Eastern ACW Books

The big one. Ask your average American to name a Civil War battle and this will be it. The amount of literature on Gettysburg is astounding, and you would have a sizable library just collecting books focusing on it. I mean, there is a MAGAZINE on this battle, for crying out loud! Because of this, I probably won't have a lot of Gettysburg books that some of you do have, and that doesn't mean I don't like those books. It just means that I'd much rather buy a book on an as yet untouched Campaign rather than buy my 13th book on Gettysburg. I recommend Edward Coddington's "Gettysburg: A Study in Command" the most out of books I do not yet have. . He drew from the notes of John Bachelder, who had been commissioned by Congress to write the official history of the battle.

Scott Mingus

New 12/16/06 Mingus delivers an entertaining, enjoyable read that can be enjoyed in one sitting or over a lengthier period of time.  Jaded readers tired of "yet another Gettysburg book" will want to give this one a try, as it does deliver on the author's promise to approach Gettysburg from an unconventional angle.  Civil War buffs interested in the individual stories of the war rather than tactical studies will find this book to be an exciting first entry in what should quickly become a series.  The book contains no maps, and none are really needed, as that's not the point.  Even beginners to the rich history of this time period can take something tangible from Human Interest Stories.  In fact, I see this as a nice gift to lend or give to friends who might not otherwise be interested in the Civil War specifically or history in general.  It shows that history need not be dry and boring.  Considering the low price, I consider this a solid purchase for any Civil War enthusiast.


104 pp.

Eric J. Wittenberg

New 9/05/06 Eric Wittenberg sets out to right several wrongs in his concise Gettysburg's Forgotten Cavalry Actions. The increasingly prolific cavalry author here focuses on three separate but related cavalry actions on the south side of the Gettysburg Battlefield after the conclusion of Pickett's Charge. Wittenberg stresses that the National Park Service has not done enough to shed light on these cavalry actions, and the official interpretation of the Battle of Gettysburg essentially ends after Pickett's men fell back from Cemetery Ridge. To make matters worse, Elon J. Farnsworth, the only Union general to fall within the enemy's lines, is also the only one who does not have a monument specifically dedicated to him. In these 132 pages, the author sets out to shed light on this neglected division-sized assault, the men who participated, and the possibility of a Confederate rout as a result.


132 pp. 8 maps


Stephen Sears
New 6/14/03 I've finally purchased a one-volume look at the Gettysburg Campaign. This is Sears' new book on Gettysburg, and I haven't had a chance to read it just yet. If it is anything like his books on Antietam and Chancellorsville I'm sure it will become an instant classic. More to come after I have read it.

Gettysburg 1863: High Tide of the Confederacy


Carl Smith
Here's Carl Smith again, this time writing about the most famous Civil War battle of them all. He again provides the reader with an OOB that contains regimental strengths, always a valuable thing in my opinion. This volume is an expanded edition from your typical Osprey book, containing 128 pages as opposed to the usual 96. This is only the tip of the iceberg of Gettysburg books, and it serves as an excellent intro to the rest of the material. 128 pp., 9 maps

The Gettysburg Campaign: June-July 1863 Revised Edition



Albert A. Nofi

This is another "Great Campaigns" Series book brought to you by Combined Publishing. I've always thought Al Nofi was a very good author, and this book doesn't change that opinion of him. The maps are a little shoddy, however. This book is basically the Osprey book with a little more tactical detail but worse maps. If you want a beginner's book I'd go with either one. It really doesn't make any difference. 256 pp., 9 maps

Gettysburg: Regimental Leadership and Command (Civil War Regiments, Vol. 6, No. 5)

Various Authors

This is Savas Publishing's take on Gettysburg through their Civil War Regiments Journal. Almost every essay in this journal concentrates on a particular regiment or battery during the battle and campaign. The only problem is that there aren't many maps in this particular volume, at least not when compared with other books in this series. 199 pp., 5 maps

