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Plenty of Blame to Go Around: Stuart’s Controversial Ride to Gettysburg

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Pennsylvania author J. David Petruzzi is the featured guest speaker for the May meeting of the York CWRT.
From June 30 through the wee morning hours of July 2, elements of J.E.B. Stuart’s vaunted, but road-weary and exhausted Confederate cavalry column trudged through western York County. They fought a pitched battle at Hanover, as well as a couple of very minor rear guard skirmishes near Jefferson and Dover. Stuart did not arrive on the Gettysburg battlefield until late on July 2, having fought yet again at Hunterstown.
Historians for 145 years have argued the merits of Stuart’s controversial ride around the Union army, one that put him out of touch with the main force of the Army of Northern Virginia for part of the campaign. Some critics blame Stuart for leaving Lee blind while in enemy country; others argue that the move made military sense and circumstances beyond Stuart’s (and Lee’s) control contributed to the delayed reunion with the infantry.
Brockway, PA author J. D. Petruzzi will present a FREE talk at the York County Civil War Round Table on Wednesday, May 21, at 7:00 p.m. at the York County Heritage Trust at 250 East Market Street in downtown York. This promises to be of strong interest to anyone interested in exploring the Civil War history of this region, and a chance to see and hear one of America’s leading cavalry experts deliver his personal opinion on Stuart’s ride.


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J. David Petruzzi is a noted American Civil War cavalry historian and author. Petruzzi wrote the historical text for one of the U.S. Army’s recruiting pieces for modern armored cavalry. An insurance broker in western Pennsylvania, Plenty of Blame to Go Around is Petruzzi’s first published book. He is the author of several magazine articles on cavalry subjects, notably for America’s Civil War. He also has upcoming articles in Blue&Gray and Gettysburg Magazine.
With Eric J. Wittenberg and Michael Nugent, Petruzzi authored One Continuous Fight: The Retreat from Gettysburg. Petruzzi speaks at Civil War Roundtables, conducts living history programs as a cavalry officer, and gives tours of cavalry battlefields and related sites. He has also been both a Confederate and Federal re-enactor for many years, and has appeared as a main character in two Civil War documentary movies. He lives in Brockway with his wife Karen and daughter Ashley. Petruzzi is a partner in, and the Marketing Director for, Ironclad Publishing, Inc., which published the popular Discovering America’s Civil War series.
He will have copies of his books for sale and will gladly autograph them!