What Are The Reasons For Robert E Lee's Failure

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After the battle, Robert E. Lee, retreated to Virginia on July 4th, 1863. His army was severely weakened, with about 28,000 captured, wounded, or killed. The Union army also suffered about 23,000 similar losses (Benson). Lee’s army withdrew to the southwest through a driving rain in a wagon train stretching 17 miles (Aines). During the retreat, Lee repeated his remarks at the failure of Pickett’s Charge: “It is all my fault, I thought my men were invincible.” Robert E. Lee offered his resignation to Jefferson Davis but it was turned down (HistoryLearningSite). On July 5th, Meade set down his reasons for not pursuing the Confederates: “This morning they retreated in great haste into the mountains, leaving their dead unburied and their wounded …show more content…
The Confederate strategy shifted from one of seeking a decisive military victory to one of wearing down the enemy - of making the war so costly for the Union that the northern states would end the war (Carlson). Lee was forced into the war of attrition he feared and eventually cornered in a unwinnable siege around Richmond (Hawks). Without the Battle of Gettysburg, the Civil War could have come to a much different conclusion, and seemed well on the way to a Confederate victory at one point (Rapp). Lee desperately needed to win a battle in the East so General Ulysses S. Grant could not capture Vicksburg (Carlson). The final capture of Vicksburg on July 4th, (which took nearly six months) divided the Confederacy in two. It was significant that both Union victories had been announced on the same day: July 4th, the anniversary of signing the Declaration of

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