Last Updated 3/2296

Below is a discussion among by Gettysburg Discussion Group

Greetings all:
I'm currently reading Coddington's book on Gettysburg. He writes well, and obviously researched the topic(222 pages of footnotes in the paperback edition! Good grief.) Interestingly, in my months in this group I have seen few references to his book in the discussions (maybe I missed them). Are his opinions out of favor? Is he so highly regarded that he needs no references made? Is the book generally referred to settle "disputes"? Any thoughts on the subject will be appreciated.

Non Gettysburg question: What is the best biography of Mosby?

From: (Grant Troop)

Regarding Pat's inquiry re Coddington's book:
IMHO, this is certainly an excellent scholarly treatment of the entire Gettysburg campaign (rather than just the battle) - regretably published after the author's death. The referencing is typical of modern CW writing with ample backup from the OR, letters, diaries, first hand accounts etc.,providing a framework for the writers own interpretation of events (in most cases, quite convincing). His writing style is very readable - in short, a great capsule of Gettysburg for those who don't want to get bogged down in detail. There however is the failing of Coddington's book - the minute detail is missing just when you get interested in a particular segment of the battle. However, it's a hard book to criticize. The maps are OK (terrain good, troop positions questionable). Coddington is one of my favourites.

Another book which I heartily recommend is Bill Frassanito's Gettysburg, although it is less about the battle than photographing it. However, no other book I know can bring Gettysburg into your heart like this one.

Of course, these books are not primary sources like the OR (Official Records), but then what else is like the OR - probably the most impressive set of tomes I've ever seen - but generally pretty inaccessible. Primary sources are great for specific research and for adding "color" - but I wouldn't recommend them as general interest reading material. For "disputes" however - they're indispensible, if you can get your hands on them. If you just want a taste of the OR as they pertain to Gettysburg, there is a Guidebook published by the US Army War College edited by Jay Luvaas and Harold Nelson. All of the important officer's reports are there - the maps are usable.

Grant Troop

From: "James F. Epperson"
Subject: Re: Coddington

Personal opinion, but I think Coddington's book is the best thing on the battle, at least the best thing that tries to cover the entire campaign and the actual battle. Pfanz's books are good micro studies, as is Stewart's book on Pickett's Charge, but I would and do use Coddington to resolve disputes.

Tucker's book is OK, but it is a little less inclusive than Coddinton's, and Tucker is trying very hard to make a point about over-emphasis on Virginia's contribution to the Confederate effort.

Subject: Re: Coddington

I've just started reading "The Gettysburg Campaign: A Study in Command" by Edwin B. Coddington so I'm probably not qualified to comment on your question. However, I know of at least three folks in this discussion group who swear by the man! Any comments Dennis, Terry and Jim????

A bit off the subject of Gettysburg....My suggestion for a good biography on Mosby is Virgil Carrington Jones' "Ranger Mosby". It was a bestseller back in 1944 (long before I was born! ) when it was first published and is still available in paperback ($15.00) in most bookstores today. If you ever plan to tour Mosby's territory here in Virginia, a good book to have handy is "Mosby's Confederacy: A Guide to the Roads and Sites of Colonel John Singleton Mosby" by Thomas J. Evans and James M. Moyer.

Eileen Murphy
Manassas, VA

From: (Alexander Cameron) Subject: Coddington

This has already been answered by others but here is my two cents worth. Coddington is clearly the very best treatment of the whole campaign. I can't tell you how many times I thought I had found something new and then checked Coddington to find that he had addressed it either in the text or in his extensive notes. When I write, I use Coddington to give me leads on sources. It contains fewer errors than most Gettysburg books I have read and he shows the least bias of any book I know. You can find more detail on a specific part of the battle in books written on individual units or specific portions of the campaign. However, not everyone wants to read a whole darn book on the Railroad Cut.

Anyway, I have reread Coddington several times. It helps glue it all together after having spent a bunch of time poking around in some specific aspect. It is a good book.


From:(Dennis Lawrence)
Subject: Coddington and Pfanz

Don't leave home without them!

What makes Coddington superior to other works is that he had first dibs on the Bachelder papers which he rediscovered. New sources for new material. ( Unlike Tucker who since he didn't have new material - he just sort of made it up.)
Pfanz uses his experience on the field to detail Day Two in a superb fashion. Also, his second opus Culp's and Cemetery Hill details the activities in the town very nicely.

From: (Benedict R Maryniak)
Subject: new map by Trailhead Graphics

A new map of Gburg has just been released by Trailhead Graphics, who did such a great job with Shiloh last year (NPS Chief Historian Ed Bearss praised it profusely). The main map measures 28 X 37, scale of 1:12,000 and its topographic - countour intervals of ten feet are shown. It's printed on plasticized waterproof & tearproof paper. It is a map of the park today, with position markers for every monument - equestrian, statue, commemorative, HQ, state & regimental, tablets, & hospitals. On the reverse are three detail maps with contours & markers shown - a 1:6000 map of Cemetery Ridge & Cemetery Hill, a 1:6000 map of LRT, Houck's Ridge, Wheatfield, Rose Grove, & The Loop; a 1:12,000 of the east cavalry field. There are also CSA & USA orders of battle down to regimental level.

Trailhead makes topographic maps for fishing, hunting, & hiking, and their precision shows in their battlefield maps. Gburg map is $8.95 plus $1 for shipping from Trailhead Graphics, PO Box 472991, Aurora CO 80047. For more info, call owner Tim Kissel at 303-766-7015.

Subject: Trailhead Graphics Maps, etc., etc.


I visited Shiloh this past April and had my first encounter with a Trailhead Graphics CW map! I was so impressed, I wrote to the company to see what other maps they had available and received a note from them saying they were planning to publish 15-20 maps in their CW battlefield series. Maps already available are Kennesaw Mountain, Shiloh, and Wilson's Creek National Battlefield Parks. These maps are $6.95 each (plus $1 for postage and handling (all maps are shipped USPS).
As you mentioned, Benedict, they just released their Gettysburg National Military Park map for $8.95 (plus $1 for postage and handling). I quote from the flyer they sent me..."Printed on special waterproof, tear-proof material, the map features over 430 monuments, 420 markers and tablets and a complete Order of Battle Chart." I should be receiving mine in the mail any day now. By the way, Trailhead's next CW battlefield map will be Fredericksburg which they say will be published in "early fall of '95". A tip of the kepi to Trailhead Graphics for giving us such useful tools to help us explore the sacred ground!

From: (Benedict R Maryniak)
Subject: Bliss Farm

The 12th New Jersey regimental history by Longacre is a great book and, along with the OR, tells the Bliss Farm story very well. For that matter, the plaque on the 12th's monument portrays it effectively - close-up fire fight for the barn with the house burning in the background. It's only my opinion, but don't waste your time on the Christ book. Jake Blues' brother is the only Elwood I'll ever trust. "Hancock the Superb" and Pfanz's book also contain fair treatments of the Bliss Farm affair. None of them, however, bring out the vindictive genius of Genl Alexander Hays. He did things at Gburg that will never get on the TV!

Subject: Iron Brigade unheralded?

Are you saying that Cutler commanded the Iron Brigade at Gettysburg? Meredith commanded. I assume you were talking about the other First Corps brigade that Cutler commanded. I examined the issue of who fired the first infantry shots at Gettysburg while I was researching my book IRON MEN:IRON WILL. I came to the conclusion that we'll never know and that it isn't that important. I've never felt comfortable lessening the contribution of any man willing to stake his life on the firing line. By the way, I enjoy your Famous Long Ago series. Craig Dunn

From: " 'Lisa Mucha'"
Subject: 1st Minn.

I wholeheartedly agree with Norm's recent post regarding the heroism of the 1st Minn. Everytime I walk past the place on Cemetary Ridge where they made their stand, I am in awe of thier courage. I recommend without hesitation Richard Moe's book "The Last Full Measure" which is about the 1st Minn. The voices of the men (particularly the Taylor brothers), spoken in many of the letters reproduced in the book, are full of intelligence and life and it breaks your heart to read them because you know that most of them will perish at Gettysburg.

From: (Alexander Cameron)
Subject: 1st Minnesota

For Terry:
Terry, I'm one of those guys who uses a nickname from his middle name. I logged on to my account with Alexander but I go by Bill. There is a more detailed letter on page 256. Also, if you have Morningside's GETTYSBURG PAPERS (which are basically M.O.L.L.U.S. articles) there is an interesting article by Lt. William Lochren, "The First Minnesota at Gettysburg". I do not have vol 2 or 3 but need to get them. I had the Bachelder papers on microfilm for a long time and have scanned most of them when I was working on some articles. Need to find the bucks to buy the books. Sounds like Vol. 3 would be worth the expense.

From: "Douglas M Macomber"
Subject: Hancock's Wound on C. Ridge and acounts By Stannard

When Hancock was wounding after he ordered the 13th and 16th Vermont to flank attack Kemper's, Wilcox and Langs Brigades, he was shot in the groin.General Stannard and Lieutenant George Benedict helped dress his wounds. I have Benedict's accounts from the book FULL DUTY:Vermonters in the Civil War by Howard Coffin(this also has a seprate chapter for the brigades participation in the Pickett-Pettigrew charge). I have yet to come across accounts or letters of Hancock's wound or any letters written by Stannard. Did he ever write any?

I am almost exactly in the middle of Shelby Foote's second volume of his trilogy...the Gettysburg chapter. We are fortunate to have such a work as his narrative. While lacking some of the details of more concentrated studies, the text flows, carrying the reader with it easily, missing few salient points. And it's nice, for a change, not to worry with footnotes. Foote has done us a great service, bridging an often difficult gap between "popular" and "academic" history.

Pat Ellington

Subject: New Iron Brigade Book

I thought the group might be interested in my new book, Iron Men: Iron Will, History of the 19th Indiana Volunteers.The book is published by Guild Press, Indianapolis, In. 415 pp. Over 40 images. The book follows the regiment from muster on July 29, 1861 through its consolidation with the 20th Indiana in October 1864. I believe you will particularly like the Gettysburg Chapter. E-Mail me if you would like a promotional flyer.

Editor's Note: See Excerpts from this book on "Articles by Members" page.


Alexander Cameron asked for info on my resources for my book so I will list several that I used for the Gettysburg chapter:

1. William N. Jackson-journal (Indiana Historical Society)
2. George E. Finney-diary (Indiana State Library)
3. Allen Ogborn-diary (Indiana Historical Society)
4. William Roby Moore-letter and manuscript (Indiana Historical Society)
5. Indiana's Roll of Honor (2 vols.)
6. Soldier of Indiana (3 vols.)
7. Indiana Magazine of History "Sgt. Major Blanchard at Gettysburg" 1934
8. Otis, Second Wisconsin
9. William W. Dudley, The Iron Brigade at Gettysburg
10. Indiana Adjutant General Report
11. Muncie Press
12. Helm, History of Delaware County
13. Burr Clifford-letter (Indiana State Library)
14. Hassler, Crisis at the Crossroads
15. Symonds, Battlefield Atlas
16. Dawes, Sixth Wisconsin
17. Chamberlain, Sketches of War History
18. Indiana at Antietam
19. Indiana at Gettysburg
20. Nineteenth Indiana Reunion Invitation
21. Beaudot and Herdegen, Irishman in the Iron Brigade
22. Cheek and Ponton, Sauk Co. Rifles
There was a wealth of other material available from other members of the regiment in the form of letters, diaries and journals. I quote extensively from several other soldiers including Solomon Meredith, Lt. Thomas Crull, Bob Patterson, Abram Buckles, Adam Juday. Soldier of Indiana (a very rare set of books) quotes many first person accounts of the Nineteenth Indiana.

The initial critical review of the book has been good and sales have been brisk. Booknotes on C-Span recommended it as a Christmas book purchase. Hopefully the book is in the hands of the illustrious Ben Maryniak who is reviewing it for "The Courier" and possibly for our group. Also, Dr. Gary Gallagher is reviewing it for America's Civil War.

Thanks to Alexander Cameron for his inquiry and the opening for me to discuss my first love. I hope my discussion of this book does not come across as shameless self-promotion but rather somewhat shameless self-promotion.

Best Wishes,
Craig Dunn

Subject: Abram Buckles Picture Story

Terry Moyer asked that I post for the group how I acquired the image of Abram Buckles that I use in my book. (Iron Men:Iron Will) Here it is.

