Top 10 Civil War Books on the Campaign and Battle of Gettysburg

I am proud to present my contribution to the Top Ten Books on the Battle of Gettysburg.

1) Those Damned Black Hats: The Iron Brigade in the Gettysburg Campaign, By Lance J. Herdegen (2008) – This is currently my favorite book on the battle as I really love regimental studies and this is an exceptional one dealing with the Iron Brigade’s presence at Gettysburg. Superbly written and as always a Herdengen touch to it that makes it so readable.

2) The Killer Angels, By Michael Sharra (1974) – has to be on any list. It was my first introduction to the Civil War in High School.

3) The Gettysburg Nobody Knows, By Gabor S. Boritt, ed. (1999) – one of the more interesting books on the battle and one that I refer to often.

4) Gettysburg: The Second Day, By Harry Pfanz (1998) – This was, of course, a monumental work and as John Hoptak noted a “landmark” book that has to be on the shelf of every Civil War enthusiast. He also covers a little about my ancestor, Charles H. Weygant of the 124th NY.

5) Pickett’s Charge in History and Memory, By Carol Reardon (1997) – a fascinating book on the battle’s most controversial and important event.

6) The First Day at Gettysburg: Essays on Confederate and Union Leadership, By Gary W. Gallagher, ed., (1992) – One of my favorite books including numerous essays that are informative and important.

7) Gettysburg: A Testing of Courage, By Noah Andre Trudeau (2003) – a bit difficult to follow at times, but overall I really liked Trudeau’s writing style.

8 ) Gettysburg, By Stephen W. Sears (2004) – his reading style is very accessible. I thought he handled Meade and Lee fairly, but really this book is a favorite as I enjoy his writing style. Gettysburg books can be very convoluted as it was indeed a massive battle.

9) Lincoln at Gettysburg, By Garry Willis (1992) – it seems appropriate to have Lincoln’s Address in here somewhere as it plays an important part in the memory of the battle and it helped to establish some meaning for the place beyond the controversy of whether or not the battle was thee turning point.

10) Gettysburg: July 1, By David G. Martin (2003)

About admin

Travel and History blogger Twitter @JoeDuck
This entry was posted in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

11 Responses to Top 10 Civil War Books on the Campaign and Battle of Gettysburg

  1. Chris,

    A good list with a few I hadn’t yet seen. We had only three in common, but a lot of yours were on my “short list”. I’ve added a link to your post on the permanent page and I’ve also Tweeted it. Thanks for being a willing participant in this one!

  2. Pingback: Ten Favorite Gettysburg Books « Bull Runnings

  3. Will Hickox says:

    Chris: Excellent choices. I’ve enjoyed your blog for quite awhile now. But I’m curious: what do you think of these “American Minute” sidebar pieces? While they do serve to remind us of some less well-remembered events in our history, they are clearly an attempt at conservative propaganda. The entry for July 2, for example, points out in the first sentence that President Garfield was shot by “a member of a polygamist-type cult.” The story goes on to quote at length from the devout Garfield’s Christianity-infused inaugeral address–implying that his assasination was a result of weakening American morals.

    As a history teacher, you’re probably aware that Charles Guiteau (the president’s assasin) was simply a demented office-seeker. He had not been a member of the Oneida Community–the notorious free-love commune–for several years prior to the shooting, and this episode in his past hardly played a significant role in Garfield’s murder. These so-called “American Minutes” are rather partisan and misleading.

  4. Chris says:

    Will, first off, I added your excellent blog to my roll… as for the American Minute being bias, I have had other “Today in History” feeds and have yet to find one that was not… I guess it goes for all things media and info based… I guess I wonder what this comment has to do with my Top Ten books?


  5. Will Hickox says:

    Chris, thank you very much for adding my blog (hopefully it will inspire me to “buckle down” and write more often). And in answer to your question, my “American Minute” comments have absolutely no connection to your top ten project (which I have been following with interest, and I’ve commented on some of the other bloggers’ picks). Having an interest in assasinations I picked up on the Garfield shooting story and wanted to comment on it.

  6. Will Hickox says:

    I just remembered that it’s not your project, but Brett Schulte’s. There’s a lesson to be learned here: never post blog comments at 1 AM. By the way, I like all of your choices, and you’ve inspired me to finally sit down with Boritt and Reardon, but I’m the only person I know who can’t stand The Killer Angels!

  7. Pingback: Top 10 Gettysburg Books | TOCWOC - A Civil War Blog

  8. Chris Evans says:

    Great list! I have Nine out of the Ten books in your list. I will have to get the book on the Iron Brigade soon. It is good to see the ‘Killer Angels’ on another list because it was the book that brought the battle to life for me.

  9. Naim Peress says:

    I agree with placing Jeff Shaara’s novel on the list but some have said that it contains a number of factual inaccuracies. After all, it is a novel. What is your view?

  10. jassica says:

    u feel great for Top Ten Books on the Battle of Gettysburg… thanks for sharing with us….

  11. Millie Mang says:

    Chris – Have you seen the newly published novel, “One Nation Under God: Mine Eyes Have Seen the Glory of the Coming…”? My husband is the author and he has been written up in seven area newspapers this year and has had 13 book signings since March. His book has already been placed in three area high schools and two weeks ago, a history professor at Steubenville University wrote stating he “enjoyed it immensely” and is placing it in the library there. Others are now perusing it for their schools. It is wonderful for teens as well as adults. Many history teachers bought it at his signing at Mumford last summer during their Civil War Days.

    It is available online as well as Barnes & Noble or Borders Books.

    Regards and Merry Christmas

    Millie Mang

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>