The Summer of ’63: Gettysburg: Favorite Stories and Fresh Perspectives from the Historians at Emerging Civil War (Emerging Civil War Anniversary Series), By Chris Mackowski, a Tennessee Valley Civil War Round Table review by Arley McCormick
You have enough space on your shelf for another volume of Savas Beatie’s Emerging Civil War Series addressing, possibly, the most written about the battle of the Civil War. There are 8 maps that will not surprise enthustic students of the battle and included are details regarding leaders, decisions, and failures well documented and debated, that contributed to the result each day. The essays from various authors provide an interesting spin including Melville’s poetry and Eric Wittenberg’s contrast of Chancellorsville and Gettysburg. Another essay addresses the commanders of the Army of the Potomac, Joseph Hooker to George Meade; and, also the often slighted first day failure of the Confederate Army to capture Culp’s Hill and Cemetery Hill.
Joshua Chamberlain attracts many authors as a subject of great importance but is only lightly mentioned as writers focus on other aspects of the day’s fighting. After the battle when the guns are silent another essay addresses the impact upon the post war period and for a final word, a description of the 1913 reunion when survivors from North and South gathered on the battle ground to mend the fences that separated them in 1863.
It may be useful to be familiar with the battle, but if not, a more contemporary perspective may offer a solid contrast to support further analysis of the battle, leaders, and events that make the Civil War such a fascinating, devastating, and pivotal event in the history of our country.