Gettysburg re-evaluated

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Apr 28, 2005, 3:09:05 PM4/28/05
I was in B&N at lunch and I noticed that
attorney-turned-military-historian Tom Carhart has revisited Lee's day
three intentions at Gettysburg in a new book "Lost Triumph." He seemed
to be saying that Lee intended three synchronized hammerblows, of which
Pickett's was just one; Stuart and Johnson were tasked with the other.
Custer, he says, frustrated the Stuart effort, which was key.

This is a browser's fleeting impression - I don't have the book and
it's been out for just seven days.


- Dimitri

William G. Davis

Apr 28, 2005, 3:50:45 PM4/28/05

<> wrote in message

There's nothing new in this. Johnson's effort began the night before and
lasted all night, foiled at first by Pop Greene. Custer, Gregg, and
McIntosh stopped Stuart they had been doing regularly for the past
week. Unsupported, Pickett had no chance.

As I said, there is nothing new here.

Wait a few months, and there will be, though.

W. G. Davis

Apr 28, 2005, 4:47:24 PM4/28/05
I saw that one too, and browsed through it. Although I think his
thesis is correct--that Lee did know what he was doing, or attempting
to do--but he
can't support it with actual sources and is reduced to inferring that
"must have" known about the battles of Cannae, Leuthen, and Austerlitz
from his education at the Point and his professional studies. I was
disappointed to find that there's nothing in Carhart's references to
any of that (nothing I found in my quick check, anyway); James
forward doesn't quite endorse the thesis, and doesn't quite dismiss it
either. (Carhart is pretty scathing about Meade and the AoP commanders

I also saw a new book by Kent M. Brown, entitled IIRC "Retreat from
Gettysburg: Lee, Logistics, and the Gettysburg Campaign." This one is
much more substantial and seemingly better-sourced work, and argues
that Lee and the ANV actually did achieve many of the goals of the move
north, which was imperative because of logistic considerations in the
place. Brown also is a lawyer, and I know he has written on the
ality (or not) of secession in North and South magazine, but I can't
which side he takes on that. (If he believes secession to be
he's probably wasted his time producing this book.)

At any rate, it looks like a backlash is developing against the
against the traditional view that Lee was actually quite a good
one of the best the country has produced.


Apr 28, 2005, 5:08:16 PM4/28/05
Thanks for the input.

And Mr. William G. Davis, how about a hint of the Gettysburg surprise
that you alluded to?

William G. Davis

Apr 28, 2005, 9:45:37 PM4/28/05

<> wrote in message

> Thanks for the input.
> And Mr. William G. Davis, how about a hint of the Gettysburg surprise
> that you alluded to?

Not a chance. You'll have to wait.

But along those lines, I will say that some historians are moving rather
quickly to re-evaluate the battlefield after the tree clearing, and to get
those re-evaluation into print. The changes are astounding.

W. G. Davis

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