Robert E. Lee is widely recognized as the greatest commander in U.S. History. But why? In his new book, Ron Field, a member of the DC-based Company of Military Historians, seeks to convey the character, outlook, bearing, leadership style, and military brilliance of the “Old Man.” His narrative builds to Lee’s “hour of destiny” during the Civil War where Lee outshined McClellan during the Seven Days, Pope at Second Manassas, Burnside at Fredericksburg, and Hooker at Chancellorsville. Field also explores the tragic side to Lee’s legend: the heart attack that in 1963 sidelined him at Gettysburg; the loss of Stonewall Jackson to friendly fire that weakened his Western flank; and difficulties with fellow general Longstreet that contributed to his eventual defeat. Field also provides a balanced assessment of Lee’s flaws, including his difficulty in giving clear commands to his subordinates.
Readers of Osprey will find in Robert E. Lee everything they have come to expect from an Osprey series title, including campaign maps, full-color illustrations—this time from Adam Hook, dozens of photographs and a selected bibliography.