Best Book On Gettysburg

Belfoured

2nd Lieutenant
Joined
Aug 3, 2019
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/
That's an all-star roster right there.
 

Lubliner

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Nov 27, 2018
Location
Chattanooga, Tennessee
Late to the dance. Just read through the entire thread.

If the question is posed as "If you had to give up every single book on the battle/campaign that you own, except for one, which would you keep?" - My answer every single time is Coddington.
With that posing problem I would have to keep the one most sentimental to me, regardless of its quality.
Lubliner.
 
Joined
Mar 10, 2015
Location
Pa
I liked Stephen W. Sears “Gettysburg“
I agree! Was going to post that and saw your response! A great mix of battlefield strategy, troop movement, character development and relatively unknown soldier anecdotes! Just got back from extended family week-long camping trip to Gettysburg, saw the book in the museum bookstore, turned my sister on to it. She bought it and now has given it to my father to read first! He told me he just started it and I said, "You will love it!" Highly recommend it to people that know a lot of Gettysburg and those that do not!
 

SF_Byers

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Jun 2, 2020
Location
Delaware
Late to the game, but I figured I'd add my two cents in.

I think if you are someone who just went to the battlefield and got captivated by it starting with Trudeau, Sears, or even Hoptak is a good starting point into the battle. Coddington is the Bible, but as others have said, it can be very dry. For books on the cavalry actions, Wittenberg is fantastic, I am a big fan of "Plenty of Blame to Go Around". I also like Pfanz, especially Day 2 and Culp's Hill/Cem Hill. Martin has some errors in his Day 1 book, but I think he covers Day 1 in more depth than Pfanz (also like Coddington, I find him dry). For books about the dead and wounded, Coco is my top pick.
 

Eric Wittenberg

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Keeper of the Scales
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Jun 2, 2013
Location
Columbus, OH
Late to the game, but I figured I'd add my two cents in.

I think if you are someone who just went to the battlefield and got captivated by it starting with Trudeau, Sears, or even Hoptak is a good starting point into the battle. Coddington is the Bible, but as others have said, it can be very dry. For books on the cavalry actions, Wittenberg is fantastic, I am a big fan of "Plenty of Blame to Go Around". I also like Pfanz, especially Day 2 and Culp's Hill/Cem Hill. Martin has some errors in his Day 1 book, but I think he covers Day 1 in more depth than Pfanz (also like Coddington, I find him dry). For books about the dead and wounded, Coco is my top pick.
Thank you for the kind words about my work--they are much appreciated.
 

James N.

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Feb 23, 2013
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East Texas
Late to the game, but I figured I'd add my two cents in.

I think if you are someone who just went to the battlefield and got captivated by it starting with Trudeau, Sears, or even Hoptak is a good starting point into the battle. Coddington is the Bible, but as others have said, it can be very dry. For books on the cavalry actions, Wittenberg is fantastic, I am a big fan of "Plenty of Blame to Go Around". I also like Pfanz, especially Day 2 and Culp's Hill/Cem Hill. Martin has some errors in his Day 1 book, but I think he covers Day 1 in more depth than Pfanz (also like Coddington, I find him dry). For books about the dead and wounded, Coco is my top pick.
You may have read the first edition of the book - that was among the comments I heard when I posted my review here a while back:

https://civilwartalk.com/threads/gettysburg-july-1-by-david-g-martin.136673/

I read the revised second edition and didn't notice any glaring errors and thought it highly worthwhile.
 

Scott F

Corporal
Joined
Sep 6, 2015
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.
There is also some controversy with some of the content as well. Frassanito will get downright mad if you bring up this book. Eicher plagiarized, or to be more accurate copied, some of the photos from Frassanito's book (EPG) as well as attributing some photos exclusively in the holdings of the ACHS as coming from the GNMP to avoid the licensing fee the Adams County Historical Society charges, in which I believe is 50 dollars for a photo (and a copy of your book for their library). I own the book also and have found numerous mistakes, and agree with you on the photo sizes. After my conversation with Frassanito, I bought the book as an example of what not to do. I have been writing my own Then & Now book for the past nine years. My publisher is Savas Beatie and hopefully it will be out next year. I'm just finishing up the manuscript for Volume 2 as we speak.

