Favorite Reference on The Battle of Gettysburg

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#1
Hi everybody, fist off thanks for the great advice you all provided on tours at Gettysburg, I definitely plan on making several trips this summer.

I may have motioned that I am working on my Masters thesis in American History and that I am focusing on the Battle of Gettysburg. Specifically I am going to study day 2 of the battle. I intend to examine the professional relationships, lines of communication, decision processes, and the progression of the battle. Of course Sickles and Longstreet have to be the primary subjects however n my search for a thesis I intend to go further and break down what each brigade and regimental leader encountered that day and how they reacted within the chain of command as the battle developed.

Reference's and research are the foundation of any thesis. I have a number of books already on hand however I thought I might tap this forum for any books, periodicals, websites etc that I have overlooked that can be used in my research.

Please feel to provide an opinion or a reference, all is welcome...

Thanks
Bob
 

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Eric Wittenberg

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#2
If your focus is day two and on the issues that you have identified, there is one and only one answer to your question, which is to refer you to Harry Pfanz's two companion volumes:

http://www.amazon.com/Gettysburg---Second-Day-Civil-America/dp/0807847305/ref=sr_1_4?ie=UTF8&qid=1426537882&sr=8-4&keywords=harry w. pfanz

http://www.amazon.com/Gettysburg--Culps-Hill-Cemetery-Civil-America/dp/0807821187/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1426537882&sr=8-1&keywords=harry w. pfanz

It just doesn't get much better than these.

You will also want to comb the back issues of Gettysburg Magazine.
 

E_just_E

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#3
Since you are working on your MA in History and planning on a Gettysburg-based thesis, I suspect that you have already read both Sears' and Cueto's volumes. Sears has actually a very good day 2 description, but you want more, since this is an academic activity for you. If I were you, I'd look at Cueto's primary sources for day 2, and make sure that those were all checked out. Then I'd have a look at Harry Pfanz' treatise (close to 700 pages) on day 2. And then I'd preorder and wait until the middle of May to read Shultz' & Mingus' upcoming day 2 book, reading all the primary sources and checking them out.

Pfanz' book has been long considered the best reference of day 2. Cueto's is probably the best single volume Gettysburg reference. Will tell you more about the Shultz & Mingus book after I read it.

But a couple of questions:

  • The subject, academically, is beaten to death? Why another examination without any new material out there?
  • No love for Ewell and the N & E side of the battle on day 2?
 

E_just_E

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#5
Guelzo, E. Not Cueto. Cueto is a pitcher. :smile:

I hate Guelzo's book. Words fail to describe just how much.

Having edited and published the original edition of the Shultz book, I can tell you that it's microtactical history focusing on only one small portion of the battlefield in Hancock's sector.

View attachment 61881
I am in full baseball Spring Training mode, since flying to Florida for it bright and early tomorrow. :smile: Can't you tell?

Sears is my favorite one volume reference (but I was about to wring his neck the seventh time he used "Kill Cavalry" in the book.) I don't mind Guelzo that much. I find it better than (let's say) Catton.

If the Shultz book is like that, you just saved me a few $, sir, and I owe you a couple of beers at Gettysburg in June...
 

Eric Wittenberg

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#6
I am in full baseball Spring Training mode, since flying to Florida for it bright and early tomorrow. :smile: Can't you tell?

Sears is my favorite one volume reference (but I was about to wring his neck the seventh time he used "Kill Cavalry" in the book.) I don't mind Guelzo that much. I find it better than (let's say) Catton.

If the Shultz book is like that, you just saved me a few $, sir, and I owe you a couple of beers at Gettysburg in June...
Have fun in Florida! I'm insanely jealous.

And you're very welcome. I shall take you up on it.
 

cash

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#7
If your focus is day two and on the issues that you have identified, there is one and only one answer to your question, which is to refer you to Harry Pfanz's two companion volumes:

http://www.amazon.com/Gettysburg---Second-Day-Civil-America/dp/0807847305/ref=sr_1_4?ie=UTF8&qid=1426537882&sr=8-4&keywords=harry w. pfanz

http://www.amazon.com/Gettysburg--Culps-Hill-Cemetery-Civil-America/dp/0807821187/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1426537882&sr=8-1&keywords=harry w. pfanz

It just doesn't get much better than these.

You will also want to comb the back issues of Gettysburg Magazine.
This is sage advice. I echo it and will add this link:

http://npshistory.com/series/symposia/gettysburg_seminars/11/index.htm
 
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#8
Guelzo, E. Not Cueto. Cueto is a pitcher. :smile:

I hate Guelzo's book. Words fail to describe just how much.

Having edited and published the original edition of the Shultz book, I can tell you that it's microtactical history focusing on only one small portion of the battlefield in Hancock's sector.

View attachment 61881
Just out of curiosity Eric, what is your main criticisms of Guelzo's book? I don't recall having seen anything before.

R
 

Eric Wittenberg

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#9
Just out of curiosity Eric, what is your main criticisms of Guelzo's book? I don't recall having seen anything before.

R
His analysis and conclusions about Meade are not only not supported by the evidence, they're for the most part just plain wrong. His criticisms of Meade are over the top, unwarranted, and and, I think, entirely inappropriate.
 
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#12
What is also a good reference on the battle of Gettysburg is one published by Savas-Beatie called " The Gettysburg Campaign in Numbers and Losses" by J.D.Petruzzi and Steven A.Stanley.it is not a narrative like so many people prefer to read but it's title states "Synopses, Orders of Battle, Strengths,Casualties, and Maps, June 9- July 14,1863. This book is to be used with other books on Gettysburg some of which have already been mention.This book is a must if you are serious to learn about the battle.
 

Tom Elmore

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#13
I would also suggest Edwin B. Coddington's, The Gettysburg Campaign, A Study in Command. Of course the Official Reports will provide valuable insights as well, and for the commanders there are comprehensive biographies like Generals in Blue and Generals in Gray. I have been amassing primary source materials on the battle for 25 years, so down the road if you would like specific information on select commands/commanders, please repost your needs.
 
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#14
.
Pfanz' book has been long considered the best reference of day 2.

But a couple of questions:

  • The subject, academically, is beaten to death? Why another examination without any new material out there?
  • No love for Ewell and the N & E side of the battle on day 2?

I have access to Pfanz, your right great reference.

And just about every subject to do with Civil War has been written about a thousand times ... It is a challenge to find a new perspective ... how about ... and I hear the bayonets getting fixed and the hammers being cocked ... Sickles is a Union hero... I am ducking now!
 

JerseyBart

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#17
His analysis and conclusions about Meade are not only not supported by the evidence, they're for the most part just plain wrong. His criticisms of Meade are over the top, unwarranted, and and, I think, entirely inappropriate.
I got that feeling watching his lecture at the Gettysburg 150th...just pure disrespect for disrespect's sake.
 
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#18



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