The battle of Gettysburg is one of the decisive battles of the American Civil War. The Confederate forces led by General Lee had marched into Union territory and were threatening Baltimore and Pennsylvania. They would be brought to battle by the Army of the Potomac led by General Meade at a small town called Gettysburg.
Stephen Sears’ book Gettysburg is a detailed look at this important battle and the events leading up to it and after it. Sears describes the three days of hard fighting that took place and the mistakes made by both sides in the heat of battle. The one thing that stands out after reading this account is the amount of times important decisions had to be made with no were near complete information. Many times both sides had no real idea were the enemy forces were located, or if they were fighting how much of the enemy was engaged. The overall impression is of a group of people playing Marco Polo as they stumble around in the dark, and if they collide a battle starts.
Gettysburg is an absorbing read, Sears’ attention to detail comes through in the narrative and I found myself not wanting to put this book down. I feel I know a lot more about this important and bloody battle.