As for the topic of this post, I am a Gettysburg photo historian so my favorite book is Early Photography at Gettysburg by William Frassanito. For a more general treatment of the battle, I really enjoyed Pfanz's trilogy with my favorite being Culp's Hill and Cemetery Hill.
 
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Lincoln56

Corporal
Joined
Jul 24, 2016
Location
Texas
There is also some controversy with some of the content as well. Frassanito will get downright mad if you bring up this book. Eicher plagiarized, or to be more accurate copied, some of the photos from Frassanito's book (EPG) as well as attributing some photos exclusively in the holdings of the ACHS as coming from the GNMP to avoid the licensing fee the Adams County Historical Society charges, in which I believe is 50 dollars for a photo (and a copy of your book for their library). I own the book also and have found numerous mistakes, and agree with you on the photo sizes. After my conversation with Frassanito, I bought the book as an example of what not to do. I have been writing my own Then & Now book for the past nine years. My publisher is Savas Beatie and hopefully it will be out next year. I'm just finishing up the manuscript for Volume 2 as we speak.

As for the topic of this post, I am a Gettysburg photo historian so my favorite book is Early Photography at Gettysburg by William Frassanito. For a more general treatment of the battle, I really enjoyed Pfanz's trilogy with my favorite being Culp's Hill and Cemetery Hill.
Interesting insights. I know the book references Mr. Frassanito quite a few times but perhaps not in the manner it should have been handled. And the ACHS circumstance is unfortunate.

Pretty much an impulse buy on my part for the photos and agree on the mistakes. But yes, still on my ACW shelf.
Went through a phase when the word "Gettysburg" in a book title pretty much ensured a purchase from me.:frantic:
Like to think I've matured a bit in this regard and am not as easily persuaded. :D

Highly value Mr. Frassanito's "Gettysburg A Journey in Time", "Gettysburg Then and Now" and "Gettysburg Then and Now Companion", and "The Gettysburg Bicentennial Album" as well as all his other contributions to the photographic record of the ACW.

My absolute favorite though, as is true for you, is "Early Photography at Gettysburg". Am on my second copy.

Look forward to hearing more about your forthcoming "Then and Now" books. Thanks for the heads up!
 

Scott F

Corporal
Joined
Sep 6, 2015
Interesting insights. I know the book references Mr. Frassanito quite a few times but perhaps not in the manner it should have been handled. And the ACHS circumstance is unfortunate.

Pretty much an impulse buy on my part for the photos and agree on the mistakes. But yes, still on my ACW shelf.
Went through a phase when the word "Gettysburg" in a book title pretty much ensured a purchase from me.:frantic:
Like to think I've matured a bit in this regard and am not as easily persuaded. :D

Highly value Mr. Frassanito's "Gettysburg A Journey in Time", "Gettysburg Then and Now" and "Gettysburg Then and Now Companion", and "The Gettysburg Bicentennial Album" as well as all his other contributions to the photographic record of the ACW.

My absolute favorite though, as is true for you, is "Early Photography at Gettysburg". Am on my second copy.

Look forward to hearing more about your forthcoming "Then and Now" books. Thanks for the heads up!
I bought my copy for $2.75 and the next time I saw Frassanito, he said I paid too much. I don't think he had a problem with Eicher's references to him, but the fact that he copied the photographs out of his book from his personal collection and attributed them to the Library of Congress when in fact they don't have those photos, nor does anyone else except for Frassanito. My books still untitled, because my publisher hates the title I chose, is a two volume set that I started working on back in 2012 and pretty much put about 8 hrs a day 5 days a week in them until about 2018. At that point I found information on the Rose Farm (besides the Wheatfield fighting), very lacking, so I decided to research it on my own. It turned into another book in which I just turned in the manuscript today. That title, Where Defeated Valor Lies, The Rose Farm Gettysburg, was gladly excepted as the title. The first book(s) I just started to work on again yesterday, with Volume 1 complete and three chapters left for Volume 2. I enlisted some help from some photo historian friends of mine so hopefully we will be able to knock it out so they can be published next year. It is a very long process.
 

