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Lee and Longstreet at Gettysburg

By (author) Glenn Tucker
Format: Paperback
Publisher: Morningside Inc, United States
Published: 28th Feb 1998
Dimensions: h 220mm
ISBN-10: 0890297649
ISBN-13: 9780890297643
Barcode No: 9780890297643

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Kirkus US
A supplement to this author's superb High Tide at Gettysburg, this carefully documented volume is both an exoneration of Longstreet, Lee's second in command, long accused of responsibility for the Confederate defeat, and an account of the real reasons for the loss of the battle. Stating that "personalities and character...are as much a part of the study of Gettysburg as are troop movements and terrain," the author, paying little attention to the actual fighting, describes how the leaders on both sides acted during those four tragic days, July 1-4, 1863. Longstreet, Lee's close friend, fought brilliantly, and not until after Lee's death in 1870 did the Confederate generals, Jubal Early and "Parson" Pendleton, accuse him of contributing to the defeat by disobeying Lee's alleged "sunrise attack" order, to attack the Union General, Meade, at dawn on July 2. Drawing on contemporary accounts and historical records, the author proves that the order could never have been given and accuses Early and Pendleton of inventing the myth to escape blame for their own costly blunders. Among other causes for the defeat he names Jeb Stuart's spectacular but "barren" ride into Pennsylvania, which brought him late to Gettysburg and deprived Lee of needed intelligence, ignorance of roads and terrain, and a lack of proper reconnaissance of the battlefield. A fervent but unbiased admirer of Lee, he blames Lee, among other things, for ordering Pickett's doomed charge against Longstreet's opposition, and for his stubborn refusal to believe that the Union generals possessed ordinary common sense. Too specialized for readers with no previous knowledge of the battle, this delightfully written book is a must for all Gettysburg and Civil War buffs, and for all Civil War libraries. (Kirkus Reviews)