Sweetwilliam's Reviews > Gettysburg

Gettysburg by Stephen W. Sears
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Jul 23, 2011

it was amazing
Read in July, 2011

This is an outstanding compilation on the Gettysburg campaign. I have read the Landscape Turned Red, Chancellorsville, and now Gettysburg. I enjoyed every page of every book. This book explains Lee’s reason for the invasion of Pennsylvania…. first the Army of Northern Virginia needed food and supplies for their men and forage for their horses and secondly the South needed a victory to offset the pending loss of Vicksburg. Lee believed reinforcing Vicksburg would do nothing more than dilute the overall war effort. Instead Lee proposed a 2nd invasion of the north to fight what Sears refers to as a strategically offensive campaign but tactically defensive battle (Similar to Hooker's plan at Chancellorsville). This was Lee's last chance to take the offensive. Then why did Lee not fight the defensive battle he proposed? Sears accuses Lee of being passive at Gettysburg. He says the same about Lee's new Corp commander’s AP Hill and Ewell. Also, Lee was left blind by Stuarts ride around the army of the Potomac. It seems like the Union’s cavalry coming of age - thanks to men like Gregg, Buford, and George Armstrong Custer - played a large part in leveling the playing field. But the biggest factor may have been The Army of Northern Virginia’s overconfidence. If you read Sear’s Chancellorsville the Army of the Potomac, with the exception of the 11th Corp, was on par with the Army of Northern Virginia. The only problem I had with this book is that it had to end. Read the book. You’ll love it.
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