The story of the unique relationship between Robert E. Lee and Thomas J. Jackson, two leaders who chiseled a strategic path forward against the odds and almost triumphed. Why were Generals Lee and Jackson so successful in their partnership in trying to win the war for the South? What was it about their styles, friendship, even their faith, that cemented them together into a fighting machine that consistently won despite often overwhelming odds against them? The Great Partnership challenges how we think about Confederate strategic decision-making and the value of personal relationships among senior leaders responsible for organizational survival. Those relationships in the Confederate high command were particularly critical for victory, especially the one that existed between the two great generals in the Army of Northern Virginia. It has been more than two decades since any author attempted a joint study of the two generals. At the very least, the book will inspire a very lively debate among the thousands of students of Civil War history. At best, it will significantly revise how we evaluate Confederate strategy during the height the war and our understanding of why, in the end, the South lost.
Dr. Christian B. Keller is the Dwight D. Eisenhower Chair of National Security and Professor of History in the Department of National Security and Strategy at the United States Army War College in Carlisle, Pennsylvania. Along with many scholarly articles focusing on the ethnic experience in the Civil War, he is the author and coauthor of several books, including Chancellorsville and the Germans: Nativism, Ethnicity, and Civil War Memory; Damn Dutch: Pennsylvania Germans at Gettysburg; and The Great Partnership: Robert E. Lee, Stonewall Jackson, and the Fate of the Confederacy.
Banner Lectures are free for VMHC members and $10 for nonmembers. Admission is available at the door, and seating is on a first-come, first-served basis.