Monday, October 3, 2016

Coming Oct. 8, 2016: 
Dr. Ethan Rafuse will present:

 "A Sucking Dove, the Snapping Turtle, and a Deep Game: George Gordon Meade and the Fall 1863 Campaigns in Virginia"

Ethan S. Rafuse is a professor at the U.S. Army Command General Staff College. He grew up in northern Virginia, received his BA and MA degrees in history at George Mason University, and received his Ph.D. at the University of Missouri-Kansas City. Since 2004 he has been a member of the faculty at the U.S. Army Command and General Staff College at Fort Leavenworth, where he is a professor of history. He has published over 300 articles, essays, and reviews, and is the author, editor, or co-editor of eleven books, including George Gordon Meade and the War in the East, Robert E. Lee and the Fall of the Confederacy, 1863-1865, and the Guide to the Richmond and Petersburg Campaigns of 1864-65. He taught Civil War and military history at the U.S. Military Academy in 2001-2003. He lives with his wife and daughter in Platte City, Missouri. 

George Gordon Meade and the Fall of 1863 Campaigns in Virginia 
In the aftermath of his failed 1863 invasion of Pennsylvania, Robert E. Lee was convinced it would have at least one major benefit for his army. The damage the fighting at Gettysburg had inflicted on George G. Meade's Army of the Potomac, he believed, would render that force "quiet as a sucking dove" for at least six months. Lee was wrong. The "snapping turtle" and he would conduct a robust series of operations during the months that followed the armies' return to the Rappahannock-Rapidan line after Gettysburg. The subject of this talk will be Meade and what he labeled the "deep game" his Army of the Potomac and the Army of Northern Virginia played during the fall of 1863 and the engagements they produced at Bristoe Station and Mine Run. While none of these matched the scale or deadly grandeur of Antietam, Gettysburg, or the Wilderness, they did offered compelling illustrations of the larger dynamics that shaped the course and outcome of the war in the East. Indeed, it was testimony to what the Union commander achieved in those operations that by the end of 1863 Lee was openly wondering if he had become "too old to command this army."

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