The Long Arm of Lee, Or, the History of the Artillery of the Army of Northern Virginia - Vol. 1

The Long Arm of Lee, Or, the History of the Artillery of the Army of Northern Virginia - Vol. 1

The Long Arm of Lee, Or, the History of the Artillery of the Army of Northern Virginia - Vol. 1

The Long Arm of Lee, Or, the History of the Artillery of the Army of Northern Virginia - Vol. 1

Synopsis

Originally published in 1915, when Jennings Cropper Wise was commandant of the Virginia Military Institute, The Long Arm of Lee has never been surpassed as an authoritative study of the Confederate artillery in the Civil War. Volume 1 described the organization and tactics of the field batteries of General Robert E. Lee's Army of Northern Virginia from the time of the Battle of Bull Run through the Maryland invasion. Volume 2, beginning with an account of the Chancellorsville campaign, includes a close look at the Battle of Gettysburg, in which tactical errors made by the Confederate side are reassessed. There was heroism aplenty, not only from generals like J. E. B. Stuart and Stonewall Jackson but also from ordinary artillerymen who fought doggedly and resignedly until the end.

Excerpt

Jennings Cropper Wise's The Long Arm of Lee; or, the History of the Artillery of the Army of Northern Virginia, with a Brief Account of the Confederate Bureau of Ordnance is a classic work of Confederate military history. First published in 1915, it has stood for more than three- quarters of a century as the best treatment of the subject. An early critic wrote in the Field Artillery Review that Wise, "a painstaking historian . . . [and] most skillful word-painter," had produced a book "well calculated to fill the field artilleryman . . . with admiration for the gallant gunners who so admirably supported the infantry of Lee." Echoing this sentiment, another reviewer predicted that "among the almost innumerable books which have been written about the great war" few would "find a more permanent place in the literature describing the great events of that struggle." James Power Smith, who had served on "Stonewall" Jackson's staff, praised Wise's thorough research and attention to the ordnance department. Smith felt certain that The Long Arm of Lee would "take its place among the standard works on the Civil War in Virginia." Modern scholars have confirmed the initial high estimates of Wise's book. Douglas Southall Freeman described it as "a most informative study . . . [that] contains many photographs not to be found elsewhere." Richard B. Harwell listed it among two hundred basic Confederate books, while James I. Robertson, Jr., called it "an exhaustive, valuable study, often consulted and widely quoted."

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