Best Book On Gettysburg

WScott

Private
Joined
May 6, 2021
I have read many books on the Battle of Gettysburg and have chosen to keep some and sell others. While not the best book on the Battle, one that I have read and kept is “Gettysburg Battlefield the Definitive Illustrated History” by David J Eicher. Its’ a large book with many illustrations, maps and photos (then an now) as well as pictures of many of the monuments dedicated to those that fought there. To me it's a nice change from reading detailed elements of the battle to something a little lighter with pictures.
 

infomanpa

2nd Lieutenant
Joined
Feb 18, 2017
Location
Pennsylvania
Two books I haven't seen mentioned on this thread are: Brigades of Gettysburg by Gottfried. The other is a very exhaustive and detailed and a big book- Gettysburg July 1 by David Martin.
I would certainly not recommend Brigades of Gettysburg as the best book for learning about the battle. It's more of a reference book that would be best understood by those who already have a good handle of the battle.
 

Belfoured

2nd Lieutenant
Joined
Aug 3, 2019
For the vast majority of soldiers who earned it during the course of the war, they had to either capture an enemy flag or recapture/protect one of their flags in order to get one. Most of the medals issued for valorous conduct came in the post-war period when a lot of these veterans were in office or were figures in their communities and it was a way to honor them for what they had done.

In Cushing's case, there just weren't many people to advocate for him along with the general attitude that officers were supposed to be gentlemen and exemplars for their men so those kinds of heroics were to be expected and not necessarily rewarded.

Ryan
True, but there was also a fair amount of post-war solicitation by some of the honorees themselves. It definitely helped to have survived. There were actually quite a few officers who received it, including several holding the rank of General - such as the likes of good old Dan Sickles. Adelbert Ames received it for his conduct while a Lieutenant "staying with his guns" at First Bull Run. The difference was that Cushing died staying with his guns. The criteria for the Medal clearly changed as time went on and became more selective (possibly because the services came up with a wider variety of medals for valor.)
 

Lincoln56

Corporal
Joined
Jul 24, 2016
Location
Texas
I have read many books on the Battle of Gettysburg and have chosen to keep some and sell others. While not the best book on the Battle, one that I have read and kept is “Gettysburg Battlefield the Definitive Illustrated History” by David J Eicher. Its’ a large book with many illustrations, maps and photos (then an now) as well as pictures of many of the monuments dedicated to those that fought there. To me it's a nice change from reading detailed elements of the battle to something a little lighter with pictures.
I enjoy this book as well and will always retain it in my collection as I'm a huge fan of "Then and Now" genre.

Agree this is not the best book on the battle; the author has been subjected to much criticism for the use of the word "definitive" in the title which has caused much ink being spilled on analysis of why it is NOT. Though I suppose anytime you use the word "definitive" in a title you've opened yourself up to analysis / criticism on the validity of this claim.

I choose to overlook the title ruckus and value it for the then and now photographs.

Wish the thumbnail size photos were larger given the size of the pages - this is a 10 1/2" X 12" book.
 

Kurt G

Sergeant Major
Joined
May 23, 2018
I have read many books on the Battle of Gettysburg and have chosen to keep some and sell others. While not the best book on the Battle, one that I have read and kept is “Gettysburg Battlefield the Definitive Illustrated History” by David J Eicher. Its’ a large book with many illustrations, maps and photos (then an now) as well as pictures of many of the monuments dedicated to those that fought there. To me it's a nice change from reading detailed elements of the battle to something a little lighter with pictures.
There are dozens of factual errors in the book , so beware.
 

Jamieva

Captain
Forum Host
Joined
Feb 7, 2006
Location
Midlothian, VA
Reading Trudeau right now, the prose is riveting can't put it down... he is an excellent writer, I think the strength of the book is the author's ability to seamlessly blend in all the different perspectives and accounts of the battle (generals, officers, soldiers, citizens, politicians, journalists) without this being a distraction, it all flows very well.