In December of 1994 I learned, through a researcher that I hired in California to look for Buckles memorbilia in Solona County, that ; there was a picture of Abram Buckles in uniform in the California State Library. She indicated to me that I could not get a copy of the image because the library had changed its policy on photo reproduction due to funding cutbacks imposed by Governor Pete Wilson. I couldn't quite believe her so I called the library and talked to an extremely rude staff member who informed me that there were no exceptions to the policy and that I was out of luck. When I protested I was told that if I didn't like it, I could bitch to the Governor. .

I have never been one to accept bureaucratic bullshit, so I launched on a cyberwarfare campaign through the internet. First, I put my dilemna out on the net and asked for any suggestions. I received several, one from a librarian in Australia. Most responses were merely ones of indignation at the library. Next, I asked on the net for any information, telephone numbers, e-mail addresses etc.. that might be helpful for California government personnel. I received an E-Mail with the Governor's personal fax number on it. I then typed up a long explanation of the situation and faxed it to the governor. At the same time, someone e-mailed me the e-mail addresses for the director of the library and the curator of the manuscript division. I received the same bureaucratic response to my request from them as I had earlier received from the staffer. He was my offer:.

I would hire a photographer, send them to the library and then pay the library $100 to just pull the picture. I thought that the thought of a profit might motivate the library, but no luck..

Finally, I went back to the newsgroup alt.war.civil.usa and restated my problem and asked that everyone e-mail the director and the curator a very simple message, "Free Abram Buckles From Captivity". Hundreds of e-mails were sent to them. I'm not sure whether it motivated them to act but I received an e-mail from the curator asking that I call her. She indicated that because of my persistence they might make an exception in my case, but that if they did they could not accept the $100. They didn't have any way to process it. The library finally gave in and sent the picture. .

Postscript: A few days after I got the picture I received a set of correspondence from the Governor detailing his orders to the library to free Abram Buckles and to immediately change the library policy regarding historical access and reproduction. He also ordered the library to stop engaging in political carping. A couple of days later I got a call from the real director of the library who had been away on sick leave at the time of my requests. He had no idea that the policy had been changed. He apologized profusely..

My thanks to the Net, Civil War friends and Governor Pete Wilson..

Craig Dunn

From: (Benedict R Maryniak)
Subject: Bliss Farm

>Arthur C. Snellbaker sends these additions to the book archive on our web site. >Christ,Elwood "The struggle for the Bliss Farm at Gettysburg" Butternut and >Blue Press,3411 Northwind Rd. Baltimore Md. 21234-1250... Was the skirmishing in >and around the Bliss Farm on July 2 & 3 coincidental to the rest of the action >on the field? This 200+ page book makes a compelling case for a much more >organized contest for this patch of ground half way between the Union right and >Confederate left.

Benedict R Maryniak replies

The 12th New Jersey regimental history by Longacre is a great book and, along with the OR, tells the Bliss Farm story very well. For that matter, the plaque on the 12th's monument portrays it effectively - close-up fire fight for the barn with the house burning in the background. It's only my opinion, but don't waste your time on the Christ book. Jake Blues' brother is the only Elwood I'll ever trust. "Hancock the Superb" and Pfanz's book also contain fair treatments of the Bliss Farm affair. None of them, however, bring out the vindictive genius of Genl Alexander Hays. He did things at Gburg that will never get on the TV!

From: (Benedict R Maryniak)
Subject: Iron Brigade unheralded?

Doug Macomber wonders if Rufus D and his 6th Wisconsin are overlooked? Good God, he must've led a fortunate existence so as not to be buried in Iron Brigade rhetoric!! Alan Nolan's famous book on the Iron Brigade, and "In The Bloody Railroad Cut At Gettysburg" by Herdegen & Beaudot both cover the 6th's considerable contributions. Next to the long-standing argument about what cavalry unit fired the first shot of the battle, the Iron Brigade was always good for a run at Lysander Cutler's brigade over who let loose with the first federal infantry fire on July 1.

From: "Douglas M Macomber"
Subject: Staanards brigade, 16th Vermont (Col. Veazy)

I am an avid prusuer of Staanards brigade, paticulary the 16th Vermont under Colonel Veazy. I recently found a brief history about the 16th, I did not know Staanard and his brigade played such a major role on the third day.Until Gettysburg, Staanard and his brigade assigned garrison duty at Washington D.C. When Lee invaded Pennsylvainia, the brigade was attached to the first corps under Reynolds. Staanards brigade arrived late in the first day, after Reynolds was killed and all major actions on the first day were over. The 16th and the rest of the brigade was posted on Culps hill. They saw no fighting on the second dday, and on the third were detached to strengthen Hancocks second corps.The 16th along with the 14th Vermont acted as the adavnce regiments during Picketts charge. They withdrew and took part in Hancocks famous flanking movement, soon afterward Hancock was wounded. Staanard bent over him saying "It is not bleeding from the artery you will live."Thinking Staanard to be a surgeon, Hancock replied "Thank you for that surgeon." After Gettysburg the 16th's enlistment was up and was discharged

For further information on Vermonters duringthe civil war see FULL DUTY by Edwin C. Bearss

From: Bill Mankins
Subject: Gettysburg - First day's battle reading list.

Hassler, Jr., Warren W., "Crisis at the Crossroads The First Day at Gettysburg", University of Alabama Press, 1970. 214 pages.
Martin, David G., "Gettysburg July 1", Combined Books, 1995. 736 pages.
These are two outstanding books on the first day's action. Martin's book is almost a minute by minute account.

From: ( TERRY MOYER) Subject: Book report

Get your credit cards ready, volume 3 of The Bachelder Papers_may be the most interesting one to date. My copy arrived today and I just spent about 1 1/2 hours looking through it. It contains letters written up to the time of Bachelder's death then adds several appendices which include letters found in other collections. For the first time there are letters written by John Badger himself in this final volume. There are two multi-page letters from JB which describe the conceptualization and development of the High Water Mark monument. VERY Interesting. From an idea as simple as merely affixing a bronze tablet to the iron fence at the copse, the marker grew into what JB described as 'a first class monument'. An interesting insight I drew from this treatise was the fact that this monument was recognized by the GBMA as a final tribute to the field, and that they would leaving it behind as their day passed and the watch was assumed by the federal government. It was felt that the fina l gift of the association to their field should be a quality monument, commensurate with the events it commemorated. JB paid for most of the monument from his private bank account, almost $3000 worth of his private funds. He worried about how he could recoup this money until he finally figured out a plan that worked.

The original cannon ball pyramids that support the 'book of history' on the monument were actual iron cannon balls 'baked and enameled'. After the dedication it was noticed that a recent rain had already caused corrosion in the balls, and it was realized that they must be replaced. And there was not a dollar in the treasury of the association to pay for the replacement.

There is also a lengthy transcript of the courtroom cross examination of members of the 72d Pennsylvania concerning their desire to place their monument at 'the Angle'.

There are also a collection of pictures of Bachelder attending various monument dedication ceremonies in the book.

It appears that this last volume in the series will be full of great info. Talk to you all later. Terry.

From: Jim Radmore
Subject: Bachelder Map (fwd)
To all from Jim Radmore:
I was able to spend a few hours up in Gettysburg on Sat the 16th. Had to go up to pick up a copy of Frass's book to give as a retirement gift. (I know any escuse to go to G'burg :-)

Anyway I took some time to follow the tour from the book "Guide to the Battle of Gettysburg" This is the book put out by the U.S> Army War College. I was doing the Devil's Den part of the tour. (p 90). I got to Smith NY Battery monument and was reading the excerpt from the OR that is included. I was confused about exactly where and from what direction the Rebs came from. So I got out the Bachelder Gettysburg Battlefield map that shows the approximate location of the troops during the three days. Well as I am reading the book and looking at the map, I began to get even more confused, (those of you that know me will find it hard to believe that I can get more confused that I already am).. The book talks about ROBERTSON's brigade of Hoods division as attacking, etc. I looked all over Bachelders map and I couldnot find ROBERTSON anywhere. However, I did find ROBINSON listed in the area that ROBERTSON was supposed to be in. Ok says I to myself, Bachelder is supposed to know what he is talking about, but I agree with Dennis and his assertations about Pfanz's work on the second day. So I return to my truck and go to my library and pull out Pfanz to see what he had to say. The only ROBINSON he lists is the Robinson that fought on Oak Hill, just off the Mummasburg road on the first day. He(Pfanz) does have a Robertson in Hood's brigade. Now my question is: Does Bachelder know something that no one else does, or is this a BIG TYPO on the map??? If so, and even confused me would go with this one, then are there other mistakes on the map also? I have used the map to get better acquainted with troop movements and from where they came etc.

Subject: Re: Bachelder Map

I looked at the Bachelder's isometric map and saw what you saw, that is, 'Robinson' in battle line alongside Law. This is definitely a typo, but not having an original of Bachelder's isometric map, I can only guess whether the typo is the fault of the reprinter, or is the original spelling as it appeared on the isometric map.

I am sure Bachelder knew who was in this position. As Ben Maryniak points out, the position is shown correctly as held by 'Robertson' on the map that comes with the Bachelder Papers published by Morningside. These maps, one for each day of the battle, are drawn on the Warren survey map, with a publication date on the map of 1876. I am not sure whether 1876 is the date of the survey or just the date of the map publication. (I would have to go back and check that out). I know a survey was made of the field in 1869 also.

Robertson attacked alongside of Law across the Slyder and Bushman farms. If you can spot the Alabama monument from Little Round Top, while looking past Devil's Den, you will see Robertson's attack position to the (Union) right of Law's position. Robertson was on Law's left and near the Emmittsburg road.

From: (Dennis Lawrence)
Subject: Maps and Books

Miles Orchard asks>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

>I am looking for good maps (fairly detailed) of Gettysburg mainly and >other main battle fields with movements printed on them. I have read >through the various postings that some are available from the >Gettysburg site office (would they post some to the UK ?) but as I am a >little too far to pop over to collect them it has proved very difficult >to find anything apart from in a few books (which aren't that >detailed). I am prepared to cover the cost of posting etc, please let me know.

Dennis Lawrence replies>>>>>>>>>>>

Some good references to Gettysburg are the Warren Map which is plate XCV in the OFficial Military Atlas' and one of the best buys at Gettysburg for around $5. An excellent map to take onto the field. The Offiial Military Atlas is oversized and overpriced, but does provide excellent maps of the battles of the Civil War.

Another map is one published by the "I Corps." It contains elevations as well as marking the trees and roads of the CW era along with the tree lines and roads of today. I bought this for about $5 out of a CW magazine several years ago and used it extensively on the field. Terry Moyer tells me it is being reordered by at least one shop in the Burg, so if he or anyone else knows where to pick this up, please post.

The most famous maps are the Bachelder maps. His colored map titled "The Gettysburg Battlefield" shows the position of every regiment on every day. An excellent reference and art work. It too can be bought quite cheaply at the Burg.

John Bachelder was the foremost early historian of the field. It was the rediscovery of the Bachelder papers by Coddington that made possible _The Gettysburg Campaign_. The reprinting of the Bachelder Papers by Morningside is in three volumes. The first vlume came with 7 maps - one for each day of the fighting at an enormous 25" by 32". Have a strong light and a magnifying glass, because the maps are intricate and at best adequately reproduced.

The second volume came out last year, and the third volume is due out the end of this month. It contains "maps and photos" also. IMHO these three volumes and maps are indispensable to the study of the field.

Nice orientation maps to the disposition of the troops are also found in the Time-Life volume on Gettysburg.

Miles also asks about books on the Twentieth Maine. My favorites are Shaara's _Killer Angel's_ , Alice Trulock's _In the Hands of Providence_ Norton' _The Attack and Defense of Little Round Top and Styple's controversial _With a Flash of the Sword_. Nice balance between realism and romance in reading those four.

Morningside Books can be reached at 1-800-648-9710. They will be glad to send a catalog which will give you more choices.

A generic number for the Gettysburg National Park is 1-717-334-1124. From there you can get to the book store at the visitor's center for information on map mailing.

Harry Pfanz describes the various areas in relationship to the nearest flat plain from which attacks would be launched.
About the crests of Little Round Top :

"Little Round Top can be described simplistically as having three elevations. The long north slope rises gradually about forty feet above the Wheatfield Road to a rock faced shelf on which the monuments of the 146th New York and 155th Pennsylvania stand today. This shelf in turn is at the base of another bluff of boulders that rises at the north end of the Hill's Crest (Warren Statue). From this north end of the crest the surface rises gently over a distance of fifty yards to a knob near center of the hil (Hazlet's Monument). From the knoll's crest, the surface declines gently one-hundred yards to the south (New York Castle).... Ten or fifteen feet below the crest is another shelf ... in all probability first visited by Vincent and became the right of his brigade line...

