Since today is the anniversary of Day 1 of the Battle of Gettysburg, I want to advance a pet theory of mine. It's always enjoyable to engage in these what-ifs.
I think the South would have won at Gettysburg if Stonewall Jackson had lived beyond Chancellorsville. He would have performed one of his brilliant flanking maneuvers a la Second Bull Run and Chancellorsville. Though he had not performed the same magic at Antietam, I think it could have happened at Gettysburg. Regardless of Stuart's failure of reconnaisance there, Stonewall would have surveilled the ground and found a weakness. His implementation made Lee's grand tactical thrusts in 1862 possible.
For these reasons, I think Jackson's death was a catastrophe for the Confederacy. The South's chief asset during the war was its brilliant military leadership. Once Stonewall was gone, the South lost an irreplaceable asset.
What do you think of my theory? I am interested in your views.
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