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View Diary: 150 years ago, the greatest July 4th of them all (117 comments)

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  •  In fairness to Meade (2+ / 0-)
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    rbird, mightymouse

    His army had suffered unprecedented casualties and his cavalry was pretty well blown away after the holding actions they performed on July 1, and the battles at East Cavalry Field (http://en.wikipedia.org/...) on the 3rd.

    Both armies were very badly chewed up and disorganized, so it would have been a feat of tactical genius to cut off Lee's retreat. Even if Meade had managed it, he could have only brought just a fraction of the Army of the Potomac to bear against the desperate retreating Army of Northern Virginia.

    Maybe the AotP could have further disrupted the ANV and taken some more prisoners and killed some more rebels, but my bet is that Lee would have found some way to get away unless the Federals could have brought up competently-led, fresh army from elsewhere.

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