Pickett's Charge - Medal of Honor

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Patagoniagirl
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Pickett's Charge - Medal of Honor

#1

Post by Patagoniagirl » Tue Sep 02, 2014 4:17 am

A century and a half after Pickett's Charge at Gettysburg, a 22-year-old Union officer whose heroics helped stop the rebels and turn the tide of the Civil War will finally receive the Medal of Honor.The White House has announced that Lt. Alonzo Cushing will receive the award, ending a near three-decade campaign begun by a Wisconsin woman, now in her 90s, who lives on what had been the family farm where Cushing was born.http://www.npr.org/blogs/itsallpolitics ... t=20140901



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#2

Post by Foggy » Tue Sep 02, 2014 6:35 am

If Stonewall Jackson had still been alive to help Lee at Gettysburg it might have been a whole 'nuther story. What a hell of a general he was.


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#3

Post by Epectitus » Tue Sep 02, 2014 8:48 am

If Stonewall Jackson had still been alive to help Lee at Gettysburg it might have been a whole 'nuther story. What a hell of a general he was. Sometimes, mental illness will make you a brilliant general. Sometimes, mental illness will make you Walter Fitzpatrick.Life is like that.


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#4

Post by ZekeB » Tue Sep 02, 2014 8:57 am

There were a lot of what-ifs at Gettysburg. Such was the way of battles back then.


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Pickett's Charge - Medal of Honor

#5

Post by realist » Tue Sep 02, 2014 9:11 am

At article with pics from ABCnews, Civil War Hero to Receive Medal of Honor, 151 Years Later[/break1]photobucket.com/user/nmgolfer_bucket/media/Smileys%20and%20Related/AP_CUSHING_140827_DG_16x9_992_zps1a10ed0a.jpg.html]http://i307.photobucket.com/albums/nn31 ... 10ed0a.jpg Cushing served as commanding officer of Battery A, 4th United States Artillery, Artillery Brigade, 2nd Corps for the Army of the Potomac.During the battle, Cushing’s battery took a severe pounding from the Confederate artillery, and Cushing was wounded in the stomach and right shoulder. Despite his injuries, Cushing refused to leave the battlefield, commanding his men and defending his position on Cemetery Ridge against the charging opposition. "The Confederate cannon sent volleys over the heads of their advancing troops into the Union lines," the Waukesha Freeman (Wisconsin) wrote in 1911. "Cushing and his neighbors replied with never ceasing spirit, in spite of a constant rain of shot and shell, with horses and men falling all around." "Cushing was shot several times but kept on firing. He served his last round of canister, was struck in the mouth by a bullet and fell dead."


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Post by Reality Check » Tue Sep 02, 2014 9:15 am

I am sure Fox News will portray this as a slap in the face of the Patriots in the red southern states by Obama. :twisted:


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#7

Post by ObjectiveDoubter » Tue Sep 02, 2014 10:56 am

I loved this story when I read it. While in Jackson in Nov 2012 (yes, it's almost two years without Judge Wingate making a decision), I was able to visit the Vicksburg battlefield. It was fascinating and the lay of the land was so different than Gettysburg. But the confusion and life lost was so similar. I agree. The American Civil War was filled with more what-if's and coulda' beens than anything in our history. I had an economics profressor as a Junior at UCLA who set out a proof that 1) the war would have ended one way or another for the Union by 1867 no matter what, because the South was about to run out of soldiers and 2) slavery would have ended by the 1870s as an unprofitable model, anyhow. He was pretty smart, but I'm not so sure economics trumps morality 100 percent of the time.



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Post by ZekeB » Tue Sep 02, 2014 11:28 am

I loved this story when I read it. While in Jackson in Nov 2012 (yes, it's almost two years without Judge Wingate making a decision), I was able to visit the Vicksburg battlefield. It was fascinating and the lay of the land was so different than Gettysburg. But the confusion and life lost was so similar. You did notice the 18th Wisconsin marker just a bit beyond the entrance, didn't you? You did visit the Wisconsin Memorial at Vicksburg, didn't you? You did pay close attention to the Company C, 18th Wisconsin plaque, didn't you? If not, then [-X


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#9

Post by Gregg » Mon May 25, 2015 12:09 pm





If Stonewall Jackson had still been alive to help Lee at Gettysburg it might have been a whole 'nuther story. What a hell of a general he was.









