Three Days at Gettysburg: Essays on Confederate and Union Leadership

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Gary W. Gallagher
Kent State University Press, 1999 - History - 373 pages
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No Civil War military campaign has inspired as much controversy about leadership as has Gettysburg. The contributors to this volume believe there is room for scholarship that revisits the sources on which earlier accounts have been based and challenges prevailing interpretations of key officer's performances. They have trained their investigative lens on some obvious and some relatively neglected figures, with an eye toward illuminating not only what happened at Gettysburg but also the nature of command at different levels.

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What Was Lee up to in Pennsylvania?
This book is another in the long line of extremely detailed reports on the days activities of the Battle of Gettysburg, PA. In addition, also reviewed are the many
controversial decisions taken by General Lee & his subordinates.
One thing is left out of this book and most others. There is a reason General Lee moved into Pennsylvania. While he may have wanted to draw federal troops away from Washington, I suspect there is much more to the decision to move his army northward. And I suspect there are events prior to the battle at Gettysburg, that may have shaped history.
I suspect Gettysburg was truly a mistake. I suspect Lee had no intention of confronting Union troops in PA or anywhere north of the Mason-Dixon line. The failure to maintain communications with J. E. B. Stewart & others, plus decisions to advance without actual knowledge of the enemies positions, were fatal & not typical of Lee or many of his commanders.
It appears to me that the confrontation at Gettysburg happened only because Lee was caught trying to get out of PA. He may have planned to make an exit in that general direction all the time. However I think its possible he planned to make that exit while Union troops were occupied dealing with whatever Lee had originally planned. So, aside from Lee's desire to pull troops away from Washington, what was his original plan once in PA? Where was he going? Why did he reverse course. There was some event that changed the course of history & it seems to me most books detailing the history of the Civil War that I read, lack any real & detailed explanation of Lee's intentions & what took place that lead to the confrontation at Gettysburg. Perhaps whatever caused Lee to backtrack or try to leave PA, was the real defining event of the Civil War. After Gettysburg, the South was in no real position to inflict a defeat on the North that would have changed the course of history.
I just get the feeling everyone is focused on the tremendous battle at Gettysburg, and in doing so all may be overlooking or marginalizing events that lead up to Gettysburg.

Review: Three Days at Gettysburg: Essays on Confederate and Union Leadership

User Review  - Melissa - Goodreads

I read this for my senior seminar on Gettysburg at UCLA prior to our two week trip to Gettysburg, Richmond,VA, Washington DC, and Harpers Ferry in July and August 2001. It's an excellent book that was ... Read full review


R E Lee and July 1 at Gettysburg
A P Hill and Richard S Ewell in a Difficult Debut
0 0 Howard and Eleventh Corps Leadership
Failures of Brigade Leadership on the First Day at Gettysburg
R E Lee and the Second Day at Gettysburg
Daniel E Sickles and the Third Corps on July 2 1863
James Longstreet and the Second Day at Gettysburg
Henry W Slocum and the Twelfth Corps on July 12 1863
James Longstreets Virginia Defenders
The Failure of Confederate Artillery at Picketts Charge
Henry J Hunt and the Union Artillery on July 3 1863
Bibliographic Essay

John C Caldwells Division in the Wheatfield July 2 1863
George G Meade on July 3 at Gettysburg

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References to this book

Stephen W. Sears
Limited preview - 2004
Stephen W. Sears
Limited preview - 2004
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About the author (1999)

Gary W Gallagher is a civil war historian with a special interest in the military aspects of the war. He is the author or co-author of several books including Lee and His Generals in War and Memory and The Confederate War. He has also served as President of the Association of Preservation of Civil War sites. He is a professor of history at the University of Virginia.

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