LBE mentioned the Carhart book in the December 2006 issue of JPTOS (88 JPTOS 1068); from footnote 24:
The book, Tom Carhart, Lost Triumph: Lee's Real Plan at Gettysburg and Why it Failed, Putnam's Sons, New York, 2005, gives details of the use of the Spencers at pages 203, 210, and 217. The book generally praises Custer as a hero for preventing a Confederate incursion by forces of J.E.B. Stuart which incursion might have altered the outcome of Pickett's Charge. A foreward by James M. McPherson states: "Most important, we have not previously comprehended Lee's full tactical plan for July 3 in which Stuart's cavalry was to have an essential part. No historian before Tom Carhart has pieced together the whole story from the scattered bits of evidence." In fact, a book published three years previously had advanced the same theory: Paul D. Walker, The Cavalry Battle That Saved the Union: Custer v. Stuart at Gettysburg, Gretna, LA: Pelican, 2002, as discussed in Lawrence B. Ebert, You Only Look Twice, 18, Intellectual Property Today (Nov. 2005). Observation by this author of various Civil War buffs suggests that the "take it and make it your own" approach involved here was very successful. In Civil War history, and in innovation generally, the general population is more appreciative of the person who successfully brings the idea to market than the guy who had the idea first. There is a bit of this involved in NTP v. RIM, 418 F.3d 1282 (CAFC 2005).
See also Issues of priority, whether writing about Gettysburg or embryonic stem cells
A post on the thread on cwdgonline referenced work by William Brooke Rawle. Text from a book entitled The Right Flank at Gettysburg: An Account of General Gregg's Cavalry Command, Showing Their Important Bearing Upon the Results of the Battle, by Rawle (available on the internet) gives clear evidence that Carhart's theory has been around for a while. Separately, text from McClellan suggests the Carhart theory is backwards.
On July 2, Hampton's brigade had repulsed an attack by Kilpatrick by way of Hunterstown. On the morning of July 3, Stuart had moved to a position to the left of Ewell, both to secure Ewell's left AND to view Federal lines. Stuart's purpose, according to Stuart, was to effect a surprise on the rear of the Federal main line of battle. Rawle writes: "It was obvious that he [Stuart] intended to accomplish this by way of the Baltimore Pike and the roads hereafter described, simultaneously with Pickett's attack in front." Rawle quotes Stuart: "Had the enemy's main body been dislodged, as was confidently hoped and expected" (by Pickett's charge) "I was in precisely the right position to discover it and improve the opportunity." According to Rawle, referring to Stuart by NOT quoting Stuart, Stuart did not accomplish his goal because Hampton's and Fitzhugh Lee's brigades debouched into open ground, disclosing Stuart's movement to the Federals.
At this point in his text, Rawle does NOT mention the cannon shots fired by Stuart, which "disclosed" Stuart's presence to the Federals.
At page 19 of Rawle's text, there is mention of the Spencer repeating carbines used by Custer's forces. At page 23, Rawle attributes the success of the Union forces to the use of their sabres, en masse.
Relating this to Carhart's book, it is Rawle who states: It was obvious that he [Stuart] intended to accomplish this by way of the Baltimore Pike and the roads hereafter described, simultaneously with Pickett's attack in front. Thus, one can easily state that Rawle had a theory published in 1878 which anticipated Carhart's by more than 100 years.
However, of the direct quotes of Stuart, "Had the enemy's main body been dislodged, as was confidently hoped and expected" [by Pickett's charge] "I was in precisely the right position to discover it and improve the opportunity," one can infer that Stuart planned TO BENEFIT FROM THE RESULTS OF Pickett's attack, not to help CAUSE the results.
The failure of Rawle to discuss Stuart's cannon shots, an action NOT consistent with maintaining secrecy, is problematic.
According to the preface of Rawle's book, this material first appeared in "The Philadelphia Weekly Times" on September 14, 1878. This was part of a series entitled CHAPTERS OF UNWRITTEN HISTORY IN THE ANNALS OF WAR.
Page 5 of the Rawle book refers to Major H.B. McClellan. The text of Rawle's book as to McClellan is puzzling. "It has been insinuated by [McClellan] who indeed if he were present, might be presumed to have been in a position to judge correctly, that the cavalry operations on the right flank at Gettysburg resulted victoriously for his cause. That this was not the case will be shown conclusively."
On the morning of the 3d several hours were consumed in replenishing the ammunition of the cavalry. Jenkins' brigade, commanded by Colonel M. J. Ferguson, of the 16th Virginia Cavalry, was added to Stuart's command, but by some bad management was supplied with only ten rounds of cartridges to the man. At about noon Stuart, with Jenkins' and Chambliss' brigades, moved out on the York turnpike, to take position on the left of the Confederate line of battle. Hampton and Fitz Lee were directed to follow. Breathed and McGregor had not been able to obtain ammunition, and were left behind, with orders to follow as soon as their chests were filled. Griffin's 2d Maryland battery, which had never before served under Stuart, accompanied Jenkins and Chambliss. Stuart's object was to gain position where he would protect the left of Ewell's corps, and would also be able to observe the enemy's rear and attack it in case the Confederate assault on the Federal lines were successful. He proposed, if opportunity offered, to make a diversion which might aid the Confederate infantry to carry the heights held by the Federal army.