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Plenty of Blame to go Around
Jeb Stuart's Controversial Ride to Gettysburg

Reviews

"The writers traced every foot of Stuart's ride... They gleaned information from every possible source in an attempt to provide unbiased answers to the myriad questions that fostered heated arguments among veterans of the battle and carried over to Civil War historians down through the years to the present."

- Al Hemingway, Book Review in Military Heritage Magazine, June 2007


"Recriminations against Stuart began as soon as the campaign ended, and it is here that Wittenberg and Petruzzi make their greatest contribution by tracing the evolution of the historiography surrounding Stuart's controversial role in the Gettysburg campaign. Using contemporary accounts by veterans and correspondents, coupled with a plethora of books written by historians over the next hundred-plus years, the authors argue persuasively that no individual was solely responsible for the Southern defeat at Gettysburg... Many readers will also enjoy the final appendix, in which [they] outline a driving tour of Jeb Stuart's ride to Gettysburg. In addition, current photographs and excellent maps greatly enhance the text. In the final analysis, Wittenberg and Petruzzi have written the most comprehensive account of Stuart's controversial ride. Readers may questions the authors' conclusions, but no study of Lee's second invasion of the North will be complete without assessing their findings. Plenty of Blame to Go Around is investigative history at its best."

- Col. Cole C. Kingseed (Ret.), PhD., former professor of history at the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, in ARMY magazine, April 2007


"The narrative is comprehensive and clear with balanced analysis... presented with crisp descriptions and judicious commentary... The book's title tells the tale: there was plenty of blame to go around. Co-authors Wittenberg and Petruzzi have convincingly stated their cause with an engaging narrative and cogent reasoning."

- David F. Riggs, Book review in "Civil War News", April 2007


"Terms such as 'exhaustively researched' or 'the definitive analysis' and 'surely the last work' are often cavalierly bandied about on the dust jackets of historical monographs. But when used to describe [this book], the accolades are well earned, thanks to the scrupulous research and sturdy writing of Wittenberg and Petruzzi. [They] are both veteran chroniclers of cavalry operations, and they have put their spurs into one of the most hotly debated and closely analyzed operations of the war... [They] bring fresh and experienced eyes to the famous ride.... Wittenberg and Petruzzi take the reader into the realities of a cavalry campaign as only experts can...

Serious historians, reenactors and readers just looking for a fast-paced, well-told yarn about stout-hearted men riding hard into harm's way will come away from this book satisfied and perhaps a bit in awe of the legion of gray horsemen who boldly followed the Confederacy's noblest mounted chevalier deep into enemy territory -- and into legend."

- Gordon Berg, Book review in "Civil War Times" magazine, March/April 2007


"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, March 2007


"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, Bookseller


"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


"[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


"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), Free Lance-Star


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