Maybe, ulike most CIvil War fans I don't cannonize HRH Robert E Lee or Stonewall Jackson. If Jackson would have succeeded where Longstreet failed, that is, getting Lee to abandon his positons at Gettysburg and swing the Army of Northern Virginia around between Meade and Washington DC and/or Baltimaore, and forced Meade to attack him on higher ground, it might have worked. But I've studied the Gettysburg battlefield since I was a child, and I have owned a home in Gettysburg since 2009. I often go out to the VIrginia Memorial (where Picket's Charge came from) and just as often go up by General Meade's statue and the Pennsylvania Memerial (where Picket was heading) and anyone who was ever a private in a National Gaurd unit should see, there were, as Longstreet said, "no 15,000 men who can take that position"

Shelby Foote said once that Gettysburg was the price the Confederacy paid for having RE Lee, and he ws right. Lee got used to the Union General's doing dumb things, and at Gettysburg, they didn't do a lot of dumb things. They had the high ground, and Meade (actually Hancock was the one who saw it) just sat up there and waited, neigh, dared, Lee to attack him. When Stuart was chased away from coming in the back way by, among others George Custer, any chance the July 3rd attack had was doomed.


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Post by ZekeB » Mon May 25, 2015 6:03 pm

Lee knew the South was beginning to weaken. His only choice was to invade the North and hope for a negotiated settlement. Pickett's Charge was a crapshoot that failed. Call it Pickett's Charge, but it was really Lee's Charge. Unless Stonewall could have ended the war a year earlier (I doubt that he could have) the Confederacy would have continued to have worsening food, material and manpower shortages. Stonewall never went up against the likes of Grant, who would only reposition instead of retreat. There's always an if, but I don't think Stonewall would have made a difference unless that would have been a factor in Grant not being named CiC.


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#11

Post by SueDB » Mon May 25, 2015 6:07 pm

The only reason it is referred to incorrectly as Pickett's Charge is because Mrs. Pickett wrote book/articles etc naming it so even though Pickett was neither the senior commander on the scene nor the ablest.



Custer's wife did the same thing.



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#12

Post by Foggy » Tue May 26, 2015 6:25 am

Great post by Gregg; welcome, Gregg!



Yes, all this is speculation, but I love to speculate about how history could have gone otherwise. What if Hitler had invaded England and held off opening the second front in Russia until he conquered the Brits? Russia wasn't preparing for war, so a delay wouldn't have affected a later German invasion much. The US didn't even join the war until almost a year and a half after the Battle of Britain. We probably couldn't have saved the UK from a German invasion, and we'd never have had the platform for launching D-Day. Why did Hitler run off and let the Brits brag -- as they still brag today -- that England hasn't been successfully invaded in 949 years? Bastids.



You'll forgive me for making fun of a misspelling, I hope, when I point out that Jackson wasn't cannonized, he was rifled. :lol:


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Post by Hektor » Tue May 26, 2015 10:17 am

Well, I would stress that the Kriegsmarine was in awful shape after the Norwegian campaign. Operation Sea Lion could have been a fiasco if attempted, especially if the Luftwaffe failed to gain air superiority. Now, had Hitler spent 1940-42 developing the operational capacity to invade Britain instead of planning and then invading the Soviet Union, we might have had the unfortunate alternate history of a Nazi Empire. Fortunately for history, Hitler tended to underestimate his opponents (particularly the vast resources of the Soviet Union and United States) and overestimate his forces' capabilities.



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Post by ZekeB » Tue May 26, 2015 10:19 am

Hitler's problem was that he overestimated his own military skills.


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Post by RoadScholar » Tue May 26, 2015 10:23 am

When Southerners want to be proud of their forebears, they can rightfully claim that the Confederate forces did more (militarily) with less than maybe anyone in US history.


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Post by SueDB » Tue May 26, 2015 10:25 am

I beg to differ. That award goes to the various American Armies of the Revolution.


