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Witness to Gettysburg

3.7  ·  Rating details ·  122 Ratings  ·  16 Reviews
Describing the Civil War's most crucial battle, personal experiences of Gettysburg residents are combined with accounts of Union and Confederate soldiers who survived the battle to produce a chronological narrative that brings the battle of Gettysburg to life.
Hardcover, 286 pages
Published September 1st 1994 by Booksales (first published December 31st 1919)
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Gary Foss
Aug 02, 2014 rated it liked it
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
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
Nov 08, 2009 rated it liked it
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
...more
Jake
May 11, 2014 added it
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
...more
'Aussie Rick'
Oct 13, 2009 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.
Stephen
Jan 05, 2015 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.
Tom Darrow
Jul 19, 2011 rated it liked it
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.
Read1000books
Aug 29, 2011 rated it liked it
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
Ross Rawnsley
Nov 19, 2015 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.
Jill
Dec 30, 2014 rated it really liked it
Well done using the words of those who were there. Thoroughly enjoyed it.
Melinda
Jan 23, 2010 marked it as to-read
Shelves: spls, nonfiction
Maybe
Sue Studt
Feb 24, 2010 rated it liked it
Listened to it on audiobook. The reader was too upbeat for the material, too matter of fact. Great historical value, though.
Charis Branson
Mar 07, 2015 rated it really liked it
A nice overall account of the battle of Gettysburg based upon eyewitness accounts of soldiers and civilians. I enjoyed it!
Xanny Peters
Jan 26, 2015 added it
Shelves: finished
It was okay, a bit boring at times, but not too bad. I liked it.
columbialion
Jan 06, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Recommended to columbialion by: Self
Real eyewitness accounts of what the local residents experienced on that dreadful weekend in July 1863
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