Louisiana State University Press
Image courtesy of Barnes and Noble
Scott Mingus Sr. has given us something which is to be held in high regard. Not only does he present the Gettysburg Campaign again to readers, he does so with new material and takes us to places where we rarely go on the battlefield.
Scott Mingus Sr. is no stranger to the Civil War with his others works such as Human Interest Stories of the Gettysburg Campaign and Flames Beyond Gettysburg. He lives in York, Pennsylvania and has currently published a new work on General William “Extra Billy” Smith.
There is a growing pattern among Gettysburg authors to write brigade histories or regimental histories for the Gettysburg Campaign. Minugs’ work stands out from these others due to the amount of scholarship he has placed into his study. He gives us not only a short background of the men before they reach the Gettysburg Campaign but of their commander, Hays, as well. Mingus is also one of the first Gettysburg historians to delve into the actions at Winchester pinpointing the actions of one brigade during the beginning of the campaign; this feat is not only admirable but greatly appreciated. When the brigade reaches Gettysburg, the account of their participation in the battle is fascinating. These sections of the battlefield are studied in very little detail by others from Barlow’s Knoll, to the Brickyard Fight to Cemetery Hill. It seemed as though sometimes the Louisiana Tigers could not get away from the 17th Connecticut and the two were constantly picking off one another. One of the highlights of the book is the ability for Mingus to bring in primary sources of the material not only on the side of the Tigers, but the Union accounts of the Tigers as well. By doing this, Mingus has alleviated the criticism that his book is for Lost Cause historians; he is truly a historian and not what so many Civil War authors tend to be: one sided.
Mingus has proven that his book is a scholarly Civil War work which should be read with any study of brigades throughout the Gettysburg Campaign. What he has done is brought a solid account of these men from Louisiana to life. The only thing which would be recommended is the addition of a few maps to the section of the Battle of Gettysburg.
This book is highly recommended for anyone looking for a deeper study of the Louisiana Tigers or for a study into certain sections of the battlefield which are largely ignored to this day. Mingus should be considered the leading historian on Early’s Division and those who were part of it ranging from the Tigers to his work on Gordon’s expedition before the battle.