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Lee and His Army in Confederate History (Civil War America) Paperback – September 24, 2001

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Product Details

  • Series: Civil War America
  • Paperback: 320 pages
  • Publisher: The University of North Carolina Press (September 24, 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0807857696
  • ISBN-13: 978-0807857694
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.8 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 15.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,472,279 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews


"This paperback reprint of one of his collections of essays provides another welcome look at Gallagher's perspectives on compelling aspects of Confederate historiography." -- "Military History of the West"


Better than any other historian of the Confederacy, Gallagher understands the importance of . . . contingent turning points that eventually made it possible for superior numbers and resources to prevail. He understands as well that the Confederate story cannot be written except in counterpoint with the Union story.--New York Review of Books

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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Christopher J. Martin VINE VOICE on March 13, 2003
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This book is a collection of Gallagher's essays published elsewhere. In this format however, they take on an added dimension and explaination of the Confederate Army of Northern Virginia and its commander, Robert E Lee.
Gallagher begins by examining Lee's Maryland campaign, Fredericksburg, Gettysburg and the army's campaigns in 1864. His conclusions on the Battle of Gettysburg and its effects on the Confederate home front are particularly interesting. He concludes that the battle was not the overwhelming defeat to the Army of Northern Virginia and the Confederate home front that it would later be portayed as by historians. He makes the argument that the loss of Vicksburg was seen as a vastly bigger loss and Gettysburg was more seen as a small defeat or even a victory because of Meade's failure to chase the Confederates in retreat.
Gallagher also includes an interesting essay evaluating the claims of some historians that Lee was not fighting a modern war with modern tactics and if he had done so, the Confederacy would have been better off. He ably demonstrates that indeed Lee did understand the difference in technology such as the minie ball and its impact on strategy and tactics.
However, the best essay is Gallagher's essay on the Lost Cause "myth". Gallagher explains that many of the claims that were later associated only with Lost Cause historians such as Jubal Early or Douglass Southall Freeman, were actually developed during the war and immediately following the war prior to any claims made by Early and others. Thus some of the "myths" such as the overwhelming numerical superiority of the Union as part of the central cause of the Confederacy's defeat, is actually true.
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17 of 20 people found the following review helpful By Mark A Thompson on June 2, 2002
Format: Hardcover
With the skill of a surgeon, Gary W. Gallagher dissects the myths and legends surrounding Robert E. Lee and his Army of Northern Virginia, past and current, to reveal a fascinating new look at the "marble man". Positioning himself squarely between the Lost Cause proponents and the current pack of revisionists, Gallagher relies on primary sources (newspapers, diaries and letters of civilians and soldiers, official correspondence) and careful, well-reasoned analysis to discover the real truth surrounding Robert E. Lee, and in the process lands an effective blow worthy of the general himself upon both sides. Gallagher's claims that Robert E. Lee was indeed an able proponent of modern warfare (though I would dispute the term modern) and also a capable administrator fully capable of being as strict or lenient with his subordinates as the case required breathes new life into the continuing quest to discover this fascinating man and effectively destroys the myths held by both sides (ironically enough, both sides often seem to wind up arguing both sides of the same coin) that Lee was first of all a member of the landed Virginia gentry far too short-sighted and stuck in the past for command of the Confederacy's main eastern army as well as being far too gentlemanly to deal strictly with subordinates. In fact, Gallagher presents Lee, through his own words and letters, as a man fully aware of the forces arrayed against him and as one who from the beginning knew full well that the Confederacy needed to marshall all of its resources in order to win the war and gain independence and that tough decisions and hard sacrifices would be required, and that a strong government would be required to take charge in order to ensure this was done and coordinate everyone's effort.Read more ›
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