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Lees Lieutenants (3 Volumes In One Abridged) : A Study in Command Hardcover – Abridged, July 6, 1998
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Top Customer Reviews
Since I completed both audio books by the time I drove from Utah to Tennessee, I picked up a copy of Grant Moves South (which is the story of the Union's western campaign) by Bruce Catton at Chattanooga,Tennessee when I went and saw the Chickamaga battlefield. After seeing the war from the western point of view on the Union side I wanted to see the war from the Southern point of view on the eastern campaign - that led me to this book.
This book is an abridgement of the original three-volume version (the footnotes have been taken out). It is an incredibly well written book. It is a history of the army of Northern Virginia from the first shot fired to the surrender at Appomattox - but what makes this book unique is that it is a biography of around 150 Confederate officers. The book discusses in depth all the tradeoffs that were being made politically and militarily by the South. The book does an excellent job describing the battles, then at a critical decision point in the battle, the book focuses on an officer - the book stops and tells the biography of that person, and then goes back to the battle and tells what information the officer had at that point and the decision he made. At the end of the battle, the officers decisions are critiqued based on what he could have known and what he should have known given his experience, and that is compared with 20/20 hindsight.
An excellent read.
I supposed the current work would be satisfactory for a newcomer to the Civil War and might even give this work five stars. Freeman was the undisputed giant with respect to Southern History, also writing the 4-volume set "R. E. Lee, A Biography," and editing the 52-volume set of the "Southern Historical Society Papers," which is usually purchased as an adjunct to the 130-volume "War of the Rebellion, Official Records of the Union and Confederate Armies." All of these are still available (for up to $2,500.00), and they are indispensible for the committed Civil War Historian.
Freeman's prose is as lively and readable today as it was when he wrote in the 1930s and 40s. In fact, I would give five stars to all his works including "George Washington" and "The South to Posterity." I am not sorry I purchased the LL abridgement, as it is of course a good read, but not the reference the original was.
So buy this abridgement, but then move up to the original or buy the original in the first place.
Freeman develops all of the subordinate commanders of the Army of Northern Virginia, with a particular emphasis on Stonewall Jackson. Personnel from Major Pelham on up are treated with sympathy and respect even when their battlefield performance was not up to par. It is as if Freeman was emulating his hero, Robert E. Lee, who spoke kindly whenever possible about his people.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
This three volume set is a classic history of the Army of Northern Virginia. Yes, it is very definitely written from the southern point of view, but it is a treasure trove of... Read morePublished 7 months ago by civil war reader
This is a great book, and it is fine that it is abridged. Nothing essential is lost and the large volume will suffice everyone but three types - the professional scholar reading... Read morePublished 15 months ago by David H. Eisenberg
Mr Freeman's research is unrivaled, especially at the time written. His command of the facts still allows him the freedom to editorialize which is much appreciated. Read morePublished 15 months ago by Chuckster
I read this 3-volume work years ago and regard it as a classic. I now read other civil war history with the lieutenants of Lee as acquaintances and friends of mine, which adds... Read morePublished 16 months ago by James Bonhamton