Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Sesquicentennial of the Battle of Gettysburg

Today marks the sesquicentennial of the bloodiest engagement of the Civil War, the Battle of Gettysburg, which was fought on July 1-3, 1863. Nearly 150 years ago, Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee led his 75,000-man Army into Pennsylvania, hoping to have a decisive victory over the Union and end the war. But after three days of battle, Union General George Meade and his 90,000-man Army prevailed. It was a devastating battle for all parties involved; more than 7,000 men were killed and 44,000 others were wounded, captured, or missing. Between the two armies, the South had a more devastating loss. They were no longer a military threat to the North, although the War continued to drag on for two more years.

Interested in reading more about the Civil War? Check out these books below:

Confederate Struggle for Command: General James Longstreet and the First Corps in the West (TAMU Press, 2008) by Alexander Mendoza focuses on the career and legacy of Lt. Gen. James Longstreet. Longstreet, traditionally saddled with much of the blame for the Confederate loss at Gettysburg, was actually a capable, resourceful, and brave commander, argues author and historian Mendoza.

Fire in the Cane Field: The Federal Invasion of Louisiana and Texas, January 1861-January 1863 (State House Press, 2009) by Donald S. Frazier is the first of a series of books on the Civil War in Louisiana and Texas. Beginning with the spasms of secession in the Pelican State, Frazier weaves a stirring tale of bravado, reaction, and war as he describes the consequences of disunion for the hapless citizens of Louisiana. The army and navy campaigns he portrays weave a tale of the Federal Government’s determination to suppress the newborn Confederacy—and nearly succeeding—by putting ever-increasing pressure on its adherents from New Orleans to Galveston.

Thunder Across the Swamp: The Fight for the Lower Mississippi, February-May 1863 (State House Press, 2011) by Donald S. Frazier is the second in a series of four books in Donald S. Frazier's highly acclaimed Louisiana Quadrille. In this fast-paced narrative, readers ride along with gunboat skippers in duels along the Mississippi, trot along with cavalrymen as they slash their way through enemy lines, experience the dust and confusion of infantry assaults, and mourn with Louisiana, Texas, and New England families that watch their property and families destroyed by civil war.

--Madeline Loving

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