The U.s Army War College Guide to the Battle of Gettysburg

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9780060970963: The U.s Army War College Guide to the Battle of Gettysburg

Here in on e compact volume is a day-by-day and hour-by-hour account of the Battle of Gettysburg. Along with numerous illustrations, photographs, and diagrams, this book features the official reports and physical observations of the commanding officers in their own words. These original source documents from both Southern and Northern leaders provide a startling sense of reality and drama.

This book takes you through the entire battle in a documents and ordered progression. Twenty-five stops are arranged in the order of the actual battle as it unfolded in 1863. Easy-to-follow maps show all of significant troop positions and related terrain detail.

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Review:

Jay Luvaas is a professor of history at the U.S. Army War College and North America's most distinguished conductor of battlefield tours. Colonel Harold Nelson, also of the War College, is a professional soldier who sets practical experience of his craft in a broad theoretical framework. The two have combined to produce the definitive guidebook to the battle of Gettysburg and one of the most distinguished examples of its genre. Following the chronology of events between July 1 and July 3, 1863, Luvaas and Nelson take the readers from critical point to critical point on the field. At each step they provide a terrain orientation and a brief narrative of events, then a selection of excerpts from the after-action reports of Union and Confederate officers on the spot. Use of the book is facilitated by a series of unusually clear maps and diagrams and by an excellent appendix on Civil War weapons and doctrines. Numerous photos, most of them contemporary, assist the imagination in reconstructing terrain often significantly modified in the course of a century. The authors' approach is adapted from the traditional military staff ride. Its emphasis on reports by colonels and generals, its corresponding neglect of the common soldiers' perspective, may suggest a certain sterility. Gettysburg was more than a military problem. Plans, moreover, end when combat begins. The order imposed on a mad scramble for survival is in large part a post facto process of rationalizing what actually happened in the context of what officers wanted to happen and what historians believe happened. Such criticism must, however, be carefully tempered. This work does not seek to compete with comprehensive histories. It offers far greater substance than the canned wisdom and anecdotal pathos common among its counterparts. It provides direct insight into the cause of events as understood by men responsible for making the tactical decisions that determine any battle-insofar as that process is possible. And it facilitates that process of reconstructing the past that is the essence of history. A paperback edition would be worthwhile and profitable, but even the hardbound volume belongs in the luggage of any traveller to Gettysburg. -- From Independent Publisher

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Jay Luvaas, Harold W. Nelson (Editor)
Published by Harpercollins (1987)
ISBN 10: 0060970960 ISBN 13: 9780060970963
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