by Mark Nesbitt
The major facts of the Gettysburg campaign and battle are well known, but controversies about its outcome abound even today. No issue is more contested than that of the whereabouts of the dashing cavalryman, Maj. Gen. J. E. B. Stuart. Author Mark Nesbitt gives a detailed reconstruction of Stuart's actions during the campaign and presents the case that Stuart was not at fault for the loss: He was following orders to the best of his ability. The blame surrounding Stuart only surfaced after the war when, in an attempt to exonerate Lee, some veterans vilified Stuart unfairly. Unfortunately for the great cavalryman, that culpability has stuck. Nesbitt's findings challenge generations of Gettysburg historiography and are certain to fuel the controversy for years to come.