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Lee's Lieutenants: A Study in Command, Vol. 1 - Manassas to Malvern Hill Hardcover – Unabridged, April 1, 1997

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Editorial Reviews


Allan Nevins That Douglas Southall Freeman is our most eminent biographer and ablest military historian no one will dispute. -- Review

About the Author

Douglas Southall Freeman was born in Lynchburg, Virginia, in 1886, the son of a Confederate soldier. After receiving a Ph.D. in history from Johns Hopkins University at the age of twenty-two, he embarked on a newspaper career. He was named the editor of the Richmond News Leader at the age of twenty-nine, a post he would hold for thirty-four years. In 1915, Freeman was commissioned by Scribner's to write a one-volume biography of Robert E. Lee; twenty years of work later, his four-volume R. E. Lee won the Pulitzer Prize. The three volumes of Lee's Lieutenants took him a relatively modest eight years to complete. He won another Pulitzer Prize for his six-volume biography of George Washington, which he finished only hours before his death in 1953.

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 832 pages
  • Publisher: Scribner; First Edition Thus edition (April 1, 1997)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0684837838
  • ISBN-13: 978-0684837833
  • Product Dimensions: 6.5 x 1.7 x 9.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.6 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,307,946 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Scott Kelly on January 4, 2000
Format: Hardcover
Freeman accomplishes something with Lee's Lieutenants at which many historians fail: he has written a work that not only instructs and engages the mind, but also transports the reader to the time and place of which he writes. There is nothing dry here. Although more technical (and maybe even a little more accurate) studies have been written on the Army of Northern Virginia, Freeman's rendering of Jackson's Valley campaign will remain the greatest ever put to paper. I also found Lee's Lieutenants to be a better work than R.E. Lee, for the simple fact that Freeman's hero worship is not quite so apparent in the former work.
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Format: Hardcover
Douglas Southall Freeman, historian, journalist, and newspaper editor, was the author of a Pulitzer Prize-winning biography of Confederate General Robert E. Lee. Freeman revisited the subject of Southern military leadership with his superb trilogy "Lee's Lieutenants", published between 1942 and 1944. This is old school biography, focused on the general officers who served in what became Lee's famed Army of Northern Virginia, in the context of their times and without significant regard to other issues such as state's rights, slavery, economics, or even the Union side of the fighting. Freeman had the advantage of living and writing at a time when the Confederate leaders and their battles were still in living memory.

Volume One covers the Confederate Army in Virgnia from the Battle of First Manassas in 1861 to the Battle of Malvern Hill, at the close of the Siege of Richmond in 1862. PGT Beauregard and Joe Johnston would initially command this force, before Lee took charge during the battles outside Richmond. The officers who fought at First Manassas and on the Virginia Peninsula, and the key leaders involved in Stonewall Jackson's famed Valley campaign of 1862, get most of the emphasis. This was an army and a collection of leaders who were learning their trade, and Freeman admits their many mistakes and their lessons learned. The Confederate Army that got bloodied at Malvern Hill was not yet the lethal instrument of war it would become in later campaigns; Freemen explains why.

Freeman draws heavily from the official record, letters, and recollections to weave a highly readable narrative of Lee's army. Lee himself is usually in the background, as his new generals struggle to learn their leadership roles as commanders of brigades and divisions.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Bearcat on July 23, 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This is a great book in a 3 volume series that costs over $156 new. Widely acknowledged as the best read on the superior generalship of the Southern leaders; particularly in the early years of the Civil War.
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Format: Hardcover
Douglas Southall Freeman's three volume "Lee's Lieutenants" is a masterful examination of the generals who served Lee as subordinates in the Army of Northern Virginia across years of Civil War battlefields. This first volume is something of a preface. It picks up the Confederate narrative in the immediate aftermath of Fort Sumter, as first P.G.T. Beauregard and then Joseph Johnston were commanders of the Confederate force that would become Lee's command during the Battles of the Seven Days outside Richmond in 1862. The future Army of Northern Virginia was not yet the lethal instrument that it would become under Lee, with an underdeveloped staff and many inexperienced officers. It did have "Stonewall" Jackson, fresh from his famous Valley campaign, and many other talented leaders who would achieve varying degrees of distinction under Lee's command.

Freeman was a trained historian, journalist, newspaper editor, and finally a Pulitzer Prize-winning biographer before taking up the task of this history, which remains remarkably readable over half a century after its initial publication. Freeman's understanding of Lee the commander is futher enhanced by having lived in a era when the Civil War was still in living memory. His writing has a freshness and an eye for detail that should entertain the general reader and fascinate the student of the Civil War. Highly recommended, even in used condition.
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