Cover of: The court martial of Robert E. Lee | Douglas Savage

About the Book

An intriguing blend of fact and fiction, this engrossing novel explores the question: What if the Confederacy called Robert E. Lee to account for his tragic failure at Gettysburg? Using a court-martial trial as the novel's centerpiece, Savage weaves an intimate portrait of Lee as a man free of the myths of history.

Postulating a Confederate Congressional inquiry into General Lee's decision-making at Gettysburg, this historical novel by the author of The Glass Lady examines, primarily from the Rebel perspective, the battlefield bloodbath in Pennsylvania as well as the important encounters that preceded it. While Savage doesn't reveal any new material here, his text does attempt to revise the discredited reputation of James Longstreet, traditionally blamed for the disastrous Pickett's Charge.

Since Lee's exoneration is a foregone conclusion, the novel's drama lies in the recounting of battles and of the general's inner turmoil. This is all very familiar ground: litanies of families riven by war and casualty counts become tedious rather than shocking, a quality that is reinforced by the author's tendency to repeat himself. A good deal of the dialogue is authentic, drawn from letters of the period, but placing it in a new context accentuates the difference between the written and spoken word; the characters sound overly formal and stilted. Only the most dedicated Civil War buffs and fans of the historical novel will find this work appealing.

Edition Notes

Includes bibliographical references (p. 441-475).



Dewey Decimal Class
Library of Congress
PS3569.A8223 C68 1995

The Physical Object

475 p. :
Number of pages

ID Numbers

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Internet Archive
LC Control Number
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