The south slope of the hill... faced the saddle between Little Round Top and ... Big Round Top... Vincent took Chamberlain to the tip of the spur probably to a point amid the rocks beneath the large boulder on which the monument to the Twentieth Maine stands today. This would be the Twentieth's left" (_Gettysburg The Second Day_ pp. 209-212).

Harry Pfanz describes Culp's Hill area this way:

"(Culp's Hill) had two peaks; the highest (where the tower is today) 180 feet above Rock Creek, was about 800 yards southeast of Cemetery Hill and was conected to it by a sagging crest line that included Steven's knoll. The lower peak was 400 yards south of the taller summit and was separated from it by a narrow saddle that notched the hill from east to west. The lower creek rose about eighty feet above the creek... It was about 850 yards from the highest peak to the meadow at Spangler's Springs" (pages 111 -112 _Culp's Hill and _Cemetery Hill_.

About Benner's Hill Pfanz says

"The hill's crest extended about three hundred yards south-southwest from the Hanover Road and 500 yards north-northeast of it. The crest loomed 100 feet above Rock Creek at the hill's base... The south end of Benner's Hill was 1,000 yards northeast of Culp's Hll and 1,500 yards east-northeast of East Cemetery Hill." (169-170).

Subject: Re: Maps and Books/Oates Rock

Tom Swantko asks >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

>Who knows the heights of Seminary Ridge, Cemetery Ridge, Culp's Hill,
>Little Round Top and Big Round Top. Are there references which show topoographical
>maps of the area?
A friend of mine goes hiking alot, and many hiking stores carry U.S. Geological Survey Maps of most of the state of Penna. (At least they do here in Penna...)

The following heights are from the U.S.G.S. maps for Gettysburg (which claim to be photo inspected 1981 (aerial photo that is): Peace Light 647 feet, Culp's Hill, 600 feet and 542 feet for the two summits, Little Round Top 650 feet, Big Round Top 785 feet. Seminary Ridge around the angle to lrt area seems to rise from 500 to 550 feet near lrt. The Seminary seems to be sitting on a contour line labeled 580. East Cem Hill looks to be between 580 and 600 foot contour lines. To get your own map and make your own interpretations I quote you from the legend at the bottom of the maps (2 of them) "For Sale by U.S. Geological Survey Denver, Colo. 80225, or Reston Va 22092" "A folder describing topographic maps and symbols is available on request." The two maps as near as I can make out, are identified as AMS 5563 I SW - SERIES V831. This map shows most of the battlefield but excludes the portions of the 1st days field west of the middle ridge, between the Seminary and the McPherson farm. The second map which contains the confederate area of the 1st days field and the McPherson farm area is DMA 5363 IV SE - SERIES V831 Aside from the contour information, you also get to see where all you favorite glut is situated on the map... swimming pools, the high school and so forth.

From:Lisa Mucha
Subject: Hancock Bios

Regarding good biographies of Hancock, I recommend the following:

1. Hancock the Superb by Glenn Tucker

2.The Reminiscences of Winfield Scott Hancock by Almira Hancock. This is not a very detailed bio of Hancock. What is does do is let the reader hear a very distinct voice (that of Almira Hancock) from the ACW. Even though it is written in Victorian prose, it is still easy to read. 8-)


General Hancock happens to be a particular favorite of mine. You'll enjoy reading Glenn Tucker's "Hancock the Superb". (Save your shuddering and hissing for Henry Hunt!! )

From: (Anthony Staunton)
Subject: gettsbury film

The film Gettysburg only got a limited run in Australia and I did nit hear about the film until the season had finished. I have waited for the video to be released which happened on 12 October and have just finished watching it (for the first time).V Very impressive. I think that Old Pete deserves to get credit so long denied him. I was also impressed with Lee and gained a better understanding of his decsion making which makes his comments to Stuart even more remarkable.

I now understand why there are JLC is falvour of the month. I was pleased that the 20th Maine flag bearer Andrew J Tozier, the other 20th Maine Medal of Honor recipient got some lines. ( AUSTRALIA)
Federal Secretary - Military Historical Society of Australia
Member - Orders & Medals Research Society of the UK
Member - Orders & Medals Society of America

From: " 'Lisa Mucha'"
Subject: New 20th ME book

This message is in reply to the gentleman from the U.K. and anyone else interested in the new 20th ME. book:

The book is called "Stand Firm Ye Boys" (the title is a bit longer, but I have forgotten the rest...sorry!) by Tom Desjardin.

It can be purchased from Thomas Publications. The phone # is 1-800-840-6782. The book is $28.00 plus $3.00 shipping and 6%tax if you are a resident of PA (I guess the tax is to pay for the cool new PA homepage on the net 8-) ). I ordered my copy today and the person I spoke to said they expect the book from the printers around Halloween and it should be shipped out the week in November.

Lisa Mucha

From: (Alexander Cameron)
Subject: Lee/Longstreet

Paul wrote:

> I belive I sent a message via by Dennis L., in case it did'nt get through here >is the book your looking for. THE LEE/LONGSTREET CONTROVERSY by Glenn Tucker. >Tucker was one of the first and great G'burg authors. Hope this helped. Sorry, >I don't have the ISBN.
The title of the Tucker book is LEE AND LONGSTREET AT GETTYSBURG, Indianapolis, IN: Bobbs-Merrill, 1968. 268 P. E475.53T8. (There is also a 1982 Morningside reprint in paperback) Agree with Paul, Tucker does a good job with this subject.



I was looking in my library for the publisher of general longstreets autobiography. I came across a book called Lee and Longstreet at High Tide, Gettysburg in the light of the official records by a Helen D. Longstreet at Broadfoot publishing for $30.00. Published in 1904 Is this book worth the purchase? I would appreciate any advice given.

Take care!Michael E. Hartenstine E-mail:

FFrom: ( TERRY MOYER) Subject: Re: Bachelder Papers

B. Wells wrote:
Hi, I have been reading with great interest many of the items posted in the Gettysburg Discussion Group (including those of Ben Maryniak, our BCWRT President). I am considering purchasing the BACHELDER PAPERS & would like your opinion/brief description of each Volume. The description of Vol.II in a Morningside catalog says they are "less formal in tone than Vol.1." It sounds like Vol. II has more first hand accounts - am I correct. I would like to know more about Vol. 1. I hope this doesn't sound like a dumb question, but does each Vol. have its own focus or do they follow each other in continuation? In other words, is purchasing Vol. II (which may be more interesting reading) contigent on having read Vol. 1? Any information would be greatly appreciated! Thank you. Hi B. Wells,

The 3 vols of the Bachelder papers contain the correspondence JB held with the many participants in the battle of Gettysburg. They are arranged chronologically in the 3 volumes, so the earliest writings concern Bachelder's attempts to ascertain troop movements and positions on the field and so on. Therefore their tone may be 'formal' in as much as JB is interviewing and requesting information. Don't let the formal/informal designation fool you. If you love Gettysburg you need every one of these volumes as each one contains fascinating, first hand, eye witness accounts of action on the battlefield, as well as glimpses into some of the behind the scenes events that shaped the park and made it what we see when we visit it today.

You will want to buy the 1st volume because included in the purchase price are 7 maps upon which JB marked the position of troops as they were on the 1st 2d and 3d days of the battle. Reference in all 3 volumes are keyed to these maps. Each book does have a slightly different flavor. I particularly like the 3d volume which contains letters written during the peak monument building period at Gettysburg. It contains many interesting insights into the process by which the monuments were placed on the field. You do not have to read one book to be able to follow what goes on in the other (except for the Hunt vs. Hancock controversy, for which you should read volume one, then two) But really, each one is well worth having, and if you are going to get them all, you may as well read them in order!


From: (David Eicher)
Subject: Book suggestion

Hi Bob, Dennis, and Bryan --
Just ran across the Gettysburg discussion group Home Page, which looks very nice. I have a suggestion for the reading list document:

Civil War Battlefields: A Touring Guide by David J. Eicher (Taylor Publishing Co., Dallas, 1995). ISBN 0-87833-886-1. Foreword by James M. McPherson, Maps by John H. Eicher. The book provides detailed tours of Antietam/South Mountain/Harpers Ferry; Bull Run; Chattanooga; Chickamauga; Fredericksburg/Chancellorsville/The Wilderness/Spotsylvania; Gettysburg; Petersburg/Five Forks/Appomattox; Richmond/City Point; Shenandoah Valley; Shiloh; Stones River/Franklin/Spring Hill; and Vicksburg. The longest and most detailed chapter covers Gettysburg, featuring three detailed maps showing many of the most prominent Gettysburg monuments, a lengthy park tour, and descriptions of 168 features to see.

In the last six months, the book has sold more than 10,000 copies, making it one of the more recent, available, and thorough tours of the Gettysburg battlefield.

Editor's Note: See Excerpts from this book on "Articles by Members" page. Yours,

Dave Eicher

Subject: Re:Fredericksburg Artillery

Hi Dennis,

On Tuesday, November 7th, you asked:

I have been painfully tapping in the Order of Battle for Pickett's Charge and came across the following listing in Pegramn's Batallion. Fredericksburg Artillery, Captain E.A. Marye The name Marye linked to Fredericksburg leaps out. Anybody know if there is a connection?

Yes, Marye is related to the family that gave those heights their name. If you like to read more on teh Fredericksburg Artillery, there is an excellent articl by Robert Krick in Volume One, Number One, of the publication: "Civil War Regiments; A Journal of the American Civil War" I believe Morningside sells copies of these, and other issues of this publication. There's even a picture of Edward Avenmore Marye on page 13 of the article.

Jeff Fioravanti

From: Norm Levitt Subject: Re: thanks

Thanks for the info on Bachelder. I'm still not entirely clear as to whther an intact MS of his projected book survives at Gettysburg, Concord NH, of elsewhere. Is there any likelihood of it's being published?

From: " Lisa Mucha" Subject: New 20th ME BookNorm Levitt Hello!
I just recieved my copy of "Stand Firm Ye Boys From Maine" by Thomas Desjardin. Upon leafing through the book, it covers the Gettysburg battle as well as reunions and monument activities (I just happened to see the page that reproduces Oates' sketch of where on LRT he would like the 15th Alabama monument placed!). It has some wonderful pictures in it that I have never seen before. Am I gushing too much? 8-)

Anyway, this looks like a terrific book -- It can be ordered from

    Thomas Publications
    333 Buford Ave.
    Gettysburg, PA 17325
Subject: Book Review: Stand Firm Ye Boys From Maine

Please forgive if this has already been discussed in the Group...

If so turn the

My other Christmas present this year was a book written by a man I met at Gettysburg mid-August this past year...he was the NPS Tour Guide for the walking Tour of LRT at the Park..his name..Tom Desjardin...a well spoken, reserved and strikingly frank History Scholar whom had just graduated with his PhD from the University of Maine at wifes alma mater...

His insight, eagerness to point out facts, dispute facts, dispell rumored facts and point out over play points of the 20th Maines position and relevence at LRT were very enlightening and full of just plain common sense...

Much to my surprise when his book came out parts of it could have been scripted from his lectures on LRT or vice versa...his candid statements of facts, exagerations, and other possibilities jumped from the pages of this fine work...but I am ahead of myself...

Title: Stand Firm Ye Boys From Maine

Author: Thomas A. Desjardin

Published: Thomas Publications, PO Box 3031, Gettysburg, PA 17325 1995

John Pullen introduces the book in an appropriate way giving due credit to the work Tom has added to and put together in developing this the latest of Unit histories of the 20th Maine. I found the book to have the usual foundation of well known facts of the actions on LRT from the 20th Maine viewpoint...with more candid realism than I had ever read before in a single work. He further takes great time to portray 1] the members of the 20th Maine as real, relatively inexperienced, just doing what seemed right vs. heroic Infantry Men.... The description of the actual site is extremely accurate all the while pointing out rumors and physical alterations by well meaning groups... His portrayal of the disorganization of the fighting and its short time frame help put the confrontion into proper perspective... He not only points out that the wheeling motion of the Regimen was unorganized and more reactionary but he offers a very credible alternative that perhaps explains the action. None of this is meant to diminish the hard fought efforts of those courageous young fighting men that believed if they retreated they would imperil the cause...

