View single post by PvtClewell
 Posted: Fri Jun 22nd, 2007 02:08 pm
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PvtClewell
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Joanie,

I found this in the epilogue of Donald Pfanz' incisive 1998 biography on Ewell:

"...Ewell's record up to the time he was wounded at Groveton was spotless. He was arguably the Army of Northern Virginia's best division commander up to that point...Ewell did not perform as well under Lee (as he had for Jackson). After the war, individuals surmised that the loss of his leg, his marriage to Lizinka, his formal acceptance of Christianity, or some combination of the three had impaired his fighting spirit. No one would have suggested such a thing in June 1863. At Second Winchester, Ewell swept Robert Milroy from the Shenandoah Valley, then boldly led his corps to the outskirts of Harrisburg, Pa., the farthest north any Confederate general would get during the war. Jackson himself could not have done better.
But disappointment followed. At Gettysburg on 1 July, Ewell routed two corps of the Union Army and garnered some 5,000 Federal prisoners. His decision not to attack Cemetery Hill, however, gave the Union army a good position from which to fight over the next two days. Although in retrospect the decision was probably correct and conformed to Lee's orders (to avoid a general engagement), Ewell was criticized for it thereafter.
Critics then and later accused Ewell of being indecisive, but no one has offered any credible evidence to back up such a claim...In later years, as the Confederate defeat at Gettysburg took on greater significance, so, too, did Ewell's failure to take Cemetery Hill. Some Southerners, seeking explanations for why they lost the war, pointed to Gettysburg and blamed Ewell. Sadly, that has been his legacy ever since."

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