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Four Years with General Lee (1877)

de Walter H. Taylor

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Sèrie: Civil War Centennial Series (1877)

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712287,566 (3.93)3
"... it offers a sure, quick, eyewitness assessment of all Lee's campaigns." --Southern Partisan Walter Taylor was "first to last the closest" of all staff officers to General Robert E. Lee, and his intimate relationship with his commander gives Taylor's writings signal importance in any study of Lee and the Army of Northern Virginia. A recognized classic, Four Years with General Lee first appeared in 1877 and was a collector's item by the turn of the century. This annotated edition, first published in 1962, was prepared by noted Civil War historian James I. Robertson, Jr., who has provided a new introduction for this paperback reissue.… (més)

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written 1865 by a staff officer of General Lee the entire war, with recent notes and edits from James I Robinson jr.
  antiqueart | Dec 3, 2013 |
Taylor started the ACW as aide de camp to Lee and ended the war as assistant adjutant general of the ANV. Taylor was described as "first to last the closest" of all staff officers to Lee. This makes Four Years with General Lee very frustrating. Taylor spends large sections of his memoir listing the strength of the ANV at various stages of the war. His objective, seemingly, was to show how outnumbered Lee was in all of his battles. For someone who was so close to Lee, he doesn't write that much about him. Readers will rarely learn of Lee's reaction to events, and events go by with remarkable speed. The actual battle of Second Manassas gets one paragraph, most of which describes casualties and equipment captured. Taylor then spends six pages determining the number of troops who were at the battle and describing how he came up with his figures.

The one battle that does get substantial treatment is Gettysburg. Taylor makes the claim that McLaws' and Hood's divisions were to have participated in the infantry assault of the third day but failed to do so. This is not something I have read elsewhere. Taylor includes the text of post- war correspondence with Longstreet regarding this matter in which Taylor asked why Hood's and McLaws' division did not advance. Longstreet wrote back that he had never received orders for them to participate in the assault. Perhaps Taylor is trying to shift blame for the events of the third day away from Lee.

Overall a valuable book for the information it contains regarding army strengths but Taylor should have included more of his personal observations of the commanders of the ANV. He seems to have realized this since thirty years later, he wrote a second memoir General Lee, 1861-1865. ( )
  sgtbigg | Sep 24, 2011 |
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Nom de l'autorCàrrecTipus d'autorObra?Estat
Taylor, Walter H.Autorautor primaritotes les edicionsconfirmat
Robertson, James I., Jr.Editorautor secundarialgunes edicionsconfirmat

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"... it offers a sure, quick, eyewitness assessment of all Lee's campaigns." --Southern Partisan Walter Taylor was "first to last the closest" of all staff officers to General Robert E. Lee, and his intimate relationship with his commander gives Taylor's writings signal importance in any study of Lee and the Army of Northern Virginia. A recognized classic, Four Years with General Lee first appeared in 1877 and was a collector's item by the turn of the century. This annotated edition, first published in 1962, was prepared by noted Civil War historian James I. Robertson, Jr., who has provided a new introduction for this paperback reissue.

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