Beneath a Northern Sky: A Short History of the Gettysburg Campaign / Edition 2

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Overview

Of all the places and events in this nation's history, Gettysburg may well be the name best known to Americans. Millions flock each year to the little town in south-central Pennsylvania where more than 135 years ago the largest, bloodiest, and most dramatic battle of the Civil War raged across the now-peaceful hills and meadows. The subject of an epic movie and a best-selling work of fiction, the battle continues to fascinate Americans. Indeed, for most Americans, Gettysburg is the Civil War.

In Beneath a Northern Sky, eminent Civil War historian Steven E. Woodworth offers a balanced and thorough overview of the entire battle, its drama, and its meaning. From Lee's decision to take his heretofore successful Army of Northern Virginia across the Potomac and into Pennsylvania to the withdrawal of the battle-battered Confederate's back across the river into Virginia, Woodworth paints a vivid picture of this pivotal campaign. In this day-by-day account, he describes the fierce fighting that left 48,000 men dead or wounded at sites that have now become famous: Little Round Top, Cemetery Ridge, Devil's Den. This new book provides a realistic sequence of events surrounding the legendary Pickett's Charge, detailing the Confederate's magnificent display of courage and the Union's stalwart, rock-hard defense. Woodworth describes the strategic and tactical decision making and shows how infighting and disagreements among the leaders on both sides impacted the campaign. He details the mind set and morale of the soldiers, revealing how—surprisingly—Union leaders did not take advantage of their troops' high spirits after their victory to finish off the retreating Confederates.

Instead of focusing on only one aspect of the Gettysburg Campaign as most other books do, Beneath a Northern Sky tells the tale of the entire battle in a richly detailed but swiftly moving narrative. This new approach to a defining battle is sure to fascinate Civil War buffs and all those interested in the rich history of the United States.

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Editorial Reviews

James M. McPherson
For those with time to read only one book about Gettysburg, this is the one.
author of Crossroads of Freedom: Antietam
Brooks D. Simpson
A succinct, provocative, and useful overview of the Gettysburg campaign, integrating recent scholarship into a lively narrative.
Arizona State University
H-Net: Humanities and Social Science Reviews Online
A clear and rather stirring story about the Battle of Gettysburg.
Civil War Book Review
Lucid and engrossing. An interesting, fast-paced, and efficient narration of the battle and the campaign.
Civil War Times
A good introductory history of the Gettysburg Campaign.
The Roanoke Times
A cogent but insightful account of one of the great clashes between North and South.
Journal Of Military History
A concise and scholarly synthesis that focuses on command decisions and performance, plus regimental and brigade encounters garnished by quotations from soldiers' letters that convey the range of individual experiences.
Army History
In Beneath a Northern Sky: A Short History of the Battle of Gettysburg, Steven E. Woodworth presents the battle clearly and concisely, no small achievement for only 219 pages. The treatment is of the whole rather than concentrating on individual aspects, with a fair analysis of the strategy and reasoning of the commanding generals. While the intent is an overview, nothing of importance is left out. The narrative is first rate and includes sufficient detail to hold the interest of the reader. . . . If you have to read only one book on this battle, be sure this is the one.
— James P. Weidener
H-Net: Humanities and Social Science Reviews Online
A clear and rather stirring story about the Battle of Gettysburg.
Journal of Military History
A concise and scholarly synthesis that focuses on command decisions and performance, plus regimental and brigade encounters garnished by quotations from soldiers' letters that convey the range of individual experiences.
James M. McPherson
For those with time to read only one book about Gettysburg, this is the one. In the huge literature on Gettysburg, Steven Woodworth's Beneath a Northern Sky stands out as a small but brilliant start. In little more than 200 pages it offers a gripping story of the campaign and battle.
Brooks D. Simpson
A succinct, provocative, and useful overview of the Gettysburg campaign, integrating recent scholarship into a lively narrative.
Mark Grimsley
Readers in search of a good, concise telling of the battle of Gettysburg can do no better than this excellent book.
Matt Gallman
Steven Woodworth, one of the most accomplished Civil War military historians of his generation, has made an important contribution to the already long shelf of books on the Battle of Gettysburg. Beneath a Northern Sky is a briskly paced, short history of the most studied battle of the American Civil War.
Army History - James P. Weidener
In Beneath a Northern Sky: A Short History of the Battle of Gettysburg, Steven E. Woodworth presents the battle clearly and concisely, no small achievement for only 219 pages. The treatment is of the whole rather than concentrating on individual aspects, with a fair analysis of the strategy and reasoning of the commanding generals. While the intent is an overview, nothing of importance is left out. The narrative is first rate and includes sufficient detail to hold the interest of the reader. . . . If you have to read only one book on this battle, be sure this is the one.
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Product Details

Meet the Author

Steven E. Woodworth is professor of history at Texas Christian University, specializing in the Civil War and Reconstruction. He has written and edited several Civil War books, including Jefferson Davis and His Generals (1990), Davis and Lee at War (1995), and The Human Tradition in the Civil War and Reconstruction (2000).
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Table of Contents

Chapter 1: The Confidence of Certain Victory
Chapter 2: An Invading Army among Them
Chapter 3: They Will Come Booming
Chapter 4: I Will Fight Them Inch by Inch
Chapter 5: Like Grass before a Scythe
Chapter 6: Forward and Take Those Heights!
Chapter 7: One More Charge and the Day is Ours
Chapter 8: Stay and Fight It Out
Chapter 9: The Appalling Grandeur of the Storm
Chapter 10: I Hope I May Live to See the End of the War
Bibliographic Essay
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Customer Reviews

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Sort by: Showing all of 5 Customer Reviews
  • Posted December 7, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    Another Woodworth Winner

    Steven Woodworth has taken a battle that one would think has been exhausted as a subject and made it fresh. He manages to cover both the generals and the enlisted men, but his heart is with the latter. Men were bleeding dying and he keeps us focused on the that grim reality. I look forward to reading Six Armies in Tennessee, his history of the Chattanooga campaign. I highly recommend his history of the Army of Tennessee, Nothing But Victory, and his books on Confederate strategy, Lee and Davis At War and Jefferson Davis And His Generals.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 4, 2003

    More mistakes than Lee!

    I bought this book because Jim McPherson recommened it on the back cover. But it contains many glarring errors. Not differences of opion but inaccurate statements.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted July 6, 2011

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    Posted January 22, 2009

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    Posted April 26, 2010

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Sort by: Showing all of 5 Customer Reviews

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