The Maps of Gettysburg, eBook Short #3: The Second Day, July 2, 1863

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View all 34 comments. Mar 24, Kemper rated it really liked it Shelves: military , war , usa-usa , historical-fiction. This month marked the th anniversary of the Battle of Gettysburg which we all know is the fight that took place when Abraham Lincoln wanted to make a speech at that address and then one of the neighbors got mad and challenged him. Or something like that. Ah, but seriously folks…. Michael died in thinking that the book would not be remembered. In an twist of fate, the movie adaptation Gettysburg that came out five years later would put the book on the best seller list almost twenty years after it was originally published.

On the Confederate side, an ailing and weary Robert E. Stuart has been failing to provide them with reports from his scouting mission.


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Both sides begin to converge on the small town of Gettysburg which has a valuable crossroads nearby, but Union cavalry officer John Buford is there first and immediately realizes that the hills and slopes outside of the town will give a huge advantage to the army that holds them. With the Confederate forces closing in fast, Buford occupies and tries to hold the good ground while urging the Union army to rush in and reinforce him. As troops pour into the area from both sides, they find themselves fighting in a battle no one had counted on.

The Union troops manage to occupy the better positions as Longstreet desperately tries to convince Lee that attacking would be a major mistake, but Lee believes that his army can destroy the Union forces once and for all. Shaara also credits the forgotten Buford with being a major reason as to why the Union was able to seize the high ground. He also tells the story of another officer forgotten by mainstream American history as one of the true heroes of the battle.

Chamberlain would win the Congressional Medal of Honor for his actions at Gettysburg, and he would continue to serve with distinction for the rest of the war. Eventually promoted to the rank of brigadier general, Ulysses Grant chose Chamberlain to command the Union troops at the surrender ceremony. Feeling like a slacker yet? The book and a great performance by Jeff Daniels in the movie version would make Chamberlain remembered once again.

GETTYSBURG DAY 2 of 3 - July 2, 1863 - Battles of the American Civil War - One Minute History

Those are minor gripes about a book that found a new and fresh way to tell a story that every American school kid has heard. Shaara also does a nice job of pointing out the inherent hypocrisy of the Confederates who claim to be fighting for their rights while not mentioning that what they want is the freedom to keep owning slaves. Also posted at Shelf Inflicted. View all 4 comments. Mar 12, Sean Gibson rated it really liked it. Shaara did his homework. The American Civil War is, if not unique in the history of warfare, certainly a particularly unusual conflict, especially when you consider the officers leading the troops on both sides of the fight.

Many had served together previously in the United States army—and for a not inconsiderable period of time—which meant that you had colleagues, and in some cases good friends, whose job it was to go out and try to kill each other in the name of the geography into which they happened to have been born, putting aside their own personal feelings about the reasons for the war. Shaara is not concerned with trying to explain the reasons for the Civil War, nor in making a case for whether those reasons were good ones or not; his goal is to capture the experience of the fight.

He does so masterfully; I felt completely immersed in the very troubling experience of preparing to fight, from the oddly relaxed downtime between battles to the gut-liquidating moments before the charge.

Books by Bradley M. Gottfried (Author of The Maps of Gettysburg)

I think I may need a little Dr. Seuss as a palate cleanser before jumping into anything else this heavy… Thanks to Allie for the buddy read! View all 8 comments. I am not really a fan of books about war. I have trouble envisioning the action and the maneuvers of the troops, and I find that I get lost in the details and just don't really care about the characters.

Because of this, I didn't have high hopes for The Killer Angels , but it was this month's selection for my book club, and I decided to give it a try. This book was incredible. I did have some trouble keeping track of the characters. I ended up making myself a cheat-sheet with things like, "Longstre I am not really a fan of books about war. I ended up making myself a cheat-sheet with things like, "Longstreet - Confederate general. Lee's second-in-command.


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  6. Nickname: Pete. It was Pettigrew and Pender and Sykes and Sedgewick that kept tripping me up. The maps were very helpful as I tried to visualize the action, but they were less helpful when I couldn't remember which names were Union and which were Confederate. This is a novel, so it's a fictionalized account of the Battle of Gettysburg, but Shaara clearly did his research. Written from the shifting perspective of the main players in the battle and drawn from the personal correspondence of these men as well as the historic record and Shaara's own embellishments and best guesses, this book explains the nuances of the battle and of the war more clearly than I've read before.

    I've been taught the Civil War from the perspective that there was a clear side to root for.