Trudeau is such a easy read I enjoy all of his work
 

Mr King

Sergeant
Joined
Jun 21, 2008
I would certainly not recommend Brigades of Gettysburg as the best book for learning about the battle. It's more of a reference book that would be best understood by those who already have a good handle of the battle.
Ah yes. I agree. I forgot the purpose of the thread "best book on Gettysburg" and got caught up with the various replies and recommendations and ended up providing various books instead of just one. As for me, I really can't settle for just one book on such a large battle for many books have done a great job on just parts of the battle but thank you for correcting me.
 

Mr King

Sergeant
Joined
Jun 21, 2008
As for a single book on this battle, I haven't read it but I've wanted this for a long time but too expensive; The Gettysburg Companion by Mark Adkins and it states:
  • Unlike any Gettysburg book now available with comprehensive, blow-by-blow account of the celebrated Civil War battle
  • Lavishly illustrated with color maps, diagrams, charts, drawings, paintings, and period photos along with modern-day photos that are overlaid with markings to show troop movements
  • Covers uniforms, equipment, and weaponry as well as orders of battle and tactics
    There have been many books about Gettysburg, but never one to rival this in scale or authority. Based on extensive research, The Gettysburg Companion describes the battle in detail, drawing on firsthand accounts of participants on all sides in order to give the reader a vivid sense of what it was like to experience the carnage at Gettysburg in early July 1863. The many full-color maps--all specially commissioned for the book--and the numerous photographs, charts, and diagrams make this book a feast for the eyes and a collector's dream.

Amazon link to this book:
https://www.amazon.com/dp/0811704394/?tag=civilwartalkc-20
 

Kurt G

Sergeant Major
Joined
May 23, 2018
As for a single book on this battle, I haven't read it but I've wanted this for a long time but too expensive; The Gettysburg Companion by Mark Adkins and it states:
  • Unlike any Gettysburg book now available with comprehensive, blow-by-blow account of the celebrated Civil War battle
  • Lavishly illustrated with color maps, diagrams, charts, drawings, paintings, and period photos along with modern-day photos that are overlaid with markings to show troop movements
  • Covers uniforms, equipment, and weaponry as well as orders of battle and tactics
    There have been many books about Gettysburg, but never one to rival this in scale or authority. Based on extensive research, The Gettysburg Companion describes the battle in detail, drawing on firsthand accounts of participants on all sides in order to give the reader a vivid sense of what it was like to experience the carnage at Gettysburg in early July 1863. The many full-color maps--all specially commissioned for the book--and the numerous photographs, charts, and diagrams make this book a feast for the eyes and a collector's dream.

Amazon link to this book:
https://www.amazon.com/dp/0811704394/?tag=civilwartalkc-20
I have this book and it has a few issues . It doesn't begin to address the actual battle until page 285 in the chapter "The Road to Gettysburg ." The first 284 pages covers topics like infantry organization , weapons , etc. Also the same with artillery , cavalry and other arms and services . I think a beginner may get bogged down in the details though the order of battle is well done and useful . The actual treatment of the battle is not very deep . For the first day there are 55 pages , but better than half I would guess are devoted to maps , pictures and biographies . The maps and illustrations are well done but despite its size I think this book would be good for beginners , provided they don't get bogged down in all the pre-battle chapters . One issue I do have is that there are several illustrations of uniformed soldiers and it shows a black Confederate as "Private , 8th Louisiana Volunteer Infantry . " In the text under the illustration it says "It is estimated that more than 65,000 Southern Blacks served in the Confederate ranks , and of these , 13,000 were combatants." No references given . The illustration "represents Private Charles F. Lutz, a freeman of color in Company F".
 

