GETTYSBURG BATTLEFIELD: THE DEFINITIVE ILLUSTRATED HISTORY
By David J. Eicher
Foreword by James M. McPherson
296 pp., hardcover, Chronicle Books, San Francisco, 2003, ISBN 0–8118–2868–9
After more than a century, the battle of Gettysburg remains the largest and deadliest military campaign ever fought in the Western Hemisphere. Nearly 8,000 men lost their lives and an astounding 38,000 were wounded or missing. Much has been written about this bloody conflict, but until now, no one has produced a compelling historical record of the battle coupled with such a complete collection of Gettysburg imagery in a single volume.
In Gettysburg Battlefield: The Definitive Illustrated History, author David J. Eicher’s unforgettable narrative takes you on a chronological journey of the battle. The story begins as the Rebel army troops advance north, continues through three days of intense fighting, and culminates with the Union army’s ultimate triumph as the Confederate army retreats to the Potomac.
Throughout the book, fascinating side-by-side photographs show images of the battlefield taken just days after the guns ceased to fire next to images of those same sites today, many surprisingly unchanged. Numerous modern photographs reveal houses, monuments, and historically significant areas that are sometimes overlooked by contemporary Gettysburg photographers. More than 100 portraits of the key participants, from commanding generals Robert E. Lee and George Meade to ordinary soldiers and civilians, offer a rare and personal glimpse into a war fought by husbands and fathers, brothers and sons. Two dozen unique two- and three-dimensional color maps illustrate the critical part played by the topography of the region in such key actions as Little Round Top, Devil’s Den, and the Peach Orchard.
Fifteen essays by notable Gettysburg experts, including park historians Kathy Georg Harrison and D. Scott Hartwig and celebrated writers Brian C. Pohanka, Thomas A. Desjardin, and John Y. Simon, among others, reflect on the sites as they appear today. And Pulitzer-Prize winning author James M. McPherson’s thought-provoking foreword reminds us that there is still much to be learned from the events that took place at Gettysburg.
Both a compelling chronicle of a legendary conflict and an amazingly useful guide for anyone planning to visit and explore the battlefield itself, Gettysburg Battlefield is the ultimate pictorial Civil War record.