Review: So You Think You Know Gettysburg? The Stories behind the Monuments and the Men Who Fought One of America’s Most Epic Battles

by James Durney on April 27, 2010 · 1 comment

So You Think You Know Gettysburg? The Stories behind the Monuments and the Men Who Fought One of America’s Most Epic Battles
by James & Suzanne Gindlesperger

Product Details

  • Paperback: 188 pages
  • Publisher: John F. Blair, Publisher (May 1, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0895873745
  • ISBN-13: 978-0895873743

This is not a book that fits into one slot easily.  This is a book wearing many hats, some of them very well, defying a quick or easy description.  Part guidebook, part trivia quiz, and part history with a series of fine color photos it is almost impossible to slot this into a category.  While doing all of this, the authors avoid creating a mess and give us a well-organized very attractive fun book.  Monument descriptions are well written, informative and fun to read.  The authors eschew military terms or heavy handed details in favor of an easy to understand style.

The heart and soul of the book is the monuments and the stories behind them.  Ten chapters organize the battlefield into logical areas.  Each area contains a map by MapQuest showing major streets and the location of the monument in the chapter.  Each monument has a full color picture with a few paragraphs about the person/unit.  Where possible trivia about the monument or special items to look for are included.  The chapters cover McPherson’s Ridge and Oak Ridge, In Town, Cemetery Hill, Culp’s Hill, West Confederate Ave. North End, West Confederate Ave. South End, High Water Mark, The Westfield, Little Round Top and Devil’s Den, East Cavalry Battlefield.  Chapter 11 is general information about flank markers, plaques and other types of markers.

For the most part, the level of information is for the somewhat more than casual visitor to the park.  The experience Gettysburg person will enjoy the color photos and the lively text.  This book is an excellent choice for the price.

Editor’s Note: Jim is a highly ranked reviewer of American Civil War histories on many book seller’s sites.

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