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"Oh, I am heartily tired of hearing about what Lee is going to do. Some of you always seem to think he is suddenly going to turn a double somersault, and land in our rear and on both of our flanks at the same time. Go back to your command, and try to think what are we going to do ourselves, instead of what Lee is going to do."--An uncharacteristic burst of temper from Grant when being reminded repeatedly of the powers of Robert E. Lee.http://faculty.css.edu/mkelsey/usgrant/bygrant.html
Grant. He simply used the brutal realities of warfare...I have more men, more material and the South doesn't.Lee was good but largely because of Thomas "Stonewall" Jackson if you notice, there was a big change in the South's victories after his death. It is doubtful Stonewall would have allowed the invasion of the North (Gettysburg) which was the Confederates downfall. Billy
But Gettysburg was the second time the South invaded the North, and McClelland caught Lee at Antietam, because he had Lee's operational orders in hand (and even then blew it). I think without the luck chance of having the order fall into his hand, Lee would have simply continued into Pennsylvania. And Stonewall would have favored the Gettysburg campaign if for no other reason than it allowed Southern Armies to live off the North for a change. The question is would Stonewall have talked Lee out of attacking at Gettysburg, or into breaking off the attacks after their first lack of success?
We can play "what if" to death, but if Jackson had been at Gettysburg Culp's Hill would most likely have been captured the first night...so long to the fish hook.
Lee had far better Commanders at his disposal. Grant was handed a stacked deck and made the most of it. In today's battlefield, Grant would be hands down a better General.
In mention of Picket's Charge, it was rumored that Lee had a mild stroke at the time, so he definitely wasn't at the top of his game.On a completely different tangent, in a game of Victoria 2 as the USA the Confederacy placed Lee in the west and completely abandoned Virginia! Lee wouldn't be happy about that... In fact he wasn't, because in late 1861(the war lasted from Oct. 1860- May 1862) Lee turned his 33k army east towards Virginia where I had the majority of my Army ! The last stand of the Confederacy took place in Alabama by the way... Sorry about going off-topic but that was the most epic game I ever played.