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    I've known for a long while that the reality was murkier than this, but Shaara helped make this murkiness more apparent to me or perhaps I'm just now of an age where I can embrace murkiness better than I could in high school and college. There is a distinction here between the Cause and the people doing the fighting. I don't think that's a distinction I've often seen. Shaara puts the reader in Gettysburg, not only in the location but in the minds of the people who were there. All of the things people say about the Civil Warthe idea of brothers fighting against brothers, the internal conflict and sense of near heresy of killing one's own countrymen, the ambivalence of Northerners to the people the slaves were even as they disagreed with the institution of slaveryShaara illustrates clearly here.

    The book is peppered with lyrical, powerful passages, but two stand out for me as particularly moving. One is a speech Chamberlain gives to a group of would-be deserters handed over as prisoners to his brigade to try and convince a few of them to fight rather than just ride out the battle as prisoners. But we're here for something new. I don't We're an army going out to set other men free. Longstreet puts out his hand for Hood to shake. Sometimes you touched a man like this and it was the last time, and the next time you saw him he was cold and white and bloodless, and the warmth was gone forever.

    He has a light touch which lets the scenes shine through. The writing was easy to read, the story rather less so. I think I can blame this book at least in part for the gloomy mood I've been in the past few days.

    Hogan's History- Secession and Civil War [Updated Dec 4, ]

    It's an incredible book about an infamously dark battle in our country's darkest war. American war novel, then. Doctorow's 'The March', for example, about the military convoy and its swelling ranks of thieves, whores, and freed slaves following General Tecumseh Sherman's trail of destruction, is a great book, but it doesn't manage to convey the scope and complexity of battle with the grace Shaara does.

    The narration hovers above the killing fields of Gettysburg like the recording angel itself, examining without judgement the horrors and triumphs, looking into the hearts and minds of the now legendary officers whose fates were decided there. The interactions between an exhausted Lee, who has decided to take the offensive and move into Northern territory for the first time since the war began, and Longstreet, his pragmatic and most trusted friend and general, are unforgettable. Shaara imagines Longstreet's wavering faith in Lee as a near religious crisis.

    He lets the reader suffer with Lee at the sickening realization he has made a fatal error, wasting tens of thousands of lives on an obvious tactical mistake Shaara's account of the various decisive military engagements are masterful, in particular Chamberlain's heroic defense of his position on 'Little Round Top', one of the key factors in the Union victory.

    He was not a prolific writer, however, and his best work would be his last. His son, Jeff Shaara, has continued on the course his father charted, telling the stories behind the other great battles of the civil war, as well as going back in history further to create historical novels about the American Revolution and the Mexican-American war.

    But it is 'The Killer Angels' that remains the masterpiece, perhaps the best war novel ever written. There are very few books that have managed to convey the heroic grandeur and vast complexity of war, while capturing the sad and curious details, the psychological transformations, the waste and tragic errors. And then there's 'Count Belisarius', by Robert Graves. It's a lesser-known novel by the greatest writer of Historical Fiction in the English language, following his masterwork, 'I, Claudius'. He is sent out against impossible armies who vastly outnumber him, and through sheer strategic genius, brings his Emperor a glorious victory.

    And lastly, 'Tree of Smoke': Denis Johnson's modern masterpiece set amid the chaos of Southeast Asia before and during the Vietnam war. For a clear-eyed but unflinching tale of the various costs that war demands, however, 'The Killer Angels' stands alone. View all 5 comments. Mar 05, Ron rated it it was amazing.

    I was reminded about this book while listening to a podcast the other day.

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    The guy mentioned The Killer Angels and I immediately thought about how much I had liked it and about my stepdad. You should read it. But the second thing I thought about was my dad loving a book. So okay I thought, I will try it. Wow, is all I really need to say at this point. Sharra created something amazing here.

    His words caused me to think about the individual man. Not what I had expected at all.

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    Books by Bradley M. Gottfried

    View all 15 comments. This is one of those books which changes the way people see a subject. It is a fictional account of the Civil War Battle of Gettysburg in , putting words into the mouths of some of the best-remembered participants, most notably Confederate Generals Robert E. The book violates This is one of those books which changes the way people see a subject. The book violates a common perception of historical writing which says readers of war novels are more interested in the common soldiers' experiences rather than the generals who live in the lofty atmosphere of rear headquarters, moving armies around like chess pieces.

    Michael Shaara's book works by letting the reader into the private world of soldiers who are as torn by the emotions of decision-making in the pandemonium of battle and fear of the unknown as those in all war novels, only in this book they mostly happen to be the soldiers who are commanding all of the other soldiers in an engagement that has taken on a mythology which places it in the forefront of our nation's struggles and enshrines the very ground it was fought on as sacred as any piece of real estate in the United States.

    The author was writing science fiction and straight fiction short stories for many major publications for years, supplementing his income teaching English Lit.