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Introduction and Acknowledgments ix
Chapter 1 A Black Hat Brigade 1
Chapter 2 I Cannot Stand it to Fight 13
Chapter 3 He has Gone to Stonewall's Funeral 17
Chapter 4 Greenhorn Patriots 21
Chapter 5 To be Shot Like Sheep in a Huddle 29
Chapter 6 The Iron Brigade of the West 39
Chapter 7 Bad News About the Rebs 43
Chapter 8 A New Regiment and a Veteran Battery 51
Chapter 9 The Black Hats 57
Chapter 10 A Young Lieutenant and a Fair Maid 67
Chapter 11 King's Pet Babies 73
Chapter 12 I Will Fight Them Inch by Inch 81
Chapter 13 It's Those Damned Black Hats! 87
Chapter 14 One Sword is All I Need on This Line 101
Chapter 15 Fire by File! Fire by File! 109
Chapter 16 What Became of That Sword I Gave You? 121
Chapter 17 I Can Stand it No Longer 129
Chapter 18 Yelling Like Demons 135
Chapter 19 I Grew About a Foot and a Half 143
Chapter 20 In a Tight Place 147
Chapter 21 We Left Behind the Rebel Flag, That Dearly Bought the Prize 155
Chapter 22 Are you Satisfied With the Twenty-fourth? 161
Chapter 23 Our Best and Bravest 167
Chapter 24 The Finger of God Paralyzed his Brain 175
Chapter 25 This Battle Will go by the Name of Gettysburg 179
Chapter 26 A Shot From a Smoothbore Gun 187
Chapter 27 The Old Army had Come to Itself Again 195
Chapter 28 They Have Played Their Hand Long Enough 201
Chapter 29 I Guess He is All Right on the Fight Question 213
Chapter 30 No Man Can Fight Surrounded by Cowards 221
Chapter 31 The Trust Imposed Upon Them 231
Chapter 32 The Chance of a Lifetime 237
Chapter 33 Glorious Remembrance 243
Epilogue: An Unknown. July 1, 1997 258
1 Iron Brigade Route to Gettysburg 45
2 The Iron Brigade Reaches the Field 91
3 Cutler's Brigade Against Davis' Brigade 93
4 Archer's Brigade vs. The Iron Brigade 95
5 The 6th Wisconsin Charge on the Railroad Cut 111
6 Confederate Attack on McPherson Ridge 136
7 The Last Stand on Seminary Ridge 151
8 The Culp's Hill Line 170
9 The 6th Wisconsin and 14th Brooklyn Defend Culp's Hill 184
10 The Pursuit of Lee's Army 205
Posted July 1, 2009
The Iron Brigade was one of the premier combat units of the Army of the Potomac. Comprised of western regiments their distinctive headgear made them stand out in any formation. Headgear is not a combat record but the Iron Brigade compiled a very distinguished one in a very short time. They bore the proud designation of First Brigade, First Division, and First Corps, a heavy responsibility that they never shirked.
I expected a history of the brigade and the book provides a good one. There is enough history to allow us to understand how the brigade received its' name and designation.
I expected a history of the fighting on July 1, 1863 and the book provides an excellent account of that day. There are sufficient tactical details to make an understandable account without being bogged down and losing sight of the overall battle. The author is able to focus us on the Iron Brigade without losing sight of the bigger battle, keeping us in both the sharp tactical fighting details and making clear the general course of the battle.
I expected a history of the regiments that made up the brigade to the end of the war. The book provides a clear account of the different paths each of the regiments took after Gettysburg. These three-year regiments had to reenlist in 1864 to maintain their regimental designation. We have an excellent account of what happens first to the Iron Brigade after the devastation of Gettysburg and after I Corps is disbanded. This gives the reader a look into the problems associated with maintaining regiments over time. This is the saddest part of the book and we understand the heartache of these men when associations built in battle were broken.
I expected a post war history too. Again, the book does not disappoint providing an excellent look at the associations formed and the histories written after the war. A secondary story is how a Western Brigade fared in an Eastern Army. We have very little about the politics of Union veteran associations and this is a valuable contribution.
What I did not expect was the author's ability to make Gettysburg a personal experience! The fighting is a combination of the standard "Company F fired a volley" and the words of the men firing that volley. I have never read a Gettysburg book that rendered the battle in such personal detail. This was almost talking to these men and hearing them describe what they did.
This is an excellent book, full of historical details and personal experiences. The author has done an excellent job in pulling this all together in a very readable and enjoyable book. Bradley M. Gottfried's excellent maps both complement and support the text. This is another excellent Civil War book from Savas Beatie and is entitled to full membership in that exclusive club.
2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted December 11, 2011
Posted April 26, 2011
I did not know what to expect or what contribution this book would make. After all, I have Nolan's definitive book on the Iron Brigade. Yet, what this book did was to make this Brigade human. Great stories about the 3 days at Gettysburg. What was also interesting is that author takes the Iron Brigade and explores what happened to many of its members and the Brigade after the end of the Civil War. All in all, a highly recommended read, especially for those interested in either Gettysburg or the Iron Brigade.
1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted January 23, 2015