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 Posted: Sun Sep 14th, 2008 12:31 am
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ole
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Could Stuart really not have understood Lee's orders? Or could it have been misunderstanding accidently on purpose?

There may have been both misunderstanding and an excess of discretion. The communications were filled with "if this, that." Wittenberg and Petruzzi, in Plenty of Blame to Go Around, state that Stuart suggested a dramatic ride around Hooker (possibly because of some bad press) and that Longstreet and Lee thought it might be a good idea. After that came a series of suggestions and whereases and whatifs.

He was instructed to gather supplies and keep in touch with Ewell. (If I recall correctly, he never did find Ewell. Possibly because Ewell was heading west by that time.) Being thus encumbered with gathering supplies (and stealing enough horses and wagons to tote them:P), he was late in finding Lee and history has treated him shabbily ever since.

If you don't have a copy of the book, google Official Records of the War of the Rebellion. You'll find that Cornell and OSU have fine, searchable, free sites. Go to Confederate correspondence and start reading about June 18th. (Then get the book.)

ole

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