforcements safely to the town. While the New York and Pennsylvania militia had by now assembled a total of 10,000 men in Harrisburg and Carlisle, another 10,000 volunteers had been deployed and provisionally equipped in Lancaster on the north side of the Susquehanna. The Harpers Ferry Garrison was also finally on its way north. If these and the forces from Lancaster could be brought in, it would at least almost make up in numbers for the losses suffered over the past few days.

But where should the rallying point be? In this respect, Meade prevailed. The Pipe Creek line was probably the most formidable position between Cashtown and Washington. During the night, marching orders were issued to all army units as well as to French and Lancaster. On July 5th, every Union soldier within reach would march towards Union Mills while Couch would continue to secure the Susquehanna crossings. Now Lee had the burden of deciding which course to take.


Map of the Pipe Creek Line
 
I've always thought he always wanted the South to lose, but he made Union Mills too big a victory he spent the next two books course-correcting until the North could win.
He says in the lead into the audiobook version that it is a counter to the confederacy wins the war mythos established by a book in the 1950s.

I agree the first book was good the second two are meh. Sickels was an a political general and an iffy tactical commander but not an idiot.
 
Ok so I might need some help concerning information. In the end of June, 1863, there was a Union force under John Adams Dix, around 20,000 men, who confronted 6,000 to 10,000 veteran troops around Richmond under DH Hill and Robert Ransom. I do not know anything about the make up of these two forces, except for the fact that there were many Confederate regiments from the Carolinas. Does anybody know more about those forces, which divisions and brigades of both armies were forming them? If not I have to dig myself deep into the Official Records (again)...
 
The webpage Civil war in the east might help.
Thank you, this site is awesome and helps immensely concerning Dix.

On the Department of Richmond and the Department of NC I consulted the Official Records, but the numbers for July 1863 are absurdly high. Ransom's division has 9,400 effective present in three brigades (Cooke, Jenkins, Ransom, 13 regiments and 1 legion in total) which does not make any sense. Same for Colquitt's 3 Georgia regiments which, together with 8 companies of cavalry should amount to 4,300 effectives.
 
Maybe a slight bit, but you have to calculate in that Imboden's and Jones' men are mostly only second rate, providing service in the valley up to the Pennsylvania invasion while Robertson's brigade is just garbage (mostly due to its commander).
I think Jones Laurel Brigade was a fine unit Jones a competent cavalry commander
 
He says in the lead into the audiobook version that it is a counter to the confederacy wins the war mythos established by a book in the 1950s.

I agree the first book was good the second two are meh. Sickels was an a political general and an iffy tactical commander but not an idiot.
Would that book be the farfetched Bring the Jubilee?
 
Would that book be the farfetched Bring the Jubilee?
I honestly don't remember the title of the book I would have to go back and listen to it again. I know its only on the audio book version my paper back has no mention of it. Like i said he just states that he made his Gettysburg series to rebuke an older book and its established theories.
 
He says in the lead into the audiobook version that it is a counter to the confederacy wins the war mythos established by a book in the 1950s.

I agree the first book was good the second two are meh. Sickels was an a political general and an iffy tactical commander but not an idiot.
So I was kinda right - he wanted to make a counter but made the South too successful in the first two books, so the third is a mess designed to make them lose.
The first one is one of my all-time favorite books, and I love most of the second (until the point where they take Baltimore, more or less). The third isn't very good.
 
On Lee's options now (only based on information he has on July 5):

He has to follow Meade after some time at least. The current area should already have been stripped of any forageable material, so getting into central southern Pennsylvania is a benefit and camping at Cashtown does not do anything for him. Also it shows more clearly that he at least temporarily prevailed on the field. Public opinion is key as well. By now he should have received news of Vicksburg's surrender. He knows Meade will take position somewhere between him and Washington and he has to probe the AotP defences and might even start a limited attack on a weak point (Anderson's division was not engaged, so he has an asset there to lead the assault). Then, three things could happen:

A) He destroys Meade's army (most unlikely, maybe impossible).

B) He defeats Meade on the offensive and the latter continues to retreat with a beaten but intact army.

C) He gets repulsed.

If B or C happen, he is in a quagmire. The road to Washington is blocked. Heading for Baltimore would be suicide with an intact AotP cornering him from the south. What remains:

1) Deploying to western Maryland (Frederick County or Washington County), still pose a threat and let local secessionists do some political shenanigans maybe

2) Heading south of the Potomac, block the crossings and send relief to the west (like OTL but with more men).

Does anybody see any other alternative?
 
Honestly I that that deploying to western Maryland is the best bet if Meade gets to the pipe creek line then any attack is suicidal and if Lee is not in berserk mode like at OTL Gettysburg or Malvern Hill he should see this or Longstreet should see this after a successful defense just days earlier. Stuart should be able to tell Lee that the AoP is not a broken army by taking stragglers and engaging their rear guard. Moving to Western Maryland give Lee options his supply lines are shorter, he is still threatening DC, he can block any union move into VA easier, and he is still occupying NORTHERN soil. Meaning that Meade will not be able to sit at Pipe creek and wait he will be forced by DC to attack Lee again.
 
Exactly, moving to Maryland and threatening D.C while being closer to his supply lines is the only logical move. A offensive battle would risk crippling his army, so he should find a brazen position, dig in and prod Lincoln into forcing Meade to attack.

That's in a world where the Confederates are smart.

IRL, Lee probably decides attacking a foe that can replenish , reinforce and fight on indefinitely (ammunition) is still a winning tactic lol.
 
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