19 March 2006 by Published in: Blogging 9 comments

Someone calling themself Jaywalker tried to leave a comment on my latest post about Google. The content of the comment was not objectionable, and had this person followed my rules, I gladly would have permitted it to post.

The problem, however, is that this person refused to use a real name or to leave an e-mail address with the comment. Without one or the other, I have no way of knowing whether I’m being spammed or scammed, and my operating rule is no e-mail address, no comment. Sorry, Jaywalker. Your comment was deleted because you didn’t play by my rules. And since it’s my site, I get to make the rules.

To anyone else who is not a spammer and who wants to leave comments on this site, you MUST do so with a valid e-mail address, or else your comment will never see the light of day. There are no exceptions to this rule, and there is no right of appeal.

Scridb filter


  1. Michael Aubrecht
    Mon 20th Mar 2006 at 1:03 pm

    Hi Eric – could not agree more on the old “anonymous” comments. Not topic related, but seemed to fit nowhere else. I’m originally from Pittsburgh and my parents routinely send me down tapes from the PCNTV broadcasts up there (Gettysburg Battlewalks and Civil War Roundtables). One was a panel discussion on the cavalry (from Gettysburg Civil War College?) and I noticed that I recognized one of the panelists as you. Good stuff (although as Stuart biographer) I feel you spent far too little time on “The Southern Knight” and too much time on Yankee horsemen. I wonder if you are familiar with Tom Carhart’s book “Lost Triumph” and his theories on Stuart’s failed “simultaneous assault during the infantry’s [Pickett’s Charge] theory” and also wondering you’re thoughts on Custer’s lack of recognition for his performance at G’burg. I’m far from being an expert in anything – especially the cavalry – so feel free to email me if you would like to enlighten me. Perhaps your upcoming book will answer some of these issues? Anyway – good job at the roundtable, I enjoyed it very much.

  2. Mon 20th Mar 2006 at 1:30 pm

    Now Eric, remember that when you respond to this query re: Carhart to be nice. (LOL) In other words, don’t tell him how you really feel.

  3. Mon 20th Mar 2006 at 2:21 pm


    I did the Gettysburg College program last June–the topic was cavalry. I did participate in a panel discussion with Gary Gallagher, Pete Carmichael, and Ed Longacre, so that must have been wat you saw.

    As for the Yankee horsemen, I plead guilty as charged. It’s what I’m known for. ๐Ÿ™‚

    As for Carhart’s book, one of my very first posts on this blog was a detailed review of it. There are a variety of other posts under the category of “Civil War Books and Authors” that also touch on my critique of this book that you might want to read.

    Our upcoming book ends with Stuart’s arrival at Gettysburg on July 2, and does not get into this topic. That’s in large part due to the fact that I dealt with Stuart’s actual role at Gettysburg in another book, which spells out my entire theory on the topic.


  4. Mon 20th Mar 2006 at 2:21 pm


    I thought I handled that quite well. ๐Ÿ™‚


  5. Michael Aubrecht
    Mon 20th Mar 2006 at 3:09 pm

    Ouch! I too reviewed Mr. Carhart’s book at the publisher’s request for the Fredericksburg newspaper (I do monthly CW book reviews for the Free Lance-Star Town & Country – and I obviously had a totally different take on it.) I spoke directly with Mr. Carhart, and he agreed that his work has become quite controversial. I gave his book a good review from a readers standpoint and stated that his argument was compelling and “may” have some historians reevaluating their own perspectives. That said – I am far less educated on the subject and may have not been discerning enough in regards to some data. However, he was a nice guy and appreciated my comments. I can’t say if he is right or wrong, but I certainly enjoyed the read and his presentation of the curricula at West Point and the “Napoleonic-style” of warfare that became the foundation for so many CW commander’s doctrine. I do agree 100% with him that Lee made a grave series of errors at Gettysburg, but could not have been as careless and ignorant as we seem to accept today. Understandably, the ANV did boast a sense of invincibility following their victory at Chancellorsville – but to believe that the Confederacy’s disaster at Pickett’s Charge was simply a case of General Lee having a “bad day” and ordering the worst military maneuver in the history of infantry-warfare seems a bit hard to swallow. In fact, his entire scenario at Gettysburg – 1. essentially blind without Stuart’s cavalry at the start of the engagement, 2. in possession of no tactically significant high-ground and 3. spread out on northern soil equaled as bad a situation as there could be on a battlefield. To say there were no other assaults planned (other than the infamous and doomed charge) virtually goes against all realms of reason and also does not fit Lee’s campaign legacy up to 1863. That said – I’m sure that you have spent many more hours than I have studying this specific subject – thus I cannot argue your thoughts on any academic level. (Plus I am fighting a serious ear infection and am typing under the influence of some wonderful pain killers…) I once wrote a lengthy piece about Chancellorsville that included this statement in the opener: “Despite being regarded as a tremendous victory for the South, the loss of Major General Thomas “Stonewall” Jackson and the sense of invincibility instilled in the Confederate Army ultimately resulted in more tragedy than triumph.” So I do agree wholeheartedly that Gettysburg was far from the south’s finest hour, but struggle to accept that it was simply Lee’s worst. I guess I need to get your book. ๐Ÿ™‚

  6. Mon 20th Mar 2006 at 3:50 pm


    My biggest issue with the book is that I find it to be intellectually dishonest and that it’s based on things that Carhart apparently made up. For that, I have absolutely no respect.

    Please understand that I have no personal ax to grind with Dr. Carhart. My issue is selling something to the public as a proven fact when those who have invested years of study into this–as I have–know that there is no hard evidence to support his contentions and that most of it seems contrived. My issue is with selling supposition to the public as fact. That’s intellectually dishonest.

    As for the traditional West Point curriculum, there’s absolutely nothing new there–it’s well known that Baron Antoine de Jomini’s observations about the Napoleonic Wars was the primary military textbook at West Point for the first half of the Nineteenth Century, and that generals like Lee fought battles based on that training. There’s also no doubt that Lee made a serious of grave errors at Gettysburg. I can agree with that. But that’s about where my agreement ends.

    I am not alone, by the way. Have a look at this review by a professional historian whose master’s thesis was the first stand-alone book on East Cavalry Field ever published.


  7. Mon 20th Mar 2006 at 4:02 pm

    Well done Eric.

  8. Michael Aubrecht
    Mon 20th Mar 2006 at 4:29 pm

    Thanks for the info Eric. I will certainly check it out. Like I said, I am no expert and the more I read – the more I learn. Maybe that’s why my books are all focused on the religious aspects of my subjects… it leaves the military arguments and controversial matters to you academics. Thanks again.

  9. Mon 20th Mar 2006 at 4:37 pm

    My pleasure, Michael. We all learn that way.


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