The greatest of all Civil War campaigns, Gettysburg was the turning point of the turning point in our nation’s history. Volumes have been written about this momentous three-day battle, but recent histories have tended to focus on the particulars rather than the big picture: on the generals or on single days of battle—even on single charges—or on the daily lives of the soldiers. In Gettysburg Sears tells the whole story in a single volume. From the first gleam in Lee’s eye to the last Rebel hightailing it back across the Potomac, every moment of the battle is brought to life with the vivid narrative skill and impeccable scholarship that has made Stephen Sears’s other histories so successful. Based on years of research, this is the first book in a generation that brings everything together, sorts it all out, makes informed judgments, and takes stands. Even the most knowledgeable of Civil War buffs will find fascinating new material and new interpretations, and Sears’s famously accessible style will make the book just as appealing to the general reader. In short, this is the one book on Gettysburg that anyone interested in the Civil War should own.
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About the Author
STEPHEN W. SEARS is the author of many award-winning books on the Civil War, including Gettysburg and Landscape Turned Red. A former editor at American Heritage, he lives in Connecticut.
Table of Contents
Contents List of Maps xi Introduction xiii 1 We Should Assume the Aggressive 1 2 High Command in Turmoil 18 3 The Risk of Action 43 4 Armies on the March 59 5 Into the Enemy’s Country 90 6 High Stakes in Pennsylvania 125 7 A Meeting Engagement 154 8 The God of Battles Smiles South 183 9 We May AsWell Fight It Out Here 226 10 A Simile of Hell Broke Loose 264 11 Determined to Do or Die 325 12 A Magnificent Display of Guns 372 13 The Grand Charge 409 14 A Long Road Back 459 Epilogue: Great God! What Does It Mean? 493 The Armies at Gettysburg 516 Notes 544 Bibliography 590 Index 601