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Almost exclusively a Confederate view of Gettysburg. Excellent narration. The book starts with a scathing critique of Jefferson Davis’ poor strategy and micromanagement. The author argues that Davis’ taking away experienced units from Lee’s army caused the Gettysburg defeat before the campaign even started.
Also, goes in great depth how many of the general officers in his army sabotaged Lee’s strategy- with special attention placed on the failings of Longstreet and JEB Stuart.
I learned new things and gained a deeper perspective, which is what I look for in a Civil War book. Not perfect, but a very solid effort.
There's an endless stream of narrative histories and commentaries on the battle of Gettysburg.
This book stands out in it's details about Ewell, Hill and Longstreet, and their difficulties with corps command under Lee's system of "discretionary orders."
Stuart--the obvious scapegoat--also receives a chapter of detailed description about the unhappy results of his discretionary attempt to follow Lee's orders.
Most accounts of the battle have demonstrated Longstreet's reluctance to carry out his orders on the second and third days of the battle. Monster doesn't deviate from this standpoint, but he goes much farther in demonstrating the crippling effect of General Longstreet's unwillingness to follow Lee's plans.
Of Hill and Ewell, their shortcomings likewise emerge in great clarity from the author's description.
The South's failure at Gettysburg is far more comprehensible than ever before, due to the author's insight, and his skill in conveying it.