By Edward H. Bonekemper III
This ebook demanding situations the overall view that Robert E. Lee was once an army genius who staved off inevitable accomplice defeat opposed to insurmountable odds. in its place, the writer contends that Lee was once essentially accountable for the South's loss in a battle it may well have won.
His thought: The North had the load of conquering the South, a tremendous defensible sector inclusive of 11 states. The South purely needed to play for a tie and merely needed to put on down the northern will to win (as insurgents did opposed to greater forces within the American Revolution, the chinese language Communist takeover of China, and the Vietnam War). particularly, the South needed to carry directly to its necessary manpower assets and persuade the North to vote Lincoln out of place of work in 1864.
Instead, Lee unnecessarily went for the win, squandered his irreplaceable troops, and weakened his military so badly that army defeat turned inevitable. Lee's military took 80,000 casualties in his first fourteen months of command-the similar variety of troops he inherited while he took command. this significant interval of the battle prolonged from the Seven Days' crusade, within which Lee's military went at the suicidal offensive nearly each day for every week; moment Bull Run/Manassas, the place the ultimate offensive cost was once expensive; the Antietam crusade, which Lee initiated on his personal and virtually price him his military; Fredericksburg, a lesson in slaughter that Lee did not examine; Chancellorsville, the "victory" that wasn't; and at last the disastrous Gettysburg crusade, within which he took his military at the strategic offensive and heavily broken its destiny software. With the Confederacy outnumbered four-to-one in white males of scuffling with age, Lee's competitive approach and strategies proved to be suicidal.
Also noteworthy are Lee's failure to take cost of the battlefield (such because the moment day of Gettysburg), his overly complicated and useless battle-plans (such because the Antietam and 7 Days' campaigns), and his obscure and ambiguous orders (such as those who disadvantaged him of Jeb Stuart's prone for many of Gettysburg).
Furthermore, the publication describes how Lee's Virginia-first myopia performed a huge position in the most important accomplice disasters within the West. Too little consciousness has been paid to Lee's refusals to supply reinforcements for Vicksburg or Tennessee in mid-1863, his inflicting James Longstreet to reach at Chickamauga with just a 3rd of his troops and none of his artillery, his proposal to maneuver Longstreet clear of Chattanooga prior to Grant's troops broke throughout the undermanned Confederates at Missionary Ridge, and his failure to augment Atlanta within the severe months earlier than the 1864 Presidential election.
Lee's ultimate failure was once his carrying on with the hopeless and bloody slaughter after Union victory have been ensured by means of each one of a chain of occasions: the autumn of Atlanta, the reelection of Lincoln, and the autumn of Petersburg and Richmond.
This e-book additionally explores historians' therapy of Lee, together with the deification of him by means of failed accomplice generals, reminiscent of Jubal A. Early and William Nelson Pendleton, trying to resurrect their very own reputations and repair the delight of the South via construction of the parable of the misplaced Cause.
Readers and listeners usually are not impartial approximately this stinging critique of the hero of The misplaced reason.