With essays by 15 Civil War historians and nearly 500 illustrations, the book takes readers from the Confederate army's northward march, through three days of fierce fighting and to the Union victory and Confederate retreat.
Among the visuals are maps with cutaway views to show the role topography played, side-by-side photos of key sites at battle's end and the same sites today, and thumbnail photos and sketches of monuments and sites, and of the battle's key participants. - Chicago Tribune
Here is one of the most exciting and best-executed Civil War picture books to be published since the American Heritage Picture History of the Civil War by Bruce Calton 40 years ago. It's a new benchmark against which future volumes of its kind will be judged. David J. Eicher's Gettysburg Battlefield is just what the title claims it to be: definitive. This is surely one of the most attractively designed books about a Civil War battle ever published, blending contemporary and period photographs to create the most complete photographic coverage of Gettysburg to date.
The work owes a debt to Gettysburg, A Journey in Time by William A. Frassanito, and, indeed, Eicher acknowledges Frassanito's groundbreaking research again and again as he compares views of the battlefield taken in the 1860's and afterward with gorgeous color photographs shot in the past few years. There is no attempt to duplicate Frassanito's work; Gettysburg Battlefield updates and supplements it. One delightful surprise is the large number of photos that many readers will not have seen before. Also welcome are the photos enlarged to show obscure detail.
Gettysburg Battlefield is a thorough and meticulously researched history as well. Eicher retells the story of the battle in vibrant prose, offering the best and latest Civil War scholarship to sort the considerable amounts of legend that the battle has accreted over 150 years. Assisting in the storytelling are handsome, full-color, three-dimensional maps by Lee Vande Visse. They recall the work in the American Heritage history of four decades ago. Visse's maps are profusely labeled and greatly enhance understanding of the complex battle.
Perhaps Eicher's greatest achievement is communicating that special, indefinable something that you feel when you visit Gettysburg in person. Lincoln described the ground as "consecrated...far above our poor power to add or detract." No volume has ever transmitted that sensation better than this one. This is a must have book. - Civil War Times