Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Was The Battle of Gettysburg the Turning Point of the Civil War?

Greetings Cosmic Americans!

Well, I got an email today from a Live and Unfiltered fan (student - Mike B.) asking me to clarify something I said about the Battle of Gettysburg.

I mentioned something along the lines of "Gettysburg is not as important as you might think it is." Thanks for the note, Mike - lets see if I can clear things up a bit.

I should have pointed out that I was talking about Gettysburg as the turning point of the war and I should have been more specific by stating that many Americans today think about the battle differently than the people in 1863. I love live streaming video - no edits and at this point it is not interactive. What are ya gonna do? Just have to go with it and clarify later if necessary :)

Analyzing history from the vantage point of the present (as I have warned people not to do), one could surmise that the battle was indeed the turning point. The Confederates never again could claim a decisive victory along the lines of Manassas or Fredericksburg. But the Union victory here was not by any means the stepping off point to guaranteed victory.

The participants and citizens of the respective countries certainly didn't think so. Just read a newspaper from the period. The Confederates, with Lee at the helm the Army of Northern Virginia, still firmly believed that victory was within their grasp. Gettysburg or no. The Union Army was bogged down in Virginia, the Union population at home was growing increasingly weary of the war, and even Abraham Lincoln thought he was going to lose the election of 1864 and perhaps the war along with it.

Sure as shit - the letters home from the Confederate Army indicated that morale was up. I have read them myself...tons of these letters are housed at the Museum of the Confederacy in Richmond. Go there yourself and check them out if you don't believe me.

So all this "High Tide of the Confederacy" stuff is a postwar creation. Sure, the citizens of the North and South thought the battle was important alright, but perhaps for different reasons than many Americans do today.

So if you have any questions you can always shoot me an email at
I promise to answer all.


No comments:

Post a Comment