Lee began his invasion of the North on this date in 1863 by ordering his 2nd Corps under Ewell to brush aside a Union force under Milroy at Winchester, Virginia. Using the Blue Ridge mountains as his screen, Lee now advanced his three Corps across the Susquehanna in an invasion of Maryland. By invading the North Lee hoped for a victory big enough to possible encourage European powers to intervene in the war, forcing a settlement. Alternatively, he could have hoped for Union morale to drop low enough that support for Northern objectives would drop among the Northern civilian population, eroding support for Lincoln and the war. Instead, this advance would culminate in the largest battle ever fought on the Western Hemisphere and a decisive defeat for Lee at Gettyburg, Pennsylvania, now 16 days away. It would begin small, as a small unit clash over shoes in the tiny town of Gettysburg.
Posted on: Sun, 16 Jun 2013 02:16:41 +0000
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