Civil War Book Review: Barksdale’s Charge: The True High Tide of the Confederacy at Gettysburg, July 2, 1863

BARKSDALE’S CHARGE: The True High Tide of the Confederacy at Gettysburg, July 2, 1863
by Phillip Thomas Tucker

Product Details

  • Hardcover: 336 pages
  • Publisher: Casemate (July 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1612001793
  • ISBN-13: 978-1612001791
  • Product Dimensions: 9.1 x 6.1 x 1.2 inches
  • Note: Also available on Kindle for $10.99.


Close to victory?

Barksdales Charge Gettysburg July 2 by Phillip Thomas TuckerGettysburg while not the most important battle of the Civil war is the most famous.

For 3 days, uncommon valor was common as the Army of Northern Virginia and the Army of the Potomac fought for victory.

We can always get a lively debate over did Meade win or Lee lose the battle but not on the important events.

The stand of the 20th Maine on Little Round Top and Pickett’s Charge are the popular high points of the battle.

Largely lost is the charge of the 1st Minnesota, the battle for the Bliss Farm and Barksdale’s Charge.

This book is an attempt to rescue one of these forgotten incidents.

Late in the afternoon on July 2, Barksdale’s Mississippi Brigade smashed the III Corps line drove for Cemetery Ridge and almost broke the Union line.

Participants, on both sides, felt this was the critical action of the day.  One Union officer called it “The grandest charge ever seen by mortal man.”

This is a detailed history of the men that charged and those who stopped them.

The author lets them tell the story with extensive quotes from their letters and diaries.

Additionally, he quotes a number of respected historians to support the idea that this is the “High-water Mark” of the Confederacy.

These quotes are never allowed to interrupt the story but bring home the fact that these are real men.

Who no matter how frightened, tired, thirsty or hungry they were rose above themselves and in doing so became heroes.

This is solid old-fashion battle history where heroics are commonplace.

Some may complain about “purple prose” but some history must be written that way.

Purple prose or not, this is a good tactical history of how regiments and brigades fought.

The author is careful to detail the tactics used giving the reader a better understanding of command and control in the smoke filled, confused and incredibly noisy environment that was battle.

There are never enough maps in this type of book.  However, those present are useful and can orientate the reader on the field.  As we expect, these maps are excellent detailed and correct.

Endnotes, full index and illustrations complete the book.

This is a fine addition to your Gettysburg library, well written easy and fun to read.



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