2] on JLC he is very factual yet flatterring..pointing out JLCs ability to instill confidence in those he fought he came to recieve his various promotions...his career after the War...his ever growing Romantic viewpoint of the Battle and War as he grew older...differences, arguments, and literary battles with his Companions...all this Tom places in proper perspective as if he is looking out from the eyes of JLC...

3] on the 20th Maines Opponents he gives an equal view...hardships, decisions that were made and why....he greatly honors the 15th Alabama by recounting their entire ordeal......Oates is given a good deal of credit and explaination given as to his decisions and alternatives...Tom recounts efforts made by both sides to commemorate the site and the fight Oates faced in later years to gain equal recognition.

Thus the book becomes the Ordeal of the 20th Maine, 15th and 47th Alabama (with minor mention of the 3rd and 4th Texas).

In Conclusion: I believe Tom has delivered a credible accounting of the efforts and realism of the events of July 2nd and 3rd (BRT) of all units mentioned as well as a real discussion of whether there was any real value to the spot to begin with... Add to this facts concerning Rosters of Participants, Numbers involved, Recollections of Various Participants, Casualties of the 20th Maine, 15th and 47th Alabama and his own common sense down to Earth Notes and we have an authoritative update to this small part of the Battle to add to our libraries. I thoroughly enjoyed it...Work well Done Tom!!

In Closing: I have made every effort not to spoil or detail to closely the actual text so as to diminish any efforts by the members who will read this book after reading this..yet I feel compelled to share with all its merits.

If I have offended or mis-represented any person or group I do apoligize...this is my first attempt at Reviewing a Book...alas at 39 years young I still found myself getting emotional for both sides of the line...

Respectfully Submitted for Debate...

Ed... Addendum: I would be greatly interested in discussing the book with anyone wishing to do so as long as we do not spoil the work for those not having read it yet. Then again maybe I am the last in the group to have read it...that would be a crowning effort eh? want

He takes a good deal of time describing as many participants as possible...not totally focussing on JLC....

Great book review. Ben Maryniak yanked me off my -then- current reading of the Bachelder Papers vol 3 with his review of _Gettysburg July 1_ now I am hankering to read 'Stand Firm'. The last 2 years many members of this group have pondered the 20th Maine site during our annual pilgrimage. We have speculated about positions and surging battle lines, cresting and ebbing movements and so forth. I would very much like to see this information laid out on the current version of Vincent's spur. I am also very interested in the evolution of the terrain in this area and how it affects interpretation of the action there, today. Sounds like another digression from my still-waiting Bachelder book.


Date: Sun, 25 Feb 96 23:00:33 EST
From: Kenneth Miller
Subject: Re: test

To the GDG

In response to requests for posts, and in anticipation of the upcoming discussion of "Stand Firm", I offer the following.

I just completed this book and enjoyed it greatly. It reads well from the start, and does an excellent job of painting a picture of what really happened on LRT. The chapter on BRT was a new one for me, for the role of the "Big Hill' was never clear to me. I finally understand why Lee had no option to the right on the 3rd; the 20th ME, 83rdPA, 44thNY had turned it into the Gibraltar envisioned by Oates.

The thing about this book is the way it carries through w/o excessive detail. We find out what happended to the men the day after and in the ensuing decades. W/o spoiling the book for everyone, I was pleased to learn of JL Chamberlain's role in the post-Ted Turner era.

One of our younger members has posted that JL Chamberlain was his hero. As I get older I have often remarked how we have few heroes today. For all of his post-war problems, JL Chamberlain certainly warrants the accolades being paid to him today.

Thanks to Tom Dejardin for his work.

Ken Miller

Date: Tue, 27 Feb 1996 06:57:44 EST
Subject: Stand Firm by Tom Desjardin

I want to encourage everyone who has an interest in the 20th Maine and the fight for Little Round Top to join in the discussion of Tom Desjardin's book _Stand Firm Ye Boys From Maine_, when the book is up for discussion on March 15. I just finished the book last night and this is not just another rehash of Trulock and Wallace. With Tom's book you don't have to wade through chapter after chapter of the fight before Fredericksburg and so on, until you get to the 'good stuff'. We all know what that is... Little Round Top. The subtitle of the book in fact is: The 20th Maine in the Gettysburg Campaign. I was especially fortunate in the purchase of my copy of the book, as I bought it this past saturday in the cyclorama building and was able to meet Tom and talk to him extensively about the book. Tom's knowledge of the area of Vincent's spur is exhaustive. If you have read his posts on the discussion group you already know that he is very friendly and willing to share his knowledge with others, but the important thing is Tom can and does back up his conclusions with evidence. As an example, the book contains the reunion photo of the 20th Maine and Chamberlain seated in front of the 20th Maine monument. The photo was taken in 1889. Using this picture, Tom was able to illustrate for me changes in the terrain of LRT, such as the removal and repositioning of a stone wall, as well as changes in the height of the ground. (Yes, Tom also can point out to you the rock that Chamberlain is sittin on...)
Tom reveals much new information about the spur. He and Scott seem to be hot on the trail of the Left Flank marker, and they have even found evidence in the form of the mortar scar, of the exact place the flank marker was mounted.
But the important thing about the book is it's readability. I have had almost no time to read lately, but I was able to fit Tom's book in and complete it in two mini-marathon sessions. It is terse. It is to the point. It concentrates on the part of the 20th Maine saga that you want to know about. Tom mentioned to me his philosphy that a scholarly work uses primary sources and contains footnotes to allow the reader to follow up on the information presented. I had to smile as I read the book and saw that every single paragraph in the book ended with a footnote! Sheesh.
So even if you don't think you have time to read another book, especially in time for a mid-march discussion, you may want to reconsider and pick up this one. It is a quick yet pithy read, and it will DEFINITELY prime you with questions and insights for Tom's tour of little round top at the muster!
Terry Moyer

Date: Tue, 27 Feb 1996 10:41:58 -0500
From: (Scott Hartwig)
Subject: Two points

I got caught up on our e-mail this morning and found two things I wanted to add/substract multiply or divide...

"The Remake" - I have read lots of posts on this line and I assume that folks are referring to the book by Michael Shaara's son Jeff GODS AND GENERALS which will be released in a few months. This is a prequel to Killer Angels which covers the lives of the major KA character's from 1858 to Chancellorsville. In 4 or 5 years, Ron Maxwell wants to make it into an 8 hour mini-series. This, at least, is not a remake of GETTYSBURG, but rather a "Prequel" to it. Shaara's book is apparently 500+ pages and unless he is a literary genius I am strained to see how the lives of Chamberlain et al. from 1858 to 1862 and a half can be exciting enough to fill 500 pages and 8 television hours.

Gettysburg was, in Shaara the elder's book, the supreme moment of the lives of these people. How can a story, minus the supreme moments, keep us interested for 8 hours?

Also, others who were there please correct me if I'm wrong, but didn't Gabor Boritt say that Shaara had no contact with his ex-wife and family in the last years of his life? This was at the airing of the "Director's Cut" of Gettysburg at the CW Institute in July 1993. If that's true, and again I could be corrected, does it not seem strange that the son is now heir apparent?

"Welcome Traveller" - If the brother's Lawrence need to relive some of their fond memories (sans boy scouts) at the "Happy Traveller" as we affectionately call it, you can give me a call when you're here. I live in the Park-owned house on the property (NOT the trailer).

Tom Desjardin

Date: Tue, 27 Feb 1996 12:55:58 -0500
From: (Scott Hartwig)
Subject: Bachelder's History

Some time back the group inquired about the 8-volume history that the War Department paid John Bachelder $85,000 to write and then never published. Well, it seems the group that has been publishing "The Bachelder Papers" (Ladd et al.) plans to edit and publish this work. I have no idea of their schedule and time frame but I am sure they would welcome inquiries. I believe that they plan to edit out some redundancy to make it less, well, redundant.

Tom Desjardin

From: (Anita Jackson-Wieck)
Subject: Book Review
Date: Tue, 27 Feb 1996 19:09:23 -0500 (EST)

It was said of Douglas Southall Freeman that he wrote his epic biography of R.E. Lee on bended knee. If that be the case, surely Emory Thomas wrote his new bio of Lee in a fully prostrate position. It is slavishly fawning, at times laughably so, and written in the sort of prose one associates with bad romance novels. Consider:

"Then, once more Lee would have to recast his army, renew his labors, and confront his foes in the face of longer odds against him. Experience had taught him that such was the way of this imperfect world. Fame was fleeting; reality was flawed; life involved making the best of finite circumstances. Virtue consisted of bringing grace into adversity and giving selflessly among the multitude of takers..."

"Oh Lance," she breathed, as his hard cruel mouth pressed down upon her quivering flesh..." (Well, almost.)

As for the brief chapter on the subject dearest to this group's hearts, suffice it to say that Longstreet wears the goat horns, with Stuart and Ewell close behind. Thomas starts out by saying, "It was all his fault." But then come the finger-pointing, the innuendoes, and the blatant misstatements:

"Blunders on the part of Lee's subordinates, however, do mitigate Lee's guilt. Stuart rode off into nowhere with his captured wagons and left Lee blind in the presence of his enemies (nice Biblical touch in the phrasing there, I think). Ewell turned timid on July 1 and chose to remain in Gettysburg rather than seize the commanding ground on Cemetery Hill. Longstreet acted out his prolonged pout on July 2 and attacked Meade's left flank only after giving the Federals enough time to accumulate and implant defenders. And someone, most likely Longstreet, did not organize and order forward any supporting force to augment Pickett's charge.

"Defeat at Gettysburg was Lee's fault - in part because he decided to risk boldly and lost, but principally because of who Lee was. He was a soldier who preferred to suggest rather than order, a general who attempted to lead from consensus and shrank from confrontation. He insisted upon making possible for others the freedom of thought and action he sought for himself."

Did I mention that he dusts off the 9:00 AM attack story!
Gag. Hated it.
David Wieck

Date: Wed, 28 Feb 1996 08:09:38 -0700
From: taylord@spot.Colorado.EDU (Deb Taylor)
Subject: Re: Book Review

Dear David:

May I gag along with you? I was equally disgusted by this "Saint Lee" biography. To say that Lee's fault (count as 1) was basically choosing the wrong subordinates--who did the wrong things--points to the worst kind of empty-headed administrator (which I don't think Lee was). I grew a little weary of the Thomas version of Freudian psychoanalysis of Lee as well, which in some cases presented a downright alarming psychological picture of Lee. I was led to speculate that had Lee been a General of the 90's, his entire commanding staff would have been composed of women, his obvious preference. And, needless to say, as die-hard Longstreet supporter, I could not tolerate the sly re-kindling of the bonfire under "Old Pete"s" long-dead toes.


Date: Thu, 29 Feb 1996 07:24:12 -0600
From: (Alexander Cameron)
Subject: Coddington Extremely Predjudiced?

Professor Miller wrote:

> From where I stand now, it seems that Coddington is extremely >predjudiced on this, particularly WRT the countermarch. Yes, it was not >the best thing to obey Lee's orders to the letter, but Longstreet was in >unfamiliar territory and relied on Captain Johnston (who had been over the >ground) to lead him.

Hi Ken,
The above caught me a little by suprise. Everytime I get into the details and notes of Coddington, I am impressed by his even hand. To what specifically are are you referring?

Date: Thu, 29 Feb 1996 08:53:09 -0500 From: (Ken Miller) Subject: Re: Coddington Extremely Predjudiced? p. 375 (softcover version),

"Longstreet's festering hostility to any offensive move , and his annoyance with Lee..." citing McLaws, who was in a position to observe, but not necessarily to interpret the interplay between his boss and his boss's boss.

"Longstreet, still in a petulant mood, chose this moment to be more than punctilious in complying with army protocol."
p. 378

no cite. Obviously Coddington is venting pure opinion and heresay. This is the key to my statement about the countermarch.

he continues

"Longstreet decided to regard him (Captain Johnston) as Lee's special representative who during the march possessed greater authority over these troops than he."

again, editorial izing. This could be pure horse hockey. Longstreet didn't know where in blazes he was, while Johnston did "to the delight of Lee" (paraphrased, not direct quote from Coddington). Why shounldn't he follow him as indicated by Lee?.

