Praise for Plenty of Blame to Go Around
“. . . the best study of what J.E.B. Stuart did during this campaign and his reasons for doing so. Fair and balanced, it is a necessary read.”
- Civil War Courier, 2/2009
"[An] intensely researched analysis... The most comprehensive account of Stuart's ride."
- Washington Times
"If you were ever going to read just one book on the Civil War I would suggest that you make it this one."
- William H. McDonald Jr.,
President of the Military Writer's
Society of America
"The authors present a day-by-day account of [Stuart's] ride and follow it with a recounting of the historiography of the controversy... Wittenberg and Petruzzi have written one of the fullest treatments of the subject to date... They describe the combat at each place, follow the horsemen along the route, recount stories of civilians caught in the path of the Confederates, and provide balance to the narrative with the movements and actions of Union commands... The book is well written and includes a helpful driving tour of the ride.
In the final chapter, Wittenberg and Petruzzi offer their own assessment of Stuart's ride. As the book's title indicates, they parcel out responsibility for the operation, offering criticisms of Lee, Longstreet, Marshall, Robertson, Ewell and Jubal Early among others. Stuart is not spared... Some of their conclusions will undoubtedly fuel this enduring controversy."
- Historian and author Jeffrey D. Wert,
Book Review in America's Civil War magazine,
"I have just finished reading (for the first time anyway) Plenty of Blame to Go Around: Jeb Stuart's Controversial Ride to Gettysburg, authored by members Wittenberg and Petruzzi. To echo a statement that's always made in regards to another Gettysburg book, but in this case it equally applies to this work: "no one who studies the battle can afford to leave it unread."
- Rich Brinton,
posted on the Gettysburg Discussion
Group email list
"The real value of the book - for those already familiar with the effects of Lost-Cause propoganda on Civil War history - is the excellent use of primary and secondary sources to tell the tale of the ride better than it's been told before. That ability to tell a good, historical story is especially evident in the chapters dealing with the battles at Hanover and Hunterstown... Wittenberg and Petruzzi (have produced) the most readable history of the battles I've come across. All the familiar stories of the Hanover battle are there: The brave stand of Maj. John Hammond and the 5th New York Cavalry and Stuart's fabled escape from the Yankee horsemen, for example. But the authors also add new details and new perspectives in the fight. Rather than regarding Hanover as a Union victory, the authors see the battle as a lost opportunity for Union commander Judson Kilpatrick, who could have trapped and destroyed Stuart at Hanover.
It's hard to disagree because the authors do such a good job of presenting the events as part of a larger campaign unfolding across southcentral Pennsylvania. And readers should have no trouble grasping that big picture because the authors include an excellent detailed driving tour of Stuart's ride as an appendix, letting you retrace history on your own. Recent enough to include mention of Hanover's new wayside battle markers, the book is sure to stimulate interest in local Civil War history. And among locals, it offers insight into Hanover's place in the larger 1863 campaign."
- Marc Charisse,
Editor in Chief, Hanover (Pa)
Evening Sun, December 2, 2006 Editorial
"Coauthors Eric J. Wittenberg and J. David Petruzzi provide us with an hour by hour, day by day account of the actual ride based on first hand accounts from those Confederate cavalrymen who rode with Stuart... and finally a driving tour guide of the ride to rival any you have ever seen... I believe this to be one of the best Civil War books of the year and one which most certainly belongs on your Civil War library shelf."
- Robert J. Murphy,
"Plenty of Blame to Go Around...is the most comprehensive telling yet of this eight day, 200 mile excursion by Stuart's 6000 Southern horsemen...The authors, both of them experts and prolific writers on Civil War Eastern Theater Cavalry, having combed through numerous primary sources, including contemporary newspapers and unpublished correspondence, have really produced two books in one."
- Tom Trescott,
Abraham Lincoln Bookshop (Chicago, Il)
"Plenty of Blame to Go Around is a welcome new account of Stuart's fateful ride during the 1863 Pennsylvania campaign. The authors have done heroic labor among the wealth of primary sources bearing on Stuart's activities. Here, then, is Stuart's ride as the troopers on both sides would recognize it - well researched, vividly written, and shrewdly argued. It is, in short, as good an account of the ride as we are likely to get."
- Mark Grimsley,
author of The Hard Hand of War: Union Military
Policy Toward Southern Civilians, 1861-1865
"This is in my opinion the definitive work on Stuart's actions during the Gettysburg Campaign as is a 'must read' for any student of the Gettysburg battle or of Civil War cavalry operations."
- Major Michael F. Nugent (ret.),
former Armored Cavalry officer
"Plenty of Blame to Go Around is a monumental piece of writing and one of the most complete studies that this reviewer has ever had the pleasure of reading... this is one of those rare instances when a book is able to satisfy even the most inquisitive reader. It is a delicate balance of education and entertainment that makes any history book worthwhile... [the authors] left this one-time Stuart biographer with a newfound perspective on both the man and his mission."
- Michael Aubrecht in the Fredericksburg (Va),
"The most comprehensive account of Stuart's controversial ride. . . . Plenty of Blame to Go Around is investigative history at its best."
- Colonel Cole C. Kingseed, USA Ret.,
"The narrative is comprehensive and clear with balanced analysis. . . with crisp descriptions and judicious commentary. . . . Wittenberg and Petruzzi have convincingly stated their cause with an engaging narrative and cogent reasoning."
- David F. Riggs,
Civil War News