An enjoyable look at different perspectives from participants of the battle of Gettysburg. I wish the whole shoe issue hadn't cropped up in it, but ot...moreAn enjoyable look at different perspectives from participants of the battle of Gettysburg. I wish the whole shoe issue hadn't cropped up in it, but otherwise this could be a great intro for students.(less)
This book provides a short overview of the battle of Antietam before transitioning into a photographic study. The photos show different parts of the b...moreThis book provides a short overview of the battle of Antietam before transitioning into a photographic study. The photos show different parts of the battlefield from the 1880s and comparing it to the landscape today. I found the four pictures yet to be placed on the battle interesting.(less)
This book provides a good overview of the 1862 Maryland Campaign in terms of troop movements and developments. There is a decided anti-McClellan slant...moreThis book provides a good overview of the 1862 Maryland Campaign in terms of troop movements and developments. There is a decided anti-McClellan slant, but it is still a very educational read.(less)
Two brothers are less than thrilled with their visit to Harper's Ferry, West Virginia. Their grandma has banned all their electronic gadgets for this...moreTwo brothers are less than thrilled with their visit to Harper's Ferry, West Virginia. Their grandma has banned all their electronic gadgets for this trip. When she pulls them into a museum run by one of her friends, a Mr. Portufoy, the boys don't think much of the photographs. The weaponry causes a bit of excitement, but it is the uniforms they are allowed to try on that really captures their attention.
After trying on the uniforms, Mr. Portufoy offers the boys a game, one that promises is better than a video game. The game is to go to Antietam just after the battle by passing through the door. Mr. Portufoy's one caution before the boys start their game is to not tell any other players about their current lives.
While in Antietam, the boys meet Matthew Brady and Abraham Lincoln. This book provides a good introduction to the differences between life in the 2010s versus life in the 1860s. The book touches on the horrible reality of war when the boys stumble upon scores of dead soldiers in the bloody cornfield of Antietam.
As I have visited a number of Civil War sites, I found it interesting to glimpse those places in a picture book. I appreciated Patricia Polacco's note to readers at the end of the book explaining the differences between the Antietam in her book and the historical one in her book (Lincoln did not visit the battlefield until October 3 so it is unlikely saw bodies as they were shown in the picture book). I enjoyed the inclusion of Alexander Gardner and Matthew Brady, the photographers.
The boys, of course, violate Mr. Portufoy's order not to tell about the present, but Patricia Polacco managed to do so in a way that will not quickly become dated by using a coin one of the boys had rather than them stating the year they were from. The telling about the present could be a great discussion launcher in the classroom, especially when one of the boys wonders if they should have told Lincoln about something that would happen in 1865.
This book was written by an associate member of the licensed battlefield guides in Gettysburg. In short chapters, Allers identifies areas of mystery a...moreThis book was written by an associate member of the licensed battlefield guides in Gettysburg. In short chapters, Allers identifies areas of mystery and confusion pertaining to the battle of Gettysburg. He briefly identifies the prevalent myths and the historical evidence that is available or lacking on a topic. This book can be a spur for further research in its identification of reputable accounts. It can be maddening to know what information is not available, such as Pickett's report on the battle or what AP Hill was doing. Allers showed how papers and people turned on Meade.
I enjoyed recognizing names in the bibliography from rangers and guides I have listened to, though I've read little of what I've wanted to read. There were two key typos in the book. One was on the year of the Armistead Marker and one was on when Stuart's Cavalry set out.(less)
Stonewall Traveler Hinkelman hates his name. He's not too fond of Civil War reenactments either. He has to be the bugle boy. When he forgets to take h...moreStonewall Traveler Hinkelman hates his name. He's not too fond of Civil War reenactments either. He has to be the bugle boy. When he forgets to take his bugle to the annual reenactment at Manassas, his irate father sends him to the sutlers' area to find a replacement. He ends up in the tent of hippie-like, one-armed Tom, who lends him an old bugle with very fragile instructions. There's one hitch--when Stonewall blows the bugle the next day he ends up in the real battle of First Manassas. Real war is terrifying enough, but Stonewall isn't the only time traveler that day. Dupree wants to take down a few more Yankees to alter the course of the war. It's up to Stonewall to stop him.
As I've been to a number of reenactments and battlefields, the premise of this unlikely book amused me greatly. I'd also never thought that national park brochures could be so dangerous. I liked the inclusion of historical figures. It was also fun having places in the book that I've been to like outside Henry House and the Robinson House (I still have an I've stood there! reaction). The fast pace of the story could appeal to those who find history tiring in a textbook. I think it would also have appeal to readers who enjoyed The Mostly True Adventures of Homer P. Figg.
Stonewall spends a significant amount of time reacting to the vast differences between his life and that of people in the 19th century, which is to be expected. Popular culture references are scattered throughout the book. While I enjoyed these, I am not sure how many kids would get Back to the Future references. There's also a rather unfortunate Michael Jackson one in there. Common references from the Battle of First Manassas are used - politicians watching the battle, the mismatch of equipment and supplies, the quote where Stonewall Jackson got his nickname. Civilians such as Mrs. Henry Hill and Mr. Robinson are present. There is an emphasis on the Confederate side, which makes sense given the main character's home.
There were a few things in the book that bothered me, such as when Stonewall uses his Gameboy to buy things off Wilmer McClean. Coming across Sullivan Ballou and his letter to Sarah was a bit far fetched. as well.(less)
This book provides many interesting anecdotes about the members of the Iron Brigade during the Gettysburg campaign. I'd heard several of these stories...moreThis book provides many interesting anecdotes about the members of the Iron Brigade during the Gettysburg campaign. I'd heard several of these stories in battlewalks by rangers and licensed battlefield guides at Gettysburg, which I enjoyed reading in print form.
While the book was clearly well researched and document, typos in both the main text and the photograph captions detracted from the reading experience. The book provides more information on the Wisconsin and Michigan regiments in the Iron Brigade than on the 19th Indiana. (less)