J. David Petruzzi and Steven A. Stanley
Savas Beatie. Co. 2012,
Image Courtesy of Military Book Club
The Gettysburg Campaign in Numbers and Losses completes what many historians have previously attempted to do. By completing this work, both Petruzzi and Stanley have created the greatest reference for the campaign.
J. David Petruzzi and Steven A. Stanley have worked together before on The Complete Gettysburg Guide and The New Gettysburg Campaign Handbook. Petruzzi has also written other Gettysburg works along with Eric Wittenberg such as Plenty of Blame to God Around: Jeb Stuart’s Controversial Ride to Gettysburg and with Wittenberg and Michael F. Nugent One Continuous Fight: The Retreat from Gettysburg and the Pursuit of Lee’s Army of Northern Virginia. Stanley lives in Gettysburg and works as a graphic designer who specializes in maps. His work, which can be seen in this volume, are some of the best maps in the industry.
There have been numerous books about the Gettysburg Campaign and even after one hundred and fifty years, there is still more to write about. This work takes the study to a whole new level separating the smaller skirmishes and battles from the engagement at Gettysburg. By referencing the Official Records, readers will see numbers and losses on the campaign scale. What Petruzzi has done along with the work of Stanley’s maps, is researched what the numbers and losses were during the other engagements during the campaign. Petruzzi’s research on a skirmish such as Seneca Mills, Maryland, shows the great care he has taken during his years of study. The greatest part of this study is the separation of the three days of the fight at Gettysburg. Readers and historians will always see the Battle of Gettysburg as a Union victory but with the aid of the information, we can see that with the three days separated, it is amazing that the Army of the Potomac overcame such losses from the first two days. Along with the percentages for the numbers and losses of the army, there are bar graphs which calculate the information by infantry, cavalry and artillery. While most historians would study the campaign up to the battle, Petruzzi and Stanley also gives us the retreat back to Virginia from the Battle of Monterey Pass to the Skirmish at Falling Waters, Maryland. Besides percentages and maps by the authors, Petruzzi gives the reader an explanation of what happened there. For the example of the Skirmish at Witmer’s Farm, there is a short description of the combat between the militia and a cavalry unit. By doing this, we have a complete understanding of the aggregates and percentages of the Gettysburg Campaign as a whole instead of the numbers according to the battle.
Petruzzi and Stanley have given us a great reference which will be the standard for years to come. What they have also accomplished is the ability to bring people this information without complicating the reference. Any student or scholar will be able to use this work to more fully understand the campaign and gain a more exact feeling to the campaign’s casualties.