My personal musings about anything that gets on my radar screen--heavily dominated by politics.


If The New York Times Had Been Around 144 Years Ago 

Union Suffers Terrible Losses, Fails to Pursue Decisive Victory

The Union Army of the Potomac under the command of Gen. George Meade has lost over 3,000 men over the course of the last three days in a battle on the outskirts of Gettysburgh, Pennsylvania.

Meade's Army seemingly stumbled onto the Army of Northern Virginia on Sunday morning, and has been engaged in fierce combat--often hand-to-hand in close quarters--until late yesterday afternoon.

Union estimates put the number of dead at 3,155, with an addition 14,500 wounded and over 5,000 still unaccounted for.

The Army of Northern Virginia, under the experienced leadership of Gen. Robert E. Lee, has never penetrated as far into Union territory as it had leading up to this battle. It is unclear, in the aftermath, if Lee disengaged Meade's Army to return to Confederate territory or to pursue other objectives in Union territory.

Highly placed War Department sources have told the Times that Meade had an opportunity to destroy Lee's Army in the immediate aftermath of a remarkably courageous but, ultimately, failed charge into the center of the Union lines on Tuesday. The same sources expressed dismay that Meade did not go for the decisive victory at that time.

"It is inexcusable," one source told the Times. "Lee has proven over and over again what a master stategist he is. We finally get him in a tight corner, and just let him slip through our grasp."

The Civil War, which started in 1861 shortly after President Lincoln was elected, after campaigning in what the Southern states decried as "a divisive way," has taken the lives of tens of thousands of Union youths. One analysis put the deaths on a pace to exceed 300,000 by the end of 1865.

The fallout from this engagement is already starting to be known. John Murtha, D-PA, has called for hearings into the actions of the Union Army, and in particular the 20th Maine Regiment under the command of Joshua Chaimberlain, for excessive brutality during the battle.

"There's no excuse," Murtha exclaimed. "American soldiers just do not do that sort of thing. Reports I'm hearing tell of a downhill charge into an exhausted insurgent line to hack them to pieces with bayonets.

"It's simply a failure of leadership that these men could break the conventions of war so naturally."

Other Democrats on Capitol Hill are more openly questioning the wisdom of the President's course of action.

"It's almost laughable," one Senate staffer told us. "He goes through Generals like a drummer goes through sticks! It's no wonder we're seeing no progress.

"And now we've had this engagement on Union soil? I tell you, you have to wonder if he ever gets out of the White House to see what's happening to his country.

"There's just no way that these boys should be dying to keep the cotton and tobacco coming."

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