Saturday, August 21, 2010

Book Review: Gettysburg

Clark, Champ. Gettysburg: The Confederate High Tide. The Civil War. Alexandria, VA; Time-Life, Inc., 1985.

It's always hard to avoid hagiography when writing about General Lee, but this book did introduce a theory to me about his failure at Gettysburg. Lee apparently suffered from heart disease, which would eventually kill him, and in a letter to Jefferson Davis just prior to the battle, he noted that he had not fully recovered from the "episode" he had suffered three weeks prior.

Supporting this theory are the comments by his generals before, during, and after the battle, that Lee seemed to be ailing and was definitely out of sorts. Who knows what would have happened had he been on his game.

I also learned that as of Gettysburg (and I don't know how long after that), the Army of Northern Virginia had never lost a defensive battle.



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