Accession Number : ADA600603


Title :   Lee as Critical Thinker: The Example of the Gettysburg Campaign


Descriptive Note : Master's thesis


Corporate Author : MARINE CORPS COMMAND AND STAFF COLL QUANTICO VA


Personal Author(s) : Pelesky, Richard J


Full Text : https://apps.dtic.mil/dtic/tr/fulltext/u2/a600603.pdf


Report Date : 04 May 2012


Pagination or Media Count : 78


Abstract : This paper is an historical analysis of General Robert E. Lee's critical thinking during the Gettysburg Campaign. A military critical thinking model will be presented that will be used to analyze Robert E. Lee's ability in commanding his Army in the Civil War from the Seven Days Battle up through the Gettysburg campaign . A chronological review of Lee's career from his time as a cadet at West Point to his appointment as Commander of the Army of Northern Virginia will demonstrate his ability and aptitude to think critically. The argument is made and defended that General Lee made characteristic critical thinking errors in his decision making at the operational and tactical levels of war that led directly to the Confederate defeat at Gettysburg. The conclusion is drawn that several human and military factors, notably poor health, overconfidence, lack of intelligence, and partial blindness to his opponent, caused General Lee to continue an ill-advised tactically offensive battle against an enemy in excellent defensive position (while other viable options were available) that resulted in a tactical and strategic defeat from which the Confederacy never recovered.


Descriptors :   *BATTLES , *CIVIL WAR(UNITED STATES) , *GENERAL OFFICERS , *LEADERSHIP , ARMY , CADETS , CAREERS , CIVIL DISTURBANCES , DECISION MAKING , DEFENSE SYSTEMS , ENEMY , HISTORY , HUMANS , MILITARY INTELLIGENCE , MILITARY STRATEGY , MODELS , SKILLS , THESES , UNITED STATES MILITARY ACADEMY , WARFARE


Subject Categories : Administration and Management
      Military Operations, Strategy and Tactics


Distribution Statement : APPROVED FOR PUBLIC RELEASE