Retreat from Gettysburg: Lee, Logistics, and the Pennsylvania Campaign

By Kent Masterson Brown | Go to book overview

Acknowledgments

I remember my first lesson about an army on retreat. I was, maybe, fourteen years old. While traveling with my family through the North Carolina mountains toward the seashore, my late father, Henry Pell Brown, a decorated veteran of the World War II campaigns in North Africa, Italy, and southern France, began explaining to me why mountains and even rivers and driving rains were advantageous to a retreating army. He must have been thinking then about his own pursuit of the retreating Germans across the swollen Rapido River and the mountains of Cassino. Retreats, he told me, need not be the last chapters of otherwise sad stories; instead, they can regain for armies advantages that had been lost on battlefields. My father was a wonderful man and a great soldier and patriot. I will never forget our discussions.

My father’s “better half” helped me too. My late mother, Dorothy Franz Brown, and her sister, Elizabeth Franz Davis of Martinsburg, West Virginia, spent considerable time driving me to battlefields and historic sites in northern Virginia, Maryland, and West Virginia as a youth. Those memories are precious to me. Many of the sites we visited are found in this book. The time my mother and aunt devoted to me did more to encourage my interest in the Civil War than they could ever imagine.

My longtime friend Gary Gallagher took an early interest in this project. He encouraged me all through the years with his great knowledge of the war and his enthusiasm for the subject. He read my manuscript, offering many insightful suggestions, and, in the end, he even furnished the subtitle. Gary’s assistance was absolutely decisive; he is a wonderful friend. William H. Freehling, like Gary Gallagher, read the manuscript and provided timely help in its organization. Likewise, Charles P. Roland and his lovely wife Allie Lee read portions of the draft and offered valuable suggestions. I am very, very grateful.

There are others who provided encouragement and assistance. One of them was Matthew Hodgson, director emeritus of the University of North Carolina Press. As early as 1985 Matt asked me to write this book for the Press. Even though it took more than twenty years for me to finally produce it, he

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