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Plenty of Blame to Go Around: Jeb Stuart's Controversial Ride to Gettysburg [Hardcover]

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Item description for Plenty of Blame to Go Around: Jeb Stuart's Controversial Ride to Gettysburg by Eric J. Wittenberg & J. David Petruzzi...

June 1863. The Gettysburg Campaign is in its opening hours. Harness jingles and hoofs pound as Confederate cavalryman James Ewell Brown (JEB) Stuart leads his three brigades of veteran troopers on a ride that triggers one of the Civil War's most bitter and enduring controversies. Instead of finding glory and victory-two objectives with which he was intimately familiar-Stuart reaped stinging criticism and substantial blame for one of the Confederacy's most stunning and unexpected battlefield defeats. In Plenty of Blame to Go Around: Jeb Stuart's Controversial Ride to Gettysburg, Eric J. Wittenberg and J. David Petruzzi objectively investigate the role Stuart's horsemen played in the disastrous campaign. It is the first book ever written on this important and endlessly fascinating subject.

Stuart left Virginia under acting on General Robert E. Lee's discretionary orders to advance into Maryland and Pennsylvania, where he was to screen Lt. Gen. Richard Ewell's marching infantry corps and report on enemy activity. The mission jumped off its tracks from virtually the moment it began when one unexpected event after another unfolded across Stuart's path. For days, neither Lee nor Stuart had any idea where the other was, and the enemy blocked the horseman's direct route back to the Confederate army, which was advancing nearly blind north into Pennsylvania. By the time Stuart reached Lee on the afternoon of July 2, the armies had unexpectedly collided at Gettysburg, the second day's fighting was underway, and one of the campaign's greatest controversies was born.

Did the plumed cavalier disobey Lee's orders by stripping the army of its "eyes and ears?" Was Stuart to blame for the unexpected combat the broke out at Gettysburg on July 1? Authors Wittenberg and Petruzzi, widely recognized for their study and expertise of Civil War cavalry operations, have drawn upon a massive array of primary sources, many heretofore untapped, to fully explore Stuart's ride, its consequences, and the intense debate among participants shortly after the battle, through early post-war commentators, and among modern scholars.

The result is a richly detailed study jammed with incisive tactical commentary, new perspectives on the strategic role of the Southern cavalry, and fresh insights on every horse engagement, large and small, fought during the campaign. About the authors: Eric J. Wittenberg has written widely on Civil War cavalry operations. His books include Glory Enough for All (2002), The Union Cavalry Comes of Age (2003), and The Battle of Monroe's Crossroads and the Civil War's Final Campaign (2005). He lives in Columbus, Ohio.

J. David Petruzzi is the author of several magazine articles on Eastern Theater cavalry operations, conducts tours of cavalry sites of the Gettysburg Campaign, and is the author of the popular "Buford's Boys" website at Petruzzi lives in Brockway, Pennsylvania.

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Item Specifications...

Pages   428
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 1.25" Width: 6.25" Height: 9.25"
Weight:   1.5 lbs.
Binding  Hardcover
Release Date   Sep 1, 2006
Publisher   Savas Beatie
ISBN  1932714200  
ISBN13  9781932714203  

Availability  0 units.

More About Eric J. Wittenberg & J. David Petruzzi

Register your artisan biography and upload your photo! Eric J. Wittenberg is the author of "Protecting the Flanks, Gettysburg's Forgotten Cavalry Actions" (winner of the Bachelder-Coddington Literary Award as 1998 s best new work interpreting the Battle of Gettysburg), and "We Have it Damn Hard Out Here". In addition, he is the editor of "With Sheridan in the Final Campaign Against Lee", "Under Custer's Command" (Brassey s, Inc., 2000), and "One of Custer's Wolverines". He lives in Columbus, Ohio.

Eric J. Wittenberg currently resides in Columbus, in the state of Ohio. Eric J. Wittenberg was born in 1961 and has an academic affiliation as follows - Civil War Preservation Trust.

