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Richard S. Ewell: A Soldier's Life
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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0807823899, Hardcover)Confederate general Richard Ewell has never received the attention he deserves, according to his biographer Donald C. Pfanz. Ewell's many impressive military achievements have gone largely unnoticed, and his few failures--among them arguably blowing an opportunity to turn Gettysburg into a Southern victory--have often served as reasons to blame Confederate losses on anybody but its more revered generals, such as Robert E. Lee. Ewell's greatest accomplishment, suggests Pfanz, was leading third-rate troops in defense of Petersburg when Federal soldiers broke through at Fort Harrison. "Had [Stonewall] Jackson been in charge rather than Ewell, historians would have touted the battle as a military masterpiece. But ... the episode was forgotten. Historians have all but ignored it since." Despite such assessments, Richard S. Ewell: A Soldier's Life is no hagiography; Pfanz cites shortcomings in both Ewell's personality (bad temper) and judgment (at Spotsylvania, for instance). Still, this book is mainly a robust defense of a second-tier general who deserves better than what he's received from other historians.
(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:23:03 -0400)
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