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Post by RoadScholar » Tue May 26, 2015 10:29 am

True. I was thinking post-Revolution.


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#18

Post by ZekeB » Tue May 26, 2015 10:31 am





When Southerners want to be proud of their forebears, they can rightfully claim that the Confederate forces did more (militarily) with less than maybe anyone in US history.





You need to consider that most of the battles fought by the South were defensive battles. When you are fighting a defensive war, you typically have anywhere from a three to one to a ten to one advantage. As much as they teach that even today, I still see us heading off to war in another country at the drop of a hat, thinking we are going to wipe them out in six months. It never turns out that way. Lee didn't do so well when he was on the offense. Also consider Grant's Army of the Tennessee. The South was not successful in most places other than Virginia.


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#19

Post by SueDB » Tue May 26, 2015 10:37 am

And Gettysburg was for the Union a defensive battle without the necessary follow-up.



The Union started winning the defensive battles/battles in Virginia when Grant was put in charge. Grant advanced, got stopped, and then didn't leave like the other Union generals. He started advancing somewhere else instead of running back to DC. This gave Gen Lee a long pause as he could see that it was a matter of time.

The 'not enoughs' caught up to Lee. Not enough food/supplies, ammunition, and most importantly soldiers.


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#20

Post by Piffle » Tue May 26, 2015 1:04 pm

There's a school of thought -- one with at least some merit in my opinion -- that the South lost Gettysburg on the first day (July 1) when Ewell failed to take the initiative to occupy Cemetery Hill. There was some uncharacteristically poor Confederate leadership that day on the part of Lee's subordinates before Lee was at the field.



Had Jackson lived, Ewell's Corps would arguably been under his command. (After Jackson's death, his command was split into two corps -- Ewell's and A.P. Hill's.) Extending this game of what-ifs, the outcome at Gettysburg could very well have been quite different. Obviously, we'll never know.



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Post by ZekeB » Tue May 26, 2015 1:15 pm

Assuming they were on opposite ridges, would Mead have been so foolish to have ordered a Pickett's Charge? I think not. Assuming they are on opposite ridges and there is a stalemate, Lee would have been at a disadvantage over the long haul when it came to replenishment.


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#22

Post by Piffle » Tue May 26, 2015 7:46 pm

Assuming they were on opposite ridges, would Mead have been so foolish to have ordered a Pickett's Charge? I think not. Assuming they are on opposite ridges and there is a stalemate, Lee would have been at a disadvantage over the long haul when it came to replenishment. No, I do not think Meade (or, for that matter, just about any other general of that era) would have ordered a Pickett's Charge. That terrible blunder was singularly Lee's and he was among the first to admit it.



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#23

Post by SueDB » Tue May 26, 2015 8:15 pm

To me the hero was BG JNO Buford. He and his soldiers gave the Union the stage on which to enact the second disaster as Vicksburg was falling in the west giving the Union control of the war.



Gen Buford had the vision and the opportunity to pick the battlefield. He did quite well.



Now which was more important, Lee's defeat at Gettysburg or the fall of Vicksburg?


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#24

Post by Hektor » Tue May 26, 2015 8:32 pm



Now which was more important, Lee's defeat at Gettysburg or the fall of Vicksburg?



I would put Vicksburg ahead of Gettysburg. Victory at Vicksburg isolated Texas and Arkansas from the rest of the Confederacy and gave the Union complete control of the Mississippi. Short of the complete destruction of the Army of the Potomac (or of the Army of Norther Virginia), the outcome Gettysburg made very little difference in the east, except for propaganda purposes. Since the election wasn't until 1864 and that even in the best of cases it was unlikely for the European powers to intervene on the south's side, propaganda worth would not be IMAO decisive over the strategic benefits that capturing Vicksburg gave the Union.



From my amateur perspective, the decisive moment in the east came after Grant took over and he decided that even though the rebels won a tactical victory, he would march south and fight again instead of retreated back to DC. Once that happened, Lee was doomed to a war of attrition he couldn't possibly win (even though Grant was nicknamed "the Butcher").



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