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Product Categories

1Books > Subjects > History > Americas > General
2Books > Subjects > History > Americas > United States > Civil War > Campaigns > Gettysburg
3Books > Subjects > History > Americas > United States > Civil War > General
4Books > Subjects > History > Military > General

Reviews - What do customers think about Plenty of Blame to Go Around: Jeb Stuart's Controversial Ride to Gettysburg?

Those who failed to win the Ballle and those that Lost it  Jun 13, 2008
Lets face it Lee lost the battle of Gettysburg. He admitted it himself, but he did have a co-conspirator. Due to his criticism of Lee, the fact that he wasnot your typical chivarlous southerner and becoming a Republican after the war Longstreet had been pick for that role. Everyone of the confederate corp commanders made mistakes. Cocky Hill letting Pettigrew go to Gettyburg with no idea of what was in front of him. Indecisive Ewell failing to attack Cenetery Hill when even Hancock admitted later that it could have been taken with a timely southern attack. And then there was Longstreet or what i like to call "The little train that couldnt" who whether right about not attacking the union postition or not certainly had a hand in that failure with his sulkying and perhaps even self fullfilling prophecy due to his lethargy and slowness. The mistakes these corp commanders made did not win the battle but only two if you want to discount that the federals won it lost the battle. Lee's ofder of pickett's charge and his incompetence in not properly overseeing Longstreets diligence in overseeing the attack especially Hill's corp lost the battle. Staurt was co-conspirator for these reason's. Would Hill have stumbled into a general engagement if Staurt's cavalry would have been there to report that it was federal cavalry and not militia in Gettysburg. There has been claims that there was sufficent cavalry left to Lee yet Stuart took every exceptional commander with him on his ride. What if he had left Wade Hampton to oversee that cavalry. As for Ewell he was getting reports that federal infantry was advancing up the Baltimore Pike It was confederate skirmishers and he was told that but how much did that and his ignorance of what federal forces were coming up because Stuart was not there to tell him contributed to Ewell hesitation. Not even Stuart can be blamed for Ewell not occupying an unoccupied Culps Hill. As for Longstreet and his suggested small flanking movement around the round tops and his larger one of putting the Condeferate force between Meade and Washington on defensible ground forcing Meade to attack. How feasible would they have been if Stuart would have been there to tell Lee where the federal forces were. Everyone of the corp commanders mistakes has the hand of Staurt on them. As for Picketts charge that was Lee's and Lee's alone so dont get the idea that this review is in anyway an attempt to exonerat him. Malvern Hill and Picketts charge showed he could perhaps be too audacious. Regarding this book hopefully it is the beginning of a movement that those Lee adoletors if they want to scapegoat Lee's failure at least it will go to the proper person. Stuart not Longstreet. I dont care about his brillance before and after the battle, i dont care that he died for his country. I dont care if he represented true southern chilavry. Jeb Staut made a monumental mistake in how he choose to obey Lee's orders by choosing a route that he could have foreseen the union army blocking his way north and his total lack of urgency in getting to Lee by chasing a wagon train half way to Washington. I have read Lee's order and while it may have given Stuart discretion in how he got there one thing was very clear in Lee's order. He wanted constant and up to date information about the whereabouts of the union army and he wanted him on Ewell flank protecting the army as SOON AS POSSIBLE and ladies and gentlemen him arriving on JULY SECOND just didnt cut it. So you Longstreet haters ease up and you Lee lovers if you have to blame someone i hope this book has at least given you the proper target.
Enough Fault For Everyone  May 2, 2008
As the last of George Pickett's men limped off the battlefield on the evening of July 3rd, 1863 it was clear the Confederate Army, after three days of fighting, had been defeated. General Lee, as the commander of the Army of Northern Virginia, accepted all responsibility for the loss, but many, after the battle, blamed General J.E.B. Stuart instead. It has been 145 years since the Confederate defeat at Gettysburg, and the controversy over who is to blame for the loss has never abated.

Eric J. Wittenberg and J. David Petruzzi have brought the case to trial in their book, "Plenty Of Blame To Go Around: Jeb Stuart's Controversial Ride to Gettysburg." The first half of the book is an inquiry into the facts of the case, as the authors present General Lee's orders to Stuart as exhibits. Their careful and diligent research has turned up many witnesses, both Union and Confederate, who add their testimony, and together, they form a narrative of the events following Stuart's departure with his cavalry, their ride around the Federal Army and their arrival on the battlefield of Gettysburg on July 2nd.

