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Witness to Gettysburg

3.68  ·  Rating Details  ·  98 Ratings  ·  15 Reviews
WITNESS TO GETTYSBURG brings the bloodiest, most crucial battle of the Civil War to life in on-the-spot eyewitness accounts. From the courageous fighting men and officers to the men and women watching as the conflict raged through their towns, from the reporters riding with the regiments to the children excited or terrified by the titanic drama unfolding before them-each a ...more
Paperback, 288 pages
Published March 1st 1989 by Plume (first published December 31st 1919)
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Gary Foss
Even with the focus upon a single battle of the Civil War, this is a complex story to tell and Richard Wheeler set himself a difficult task by patching together his account using so many primary sources. Because of the number and range of those sources and the commitment that Wheeler dedicates to his method, that narrative is necessarily sometimes a bit haphazard. As a general rule, it's a very successful account of events, but from time to time the transition between, say, a young civilian girl ...more
This book, written by Richard Wheeler, combines multiple accounts of soldiers from both sides who were the Battle of Gettysburg. I would give this book a 4/5 because it was very good in detail, but it was hard to read at times.
It starts off before the battle, at the battle of Brandy Station. Which was a major cavalry battle. It then goes into the strategies of a few of the most important generals at the battle. The first day of the battle has multiple accounts of confederate infantry, and union
Paul Haspel
When reading Witness to Gettysburg, don’t be surprised if you find that the book satisfies on a first reading, but doesn’t leave you with much to think about afterward. Author Richard Wheeler, who has written a number of historical studies, including four other books of Civil War history, clearly knows his stuff. The book is well-written; and, as the title indicates, Wheeler foregrounds the experience, perspective, and testimony of soldiers, officers, and eyewitnesses who were actually on those ...more
Steven Peterson
On page ix, the author lays out the key feature of this book: "". . .I would like to point out that 'Witness to Gettysburg' attempts something new: a telling of the story. . .as largely as possible in the words of participants, both military and civilian, both male and female." A few years later, Time-Life published a book with a similar theme--Gettysburg from an up close and personal perspective.

Indeed, the approach does add a nice element to the book. The work begins with the two armies glarin
Jan 05, 2015 Stephen rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: civil-war, 2015-reads
Very interesting way to write an account of this well-covered battle. Readers gain a lot of insight by hearing the first-hand accounts and primary reference. I see that few people gave this book more than 3 stars. Having listened to the audiobook, rather than reading- maybe the right narrator who can switch voice in all of these diverse quotations, was the key to enjoying this great volume.
Ross Rawnsley
Nov 23, 2015 Ross Rawnsley rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
An interesting perspective on one of the most famous battles in history. Rather than a "blow by blow" description, Wheeler pieces together witness accounts. He is able to provide a unique angle, using both civilian and soldiers testimony.

I enjoyed this one! Recommended.
Dec 30, 2014 Jill rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Well done using the words of those who were there. Thoroughly enjoyed it.
Charis Branson
Mar 13, 2015 Charis Branson rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A nice overall account of the battle of Gettysburg based upon eyewitness accounts of soldiers and civilians. I enjoyed it!
'Aussie Rick'
Nov 28, 2009 'Aussie Rick' rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: civil-war

This book offers an interesting account of the Battle of Gettysburg as seen through the eyes of participants, both North & South, and civilian witnesses like towns folk and such. Not a detailed account of the battle but certianly a very easy to read and enjoyable (if you can say such about a terrible battle) story about this period of history. The use of first person accounts/recollections fits in with the historical narrative of the author which makes this book a pleasure to read.
The text is mainly drawn from the diaries, letters, and memoirs of participants, as well as newspaper and magazine articles of the time, thus letting the eyewitnesses tell the story. An excellent book in Wheeler's "Eyewitness" Civil War series
Tom Darrow
Nothing really outstanding about this book. The battle is so thoroughly covered that it would take something a bit out of the ordinary to pull that off. The book contains numerous full-page illustrations and maps.
Sue Studt
Listened to it on audiobook. The reader was too upbeat for the material, too matter of fact. Great historical value, though.
Jan 06, 2010 columbialion rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to columbialion by: Self
Real eyewitness accounts of what the local residents experienced on that dreadful weekend in July 1863
Xanny Peters
It was okay, a bit boring at times, but not too bad. I liked it.
Jan 23, 2010 Melinda marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: spls, nonfiction
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Born 1922

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