Tom Carhart




Comments on Lost Triumph:


"No historian before Carhart has pieced together the whole story. . . . Given the vast number of writings about Gettysburg, it seems impossible to come up with new information and insights about the battle. But Tom Carhart has done it.

            ---from the foreword by James M. McPherson, Pulitzer Prize-winning author of Battle Cry of Freedom       

                Tom Carhart        Lost Triumph        Tom Carhart        Lost Triumph        Tom Carhart        Lost Triumph

“Tom Carhart sheds new light on the grandest battle of the Civil War, a remarkable achievement by any military historian”

                ---Sir John Keegan, author of The Face of Battle and Six Armies in Normandy


 “A lively and innovative interpretation of the greatest battle ever waged on American soil.  Written with verve and a keen eye for the telling detail, Lost Triumph brings to life both the battlefield and the remarkable men who fought there.  Tom Carhart has given us not only a fine work of scholarship, but a fine story.

           ---Rick Atkinson, Pulitzer Prize-winning author of An Army at Dawn


 “With Lost Triumph, West Pointer Tom Carhart swats a stupendous, historical, out-of-the-park four-bagger. History is seldom page-turning; here, the true events of Gettysburg compose a thriller. Dr. Carhart makes the case for revolutionizing our understanding of the decisive engagement of the Civil War; elevates the renown of Robert E. Lee; improbably reanimates the reputation of George Armstrong Custer; and shows us how history should be analyzed, challenged, proven and taught.On the way, he condenses the complexities of the military art into entertainingly digestible bites.”

           ---Gus Lee, author of China Boy, Honor and Duty and Chasing Hepburn.


Lost Triumph is an exciting, wonderful book rivaling anything yet written about the battle of Gettysburg. It is mandatory reading for Civil War buffs. I have always wondered why General Lee ordered that fateful attack when and where he did. Now I know. Thanks to Tom Carhart's exemplary new research and his knowledge of military matters, Lost Triumph presents the first comprehensive view of Lee's previously unknown plan to win the battle.”

            ---Bruce Lee, author of Marching Orders: The Untold Story of World War II


 “Few generals were as brilliant as Robert E. Lee and few battles as titanic -- and puzzling -- as Gettysburg.  Why did Lee fail?  In Lost Triumph, Tom Carhart offers a bold and provocative new assessment.  Agree or disagree, it is sure to stimulate debate among even the most seasoned Civil War buffs.”

            ---Jay Winik, author of April 1865: The Month That Saved America


“A mark of true genius is a writer’s ability to show us the familiar in a new light.  Tom Carhart does just that in Lost Triumph, an original and refreshing look at Lee's strategic thinking at Gettysburg that is sure to set the standard view of that battle on its head.  But the genuinely breathtaking aspect of this book is the way Carhart takes his brush to the tarnished image of George Armstrong Custer. Lost Triumph is truly a ground-breaking contribution to American military history

            ---Dan Cragg, author of  Generals in Muddy Boots and Top Sergeant


Lost Triumph sets forth an intriguing theory and goes on to prove that it might just have been possible for General Lee to defeat the Union Army at Gettysburg but for the intervention of George Armstrong Custer. Tom Carhart’s grasp of the Civil War is firm, and his writing is lucid and has splendid pace.”

            ---Gail Frey Borden, author of Easter Day, 1941


Provocative and exciting. A very good read.”

            --- Gabor Boritt, Director, Civil War Institute, Gettysburg College


"After 142 years of common belief that Robert E. Lee’s battlefield brilliance had somehow failed him in the decisive battle of Gettysburg, Tom Carhart, a West Pointer and noted historian who knows firsthand the blood and guts and chaos of war as a combat soldier in Viet Nam, has remarkably broken the code and now rewrites history so that we might finally understand what really happened there. Stunning. Brilliant."

           ---Gil Dorland, author of Legacy of Discord: Voices of the Vietnam War Era


"Read any of the hundreds of books on Gettysburg-better yet, walk the route of Pickett's Charge-and you'll wonder what Lee was thinking when he sent those men across that deadly field.  Tom Carhart has an answer.  A gifted storyteller, Carhart recreates an entire world and leads us firmly to the far right of the Union line.  Lee didn't lose a triumph at Gettysburg; an impetuous young Federal cavalry general named Custer and his blue-coated horsemen snatched it away."   

           --- Ed Ruggero, author of  Combat Jump: The Young Men Who Led the Assault Into Fortress Europe, July 1943


“Tom Carhart brings a soldier’s perspective to his analysis of Lee’s tactical thinking at Gettysburg. Whether or not you accept Carhart’s conclusions about JEB Stuart’s role in Pickett’s disastrous charge, his command of the principles of mounted combat are superb, and his descriptions of the actions of Stuart’s Confederate cavalry and Custer’s Union cavalry are filled with new insights. Carhart convincingly shows that Custer was at the right place at the right time at Gettysburg, even if that were not the case 13 years later on that grassy hillside overlooking the Little Bighorn in Montana.

           ---Col. (ret.) Michael D. Mahler, author of Ringed in Steel—Armored Cavalry, Vietnam 1967-1968


“Students of military history have long wondered why, on July 3rd, 1863, during the Battle of Gettysburg, General Robert E. Lee launched the attack against the center of the Union Army’s defenses.  This attack, known as Pickett’s Charge, turned out to be a suicidal effort that had disastrous results for the Army of Northern Virginia in the short term, and ultimately to the overall cause of the Confederacy.  Tom Carhart offers a fresh and compelling explanation for Lee’s decision in Lost Triumph.   Fast paced, well researched, and provocative --- this a book that is a must read for Civil War historians, and an entertaining read for those having only a casual interest in the greatest conflict in our Nation’s history.  Tom Carhart is not only a scholar, he is a West Point graduate who served as a young officer in Vietnam. Tom writes with a soldier’s perspective --- an understanding of tactics and the complexities of command / battlefield decision-making. He is one who has known the sounds, the smells and the fears of battle.  These unique insights come through in Lost Triumph, adding realism and authenticity to his work”. 

           ---Ronald H. Griffith, General (Retired), U.S. Army


“Why Robert E. Lee, a brilliant commander and tactician, ordered a tragically failed frontal attack by 15,000 Confederate foot soldiers at Gettysburg has been an unsettling mystery to most military history buffs. One hundred forty years later, Lost Triumph provides a plausible answer. Tom Carhart’s analysis brings the rolling hills of Pennsylvania to life for those who enjoy unraveling history’s mysteries. Truly a great book for those who follow military history.”

           ---Edward C. Meyer, General (Retired), U.S. Army



Lost Triumph is available in bookstores or

can be purchased through

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West Pointers: Support the WP Forum by purchasing through The Grad Store


Lost Triumph audio book coming May, 2005:

Lost Triumph: Lee's Real Plan at Gettysburg - And Why it Failed
Tom Carhart, Author
Read by Michael Prichard
Tantor Audio Books
Release Date: May 2005

(Also available through the links listed above.)



Other Books by Tom Carhart:


Tom's other books include:

Battles and Campaigns in Vietnam (1984)

The Offering (1987)

Battlefront Vietnam (1991)

Iron Soldiers (1994)

West Point Warriors (2002)






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