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  • If Jackson was at Gettysburg...

    Discuss what you think would have happened if Jackson was at Gettysburg.
    "The object of war is not to die for your country but to make the other bastard die for his."

    General G. C. Patton

  • #2
    Well, for starters Richard Ewell would not be in corps command. Most likely the same thing with Hill. Assuming that Jackson's Corps approached Gettysburg from the north, as Ewell did OTL, Stonewall would have pressed the Federals vigorously. He probably would have taken Culp's Hill on the first day, whereas Ewell took Lee's instruction to do the opposite.

    On the second day, who knows? Would Lee tell Longstreet to attack Meade's left, or would he have Jackson resume the offensive against the Federal right? If it's the latter, it's possible Jackson could have got a bloody nose; unlike Hooker, Meade wouldn't have lost his nerve and would have stood his ground.

    On the third day, Lee probably would still want to attack Meade's center, so that would have been Longstreet's show, with Jackson doing things on the side.

    I would like to say that having Jackson around would guarantee Confederate victory, but I also don't think Jackson was that good a general. He had his flaws, too, and his presence on a battlefield doesn't necessarily imply a grand victory for the Stars and Bars -- otherwise Mechanicsville and other Seven Days' battles would have turned out differently.

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    • #3
      The only advantage I see is that the ANV would have retained its two-corps structure, making coordination easier for Lee. Apart from that I agree with jelay, Jackson's always been overrated, hard to tell if he would have had a positive or negative impact on the battle.

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      • #4
        Jackson, no matter how brilliant as a corps commander, would probably not have been able to solve the fundamental strategic problem of the invasion - it's not really an invasion, more like a raid, and even if the Confederates won every battle in the North, they still have to withdraw at the end of the day.

        And no matter how many battles they won, they are unlikely to force the North to surrender, or to accept their demands, not with stubborn Abe in the White House.

        With their vital supply lines being cut in half by Grant in the West, the war situation would still have turned against the South.

        The challenges for the South in Jul 1863 are truly strategic in nature, which cannot be solved by battlefield victories in the North.

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        • #5
          If Jackson was at Gettysburg, he would have been in an advanced state of decomposition.....

          Eric
          "If you want to have some fun, jine the cavalry"

          Maj. Gen. James Ewell Brown Stuart

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          • #6
            Originally posted by EricWittenberg View Post
            If Jackson was at Gettysburg, he would have been in an advanced state of decomposition.....

            Eric
            He probably wouldn't talk much either..
            "Profanity is but a linguistic crutch for illiterate motherbleepers"

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            • #7
              Originally posted by johnbryan View Post
              He probably wouldn't talk much either..

              If he could talk, he would probably be yelling for someone to let him out of the coffin.
              I would define true courage to be a perfect sensibility of the measure of danger, and a mental willingness to endure it.
              --William T. Sherman

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              • #8
                LOL. Good points, guys.

                Eric
                "If you want to have some fun, jine the cavalry"

                Maj. Gen. James Ewell Brown Stuart

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                • #9
                  There is some thought he would have taken Harrisburg Pa. Then there most likely would not have been a Gettysburg. That would have put one Confederate Corps. within a very short march of Philly. Meade would have had to eather give up Philly or go farther north and block that advance.
                  Jim"Doc" Bruce
                  "War Means Fightin and fightnin means killin"
                  Nathan Bedford Forrest.
                  "Audacity, more audacity and always audacity"
                  George Patton

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                  • #10
                    I think the hill in question that wasn't taken was Cemetary rather than Culp's. In any case perhaps Jackson could have taken it, but it was being organized and staffed by Hancock who was no slouch himself, so perhaps not.

                    In any case I don't see a significant difference in the outcome. Speculation about Jackson's presence is more "Lost Cause" reminiscing.

                    Regards,
                    Dennis
                    If stupid was a criminal offense Sea Lion believers would be doing life.

                    Shouting out to Half Pint for bringing back the big mugs!

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                    • #11
                      Stepping Cautiously In the Dark

                      I was rereading Stephens Sears book on the Penisula Campaign, and he concluded, I think correctly that Jackson was not his "usual self" during the opening of the Seven Days because he was unfamiliar with the territory unlike the Valley. JEB Stewart's ill-conceived excursion would have worried Jackson as it did Lee. Not knowing what was really in front of him he may have been as cautious as Ewell. As for Ewell and Hill, while their conduct may be debated, it cannot be stressed enough that they were selected for Corps command because they were well thought of by BOTH Lee and Jackson.

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by jelay14 View Post
                        Well, for starters Richard Ewell would not be in corps command. Most likely the same thing with Hill. Assuming that Jackson's Corps approached Gettysburg from the north, as Ewell did OTL, Stonewall would have pressed the Federals vigorously. He probably would have taken Culp's Hill on the first day, whereas Ewell took Lee's instruction to do the opposite.

                        On the second day, who knows? Would Lee tell Longstreet to attack Meade's left, or would he have Jackson resume the offensive against the Federal right? If it's the latter, it's possible Jackson could have got a bloody nose; unlike Hooker, Meade wouldn't have lost his nerve and would have stood his ground.

                        On the third day, Lee probably would still want to attack Meade's center, so that would have been Longstreet's show, with Jackson doing things on the side.

                        I would like to say that having Jackson around would guarantee Confederate victory, but I also don't think Jackson was that good a general. He had his flaws, too, and his presence on a battlefield doesn't necessarily imply a grand victory for the Stars and Bars -- otherwise Mechanicsville and other Seven Days' battles would have turned out differently.
                        If jackson takes Culp's Hill, then days 2 and 3 might not happen--Meade would preobably fall back to Pipe Creek.

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                        • #13
                          Hmm, alright. Now that we've reached a conclusion, let me ask something else. What would have happened if the south had won at Gettysburg?

                          After Gettysburg, they still managed to carry on for about a year or two, so do you think they would've been able to make the war last longer if they won?
                          "The object of war is not to die for your country but to make the other bastard die for his."

                          General G. C. Patton

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                          • #14
                            Probably not. Remember, Vicksburg fell on July 4, so the CSA would still be cut in two even if the Rebels win at Gettysburg. A Southern victory in the North would be a tremendous morale booster, and perhaps would re-raise British eyebrows abroad, but whatever followed in the East would have to greatly offset the catastrophe in the West. Would Longstreet still march his corps to aid Bragg against Rosecrans if Lee won at Gettysburg? Maybe not, especially if Meade is working that autumn to restore the balance in the East. So Chattanooga would still ultimately fall to the Federals, commanded by either Rosecrans or Grant. The latter still might go to the East and take top command in '64.

                            I'd think a Southern victory at Gettysburg would have mostly short-term advantages for the Confederacy, and probably would only prolong the end by a few months, if not outright shortened by the butterflies.

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                            • #15
                              The follow-up to Gettysburg is what would count--Philly? Baltimore? D.C.? With the AoP out of the loop, Lee can do whatever!

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