Soon after the failed Confederate assault on the third day at Gettysburg, General Robert E. Lee told General George E. Pickett that despite the defeat, “the men and officers of your command have written the name of Virginia as high today as ever it has been written before.” Like Lee, Walter Harrison—inspector general for the division—admired the gallantry of the men with whom he served and sought to honor them by writing this history, the only book by a participant devoted to one of the more famous large units in the Army of Northern Virginia.
Harrison knew his unit inside and out and vividly recounts the many important campaigns and battles in which it saw heavy action. His narrative is restrained and dependable, and his willingness to criticize generals and politicians makes his portraits of Pickett and others balanced, revealing, and often moving. Now widely available for the first time, Pickett’s Men is rewarding reading for Civil War scholars and enthusiasts.
Gary W. Gallagher , John L. Nau III Professor of history at the University of Virginia, is the author or editor of twenty-two books on the Civil War, including The Confederate War and Lee the Soldier.
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