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Chicago Civil War Round Table May 2013 Ethan Rafuse on Lee and GettysburgAdd to Queue

  • Posted by : Marc Kunis

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  • Date posted : Jan 01, 1970


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Ethan Rafuse on: "Lee and Gettysburg" How could Robert E. Lee and the Army of Northern Virginia go from a spectacular tactical victory at Chancellorsville in May 1863 to defeat at Gettysburg two months later? Strategical and operational considerations led Robert E. Lee to invade the north in 1863. By 1863 it was clear that the Union army could be defeated in battle, but not destroyed. Thus for the South to avoid the inevitable consequences of the North's superior numbers, Lee had to attack the North's will to carry on the war. For that will to be lessened, the south needed a victory on northern soil. After Chancellorsville, the Army of Northern Virginia's morale was sky-high, and Lee thought that the mid-1863 might be the best chance the south might have of gaining that victory. On May 10th Professor Ethan Rafuse will present his thoughts on the Gettysburg Campaign and Robert E. Lee's generalship, placing the campaign within the larger context of the Lincoln administration's strategic vision for the eastern theater. Ethan S. Rafuse is a professor at the U.S. Army Command General Staff College. He grew up in northern Virginia, received his BA and MA degrees in history at George Mason University, and did his doctoral work at the University of Missouri-Kansas City. He is the author, editor, or co-editor of eight books and monographs on Civil War and military history, including McClellan's War: The Failure of Moderation in the War for the Union; Antietam, South Mountain and Harpers Ferry: A Battlefield Guide; Robert E. Lee and the Fall of the Confederacy; The Ongoing Civil War: New Versions and Old Stories (with Herman Hattaway), and A Single Grand Victory: The First Campaign and Battle of Manassas, as well as articles, essays, and reviews in various academic and popular history publications. He taught Civil War and military history at the U.S. Military Academy in 2001-2003. He lives with his wife and daughter in Platte City, Missouri.

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