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February 11 , 2008

Official Records of the Union and Confederate Armies: General George McClellans Account of the Seven Days Battles


Richard Stoddert Ewell (February 8, 1817January 25, 1872) was a career United States Army officer and a Confederate general during the American Civil War. He achieved fame as a senior commander under Stonewall Jackson and Robert E. Lee and fought effectively through much of the war, but his legacy has been clouded by controversies over his actions at the Battle of Gettysburg and at the Battle of Spotsylvania Court House. On January 24, 1862, Ewell was promoted to major general, and began serving under Thomas J. "Stonewall" Jackson during the Valley Campaign. Although the two generals worked together well, and both were noted for their quixotic personal behavior, there were many stylistic differences between them. Jackson was stern and pious, whereas Ewell was witty and extremely profane. Jackson was flexible and intuitive on the battlefield, while Ewell, although brave and effective, required precise instructions to function effectively. Ewell was initially resentful about Jackson's tendency to keep his subordinates uninformed about his tactical plans, but Ewell eventually adjusted to Jackson's methods. After the mortal wounding of Jackson at that battle, on May 23 Ewell was promoted to lieutenant general and command of the Second Corps. But at the Battle of Gettysburg, Ewell's military reputation started a long decline. On July 1, 1863, Ewell's corps approached Gettysburg from the north and smashed the Union XI Corps and part of the I Corps, driving them back through the town and forcing them to take up defensive positions on Cemetery Hill south of town. Lee had just arrived on the field and saw the importance of this position. He sent discretionary orders to Ewell that Cemetery Hill be taken "if practicable." Ewell chose not to attempt the assault. Lee's order has been criticized because it left too much discretion to Ewell, leaving historians to speculate on how the more aggressive Stonewall Jackson would have acted on this order if he had lived to command this wing of Lee's army, and how differently the second day of battle would have proceeded with Confederate possession of Culp's Hill or Cemetery Hill. Discretionary orders were customary for General Lee because Jackson and James Longstreet, his other principal subordinate, usually reacted to them very well and could use their initiative to respond to conditions and achieve the desired results. This failure of action on Ewell's part, whether justified or not, may have cost the Confederates the battle. After the Pennsylvania Campaign, Ewell wrote an account of the campaign that became part of The War of the Rebellion: Official Records of the Union and Confederate Armies. This edition of his account of the Battle of Gettysburg and the Pennsylvania Campaign includes pictures of the important commanders of the battle.
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Date release: February 15, 2012

Nonfiction, History
Official, Records, Union, Confederate, Armies:, General, George, McClellans, Account, Seven, Days, Battles, Richard, Ewell, download, Sony BookReader, XML Book, Papyre FB2

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