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Battle Analysis of Civil War

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I have decided to analyze the Battle of Gettysburg for my Battle Analysis and specifically

will focus on Robert E. Lee. Prior to the Battle of Gettysburg, General Lee had been considered

one of the greatest and had established himself as a leader who could manage great victories over

opponents who had a significant size advantage. However as the Battle of Gettysburg drew on

we could see that General Lee had made of few errors that proved to be costly for him and his

men. The two major factors that I will discuss are the fact that General Lee had too much

confidence in his men and felt that they were "invincible" and also his mismanagement of his

subordinates and their subsequent poor performance.

With his previous victories, Lee had developed the belief that his men were invincible

and could take on almost any task that could be thrown at them; even though his troops generally

received a high number of casualties. His soldier's had a strong morale and Lee believed that he

must also keep up their morale by not taking recommended suggestions from other commanders

on how to win the war. Lee decided that he would continue to keep his men in their current

location in Gettysburg instead of retreating from the area and choosing an area that would be

more suitable for a victory. General Lee had felt that if he had retreated out of the area, his men's

morale might be affected by the move and his troops would not have the drive and will to win

that they had in all of their previous victories.

Lee also failed to manage his younger corp's commander's which led to his downfall as

well. Part of the problem was the fact that two of his men, Ewell and Hill, were relatively new to

his style of leadership and had just been promoted. Ewell had been given orders by Lee, however

those orders were not clear and concise and he failed to secure the high ground. Had Lee

understood that Ewell was new to his leadership style and gave him a better set of orders, Ewell

might have not failed in his mission. Hill on the other hand, was given orders not to engage the

opposing forces.



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