Last week, we asked about your favorite biography of a Union general. And to keep those book reviews and bookshelves balanced – well, you can probably guess this week’s question:
In your opinion, what’s the best biography of a Confederate general? What makes it “the best”?
“Reading the Man: A portrait of Robert E. Lee through his Letters,” by Elizabeth Brown Pryor. She
gave the old devil his due, using his own words. Ms. Pryor’s technique gave us a very balanced and humane view of this very complicated man, taking us beyond the Lost Cause as well as the late 20th century Revisionist viewpoints.
I look at your blog a couple of times a week. I think the best confederate biography is Elliott’s Soldier of Tennessee, General A.P. Stewart and the Civil War in the West.
I’m more interested in biographies of the 2nd tier generals.
Lee’s Lieutenants (except for the trashing of Longstreet)
Bud Robertson’s bio of Jackson—IMO this is a no-brainer!
One of my favorites too!
Darrell Collins bio of Major General Robert Rodes is an excellent book on a guy who had most of his private correspondence destroyed. Great research and a good read.
Pryor’s book (while not strictly a biography) is a good choice. I’d add Wert on Longstreet and Hess on Bragg (a really well-done and objective “re-look” at Bragg). My friend Jim has also proposed a good choice which is prodigiously researched but I can’t add it to the list because i think Robertson glosses over Jackson repeated tactical mediocrity.
Uh, try “Jackson’s”……
I read William C. Davis’s biography about John C. Breckinridge. Not sure it’s my “all-time favorite” but I certainly enjoyed it very much.
By far, E. P. Alexander.
My favorite is Russell Bonds’ “Stealing the General:the Great Locomotive Chase and the Medal of Honor”. The Confederate “General” in this case is a steam locomotive that was captured by Andrew’s Raiders. It is a thrilling story that is well told by Mr. Bonds of what happened to the raiders and their pursuers. The “General” was heavily damaged in September 1864 during the Atlanta Campaign and had to be repaired. This is one Confederate general that approved of Reconstruction. It is now on display at a museum in Kennesaw, Georgia.
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