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  #1  
Old 07 May 12, 11:03
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Appomattox Campaign

What are everyone's thoughts on this? Should Lee have simply surrendered in Petersburg? What mistakes did Lee make during this campaign? Could he have reached Johnston?

Could Grant/Meade have pursued more effectively?

What happens if Lee reaches Johnston?
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  #2  
Old 07 May 12, 11:47
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Lee was beaten and could have saved lives by early surrender.Grant/Meade campaign( Cold Harbor) was very costly. If Lee hooks up with Johnston war is prolonged, same result, more lives lost!
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Old 08 May 12, 01:15
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I dont think his subordinates or his men let him surrender earlier.
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Old 08 May 12, 07:44
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It really was not his call. He was the military not the political leader. His government had not surrendered and he attempted to get his army free.

He surrendered when his army was surrounded and out of food and not before.

Until that time he was still responsible to the civilian government and their war aims.
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Old 08 May 12, 10:42
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Widow Maker View Post
It really was not his call. He was the military not the political leader. His government had not surrendered and he attempted to get his army free.

He surrendered when his army was surrounded and out of food and not before.

Until that time he was still responsible to the civilian government and their war aims.
A general can still surrender in what is a hopeless situation.

Unless the situation during the fall of Petersburg isn't hopeless? Even though most people say it was hopeless...?
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Old 09 May 12, 07:58
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I'm not going to try to say that there was any chance of the CSA winning the war after Petersburg. That possbility if it ever existed was long gone.

But Davis wanted to keep what armies he coould in the field and wage partisan warfare throughout the occupied areas of the south.

The situation of Lee's army was not absolutely hopeless after Petersburg. He was unable to defeat the entire Army of the Potomac but he did have a chance to keep an army in the field.

The fact that he was able to extract his troops from north and east of Richmond and then withdraw more than 90 miles before Grant could use his superior cav forces to surround him show that there were possibilities.

Immediately after Petersburg and on occasions after that Lee had contact with Davis. He was not free to surrender his army against the wishes of the government as long as his army was still able to manuver in the field.
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Old 10 May 12, 10:08
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appomattox

Lee notified Davis he could no longer defend Richmond where upon Davis fled south. I do not believe Lee had further contact with Davis. He left his Petersburg defenses and retreated to the west were he expected to be re-supplied. This did not happen. He could have surrendered after notifing Davis but the prospect of being re-supplied and joining Anderson kept hope alive.
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