Yakkin’ in Gettysburg

8 06 2011

Last week I received an invitation, totally unexpected, from Cindy Small of the Gettysburg Foundation to participate in their speaker’s program, A Sacred Trust: Gettysburg Perspectives, to be held on the 148th anniversary of the Battle of Gettysburg.

Cindy asked me to speak about a Bull Run topic, preferably one with a Gettysburg tie-in, so at 9:30 AM on Saturday, I’ll present “I had been under fire…and had felt no inclination to run”: Patrick O’Rorke at First Bull Run. I’ll be warming up the crowd for Wayne Motts. The program will run 45 minutes including questions and answers. I’ll also be available after the talk, though unlike every other speaker that day I have no books to autograph or sell – so feel free to come see me and shoot the breeze if you’re so inclined.

Others on the schedule include Troy Harman, Ethan Rafuse, Alan Guelzo, Ed Bearss, Tim Orr, John Hoptak…well, just go here for a full schedule of events.





Gettysburg NPS Blog on WordPress

2 06 2011

Thanks to the good folks at Mysteries and Conundrums for passing along the news that the Gettysburg NMP blog has moved to WordPress, ditching the woefully inadequate NPS platform.  Check it out here.





New Gettysburg Movie on “History”

5 05 2011

Gettysburg is a 2-hour History special that kicks off a week of programming commemorating the 150th anniversary of the Civil War.

Executive produced by Ridley and Tony Scott, this special strips away the romanticized veneer of the Civil War. It presents the pivotal battle of Gettysburg in a new light: as a visceral, terrifying and deeply personal experience, fought by men with everything on the line. Compelling CGI  and powerful action footage place viewers in the midst of the fighting, delivering both an emotional cinematic experience and an information packed look at the turning points, strategic decisions, technology and little known facts surrounding the greatest engagement ever fought on American soil.

The special begins in the high stakes summer of 1863, as the Confederate Army of Northern Virginia crosses into Pennsylvania.   Trailed by the Union’s Army of the Potomac, Lee¹s 75,000 strong army heads towards Harrisburg, converging instead near a quiet farm town, Gettysburg.  Known then only as a crossroads where ten roads running in all directions converge like a wagon wheel, this small town would become site of an epic battle between North and South.  For three days, each side fought there for their vision of what America should be.

In collaboration with highly esteemed Civil War historians, History combed through hundreds of individual accounts of the battle to find the unique voices of struggle, defeat and triumph that tell the larger story of a bitterly conflicted nation.

This program is set to air Monday, May 30th at 9 PM. For more info, see here.

OK, I’m a little concerned about those crossed muskets on the Hardee hat. But I’m willing to put up with little things like that if it’s a good flick. I’ve seen two too many movies  Stitch Nazis love that were just horrible cinematic experiences. The Scotts are Oscar winners. And I love the use of this song in the trailer – always thought it would fit an ACW soundtrack.





Preview: Mingus & McClure, “Civil War Voices from York County, PA”

20 04 2011

Scott L. Mingus, Sr. sent me a copy of his latest, Civil War Voices from York County, PA: Remembering the Rebellion and the Gettysburg Campaign, co-written with James McClure. Scott is now officially prolific – check out his author page on Amazon. Jim McClure is the editor of the York Daily Record newspaper and the author of several books on the history of York County, Pa.

With this book, numerous primary sources – newspaper accounts, letters, diaries, even oral histories – are brought together to tell the story of York County in south-central PA, where North meets South at the Pennsylvania and Maryland border. It’s an interesting and revealing collection of stories and anecdotes, just the thing for folks interested in the Gettysburg Campaign in particular but also in how the war affected this unique community.





Gettysburg NMP Blog

15 04 2011

The good folks at the NPS at Gettysburg have started a blog, and you can find it here.

There appear to be few frills and no feed (I keep track of what’s going on in the sphere with my Google feed reader). I’m really not sure why they opted for this format when the good folks at Fredericksburg have blazed such a clear path, but it’s just starting out so maybe things will evolve.





New Release: Scott Mingus, “Flames Beyond Gettysburg”

18 02 2011

Yesterday’s mail brought the new Savas Beatie edition of Scott Mingus’s Flames Beyond Gettysburg: The Confederate Expedition to the Susquehanna River, June 1863.  Originally this was published in 2009 with the subtitle The Gordon Expedition, June 1863.  But be not fooled – this is a completely revised edition with new maps and photos. Scott is a long time Gettysburg geek and miniature wargamer and an e-quaintance for a number of years, and I know he worked long and hard to get this book written and published. See Scott’s website for the book here, and see his wargaming blog here.

The book is 338 pages of text, with various appendices including a chronology (I think a chronology is as essential as Orders of Battle, which this book also has), and driving tours.  Scott consulted a number of manuscript sources and newspapers in researching Flames. Footnotes are honest-to-God footnotes.

From the back cover:

…a study of a fascinating but largely overlooked operation by part of Richard Ewell’s Second Corps in June 1863 that not only shaped the course of the Gettysburg Campaign, but may well have altered the course of our nation’s history.





New in Paperback: “One Continuous Fight”

11 02 2011

Yesterday’s mail brought One Continuous Fight: The Retreat from Gettysburg and the Pursuit of Lee’s Army of Northern Virginia, July 4-14, 1863.  This 2008 offering from Eric Wittenberg, J. D. Petruzzi, and the blogless Mike Nugent has been re-released in paperback by publisher Savas Beatie.  You can find a website set up for the original hardcover here.

You can also find any number of positive reviews for this book on the web. The paperback edition includes a lenghty interview with the three authors. Even if you have the hardcover, you may want to pick up a beater copy to use while following the fine driving tour.  Perfect for highlighting and marking up any of the eighteen original maps.








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