Gettysburg: A Testing of Courage

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Harper Collins, Sep 14, 2010 - History - 720 pages

America's Civil War raged for more than four years, but it is the three days of fighting in the Pennsylvania countryside in July 1863 that continues to fascinate, appall, and inspire new generations with its unparalleled saga of sacrifice and courage. From Chancellorsville, where General Robert E. Lee launched his high-risk campaign into the North, to the Confederates' last daring and ultimately-doomed act, forever known as Pickett's Charge, the battle of Gettysburg gave the Union army a victory that turned back the boldest and perhaps greatest chance for a Southern nation.

Now acclaimed historian Noah Andre Trudeau brings the most up-to-date research available to a brilliant, sweeping, and comprehensive history of the battle of Gettysburg that sheds fresh light on virtually every aspect of it. Deftly balancing his own narrative style with revealing firsthand accounts, Trudeau brings this engrossing human tale to life as never before.

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User Review  - setnahkt - LibraryThing

Yet another military book. I have a preference for obscure wars and obscure battles, so I’ve generally resisted detailed studies of Gettysburg, but this one was part of a “Buy Two, Get One Free” deal ... Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - hystrybuf - LibraryThing

Excellent account of the 3 days of fighting at Gettysburg. Trudeau includes personal stories and official accounts of the battle which serve to make it both interesting and poignant. His writing style ... Read full review


May 1518 1863
Roads to Gettysburg
It begins to look as though we will have a battle soon
July 1 1863
Night Wednesday July 1
Night Thursday July 2
Endings and Beginnings
Chapter Notes

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Page 462 - COLONEL: If the artillery fire does not have the effect to drive off the enemy or greatly demoralize him, so as to make our efforts pretty certain, I would prefer that you should not advise General Pickett to make the charge. I shall rely a great deal on your good judgment to determine the matter, and shall expect you to let General Pickett know when the moment offers.
Page 46 - If the head of Lee's army is at Martinsburg and the tail of it on the plank road between Fredericksburg and Chancellorsville, the animal must be very slim somewhere. Could you not break him?
Page 56 - To remove all misunderstanding, I now place you in the strict military relation to General Halleck of a commander of one of the armies to the generalin-chief of all the armies. " I have not intended differently, but it seems to be differently understood. I shall direct him to give you orders, and you to obey them.
Page 195 - I cannot think what has become of Stuart; I ought to have heard from him long before now. He may have met with disaster, but I hope not. In the absence of reports from him, I am in ignorance as to what we have in front of us here. It may be the whole Federal army, or it may be only a detachment. If it is the whole Federal force we must fight a battle here; if we do not gain a victory, those defiles and gorges through which we passed this morning will shelter us from disaster.
Page 479 - The artillery fight over, men began to breathe more freely, and to ask, What next, I wonder? The battery men were among their guns, some leaning to rest and wipe the sweat from their sooty faces, some were handling ammunition boxes and replenishing those that were empty. Some batteries from the artillery reserve were moving up to take the places of the disabled ones; the smoke was clearing from the crests. There was a pause between acts, with the curtain down, soon to rise upon the final act, and...
Page 270 - Encouraged by the successful issue of the engagement of the first day, and in view of the valuable results that would ensue from the defeat of the army of General Meade, it was thought advisable to renew the attack.
Page 115 - I could consistently with the safety and the rapid concentration of that army, and should continue that movement until I either encountered the enemy, or had reason to believe that the enemy was about to advance upon me ; my object being at all hazards to compel him to loose his hold on the Susquehanna and meet me in battle at some point.
Page 415 - The result of this day's operations induced the belief that with proper concert of action, and with the increased support that the positions gained on the right would enable the artillery to render the assaulting columns, we should ultimately succeed, and it was accordingly determined to continue the attack.

About the author (2010)

Noah Andre Trudeau is the author of Gettysburg. He has won the Civil War Round Table of New York's Fletcher Pratt Award and the Jerry Coffey Memorial Prize. A former executive producer at National Public Radio, he lives in Washington, D.C.

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