I apologize, I did accidentally replace the names of the two Cavalry commanders. I am sure that Brigadier General John Buford was spinning in his grave being mistaken for Major General JEB Stuart.
For that I apologize. However, your condescending attitude about a simple mistake of using the wrong name only proves your position has no strength of its own and relies on attacks on the character of other conversation participants, Mr. Smacky.
Now, with that said, here’s how I see Gettysburg going down.
1) The Army of Northern Virginian needed shoes and, since they were near a shoe factory located in Gettysburg, decided to take them as spoils of war.
2) General Buford, realizing that there were 12 major roads passing through Gettysburg, and realizing that the Army of Northern Virginia (here-after referred to as ANV) would have extremely good positioning if he allowed them to pass and waited for General Mead (who was commonly seen as a man who would be patient and move slowely so as to not over extend himself) and that Gettysburg could mean the difference between stopping the AVN or not; put up a scrap (fight.)
3) General Heth, assuming he was attacking local militia, directed two brigades forward (under Gen. Archer and Davis), however he miscalculated, he was actually attacking dismounted cavalry who were soon supported by 1st Corps.
4) Gen. Buford’s tactics won The Army of the Potomac (hereafter referred to as AP) the strong defensive positions.
Thus, I say that General Lee’s army lost on Day 1. They failed to achieve their primary objectives (getting the shoes) and failed to achieve their secondary objectives (pushing Mead’s army off the defensive positions.)
1) With the strong positions on Culp’s Hill, Cemetary Ridge and both Round Tops (Round Top and Little Round Top) dugin and defended with artillery batteries and infantry units; the AP deserted the less secure Gettysburg city for the stronger positions to the south of Gettysburg.
2) Lee, smelling victory, directed General Longstreet’s First Corps to attack Little Round Top where he could roll up the APs “Fish Hook” emplacements. Unfortunately, General Stuart’s cavalry was not present to give Lee accurate intelligence, and this allowed the 20th Maine, under the direct command of Colonel Chamberlain, as well as the defense of the Peach Orchard sent General Longstreets divisions reeling.
It should be noted that in this engagement it was Union Commanders such as Colonel Chamberlain, who lead bayonet charges against superior numbers, that allowed the AP to destroy Caldwell’s Division, Anderson’s division, and many other of Lee’s armies. Meanwhile, the Union, having the defensive advantage, the strong defensive positions, and good internal lines, was able to switch out units as needed to keep the ground.
So it is, on Day 2, after the Peach Orchard Battle, the Battle of Little Round Top, the Plum Run Valley (“Valley of Death”) and other scirmishes along the Union lines, and with the retreat of Gen. Lee without gain, that I award day 2 to the Union.
Now. After being bested twice in a row, not having achieved your objectives and not destroying your enemy. With your enemy in control of the best defensive positions on the field and with you attacking from the worst possible angle. With your general staff advising against your attack plan for day 3, your common sense as an experienced field commander telling you the battle is lost, why would General Lee order a suicide run with 3 divisions through an open field (a LARGE open field, it was over a mile from the tree line to the top of the ridge), over a picket fence which was sure to disrupt your formations and slow your infantry advance; against every gun the Union had in the region first firing concussive rounds and later firing grape shot?
The only two options I have to chose from are:
1) Lee lost his mind and suffered from temporary insanity after having to admit he lost a battle for the first time in the war.
2) Lee sabotaged his own army for reasons personal to him, but which I will speculate relate to his desire to end the war to save further punishment on his home state of Virginia (who was suffering greatly as the AP roamed about pillaging and destroying.)
Now (1) seems unlikely. (2) seems plausible.