Decisions at Gettysburg: The Nineteen Critical Decisions That Defined the Campaign

Paperback (Print)
Used and New from Other Sellers
Used and New from Other Sellers
from $12.14
Usually ships in 1-2 business days
(Save 51%)
Other sellers (Paperback)
  • All (6) from $12.14   
  • New (4) from $17.09   
  • Used (2) from $12.14   

Overview

The Campaign and Battle of Gettysburg have inspired scrutiny from virtually every angle. Standing out amid the voluminous scholarship, this book is not merely one more narrative history of the events that transpired before, during, and after those three momentous July days in southern Pennsylvania. Rather, it focuses on and analyzes nineteen critical decisions by Union and Confederate commanders that determined the particular ways in which those events unfolded.

Matt Spruill contends that, among the many decisions made during any military campaign, a limited number-strategic, operational, tactical, organizational-make the difference, with subsequent decisions and circumstances proceeding from those defining moments. At Gettysburg, he contends, had any of the nineteen decisions he identifies not been made and/or another decision made in its stead, all sorts of events from those decision points on would have been different and the campaign and battle as we know it today would appear differently.

Along with his insightful analysis of the nineteen decisions, Spruill includes a valuable appendix that takes the battlefield visitor to the actual locations where the decisions were made or executed. This guide features excerpts from primary documents that further illuminate the ways in which the commanders saw situations on the ground and made their decisions accordingly.

Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781572337459
  • Publisher: University of Tennessee Press
  • Publication date: 3/16/2011
  • Edition description: 1
  • Pages: 224
  • Sales rank: 1,469,812
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 8.90 (h) x 0.60 (d)

Meet the Author

Matt Spruill is the author of five battlefield guide books, the most recent of which is Summer Thunder, which explores the deployment of artillery throughout the Battle of Gettysburg. He is a former licensed guide at the Gettysburg National Military Park.
 

Read More Show Less

Table of Contents

Preface xi

Introduction 1

1 Before the Battle 5

2 Wednesday, July 1, 1863 25

3 Thursday, July 2, 1863 49

4 Friday, July 3, 1863, and Afterward 79

Conclusion 91

Appendix I A Battlefield Guide to the Critical Decisions at Gettysburg 97

Appendix II Union Order of Battle 137

Appendix III Confederate Order of Battle 155

Notes 169

Bibliography 183

Index 191

Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Be the first to write a review
( 0 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(0)

4 Star

(0)

3 Star

(0)

2 Star

(0)

1 Star

(0)

Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Noble.com Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & Noble.com that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & Noble.com does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at BN.com or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation

Reminder:

  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & Noble.com and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Noble.com Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & Noble.com reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & Noble.com also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on BN.com. It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

 
Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously
Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Posted July 13, 2011

    19 Decisions That Defined the Gettysburg Campaign

    Decisions at Gettysburg: The Nineteen Critical Decisions That Defined the Campaign, Matt Spruill, University of Tennessee Press, 200 pp., 21 photographs, 10 maps, 3 charts, 3 appendices, notes, bibliography, index, paperback, $24.95.

    Matt Spruill has the credentials weigh in on the command and control issues of the Gettysburg Campaign. He has been a student of Jay Luvass and Harold Nelson at the U.S. Army War College at Carlisle and then faculty member there. He was for a time a Gettysburg Licensed Battlefield Guide. The 19 critical decisions were chosen based on his military background, his close reading of the primary sources as a participant and instructor of the U.S. Army's staff tours of the battlefield, and his association with the battlefield's licensed guides. His "criterion for a critical decision is that, after the decision was made, it shaped not only the events
    immediately following it but also the conduct of the campaign or the battle from that point on." [xii]

    The strenghts of Spruill's work is the arguments for each decision are incisive, convincing, and clear. The reader should come to Spruill's work with a basic background knowledge of the battle. Decisions at Gettysburg is not overview of the battle. There is no day-by-day or hour-by-hour account of the fighting. Readers need to have at least one guided tour of the entire battlefield or have read Trudeau's or Sears comprehensive works on the battle. General readers who have delved into Coddington's and Pfanz's books are prepared to read Decisions at Gettysburg.

    For each decision, Spruill describes the options available to the commander and of the decision then taken. Then he covers the impact of the decision on the succeeding events and on the the campaign. Fortunately Spruill does not judge decisions as being right or wrong. He is more concerned with how the decision set conditions for a response or another decision. Spruill is color blind in regard to the uniform the decision maker wears. There is no anti-Ewell, anti-Sickles, or pro-Lee or pro-Meade content in the book.

    As with any list, what decisions are left off or unnecessarily included. CWL doesn't see any of Spruill's decisions being left off such a list. Several that should have been included though were Lincoln's decision to replace Hooker with Meade, Lee's decision not to pull Ewell's corps from the east side of Gettysburg on the morning of July 2, Hunt's decision to silence Federal artillery on Cemetery immediately before the Pickett/Pettigrew/Trimble assault on July 3. Spruill's does give a slight nod to McGilvery's construction of a line of artillery east of the Trostle Farmstead during the late afternoon of July 2. Those would be on CWL's list of critical decisions that defined the Gettysburg Campaign.

    As an appendix, Spruill does supply a 40 page battlefield touring guide to the 19 decisions. In CWL's copy, there is now no page that does not have underlining, notes, questions and exclamation marks on it. Most likely, Spruill's Decisions at Gettysburg will be seen in December and January on many best of 2011 lists.

    Nineteen Critical Decisions That Defined the Gettysburg Campaign

    Before the Battle
    1. Lee's decision to take the Army of Northern Virginia into Pennsylvania,
    2. Lee's reorganization of the Army of Northern Virginia during late May
    3. Hooker's reorganization of the Army of the Potomac's artillery in late May
    4. Lee's ambiguous orders to Stuart th

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews

If you find inappropriate content, please report it to Barnes & Noble
Why is this product inappropriate?
Comments (optional)