Gettysburg Staff Ride
• Five Objectives:
– Comprehend strategy-policy complexities & apply that to modern
operations
– Analyze relationships between the strategic, operational, and
tactical levels
– Analyze how historical mindedness applied to the study of military
battles helps one to think about war as an instrument of policy
– Evaluate strategic thinking of political and military leaders
– Identify and evaluate critical tactical events and their impact on the
overall campaign
Policy-Strategy Formulation
Policy
D I M E
“Levels of War”
Strategic
Operational
Tactical
War
Campaigns
Battles
“War is merely the continuation of policy by other means.”
- Carl von Clausewitz
National Policy Objectives
“Independence”
“Preserve the Union”
Aftermath: Short Term
• Casualties
– North: 23,049 of 95,000 (24%)
– South: 28,063 of 75,000 (37%)
• Confederates Repulsed = Northern Victory…
But a Cautious Pursuit to the Potomac Allows
Lee to Escape to Virginia
Aftermath: Long Term
• Gettysburg Address:
Lincoln gives Political Significance to the Battle
• New Policy Aim:
“Four score & seven years ago…” & “…new birth
of freedom,”
• Cost in Blood & Treasure Beyond Point of No
Return:
“…last full measure of devotion-” & “…highly
resolve that these dead shall not have died in
vain-”
Gettysburg is a Tactical Event with
Strategic-Political Effect
Aftermath: Long Term
(continued)
• Post-Gettysburg: Lincoln Finds a (Killer)
General
• Grant Understands Lee’s Army is Confederate
Center of Gravity (COG)
• Grant Understands Southern Civilians must
Feel the Hard Hand of War
Signals transformation in Character of War
Ulysses S. Grant
Leadership Issues/Challenges
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Commander’s (Boss’s) Intent/Vision?
Political landscape?
Common Understanding throughout?
How do you get your information?
What’s changed?? How to adapt?
Who are your key subordinates?
Who are the players outside your organization?
Impact of experience/significant events?
Risk? How much is enough?
Questions to consider…
Were military strategies consistent with national
objectives?
Were operational plans compatible with military
objectives?
Feasible?
Suitable?
Acceptable?
How were tactical decisions on the field shaped by
operational and strategic considerations?