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Dec 07 2019

The Overland Campaign

Ever want to know how we defeated tne Rebellion for Slavery?

It is said that after Pickett’s Charge Robert E. Lee was never again able to gain Battlefield Initiative. That’s not strictly true and what does it mean anyway?

Well, it means being able to force your opponent to respond to your actions. How futile did it get? In the last great counter attack at Richmond Abraham Lincoln was actually visiting the Front. He, and the reporters around him, didn’t notice a thing.

An often overlooked fact about Lee is that he owed a large part of his success to his willingness to accept the Butcher’s Bill. Casualties in the Army of Northern Virginia shot through the roof after he replaced Johnston. He was a reckless commander whos reputation was inflated by his counterpart, George McClellan, who was a good Quartermaster.

Ahem.

Not that Quartermasters can’t be good Generals, Nathaniel Greene, but this wasn’t at all like that. Troops loved him because they knew he would go easy on them. They loved Lee because he won.

That all changed with the arrival of the Beast from the West, Grant, who had just as much disregard for the lives of his soldiers as Lee did, but he had more of them.

Some people think it was Grant v. Lee at Gettysburg (nope, Meade) and that from a hot horrible crossroads in Pennsylvania a stream of unending victory ensued. Not so much. But Grant clearly had a better understanding of his objective than most. It was to destroy the Army of Northern Virginia.

Relentless.

The relevance to modern politics is that the Left should have a clear idea of it’s objectives. Capturing Richmond is nice but Napoleon captured Moscow and got slaughtered because it was useless. Carthago delanda est.