By Jeffry D. Wert
From the time Robert E. Lee took command of the military of Northern Virginia on June 1, 1862, till the conflict of Gettysburg 13 months later, the accomplice military compiled a checklist of army fulfillment nearly exceptional in our nation’s background. the way it happened—the relative contributions of Lee, his best command, opposing Union generals, and naturally the insurgent military itself—is the topic of Civil struggle historian Jeffry D. Wert’s attention-grabbing and riveting new heritage.
In the 12 months following Lee’s appointment, his military received 4 significant battles or campaigns and fought Union forces to a draw on the bloody conflict of Antietam. Washington itself was once threatened, as a succession of Union commanders did not cease Lee’s offensive. until eventually Gettysburg, it seemed as though Lee may perhaps strength the Union to barter a peace instead of chance surrendering the capital or maybe wasting the battle. Lee’s victories fired southern ambition and emboldened accomplice squaddies far and wide.
Wert exhibits how an analogous audacity and aggression that fueled those victories proved disastrous at Gettysburg. yet, as Wert explains, Lee had little selection: outnumbered through an opponent with more suitable assets, he needed to take the struggle to the enemy which will win. For a 12 months his more suitable generalship prevailed opposed to his competitors, yet ultimately what Lee’s relied on lieutenant basic James Longstreet referred to as “headlong combativeness” prompted Lee to miscalculate. whilst an both combative Union general—Ulysses S. Grant—took command of northern forces in 1864, Lee was once defeated. A excellent military draws at the most modern scholarship, together with letters and diaries, to supply an excellent research of Lee’s triumphs. It bargains clean exams of Lee; his best commanders Longstreet, Jackson, and Stuart; and a clever conflict procedure that also bargains classes to army commanders this day. A wonderful military is a dramatic account of significant battles from Seven Days to Gettysburg that's as gripping because it is convincing, a must-read for a person drawn to the Civil War.
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Extra resources for A Glorious Army: Robert E. Lee's Triumph, 1862-1863
Numerous Union regiments drove deeper into the woods, outstanding Maxcy Gregg’s South Carolinians. fixed on horseback, Gregg was once struck by way of a bullet within the again. His ranks broke and fled sooner than the onslaught. Archer’s males clung to their place opposed to assaults from front and flank. of Archer’s regiments fled in disarray, threatening his whole line. The opposing ranks raked one another at shut variety. seventy three at the correct of Meade’s troops Brigadier basic John Gibbon’s department complicated towards Lane’s North Carolinians, published alongside the railroad tracks. The scuffling with used to be certainly “fierce and determined. ” Lane’s veterans resisted valiantly, yet one ultimate surge carried the Yankees around the tracks, using the North Carolinians rearward. Coming during the timber, besides the fact that, have been the brigades of Jubal Early in a counterattack. at the march from the Valley Early had fallen into disfavor with Jackson over drunken infantrymen and stragglers. while Jackson’s leader of employees, Sandie Pendleton, despatched by means of the corps commander, wondered Early concerning the stragglers, the irascible brigadier spoke back that Jackson had noticeable stragglers simply because he had trailed the department. seventy four in this day “Old Jube,” as his males referred to as him, acted on his personal initiative. Jackson was once with Harvey Hill’s troops south of Prospect Hill while Early’s males plunged into the beleaguered Union ranks. Lane and Archer rallied their regiments and joined the counterthrust. Meade’s and Gibbon’s Federals debouched from the woods, crossed the tracks, and rushed eastward. Colonel Edmund Atkinson’s Georgia brigade pursued earlier the railroad tracks. Union gunners and infantry reserves decimated the Georgians, whose line looked to be “melting away like ice less than an August sunlight. ” The Georgians withdrew into the woods, and the wrestle subsided. Jackson thought of a tremendous counterattack, yet concept best of it earlier than the massed enemy batteries on Stafford Heights. seventy five Lee and Longstreet watched the scuffling with alongside Jackson’s line from Telegraph Hill, sometimes called Lee’s Hill. After Atkinson’s Georgians retreated, Lee acknowledged to the 1st Corps commander, “It is easily that battle is so negative or we'd develop too keen on it. ” From around the river Union gunners exact the hill and Marye’s Heights to the north. A accomplice artillerist, published close to the generals, wrote a couple of days later that either males seemed unconcerned by way of the exploding shells. Lee wore a simple blue overcoat and a wide-brimmed, black felt hat. He was once, inspiration the insurgent, “a superb remarkable having a look guy. ” the military commander spoke seldom and merely to Longstreet in low tones. seventy six at the same time the fight for Prospect Hill raged, Union attacks opposed to Marye’s Heights had began. It used to be those assaults that may be seared into the country’s reminiscence of Fredericksburg. Lieutenant Abner R. Small, adjutant of the sixteenth Maine, endeavored later to give an explanation for what he had witnessed at this so much poor of areas: “I questioned then, and that i ask yourself now both, on the secret of bravery. It appeared to me, as I observed males dealing with demise at Fredericksburg, that they have been heroes or cowards regardless of themselves.