by Jeffry Wm. Hunt
El Dorado Hills, Ca.: Savas Beatie, 2021. Pp. xiv, 310.
Illus., maps, diagr., appends. $32.95. ISBN: 1611215390
Meade’s Forgotten First Offensive
In the third of his books on the very neglected operations in Virginia after Gettysburg, Jeffrey Hunt, Director of the Texas Military Forces Museum, looks at George Meade’s first offensive moves against Robert E. Lee.
Following the defeat of his Bristoe Station operation (October-November 1863), Lee retired south of the Rappahannock, leaving bridgeheads at Rappahannock Station and Kelly’s Ford. On November 7, 1863, Meade undertook attacks at both points, with surprising success. Hunt’s very careful review of the decisions and actions of both commanders helps explain how mistakes by the Confederates, and a combination of good luck and skill led to an stunning Union victory, which shattered two brigades, and why Meade chose to not follow up his success, .
Meade and Lee at Rappahannock Station is a good, fast paced treatment of a neglected episode in history of operations in Virginia, which will prove worthwhile reading for anyone interested in the Civil War.