"Pickett's Charge! Battle of Gettysburg"
Historical Society Papers
|Maj. Gen. Dabney Herndon Maury
The Southern Historical Society is a public organization founded by Confederate
Major General Dabney H. Maury in 1868-1869 and documented Southern military and civilian viewpoints from the American Civil
War. These were compiled into the Southern Historical Society Papers, published in the late 19th Century, comprising 52 volumes
of articles written by Southern soldiers, officers, politicians, and civilians.
Longstreet's Grand Assault, more popularly known as Pickett's Charge, was
an attack that still stirs emotions in many students and buffs. But although many volumes have been dedicated to this single
assault, the history of the charge remains incomplete, with sources showing conflicting answers for elementary
subjects such as the total number of men who actually participated and died in the charge, total number of cannons
employed for each side, how long did the Confederate cannonade last, and to one of may favorite, where exactly was Gen.
Pickett during the fight.
Recommended Reading: Pickett's Charge,
by George Stewart. Description: The author has written
an eminently readable, thoroughly enjoyable, and well-researched book on the third day of the Gettysburg battle, July 3, 1863. An especially rewarding read if one has toured, or plans
to visit, the battlefield site. The author's unpretentious, conversational style of writing succeeds in putting the reader
on the ground occupied by both the Confederate and Union forces before, during and after
Pickett's and Pettigrew's famous assault on Meade's Second Corps. Continued below...
with humor and down-to-earth observations concerning battlefield conditions, the author conscientiously describes all aspects
of the battle, from massing of the assault columns and pre-assault artillery barrage to the last shots and the flight of the
surviving rebels back to the safety of their lines… Having visited Gettysburg several years ago, this superb volume makes me
want to go again.
Recommended Reading: Pickett's Charge--The Last Attack at Gettysburg (Hardcover). Description: Pickett's Charge
is probably the best-known military engagement of the Civil War, widely regarded as the defining moment of the battle of Gettysburg and celebrated as the high-water mark of the Confederacy.
But as Earl Hess notes, the epic stature of Pickett's Charge has grown at the expense of reality, and the facts of the attack
have been obscured or distorted by the legend that surrounds them. With this book, Hess sweeps away the accumulated myths
about Pickett's Charge to provide the definitive history of the engagement. Continued below...
exhaustive research, especially in unpublished personal accounts, he creates a moving narrative of the attack from both Union and Confederate
perspectives, analyzing its planning, execution, aftermath, and legacy. He also examines the history of the units involved,
their state of readiness, how they maneuvered under fire, and what the men who marched in the ranks thought about their participation
in the assault. Ultimately, Hess explains, such an approach reveals Pickett's Charge both as a case study in how soldiers
deal with combat and as a dramatic example of heroism, failure, and fate on the battlefield.
Pickett's Charge in History and Memory. Description: Pickett's Charge--the Confederates' desperate (and failed) attempt to break the Union
lines on the third and final day of the Battle of Gettysburg--is best remembered as the turning point of the U.S. Civil War.
But Penn State
historian Carol Reardon reveals how hard it is to remember the past accurately, especially when an event such as this one
so quickly slipped into myth. Continued
"From the time the battle smoke cleared, Pickett's Charge took on this chameleon-like aspect and, through a variety of carefully
constructed nuances, adjusted superbly to satisfy the changing needs of Northerners, Southerners, and, finally, the entire
nation." With care and detail, Reardon's
fascinating book teaches a lesson in the uses and misuses of history.
Recommended Reading: Pickett's Charge: Eyewitness Accounts At The Battle
Of Gettysburg (Stackpole Military History Series). Description:
On the final day of the battle of Gettysburg, Robert E. Lee
ordered one of the most famous infantry assaults of all time: Pickett's Charge. Following a thundering artillery barrage,
thousands of Confederates launched a daring frontal attack on the Union line. Continued below...
From their entrenched positions, Federal soldiers decimated the charging
Rebels, leaving the field littered with the fallen and several Southern divisions in tatters. Written by generals, officers,
and enlisted men on both sides, these firsthand accounts offer an up-close look at Civil War combat and a panoramic view of
the carnage of July 3, 1863.
Recommended Reading: Last Chance For Victory: Robert E. Lee And
The Gettysburg Campaign. Description: Long after nearly fifty thousand soldiers shed their blood there,
serious misunderstandings persist about Robert E. Lee's generalship at Gettysburg.
What were Lee's choices before, during, and after battle? What did he know that caused him to act as he did? Last Chance for
Victory addresses these issues by studying Lee's decisions and the military intelligence he possessed when each was made.
new information and original research, Last Chance for Victory draws alarming conclusions to complex issues with precision
and clarity. Readers will never look at Robert E. Lee and Gettysburg the same way again.
Recommended Reading: The History Buff's Guide to Gettysburg
(Key People, Places, and Events) (Key People, Places, and Events). Description: While most history books are dry monologues of people, places, events and dates,
The History Buff's Guide is ingeniously written and full of not only first-person accounts but crafty prose. For example,
in introducing the major commanders, the authors basically call Confederate Lt. Gen. Richard S. Ewell a chicken literally.
beak-nosed Dick Stoddard Ewell had all the aesthetic charm of a flightless foul.' To balance things back out a few pages later,
they say federal Maj. Gen. George Gordon Meade looked like a 'brooding gargoyle with an intense cold stare, an image in perfect
step with his nature.' Although it's called a guide
in my opinion, it's an authoritative guide to the Civil War. Any history buff or Civil War enthusiast or even that casual
reader should pick it up.