“Longstreet at Gettysburg” just released

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Rick Richter

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Dec 6, 2012
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Hi All,

Just wanted to tip you to my newly-published book, "Longstreet at Gettysburg: A Critical Reassessment.” It was just officially released by McFarland Publishers a few days ago and was a 4+ year project from start to finish. If you’re interested in the topic, listed below is some information on the book and advance reviews.
Thanks, Cory

Description: This is the first book-length, critical analysis of Lieutenant General James Longstreet's actions at the Battle of Gettysburg. The author argues that Longstreet's record has been discredited unfairly, beginning with character assassination by his contemporaries after the war and, persistently, by historians in the decades since. By closely studying the three-day battle, and conducting an incisive historiographical inquiry into Longstreet's treatment by scholars, this book presents an alternative view of Longstreet as an effective military leader, and refutes over a century of negative evaluations of his performance.

Book Notes from “Civil War Books & Authors” (March 12, 2019):

https://cwba.blogspot.com/2019/03/booknotes-longstreet-at-gettysburg.html
“...It certainly does appear to be an exhaustive reevaluation of the many controversies and myths surrounding Longstreet's actions, with the author dissecting on a point by point basis over 150 years of critical interpretation. In the book the author quotes and challenges the views and conclusions expressed in the publications of a host of major modern scholars.”

Advance Reviews:
“Cory M. Pfarr is a worthy successor to Glenn Tucker, providing the most detailed analysis to date of James Longstreet's actions at Gettysburg, the motivations of his postwar critics, and the manner in which bias against Longstreet has influenced histories of the battle down to the present day. This is a welcome addition to the historiography of the most studied military engagement in American history." - William Garrett Piston, author of “Lee's Tarnished Lieutenant: James Longstreet and his Place in Southern History”

"General James Longstreet remains the most controversial Confederate officer to fight at Gettysburg. Surprisingly, no full-length assessment of Longstreet’s Gettysburg record has been produced until now. Cory Pfarr methodically analyzes many of the myths and controversies that surround Lee’s ‘Old War Horse.’ His results challenge popular interpretations that were created by ‘Lost Cause’ advocates and continue among historians to this day. Pfarr’s provocative work will be required reading for all subsequent treatments of Longstreet at Gettysburg." -James A. Hessler, Gettysburg Licensed Battlefield Guide and author of “Sickles at Gettysburg” and “Gettysburg’s Peach Orchard”

"About once each decade an honest work concerning James Longstreet is published. Cory Pfarr has this decade covered. This is the book so many of us have been waiting for. It is certified 'Lost Cause mythology'-free and is the first thoroughly honest account of General James Longstreet's generalship during the Gettysburg Campaign. This book is the long missing piece of the Gettysburg story." -Richard Pilcher, a past president of The Longstreet Society

"'Longstreet at Gettysburg' is a superb counter-stroke to the century-and-a-half of Lost Cause propaganda leveled at General Longstreet over Gettysburg. By confronting and refuting each and every false claim, Cory Pfarr has set the record straight and affirms the tremendous competence Longstreet employed to try and win a battle where the circumstances were stacked against the Confederates. He shows Longstreet’s efforts and results were impressive in the face of difficult odds, and proves Longstreet is one of America’s best war leaders and fighting generals. A tour de force." -Harold M. Knudsen, LTC (Ret.) US Army and author of “General James Longstreet: The Confederacy’s Most Modern General”


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Looks terrific, can't wait to read it; glad to see some of these old falsehoods being rectified.
 

cpfarr01

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Nov 3, 2018
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Well that takes care of my Christmas request. Looks like a good book and it’s a theory I’ve had for a while as well. History wasn’t kind to Longstreet.
Thanks @8thFlorida.

Mr. Pharr:

Thank you for your response regarding your research.

I am looking forward to reading your book.

David H.
You’re welcome @David H. . Hope you enjoy it.

Looks terrific, can't wait to read it; glad to see some of these old falsehoods being rectified.
Thanks @Rick Richter.
 
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cpfarr01

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A few more recent reviews, for those who are interested.

- From Alex Rossino, author of Six Days in September: A Novel of Lee’s Army in Maryland, 1862 (Savas Beatie, 2017):

“The written literature on the Battle of Gettysburg is immense, ranging from fully-blown multi-volume histories of the fight to single volume analyses of specific subjects. Cory Pfarr's ‘Longstreet at Gettysburg’ falls in the latter category, but while it is a short book dedicated to pointing out how poorly treated James Longstreet has been since the days of the birth of the Lost Cause mythology, it also takes a look at the major debates surrounding the battle. In doing so, Pfarr exposes the anti-Longstreet biases of Lost Cause advocates and subsequent generations of historians alike. Some of the things written about Longstreet, Pfarr explains, even by historians who ought to know better, fall into the realm of fiction. Pfarr calls out these fabrications in such a way that even if you don't know the Battle of Gettysburg well you come away from his book with a deeper understanding of it. For readers new to the history of the battle Pfarr has done an invaluable service. Once they have read this book they can plunge into the histories and see where the biases lie. I highly recommend this book to anyone interested in the American Civil War - beginner or veteran.”

- From General James Longstreet’s great-grandson, Dan Paterson:

“...Mr. Pfarr’s book is the first of its kind to answer the anti-Longstreet falsehoods using original primary sources and is done in a point-by-point effort refuting and rebutting each accusation using the Official Records that counter every one of the negative assertions or psycho-babble injections and opinions that have made their way into much of the literature on James Longstreet. Mr. Pfarr’s book is a must read for any Gettysburg aficionado and is certainly a welcome addition to any Civil War library. This is the first book-length, critical analysis of James Longstreet’s actions at the battle of Gettysburg and to borrow the slogan of the Longstreet Memorial Fund of the 1990’s, ‘It’s About Time!’”
 

MBuehner

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Oct 28, 2014
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I loved the book.

I do quibble with the notion that maneuvering the army down the Emmitsburg on the 2nd was ever seriously considered by Lee or even Longstreet ultimately.

Based on what they knew at the time, the bulk of Union cavalry was busy skirmishing with Anderson's troops on the West side of the road the previous evening and morning (and some III Corp infantry at times). This was a serious impediment without their own cavalry and with forces on their flank.

More importantly, everyone had watched the I and XI Corp March up that road the day before, and the III Corp that morning. Blindly pushing down the road with whoever was still on Cemetery Hill in their rear was a recipe for disaster. If Lee was working on the assumption that the bulk of the Union army wasn't on the field yet, it had to occur to him very possible if not certain they were marching up that road. This would have put the ANV on a collision course, with troops in their rear and flank and a tenuous line of retreat.

Without Stuart it couldn't even be considered. Perhaps a march southwest down the Fairfax road and an attempt to slip East at Emmitsburg was at least plausible (if unlikely to succeed, given the inside track Meade would have).

Napoleon:
  • Maxim XXX. Nothing is so rash or so contrary to principle as to make a flank march before an army in position, especially when this army occupies heights at the foot of which you are forced to defile.
Enough said.
 

cpfarr01

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For those who are interested:

The presentation of “Longstreet at Gettysburg: The Creation of a Scapegoat and Perpetuation of a Lie” will be airing nationally on CSPAN-3 American History TV on August 31, September 1 and 8.

This speech was presented at the Gettysburg Heritage Center on June 29 during Anniversary Week.

Airing times in EDT:
Saturday, August 31 - 6 p.m.
Sunday, September 1 - 4 a.m.
Sunday, September 8 - 10 a.m.

 
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