A Glorious Army: Robert E. Lee's Triumph, 1862-1863
From the time Robert E. Lee took command of the Army of Northern Virginia on June 1, 1862, until the Battle of Gettysburg thirteen months later, the Confederate army compiled a record of military achievement almost unparalleled in our nation’s history. How it happened—the relative contributions of Lee, his top command, opposing Union generals, and of course the rebel army itself—is the subject of Civil War historian Jeffry D. Wert’s fascinating new history.
Wert shows how the audacity and aggression that fueled Lee’s victories ultimately proved disastrous at Gettysburg. But, as Wert explains, Lee had little choice: outnumbered by an opponent with superior resources, he had to take the fight to the enemy in order to win. When an equally combative Union general—Ulysses S. Grant—took command of northern forces in 1864, Lee was defeated.
A Glorious Army draws on the latest scholarship to provide fresh assessments of Lee; his top commanders Longstreet, Jackson, and Stuart; and a shrewd battle strategy that still offers lessons to military commanders today.
A Glorious Book
By Amanda Warren - May 13, 2011
This is an excellent in-depth description of a year in the life of the Army of Northern Virginia, beginning with General Lee's assumption of command in June 1862 and the Seven Days' battles, through Gettysburg (with a brief overview in the last chapter of subsequent major developments leading to Appomattox). Although anyone will enjoy it, this book is not the best choice for a reader with no background knowledge of the War in the East. Rather, it offers for those who have already learned some or much about the events of the Civil War, a layering of abundant insight and delicious detail. Copious quotes (many previously unknown to me) of private soldiers through high-level staff officers, give the reader a poignant sense of the ground-level sensations of those who marched and fought in the Army. Wert's beautiful writing, so enjoyed in his biographies of Longstreet and Stuart, is even better here. (For example, on the morning before Antietam: "A drizzling rain fell, followed by... read more
The story of a fabled army
By James W. Durney - April 27, 2011
Robert E. Lee and the Army of Northern Virginia occupy a special place in both our history and mythology. For many, this is the American Civil War. Either glorify or demonize, the man and his army are the subject of a library full of books. Jeffery Wert is no stranger as he steps fearlessly into this arena. Books on this subject can draw fire from both sides, placing an author in the middle of an ongoing battle. Wert has an almost lyrical style that is equally informative and fun to read. While not terse, he tells the story without unnecessary words. Add an ability to use respected historians, original sources with his intelligent observations make for an excellent book. This history covers the time from Lee assuming command outside of Richmond to Gettysburg, an oft-told tale that Wert tells in a fresh vigorous way. This is not a detailed slog through battles, army politics and supply problems. This is not a detailed tactical study of the battles. This is a... read more
A Good Place To Start: The Confederate Viewpoint of the Eastern Theater 1862-1863
By James D. Miller - August 10, 2011
The Confederate defeat at the Battle of Gettysburg has often been referred to as the turning point of the American Civil War. Since Robert E. Lee assumed the command, the Army of Northern Virginia won a string of battle victories: the Seven Days, Second Manassas, Antietam (not a victory, but a tactical draw), Fredericksburg and Chancellorsville. Up until its defeat at Gettysburg the Army of Northern Virginia seemed nearly invincible.
So how is it that in mid July 1863, Robert E. Lee's army should find itself defeated and retreating from Pennsylvania back to Virginia? Jeffry D. Wert attempts to answer that question. His book, "A Glorious Army: Robert E. Lee's Triumph, 1862-1863" begins with Robert E. Lee's assumption of the command of the Army of Northern Virginia in June of 1862 and traces through its defeat at Gettysburg. This is not a blow by blow account of each of the battles, but rather it is an amalgamation of scholarly interpretations by noted historians of... read more
Many know about her husband, Robert E. Lee, and her great-grandmother, Martha Washington; many have visited the cemetery that now occupies her family estate. But few today know much about Mary Custis ...