Meade and Lee After Gettysburg: The Forgotten Final Stage of the Gettysburg Campaign, from Falling Waters to Culpeper Court House, July 14-31, 1863
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- Jeffrey Wm. Hunt
- Pub Date:
- June 2017
- Hardcover, 6 x 9
- Images, maps, 312 pp.
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About the Book
Contrary to popular belief, once Robert E. Lee’s Army of Northern Virginia slipped across the swollen Potomac back to Virginia the Lincoln administration pressed George Meade to cross quickly in pursuit—and he did. Rather than follow in Lee’s wake, however, Meade moved south on the east side of the Blue Ridge Mountains in a cat-and-mouse game to outthink his enemy and capture the strategic gaps penetrating the high wooded terrain. Doing so would trap Lee in the northern reaches of the Shenandoah Valley and potentially bring about the decisive victory that had eluded Union arms north of the Potomac.
The two weeks that followed was a grand chess match with everything at stake—high drama filled with hard marching, cavalry charges, heavy skirmishing, and set-piece fighting that threatened to escalate into a major engagement with the potential to end the war in the Eastern Theater. Throughout, one thing remains clear: Union soldiers from private to general continued to fear the lethality of Lee’s army.
Meade and Lee After Gettysburg, the first of three volumes on the campaigns waged between the two adversaries from July 14 through the end of 1863, relies on the Official Records, regimental histories, letters, newspapers, and other sources to provide a day-by-day account of this fascinating high-stakes affair. The vivid prose, coupled with original maps and outstanding photographs, offers a significant contribution to Civil War literature.
Thanks to Hunt these important two weeks—until now overshadowed by the battle of Gettysburg and almost completely ignored by writers of Civil War history—have finally gotten the attention they have long deserved. Readers will never view the Gettysburg Campaign the same way.
WINNER, 2017, GETTYSBURG CIVIL WAR ROUND TABLE BOOK AWARD
"EASTERN THEATER BOOK OF THE YEAR"--CIVIL WAR BOOKS AND AUTHORS
“Having done extensive research, Jeffrey Wm Hunt describes this battle of wits between Meade and Lee with assurance. . . . A welcome study that demonstrates the final encounters of the Gettysburg campaign occurred at the end of July 1863, rather than the commonly accepted date of July 14th.” – Civil War News
"What we know about the operations of Robert E. Lee’s and George Gordon Meade’s armies from the time they recrossed the Potomac River after Gettysburg to when they came to rest in and around Orange and Culpeper Counties in Virginia is negligible. Jeffrey Hunt has stepped in to masterfully fill that yawning gap. In his carefully researched and beautifully written Meade and Lee After Gettysburg, Hunt—for the first time—offers a remarkable glimpse, incorporating incredible detail, of the two weeks of maneuver and combat through places like Shepherdstown, Loudoun Valley, Wapping Heights, Culpeper, and many other sites. I absolutely love it and heartily recommend it. " (Kent Masterson Brown, author of Retreat From Gettysburg: Lee, Logistics, and the Pennsylvania Campaign)
"The period between Gettysburg and the Wilderness Campaign in May 1864 is one of the least explored aspects of the Civil War. Jeffrey Hunt’s impressive new study fills this gap in the literature, demonstrating why Union forces failed to follow through on their success at Gettysburg and highlighting the remarkable resiliency of Lee’s Confederate army. Even veteran readers will find much fresh material in this narrative." (Gary W. Gallagher, award-winning author and Nau Professor of History, University of Virginia)
"Meade and Lee After Gettysburg is a blast of fresh air for Civil War students. Hunt demonstrates conclusively that the Gettysburg Campaign did not end with Lee’s crossing of the Potomac on July 14, but on August 1 along the Rappahannock line deep in Virginia. This interpretation is original and thoroughly convincing." (Bryce A. Suderow, co-author (with Edwin C. Bearss) of The Petersburg Campaign (2 vols.))
"Jeffrey Hunt’s Meade and Lee After Gettysburg is the first detailed modern tactical treatment of the two weeks after the ‘official’ end of the Gettysburg Campaign, and focuses particularly on the cavalry battle at Harpers Ferry on July 15 and the fighting at Manassas Gap on July 23-24. This book, the first of three on the fall 1863 campaigns between Lee and Meade, sets the stage for the harder campaigning that fall and is essential to understanding those campaigns. For students interested in what happened after the armies crossed the Potomac River, this is a must-read." (Eric J. Wittenberg, award-winning co-author of One Continuous Fight: The Retreat from Gettysburg and the Pursuit of Lee’s Army of Northern Virginia, July 4-14, 1863)
"Finally, someone has addressed the gap in the scholarship between July 14 and August 1, 1863! Hunt describes in detail the opportunities for engagement that Lee’s retreat into the Shenandoah Valley presented Meade’s army, and how some of the ‘risk averse’ Union generals failed to engage the Rebels until it was too late. It is all reminiscent of what had taken place at Williamsport just a few days earlier, and was destined to repeat itself in the coming months." (Thomas J. Ryan, award-winning author of Spies, Scouts, and Secrets in the Gettysburg Campaign)
“This book fills a useful niche…the author writes well, and there are adequate maps and photos to enable wargame refights.” (Miniature Wargames)
“I would recommend this book to anyone interested in the American Civil War. It breaks new ground, covers in detail a dozen skirmishes that might have been dismissed in a couple of sentences in more general histories and does lay out clearly the problems faced by both generals and the courses of action they chose. 4 stars.” (Army Rumour Service)
Jeffrey William Hunt is Director of the Texas Military Forces Museum, the official museum of the Texas National Guard, located at Camp Mabry in Austin, Texas, and an Adjunct Professor of History at Austin Community College, where he has taught since 1988. Prior to taking the post at the Texas Military Forces Museum, he was the Curator of Collections and Director of the Living History Program at the Admiral Nimitz National Museum of the Pacific War in Fredericksburg, Texas for 11 years. He holds a Bachelors Degree in Government and a Masters Degree in History, both from the University of Texas at Austin. In 2013, Mr. Hunt was appointed an honorary Admiral in the Texas Navy by Governor Rick Perry, in recognition of his efforts to tell the story of the Texas naval forces at the Texas Military Forces Museum. At both the Texas Military Forces Museum and the Admiral Nimitz Museum he has organized and conducted hundreds of living history programs for the general public. He is a veteran reenactor of the War Between the States as well as the War of 1812, the Texas Revolution, World War I, World War II, and the Vietnam War. He is a frequent speaker for a wide variety of organizations as well as documentaries and news programs. Mr. Hunt’s writing credits include his book, The Last Battle of the Civil War: Palmetto Ranch, and contributions to Essential Civil War Curriculum, the Revised Handbook of Texas and the Gale Library of Daily Life: American Civil War.