Why did Lee, with the consent of the Confederate government, once more plan to invade the North?

1 Answer
Sep 7, 2016

Lee knew he was better than any of the field commanders the Federals had had and after Gettysburg, he wanted to quickly turn his troops around and fight again.


On July 4, 1863, Gen. Robert E. Lee was noted to be in an almost catatonic state following his defeat at Gettysburg. He had not previously had such an experience. Those close to him commented later that they did not believe Lee understood the degree to which his troops had been decimated. After the failure of Pickett's charge, Lee asked his most trusted General, Longstreet, to prepare his troops for a counterattack. Longstreet was forced to tell Lee that he had no troops left. Lee, at that point, was probably in a state of shock.

As the best field commander on either side, to include Gen. Grant, when Lee and his troops slipped back into Virginia he fully expected to be chased by Gen. Meade, commander of the North Armies. But when Meade did not, contrary to a direct order given by Pres. Lincoln, Lee felt he was given an opportunity to attack one more time.

But Lee's army was so decimated by Gettysburg, and by other battles, that he could not assemble the troops necessary.