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The Glorious Third by Zach Timmons

Author says: what if the American Civil War ended at Gettysburg? Please note that the opinions expressed in this post do not necessarily reflect the views of the author(s).

On July 3rd, 1863: General George Meade accepts the surrender of General Robert E. Lee at Gettysburg. Meade's actions following the failure of Pickett's Charge most likely hastened the Union victory by at least a year, if not more.

Late on the evening of the 2nd, General Meade correctly predicted that Lee would make a massive assault on his center at Cemetary Ridge. Meade knew that his men could defeat such an assault, and began preparing his men for a counterattack. He ordered his Sixth Corps, due to arrive early on the 3rd, to move to the west to block Lee's predicted escape route.

Meade was gambling, however; if Lee's charge succeeded, the Sixth Corps would be too far away to be of any assistance. However, Meade was correct, and as Lee started to retreat from the battlefield, the relatively undamaged Twelfth Corps began demonstrating towards Lee in order to pin him down. When Lee moved against the Twelfth, the Sixth Corps blocked his main line of retreat on the Hagerstown road. Lee made several counterattacks in order to resecure his line of communication and supply, but the Sixth Corps was well entrenched and held off the Army of Northern Virginia.

Although Meade's army was badly battered, he still held numerical superiority over Lee and had some of his army unengaged from the previous days' fighting. With the loss of his supply line to Richmond and his line of retreat, Lee had no choice but to surrender his army to Meade.

This, combined with the fall of Vicksburg the next day, led to the surrender of the Confederate government on July 20th.

Author says this story was originally posted on Zach's Blog. To view guest historian's comments on this post please visit the Today in Alternate History web site for The Glorious Third.

Other Stories by Zach Timmons

Balanced Ticket The Kreisau Circle Obituary of President Morrison

Zach Timmons, Guest Historian of Today in Alternate History, a Daily Updating Blog of Important Events In History That Never Occurred Today. Follow us on Facebook, Myspace and Twitter.

Imagine what would be, if history had occurred a bit differently. Who says it didn't, somewhere? These fictional news items explore that possibility. Possibilities such as America becoming a Marxist superpower, aliens influencing human history in the 18th century and Teddy Roosevelt winning his 3rd term as president abound in this interesting fictional blog.


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