Lee At Chattanooga
Subtitled “A Novel of What Might Have Been,” this story is just that. The author revisits one of the South’s most perplexing defeats and wonders what would have happened had the great General Robert E. Lee been there. Would Lee have usurped overall command from General Braxton Bragg? Would he have run afoul of Bragg’s stubbornness and ineptitude? And most importantly, would the outcome have been different?
McIntire shares his opinions right up front and then wraps the novel around them. As a vehicle, he tells the story through the eyes of a former Confederate major who was assigned to Lee at Chattanooga. The major and a one-time aide to Jefferson Davis meet up while traveling to pay respects to an ailing Lee several years after the war. In a series of flashbacks, the major gives the aide the inside story of Lee’s efforts at Chattanooga. Except for the obvious changes, the story is accurately written and well researched. However, I found the vehicle the author uses to relate the story more interesting than the story itself. In all, the story barely dents history; hardly the intriguing change of events I had expected.