He now turns Longstreet's own word agin him:

"Through this questionable interpretation of Johnston's role [is this impartial???], Longstreet termporarily relinquished his posistion as commander of the corps.",p. 379

This is a twist on Longstreet's words

To quote Longstreet

"As I was relieved from the time for the march, I rode near the middle of the Union line. General Lee rode with me for a mile or more" ... "
p. 368, "From Manassas to Appomatox"

Lee obviously approved this arrangement.

"Under the conduct of the reconnotring officer, our march seemed slow- there were some halts and coutnermarches. To save time, I ordered the rear division to double on the front..."
p. 368, "From Manassas to Appomatox"

He took command once her realized that Johnston was in over his head (as Johnstron freely admitted)

Bottom line: I think Coddington was unduly influenced in putting a negative spin on Longstreet's role in the countermarch. Yes, he disagreed with Lee, and did not like Lee's intervention with McClaws. But petulant?? This is not demostrated.

Ken Miller

Date: Thu, 29 Feb 1996 20:16:56 -0600
From: (Alexander Cameron)
Subject: Re: Coddington Extremely Predjudiced?

I just don't have the time tonight to get into the details of this. Not sure anyone wants to go through another countermarch debate but I don't think I fault Coddington as much as you seem to. Of course a lot of this stuff is his interpretation. I think he comes to the table as "evenhanded" as they come but lot of folks are now in the position of having problems with any criticism of Longstreet. I'll get into this with you in a few days.


Date: Fri, 1 Mar 1996 11:43:05 -0500
From: (Ken Miller)
Subject: Re: Coddington Extremely Predjudiced?

Bill and the GDG:

I want to temper my hurried posts.

I first claimed that "Coddington is extremely predjudiced." I had only read the few pages on the countermarch and did mean to impute his entire contribution.

Though my second post was accurate in detail, it was filled with typos (I wanted to reply ASAP to Bill's post)

I also must admit that have not completed the archived text on Longstreet.

Despite these shortcomings, I find this a very intriguing topic that goes to the crux of the "petulant and punctilious" Longstreet and would like to continue discussions on the countermarch.

BTW, for those new to this issue like me, there is a fairly good color map on the GDG home page depicting the countermarch along with excellent posts on Longstreet's 2nd day. My favorite of which is from Bob Lawrence, "Why didn't Longstreet's column follow Alexander's wagon wheels that gave him a yellow brick road avoiding dectection, instead of ordering the countermarch?"

Kenneth G. Miller

Date: Thu, 29 Feb 1996 17:02:03 -0500
Subject: Re: Coddington Extremely Predjudiced?


I'd also look at the context of the time frame Coddington wrote those passages. Accepted historical wisdom found much to fault Longstreet for, more than Coddington includes, I think. Later scholarship has modified that approach considerably, but much of that came 10-20 years after Coddington's publication (1968.)

As I read various authors on this subject in chronological order, I'm struck by how much opinion has evolved. For instance, had Robert Krick come along in the 1950's, his take on Longstreet at GB would have seemed harsh but well founded on historical fact. In the 1990's, however, it seems a throwback, and scholarship like Garrett Piston's has done much to speed that evolution.

Like you, I'm less convinced that Longstreet was acting improperly than most accounts accuse him of. On the whole, however, this is a best a minor contention with Coddington - in fact I, like Bill C., regard the book as a very fair and evenhanded piece of work overall.

Dave Powell

Date: Fri, 01 Mar 1996 14:04:37 -0500 (CDT)
Subject: Thomas Bio of Lee

I am not afraid that I will have to speak in defense of Thomas, I am pleased to do so. The Thomas bio of Lee is not well rounded but it does focus on two important, central facts of Lee's personality. Lee was a man who practiced strict control of himself and only on rare occasions allowed the inner man to appear. Also, he was a man firmly committed to duty as he saw it. Lee would have agreed fully with Stonewall that "Duty is the most sublime word in the English language."
These characteristics of control and duty are a part of Lee's religious and social heritage; these are the things a Gentleman did at that time and place. These are characteristics promoted by the Calvinism by which Lee was guided in his religious devotions. A quick note. Calvinism is not limited to denominational lables such as Presbyterian. Nineteenth Century Episcopalians, such as Lee, were generally of the low church, Calvinistic tradition. Remember, Lee called himself an "evangelical Christian", a term which meant "Calvinist" then, not what Pat Robertson would have it mean now.

Date: Fri, 01 Mar 1996 14:28:02 -0600
From: jeff beckner
Subject: Re: Coddington Extremely Predjudiced?

Not to reopen this endless controversy, but it's worth noting again Pfanz's excellent point, which no one seems to have thought of before him. Longstreet, McLaws, their staffs, etc., weren't brain-damaged or temporarily blinded. The reason is lost to history, but we have to assume that they determined that there was SOME reason they thought they would not be able to follow Alexander's tracks.

Date: Fri, 1 Mar 1996 15:12:22 -0700
From: taylord@spot.Colorado.EDU (Deb Taylor)
Subject: Re: Coddington Extremely Predjudiced?

Jeff writes:

"Not to reopen this endless controversy, but it's worth noting again Pfanz's excellent point, which no one seems to have thought of before him. Longstreet, McLaws, their staffs, etc., weren't brain-damaged or temporarily blinded. The reason is lost to history, but we have to assume that they determined that there was SOME reason they thought they would not be able to follow Alexander's tracks."

If we are still talking about the countermarch...and excuse me if we are not, Longstreet needed to find a route for his troops that allowed them to move unobserved by the enemy.


Date: Fri, 01 Mar 1996 15:03:39 -0600
From: jeff beckner
Subject: Re: Coddington Extremely Predjudiced?

Deb Taylor wrote:
> If we are still talking about the countermarch...and excuse me if we are > not, Longstreet needed to find a route for his troops that allowed them to > move unobserved by the enemy.

Right -- but any earlier post wondered why Longstreet couldn't have taken the same route that Alexander obviously had taken, since he wouldn't have wanted to be observed any more than Longstreet. If it was good enough for EPA, why wasn't it good enough for Peter? I'm saying that we'll never know, but there must SOME reason.

Date: Fri, 1 Mar 1996 16:14:23 -0500
From: (Ken Miller)
Subject: Re: Coddington Extremely Predjudiced?

Hello again on the cannon tracks issue.

Could Longstreet have known how large a movement went down the road ahead of him?

Did he know that this movement was undetected?

The answer probably is, they saw the tracks and were still concerned that the troops would be seen if they followed the tracks. I have not seen the ground (except from the excellent photo on the home page). Is this reasonable?

Kenneth G. Miller

Date: Fri, 1 Mar 1996 15:40:13 -0700
From: taylord@spot.Colorado.EDU (Deb Taylor)
Subject: Re: Coddington Extremely Predjudiced?

>Right -- but any earlier post wondered why Longstreet couldn't have >taken the same route that Alexander obviously had taken, since he >wouldn't have wanted to be observed any more than Longstreet. If it was >good enough for EPA, why wasn't it good enough for Peter? I'm saying >that we'll never know, but there must SOME reason.

Yes...we will never know.
I just assumed that things had changed by the time Longstreet had to move, and perhaps, EPA and his limbers took advantage of a "window" that was not available later.


Date: Fri, 1 Mar 1996 17:29:22 -0600
From: (Alexander Cameron)
Subject: Re: Coddington Extremely Predjudiced?

Hi Ken,
Don't give up on Coddington, it is really a good book. One thing about discussing these issues on the internet is that whatever you say will get the scrutiny of over 200 folks who will be more than glad to show you the error of your ways. Coddington may have had a few people read his drafts but certainly it hasn't had the "pounding" that stuff here gets. Having said that, I can't tell you the number of times I have gone to Coddington and been amazed at his insight and balance. Coddington is using some license when he talks about giving up command but I just rose to the "extremely prejudiced" line.

As for the countermarch, it is really a fascinating subject, isn't it? As you can see from the web page, we have been up and down this road (pun intended) many times. I may be the last guy in this group who still thinks Longstreet was not executing with alacrity during this phase of the battle. I certainly don't believe that he "lost" the Battle of Gettysburg because of it but I am still resisting what feels like a movement to the position where Longstreet is not culpable for any of the mistakes made on the field. The answer is usually in the middle. I note in some of the other posts by the Longstreet fans on the cannon tracks issue that "we'll never know, but there must SOME reason". [Jeff] We are really reaching to absolve Longstreet of any culpability. The pendulum has really swung on this issue. Can we not believe that the man might have made some mistakes on the field that day? If Alexander could reconnoiter that route, there is a strong argument that Longstreet (and/or his staff) could have done it. In fact, Alexander wrote that he went back and showed the staff where he turned off for goodness sakes. McLaws and Johnson rode around and then McLaws told Longstreet that they would have to go back by countermarching. Longstreet agreed to it. Longstreet was the Lieutenant General. Longstreet was in charge. Longstreet was responsible. They missed an opportunity. Longstreet agreed to a time consuming countermarch. I think he is as responsible for that as anyone could be. Doesn't mean that he was the reason for the Confederate loss at Gettysburg but why are we trying so hard to absolve him of everything now?
I know who was on LRT observing and signalling and when and for how long and I'm sure not aware of any "window that was not available later" [Deb]. How about a little research before we go grasping for straws. If we can defend Longstreet with guesses now, I'm not to sure we should blame poor ole Coddington if he makes a few assumptions. Ken, there are some pretty good primary sources who thought Longstreet was not acting with his usual "fire". G. Moxley Sorrel was a fan of Longstreet's. He was his Chief of Staff at Gettysburg. We're not talking about Jubal Early here. Here is what Longstreet's own Chief wrote, "As Longstreet was not to be made willing and Lee refused to change or could not change [the plan, awc] the former failed to conceal some anger. There was apparently apathy in his movements. They lacked the fire and point of his usual bearing on the battlefield." Sorrel goes on to state that he thought the loss of the campaign was due to the absence of Stuart's cavalry but the point is that this loyal officer of James Longstreet thought that he was moving with "apathy".

As usual, you make some good points in support of your argument but some of them need a little work. Ole Pete wrote "Under the conduct of the reconnoitering officer, our march seemed slow- there were some halts and countermarches. To save time, I ordered the lead division to double on the front..." and you wrote "He took command once he realized that Johnston was in over his head (as Johnston freely admitted)". Longstreet moved Hood out of column much later during the countermarch. They were not following Capt. Johnson at that point. They were taking the route suggested by McLaws and McLaws was leading because he asked to and Longstreet had agreed to it way back near the Black Horse Tavern even though Longstreet had suggested that Hood lead at that point. In one of your other posts you wrote "Longstreet was in unfamiliar territory and relied on Captain Johnston (who had been over the ground) to lead him. I think everyone agrees that Johnston didn't know where he was going, however, I believe that Johnston had never been down by Black Horse Tavern. It looks like that he went straight back to the Seminary after he recrossed the Emmitsburg Road (for us folks who believe he ever crossed it). Perhaps he should have but we don't know what Lee told him to do. I'm not sure he was told to reconnoiter a route to get the Corps around unobserved. I think he went over there looking for the enemy (agree that he didn't do a very good job of it) but there is a difference. However, Longstreet had his own Engineer Officer on that recon. Consequently, I'm slow to blame all this mess on Johnson. Longstreet had an opportunity to recon this route with his own assets and did not. Longstreet was the Lieutenant General. Longstreet was... opps, I already said that didn't I?


Date: Fri, 1 Mar 1996 22:12:20 -0500
From: Susan & Eric Wittenberg
Subject: Re: Thomas Bio of Lee

At 02:04 PM 3/1/96 -0500, you wrote:
> I am not afraid that I will have to speak in defense of Thomas, I am >pleased to do so. The Thomas bio of Lee is not well rounded but it does focus >on two important, central facts of Lee's personality. Lee was a man who >practiced strict control of himself and only on rare occasions allowed the >inner man to appear. Also, he was a man firmly committed to duty as he saw it. >Lee would have agreed fully with Stonewall that "Duty is the most sublime word >in the English language."
> These characteristics of control and duty are a part of Lee's religious >and social heritage; these are the things a Gentleman did at that time and >place. These are characteristics promoted by the Calvinism by which Lee was >guided in his religious devotions. A quick note. Calvinism is not limited to >denominational lables such as Presbyterian. Nineteenth Century Episcopalians, >such as Lee, were generally of the low church, Calvinistic tradition. >Remember, Lee called himself an "evangelical Christian", a term which meant >"Calvinist" then, not what Pat Robertson would have it mean now.

