Pickett's Charge--The Last Attack at Gettysburg

Pickett's Charge--The Last Attack at Gettysburg

by Earl J. Hess
     
 

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Pickett's Charge is probably the best-known military engagement of the Civil War, widely regarded as the defining moment of the battle of Gettysburg and celebrated as the high-water mark of the Confederacy. But as Earl Hess notes, the epic stature of Pickett's Charge has grown at the expense of reality, and the facts of the attack have been obscured or distorted by

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Overview

Pickett's Charge is probably the best-known military engagement of the Civil War, widely regarded as the defining moment of the battle of Gettysburg and celebrated as the high-water mark of the Confederacy. But as Earl Hess notes, the epic stature of Pickett's Charge has grown at the expense of reality, and the facts of the attack have been obscured or distorted by the legend that surrounds them.

With this book, Hess sweeps away the accumulated myths about Pickett's Charge to provide the definitive history of the engagement. Drawing on exhaustive research, especially in unpublished personal accounts, he creates a moving narrative of the attack from both Union and Confederate perspectives, analyzing its planning, execution, aftermath, and legacy. He also examines the history of the units involved, their state of readiness, how they maneuvered under fire, and what the men who marched in the ranks thought about their participation in the assault. Ultimately, Hess explains, such an approach reveals Pickett's Charge both as a case study in how soldiers deal with combat and as a dramatic example of heroism, failure, and fate on the battlefield.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

"Easily stands above all comparable accounts of the last fatal act of the Gettysburg drama. . . . [It is] thoroughly researched."
-Allen C. Guelzo, The Barnes & Noble Review

"This book is probably the best book on Pickett's Charge that has been written to date. . . . Hess's writing is clear and lucid, and very descriptive of the horrible battlefield conditions during this storied attack and repulse. . . . His book will stand on its own merit for a long time to come. It's a must-have title for any Gettysburg collection."
-Journal of Military History

"Hess brings an impressive outpouring of new and old sources to bear in a strong narrative of the attack and its repulse that is rich in detail, quotes and personal accounts, with excellent accompanying maps and photographs. . . . This is a good book."
-Washington Post Book World

"Hess provides a stirring battle narrative accompanied by new interpretations tracing the hows and whys of what has been called Pickett's Charge. . . . A successful combination of familiar and not so well known accounts. . . . Very readable with a liberal use of maps and illustrations to accompany the text. . . . A necessary read for anyone interested in the Gettysburg Campaign or military history. . . . The best account of that historic encounter on Cemetery Ridge."
-Civil War News

"Here we are told again and better of the best-known day of the war, in a beautifully written account. . . . No prior account captures with such integrity and historical accuracy the horror and valor of the best-known infantry assault of the war. This book imparts a palpable understanding and appreciation of the roles played by men of all ranks, both sides, the brave, the foolish, the cowardly, the opportunistic."
-Virginia Quarterly Review

"Well illustrated with scenes from the battlefield and portraits of the principal figures. . . . The writing is crisp and clear. Pickett's Charge is a valuable addition to the Civil War shelf."
-Washington Times

"Hess sweeps away the accumulated myths about Pickett's Charge to provide the definitive history of the engagement. . . . Drawing on exhaustive research, especially in unpublished personal accounts, he creates a moving narrative of the attack from both Union and Confederate perspectives, analyzing its planning, execution, aftermath, and legacy."
-McCormick Messenger

[Hess] utilizes a wide range of primary sources penned by the participants themselves from before the attack began through postwar remembrances. (Civil War Times)

I have no doubt that this work will take its place as the new standard on Pickett's Charge. (D. Scott Hartwig, Historian, Gettysburg, Pennsylvania)

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780807826485
Publisher:
The University of North Carolina Press
Publication date:
11/05/2001
Series:
Civil War America Series
Edition description:
1
Pages:
520
Product dimensions:
6.45(w) x 9.53(h) x 1.36(d)

What People are saying about this

From the Publisher
Given the volume of publications on Gettysburg, it is difficult to write something that is fresh and original on the battle. Earl Hess has succeeded in doing this. I have no doubt that this work will take its place as the new standard on Pickett's Charge.—D. Scott Hartwig, Historian, Gettysburg, Pennsylvania

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