Belfoured

2nd Lieutenant
Joined
Aug 3, 2019
I have this book and it has a few issues . It doesn't begin to address the actual battle until page 285 in the chapter "The Road to Gettysburg ." The first 284 pages covers topics like infantry organization , weapons , etc. Also the same with artillery , cavalry and other arms and services . I think a beginner may get bogged down in the details though the order of battle is well done and useful . The actual treatment of the battle is not very deep . For the first day there are 55 pages , but better than half I would guess are devoted to maps , pictures and biographies . The maps and illustrations are well done but despite its size I think this book would be good for beginners , provided they don't get bogged down in all the pre-battle chapters . One issue I do have is that there are several illustrations of uniformed soldiers and it shows a black Confederate as "Private , 8th Louisiana Volunteer Infantry . " In the text under the illustration it says "It is estimated that more than 65,000 Southern Blacks served in the Confederate ranks , and of these , 13,000 were combatants." No references given . The illustration "represents Private Charles F. Lutz, a freeman of color in Company F".
I'd go with the reviews at Amazon by Peter Jorgensen and David Petruzzi. Peter knew his stuff and David knows his.
 

infomanpa

2nd Lieutenant
Joined
Feb 18, 2017
Location
Pennsylvania
As for a single book on this battle, I haven't read it but I've wanted this for a long time but too expensive; The Gettysburg Companion by Mark Adkins and it states:
  • Unlike any Gettysburg book now available with comprehensive, blow-by-blow account of the celebrated Civil War battle
  • Lavishly illustrated with color maps, diagrams, charts, drawings, paintings, and period photos along with modern-day photos that are overlaid with markings to show troop movements
  • Covers uniforms, equipment, and weaponry as well as orders of battle and tactics
    There have been many books about Gettysburg, but never one to rival this in scale or authority. Based on extensive research, The Gettysburg Companion describes the battle in detail, drawing on firsthand accounts of participants on all sides in order to give the reader a vivid sense of what it was like to experience the carnage at Gettysburg in early July 1863. The many full-color maps--all specially commissioned for the book--and the numerous photographs, charts, and diagrams make this book a feast for the eyes and a collector's dream.

Amazon link to this book:
https://www.amazon.com/dp/0811704394/?tag=civilwartalkc-20
Too expensive is right! I'm guessing it's out of print.
Capture.JPG
 

Lubliner

Captain
Forum Host
Joined
Nov 27, 2018
Location
Chattanooga, Tennessee
Too expensive is right! I'm guessing it's out of print.
View attachment 408804
From what I have gathered, due to global warming, Santa Claus' territorial boundaries have shrunk immensely, causing a financial meltdown on vast deposits of his wealth; and because of all the heat, the elves have struck for higher wages.
Lubliner.
 

Lincoln56

Corporal
Joined
Jul 24, 2016
Location
Texas

Hiram

Private
Joined
Jun 20, 2007
I did extensive research on Gettysburg to tell my 82d Ohio Civil War ancestor story and came to realize that it is necessary to consult many books and other sources to find specific information (example where were Union pows from July 1 kept). I like Scott Mingus works, Eric Wittenberg, Kent Masterson Brown, and Pfanz writings. To see my Gettysburg chapter see https://www.clevelandcivilwarroundtable.com/the-great-battle-of-gettysburg/
 

Tony Z

Corporal
Joined
Jan 3, 2021
Location
DuBois, PA
@Tony Z , I stumbled across this in the APP store; the initial load is free but $1.99 to unlock all the content:

https://apps.apple.com/us/app/gettysburg-a-nation-divided/id1495662839

View attachment 408889

View attachment 408890

Haven't tried much, consequently can't endorse the historical accuracy and not certain whether a worthwhile purchase but what I've seen so far is definitely interactive and instructive.
Thanks! Sounds perfect! Two of the four grandkids seem to be attached by a tether to their iPads!
 

heb

Cadet
Joined
May 25, 2020
I think the best SINGLE book on Gettysburg is: Robert E. Lee and the Gettysburg Campaign -- Last Chance For Victory, Bowden and Ward, Da Capo Press, 2001. It's clearly written in a straight forward style that flows well; not as burdensome to get through as Coddington's masterpiece. It even has a top 17 list of why Lee lost the battle, can't beat that.

It you are serious about the battle and would like books that can serve as sort of a tour guide, the 4 or 5 (each on a separate segment of the battle) written by Dr. Pfanz are all top shelf.

Enjoy, heb
 
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