Way Off Topic
I'm reading Ronald C. White's single volume bio of A. Lincoln. It is a very good book, that takes advantage of recent scholarship since the last one volume bio by David Donald. I read a lot of civil war history, and a lot about Lincoln. Lincoln was a most extraordinary man, up with Jesus, Mohammed, Genghis Kahn, Buhdda; not only a leader, but an extraordinary humanist. Lincoln, Grant, Sherman, Longstreet, Jackson, Lee; such interesting men, flawed as men are, but what a compelling period of history. Longstreet is wrong, I think, about Lee having his "blood up" at Gettysburg. Lee had a plan, and when his "favorite" blew it, Lee never mentioned it. This is one of the things that is intriguing about R.E. Lee; his unfailing loyalty to his subordinate officers. Longstreet/Picket's charge took place at the same time as J.E.B. Stuart and his army, fatigued due to Stuart's ego games, was in the Union rear, where they ran into a little "buzzsaw" named G.A. Custer, who wasn't fatigued from chasing glory. It is very possible that the cavalry fight in the union rear effected the fight in the front; had Stuart been able to break through, Picket's men may have been able to break through at the front. The "lost cause" was probably lost at Antietem, but many think that Gettysburg was the South's "high water mark", where it was still possible to win the war.
Some other thoughts: Contrary to the "Nashville fugitives", and all the post war revisionists, it was about slavery. Read what the participants say at the beginning of the war; it was about slavery. It was about slavery. I will say again, the issue was slavery, from bloody Kansas, to John Brown at Harpers Ferry, states rights be damned, it was about slavery. At this point, I could start ranting.....but maybe I should just shut up, before I start in on Battle Flags, etc.
The picture is from The South Bend City Cemetery, 1832-1899