Gettysburg: A Battlefield Atlas

Craig L. Symonds
This book is a little different than most I have on this page. As the title suggests, it is strictly an atlas of the battle of Gettsyburg, and the text is there just to support the maps. William Clipson actually designed the maps, and as you might expect, there are a lot of them, 24 to be exact. The maps are three-colored and go down to regimental level in the appropriate places. I only wish this book had been thicker! 103 pp., 24 maps

Gettysburg: The First Day



Harry W. Pfanz

Harry Pfanz has become my favorite Gettysburg author with his series of books on the battle. This, his last to be published but the first chronologically, looks to be a really good book. I only say "looks to be" instead of "is" because I'm in the middle of reading it. I've gotten to Reynold's death so far, so I'm still pretty early on yet. However, what I CAN tell you is that the maps are gorgeous and go into great, great detail, just like his other books in the series. And the narrative has been excellent also. I would highly recommend this book to anyone interested in the opening act of this great battle. 472 pp., 16 maps

Gettysburg July 1

David G. Martin
This is very similar to Pfanz's book on the same subject. It beats Pfanz's book in sheer length by a few hundred pages and by 4 maps. Some people have some problems with a few of the things Martin produces as facts and also with the spelling errors throughout the book. While I found this mildly annoying, it didn't really detract from my overall enjoyment when reading it. If you're deciding whether to buy this book or Harry Pfanz's, I'd call it a toss-up. If you already have Pfanz's other books and want to complete the series, go with Pfanz. Otherwise get this. But the ideal situation would obviously be to get both! 736 pp., 20 maps

The First Day at Gettysburg: Essays on Union and Confederate Leadership


Gary W. Gallagher (editor)

Various Authors

This is one of the first books in Gallagher's large series of essay books, and I consider it one of his best. This was published before he put in those essays which had nothing to do with the tactical or strategic aspect of the campaign, which I tend to generally read either reluctantly or not at all. As you can expect, I devoured every single essay in this one. I particularly enjoyed the essay on Howard's leadership from Chancellorsville to Gettysburg. 184 pp., 6 maps

The Second Day at Gettysburg: Essays on Union and Confederate Leadership

Gary W. Gallagher (editor)

Various Authors

This book is the same as the previous one, except it covers the Second Day instead of the First. My favorite essay focuses on Caldwell's Division (including the famed Irish Brigade) in the Wheatfield. 210 pp., 8 maps

Gettysburg: The Second Day

Harry W. Pfanz
This is the second volume in Pfanz's fine three volume set. It covers the fighting on the second day along Cemetery Ridge and south to the Round tops, Devil's Den, and the Wheatfield. It does NOT, however, cover the fighting on Cemetery Hill and Culp's Hill. That is saved for the book I will review below. The maps are awesome in this book. You won't have any trouble following Pfanz's fine narrative when you use the great maps with it. Pfanz, as usual, goes into regimental level detail in both the text and on the maps. You must own this book if you want to know everything about the second day. 624 pp., 13 maps

Gettysburg: Culp's Hill & Cemetery Hill

Harry W. Pfanz
This is the third and final (for now, anyway) book Pfanz has produced on Gettysburg. This book concentrates on the fighting at Cemetery Hill and Culp's Hill on both the second and third days. I hear Pfanz might be making a final book on Pickett's Charge, or in other words the day three fighting along Cemetery Ridge. This one continues the excellent map tradition of Pfanz's other two books: plenty of detail in each map and plenty of them! 528 pp., 15 maps

Gettysburg: Day Three

Jeffry D. Wert
I haven't yet read this one, but I felt I needed a few books on Day Three to round out my Gettysburg collection. I'll let you know what I think about it once I get around to it. And as always, your comments and reviews are very welcome. 320 pp., 9 maps

The Third Day at Gettysburg & Beyond

Gary W. Gallagher (editor)

Various Authors

This is the third of Gary Gallagher's three essay books, with each covering a day. A typical book in the series, and it also covers Meade's pursuit of Lee to Falling Waters. This and the other two Gallagher books make a nice set to own. I recommend all three. 232 pp., 5 maps

Pickett's Charge - The Last Attack at Gettysburg

Earl J. Hess
New 6/14/03 I've always wanted a monograph on Pickett's Charge, and this is it. I just purchased the book, so a review will have to wait until I've read it.