The Glorious Third by Zach Timmons
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
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.
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, Guest Historian of
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Imagine what would be, if history had occurred a bit
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