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Sickles at Gettysburg: The Controversial Civil War General Who Committed Murder, Abandoned Little Round Top, and Declared Himself the Hero of Gettysburg
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Sickles at Gettysburg: The Controversial Civil War General Who Committed Murder, Abandoned Little Round Top, and Declared Himself the Hero of Gettysburg

4.2  ·  Rating Details ·  50 Ratings  ·  17 Reviews
FINALIST, 2009, ARMY HISTORICAL FOUNDATION DISTINGUISHED BOOK AWARD WINNER, 2009, THE BACHELDER-CODDINGTON LITERARY AWARD, GIVEN BY THE ROBERT E. LEE CIVIL WAR ROUND TABLE OF CENTRAL NEW JERSEY WINNER, 2009, GETTYSBURG ROUND TABLE'S DISTINGUISHED BOOK AWARD Sickles at Gettysburg: The Controversial Civil War General Who Committed Murder, Abandoned Little Round Top, and Decl ...more
Hardcover, 490 pages
Published June 25th 2009 by Savas Beatie (first published May 29th 2009)
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James Durney
Jul 22, 2009 James Durney rated it it was amazing
If this were fiction, I would say the author’s main character is not credible. It would be impossible for one man to have so many escapades and not be publically ruined. However, this is not a work of fiction but the biography of a very unique and controversial individual. Daniel E. Sickles managed to pack more into his long lifetime than most people could in two or three lifetimes. His exploits and views make for hot debates on the Internet and at Round Tables, over eighty years after his death ...more
Steven Peterson
Sep 15, 2009 Steven Peterson rated it it was amazing
James Hessler's "Sickles at Gettysburg" is a nicely detailed biography of one of the interesting characters of the Civil War, General Dan Sickles. E was one of those "political generals" who drove West Pointers batty. He was notorious for his lavish spending and his womanizing and his deep political involvement. He was also someone who murdered his first wife's lover, got off on temporary insanity (with future War Department Secretary, Edwin Stanton, as one of his legal team), and then scandaliz ...more
Matthew Bartlett
Jul 19, 2014 Matthew Bartlett rated it it was amazing
When the name Dan Sickles is mentioned anywhere in Civil War writing, there is either scorn or praise from those around. He is one of the most interesting characters in all Civil War history and yet he brings a sense of modernization to the whole thing. James A. Hessler has brought a new study into the realm of Dan Sickles by looking at his actions during the Gettysburg Campaign but not without looking at what his past had brought him.
James A. Hessler is a Licensed Battlefield Guide at Gettysbu
...more
Paul
Jan 09, 2014 Paul rated it really liked it
Sauers was mercifully short in treating the same subject, with much the same conclusions.

This book was at least partially a biography of Sickles and was fascinating in its description of his murder of his wife's paramour and in his last days. The missing bust of Sickles in the Excelsior monument is worth the reading.

But one has to really love to read about the Civil War in exquisite detail to read all of this book.
Bill S.
Mar 14, 2012 Bill S. rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: gettysburg
An intelligent, well-written overview of Dan Sickles controversial actions as commander of the Union 3rd Corps at Gettysburg. Touched upon equally as well are Sickles numerous indiscretions both personally and militarily. Highly recommended.
Tom
Jul 10, 2011 Tom rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: american-history
A new book about one of my "favorite" Americans: How could I resist? A very well done miltary bio of Sickles. My favorite bio is still "American Scoudrel.
Gene Ledesma
Sep 17, 2012 Gene Ledesma rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I knew Sickles was a hack political General, but this is a bit much. Very good read.
Sweetwilliam
Nov 16, 2011 Sweetwilliam rated it it was amazing
This book was recommended by licensed Gettysburg battlefield tour guide Bob Radtke. Shortly after I announced my intention of reading James A. Hessler’s book “Sickles at Gettysburg,” I received this anonymous note from some curious character claiming to be the Great Grandson of Historicus.

Hessler’s book attempts to set the record straight. Why would the 3rd Corp commander, whom Hessler refers to as “the amateur of amateurs,” march the 3rd Corp out in advance of the rest of the army leaving both
...more
Mark
Feb 23, 2017 Mark rated it really liked it
A detailed history of a scoundrel, warrior and congressman that was instrumental in setting up the Gettysburg memorial.
Shellys♥ Journal
Sep 29, 2015 Shellys♥ Journal rated it it was amazing
James Hessler's book tells the story of Dan Sickles with the lens aimed primarily at his Gettysburg service and his post war activities relating to justification of his position vs. Meade's orders and the establishment of the Gettysburg National Military Park. Other pertinent details of his life - like the cold blooded murder of Philip Barton Key, marriages and his political career - are also mentioned to set the tone for Sickles character.

While I understand the author is somewhat of a Sickles "
...more
Andrew
Dec 09, 2012 Andrew rated it really liked it
History is populated by at least as many villains as heroes. Dan Sickles has grown into one of the villains of modern Civil War historiography. Sometimes these villains have received unjust treatment, but in the case of Sickles, it's entirely warranted.

Dan Sickles certainly led an interesting and eventful life. He was a successful New York politician. He became infamous for murdering his wifes lover, and then being acquitted through the first successful use of the temporary insanity defense. Dur
...more
Heather
Aug 20, 2009 Heather rated it did not like it
Shelves: biography-memoir
This book is clearly meant for student of Gettysburg and not intended for someone like me whose knowledge of the battle comes primarily from Killer Angels and the movie Gettysburg. The first few chapters give only brief explanations of Sickles' turbulent personal background before the battle. Interesting personal histories are glossed over in order to move the story up to the battle and I would have preferred a more in-depth analysis of his personal history, character and trial- it would have ad ...more
William Fulks
Mar 08, 2016 William Fulks rated it really liked it
Dan Sickles is an interesting character in American history, and this book primarily chronicles his controversial actions at the Battle of Gettysburg as well as some of the scandals of his pre- and post-war life. He famously murdered his wife's lover on the front lawn of the White House, then put together a legal team that concocted the first ever use of the "temporary insanity" plea and Sickles got away with the crime. Much debate has been made over whether his actions at Gettysburg were pure l ...more
Lindsay
Sep 03, 2016 Lindsay rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I own a lot of books on a lot of subjects covering the American Civil War. This one here still ranks as my very favorite that I've read so far. I love how Hessler presents both sides of every controversial point brought up while rarely picking a side himself, unless it's blatantly obvious which side is right. Sickles is one of my favorite personalities from the Civil War, and I always make it a point to re-read this book before any trips to Gettysburg I make. It makes my visits there that much m ...more
Tim
Jan 05, 2016 Tim rated it really liked it
A very detailed narration on the turbulent life of Gen. Sickles. Hessler does a good job of remaining impartial documenting Sickles' controversies from various perspectives. For the most part, Sickles had great intentions, he just often got in his own way and made bad choices. Without him, the National Cemetery in Gettysburg would almost certainly be non-existent and the battlefield not as successfully preserved.
Helen
Mar 04, 2016 Helen rated it liked it
Thoroughly researched and well balanced, but extremely detailed. It gives every opinion from anyone who ever had a thought about Sickles ....and quotes from almost every speech Sickles gave. It was readable, but it took determination on my part to get through it.
J.M.
Jul 16, 2009 J.M. marked it as wishlist
Saw this on Goodreads and thought it looked interesting.
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