Createspace Publishing, 2013, 564 pgs.
Image courtesy of amazon.com
The topic of this work is quite interesting Did the men of the Army of Northern Virginia have a silent mutiny against Lee during the Gettysburg Campaign? Was there a movement to take him out of his position due to the lack of leadership he was giving during the battle? Was Longstreet, Ewell and Hill qualified to lead the army without the tactics of Lee? All very interesting points the author brings up but never does he answer the questions, at least through the amount I have read.
There is no author biography in the text, but is easily found on amazon. A. Roman is a graduate of American Military University with a Masters in Land Warfare. He is author of another work called “The Art of Betting on Baseball” and is a telecommunications consultant. While I would have liked to learn more about A. Roman, there is just nothing on the man I can find on the internet.
I really wanted to like this book. I enjoy self-published works due to the information these authors want to bring to the realm of scholarship of the field. But in the realm of this book, I could not get into it. I have to be honest when I say that I could not finish this book and barely got past the first hundred pages without throwing it to the side. The first problem I encountered was the foreword to the work which he spent talking about the railroad industry and what it had to do with the Civil War. While this is interesting to talk about, it has nothing to do with the Battle of Gettysburg and the premise of his book. Next, in his introduction, instead of talking about the battle, he talks about the umbrella man in the Kennedy Assassination. Thinking that it could get better, I pushed on and began to read what he had to say about the people who fought in the Army of Northern Virginia since his work was based solely on the mutiny in the Army of Northern Virginia. It takes a lot for me to get frustrated with a book and this one got me frustrated immediately. He states the same quote two different times when describing Richard Ewell from one book, the secondary source of the quote, and then another book, which was the initial creation of the quote. Within the same page, he gives the same quote twice from two different books. While they are both cited, the problem stemmed from when he went from standard endnotes to the parenthetical in text citation. This was not only confusing for the reader, but not to standard for historical writing. Even halfway through the prologue, the first chapter did not being until page 74 and the prologue did not even state what the purpose of this study was. I attempted to keep going with the author until I realized that the work was just another book on Gettysburg with nothing new to say on the topic. The premise of the book was lost between page 1 and page 74. Lastly, the bibliography was formatted in many different ways and the end notes were confusing at best. Overall, I had really high hopes for this book and I was incredibly disappointed at what was printed here.
It is really a bad sign that this book could not be finished. I think the premise is really quite interesting and should be pursued more, but the idea was lost almost instantly. Throughout the text, he even goes for to insult previous historians for not reading the official records properly and not understanding what the meaning behind the words were. Another confusing thing was the printed idea of the Sesquicentennial Edition printed on the front of the book. Published in 2013, the only edition at the time was the Sesquicentennial Edition. Please do not consider your work an edition base on the anniversary of the war unless it is a reprint with added material. In conclusion, this work is not something I recommend even to the beginner of the Battle of Gettysburg. This, instead, needs a whole reworking on the initial premise of the silent mutiny at Gettysburg.