Smoothbore Volley That Doomed the Confederacy: The Death of Stonewall Jackson and Other Chapters on the Army of Northern Virginia

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LSU Press

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780807129715
  • Publisher: Louisiana State University Press
  • Publication date: 1/28/2004
  • Pages: 274
  • Product dimensions: 6.04 (w) x 9.04 (h) x 0.57 (d)

Meet the Author

Robert K. Krick is the author of fourteen books on the American Civil War, including Stonewall Jackson at Cedar Mountain,winner of the Douglas Southall Freeman Prize, and Conquering the Valley: Stonewall Jackson at Port Republic. For thirty years Krick was chief historian of the national military park that preserves the battlefields of Fredericksburg, Chancellorsville, the Wilderness, and Spotsylvania, and the house where Stonewall Jackson died. He lives in Fredericksburg, VA.

LSU Press

LSU Press

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Table of Contents

1 The Smoothbore Volley That Doomed the Confederacy 1
2 The Army of Northern Virginia's Most Notorious Court-Martial: Jackson vs. Garnett 42
3 "If Longstreet ... Says So, It Is Most Likely Not True": James Longstreet and the Second Day at Gettysburg 57
4 Longstreet Versus McLaws - and Everyone Else - About Knoxville 85
5 "We Have Never Suffered a Greater Loss Save in the Great Jackson": Was Robert E. Rodes the Army's Best Division Commander? 117
6 Maxcy Gregg: Political Extremist and Confederate General 144
7 The Coward Who Followed J. E. B. Stuart 172
8 "The Cause of All My Disasters": Jubal A. Early and the Undisciplined Valley Cavalry 185
9 Confederate Books: Five Great Ones and Two Bad Ones 214
10 Confederate Soldier Records: Finding Them and Using Them 238
Index 265
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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 27, 2007

    If Krick Says So, It Is Most Likely Not True

    Lovers of works regarding historical fantasy will bask in this book, but anyone interested in an accurate look at the Army of Northern Virginia should avoid the author like the bubonic plague. Smoothbore Volley offends the intelligence of anyone who has read objective history. There is none of that in this piece of conjured dreams of the Lost Cause¿s current champion. The worst offense is Chapter 3 entitled ¿If Longstreet¿Says So, It Is Mostly Likely Not True.¿ This section perpetuates the fabrications of the Southern Historical Society member¿s claims about James Longstreet¿s role in the Civil War. That any publisher other than the National Enquirer would even consider printing this unfounded and dis-proven slander about Longstreet cannot be an organization which any decent historian would associate. In fact, credible historians have reviewed these same lost cause accusations and found Longstreet not guilty of any of the charges, and even an extreme heritage watchdog group devoted to lost cause history published an official resolution to that effect. Krick accuses Longstreet of an ¿unwholesome and unlovely attitude¿ a tendency to be small-minded and mean-spirited¿behaved in that fashion to the detriment of his army on a number of occasions¿a confirmed sulker¿with more than a tincture of the dullard,¿ and ¿with no hint of mental ability.¿ 'p 58' It is the writer¿s opinion that this description would better suit the accuser. His sources for these gross misinterpretations are letters by contemporaries that the writer fragments, completely altering their context. Krick relies heavily on these letters and other material unsubstantiated and proven unreliable, produced in the quite-uncivil literary war fought between army commanders and officers in the 1870s to 1900s. Historians seeking to perpetuate the lost cause repeated these charges, but bright historians of the 1970s and after who relied upon exhaustive research have destroyed the credibility of Krick¿s unwholesome and unlovely attitude toward Longstreet. Chapter 4 of the book attempts to further humiliate Longstreet by again grossly misinterpreting his relationship with subordinate Maj. Gen. Lafayette McLaws. He stated in Chapter 3 ¿for a long time the corps commander viewed McLaws as a special protégé¿ and that McLaws ¿stood high among James Longstreet¿s favorites on July 1 [1863]¿ 'p 63-64, 74' and repeats the claim in the next chapter 'p 93'. There is no credible evidence of that opinion whatsoever, and of course, Krick does not offer any. Here again, volumes of evidence cited by modern historians is ignored by Krick and he relies upon subjective opinion to base his interpretation of Gen. Lee¿s inconveniently favorite subordinate. His justification is to label those who disagree with his claims as ¿anti-confederate¿ and ¿either filled with malice toward Lee or stupidity.¿ He resorts, at public lectures, to deriding Longstreet¿s wives, surely a desperate act of one who is not interested in history, but developing in others a distaste for the man who may throw doubt on the lost cause myth that Jackson and Lee were infallible and godly. Krick seems to operate from the standpoint that to elevate Jackson and Lee, one must denigrate Longstreet. This posture is highly unprofessional and unbecoming of one somehow considered a historian. It is the same position Jubal Early took after the war to shift blame and distract readers from honestly studying Longstreet¿s peers. The only truth found in Krick¿s book regarding Longstreet is that those whose words he twists were ¿clever and thoughtful fellows¿ and that ¿Stonewall Jackson¿s world view left him unpopular with virtually every immediate subordinate¿ after concluding that ¿how impossible it is to fool subordinates over the long term.¿ 'p 62' He conveniently forgets that the vast majority of Longstreet¿s subordinate¿s loyalty to their chief was unwavering to the end of their lives, to include those p

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