I agree. The other thing that I liked about it, unlike the sainted figure that Freeman created, is the fact that Thomas does a good job of showing that Lee was a human being, who put his pants on one leg at a time, that he had a sense of humor, and that he was a bit of a ladies' man. No other biography of Lee that I have read, and I've read a few, including Freeman's, have ever portrayed this human side of the man. As a biographer myself of a man almost as guarded as Lee, I know from first-hand experience how difficult this task can be. In my opinion, this makes the book worth reading in and of itself.

Eric Wittenberg

Date: Fri, 1 Mar 1996 22:07:18 -0500
From: Susan & Eric Wittenberg
Subject: Re: Coddington Extremely Predjudiced?

Dave Powell wrote:
>I'd also look at the context of the time frame Coddington wrote those >passages. Accepted historical wisdom found much to fault Longstreet for, more >than Coddington includes, I think. Later scholarship has modified that >approach considerably, but much of that came 10-20 years after Coddington's >publication (1968.)

> >As I read various authors on this subject in chronological order, I'm struck >by how much opinion has evolved. For instance, had Robert Krick come along in >the 1950's, his take on Longstreet at GB would have seemed harsh but well >founded on historical fact. In the 1990's, however, it seems a throwback, and >scholarship like Garrett Piston's has done much to speed that evolution.

> >Like you, I'm less convinced that Longstreet was acting improperly than most >accounts accuse him of. On the whole, however, this is a best a minor >contention with Coddington - in fact I, like Bill C., regard the book as a >very fair and evenhanded piece of work overall.

> >Dave Powell

> > I wholeheartedly agree with Dave. For example, if one wants to see bias, read the Comte de Paris history. Or better still, read some of the other primary source accounts, like Doubleday's. The only more objective study of this battle that I have ever seen is Pfanz's work.

Eric Wittenberg

Date: Sat, 2 Mar 1996 10:45:26 -0600
From: lawrence (Dennis Lawrence)
Subject: More Gburg Net Stuff

Greetings :

Someone wrote recently of petitioning C-Span to do Tom Desjardin's book, _Stand Firm..._ Below is the c-span address for viewer suggestions.

Other Book related Net material:

Chapter one and table of contents from -

Emory Thomas' _Robert E. Lee:

David Herbert Donald's _Lincoln_

Kent Gramm's _Gettysburg: A Meditation on War and Values_

Carl Von Clausewitz's _On War_

Member Jim Epperson's ongoing construction of documents relating to the start of the Civil War.

Some of you do not have the capability to surf the net. I have downloaded each of the above book chapters and will gladly e-mail you text versions.


Date: Sun, 3 Mar 1996 09:49:25 -0800
From: (Steve Haas)
Subject: Re: Yikes!!

Hey, Bill, I have a question for you. I have a friend in the 33rd Wisconsin whose premise is that Chamberlain and the 20th Maine would have been nothing if it hadn't been for Shaara's book. Shaara built their reputation, for reasons of his own?

I never really thought about this, but it seems right to me. There were a lot of other actions in the battle with just as much drama. Why the 20th Maine? What do you think?

Steve Haas

Date: Sun, 3 Mar 1996 15:16:41 -0600
From: (Alexander Cameron)
Subject: Re: Yikes!!

Hi Steve,
Obviously, Shaara's book gave the tale a shot in the arm and his work is responsible for the movie and the resulting current interest. However, Chamberlain and the 20th Maine had quite a popularity long before Shaara. A few examples are the fact that the 20th Maine is one of only two regiments to have their own articles in the Gettysburg section of B&L. Capt. Judson, in his regimental history of the 83rd Penn., spends almost as much time talking about the 20th Maine in the Gettysburg chapter as he does the 83rd Penn. (a real disappointment for me when I bought the book). Also, in my copy of the 118th Penn. regimental history, I noticed that they had Chamberlain do the introduction. Pullen's regimental history pre-dates the Shaara book by several years.
But having said that, Shaara certainly had an impact on the way we see Chamberlain. As a side note, the U.S. Army had the story of the 20th Maine printed in their leadership manual for many years. I think it went in there in the early 80's. I know I read it in 1984 when I was getting ready to command my battalion. It was influenced by _Killer Angels_ but they used Pullen's work as their main source. It was a VERY romanticized version. I used to have to endure versions of this tale told by some pretty senior Army leaders. The story just got better and better until they practically had Chamberlain flying down the spur with his bayonet between his teeth. However, it doesn't hurt to have heros.


Date: Sun, 3 Mar 1996 15:24:08 -0600 (CST)
From: "James F. Epperson"
Subject: Re: Yikes!!

If I may offer my thoughts (not being Bill ) . . .

I suppose, insofar as the "popular" view is concerned, that Shaara's book really did "create" the 20th Maine/Chamberlain image. However, Pullen's book on the 20th Maine predates Shaara's novel by many years, and I personally first became aware of Chamberlain when I read Bruce Catton's GLORY ROAD in high school, which was a year I will not reveal here . Suffice it to say that it also predated Shaara's book. Anyway, Catton's prose describing the Oates-Chamberlain battle is some of his best (high praise indeed) and it was here that I was hooked on Chamberlain. In fact, if truth be known, I bought Shaara's book because I already knew who Chamberlain was, and wanted to see how this novel developed his story.

Jim Epperson Message-Id: <> To: Date: Sun, 3 Mar 1996 16:57:07 -0500
Subject: Re: Yikes!!


Yes indeed, Pullen's "Twentieth Maine" was really the commencement of the current fascination with Chamberlain, fueled by Shaara and by the "Gettysburg" film.... When all is said and done, it is, I think, Chamberlain's postwar writings, his vesting of those terrible events with an almost spiritual significance, that is his greatest, and perhaps most deserved claim to fame. You know, words such as "In great deeds something abides" and his appeal to "Generations who know us not and who we know not of" -- he seems at times to be speaking, or perhaps preaching, to those of us who feel drawn to that time, today.

The truth of what happened on LRT is only now emerging -- and if it lessens Chamberlain's role as a great commander, or a tactical genius, it does not detract from that other aspect of his life and thought.


Date: 03 Mar 96 17:18:26 EST
From: Graham.St.John@VALLEY.NET (Graham St. John)
Subject: Re: Yikes!!

I have to say I disagree with you that "The killer Angels" really made the 20th famous. Chamberlain is known, at least to the people I've spoken with as the union hero of Gettysburg. Another factor, I think is Chamberlains promotion to Major General by U.S. Grant after he was dying at Petersbur,g and being the acceptor of the confederate surrender at Appomattox. I think that Chamberlain himself not the book made the 20th famous.

Graham St. John

Date: Sun, 3 Mar 1996 20:17:45 -0500
Subject: Re: Yikes!!


I'd argue that Shaara revived an old issue, but he didn't invent it. Norton's Attack and Defense has a lot to say about Vincent, Chamberlain, et. al.

In fact, however, from a tactical standpoint, Chamberlain's actions with the 20th Maine that afternoon are almost textbook examples of what to do right. The army routinely focuses on successful small unit actions as learning tools: actions such as the 20th's are bound to get noticed in that context.

Shaara certainly helped the action catch fire in the popular mind, however - just as he did with Longstreet. That is, after all, the novelist's job - find the drama and tell it well.

Dave Powell

Date: Sun, 3 Mar 96 22:38 EST
From: John Kelly
Subject: Re: Yikes!!

At 04:57 PM 3/3/96 -0600, Bill wrote:
>Brian wrote:
> >>I think, Chamberlain's postwar writings, his vesting of those terrible >events with an almost spiritual significance, that is his greatest, and >perhaps most deserved claim to fame.

> >Hi Brian,
>> Good point. The guy could write couldn't he? The paragraph headings in >"Through Blood and Fire at Gettysburg" (THE COLORS STAND ALONE; MY LIFE >HANGS ON AN IMPULSE; THE LAST CARTRIDGE AND BARE STEEL) are enough to make >me want to stand at attention when I read it.


> > To Bill and Brian,

It could also be that Chamberlain's action on LRT of extending and refusing his flank under fire(forget the bayonet charge) was touted as a classic light infantry maneuver by one of my ROTC instructing officers. If I'm not mistaken, it is still used in the teaching of infantry tactics at West Point. At least it was some years ago. The execution of this brilliant tactic by a self-taught volunteer officer could also have helped his fame grow in the popular mind. I know it impresses me!

Jack Kelly

Date: Mon, 4 Mar 1996 16:01:07 -0500
From: (Thad Humphries)
Subject: Re: Yikes!!

Then US Grant must have read Shaara because he promoted Chamberlain to brigadier--no brevet, but *real* brigadier--for bravery after Chamberlain was seriously wounded leading a charge and refusing to leave the field until he collapsed during (I think) Cold Harbor. Recovering when all thought he would die, Chamberlain was later brevetted major general and choosen to receive the surrender of the ANV at Appomattox.

No doubt in my mind that Lawernce and the 20th earned their place, with or without Shaara. True other units fought bravely but that shouldn't be used to detract from those with the additional luck of a colorfull commander.

Thad Humphries

Date: Fri, 9 Feb 1996 11:24:08 -0500
From: (Thad Humphries)
Subject: Re: Buford Article Posted

> Eric Wittenberg's article "John Buford and the Gettysburg Campaign" has > been posted. It is accessible from the web site via the _Gettysburg > Magazine_ link.

Thinking of Buford, I did a Web search on "John Buford" and found a short bio by a current Buford under his "Great Bufords of History" page. Some southern Bufords, too. See

Thad Humphries

Date: Mon, 4 Mar 96 21:52 EST
From: John Kelly
Subject: Re: Fog of Battle

At 06:15 PM 3/4/96 +0000, you wrote:
>Norm wrote: >>Why is a contemporary historian of considerable distinction so >>determined to continue the rather silly vendettas of 125 years ago?

> >I think I can answer that, Norm - because he has a lot of fun doing >it. I've spent a lot of time around Bob Krick, enduring much ribbing >about being both a North Carolinian and a lawyer (the butts of Bob's >favorite jokes). He is a wonderful tour guide and an excellent writer, >but I think he genuinely enjoys getting the Longstreet people riled >up just for the sake of fun.

> >Don't get me wrong; I think Bob honestly believes alot of the things >he says about Longstreet. It's the intensity of his criticism that I >often believe is done solely for effect. I think anyone who's ever >met Bob on a tour would understand what I mean; sometimes he seems to >be having too much fun to be completely serious...

> This is my feeling, also. Much of the Longstreet bashing is done for effect at the tours which I have attended with Bob Krick, probably a means of getting the participants involved. Incidentally, he did the same thing with Jeb Stuart when he found several members of one tour to be descendants of the cavalry leader.

Jack Kelly

Date: Wed, 6 Mar 1996 22:00:00 -0800
From: (Bill and Glenna Christen )
Subject: Gettysburg map

Ladies and gentlemen...

With much discussion on troop movement and locations I am suggestiing another map source:
GMT Games has published a board game, "The Three Days of Gettysburg" by Richard Berg. It is a regimental level simulation of your favorite three days in history. Even if you have no intention of gaming, the beautifully executed 3' x 4' map (in three sections) will help bring some of our discussions off the tube and right onto your diningroom table. This will have to do until you can get out in the field.

The cartographer, Rick Barber, took the terrain data from a recent set of topographic maps, and from a 1925 map lent to him by a battlefield guide (Dr, Charles Fennell). The 1868/69 Warren Survey map was used to put in the details of farmhouses and buildings, fences, and woods. He even had access to a "triptik" drawn by Jed Hotchiss in the winter of 1863 for a proposed Lee/Jackson tour. He also spent hundreds of hours roaming the battlefied checking lines of sight, slopes, and trails. Mr. Barber's great-great uncle got to see the same sights earlier with the 1st Brigade, 3rd Division, 11th Corps.

So for less than $50 you can get a good map and a bunch of little counters that you can move around to see just where everybody was, or could have been going. The set-ups for the different scenarios are a good tool to use to learn the troop positions and organizations. Unfortunately, there are counters only for the Brigade and above officers...Oates is left out again. There is a counter for each regiment and battery. The maps may be available by themselves.

The "he-men" who come over to my house on Thursdays to play the game are into the afternoon of the first day. The 1lth Corps decided to head straight for Cemetery Hill and is digging breastworks in front of Culps Hill. While the 1st Corps slowly retreats back to Cemetery Ridge. Ewell is is being "if practicable."

