Saturday, March 3, 2012

Review: The New Gettysburg Campaign Handbook

By J. David Petruzzi & Steven Stanley

Gettysburg is easily the most studied battle of the Civil War.  Hundreds of books, comprising hundreds of thousands of pages, have been written about the battle.  So much has been written on the battle and its participants one could wonder if the topic had been exhausted, and secondly if there needs to be yet another book written on the battle.  The

American Civil War is the largest and the most documented war of the 19th century.  One hundred fifty years have passed since the war’s beginning and new material is still being unearthed from dusty attics, libraries, museums and archives requiring historians to constantly re-evaluate and reinterpret the war, its battles and its participants.  Obviously there is a large interest in the battle that took place on July 1st, 2nd and 3rd, 1863 in and around the small Pennsylvania hamlet of Gettysburg, or else there would not be so many new books written about it.

Not only have J. David Petruzzi & Steven Stanley written yet another book on the Gettysburg Campaign, they have written probably one of the most useful books for students of the campaign and battle, “The New Gettysburg Campaign Handbook: Facts, Photos, and Artwork for Readers of All Ages, June 9 - July 14, 1863.”  It is a small soft cover book of 184 full-color pages that is literally packed full of extremely useful information for Gettysburg Campaign scholars.

The book contains dozens illustrations and photographs of the battle’s participants and of the battlefield, then and now, along with outstanding, full-color maps drawn by Steven Stanley. Also included in the book are listings detailing where each of the principle units were on June 30, 1862, the day before the battle; the 64 Congressional Medal of Honor recipients who participated in the battle; weather observations taken during the battle by Gettysburg resident Rev. Dr. Michael Jacobs; Gettysburg trivia; brief descriptions of controversies, myths and misconceptions about the Gettysburg Campaign and battle, and quotes from the battle’s participants.

The shining feature of “The New Gettysburg Campaign Handbook” is its description of the Gettysburg Campaign and battle giving short, accurate, detailed and easily read synopsizes of “The Road to Gettysburg,” each of the three days of the battle, and the Confederate retreat.  Brief biographical sketches of both the Federal and Confederate participants in the battle, as well as prominent citizens of Gettysburg, and battlefield photographers are also featured, as well as the most complete Order of Battle ever produced.

Its authors have compiled a list of “Must See Places” for those touring the battlefield, and the “Gettysburg Bookshelf,” gives an abbreviated bibliography of books for those interested in reading more about the battle. For the modern student of the battle, “Gettysburg on the Web,” details those websites the authors view as the most useful in learning more about the battle and its participants, or planning a visit to the battlefield.

If there are indispensible books covering the Gettysburg Campaign and battle then J. David Petruzzi & Steven Stanley’s “The New Gettysburg Campaign Handbook: Facts, Photos, and Artwork for Readers of All Ages, June 9 - July 14, 1863,”  should surely number among them.

ISBN 978-1611210781, Savas Beatie, © 2011, Paperback, 9.1 x 6 x 0.2 inches, 192 pages, Photographs, Maps, Illustrations, Bibliography: The Gettysburg Bookshelf, $18.95.  Click HERE to purchase the book.

1 comment:

Savas Beatie said...

Thank you for the great review of our book, The New Gettysburg Campaign Handbook. If your readers would like more information about the book, including an excerpt, or its author, please check at
Savas Beatie LLC
Publisher of Historical Titles of Distinction