View single post by J David Petruzzi
 Posted: Fri Aug 18th, 2006 01:54 pm
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J David Petruzzi
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Great JD. Looking forward to it. I assume that you got the info I emailed this AM? This is a particularly special topic for me (as a Stuart biographer myself - although I took a religious approach) as through all of my research - this seems to be one of those recurring issues that screams for either a "guilty as charged" or some sort of vindication.
Got it, Mike, and Sarah Stephens at Savas Beatie LLC is making sure that the review is set up and that you get a copy of the book. 


I'm sure you studied Lee's orders (pre-and post) closely as well as his recollections following the war.

We sure did, as you'll see in the book.  We list all orders Stuart received from Lee and Longstreet, and analyze them in light of their similarity, differences, and also in light of what Stuart would have been able to do under the circumstances.  We do not, however, take the tack that Bowden and Ward do - I think our analysis is less speculation and more of an objective look at the intent of the orders.

So I'm assuming you come down more on the side of Mark Nesbitt than Ward and Bowden's?

Well, somewhat, David - Bowden and Ward, in my opinion, didn't back up all their conclusions and interpretations with sources.  Nesbitt is more forgiving of Stuart, obviously - but the title of our book reveals our opinions on it... "Plenty of Blame to Go Around."  By taking such a detailed examination of it all, I think we give the reader more to chew on than they bargained for... and much to form their own opinion.  You will see much in this book you've never seen before in the way of obscure and previously unused sources.  The chapters dealing with the narrative of the Ride set up the 3 following chapters in which we discuss participants', commentators', and modern writers' opinions on Stuart's performance, and we lay out all our conclusions in the final chapter.  We do not, however, try to convince anyone that we're right or wrong - just objective conclusions backed up by a wealth of evidence.  Those who have no opinion of Stuart's performance or culpability will have a lot to base an opinion on, and those who were convinced either way may either have their opinions confirmed, or may begin to change either way by considering a lot more stuff than they had previously.

J.D.

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