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For good reason, the second and third days of the Battle of Gettysburg have received the lion's share of attention from historians. With this book, however, the critical first day's fighting finally receives its due. After sketching the background of the Gettysburg campaign and recounting the events immediately preceding the battle, Harry Pfanz offers a detailed tactical description of events of the first day. He describes the engagements in McPherson Woods, at the Railroad Cuts, on Oak Ridge, on Seminary Ridge, and at Blocher's Knoll, as well as the retreat of Union forces through Gettysburg and the Federal rally on Cemetery Hill. Throughout, he draws on deep research in published and archival sources to challenge many long-held assumptions about the battle.
|Publisher:||The University of North Carolina Press|
|Series:||Civil War America Series|
|Product dimensions:||6.10(w) x 9.20(h) x 1.30(d)|
About the Author
Harry W. Pfanz is author of GettysburgThe Second Day and GettysburgCulp's Hill and Cemetery Hill. He served for ten years as a historian at Gettysburg National Military Park and retired from the position of Chief Historian of the National Park Service in 1981.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
Mr. Pfanz book is not for the faint of heart. It is for the hardcore fan or historian. For all of those that have read other books about Gettysburg and always wanted to know more about the fighting on the individual days this is the book for you. Mr. Pfanz breaks down the whole first days action in detial. This will apeal to military leaders as well. For me individually it was great and a book that I enjoyed. Going through each action in detail gave new insight into what and why it happened on that fateful July morning. Ewell's delay is explained in detail as well as the controversy between Hancock and Howard as to who really did rally the union soldiers on Cementary Hill. This was new to me as I never had heard of this debate before and the controversy lasted long after the battle as well. If you new to Gettysburg or a seasoned fan,I'm sure you'll find new insight into the battle like I did. I also recommend the other books written by Harry W. Pfanz.
I eagerly anticipated reading this lastest book by Mr. Pfanz. In his earlier books covering Gettysburg and the events of July 2nd, he often broke that action and movements of men and equipment down to a company or individual level. This book offers little of that in-depth research that marked his previous efforts. We are introduced to the various generals and some of the enlisted personnel. But, the actual movement of the troops and their subsequent positioning in the battle are left to a more generalized scope. If you are interested in a cursory examination of the events of July 1st, this is your book. If you seek the high level of detail that Mr. Pfanz provided in his July 2nd books, you will be disappointed.
If you are a re-enactor or a museum curator building battlefield dioramas, you will want this book. Who else will want to know that the 36th stood to the left of the 47th? Poorly written and verbose, this book is long as such tediouness and short on synthesis, analysis and insight. My advice: look elsewhere.