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March 11, 2014

"Lee’s Real Plan at Gettysburg"

New book argues that Pickett's Charge wasn't as stupid as it seems

Carhart makes a compelling case that Lee had planned a large scale three pronged and brilliant strategic attack that would ensure that his army was as successful the on the third day as it had been on July 1 and 2. The third day’s three pronged strategic and simultaneous assault would ensure the destruction of the Army of the Potomac and southern triumph. The singular disaster of Pickett’s unsupported charge was not to happen the way that it ultimately played out. Carhart makes the argument that Lee had focused his considerable and brilliant strategic efforts on a simultaneous operation where Pickett would hit the Union Center, Ewell would attack Culp’s Hill and turn the Union flank and Jeb Stuart, incommunicado until the end of the 2nd day with detrimental effect for his commander, would on the third day execute the coup d’grace with a attack on the Union rear in concert with Pickett and Ewell.

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Joe R.

Huh? So Lee had this great plan of a "large scale three pronged and brilliant strategic attack that would ensure that his army was as successful", but only went through with the single prong of the suicidal attack on Cemetary Ridge ... and this is somehow not Lee's responsibility?

Somebody's got some 'splainin' to do.

Stuhlmann

"Carhart makes a compelling case that Lee had planned a large scale three pronged and brilliant strategic attack that would ensure that his army was as successful the on the third day as it had been on July 1 and 2."

As I recall, Lee's attacks on July 2nd were not particularly successful. His forces failed to break the Union lines or to dislodge the Union forces from their positions. Had the attacks on the 2nd been successful, the attacks on the 3rd would not have been necessary. The attacks on the 3rd day were not less successful than the day before, but Lee's army could no longer sustain the losses.

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