Lee and His Generals in War and Memory

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Overview

In this collection, Civil War historian Gary W. Gallagher examines Robert E. Lee, his principal subordinates, the treatment they have received in the literature on Confederate military history, and the continuing influence of Lost Cause arguments in the late-twentieth-century United States. Historical images of Lee and his lieutenants were shaped to a remarkable degree by the reminiscences and other writings of ex-Confederates who formulated what became known as the Lost Cause interpretation of the conflict. Lost...

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Lee and His Generals in War and Memory

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Overview

In this collection, Civil War historian Gary W. Gallagher examines Robert E. Lee, his principal subordinates, the treatment they have received in the literature on Confederate military history, and the continuing influence of Lost Cause arguments in the late-twentieth-century United States. Historical images of Lee and his lieutenants were shaped to a remarkable degree by the reminiscences and other writings of ex-Confederates who formulated what became known as the Lost Cause interpretation of the conflict. Lost Cause advocates usually portrayed Lee as a perfect Christian warrior and Stonewall Jackson as his peerless "right arm" and often explained Lee's failings as the result of inept performances by other generals. Many historians throughout the twentieth century have approached Lee and other Confederate military figures within an analytical framework heavily influenced by the Lost Cause school.

The twelve pieces in Lee and His Generals in War and Memory explore the effect of Lost Cause arguments on popular perceptions of Lee and his lieutenants. Part I offers four essays on Lee, followed in Part II by five essays that scrutinize several of Lee's most famous subordinates, including Stonewall Jackson, John Bankhead Magruder, James Longstreet, A.P. Hill, Richard S. Ewell, and Jubal Early. Taken together, these pieces not only consider how Lost Cause writings enhanced or diminished Confederate military reputations but also illuminate the various ways post—Civil War writers have interpreted the actions and impacts of these commanders.

Part III contains two articles that shift the focus to the writings of Jubal Early and LaSalle Corbell Pickett, both of whom succeeded in advancing the notion of gallant Lost Cause warriors. The final two essays, which contemplate the current debate over the Civil War's meaning for modern Americans, focus on Ken Burns's documentary The Civil War and on the issue of battlefield preservation. Gallagher adeptly highlights the chasm that often separates academic and popular perceptions of the Civil War and discusses some of the ways in which the Lost Cause continues to resonate.

Lee and His Generals in War and Memory will certainly attract those interested in Lee and his campaigns, the Army of Northern Virginia, the establishment of popular images of the Confederate military, and the manner in which historical memory is created and perpetuated.

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Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
This volume samples the writings of one of the leading scholars of Confederate military history. Gallagher (American history, Univ. of Virginia) has written extensively about the Army of Northern Virginia and its generals, including its commander, Robert E. Lee. Although properly appreciative of the military skill of the army and its generals, he also offers critical analysis and assessment, and he is well aware of how postwar writings romanticized the Lost Cause and distorted our understanding of events. All but one of these essays have appeared before in print in periodicals, scholarly journals, or as a chapter in a book of essays; the new chapter is a loosely focused discussion of the debate over Confederate symbols and images joined to a defense or battlefield preservation. Readers who enjoy Gallagher's work will welcome the convenience offered by having many of his essays gathered in one place; it is best read in conjunction with the author's compilation Lee the Soldier (LJ 4/15/96).--Brooks D. Simpson, Arizona State Univ., Tempe
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780807129586
  • Publisher: Louisiana State University Press
  • Publication date: 3/28/2004
  • Pages: 298
  • Sales rank: 977,267
  • Product dimensions: 6.04 (w) x 9.02 (h) x 0.68 (d)

Meet the Author

Gary W. Gallagher, John L. Nau III Professor of history at the University of Virginia, is the author or editor of twenty-two books on the Civil War, including The Confederate War and Lee the Soldier.

Gary W. Gallagher, John L. Nau III Professor of history at the University of Virginia, is the author or editor of twenty-two books on the Civil War, including The Confederate War and Lee the Soldier.

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Table of Contents

Preface
Credits for the Essays
1 The Idol of His Soldiers and the Hope of His Country: Lee and the Confederate People 3
2 The Best Possible Outcome One Could Hope For: Lee and the Army of Northern Virginia in the 1862 Maryland Campaign 21
3 If the Enemy Is There, We Must Attack Him: Lee and the Second Day at Gettysburg 47
4 The Army of Northern Virginia in May 1864: Lee and a Crisis of High Command 77
5 The Making of a Hero and the Persistence of a Legend: Stonewall Jackson during the Civil War and in Popular History 101
6 The Undoing of an Early Confederate Hero: John Bankhead Magruder at the Seven Days 118
7 Scapegoat in Victory: James Longstreet and the Battle of Second Manassas 139
8 Confederate Corps Leadership on the First Day at Gettysburg: A. P. Hill and Richard S. Ewell in a Difficult Debut 158
9 Revisiting the 1862 and 1864 Valley Campaigns: Stonewall Jackson and Jubal Early in the Shenandoah 182
10 Jubal A. Early, the Lost Cause, and Civil War History: A Persistent Legacy 199
11 A Widow and Her Soldier: LaSalle Corbell Pickett as the Author of George E. Pickett's Civil War Letters 227
12 How Familiarity Bred Success: Military Campaigns and Leaders in Ken Burns's The Civil War 245
13 Battlefields, the Lost Cause, and the Legacy of the Civil War 264
Index 285
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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 15, 2003

    Revisonist History

    Revisionist history unsupported or disputed by evidence. Example - PG-150 letter from Longstreet to Fitz-John Porter after the war claims that he disobeyed orders fromm Lee to attack at Second Manassas. This confession of guilt is disavowed based on interpreting what he really meant by what he wrote.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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