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The Smoothbore Volley That Doomed the Confederacy: The Death of Stonewall Jackson and Other Chapters on the Army of Northern Virginia Paperback – January 13, 2004

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Editorial Reviews

About 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.



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Product Details

  • Paperback: 274 pages
  • Publisher: LSU Press; New edition edition (January 13, 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0807129712
  • ISBN-13: 978-0807129715
  • Product Dimensions: 9.1 x 6.3 x 0.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 13.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 2.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,325,337 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

9 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Michael OConnor TOP 500 REVIEWER on November 13, 2006
Award-winning author Robert Krick has written a number of well-received books on the Civil War. Civil War enthusiasts should enjoy this collection of 10 Krick essays published by the Lousiana State University Press.

By and large, the essays deal with various aspects of Robert E. Lee's Army of Northern Virginia. The opening essay is an exhaustive account of Stonewall Jackson's wounding and death. Wonderfully researched and well written, it's a marvelous opener to the book. Other essays deal with the ever-controversial James Longstreet, the death of General Robert Rodes, the fiery secessionist General Maxcy Gregg, Jubal Early's cavalry troubles in 1864, good & bad books on the Confederacy, locating & using Confederate army records, etc.

I enjoyed Krick's book tremendously. His essays are interesting, informative, and thought-provoking. Civil War enthusiasts will want to pick up this book. It provides not only interesting reading but much food for thought not to mention heated arguments over how good or bad certain Civil War generals really were!
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Chris on August 18, 2009
Robert Krick does a good job with his essays on various episodes and officers of the Army of Northern Virginia. I want to mention first the things I don't like about some of the essays: Krick is entirely too harsh on General Longstreet and I really don't understand why he feels so strongly in the negative about such a brave officer that he never met and why he wants to be so critical of him. Even Douglas Southall Freeman came to appreciate Longstreet in his classic 'Lee's Lieutenants'. Did General Longstreet make mistakes? Yes, of course. Every Civil War officer in high command made mistakes that they came to regret but Krick is too much from the Jubal Early blame Longstreet first crowd and his Longstreet essays are not the best the book has to offer. I don't mean to preach but it is easy to say 150 years later that in a certain battle that this movement, etc. should have been done but we have hindsight and officers like Longstreet were making the best decisions with the information they had.

On the best things that Krick does: his chapter on the accidental shooting of Stonewall Jackson is quite excellent. This essay gives the book its title but I don't think the title is meant to be taken literally. I thought it was hyperbolic on purpose. But the essay itself lays out with incredible detail about that controversial night. It is a A+ essay. There are also very nice essays on Maxcy Gregg and Robert Rodes. The Rodes essay has now been superseded by Darryl Collins excellent Rodes biography but Krick's essay is a nice short introduction to the fascinating figure of Rodes. The chapter on Jubal Early's cavalry trouble in 1864 is also very good. Also, a book review where Krick rips apart Alan Nolan's controversial (and overrated) 'Lee Considered' is quite delightful.
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1 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Parker Renella on May 1, 2014
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The meaness of this author was too much for me. I did not even finish the book.

I bought this book thinking the title signaled a key action identified in this book between the blue and gray that changed the war, only to find out Mr. Krick means the volley that wounded Jackson. Not what I thought. I had never heard of this author before, and I can see why. He is not a qualified historian. A true historian learns to evaluate all sides of the subject, not make a list of defamation of a figure. This collection of cheap shot essays would never stand muster in an academic environment.

Krick is abundantly speculative in this set of short essays, picking what sources he likes and discarding, often discrediting others, as if he is a was there and saw everything. His purpose really seems to be Jackson worship and Longstreet defamation. The first essay on the wounding of Jackson Krick wrongly concludes that this sole event lost the war for the Confederacy. No disrespect to good old Stonewall, but the South lost the war for many reasons. If Stonewall lived to the end, they still would have lost.

Jackson did well at Chancellorsville, but Longstreet was Lee's best man and corps commander. Let's face it Longstreet won more battles for Lee and the only big battle in the west. Krick totally left that out. Lee always stayed with Longstreet, not Jackson.
The third essay is truly a piece of disgustingly unnecessary garbage. As a reader I wonder what would possess someone to write an essay that is a list of unkind comments. Might the author have a mental disorder?

Krick closes #3 with a complete lie that Longstreet assailed the characters of Lee and Jackson, but does not provide the proof. Longstreet never assailed the characters of Lee and Jackson.
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10 of 21 people found the following review helpful By Old Warhorse on July 28, 2007
Although this book has a number of good points, like the section on Jackson, this is really just another rant about Longstreet by the king of the anti-Longstreet cabal. Robert Krick is an excellent writer, but he has over the years unjustly presented Longstreet as the "loose cannon" of the South. Krick has made a living preaching the gospel of Longstreet . . . a severely flawed man with and equaly flawed ego, and he probably thinks it's too late to back down now. In spite of the multitude of new books and new evidence establishing Longstreet as one of the best generals in the Southern states during the Civil War, Krick continues his uneven and vitrolic diatribe about one of the South's greatest generals. He's like the energizer bunny . . . he just keeps on and on . . . repeating variations of the lies established so long ago by the Lee Cult conspirators. He doesn't seem to be able to write anything without trying to put the boot to Longstreet. I guess Lee, Johnston, Grant, and a host of others got it all wrong about Longstreet being a "capital soldier". Robert Krick is one of a group of rapidly shrinking notable historians who---dispite the evidence---have blindly painted themselves into a niffty little historical "catch-22". They're d***d if they say they had it all wrong... and they'll be d***d if they don't. But, since they've made a long living bashing Longstreet, don't expect any sudden confessions. Too bad though. What a waste. He's a great writer.
Metaphorically speaking, Krick and other historians of similiar ilk, are "cherry pickers". They use individual cases or data that seem to confirm their position, while ignoring a significant number of related cases or data that contradict that position.
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