Civil War Talk Radio: December 1, 2006

by Brett Schulte on December 1, 2006 · 1 comment

Air Date: 120106
Subject: Stuart’s Ride to Gettysburg
Book: Plenty of Blame to Go Around: J.E.B. Stuart’s Controversial Ride to Gettysburg
Guest: J. David Petruzzi

Summary: J. David Petruzzi, co-author of Plenty of Blame to Go Around: J.E.B. Stuart’s Controversial Ride to Gettysburg, discusses the real reasons why Stuart acted as he did in June 1863.

Brett’s Summary: Fellow Civil War blogger J.D. Petruzzi was the guest for this episode of Civil War Talk Radio.  He discussed his and co-author (and also fellow Civil War blogger) Eric Wittenberg’s book Plenty of Blame to Go Around: J.E.B. Stuart’s Controversial Ride to Gettysburg. The book is traditional military history and is written well, so well that noted Military Historian (and fellow Civil War blogger, we have a lot of bloggers in this discussion!) Mark Grimsely wrote a glowing Foreword to the book.

Petruzzi and Wittenberg did an exhaustive amount of research on Stuart’s Ride and unearthed some important new sources.  For instance, they found that Stuart did manage to report to Richmond that Hooker had crossed the Potomac and was moving north to intercept Lee.  From this, the authors rightfully concluded that Stuart also sent a courier or couriers to Lee at the same time.  Some previous interpretations said Stuart’s failure to notify Lee was a major blunder on Stuart’s part.  Instead, says Petruzzi, Stuart tried to send a message to Lee but was prevented from doing so when his courier(s) did not make it through the Army of the Potomac to report to Lee.

You can sense J.D.’s enthusiasm for the subject in his voice.  You can also tell how familiar he is with this campaign after having studied the subject for years.

Both Eric and J.D. have been studying Civil War cavalry operations in the Eastern Theater for years, so I cannot think of two better authors to write such a book.

Civil War Talk Radio airs most Fridays at 12 PM Pacific on World Talk Radio Studio A. Host Gerry Prokopowicz, the History Chair at East Carolina University in Greenville, North Carolina, interviews a guest each week and discusses their interest in the Civil War. Most interviews center around a book or books if the guest is an author. Other guests over the years have included public historians such as park rangers and museum curators, wargamers, bloggers, and even a member of an American Civil War Round Table located in London, England.

In this series of blog entries, I will be posting air dates, subjects, and guests, and if I have time, I’ll provide a brief summary of the program. You can find all of the past episodes I’ve entered into the blog by clicking on the Civil War Talk Radio category. Each program should appear either on or near the date it was first broadcast.

Check out more summaries of Civil War Talk Radio at TOCWOC – A Civil War Blog.

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