This book concludes by showing that Gettysburg would prove to be the high-water mark of the Confederacy. Two more years of brutal warfare would follow, but never again would Southerners come so close to achieving nationhood. The costliest battle of the war with 51,112 casualties, Gettysburg would afflict both North and South. Federal casualties—23,049 dead, wounded, and missing—could be quickly replaced in the Army of the Potomac. It was not so for Lee's army. The Army of Northern Virginia had suffered 28,063 casualties at Gettysburg, and the gaps in Lee's ranks would be difficult to fill from a Southern population already bled white. Characteristically, Lee blamed himself for the defeat. “I have no complaints to make of anyone but myself,” he wrote President Davis. Soon after the battle, Lee offered to resign. So did Meade, who had incurred Lincoln's displeasure for failing to destroy Lee's retreating army. Both offers were refused.
Keywords: Gettysburg; Confederacy; warfare; Southerners; nationhood; Army of the Potomac
Chapter. 11000 words.
Subjects: History of the Americas
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