Hope you haven't minded this short diversion from our excellent debates. The address fot GMT is:

PO BOX 1308
Hanford, CA 93232
(800) 523-6111

Anyone else playing the game may want to contact me privately.

Bill Christen

Date: Thu, 7 Mar 1996 09:24:06 -0500
From: (Scott Hartwig)
Subject: Gods & Generals

I finally got a chance to sit down with an advance copy of Jeff Shaara's GODS & GENERALS last night and if I can do this a few more times and get through it I'll try and pass along some insightful words. Having read the first 200 pages (out of 500) I can only make a few comments...

The book stretches from 1858 through Chancellorsville and examines the war through the experiences of four men - Lee, Jackson, Chamberlain and Hancock. It attempts to recreate the style of writing that Michael Shaara used in KILLER ANGELS. The publisher plans a big send-off around the July 4th weekend but may release it in time for father's day.

The first 200 pages (at least) is slow going. A good friend who is quite a connoisseur of Civil War literature gave up at page 132 saying it was too dull. This is especially true of the pre-war years where Shaara injects tremendously detail into mundane events making the reader want to skip a dozen pages or so to get to the exciting, or at least interesting, part.

Shaara does not understand the 19th Century. He uses phrases such as "big-time" and mentions 20th century constructions such as potholes. I almost expected the Chamberlains to share a "high-five". The key to the success of a novel is that the reader is drawn in to the story almost feeling as if they are there, but Shaara fails to develop this illusion by missing the little things. For example, everyone seems to ride everywhere by going to the depot and taking a coach as if trains weren't invented yet or were not the primary means of transportation.

Those who have criticized KILLER ANGELS for embellishing events - i.e. making more of the Hancock and Armistead story than really occured - will howl at some of GODS & GENERALS' inventions. Where the elder Shaara took a kernel of truth from a story and exaggerated it to paint a portrait, the younger Shaara simply invents circumstances, such as a mythical hunting experience involving Tom & Josh Chamberlain. Josh once wrote that he was "unable to shoot a bird in the woods" but Shaara has him pulling the trigger on a huge buck.

"The devil is in the details" and making a good historical novel click means getting the small but significant details correct. But Shaara misses many of these. For example (p. 105)...

"On April 20, the same day Lee sent his letter of resignation to General Scott, the Virginia Convention, in response to the President's call for troops voted overwhelmingly to secede from the Union." The Virginia Convention voted on April 17, something Lee was well aware of when he penned his resignation three days later. This may seem a small matter, but given the enormous amount of attention paid to these three days in Lee's life it strains credibility to miss such a point.

In reference to Chamberlain (whom I know more of than the other three main characters) Shaara obviously did not delve deeply, if at all, into the relationships of the Maine people he writes of. One example - he places Chamberlain in the governor's office having to be introduced to Adj. Gen. Hodsdon, a man he had known for years. This and other such faux pas show that the author did little in the way of homework.

In short, the book (thus far at least) does not have the pull that KILLER ANGELS had on its readers. Partly because it is about less rivetting events and partly because the younger author failed to understand the people, events, and atmosphere of which he writes.

When more time allows more reading I'll try to provide more information.

Tom Desjardin

Date: Wed, 6 Mar 1996 09:25:03 -0500
From: (Scott Hartwig)
Subject: 4th Alabama Book

Jeff Stocker just walked in and presented his new book on the 4th Alabama (Law's brigade). It is the memoirs of R.T. Coles, the adjutant of the regiment.

Ed Bearss - "Coles's History, edited by Jeffrey Stocker, is a fourfold barnburner. It is a story of one of the Confederacy's premier fighting units. Coles was there, and his manuscript, never before published, tells it like it was. Unlike too many post-Civil War regimentals and reminiscences it is graceful, narrative history at its best, while stocker's notes inform but do not overwhelm."

I have read Coles' Gettysburg manuscript and found it VERY interesting.

From Huntsville to Appomattox: R.T. Coles' History of the 4th Regiment, Alabama Volunteer Regiment.
University of Tennessee Press (Voices of the CW series)
ISBN 0-87049-924-6 316 pages, photos, notes, index.

It is kind of a bright green color on the shelf.

Tom Desjardin

Date: Fri, 8 Mar 1996 11:54:26 -0500
From: (Thad Humphries)
Subject: To Hold This Ground

Here's a book recommendation for kids about 5th thru 8th grades: _To Hold This Ground_ by Susan Provost Beller (in hard cover, Simon & Schuster, 1995, ISBN 0-689-50621, about 90 pages). It tells about the fight at Little Round Top between the 20th Maine and 15th Alabama. What makes the book so good it that it alternates telling the story between Chamberlain and Oates. It traces each officer's career before the war, talks about how each regiment was raised, what the regiments did prior to Gettysburg, the fight, then a brief looks at the rest of the war. It ends with a look at both Chamberlain and Oates post-war lives. Very good, very balanced. A fine tribute to all engaged.

Thad Humphries

Date: Sun, 10 Mar 1996 23:14:26 EST


I first became acquainted with a Trailhead Graphics Map on a trip to Shiloh National Military Park about a year ago. I was so impressed by it, that I wrote the company and asked if they had one on Gettysburg. I received a cordial note in response informing me they planned to publish their Gettysburg map in Summer of '95 (which they did) and a series of 16-18 similar type CW battlefield maps in the future. A wonderful feature of these maps is that they are printed on a special waterproof, tear-proof material. (Great for those slightly damp/torrential downpour days we sometimes experience exploring the sacred ground!)
The Gettysburg map includes complete listings and locations of the over 430 monuments and 410 markers and tablets on the field, the Order of Battle, and detailed maps of Cemetery Ridge, the Valley of Death, Devil's Den, the Wheatfield and the East Cavalry Battlefield.
You can order the Gettysburg map ($8.95 plus postage and handling) by writing to:

Trailhead Graphics, Inc.
P.O. Box 472991
Aurora, CO 80047
(303) 766-7015

Other Trailhead CW battlefield maps currently available are:
#101 Kennesaw Mountain NBP $6.95
#102 Shiloh NMP $6.95
#103 Wilson's Creek NB $6.95
#104 Gettysburg NMP $8.95
(Fredericksburg was to be published early fall of '95).

Postage and handling (All maps shipped USPS) prices are:
1 map $1.00
2-4 maps $3.00
5-10 maps $4.00
11+ maps $5.00
I've also seen them being sold at The Horse Soldier and various other shops in and around the Gettysburg area.

Eileen M. Murphy


Hello group!

While on a trek to the big city I found a book at Borders on Gettysburg written for children entitled "Thunder at Gettysburg". The author is Patricia Lee Gauch and there are many fine black and white illustrations by Stephen Gammell. The book was originally published in 1974 and this paperback edition was printed in 1994.

The book views the battle of Gettysburg through the eyes of a young girl who,on July 1 is sent by her parents in the burg to the nearby Weikert farm to escape the impending battle but finds herself in the middle of the battle as it ranges around the Weikert farm on July 2d

The book is very engrossing. My wife read it to our son and daughter tonight and my wife (who is not a Gettysburg afficiando(although she did cry at Picketts charge during the movie)) got teary eyed.I had already read the book to the kids before and they still loved it. I highly recommend it.

According to the author the book was based on the book written by Tillie Pierce Alleman in 1889 entitled "At Gettysburg. Or What I saw and heard at the Battle of Gettysburg". I presume that Ms. Alleman along with many other civilians were in the house as the battle raged on. Can any of our in-house (pardon the poor pun) experts expound as to the fighting around the Weikert house and the civilians inside?

One last note, in the book the author refers to:

" Soldiers were running down from the gap next to Little Round Top - Rebel Soldiers."

Is the gap referred to part of the fiction or is there a gap? If the latter,where is the gap located ? Maybe one of you could point it out to me at 6am 6/1/96.

Thanks for your help.
Michael Gallagher


Mike wrote:

One last note, in the book the author refers to:

" Soldiers were running down from the gap next to Little Round Top - Rebel Soldiers."

Is the gap referred to part of the fiction or is there a gap? If the latter, where is the gap located ? Maybe one of you could point it out to me at 6am 6/1/96.

Thanks for your help.
Michael Gallagher

Mike, One can assume that she is talking about the "gap" between the two Round Tops. Not sure "gap" is the best description but it makes sense to me.



At 09:49 AM 4/17/96 -0500, you wrote:

Brent D Gaddie says:

I am currently researching and writing a paper on the 20th Maine's action at Gettysburg. I was wondering if anyone has any information about where I could find a roster of combats and casualties for the 20th during Gettysburg. Thank You.

You should start by reading Stand Firm Ye Boys from Maine - The 20th Maine and the Gettysburg Campaign by Thomas A. Desjardins Gettysburg, Pa. (1995) 239 pages, photos, maps $28.00

You can obtain it from Thomas Publications, or from Guidon Books ( that's me)L

Gordon Dudley
Guidon Books
7117 West Main Street
Scottsdale, AZ 85251
(602) 945-8811
(602) 946-0521 Fax


Also from the U. S. Civil War Center site there are two contacts for some information on the 20th Maine. The e-mail address are: (20th ME Infantry) or (20th ME Inf'y Vols. Co.A and 20th ME Sharpshooters Co.B). These individuals are listed under the regiments contact list. I have not attempted contacting anyone on that list. Hope it helps.


From: "John A. Leo"

Does anyone know the history and relationships among the Bachelder, Warren, and Cope Maps of the Battlefield? Were the later two derived wholely or partially from the Bachelder map? Are there disagreements among them? How critically have they been examined for completeness and accuracy?

How does the Trailhead map compare with these three?

THANKS for the help and ideas.
John Leo



Frassanito in his new book Early Photography at Gettysburg does for cartography of the Adams county/Gettysburg area, what he has been doing for years for Gettysburg photos; ie he gives an exhaustive in depth analysis of the various maps of Gettysburg. He explains their origins, descent and relationships to earlier maps, and their influence in the creation of later maps that followed. I don't have time right now to specifically answer your questions. If you don't want to buy the book or can't locate it where you are, post back and I will excerpt the specific answers you inquire about.

For now, let me give you specific citations:

Table of contents: "Early Cartography and the Gettysburg Battlefield" (pg7-19)pg 10: Heading: Post-Battle Cartography, Subheading: The 1863 Cope Map. pg 14: The Bachelder Isometrical Map. pg 16: The Warren Map.

(a quick quote from the above to give you a 'taste' of the information...from pg 17:)

"The potential afforded by the Warren map's unparalleled detail and cartographic accuracy was fully appreciated by John B. Bachelder, who in 1874 arranged with the War Department to produce three reduced-scale versions of the map, one for each day's fighting and incorporating Bachelder's extensive research data concerning troop positions.

The publication of the latter project in 1876 would for all practical purposes, signal the obsolescence of Bachelder's "isometrical drawing" as the most uthoritative map of the battlefield available to the public.'

Terry Moyer


John, you wrote:

Thanks for taking the time to supply the info Terry. I'll find and purchase the book. But how does this fellow COPE fit into all this. By implication, he must have followed Warren's work.

John Leo

I can understand your confusion regarding Emmor B. Cope and the chronology of the maps of the Gettysburg battlefield. When the Gettysburg Battlefield Memorial Association ceded their holdings to the U.S. Government, a 3 man commission was appointed by the War Department to oversee the development of the military Park. In addition to the 3 man commission (one of the original commissioners being John B. Bachelder) an appointment was also made naming Cope as the official civil engineer of the park. To quote Frassanito once again (pg 11):

"More than one of the detailed maps of the Gettysburg National Military Park produced about the turn of the century wee rendered under Cope's direct supervision, much of the work being done by Cope personally."

Cope DID perform the first official U.S. Army survey of the battlefield in 1863. I don't know what book you are studying right now, which has apparently aroused your interest in the subject of the cartography of the field. Whatever references you are seeing in the book, that concern Cope, it is probably his later (much later - circa 1893 until his death in 1927) association with the Gettysburg Park Commission that is confusing you about map chronologies.

Cope had a great influence on the construction of the park "...designing and constructing the numerous government tablest, bridges, towers, etc.,which to this day still adorn the best-marked battlefield in the world."

Cope outlived the 3 commissioners and upon the death of the last commissioner he became the first superintendent of the GNMP. He died in 1927 and is buried in Evergreen Cemetery.

