General Robert E. Lee at Gettysburg: Account of the Pennsylvania Campaign from "A Biography of Robert E. Lee" (Illustrated)by Fitzhugh Lee
Fitzhugh Lee (November 19, 1835 – April 28, 1905) was a cavalry officer for the Confederacy, the Governor of Virginia, and later a general in the Spanish-American War, fighting for the country that he had fought against over 30 years earlier. While all of this would be enough to earn him distinction, he is remembered primarily today for being the nephew of… See more details below
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Fitzhugh Lee (November 19, 1835 – April 28, 1905) was a cavalry officer for the Confederacy, the Governor of Virginia, and later a general in the Spanish-American War, fighting for the country that he had fought against over 30 years earlier. While all of this would be enough to earn him distinction, he is remembered primarily today for being the nephew of General Robert E. Lee, as well as one of his most vocal defenders and supporters.
Fitz Lee wrote several works about the Civil War that, along with other generals like Jubal Early, helped form the basis for the Lost Cause and helped create the reputation of reverence for Robert E. Lee that is still widely held today. In addition to deifying Robert E. Lee, Fitz Lee, Early, and other authors like them often clashed with former Confederate comrades like James Longstreet, who either were not Virginian or had been critical of Robert E. Lee themselves. Debates between the men persisted into the 20th century, and they’re partially responsible for memoirs like James Longstreet’s From Manassas to Appomattox.
General Robert E. Lee at Gettysburg is an excerpt from Fitzhugh Lee’s biography of the general that covers the Pennsylvania Campaign, which culminated with the Battle of Gettysburg, the most famous battle of the war and Lee’s most controversial. Of all the battles Lee fought in, he was most criticized for Gettysburg, particularly his order of Pickett’s Charge on the third and final day of the war. Despite the fact his principle subordinate and corps leader, General James Longstreet, advised against the charge, Lee went ahead with it, ending the army’s defeat at Gettysburg with a violent climax that left half of the men who charged killed or wounded.
Lee reputedly told his men on July 3 that the defeated Pickett’s Charge was all his fault, taking the blame for the battle. At the same time, in his official post-battle reports, he also noted the controversial ride of J.E.B. Stuart’s cavalry, and whether Stuart properly used his discretion in trying to circle the Army of the Potomac, a movement that left Lee’s army blindly stumbling into the battle at Gettysburg. Historians continue to debate Lee’s and Stuart’s decisions during the campaign.
This edition of General Robert E. Lee at Gettysburg includes original commentary and is specially formatted with a Table of Contents and illustrated with maps of the battles and pictures of the important generals.
- Charles River Editors
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