Chris Mackowski, Kristopher D. White, and Daniel T. Davis
Savas Beatie, 2016, 170 pp. + 22 pp. introduction, $14.95
Image courtesy of amazon.com
The Emerging Civil War Series has been a collection of excellent books introducing campaigns and battles which are less travelled than some of the major Civil War sites. But recently, the series is tackling the most travelled of all sites: Gettysburg. However, they are going about this in a completely different way than some of the other works in the series. Instead of devoting one book to the Battle of Gettysburg, the authors are splitting up the work into three volumes on the battle and one guide to the campaign as a whole. This treatment from the series not only gives the Emerging Civil War a chance to tackle this popular subject, but also offers some much needed information for those just getting into the realm of Civil War studies.
Chris Mackowski is the editor-in-chief of Emerging Civil War and splits his time between teaching writing at Saint Bonaventura University and Fredericksburg, Virginia where he is the historian in residence. He has worked previously at the Fredericksburg and Spotsylvania National Military Park. Kristopher D. White is the chief historian for the Emerging Civil War and is also a historian for the Penn-Trafford Recreation Board. He is a graduate of Norwich University with a Masters in Military History. Chris Mackowski and Kristopher D. White are co-founders of Emerging Civil War. Daniel Davis is the managing editor of Emerging Civil War and is a graduate of Longwood University with a Bachelors in Public History. He is the co-author of Bloody Autumn: The Shenandoah Valley Campaign of 1864, Hurricane from the Heavens: The Battle of Cold Harbor, May 26-June 5, 1864 and Calamity in Carolina: The Battles of Averasboro and Bentonville.
As it has been with many of the other Emerging Civil War books, this work is well organized to aid the reader in understanding where they are on the field. The chapters are split into the areas of the battle along with pictures of the people who participated and the field itself. One thing which stood out to me in this work was the narrative. After reading many Civil War books, especially books on Gettysburg, there were some parts in the narrative which seemed fresh to me. Through their writing style, the authors were able to make me feel like I was visiting this material for the first time. With the touring directions in the book, this work can very easily be one of the most enjoyable guides on the second day of combat I have read in some time. On top of the fantastic narrative, the book is expanded upon with the excellent appendices. The four appendices each cover a fascinating subject concerning the second day at Gettysburg ranging from the Hero of Little Round Top to the Home of a Rebel Sharpshooter. Readers should note that this book only covers the combat from Little Round Top to Cemetery Ridge. I have no doubt in my mind that these authors will bring us a work concerning the rest of the field including Culp’s Hill. Nevertheless, this is an excellent work and is a great partner to the previous volume on day one of Gettysburg.
I highly recommend this book to anyone interested in the Battle of Gettysburg, especially those who are new to the study. This is a great work to take along with you on the battlefield in order to gain the full experience of the campaign. The Emerging Civil War Series has released yet another good book and I anticipate the book on the third day.