(For those taking the Cemetery tour at the muster, Copes grave will be one of the stops; as well as the final resting place of David Wills and John Burns)

At the battle of Gettysburg, Cope was part of Warren's staff and according to Frassanito, he was assigned to make an official survey of the Gettysburg Battlefield for the U.S. army. This is the origin of the 1863 map.

Frassanito devotes almost 20 pages to outlining the pedigrees of the various maps of the field. The topic, like the rest of Frass' book is extremely interesting and enlightening. To explain the relationships of Cope's, Warrens, and Bachelder's maps would require typing in almost everything Frassanito has to say. I hope what little I have outlined here will at least orient you a bit to how the maps all fit together.

Warrens map was produced by an all new survey of the field, commenced in 1868. There were some inaccuracies in the resulting maps, involving tenants in houses at the time of the survey vs during the battle. Also new construction was included on the maps, etc. Bachelder used the Warren maps as the base maps for his troop movement diagrams, and corrected some of the data on the maps where the errors were known. Bachelders maps were produced in 1876 and these are the ones that Morningside ships with Volume 1 of the Bachelder Papers.

I can't recommend Frass' book Early Photograpy at Gettysburg highly enough. It belongs on every Gburg afficianos' bookshelf.

Terry Moyer


>>>Please froward to any appropriate groups/e-mail addresses<<

The FRIENDS OF THE NATIONAL PARKS AT GETTYSBURG have funded a project at the Gettysburg battlefield which will create detailed topographical maps showing hour-by-hour troop positions and movements. These maps will show period treelines, farms, and fences, and will accompany a printed reference volume.

The projected completion date is September 1996.

These maps will aid the Park staff in interpreting the battle while also aiding the FRIENDS and other preservation groups by providing clear, concise, and useful information on the land over which the first day was fought.

Anyone who can provide specific information that can help identify positions and movements of troops, or any other pertinent data may contact as below:

Library, Gettysburg National Park, Gettysburg, PA 17325
Your help will be greatly appreciated.



I am aware of many more signal stations than I have ever seen located on any map. Are you interested in identifying the signal stations? If so, I will be glad to provide that information.

There were several stations for day one and many more for the other two days.



Dear Thad and Ken,

Another Gettysburg book for children is from the "Great Battles" series entitled "Gettysburg", authored by William West and published by the World Publishing Company in 1966. The book features many color and b/w photos of toy soldier and military miniature dioramas. The Library of Congress catalog card # is 66-15989. The book is, unfortunatley, biased toward the Union, as illustrated by the following photo caption:

"Buford's cavalry is made up of tough, hard- fighting men. They will give these brazen Rebels the welcome they deserve..."

Another book I have recently purchased for my children is "The Battle of Gettysburg" authored by Niel Johnson which is illustrated with photographs from the 125th anniversary reenactment. The book was published by Simon and Schuster Books for Young Readers in 1989.

For those of the group that might be interested in recreating Gettysburg or other Civil War battles with their children, the German toy company, Playmobil, makes a series of Civil War toy soldiers including a Union Artillery set, a Confederate artillery set, a union cavalry set and a confederate set "the Virginia Mountain Boys" which includes a covered wagon. These toys are multi colored hard plastic and come with many interchargeable accesories and weapons. They are not exactly historically accurate but they are very attractive and alot of fun for the kids (and dad too). My son's favorite piece is a union general which he has named General Buford, even though the toy, with its gray beard, looks more like General Lee in a blue uniform.

Michael Gallagher


Thad wrote:

Sounds like a good idea for a open post discussion. I would recommend two--for a abbreviated one, check the GB web pages. They've one extracted from somewhere (I can't recall) but it's very good, readable, and you can't beat the price (unless you try to access it by cell phone while on the drive instead of printing it). I take the Army War College's guide book with me (authors?). It, and the one for Fredricksburg-Chancellorsville-Wilderness are very nice. Clear directions, explainations, and excerpts from battle reports. I wish they took their students more places so they would write more books!


I believe that Ken was talking about a "air burning" guide but since you brought but the Army War College Guide, I can give you some information about it. It was written by Professor Jay Luvaas and Col. (later Brig. Gen.) Harold Nelson. There are several other guides by the same two fellows.

Frededricksburg-Chancellorsville... (as you mentioned) and South Mountain-Antietam. I know they were working on Atlanta and another fellow was doing Shilo in the same format. Both of these individuals are truly great Civil War historians.

Jay recently retired and is living in Carlisle and I believe that general Nelson just retired also. As a War College grad, I spent a lot of time visiting the battlefields with these two gentlemen and they are friends of mine. You can't do much better for a detailed guide using first hand accounts.



Pat -

There are two books which are good descriptions of the hospitals and other aftermath events and issues.

1) A VAST SEA OF MISERY - re: hospitals
2) A STRANGE AND BLIGHTED LAND - re: aftermath as a whole

Both are by Greg Coco and both are available through Thomas publications - 1-800-840-6782.



In his 1987 Oxford U Press "Ghosts of the Confederacy" - a great book - Gaines M Foster sees a specific role for B&L.

"The single most important series in the new journalistic homage to the South appeared in The Century between 1884 & 1887. Its 'B & L of the CW' presented a wide-ranging history of the conflict in a series of articles by authors from both sides. 'No time could be fitter,' the editors maintained in introducing the series, 'for a publication of this kind than the present, when the passions and prejudices of the CW have nearly faded out of politics, and its heroic events are passing into our common history where motives will be weighed without malice, and valor praised without distinction of uniform.' The editors worked hard, however, to ensure that the series engendered no passions or prejudices of the war. They rejected the proposed title of 'Men & Events' because 'events' might have suggested they 'were going into, say, the condition and actions of the freedmen - the Emancipation Proclamation - and other events not connected with battles.' These "political questions" were the very questions they wanted to avoid.

To promote reconciliation, the editors instead stressed 'the contemplation of sacrifice, resourcefulness, and bravery in foes.' They instructed authors to 'give the non-military reader a vivid idea of the actual conflict of arms - of the picturesque features of the battle, special incidents of gallant conflict, in short the characteristics of the engagement - its color as well as its form.' Everything, a cynic might add, but its cause and its gore. In giving 'the characteristics of the engagement,' the editors added, authors should avoid the 'official report style' and 'give, as it were in fatigue dress, such facts as you would be likely to state if you should set out to the tell the story of the battle to your own family about your fireside.'

The articles in the two-year series, therefore, ignored or soft-pedaled divisive issues and instead emphasized the experience of battle itself. Southerners welcomed them for that reason and because they provided additional testimony of northern respect for southern military efforts.

Ben Maryniak


On Tue, 16 Apr 1996, (Ken Miller) wrote: (Ken Miller) says:

Dave Navarre <> says:

suzanne wrote:

"The stone was is there, in real life, now as we speak. I think the vets of the battle erected it to show where there line was..."

I understand that neither of the stone walls on Vincent's Spur accurately reflect the line of the 20th Maine (see Tom's map in the back of his book), and were erected by the caretakers of the battlefield, not the vets (some of whom may have been miffed by the impression that they had a nice three-foot wall to hide behind and pick off Johnny Reb.)

Dave N

Hi Dave and Suzanne:

I believe Tom's book makes this point also. I was wondering where Burns filmed the wall that appearred in series.

This is important in the sense that Burn's image is the only one the average person will carry away about JLC and the 20th ME's repulse, and they go away thinking the 20th Me was dug in behind fat rocks on the high ground. It ain't true. The wall was not there. Note howerver, that a wall was used by Co. B. They fired at Oates treating men from the stone wall down the hill.

The one down by Co. B looked remarkably like the one in the film.


Kenneth G. Miller
Professor of Geological Sciences
Wright Lab Room 246, Taylor Rd.
Rutgers University, Piscataway, NJ 08855
ph 908 445 3622 fax 908 445 3374

"It isn't faith that makes good science, it is curiosity." The Day the Earth Stood Still

Dave, Suzanne, Ken and Others in GDG,

It is important that you noted that "...Burn's image is the only one the average person will carry away about JLC and the 20th ME's repulse..." and it is unfortunately true. There are many problems with Burns' Civil War series episode dealing with Gettysburg. Many are noted in a relativelynew book edited by Brent Toplin entitled Ken Burns's The Civil War, Historians Respond. The use of out of context photography is noted and discussed by several of the contributors. Of course Tom Desjardin's Stand Firm points out in Chapter 6 that modern film (via Shaara's Killer Angels) has contributed to perpetuating two major myths about the 20th ME at LRT. First, Tom dispells the myth that the charge of the 20th Maine was an orderly "parade ground maneuver". Secondly, he shows that Chamberlain probably never ordered a charge at least not as has been depicted. Not to be overlooked either is Glenn LaFantasie's The Other Man which focuses more on the actions of the 15th AL Regiment than on the 20th ME.

Another work which deals with misconceptions about the popular historical myths is Gettysburg, A Meditation on War & Values by Kent Gramm. His chapter entitled 'The Round Tops' is excellent.

None of these works point out that Burns misquoted Col. William C. Oates, commander of the 15th Alabama Regiment. By quoting only sentence fragments Burns and some other writers ignore that Oates ordered a retreat that was simultaneous to the 'charge' of the 20th ME. In his book that accompanied the television series Burns also misquoted Col. Oates. He not only repeated the misquote regarding Oates' retreat order but 'manufactured' another. Burns on page 221 'quotes' Oates as having said:

"Within half an hour I could convert Little Round Top (sic) into a Gibraltar that I could hold against ten times the number of men that I had"

It is difficult to know exactly where this quote was supposed to have originated since Burns did not provide proper referencing. However, Oates only published two accounts of his actions at LRT. The first entitled Gettysburg- The Battle on the Right in 1878 in the Southern Historical Society Papers. In that paper Oates noted the potential value of BIG ROUND TOP as an artillery position. Oates' other account of Gettysburg was in his The War Between the Union and the Confederacy published in 1905. This seems to be the source for Burns' 'quote' of Col. Oates. On page 212 Oates says:

"Within half an hour I could convert it into a Gibraltar that I could hold against ten times the number of men that I had, hence in my judgement it should be held and occupied by artillery as soon as possible, as it was higher than the other mountain and would command the entire field."

Here Burns' misquoted by surgically deleting the portion of the sentence that made it clear that Oates was talking about BIG ROUND TOP. Burn's compounded that error by inserting the phrase "Little Round Top" before he passes this off as a quotation. Other examples of such 'quotes' are legion in the PBS Civil War series. Indeed it is unfortunate that many will accept Burns' work without further serious and obviously needed study.

Terry Jackson



I think the erors in Burns series need to be addressed, but I wouldn't want the value of the series to be equated with number of errors found. The work is powerful statement of the way this generation views the war - or is asked to view the war. I think it is quite scholarly in that respect. Sometimes its accessibility to a large audience overshadows this aspect.

The following is a brief bit of a review of a Jim Cullen's , THE CIVIL WAR IN POPULAR CULTURE: A REUSABLE PAST. Washington, D.C.: Smithsonian Institution Press, 1995. X, 253 pp. Notes and index. $29.95. It was reviewed by Richard Lowry, College of William and Mary,on H-CIVWAR.

Anyone desiring the entire review may e-mail me - it is rather lengthy forposting.


"Ken Burns was not simply describing the Civil War; he was also using it to make statements about the present" (Cullen, p. 13). In other words, on one level his documentary made a historical event ideologically "usable": for instance, his largely unromantic stress on the passions, loss, and social upheavals of the Civil War spoke to an audience eager to put in the past an equally traumatic, if materially less devastating, war in Vietnam. On another level, what he was doing was "reusing" (to appropriate the subtitle of the book) a Civil War that had already been "used" by previous popular forms (i.e., "The Twilight Zone") and of course making his version available to future "users."

This is a very provocative idea for a number of reasons. First, it offers a way to take seriously popular versions of the past -- Cullen discusses novels like GONE WITH THE WIND, films, rock music, and reenactors -- as culturally vital historical interpretations. Second, as Cullen tries to demonstrate, the idea of a reusable past applies equally well to "professional" or "academic" historians: no matter how carefully we (I put myself in this group) work toward accuracy and objectivity, we still participate in the "myth-making," or ideological, process of making the past into an image of the present. In short, as cultural products, popular and scholarly versions of the past are very closely related.

Take Care



Ashokan Farewell, the Ken Burns Civil War theme, was written by the musician who recorded most of that soundtrack - I believe Jay Ungar is his name. It's a little town next to a reservoir of the same name in the Catskills near Kingston NY.

Ben Maryniak