Lincoln56

Corporal
Joined
Jul 24, 2016
Location
Texas
I bought my copy for $2.75 and the next time I saw Frassanito, he said I paid too much. I don't think he had a problem with Eicher's references to him, but the fact that he copied the photographs out of his book from his personal collection and attributed them to the Library of Congress when in fact they don't have those photos, nor does anyone else except for Frassanito. My books still untitled, because my publisher hates the title I chose, is a two volume set that I started working on back in 2012 and pretty much put about 8 hrs a day 5 days a week in them until about 2018. At that point I found information on the Rose Farm (besides the Wheatfield fighting), very lacking, so I decided to research it on my own. It turned into another book in which I just turned in the manuscript today. That title, Where Defeated Valor Lies, The Rose Farm Gettysburg, was gladly excepted as the title. The first book(s) I just started to work on again yesterday, with Volume 1 complete and three chapters left for Volume 2. I enlisted some help from some photo historian friends of mine so hopefully we will be able to knock it out so they can be published next year. It is a very long process.
Not good regarding treatment of Mr. Frassanito. Guess I assumed the references to him were in regard to Eicher getting permission to print the photo. Definitely a negative pattern with him and ACHS.

Thanks for the update on these titles - will certainly be keeping an eye out for their availability.

Much respect for Savas Beatie. Have a number of their books, have enjoyed the new material and pleased they’re bringing back select popular out of print books.

Have heard getting a book published is indeed a long process. Appreciative of all the effort by an author that goes into the research, writing, rewriting, and subsequent labors by editors etc.. necessary to bring quality works to an appreciative audience.
 

Scott F

Corporal
Joined
Sep 6, 2015
Not good regarding treatment of Mr. Frassanito. Guess I assumed the references to him were in regard to Eicher getting permission to print the photo. Definitely a negative pattern with him and ACHS.

Thanks for the update on these titles - will certainly be keeping an eye out for their availability.

Much respect for Savas Beatie. Have a number of their books, have enjoyed the new material and pleased they’re bringing back select popular out of print books.

Have heard getting a book published is indeed a long process. Appreciative of all the effort by an author that goes into the research, writing, rewriting, and subsequent labors by editors etc.. necessary to bring quality works to an appreciative audience.
Especially the Bachelder Papers. I was missing Volume 2 for a long long time because the prices were getting ridiculous. It was selling for well over 1,000.00 and I couldn't justify spending that much. Savas Beatie has been a great publisher to work with, and Ted Savas is coming to Gettysburg next week for the author, reader meetup. I was invited as one his authors even though I haven't been published yet, at least my books haven't. A great honor.
 

51st Georgia

Private
Joined
May 31, 2011
Location
Miami FL
It that point I found information on the Rose Farm (besides the Wheatfield fighting), very lacking, so I decided to research it on my own. It turned into another book in which I just turned in the manuscript today. That title, Where Defeated Valor Lies, The Rose Farm Gettysburg, was gladly excepted as the title.
Just wanted to say, as the descendant of a Semmes Brigade veteran I am looking forward to this title.
 

infomanpa

2nd Lieutenant
Joined
Feb 18, 2017
Location
Pennsylvania
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/
Today, I just happened to read a couple of accounts of the 82nd Ohio's actions in the Batchelder Papers.
 

infomanpa

2nd Lieutenant
Joined
Feb 18, 2017
Location
Pennsylvania
Thanks for all your suggestions, you guys are great...

I just finished reading Trudeau, enjoyed it very much but now want to take a deeper dive so I ordered:

Martin for day 1
Pfanz for day 2
Wert for day 3
Just keep in mind that the 2nd Day book by Pfanz does not cover the entire day. It skips the evening assaults on Cemetery and Culp's hills. You can get that covered in Pfanz's excellent other book.
 
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