A Field Guide to Gettysburg: Experiencing the Battlefield through Its History, Places, and People

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Overview

In this lively guide to the Gettysburg battlefield, Carol Reardon and Tom Vossler invite readers to participate in a tour of this hallowed ground. Ideal for carrying on trips through the park as well as for the armchair historian, this book includes comprehensive maps and deft descriptions of the action that situate visitors in time and place. Crisp narratives introduce key figures and events, and eye-opening vignettes help readers more fully comprehend the import of what happened and why. A wide variety of ...

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A Field Guide to Gettysburg: Experiencing the Battlefield through Its History, Places, and People

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Overview

In this lively guide to the Gettysburg battlefield, Carol Reardon and Tom Vossler invite readers to participate in a tour of this hallowed ground. Ideal for carrying on trips through the park as well as for the armchair historian, this book includes comprehensive maps and deft descriptions of the action that situate visitors in time and place. Crisp narratives introduce key figures and events, and eye-opening vignettes help readers more fully comprehend the import of what happened and why. A wide variety of contemporary and postwar source materials offer colorful stories and present interesting interpretations that have shaped—or reshaped—our understanding of Gettysburg today.

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Editorial Reviews

From Barnes & Noble

With more than fifty thousand casualties, the three-day confrontation at Gettysburg, Pennsylvania was the bloodiest battle of the Civil War and it was also the most critical. This 384-page paperback original by Civil War specialist Dr. Carol Reardon (Pickett's Charge; Launch the Intruders ) and battlefield guide William Voissler provides readers and Gettysburg visitors with a vivid sense of the unfolding events and key figures of this deadly, historic showdown. A key resource, especially pertinent on this 150th anniversary.

From the Publisher
"The authors have gone far beyond [a battlefield guide]. . . . An excellent source for Civil War buffs and anyone interested in the history and locale of Gettysburg."—Library Journal 2013 Best Reference Book

"This new Field Guide is the best to appear on this subject in recent years. Highly recommended. Lower-level undergraduates and above; general readers."—Choice

"An attractive presentation—beautiful color photos and handsomely laid-out text—partners with a wealth of information on individuals, troop movements, and skirmishes, amounting to an indispensable guide to a major event in American history."—Booklist

"Reardon and Vossler's in-depth knowledge of the battle translates to an informative and even moving battlefield history."—The North Carolina Historical Review

"The new standard for Gettysburg battlefield guides. . . . Terrific for those who want more and do not have a professional tour or staff ride leader to take them around the field."—Civil War Monitor

"A Field Guide to Gettysburg is well illustrated. . . . Even if you don't visit the battlefield, this guide will lead you through the events that took place there, step by step, battle by battle. . . .It makes you feel that the tour guide is talking to you, not that you're just reading a book."—Tennessee Libraries

"The most helpful book in understanding the field of battle at Gettysburg. . . . A superb and surprising addition to the library of Gettysburg books, valuable for the novice, the ardent Civil War buff, and the scholar alike."—Civil War Book Review

"I would wholeheartedly endorse that serious battlefield trampers give Reardon and Vossler's guide a trial run in the field. . . . There's also more than enough material inside the book for satisfactory home reading."—Civil War Books and Authors

"An extremely useful resource for making one's way intelligently across the battleground as well as a stirring account of the battle and its varied meanings in the past and present. . . . This unique book enables all readers to better comprehend the places, events, and memories that make up the battle of Gettysburg. As such, no matter how limited or extensive one's Civil War library, it deserves a special place on the shelf."—Civil War Monitor

"[The authors'] easy familiarity with the terrain, the historical facts of the battle, and eye-opening local anecdotes make the guide a valuable companion for first-time visitors, veteran battlefield trampers, as well as armchair explorers."—The Civil War Round Table-District of Columbia

From The Critics

"Not only describes the tactical fighting, but captures in brief biographies and personal accounts the human tragedy that befell both soldiers and civilians."--Jeffry D. Wert, author of A Glorious Army: Robert E. Lee's Triumph, 1862-1863
Library Journal
There is no shortage of battlefield guides to Gettysburg. But in addition to including the standard fare for such texts, the authors have gone far beyond. Reardon (history, Penn State; With a Sword in One Hand and Jomini in the Other) and Vossler (retired U.S. Army colonel and former director, U.S. Army Military History Inst.) provide 35 stops, allowing the reader to follow along on a self-guided tour. Sections for each stop contain several elements, including "Orientation"; "What Happened Here?"; "Who Fought Here?"; "Who Commanded Here?"; "Who Fell Here?"; "Who Lived Here?"; and "What Did They Say About It Later?" The volume concludes with "The Aftermath," which discusses the consequences of victory and defeat, as well as the direct impact of the battle on the town of Gettysburg itself. The numerous illustrations—both photographs and maps—help the reader to visualize the terrain, troop movements, and men involved. VERDICT An excellent source for Civil War buffs and anyone interested in the history and locale of Gettysburg.—Matthew Wayman, Pennsylvania State Univ. Lib., Schuylkill Haven
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780807835258
  • Publisher: The University of North Carolina Press
  • Publication date: 6/13/2013
  • Edition description: 1
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 464
  • Sales rank: 163,290
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.90 (d)

Meet the Author

Carol Reardon is George Winfree Professor of American History at Pennsylvania State University and author of four books, including With a Sword in One Hand and Jomini in the Other: The Problem of Military Thought in the Civil War North. She has taught at West Point and the U.S. Army War College, and she leads staff rides and tours of Gettysburg for many military and civilian groups.

Tom Vossler, a combat veteran and retired U.S. Army colonel, is former director of the U.S. Army Military History Institute. As a licensed battlefield guide, he leads over one hundred battlefield tours and leadership seminars each year.

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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted August 2, 2013

    Recommended.

    Excellent guide to the battlefield for all levels of visitors. Well done!

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