The second half of the book enters the historiography of Stuart's ride into evidence, and breaks it down into three phases. In the first phase, immediately after the battle and war, those immediately involved in the Confederate high command, and those involved in the ride, begin the finger pointing and placing of blame. In the second, the controversy continues, and heats up, during the post war years, as the participants continue quarreling with one another. Finally, after the passing of the participants, the debate continued into the 20th & 21st centuries, when the historians took up the argument. In all three phases, JEB Stuart had his supporters and detractors. The authors have done a fine job, presenting the evidence and arguments on both sides of this complicated issue.

Was the infallible Robert E. Lee at fault for issuing vague orders to Stuart? Did Stuart disobey, either willfully or unintentionally, Lee's orders? The authors, in their conclusion, deliver their verdict and find there is no one single person entirely to blame for the Confederate loss at Gettysburg. There is enough fault for every one. Or, in other words, there's "plenty of blame to go around."

"Plenty Of Blame To Go Around" is the definitive history of Jeb Stuart's ride to Gettysburg. Eric J. Wittenberg and J. David Petruzzi's outstanding research has produced a book that is truly a joy to read.
Definitive account of two things -- Stuart's ride and 140 years of postmortem analysis  Mar 31, 2008
As a history of Stuart's epic ride, this book has no peer. As even-handed historiography of the critical aftermath, echoing for well over a century, it also no peer. I have two trivial criticisms: 1) the title isn't quite accurate, I think -- however many people were in the decision loop during those critical days, Stuart surely must have realized, at some point, that he had brought his command far from where it should have been; and, 2) the authors interrupt their clear narrative flow with repeated biographical digressions that should have been drastically curtailed or relegated to the endnotes (or both). The authors make the all-important point that Lee and his corps commanders marching into Pennsylvania had sufficient cavalry available for their purposes in the four brigades left behind by Stuart, but they failed to utilize these brigades properly and the brigade commanders themselves demonstrated little initiative. The biggest problem was not the absence of Stuart's three cavalry brigades but of Stuart himself, with his intuitive flair for scouting and delivering accurate reports to Lee.
The Last Word on Stuart at Gettysburg  Mar 23, 2008
Lots of questions answered regarding what Gen stuart did or didn't do at Gettysburg. Definitely added lots of light to dissipate the tons of heat present in the myths, rumors and inuendo surrounding Lees loss of the Battle of Gettysburg and who truly shared the blame for the loss--including rafts of evidence supporting the what and why of the blame. Gen Jeb Stuart comes off well--he was certainly not the villain of the loss.
JEB's Ride  Sep 23, 2007
Regardless of what one thinks of JEB Stuart, "Plenty of Blame to Go Around" is worth the time to read. The authors carefully analyze Stuart's part in the Gettysburg campaign using first hand accounts, secondary sources, and "color" commentary from beyond the written word. In regard to the later, I found it most helpful as the authors placed the realities of mounted warfare into the context of Stuart's actions. For instance few first hand accounts discuss how often horses were shod. Such was an action so common, they didn't think to mention it (as we wouldn't mention filling our gas tanks or changing oil in a narrative). Secondary accounts miss this important limitation when discussing what Stuart could or could not have accomplished. The authors here present this and other points that bear on the overall discussion. Interesting and very well written overall. The last few chapters deal directly with the "historiography" of Stuart's ride, and very professionally I might add. Clear distinction is made between the author's opinion and the secondary sources. In the end, the authors don't play their hand early with regard to conclusions. Facts are presented and different interpretations offered, then the authors make their conclusions.

Three points which prevent this from becoming a full five star submission in my opinion. First, the maps presented are not detailed enough to support the text. When I read an historical text, particularly military history, it is rather cumbersome to pull up a modern road map to place things in context of the terrain. Second, the "tour" section at the end should be more inclusive, and deal with more than just the Pennsylvania sites. Lastly, I would prefer the authors to have brought into the discussion more of the action in Loudoun Valley in the week preceding the start of Stuart's ride.

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