When the Smoke Cleared at Gettysburg

( 1 )

Overview

In July 1863 the bloodiest and most decisive battle of the Civil War was fought near the sleepy town of Gettysburg, Pennsylvania. While many books have been written about the landmark battle, When the Smoke Cleared at Gettysburg differs from the rest by detailing the horrific aftermath of the battle, detailing what it takes to put a town back together after two armies have fought through its streets and across the surrounding countryside. The small town of 2,400 inhabitants was faced with the enormous problem of ...
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Overview

In July 1863 the bloodiest and most decisive battle of the Civil War was fought near the sleepy town of Gettysburg, Pennsylvania. While many books have been written about the landmark battle, When the Smoke Cleared at Gettysburg differs from the rest by detailing the horrific aftermath of the battle, detailing what it takes to put a town back together after two armies have fought through its streets and across the surrounding countryside. The small town of 2,400 inhabitants was faced with the enormous problem of burying more than 7,000 dead soldiers and caring for 20,000 wounded men who had been left behind by both armies. Fields that just days earlier maintained crops and livestock were now littered with firearms, munitions, and swords, and nearly every building still standing was turned into a field hospital with mounds of amputated limbs left behind after the surgeons had completed their grizzly work.

When the Smoke Cleared at Gettysburg
provides firsthand accounts of life in the town and on the battlefield in the days and months following the brutal fighting. Included are stories and vivid descriptions from soldiers, reporters, civilians, doctors, and nurses. Good Samaritans came to help the wounded and the dying, and profiteers and souvenir hunters were not far behind. Then came the politicians, followed by legions of families seeking the remains of their fallen sons.

When the Smoke Cleared at Gettysburg
presents the heart-breaking human misery resulting from his battle and by the ongoing war wherever it went. From the backbreaking chore of clearing the battlefield of the wounded and dead to nursing the amputees, one can learn much of the battle by seeing what ordinary people who were pulled into the war did to survive and rebuild their lives.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781581823431
  • Publisher: SourceBooks
  • Publication date: 6/15/2003
  • Pages: 288
  • Sales rank: 964,870
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.90 (d)

Table of Contents

Preface 9
Acknowledgments 13
Part 1 A Small Town in Pennsylvania
1 The Borough of Gettysburg 19
2 The Rebels Are Coming! 29
3 The Rebels Are Here 41
4 The Federals Arrive 49
Part 2 Three Days That Changed Everything
5 July 1 57
6 July 2 81
7 July 3 93
Part 3 The Debris of War
8 July 4 107
9 The Wounded 121
10 The Second Week of July 139
11 Help for Gettysburg 151
12 Burying the Dead 157
13 Military Medical Care 177
14 Prisoners of War 187
15 Life As a Nurse 195
16 The Total Tally 205
Part 4 Remembering and Commemorating
17 Returning to Normalcy 211
18 Creating a National Cemetery 229
19 Creating a National Park 243
20 Gettysburg Today 253
Notes 263
Selected Bibliography 277
Index 285
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 5
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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted July 8, 2010

    A Humanistic Approach to the Battle Which is Missing in Textbooks

    I happen to have the good fortune of living about 2 hours from Gettysburg; therefore, a yearly fall trip is always on our calendar. While there, we visit the usual memorials and museums. After reading this almost minute-by-minute account of the 3-day battle where so much blood was shed, I have a much better understanding of the horror that happened there.

    When the Smoke Cleared at Gettysburg not only focuses on the battle, but also the before and after. The reader is able to create vivid pictures in the mind through diary accounts of Gettysburg residents, surgeons, and nurses. We learn that free African Americans, if captured by the Confederacy, would be marched to the South into a life of slavery. We learn about Tillie Pierce, whose diary accounts are studied thoroughly by historians today. We learn about the new practice of embalming the dead, so that soldiers could be shipped back to their loved ones for proper burial. We learn the minute details of the fascinating 50th and 75th reunions of the blue and the gray.

    This book is not for the faint of heart, as the descriptions and especially the photos, are very graphic. However, When the Smoke Cleared at Gettysburg is not a dry textbook rendition of the battle. Sheldon takes a humanistic approach, which no textbook could ever compete with.

    MY RATING - 5/5

    To see my rating scale and other reviews, please visit my blog:
    http://www.1776books.blogspot.com

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
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