December, 2009

At the risk of tooting my own horn, I did want to let you know about something Civil War-related that I did during my sabbatical. Back in September, just a few days after I decided to shut it down for a while, I did an interview with Mike Noirot on my biography of Ulric Dahlgren that can be found on his excellent blog, This Mighty Scourge. If you’re interested in hearing it, click on the first link above, and hopefully you won’t get tired of hearing me prattle on for an hour.

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This is something that I should have done back in July, when the book was published. However, my funk began about that time, and I just never got around to it. I regret that a great deal.

Here’s my review of J.D. Petruzzi’s and Steve Stanley’s fabulous book, The Complete Gettysburg Guide, published by Savas-Beatie:

There have been lots of battlefield guides written for those who want to visit Gettysburg. Running the gamut from classics like the Luvaas and Nelson guide to the well-done recent guide by Mark Grimsley and Brooks Simpson, most of them cover the same ground.

What makes The Complete Gettysburg Guide unique is that it covers those actions that others don’t. Featuring the superb maps of master cartographer Steve Stanley and excellent historical essays by J. D. Petruzzi, this guide addresses things like the location of rock carvings around the battlefield, hospital sites, actions leading up to the battle, and actions that were tangential to the battle, like the Battle of Fairfield, which occurred on the afternoon of July 3, 1863 a few miles behind the Confederate lines. This book truly is THE complete guide to the Battle of Gettysburg, which should please even the most choosy and particular Gettysburg student.

The book was published in full color, and is a handsome, well-made volume. Stanley’s maps and photography go a long way toward rounding out and filling out Petruzzi’s well-researched and well-written narrative. Their combined talents make for an enjoyable read.

Simply put, there is no better battlefield guide anywhere in existence. This book has raised the bar for all future battlefield guides and sets a new standard of excellence. I wholeheartedly recommend it to both the Gettysburg novice who wants to truly learn the battlefield as well as to old hands who are looking for new angles to round out their studies. Neither could possibly go wrong in buying this book.

Enthusiastically recommended.

That’s the review that I posted on, and I honestly can’t say enough good things about this book. I just wish I had thought of it myself. 🙂

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