Civil War Book Review: Invaders in Our Town: The Battle of Gettysburg Through the Eyes of Some Who Lived It

Invaders in Our Town: The Battle of Gettysburg Through the Eyes of Some Who Lived It

Invaders In Our Town Gettysburg FaberAuthor James M. Faber

Paperback 548 pages

Color illustration and Maps

Available from  for $22.95

Readers of history can forget that people make history.  Each event has tens, hundreds, thousands or millions of people with hopes and dreams interacting.

Historical fiction reminds us of this fact.  Good historical fiction involves real people caught up in a central event.  The author builds a persona for them that is consistent with the times and our knowledge of the role they played.

In doing so, they put a personality to go with the picture.

James M. Faber looks at the Battle of Gettysburg not as history but a current event seen by a selected group of residents.

This is a very personal story told as it plays out over July 1 to 3, 1863.

He gives us a unique look at the battle.

We stand alongside the road giving biscuits and water to Union soldiers marching through town to confront the Rebels West of town.  Only to cower in our cellars watching them retreat a few hours later.

We care for wounded men in our homes, even as the Rebels conduct a house-to-house search for “Yankees”.

The invasion forces us to choose staying to protect what we have or flee to safety.

What motivates John L. Burns and what happens to him provides information beyond what we find in a battle history.

The author works with a number of families to create a cohesive story of the civilians at Gettysburg.

He is careful to work with the historical record avoiding any flights of fantasy.

The result is an interesting read that fills some blank space in our picture of Gettysburg.


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