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Shelly's Book Journal

The 3 Rs: Reading, Reviews & Recs.

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The Civil War, Vol. 2: Fredericksburg to Meridian
Shelby Foote
Progress: 380/976 pages

Gettysburg - Another Great Book that EVERYONE Should Read

Gettysburg - Stephen W. Sears

 A wonderful and detailed narrative that keeps the reader moving on.  Yes, we all know and live the outcome of the Battle of Gettysburg.  Sears gives us the big picture view starting after the death of Stonewall Jackson.  Robert E. Lee comes up with a plan to invade the North.  He sells his plan and then begins his move. Meanwhile, Washington is having a stand off with it's own general Joseph Hooker and as this conflict escalates, George G. Meade finds himself as the leader of the Army of the Potomac.  Realizing Lee is moving up to PA, Meade's army stumbles into him in a little town called Gettysburg.  The rest, of course, is history.

Over recent years, certain parts of the Battle of Gettysburg have been glorified and others seemingly forgotten.  While we often hear of Joshua Lawrence Chamberlain's 20th Maine and Pickett's Charge, there was so much more to this three day battle.  The Confederacy had the Union on the ropes many times, only to fall back.  Many glorious deeds and many mistakes (on both sides) throughout the days finally give favor to the Union.  Sears tells it all, highlighting with drawings, maps and photos.

To me, this is a great basic history of the engagement.  Sears concludes the book with a post battle summary through the Gettysburg address.  His appendix includes an order of battle showing the havoc of death and wounding to the generalship of both armies. He also has many notes and an appendix.  With his journalist background, Sears writes a readable history for all of us.

Recommend for every Civil War buff.  I really recommend for everyone, because reading American history up close and personal will blow the average American away if you are willing to take this challenge.

Note: I read about 60% of the book, listening to the rest in audio version.  Enjoyable on both accounts.