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Reviews & reappraises the roles of and relationship between the two central figures of the battle on the Southern side. Examines the "lore" that developed in the years after the war to explain the background for many popular concepts about Gettysburg....

Title : lee and longstreet at gettysburg
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ISBN : 12271295
Format Type : Hardcover
Number of Pages : 495 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

lee and longstreet at gettysburg Reviews

  • Robin Friedman
    2018-11-23 05:56

    A Study Of The Confederate High Command At GettysburgGlenn Tucker was a newspaper reporter who covered the White House and an advertising executive. He was also a student of the Civil War and, in the tradition of the amateur scholar, wrote several books which are still read including "High Tide at Gettysburg" (1958) and this sequel, "Lee and Longstreet at Gettysburg" (1968).For years, many individuals devoted to the cause of the South and to the memory of General Robert E. Lee blamed General Longstreet, the commander of Lee's first corps and his leading subordinate, for the loss of the Battle of Gettysburg (July 1 -- July 3, 1863) and perhaps more broadly for the defeat of the Confederacy. Robert E. Lee and James Longstreet disagreed famously on the manner in which the Battle of Gettysburg was to be prosecuted. The controversy over Lee and Longstreet at Gettysburg is basically three-fold: 1. Some people blame the Confederate loss on Longstreet's alleged failure to attack the Union left early in the morning of July 2. They allege that Lee had given orders for such an attack, and Longstreet dallied until it was to late for the attack to be successful. 2. Longstreet opposed the attack of the Federal left and tried to persuade General Lee to march his army to the right around the Union army to get between the Union army and Washington D.C. and Baltimore. 3. Longstreet opposed what proved to be the disastrous frontal charge -- the "Pickett -Pettigrew -- Trimble charge" on July 3.Tucker's study reviews these charges in detail and sensibly and convincingly exonerates Longstreet. With respect to the first charge, he finds that Lee issued no orders for an early morning attack. He concludes that Longstreet moved his troops with more than reasonable dispatch under the circumstances and launched his attack, fortuitously, at the time it had the best chance of success. The second and third charges involve the exercise of military judgment on the battle plan at Gettysburg. Tucker, in the company of an increasing number of students of the battle, concludes that Longstreet had the better of it and the strategy more likely to lead to success at Gettysburg than the strategy that was pursued. With Pickett's charge on July 3, the case is, alas, clear to make. The matter is closer with respect to the July 2 strategy (Longstreet proposing to go around the Union army) but this too may have been the preferable course given the strength of the Union position on Cemetery Ridge.Tucker documents the Lee -Longstreet disagreements well and, I think, fairly. One of the more fascinating aspects of his book is his discussion of visits of President Eisenhower and Field Marshall Montgomery to Gettysburg to review the battle plans. Both Generals were supportive of Longstreet's strategy and were strongly negative about Pickett's charge in particular.There is much material in this book extraneous to the Lee-Longstreet controversy at Gettysburg. The material includes extensive biographical sketches of Generals Lee, Longstreet, and Pickett, the last of which adds very little to understanding the battle. (Tucker dwells too long trying to show the authenticity of letters Pickett allegedly wrote to his fiancee during the battle. Most scholars believe the letters are forgeries.) There are many anecdotes and side-stories which, while interesting in themselves, are somewhat padded and add little to an understanding of the roles of Lee and Longstreet in the Battle of Gettysburg.Tucker tells his story from a Southern point of view. He casts the war as a struggle between large centralized government and local self-determination and downplays severely, in my opinion, the role of slavery. In his concluding chapter, he is critical of the reconstruction policy following the Civil War without explaining his criticisms in detail and, of course, without considering carefully the scholarly reconsideration of reconstruction, to which he alludes, that was beginning to make headway at about the time of his book.Important as these matters are, Tucker's discussion of the roles of Lee and Longstreet anticipates the views of much modern thinking on the Battle of Gettysburg. (Only a few years ago, Longstreet's contribution to the Southern effort at the Battle was memorialized by a statue.) Tucker's book is a thoughtful study of leadership and will increase the reader's understanding of the Battle of Gettysburg and the Civil War.Robin Friedman