Question of the Week #3

“Which battle was more of a turning point in the war in the east, Antietam or Gettysburg?”

The Bloody Lane at Antietam.

12 Responses to Question of the Week #3

  1. Antietam,because of the consequences of the Emancipation Declaration (even though McClellan failed to follow up)

  2. I’d agree with Mende that it was Antietam. It turned a fight to restore the Union into a crusade for freedom. Antietam allowed Lincoln to issue The Emancipation Proclamation and created a clearer path to freedom for millions of African Americans.

  3. Gettysburg. The Emancipation Proclamation was already a done deal for AL, and the victory in G’burg was clear cut. After Antietam, and the EP, many Union soldiers weren’t really convinced that they wanted to fight for the rights of former slaves. There was much dissent among the boots on the ground, and no victories followed Antietam.

  4. Gettysburg. Although all the previous opinions are correct, Gettysburg showed the AOP that they could go head to toe with ANV and win!!!

  5. Definitely Antietam, because it effectively ended Lee’s effort to push north, and threaten Washington. The argument could be made, on the other hand, that Gettysburg happened accidentally. Had it not been for the excellent leadership of Gen. Buford, Heth’s men might have escaped without a major engagement.

    1. Antietam made it impossible for any European government to even consider to interfere and support secession

  6. I think this question is Eastern Theater specific. While I’m a firm believer that Antietam is a huge turning point in the war overall (just as big or bigger than Gettysburg), if we’re just looking at the East, I’ll go with Gettysburg. Gettysburg wrecks Lee’s army in way from which it’ll take over a year to recover and ends any real chance of ever invading the North again. It provides the Army of the Potomac with its first decisive win over is Southern rival. Tremendous theater implications after Gettysburg!

    The Emancipation Proclamation doesn’t do much to reshape the war in the East (it’s a national issue), and Antietam is essentially a battlefield draw from which Lee will recover; he will invade the North again within the year.

  7. John Bachelder made Gettysburg the turning point in the east. The man was a PR master!

    I’m going with Chancellorsville. Jackson’s death (I can hear some of you groan already) forced Lee to rethink the way he waged war. The restructured army depended on two new corps commanders who were not yet ready for prime time, and Lee’s communication style did nothing to help them.

    1. I like Chancellorsville also, Chris. It was definitely a key victory in the east. It ended Hooker’s rise; and interestingly, the sweep through Iraq in 1991 – the one Gen. Schwarzcopf described as a “Hail Mary” play – was an exact copy of the all night maneuver by Jackson. Check it out – even the compass headings of the troop movements was the same.

  8. Antietam and Gettysburg are tied with 3 votes each, and Chancellorsville is a write-in with 1.

  9. Well, if write- ins are allowed… Fair Oaks/ Seven Pines. Joe Johnston wounded and enter R.E. Lee. It would be a long, bloody march from there to Appomattox. But since that was not an option, I would go with Gettysburg. I am sure there are many opinions as to which battle in the East had the most effect on the war in that theatre, and I like my write- in.

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