• Lost Triumph

  • Lee's Real Plan at Gettysburg And Why It Failed
  • By: Tom Carhart
  • Narrated by: Michael Prichard
  • Length: 8 hrs and 59 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook
  • Release date: 08-01-05
  • Language: English
  • Publisher: Tantor Audio
  • 3.5 out of 5 stars 3.7 (73 ratings)

Regular price: $24.49

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Publisher's Summary

A fascinating narrative, and a bold new thesis in the study of the Civil War, that suggests Robert E. Lee had a heretofore undiscovered strategy at Gettysburg that, if successful, could have crushed the Union forces and changed the outcome of the war. The Battle of Gettysburg is the pivotal moment when the Union forces repelled perhaps America's greatest commander, the brilliant Robert E. Lee, who had already thrashed a long line of Federal opponents, just as he was poised at the back door of Washington, D.C. It is the moment in which the fortunes of Lee, Lincoln, the Confederacy, and the Union hung precariously in the balance.
Conventional wisdom has held to date, almost without exception, that on the third day of the battle, Lee made one profoundly wrong decision. But how do we reconcile Lee the high-risk warrior with Lee the general who launched "Pickett's Charge", employing only a fifth of his total forces, across an open field, up a hill, against the heart of the Union defenses? Most history books have reported that Lee just had one very bad day. But there is much more to the story, which Tom Carhart addresses for the first time.
With meticulous detail and startling clarity, Carhart revisits the historic battles Lee taught at West Point and believed were the essential lessons in the art of war: the victories of Napoleon at Austerlitz, Frederick the Great at Leuthen, and Hannibal at Cannae, and reveals what they can tell us about Lee's real strategy. What Carhart finds will thrill all students of history: Lee's plan for an electrifying rear assault by Jeb Stuart that, combined with the frontal assault, could have broken the Union forces in half. Only in the final hours of the battle was the attack reversed through the daring of an unproven young general: George Armstrong Custer.
©2005 Tom Carhart (P)2005 Tantor Media, Inc.
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
2 out of 5 stars
By Craig on 08-27-08

Not a good history

In point of fact, Tom Carhat's perception of Lee's plan is accurate in that Lee had a plan and Stuart's failure against Custer was a great part of the reason that plan failed. That said - let historians do their job.

A Confederate victory at Gettysburg would possibly lead to European recognition? Hardly. Not only had that time passed, Carhart forgets that Vicksburg fell that same day - July 3.

To pretend that the Confederacy could have won the war had they prevailed at Gettysburg is fabtasy fiction (see Newt Gingrich ) not the work of historians of any merit. Carhart is much too glib in his projections and not at all on solid ground. He also accepts the old nonsense of the trees being the object of Picket's charge when those trees were too young and small in 1863 to be seen well from across the pike. That alone is enough to look askance at his narrative.

His premise for the book is correct. His execution, like Lee's, leaves much to be desired.

Read the cover sleeve at Borders and use your credits here for well written and non hagiographic history.

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4 of 5 people found this review helpful

2 out of 5 stars
By Joel Langenfeld on 04-21-07


The author has some interesting ideas, and there are certainly some important questions that have never been satisfactorily answered.

However, to support his hypothesis, he must be extremely selective in the evidence he chooses, and disregard a great deal of testimony to the contrary. Granted, testimony is often inconsistent (and meant to agrandize to the speaker). Still, it was disposed of almost out of hand.

At various points, the author characterizes Longstreet as a loose cannnon, JEB Stewart as Lee's most trusted lieutenant given a secret mission, and for no obvious reason George McClellan as a simpering twit. He obviously walked the battlefield, but relies on what he saw - including the *current* level of forestation - to suggest what a mounted man, 150 years ago, may have been able to observed.

There is some plausibility to his ideas, but he hasn't helped his case by running roughshod over the evidence.

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6 of 8 people found this review helpful

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