The Illustrated Gettysburg Reader: An Eyewitness History of the Civil War’s Greatest Battle

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9781621570431: The Illustrated Gettysburg Reader: An Eyewitness History of the Civil War’s Greatest Battle
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One hundred and fifty years after the Battle of Gettysburg, the words of the soldiers and onlookers present for those three fateful days still reverberate with the power of their courage and sacrifice. The Illustrated Gettysburg Reader: An Eyewitness History of the Civil War's Greatest Battle gathers letters, journals, articles and speeches from the people who lived through those legendary three days. Tied together with narrative by historian Rod Gragg and illustrated with a wealth of photographs and images, The Illustrated Gettysburg Reader will transport you to the battlefield, immersing you in the emotional intensity of the struggle of brother against brother for the future of the United States of America.


"Here they are penetrating the heart of a hostile country leaving their homes beyond broad rivers and the largest of the enemies armies while in front of them is gathering all of resistance that can be obtained by a power fruitful of every element of military power."
Confederate soldier T.G. Pollock on the 30th of June, 1863, the day before the Battle of Gettysburg

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About the Author:

A former journalist, historian Rod Gragg is director of the Center for Military and Veterans Studies at Coastal Carolina University, where he also serves as an adjunct professor of history. His works have earned the Fletcher Pratt Award, the James I. Robertson Award and other honors, and have been selected for the Book-of-the-Month Club, the History Book Club and the Military History Book Club.

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July 2013 marks the 150th anniversary of the greatest battle fought on American soil, so one can expect an avalanche of books, articles, and essays that “celebrate” an anniversary that should more properly be mourned. The photographs provided here are still striking, but most have been seen before. What gives this work power, intimacy, and poignancy is the collection of eyewitness accounts that proceed chronologically from the prelude to the three-day battle that altered the course of the Civil War. A British military observer describes Robert E. Lee in reverential terms, noting his dignity and the devotion of his soldiers. Lee himself writes a letter justifying his risky invasion of the North. A Union soldier speculates that Southern independence might be inevitable. Confederate General James Longstreet recalls his efforts to dissuade Lee from the frontal attack on the Union center. Finally, the climactic charge led by George Pickett is described from multiple perspectives. This is an excellent addition to Civil War collections. --Jay Freeman

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