Was Robert E. Lee a gifted soldier whose only weaknesses lay in the depth of his loyalty to his troops, affection for his lieutenants, and dedication to the cause of the Confederacy? Or was he an ineffective leader and poor tactician whose reputation was drastically inflated by early biographers and Lost Cause apologists? These divergent characterizations represent the poles between which scholarly and popular opinion on Lee has swung over time. Now, in eight essays, Gary Gallagher offers his own refined thinking on Lee, exploring the relationship between Lee's operations and Confederate morale, the quality of his generalship, and the question of how best to handle his legacy in light of the many distortions that grew out of Lost Cause historiography.
Using a host of contemporary sources, Gallagher demonstrates the remarkable faith that soldiers and citizens maintained in Lee's leadership even after his army's fortunes had begun to erode. Gallagher also engages aspects of the Lee myth with an eye toward how admirers have insisted that their hero's faults as a general represented exaggerations of his personal virtues. Finally, Gallagher considers whether it is usefulor desirableto separate legitimate Lost Cause arguments from the transparently false ones relating to slavery and secession.
|Publisher:||The University of North Carolina Press|
|Series:||Civil War America Series|
|Product dimensions:||6.12(w) x 9.25(h) x 0.99(d)|
Table of Contents
Part I. Lee's Campaigns
The Net Result of the Campaign Was in Our Favor: Confederate Reaction to the 1862 Maryland Campaign
The Yanks Have Had a Terrible Whipping: Confederates Evaluate the Battle of Fredericksburg
Lee's Army Has Not Lost Any of Its Prestige: The Impact of Gettysburg on the Army of Northern Virginia and the Confederate Home Front
Our Hearts Are Full of Hope: The Army of Northern Virginia and the Confederacy in the Spring of 1864
Part II. Lee as a Confederate General
An Old-Fashioned Soldier in a Modern War?: Lee's Confederate Generalship
I Have to Make the Best of What I Have: Lee at Spotsylvania
Fighting the Battles of Second Fredericksburg and Salem Church: Lee and Jubal A. Early at Chancellorsville
Part III. Lee and His Army in the Lost Cause
Shaping Public Memory of the Civil War: Robert E. Lee, Jubal A. Early, and Douglas Southall Freeman
Author Biography: Gary W. Gallagher is John L. Nau III Professor of History at the University of Virginia. His previous books include The Confederate War and Lee and His Generals in War and Memory.