Jeb Stuart and the Confederate Defeat at Gettysburg

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Overview

“The Army was much embarrassed by the absence of the cavalry,” Robert E. Lee wrote of the Gettysburg campaign, stirring a controversy that continues even today. Lee’s statement was an indirect indictment of Gen. James Ewell Brown (“Jeb”) Stuart, who was the cavalry. This book reexamines the questions that have shadowed the legendary Confederate hero and offers a fresh, informed interpretation of his role at Gettysburg.

Avoiding the partisan pros and cons characterizing previous accounts, Warren C. Robinson ...

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Jeb Stuart and the Confederate Defeat at Gettysburg

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Overview

“The Army was much embarrassed by the absence of the cavalry,” Robert E. Lee wrote of the Gettysburg campaign, stirring a controversy that continues even today. Lee’s statement was an indirect indictment of Gen. James Ewell Brown (“Jeb”) Stuart, who was the cavalry. This book reexamines the questions that have shadowed the legendary Confederate hero and offers a fresh, informed interpretation of his role at Gettysburg.

Avoiding the partisan pros and cons characterizing previous accounts, Warren C. Robinson reassesses the historical record to come to a clearer view of Stuart’s orders for the crucial battle (as well as what was expected of him), of his actual performance, and of the impact his late arrival had on the outcome of the campaign. Though Stuart may not have disobeyed Lee’s orders, Robinson argues, he did abuse the general’s discretion by raiding Washington rather than scouting for the army at Gettysburg—a move that profoundly affected Confederate fortunes and perhaps the war itself.

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Editorial Reviews

Stanley Weintraub

Jeb Stuart effectively targets the undoing of a Confederate hero, Lee’s boldest cavalry general, who became too bold. Warren Robinson focuses his lens on the human and tactical preliminaries to the greatest battle ever fought in our hemisphere, and why—and how—Gettysburg was won, and lost.”—Stanley Weintraub, author of Iron Tears, America's Battle for Freedom, Britain's Quagmire, 1775-1783 and Silent Night, the Story of the 1914 Christmas Truce
CO) Time Out for Entertainment (Denver

“Factual and impressively scholarly. . . . Robinson reassesses the historical record to come to a clearer view of Stuart’s orders for the crucial battle, of his actual performance, and of the impact his late arrival had on the outcome of the campaign.”

Military Review

“This is an enthralling work of history.”—Maj. Jeffrey C. Alfier, USAF, Ret., Military Review

— Maj. Jeffrey C. Alfier

Washington Times

“Mr. Robinson has examined a considerable amount of data and presents well-argued and at times provocative conclusions about one of the Civil War’s most controversial events.”—Thomas J. Ryan, Washington Times
Stanley Weintraub

Jeb Stuart effectively targets the undoing of a Confederate hero, Lee’s boldest cavalry general, who became too bold. Warren Robinson focuses his lens on the human and tactical preliminaries to the greatest battle ever fought in our hemisphere, and why—and how—Gettysburg was won, and lost.”

—Stanley Weintraub, author of Iron Tears, America's Battle for Freedom, Britain's Quagmire, 1775-1783 and Silent Night, the Story of the 1914 Christmas Truce

Journal of America's Military Past

“The last chapter, ‘The Consequences of Stuart’s Raid,’ was most fascinating and enlightening. The author renders seven judgments on the raid, and each is worthy of its own professional dissertation. . . . Surely [the author] has produced a book that causes one to re-examine cherished ideas about [the Gettysburg campaign]. You may come away holding your former beliefs, but you will be forced to reexamine them. This book is a must for anyone interested in the Gettysburg campaign.”—Charles H. Bogart, Journal of America’s Military Past

 

— Charles H. Bogart

Journal of Military History

“This brief book offers a fascinating re-consideration of the long-debated question of why Jeb Stuart and his Confederate cavalry were not present at the beginning of the Battle of Gettysburg and what the result of their absence might have been. . . . [Robinson’s] examination of Stuart’s controversial role in the campaign is well researched, carefully reasoned, and engagingly written.”—Journal of Military History
 
 
Southern Historian

“Well-written, insightful, and penetrates the shroud of romanticism, myth, and recriminations surrounding General Robert E. Lee, Major General J.E.B. Stuart, and the Confederate defeat at Gettysburg. . . . Rather than writing a narrative tome, Robinson presents a cogent and surprisingly quick read that focuses on the polemic assertions surrounding the battle. . . . The book will quickly become a seminal work on the battle of Gettysburg. Robinson’s analysis and separation of fact and myth in the events contributing to the absence of Confederate cavalry during the first two days of the battle makes this a must-read book for military historians and enthusiasts alike.”—Southern Historian
 

Journal of Southern History

“Well organized and clearly written.”—Journal of Southern History
 
 

H-Net Book Reviews (H-CivWar)

“This is an engrossing and insightful book for those desiring to better appreciate this great battle.”

H-Net Book Reviews

“This is an engrossing and insightful book for those desiring to better appreciate this great battle.”—H-Net Book Reviews (H-CivWar)

Time Out for Entertainment

“Factual and impressively scholarly. . . . Robinson reassesses the historical record to come to a clearer view of Stuart’s orders for the crucial battle, of his actual performance, and of the impact his late arrival had on the outcome of the campaign.”—Time Out For Entertainment (Denver, CO)

Military Review - Maj. Jeffrey C. Alfier

“This is an enthralling work of history.”—Maj. Jeffrey C. Alfier, USAF, Ret., Military Review

Journal of America's Military Past - Charles H. Bogart

“The last chapter, ‘The Consequences of Stuart’s Raid,’ was most fascinating and enlightening. The author renders seven judgments on the raid, and each is worthy of its own professional dissertation. . . . Surely [the author] has produced a book that causes one to re-examine cherished ideas about [the Gettysburg campaign]. You may come away holding your former beliefs, but you will be forced to reexamine them. This book is a must for anyone interested in the Gettysburg campaign.”—Charles H. Bogart, Journal of America’s Military Past
 

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780803211018
  • Publisher: University of Nebraska Press
  • Publication date: 5/28/2007
  • Pages: 198
  • Product dimensions: 5.80 (w) x 8.60 (h) x 0.90 (d)

Meet the Author

Warren C. Robinson is a professor emeritus at Pennsylvania State University. He is the editor of numerous works in the field of economics and the author of many articles on military history and policy. He is currently a freelance writer and consultant based in Washington DC.

 

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Table of Contents


List of Illustrations     viii
Preface     ix
Acknowledgments     xv
The Background to Gettysburg     1
Opening Moves of the Campaign     15
Stuart, Lee, and the Role of the Cavalry     34
Lee's Orders before Gettysburg     49
The Great Debate over the Orders     64
Options for the Ride North     80
Stuart's Conduct of the Ride North     98
The Battle as It Unfolded     116
The Consequences of Stuart's Raid     141
Stuart and the Defeat at Gettysburg     151
Notes     167
Bibliography     185
Index     193
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